Colloque – The 49th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

The 49th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies
Inscribing Texts in Byzantium: Continuities & & Transformations

Exeter College, Oxford, 18-20 March 2016


In spite of the striking abundance of extant primary material – over 4000 Greek texts produced in the period between the sixth and fifteenth centuries – Byzantine Epigraphy remains largely uncharted territory, with a reputation for being elusive and esoteric that obstinately persists. References to inscriptions in our texts show how ubiquitous and deeply engrained the epigraphic habit was in Byzantine society, and underscore the significance of epigraphy as an auxiliary discipline. The growing interest in material culture, including inscriptions, has opened 2 new avenues of research and led to various explorations in the field of epigraphy, but what is urgently needed is a synthetic approach that incorporates literacy, built environment, social and political contexts, and human agency. The SPBS Symposium 2016 has invited specialists in the field to examine diverse epigraphic material in order to trace individual epigraphic habits, and outline overall inscriptional traditions. In addition to the customary format of panel papers and shorter communications, the Symposium will organize a round table, whose participants will lead a debate on the topics presented in the panel papers, and discuss the methodological questions of collection, presentation and interpretation of Byzantine inscriptional material.


Panel One: Collecting and reading inscriptions in Byzantium
Panel Two: Traditions and transitions
Panel Three: Seventh-century epigraphy three ways
Panel Four: Place, placement, paratextuality
Panel Five: The (in)formality of the inscribed word
Panel Six: Material turn
Round Table: SPBS Debate on Byzantine epigraphy

Call for Communications

Academics, research students, and other members of the scholarly community are invited to offer communications – ten minutes papers – that explore any aspect of Byzantine Epigraphy from a textual, visual, historical, religious, social or cultural angle. Abstracts of no more than 300 words of proposed communications, including their titles, should be sent to Ida Toth ( by 15 January 2016 at the latest.


Delegates are offered early registration at the following rates:
o Full: £95
o Members of the SPBS: £85
o Students / Unwaged: £45
o From 1 March 2016 rates rise to £105, £95, and £50 respectively
o The fees for one-day registration are £45 (full fee), £40 (Members of the SPBS), and £30 (Students / Unwaged)
o From 1 March 2016, the fees for one day participation are £55, £50 and £40 respectively

Booking & Paying

A booking form will soon be available online, on the website of the History Faculty (Oxford University), with further details of registration and payment.

Offre de bourse doctorale – Nicholas Frangiscatos Scholarship

Nicholas Frangiscatos Scholarship
in Late Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies

 Exeter College, Oxford, seeks to elect a Nicholas Frangiscatos Scholar from among students who wish to conduct doctoral research in the fields of late Byzantine and post-Byzantine studies (1261-1669) at Oxford University in the academic year 2016-2017. For more information and how to apply and by when, see:

Offre d’emploi – Evans-Pritchard Lectureship, All Souls College, Oxford

All Souls College, Oxford

Evans-Pritchard Lectureship

Applications are invited for the Evans-Pritchard Lectureship during the academic year 2015- 2016.

The Lecturer will deliver a series of four to six lectures in the course of a month, based on field work or other indigenous primary materials concerning Africa, the Middle East or the Mediterranean, and offering an empirical analysis of social relations. Scholars in the fields of social anthropology, classical studies, archaeology, modern history and oriental studies are eligible and, other things being equal, the electors will prefer a person at the beginning or middle of their career. It is hoped that the Lectures will be published in book form.

Candidates for election should send an outline of their proposed lectures, and a list of publications, to by Friday 17 April 2015. They should also ask two referees to send their references to – also to arrive by Friday 17 April 2015.

All Souls College is an equal opportunities employer and particularly encourages applications from women and those with a legally protected characteristic.

See attached documents for further information.

« Heresy from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages »

« Heresy from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages »

Saturday 14 March 2015, 11am-5pm
TORCH Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford

The past few decades have seen a burgeoning scholarly interest in heresy in early and medieval Christianity. Research on Christian heresy and its representation (‘heresiology’) has proliferated, in particular, in two periods: late antiquity and the later middle ages. However, despite deriving inspiration from similar trends in modern cultural theory and critical historical analysis, these two fields of scholarship have developed largely in isolation from one another. This workshop seeks to bring together historians working on heresy across the late-antique and medieval periods, to consider how and why heresy (or its representation) might change over time and in different contexts, and to think through the possibilities of common (or indeed divergent) approaches.

To register, or for more information, e-mail Robin Whelan ( A sandwich lunch is available; please request it on registration and supply any dietary requirements. Thanks are due to the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity and the Oxford Medieval Studies Network for their generous support.

11:00 Registration and Welcome

11:15 Session 1: Chair: Antonia Fitzpatrick (St John’s)
Richard Flower (Exeter) ‘The birth of scientific heresiology in late antiquity’
Jill Moore (Birkbeck) ‘Set a thief to catch a thief? Family experience of heresy among thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italian inquisitors’

12:45 Lunch

13:45 Session 2: Chair: Phil Booth (Trinity)
Liz Mincin (St Andrews) ‘Curing the common soul: reexamining the heresiological motif of disease in Middle Byzantium’
Ali Bonner (Jesus) ‘The reception of Pelagius and interactionist theory’

15:15 Coffee

15:45 Session 3: Chair: Robin Whelan (TORCH/Brasenose)
Lucy Sackville (York) ‘The great divide: inquisition texts and the history of heresy’

Plenary Discussion
Conrad Leyser (Worcester) and Kantik Ghosh (Trinity)