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Seminars of Byzantine History









The iconoclast era. Times of political, social and religious turbulences

Eir. Chrestou


Women in the public sphere (fourth-eleventh c.).

K. Nikolaou




Byzantium and foreigners: perceptions, collaboration and confrontation, cultural interaction (7th-13th c.)

Ath. Kolia-Dermitzaki



Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Seminar «Nikos Oikonomides»

University of Athens – Department of History & Archaeology

in collaboration with the Institute for Historical Research / Section for Byzantine Research / National Hellenic Research Foundation

Aegean Islands from mid-10th to mid-15th c. Introversion and extroversion, byzantine tradition and new influences.

T. Maniati-Kokkini and S. Kalopissi-Verti (in collaboration with S. Lampakis)



Winter semester


Subject: The iconoclast era. Times of political, social and religious turbulences


Summary: The subjects of the seminar are: the various aspects of the conflict between the State and the Church, the role of the emperor, of the patriarch, of political and ecclesiastical dignitaries and the involvement of the people and the army in the conflict, as well as the consequences pertaining to political, social and religious matters of the empire. A long, decisive for the future of the empire, period of byzantine history is studied in this seminar, based on the research of the primary sources (historical and hagiographical texts, acts of synods etc) and of an extensive contemporary bibliography.


Selective bibliography


Θεοφάνης, Xρονογραφία, έκδ. C. de Boor, Leipzig 1883 (ανατ. G. Olms, Hildesheim 1963)

Νικηφόρος πατριάρχης, Ιστορία σύντομος, έκδ. C. Mango Nikephoros Patriarch of Constantinople Short History. Text, Translation and Commentary (CFHB 13), Washington D.C. 1990

Συνεχιστής του Θεοφάνη, Theοphanes Continuatus Chronographia, εκδ. I. Bekker, Theophanes Continuatus, Ioannes Cameniata, Symeon Magister, Georgius Monachus (CSHB), Bonn 1838

Auzépy M.-F. (εκδ.), La Vie d’Étienne le Jeune par Étienne le Diacre, Aldershot, Ashgate 1997

Auzépy M.-F. L' hagiographie et l' iconoclasme byzantin. Le cas de la Vie d' Etienne le Jeune [Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Monographs, 5], Aldershot, Ashgate 1999.

Brubaker L. - Haldon J. (επιμ.), Byzantium in the iconoclast era (c. 680-850). The sources: an annotated survey. With a contribution on the architecture of iconoclasm by Ousterhout R., Aldershot, Ashgate 2001

Brubaker L. - Haldon J., Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era (c. 680-850). A History, New York 2011

Brubaker L., Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm, London 2012

Cholij R., Theodore the Stoudite. The Ordering of Holiness, New York 2002

Lemerle P., O πρώτος βυζαντινός Oυμανισμός. Σημειώσεις και παρατηρήσεις για την εκπαίδευση και την παιδεία στο Bυζάντιο από τις αρχές ως τον 10ο αιώνα (ελλ. μετάφρ., Mαρία Νυσταζοπούλου-Πελεκίδου, Le premier humanisme byzantin), Aθήνα 1981

Lilie R.-J., Byzanz unter Eirene und Konstantin VI. (780-802). Mit einem Kapitel über Leon IV. (775-780) von Ilse Rochow (Berliner Byzantinistische Studien 2), Frankfurt 1996

Lilie R.-J. (ed.), Die Patriarchen der ikonoklastischen Zeit. Germanos I. - Methodios I. (715-847) (Berliner Byzantinistische Studien 5) Frankfurt 1999.

McClanan A. - Johnson J. (επιμ.), Negating the image: case studies in Iconoclasm, Aldershot, Ashgate 2005.

Rochow I., Kaiser Konstantin V. (741-775). Materialen zu seinem Leben und Nachleben. Mit einem Anhang von Claudia Ludwig, Ilse Rochow und Ralph-Johannes Lilie (Berliner Byzantinische Studien, 10), Berlin 1994

Turner D., The origins of the second Iconoclasm, Burmingham 1987



Winter semester


Subject: Women in the public sphere (fourth-eleventh c.).


Summary: The public sphere in Byzantium was a man's world par excellence, where dominant males demonstrated their effectiveness, thus confirming their masculinity. Yet the fear that it might become “effeminate” was always there, thus specific political and moral codes were enforced; however, τάξις (order) was often disrupted, either behind the scenes or out in the open.

The seminar will discuss the female personages who, during the period under examination, sought and managed to influence or define the course of the empire, while at the same time they contributed to the shaping of some of the latter’s individual characteristics. The multifaceted actions of each of these personalities affected almost every aspect of the empire’s domestic and foreign policy. Thus, we will present all evidence demonstrating the involvement of their private sphere with the public one, an act that disregarded the rule which called for the public community of Late Antiquity to totally permeate private life with its own values and, ideally, to force it to fully comply with them.

Selective Bibliography


Νικολάου Κ., Η γυναίκα στη μέση βυζαντινή εποχή. Κοινωνικά πρότυπα και καθημερινός βίος στα αγιολογικά κείμενα (Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών / Ινστιτούτο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών. Μονογραφίες 6), Αθήνα 2005

Χριστοφιλοπούλου Αικ., «Η αντιβασιλεία εις το Βυζάντιον», στο: Χριστοφιλοπούλου, Αικ., Βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία - Νεότερος Ελληνισμός. Συμβολή στην έρευνα, τόμ. Α´, Αθήνα 2006, 117-278 [α΄ δημοσ. Σύμμεικτα 2 (1970) 1-144]


Beaucamp J., Le statut de la femme à Byzance (4e-7e siècle). Ι. Le droit impérial, Παρίσι 1990, II. Les pratiques sociales, Paris 1992

Beaucamp J., «Les femmes et l’espace public à Byzance: Le cas des tribunaux», Dumbarton Oaks Papers 52 (1998) 129-145

Evans J. A., The Power Game in Byzantium. Antonina and the Empress Theodora, London – New York 2011

Sansterre J.-M., Lebecq S., Le Jan R., Dierkens A. (εκδ.)., Femmes et pouvoirs des femmes à Byzance et en Occident (VIème-XIème siècles). Colloque international organisé les 28, 29 et 30 mars 1996 à Bruxelles et Villeneuve d’Ascq, Villeneuve d'Ascq 1999

Garland L., Byzantine Women: Varieties of Experience 800-1200, London 2006

Herrin J., Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium, Princeton 2013

Holum K. G., Theodosian Empresses. Women and Imperial Dominion in Late Antiquity, Berkeley – Los Angeles 1989

James L., Women, Men, and Eunuchs: Gender in Byzantium, London 1997

Tougher S., «In Praise of an Empress: Julian’s Speech of Thanks to Eusebia», στο: M. Whitby (εκδ.), The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity, Leiden 1998, 105-123


Spring semester

Subject: Byzantium and foreigners: perceptions, collaboration and confrontation, cultural interaction (7th-13th c.)


Summary: The aim of the seminar is: a) to explore the perceptions of the Byzantines for foreigners and the search for the factors that created these perceptions, in a general context as well as with regard to specific peoples; b) to examine the relations between Byzantines and foreigners at a political and military level. The prevailing political and military, commercial and economic conditions each time, combined with the occasional aspirations of both sides in the above areas and the changes in the geopolitical map, led to the cooperation or confrontation of the foreign peoples with Byzantium. In this context, the resources used by Byzantium to cope with the controversy (army, diplomacy, proselytism to Christianity, and finally realism) will be sought in the sources and will be studied. c) to identify elements of culture that have been shifted from one side to the other, in spiritual life, law and everyday life.

Selective bibliography

Ο Βυζαντινός Κόσμος, τ. Α΄, Η Ανατολική Ρωμαϊκή Αυτοκρατορία (330-641), Cécile Morrisson et al. (επιμ.), ελλ. μετάφραση Αν. Καραστάθη, Αθήνα 2007 (= Le Monde Byzantin I. LEmpire romain dorient, Paris 2004)

Ο Βυζαντινός Κόσμος, τ. Β΄, Η Βυζαντινή Αυτοκρατορία (641-1204), εκδ. J.-Cl. Cheynet et al., ελλ. μετάφραση: Αναστασία Καραστάθη, Αθήνα 2011 [= Le monde byzantin, ΙΙ: LEmpire Byzantin (641-1204), Paris 2006]

Βυζάντιο και Βούλγαροι (1018-1185), Κ. Νικολάου – Κ. Τσικνάκης (επιμ.), Ινστιτούτο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών, Διεθνή Συμπόσια 18, Αθήνα 2008

Το εμπόλεμο Βυζάντιο (9ος-12ος αι.), Ινστιτούτο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών, Διεθνή Συμπόσια 4, Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών) Αθήνα 1997

Geanakoplos D. J., Bυζάντιο και Δύση. H αλληλεπίδραση των αμφιθαλών πολιτισμών στον Mεσαίωνα και στην ιταλική αναγέννηση, Aθήνα 1985 (= Interaction of the "Sibling" Byzantine and Western Cultures in the Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance (330-1600), New Haven / London 1976

Μαλιγκούδη Γ., Ιστορία της Ρωσίας. Α΄ Η Ρωσία του Κιέβου, 9ος αι.- 1240, Θεσσαλονίκη 1992

Μωϋσείδου Γ., Το Βυζάντιο και οι βόρειοι γείτονές του τον 10ο αιώνα, Αθήνα 1995

Byzantine Diplomacy, ed. J. Shepard-S. Franklin, Aldershot 1992

Dagron G., "Ceux d’en face". Les peuples dans les traités militaires byzantins., Travaux et Mémoires 10 (1987) 207-232

Haldon J., Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World, 565-1204, London 1999

Kaegi W., Byzantium and the early Islamic conquests, Cambridge 1995

Koder J.- Stouraitis I. (εκδ.), Byzantine war ideology between Roman imperial concept and Christian religion, Akten des Internationalen Symposiums (Wien 19.-21. Mai 2011), Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch - Historische Klasse, Denkschriften 452. Band. Veröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung Band XXX, Wien 2012

Laiou A., “The Foreigner and the Stranger in 12th century Byzantium: Means of Propitiation and Acculturation”, στο: Marie Theres Fogen (επιμ.), Fremde der Gesellschaft. Historische und sozialwissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zur Differenzierung von Normalität und Fremdheit. Ius Commune. Sonderhefte. Studien zur Europaischen Rechtsgeschichte 56, Frankfurt/ Mein 1991, 71-97

Lilie R.-J., Byzantium and the Crusader States 1096-1204, Oxford 1993 (= Byzanz und die Kreuzfahrerstaaten 1096-1204 [Ποικίλα Βυζαντινά 1] München 1981

Makk F., The Árpáds and the Comneni Political Relations between Hungary and Byzantium in the 12th century, Budapest 1989

Moravscik Gy., Byzantium and the Mayars, Amsterdam 1970

Schreiner P., Orbis Byzantinus, Byzanz und seine Nachbarn, Gesammelte Aufsatze 1970-2011 heraugeben von A. Simon und C. Spinei, Romanian Academy, Institute of Archaeology of Iași, Florilegium Magistrorum Historiae Archaelogiaeque Antiquitatis et Medii Aevi 12, București – Brǎila 2013

Stephenson P., Byzantium`s Balkan Frontier. A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204, Cambridge 2000



T. MANIATI-KOKKINI and S. KALOPISSI-VERTI (in collaboration with S. Lampakis NHRF/SBR)

Spring semester


Subject: Aegean Islands from mid-10th to mid-15th c. Introversion and extroversion, byzantine tradition and new influences.


Summary: Many of the islands scattered throughout the Aegean sea, be it small or large, appear in byzantine and later sources as part of the Eastern Roman empire at first, and of the Western-dominated area or the Ottoman empire later. Their importance for administrative organization, defensive policy, socioeconomic life, as well as cultural and artistic activity, changes depending on circumstances and general policy of the Byzantine state and its subsequent rulers.

The period after mid-10th c. and repossession of Crete in 961 until mid-15th c., during which one can see the developments in the area of the Aegean islands in relation to the mainland regions surrounding them from Asia Minor and Macedonia to the Peloponnese, is particularly interesting. During that period, some islands flourish particularly whereas others lose almost their entire population; moreover, most of them experience effects deriving from decisive events such as the Sack of Constantinople in 1204. Thus, the historical course of these islands varies, especially in relation to the end of the byzantine era and the beginning of the post-byzantine era, when they gradually fall under western or ottoman authority.

This general theme and its most important parameters will be the object of the seminar and lectures. More specifically, there will be a discussion – focusing on the aforementioned geographical region – on the relations between the Byzantine state(of the last Macedonian rulers, the Komnenoi, the Angeloi, the Laskarids and the Palaiologoi) with the aspiring eastern and western contenders and rulers of the “Byzantine region”, as well as the social and economic circumstances, the legal or illegal navigation and commercial activity, developments of institutions, religious matters and literary production.

In art, there will be an analysis of monuments mirroring historical and social developments, decisive changes in dominating powers, geo-political transpositions and movements of people, as well as religious conflicts and intellectual interests. Representative examples include: Chios, with the imperial foundation of the Nea Moni; Patmos, with the Monastery of Saint John the Evangelist; Rhodes and the smaller islands of the Dodecanese; Naxos, with an abundance of monuments; Andros; Euboia; and of course Crete, with its rich artistic production.


Selected Bibliography


Αχειμάστου-Ποταμιάνου Μυρτάλη, Άγιος Γεώργιος ο Διασορίτης της Νάξου. Οι τοιχογραφίες του 11ου αιώνα, Αθήνα 2016.

Η Βυζαντινή Άνδρος (4ος-12ος αιώνας). Πρακτικά επιστημονικής συνάντησης, Αθήνα, 20 Μαρτίου 2015, Γ. Πάλλης (επιστ. επιμ.), [Ανδριακά Χρονικά - 43, Καίρειος Βιβλιοθήκη] Άνδρος 2016.

Χατζηδάκης Μ. κ.ά., Νάξος, Αθήνα 1989.

Διεθνές Συμπόσιο. Ι. Μονή Αγ. Ιωάννου του Θεολόγου, 900 χρόνια ιστορικής μαρτυρίας, 1088-1988 (Πάτμος, 22-24 Σεπτεμβρίου 1988), Πρακτικά, [Διπτύχων Παράφυλλα, 2] Αθήνα 1989.

Koder J., Aigaion Pelagos (Dienördliche Agäis), [Tabula Imperii Byzantini 10.B.] Unter Mitarbeit von Peter Soustal und Alice Koder, Wien 1998.

Κρήτη. Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Ν.Μ. Παναγιωτάκης (επιστ. επιμ.), τόμος δεύτερος, Κρήτη 1988.

Malamut Elisabeth, Les Iles de l'empire byzantin VIIIe - XIIe siècles, I-II, [Byzantina Sorbonensia, 8] Paris 1988.

Μουρίκη Ντούλα, Τα ψηφιδωτά της Νέας Μονής Χίου, τόμ. 1-2, Αθήνα 1985.

Οικονομίδης Ν., Η Εγγραμματωσύνη των Κρητικών γύρω στο 1200, Πεπραγμένα του Ζ' Διεθνούς Κρητολογικού Συνεδρίου, Ρέθυμνο 1995, 593-598.

Οι Θησαυροί της Μονής Πάτμου, Α. Κομίνης (γεν. εποπτεία), Αθήνα 1988.

Tsougarakis D., Byzantine Crete. From the 5th Century to the Venetian Conquest, [Historical Monographs, 4] Athens 1988.