Hellenic Studies Announcements, November 2002
- Workshop - Friday, Nov. 22, 2:30 p.m. Maria Parani "Byzantine Legal Documents as a Source on Mediaeval Byzantine Material Culture"
<Posted on 11/18/2002 09:24>
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies
This talk will examine methodological questions and problems of interpretation that arise from the use of legal documents (wills, inventories, monastic foundation documents, etc.) in the study of Byzantine material culture and daily life. The advantages of having recourse to legal documents stem mainly from the objective and immediate character of the evidence they provide and from the fact that they sometimes list items that are rarely represented, if at all, in the archaeological record. The limitations, on the other hand, are a consequence of both external and internal factors. The principal external limiting factor is the fragmentary nature of the surviving material, with its many geographical and chronological gaps and its being dominated by the contents of monastic archives. Internal limitations are imposed by the nature of the transaction being recorded, by the personality of the author(s) of individual acts, as well as by what was considered worth recording and what was not. Therefore, the evidence provided by these documents, though invaluable in any study of Byzantine material culture, should be used in conjunction with the information provided by archaeology, by other written sources, as well as by artistic representations.
MARIA PARANI obtained her first degree in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Athens in 1991. She pursued further studies in Britain, first at the University College, London (M.A., Archaeology), and then at the University of Oxford, from where she graduated in August 2000 with a D.Phil. in Byzantine Art and Archaeology. Parallel to her studies, she participated in archaeological expeditions and worked in museums and conservation laboratories in Cyprus and abroad. During the academic year 2001-2002 she was a fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. The study of Byzantine material culture and private life constitutes her main area of academic interest. Currently she is engaged in a project that will develop an electronic database containing references to raw materials and to artifacts, secular and religious, that are contained in mediaeval Byzantine legal documents. She is the author of "Reconstructing the Reality of Images: Byzantine Material Culture and Religious Iconography, 11th-15th Centuries," which will appear in the Medieval Mediterranean series of Brill Academic Publishers this January. [Last Updated 2002]
- Group for the Study of Late Antiquity Seminar - Sunday, Nov. 17, 1:30 p.m. - Claudia Rapp "Scribes, Texts and Books: The Locus of Scriptural Holiness in Late Antiquity"
<Posted on 11/11/2002 11:47>
211 Dickinson Hall
- Lecture - Tuesday, Nov. 26, 6 p.m. Heath Lowry "An Island Travelogue: Lemnos from Byzantium to the Present "
<Posted on 11/21/2002 08:57>
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
Illustrated by photographs taken during a recent visit to the island of Lemnos (Limnos), this talk will examine the manner in which a number of practices discernible on the island in late Byzantine times continued throughout the "Tourkokratia" (Ottoman period) and are still visible on Lemnos today. We will look at traditional practices associated with animal husbandry, viticulture, bee-keeping, and the presence on Lemnos of properties belonging to the Athonite monasteries. We will also trace the present-day remains of the Ottoman presence on the island (1454-1912), focusing on the reasons for the continuity of so many earlier practices.
HEATH LOWRY is the Ataturk Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton. His three latest books are: "The Nature of the Early Ottoman State" (SUNY Press: December 2002), a reexamination of early Ottoman history; "Studies on Ottoman Bursa" (Indiana University Turkish Studies Series: January 2003), a monograph on the first Ottoman capital, based on Ottoman documents and traveler accounts; and "Fifteenth Century Ottoman Realities: Christian Peasant Life on the Aegean Island of Limnos" (EREN Publications: February 2003), a detailed analysis of surviving fifteenth and sixteenth century Ottoman tax registers for the island of Limnos. [Last Updated 2002
- Reading - Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6:00 p.m. Linda Gregg and Don Schofield
<Posted on 11/15/2002 14:16>
Linda Gregg (Poet; Lecturer, Program in Creative Writing)
Don Schofield (Poet and translator; University of La Verne, Athens; Writer-in-Residence, Program in Hellenic Studies)
at 58 Prospect, Room 107
LINDA GREGG was raised in California. She earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In the late 1960s and in the 1970s she lived and worked in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. Author of seven books of poetry, most recently "Things and Flesh" (Graywolf Press 1999) and "Too Bright to See / Alma" (Graywolf Press, 2002). She has taught Creative Writing at many universities, including Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Iowa. She now lives in New York and is currently a Lecturer in the Humanities Council and the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton Linda Gregg is the recipient of numerous awards, such as Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, the Pushcart Prize, the Whiting Writer's award, and the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize of the American Poetry Review. [Last Updated 2002
DON SCHOFIELD was born in Nevada and raised in California. He holds a B.A. in Social Science and in English, and an M.A. in English, all from California State University, Sacramento; and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. Since 1980 he has lived in Greece, teaching at the University of La Verne, while traveling in the Eastern Mediterranean and writing poetry. In recent years he has also been translating contemporary Greek poets into English, most notably Nikos Fokas, Liana Sakelliou-Schultz, and Kiki Dimoula. His latest book is "Approximately Paradise" (University Press of Florida, 2002). He is currently writing a book on the community of American writers living in Greece and is preparing an anthology of their poems. He is the recipient of the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize (Honorable Mention, 2000, University of Southern California). [Last Updated 2002
- Program in the Ancient World Lecture - Friday, Nov. 15, 12:00 Katerina Panagopoulou "Money Talks: Reexploring Economic Systems in Antiquity"
<Posted on 11/11/2002 11:59>
309 Frist Center
Please bring your brown bag lunch. Drinks and desserts provided.
- Workshop - Friday, Nov. 8, 2:30 p.m. Jennifer Ball "Dress of Non-Elites in the Byzantine Empire"
<Posted on 11/01/2002 15:43>
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies
Our understanding of the dress of non-elites in Byzantium is mired in stereotypes, in both literary descriptions and representations. Determining what the poor and working class wore and distinguishing their garments from the standardized images typically employed by Byzantine artists and writers will be of interest to economic, social and art historians alike. Dress gives us a broader understanding of relative wealth, a glimpse into everyday life, and new readings of images. Portraits of the lower classes were not painted, their outfits were not described by historians of the day, and the surviving Byzantine textiles were surely beyond their means. Yet, anonymous farmers, soldiers, beggars, performers of all kinds, and other non-elites appear in the background of manuscript illuminations of more important figures and other media as well. The ubiquitous short tunic and boots would seem to be the typical working man's garb, the jeans and work shirt of the Byzantine era, while the longer tunic was for the aristocrat. However, some artists and writers deviated from these stock representations demonstrating that a greater variety of fashions existed. Methods for discovering evidence for this elusive group, both literary and visual, will be discussed along with analysis of some of the most common images of non-elites, found in manuscript illuminations.
Jennifer Ball received her doctorate in Byzantine Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U. in September of 2001. Her dissertation deals with representations of dress in the Middle Byzantine period, which will be the subject of the book that she will be working on at Princeton. In addition to her research in Byzantine dress, her interests include shared Islamic-Byzantine material culture, portraiture in the Medieval world, and textiles and fashion theory in general. Prior to graduate school, she did extensive museum work, primarily at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but also at several contemporary art museums; modern and contemporary work remains an interest. She has had several undergraduate teaching opportunities in the past few years, most recently at Colgate University where she taught Medieval and Islamic art courses. [Last Updated 2002
- Workshop - Friday, Nov. 15, 2:30 p.m. Pietro Bortone "Language and Society on the Black Sea: the Muslim Greek-Speakers of Turkey"
<Posted on 11/08/2002 17:05>
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies
The north-east of Asia Minor, near the Black Sea shores, has been an area of high historical and political significance since antiquity - and always populated by a variety of peoples. There, to this day, amidst other little-known ethnic groups, there is a community that speaks an archaic variety of Greek. The people of this community are largely of Greek descent, but regard themselves as Turks, have been devout Muslims for centuries, are Turkish citizens and well integrated into Turkish society. They have no knowledge of the culture or the language of Modern Greece; some do not even know that their mothertongue is a variety of Greek, and that most of their ancestors were Greeks who adopted a new culture and religion. Yet they are aware of having different traditions and a distinctive language. This isolated language, which is now dying, is the most archaic form of Greek to be found anywhere, and is immensely valuable for Greek philology. The speakers have developed their own cultural identity, the study of which can enlighten us about the development of Greek identity too. It is a subject of considerable interdisciplinary (sociological, linguistic, anthropological, ethnological, and historical) interest.
Pietro Bortone graduated in Classical, Medieval and Modern Greek from the University of London before moving to the University of Oxford, where he obtained an M.A. in Linguistic Theory, an M.A. Comparative Philology, and a D. Phil. on Greek historical semantics. He is a classicist, a neohellenist, and a linguist. He taught at Oxford for the Faculty of Classics and, on occasion, for the Sub-Faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek, while working freelance as an etymologist for the Oxford English Dictionary. He then took up an Onassis Research Fellowship at Athens and, supported by a Wingate Research Scholarship, started his current project, on Turkish Pontic, a language closely related to Greek which is spoken near the Black Sea. He is also writing a book on the history of Greek prepositions and a handbook of Classical Greek syntax. [Last Updated 2002
- Lecture - Tuesday, Nov. 12, 4:30 p.m. Evangelos Chrysos "Citizen Versus Foreigner in Byzantium "
<Posted on 11/08/2002 16:56>
Professor of Byzantine History, University of Athens and Director of the Institute for Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens
Professor Chrysos has a long and distinguished career as a historian of the Byzantine Empire. His interests range widely from Late Antiquity to the Late Byzantine Period, but he is especially known for his study of contacts between Byzantium and its neighbors, especially in the West. As a Professor of the Universities of Ioannina, Cyprus and Athens he has had a major impact on a new generation of historians in Greece and beyond. He comes to Princeton under the auspices of the Onassis Foundation in New York.
Sponsored by the Department of History, Department of Art and Archaeology, and Program in Hellenic Studies.