Bucharest, September 5th 2019
The launch of the 2019 edition of the Annual School of Byzantine Studies, Stability and Change at the Borders of the Byzantine Empire and Beyond took place from 5pm onwards on Thursday, September 5th 2019 in the Reading Room of the Library of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Bucharest. This year’s edition benefitted from the support of a series of important partners such as the University of Bucharest, the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, the “Ovidius” University in Constanța, the Romanian Foundation for Democracy and Raiffeisen Bank.
The opening ceremony featured addresses by Professor Emil Constantinescu, President of the Scientific Council of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization (IASLCC), Professor Magdalena Platiș, Pro-Rector of the University of Bucharest for Quality Management, and Professor Ernesto Mainoldi of the University of Salerno. The moderator of the inaugural session, Dr Cătălin-Ștefan Popa – Director of the Direction for the History of the Culture and Civilization of the Levant at the IASLCC and coordinator of the 2019 edition of the Annual School of Byzantine Studies, read aloud a message from Academician Răzvan Theodorescu, who was unfortunately unable to attend the opening ceremony, while Professor Dan Grigorescu read a message from Professor Sorin Rugină, Rector of the “Ovidius” University of Constanța, one of the partners to the event.
The speakers underlined the importance of Byzantine Studies as a separate field of study in the broader context of the national and international academic and research environment, as well as the need for programmes like the School of Byzantine Studies that can contribute to creating a framework for dialogue and interaction that allows for the constructive exchange of ideas. In reference to the perceived paradox of this year’s theme for the School, Professor Emil Constantinescu highlighted that “Stability represents the never-fulfilled promise, both past and present, made to ordinary people by powerful nations and empires through propaganda; it is the peddled dream of a peaceful and harmonious life in a predictable world, Change is, on the other hand and whether we like it or not, an incessant constant in our lives, one that challenges us to come up with new ways of thinking, with well-grounded formulas and one which shapes new dimensions of the human experience”.
The opening ceremony was attended by the participants to the Annual School of Byzantine Studies, the event’s guest speakers (hailing both from Romania and from abroad), as well as a numerous general public comprised of undergraduate students, Masters and PhD candidates, scientific researchers and professors interested in the field of Byzantine Studies.