Thursday, September 17th 2020
On the final day of the Annual School of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Studies, participants were treated to a lecture by Associate Professor Habil. Mădălina Vârtejanu-Joubert (INALCO, Paris), the School’s Scientific Director, who described the characteristics of the Talmud as an encyclopaedic, polyphonic and foundational text of Rabbinic Judaism: The Talmud in Byzantine Context. The explanation was followed by a case study: determining the notion of “idolatrous space” in the Roman-Byzantine political context and highlighting the narrowing of spatial horizons and the need to find a modus vivendi in a space saturated by negation significations.
In his presentation, The Eye of the oikoumene: Mount Athos as the Centre of the Byzantine World, Professor Zachary Chitwood (“Johannes Gutenberg” University of Mainz) highlighted the role of the monastic communities on Mount Athos in the Byzantine period from the perspective of social history, Church leadership and intellectual exchanges and patronage. This research is part of his ERC Grant project titled Mount Athos in Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Society: Contextualizing the History of a Monastic Republic (ca. 850-1550) at the “Johannes Gutenberg” University of Mainz, which aims to create a database of all persons attested to as having been in Mount Athos between 850 and 1550.
Professor Alexandros Alexakis (University of Ioannina) portrayed the impact of political developments in the Balkans in the middle Byzantine period on the consciousness of everyday people, and the reflections of this impact in hagiography in his intervention titled Byzantine Hagiography Looking North. Professor Alexakis highlighted the interactions between Byzantines and Bulgarians as they are described in the Lives of the Saints, and drew attention to the fact that, around the time of the Byzantine Empire’s fall, the accent shifted to the northern geographical regions, which are mentioned more and more often, especially as spaces of the Neo-Martyrs.
At the close of the Third Edition of the Annual School of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Studies one of the participants, Sorina Chiper, shared a rendition of the Pascal hymn “Christ has Risen” by the Byzantion Academic Choir, who take part on a yearly basis in the celebrations of the Romanian and Greek monastic settlements on Mount Athos.
In closing, Associate Professor Habil. Vârtejanu-Joubert drew the conclusions of a School very rich in significations, and announced the theme of the Fourth Edition of the Annual School of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Studies, scheduled for 2021: Learning Networks and the Transmission of Knowledge in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine Era. Alongside Dr Ana-Maria Răducan (project manager on behalf of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization), Associate Professor Habil. Vârtejanu-Joubert thanked all attending professors and participants for contributing to a wonderful shared experience, as well as to the entire staff of the Institute for their efforts in organizing the manifestation.
Associate Professor Habil. Mădălina Vârtejanu Joubert (INALCO, Paris), The Talmud in a Byzantine Context (“Le Talmud en contexte byzantin”) (in French)
Professor Zachary Chitwood (University of Mainz), The Eye of the Oikoumene: Mount Athos as the Centre of Byzantine World (in English)
Professor Alexandros Alexakis (University of Ioannina), Byzantine Hagiography Looking North (in English)
Closing remarks, Associate Professor Habil. Mădălina Vârtejanu Joubert (INALCO, Paris)