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- Department A-Z


The programme comprises eight online seminar sessions for which all participants will be asked to undertake specific reading on the topic and to prepare a short presentation. Alongside the formal presentations of the lead organisers and invited speakers these elements will form the basis for the group's discussions on artistic interchange in the eastern Mediterranean region during the medieval period.

Participants selected to take part in the programme will receive £ 2000 each to be used for research purposes: this includes the purchasing of books or other scholarly resources, upgrading of internet access, purchase of headphones, and the like.

Participants selected for the programme must commit to attend all of the seminar sessions. The sessions last three hours on each of the dates given below: 14:00 to 17:00 hours UK time (BST).


Seminar Sessions


Friday 26 March 2021: Introduction

The initial session will lay out the themes and organisation of the course, and also will be structured to introduce the seminar participants (doctoral students and recent PhDs) to one another.


Session leaders: Maria Georgopoulou, Robert Ousterhout and Scott Redford


Friday 2 April 2021: Constantinople and Jerusalem - Constructing Capital Cities

The two most famous centres of the Eastern Mediterranean will be examined in terms of four main modes of cultural exchange: objects, materials, techniques, and ideology. While Constantinople functioned as a major entrepot, Jerusalem emerged as a religious and ideological nexus.


Session leaders: Maria Georgopoulou and Robert Ousterhout


Friday 9 April 2021: Andravida and Mystras - Building Cities ex novo

Following the Frankish conquest of the Byzantine Peloponnese (or Morea) in 1205, Andravida was established in the northwest as the capital and administrative centre, functioning in close connection with the nearby castle at Chlemoutsi a newly developed port at Glarentza. With the decline of Frankish power, by the end of the century these were superseded by the Byzantine city of Mystras in the central Peloponnese.


Session leaders: Maria Georgopoulou and Robert Ousterhout, with guest speaker Demetrios Athanasoulis (Archaeological Service, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece)


Friday 16 April 2021: Famagusta: Fashioning a New Trade Centre

Famagusta on Cyprus succeeded Acre after its fall to the Mamluks in 1291 as the main centre for trade and exchange in the 14th century. Discussion will focus on the architecture and city plan of Famagusta and the rivalry between the Genoese and the Lusignan Kingdom of Cyprus.


Guest speaker: Michalis Olympios (University of Cyprus)

Friday 23 April 2021: Hromkla/Rumkale - Creating an Ecclesiastical Capital

For almost two centuries, the Armenian catholicosate was situated in the remote site of Hromkla on the Euphrates River. Patronage and pilgrimage transformed it into an ecclesiastical city, albeit in the midst of an Islamic sea, and a major centre of sacred manuscript illustration and illumination.


Guest speaker: Christina Maranci (Tufts University, USA)


Wednesday 28 April 2021: Alanya - Showcasing Seljuk Heraldry

The Byzantine and Armenian port town of Kalonoros/Alanya (Turkey) was conquered by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad, who, in two decades, transformed it into a sultanic city, with palaces, gardens, and pavilions. The preserved frescoes and tiles from recent work there will be used to expose the transcultural phenomenon of a visual language of power, called heraldry in western Europe but found in all east Mediterranean societies of the time.


Session leaders: Scott Redford and Robert Ousterhout.


Friday 7 May 2021: Aleppo and Antioch - Making, Copying, and Distributing New Products

The Islamic city of Aleppo (Syria) and the Crusader city of Antioch (Turkey) are very close to one another (70 kilometres), with Antioch the natural outlet for inland Aleppo. This session will focus on the transformation of glass and ceramic production through trade and pilgrimage, movement of ideas and techniques, at the time of the Crusades, looking at the role of Genoa and Venice as commissioners, distributors and imitators.


Session leader: Scott Redford, with guest speaker Julia Gonnella (Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar)


Tuesday 11 May 2021: Review


The final session will allow participants to discuss how the issues of the seminar might impact their own research and regional perspectives.

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Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Cities as Places of Artistic Interchange