Byzantium: Empire of the Sea
Papers are invited for the 21st Conference of the Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane, June 2-5.
Conference Program (subject to revision):
June 2 – Opening Reception at Milns Museum & Empires of the Sea Exhibition Launch, 5 pm
June 3 – Fryer Library Greek Papers of Lady Diamantina Roma Bowen & Lord Bowen
June 4 – AABS Papers, Keynote Lecture by Professor Georgia Frank (Colgate) & Dinner
June 5 – AABS Biennial General Meeting & AABS Papers
Call for Papers:
Send abstracts of 150-200 words maximum, for 20 minute papers. Submissions should include name, institution or affiliation, and, if relevant, a short letter of application for a $500 AABS Student Bursary to attend the conference from Australia or New Zealand.
Deadline for submission April 1, 2023, e-mail for submission firstname.lastname@example.org
Byzantium was an empire on, and of, the ancient Mediterranean and Black seas. Romans of this ‘late’ empire inherited a political, military and cultural system of waterborne trade and interconnections centred on the harbour city of Byzantium. Constantine’s new capital city of Constantinople swiftly replaced Rome as the Mediterranean entrepot of goods from east and west, building on the foundations of Byzantium, once the ideal Greek emporium. We seek papers engaging with this topic on any level of analysis, from history to hagiography, the city to the empire, and from letters, art and iconography to harbour architecture or fishermen’s saints. Papers could consider (among other topics) Severan Byzantium, the Greek colony or Istanbul; maritime aspects of the Roman empire centred on Constantinople from the 4th to the 15th centuries; or Byzantium’s legacy in the Black Sea, on the Aegean islands, in the Italian maritime republics, or along the rivers, bays and coasts to her northeast, south or west.
Paper topics might include:
Naval warfare, the Roman Navy, Greek Fire, galleys, sieges of Constantinople
Harbours of Byzantium, trade goods, merchants, ship-building, maps, cartography
Seafaring traditions, St Nicholas, the Panagia, fishermen, pagan/Christian festivals
Metaphors in sermons, hymns, novels, poetry etc. drawn from the sea
Islands, e.g. Proconnesus for marble, Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Kythera
Relations with the Kievan Rus, the Varangian Guard, Vikings, Slavs, rivers of the north
Relations with Arabs, Jews, Egyptians, Church of the East, Turks, etc.
Relations with Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Italians, immigrants, explorers
Products of the sea like fish, shellfish, shells, dyes, seabirds (and attitudes to them)
Positive and negative associations of the sea in Greek literature, fantastical seabeasts
Pirates, slaves, hostages, Crusaders, Military orders travel, letter carriers, the Post
Convenor: Dr Amelia R. Brown (UQ)
Byzantium: Empire of the Sea