homepage About the Centre Staff of the Centre
    The Evergetis Project      

This Belfast British Academy project examines a single monastery from eleventh-century Byzantium. The monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis was founded in 1049 by Paul, a native of Constantinople, just outside the walls of his city. The monastery is lost, but a remarkable group of texts pertaining to it has survived to give considerable information about its spiritual concerns, daily life and place in Byzantine society. Chief among these are the Hypotyposis (or Administrative Typikon), which describes the monastic routine and establishes the practical rules of community life, the Synaxarion (or Liturgical Typikon) which forms a calendar of ecclesiastical feasts to be celebrated in the monastery and the Synagoge (or Evergetinon) which, together with the Katechetikon, explores the spiritual life of the monk, both as an ascetic and as a member of a monastic community.

Contact: Dr Jordan


First folio of Atheniensis Graecus 788 showing the opening of the Evergetis Synaxarion


    The Skylitzes Project      
    This Belfast project (with Sussex and Melbourne) is designed to produce a multimedia publication of the twelfth-century Sicilian illustrated chronicle now housed in Madrid, Bibl.nac.vitr.26-2, and will provide not only text, translation and textual and historical commentary but also discussion of the telling of the story in text, picture and caption. It will involve a study of the manuscript, of the multicultural environment of Norman Sicily, of narrative in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (the period of the so-called revival of fiction) and the impact of novelisation (in the Bakhtinian sense). The end-product will be both electronic and a series of discursive volumes representing the proceedings of three colloquia.    
    Byzantine Networks      
    The Byzantine Networks Project was begun by Professor Mullett with a British Academy Research Readership. The aim is to produce a complete network study of Komnenian literary society, together with a study of the major interactive genres (homily, basilikos logos, inaugural lectures, funerary genres, letters) in performance. Detailed studies in chapters of books Theophylact of Ochrid (Ashgate, 1977) and Cyril Phileotes (Brill, 2004) and a methodological paper on detection of relationship in Byzantine literary texts published in the Byzantina Sorbonensia series. A medieval network network was formed at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in 2002 involving young scholars from the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway which will meet in 2003, 2004, and 2006.

Contact: Professor Mullett

    The Constantinople Project      
    A Newcastle Leverhulme project, looks at the city of Constantinople and its hinterland from the point of view of watersupply, topography, and the environment. The project offers in Belfast, a literary counterpart, Constantinople Described, by collecting and publishing in BBTT major texts (with facing translation and notes) describing the city. The most important planned are Dionysios of Byzantiumís Anaplus Bospori, Constantine the Rhodianís poem on the church of the Holy Apostles, and Ubertino Pusculoís four-book poem on the Fall of Constantinople. A day school of the 550th anniversary of the fall on 29 May 2003 will celebrate the city as well as these texts. In addition, Dr Jamesís work on the Patria texts (in Gesta) and more recently on relics and the city (in the XXXIII Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies 2001) and a Belfast student database of relics in the city will combine with Newcastle work on pilgrimage and sacred geography. The project will allow scholars and students to share one anotherís concerns and learn one anotherís techniques (GIS, rhetoric) as well as extending our knowledge of the city in material culture and written text.

Contact: Mr Crow




    Byzantine Colour Project      

A Sussex project, the Colour Project will use the expertise of Dr James (and research students) to work with mosaic workshops in Ravenna, to analyse the colour of mosaics both in terms of chemical constituents and in colour notation. The plan is to mount, with the National Gallery and Metropolitan Museum of Art, an exhibition on light in medieval art. With Belfast a joint study of colour perceptions in rhetoric will further the understanding of how and why mosaic technique is as it is. With Newcastle the use of archaeological techniques (use of the colorimeter; analysis and dating of glass) will be explored. This project also provides an opportunity for Newcastle-based researchers to advance their ongoing studies into the application of computer modelling techniques to the embodied interpretation of Byzantine buildings, in particular the effects of light and context on the perception of mosaics. Archaeological understanding of the economics of mosaics and of trade networks as well as a more general understanding of the place of light in Byzantine culture will result.

Contact: Dr James






    Byzantine Gender Project      

Begun by Dr James as a British Academy postdoctoral fellow and surfacing in her Women, men and eunuchs: gender in Byzantium (Routledge, 1997), Desire and denial in Byzantium (Ashgate, 1999), Empresses and power in early Byzantium (Cassell, 2001) will bond with recent work on eunuchs by Dr Shaun Tougher (Cardiff) (a University of Wales collected volume) and combined with the research of Dr Dion Smythe on sexuality and gender, to re-examine the Byzantine gender system. A catalogue of representations of women and eunuchs in art and rhetoric and a projected sources volume are planned. A volume on masculinity will follow: the Belfast contribution will be an emphasis on gender in writing, and the Newcastle input a first attempt in Byzantine studies at an exploration of the archaeology of gender. Annual workshops are characterising the project.

Contact: Dr Smythe









byz.studies@qub.ac.uk ē www.qub.ac.uk/ibs