Byzantium & Friends
17. The peoples of the Caucasus between Rome, Iran, and the steppe, with Garth Fowden

17. The peoples of the Caucasus between Rome, Iran, and the steppe, with Garth Fowden

February 13, 2020

A conversation with Garth Fowden (University of Cambridge) about how the peoples of the Caucasus (Armenians, Georgians, and Albanians) coped with living between two empires, how those empires sought to intervene in their region, and the cultural and religious changes that took place there during the first half of the first millennium. This episode demonstrates the illuminating ways in which global and regional history can be combined. (For a detailed map of the region in this period, click here.)

16. The Parthenon mosque [This episode is temporarily unavailable]
15. When does Roman history end and Byzantine begin?, with Marion Kruse

15. When does Roman history end and Byzantine begin?, with Marion Kruse

January 16, 2020

A conversation with Marion Kruse (University of Cincinnati) about his book The Politics of Roman Memory: From the Fall of the Western Empire to the Age of Justinian (University of Pennsylvania Press 2019). By what standards can anyone say that Roman history ends at some point and Byzantine history begins? Or is Byzantine history rather a phase of Roman history (namely, by far the longest one)? How did eastern authors, including Justinian, who lived in the aftermath of the end of empire in the West (476 AD), understand their place in the long trajectory of Roman history? And how do these labels function politically, for them and for us?

14. Byzantine Orthodoxy and homosexuality, with Stephen Morris

14. Byzantine Orthodoxy and homosexuality, with Stephen Morris

January 2, 2020

14. A conversation with Stephen Morris (independent scholar) about the attitudes toward (male) homosexuality in different sites of Byzantine culture and the prospects for an orthodox recognition of same-sex marriages, based on his book “When Brothers Dwell in Unity”: Byzantine Christianity and Homosexuality (McFarland & Company 2016).

13. The case for Shenute the Great and the Coptic tradition, with Sofia Torallas Tovar and David Brakke

13. The case for Shenute the Great and the Coptic tradition, with Sofia Torallas Tovar and David Brakke

December 19, 2019

A conversation with Sofia Torallas Tovar (University of Chicago) and David Brakke (The Ohio State University) about Coptic Egypt, the life and works of Shenute the Great, and how Coptic and Byzantine Studies can talk more with each other, just as the people they study talked to each other in the fourth-seventh centuries. For some of Shenute's works, see the Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great: Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt, translated by David Brakke and Andrew Crislip (Cambridge University Press 2015). For linguistic contacts, see Sofia Torallas Tovar, 'The Reverse Case: Egyptian Borrowing in Greek,' in Greek Influence on Egyptian-Coptic: Contact-Induced Change in an Ancient African Language (Hamburg 2017) 97-113.

12. Byzantine Studies in Turkey 2.0, with Siren Çelik

12. Byzantine Studies in Turkey 2.0, with Siren Çelik

December 5, 2019

A conversation with Siren Çelik (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University) about the new generation of Turkish Byzantine scholars, and the paths by which one might come to study Byzantium in Turkey and beyond.

11. Byzantine erotic epigrams, with Steven Smith

11. Byzantine erotic epigrams, with Steven Smith

November 21, 2019

A conversation with Steven Smith (Hofstra University) about worldly and sinful epigrams from the sixth century that talk about love, sex, food, and other pleasures, based on his book Greek Epigram and Byzantine Culture: Gender, Desire, and Denial in the Age of Justinian (Cambridge University Press 2019). For a translation of a sample of these epigrams, see https://byzantiumandfriends.podbean.com/p/byzantine-erotic-epigrams-of-the-sixth-century/.

10. A Byzantine man of affairs, with Dimitris Krallis

10. A Byzantine man of affairs, with Dimitris Krallis

November 7, 2019

Could one rise from a provincial town to a position of power and wealth in the capital without having a military career? How did Byzantine men of affairs in the eleventh century invest their new-found wealth and create networks of exchange internal to their estates? What was the role of the state in buttressing these "self-made" men? A conversation with Dimitris Krallis (Simon Fraser University), based on his book Serving Byzantium’s Emperors: The Courtly Life and Career of Michael Attaleiates (Palgrave MacMillan 2019).

9. From India to Byzantium, with Paroma Chatterjee

9. From India to Byzantium, with Paroma Chatterjee

October 31, 2019

A conversation with Paroma Chatterjee (University of Michigan) on Indian perspectives and approaches to Byzantium. What we might be taking for granted in a field whose appeal has been traditionally limited to Europe and its offshoots? What might a global (as opposed to "ecumenical") Byzantium look like? This is the first in what I hope will be a number of conversations.

8. Hagia Sophia rediscovered, with Bissera Pentcheva

8. Hagia Sophia rediscovered, with Bissera Pentcheva

October 24, 2019

A conversation with Bissera Pentcheva (Stanford University) about the sensory and spiritual experience of Hagia Sophia, where architecture, sound, and light met theology and prayer, based on her book Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space, and Spirit in Byzantium (Pennsylvania State University Press 2017). For the associated video, go to https://vimeo.com/365102931 (password: HS2018).