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47th Byzantine Spring Symposium

The Emperor in the Byzantine World

Cardiff University, 25-27 April, 2014

In Byzantine Studies it is a strange fact that there exists no equivalent to Fergus Millar’s The Emperor in the Roman World, despite the centrality of the ruler in the Byzantine world. While there may be books on individual emperors or periods or aspects there is no general book on the emperor across the span of the Byzantine empire. This oddity is compounded by the recent publication of a plethora of books devoted to Byzantine empresses. This Symposium (the first Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies to be held in Wales) seeks to address this oddity, placing the Byzantine emperor centre stage as both ruler and man. The Symposium will consist of five main sessions, of three papers each, addressing the following themes: Dynasty; Imperial Literature; The Imperial Court; Imperial Duties; and The Material Emperor. In addition there will be a series of communications, as well as a public lecture on Byzantium and Wales.

A schedule of the symposium can be downloaded from the top right corner of this webpage.

Main Speakers & Topics

Dynasty: Imperial Families

Mark Humphries (Swansea University): Family, Dynasty, and the Construction of Legitimacy: The Roman Background
Mike Humphreys (University of Cambridge): The Dynasty of Heraclius
Mark Masterson (Victoria University of Wellington): Basil II and the Macedonian Dynasty

Imperial Literature: The Emperor as Subject and Author

John Vanderspoel (University of Calgary): Imperial Panegyric
Savvas Kyriakidis (University of Johannesburg): The Emperor in Historiography – The History of John Kantakouzenos

The Imperial Court: The Emperor’s Men

Meaghan McEvoy (Goethe University, Frankfurt): The Court of Theodosius II and its Consequences
Jonathan Shepard (Oxford): Emperors and Administrators in the Middle Empire
Jonathan Harris (Royal Holloway, University of London): Who was who at the Court of Constantine XI (1449-1453)

Imperial Duties: The Emperor as Ruler

Bernard Stolte (University of Groningen): The Emperor and Law
Michael Grünbart (University of Münster): The Emperor and the Patriarch
Frank Trombley (Cardiff University): The Emperor and War

The Material Emperor: Imperial Art and Architecture

Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College): The Emperor in Art
Eurydice Georganteli (University of Birmingham): The Emperor and Coinage
Lynn Jones (Florida State University): Emperor and Palace

Public Lecture

Byzantium and Wales: Mark Redknap (National Museum Cardiff)

Delegates are offered early registration at the following rates:
Full: £85
Members of the SPBS: £75
Students/Unwaged: £40
After 1 April, 2014, rates rise to £95, £85, and £45 respectively
The fees for one-day participation are £40 (full fee), £35 (Members of the SPBS), and £25 (Students/Unwaged)
After 1 April, 2014, the fees for one-day participation are £45, £40, and £25 respectively
The fees cover buffet lunches, refreshments, and a reception
There will a conference dinner on the Saturday night in Aberdare Hall, to be paid for separately

Booking and Paying
A booking form with details of how to pay can be downloaded from the resources section on the top-right corner of this website.

A wide range of accommodation is available in Cardiff. The closest hotels to the main conference venues (Cardiff University’s John Percival Building and Julian Hodge Building) are the Park Plaza (Greyfriar’s Road), the Thistle (Park Place) and the Hilton (Kingsway). A budget option is the Ibis Budget Hotel (Tyndall Street), though it is further away from the venues. There are many B&Bs on Cathedral Road, a walk across Bute Park from the conference locations. Further guidance for delegates will be provided.

Dr Shaun Tougher

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