ANAMED Talks – Urban Life After Antiquity: The Byzantine City between Heraclius and the Fourth Crusade



Date: 21 April 2022
Time: 18:30 (Türkiye local time, GMT +3)
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For this month’s talk, ANAMED will feature Luca Zavagno. Moderated by Nikolas Bakirtzis, their talk will focus on the Byzantine city and the changes it went through from 610 to 1204. Throughout this period, cities were always the centers of political and social life for both secular and religious authorities, and, furthermore, the focus of the economic interests of local landowning elites. In this light, the talk examines the regional and subregional trajectories in the urban function, landscape, structure, and fabric of Byzantium’s cities, synthesizing the most cutting-edge archaeological excavations, the results of analyses of material culture (including ceramics, coins, and seals), and a reassessment of the documentary and hagiographical sources. The transformation the Byzantine urban landscape underwent from the seventh to thirteenth centuries can afford us a better grasp of changes to the Byzantine central and provincial administrative apparatus; their fiscal machinery, military institutions, socio-economic structures, and religious organization.

The online talk will be held in English. Please register this event in advance from here.

Luca Zavagno graduated from the University of Venice (2002); he obtained his Ph.D. (2007) at the University of Birmingham with a dissertation on the society, economics, and politics of Byzantine cities in the early middle ages. He is currently Associate Professor of Byzantine Studies in the Department of History at Bilkent University, where he has just completed his third monograph entitled The Byzantine City from Heraclius to the Fourth Crusade, 610-1204: Urban Life after Antiquity ( published by Palgrave- Byzantine Studies Series) and he is currently working on the Routledge Companion to the Byzantine City (a volume co-edited with Nikolas Bakirtzis to appear in 2022).
Dr. Zavagno is the author of many articles on the early Medieval and Byzantine Mediterranean, as well as two monographs: Cities in Transition: Urbanism in Byzantium Between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (British Archaeological Reports-International Series, 2009) and Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. An Island in Transition (Routledge, 2017). He co-authored (with Özlem Caykent) the edited volumes Islands of Eastern Mediterranean. A History of Cross Cultural Encounters (I.B. Tauris, 2014) and People and Goods on the Move. Merchants, Networks and Communication Routes in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean (IMK, 2016).
He was also twice awarded the Dumbarton Oaks Summer Fellowship (2011 and 2016) as well as the prestigious Stanley Seeger Fellowship of the Hellenic Studies Center at Princeton University (2012), the Newton Mobility Grant (2018), the DEA- Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (2021). He is also the co-organizer of the Byzantium in Ankara-Seminar Series (www.byzantiumatankara.com), Associate Scholar of the Mediterranean Seminar (http://www.mediterraneanseminar.org/), member of the Princeton University FLAME-Framing the early Medieval Coinage project (http://coinage.princeton.edu/ ) and former Visiting professor in Byzantine Art History at the University of Venice.

Nikolas Bakirtzis is Associate Professor and Director of the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) at the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia. With a PhD in Art and Architectural History from Princeton University, his research, teaching and publications concentrate in the art and architecture of the urban and rural landscapes of the Byzantine, Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean.  More recently, his work has focused on the perception and appropriation of Medieval art and heritage in Mediterranean cities, the application of advanced imaging and analytical methods to study the materiality of Medieval and Early Modern Art, as well as, the impact of Climate Change on Cultural Heritage. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Getty Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, the European Commission, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton and the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation.
Upcoming and recent publications include: “Architecture and the Monastic Experience” (forthcoming 2022); “The Built Environment in Byzantium” (forthcoming 2022);  “Tradition and Transition on the Slopes of the Pentadaktylos Mountain on Thirteenth-Century Cyprus” (forthcoming 2021); “Perceptions, Histories and Urban Realities of Thessaloniki’s Layered Past” (2021); “Karamanlides at Saint John Lambadistis Monastery in Kalopanayiotis: Pilgrimage Votives, Architecture and Sacred Landscape” (2021, with Stelios Irakleous); “Giovanni Baronzio’s ‘Crucifixion’: Analytical Approaches and Art Historical Considerations” (2020, with Svetlana Gasanova and Sorin Hermon); “Assessing Visual Perception in Heritage Sites with Visual Acuity: Case study of the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Nicosia, Cyprus” (2020, with Martina Polig, Despina Papacharalambous and Sorin Hermon).