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ANAMED Lecture: From One Land to Another: Land Frontiers and Maritime Frontiers in the Early Byzantine World

ANAMED Lecture: From One Land to Another: Land Frontiers and Maritime Frontiers in the Early Byzantine World
6 Mayıs 2024    
14:00 - 16:00
ANAMED Oditoryum
İstiklal Caddesi No: 181 Merkez Han 34433 Beyoğlu İstanbul, Türkiye, İstanbul

Etkinlik Tipi

Prof. Enrico Zanini and Dr. Luca Zavagno have made substantial scholarly contributions to early and middle Byzantine studies, greatly enhancing the existing literature on cities, economies, and defense. Their seminal analyses encompass a wide geographical range and incorporate various methodological approaches, ranging from archaeology to history. In the forthcoming discussion, these two scholars will explore a shared theme that has significantly impacted their academic endeavors: the encounter with the Frontier. Specifically, they will investigate the intricate relationship between the frontier and linear or non-linear borders, as a common thread linking their research. Selected case studies will allow them to explore diverse degrees of permeability within both tangible and conceptual boundaries. Further attention will also be directed towards the diverse defense mechanisms employed by the Byzantine Empire, spanning territories on land and sea across Italy, the Balkans, and significant Mediterranean islands like Cyprus and Sicily. Simultaneously, in their discussion on the Byzantine frontier, Zanini and Zavagno consistently delve into the cultural perceptions of the other, a fundamental aspect of border identity frequently echoed in their respective research. The speakers will analyze the connections and differences within their works using complementary and interwoven methodologies. Ultimately, by examining four decades of frontier studies, this discussion seeks to provide an opportunity to explore past, present, and future research directions in this field.

Luca Zavagno – Speaker

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 and Department of Archaeology 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); he has just completed  the Routledge Companion to the Byzantine City (a volume co-edited with Nikolas Bakirtzis) and he is currently working on his fourth monograph entitled The Byzantine Insular Worlds between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (c.a. 600–c.a. 900) (to be published in 2025 with ARC Medieval Press).
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 and 2024), 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 (, Associate Scholar of the Mediterranean Seminar (, member of the Princeton University FLAME-Framing the early Medieval Coinage project ( ) and former Visiting professor in Byzantine Art History at the University of Venice.

Enrico Zanini – Speaker

Enrico Zanini graduated from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ in 1982. He obtained his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Pisa in 1996. Currently, he is a professor of Methodologies of Archaeological Research and Byzantine Archaeology at the University of Siena, where he is also the Head of the Department of History and Cultural Heritage. Prof. Zanini has authored and edited nine books about Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology. His most recent monograph, Costantinopoli, was published in 2022 by Carocci Editore. He has authored more than 150 scientific papers, mainly published in peer reviewed Italian and international journals/series. His research interests range from Archaeological theory and methodology, to Urban archaeology, till Late Antique / Early Byzantine archaeology in the Mediterranean world. He was field director in major archaeological projects:  Rome – Crypta Balbi (1982-1988) and Porticus Minucia (1996-1998); Tuscany – Populonia (1998-2000), and  conducted several archaeological field surveys in Turkey, Syria and Jordan (1982-1992). Presently he is in charge for two large archaeological projects: the excavations in the Early Byzantine District of Gortys (Crete), in cooperation with Italian Archaeological School at Athens and Hellenic Ministry of Culture, with the financial support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (2001-present time), and the excavation on the Roman and Late Antique mansio of Vignale (Tuscany), in cooperation with Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage (2004-present time).

Virginia Sommella – Moderator

Virginia Sommella is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the Bilkent University, Ankara. She holds a BA degree in archaeology of the Roman provinces from the University of Naples L’Orientale (2016) and a MA degree in Byzantine archaeology from the University of Siena (2019). In 2022 she spent a 3-months visiting research period at the Department of Classics and Ancient History of Durham University, focusing on religious and administrative systems in southeastern Turkey from the 2nd to the 5th centuries CE. In 2023, she was the recipient of a summer research award at Dumbarton Oaks Library and Archives. The research she is conducting as an ANAMED fellow focuses on the Byzantine frontier along the river Tigris—with particular regard to the mountainous region of the Tur ‘Abdin, located in the southeastern corner of modern Turkey—in a period extending from the fourth century to the 640s. Her study investigates the links between local monastic patterns and the Limes Orientalis’ administrative and defensive system as a key to understanding such a resilient human and material landscape.

Date : 6 May 2024, Monday
Time : 14:00 – 16:00

The lecture will be in English and hybrid fashion.

Please click on the link for Zoom registration.