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Free to Download: Rome and the Arabs by Irfan Shahid

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Dumbarton Oaks has made available I .Shahid's  book on Rome and the Arabs. Click here to download
The Arabs played an important role in Roman-controlled Oriens in the four centuries or so that elapsed from the Settlement of Pompey in 64 B.C. to the reign of Diocletian, A.D. 284–305. In Rome and the Arabs Irfan Shahîd explores this extensive but poorly known role and traces the phases of the Arab-Roman relationship, especially in the climactic third century, which witnessed the rise of many powerful Roman Arabs such as the Empresses of the Severan Dynasty, Emperor Philip, and the two rulers of Palmyra, Odenathus and Zenobia. Philip the Arab, the author argues, was the first Christian Roman emperor and Abgar the Great (ca. 200 A.D.) was the first Near Eastern ruler to adopt Christianity. In addition to political and military matters, the author also discusses Arab cultural contributions, pointing out the role of the Hellenized and Romanized Arabs in the urbanization of the region a…

New Book: Reading in the Byzantine Empire and Beyond

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Editors: T. Shawcross & I. Toth

From Cambridge University Press:

Offering a comprehensive introduction to the history of books, readers and reading in the Byzantine Empire and its sphere of influence, this volume addresses a paradox. Advanced literacy was rare among imperial citizens, being restricted by gender and class. Yet the state's economic, religious and political institutions insisted on the fundamental importance of the written record. Starting from the materiality of codices, documents and inscriptions, the volume's contributors draw attention to the evidence for a range of interactions with texts. They examine the role of authors, compilers and scribes. They look at practices such the close perusal of texts in order to produce excerpts, notes, commentaries and editions. But they also analyse the social implications of the constant intersection of writing with both image and speech. Showcasing current methodological approaches, this collection of essays aims to …

Witnessing Byzantium: The Greek Perspective | The National Gallery Lecture

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Audio lecture by Sharon Gerstel: Witnessing Byzantium: The Greek Perspective


New Issue of Dumbarton Oaks Papers

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Articles from the latest issue of Dumbarton Oaks Papers, no 71:
Maya Maskarinec, “Saints for All Christendom: Naturalizing the Alexandrian Saints Cyrus and John in Seventh- to Thirteenth-Century Rome”; Joseph Glynias, “Prayerful Iconoclasts: Psalm Seals and Elite Formation in the First Iconoclast Era (726–750)”; Jordan Pickett, “Water and Empire in the De Aedificiis of Procopius”; Florin Leonte, “Visions of Empire: Gaze, Space, and Territory in Isidore’s Encomium for John VIII Palaiologos (1429)”; Anastasia Drandaki, “Piety, Politics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Venetian Crete”;Julian Baker, Filippo Dompieri, and Turan Gökyildirim, “The Reformed Byzantine Silver Based Currencies (ca. 1372–1379) in the Light of the Hoards from the Belgrade Gate”; Vasileios Marinis, “The Vision of Last Judgment in the Vita of Saint Niphon (BHG 1371z)”; Daniel Reynolds, “Rethinking Palestinian Iconoclasm”; Athanasios Vionis, “Understanding Settlements in Byzantine Greece: New Data and Approaches for Boe…

Byzantine Mosaic Floor of 1,500-year-old Found in Jerusalem

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From Haaretz:
While digging to lay a cable network by the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, workers uncovered an intact mosaic with Greek writing on what seems to have been the floor of an ancient version of a boutique hotel 1,500 years ago. The writing reads: "In the time of our most pious emperor Flavius Justinian, also this entire building Constantine the most God-loving priest and abbot, established and raised, in the 14th indiction," according to Leah Di Segni, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, an expert on ancient Greek inscriptions.

"'Indiction' is an ancient method of counting years, for taxation purposes. Based on historical sources, the mosaic can be dated to the year 550 or 551 C.E.," Di Segni says.

Both she and David Gellman, the director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority believe the mosaic decorated the floor of what had probably been a hotel for pilgrims flocking to Jerusalem as Christianity took ho…

The Throne of Archbishop Maximianus of Ravenna

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The Throne of Maximian (or Maximianus) is a throne that was made for Archbishop Maximianus of Ravenna and is now on display at the Archiepiscopal Museum, Ravenna. It is generally agreed that the throne was carved in the Greek East of the Byzantine Empire and shipped to Ravenna, but there has long been scholarly debate over whether it was made in Constantinople or Alexandria.


The style of the throne is a mixture of Early Christian art and that of the First Golden Age of Byzantine art. It is made of carved ivory panels, with frames of winding vines and grapevines, on a wooden frame. The throne itself is large with a high semi-circular back and may have held a jewelled cross or Gospel book for some of the time. The ivory carvings are done in relief and the panels depict important biblical figures. The back of the throne shows scenes of the Life of Christ, the sides include scenes of the Story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis, and on the front of the throne are the Four evangelists aro…

Hundreds of New Byzantine Texts Digitized by Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

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Here is a list:

0645JUSTINUS MARTYR Apol.

1389HARPOCRATION Gramm.

1595PHILODEMUS Phil.

2042ORIGENES Theol.

2130ARETHAS Scr. Eccl. et Philol.

2642<ASTRAMPSYCHUS Magus> Onir.

2702Michael PSELLUS Epist., Polyhist., Phil., Hagiogr. et Theol.

2721Theodorus PRODROMUS Poeta et Polyhist.

2738CHRONOGRAPHIAE ANONYMAE Chronogr.

2772ACTA TIMOTHEI Hagiogr., Apocryph. et Acta

2933GERMANUS I Scr. Eccl.

3010Theodorus BALSAMON Scr. Eccl.

3024Constantinus STILBES Poeta et Rhet.

3036EUTHYMIUS Scr. Eccl.

3053JOANNES II Scr. Eccl.

3054JOANNES IV (vel V) Oxeïtes Scr. Eccl.

3059JOANNES X CAMATERUS Scr. Eccl.

3073Euthymius MALACES Scr. Eccl., Rhet. et Theol.

3077MICHAEL I CERULARIUS Theol. et Scr. Eccl.

3078MICHAEL III Epist., Theol. et Rhet.

3085NEOPHYTUS INCLUSUS Scr. Eccl.

3092Nicephorus BLEMMYDES Phil. et Theol.3093NICETAS Phil., Theol. et Scr. Eccl.

3099Nicetas STETHATUS Theol. et Hagiogr.

Click here for the complete list