Session Title

Byzantium and Contested Spaces

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA)

Organizer Name

Richard Barrett

Organizer Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Presider Name

Andrew Donnelly

Presider Affiliation

Loyola Univ. Chicago

Paper Title 1

The State of the "No Man’s Land"

Presenter 1 Name

David A. Heayn

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Graduate Center, CUNY

Paper Title 2

Contested Religious Identity in Early Eighth-Century Jerusalem

Presenter 2 Name

Scott Ables

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Regent's Park College, Univ. of Oxford

Paper Title 3

Contested or Shared Spaces? Producing Artistic Space in the Holy Land in the Byzantine and Islamic Periods

Presenter 3 Name

Sean Leatherbury

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Bard Graduate Center

Paper Title 4

Digenis Akritas, the Book of Dede Korkut, and the Poetics of Liminality

Presenter 4 Name

Kyle Grothoff

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Paper Title 5

The Order of the Patriarchal Thrones: Neilos Doxapatres and Contested Ecclesiological Space in Norman Italy

Presenter 5 Name

James Morton

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Paper Title 6

The Moreote Castle of Chlemoutsi: Stages of Development between Frankish Lords and Greek Masons

Presenter 6 Name

Kyle Shimoda

Presenter 6 Affiliation

Ohio State Univ.

Start Date

11-5-2014 8:30 AM

Session Location

Bernhard 106

Description

The landscape of the Roman world as it began fragmenting in late antiquity, as well as its proximity to Sassanid Persia (and later, the Caliphates, the Abbasids, the Seljuks, and then finally the Ottomans) meant that the Eastern half of the Empire was constantly having to solve the problem of contested spaces on several fronts. Militarily, the frontier of the Middle East was subject to much back-and-forth between Persia and Byzantium, as the early sixth century Sassanid siege of Amida demonstrates, as does the expedition of the Himyarites into northern Arabia. The Sassanid desire to restore Achaemenid-era borders in the Middle East and Asia Minor also made Jerusalem and Antioch the objects of struggle over occupation in the early seventh century. Of course, Muslim possession of formerly Roman territories fueled the Crusades during the Middle Ages, making Constantinople itself an object of siege and an occupied territory in the thirteenth century. In between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the Bulgars, Khazars, Rus’, and Seljuk Turks turned eastern Europe and the Balkans into focal points of military struggle as well, such as with the Battle of Manzikert in the eleventh century.

From a religious point of view, central and eastern Europe became loci of conflict and negotiation between Byzantine and Frankish Christianity, such as the mission to Moravia of Cyril and Methodius, and the apparent jockeying of the Bulgars and the Rus’ between Constantinople and Rome for the most favorable terms on conversion.

On a civic scale, the Byzantine city itself has been a location of physical and religious strife; militarily, besides the 1204 sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusaders, there was the 626 attack by the Avars, and the tenth century sea attacks by the Rus’. In religious terms, the public spaces of cities in Byzantium have been subject to struggle, such as the competing choral street processions of the Arians and the Nicenes led by John Chrysostom in the late fourth/early fifth century, the East/West religious aspects of the Latin Empire of Constantinople in the thirteenth century, and into fourteenth century with the theological dimensions of the Zealot/Hesychast controversy in Thessaloniki. Even within the church building, there is discursive and liturgical struggle, such as Symeon of Thessaloniki’s pitting of the “sung service” of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople against the neo-Sabaïtic typikon that had become nearly universal by the time Symeon was writing in the fifteenth century.

This panel, then, will explore the theme of contested spaces in Byzantium. How can we better understand and interrogate issues of space and society in the Byzantine world? How do social forces in Byzantium construct these spaces, and how do these spaces, be they physical or ideological, subsequently influence society? What fresh theoretical approaches might be helpful?

Richard R. Barrett

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May 11th, 8:30 AM

Byzantium and Contested Spaces

Bernhard 106

The landscape of the Roman world as it began fragmenting in late antiquity, as well as its proximity to Sassanid Persia (and later, the Caliphates, the Abbasids, the Seljuks, and then finally the Ottomans) meant that the Eastern half of the Empire was constantly having to solve the problem of contested spaces on several fronts. Militarily, the frontier of the Middle East was subject to much back-and-forth between Persia and Byzantium, as the early sixth century Sassanid siege of Amida demonstrates, as does the expedition of the Himyarites into northern Arabia. The Sassanid desire to restore Achaemenid-era borders in the Middle East and Asia Minor also made Jerusalem and Antioch the objects of struggle over occupation in the early seventh century. Of course, Muslim possession of formerly Roman territories fueled the Crusades during the Middle Ages, making Constantinople itself an object of siege and an occupied territory in the thirteenth century. In between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the Bulgars, Khazars, Rus’, and Seljuk Turks turned eastern Europe and the Balkans into focal points of military struggle as well, such as with the Battle of Manzikert in the eleventh century.

From a religious point of view, central and eastern Europe became loci of conflict and negotiation between Byzantine and Frankish Christianity, such as the mission to Moravia of Cyril and Methodius, and the apparent jockeying of the Bulgars and the Rus’ between Constantinople and Rome for the most favorable terms on conversion.

On a civic scale, the Byzantine city itself has been a location of physical and religious strife; militarily, besides the 1204 sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusaders, there was the 626 attack by the Avars, and the tenth century sea attacks by the Rus’. In religious terms, the public spaces of cities in Byzantium have been subject to struggle, such as the competing choral street processions of the Arians and the Nicenes led by John Chrysostom in the late fourth/early fifth century, the East/West religious aspects of the Latin Empire of Constantinople in the thirteenth century, and into fourteenth century with the theological dimensions of the Zealot/Hesychast controversy in Thessaloniki. Even within the church building, there is discursive and liturgical struggle, such as Symeon of Thessaloniki’s pitting of the “sung service” of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople against the neo-Sabaïtic typikon that had become nearly universal by the time Symeon was writing in the fifteenth century.

This panel, then, will explore the theme of contested spaces in Byzantium. How can we better understand and interrogate issues of space and society in the Byzantine world? How do social forces in Byzantium construct these spaces, and how do these spaces, be they physical or ideological, subsequently influence society? What fresh theoretical approaches might be helpful?

Richard R. Barrett