Colloquium: Refractions of the Byzantine: The Empire of Trebizond (1204-1461)

05 June 2017 09:00 to 06 June 2017 18:00

An event support by the BIAA. Organized by Ioanna Rapti, École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), Dionysios Stathakopoulos & Matthew Tanton (KCL)

Part of the Annual Newton and ICS Byzantine Colloquium

Papers by: Annika Asp-Talwar (Birmingham), Tatiana Bardashova (Cologne), Anthony Eastmond (Courtauld), Sofia Georgiadou (Athens), Christos Kafasis (Munich), Sima Meziridou (Heidelberg), Ioanna Rapti (Paris), Scott Redford (SOAS), Matthew Tanton (KCL)

5-6 June 2017, Senate House Room 349

This event is supported by the Newton International Fellowship of the British Academy, the Institute of Classical Studies, the British Institute at Ankara and the Centre for Hellenic Studies. 

The Empire of Trebizond, one of a handful of Byzantine successor states formed following the fall of Constantinople to the Latins in 1204, has largely been viewed by scholars of Byzantium as an outsider. Indeed, Trebizond, situated far from Constantinople on the distant Black Sea coast, has been accused of being culturally ‘un-Byzantine’ and, as such, less relevant for study in mainstream Byzantine history. However, is such a view fair? This colloquium aims to provide a platform on which the cultural identity of the Empire of Trebizond can be discussed and debated. Must the Empire of Trebizond be viewed exclusively as part of the Byzantine cultural sphere? Was it more culturally linked to the regional non-Byzantine cultures of the Caucasus and Anatolia? Or was it a mixture of both, spanning the boundaries of Byzantium and ‘otherness’, creating something altogether different in the process? By approaching Trebizond in such a way over the entire breadth of the state’s existence (1204-1461), the colloquium ultimately aims to depict Trebizond as an important case study of how the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire helped create new forms of political organisation and cultural expression, not least through cross-cultural exchange, inviting us to re-examine the multiple ways in which it was possible to be Byzantine during this period.


Monday, June 5

17:00 – Introduction
Dionysios Stathakopoulos and Matthew Tanton (King’s College London)

17:15 –The empire of Trebizond: history through monuments Anthony Eastmond (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

18:00 – Reception

Tuesday, June 6

10:00 – An Empire in exile: the development of imperial identity in Trebizond, 1204-1261 Matthew Tanton (King’s College London)

10:45 – The political relationship between Trebizond and Constantinople Annika Asp-Talwar (University of Birmingham)

11:30 – The Venice Alexander Romance as Source for the Study of the Court Ceremonial in the Empire of Trebizond (1204-1461) Tatiana Bardashova (Universität zu Köln)

13:30 – Urban piety and civic memory in Trebizond: the church of Saint Anna Ioanna Rapti (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris)

14:15 – The churches of Trebizond: Landmarks of cultural identity Sofia Georgiadou (Athens)

15:00 – Τοῖς γουν σοφοῖς καὶ περὶ λόγους ἐσπουδακόσι πατρὶς γὰρ αὐτόχρημα: Scholarship and Education in the Empire of Trebizond Christos Kafasis (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

15:45 – Coffee break

16:00 – The Empire of Trebizond in the Black Sea Italian Slave Trade Sima Meziridou (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)

16:45 – Narratives Concerning the Fall of the Empire of Trebizond Aslıhan Akıık-Karakullukçu (Bahçeehir University)

17:30 Trebizond and its Neighbours Scott Redford (SOAS)


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