51st Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies
The Post-1204 Byzantine World: New Approaches and Novel Directions
The 2018 symposium will be dedicated to the later Byzantine world, taking its starting point from the cataclysmic events of 1204.
Especially in recent years, the late Byzantine period has seen an increasing amount of exciting research activity: from continuing Grundlagenforschung (palaeography, critical editions, translations and commentaries) via the reevaluation of key social, political, and economic practices to the application of new methods such as network studies or sociolinguistics, our understanding of the society and politics of the final two hundred and fifty years of Roman rule in the eastern Mediterranean have much increased. If down to the late 1990s Laskarid and Palaiologan Byzantium was often still perceived as one of the (many) Cinderellas of Byzantine Studies, this is clearly no longer the case. Wherever one looks these days, exciting postgraduate projects are under way; in an increasing number of universities, Byzantine Studies is taught by colleagues with expertise in the later Byzantine period.
The 51st Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies seeks to take stock of these novel approaches to the post-1204 Byzantine world by bringing together established researchers, new voices, and open communications on all aspects of this newly polycentric world that stretched from Constantinople to Mystras and from Arta to Trebizond: we will explore the functioning of late Byzantine politics – the interaction of emperors and rulers with aristocratic, ecclesiastical, urban elites and the demos – look at the cultural, religious, and literary life in the various post-1204 polities from various angles, and explore the fragile position of the dwindling Eastern Roman polities in their wider Mediterranean context, from the Italian powers via the Balkans to the Mamluks, Ottomans, and Mongols.
The Symposium will be held in the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology, located in the Willam Roberson Wing (Doorway 4) of the Old Medical School on Teviot Place (EH8 9AG), as well as in the Teviot Lecture Theatre (Doorway 5) of the same building (for campus maps, please consult ed.ac.uk/maps/maps; to download: ed.ac.uk/maps/download).
The University of Edinburgh’s Central Area – along Teviot Place, recently renovated Bristo Square, and around beautiful George Square – is within convenient walking distance of Waverley Railway Station, Princes Street and the Royal Mile; close to the National Museum and National Gallery of Scotland; and only a short walk (15 minutes) from the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur’s Seat. More information about the city and what to do during your stay can be found here: ed.ac.uk/visit/city and edinburgh.org.
The customary book display will be held from Friday 13 April in room G.16 on the ground floor of the William Robertson Wing.
Symposiasts might like to note that the 2018 Spring Symposium overlaps on both Friday 13 April and Saturday 14 April with the combined Roman Archaeology Conference (RAC) and Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC), the world’s premier event in Roman Archaeology, which will be held in nearby Appleton Tower in the University’s Central Area, just off George Square. The RAC/TRAC will have its own book display with publishers and items that may be of interests to participants in the Spring Symposium. Delegates will ﬁnd a complete list of publishers displaying in both venues included in their conference packs, and are very welcome to visit both displays.
Edinburgh is well connected to the rest of the UK by road and rail and to the rest of Europe via its airport. More information about travelling to and from Edinburgh can be found here: edinburgh.org
Train tickets, which are cheaper if booked in advance, can be purchased online and collected at any UK train station, from thetrainline.com, or be bought directly from the train companies, such as
- ScotRail: scotrail.co.uk,
- CrossCountry: crosscountrytrains.co.uk, or
- Virgin Trains East Coast: virgintrainseastcoast.com
For air travel, Edinburgh Airport (edinburghairport.com) is best, with Glasgow and Newcastle airports within acceptable commuting distance.
Transport in Edinburgh
From the airport, the blue Airlink buses (no. 100) and the tram system provide regular fast service to the city cente and Waverley Railway Station. A slower alternative is the new Skylink service (no. 300), which takes longer – about an hour or more – but goes directly past Teviot Place and does not require any change at Waverley. A single Airlink or Skylink ticket currently costs £4.50, a period return ticket is £7.50. For details please consult: https://lothianbuses.co.uk/airport An adult single for the tram is £6, a return ticket £8.50; details at http://edinburghtrams.com/
Edinburgh has a very reliable public transport network with an equally reliable route planner: lothianbuses.co.uk/getting-around/journey-planner Single bus tickets are £1.70 per ride; please note that drivers will not give change (you are expected to pay the exact amount in cash when embarking on the bus). Delegates may want to consider to download the m-tickets app to their smartphones as an easier way to pay: lothianbuses.co.uk/tickets/m-tickets. This app also covers the AirLink and tram, but unfortunately, any purchase of tickets done this way must be above £10.
Taxis are readily available at the airport, Waverley, or throughout the city centre. A cab ride from the airport to the Symposium location should be about £20–25, and much cheaper from Waverley or other locations closer by. Reliable taxi companies include
The University of Edinburgh’s main library (map reference 20) is now open non-stop throughout the night and during weekends. Delegates may apply for membership:
Places to stay
Edinburgh has a large number of hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation apartments and hostels. General information about accommodation can be found here: edinburgh.org/hotels.
The University of Edinburgh offers accommodation via its EdinburghFirst service: book.accom.ed.ac.uk/ If you enter EVENT in the promotional code box, you will receive a 15% discount.
Places to eat
There is a wide variety of restaurants and pubs around the George Square area and across Edinburgh city centre. Conference participants will ﬁnd recommendations included in their welcome packs.
Any further enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to welcoming you in Edinburgh!
51st Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG