Byzantine Culture in Translation

Byzantine culture emanated from Constantinople throughout the Middle Ages, eastwards into Muslim lands and central Asia, north into Russian, Germanic and Scandinavian territories, south across the Mediterranean into Egypt and North Africa and westwards to Italy, Sicily and the other remnants of the western Roman empire. Byzantine culture was translated, transported and transmitted into all these areas through slow or sudden processes of permeation, osmosis and interaction throughout the life of the Empire, from the fourth century to the fifteenth and far beyond. Various literary aspects of Byzantine culture that were literally translated from Greek into the local and scholarly languages of the Medieval West and Muslim Middle East include dreambooks, novels, medical and scientifica texts and works of Ancient Greek literature. Yet translation was a phenomenon that stretched far beyond texts, into the areas of clothing and fashion, the visual arts (especially icons) and architecture, military organisations, imperial court ceremonial, liturgical music and mechanical devices. This conference celebrates all aspects of literary, spiritual or material culture that were transported across the breadth of the Empire and exported from it. Papers are welcome on all aspects of Byzantine culture that exerted some influence – whether lasting or fleeting – and were translated into non-Greek-speaking lands, from the early Byzantine period to the present day.

Papers of 20 minutes are now sought on any of the topics mentioned above.  Please send a title and abstract of 200 words along with your own email address, affiliation and title to the convenor at

Closing date for submissions: 31 August.

Two bursaries of $500 each will be offered to postgraduate students or postdoctoral fellows who present papers and are not residents of Queensland.  Applications may be sent with abstract and CV to Bronwen Neil, President of AABS, at  Please supply your residential address and a short (150 words max.) explanation of your financial circumstances, stage reached in your studies and any other relevant information.  Membership of AABS is required for successful applicants; please see the Membershippage for membership subscriptions.  Deadline for bursary applications is 31 August.

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