Center for Studies on Literature and the Reception of Byzantium

Research Network "The receptions of Byzantium. Towards the new field of reception studies"

The aim of the project is to create a scholarly network devoted to the reception of Byzantium. The project will study the use of the Byzantine past on various levels in the European common awareness, thus bringing together scholars from across Europe and America who study the reception of Byzantium in Europe and beyond. Such reception studies are, in the case of Byzantium, still underdeveloped. Until recently, scholars have focused predominantly on the Greek understanding of Byzantium, thus to a large extent neglecting other aspects of the reception of the Byzantine past and its importance for the broadly defined European community. An important part of the project is accordingly to define and develop the field as such, creating, as it were, a new field of reception studies with regard to Byzantium. Such an endeavour can be carried out only as a transnational collaboration, since it requires engagement of scholars from different religious and cultural backgrounds. In light of recent developments in European politics, not the least in the Eastern parts of Europe, the project will undoubtedly enrich our understanding of Europe’s past and present.

The main focus will be on the following research nodes:

  1. methodological aspects of researching and understanding Byzantium and the Byzantine;
  2. Byzantium in the historiographical tradition.

As part of the project, two databases will be produced and made available on-line:

  1. a database of early modern translations of Byzantine texts [16th-19th centuries];
  2. a database of theatrical works featuring Byzantine motifs.

See the list of the Network Participants

The project is funded by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.