Seasides of Byzantium: harbours and anchorages of a Mediterranean Empire
Date: 29 May -1 June 2017
Venue: National Hellenic Research Foundation, 48 Vassileos Constantinou Ave., 11635 Athens, Greece
The study of maritime installations and networks in the Roman and Byzantine Mediterranean has found increased interest in the last years as becomes manifest in various projects and publications. The major DFG-funded Special Research Programme (SPP-1630) “Harbours from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages” with its interdisciplinary approach constitutes one core element of this development (http://www.spp-haefen.de/en/home/). Within the framework of the SPP-1630 and its project “Harbours and landing places on the Balkan coasts of the Byzantine Empire (4th to 12th centuries)” (http://www.spp-haefen.de/en/projects/byzantine-harbours-on-the-balkan-coasts/), the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz (http://web.rgzm.de/) and the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF/IHR) in Athens (http://www.eie.gr/nhrf/institutes/ihr/index-en_IHR.html) have established a cooperation for joint research on harbours in Byzantine Greece and the creation of a common data base.
Against this background, the conference “Seasides of Byzantium” intends to set these activities within the wider context of research on the Byzantine Empire as phenomenon of maritime history. Scholars present new material and new approaches based on historical or archaeological evidence which illuminate the scale, shapes and functions of Byzantine harbours and anchorages in their temporal and spatial dynamics across the Mediterranean. Furthermore, also the connections of these places across the sea and to their hinterlands are taken into consideration. The conference schedule includes one day of arrival and opening, two days of presentation and discussion and one day of excursion to relevant archaeological sites near Athens. For invited participants, costs for travel and accommodation are covered by the organisers. Besides, a wider audience is welcome to listen to the presentations.