Individual projects

Storytelling & Narratology

Ingela Nilsson

focuses on the core problems of the narratological team: the definition and understanding of cross-cultural and cross-lingustic story-worlds & the significance of linguistic code-switching in relation to narratological techniques. She is responsible for the narratological commentary to the Greek version of the Life of Theodore of Edessa. For the sake of clarity, the commentary departs from the Greek version, The comparative aspects are studied in collaboration with other participants in the programme working on the respective languages.

Myrto Veikou

explores the degree and nature of cultural affinity and intellectual exchange between Byzantine and Islamic people, based on the comparative spatial study of the Byzantine Epic of Digenis Akritis and the Arab Epic of the Holy Warriors. She examines the possibility of ‘spatial’ storytelling as a common medieval ‘language’ shared between mid-eastern cultures. By refining the degree of cultural affinity between these two contemporary texts of similar genre, through the narration of spatial aspects of their storyworlds, she elaborates on questions around cultural fusion and identities in medieval Mediterranean literary production.

Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen

is looking closely at the hagiographical hymns, especially by (Ps.)-Romanos the Melodist. Written during the long 11th century, they are re-writings of prose hagiography and dependent on the storyworlds of the source/hypotexts. By applying recent theories in narrative theory such as unnatural narratology and affective narratology, he aims to adapt and offer modifications to these recent theories, which are mostly based on modern fiction. On the sidelines of his project, he tackles the possibility of the theory of theological narrative.

Milan Vukašinović

coordinates between other members and studies political subjectivities and spatial practices that reflected or overlapped with the construction of specific storyworlds. He concentrates on spatial and narrative practices that shaped the liminal space of Mount Athos, one of the liveliest centers of narrative transfers in the Byzantine world. He also examines the narrative, spatial and ideological worldmaking in Byzantine and Slavonic hagiographical traditions, based on the core texts of the programme, looking at the complex relation between the characters of monks and sovereigns.  

Translation and Rewriting

Christian Høgel

attempts to write the history of Byzantine translation and rewriting activities in the long eleventh century, including the ‘Byzantinization’ of narration as an important aspect. He concentrates on the activities of two central figures of translation, Euthymios the Athonite and Symeon Seth. He examines in detail the Athonite circle with Euthymios as a single case of two-way translation (tightly related to the hagiographical rewritings of Symeon Metaphrastes) as well as Antiochene multi-lingualism imported to Constantinople, with Symeon Seth, the translator of the Arabic Kalila wa-Dimna into Greek.

Miriam Hjälm

focuses on hagiographies in use among Arabic-speaking Christians of Byzantine rite. She surveys the representative works and their manuscript tradition, examining how they were re-written as they crossed cultural and linguistic borders and were reworked in Arabic-speaking Byzantine communities. Being in charge of the Arabic edition and translation of the LIfe of Theodore of Edessa, she aims at tracing and explaining differences in the Arabic version of the text vis-à-vis the Greek, Georgian, and Slavonic versions. She also studies the Biblical models of the narrative elements of this text and focuses on Arabic menologia preserved at Sinai.

Daria Resh

charts aspects of the early history of the Menologion from ca. 750 to ca. 1100, with an emphasis on re-writing practices on a lexical, stylistic, but also compositional and structural level, using evidence from Constantinopolitan and Southern Italian menologia written in Greek and menologia translated and reworked in Georgian, Arabic, and (primarily) Old Slavonic. She is also working on the hagiographical dossiers of St. Barbara and St. Catherine, and collaborates on the critical edition and translation of the Slavonic versions of the Life of Theodore of Edessa.

Sandro Nikolaishvili

tackles the reasons that determined the orientation of Georgia towards Byzantium, instead of Jerusalem, and the impact the Byzantine turn made on Georgian cultural and religious landscape after the ninth century. Taking the work of Eptvime (Euthymios) the Athonite on the translations of Symeon Metaphrastes into Georgian, he studies the impact that the metaphrastic movement and the translated Byzantine hagiographies made on the original Georgian hagiography, as well as on novel Georgian metaphrastic tradition. He also investigates the impact that Byzantine hagiography made on two Georgian royal biographies, those of Davit and Tamar.

Marijana Vuković

collaborates on the Slavonic edition and translation of the Life of Theodore of Edessa and examines Symeon Metaphrastes’ hagiographic corpus among Southern Slavs, its translation, adoption, disintegration, preferences,
and new contexts of translated Byzantine stories. She focuses on several southern Slavic 13th- and 14th-century manuscripts (Bulgarian and Serbian), the earliest metaphrastic evidence in the Slavonic world. She tackles the question of the ‘non-autonomy’ of Slavonic metaphrastic translations within their manuscript contents, as well as the issue of Slavic preference for certain texts and not the others.

Book, Writing & Performance Culture

Stratis Papaioannou

directs the edition and translation of the Greek text of the Life of Theodore of Edessa and also works on a History of Greek Literature (4th-12th c.). The latter project is premised on the idea that Greek during the Byzantine period offered a cultural lingua franca for the Eastern Mediterranean world and beyond. It thus enabled varieties of truth: religious, political, imperial, monastic, ecclesiastical, aristocratic, learned, popular. And it also empowered a literature of imagination and personal experience that created a multifaceted storage of knowledge about and of the world.

Dimitris Skrekas

studies Byzantine book culture during the formative period of ca. 950 to 1100, with a focus on the circulation of texts and books between Constantinople, Sinai-Syria-Palestine, and Southern Italy.
The study will concentrate on the liturgical books meant for public recitation in order to reconstruct the history of calligraphic scripts, page-layouts, the use of reciting aids, and their textual transmission. He also collaborates on the edition and translation of the Greek text of the Life of Theodore of Edessa, by working on its manuscript transmission.

Charis Messis

collaborates on the edition and translation of the Greek text of the Life of Theodore of Edessa. He investigates the multiple relationships between Byzantine hagiography, the Greek novel and the late antique fiction through the study of Greek storytelling from Southern Italy in the middle Byzantine period (its lengthy saint’s lives, fusion of religious history and fictional legend, perceptions and constructions of alterity). He will also study the works of Nikon of Black Mountain and his activity at the monastery of the Wondrous mountain, near Antioch. Since both the place and the author were at the crossroad between Greek, Arabic, Georgian and Armenian cultures and literatures, this investigation is essential for understanding the cultural atmosphere for the exchange of texts and literary motifs.

Michael Dunn

works on two major aspects of the over-all programme involving the database support and/or visualization of large-scale input. The menologion, its interdependence, variation and the history of its production, including its translations from Greek into other languages, requires computing and sorting of an enormous amount of information. He provides computerised assistance in producing examples of text passages comparing original and translated or rewritten text, highlighting changes, omissions, additions and modifications. He proposes various visualisations of patterns, possibly the only way to comprehensively represent results of the programme. Together with a working assistent, he computes and analyses this data, finding a fitting manners of representing it.