Imagining Byzantium: Perception, Patterns, Problems in Eastern and Southeastern Europe


The conference “Imagining Byzantium: Perception, Patterns, Problems in Eastern and Southeastern Europe” is organized by the research group “The Legacy of Byzantium” of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz and will be held on March 2-4, 2017 in Mainz.

Belonging to the research group “Contact and Discourse within Christianity”, we are researching the impact as well as reception of Byzantine history within and across European dimensions in the 19th and 20th centuries. During the rise of national movements in Europe, a new debate arose about history/-ies which aimed at constructing new political orders (Ordnungsentwürfe).

The focus of the conference lies on eastern and south-eastern Europe as a political, cultural, and religious bridge between Orient and Occident, but also on western Europe as a agent of knowledge of Enlightenment as well as a place for education of east and south-east European elites.

By means of three panels we would like to discuss in which way scientific, ecclesiastical, and political elites dealt with (pseudo-)Byzantine items, narratives, and paradigms in various contexts in order to strengthen their own identity, to stage or legitimise their power as well as to justify certain political strategies.

The individual panels are organised as follows:

1.       History and Histories

  • Byzantine Elements in Historiographical Narratives und Discourses

2.       Defense or Decadence

  • Reception of  Byzantium within Ecclesiastical Historiography

3.       Heirs, Empires, Nations

  • “Byzantium” as an Argument for Nation-Builders

Co-Operation Partners

Leibniz-Wissenschaftscampus Mainz: Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident
Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum
Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum




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