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CAS Discussion Series: “Why Byzantium?”

March 14 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
7, Stefan Karadja Str., vh.3, ap.23
Sofia, Bulgaria
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The Centre for Advanced Study Sofia hosts a new discussion series under the theme:

Why Byzantium?

On the 14th of March, 2022 we will convene the first meeting of the series on the following topic:

The Weighty Heritage of Rum: Byzantium and Medieval Bulgaria in Early Ottoman Historical Writing

Lecturer: Dr. Delyan Rusev (Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski)

14 March, 2022 (Monday), at 17:00h.

Presentation abstract:

The presentation will offer an overview of previous studies of the author on the development of historical writing in the Ottoman lands of the fifteenth and the early sixteenth century as well as on the conflicting approaches to the historical-cum-political heritage of the Byzantine World evident in this corpus of sources. Departing from a discussion of a unique history of medieval Bulgaria, incorporated in the Tevārīḫ-i āl-i ʿOs̱mān (Annals of the House of Osman) of Kemālpashazāde (d. 1534) and based on a Christian apocryphal text titled Tale of the Prophet Isaiah or, in modern research, Bulgarian Apocryphal Chronicle, the talk will touch on problems such as the interaction between Christian and Muslim historical culture in the early Ottoman realm, the varying conceptualizations of the term Rum in Ottoman political and historiographic usage, and the selective appropriation of the heritage of Pax Byzantina.


About the discussion serie:

The topic of this discussion series hosted by the Centre for Advanced Study, titled “Why Byzantium?”, deals with the influence and legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire, which withstood multiple waves of barbarian invasions and lasted more than a millennium after the fall of its western half, spanning the entire Middle Ages. Apart from being an Empire, however, Byzantium was a cultural and historical community of enormous influence that carried the Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman heritage or inheritances, but already in their Christian form, into all spheres of its existence, transmitted them to other populations and continued to live long after its fall under the Ottoman Sultans. This influence took on a strongly identitarian character – recognized or not – for many peoples, states and social establishments. And thus, the circle of our interests is formed: how Byzantium comes to be perceived, studied, appreciated and understood. This takes place in various ways, some of which we are trying to trace, but one of the main ones is its comprehension in historical works – chronicles, narratives and scholarship – both in the Middle Ages and up to the present day. At the centre of our interest is the perception and conceptualization of the phenomenon of “Byzantium,” and not so much the phenomenon itself. This is achieved through various paths, only one of which is historiography. In addition to historians, the discussion series is addressed to representatives of various disciplines with an interest in the Middle Ages, the Modern Period or Late Antiquity – literary scholars, linguists, art historians, archaeologists – and to all those for whom the phenomenon of Byzantium could and should be of interest.

Date: March 14
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Venue Name: Centre for Advanced Study
Address: 7, Stefan Karadja Str., vh.3, ap.23
Sofia, Bulgaria

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Organizer Name: Centre for Advanced Study Sofia