Justice in Byzantium: conference programme available and registration open

Canterbury will this year be hosting the 55th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. It will take place on 13th-15th April on the theme of ‘Justice in Byzantium’. The local organiser, MEMS stalwart Dr Anne Alwis, is delighted to be able to share the conference programme. In addition, registration is now open.







Registration 8:30-9.45am

Welcome: Anne Alwis and Laura Franco (Kent; Tor Vergata) and Tributes to Elisabeth Jeffreys and Bob Ousterhout



Session 1: Social Justice (10:00-11:45 am)

Chair:  Anne Alwis (Kent)

  • Dionysios Stathakopoulos (Cyprus): ‘Social Justice and Economic Concerns in the Late-Byzantine World’
  • Arietta Papaconstantinou (Aix-Marseille): ‘Petition, Protection and Patronage: Negotiating Social Justice in Village Communities’
  • Carlos Machado (St Andrews) ONLINE: ‘Social Justice and Subaltern Experience in Late- Antique Italy’


Communications I (11.45-12.45am)


  • Elizabeth Buchanan (Findlay): ‘Justice and Intercession:  Religious views on the afterlife of souls as a mirror for popular views of justice in Byzantium’
  • Romain Goudjil (Sorbonne): ‘How to take legal action in Byzantium (10th-15th centuries). A practical perspective’
  • Valerio Massimo Minale (Naples): ‘The Animals in the Isaurian Ekloge


Lunch (12.45-14:00): Meeting of Graduate students


Session 2: Unwritten Rules (14:00-15.10 pm)


  • Rosemary Morris (York): ‘Why Write it Down? The Transition from the Spoken to the Written Word in Monastic Typika’
  • Anna Kelley (St Andrews): ‘“After God it is your help I look for”: Holy intermediaries and Unwritten Routes towards Women’s Justice in Byzantine Egypt’


Coffee (15:10-16:00 pm)


Communications II (16:00-17:00)

Chair: Liz James (Sussex)

  • Sarah Mathiesen (Florida State): ‘Eavesdropping: Crime and Punishment in a Cappadocian Rock-Cut Church’
  • Magdalena Laptas (Warsaw): ‘Christ as the Sun of Justice with the Archangels and Holy Warriors in Nubian Art’
  • Francesco Muraca (Bologna): ‘The δικαιοδότης: the Byzantine iuridicus?’


KEYNOTE (17:00-17:30 pm): Daphne Penna (Groningen) ‘Justice in Byzantium: Blind or Biased?’


Drinks Reception sponsored by SPBS (17.30-18.30 pm)

Dinner (18.30-20.30)





Coffee: 9.00-9.30 am


Session 3: Criminal Justice (9:30 am-10:40am)

Chair: Ed Roberts (Kent)

  • Lorena Atzeri (Milan): ‘Criminal Justice in Byzantium (C8th-11th): Offences, Punishments, and Deterrence from the Ecloga to the Peira
  • Mike Humphreys (Oxford): ‘Mutilation in Byzantine Law: The Case of Nose Amputation’


Coffee (10:40-11:00am)


Session 4: Revenge (11:00 am-12:10 am)

Chair: Laura Franco (Tor Vergata)

  • Francesca Barone (CNRS): ‘Forms and Functions of Punishment in early Egyptian Monasticism’
  • Robert Wiśniewski (Warsaw): ‘Martyrs Strike Back: Martyrdom and Revenge in Late-Antique Hagiography’


Communications III (12:10-12:45)

Chair: Fiona Haarer (KCL)

  • Marina Detoraki (Crete): ‘Punishment and Reward in Beneficial Tales (or Divine Justice in Doubt)’
  • Arkady Avodokhin (Oxford): ‘Tough Justice from Above: Avenging Saints in Late-Antique Miracle Collections and Inscribed Artefacts’


LUNCH (12.45-14:00 pm): Meeting of TTB editorial board and Meeting of SPBS Executive Committee



Session 5: Civil Law and Justice (14:00-16:20 pm)

Chair: Judith Herrin (KCL)

  • Peter Sarris (Cambridge): ‘Justinian and the “Temple of Justice”’
  • Matthijs Wibier (Cincinnati): TBC
  • Simon Corcoran (Newcastle): ‘Manumission and Freed-Persons in the Roman Legal tradition from Justinian I to Leo VI and beyond’
  • Caroline Humfress (St Andrews) ONLINE: “Cosmas’ ‘Contract’: Constituted Living in Late Antiquity.”


Coffee (16:20-17:00 pm)


Communications IV (17:00-18:00)

Chair: Judith Ryder (Oxford)

  • Arie Neuhauser (Chicago): ‘Standards of Just Conduct in Eleventh-Century Civil Wars’
  • James Cogbill (Oxford): ‘The Late Byzantine Aristocracy as Upholders of Justice in Fourteenth-Century Historiography’
  • Nikolas Hächler (Zurich): ‘Ordering the State: Observations on Notions of Justice for the Organization of the Early Byzantine Empire in the Dialogus de Scientia Politica


Drinks’ Reception (18:00-19:00)

Conference Feast (19:00-22:00) [OPTIONAL]




Coffee 9:00-9.30


Communications V (9:30am-10:30am)


  • Paolo Angelini (Italian Ministero dell’Interno): Byzantine Criminal Law: Concepts, Influence and Reception in the Slavic World’
  • Ziyao Zhu (King’s College, London): ‘A Less Successful Endeavour to Define Terminology: The Dispute over the Appropriation of the Church’s Assets under Alexios I Komnenos’
  • Luke Lavan (Kent): ‘Reconstructing the Late-Antique Law Court: Evidence Clusters and Evidence Gaps’


Coffee (10:30am-10.45am)


Session 6: Divine Justice (10:45-12:35am)


  • Maroula Perisanidi (Leeds): ‘Voices of Divine Justice: Exploring Disability, Speech, and Speechlessness in Byzantium’
  • Dan Reynolds (Birmingham): ‘By the Rivers of Babylon: Retribution and Divine Justice in Strategios of Mar Sabas’ Capture of Jerusalem (614)’
  • Shaun Tougher (Cardiff): ‘God and the Macedonians: Dynasty and Divine Justice’


Announcement of next Symposium


LUNCH (12:45-14:00) SPBS AGM


Trip to the Archives of Canterbury Cathedral [OPTIONAL]