Ravenna preserves the richest and most abundant historical evidence of all of the Mediterranean centers of late antique and early Byzantine artifacts. Its cultural heritage is vast, ranging from luxury objects to papyri and inscriptions, from mosaics to glass, from ivories to marble and from pottery to coins. Starting from concrete typologies of hand-manufactured goods existing in the Ravennate cultural milieu, the conference aims to enlarge its focus on the multifaceted traditions of late antique and early Byzantine handicraft from the fourth to the eighth century CE.

Our goal is to consider patronage, social taste, acculturation, workers and the economic industry of production which supported the demand, circulation and distribution of artifacts, rather than evaluating the artistic qualities of the objects themselves.

The event is hosted by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University
Location: The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave (just south of 118th St)  |  New York, NY.


Irina Andreescu-Treadgold Independent Scholar

Irina Andreescu-Treadgold trained as an archeologist of the early medieval period in Romania, received her PhD in Art and Archeology at the Sorbonne in 1975 (Dissertation: Les mosaïques de Torcello) and directed Dumbarton Oaks field work campaigns (1975-1979) for the Corpus for Middle Byzantine Wall Mosaics in the North Adriatic area (San Marco in Venice, Torcello, Murano, Trieste, Ravenna/the Basilica Ursiana panels, as well as Hosios Loukas and Daphni in Greece, and St. Sophia in Istanbul). In the 1990s she used scaffoldings to survey the wall mosaics in Thessaloniki (Aghios Georghios and Aghios Dimitrios). She has consulted extensively for wall mosaic restoration campaigns at Torcello and Ravenna. Among other findings, she has shown that the supposedly sixth-century mosaics from San Michele in Africisco in Ravenna in the Bode Museum in Berlin are actually copies made in 1850/1851 by Giovanni Moro, a Venetian mosaicist of the mid-nineteenth century, and she has established—in collaboration with Warren Treadgold—the relative and absolute chronology of the wall mosaics in San Vitale. She continues her research but is now retired from teaching, after holding positions at Harvard University, Emory University, the University of Pittsburgh, Florida International University, and (most recently) Saint Louis University.

Isabella Baldini University of Bologna

Isabella Baldini is associate professor of Early Christian and Medieval Archaeology at the University of Bologna. Former holder of a three year scholarship at the Italian Archaeological School at Athens, she is director of archaeological missions in Kos and Mitropolis (Crete). Her publications include L'oreficeria nell'impero di Costantinopoli (1999), La domus tardoantica (2001), L'architettura residenziale nelle città tardoantiche (2009). Recently she edited the volume Archeologia protobizantina a Kos: la basilica di S. Gabriele (2011).

Salvatore Cosentino University of Bologna

Salvatore Cosentino is Professor of Byzantine Civilisation at the University of Bologna. Former member of the Istituto Italiano di Studi Storici of Naples (1984-1985), he has been Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Cagliari, summer fellow at Dumbarton Oaks (1999), visiting professor at Montpellier (2002, 2010), visiting researcher at Princeton (2006) and at the Italian Academy at Columbia University (2011). His main field of research focuses on the social and economic history of Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium. His publications include Aspetti e problemi del feudo veneto-cretese, XIII-XIV sec. (1987), Prosopografia dell'Italia bizantina (1996-2000), Storia della marineria bizantina (with A. Carile, 2006), Storia dell'Italia bizantina da Giustiniano ai Normanni (2008). He is editor of the volume Ai confini dell'impero. Storia, arte e archeologia della Sardegna bizantina (with P. Corrias, 2002).

John Haldon Princeton University

John Haldon is Shelby Cullom Davis '30 Professor of European History, Professor of Byzantine History & Hellenic Studies at Princeton University. He studied in the UK, Greece and Germany, and is a Senior Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington D.C., a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and a member of the advisory board to the WissenschaftsCampus Mainz. His research focuses on the history of the early and middle Byzantine empire, in particular in the period from the seventh to the eleventh centuries; on state systems and structures across the European and Islamic worlds from late ancient to early modern times; and on the production, distribution and consumption of resources in the late ancient and medieval world, especially in the context of warfare. His publications include Byzantium in the seventh century (CUP: 1990/1997), Three treatises on Byzantine imperial military expeditions (Austrian Academy: 1990), The state and the tributary mode of production (Verso: 1993), Warfare, state and society in Byzantium (Macmillan 1999), The Palgrave Atlas of Byzantine History (Palgrave: 2006) and Byzantium in the iconoclast era, 650-850: a history (CUP: 2011) (with L. Brubaker).

Holger A. Klein Columbia University

Holger A. Klein was educated in Art History, Early Christian Archaeology, and German Literature at the universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, London, and Bonn. His research focuses on Late Antique, Early Medieval, and Byzantine art and architecture, more specifically, on the cult of relics, reliquaries, and issues of cultural and artistic exchange. From 2004–2007 he served as the Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art and continued to oversee the reinstallation of the museum's renowned collection of Medieval and Byzantine art until 2010. His work as a curator includes various international loan exhibitions, among them Restoring Byzantium. The Kariye Camii in Istanbul and the Byzantine Institute Restoration (Wallach Art Gallery, 2004), Medieval Treasures from The Cleveland Museum of Art (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum/The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007–08) and Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe (Cleveland Museum of Art/Walters Art Museum/British Museum, 2010–11). In 2011, he received the 50th annual Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching. In 2012, he received the Columbia University Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes faculty who demonstrate unusual merit as teachers of undergraduate and graduate students as well as outstanding scholarship and service to the university. Holger A. Klein has been serving as Chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology and Chairman of the Steering Committee for Columbia University's Global Center in Istanbul since July 2012.

Chiara Guarnieri Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Emilia Romagna

Chiara Guarnieri was born and grew up in the historical town of Ferrara, graduated in Ancient History (1981) and completed post-graduate studies in Roman Archeaology (1985) at Bologna University. Since 1977 she has been involved in Roman and Medieval digs both in Italy and abroad, and has been responsible for the classification of material. She worked as an archeological researcher for two years with the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Since 1991 she has worked for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali); she is responsible for the management of a part of the Region of Emilia Romagna, in particular Ferrara, Faenza, Ravenna, and the archeological area of the Roman villa in Russi and the site of Classe. She has organized many exhibitions and has been a curator for several regional museums. Her publications and articles mainly deal with Roman, Late Antiquity and Medieval periods. She is a member of various scientific associations, such as the International Association for the Study of Antique Glass and the Association for the Study of Antique Mosaics.

Paul Arthur University of Salento

Paul Arthur FSA holds the Chair in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Salento. Whilst beginning his academic career as a classical archaeologist, after graduating and obtaining his doctorate at the Institute of Archaeology in London, he has since specialised in Byzantine and medieval archaeology. Interests in settlement systems, economy and the environment have led him to excavate and conduct field survey in Italy, Turkey and the Ukraine. Current projects include the mapping of Salento in the Middle Ages and excavation of the castle of Lecce. He is also a specialist in French art nouveau ceramics. With over 200 publications, monographs include Romans in Northern Campania (Archaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome 1) (1991); Naples from Roman Town to City-State: An Archaeological Perspective (Archaeological Monographs of the BSR 12) (2002); Byzantine and Turkish Hierapolis (Pamukkale) (2006); and, co-edited with B. Bruno, Il complesso tardo-antico ed alto-medievale dei SS. Cosma e Damiano, detto Le Centoporte, Giurdignano (LE). Scavi 1993-1996 (2009).

Anthony Cutler Pennsylvania State University

Anthony Cutler is the Evan Pugh Professor of Art History at Penn State University. The author of numerous books and articles, he has established himself as an international expert on ivory carving with such works as The Hand of the Master: Craftsmanship, Ivory, and Society in Byzantium (Princeton University Press). His most recent book is Byzantium, Italy and the North: Papers on Cultural Relations (Pindar Press). Dr. Cutler has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a resident in art history at the American Academy in Rome, and was awarded the Médaille François Ier of the Collège de France, Paris. He has held four fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University's Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, D.C., and has been the Paul Mellon Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He received the Humboldt Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany in 2001-2002 and was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago during spring 2001. Dr. Cutler was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 2002-2003 and was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2005. In 2007, he was awarded the College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is currently working on his book, The Empire of Things: Gifts and Gift Exchange Between Byzantium, the Islamic World, and Beyond. In spring 2009 he was a senior research associate at the Khalili Centre at Oxford University, and in 2011-2012 he returned to Oxford as Slade Professor of Fine Art.

Deborah Deliyannis Indiana University

Deborah Deliyannis specializes in the history and material culture of early medieval Europe. She has a background in archaeology and architectural history, and combines those topics with the study of the way history was written in the Early Middle Ages. She has published a Latin edition and an English translation of the ninth-century author Agnellus' Liber pontificalis ecclesiae Ravennatis (Book of Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna). Each of these volumes includes a study of the text, in which she explores Agnellus' literary models and sources, and explains why the text has its rather idiosyncratic form and chronological structure. She has also edited a book entitled Historiography in the Middle Ages. Her most recent book, Ravenna in Late Antiquity, is a history of the city and monuments of Ravenna from the fifth to the ninth centuries; it was published by Cambridge University Press in January 2010. Her next project considers the role of bishops as church-builders, from late antiquity through the Carolingian period. Finally, she is the Executive Editor of The Medieval Review, an online book review journal in medieval studies. She teaches surveys and upper-level courses on medieval history, as well as more specialized courses on topics related to the western European Early Middle Ages.

Judith Herrin King's College London

Judith Herrin is one of the world's foremost historians of Byzantium and the medieval history of the Mediterranean world from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries. She established her reputation with The Formation of Christendom (Princeton 1987), soon to be reissued as a classic. Her recent book, Byzantium, The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire (Penguin and Princeton 2007), has been translated into 13 languages and sold over 100,000 copies world-wide. She was the first Stanley J. Seeger Professor of Byzantine History at Princeton University (1991-95), and Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at King's College London (1995-2008), where she now holds the Constantine Leventis Senior Research Fellowship. She is a long-standing member of the editorial board of "Past and Present" and has devoted much attention to medieval women, which found expression in Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium (London/Princeton 2001). In 2013 Princeton University Press will publish two volumes of her essays, Margins and Metropolis: Authority across the Byzantine Empire, and Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium. Her current research is devoted to the city of Ravenna from approximately 400 to 750, when it was the capital of Late Antiquity.

Glenn Peers University of Texas at Austin

Glenn Peers is professor of Byzantine art history at the University of Texas at Austin. A former member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a holder of a Whitehead Professorship at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, he is the author of Subtle Bodies (2001) and Sacred Shock (2004), and the curator of the forthcoming exhibition at the Menil Collection in Houston, 'Byzantine Things in the World.'

Vivien Prigent Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique

Vivien Prigent is a researcher at the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique and a Newton International fellowship Alumnus (British Academy). A former research fellow of the French School in Rome and of Wolson College (Oxford), his research focuses on the history of Seventh to Tenth Century Byzantine Italy, with special attention to sigillographic and numismatic material. He recently published La Sicile byzantine, entre papes et empereurs (6ème -8ème siècle).