Friday, November 27, 2015

Venice and the Ottoman Empire: A Short and Fun Movie


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Introduction to the Grammar of Hebrew Poetry in Byzantine Palestine By Michael Rand

From Gorgias Press:
This work is concerned with investigating a corpus of several thousand lines of poetry, selected from the oeuvre of Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir, a liturgical poet (payyetan) whose period of activity dates to the early seventh century CE. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The aim of this portion is (1) to provide a structural description of the most salient/individuating features of the Qillirian dialect, and (2) to compare the morphological and syntactic data thus gathered with analogous phenomena in Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic Hebrew, thereby establishing the position of the Qillirian dialect within the developmental trajectory of Hebrew in Roman/Byzantine Palestine. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar (e.g., the influence of rhyme on morphology). This portion seeks to integrate a formal analysis of Qillirian poetics into a linguistic evaluation of the Qillirian dialect vis-à-vis its Palestinian contemporaries (including Aramaic and Greek) and antecedents. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated, both as a linguistic and an aesthetic object.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Humans of Byzantium: Emperor Basil I (9th century)

I was born in a family of peasants in Macedonia, but my family became a most glorious one. The other emperor Michael III had to die. I had a biography written, you'll find all the reasons for my actions there (Emperor Basil I, 9th century).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Humans of Byzantium: Flavius Belisarius

They called me "The Last of the Romans." Lived in the shadow of Justinian and helped him reconquer the Roman lands. Fought against Vandals, Ostrogoths, and the Kutrigurs. They accused me of corruption but my Justinian saved me. I think Procopius, the writer, was too asking too much about my wife Antonina. (General Belisarius 505-565)
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Friday, October 9, 2015

Start learning Syriac: Minesota/Dumbarton Oakas Summer School 2015

Dumbarton Oaks and the HILL MUSEUM & MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY (HMML) announce a new four-week intensive introduction to Syriac language and paleography, July 10 to August 6, 2016. The program, sponsored and funded by Dumbarton Oaks, will be hosted at HMML, located on the campus of Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. The summer school will include a long weekend in Washington, DC, to visit Dumbarton Oaks and other institutions in the area to learn more about their resources for Byzantine and Eastern Christian studies.

Approximately ten places will be available to doctoral students and recent PhDs, including including early-career faculty members, who can demonstrate the value of Syriac for their teaching and research. All costs apart from travel to and from Saint John's University (nearest airport: Minneapolis-St Paul) will be covered by Dumbarton Oaks, including the weekend in Washington, DC.

Mornings will be devoted to Syriac language instruction by Prof. Scott Johnson of the University of Oklahoma, with afternoons devoted to the study of digitized Syriac manuscripts with Dr. Adam McCollum of the University of Vienna (formerly Lead Cataloger of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at HMML). There will be opportunities to use HMML's collections, as well as to enjoy the campus of 2700 acres, with woods, lakes, and notable architecture.

Further information, including instructions for applicants, is attached or may be found at:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A great suite of web tools for the study of medieval manuscripts: Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Greek and Arabic

From the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library here is a set of fantastic tools:
  • SCHOOL offers lessons in paleography, codicology, and transcription. 
  • FOLIO provides annotated manuscript pages for study and practice in transcription. 
  • LEXICON explains terms used in manuscript studies. 
  • REFERENCE contains bibliography and links to digitized print resources.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Free Course from Notre Dame University: Introduction to the Quran, the Scripture of the Islam

About this course

According to Islamic tradition, the Quran is not simply an inspired scripture. It is a divine book brought down from heaven by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, and its message is the key to heaven. Join us for an exploration of the scripture that is the word of God to over a billion people.This course will introduce you to various aspects of the Quran, including its basic message, the historical context in which it originated, the diverse ways in which Muslims have interpreted it, and its surprisingly intimate relationship with the Bible. By the end of the course, you will gain an appreciation for the perspectives of Muslim believers and academic scholars alike on the origins and the meaning of the Islamic scripture. No background in Islam or Arabic is necessary for this course.
Click here for more

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