Sunday, September 4, 2016

Webinar: Greek Documentary Practice in Egypt from Byzantium to Islam
(6th-8th c.)

Lajos Berkes (Institute for Papryology, University of Heidelberg) is
offering in Winter Semester 2016/17, in cooperation with Heidelberg's
Center for Cultural Heritage, an online seminar on Greek Documentary
Practice in Egypt from Byzantium to Islam (6th-8th c.). The course is
free of charge and will take place Thursdays, 16:15 - 17:45, Central
European Time. The first meeting will be October 20, 2016 and the
course will run until February 9, 2017. The language of instruction is
English, and good knowledge of Greek is required.  Certificates will
be issued upon successful completion of the class.

Those wishing to take part should send a statement of interest and CV
to Michaela Böttner (>) by September 30. Questions about
the course can be directed to Lajos Berkes
(>). Please be advised that
the number of people who will be permitted to participate is limited
to ten.

Course Description
Papyri from Egypt are extraordinary sources of information about
documentary practice of the early Byzantine empire. Tens of thousands
of letters, contracts, receipts and other documents shed light on
aspects of everyday life that can barely be seen elsewhere around the
Mediterranean. After the Islamic conquest in 642, Greek continued to
be employed both in the private sphere and administration, where it
was used probably up to the early 9th century. In this webinar we will
decipher, translate and interpret documents both on papyrus and other
writing materials (ostraca, parchment, etc.) written in Greek from a
variety of genres and contexts from Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt.
Discussion of the documents will include paleographic, historical and
linguistic aspects. Through comparison with parallel material from
other provinces we will look at the problem of the uniqueness of the
Egyptian papyri: to what extent do they represent realities of the
Byzantine empire? Special emphasis will also be placed on the status
of the Greek language and Hellenic culture under Islamic rule.

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