Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Department of the Ancient and Byzantine World

The study of the ancient and medieval worlds at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies dates already to its foundation, with the pioneering research of Grigoris Sifakis in classical philology conducted during the 1980s. Building on this legacy, and supplementing its research strengths in fields like Ottoman history, Mediterranean history and urban history, the IMS has decided to enhance the study of antiquity and Byzantium by inviting a number of collaborating faculty members and postdoctoral researchers to pursue their research projects at the IMS. As a result of this initiative, the Department of the Ancient and Byzantine World was founded in 2019. Despite its recent foundation, the Department has developed prodigiously to cover five major fields: ancient history, ancient literature, ancient philosophy, prehistoric archaeology and Byzantine archaeology.

During its short history, the Department has already attracted four funded research projects, and one international research collaboration:

The Department has also organised two international conferences and multiple workshops and other activities. It is also hosting the research group Neolithic Meetings, which aims to foster dialogue and collaboration among scholars working on issues of current archaeological research, methodology and theory about Neolithic Period in Greece

  • The members of the Department share a common interest in the renovation of their respective fields through the pursuit of novel theoretical and methodological approaches and the pursuit of interdisciplinarity. The research activities of the Department have included the employment of novel conceptual tools, like social network theory, and its application to ancient and medieval studies; the interdisciplinary collaboration between classical philology, modern leadership studies, political theory and Digital Humanities; and the entanglement between Geographical Information Systems, medieval rural archaeology and Byzantine history. This is further enhanced through the close collaboration with other departments within IMS, like the Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-Εnvironment and the Centre of Maritime History.
  • Furthermore, the Department aims to advance research in the ancient and Byzantine worlds by focusing on issues/themes that have been neglected in the research of Greek academia, while also fostering international collaboration with existing foreign institutes that have cultivated these issues intensively. Among our current research, this includes the history of ancient slavery and the study of ancient Neoplatonist philosophy. Our members are pioneers in current research in these fields, and aim to use their research outputs and knowhow and their participation in international research communities and networks in order to create within the Department global clusters of excellence and collaboration in their respective fields.
  • Finally, the Department has accorded major importance to its educational and outreach activities. A number of graduate students have been trained and have worked or are currently working in the research projects hosted by the Department, while we have also been keen to use the international collaborations and exchange agreements between IMS and various foreign institutions in order to attract graduate students to conduct part of their research at the facilities of the IMS and under the supervision of members of the Department. This also includes a series of international summer schools on the history and archaeology of ancient Crete addressed to undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe, as well as a series of events (movie projections with discussion) on Cinema and History.

People

Melina Tamiolaki

Associate Professor in Ancient Greek Literature
University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

Irini-Fotini Viltanioti

Αssociate Professor of Ancient Philosophy
University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

Kostas Vlassopoulos

Associate Professor of Ancient History
University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

Maria Papadopoulou

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Nikos Tsivikis

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Markus Zimmermann

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Panayotis Androulakis

Ph.D. candidate

Elli Bia

Ph.D. candidate

Roberta Dainotto

Ph.D. candidate

Anna-Maria Miliara

Ph.D. candidate

Thanasis Sotiriou

Ph.D. candidate
University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

Research Projects

Athens Alexandria

Between Athens & Alexandria

Principal Investigator: Irini-Fotini Viltanioti
Start date: 1 January 2022, End date: 31 December 2024
Hosted by: Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece

LACRIMALit

Leaders and Crisis Management in Ancient Greek Literature

Principal Investigator: Melina Tamiolaki, Dept. of Philology UoC
Host Institution: IMS/FORTH
Collaborating Institution: University of Crete

BALAA

Byzantine Agricultural Landscape Across the Aegean: Historical Analysis of the Landscapes of Messene in the Peloponnese (GR) and Amorium in Asia Minor (TR)

Principal Investigator: Nikos Tsivikis
Collaborating Institutions: Anadolu University, Eskişehir and Society for Messenian Archaeological Studies

NAYS

Promotion and material and technical documentation of Greek shipbuilding and naval history – the naval battles of Salamis and Navarino

The aim of this project is to highlight Greek maritime heritage with the creation of three exhiibtions in Eugenidis Foundation in Athens.

AMORIUM

Amorium Urban Archaeology Project

Amorium Urban Archaeology Project is a multi-disciplinary archaeological project focused on understanding the evolution of the urban settlement and the social relationships through the study of built space in Byzantine Amorium.