The “Greek” popes: the last hope for a Byzantine Rome

The “Greek” popes: the last hope for a Byzantine Rome

Presented by Giandomenico Ferrazza (Università degli studi Roma Tre)

The Whitting Room (Arts 436), University of Birmingham

5:15 PM 16th May 2018

Between the late 7th and the early 8th Centuries eleven bishops of Rome were “Greeks”, Greek-speakers born in Sicily or in the eastern regions of the Mediterranean world. Many historians labelled those years as the «Byzantine captivity» of the papacy, assuming that “Greek” popes necessarily were imposed by a Byzantine Emperor. On the contrary, others argued that «Greek popes did not matter» (Thomas Noble), because the city of Rome was politically already Byzantine and culturally Greek, point of arrival of a considerable migration of Easterners who simply rose through the ranks of the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy, gradually and without conflict.
In opposition to these oversimplifying interpretations, I will present an overview of the first 30 years of this period (678-715), trying to show that the “Greek” popes were neither puppets of the Byzantine Emperor nor mere representatives of the Roman clergy, but members of a specific powerful group who successfully managed to maintain the power in the city of Rome for many years. In addition, I will try to show how their “Greekness” did matter, and how it shaped the cultural, political and ideological history of the papacy.

Administrative Assistant, British School at Rome

Administrative Assistant (Communications and Events) (Rome)

British School at Rome

Application deadline: 12th July 2016

We are seeking to appoint an entrepreneurial and self-motivated individual as Administrative Assistant (Communications and Events) on a one-year fixed-term contract.

This is a part-time post (0.82 fte; 30 hours per week). It is a residential position, with board and lodging provided at the BSR in Rome. The salary will be in the range £9,200–10,050.

For further particulars, click here.

Training – 2017 Winter Program: Greek Palaeography and Codicology‏

2017 Winter Program: Greek Palaeography and Codicology‏

American Academy in Rome

9th-20th January  2017

Application deadline: 15th May 2016

With the kind collaboration of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican Library, BAV), from 9 to 20 January 2017, the American Academy in Rome will offer its second winter course in Greek Paleography and Codicology. The two curators of Greek manuscripts at the BAV, Dr Timothy Janz and Dr András Németh, together with Prof. Niels Gaul of the University of Edinburgh, will teach the course and supervise manuscript research. The two-week course will introduce participants to various aspects of manuscript studies and offer an interactive dialogue between theory and practice.

In collaboration with the Vatican Library

Reading classes in small groups will familiarize the participants with different forms of Greek script through sight-reading practice. A special feature of this course will be the extensive library visits at the Vatican Library, which will enable each student to improve individual research skills according to given criteria, with the aid of the tutors. Seminars on the history of Greek script and on codicology will address theoretical and practical aspects of the study of Greek manuscripts, while discussion sessions will offer a chance to share research experience within the group and to discuss various problems of theory and practice based on experience at the Library.

Several evening lectures by specialists will complete the course, including Msgr. Paul Canart of the Vatican Library.

Applications from graduate and postgraduate students of Classics, History, Theology/Religious Studies, and Byzantine Studies are welcome. Students from Italian and European institutions are most welcome. The course will be taught in English. Prior knowledge of Greek is essential. Applications should include a CV, a letter of intent specifying Greek language experience, research topic, and explaining the applicant’s need for training in paleography and codicology.


Tuition: 500 euro

Housing: Housing is available at the American Academy for those who require it:

Shared room with shared bathroom: 450–550 euro for two weeks

Single room with shared bathroom: 770 euro for two weeks

Room availability cannot be guaranteed and applicants should indicate their need for housing in their application.

Meals: Meals can be purchased at the Academy for 15 euro for lunch, and 27 euro for dinner. Meals are not included in the costs of the program.

Please send application materials to