Letter from the Acting Director
31tst January 2009
Last year was marked by the death of our Director Julian Chrysostomides (†18.X.2008), and our Friend and member of the Steering Group Professor John Barron (†16.VIII.2008), while more recently the Friend of the Institute Professor Zaga Gavrilović (†19.I.2009) also passed away. They all belonged to the generation of dedicated scholars and teachers who left an indelible mark on Hellenic and Byzantine Studies internationally. They shall be remembered with deep affection, respect and admiration for their scholarship, integrity and humanity. The Institute extends its deepest sympathy to their families and close friends.
In her last Letter to you on 31st January 2008, Julian Chrysostomides celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of the Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway College, and reflected on the past achievements and the future of the Institute. Through her dedication and determination she was able to meet most of the aims and objectives she identified when she assumed the directorship of the Institute in December 1998. Under her inspiring leadership and perseverance, despite some difficult periods, the Institute succeeded in establishing itself as a research centre for the diachronic and interdisciplinary study of Hellenism, expanding its teaching and research activities. The securing of external funding, especially for the re-establishment of the Lectureship in Byzantine History and the establishment of the Lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography as well as of a number of studentships, bursaries and other awards, was essential for the development of the Institute. As Julian stressed, nothing would have been achieved without the dedication of our students and staff and the support of the College, in particular the Departments of History and Classics, the members of the Steering Group, the sponsors and Friends of the Institute.
Julian is in many respects irreplaceable. Her loss is deeply felt among the international academic community, especially by those who are fortunate to have been taught by, and co-operate closely with her over the years. This is testified by the number of friends, colleagues and students who attended the funeral service, and the hundreds of messages of sympathy we have been receiving from all over the world. Obituaries appeared in the national Press and the College Alumni Journal Higher (December 2008). An appreciation of her life, personality and work is included in our Newsletter.
To honour the memory of our distinguished scholars and teachers, the Institute is establishing “The Julian Chrysostomides Bursaries” and “The John Penrose Barron Prize in Hellenic Studies”. A memorial event to celebrate Julian’s life and achievements will be held in the Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway on Monday 16 March 2009, at 4-5pm. We do hope you will be able to join us on this occasion.
Last November, Professor Adam Tickell assumed the post of Chairman of the Steering Group in his capacity as Vice-Principal for Research, Enterprise & Communications, succeeding his predecessor Mr David Sweeney, who was appointed Director for Research, Innovation, and Skills at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). David and Adam’s support has been decisive for the survival and further development of the Institute, as has been that of Professor Justin Champion, Head of the History Department, and Professor Jonathan Powell, former Head of Classics, who is now succeeded by Dr Anne Sheppard.
As Julian reminded us in her Letter last year, “much has been achieved, but much remains to be done”. Raising external funds for further teaching and research posts, and scholarships for our students is the only way that the future of the Institute will be secured. With this in mind, we shall intensify our efforts to raise the remaining funds for the establishment of a full-time Lectureship in Modern Greek History, placing emphasis on Anglo-Hellenic Relations (19th-20th c.), which is our next priority. Through the continued active support of the College, our sponsors, Members of the Steering Group and Friends, I am confident that we shall be able to fulfil the tasks that lie ahead, building on the firm foundations Julian has laid.
With warm wishes for a Happy and Peaceful New Year,
Established in 1993, The Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London is a research centre of the History Department maintaining strong links with the Department of Classics. It brings together two areas of teaching and research in which Royal Holloway has long excelled: the study of the language, literature and history of Ancient Greece, and Byzantine Studies. It aims to consolidate these strengths and to extend them by promoting further the study of Hellenic tradition across the centuries, from the archaic and classical Greece, through the Hellenistic times, Byzantium and the Post-Byzantine period, to the modern world. The Hellenic Institute hosts a number of research projects and organises seminars, lectures and conferences addressed to students, scholars and to a wider public.
The Hellenic Institute also seeks to bring together at a national and international level all those who share its interests. It collaborates closely with other institutions in the University of London and The Hellenic Centre, a cultural meeting place for the Greek community in London. It maintains links with Universities overseas, especially in Greece and Cyprus.
As part of its teaching activities The Hellenic Institute runs the taught MA degree course in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies and the MA History: Hellenic Studies. The Institute also offers supervision to research students.
Tutorials, formal and informal courses in Modern Greek Language and Culture are also offered by Dr Polymnia Tsagouria, seconded by the Greek Ministry of Education. For further information please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/ Hellenic-Institute/Studying/Modern-Greek.html
In 1999 The Friends of the Hellenic Institute were established with the aim to provide funding for The Nikolaos Oikonomides Studentship, to enable gifted students to pursue postgraduate studies in Byzantine History and Literature at the Institute.
The Hellenic Institute is currently receiving funding from the College, the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, The A.G. Leventis Foundation, The Hellenic Foundation, the London Hellenic Society, the Orthodox Cultural Association, the Friends of the Hellenic Institute, and private donors.
For updated information on the Institute’s activities, including forthcoming events, please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/hellenic-institute/
The Hellenic Institute currently has 15 research students registered with the History Department:
Two students successfully completed the MA degree in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies in September 2008: Alex Rodriguez Suarez (dist.) and Augustine Hideiko Kobayashi.
Irina Chesnokova, and George Gassias are continuing their studies for the same MA, while four new students enrolled this year: Praxoula Aresti, Gary Pitts, Brian Walker and Dimitrios Zoukas.
Congratulations to the following students who were awarded the PhD degree by the University of London in 2008:
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomaios I Studentship in Byzantine Studies:
The Panagiotis and Eleni Xenou Postgraduate Studentship in Hellenic and Byzantine Studies:
The Charalambos and Eleni Pelendrides Postgraduate Studentship in Hellenic and Byzantine Studies:
The Joan Mervyn Hussey Memorial Prize in Byzantine Studies (£500):
George of Cyprus Bursaries:
Grants awarded to students by other institutions (2007/8-2008/9)
Grants & donations to the Institute (2008)
Visiting scholars: Dr Apostolos Spanos, Assistant Professor of History, at the Agder University College, Norway, visited the Institute in Autumn 2007 to conduct research on Byzantine Hymnography and Greek Palaeography. Dr Sophia Kapetanaki, Lecturer in Greek Palaeography at the University of the Peloponnese, conducted research in late Byzantine literature and Greek palaeography at the Institute in June 2008.
8 October 2007: The Late Julian Chrysostomides and Dr Charalambos Dendrinos represented the Institute at the Reception of the Cyprus High Commission in London on the occasion of the celebration of the Cyprus Independence Day.
13 November 2007: A Workshop designed for University of London MA and research students who pursue research in Classical and Byzantine texts was organized for a fourth year by Dr Dendrinos at The Warburg Institute in London. The workshop presented research methods and techniques used in tracing published texts, manuscripts and scribes. Students were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Warburg Institute’s superb collection of printed books and electronic resources, including the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, a CD-ROM containing a vast amount of Greek texts, from early papyri fragments to Byzantine authors of the fifteenth century. The workshop was attended by MA and research students from Royal Holloway, University College, and the Warburg Institute.
16 November 2007: At the invitation of Dr Mura Gosh, MA and research students of Greek Palaeography visited the new Palaeography Room of Senate House Library, where they were introduced to one of the best printed collections on Palaeography internationally. They familiarised themselves with the most important bibliographical and research tools used in Greek Palaeography and Codicology, concentrating on fundamental studies and reference books, catalogues of Greek manuscripts and scribes, as well as more specialised studies and collections of facsimiles.
21November 2007: A paper entitled “New approaches to western travellers’ accounts of Constantinople, 1403-53” was given by Dr Jonathan Harris, as part of the Seminar series Encounters in the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, 12th-16th century, organised by The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham.
4 December 2007: At the invitation of the Librarian of Lambeth Palace Library the students of the Greek Palaeography class and members of the Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts visited the Library to examine original Greek manuscripts. Under the guidance of the Assistant Archivist Ms Clare Brown, several important codices were examined, including codex 461 containing theological treatises by George Scholarios (later Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Gennadios II), with his autograph signature, notes and corrections. This visit was part of a close collaboration between the Hellenic Institute and Lambeth Place Library over the cataloguing and study of the Greek Manuscript Collection.
11 December 2007: Professor George Babiniotis, former Rector of the University of Athens (2000-6) and currently President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, visited the Institute accompanied by Dr Victoria Solomonidis, Minister Counsellor (Cultural Affairs) at the Embassy of Greece in London. A lunch in honour of Professor Babiniotis was held in the Large Boardroom in the presence of the Dean of Arts Professor Geoff Ward, the Heads of History and Classics Departments Professors Justin Champion and Jonathan Powell, Dr Solomonidis, Dr Dendrinos and Dr Polymnia Tsagouria. The Late Julian Chrysostomides presented the activities and future plans of the Institute. Professor Babiniotis congratulated the Institute for its contribution to the promotion of Hellenic Studies in Britain and re-assured the continuation of support offered by the Greek State.
17 December 2007: The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome was inaugurated at Royal Holloway. Interdisciplinary in its approach it focuses on ‘the sociological, political, philosophical and historical bridges between the contemporary world and Mediterranean antiquity, above all the roles played by ancient Greece and Rome in discourses about citizenship’.The Centre was launched with its International Conference on “Imagining Slavery: Celebrating Abolition of the Slave Trade”, which was held at Royal Holloway on 17 December and the British Library on the following day. Marking the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade bill, the conference explored ancient representations of slavery as these have been reconfigured over the last two and a half centuries. For information on the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome, and its conference (including summaries of the papers) please contact its Director, Professor Edith Hall, Department of Classics, RHUL, Egham, Surrey TW2 OEX, tel. +44 (0)1784 414125; e-mail: CRGR@rhul.ac.uk, or visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk /research/CRGR/index.html
4 February 2008: The Dabis Centenary Lecture was given by Dr Germaine Greer on “Sappho: Myth or History?” at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Campus, Windsor Building, Auditorium, attended by an enthusiastic audience.
4 February 2008: A paper on “Territorial concessions to Latins in Palaeologan Byzantium”, was given by Dr Chris Wright at the Byzantine and Modern Greek Seminar, King’s College London.
7 February 2008: A paper on “Reading aloud or Vaudeville: Phanariot Poetry” by Dr Lia Brad Chisacof at the Modern Greek Seminar, Faculty for Modern Languages, Oxford University.
16 February 2008: The Late Julian Chrysostomides and Dr Dendrinos received Dr Katia Plyta and Mrs Sophia Stamatelli of the Greek Embassy in College.
February-March 2008: The London University Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts held its regular meetings at the Institute of Historical Research. The Seminar continued its preparation of a new annotated critical edition and translation of the voluminous correspondence of the thirteenth-century scholar and theologian George of Cyprus, later Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Gregory II (1283-9). The Seminar was attended by scholars and graduate students of London University Colleges as well as visiting scholars.
10 March 2008:The Eighth Annual Hellenic Institute Lecture on “Byzantium in the Mediaeval and the Modern World” was given by Professor Evangelos Chrysos, Secretary General of the Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarism and Democracy and Secretary General of the Association Internationale des Études Byzantines. In his lecture Professor Chrysos addressed the question, “How was Byzantium perceived in the past, and to what extent these views still influence scholars and the public in this country and abroad?”. He also stressed the role of Byzantine culture in particular, and Hellenism in general, in the formation of our common European civilization. The lecture gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate the need for studying the Hellenic and Byzantine achievement, in its various forms and expressions, and showed us how closely this endeavour relates to the better understanding of the past and at the same time of our modern world.
The lecture was attended by a large audience. Among our distinguished guests were The Very Revd. Archimandrite Aemilianos Papadakis representing His Eminence The Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Minister Counsellor (Cultural Affairs) of the Embassy of Greece Dr Victoria Solomonidis, the Cultural Counsellor of the Cyprus High Commission Dr Niki Katsaouni, H.E. Mrs Edmée Leventis, Marina Lady Marks, the Principal and Mrs Stephen Hill, Mr David Sweeney, Professor Adam Tickell, Professor Geoff Ward, Mrs Máire Davies, The Director of the Institute of Classical Studies Professor Michael Edwards, the Late Professor John Barron and Professor Caroline Barron, Professor Peter Dewey, Mr Michael Heslop and Mrs Helen Heslop, Mr Mark Lewis, and other fellow-scholars, Heads and colleagues of the Departments of History and Classics, students and Friends of the Institute and members of the public. The lecture was followed by reception and dinner in honour of Professor Chrysos.
12 March 2008: At the invitation of Dr Juan Garcés, Curator of the Codex Sinaiticus, the Greek Palaeography MA and research students visited the British Library, where they examined important Greek manuscripts, which cover various aspects and periods of Byzantine history and culture, including the famous Egerton Papyrus 2 (Unknown Gospel) (1st half of 2nd c.) and Codex Sinaiticus (4th c.); the Additional MS. 17210, a palimpsest containing Severus, Patriarch of Antioch Contra Johannes Grammaticus copied over the Iliad (8th-9th c.); Additional MS. 18231 comprising works by Gregory of Nazianzus and Pseudo-Dionysios the Areopagite, with tachygraphic symbols and Paschal table (ad 972); MS. Harley 5694, with Lucian of Samosata, Dialogi 64 copied by the scribe Baanes and owned by the famous bibliophile Arethas of Patras (c.912-914); Additional MS. 36749 preserving the Correspondence by the Anonymous Professor (2nd half 10th c.); the beautiful illuminated Additional MS. 40731, known as The Bristol Psalter (10th-11th c.); MS. Harley 5786, a Greek-Arabic-Latin Psalter (copied after ad 1153); Additional MS. 16409 containing the Anthologia Planudea with Maximos Planudes’ autograph notes/corrections; the well known MS Burney 111 preserving Ptolemy’s Geography with maps (late 14th-early 15th c.); MS. Harley 5679 with treatises on medicine (3rd quarter 15th c.); MS. Egerton 2817, a document securing a grant by Mehmed II to the Genoese of Galata (1 June 1453); and finally MS. Harley 1771, a Post-Byzantine Textbook with the Iliad with scholia (2nd half 15th c.).
9 May 2008: A paper on “Female Practitioners of Magical Healing and their Networks (17th-18th centuries)”, was given by Alexandra Melita at the International Conference “Women in Venice, 1500-1700: forms of Freedom and Spaces of Power”, organised by the Dipartimento di Studi Storici, Università Ca` Foscari- Venezia, the Società Italiana delle Storiche (sezione di Venezia) and the Centre d’Histoire Sociale et Culturelle de l’Occident, Université Paris 10-Nanterre, in Venice.
11-13 April 2008: Dr Jonathan Harris and Dr Dendrinos participated in the International Conference “Greeks, Latins, and Intellectual History 1204-1500: Debates, Influences, Impressions, Translations, Migrations”, organised in memory of Deno John Geanakoplos by Professors Martin Hinterberger and Chris Schabel at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia. Dr Harris spoke about “Greeks at the Papal Curia in the Fifteenth Century” and Dr Dendrinos about “Manuel II Palaeologus in Paris (1400-1402): Theology, Diplomacy and Politics”.
15 May 2008: A paper on “The fictional worlds of Nikos Kazantzakis and Panait Istrati” was given by Dr Lia Brad Chisacof at the Conference organised at the Romanian Society of Modern Greek Studies.
17 May 2008: Dr Jonathan Harris and Dr Dendrinos participated at the Colloquium devoted to Manuel II Palaiologos’ Dialogues with the Persian Muterizes organised by Professor Judith Herrin at King’s College London. Dr Harris spoke about “Manuel II Palaeologus and the Lollards” and Dr Dendrinos assessed “Manuel II Paleologus as a Theologian: Doctrine and Ecclesiology”.
20 May 2008: A one-day Colloquium on “Derrida and the Classics”,chaired by Professor Barbara Goff, was held at the Institute of Classical Studies. Speakers included Paul Allen Miller on “Derrida’s Khora and the Timaeus” and Rachel Bowlby on “Derrida’s Use of Oedipus at Colonus in Of Hospitality”. The event was sponsored by the Institute of Classical Studies, The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome (RHUL), The Humanities and Arts Research Centre (RHUL), and Classics Department, University of Reading. For further information please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/research/CRGR/news.html
28 May 2008: The Inaugural Lecture of the RHUL Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome, entitled “Black Antigone and Gay Oedipus: Postcolonial Legacies” was given by Professor Marianne McDonald, Professor of Classics and Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. For further information please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/research/CRGR/events.html
24 June 2008: A one-day International Colloquium on “Hellenic Concepts of Political Friendship and Enmity: a Contribution towards the Understanding of Conflict in the Modern World” was held at the Institute of Classical Studies in London. The speakers explored the diachronic causes of enmity and notions of political friendship within societies and between civilisations, in the context of the Hellenic cultural heritage:
Professor Pat Easterling (Cambridge): Greek tragedy and the ethics of revenge. In our world, familiar as we are with recent history in Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan and Iraq, and with the growing phenomenon of global terrorism, revenge continues to be a painfully contemporary issue, which presents a challenge to ‘civilised values’. The paper suggested that we can usefully look to Greek tragedy for insights into the ethical problems posed by revenge. Even allowing for the very different cultural context of Athens in the fifth century BC, modern readers and audiences can find surprisingly pertinent explorations through drama of some of the factors that drive revenge in our own times. Examples were drawn from Euripides’ Hecuba, Medea and Hippolytus, Sophocles’ Electra, Ajax and Oedipus at Colonus, and Aeschylus’ Eumenides.
Dr Kostas Kalimtzis (Athens and London): Nurturing the thumos. In the Republic, Plato, speaking through Socrates, argues that the just polis will require a program of education, and that its most difficult, yet most important, phase is that which occurs during the time of birth to the beginning of formal education. Plato calls this phase trophē, a word that can be translated as ‘nurturing’ but also quite literally, ‘nutriment’. As one reads on it becomes evident that what is being educated during this time-frame is the thumos, the spirited part of the soul, for nous is still but a raw power and the appetites are irrational, and though they can be and must be habituated they are incapable of acquiring or relating to knowledge. Given the importance of this phase of education we must ask ourselves what is the aim of thumotic nurturing? What type of knowledge does it wish to impart to the thumos? And how can we speak of knowledge during a period when the child is still in its diapers? And yet Plato asserts that the thumos must be moulded correctly during this phase and that a sign of failure in this regard will be a character incapable of engaging in political friendship. The paper examined the web of ideas underlying this assertion and posed the question of whether Plato’s ideas on thumos allow us to identify and gain insight into the thumotic disorders of our own time.
Ms Stavroula Kiritsi (London): The politics of character in Menander. Menander’s own political affiliations and the politics embedded within his works is a subject of debate among scholars. Depending on their approach, some consider Menander as a defender of the past Athenian democracy, while others detected in his plays certain pro-Macedonian attitudes. In addition, it has been argued that Menander’s plays reveal a message of retreat away from the affairs of the polis, an ‘escapism’ from reality. Focusing on Dyskolos the paper offered a new interpretation by exploring Menandrean characters with relation to their behaviour within the oikos and polis, on the basis of Platonic and Aristotelian theories of character.
Professor Peter Hadreas (California): The Hellenic understanding of aidōs and its social implications. In the ethical treatises, Aristotle understands noble shame (aidōs) to be an emotion which promotes the development of virtue. He distinguishes it from its deficiency, shamelessness, and its excess shamefacedness. But these passions also have their analogues as political passions, characteristically incited by political strife. Thucydides writes of the shamefacedness of the Athenians at the news of the Sicilian disaster and how the Corinthians found the political policies of the Corcyraeans to be shameless. The paper explored the analogies between the personal and political virtues and vices connected with noble shame. Reflections upon modern political directions were suggested.
Professor John Anton (Florida): Political leadership in Hellenic thought: the forgotten lessons of wisdom. Political developments in the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st have brought to the surface the urgent problem of political leadership. The continual social crises, two world wars within one generation, the new forces advocating globalization and other issues, have put the idea of leadership back on the table for re-examination. Not surprisingly, these developments have granted the Hellenic experience regarding the demands for political leadership a renewed sense of urgency and relevance how to face enmity at the various levels of confrontation, including global. Once more, the Greek theory of political leadership has become a model for fresh investigations. The paper discussed how and why the classical Greek thinkers, dramatists, historians and philosophers, the first in human history to raise the issue of competency in political leadership, posed the fundamental question of the survival and, most importantly, that of the fulfillment of human existence. Both Plato and Aristotle drew attention to the vital issues that go to the heart of political life: How do politicians come to power? How do certain citizens rise to leadership, especially when political power has not been inherited? Whether attaining leadership is done through violence, in whatever form, or through popular trust and support, the real issue lies not with the native ability of gifted individuals to pursue positions of power but with the ultimate qualifications one must possess to serve the public and the common good. The vital problem, then, is a twofold one: (a) defining nature of the qualifications, and (b) specifying the conditions to be met for obtaining them. Citizens, who aim at positions of leadership, need to have certain native talents, but that is not enough. How such talent is to become a character trait for the pursuit of political justice is fundamental to the preparation for such a mission. This is what lies at the heart of political paideia, whether through the family, the polis as such, or instruction by special individuals. The results from reflection on these matters provided public guidance regardless of the success of their application. In effect, Plato’s Republic is perhaps the first systematic study of political leadership. Whether his treatment is pertinent to the investigation and therapy of the political malaise of the contemporary world or not, remains an open question. But the critical issue of the requisite role of political leadership has lost none of its age-old urgency.
A round table discussion followed, summarising views on ways Hellenic thought on political friendship and enmity can help us to understand the sources of conflict in modern society, stressing the role of Hellenic paideia as a remedy to the continuing violence in the world. The Colloquium closed with a musical interlude by Mr Sebastian Moro, with selections from J.S. Bach, Suite for Solo Cello No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009.Sponsored by the Institute of Classical Studies, the Hellenic Institute, the Faculty of History and Social Sciences of Royal Holloway, University of London, and private donors, the Colloquium was co-organised by Dr Kostas Kalimtzis, the Late Julian Chrysostomides, Dr Olga Krzyszkowska and Dr Dendrinos. The Proceedings will be published in a separate volume. For further information please contact Dr Dendrinos.
16 August 2008: Professor John Barron, the Eminent Hellenist, Friend of the Hellenic Institute and Member of its Steering Group passed away. The Institute expressed its deep sympathies to his wife Professor Caroline Barron and his daughters Catherine and Helen. The funeral took place in St Peter’s College Chapel, Oxford, on 27 August. Obituaries appeared in The Times (29.VIII.2008) and Telegraph (28.VIII.2008). John will be remembered as a gentle and generous person, an eminent Hellenist, a gifted administrator, and a dedicated and inspiring teacher.
September 2008: Dr Lia Brad Chisacof gave a paper entitled “Terminologie vestimentaire et termes connexes, tradition et modernisation dans la/les societé(s) sud-est européennes” as part of the joint Seminar of the Institute for South East European Studies of the Romanian Academy and the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Bulgarian Academy for Sciences, Sophia.
17 October 2008: A paper on “The Evolution of the Ottoman Funerary Inscriptions. A Study of Stelae from Imathia and Pella Prefectures (Central Macedonia)”, was given by Mr Georgios Liakopoulos at the Municipality of Beroia, Greece.
18 October 2008: Our Director Julian Chrysostomides (1928-2008), Emeritus Reader in Byzantine History at the University of London and Ambassador of Hellenism passed away peacefully at Frimley Park Hospital after a seven-month fight with lymphatic cancer. The Institute expressed its deep sympathies to her brother Mr John Delakourides and her adopted nephew Mr John Chrysostomides and his family. A funeral service, officiated by H.E. The Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, took place in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia in London on Saturday 1 November 2008, followed by private burial on Monday 3 November. A funeral oration for Julian was composed and delivered by Revd. Dr Joseph A. Munitiz at the funeral service (see below, pp. 43-46). A memorial service, officiated by the Revd. Abraham Thomas, took place at the St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, Brockley, London on 30 November 2008. Obituaries appeared in The Daily Telegraph and The Times (both accessible via the Institute’s website), and the College Alumni Journal Higher. For an appreciation of her life and work please see below.
Letters of sympathy can be sent to Mr John Chrysostomides, 65 Pinehill Road, Crowthorne, Berks RG45 7JP, or via The Hellenic Institute. Donations in Julian’s memory may be sent to the following charities: “Frimley Park Hospital”, The Fundraising Office, Ward G1 Charitable Fund F151, Frimley Park Hospital, Portsmouth Road, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7UJ, UK; and/or “RHUL Friends of the Hellenic Institute”, The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK.
Julian Chrysostomides will be remembered by her students, colleagues and friends as a gentle person, a true scholar and a dedicated, inspiring and affectionate teacher.
6 November 2008: A paper on “Romanian as a foreign language in the 18th century”, by Dr Lia Brad Chisacof was given at the Conference organised by The Philological Section of the Romanian Academy, Bucarest.
11 November 2008: A paper entitled “’As we live here deprived of books let us resort to our copyists …’: The Greek printing houses in the Romanian Lands Revisited”, was given by Dr Lia Brad Chisacof at the Seminar “Balkan printing houses in the Romanian Lands” held at the Romanian Academy, Bucarest, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the first book printed on Romanian soil.
20 November 2008:The fifth annual London University Workshop on Greek Texts, Manuscripts and Scribes, designed for University of London MA and research students who pursue research in Classical and Byzantine texts preserved in manuscripts, was organised by Dr Dendrinos at The Warburg Institute, London. The Workshop was attended by students and auditors from Royal Holloway, University College and King’s College London.
4 December 2008: London University students and scholars visited Lambeth Palace Library and examined important Greek manuscripts of its collection. This annual visit is part of a close collaboration between The Hellenic Institute and Lambeth Place Library over the cataloguing and study of the Greek Manuscript Collection.
19 January 2009: the distinguished historian of Byzantine Art Professor Zaga Gavrilović (1926-2008), Friend of the Hellenic Institute, passed away. The Institute expressed its deep sympathies to her husband Aleksa and the family. A funeral service, attended by friends, former students and colleagues, was held at the Serbian Orthodox Church of St Sava in London on 29 January, followed by private burial at the Serbian Orthodox cemetery in Cyprians Avenue, Bookwood Cemetry. A funeral oration was delivered by Dr Mary Cunningham. Donations in memory of Zaga may be made to the Serbian Orthodox Church of St Sava, c/o G.P. Burch Funeral Services, 158 Manor Park Road, Harlesden, London NW10 4JT. Zaga Gavrilović will be remembered as an eminent scholar and teacher.
February-March 2009: “Byzantium Comes To Britain”, a series of lectures and other events to accompany the Royal Academy Exhibition “Byzantium 330-1453”. For the complete programme and information on booking, please visit: ttp://www.kcl.ac.uk/kis/schools/hums/byzmodgreek/ByzantiumtoBritain.html.
5 February 2009: Dabis Lecture on “George Eliot and the Classics”
by Dr Margaret Reynolds, Broadcaster and Reader at Queen Mary, University of London, at 5pm. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Adam Bede, the first novel by George Eliot, a graduate of Bedford College, Dr Reynolds will address the inspiration which Eliot found in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, especially Greek tragic plays. For further information, please contact Dr Anne Sheppard at A.Sheppard@rhul.ac.uk.
5 February 2009: The Eighteenth Annual Runciman Lecture, entitled “We Are All Children Of Byzantium” by Professor Judith Herrin at the Great Hall, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, at 6pm.
6 February-27 March 2009: The London University Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts will be resuming its regular meetings at the Institute of Historical Research, third floor, Seminar Room Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London, this term on Fridays, 4.30-6.30pm. Scholars and graduate students are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Dr Dendrinos or visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Hellenic-Institute/research/Seminar.htm
11 February 2009: A memorial event to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of the Late Professor John Barron (1934-2008), will be held at King’s College London Chapel, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, at 6.30pm. For further information please contact Mr Edward White at King’s College, Department of Classics, tel.: 0207 848 2343, e-mail: email@example.com
21 February 2009: Workshop on “Cross-Cultural Interactions between the Mediterranean and Western Europe during the Late Byzantine (Palaiologan) Period” at 10.30am-5pm. Speakers include Lyn Rodley: The major Byzantine centres of Palaiologan art and architecture: Constantinople, Thessalonike, Mystras; Angeliki Lymberopoulou: Iconographic Exchanges between Byzantine East and Venetian West;Diana Newall: Candia and Venice; Rembrandt Duits: Florence, the Medici and Byzantine Art; Diana Norman, Two-way traffic: Reflections on the artistic relationships between Siena, Byzantium and the Levant, c.1260-1359; and Kim Woods, Netherlandish Art and Byzantium. Organised by The Open University and The Warburg Institute in connection with the Byzantine exhibition at the Royal Academy, and supported by the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies, the Workshop will be held at The Open University in the East of England, Cintra House, 12 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1PF. All are welcome. For further information and reservation of places please contact A.Lymberopoulou@open.ac.uk or Rembrandt.Duits@sas.ac.uk, or visit http://www.byzantium.ac.uk/openuniflyer.doc
24 February 2009: Paper on “Medical Books and their Readers: Byzantine Iatrosophia in context” by Dr Barbara Zipser at the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Seminar, The St Davids’ Room, Second Floor, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, at 5.30pm
26 February 2009: The Hellenic Institute’s Steering Committee Meeting, to be chaired by Professor Adam Tickell, will be held in the College Campus (venue to be announced) at 3-5pm.
27 February 2009: “Byzantine Art in the Making: A Study Day at the British Museum” to be held at The Sackler Room, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, at 11am-5pm. How was Byzantine art made? In what ways did manufacturing techniques affect appearance? What difference does it make to use stone or glass in a mosaic, to use elephant ivory or bone, beaten silver or silver-gilt? Exactly how do you make an enamel? How did the Byzantines sculpt and on what? And what goes into a Byzantine coin? These and other similar questions will be discussed by speakers at this study day devoted to making Byzantine art. Come and discover how the objects now on display at the Royal Academy came into being. Speakers include: Antony Eastmond, Byzantine ivories: 101 uses for a tusk; Paul Hetherington, Byzantine enamels: jewels in the crown; Daniel Howells, Byzantine gold glass: don’t try this at home; Ruth Leader-Newby, Byzantine silver: heavy metal; Rowena Lowerance, Byzantine sculpture: rare and precious; Marco Verità, Byzantine wall mosaics: techniques and tricks; Will Wootton, Byzantine floor mosaics: lay your own. Dave the Moneyer will be making Byzantine coins for all participants to take away. The Study Day is organised by Professor Liz James, Sussex Centre for Byzantine Cultural History, University of Sussex, and Dr Tony Eastmond, the Courtauld Institute of Art. It is associated with the exhibition Byzantium 330-1453 at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Leverhulme International Network for the Composition of Byzantine Glass Mosaic Tesserae (housed at Sussex). The event is funded by the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise. To book a place please contact Dr Bente Bjornholt, Art History, EH 151, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, e-mail: B.K.Bjornholt@sussex.ac.uk
28 February 2009: Paper on “The Common Cause of Christendom: crusading Rhetoric in Byzantine Diplomacy towards the West (12th-13th c.)” by Dr Nikolaos Chrissis at the RHUL History Department Research Seminar Series, at 5pm. For further information please contact N.Chrissis@rhul.ac.uk
28 February 2009: One-day Workshop on “Byzantium in London”, organised by Dr Jonathan Harris, to be held at the The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London, W1M 4AS, 10.30am-6pm. Byzantium may seem remote from London both in time and space. Sponsored by the London Centre for Arts and Culture Enterprise, this workshop aims to bring the two societies together by investigating the ways in which they interacted in the past and by exploring the reminders, remnants and reflections of Byzantium that can be found in London today. Speakers include: Anthea Harris: Curious connections? Early Byzantium in London and the Thames Valley; Scot McKendrick: Codex Sinaiticus and the British Library's Collection of Greek Manuscripts; Geoff Egan: Byzantium in 11th Century and Later Medieval London; Eugenia Russell: The Voice of Exile: Andronicus Kallistos’s Death in London (1476) and his Monody; and George Manginis: Bosphorus-on-Thames: Byzantine Footprints in Victorian London. For further information please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/history/research/byzantiuminlondon. html, or contact Jonathan.Harris@rhul.ac.uk.
14 March 2009: Paper on “The Ottoman Inscriptions of Hypate (Badracık)”, by Dr Georgios Liakopoulos at the Third Archaeological Meeting of Thessaly and Central Greece 2006-2008, From Prehistory to the Contemporary Period, organised by the University of Thessaly, Volos. For further information, please contact G.Liakopoulos@rhul.ac.uk.
16 March 2009: A Memorial to celebrate the life and achievements of the Late Julian Chrysostomides will be held in the Picture Gallery, Founder's Building, Royal Holloway, Egham Campus at 4-5pm. For further information, please contact Dr Dendrinos.
20-22 March 2009: “Wonderful Things: Byzantium through its Art”,
42nd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies to be held at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. The themes of the papers focus on defining Byzantium from the point of view of art and explore some of the ways in which this has raised, and still raises, issues and conflicts. Speakers include: Michele Bacci, Byzantine Use of Latin Imagery in the 14th and 15th centuries; David Buckton, Exhibiting Enamel; Averil Cameron, Seeing Byzantium; Anthony Cutler, The Idea of Likeness in Byzantium; Anastasia Drandaki, From centre to periphery and beyond: the diffusion of models in Late Antique metalwork; Helen Evans, Modes of Looking at Byzantium; John Hanson, Towards a Prehistory of the Byzantine Blockbuster; Christine Kondoleon, CHARM, GRACE, and PLEASURE: Text Messaging in Late Antiquity; Marc Lauxtermann, Constantine's City: Constantine the Rhodian and the Beauty of Constantinople; Paul Magdalino, Beyond art? The image of the immaterial in recent exhibitions on Byzantium; Bob Ousterhout, Women at Tombs; Thelma Thomas, Silk in Byzantine Egypt; Maria Vassilaki, Learning lessons: from the "Mother of God" to the "Byzantium: 330-1453. For further information please contact Professor Liz James, Department of Art History, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QN, e-mail: E.James@sussex.ac.uk, or visit: http://www.byzantium.ac.uk/frameset_symp42.htm
3-5 April 2009: Paper on “Networks of Magical Healing in 17th-Century Venice” by Alexandra Melita at the Social History Society Annual Conference, Warwick. For further information please contact Alexandra.Melita@rhul.ac.uk
9 May 2009: Paper on ‘Viticulture and Wine Production in the Early Ottoman Peloponnese in the Light of the TT10-1/14662 Taxation Cadastre’, by Dr Georgios Liakopoulos in the Symposium “Οἶνον ἱστορῶ”, Nauplion. For further information, please contact G.Liakopoulos@rhul.ac.uk.
14 May 2009: The College will be conferring an Honorary Fellowship to Her Excellency Mrs Edmée Leventis, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Cyprus in UNESCO, and member of the Hellenic Institute’s Steering Group. For further information, please contact Mrs Marta Baker, Events Manager, e-mail: M.Baker@rhul.ac.uk.
13-16 July 2009: Paper on “Schismatics or Heretics?: the justification of crusading action against the Greeks in the thirteenth century”, by Nikolaos Chrissis at the Leeds International Medieval Congress. For further information please contact N.Chrissis@rhul.ac.uk
Late September 2009: A Memorial for the Late Julian Chrysostomides will be held at The British School at Athens. Date to be announced in due course. For further information, please contact Dr Dendrinos.
For students who pursue the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, or MPhil/PhD research in Byzantine Studies at the Hellenic Institute:
For students who pursue the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, or the MA History: Hellenic Studies, or MPhil/PhD research in Byzantine and Hellenic Studies at the Hellenic Institute:
All Studentships cover the tuition fees at UK/EU rate for one year and are open to full-time and part-time students. They are awarded on the basis of proven academic achievement. Candidates should meet the normal entrance requirements of the University of London. The closing date for submission of applications is 1 September 2009.
There are no special application forms for the studentships and bursaries. Applicants should send a letter of application to Dr Charalambos Dendrinos, The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three-Year Plan (2009-2011): The Hellenic Institute will continue its efforts to further promote its teaching and research activities, covering the whole span of Greek history and culture, by securing funds for the establishment of further lectureships, studentships and awards. It will also continue its close collaboration with Universities, research centres and other institutions in Britain and abroad, through exchange programmes and collaborative projects and conferences.
Julian Chrysostomides (21.IV.1928-18.X.2008)
Julian Chrysostomides, who died at the age of 80, encapsulated the old tradition of the devoted scholar and teacher. For her, knowledge and education, if pursued with selflessness, dedication and compassion, could be a remedy for the wrongs and evils of this world. As an historian she was fully aware that “a society without history cannot understand what it is doing; and history without scholarship cannot understand itself. For scholarship is just the understanding, the intimate understanding with imagination and with love, of the noblest things of the past: the great thoughts, writings, doings, aspirations, which still live, but live precariously, because they will die if they are not understood, die if they are not loved” (W.K.C. Guthrie, ‘People and Traditions’, in Tradition and Personal Achievement in Classical Antiquity, London 1960, p. 22). For more than forty years Julian Chrysostomides worked passionately towards this aim, inspiring generations of students at the University of London with her scholarship, integrity and humanity. “In their turn”, she remarked, “they taught me and made me think”.
Born in Constantinople on 21 April 1928 (two years before the city was renamed Istanbul) Julian was educated at the Zappeion, the Greek Lyceum for Girls. Her mother, Victoria Rizas, a Phanariot, from whom Julian inherited her sensitivity, perseverance and love for beauty, remained a major influence in her life. Her father, Chrysostomos Chrysostomides, a Cappadocian enterpreneur, instilled Julian with the ideals of Greek Paideia.
In 1950, with the Greek community under increasing pressure, she came to England to read Honour Mods. and Greats at Oxford, having found the Sorbonne less congenial. Later on she would describe, with a smile, her experience at her application having been turned down by St Hugh’s College, on the grounds that her English was poor, that she had no Latin, and very little classical Greek. She cried for a week. On reflection, she placed the letter of rejection among the pages of the Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, and each time she turned the pages to trace words and their meanings, the letter would turn up as a reminder. Rather than being afraid to face realities, she armed herself with her characteristic determination.
She was finally accepted at St Anne’s College a year later. The tutor who interviewed her was no other than Iris Murdoch. “Instead of testing my knowledge of Greek literature and philosophy,” Julian recalled, “Iris asked me to tell her the story of my life.” This was a decisive moment. Iris listened to Julian’s account, the conditions under which she and her family lived in her native Constantinople, of the constant harassment and humiliation of the Greeks, of the lack of freedom and dignity. Later on, in a letter she wrote to the then PM Margaret Thatcher in 1987, à propos of the continuing violation of human rights in Turkey, Julian spoke of her “childhood passed in fear; at school, in the street, everywhere was fear, even at home, for during the Second World War we had to listen to the BBC broadcasts to occupied Europe at night in the dark, in case our Turkish neighbours heard us listening. (Turkey … though ostensibly neutral was pro-Nazi). With Greece under occupation, there was nobody to raise objections to the treatment we received.”
Julian explained to Iris what it meant for her to study her own Hellenic culture in England, where she felt free at last, and proud to be Greek. Iris felt admiration for Julian. Not only did she accept her to study at St Anne’s, but secured for her a modest bursary. For the next five decades they would remain close and loyal friends. Julian’s graduation from St Anne’s in 1955 coincided with the organised riots that led to the massive destruction of property and the loss of human lives among the Greek Community in Constantinople. “There is no good trying to live in a country in which, though ostensibly a citizen, one was hated so much,” she later remarked. Nevertheless, for Julian, Turks like the vali of the island of Antigone, who refused to allow the rioters to touch the Greeks, became models of dignity and humanity. Similarly, her firm stance against the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus since 1974, publicly expressed in her letters to the press, did not prevent her from readily ‘adopting’ Turkish students who arrived in Britain to study the ancient and medieval Greek history and culture. In those days, however, it became clear to Julian that there was no future in Turkey for her. With no hesitation she adopted Britain as her new country and in return Britain adopted Julian as her citizen. With the support of Iris Murdoch she secured naturalisation without delay.
“Having started with classics, in an imperceptible way, at least to me”, Julian would remark many years later, “I returned mentally to my birthplace”. Her self-appointed mission to explore Byzantium and its literary treasures, took her to Royal Holloway College and to her supervisor, the distinguished Byzantinist Professor Joan Mervyn Hussey (1907-2006), whom she later honoured with a Festschrift entitled Kathegetria (1988). Describing her as “a formidable character, with clarity and directness of mind”, Julian appreciated her approach to historical studies: “the perfect balance between historical detail and the wider implications of the subject”, qualities Hussey inherited from her own teacher and mentor Norman Baynes. “What I learnt from her above all”, Julian said about Hussey, “was the non-destructive approach of criticism when dealing with a subject. That among all the contradictions of human history one should try to discover, as much as it is possible, the essential and enduring aspect of a civilization.”
Supported by a Tutorial Studentship, Julian pursued her BLitt. at Royal Holloway under Professor Hussey. She chose to study the scholar Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus (1391-1425) and his policy vis-à-vis the Ottomans, which in turn led her to research in Venetian documents, an incomparable source for Byzantine history, society and economy in the Palaeologan period. On completion of the first stage of her research, with the help of Iris Murdoch Julian secured a library post in the Society of Antiquaries. The experience she gained as an assistant librarian gave her a greater sense of discipline and order as well as an appreciation of the material aspects of books, especially of those returned damaged. She would never hesitate to gently reprimand students (and Lecturers) who made notes in ink on borrowed books.
In 1963 Julian was awarded a Virginia Gildersleeve Fellowship by the International Federation of University Women which enabled her to pursue further research in the Venetian Archives, while the then Registrar at Royal Holloway, Miss J. Fuller, was able to secure another grant for her. Julian would later on describe her amazement on learning about the second award, for the simple reason that she knew nothing about it until that moment, as she had never applied for it. For her it confirmed her view that thoughtfulness, sensitivity, kindness, respect and generosity are essential aspects of the English psyche. “Such a gesture would have been unthinkable elsewhere!”.
An accidental meeting with Father Raymond-Joseph Loenertz, the eminent Byzantinist, at the Archives of Venice, would leave an indelible mark on her approach towards scholarship. “I must confess this [lesson] was something that I was not very familiar with,” she would affirm. “For a better word, this was the brotherhood of scholars. Its message was simple: one should discuss with and communicate all you know on your subject to your fellow scholars; and if you come across a new source you should pass it on to them without reservation. You should always be ready to help” ― a principle she followed throughout her long academic career.
Nothing demonstrates this better than the University of London Postgraduate Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts, established by Julian Chrysostomides, Revd. Dr Joseph Munitiz, S.J., and Dr Athanasios Angelou in 1988, with the aim to bring together graduate students, University teachers and visiting scholars interested in editing texts from manuscripts. This Seminar, the only one of its kind in Britain, now part of the special areas Seminars hosted by the Institute of Historical Research, is still growing strong. In addition, many MA and research students, who had no official association with Royal Holloway, were the beneficiaries of Julian’s generous help, encouragement and guidance often, it should be said, at the expense of her own research.
In 1965 Julian was appointed Lecturer in History at Royal Holloway, where she taught Byzantine history and Political theory for almost three decades. Her insistence that students should familiarize themselves with the sources in the original languages, and should be prepared to discuss their own views by a scrupulous examination and cross-examination of the evidence, was an essential element of her teaching. In approaching the text, she advised, one should always exercise critical thought but also sensitivity and imagination.
Joan Hussey had established and structured Byzantine studies for the BA degree in History in the University of London in 1950s, a system followed by Julian when she returned to Royal Holloway as a Lecturer. “It was … a return to a place I valued”, she remarked at a gathering in her honour in May 2003, “The History Department, in relation to what it is today, was a small one. We knew each other and there were daily occasions when we met and discussed, and became friends. The atmosphere was more placid; today’s obsession with funding, which sometimes runs the risk of being the only criterion, was not yet on the horizon. The principal aim was to teach our students to think, to examine, and evaluate. The arrival of Bedford College [with the merging of the two Colleges in 1985] added to the diversity and richness of our Department.” Later on she would strongly disapprove of the decision of the College to change its crest (adorned with Horace’s dictum Nil desperandum), replacing it with a modern logo “appropriate for super-market products”, and more importantly for adopting the name Royal Holloway for every-day use, for reasons of marketing, dropping Bedford out of the official name Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (appearing as such only in legal documents), which justifiably estranged many Bedfordians.
Julian defended the view that Universities should maintain their purpose, character, history and tradition. They should resist becoming mere markets conditioned by demand and supply. For this reason she openly opposed the sale of three invaluable paintings in the original collection of Thomas Holloway (a Turner, a Gainsborough and a Constable), for she felt that in this way the College “sells its soul” ― not cheaply though; the selling brought to the College no less than £21 million for the upkeep of the magnificent Victorian Founder’s building at Egham. From the pedagogical point of view, she considered this sale gave a bad lesson to the young.
Julian Chrysostomides’ co-operation with King’s College London remained a special one. Originally, she shared the undergraduate teaching of Byzantine history with the Late Professor Donald Nicol. The optional subject “Byzantium and Italy (518-1025)” and the special paper “Byzantium, Italy and the First Crusade (1025-1118)’ enjoyed great popularity among undergraduates of the University. In 1988, together with Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, then Head of the History Department at Royal Holloway, and Dr Athanasios Angelou, Julian established the MA in Byzantine Studies, designed especially for those who are interested in progressing to doctoral research. This led to further co-operation with Professor Nicol’s successor, Dame Professor Averil Cameron, and Professor Charlotte Roueché, specialising in Late Antiquity and early Byzantium, which eventually led to the establishment of the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Julian was a fervent supporter of the University of London federal system, which until quite recently remained uncontested. Over the last decade Julian observed with increasing concern the decentralisation of the University and the independent stance on the part of many Colleges, which in her view put the future of the University of London at risk.
In an academic community dominated by ‘political correctness’ Julian did not hesitate to openly condemn the use of force to deal with problems, such as the war against Serbia, fed by propaganda and the demonisation of the Serbian army and people by the press at the expense of truth, the abuse of power by the United States and Britain, and the subsequent invasion of Iraq and the continuing occupation of the Northern part of Cyprus by the Turkish Army in contravention of the United Nations resolutions. “Yet as historians, or as observers of events”, she pointed out in her farewell speech before her retirement in 1993, “we know that societies go through changes and though one generation may mishandle or destroy, another may restore or create anew.”
During her long academic career Julian published articles and books on various aspects of Byzantine history and historiography, political theory, economy and society, including Byzantine women, Venetian commercial activities in the Byzantine Empire, Byzantine perceptions of War and Peace, and, more recently, Byzantium and the rise of the Ottomans, which in a sense closes the circle from where she had started her research, only now with greater detachment and maturity. Among her major contributions is the annotated critical edition and translation of Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus’ Funeral Oration on his brother Theodore (1985), while her volume Monumenta Peloponnesiaca (1995) has been acclaimed as the most important contribution in that decade in the field of sources related to the history of the Late Byzantine Peloponnese. Julian also produced a number of volumes in co-operation with fellow-scholars, including The Letter of the Three Patriarchs to Emperor Theophilos (1997), The Greek Islands and the Sea (2004), ‘Sweet Land …’: Lectures on the History and Culture of Cyprus (2006), and a Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library (2006).
In 1983 she was appointed Senior Lecturer and in 1992 Reader in Byzantine History. It is remarkable that despite her major contribution to scholarship and teaching, she was never conferred a Professorship. This is entirely due to her character and principles. She simply refused to apply for promotion. “The awarding of an academic title should not rest on a formal application and documents supplemented, but by the recognition by your own peers of the quality of your work and contribution”, she insisted. On her retirement (1993) she was awarded an Emeritus Readership in Byzantine History by the University of London. When Julian was offered a Visiting Professorship several years later, she declined, “unless, one would take the word ‘visiting’ in a metaphysical sense”!
Despite her retirement, Julian remained active in both teaching and research, supervising her postgraduate students, continuing her research on Byzantine Peloponnese, and her collaborative projects on the Greek Population in Rhodes under the Hospitaller Rule, and Greek Palaeography, at the same time co-directing the Postgraduate Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts, and giving papers and lectures in Britain and abroad. In December 1998 she was appointed Director of the Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway. For the next decade she would work indefatigably (and without remuneration) to re-organize the Institute, establishing it as a research centre for the diachronic and interdisciplinary study of Hellenism. With the help of the College and the support of external sponsors she succeeded in expanding the Institute’s activities at the same time securing funds for the establishment of full-time lectureships, fellowships, postgraduate studentships and bursaries. In recognition of her long services to Hellenism and her major contribution to Byzantine Studies, she was granted the title of Ambassador of Hellenism by the Greek State (1999), and was honoured by former students and colleagues, headed by Professor Judith Herrin, with a Festschrift, appropriately entitled Porphyrogenita (2003).
Julian Chrysostomides passed away on 18 October 2008, after a seven-month fight with cancer. She never married, but adopted the younger son of her twin brother Nikos, John, who survives her. She will be remembered among her many devoted students, colleagues and friends, especially her life-long friend Joan Richmond, for her warm and generous personality, her loyalty, integrity and determination, and above all for her ‘proud humility’.
Funeral Oration on Julian Chrysostomides
delivered in St Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral,
London, 1 November 2008
… αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα,
κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς,
οἷς προητοίμασεν ὁ Θεός,
ἵνα ἐν αὐτοῖς περιπατήσωμεν.
For we are God's handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared in advance,
so that we might walk in them.
You will not have been surprised, as we gather to commemorate and bid farewell to our dear relative, friend, colleague … Julian Chrysostomides, that I have begun with some words in Greek. Julian was first and foremost Greek. For this she and her family decided to leave Istanbul, her birthplace; for this she spent much of her life in research and teaching; for this she became a cultural ambassadress to represent Greece in this country. She was proud to be Greek, and proud to hand on to others knowledge of the treasures of her culture, particularly those of the Greek mediaeval period, the Byzantine Empire.
For Julian however being Greek did not entail a narrowing of vision. Quite young she came to this country, and she was fortunate to come under the influence of two remarkable women. One was Professor Joan Hussey, the woman who in the first half of the twentieth probably did most to encourage wider knowledge of Constantinople and its history. Julian became her student, her admirer, and almost her right hand. She has left testimony of this in the volume of studies, entitled Kathegetria, dedicated to her honour. The second woman was the friend she made earlier while studying in Oxford, Iris Murdoch, now best known as a novelist but in her day one of the leading philosophical minds in Britain. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Iris as a tutor can appreciate how these two women, Julian and Iris, felt drawn to each other by their intelligence and their originality of thought, but especially by their deep humanity.
Julian's breadth of vision was not limited to her adopted country. In Italy, Venice, with its unparalleled archives, became a centre for her research. She mastered Italian and Latin as she gained first-hand knowledge of the rich Venetian documents, particularly those connected with the outreach of Greece into Sicily.
So that is our first presentation of this great Greek lady who was prepared to step into the wider world. But let me return to my opening text from St Paul, which seems to me to summarize so well what Julian represents.
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
When we think of Julian we probably remember many qualities. In my own case I have to begin with one which may surprise you: her humility. Iris Murdoch remarks in her essays on The Sovereignty of Good that humility is probably the virtue that helps us most when we are confronted by death: “The acceptance of death”, she writes, “is an acceptance of our own nothingness …”, and she goes on: “Humility is a rare virtue and an unfashionable one, and one which is often hard to discern. Only rarely does one meet somebody in whom it positively shines, in whom one apprehends with amazement the absence of the anxious avaricious tentacles of the self" (p. 103). When I first met Julian she was on the point of launching a new seminar in London on the autobiography of a 13th century Byzantine scholar, Nikephoros Blemmydes. By chance she then learned that I had just published a critical edition of this work, and that I was in London. At once she contacted me and asked me to take over the seminar. I was from many points of view an unprepared newcomer to teaching, whereas she already had many years experience. Yet she was prepared to sit in our group almost as a student, completely without any pretensions. In fact she knew much more Greek than I did, and much more history … She could so easily have wanted to be in charge and to act the role of the great professor. That was not her way. For truly we are God's handiwork.
However, the second quality which soon struck me was her intelligence ― which had an incisive quality that was beautiful to see in action. She was prepared to raise questions, and not to be daunted by received opinion. She could have excelled in many fields: I remember her telling me how fond she was of mathematics. Her grasp of languages was exceptional, as was her knowledge of palaeography.
But I pass to a third quality which was probably the most important: for truly we are God's handiwork. Julian had an extraordinary gift for recognizing the values of others, and for encouraging them. So many of her students bear witness to this. She could see what others could do, and she would go to any lengths to help them. It is here of course where she will be most missed, as a great teacher.
At this point I would like to read out for you a letter that Julian wrote to me just a month before her death; it shows far better than any words of mine can do, what sort of a person she was:
16 August 2008
Ἀγαπητέ μου Ἰωσήφ,
I have been meaning to reply to your card since I received it … Time is spent mostly resting, though I did correct the final draft of my PhD student's thesis and a couple of dissertations. Corrections leave you drained! The PhD has very interesting material. It is an annotated edition of the first Ottoman land register of the Peloponnese concerning land given to timariots soon after its occupation. It reveals revenues, crops, light industries, fisheries, etc. … After a breathing space from chemotherapy (liver slightly damaged but now recovered) I hope to start again next week. I am improving, but what remains a puzzle to me is how I could have carried this in my body (lymphatic cancer) and not realized until it reached almost its final stage … John, Magda and Nilolakis are taking wonderful care of me with a young nurse form Poland to look after me!
Thank you for your prayers.
Truly we are God's handiwork. Another translation of these words is: Truly we are God's work of art - his ποίημα, literally the word transferred into English as “poem”. All who knew Julian will probably acknowledge that she was also a very private person. She did show her affection, but this was in few, carefully chosen, words. And I think we must respect her privacy. Her relations with God were not broadcast. And yet when I think of her, the words that come to mind are these: “we are God’s work of art.” Paul goes on saying: created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance, so that we might walk in them. And these words also apply very much to Julian: she was a doer, a person with the gift of making a reality of her thoughts. She had great practical sense. Who would have expected her to launch a major publishing house starting from nothing? Porphyrogenitus, born in the purple, like the great emperors of Constantinople. Some might have thought the title pretentious; but humility does not mean petty-mindedness. True humility can go hand in hand with great and noble aspirations. She realized the need for an Institute of Hellenic Culture, and she threw herself, with the backing of Royal Holloway College, University of London, into founding it and raising funds to finance it. In Julian's case, it was as if God had prepared in advance the good works that He wanted her to undertake. She had the magnanimity to recognize those works, and the courage and enthusiasm to undertake them.
And so we bid farewell to Julian, giving thanks for all that she gave to us. Praying to God for her, yes, as we all need God's grace to help us on our way. But aware that she was “a work of art” of God, who did her best to do the works that she felt needed to be done, with energy, with intelligence and with humility.
… αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα,
κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς.
For we are God's handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Now, may she rest in peace.
Revd. Dr Joseph A. Munitiz S..J.
Acting Director: Dr Charalambos Dendrinos
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