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2017 Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program

July 3–28, 2017 | Directed by Eurydice Georganteli and Jonathan Shea

2017 Coins and Seals Poster

Coins and seals offer priceless insight into the historical geography, prosopography, paleography, art history, theology, and economic, institutional, and administrative history of the Byzantine world. Dumbarton Oaks’ collections of twelve thousand coins and seventeen thousand lead seals form the finest, largest, and most comprehensive specialized assemblages in the world.

For nearly two decades, the Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program has provided opportunities for students to have access to these unparalleled collections. Dumbarton Oaks will offer the summer program again this summer, from July 3 to 28, 2017, under the direction of Dr. Eurydice Georganteli (History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University) and Dr. Jonathan Shea (Dumbarton Oaks and George Washington University).

Admission Requirements

Applications from doctoral students in any area of Byzantine studies, junior faculty members teaching at least one course in Byzantine studies at a college or university, or junior curators with responsibility for Byzantine objects will be given highest priority. Other complete applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis if space is available.

Acceptance is contingent on verification of the applicants’ status as doctoral student, junior faculty, or junior curator. Two years of college-level Classical Greek (or its equivalent) is required for participation in the program and reading knowledge of French and German is highly desirable.

Accommodation and Expenses

Successful applicants receive a grant package, which includes accommodation (except for anyone already living in the greater Washington area), lunch on weekdays in the Refectory, and a library reader’s pass for the duration of the course. There is no fee for participation in the program, but participants are responsible for their own transportation costs.

Program Description

The program will include seminars, afternoon work on research reports, and opportunities to view items from the Dumbarton Oaks collections.

Seminars will introduce the basics of the disciplines of numismatics and sigillography, including bibliography and the use of coins and seals as evidence for Byzantine political, economic, and art history. Students will be instructed how to read and date Byzantine coins and seals and write a catalogue entry. A variety of special topics will also be examined. In previous programs, such topics have included photography of seals and coins, digital imaging, epigraphic fonts, construction of maps, construction of databases, use of Photoshop, and electronic programs for statistical analysis.

Participants will also work on and present an original piece of research based on numismatic and/or sigillographic material, which they will coordinate with the program faculty.

Application Process

Applicants must send a letter by February 20, 2017, to Professor Elena Boeck, Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks:

1703 32nd St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

In the letter, applicants must describe their academic background and why numismatics and sigillography are important for their goals. Applicants should also outline any potential topics that they could pursue as their research projects.

All applicants should include a curriculum vitae, and doctoral candidates should arrange for the sending of a transcript of their graduate school record. Two letters of recommendation should be sent separately. Candidates are strongly encouraged to provide one letter from a faculty member who has instructed the candidate in an area of Byzantine studies and/or is familiar with their progress in Greek. 

Selection criteria will include (but not be limited to) a demonstrated need for the seminar and the candidates’ present and future research projects. For further information, write to Seh-Hee Koh, coordinator in Byzantine Studies, at