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2021 Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program

June 28–July 23, 2021 | Directed by Alan Stahl and Jonathan Shea


Coins and seals offer priceless insight into many aspects of the Byzantine world including historical geography, prosopography, paleography, art history, theology, and economic, institutional, and administrative history. 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 students with access to these unparalleled collections. Dumbarton Oaks will offer the program again this summer, from June 28 to July 23, 2021, under the direction of Dr. Alan Stahl (Princeton University) and Dr. Jonathan Shea (Dumbarton Oaks).

COVID-19 Notice

Although Dumbarton Oaks hopes to offer on-site accommodation and instruction, due to the ongoing pandemic and the possibility of travel restrictions, the program may have to take a hybrid or virtual form. Successful applicants will be kept abreast of any developments.

Program Description

The program will include seminars, afternoon work on research reports, and opportunities to study 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.

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 instructors.

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 applicant’s 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

There is no fee for participation in the program, but participants are responsible for their own transportation costs. If the program is held on the Dumbarton Oaks campus, successful applicants will receive free accommodation (except for participants living in the greater Washington area), lunch on weekdays, and access to the collections of the Dumbarton Oaks Library for the duration of the course.


Applicants must submit their application electronically by February 15, 2021, to Dr. Anna Stavrakopoulou, Program Director for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, at

To apply, applicants must include (preferably as one PDF document):

  • Cover letter describing their academic background and why numismatics and sigillography are important for their intellectual and professional goals. The letter should also outline any potential topics that they propose to pursue as their research projects.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcript of graduate school record (a copy of unofficial transcripts is acceptable)

Additionally, two letters of recommendation, due by February 15, should be sent directly by the referees to (Candidates are strongly encouraged to request one letter from a faculty member who has instructed them in an area of Byzantine studies and/or is familiar with their progress in Greek.)

Selection criteria will include (but are not limited to) the program’s relevance to applicants’ present and future research projects.

For further information, please write to Judy Lee, Byzantine Studies program coordinator, at


  • Nikolas Churik, Princeton University
  • Sofia Efthymoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Elisa Galardi, University of Pennsylvania
  • Nikolas Hächler, Institute for Byzantine Studies, LMU Munich/University of Zurich
  • Irini Karra, Acropolis Museum
  • Alex Magnolia, University of Minnesota
  • Tine Rassalle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Virginia Sommella, Bilkent University