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Byzantium's Eastern Frontier

In the spring semesters of the past four years (2011–2014), the Teaching Fellows in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks have held day-conferences attended by students from CUA, Georgetown, and GW. (2011, "Cross References"; 2012, "Age of Transition"; 2013, "Render unto Caesar"; 2014, "Center and Periphery"). This year we held our fifth annual Teaching Fellows' Day on Saturday, February 28th. The subject was "Byzantium's Eastern Frontier." Because the event was held in a larger room in the new Fellowship Building (1700 Wisconsin Ave NW), we were able to offer more seats to local undergraduate and graduate students. A catered lunch was provided, as well as coffee in the morning and afternoon, and there were short guided tours of the museum and the coins/seals collection.

Scott Johnson opened with a talk on the political and linguistic ambiguities along Byzantium's border. Our newest Teaching Fellow, Betsy Williams, followed with a lecture on silk and its imitations at the edge of the empire replete with many vibrant photographs to illustrate her points. After lunch, Jonathan Shea guided the group through the coins and seals collection and gave a talk on the museum's seals. Next, Lain Wilson discussed the importance of easterners--specifically Armenians--to the functioning of the empire. Finally, Eric McGeer closed with a lecture about Nikephoros Ouranos, ruler of the east during Basil II's reign.


Scott Johnson Giving His Lecture

Betsy Williams Delivering Her Talk