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E A Lowe Lectures in Palaeography 2023

Manuscripts of Character: Codex, Ethos, and Authority in Byzantium and Beyond

Professor Niels Gaul will deliver the E A Lowe Lectures at 5pm on the following days in the MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College.  Niels Gaul is A G Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Director of the Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies at the University of Edinburgh; from 2005 to 2007 he held the inaugural Dilts-Lyell Research Fellowship in Greek Palaeography at Lincoln College and in the Faculty of Classics.  His research interests include the socio-historical dynamics of schools, learning, and the classical tradition in Byzantium; since 2017 he has been co-directing an ERC-funded comparative project on classicising learning in the Byzantine and middle-period Chinese imperial systems.

  • Tuesday 28 February  –  “Codex” – explores the phenomenon of Byzantine literati curating their own writings in codex format and possible ancient and patristic models; with glances at similar practices in other medieval manuscript cultures
  • Thursday 2 March – “Ethos” – examines the ways in which such codices were thought to display the author’s character, and what the concept entailed in this context
  • Tuesday 7 March –  “Authority” – relates expressions of authorial ethos to matters of mise-en-page, with particular attention to marginal spaces
Corpus Christi College MS 30 (fol. 114r), from the Commentary on the Gospels by Theophylact of Ohrid (late 12th century), a significant Byzantine biblical scholar (ca. 1050/60 – ca. 1108).

Header image: Gospel Lectionary with Marginal Illuminations, second half of 11th century, Dumbarton Oaks MS 1, BZ.1939.12 f.4v (See the manuscript online via Dumbarton Oaks on the Web)

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