A conversation with Leonora Neville on whether the scholarly rubric “Byzantium” does more harm than good. How did it come into being? What biases and ideologies, especially in the domain of gender, does it encode? What blind-spots and distortions does it create? We discuss whether “Byzantium” enables a Eurocentric western-oriented narrative about Greece, Rome, Europe, and the Renaissance that does not want to recognize classically educated, Greek-speaking, Orthodox Romans in the east.
Leonora Neville is the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair of Byzantine History and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her work focuses on medieval history writing, authority, gender, and the influence of the classical past in the Medieval Eastern Roman Empire. Among her recent books are Byzantine Gender and Guide to Byzantine Historical Writing. Click here to visit her university webpage or follow her on Academia.edu.
She was also the guest of the first episode of Byzantium & Friends.
Byzantium & Friends is hosted by Anthony Kaldellis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on his personal website.
You can listen to more episodes of Byzantium & Friends through Podbean.
Top Image: Fresco in Agios Georgios Diasoritis on Naxos. Photo by Zde/Wikimedia Commons