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Book Presentation and Discussion: TAKTIKON: A Digital Introduction tο the Byzantine State Officials of the Thematic Administration
Speaker: Dr Olga Karagiorgou, Research Centre for Byzantine and Postbyzantine Art, Academy of Athens
In discussion with: Tassos Papacostas, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London
Olga Karagiorgou will present and discuss her TAKTIKON project and the recent publication that came out if it. The project itself is in the process of compiling reliable chronological catalogues of all the Byzantine officials of the themes (the administrative divisions of the early medieval Byzantine state) arranged according to theme, administrative sector (military, civil, ecclesiastical) and office, with data culled from both the varied textual and abundant sigillographic record. Brought together, this information, presented through an online database, provides unparalleled insights into the prosopography and administrative structure of each theme, revealing at the same time important facets of the history of Byzantine institutions, of the political and social history of the empire, and of its artistic traditions.
The volume itself contains several original studies by specialists who focus on the principal themes located in the Greek mainland and the western half of Asia Minor. The material analysed includes hundreds of hitherto unpublished seals from territories within and without the empire, not least from findspots and collections in what is now Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia. The volume’s editor will discuss the conception of the project, the logistics of bringing together disparate material from different countries and institutions, as well as scholars from around the world, to shed light on a much discussed yet still perplexing chapter of Byzantine history.
Olga Karagiorgou is Senior Researcher at the Research Centre for Byzantine and Postbyzantine Art of the Academy of Athens. She obtained her PhD at the University of Oxford and held postdoctoral fellowships by the National Hellenic Scholarship- and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations. She was involved in two research projects supported by EU and Greek National funds, which addressed the institutional history of Byzantine Asia Minor (principal investigator) and the wine-making installations at Amorium (academic advisor). Her research on the prosopography and administrative structure of the Byzantine themes produced the recent volume TAKTIKON (Athens 2021). Her research interests focus on Late Antique studies (urban development, economy, amphora studies, marble trade) and Byzantine sigillography, prosopography and iconography. She has participated in excavations in Greece, Syria, and Turkey.