Mobility, Microstructures and Personal Agency in Byzantium

The project, financed through the 2015 Wittgenstein-Prize of the Austrian National Research Foundation (FWF), will highlight the role of Byzantium as a global culture and analyze the internal flexibility of Byzantine society. It aims to contribute to a re-evaluation of a society and culture that has traditionally been depicted as stiff, rigid and encumbered by its own tradition. This will be achieved by the exploration of issues of mobility, microstructures and personal agency.

Duration: 01/12/2015 - 30/11/2020


Funded by:

New announcements and events:

Events in Vienna:

! CANCELLED !  11 March 2020, 15:00 Lecture co-organized with the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (Research Group “Social Complexity and Collapse”): Prof. Ronnie Ellenblum (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) on “Resilience” or “Fragility”? Reconsidering Climate and Historical Civilizations Invitation English / Invitation German / Link to the OEAW calendar

! CANCELLED !  19–21 March 2020, International Workshop “Bridging the Gap: The Prosopography of a Fragmented World (13th cent. CE)” Poster / Programme / Abstracts

! CANCELLED ! 30 April 2020, 12:00-13:00, MoByz Lecture by Prof. Paul Magdalino (Emeritus Professor of Byzantine History, University of St. Andrews) – “Constantinople and the Pontus before the First World War: The Continuation of a Byzantine Relationship?”

! CANCELLED !  8–10 May 2020, Graduate and Early Career Workshop: Armenia & Byzantium without Borders III – Further information & Call for papers (deadline 31st of October 2019) 

22 June 2020, 13:00-14:00 MoByz Virtual Lecture by Dr. Yannis Stouraitis (University of Edinburgh) on "Authorial agencies, ideology and historicity in the story of the 42 Martyrs of Amorion" Invitation - Poster

19 October 2020, 13:00-14:00 MoByz Lecture by Prof. Karin Krause (The University of Chicago, Divinity School) on “Venice”

27 October 2020, 17:00-18:00, MoByz Lecture by Dr. Péter Bara (University of Szeged) on “Leo of Chalcedon”

18-20 November 2020 Concluding Conference of “Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructures, and Personal Agency” Project


International Events:

! CANCELLED !  6-9 July 2020 "Moving Byzantium IV" - Sessions at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds Programme / Abstracts


Past Events




MoByz Book Publication Announcement – Open Access – Press/Media Coverage

Preiser-Kapeller, J., Reinfandt, L., and Stouraitis, Y. (Eds.)Migration Histories of the Medieval Afroeurasian Transition Zone: Aspects of mobility between Africa, Asia and Europe, 300-1500 C.E. [Studies in Global Social History, 39; Studies in Global Migration History, 13]. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill 2020.

Open Access Link – Klick here to download the free PDF  

Press/Media Coverage Links





Press & Media Coverage 2020:

20 March 2020: Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, " "Justinianische Pest": Verheerende Seuche oder doch nur eine kleine Krankheitswelle? ", Der Standard (link to the online version)


March 2020: Prof. Ronnie Ellenblum (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) was invited by the Wittgenstein Award Project “Moving Byzantium” to give a lecture on the topic “Resilience” or “Fragility”? Reconsidering Climate and Historical Civilizations (planned on 11 March 2020) and he received the following coverage:  

13 March 2020: Press interview with Prof. Ronnie Ellenblum in the "Wiener Zeitung" on the topic "Coronavirus: Die Krise starrt jetzt jedem ins Gesicht" [Coronavirus: The crisis is now staring into everyone's face]. The topic is discussed from the viewpoint of environmental history and historical geography - Link

14 April 2020: Radio interview with Prof. Ronnie Ellenblum, broadcasted on Ö1 (Vienna) on “What can we learn from historical crises? / Was man aus historischen Krisen lernen kann?”.

Radio interview by Hanna Ronzheimer (Ö1-Wissenschaft)

Coverage of the interview on the Science-Website of Austrian TV and Radio ORF 

Press & Media Coverage 2019:


23 Oktober 2019: Michael Knoche, „Legt das Pergament wieder in die Nische zurück“, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 246 (2019), p. 3 – PDF

10 July 2019: „Ein Kaiserreich voller Bewegung“, Forschungsnewsletter Juli 2019 (University of Vienna: Medienportal) – Link  

27 July 2019: Erich Witzmann, „Alte Manuskripte und der Text unter dem Text“, Die Presse (link to the online version: 26 July 2019)


Media coverage:

9 July 2019: Radio interview in Georgia with Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio, member of the Wittgenstein-Moving Byzantium-project team – Link / Also available on YouTube – Link


10 July 2019: TV interview in Georgia with Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio, member of the Wittgenstein-Moving Byzantium-project team, on Georgian manuscript culture in the program "New Day" broadcasted this morning on Georgian "First Channel" – Link