After six weeks in Greece, we are now back to our base in Bergen and before returning to topics that are either pending from earlier entries in the blog (e.g. comments on Obluski’s webpage) or have been drafted and await their turn (e.g. a very interesting Ph.D. thesis with Nubiological focus that has appeared online recently), we wished to share five memories of Nubiological interest from these 40 days in Greece.
The first and foremost memory is undoubtedly the posting at Bodosaki Lectures On Demand (blod.gr) of Alexandros’ talk on “Holy Spaces and Holy Texts from Christian Nubia”. The talk was given (in Greek) at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens in the frame of a series of lectures on “The Greek presence in Christian Monuments of the Eastern Mediterranean”. The talk can be found HERE and Alexandros’ speaker profile HERE.
A couple of days letter, Alexandros flew to Komotini, capital city of Rodopi prefecture, a very interesting place in Thrace, Northern Greece. He was invited to give a talk in the frame of the master seminar on Byzantine Studies and Papyrology at the University of Thrace. The talk was about “Greek Texts from Medieval Nubia” and it was an adaptation of the lecture given at the Byzantine Museum for university students. It was precisely the interest of the students and the warm welcoming of the scientific staff of the University that was the best intellectual compensation from this trip. But the real treasure was the discovery of the beauties of the town itself, an urban environment with a very original for Greek standards coexistence of Christians and Muslims, identities often misinterpreted in favor of Greek and/or Turkish nationalist propaganda. See HERE for some interesting analyses (in Greek) on the topic.
The visit inspired Alexandros to begin a new blog venture called Poleis (“towns” in Greek) in a different platform (namely Tumblr) and for the sake of the pleasure of sharing photographic impressions of the towns we visit and that do not necessarily fall under the thematic umbrella of medievalsaiproject.wordpress.com. You can check out Poleis HERE.
The third point of interest is the beginning of a new collaboration with the Open University of Cyprus, which expressed the wish to see more things about Christian Nubia as a Byzantine outpost being presented in the frame of their academic venues. It all started with a short presentation made by Alexandros on Palm Sunday and we hope that next year more will follow. It is of particular interest for the present blog that two students expressed the wish to join in the future fieldwork expeditions of the Greek-Norwegian Archaeological Mission to Sai Island!
A fourth memory concerns a more permanent presentation of the affinities between Byzantium and Medieval Nubia. This refers to the invitation by Archaeologia & Technes (Archaeology & Arts), the most successful online journal in Greek on Archaeology, to present aspects of the contacts between the two worlds as can be seen through the archaeological and the epigraphic record from Sudan. Will keep you posted for the outcome!
Last but not least, we feel that we should conclude the present entry by referring to the most close to the heart memory, namely the baptism of our second son Leonidas at the little church downhill from our home in Attica where two years ago we had also baptized our son Ilias. The memory might not be Nubiological but we promise to stick to the limits of this blog in the future ;-)