EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership that began in 2016 between the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, and the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University (from 2016–2022) and continues with the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University (from 2022–). It explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire in the late antique and medieval periods.
Named after the path-breaking Dumbarton Oaks symposium of 1980, EAST OF BYZANTIUM surveys the diverse traditions of the medieval Christian East, including Syria, the South Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, and their relations with the neighboring Byzantine Empire. In the decades since the Dumbarton Oaks symposium, studies of the East Christian sphere have flourished worldwide. EAST OF BYZANTIUM looks at trends in the study of the material culture, religion, and history of this region, considers how digital technology can enhance access to it, and reflects on the peril of the region’s cultural inheritance. Through its annual events, EAST OF BYZANTIUM fosters the study of this important region, particularly in the Boston area, and focuses attention on the vulnerability of its cultural heritage. Foremost among its goals is promoting the study of the Christian East among undergraduates, graduate students, and non-specialists.