Byzantine Epigraphy

Constantinople/Istanbul, Pammakaristos Church, Parekklesion, cornice (© Andreas Rhoby)


Even if Byzantium was no “civilisation d’épigraphie”, as once stated so appropriately by the epigraphis Loius Robert regarding the Roman Empire, Byzantine inscriptions in prose and verse form (“epigrams”) characterized Byzantine civilisation as well.

The project cooperates with the Epigraphy Commission of the Association Internationale des Études Byzantines (AIEB), which initiated the international cooperative project Inscriptiones Graecae Aevi Byzantini (IGAB), co-ordinated at the Division of Byzantine Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The aim of the project is the systematic edition and interpretation of Byzantine inscriptions. The term “inscription” is to be understood in a very broad sense, involving not only inscriptions on stone, but also painted and incised ones which are preserved on any material (expect for coins and seals).

Byzantine inscriptions are edited, analysed and interpreted by international collaborators for publication in the series. Strong interactions exist with the projects “Epigrams” und „Sigillography“, as well as „Language and Literature“ especially with regard to issues of word and image.

An introductory volume with contributions by different authors was published in 2015 (ed. A. Rhoby, Inscriptions in Byzantium and Beyond. Methods – Projects – Case Studies. Wien 2015).

In July 2014, a Summer Workshop in Byzantine Epigraphy at the British School at Athens took place, organized and run by Ida Toth (Oxford University) and Andreas Rhoby.

In September 2018, a Summer Programme in Byzantine Epigraphy, which was funded by Koç University Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, was held at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED)  of Koç University, Istanbul. It was organized and run by Ida Toth (Oxford University) and Andreas Rhoby.

Further events:

Epigraphik in der Hollandstraße I

Epigraphik in der Hollandstraße II

The following volumes are currently in preparation:

The Greek Inscriptions of Crete, 13th–17th C. (ed. V. Tsamakda et al.)

The Dated and Datable Byzantine Inscriptions of Constantinople and Its Hinterland (ed. C. Mango, A. McCabe)

The Greek Inscriptions of Mt Athos

Inscriptions tardoantiques et byzantines de la Basilique de Saint-Jean Prodrome à Ephèse (ed. D. Feissel) 

Byzantine Epigraphy, Selected Sources and Secondary Literature

Cooperation partners

  • Dr. Ida Toth, Oxford University
  • Prof. Dr. Vasiliki Tsamakda, Universität Mainz, Christliche Archäologie und Byzantinische Kunstgeschichte


  • A. Rhoby, The Meaning of Inscriptions for the Early and Middle Byzantine Culture. Remarks on the Interaction of Word, Image and Beholder, in: Scrivere e leggere nell’alto medioevo. Spoleto, 28 aprile – 4 maggio 2011 (Settimane di Studio LIX). Spoleto 2012, 731–753
  • A. Rhoby, Inscriptions in Byzantium and Beyond. Methods – Projects – Case Studies (Veröffent­lichun­gen zur Byzanzforschung 38). Wien 2015 
  • A. Rhoby, Inscriptions and Manuscripts in Byzantium: A Fruitful Symbiosis? In: M. Maniaci – P. Orsini (eds.), Scrittura epigrafica e scrittura libraria: fra Oriente e Occidente (Studi e ricerche del Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia 11). Cassino 2015, 15–44 
  • A. Rhoby, Challenges of Byzantine Epigraphy in the 21st Century. A Short Note, in: A.E. Felle – A. Rocco (eds.), Off the Beaten Track. Epigraphy at the Borders. Proceedings of the VI EAGLE International Meeting (24–25 September 2015, Bari, Italy). Oxford 2016, 85–90 
  • A. Rhoby, Tower stablished by God, God is protecting you: Inscriptions on Byzantine Fortifications – Their Function and Their Display, in: Chr. Stavrakos (ed.), Inscriptions in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art. Proceedings of the International Symposium „Inscriptions: Their Contribution to the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art (Ioannina, June 26-27, 2015)“. Wiesbaden 2016, 341–369.
  • A. Rhoby, Schrift und Buchkultur I: Gemalt, gemeißelt und geritzt - die inschriftliche Überlieferung, in: F. Daim (ed.), Byzanz. Historisch-kulturwissenschaftliches Handbuch (Der Neue Pauly, Supplemente, 11). Stuttgart 2016, 971-981.
  • A. Rhoby, Text as Art? Byzantine Inscriptions and Their Display, in: Text as Art? Byzantine Inscriptions and Their Display, in: I. Berti – K. Bolle – F. Opdenhoff – F. Stroth (eds.), Writing Matters. Presenting and Perceiving Monumental Inscriptions in Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Materielle Textkulturen 14). Berlin – Boston 2017, 265–283.

List of subprojects