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Kick-off Workshop: A Rhetoric for the Empire

Kick-off Workshop: A Rhetoric for the Empire, 13-16 June 2023, Odense (SDU Campus & Convent of Noble Maidens)

Download the programme here

Organisers: Elisabetta Barili (SDU, CML) and Aglae Pizzone (SDU, CML, DIAS)

In December 2022 Aglae Pizzone has been granted the three-year grant Semper Ardens: Accelerate by Carlsberg Foundation to establish an independent research group to explore how the culture of the Byzantine Empire creatively navigated these notions by engaging with the so-called corpus Hermogenianum. Under the project A Rhetoric for the Empire: Education, Politics and Speech-making in the Byzantine Millennium Aglae Pizzone put together a diverse team, composed by one PhD project, carried out by Ugo Valori, and three post-docs, carried out respectively by Elisabetta Barili, Daria Resh, and Byron MacDougall. The project aims at producing new works on and editions of Byzantine exegeses of Hermogenes, such as John of Sardis, John Doxapatres and John Tzetzes, as well as looking at the cross-fertilization with the exegetical activity on Aristotle's Rhetoric in the twelfth century.

While waiting for the official start of the Carlsberg project in September 2023, Aglae Pizzone and Elisabetta Barili have organized a kick-off workshop bringing together the future project team and researchers engaged in projects that already collaborate or will collaborate with A Rhetoric for the Empire. This workshop offers an introduction to the available sources for rhetorical texts, but also explores the strong and continuous interconnection between commentaries on Hermogenes’ treatises.

By making available a series of sources currently preserved only in manuscript form, and discussing how these works can be considered parts of a continuous exegetical chain, this workshop intends to cast new light on the practice of re-use, authorship, and authenticity.

The organizers believe that a direct knowledge exchange and sharing on relevant sources will greatly benefit the future work of the team.

The workshop will be streamed on Zoom, if you are interested in participating, please write to

Editing was completed: 13.06.2023