[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Workshop: November 16, 2012

Aristide Caratzas acaratzas at gmail.com
Sat Nov 10 06:12:55 PST 2012

The lecture by Luca Zavagno in the announcement by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies sounds especially interesting to someone interested in the history of the Mediaeval Hellenic world, which includes the undersigned. 

Sadly however, it should most emphatically pointed out that the "institution" with which Dr. Zavagno is linked, the Eastern Mediterranean University (Doğu Akdeniz Üniversitesi), is of doubtful legitimacy, indeed it would be an interesting study to see if it is a legal entity according to European and International law. Here are some (poignant) facts: 

a) this "university" is  located in that part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus illegally occupied by the Turkish armed forces. It should be noted that Cyprus is a member of the European Union, thus the territory held by the Turks is "the last European territory occupied by a foreign army," to paraphrase Chancellor Merkel [she made the statement while looking at the occupied area from the Ledra Palace Hotel, during her visit to Cyprus in January 2011].

b) this entity has questionable credentials, as it was founded by the "Turkish Republic and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"(sic), the latter recognized by no state other than Turkey; 

c) the entity is housed in buildings, and on the land on which these sit, which were seized (perhaps a better term is stolen) from their rightful owners by the Turkish occupation authorities. The rightful owners still hold title to the property, so its continued use and occupation without the owners's consent constitutes a range of wrongdoing, from a common crime to a gross violation of human rights.

Finally and based on the above information, it is at least unseemly, if not in violation of professional and scholarly integrity, for American and European institutions to maintain relationships with, and to thus legitimize entities that are the products of criminal actions, such as the Eastern Mediterranean University; it is furthermore shameful for the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, given its stated focus, to contribute to this effort to "launder" the products of crimes committed at the expense of Cypriot Greeks!

Aristide Caratzas

On Nov 9, 2012, at 11:53 PM, Dimitri H. Gondicas wrote:

> Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
> Workshop
> Two Hegemonies, One Island:
> Cyprus between the Byzantines and the Umayyads
> (c.a. 650 - ca. 850 A.D.)
> Luca Zavagno
> Eastern Mediterranean University
> Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies
>       lzavagno at princeton.edu
> Respondent: Helmut Reimitz, History
> This workshop aims to assess the political and cultural status of the island of Cyprus as the only place within the Mediterranean where Christian heirs of Romans and Muslims shared the local tax revenue to create a buffer zone between two empires. Geographically isolated between the Constantinopolitan and Damascene hegemonies, and marginalized by emperors and caliphs alike, the development of Cyprus was destined to take a unique, perhaps problematic, trajectory.  Detailed examination of archaeological material (seals, coins, ceramics and material artifacts) suggests a different interpretative scheme to the one traditionally adopted to interpret the declining fate of Cyprus after the Muslim raids and the occupation of Syria and Palestine. Instead, I propose Cyprus and its cities were still active from late antiquity to the early middle ages, preserving a variable but still traceable degree of economic vitality (as mirrored into the circulation of Byzantine and Arab coinage and locally-made and imported pottery), which infers the maintenance of complex political, commercial and cultural relations between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate.
> Luca Zavagno graduated from the University of Venice (2002); he obtained his Ph.D. (2007) at the University of Birmingham with a dissertation on the society, economics and politics of Byzantine cities in the early middle ages. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus.  He is the author of Cities in Transition: Urbanism in Byzantium Between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (British Archaeological Reports-International Series, 2009). His research interests are in the area of Byzantine and early Islamic history and archaeology and early medieval settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is also the co-organizer of the Conference of the Mediterranean Worlds (www.medworlds.org), Teaching Fellow of the School of Advanced Studies of the University of Salerno, and Associate Scholar of the Mediterranean Seminar (http://humweb.ucsc.edu/mediterraneanseminar/).
> Friday, November 16, 2012
> 1:30 p.m.
> Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
> _______________________________________________
> List-Info: https://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/mgsa-l

Aristide D. Caratzas
Telephone: 30-697-228-5442
acaratzas at gmail.com

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