Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
Marrying in Byzantium:
Medieval Christian Liturgies in the
Eastern Mediterranean World
Mary Seeger O’Boyle Postdoctoral Fellow, Hellenic Studies
Respondent: Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Classics
Across cultures, marriage is viewed as a key social and religious rite of passage. Yet no major study has been dedicated to the history of nuptials in Byzantium. The primary reason for this lacuna is the simple fact that the majority of liturgical manuscripts containing marriage rites have never been edited and remain scattered in monastic and national libraries around the world. This lecture will explore the evidence offered by these sources and examine the ways in which Christians of the medieval Eastern Mediterranean formed their marriage bonds through various church services and domestic rituals. The talk will compare these manuscripts to other textual sources, as well as extant visual and material evidence, in order to identify both common traits and regional variance in marriage ceremonies from Southern Italy to Palestine. The lecture will also raise a number of methodological questions regarding the historical study of Byzantine and Hellenic ritual culture.
Gabriel Radle specializes in the history of Christian ritual practice in the late ancient and medieval periods. His publications include studies on life cycle rites in the Middle East, monastic liturgy at Mt. Sinai, medieval Christianity in Southern Italy, Byzantine migration patterns during the Arab conquest, and theories of prayer posture in East and West. He completed his doctorate in 2013 at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. He went on to hold fellowships at Yale University, Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Christianity.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103