Sie sind hier: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Przemyslaw Marciniak

Prof. Dr. Przemyslaw Marciniak

University of Silesia
External Senior Fellow
Oktober 2018 - Juli 2019


I have received my PhD and habilitation in Byzantine Studies from the University of Silesia, Poland and in 2018 I’ve received a promotion to a full professorship. I am currently Professor of Byzantine Literature and Head of Center for Studies on Literature and the Reception of Byzantium, at the University of Silesia, Poland. I held fellowships and research positions in Germany, Great Britain, France, Sweden and USA. I was recently awarded with Humboldt Research Prize - Friedrich Willhelm Bessel-Forschungspreis. My research focuses on 12th century Byzantine literature, Byzantine performativity, Byzantine humour and the reception of Byzantine culture in the post-Byzantine period. My publications include a monograph on theatre in Byzantium, a Polish translation of the satire “Timarion”, and a volume “The Reception of Byzantium in European Culture since 1500” (Routledge 2016, co-edited with Dion Smythe) as well as papers in periodicals such as Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies etc.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • The Reception of Byzantium in European Culture since 1500. Z D. Smythe. 2017, Farnham: Ashgate (ISBN 978-1-4724-4860-6).
  • A pious mouse and a deadly cat: The Schede tou Myos ascribed to Theodore Prodromos,  Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 57 (2017), 507-527.
  • The Beard and its Philosopher. Theodore Prodromos on philosophic beards in Byzantium, (with      J. Kucharski), Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 41.1 (2017), 1-10.
  •  Reinventing Lucian in Byzantium, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 70 (2016), 209-224.
  • And the Oscar goes to…Emperor! Byzantium in cinema”, in: Wanted! Byzantium - The Desire for a Lost Empire. Eds. I. Nilsson, P. Stephenson. Uppsala 2014, 247-255.


Byzantium and the popular imagination – stereotypes, simplifications and reappraisal

Studies on the reception of the classical tradition have become recently a central focus of classical studies. Classical scholars, for instance, trace the influence of ancient literature, its use in political discourses, and its manifestations in literature, film, television, graphic novels, and computer games. A recent wave of publications, including companion guides, handbooks, and dictionaries, has addressed these issues. Similarly, western medieval reception studies have gained an increasing presence. However, the Eastern Roman Empire of the Middle Ages—Byzantium—has not received the same attention or appreciation. It was long labelled a “lost Empire,” generally ignored and widely misunderstood. Its history has been known through a set of stereotypes perhaps best embodied in the adjective “Byzantine,” which has almost exclusively pejorative connotations in many languages.

The aim of my current project is to study the use of the Byzantine past in the modern imagination in multiple media. Byzantine reception studies are still underdeveloped, and until recently, scholars have focused primarily on the Greek understanding of Byzantium, largely neglecting other dimensions of the reception of the Byzantine past. I will, therefore, focus on the imagery of Byzantium in popular imagination between the 19th and 21st centuries. My project will study modern cultural responses to Byzantium in theatre, cinema and popular culture (speculative fiction, board games, computer games, historical novels). This project is intended to understand how Byzantine culture has been appropriated by popular culture; and how the imagery of Byzantium is used and for what purposes by modern authors.