Dumbarton Oaks Upcoming Events

“The Gold of Banjska” Public Lecture
Date: March 24, 2022, at 4:00pm EDT via Zoom

Midway through the quick succession of brief biographical notes about Serbian monarchs and potentates that comprise the so-called Genealogy of Karlovci, a fifteenth-century text, the reader comes across a passage of considerable art historical import. Writing about the great works of royal and clerical patronage, the anonymous author declares that “the pavement of the church at Prizren, the church of Dečani, the narthex of Peć, the gold of Banjska, and the paintings of Resava are to be found nowhere else.” This lecture takes the peculiar reference to “the gold of Banjska” as the point of entry into an exploration of a little-studied phenomenon—the extensive use of gilding in medieval Serbian wall painting. Drpić uses the results of recently conducted technical analyses to illuminate this phenomenon and clarify its significance for finding Serbia’s place on the artistic map of the later Middle Ages.

Free and open to the public. Register here.

“Byzantine Missions: Meaning, Nature, and Extent” Symposium
Date: April 29-30, 2022, at 9:00am EDT via Zoom

Though closely connected with the study of conversion and Christianization in the premodern era, the history of Christian missions has received little attention in recent scholarship. The recipients of Christian faith—individuals, nations, or social groups—and the processes of integrating the new religion have continued to attract analysis, but the agents of religious transformation have been relatively understudied, especially beyond the boundaries of medieval western Europe.

The symposium aims to illuminate the inner motives that characterized Byzantine missions, the changing incentives that inspired them, and the nature of their missionary activity; and ultimately to better understand how the Byzantines perceived the universal claims of their empire and their church. At the same time, the organizers hope to throw light on the broader religious dynamics of the medieval world.

Free and open to the public. Register here.

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