East of Byzantium Lecture: Dynastic Change, Family Networks and Female Genealogies in Medieval Armenia (11th–13th c.)

East of Byzantium is pleased to announce the next lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 | 12:00 PM EST | Zoom
Dynastic Change, Family Networks and Female Genealogies in Medieval Armenia (11th–13th c.)
Zara Pogossian, University of Florence

This lecture will focus on a period of medieval Armenian history – eleventh to late thirteenth centuries – that was characterized by a gradual deterioration and break-down of its until then traditional social structure based on land-holding military families known as nakharars. In this context a number of new military men, mostly with no illustrious lineage and/or previous connection to certain specific regions, rose to power. As they sought ways of legitimizing their control of recently conquered land and resources in various parts of historical Armenia, marriage alliances and, hence, the building of new family networks via women acquired increasing importance. This is especially true in the case of wives that came from older, prestigious dynasties which had lost or were about to lose their significance. There are also cases of women who were themselves from ‘new families’ but who played a key role in entering local networks of power in different ways. These general considerations will be illustrated on specific cases bringing to the audience’s attention the significance of women from (new or old) élite families, particularly from the end of Bagratid rule, and through Seljuk and Mongol (particularly Ilkhanid) periods. The inter-religious aspects of such family networks will be equally highlighted. Although the talk will address various regions of historical Armenia, greater attention will be paid to Syunik‘, reflecting my on-going research-in-progress.

Zara Pogossian is a specialist in medieval Armenian history, culture and religion, especially in relation to other peoples, cultures and religions in the Near East and Asia Minor. She is Associate Professor of Byzantine Civilization at the University of Florence, and the Principal Investigator of the ERC Project ArmEn: Armenia Entangled: Connectivity and Cultural Encounters in Medieval Eurasia 9th–14th Centuries.

Advance registration required. Register: https://eastofbyzantium.org/upcoming-events/

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the Mary Jaharis Center that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

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