Byzantine Greek Summer School

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The Byzantine Studies Research Center is pleased to announce the organization of its fourth Byzantine Greek Summer School program to be held at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, from July 6 to July 24, 2020. Students will have the chance to participate in an intensive program in Medieval Greek with Prof. Niels Gaul and Dr. Athanasia Stavrou, while enjoying various attractions of the Boğaziçi University campus on the Bosphorus and the Byzantine sites of Istanbul.


The program is designed for students who have completed at least two semesters of college-level Classical Greek or its equivalent. Students are expected to have knowledge of basic Greek grammar and to be able to read simple texts from ancient Greek or Byzantine literature. Morning classes are devoted to the reading of Byzantine texts with a focus on Constantinopolitan monuments and/or events that happened in the city, and will be held in two groups, at lower intermediate level and upper intermediate/advanced level. Students will be assigned to one of the two groups based on their performance in a prognostic test. Morning classes will be supplemented by tutorial sessions in the afternoons that offer revisions of grammar or a brief introduction to Greek paleography.  In addition to coursework, the program offers weekend and afternoon excursions to the sites/monuments of Constantinople; every student will be asked to briefly introduce in situ a monument or event relevant to the history of the Byzantine city. The language of instruction is English. Students will receive a certificate of participation upon successful completion of the program.


Niels Gaul is the A. G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently interested in the socio-political functions of (classicizing) learning in medieval polities – inter alia as the PI of a major ERC-funded project that explores such issues in the Byzantine and Tang/Song empires from a cross-cultural vantage point – and pursues various smaller projects on the side, e.g. on the often unexpected connections between Byzantium and Scotland from the early middle ages to the present day, or relic translations in the age of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos.

Athanasia Stavrou is a Visiting Scholar at the Byzantine Studies Research Center, Boğaziçi University. Her research interests lie in the social and economic history of the Late Byzantine period, particularly in relation to family property rights. She has long experience in teaching Classical, Medieval and Modern Greek in various educational institutions in the United Kingdom, and taught at the International Byzantine Greek Summer School for three years. From 2017 to 2019 she was the Onassis Visiting Instructor of Ancient and Modern Greek at the Department of History, Boğaziçi University.


Classes will be held at the Byzantine Studies Research Center, located on the main campus of Boğaziçi University. Established as Robert College in 1863, Boğaziçi University is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Turkey. Its Byzantine Studies Research Center, founded in 2015, is the first Turkish institution attached to a state university that is dedicated to academic research on Byzantine civilization. The Center fosters the development of education in Byzantine studies by offering scholarships at the MA, PhD, and postdoctoral levels, “tools of the trade” seminars, and language programs.

For more information on the University and the Center, please see:


Graduate students and advanced undergraduates, as well as individuals with an academic interest in or a career relevant to Byzantine studies can apply, granted that they meet the requirements mentioned above. Priority will be given to graduate students in the field of Byzantine studies.


Thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, all the successful candidates who are accepted to the program will attend the courses free of charge. Additionally, we offer:

  • 4 scholarships to foreigners from outside Turkey that will cover accommodation, airfare to/from Istanbul, and a meal plan for the duration of the program.
  • 4 scholarships to Turkish citizens from outside Istanbul that will cover transportation expenses to/from Istanbul and a meal plan for the duration of the program.
  • 6 scholarships to Turkish students resident in Istanbul that will cover a meal plan for the duration of the program.

Application Procedure

Candidates should submit their application to the Byzantine Studies Research Center at Boğaziçi University before February 28, 2020. The application file should be in English and include a statement of purpose, a detailed CV, and proof of having completed at least two semesters of college-level Classical Greek or its equivalent. Applicants should indicate in the statement of purpose their background in Classical or Byzantine Greek and the relevance of attending this summer program for their future studies or career development. Applicants currently enrolled as students in a higher education institution should also submit a transcript (as well as previous record of the study of Greek, if applicable) and two reference letters (one of which must be written by an instructor of Greek). The referees should send their letters directly to the Byzantine Studies Research Center.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please indicate in your application for which type of scholarship you would like to apply. Otherwise, it will be assumed that you do not wish to be considered for a scholarship.

Applications and reference letters should be sent to:

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