Tuesday, June 2, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, 2009
A two-part conversation with Panagiotis Agapitos about Byzantine history, literature and culture, and contemporary crime fiction

Panagiotis Agapitos

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PANAGIOTIS AGAPITOS (Athens, 1959), Professor of Byzantine Literature and Culture at the University of Cyprus, studied Byzantine History and Literature, History of Byzantine Art and Musicology at the University of Munich (M.A. 1984), and Byzantine Literature at Harvard University (Ph.D 1990). He has published Narrative Structure in the Byzantine Vernacular Romances (Munich 1991), The Study of Medieval Greek Romance (Copenhagen 1992), Theodoros Metochites on Greek Philosophy and Ancient History (Gothenburg 1996), the first critical edition of the thirteenth-century verse romance Livistros and Rhodamne (Athens 2006), as well as a volume with translations into modern Greek of Byzantine descriptions of works of art (Athens 2006).

He has also authored some fifty articles in international journals and collective volumes cover subjects such as the critical edition of Byzantine texts and the theory of editorial method, the history of manuscripts and education in Byzantium, the literary interpretation of Byzantine literature, Byzantine rhetoric and poetics, issues of methodology in the application of literary theory to medieval texts, the representation and literary function of death in Byzantine literature, as well as the image of Byzantium in modern Greek literature. His most recent publications are the chapter on ‘Literary Criticism’ in the new Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies (OUP 2008) and an extensive paper on ‘Public and private death in Psellos: Maria Skleraina and Styliane Psellaina’ (Byzantinische Zeitschrift 101, 2008). He is currently writing a History of Byzantine Literature.


Agapitos has taught as visiting professor at the Freie Universität Berlin, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and now at Stanford. In 2003 he published his Byzantine mystery novel The Ebony Lute (Agra Publications, Athens), set in ninth-century Caesarea of Cappadocia (now in modern-day Turkey). It was followed by The Copper Eye (Agra, 2006, recently published in Italy as L’occhio di bronzo, Crocetti 2008), while the third novel in the series, Enamel Medusa, will be appear in July.

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