Announcing the Mathews Byzantine Lecture Series

Author: Medieval Institute

Hagia Sophia detail

The Medieval Institute is pleased to announce a new annual lecture series, the Mathews Byzantine Lectures, to begin in the 2020–21 academic year. The Mathews Lectures will bring a distinguished scholar of Byzantine studies to campus each year to deliver a talk, supported by the Rev. Constantine Mathews Endowment for Excellence in Byzantine Christianity in the Medieval Institute. The inaugural lecture is planned for October and will be given by Professor Emerita Margaret Mullet (OBE), a past Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. Vasilios Mathews and Nikiforos Mathews established the endowment to honor their father, the Reverend Constantine Mathews, who earned a Masters Degree in Liturgical Studies at Notre Dame in 1977. During a half-century of dedicated ministry, Father Mathews served as presiding parish priest at St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend, followed by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Stamford, Connecticut. 

The Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame is fast becoming one of the top institutions for Byzantine Studies in the world. Byzantine Studies explores the history and culture of Byzantium, or the Greek-speaking Roman Empire. Despite the immense cultural, economic, and military power of this empire, which lasted over a millennium after the fall of Rome, the Byzantine world has received comparatively little attention from American scholars, a state of affairs Notre Dame set out to change.

Since receiving a four-million-dollar challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Byzantine Studies in 2008, the Byzantine Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame has grown to encompass the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Reading Room on the seventh floor of Hesburgh Library, which also showcases the university’s earlier acquisition of the Milton V. Anastos Library of Byzantine Civilization—the second-largest Byzantine collection in the nation after Harvard; an endowed chair in Byzantine Theology and one in Byzantine History; an annual Postdoctoral Fellowship for a Byzantinist scholar; its first graduating class of Byzantinist doctoral students; and now the Mathews Byzantine Lectures.

“Because of generous donations from the Mellon Foundation, the Niarchos Foundation, and private donors, and the hiring of an amazing group of Byzantine experts, Notre Dame and the Medieval Institute are now among the leading centers in the world for research and Ph.D. education in Byzantine Studies,” Professor Thomas E. Burman, Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute, remarked of the program.

The Medieval Institute is delighted to welcome this new lecture series and the continued support of the Byzantine Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame.