John Haldon, professor of Byzantine history and Hellenic studies at Princeton University, will deliver the inaugural lecture in the Distinguished Lecture Series in Classical and Mediteranean Studies on Monday, February 27, at 5:10 pm in Cohen Hall 203. Haldon will address “St. Theodore, Euchaïta, and Anatolia, ca. 500-1000 CE: Landscape, Climate, and Revival of an Empire.” A reception will be held following the lecture in the atrium of Cohen Hall.
Haldon, the Shelby Cullom Davis ’30 Professor of European History and director of the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, will discuss his current research at the intersections of Byzantine hagiography, early medieval urbanism, and natural history.
St. Theodore “the recruit” was one of the most important saints of the Byzantine and wider medieval world, and his cult center at Euchaïta in northern Turkey was famous from the fifth century on. Recent research has revealed some aspects of this medieval town but has also contributed to knowledge of important environmental changes that took place in the medieval period. His talk will review some of that research and its implications for the history of the Byzantine Empire.
A renowned scholar of the Early Byzantine world in the eastern Mediterranean, particularly the regions of Turkey and the Near East, Haldon has published numerous innovative and influential books and papers, including most recently The Empire That Would Not Die: The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740 (Harvard University Press, 2016).
“His distinguished scholarship is marked by a rich interdisciplinary perspective that integrates the approaches of text-based historical analysis, social theory, military strategy, environmental science, and archaeology,” said Joseph Rife, director of the Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies.