Dr. Siren Çelik'in "Byzantine Time: Conceptions of Time in Byzantium (4th - 15th c.)" başlıklı konuşması, 10 Mayıs 2018 Perşembe günü saat 17:00'da 30 kişinin katılımıyla Bizans Çalışmaları Araştırma Merkezi'nde gerçekleştirilmiştir.
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What is time? This question has always been an intriguing one for humanity, regardless of the period and culture in which one lives. Across centuries, philosophers, theologians, mathematicians, and physicists have devoted themselves to the discussion of time and its nature. Time itself is a significant concept for any society, organizing its life rhythm and everyday practices, giving insight to its perception of memory, heritage, past, present and future. Yet, while time and its perception have traditionally been of great interest to scholars of medieval and ancient history, no studies on time exist for Byzantium, except for several studies relating to memory and the perceptions of the past.
This presentation is based on a larger project dealing with the concept of time in Byzantium (4th-15th centuries); what did time mean to the Byzantines, how did they define it? The aim of the project is not to produce a ‘technical’ study of time, such as astronomical measurement, but to analyze various definitions and notions of time in the written sources and everyday life. The long-term project will focus on 1) time as a theological/philosophical concept, 2) literary representations of time, and 3) time in everyday life. This presentation will discuss the vast sources, the aims and the challenges for analyzing the concept of time in Byzantium, and, in the final part, it will focus on several case studies of late Byzantine authors and their conceptions of time.
Dr. Siren Çelik:
Dr. Çelik obtained her BA in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University in 2011. After completing her MA in Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham, she obtained her PhD at the same university in 2016. She is currently adjunct faculty at Özyeğin University. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “A Historical Biography of Manuel II Palaiologos (1350–1425)”, is currently under review for publication as a monograph. With this biography, she hopes to earn Manuel II, who has been neglected as an author, a place in Byzantine literature. Through a close reading of Manuel’s complete literary, philosophical, and theological oeuvre and various other primary sources, she constructs an in-depth portrait of the emperor as a ruler, a personality, and an author, as well as offering an insight into his world and times. Dr. Çelik, who has also published on Manuel II’s Dialogue with a Persian, has been a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and a Stavros Niarchos Postdoctoral Fellow at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations. During the current academic year, she is a Postdoctoral Associate of the Byzantine Studies Research Center at Boğaziçi University, where she has been working on her new long-term project about time in Byzantium. Covering the period from the 4th to the 15th century, the project intends to explore various aspects of the concept of time in Byzantium, such as time in philosophy and theology, time in Byzantine histories and chronicles, and time in everyday life.