Key subject area: Byzantium between Orient and Occident: Appropriation, translation and dissemination of knowledge, ideas and objects

The overarching theme of the work programme is the question how knowledge, ideas and objects circulated in the Euro-Mediterranean area, to which cultural processes of translation they were subjected, and finally, what was the role played by Byzantium and its agents as interlocutors and cultural brokers, first diachronically between Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, and second transregionally between Europe and the Islamicate Near East. Viewing the cultural history of the Euro-Mediterranean Area with Byzantium as the focal point opens an entirely new perspective on these complex cultural processes that aids in overcoming the dichotomy between the stereotypical concepts of Orient and Occident, and thus avoids a Eurocentric point of view concentrated on Latin Europe. The research programme that will systematically examine this dynamic is divided into two thematic areas: