6 Nov 20195:00pm - 7:00pmSeminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT


The Empress’s New Clothes
Transformation and Integration of a Foreign Bride in the Byzantine Environment

Petra Melichar (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)


When a foreign princess arrived in Byzantium, she was brought into a splendid tent and dressed in a luxurious purple robe. The aim of this and several similar rituals symbolized a hoped-for transformation, a metamorphosis of a foreigner into a Byzantine. While these rituals could be performed within several days, integration into the Byzantine environment was much more complex and difficult as the stories of Maria of Bulgaria, Helene of Serbia, Anna of Savoy or Anna of Moscow reveal. 

Short biography

Petra Melichar earned her PhD from Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven in 2012. At present, she is a fellow of the Slavonic Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and editor-in-chief of the journal Byzantinoslavica (since 2015). Her recent work centers on late Byzantine elite women in the Palaiologan period (1261–1453).


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Open to all. No registration required.
Joint event organised by Cambridge Ukrainian Studies and the Byzantine Worlds Network.
Administrative assistance: networks@crassh.cam.ac.uk

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