Mittwoch, 01. Mrz 2017, 18:15 - 20:15 iCal

Understanding Individuality

and Depicting Individuals in Ninth Century Byzantium

Hörsaal am Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik
Postgasse 7/1/3. Stock, 1010 Wien

Tagung, Konferenz, Kongress, Symposium

Weitere Termine

Donnerstag, 02. Mrz 2017, 09:00 - 18:00

Freitag, 03. Mrz 2017, 09:00 - 18:00

This conference will analyse the Byzantine understanding of individuality and the practice of describing individuals through a great variety of textual sources – logical, philosophical, theological, rhetorical and hagiographical – and through works of art, icons, coins, and manuscripts. This will allow us to compare theoretical approaches to the question of the practice of depiction and will help to answer the following questions: What is described or represented when one identifies an individual as this individual – i.e. as distinct from other members of the species? What constitutes Paul, not only as an individual, but also as this individual? How can we distinguish Paul from Peter or Jacob, given the fact that essentially all three are men?


The sources indicate that an individual was understood as constituted by a set of properties. Physical properties – size, hair colour, body shape, scars etc. - are indeed the most obvious candidates, but can we add other characteristics to the portrait? What about moral qualities, relations (being the son or the sister of someone, for example), actions or deeds, profession, language, the possession of distinctive objects? What is the function of a proper name? Is individuality always an accidental phenomenon – in the sense of being the result of the combination of only accidental properties and not of essential properties – or is personal identity grounded in something stronger? Do essential properties also play a role?

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


ERC Projekt "9 SALT"


Mag. Sophie Gruber
ERC CoG 648298
Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik