International Symposium of Byzantologists
NIŠ AND BYZANTIUM XVI
“Roman Crown of the Orthodox Kingdom
- 800 Years since the Coronation of Stefan the First-Crowned“
Dr Miša Rakocija
The International Symposium "Niš and Byzantium" is highly ranked in the scientific world and respected especially among the citizens of Niš. It has become a kind of recognizable brand of the city of Niš. Nowadays the birthplace of Constantine the Great is also known as a significant center and place of study of the Byzantine civilization, culture and art. The intention of the organizers (City of Niš, University of Niš and Niš Orthodox Eparchy) is to continue to popularize byzantology as a science, to contribute to the affirmation of the city of Niš and to set up new cooperation among colleagues and their knowledge exchange and to point out the importance of Byzantium for the modern European civilization.
University Hall, Opening
The international reputation of the symposium and the high scientific level of the presented works undoubtly is confirmed by the fact that over the past 16 years there were nine academicians (from Serbia, Austria, Macedonia, France) who openned the symposium. This year City of Niš had a special honour awarded by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) . The city of Niš was entrusted to host the central scientific meeting dedicated to the anniversary - 800 years of the first Serbian kingdom. Relying on the symposium and its thematic mark "The Roman Crown of the Orthodox Kingdom - 800 years since the Coronation of Stefan the First-Crowned", SANU made the decision to entrust the main scientific event on the occasion of the jubillee to the City of Niš and "Niš and Byzantium" symposium.
Accordingly, this year symposium was opened by the Vice-President of SANU academician Ljubomir Maksimović and so the City of Niš was worthy on the road to realization of the national task, after 16 years of successful organization of "Niš and Byzantium" symposium.
Opening ceremony, Bishop Teodosije
The 16. Symposium "Niš and Byzantium" aims to remind the scientific scholarly public of the most significant event in the history of Serbian statehood and of the interconnectivity and the Christian peoples and countries interaction as well.
800 years ago Serbia became a Kingdom. This was the first Serbian royal crowning with the crown arrived from Rome as a gift of the Roman Pope Honorion III. All this happened in the monastery of Žiča in 1217, where "with God's grace Stefan was the first crowned king of all the Serbian lands" as it was written in the "Žiča Hrisovulja".
Opening, SANU vice-president, academician dr Ljubomir Maksimović
This was the first Serbian royal crowning and a crucial moment in the history of royal crowning with the Serbs. In the hierarchy of European, Christian rulers, Stefan Prvovenčani (the First-Crowned) was equated with other kings, and thus Serbia has gained full sovereignty. Awarding the papal crown, whatever its intention was, represents the international legal recognition of Serbia as an independent state.
Welcome address, Assistant to the Mayor Dragoslav Pavlović
800 years of state independence is an anniversary with which there is rarely a country to stand up, and even more rare are the small towns, such as "the famous town of Niš" as Stefan Prvovenčani used to call it, which will mark it in a worthy way. Through this year symposium Niš City again pointed out the need for preserving, remembrance and marking out jubilees from our medieval past. Noticeable is our tendency to pompously celebrate some anniversaries of our recent past and - oposite to this - in a modest way and only if we remember, we mark the anniversaries of medieval Serbia and glorious period of Serbian statehood and art. Such practice which insensibly cuts our roots and shortens historical memory and civilization continuity - at least for a while - will be "interrupted" due to the city of Niš endeavoring to mark this great jubilee in the best possible way – with and through plenty of scientific knowledge.
Even in difficult times the City of Niš managed to organize the symposium "Niš and Byzantium". It was also this year, as well as, we hope it will be in the years to follow. And even if it was not everything the same as it used to be in the previous years, thanks to the generous understanding and great support coming from our colleagues, we succedded to maintain an enviable organizational level, and even more important - the high scientific level of the symposium.
Reception at the City Hall, Ms. Jelena Mitrovski, member of Niš City Council with the symposium participants
For 16 years now our distinguished colleagues have been researching our historical continuity, artistic layers and spiritual heritage, all with the Blessing of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Mr. Irinej. Due to this, we may say, the symposium "Nis and Byzantium" has become resistant to the times and storms and as such it will last – with a help of God, until God's will.
During the tour of the National Museum Niš exibition titled "From the Treasury of the Museum"
The Blessing of the Patriarch was conveyed by the Reverend Bishop Teodosije.
After the introductory speech of Dr. Miša Rakocija, the participants were greeted by the Assistant to the Mayor Mr. Dragoslav Pavlović and the Vice-Rector Prof. Vlastimir Nikolić.
The symposium was opened by the Vice-President of the SANU Academician Dr. Ljubomir Maksimović. The Proceedings "Niš and Byzantium" vol. XIV was presented by Dr. Jasmina Šaranac. The opening ceremony had been concluded with screening of the documentary "The dawn of Byzantium", afterwards the working part started.
This year 48 participants from Montenegro, Greece, Albania, Crimea, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, England, Macedonia, Russia, Hungary and Serbia took part at the symposium. A number of them due to justified reasons, unfortunately, could not come to attend the symposium personally, but will send their respective papers for publishing in the Proceedings. According to the usual tradition, the symposium ended with the reception at the City Hall hosted by Ms. Jelena Mitrovski, City Councilor, in the presence of the media, where the participants expressed their opinion on the significance of the congress and emphasized its international reputation. At the very end there was an organised tour of the museum exhibition at the Niš National Museum titled "From the Treasury of the Museum".