This conference falls under the dissemination activities of the project “The church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople: the MYth and its Reception across the CEnturies (MYR<i>CE)”. The project, led by Beatrice Daskas, has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 745869.

The project focusses on the now lost church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople and aims at providing the first comprehensive study of the monument and of its ideological and cultural significance during the middle-Byzantine epoch (c. 945–1204).


  • Dr Beatrice Daskas, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University
  • Dr Giovanna Targia, University of Zurich

Thursday 16th May

Session I

9:00 Colloquium opening: Giovannella Cresci, Head of the Department of Humanities; Antonio Rigo, Professor of Byzantine Studies.

Chair: Elisabetta Molteni

  • 9:15 Ivan Foletti (Brno), How to write images about the medieval world: André Grabar and his Byzantium.
  • 9:45 Giovanna Targia (Zurich), Writing images and the art of interpreting. Erwin Panofsky as a medievalist.

10:15 Discussion

Coffee break

Chair: Stefano Riccioni

  • 11:00 Fabio Guidetti (Edinburgh), Written in the sky: words as images in the astronomical illustrations of ms. Harley 647.
  • 11:30 David Ganz (Zurich), On chrysography. Writing in gold in the Western Middle Ages.

12:00 Discussion

Lunch break

Session II

Chair: Giovanna Targia

  • 14:30 Francesca Dell’Acqua (Salerno), Invoking and touching the incarnate God in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm.
  • 15:00 Beatrice Daskas (Venice), Wrought in words this ‘speaking visible’: ekphrasis in Byzantium.
  • 15:30 Allegra Iafrate (Paris), ‘The chicken or the egg?’: Case-studies on the relation between texts and objects.

16:00 Discussion

Tea break

Chair: Beatrice Daskas

  • 17:00 Henry Maguire (Baltimore), Speaking sign or acting device? Reading and using the christogram in the Middle Ages.
  • 17:30 Vincent Debiais (Paris), Allusion, elusion and illusion in the inscriptions of the Cloisters Cross.

18:00 Final discussion and conclusions

20:00 Dinner for speakers and invited guests

The colloquium will take place in the Aula Mario Baratto, at Ca’ Foscari University. Coffee and tea breaks will be offered in the Sala Archivio next door.