A short appreciation by Professor Judith Herrin

Anthony Bryer OBE, the wonderful, inspiring teacher and promoter of Byzantine, Greek and Turkish culture, died at his home in Birmingham on 22 October, 2016. He established the field of Byzantine Studies in the UK and embodied its international significance through his work on the region of Trebizond/Trabzon in eastern Turkey.

After writing his doctorate on the Empire of Trebizond from 1200 to modern times at Balliol College, Oxford, he moved to the University of Birmingham in the 1960s. There he created a Centre devoted to Byzantine Studies, aided by local Hellenists such as George Thomson. His project was also helped nationally by David Talbot Rice, by Philip Whitting, who donated his collection of coins and seals, and by Sir Steven Runciman who with Averil Cameron set up the Committee for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies under the British Academy.  Bryer instigated the UK’s annual Byzantine Spring Symposium in 1971, and established Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, now a leading journal in the field.

The Centre immediately attracted students and became an international beacon for all aspects of Byzantine culture. I was one of the first to join it and wrote my doctorate there, as did John Haldon, Margaret Mullett and many others. Bryer’s energetic enthusiasm and formidable organisation inspired a global devotion, especially in Turkey, Georgia and Russia. Accompanied by generations of students he led archaeological expeditions exploring the monasteries and transhumant culture of the Trapezuntine region, whose results he published with David Winfield.  His linguistic studies, along with Peter Mackridge, helped identify the significance of the Pontic dialect of modern Greek.

I last saw Bryer – he was always known by his surname – in the summer when he was suffering from his last illness. I hope longer obituaries and appreciations of a teacher whose work continues to inspire will be appearing over the next few weeks.

JH

News

BGS Second Annual Charity Festival hosted by Tamada on 25 June

Cancellation of 12 June event at Pembroke College

On behalf of the British Georgian Society, the board would like to update you about this year's BGS Cambridge Seminar at Pembroke College. The event at Pembroke on Monday 12 June is now cancelled. The keynote speaker, Georgian Defence Minister Levon Izoria, had to call off his visit to the UK in mid June. We apologise for any inconvenience - and hope you will understand the organisers' decision in the circumstances to put the event off for a future occasion.

A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili 27th April 2017 Asia House

As the first month of spring slowly comes to an end, on Thursday 27th April, 18.45 at Asia House Donald Rayfield remembers Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili  (1817-1845). On the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary, Donald Rayfield Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University of London will give a talk, A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili. For further information and tickets go to the Asia House website.

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Direct Flights From London To Georgia

There have been recent announcements that various airlines will operate direct flights from London to Georgia. The Hungarian owned low cost Wizz Air will commence bi-weekly flights from Luton to Kutaisi from 18th June 2017. This will be followed by Georgian Airlines (Airzena) flying directly from Gatwick to Tbilisi, also twice a week. Start dates to be confirmed. There is also an article on the online outlet commersant.ge that Ryanair will also commence flights from London to Tbilisi. 

Anthony Bryer OBE

An obituary by Bruce Clark

PROFESSOR ANTHONY BRYER, who has died aged 78, was an exuberant, charismatic historian and lecturer who did more than anybody in his generation to stimulate the study of Byzantium in Britain and beyond.

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Anthony Bryer OBE

A short appreciation by Professor Judith Herrin

Anthony Bryer OBE, the wonderful, inspiring teacher and promoter of Byzantine, Greek and Turkish culture, died at his home in Birmingham on 22 October, 2016. He established the field of Byzantine Studies in the UK and embodied its international significance through his work on the region of Trebizond/Trabzon in eastern Turkey.

Read more ...

Religion, Conversion and Identity among Armenians and Georgians in Safavid Iran 29 September 2016

Professor Edmund Herzig of Oxford University will give this lecture on 29 September 2016, 7.30pm. Armenian House, 25 Cheniston Gardens, London W8 6TG Tube: High Street Kensington. Admission £5 (£3 students) payable on the door, to include wine and nibbles. For full information see here

Georgian Singing Events and Dance Performed to Rustavi Choir Songs in May and June

For those of you within reach of London here are details of two concerts with Georgian singing coming up soon:

Tbilisi Opera House to Reopen

The Tbilisi Opera House is to reopen after extensive refurbishment. Through 165 years of history it has survived Tsars, Soviets and civil war. Here is a link to a recent Guardian article

Stand Up For Georgia

BGS director Denis Corboy contributed to a report published today (6th January 2016) for US News and World Report, on the current state of Georgian democracy and prospects for the economy. This generally positive reassessment is a welcome and upbeat note to start the New Year, hoping that this optimism is justified and can be maintained throughout 2016. Here is a link to the article or you can downloaded it as a pdf here