Joseph Glynias

Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows - Harvard University

I work at the intersection of late antique, Islamic, Byzantine, and Eastern Christian studies in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. My research blends intellectual, cultural, and social history, working to make broad historical arguments from sources such as unedited works preserved in manuscripts and material objects excavated in Antioch. My work uses sources in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Latin.

My dissertation, entitled Baghdad on the Orontes: Between Greek and Arabic intellectual worlds in 11th-Century Antioch, investigates the intellectual output of the multilingual Melkite Christian scholars of Byzantine Antioch. I show how a translation movement of Greek Christian texts into Syriac and Arabic erupted in Antioch in connection with the larger processes of Islamicate Greco-Arabic translation, Byzantine textual standardization, and liturgical Byzantinization. As a result, the Melkite scholars of Antioch would create a Christian Arabic canon that depended on concepts from both Baghdad and Constantinople. I further demonstrate that Antioch served as a portal for the transmission of the Arabic philosophy and science that had developed out of the Greco-Arabic translation movement of Baghdad back into Greek, having resounding effects on Byzantine and Latin intellectual history. I show how these Christian Arabic scholars interfaced between the Christian and Muslim worlds, and how their largely unrecognized achievements would greatly impact the course of both civilizations.

At Princeton, I have co-organized the Late Antique, Medieval, and Byzantine Workshop, the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity Book Club, the Medieval Latin Reading Group, and have served as Executive Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in Medieval Studies. I received the Stanley J. Seeger Graduate Fellowship from Princeton’s Center for Hellenic Studies in 2015. This academic year, I hold a Harold W. Dodds Fellowship (Princeton), and I have received a Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellowship in Byzantine Studies for 2021-2022. I have precepted in Princeton’s History department and Comparative Literature department, taught through Princeton’s Global History Lab, and worked as a Princeton Writing Center Fellow.

I have an MA with distinction from Princeton’s History department and an AB in Classical Languages and Literature from Harvard College, magna cum laude with Highest Honors. Before coming to Princeton, I worked on Dumbarton Oak’s Byzantine Seals Project.

List of Publications

“Byzantine monasticism on the Black Mountain west of Antioch in the 10th-11th centuries,” Studies in Late Antiquity 4, no. 4 (2020, in press).

Co-written with Alan Stahl, “The Transition from Byzantine to Islamic Coinage in Antioch and its implication for the History of Settlement in the City,” in Dinars and Dirhams: Festschrift in Honor of Michael L. Bates, edited by Touraj Daryaee, Judith A. Lerner, and Virginie C. Rey (Irvine: Jordan Center for Persian Studies, 2020), 271-288.

“Syriac Melkite Monasticism at Mount Sinai in the 13th and 14th Centuries,” ARAM 31:1-2 (2019): 7-33

“Homiletic Translation in Byzantine Antioch: The Arabic Translation of a Marian Homily of Patriarch Germanos I of Constantinople by Yānī b. al-Duks, deacon of Antioch” in Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations, edited by Alexander Treiger and Barbara Roggema (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2019), 241-275.

“Prayerful Iconoclasts: Psalm Seals of the First Iconoclast Era (726-750 CE),” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 71 (2017): 65-93.

Dissertation Title:

"Baghdad on the Orontes: Between Greek and Arabic Intellectual Worlds in Eleventh-Century Antioch"

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