Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2017-2018
Georgios Makris holds a B.A. in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens and a Ph.D. in Byzantine Studies from the University of Birmingham. He has held fellowships at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Junior Fellow 2014-2015) and at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul (Fellow 2015-2016). Makris was previously a post-doctoral research scholar in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University (2016-2017). He is currently working on his first monograph on the life-cycle, topography, and spatial composition of monastic communities in the region of Thrace, the hinterland of Constantinople, from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. In his work, Makris follows an interdisciplinary methodology which brings together the systematic analysis of texts associated with religious institutions with the results of archaeological fieldwork in Greece and Turkey.
Thrace is perhaps best known for the Byzantine megalopolis that was built on its eastern edge, Constantinople. Despite its proximity to the capital, our knowledge of Thrace’s medieval inhabitants is limited, partly due to the region’s spatial and political demarcation among the three modern nation-states of Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. By transcending the national boundaries that now divide the area, my first book provides an integrated view of Thrace’s history during the medieval period, through the lens of the monastic world. In using monasticism as a source for the study of Thrace’s monastic and lay inhabitants and their surroundings, my analysis transforms the often static and typology-dictated ground-plans of monasteries into dynamic microsocieties that, in multiple ways, mirrored the societal formations of the secular world.