Mary Seeger O'Boyle Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2021-2022
- DegreePh.D., Classics, University of Edinburgh, 2020DissertationIconoclast Imperial Authority and Its Contested Legacy: From the Arab Siege (717/18) until the Death of Michael III (867)Research ProjectIconoclast Imperial Authority and Its Contested Legacy
Ivan Marić is a Byzantine Historian specializing in the so-called middle period (VII-X centuries). Focusing on imperial cult, Ivan’s research investigates the interplay between imperial figures and broader society, and means and strategies through which social memory is established and maintained, on the one hand, or challenged and dismantled, on the other. Ivan studied History (BA) and Byzantine History (MA) at Belgrade University and Medieval Studies (MA) at the Central European University, Budapest. He received his doctoral degree in 2021 from the Classics Department of Edinburgh University for a dissertation entitled ‘Iconoclast Imperial Authority and Its Contested Legacy: From the Arab Siege (717/18) until the Death of Michael III (867)’. During his doctoral studies, Ivan was awarded fellowships at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations of Koç University in Istanbul, and Harvard University’s research institute, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, in Washington DC. Prior to his postdoctoral position in the Centre for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University, Ivan was a research assistant on the PAIXUE project in the School of History, Classics & Archaeology at Edinburgh University—‘Classicising Learning in Medieval Imperial Systems: Cross-cultural Approaches to Byzantine Paideia and Tang/Song Xue’.
About the Research Project
Iconoclast Imperial Authority and Its Contested Legacy
My book project, Iconoclast Imperial Authority and Its Contested Legacy: The Politics of Memory in Constantinople during Iconoclast Controversy (717-867), is an interdisciplinary study that investigates the imperial authority and ideology of the iconoclast emperors Leo III (717–41) and his son Constantine V (741–75), and their dynamic and contested legacy into the second half of the ninth century. Leo and Constantine were successful and popular rulers who contributed greatly to the empire’s survival and revival. However, the doctrine they proclaimed as orthodoxy, iconoclasm (754–87; 815–43), was eventually rejected as heresy, and they suffered one of the most efficient damnationes memoriae in Byzantine history, which cast them as tyrants and heretics. My monograph first revisits and re-evaluates the evidence for the reigns of Leo and Constantine, demonstrating how they became figures to be admired by later rulers and the broader population of Constantinople, and how their success has been anchored in the social memory of the capital. It then traces the memory of Leo and Constantine for c. ninety years after the latter’s death, showing how and why the skillful curation of their memory became an important strategy of policy making and political legitimacy well into the ninth century.