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File 011 - "Oberlin lectures," notes and texts

Nestorian Bishops

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"Oberlin lectures," notes and texts


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6 lecture manuscripts and notes
1 black and white photograph

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Name of creator

Vasilev, A. A. (Aleksandr Aleksandrovich) (1867-1953)

Biographical history

Alexander Alexandrovich Vasiliev (1867–1953) was considered the foremost authority on Byzantine history and culture in the mid-20th century. His History of the Byzantine Empire (vols. 1–2, 1928) remains one of a few comprehensive accounts of the entire Byzantine history. Vasiliev studied under one of the earliest professional Byzantinists, Vasily Vasilievsky, at the University of St. Petersburg and later taught the Arabic language there. Between 1897 and 1900, he continued his education in Paris. In 1902, he accompanied Nicholas Marr on his trip to the St. Catherine Monastery in the Sinai. During his stay at the Tartu University (1904–1912), Vasiliev prepared and published an influential monograph, Byzantium and the Arabs (1907). He also worked in the Russian Archaeology Institute, established by Fyodor Uspensky in Constantinople. In 1912, he moved to the St. Petersburg University as a professor. He was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1919. In 1925, during his visit to Paris, Vasiliev was persuaded by Michael Rostovtzeff to emigrate to the West. It was Rostovtzeff who ensured a position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for him. Several decades later, Vasiliev moved to work at Dumbarton Oaks, where he was a Senior Scholar between 1944 and 1948 and thereafter a Scholar Emeritus. Towards the end of his life, he was elected President of the Nikodim Kondakov Institute in Prague and of the Association Internationale des Etudes Byzantines.

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This file contains the following lectures and associated notes:

I) "The Formation of the Byzantine Ecclesiastical Position in the Fourth Century"
II) "The Byzantine Ecclesiastical Position in the Fifth Century"
III) "Justinian the Great and his Attempted Synthesis"
IV) "Iconoclastic Movement and the Results"
V) "The Schism between East and West in the Ninth Century and Patriarch Photius"
VI) "Byzantium and Islam"

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  • English

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  • Latin

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  • English



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Alexander Alexandrovich Vasiliev Research Papers and Photographs, ca. 1930s-1953





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Alexander Alexandrovich Vasiliev Research Papers and Photographs, ca. 1930s-1953





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Preferred Citation: Alexander Alexandrovich Vasiliev Research Papers and Photographs, ca. 1930s-1953, RP.BZ.AV, Dumbarton Oaks Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.



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  • Box: RP.BZ.AV, Box 3