The talk aims to reflect on the implications the way we coin the concepts and periodisations of Late Antiquity, Byzantium, Early Islam have on our approach of the history of the Eastern Mediterranean. How do Syriac studies -a field that has been thriving in the last 15 years- fit in the picture and can help us both displace and broaden our understanding of this period and region?
Muriel Debié studied classics at the École normale supérieure (ENS) in Paris and then specialized in Syriac Studies. In 2012, she became Directrice d’études/Full Professor of Eastern Christianity at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Sorbonne – Paris Sciences et Lettres). Her work relies on Syriac, Greek and other Eastern Christian sources. She advocates for the combination of traditional erudition and digital humanities. She works extensively on ancient manuscripts and is one of the scientific directors of e-ktobe, a database of Syriac manuscripts (http://www.mss-syriaques.org/).