Dr. Nicholas Melvani


Raum 00-538

Telefon: 06131-39-36240

E-Mail: nmelvani@uni-mainz.de


nach Vereinbarung


Akademischer Lebenslauf

1993-1997: B.A. Studium der Geschichte und Archäologie (Schwerpunkt Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte) an der Universität von Athen, Griechenland

1997-2001: M.A. Studium der Byzantinischen Kunst und Archäologie an der Universität von Athen, Griechenland

2001-2008: Doktorarbeit an der Universität von Athen, Griechenland. Thema der Dissertation: „Die spätbyzantinische Skulptur (1204-1453): ikonographische Bemerkungen, Stilfragen und der gesellschaftliche Kontext”

2008-2013, 2014-2015, 2018-2019: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Geschichtsforschung (Abteilung Byzantinistik) der Nationalen Forschungsstiftung Griechenlands, Athen

2013-2014, 2015-2017: Stipendiat an der Universität Koç (Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations und Stavros Niarchos Center for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies) in Istanbul, Türkei

2018: Gastdozent an der Universität Boğaziçi (Fachbereich Geschichte) in Istanbul, Türkei

Seit 11.2019: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz im Rahmen des Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus „Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident“, Mainz/Frankfurt a.M.




The primary aim of the project is to study the monumental topography of Byzantine Constantinople as it was recorded in the works of 16th-century visitors and scholars from the German-speaking world, i.e. at a time when the city was the capital of the Ottoman Empire and its Byzantine heritage was in the process of disappearing or being transformed. The research project involves the study of texts by German visitors to 16th-century Istanbul (e.g. Gerlach, Leonclavius, and Schweigger), cross-referencing with contemporary Greek texts (chronicles, Patriarchal archives, and works of scholars such as the Malaxos brothers and the Zygomalas family) and other accounts of the city (e.g. the description of the French scholar Pierre Gilles), as well as with German literature of the Early Reformation. Visual evidence, such as representations and maps of Constantinople (e.g. those in Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik) is also taken into consideration. The information from the texts will be used to reconstruct the appearance of the monuments at the time and their role in the city’s physiognomy. At the same time, manuscripts imported from Istanbul to central European cities will also be studied, since they constitute tangible evidence of cultural interaction between the German and the post-Byzantine worlds; their provenance from specific Constantinopolitan libraries can elucidate the movements of their owners within the Ottoman capital and from there to the West (such as O. Ghislain de Busbecq in Vienna and J. Hartung in Freiburg).

The result of the project will be an updated image (and map) of the Byzantine legacy of Constantinople, as it was preserved and transformed in 16th-century Istanbul and seen through German eyes. This combined approach will open new directions in the study of the post-Byzantine and early Ottoman worlds, by linking sixteenth-century realities to the Byzantine background, as well as by placing early Modern Istanbul in the context of the international political and religious scene. The project aims to enhance the focus on religious dialog and humanist activity by demonstrating where exactly the events took place, what the visitors saw, and how the Byzantine past influenced the contact between East and West.




Late Byzantine Sculpture. Brepols International Publishers, Turnhout 2013.


  • Painted Chrysobulls in Byzantine churches: documents or inscriptions? (or neither?), Griechisch-byzantinische Handschriftenforschung. Traditionen, Entwicklungen, neue Wege, ed. C. Brockmann, D. Harlfinger, and S. Valente, Berlin 2020, 269-277 (in Druck)
  • Patronage in Constantinople after 1453, in ̕Eν Σοφίᾳ μαθητεύσαντες: Essays in Byzantine Material Culture and Society in Honour of Sophia Kalopissi-Verti, ed. C. Diamanti and A. Vassiliou, Oxford 2019, 412-425 (in Druck)
  • Apotropeia and Ornament: Late Byzantine Sculpture and the Migration of pseudo-Arabic Writing, Minima Medievalia 8 (2018), 128-139
  • Late, Middle, and Early Byzantine Sculpture in Palaiologan Constantinople, in Spolia Reincarnated, eds I. Jevtić and S. Yalman, Istanbul 2018, 139-150.
  • The Tombs of the Palaiologan Emperors, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 42 (2018), 237-260. 
  • The monastery of Stoudios in the 15th century, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 67 (2017), 129-142.
  • Dominicans in Byzantium and Byzantine Dominicans: Religious Dialog and Cultural Interaction, Domenicani a Costantinopoli prima e dopo l’impero ottomano. Storia, immagini e documenti d’archivio, eds S. Pedone and C. Monge, Florenz 2017, 33-50.
  • The Monument of a Palaiologina and the Monastery of Kyra Martha in Constantinople, Arkeoloji ve Sanat Dergisi 155 (2017), 161-174.
  • The patriarchate and the monasteries of Constantinople in the 15th century, in The Patriarchate of Constantinople in Context and Comparison, eds C. Gastgeber, E. Mitsiou, J. Preiser-Kappeller, and V. Zervan, Wien 2017, 175-182.
  • The Duplication of the Double Monastery of Christ Philanthropos in Constantinople, Revue des Etudes Byzantines 74 (2016), 361-384.
  • The Fate of the Palaiologan Aristocracy of Thessalonike after 1423, in Before and after the Fall: 1204 and 1453, ed. V. Stanković, Landham, MD 2016, 4157.
  • Athonite Presence in Constantinople during the Palaiologan Period, in Mount Athos: Spreading the light to the Orthodox World: the Metochia, Thessaloniki 2015, 73-84.
  • The Middle Byzantine sanctuary barriers of Mount Athos: Templon and Iconostasis, in Δασκάλα. Festschrift for Maria Panayotidi, Athen 2015, 305335.
  • Ο δεσπότης Ανδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος και το Άγιον Όρος (Der Despot von Thessaloniki Andronikos Palaiologos und der Heilige Berg Athos), in Mount Athos in the 15th and 16th centuries: from Crisis to Renaissance, Thessaloniki 2012, 417-429.
  • Αμπελοκαλλιέργεια ανατολικά του Στρυμόνα κατά τη βυζαντινή περίοδο (Weinbau östlich des Strymons während der byzantinischen Zeit), Oinon Istoro 7 (2007), 119-129.
  • Η γλυπτική στις ιταλοκρατούμενες και φραγκοκρατούμενες περιοχές της ανατολικής Μεσογείου κατά τον 13ο και 14ο αιώνα. Η διείσδυση της γοτθικής τέχνης και η συνύπαρξη με τη βυζαντινή (Die Skulptur in den italienischen und fränkischen Regionen des östlichen Mittelmeerraums im 13. und 14. Jahrhundert. Der Einfluss der Gotik und ihre Koexistenz mit der byzantinischen Kunst) in Γλυπτική και Λιθοξοϊκή στη Λατινική Ανατολή (Skulptur und Steinschnitzerei im lateinischen Osten), Iraklio 2007, 34-47.



Geschichte, Denkmäler und Topographie Konstantinopels

Byzantinische Skulptur

Byzantinische Epigraphik