Exhibition "Byzantium & the West - A millenium forgotten"


From March 17th to November 11th 2018 the exhibition „Byzantium & the West - A millenium forgotten”, planned by Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, will take place at the Renaissance Castle Schallaburg in Lower Austria. Following “Byzanz – Pracht und Alltag” (Kunsthalle Bonn 2010) and “Das Goldene Byzanz und der Orient” (Schallaburg 2012), with the current exhibition, the RGZM is for the first time dedicating itself to the changeable relations between the latin west and the greek-byzantine east, presented on a large scale (about 500 objects on 1300 square metres of exhibition space). The topic is spanning the whole Mediterraneum and is insofar highly up to date, as the project is to remind of the historic dimension of the Mediterranean space as a room of communication between continents and cultures.
The exhibition basically focusses on the question, how do people deal with an unfamiliar or foreign culture now and then – with its ideas, its habits and material products? At what point does acquirement or refusal happen? Which criteria are respect and appreciation depending on? To what extent are they influenced by the ruling powers? What is being copied, what is subject to change? Via which media or objects does the transfer take place?
These questions will be dealt with by different case studies in about fourteen subject areas, spanning the 5th to 15th centuries and considering reception history as well.
To dignify Byzantium’s role for Europe’s cultural heritage more strongly, the RGZM, the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and other cooperation partners founded Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz and initialized a range of projects, whose results will directly be incorporated in the exhibition plans. Also, the processes of research itself will be visualized. The exhibition leaves beaten tracks with this immediate connection between research and mediation, by what the publicity should be given an understanding of the works of historic cultural studies. In addition to an exhibition catalogue, scientific companion volumes will be published in the publication series of Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz.


Prof. Dr. Falko Daim
Dr. Dominik Heher (scientific coordinator)

Co-operation partners

University of Vienna
Austrian Academy of Sciences


  • BOO 9,1: F. Daim / D. Heher / C. Rapp, Menschen, Bilder, Sprache, Dinge. Wege der Kommunikation zwischen Byzanz und dem Westen 1: Bilder und Dinge (Mainz 2018).
  • BOO 9,2: F. Daim / Ch. Gastgeber / D. Heher / C. Rapp, Menschen, Bilder, Sprache, Dinge. Wege der Kommunikation zwischen Byzanz und dem Westen 2: Menschen und Worte (Mainz 2018).
  • F. Daim / D. Heher, «Byzanz & der Westen. 1000 vergessene Jahre» ein Ausstellungsprojekt, in: Antike Welt 4 (2018) 31-34.
  • Schallaburg Kunstbetriebsges. m.b.H. (ed.), Byzanz und der Westen. 1000 vergessene Jahre (Schallaburg 2018).