Benjamin Anderson

Associate Professor


Benjamin Anderson, associate professor of the history of art and classics, studies the visual and material cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent landmasses, with a particular focus on late antique and Byzantine art and architecture. His first book, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art (Yale University Press, 2017), addressed the reception of Greco-Roman astronomical imagery in the Byzantine, Frankish, and Islamic states. It received the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award from the College Art Association (2018), and the Karen Gould Prize in Art History from the Medieval Academy of America (2020). He is currently writing The Oracles of Leo: From Byzantium to the Baroque, a study of the Byzantine tradition of oracular images and its reception in early modern Europe. He also publishes regularly on the history of archaeology and the urban history of Constantinople.

Anderson has been David E. Finley Fellow (2009-12) and Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow (2019) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art; and has received fellowships from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Max-Planck-Institut). From 2018 to 2020, he was President of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America; he currently serves on the executive committee of the US National Committee for Byzantine Studies (2022-27). At Cornell, he has been Director of Graduate Studies in Classics (2019-22) and History of Art (2022- ).




Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

Palmyra 1885: The Wolfe Expedition and the Photographs of John Henry Haynes (co-author, with Robert G. Ousterhout) (Istanbul: Cornucopia Books, 2016).



Hagia Sophia in the Long Nineteenth Century (co-editor, with Emily Neumeier) Edinburgh Studies on the Ottoman Empire (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024).

Is Byzantine Studies a Colonialist Discipline? Toward a Critical Historiography (co-editor, with Mirela Ivanova) (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2023). (Read the introduction.)

Otros pasados: ontologías alternativas y el estudio de lo que ha sido (co-editor, with Felipe Rojas and Byron Ellsworth Hamann) (Bogotá: MUSA, 2022). (Read the introduction.)

The Byzantine Neighbourhood: Urban Space and Political Action (co-editor, with Fotini Kondyli) Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies 31 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2022). (Read the introduction.)

Robert Wood, The Ruins of Palmyra and Baalbek (London: Bloomsbury, 2021). (Read the introduction.)

Antiquarianisms: Contact, Conflict, Comparison (co-editor, with Felipe Rojas) Joukowsky Institute Publication 8 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2017). (Read the introduction.)


Selected essays:

On late antique and Byzantine art:

"Between Diagram and Image: On Yuval's Harp," in Jeffrey F. Hamburger, David J. Roxburgh, and Linda Safran, eds., The Diagram as Paradigm: Cross-Cultural Approaches (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2022), 93-112.

"The Great Kosmos of All Armenia: On the Sarcophagus of Isaac," in Helen C. Evans, ed., Art and Religion in Medieval Armenia (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2022), 16-26.

"The Imperial Arts," in Ellen C. Schwartz, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Art and Architecture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), 133-146.

"Images in Byzantine Thought and Practice, ca. 500-700," in Mike Humphreys, ed., A Companion to Byzantine Iconoclasm (Leiden: Brill, 2021), 144-187.

"Oracular Images and the Limits of Political Knowledge in Byzantium," in Michael Grünbart, ed., Unterstützung bei herrscherlichem Entscheiden: Experten und ihr Wissen in transkultureller und komparativer Perspektive (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2021), 22-39.

Images Down Low,” in Sabine Feist, ed., Transforming Sacred Spaces: New Approaches to Byzantine Ecclesiastical Architecture from the Transitional Period (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2020), 161-87.

The Prussian Tondo,” in Niccolò Zorzi, Albrecht Berger, and Lorenzo Lazzarini, eds., I tondi di Venezia e Dumbarton Oaks: Arte e ideologia imperiale tra Bisanzio e Venezia (Rome: Viella, 2019), 35-49.

"The Disappearing Imperial Statue: Toward a Social Approach," in Troels Myrup Kristensen and Lea Stirling, eds., The Afterlife of Greek and Roman Sculpture: Late Antique Responses and Practices (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016), 290-309.


On the urban history of Constantinople:

"From the Mouth of Angels: Folkloric Hagia Sophia," in Emily Neumeier and Benjamin Anderson, eds, Hagia Sophia in the Long Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024), 125-147.

"Constantinople's Medieval Antiquarians of the Future," in Elizabeth Key Fowden, Suna Çağaptay, Edward Zychowicz-Coghill and Louise Blanke, eds., Cities as Palimpsests? Reponses to Antiquity in Eastern Mediterranean Urbanism (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2022), 125-140.

"The Oxeia: A Neighbourhood Biography," in Fotini Kondyli and Benjamin Anderson, eds., The Byzantine Neighbourhood: Urban Space and Political Action (Abindgon: Routledge, 2022), 155-173.

"Eros and the Army (Constantinople and Context)," in Peter D. De Staebler and Anne Hrychuk Kontokosta, eds., Roman Sculpture in Context (Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2021), 241-257.

The Forum of Theodosius: Labour and the Gods,” in Vasileios Marinis, Amy Papalexandrou, and Jordan Pickett, eds., Architecture and Visual Culture in the Late Antique and Medieval Mediterranean: Studies in Honor of Robert G. Ousterhout (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), 3-17.

"Social Clustering in 5th-c. Constantinople: The Evidence of the Notitia," Journal of Roman Archaeology 29 (2016), 494-508.

"Public Clocks in Late Antique and Early Medieval Constantinople," Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 64 (2014), 23-32.

"Classified Knowledge: The Epistemology of Statuary in the Parastaseis Syntomoi Chronikai," Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 35 (2011), 1-19.

"Leo III and the Anemodoulion," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 104 (2011), 41-54.


On the history of archaeology:

"The Science of Talismans Today," History Compass 22 (2023).

"La Quimera de Vasari: ontologías del estilo," in Felipe Rojas, Byron Ellsworth Hamann, and Benjamin Anderson, eds., Otros pasados: ontologías alternativas y el estudio de lo que ha sido  (Bogotá: MUSA, 2022), 283-306.

"The Uncanny Encounter," in Armin Bergmeier and Andrew Griebeler, eds., Time and Presence in Art: Moments of Encounter (200-1600 CE) (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2022), 159-174.

"Classical Ground: Robert Wood's Palmyra and Balbec," in Robert Wood, The Ruins of Palmyra and Baalbek (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), 1-22.

"The Defacement of the Parthenon Metopes," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 57 (2017), 248-260.

"Forgetting Athens," in Benjamin Anderson and Felipe Rojas, eds., Antiquarianisms: Contact, Conflict, Comparison (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2017), 184-209.

"'An Alternative Discourse': Local Interpreters of Antiquities in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of Field Archaeology 40 (2015), 450-460.

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