Angeliki Laiou, 1941–2008
Dumbarton Oaks announces with great sadness the death of its former director, Angeliki Laiou, on December 11 after a valiant struggle against a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer. Angeliki, who directed this institution from 1989–1998, was associated with Dumbarton Oaks for over a quarter century, from the time of her appointment as Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Byzantine History at Harvard University in 1981. She served as a Senior Fellow from 1983–1991 and from 1998–2008, and also acted as Director of Byzantine Studies from 1989–1991 and from 1996–1997. She ensured institutional support for several major scholarly projects, including the final stage of production of The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (to which she was an important contributor and member of the Adviusory Board), the Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, vols. 4 and 5 of the Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, the first three volumes of the Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art, the Byzantine Saints' Lives in Translation series, and the on-line Byzantine Hagiography Database Project.
A brilliant scholar of Byzantine economic and social history, Angeliki maintained an active scholarly agenda during her tenure as director, despite the burden of her administrative duties. During the 1990s she organized or co-organized a number of colloquia and symposia at Dumbarton Oaks which resulted in significant publications: the fiftieth-anniversary celebration of the founding of the program in Byzantine studies at Dumbarton Oaks (Byzantium, A World Civilization 1991, published 1992, with Henry Maguire), Consent and Coercion to Sex and Marriage in Ancient and Medieval Societies (1992, published 1993), Law and Society in Byzantium, Ninth–Twelfth Centuries (1992, published 1994, with Dieter Simon), Studies on the Internal Diaspora of the Byzantine Empire 1993, published 1998 with Hélène Ahrweiler, and The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World (1997, published 2001, with Roy Mottahedeh). Angeliki also directed or co-directed two additional symposia, whose papers were published in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44 (1990) and 58 (2004): "The Byzantine Family and Household" in 1989 and "Realities in the Arts of the Medieval Mediterranean, 800—1500" in 2002.
Last but not least, it should be noted that while she was still director of Dumbarton Oaks Angeliki embarked on preparation of The Economic History of Byzantium from the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century, for which she served as editor-in-chief. This monumental multi-authored work, in three volumes, was published by Dumbarton Oaks in 2002 and in a Greek translation in 2006. The passing of Angeliki Laiou is a great loss for the field of Byzantine studies, for Harvard University, and for the community of Dumbarton Oaks. Expressions of condolence may be sent to her son, Vassili Thomadakis, at 43 Upland Road, Cambridge, MA 02140. Funeral and burial services will be held in Greece, and a memorial service is scheduled at Harvard some time in the month of January. [From EMF-L]
Alain Renoir, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley, passed away on December 12, 2008 following a short illness. He was 87. [From ISAS_net]