Joost Snaterse (Radboud University, Nijmegen) is currently working at the NIT on his PhD-project on early medieval charitable urban landscapes.
Joost is a PhD-candidate at the Department of History, Art History & Classics of Radboud University in late antique and Byzantine history. His research project investigates the role of elite patronage in defining social boundaries in the cities of the early Byzantine Empire (ca. fifth-eight centuries CE). It seeks to understand elite patronage as a performative urban phenomenon that continuously (re)defined the Byzantine urban landscape.
The project aims to view urban philanthropy not only as a form of elite self-representation, but also as an active force in shaping and maintaining the different social boundaries of the city, including those determined by class, gender, and rivaling elite families and imperial dynasties. The aim is to establish the central role of foundations and their related rituals in creating, maintaining, and shifting social boundaries in the early medieval Mediterranean city. The presence of philanthropic or welfare institutions is seen as a crucial tool in understanding and unraveling the social fabric of Byzantine urban life.
The imperial capital of Constantinople is a central case study in his research. The stay at the NIT specifically allows him to get better acquainted with the urban fabric of Istanbul and its layered history. The study of the urban topography is a central aim of the stay, as it will lay the groundwork for a mapping of early medieval charitable urban landscapes at a later stage during the project. During his stay at the NIT, Joost will visit and study various Byzantine monuments in situ as well as the collections of Byzantine material culture in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Additionally, he will consult the rich collections of international research libraries in Istanbul, especially editions of seals and tokens.