а) Wall Painting and Inscriptions of the XIVth and XVth Centuries
Project leader: Gojko Subotić
The topic of research were wall paintings of the Byzantine style, depicting sacral and lay themes, in the territory of medieval Serbia during the last centuries of its existence. The paintings are accompanied by inscriptions, of which the texts with a historical content are especially important, primarily donors' inscriptions that provide information about the founders, the time of the construction of the buildings and the creation of their decorations, the representatives of secular and spiritual authority, and sometimes even about the master craftsmen (builders and painters), the social situation, holdings, etc. Many issues regarding the character and history of monuments can only be explained by a parallel consideration of, on the one side, the visual presentations (with especially interesting portraits of endowers, rulers, noblemen, church dignitaries and donors from various layers of society) and of reliable sources, which contain epigraphic material that directly attests them. Within the project it was continued wtih publishing of inscriptions with historical content, the first volume of which (with material from the XIIth and the XIIIth century) was brought to completion in the previous project period.
b) The Byzantine World Undergoing Changes (Xth-XIIth Centuries)
Project leader: Ljubomir Maksimović
(†) Ninoslava Radošević
The topic of the project was the time (Xth-XIIth centuries) of major changes in the appearance and functioning of the Byzantine "model." Research took place in several directions:
(a) The development of state administration in the XIth and in the XIIth century, especially in the context of the personnel structure. The focus was on the processes of growing complexity in its structure, militarisation and privatisation of institutions, marked by the discrepancy in the system's theoretical organisation and palliative solutions, and the final transfer of the mechanism of authority into the hands of the aristocracy. All the research was based on Byzantine historiographic works, officials' seals and the correspondence of dignitaries.
(b) The ideological aspect of the observed phenomena was also taken into consideration, especially the issue of relations between the public and private spheres in the functioning of the state and the specific parts of the state mechanism. This bears special importance in relations between Byzantium, on the one, and Serbia and Bulgaria on the other side.
(c) The mentioned circumstances are reflected in the cultural physiognomy of the epoch. Research in this direction was possible by examining the said literary and historical types of sources, primarily the historiographic works of the XIth and the epistolographic works of the XIth and the XIIth century. The results of the project consisted of studies about: (a) changes in the state administration and in relations between political theory and practice, (b) the nature of relations between Serbia and the Byzantium, and (c) the character of sources for researching these issues.
c) The Final Century of Byzantium and Serbia
Project leader: Radivoj Radić
(†) Ninoslava Radošević
(†) Sima Ćirković
The topic of the project was the final century of the existence of both Byzantium and Serbia before their fall to the Ottoman Empire. The project envisaged research into the multilateral and diversified ties between the two states. This project, which was closely connected with the international project of the institutes of Byzantine Studies in Belgrade and Athens, was conducted in three directions:
a) The primary target of research were the writings of Byzantine authors about Serbia in that time. These were mainly authors who wrote after the fall of Byzantium. This matter is especially interesting since it was at that time that Byzantine writers abandoned their age old attitude of scorn for the southern Slavic nations and, faced with a common Turkish enemy, began to perceive them in a different way.
b) Some papers were dedicated to certain aspects of life in Byzantium and in Serbia. On the other hand, it was considered how the Serbian authors of the XVth century viewed the Byzantine Empire.
c) Separate research was devoted to the study and publishing of the Acts of the Hilandar Monastery - namely documents dating back to the second half of the XIVth and to the XVth century.
The main purpose of the project was the publication of volume VII of Byzantine Sources for the History of the Yugoslav Nations, which is one of the most important tasks of the Institute of Byzantine Studies in the years to come.