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Seminars: Why Byzantium? the Contemporary Relevance

with Olympia Thea Nelson

  • When: – 9:00 pm
  • Where:
    Was at Greek Centre, Level 12 ( but a recording is available on: YouTube)
    168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
  • Entry: Free

Event Details

Why should Byzantium hold special relevance to us today? As a world that is both irretrievably lost and tenaciously present, even in Australia in the form of Orthodoxy, how do we make sense of our relationship to Byzantium? In this lecture I unpack the complicated relationship that we have to Byzantium as a ‘lost Greece’ that nevertheless has a presence wherever there are Greeks. For all ethnicities (especially those who are not Christian) the lure of Byzantium lies in its aesthetics; and this talk reveals how the beauty of Byzantine objects, spaces and poetry transcends its religious basis, seductively thrilling contemporary audiences who are keen to understand its tragic mishandling. I will also highlight contemporary practices in Greece and the Greek-Australian diaspora that are largely unchanged from Byzantium, such as icon venerating.

About Olympia Thea Nelson

Olympia Unimelb headshot

Olympia Nelson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Greek & Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. She completed a BA Hons with first-class honors from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Art History and English & Theatre Studies. Olympia’s doctoral research focuses on the management and flourishing of emotions in Byzantium, exploring themes such as gender, space, monastic practices and the church. She has published articles and presented papers on these topics at international conferences. Outside academia, Olympia enjoys playing the violin and Cretan dancing.

How to Participate

This is an in-person only event, so please join us at the Greek Centre, on Level 12 (Press 12 in the elevator).

See our speaker live, ask questions during the Q&A and hobnob with fellow participants before and after the event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Admission to this enlightening lecture is free, and all are invited to attend.


We'd like to thank Jim Bossinakis for the kind donation that makes seminars like this possible.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: or call 03 9662 2722.

We thank the following corporate sponsors:
Delphi Accounting, Symposiarch Wines and the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria

About Greek History and Culture Seminars 2024

This event belongs to the series, Greek History and Culture Seminars 2024.

The Greek Community of Melbourne hosts a wide range of events, from intimate gatherings to large functions, and celebrates cultural diversity with vibrant festivals, performances, and exhibitions.

SERIES DATES: Thursday, 07/03/2024 – Thursday, 26/09/2024

See all Greek History and Culture Seminars 2024 published events.

  • LANGUAGE English
  • CATEGORY Education
  • EVENT SERIES Seminars > Greek History and Culture Seminars 2024
  • SERIES DATES Thursday, 07/03/2024 – Thursday, 26/09/2024
  • PRESENTED BY The Greek Community of Melbourne
  • FEATURING Olympia Thea Nelson
  • M.C. Nick Dallas
  • MAJOR DONORS Delphi Accounting, Symposiarch Wines and the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria
  • MINOR DONORS Jim Bossinakis
    Was at Greek Centre, Level 12 ( but a recording is available on: YouTube)
  • ADDDRESS 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000