Lioba Theis

Lioba Theis is Professor of Byzantine Art History at the Departments of Art History and Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna (since 2005), an Associate Director of the Institute of Byzantine Studies, Director of the Digital Research Archive for Byzantium (DiFaB) and a member of ETT‘s network.

Having studied art history, classical archaeology, Christian archaeology, and musicology and violin in Cologne and Bonn where she defended her dissertation, Lioba taught at the universities of Bonn, Mainz, Munich, Hamburg, Graz, Cyprus, Jerusalem and currently Vienna. In 2003-4, she held a fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Her research focuses on topics such as the history of architecture, late antique, Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and light in space and images, among others. Lioba is currently working on a monograph exploring the various meanings and uses of light in Byzantium. The volume looks both at natural and artificial light, with a focus on liturgy and its affective impact. It also investigates how the mysticism of light expressed in texts such as those of Dionysius of the Areopagite translates into the architecture of the Byzantine church building.


Role in the project

Lioba is organising the third ETT workshop Visualising and Enacting Emotions (June/July 2017) together with another network member, namely Prof. Niels Gaul (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh). Lioba is also the network’s member with the most experience in digital humanities, thanks to her work with DiFaB, an electronic archive of Byzantine art history in various media, which she launched in 2005. Thus, Lioba will be working together with Aglae PizzoneDivna Manolova and Matteo Zaccarini to populate the ETT Digital Archive, a collection of both textual and visual source material reflecting representations of affectivity.

Within the ETT, Lioba will deal with visuality and material culture, focusing on the bodily expression of emotions as attested in Byzantine iconographic sources and on affective space as created by liturgical settings. She will work on archaeological evidence, selecting sites of cultic/ritual continuity and will investigate the impact of Byzantine emotions in post-Byzantine cultural and political space.


A list of Lioba’s selected publications is available here




A list of research projects Lioba is involved in is available here.


To learn more about the Digital Research Archive for Byzantium (DiFaB), visit their web page

Leave a Comment