CEMS Best Thesis Award for MA students in the Advanced Certificate Program in Eastern Mediterranean Studies this year goes to Andrei Dumitrescu (Medieval Studies, 2YMA) for his thesis "The Visionary Emperor: Constantine the Great and the Archangel Michael in Late Fifteenth-Century Moldavian Representations," supervised by Prof. Baukje van den Berg.
Congratulations, Andrei :)
Andrei's thesis examines the role of the Archangel Michael as protector of the ideal Christian sovereign in the iconographical programs of two churches founded or decorated by Voivode Stephen III and local nobility in the Principality of Moldavia (in modern-day Romania). These iconographical programs, and in particular the scenes depicting St. Michael and Constantine the Great, were an important means for local rulers to fashion their self-representation as monarchs and negotiate power relations between church and state. By analysing these images in their spatial and liturgical contexts and in dialogue with the historical and intellectual circumstances of their production, Andrei's thesis advances our understanding of these largely neglected angelic cycles along with their political and cultural implications. To explore the broader framework behind the depictions of Constantine and St. Michael, Andrei has studied an impressive number of mostly unexamined texts in Latin, Greek and Old Church Slavonic of different kinds and from different periods. In this way, his thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach to the Moldavian wall paintings, which sheds new light on the ways in which Byzantine visual and textual material was translated into new political and cultural contexts.
Andrei will continue his studies as a PhD student at Stanford University. We wish him all the best.