V. Rev. Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis, PhD

Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center

  • BS: University of Maryland
  • MDiv: Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
  • MA: Pennsylvania State University
  • MLIS: Simmons College
  • PhD: Pennsylvania State University

Very Rev. Dr. Cotsonis’ area of research and academic inquiry is in the field of Byzantine Art. His particular fields of expertise are in the liturgical arts, manuscript illumination, religious iconography of Byzantine lead seals, and Christian iconography. He is one of two leading scholars in North America on Byzantine lead seals. The seals are the richest body of evidence for the iconography of the saintly figures and their cult in Byzantium, and key documents for the study of both orthodox piety and the political use of religious art. Beyond numerous articles on these matters, he is the author of a book, Byzantine Figural Processional Crosses, which is now regarded as the standard work on the subject.

Before coming to Holy Cross, Fr. Joachim was an Assistant Bibliographer and Museum Exhibition Associate at Dumbarton Oaks Library, Harvard Center for Byzantine Studies. Over the years, he has served on the Governing Board, Program Committee, and the Local Arrangements Committee of the Annual Byzantine Studies Conference and was a Voted Member of the U.S. National Committee for Byzantine Studies. In April of 2007, he received the Alumni Award from the Department of Art History of The Pennsylvania State University. Fr. Joachim also participated as an iconographic consultant in the 2nd and 3rd International Sigillographic Workshops for the Digital Cataloguing of Byzantine Lead Seals (SigiDoc Workshop) held at Dumbarton Oaks in December 2010 and July 2011, respectively. More recently, in July of 2015 and July of 2016, he was invited to spend time at Dumbarton Oaks as a research consultant in order to focus on the group of their “iconographic” seals for the ongoing project of the online Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Lead Seals database.