Professor Waldemar Ceran (1936–2009) was among the most prominent figures in the Polish humanities, especially in the field of Byzantine studies. He was for many years the director of first the Department, then the Chair of Byzantine History, University of Łódź – the first and largest of such academic units in Poland. Throughout his long-lasting and prosperous academic career, he performed a number of significant duties. In particular, he was the director, as well as the president (subsequently honorary president) of the Commission of Byzantine Studies at the Committee of Ancient Culture, Polish Academy of Sciences (the Polish national committee of the Association Internationale des Études Byzantines). He was the immediate student and closest collaborator of Prof. Halina Evert-Kappesowa, the doyen of Byzantine studies in Łódź. He received substantial specialized training from such foreign masters of the field as Prof. Paul Lemerle or Prof. Nina V. Pigulevskaya. Professor Ceran, an expert on the history of the Byzantine Empire in its entire temporal extent and diverse aspects, specialized in the history of Antioch during Late Antiquity, the relations between the Church and the Byzantine state as well as the history of the Mount Athos monasteries. He was the idol and mentor of a whole group of scholars as well as the reviewer of numerous doctoral, habilitation and professorial theses – hence the decision to name the newly founded Centre after Him.