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This book offers the first comprehensive study of Byzantine influence on the art and iconography of East Central Europe. Petr Balcárek focuses on the Byzantine cultural and religious legacy in the Czech lands, thereby bringing to light rarely seen images and presenting fresh hypotheses based on newly-explored theological interpretations and historical evidence.

Including a discussion of the Czech and Slovak historiography on Byzantine studies, the work analyses significant artistic and iconographical artefacts in light of the intricate historical and political relationships that shaped Byzantine presence in these territories, comparing them with similar objects from other areas of Byzantine influence in order to draw wide-reaching conclusions.
The artistic and literary maze of Latin-occupied Greece cannot be analysed by a conventional approach. Follow the author and the historical protagonists of his tales in a journey through a fragmentary shape-shifting corpus, from the medieval translations of Aristotle to pornographic animal tales carved on church columns. The book explains how art and literature were intertwined, how they evolved from the times of Nicetas Choniates to those of Isabella of Lusignan, and under what influences. It is based on the assumption that history is a form of literature, as they both share an “arbitrary distribution of emphasis” (Isaiah Berlin).
Inside Christian churches, natural light has long been harnessed to underscore theological, symbolic, and ideological statements. In this volume, twenty-four international scholars with various specialties explore how the study of sunlight can reveal essential aspects of the design, decoration, and function of medieval sacred spaces.

Themes covered include the interaction between patrons, advisors, architects, and artists, as well as local negotiations among competing traditions that yielded new visual and spatial constructs for which natural light served as a defining and unifying factor. The study of natural light in medieval churches reveals cultural relations, knowledge transfer patterns, processes of translation and adaptation, as well as experiential aspects of sacred spaces in the Middle Ages.

Contributors are: Anna Adashinskaya, Jelena Bogdanović, Debanjana Chatterjee, Ljiljana Čavić, Aleksandar Čučaković, Dušan Danilović, Magdalena Dragović, Natalia Figueiras Pimentel, Leslie Forehand, Jacob Gasper, Vera Henkelmann, Gabriel-Dinu Herea, Vladimir Ivanovici, Charles Kerton, Jorge López Quiroga, Anastasija Martinenko, Andrea Mattiello, Rubén G. Mendoza, Dimitris Minasidis, Maria Paschali, Marko Pejić, Iakovos Potamianos, Maria Shevelkina, Alice Isabella Sullivan, Travis Yeager, and Olga Yunak.
Little is known about the Christianization of east-central and eastern Europe, due to the fragmentary nature of the historical record. Yet occasionally, unexpected archaeological discoveries can offer fresh angles and new insights. This volume presents such an example: the discovery of a Byzantine-like church in Alba Iulia, Transylvania, dating from the 10th century - a unique find in terms of both age and function. Next to its ruins, another church was built at the end of the 11th century, following a Roman Catholic architectural model, soon to become the seat of the Latin bishopric of Transylvania.

Who built the older, Byzantine-style church, and what was the political, religious and cultural context of the church? How does this new discovery affect our perception of the ecclesiastical history of Transylvania? A new reading of the archaeological and historical record prompted by these questions is presented here, thereby opening up new challenges for further research.

Contributors are: Daniela Marcu Istrate, Florin Curta, Horia I. Ciugudean, Aurel Dragotă, Monica-Elena Popescu, Călin Cosma, Tudor Sălăgean, Jan Nicolae, Dan Ioan Mureșan, Alexandru Madgearu, Gábor Thoroczkay, Éva Tóth-Révész, Boris Stojkovski, Șerban Turcuș, Adinel C. Dincă, Mihai Kovács, Nicolae Călin Chifăr, Marius Mihail Păsculescu, and Ana Dumitran.
(The open access version of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.) The book proposes a reassessment of royal portraiture and its function in the Middle Ages via a comparative analysis of works from different areas of the Mediterranean world, where images are seen as only one outcome of wider and multifarious strategies for the public mise-en-scène of the rulers’ bodies. Its emphasis is on the ways in which medieval monarchs in different areas of the Mediterranean constructed their outward appearance and communicated it by means of a variety of rituals, object-types, and media.
Contributors are Michele Bacci, Nicolas Bock, Gerardo Boto Varela, Branislav Cvetković, Sofia Fernández Pozzo, Gohar Grigoryan Savary, Elodie Leschot, Vinni Lucherini, Ioanna Rapti, Juan Carlos Ruiz Souza, Marta Serrano-Coll, Lucinia Speciale, Manuela Studer-Karlen, Mirko Vagnoni, and Edda Vardanyan.
Editor:
Few subjects have generated more argument in early medieval, Byzantine, and Orthodox history than Iconoclasm. Supposedly for more than a century the Orthodox Church and Byzantium were wracked by controversy over religious figural imagery, culminating in 843 in the establishment of icon veneration as a fundamental Orthodox practice. In this multidisciplinary Companion to Byzantine Iconoclasm, twelve contributors set the controversy in context and critically examine the key debates: what was the argument about? How much destruction and persecution were there? What caused and fuelled the controversy? What links, if any, were there to events in the Islamic Caliphate and the Latin West? And how can we use our contested literary and material sources to offer answers to these questions?

Contributors: Benjamin Anderson, Marie-France Auzépy, Sabine Feist, Mike Humphreys, Robin M. Jensen, Dirk Krausmüller, Andrew Louth, Ken Parry, Richard Price, Christian C. Sahner, and Jesse W. Torgerson.

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This landmark volume combines classic and revisionist essays to explore the historiography of Sardinia’s exceptional transition from an island of the Byzantine empire to the rise of its own autonomous rulers, the iudikes, by the 1000s.
In addition to Sardinia’s contacts with the Byzantines, Muslim North Africa and Spain, Lombard Italy, Genoa, Pisa, and the papacy, recent and older evidence is analysed through Latin, Greek and Arabic sources, vernacular charters and cartularies, the testimony of coinage, seals, onomastics and epigraphy as well as the Sardinia’s early medieval churches, arts, architecture and archaeology. The result is an important new critique of state formation at the margins of Byzantium, Islam, and the Latin West with the creation of lasting cultural, political and linguistic frontiers in the western Mediterranean.

Contributors are Hervin Fernández-Aceves, Luciano Gallinari, Rossana Martorelli, Attilio Mastino, Alex Metcalfe, Marco Muresu, Michele Orrù, Andrea Pala, Giulio Paulis, Giovanni Strinna, Alberto Virdis, Maurizio Virdis, and Corrado Zedda.
Volume Editor:
Culture matérielle et contacts diplomatiques rassemble quatorze études qui traitent de la culture matérielle en relation avec les échanges diplomatiques qui ont marqué un espace géographique couvrant la zone méditerranéenne (Orient islamique, pour l’essentiel, Occident latin et Byzance) et une période qui correspond à celle de l’amplification de ces échanges, c’est-à-dire entre le XIe et le XVIe siècles, et où les sources se font plus nombreuses. Ce volume est divisé en trois parties, chacune correspondant à un des aspects majeurs de la matérialité de la diplomatie prémoderne : les ambassades, les cadeaux, et les documents.

The present volume brings together fourteen studies that deal with material culture in relation to diplomatic exchanges that marked a geographical area covering the Mediterranean area (Islamic East (mostly), Latin West and Byzantium),Cont and a period that corresponds to that of the amplification of these exchanges, that is to say between the eleventh and the sixteenth centuries, and where the sources are more numerous. This volume is divided into three parts, each corresponding to one of the major aspects of the materiality of premodern diplomacy: embassies, gifts, and documents.

Contributors: Isabelle Augé, Frédéric Bauden, Marisa Bueno, Thierry Buquet, Malika Dekkiche, Nicolas Drocourt, Jesse Hysell, Cécile Khalifa, Élisabeth Malamut, Émilie Maraszak, Mohamed Ouerfelli, Stéphane Péquignot, Daniel Potthast, Alessandro Rizzo, Beatrice Saletti, Motia Zouihal.
In The Pechenegs: Nomads in the Political and Cultural Landscape of Medieval Europe, Aleksander Paroń offers a reflection on the history of the Pechenegs, a nomadic people which came to control the Black Sea steppe by the end of the ninth century. Nomadic peoples have often been presented in European historiography as aggressors and destroyers whose appearance led to only chaotic decline and economic stagnation. Making use of historical and archaeological sources along with abundant comparative material, Aleksander Paroń offers here a multifaceted and cogent image of the nomads’ relations with neighboring political and cultural communities in the tenth and eleventh centuries.
Dedicated to Erica Cruikshank Dodd, Art and Material Culture in the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds offers new perspectives on the Christian and Muslim communities of the east Mediterranean from medieval to contemporary times. The contributors examine how people from diverse religious backgrounds adapted to their changing political landscapes and show that artistic patronage, consumption, and practices are interwoven with constructed narratives. The essays consider material and textual evidence for painted media, architecture, and the creative process in Byzantium, Crusader-era polities, the Ottoman empire, and the modern Middle East, thus demonstrating the importance of the past in understanding the present.

Contributors: Evanthia Baboula, Lesley Jessop, Anthony Cutler, Jaroslav Folda, John Osborne, Glenn Peers, Annemarie Weyl Carr, Mat Immerzeel, Bas Snelders, Angela Andersen, May Farhat, Marcus Milwright, Rico Franses.