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Medieval Moldavia – which was located within present-day northeastern Romania and the Republic of Moldova – developed a bold and eclectic visual culture beginning in the 15th century. Within this networked Carpathian Mountain region, art and architecture reflect the creativity and diversity of the cultural landscapes of Eastern Europe.
Moldavian objects and monuments – ranging from fortified monasteries and churches enveloped in fresco cycles to silk embroideries, delicately carved woodwork and metalwork, as well as manuscripts gifted to Mount Athos and other Christian centers – negotiate the complex issues of patronage and community in the region. The works attest to processes of cultural contact and translation, revealing how Western medieval, Byzantine, and Slavic traditions were mediated in Moldavian contexts in the post-Byzantine period.
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Abstract

The canonization of the missionary bishop Hierotheos, the beginner of the Byzantine mission in Hungary (10th century), drew attention after the jubilee year 2000 to how this mission left its mark on historiography and archeology. Starting from the hagiographic file Hierotheos, the research tries to reconstruct the manner in which the historical image of this Byzantine bishop’s presence in Hungary and Transylvania was formed, discovering that the central element is the work of the pre-Enlightenment historian Gottfried Schwarz (1707–1788), Initia religionis christianae inter Hungaros ecclesiae orientalis adserta, a historical-critical dissertation published in Halle, in 1740, and later taken over in the Romanian historiography of the Transylvanian School (Gheorghe Șincai, Samuil Micu and Petru Maior) and in the Hungarian Protestant one (Péter Bod, Richard Huss), being further taken over and conjuncturally developed up until contemporary historiography, now revisited and re-evaluated in the context of recent archaeological discoveries in Alba Iulia (10th century Byzantine church, cemetery in Izvorul Împăratului with reliquary crosses).

In: Christianization in Early Medieval Transylvania
In: Natural Light in Medieval Churches
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.
Byzantium in Eastern European Visual Culture in the Late Middle Ages, edited by Maria Alessia Rossi and Alice Isabella Sullivan, engages with issues of cultural contact and patronage, as well as the transformation and appropriation of Byzantine artistic, theological, and political models, alongside local traditions, across Eastern Europe. The regions of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains, and early modern Russia have been treated in scholarship within limited frameworks or excluded altogether from art historical conversations. This volume encourages different readings of the artistic landscapes of Eastern Europe during the late medieval period, highlighting the cultural and artistic productions of individual centers. These ought to be considered individually and as part of larger networks, thus revealing their shared heritage and indebtedness to artistic and cultural models adopted from elsewhere, and especially from Byzantium.

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How have the concepts of “lateness” and “modernity” inflected the study of medieval and early modern architecture? This volume seeks to (re)situate monuments from the 14th—16th centuries that are indebted to medieval building practices and designs within the more established narratives of art and architectural history.

Drawing on case studies from Cyprus to the Dominican Republic, the book explores historiographical, methodological, and theoretical concerns related to the study of medieval architecture, bringing to the fore the meanings and functions of the Gothic in specific contexts of use and display. The development of local styles relative to competing traditions, and instances of coexistence and hybridization, are considered in relation to workshop practices and design theory, the role of ornament, the circulation of people and knowledge, spatial experiences, as well as notions of old and new.

Contributors are: Jakub Adamski, Flaminia Bardati, Costanza Beltrami, Robert Bork, Jana Gajdošová, Maile S. Hutterer, Jacqueline Jung, Alice Klima, Abby McGehee, Paul Niell, Michalis Olympios, Zachary Stewart, Alice Isabella Sullivan, Kyle G. Sweeney, and Marek Walczak.
In: Byzantium in Eastern European Visual Culture in the Late Middle Ages