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Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Second Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
12-14 November, 1976
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Dedicated to the Memory of
Alexander Alexandrovich Vasiliev
Professor of History, University of Wisconsin 1925-1938


Compiled and Edited by John W. Barker

SESSION CODE (and Presidents)

  1. Fri. Nov. 12, 9:30 a.m.: A. LATE ANTIQUE/EARLY BYZANTINE (J. Teall) p. 2
  2. Fri. Nov. 12, 9:30 a.m.: B. TEXTS AND HISTORY (D. B. Evans) p. 6
  3. Fri. Nov. 12, 2:00 p.m.: A. ART IN THE REGION OF PALESTINE (M. Frazer) p11
  4. Fri. Nov. 12, 2:00 p.m.: B. THE EMPEROR (N. Oikonomides) p.16
  5. Sat. Nov. 13, 9:00 a.m.: A. ART IN THE PROVINCES (C. L. Striker) p. 20
  6. Sat. Nov. 13, 9:00 a.m.: B. INSTITUTIONS, TAXATION, AND TRADE (A. Laiou) p. 25
  7. Sat. Nov. 13, 2:00 p.m.: A. MANUSCRIPT ILLUMINATION (D. LeBerrurier) p. 29
  8. Sat. Nov. 13, 2:00 p.m.: B. BYZANTINE LITERATURE (J. Meyendorff) p. 33
  9. Sun. Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m.: A. GENERAL TOPICS (G. P. Majeska) p. 40
  10. Sun. Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m.: B. MUSIC AND LITURGY (D. Conomos) p.44


(Numbers in parentheses indicate session in which paper is given: see Code above.)

  • Anderson, J. C. - Manuscript Painting in the Monastery of Galakrenai,llth C.(7) 29
  • Bratton, T. L. - The Plague of Justinian and Demographic Decline (1) p. 4
  • Caires, V. A. - Photius' Use of the Greek Tradition in Letter to King Boris(4) p. 17
  • Carr, A. W. - Byzantine Manuscript Illumination in l2th-Century Palestine (3) p. 15
  • Chesnut, R. C. - The Origin of the Dialogue in the Bazaar of Heraclides (8) p. 33
  • Clover, F. M. - Leo I's War of A.D. 470 against the Vandals (1) p. 2
  • Cooper, E. - Symbolic Image of Covenant in Judaic, Early Christian & Byz.Art (9) p. 40
  • Ćurč ić, S. - Origins of l3th-Century Church Architecture in Serbia (5) p. 21
  • Cutler, A. - New Work on the Walters Psalter (7) p. 30
  • Dennis, G. I. - A Critical Edition of the Strategikon Attrib. to Maurice (8) 35
  • Dodd, E. C. - Byzantine Wall Painting in Lebanon (3) p. 13
  • Epstein, A. W. - Problem of Provincialism: Cappadocia & South Italy (5) p. 20
  • Fears, J. R. - From Princeps a Diis Electus to Dominus Gratia Dei (4) p. 16
  • Fisher, E. A. - Planudes and the 'New' Literature of the 13th Century (8) p. 37
  • Folds, J. - Aspects of Crusader Fresco Painting, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (3) p. 12
  • Foss, C. - Byzantine Response to Arabs: Some Fortresses of Asia Minor (1) 6,48
  • Fotiou, A. S. - Soldier, Civilian & State in Early Byzantium: New Evidence (2) p. 6
  • Gero, S. - Iconoclasm and Monachomachy in the 8th Century (9) p. 42
  • Gregory, T. E. - Some Thoughts on Violence in Early Byzantine Society (1) p. 2
  • Hanak, W. K. - Historiographical Observations, Old Slavonic Symeon Logothete(2) p. 9
  • Head, C. - Changes in Imperial Fashion in the Reign of Alexios Komnenos (4) p. 19
  • Hohlfelder, R. L. - Byzantine Coins from Kenchreai Excavations: Considerations(9) p. 41
  • Jacoff, M. - Moses Cupola at S.Marco: Bologna,Venice & Byzantium, Late 13th C.(7) p. 31
  • Kalavrezou-Maxeiner, I. The Romanos Ivory: Its Political Significance (4) p. 18
  • Kastner, G. R. - Narrative Unity in the Digenes Akrites (8) p. 35
  • Kraft, K. - 'Light-Metaphysics' in Hymns of Symeon the New Theologian (10) p. 46
  • Lindner, R. P. - From Byzantine Subjects to Ottoman Tribesmen (1261-1324) (9) p. 44
  • Littlewood, A. R. - Symbolism of the Apple: Kazantzakid Debt to Byzantine Erotic Imagery(8) p. 39
  • Loeschmann, H. - Melodic Style in Late Byzantine Communion Chants (10) p. 47
  • MacCoull, L. S. B. - Dioscorus and the Dukes (1) p. 3
  • Majeska, G P. - Byzantium as a Modality: The Moscow Coronation of 1498 (4) p. 19
  • Miller, D. A. - Application of Comparative Analytical Techniques to Byzantine Imperial Office(9) p. 43
  • Miller, T. S. - Tax-Farming in the Palaeologan Empire (6) p. 26
  • Nesbitt, J. W. - Office of General Kommerkiarios,500-800: Evidence of Seals (6) p. 25
  • O'Meara, D. J. - Neoplatonism and the Formation of the Fonds Coislin(2) p. 10
  • Reyerson, K. L. - Changing Place of Byzantium in Levant Trade of Montpellier (6)27
  • Roussin, L. A. - The Inhabited Scroll in Palestinian Pavement Mosaics (3) p. 11
  • Schwartz, E. C. - Palestinian Influences on 13th-Century Fresco Decoration in Pec (5) p. 23
  • Siciliano, J. A. - Neilos Doxapatrius: Papal Supremacy & Patriarchal Pentarchy(2) p. 10
  • Stahl, H. - The Kings Illustration in the Morgan Old Testament Picture Book (7) p. 31
  • Sullivan, D. F. - The Versions of the Vita Niconis (8) p. 37
  • Thompson, W. C. - Legal Reforms of Iconoclastic Era: Changing Economic Struggle of Family(6) p. 25
  • Touliatos-Banker, D. - The Three Types of the Amomos Chant (10) p. 45
  • Treadgold, W. T. - The Date of the Bibliotheca of Photius (2) p. 8
  • Van Elderen, B. - The 1976 Excavations at Nag Hammadi (9) p. 41
  • Velimiroviâ, M. - New Views of the History of Russian Chant (10) p. 44
  • Vikan, G. - Byzance aprs Byzance: Greek Ms. Production in Wallachia (7) p. 32
  • Waltz, C L. - Architectural Backgrounds in the Menologium of Basil 11 (7) p. 29
  • Whitney, T. G. - Evolution of Melody in Middle Byzantine Music (10) p. 47
  • Wozniak, F. E. - Didactic Lessons in Diplomacy from Excerpta de legationibus (8)36
  • Wright, D. H. - Crosscurrents of Style at Manastir in 1271 (5) p. 22

(Copyright reserved to the individual speakers)

Cover Photograph: Bronze casting of a portrait of Prof. A. A. Vasiliev, sculpted ca. 1935 by Elizabeth Marshall Harris. (Photo, J. W. Barker, courtesy of artist)


John Teall, Presiding

Some Thoughts on Violence in Early Byzantine Society

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)

The later Roman empire (and all of Byzantine history for that matter) is frequently viewed as an age of violence, when life was valued at little and brute force was thoughtlessly used in attempts to solve a wide variety of complex problems. The violent persecution of one Christian group by another and the riots which seem regularly to have disturbed the empire are characteristic features of this phenomenon, which deserves closer scrutiny and detailed analysis.

There can be little doubt that the age was one of uncertainty and danger; the barbarian invasions and the harsh penalties of the codes are a measure of this. Yet one may wonder how prevalent violence really was and how it actually affected the lives of the people of the time. More specifically, there are reasons to suspect that the sources for this period, by focusing their attention on violence, have distorted our perception of the extent and the nature of the problem.

Nevertheless, the involvement of the emperor in the religious controversies and the frequently violent response of the crowd are attested facts. Here we should probably distinguish broadly between "official" and "popular" violence and see the latter as a continuation of a tradition of local violence which had characterized all of the ancient world and which was probably affected but little by the rise of Christianity. Thus, the crowds which assailed the heretics were essentially the same as those which had attacked the Christians a few years earlier. On the official level, it does seem odd that the lofty Christian appeal for toleration during the persecutions should have faded so quickly in the storm of sectarian controversy. Christianity is, of course, an intolerant religion, but the historian should be concerned to determine why coercion and violence became a cornerstone of imperial religious policy. In this development the Arian domination of Constantinople and the episcopacy of Macedonius were of considerable importance. Yet, it is interesting to note the survival of a strong tradition of Christian tolerance at a fairly high level of Christian society.

Leo I's War of A.D. 470 against the Vandals

Frank M. Clover (University of Wisconsin)

With few exceptions, historians follow the Justinianic sources for the great expedition of the Emperor Leo I against the Vandals. Historians generally date the expedition to 468, and, with Procopius and his contemporaries, regard it as a total failure.

This standard approach is uncritical. The Justinianic sources, anxious to glorify Belisarius' achievement in North Africa, magnified the failure of Leo's offensive of 468, and all but ignored a second, more successful expedition which occurred two years later. I propose to examine the campaign of 470. It has not received proper attention. Only Christian Courtois took note of it, and even he did not exploit all the evidence. In making my analysis I shall first isolate the literary evidence for the war of 470. 1 shall then argue that in 470 two supporters of the future Emperor Zeno led an expedition from Egypt to North Africa. Landing at Tripoli, they almost captured Carthage. Meanwhile, Basiliscus, leader of the campaign of 468, defeated a Vandal fleet off the west coast of Italy. Victory was within the grasp of Leo's forces, but suddenly Leo recalled all troops and concluded a pact of non- intervention with the Vandals. Why did he do this? The answer is to be sought in the complex politics of Constantinople: Leo needed all available forces for a showdown with his generalissimo Aspar, who fell prey to the Emperor's assassins in the following year.

I shall conclude my talk with some slide illustrations of three commemorations of the war of 470:
(1) the pax solidus of the western Emperor Anthemius
(2) the rostra Vandalica, a rough, northward extension of the rostra in the forum of Rome
(3) an inscription of ca. 471, found at Plovdiv in Bulgaria, honoring Basiliscus as victor.

Dioscorus and the Dukes

Leslie S. B. MacCoull (Catholic University)

The poet-lawyer Dioscorus of Aphrodito (ca. A.D. 525-585) enjoyed the patronage of a succession of dukes of the Thebaid, and was attached to the doukikē taxis at Antinoe, the ducal seat, in more than one official capacity between 566 and 573. As the scion of a local Coptic family of Creek culture of at least the third generation, who had travelled to Constantinople in 551 on a mission on behalf of the autopract tax rights of the village in whose environs his father owned a monastery, Dioscorus would have been in demand by those on the gubernatorial level. He returned their support by practising the notariate and by turning out encomiastic verso in their honour. It is the identities, pattern of succession, and functions of these dukes of the Thebaid, that still await clarification.

Since the administrative reorganisation of Egypt in 554 by Justinian's Edict 13, the office of duke had taken on paramount importance for all aspects of life in the upper Egyptian nomes. Around the person of the duke grew up whole new sets of requirements and relationships: Antinoe, always a centre of Greek city life and privilege since its foundation by Hadrian, became even richer in building and adornment, as successive excavations have shown. This was the place to get a job -- the sort of job that would afford a man like Dioscorus scope for the exercise of all his talents. Allowing for conflicts of chronology, it would seem that the first, duke in the reorganised system was Apion II, of the immensely wealthy and powerful 'illustrious house' of Oxyrhynchus and kinsman of the Flavius Strategius who was comes sacrarum largitionum in 553. In the service and company of such men Dioscorus spent his most productive working years. A social and professional connexion with the Apion family and its activities can have done the Psimanobet family of Aphrodito nothing but good.

Even beginning with the equivocal position of Narses ca. 533 the duke had borne great governmental responsibility: after the edict he directly governed eleven cities, in addition to the ten under the hegemon of Thebais Inferior (so Hierocles Synekdemos). Both the glamour and the labours of the office are reflected in Dios- corus' encomiastic poetry. In this paper I shall concentrate on the dukes for whom Dioscorus worked: there are conflicts in the chronology, but the list for the per- iod in question appears to work out as Cyrus, Athanasius, Callinicus, John II, Romanos, Theodore the dekouriōn, and Damonicus. Note their names. The office of duchy of course continued up to the Arab conquest and after: the duke in office at the time of the conquest appears to have borne the emotion-laden and thoroughly Coptic name of Shenoute. Perhaps the foundations for this sort and degree of social change were being laid in Dioscorus' lifetime. I conclude that the duchy of the Thebaid was, in the reigns of Justinian, Justin 11, and Tiberius, an area of significant administrative experimentation and change, presided over by men of more than average ability. The Arab conquest did not take over merely a barren tangle of meaningless bureaucracy.

The Plague of Justinian and Demographic Decline

Timothy L. Bratton (Bryn Mawr College)

Historians are familiar with the great outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in the fourteenth century, but the first pandemic of the disease actually struck the Eastern Roman Empire in A.D. 543 during the reign of Justinian. Cyclical recurrences of the sickness ravaged Europe until about A.D. 747. Procopius left the most detailed analysis of the epidemic in his Persian War, which (with reservations) yields valuable information about the exact nature and mortality rate of the Plague.

Calculations of the population of Constantinople in A.D. 543 cannot be exact; virtually every method proposed -- density-determinations, calculations of food supply, projections of birth and mortality rates, and housecounts from notitiae -- involves presuppositions open to challenge. Most of the evidence seems to point towards a relatively small Constantinople; those who propose a city in excess of 250,000 inhabitants have the problem of explaining how the city managed to accomodate a rapid influx of population in a relatively short period of time. It is also a characteristic of medieval cities that the birth-rate (and hence the gain in population against the normal mortality rate) there was lower than in the rural districts; any increase in Constantinople's population came largely from the trickle of recent immigrants. It is far more likely that Constantinople experienced a steady, but gradual growth in population over the centuries; I do not think that it had more than 150,000 inhabitants when the Plague struck.

There are three varieties of "Plague":

1. Bubonic, the "classical" Plague. It is spread by the bites of "blocked" rat fleas to humans; the characteristic "buboes" of the disease are due to accumulation of the bacteria yersinia pestis in lymphatic glands. Bubonic Plague kills nearly half of its infected victims, and lurks in a given area for months because of its relatively slow mode of transmission and ready supply of hosts. This staying power makes it more deadly in the long run than the other more spectacular and virulent varieties of infection.

2. Pneumonic Plague, in which the patient's lungs become sufficiently clogged with bacteria that they can be transmitted through the air. This rare variety is incredibly deadly, with a 96% mortality rate.

3. Septicaemic Plague, in which the victim's blood is so rich in bacteria that even the relatively small and inefficient human flea can absorb enough organisms to infect humans. The mortality rate is comparable to Pneumonic Plague.

Which form of "Plague" struck Constantinople, and how drastically would this have effected the population? T.H. Hollingsworth, in his Historical Demography, argues that the strain involved was Pneumonic; taking Procopius' estimates of 10,000 deaths per day as true and also assuming that the Plague lasted a full four months, Hollingsworth concludes that there were 244,000 deaths out of a total population of 508,000. 1 think this wrong for several reasons.

Procopius clearly states that the streets of Constantinople were virtually abandoned, and that commerce came to a standstill; this removal of crowd contact does not suggest transmission through the air. Physicians and others who attended the sick, contrary to all expectation, never contracted the disease; there were even attendants bold enough to wrestle delirious patients back into their beds! This could not be done with Pneumonic Plague; however, were the form Bubonic, this could be done with some degree of safety. Even if a human flea from the patient bit the attendant, it might not transmit enough bacteria to infect the latter; the potentially dangerous bites were those from starving rat fleas. Transmission by rat fleas would also explain why the disease could continue in Constantinople for weeks in spite of limited social contact; no home would have been completely rat-proof, and the fatal fleas could have struck at any time.

Procopius' estimate of 10,000 deaths per day at the peak of the Plague is open to question. The Greek system of counting was not suitable for handling such large numbers; in addition, where would have Procopius gone for his data? On the other hand, Procopius probably can be trusted on such matters as the progress and duration of the disease; such things would have been general knowledge, and his debt to Thucydides would have encouraged clinical accuracy. Hollingsworth claims that the Plague lasted four months; Procopius, clearly notes, however, that its effective duration was three months, either end of the mortality curve dwindling into relative insignificance. An attack of Bubonic Plague lasting about 10 weeks would indicate that half of the populace had been infected, with half of the victims dying (for a mortality rate of 50%, and a loss of 25% of Constantinople's pre-Plague population). Assuming that Constantinople contained about 150,000 citizens, slightly over 1,000 people a day would have died at the peak of the epidemic; the total number of dead would have been in excess of 37,000. It is to be noted that a loss of 25% of the population fits well with what is known about the later medieval outbreak of the Black Death.

The consequences for Justinian's Empire were grave. Civilized states require a larger logistics system for military operations than primitive states, so the barbarian kingdoms were placed at a comparative advantage. Taxation faltered; the armies faced a manpower shortage; commerce was disrupted. As the Plague especially effected children and young women, no gains could be made in population for decades. Worse yet, the Plague returned in waves to afflict newer generations; by A.D. 600, the population of the entire Byzantine Empire may have been only 60% of the pre-Plague levels. Muhammed and Charlemagne may owe more to yersinia pestis for their triumphs than to a supposed Byzantine decadence.

The Byzantine Response to the Arabs: Some Fortresses of Asia Minor

Clive Foss (University of Massachusetts, Boston)

[See Appendix below, p. 48.]


David B. Evans, Presiding

Soldier, Civilian, and State in Early Byzantium: New Evidence from a Treatise on Politics

A. S. Fotiou (Carleton University)

Very little evidence contained mostly in legal enactments of Byzantine Emperors and in the numerous tactical manuals, survives dealing with the duties of the army to the citizens, especially the peasantry, and with the responsibilities of the state to its soldiers. References to the mutual relations between these three institutions, army, citizenry and state, scattered throughout a great number of sources are of prime importance for the study, reconstruction and understanding of the early Byzantine society. A.H.M. Jones' important work on the Later Roman Empire is seriously wanting in this area. The writer of this abstract in addition to the collected information from known sources of the sixth century possesses evidence contained in a little known and fragmentary sixth century dialogue on Political Science of which he is preparing a new forthcoming edition. The Anony- mous author of this dialogue in the extant part of Book IV which deals with "the guardians and military science" concentrates on three prin- cipal areas: the mock battle, the argument about the importance of the infantry over the cavalry, and last the relationship between "guardians", citizens and state. The last section of Book IV is the object of this paper.

The relevant information found in this treatise does not cast fresh light only on the intellectual history of early Byzantium, but more significantly makes an important, albeit small, contribution to our knowledge of early Byzantine social relations. It should be emphasised that although the contents of the treatise which follows the long tradition of classical models, are basically theoretical in nature, the author is concerned with the practical aspects of the state and thus he is closer to Cicero's de re publica than to Plato's Republic. (The point is argued elsewhere).

After a lengthy discussion of the main function of the army, i.e. its preparedness for war in order to secure the safety (prostasia) of the citizens, the debate concentrates on the second duty of the "military class" that of showing "courtesy (ēpion) and justice (dikaion) towards the rest of the citizens and subjects". To illustrate these principles the author through his two interlocutors cites an exemplum from the deeds of the Persian King Perozes or Firuz (459-484) who had become a legendary figure already by the first half of the 6th century. The present story which sheds new light on the personality of Perozes has been completely ignored by historians because, it seems, of the poor condition of the text in the first edition of 1827. In it, for example, we are shown the sort of justice the Persian King meted out to those responsible from his army for the damage they caused to a Persian farmer. The soldier who stole the ears of grain to feed his hungry horse and his immediate superior officer who allowed him to commit such an injustice, were put to death. Other senior officers were given less severe penalties. It is instructive that Perozes in comparing his Empire to that of the Byzantines finds that the strength of the Persian government lies on justice toward its subjects whereas that of the Byzantine state lies on arms. A further example of the "humane" treatment of the Persian citizens by their government is the comfort and assistance extended through the army to those farmers whose lands suffered crop failure or other misfortunes.

Closely related to the Persian "justice and philanthropy" are a set of proposals concerned with the amelioration of the financial and social positions of servicemen and their dependants. Indeed, some of the responsibilities of the state especially toward the veteran "guardians" and their families, i.e. the retired soldiers, the children and the parents of killed soldiers should be maintained at public expense, the orphans of servicemen should be provided with free education etc., sound very modern and humane. To the mind, however, of the author, his proposals are nothing else but fundamental principles on which a just society should rest.

The Date of the Bibliotheca of Photius

Warren T. Treadgold (Dumbarton Oaks)

In recent years, different scholars have taken diametrically opposite positions on the date at which Photius (ca.810-after 892) composed his so-called Bibliotheca, a set of descriptions of 279 books he had read. Against the traditional date of 855 or possibly 845, Francois Halkin and Cyril Mango have argued for a date after 875, and Helene Ahrweiler and Paul Lemerle have argued for 838. Depending on which of these dates is correct, the Bibliotheca would have a drastically different place in Photius' scholarly life and in the Byzantine scholarly revival of the ninth century.

In his preface to the Bibliotheca, Photius writes his brother Tarasius that he has composed his work to fulfill a request made by Tarasius when Photius was asked by the members of a Byzantine embassy to accompany them "to the Assyrians" (ep Assyrious). In a postface, Photius writes that, except for books commonly studied in school, he has included every book he had read in his life; if he dies on the embassy, he tells Tarasius, these descriptions will be something to remember him by, and if he returns safely, they may be just the beginning of at least as many more descriptions of books that he will share with his brother.

There is no valid reason to doubt the authenticity of this preface and postface, which resemble prefaces to three of Photius' other works. Nor is there any reason to doubt that the preface and postface reflect the date of the whole Bibliotheca, since they mention the full number of descriptions, 279, and Photius notes at the end of his index to the work that the last description fulfills Tarasius' request. But Photius is unlikely to have gone on an embassy under the iconoclast regime before 842, which had condemned him and his parents as iconophiles, or after his accession to the Patriarchate in 858, when his activities are well reported. The preface indicates that he was not yet very important, since he was chosen by the ambassadors and not by the Emperor, and the postface indicates that he was still fairly young, since he expected at least to double his reading in the future. The only passage in the Bibliotheca that might seem to refer to his Patriarchate, a reference to his trying to convert dualist heretics, probably refers to his treatise Against the Manichaeans, datable in its first edition to 842 or 843.

The latest book Photius used for the Bibliotheca was a biographical dictionary that need not be later than 843. Halkin's attempt to identify a book read by Photius with one composed about 875 is unsupported by verbal parallels and excluded by a difference in content. Further, the Bibliotheca, which purports to include all the books Photius had read at that time except school texts, does not include many books that Photius had read by the time he wrote some of his other works. Excluding possible school texts, references to books not in the Bibliotheca outnumber those to books that are by about two to one in his collected letters, written before 868/872, and by about four to one in his Amphilochia, compiled in 868/872. Thus Photius seems to have read many more books by the time he wrote most of his letters and his Amphilochia.

Conceivably Photius composed the Bibliotheca before leaving on the Byzantine embassy of 855, which went to the Arab frontier. More pro- bably, he composed his work before leaving on the embassy of 845, which went to the Caliph's capital at the ancient Assyrian city of Samarra. Photius seems to show the source of his reference to "the Assyrians", which is not a term used elsewhere for the Arabs, in his summary of Procopius in the Bibliotheca, where he quotes the expres- sion en Assyriois for the land across the Tigris. Thus Photius pro- bably composed the Bibliotheca when he was about 35, early in his teaching career and well before he became Patriarch, and near the be- ginning of the ninth-century revival of learning.

Some Historiographical Observations on the Old Slavonic Text of the Chronicle of Symeon Logothete

Walter K. Hanak (Shepherd College)

Compiled by a tenth century hagiographer, the Chronicle of Symeon Logothete is a unique historical source which is the primary reference for the compilation of later and more expanded accounts. Symeon Logothete's work is significant not only for the information which it has preserved, but moreso it bears scrutiny for the number of questions which it has left unresolved. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate this source as a representative of the genre of medieval Christian literature. Such literature demonstrates the key elements, first, of presenting within a single chronological framework a reporting of those events which are essential for a narrative account of a nation's or state's history; secondly, of characterizing events by the Christian principles of universality; thirdly, of employing prophetic revelation to direct the course of peoples and states; and fourthly, of developing a scheme for the periodization of history. The Chronicle of Symeon Logothete appears to satisfy some of these elements and I shall attempt to establish to what degree he conformed with this medieval standard.

But the text of Symeon Logothete introduces additional questions for which there may be no immediate resolution. Notably, the only full rendition of his work appears in Old Church Slavonic, a late fourteenth century translation, and all Greek texts incorporate either fragments of this work or corruptions thereof. At the same time I will attempt to establish whether or not the Slavic copyists introduced information and incorporated accretions which favored their own political and religious pretensions, and hence altered the initial viewpoint of Symeon. Perhaps a comparative textological approach with the Greek annals may reveal such distortions or corruptions. There remain also the additional questions about the source's chronological extent, the period (or periods) of its composition, the primary sources Symeon utilized, and the broader question of subsequent Greek elaborations and extensions. Stress in my paper, however, will be upon the internal evidence contained in the Old Slavonic text of the Chronicle of Symeon Logothete and an evaluation thereof.

Neilos Doxapatrius: Papal Supremacy and Patriarchal Pentarchy

Joseph A. Siciliano (Rutgers University)

About the year 1143, the Italo-Greek monk, Neilos Doxapatrius, wrote a treatise dealing with the origin and arrangement of the five great patriarchal sees of Christendom. This was done at the command of the Norman King, Roger II, and reflects the continuing interest of this great monarch in not only matters of general intellectual interest, but his peculiar interest in geography. (His support of the Arab geographer, Idrisi, is illustrative of this interest on Roger's part.)

Neilos' ecclesiastical geography attacks the conception of papal supremacy, as it had evolved by his time. In its stead, he proposes the conception of the pentarchy, the sharing in ecclesiastical parity of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople in the functioning of the Church, as do the five senses in the functioning of the body, to use one of his own analogies.

What I should like to investigate is in what manner the views put forward by Neilos partake of the prevailing theological-ecclesiastical views then current in Constantinople, or whether they represent an attitude and outlook unique to the twelfth-Century Italo-Greek cultural milieu of the former regions of Byzantine Southern Italy and Sicily.

To my knowledge, the document I am working with has never been translated into English from Neilos' original Greek. I have, therefore, translated it myself based on the edition of Neilos' treatise prepared by G. Parthey in his Hieroclis Synecdemus et Notitiae Graecae Episcopatuum (Amsterdam: Hakkert edition, 1967).

Neoplatonism and the Formation of the Fonds Coislin

Dominic J. O'Meara (Catholic University)

The history of the development of the important collection of Byzantine manuscripts in the Bibliothque Nationale known as the Fonds Coislin may come within the sphere of interests of Byzantine studies to the extent that work on the corpus of Byzantine manuscript material, as it presents itself today, entails study of the historical forces which contributed to- wards delimiting the range and determining the character of the extant corpus. A major figure in the formation of what was to become the Fonds Coislin, Chancellor SŽguier's collection of Greek MSS, was a Cypriot priest living in Paris, Athanasius Rhetor (c.1571-1663). Omont in his Missions archŽologiques and Devresse in his Coislin catalog have drawn up lists of the Coislin MSS acquired by Athanasius in a mission to the East in 1642-1653 undertaken for the purpose on behalf of SŽguier. More information on Athanasius' role in the formation of SŽguier's collection will be presented in this paper, through the use in particular of Athanasius' personal papers, a farrago of notes bound together as Par. gr. 2106, Par. Suppl. gr. 1014, 1026, 1027 and 1030. Among these papers are found two short lists which appear to have been made by Athanasius in the course of his expedition and which can help us identify more of his MS acquisitions. Athanasius' papers reflect mostly however his interest in rhetoric, theology and especially Neoplatonic philosophy. They contain the preliminary drafts of many philosophical works clearly intended for publication (some of them actually being published in 1639 and 1641). These works will be listed, briefly described and shown to be little more than compilations of barely disguised excerpts taken from Alexander of Aphrodisias, Proclus, John Philoponus, Ammonius, Simplicius, et al. Most of these texts were taken by Athanasius from printed editions. However, what he intended to be his Commentary on Plato's Parmenides (Suppl. gr. 1026, ff. 254-396) is a (somewhat reworked) transcript of a MS of Proclus' Commentary - then in the royal library (now Par. gr. 1836). Athanasiusâ papers will be shown to indicate in fact that he collaborated with others in an effort to enrich SŽguier's collection with copies made from MSS in the royal library, at least some of this activity taking place before Athanasius' departure on his mission to the East in 1642. From the study of these papers thus emerges a fuller account of the development of SŽguier's collection of MSS and a vivid image of the per- sonality and interests of the curious Neoplatonizing priest who played an important part in this development.


Margaret Frazer, Presiding

The Inhabited Scroll in Palestinian Pavement Mosaics

Lucille A. Roussin (Columbia University)

The peopled scroll, a vine rinceau or acanthus scroll inhabited by human and/or animal figures, is one of the most persistent motifs in the history of art.

Originating in the Classical and Hellenistic age, it is used in succeeding periods in a variety of ways in many different media--architectural decoration in stone and wood, wallpainting, metal work, ivories, and in textile decoration. This paper will deal with the inhabited vine rinceau used as an over-all figure carpet in the pavement mosaics of Palestine during the early Byzantine period.

There are approximately twenty moderately to well preserved pavements in Israel and Jordon which use the vine rinceau as the main field of decoration of a pavement; the pavements vary in size from ca. 2,0 meters square to ca. 4,0 meters square. There has been no previous attempt to classify these pavements into stylistic or iconographic groups; my research indicates two distinct groups. In the pavements of Beth Shean, Madaba, Gerasa, and Mt. Nebo (hereafter Group I) the medallions formed by the unfurling vine are filled with scenes of people vintaging and hunting; the vine scrolls of the pavements in Jerusalem and the southern areas (hereafter Group II) are filled with animals, birds and objects only. The arrangement of scenes in Group I is horizontal, with a single vignette sometimes occupying two medallions. The compositions of Group II are characterized by an almost mechanical symmetry, with animals or birds in the outer rows of medallions facing the center row where baskets of fruit, bird cages and the like are depicted.

Although the inhabited vine scrolls of Palestine have an affinity with similar pavements in North Africa, they are characteristically Palestinian in style and iconography. Unlike the more organic vines of the North African pavements the vines here are rigid and abstracted, their geometricity reinforced by the intrusion of small animals in the curvilinear squares formed by the linking of the circular scrolls. The mixing of hunt and vintage scenes is also typical, illustrating the Palestinian tendency to conflate elements which form distinct iconographic units in other Mediterranean areas.

These pavements are among the few pictorial documents whose dated inscriptions give us a continuous chronology covering the entire sixth century. A detailed study of the inhabited vine scroll pavements affords one the unique opportunity of examining the emergence and development of an individual Palestinian style.

Aspects of Crusader Fresco Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Jaroslav Folda (University of North Carolina)

A number of important fresco paintings were carried out for Crusaders in and around the major centers of Jerusalem and Bethlehem between 1099 and 1187. Some are known only from written sources, but a few survive in situ. Most of those extant are in very damaged condition. Nonetheless the importance of these works for understanding the nature of Crusader painting in the twelfth century should not be overlooked. Whereas only a few Crusader icons and illustrated manuscripts survive from the Latin Kingdom that can be convincingly dated before 1187, at least five significant fresco ensembles are extant in this period within a sixty kilometer radius of Jerusalem.

Two specific monuments, the Hospitaller church at Abu-Ghosh and the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem, have extant fresco ensembles which will provide a suitable basis for addressing the problems of Crusader monumental painting prior to 1187. The church at Abu-Ghosh is not exactly dated nor is its medieval name known, but it seems to have been built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in the mid-twelfth century when Abu-Ghosh was identified briefly as the biblical site of Emmaus. Sometime in the third quarter of the century, the church received an extensive series of frescoes which though now very damaged, can also be studied with the aid of watercolors done in the first decade of the twentieth century by M. le Comte de Piellat. The placement of the Anastasis in the central apse suggests strong influence from the program of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. On the other hand, the Deesis with Christ on a high backed throne is completely different from Crusader paintings associated with the Holy Sepulchre such as the Melisende Psalter miniature (fol. 12v) or the icon of Christ Enthroned. Indeed, one finds more relevant comparisons in Cappadocia.

A Deesis with Christ on a backless throne like that in the Melisende Psalter is however found as the focal image in the ground floor chapel of the medieval campanile on the north end of the narthex of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. Stylistically and iconographically distinct from the Deesis at Abu-Ghosh, this contemporary work exhibits stylistic links with the paintings on the columns inside the main nave of the Church of the Nativity.

Despite the proximity of these two ensembles in date and location (roughly only fifteen kilometers apart), their relative independence of each other suggests transient artists using different models. These features along with the unusual programs found in both cases strongly indicate that while the artists of these Crusader frescoes relied heavily on Byzantine sources, the resulting works have a distinctive character of their own comparable to what has already been proposed for Crusader panel and book painting.

Byzantine Wall Painting in Lebanon

Erica Cruikshank Dodd (American University, Beirut)

Arab writers have on more than one occasion praised the beauty of an Arab girl in the following words, "as beautiful as one of the angels painted on the walls of a Christian church". In the Moslem East, Christians continued to paint their churches throughout the medieval period but very few of theme paintings survive today and those that have survived are in a bad state of preservation. Even so, enough remains to fill an important chapter in the history of Byzantine painting.

The paintings that survive represent chiefly the crusader period, when Christian communities in the Middle East experienced economic prosperity and affluence. They are simple paintings with comparatively little stylistic variation and rather simple iconographical schemes. They indicate a continuous stylistic tradition and a particular provincial style for the area that is very different from the decoration of the rook-out churches of Cappadocia. Both in style and in iconography they are bound to the wider Byzantine tradition of Cyprus and Constantinople.

The Lebanese paintings are found in simple rock-cut sanctuaries in remote areas where the traditions lie unbroken since pagan times; or they are in monasteries situated in the almost inaccessible valleys that remained Christian strongholds from the 2nd and 3rd centuries until today; they are also in churches that have been continuously in use in Christian towns of Mount Lebanon to the north. While the paintings in the churches were covered with centuries of whitewash and have only recently been uncovered, those in the rook cliffs are still in their original state with some defacing by modern wanderers.

Two of these decorative schemes are particularly noteworthy and will be illustrated here: the decoration of a church in the village of Maâad, in the Batroun area, and the decoration of a church in the village of EddŽ, north of Batroun and near the crusader castle of Smar Jbeil. They are selected because they are the only documented paintings and therefore a secure indication of stylistic development in the area.

The tomb of Anne Boulanger is still to be seen in the church of Ma'ad and Arab sources relate that on the occasion of her death (on the occasion of the death of "hannah il frangiyyeh, bint el habbaz", eg. literally, Anne the Frank, daughter of the baker), in 1243, her father decorated the church. This account fits in with the decorative scheme of the church which shows three layers of decoration, the last being the most complete. The principal remaining scene among these is the Dormition of the Virgin in the side chapel, a suitably appropriate subject for the death of Anne Boulanger who died young.

The style of the paintings at Ma'ad is that of the majority of paintings In Lebanon, and clearly represents a long established tradition of which examples remain in Lebanon and Syria from the 11th and 12th centuries. Stylistically they relate most closely to contemporary painting in Cyprus. They show a close association with Byzantine style in the East and have nothing in common stylistically with medieval painting in the West, in spite of their crusader inspiration. Western iconographic details, however, are indeed apparent in some of the paintings.

The paintings in Maâad contrast surprisingly with the paintings in the crusader church of Edde. Here remains of an extensive decorative scheme are found over the whole interior of the church which is itself a comparatively large and impressive medieval building. Most of this decoration is now sadly destroyed. On the north aisle is a Dormition of the Virgin of which only a few figures can be clearly discerned. An Arab Christian historian, Duwayhe, writing before 1699, mentions an inscription on the north wall of the church at EddŽ with the date 1573 of Alexander (-311= 1262A.D.). This inscription has since disappeared. In the thirty years between this decoration and the decoration at Ma'ad, however, a remarkable change has occurred. The iconography of the scene is similar but the style and colours are new. Instead of the familiar red-browns and ochres, the flat planes, the schematic and expressionless faces, the strong black outlines, 1he figures at Edde are drawn with strongly modelled features and deep pathos, with pale green shadows and green underpainting and white highlights. The colours are generally lighter. The proportions are taller and slimmer, the drapery softer. This style comes close to the Paleologuan style of Constantinople in the 14th century. It resembles the contemporary painting of Sopocani.

What is apparent, is that the paintings of Lebanon reflect a Byzantine painterly tradition that was deep seated, distinctive and unbroken throughout the troubled years of the crusades, and that this tradition received new direction or impetus from outside in the mid-thirteenth century.

Byzantine Manuscript Illumination in Twelfth-Century Palestine

Annemarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University)

This paper will examine the evidence for Byzantine illumination in Palestine during the period in the middle and third quarter of the twelfth century when the Crusader scriptorium at the Holy Sepulcre in Jerusalem was active. The Crusader scriptorium has been studied largely against the backdrop of Constantinopolitan production. Native Byzantine work in Palestine has seldom come Into question, as it has not been well known, and is of far lower quality. Likely Palestinian traditions have become more accessible in recent years in the wake of Kurt Weitzmann's investigation of icons and manuscripts on Mount Sinai. An origin in Palestine or Cyprus has also been proposed for the group of thirty-four manuscripts related to the Rockefeller McCormick New Testament (Chicago, University Library, K9. 965). The likelihood of their Cypriote or Palestinian provenance has been significantly strengthened by the recent reappearance of a Gospel Book once on Andros, that was copied by one Manuel Hagiostephanites for John the Cretan, Archbishop of Cyprus. This manuscript joins a growing number of books in the family of the Chicago New Testament that have close associations with Cyprus and Palestine, and they indicate a close affinity between the two centers. The picture which emerges around the ex-Andros manuscript is of a sturdy, prolific and widespread provincial tradition, operating from the middle third of the twelfth century onward in the area of Palestine and Cyprus.

It is not clear where this tradition was centered, what kinds of artistic models were available to it, or to what extent the manuscripts related to the ex-Andros one describe its artistic output. These manuscripts are, however, exceptionally numerous, and exceptionally lavish--if low-quality--in their ornament. In view of their large number and lavish decoration, it is striking how aloof the Crusader workshop is from them. Parallels certainly exist. The two traditions emerge at nearly the same time. Both like to use a twining, vine-and-palmette ornament with a dynamism unusual in earlier Byzantine art. Both begin to respond to Armenian influences at the same time. Both rely in their Gospel scenes on eleventh-century imagery, and there are isolated instances of unusual iconographic parallels. Both show a schematic style. Yet the quality of the Crusader manuscripts is far higher. Their ornament is far too complex to have been drawn from that of the Palestinian books. Their imagery is more conservative, and more selectively based on models of high quality. The schematism of their figure style has different roots and is applied to stylistic models quite different from those which lie behind the ex-Andros manuscript and its kin. So far, then, even as the artistic world of Palestine begins to acquire a population of Byzantine works, the Crusader manuscripts retain the deliberately conservative selectivity and aristocratic aloofness that Hugo Buchthal postulated for them twenty years ago.


Nicholas Oikonomides, Presiding

From Princeps a Diis Electus to Dominus Gratia Dei

J. Rufus Fears (Indiana University)

Central to Byzantine political thought was an image of the emperor as the divinely chosen vicegerent of God on earth, entrusted by the Heavenly Father with rule over the oikoumene. As an element in official imperial ideology, the Christian concept of kingship by the grace of God was established at the very beginning of the Christian Empire, under Constantine. In its Christian form, it represents the adaptation of an image of the royal office which had long been familiar as a literary and philosophical theme in the Greco-Roman world: true kingship is an imitatio Dei and the good monarch rules as the chosen of Zeus, who invests kings with their sceptre so that they might take counsel for their subjects. In Greece, it is a theme well-known since Homer; at Rome, it appears in the late Republic, in political life and as a literary motif.

In the early period of his principate, Augustus sought to focus attention upon the role of the gods in those victories which had made him master of the oikoumene. However, only under Domitian did the concept of the emperor as the divinely chosen vicegerent of Jupiter emerge as a central element in official imperial ideology; and only under Trajan did this essentially autocratic conception of the imperial office become established as the keystone of a new mythology of imperial power to provide the ideological support for that transformed vision of the imperial structure which was to characterize the centralized, enlightened autocracy of the Antonines. Pliny's Panegyric, the Trajanic arch at Beneventum, Dio's orations on kingship, and the Trajanic coinage document the various stages in Trajan's creation of an image of the imperial office which derived the emperor's power not from human institutions, such as the Senate and the Roman People, but rather from his election and investiture by Jupiter. According to this mythology of imperial power the emperor rules not by the grace of god but rather by right of his own virtues, which have elevated him to a status rendering him worthy of Jupiter's trust. The emperor serves as a mediator between mankind and the supreme god. Through his benefits and virtues he has brought about a golden age of peace and prosperity on earth; and, like Hercules, his labors on behalf of mankind will gain him deification after his departure from earth.

The concept of divine election did not remain a constant element in official imperial ideology after Hadrian. Instead it was permitted to recede into the background, replaced by a dynastic ideal in which descent, by blood or by adoption, provided the surest claim to imperial power. Only in the latter half of the third century, with the collapse of the dynastic principle in the wake of political anarchy and especially Valerian's capture by the Persians, did divine election re-emerge as a dominant element in official imperial ideology. Under Aurelian and his Illyrian successors, the restored imperial structure was founded upon an ideological myth portraying the emperor as the divinely elected vicegerent of Jupiter, whom the heavenly father had invested with rule over the oikoumene. This pagan theocratic image of the emperor and his royal office provided the immediate context for the role of divine election in Constantine's imperial ideology; and from a fusion of this pagan conception of the emperor's divine election with the Christian doctrine of earthly kings as God's chosen instruments, there arose that doctrine of kingship by the grace of God which was to dominate Byzantine and Western political thought for more than a millennium.

Photius' Use of the Greek Tradition in his Letter to King Boris of Bulgaria

Valerie A. Caires (Ohio State University)

After the conversion of the Bulgarians to Eastern Christianity in 864-65, Photius, the Patriarch of Constantinople (858-67, 877-86), wrote to King Boris of Bulgaria. This letter contains an explanation of the Orthodox faith followed by advice to Boris on how to be a good ruler. Much of the material in the second half of the letter, a "mirror of princes," derives from Isocrates' To Nicocles, written to a ruler in the fourth century B.C. Photius' particular use of the Greek tradition can be demonstrated by comparing the second half of his letter to both Isocrates' work and Agapetus' letter of advice to Justinian in the sixth century A.D. The fact that Agapetus includes theocratic concepts from the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods in his letter, while Photius confines his advice primarily to the sort of pragmatic and idealistic ethical advice found in Isocrates' treatise, suggests certain conclusions about Photius' reasons for avoiding 1,300 years of tradition. First of all, his letter reflects the strong interest in secular and Classical studies during the "Macedonian Renaissance" in which Photius himself played an important role. Perhaps more significant, however, are the diplomatic and political considerations of the period. There were political tensions between the Eastern and Western Churches and Boris, who had leanings toward Latin Christianity and feared the Byzantine political influence implicit in the Empire's religious hegemony, had not been a willing convert to Eastern Christianity. (Indeed, he turned to Latin Christianity between 866-870). Byzantium needed Bulgaria to serve as a buffer between the East and the West, and Photius had to be as diplomatic as possible to avoid offending Boris' nationalistic sentiments. Photius' mirror of princes is in one sense neutral since much of its content is pre-Christian and offers timeless, traditional advice in the context of "good works" which complements the "faith of the first", orthodox section of the letter. Photius also emphasizes the temporal security that accrues to a ruler who is a benefactor to his people. Most interesting, the Byzantine Patriarch manages to enhance the position of the Byzantine Church and Empire in Bulgaria and avoid encouraging autocracy on Boris' part by omitting the Hellenistic and Byzantine belief that rulers were direct representatives of God and thereby allowed to interfere in the workings of the Church.

The Romanos Ivory: Its Political Significance

Ioli Kalavrezou-Maxeiner (U.C.L.A.)

One of the most famous Byzantine ivories is the plaque in the Cabinet des Medailles known as the Romanos ivory. It is famous not only because it represents imperial art and iconography, but also because it is one of the few Byzantine carvings with an inscription identifying the figures represented. The piece has thus served to anchor the dating of an entire group of ivories related to it. Up till now the figures have been identified as the six year old Romanos II and his four year old wife Eudokia, the piece thus dated in the mid tenth century. The hypothesis of a tenth century date has been a useful one, because it has made It possible to see the period beginning with Constantine Porphyrogenitus until the early eleventh century as a period of intense artistic production.

However, my research into the production of ivories and steatites has made me doubt the current dating. The inscriptions on the ivory, especially when seen in conjunction with the evidence provided by contemporary political history, the coins and seals, show that the relief must be dated in the late eleventh century, and that the figures are Romanos IV and his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa. This Eudokia, although rather neglected by the historians, was a powerful woman who was on the throne not only during the reign of her two husbands but for a short time as emperor herself. It is her appearance on the ivory that makes its iconography special, for it is one of the earliest known examples of a Byzantine empress appearing in a coronation together with her husband. The intricate problems of succession explain the origin of this iconography, which was intended to serve a contemporary political purpose, rather than simply to be a symbolic representation. Redating the Romanos ivory brings about the shifting of some of the most famous ivories which are directly connected to the imperial house into the late eleventh century.

Changes in Imperial Fashion in the Reign of Alexios Komnenos

Constance Head (Western Carolina University)

From manuscript miniatures, particularly from those found in Barberini Gr. 372 and Vatican Ms. Gr. 666, come intriguing glimpses of profound changes of fashion in the imperial costume during the reign of Alexios Komnenos (1081- 1118). It will be the purpose of this short paper to determine as accurately as possible what these changes were and when they were introduced. In so doing, other pictorial clues from a variety of sources, including Alexios, coins, will be considered. Finally the question will be asked why the changes were introduced and an hypothesis on the subject will be proposed.

Among the most conspicuous changes in imperial fashion in Alexios' reign is the restyling of the Emperor's loros. Two versions of the loros were in use in the eleventh century: the old collarless, wrap-around version, favored for many centuries, and a modified loros with a wide checkered horizontal and vertical design. It was Alexios who popularized a third variation, a slim panelled loros, suspended from a wide circular collar. This collar with the new-style loros was destined to remain standard in the Emperors' wardrobes for the next four centuries.

Also to be noted in Alexios' reign is the abandonment of the old style, moderately flat-topped crown or stemma. In most portraits of Alexios, he wears the old stemma, but by 1092, the date of Barb. Gr. 372, at a point still fairly early in his reign, Alexios wears the new hemispherical crown which would remain the standard pattern for Emperor's crowns until the end of the Empire.

Though the literary sources apparently give no details on the revamping of the imperial wardrobe, it seems possible that the changes may have been inspired by the Emperor's mother, Anna Dalassene. In the Alexiad, Anna Komnene mentions her grandmother's opinion that the reigns of Alexios' recent predecessors had been notoriously corrupt. Anna Dalassene was determined to demonstrate that her son's reign marked the beginning of a new order. Thus it seems altogether likely that it was the "Mother of the Komnenoi" who, with this goal in mind, broke with centuries of tradition in ordering new fashions for the imperial court.

Byzantium as a Modality: The Moscow Coronation of 1498

George P. Majeska (University of Maryland)

In 1498 Ivan the Great of Moscow crowned his grandson Dmitrii in an elaborate service modeled closely on Byzantine imperial ritual. This colorful event has long been regarded as a major step in the ideological evolution of the Grand Duchy of Moscow into the Tsardom of Muscovy, indeed, as a dramatic statement of Moscow's assumption of the messianic mantle of guardian of Orthodox Christians, the "Third Rome." I suggest that such an interpretation of the coronation of 1498 is anachronistic on two counts. First, the sources normally consulted for this event were edited in the mid- sixteenth century to reflect a later ideological content. Secondly, seeing in this coronation even a tentatively espoused claim to ecumenical sovereignty disregards the specific context of the ceremony, most notably, that Dmitrii was not in the direct line of normal succession, and that the normal mechanism for proclaiming and assuring succession in the Grand Duchy had ceased to function with the de facto independence of Moscow from the Tatar Khans. The Byzantine ritual performed in 1498 was not meant to create a new "Byzantine emperor" but simply to announce the choice of an irregular inheritor of the Muscovite throne in the absence of a guaranteeing suzereign power. The model for this new type of inheritance was, of course, the Byzantine tradition of crowning co-emperors. A careful study of the pertinent texts bears out this interpretation.


Cecil Lee Striker, Presiding

The Problem of Provincialism: Byzantine Monasteries in Cappadocia and Monks in South Italy

Annabel Wharton Epstein (Oberlin College)

Constantinople was the most important urban center in the Byzantine Empire throughout the Middle Byzantine period. The capital's political and economic power secured its cultural primacy. Products of Constantinopolitan workshops affected the artistic development of the Empire's provinces. Aspects of this artistic hegemony are documented in the tenth and eleventh century cave chapels of Cappadocia, on the high plateau of Central Anatolia. The elaborate fresco decorations of churches like Kililar Kilise, Tokali Kilise and Karanlik Kilise in Gšreme Valley and Karaba Kilise in Soganli Valley clearly reflect the influence of contemporary Constantinopolitan stylistic developments. Because this Constantinopolitan influence is well attested, Cappadocian painting, like the painting of other Byzantine provinces, has been used to fill the many lacunae in scholarly knowledge of the art of the capital. Even when these monuments have not been explicitly considered in terms of the restitution of the Constantinopolitan artistic tradition, they are implicitly judged according to an abstract, Constantinopolitan standard.

This approach has a fundamental flaw. It implies that provincials receive ideas passively and change them only through incompetence. While many of the Cappadocian deviations from the Constantinopolitan norm are a result of the provincial artist's lack of talent and his misunderstanding of his model, others reflect conscious selectivity. Cappadocian monks seem to have been concerned particularly with the didactic function of the fresco programs of their churches. This regard for didacticism affected not only the choice of subjects to be represented and the arrangement of those subjects, but also the style in which they were rendered. A close consideration of the architecture and the liturgical arrangements of Cappadocian cave chapels indicates that the monks exercised an important degree of independence as well as a certain discrimination in their acceptance of Constantinopolitan artistic modes.

The link between monastic art and monastic life is refined and generalized by reference to South Italian monastic literature. The use of the written documents of one province to explain the art of another is methodologically problematic. Italo-Greek saints' lives, however, date from the same period as the Cappadocian churches and stem from a similar provincial economy. These lives provide evidence about monastic building practices. They also provide important insights into the composition, economic bases and ascetic traditions of the same kind of communities which worshipped in Cappadocian cave churches. The monkish independence reflected in Cappadocian works is equally evidenced in provincial hagiography. Like the saints' lives, the chapels of Cappadocia have a vernacular intimacy which is both involving and interesting. Again like the saints' lives, Cappadocian churches are an important source for the study of Byzantine society. Hopefully this paper contributes not only to an appreciation of Cappadocian monuments but also to an understanding of rural monastic life. The connoisseur may ignore the popular art of the provinces, but the scholar cannot afford to neglect the evidence that provincial works provide.

Origins of Thirteenth-Century Church Architecture in Serbia

Slobodan Ćurčić (University of Illinois)

The beginnings of monumental church architecture in Serbia are rightly associated with the founder of the Serbian medieval ruling dynasty, the Nemanjićs -- Stefan Nemanja (1166-1196). One of Nemanja's early foundations -- the church of St. Nicholas at Kurûumlija (probably built before 1168) -- has been unduly underrated in studies dealing with the so-called "Raûka school" of Serbian architecture, although it appears to be the key monument for its understanding. The church of St. Nicholas consists of two basic parts -- a typically Byzantine eastern portion, and a characteristically western exonarthex with a twin-tower facade. These two parts of the building are also distinguished by different masonry techniques, and in fact belong to two distinct phases of construction. It has been assumed that the exonarthex with its twin-tower facade was a subsequent addition, and that Nemanja was responsible for the construction of the domed building core. Instead, I propose that Nemanja was the patron of the addition, while the core was an already existing Comnenian building found in this newly conquered territory. This notion, which can be corroborated archaeologically and historically, sheds new light on the subsequent development of Serbian church architecture.

The literal fusion of Byzantine and western components, as seen in the church of St. Nicholas, was adopted as an immediate model for the church of St. George (Djurdjevi Stupovi) at Ras, also built by Nemanja shortly after 1168. The church of St. George reproduces closely the Byzantine aspect of the plan and the spatial composition, as well as the western twin-tower arrangement. In execution, however, the church of St. George is consistently Romanesque, suggesting that its builder, possibly a native, was specifically instructed to reproduce the hybrid composition of St. Nicholas. It is through such forms as the dome that the inaptness of the builder in imitating genuine Byzantine forms is revealed.

The last, and the most important of Nemanjaâs foundations -- the church of the Virgin at Studenica Monastery, begun around 1183 -- once more demonstrates a close reliance on the model of St. Nicholas in plan, in spatial organization, and in architectural forms. Studenica, like the church of St. George before it, was built by a Romanesque builder who, in this case, undoubtedly came from the Adriatic coast, most likely from one of the cities conquered by Nemanja in 1180. The Byzantine character of its dome, however, suggests that Studenica was not finished by the same builder. Since we know that its frescoes were not completed until 1209, we can suggest that that the original builder was not capable of constructing a 6.5m wide dome elevated on a drum, and that the task was accomplished only later by specially invited Byzantine masons.

Nemanjaâs principal churches form a coherent architectural group. Their primary importance lies in their unique literal juxtaposition of Byzantine and Romanesque architectural elements. Such a juxtaposition was first achieved in the church of St. Nicholas as an afterthought. Subsequently, it nevertheless became a local formula, totally foreign to builders who came to Serbia from either East or West. Results of such an imposed "partnership" are best witnessed at Studenica. Ultimately, this creative if somewhat bizarre synthesis was mastered and modified by local builders, as seen in the church of St. George at Ras, The following decades saw the continuation of this trend, and the formulation of a genuinely Serbian and essentially conservative architectural tradition which endured for a century to come.

Crosscurrents of Style at Manastir in 1271

David H. Wright (University of California, Berkeley)

The frescoes in the small monastic church of St. Nicholas at Manastir, near the southern border of Yugoslav Macedonia, were painted in 1271, as demonstrated by Koco and Miljković-Pepek in 1958. It is commonly recognized that one element in the style of these provincial frescoes is a very conservative Macedonian tradition which continued the agitated style of the late twelfth century, as seen at Kurbinovo in 1191. This style is particularly evident in the fluttering drapery of hovering angels and other active figures. But it is not sufficiently understood that there is a second current of style apparent at Manastir, the "volume style" which characterizes metropolitan Byzantine art in the thirteenth century. There are figures at Manastir which have a bulky voluminous quality reminiscent of Sopoćani (c. 1265) but also have the exaggerated decorative treatment of fluttering drapery in the provincial Macedonian tradition. Because the frescoes at Manastir are specifically dated they offer a valuable test case for examining such crosscurrents of provincial and metropolitan styles. A study of them suggests that stylistic analysis of undocumented Macedonian frescoes (as at Varos and Kastoria) must be carried out with unusual care, and that some may be later than commonly supposed.

Palestinian Influences on the Thirteenth-Century Fresco Decoration in the Church of the Holy Apostles of Peć

Ellen C. Schwartz (Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U.)

The church of the Holy Apostles at Peć preserves a portion of its original decoration from about 1250, unique in both style and iconography. Instead of the usual major festival icons in the central square of the church as are found in most of the contemporary ensembles in Serbia, the following scenes are depicted: the Raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper, the Appearance of Christ to the Eleven, the Doubting Thomas, and the Pentecost. The choice of these scenes and their placement points to the personal direction of St. Sava, and to his great interest in the church institutions and traditions of the Holy Land.

In the introduction to his new translation of the Jerusalem typikon of 1319, Archbishop Nikodim of Peć writes, "Tako i...naû Sava, videvûi u svetom gradu Jerusalimu sliku crkve slavnog Siona i svetoga Save Jerusalimskoga, po istoj slici satvori ovu veliku crkvu" (Thus....our Sava, having seen in the holy city Jerusalem the form of the church of glorified Sion and of holy Sava of Jerusalem, according to this same form he built this great church).1 Scholars have long considered "this great church" to be the Holy Apostles church at Peć, and it has been suggested that the scenes at Peć were chosen to reflect some of the events believed to have taken place on Mt. Sion.2 It is possible, however, to prove an even closer relationship between the churches of Peć and Sion, than that suggested heretofore, a task this paper will undertake.

Through the reports of pilgrims from the late fourth through the mid- thirteenth century, we can trace the growth of traditions which attribute an increasing number of events to the site of Mt. Sion. The text by John of WŸrzburg from 1200 describes wall paintings depicting the Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet, the two miraculous appearances of Christ, and the Pentecost, which were done during the restoration of the church by the Crusaders.3 These paintings and mosaics are placed in positions within the church which are believed to be the original sites of the events. And four of these scenes are identical to those painted on the lunette walls of Peć fifty years later, giving support to Nikodim's statement that Sava used Sion for his model for the church at Peć. As John's report describes the church much as it must have been when Sava saw it on his pilgrimages to the Holy Land in 1230/31 and 1234/35, it is indeed likely that these very mosaics and paintings served as the direct inspiration for the frescoes in the central square of Sava's most unusual program at Peć. It is also likely that the lost fresco of the eastern tympanum originally depicted the Washing of the Feet, a scene long associated with Mt. Sion.

As this decoration from the Sion church has not survived, its style remains a mystery. Connections, however, may be made between frescoes at Peć and some icons produced in Crusader workshops in Palestine which presumably relate to the lost works from Sion. A comparison of the heads of John the Baptist from the apse Deesis at Peć and the frame of icon 1732 at Sinai shows a similar handling of the standard type, and a fragment of an icon with an enthroned Christ, Sinai 743, provides the closest parallel for the Christ figures in the Ascension and the Last Supper at Pee in terms of facial features and drapery formations.

The question as to why Sava used a church in Palestine as the model for his church at Peć finds an answer in the accounts of his pilgrimages to the Holy Land.4 Both his biographers, Domentijan and Teodosije, attest to the strong impression which Palestine made upon Sava during his two visits there. The reforms Sava instituted upon his return from the first trip were designed to make Serbian monastic life conform to the "more perfect" forms he had seen in Palestine. It was not only the liturgical practices in the Holy Land which impressed him, however. From the accounts of his biographers, Sava was also impressed by the physical aspects of the churches there. Teodosije reports the numerous gifts and purchases of liturgical objects which Sava sent home, objects which, without doubt, influenced the artists of his native land, as we have seen in the case of Peć. It was the plan for the program at Peć which survives as the clearest expression of Sava's interest in the Holy Land, however, and the church of the Holy Apostles remains to this day a monument to St. Sava, and a commemoration of his devotion to the birthplace of his faith.

1 Lazar Mirković, "Tipik arhiepiskopa Nikodima," Bogoslovlje I (1957), p. 13.

2 Svetozar Radojčić, Staro srpsko slikarstvo, Beograd, 1966, pp. 45-46.

3 John of WŸrzburg, "Description of the Holy Land," Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society V, London, 1896, pp. 29-43.

4 Domentijan, Úivoti svetoga Save i svetoga Simeona (L. Mirković, transl.), Beograd, 1938; and Teodosije, "Úivot svetoga Save," Stare srpske biografije (M. Basić, ed.), Beograd, 1924, pp. 79-251.

5 See Rad. M. Grujić, "Palestinski uticaji na Sv. Savu pri reformisanju monaûkog õivota i bogosluõbenih odnosa u Srbiji," Svetosavski zbornik I (1936), pp. 279-312.


Angeliki Laiou, Presiding

Legal Reforms of the Iconoclastic Era: The Changing Economic Structure of the Family

Wanda C. Thompson (University of Wisconsin)

Law and Society - The institution of a legal reform often poses the question of whether the reform is an indication of a change in societal values that must be reflected in the laws of the society or whether law is being used in an effort to affect changes upon the society.

Two examples in the United States today are efforts to pass an amendment to the Constitution which would legalize the possession of marijuana and to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Efforts to legalize the possession of marijuana have resulted from widespread use and acceptance of marijuana. In this case, the portion of American society that smokes marijuana is attempting to incorporate into the Constitution legal recognition of an already begun practice. Society is attempting to influence the law. In contrast, the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment may be viewed as an attempt to have law influence society. If the proposition is accepted that members of the society are discriminated against because of their sex, then the passage of a law designed to prohibit this practice becomes an attempt to influence society by means of the law.

Contained in the Ecloga of Leo III are several provision in Chapter II designed to limit the power of the paterfamilias, with regard to inheritance of property and money, by increasing the amount of control over inheritances given to widows and surviving children. Was this change a reflection of a practice that was already recognized by Byzantine society, in that women and children were, prior to the publication of the Ecloga, already recipients of inheritances greater than those to which they were entitled under the Corpus Juris Civilis? Or was this restriction of the patria potestas an attempt by Leo to introduce changes into the economic structure of Byzantine society?

Since the sources of the Eighth Century are scarce, a search of sources, both legal and literary, of the preceding centuries is being undertaken in an effort to provide an answer to the question of whether the Ecloga was, in part, a societal innovator or the result of a changed society.

The Office of General Kommerkiarios, 500-800: A Review of the Evidence of Seals

John W. Nesbitt (Dumbarton Oaks)

The office of general kommerkiarios was an important administrative post. However, its early history is obscure. To reconstruct the functions and character of the office, we must rely in large measure on the evidence of seals. This fact has been appreciated for some time and at present there are two fine studies of the seals of general kommerkiarioi. Recently Zacos and Veglery have published a massive catalogue of early Byzantine seals, including two hundred and fifty seals of general kommerkiarioi--nearly double the number of specimens known. At this time a review of the sigillographical evidence for the office is appropriate. A portion of the new seals support the argument of Bibicou, against Millet, that the general kommerkiarios was from the inception of the office a collector of customs. Other seals reveal certain anomalies about the office in its early phases, in particular joint occupation of office. Our paper attempts to interpret this and other features with regard to the character of the post in the late seventh and eighth centuries.

Tax-Farming in the Palaeologan Empire

Timothy S. Miller (Catholic University)

Franz Dšlger in BeitrŠge zur Geschichte der byzantinischen Finanzverwaltung and more recently Michael Angold in his study of the Nicaean administration state emphatically that tax collectors in the late Byzantine empire were tax-farmers. Unfortunately there are few documents which provide us with much precise information on the way the taxes were farmed out to Byzantine businessmen. From what glimpses the sources do give us into this process, the Steuerpacht seems to follow the methods inherited by Byzantium from Hellenistic and Roman administrations. Those who wished to become tax collectors had to know the tax districts well, the kind of land, the temperament of the peasants etc., and then offer the financial bureau a realistic estimate of the yield they thought they could bring into the state coffers from that district. The man who pledged the most to the treasury received the contract. The private property of the tax collector stood as surety for the sum pledged to the government. If the collector failed to produce the sum agreed upon, the government could seize his estate. Tax- farming was risky business involving careful analysis to avoid ruin. Conservative men like Kekaumenos (eleventh century) warned against it.

From the Palaeologan period even less is known about the farming of public taxes, but in the History of John Cantacuzenus a short description of Alexius Apokaukos' cursus honorum includes some details on a tax-farm contract circa 1320. According to the History Apokaukos offered to pay to the emperor Andronicus' personal treasury a large sum of money in order to obtain the salt-tax rights in Thrace and Macedonia.1 Cantacuzenus' description makes it clear that Apokaukos was representing the payment to the bestiarion as his own money, not as the proceeds from the taxes. Moreover, the account expressly states that Apokaukos later had to surrender to the fisc (demosion) the revenues collected, implying that the money offered to the emperor's bestiarion was not an advance by the contractor on the future revenues. Thus, it would seem that we are dealing here with a new element in the process of farming out the taxes. Apokaukos made a cash payment from his own resources in return for which he received the contract to collect the salt tax. This is not the old bidding system, but a form of venalitŽ des offices.

The sale of offices was wide-spread throughout Byzantine history. Constantine VII even drew up a tariff schedule for purchasing honours and offices. In the early fourteenth century Thomas Magister complained that the cities and villages of the empire were being ruined by those who purchased offices.2 Without doubt he is speaking in this passage of tax collectors who had already paid a sum of money for their taxing rights and now had to struggle both to recoup this investment and to pay the treasury the tax revenue agreed upon, as well as realize some profit.

If, indeed, taxing rights were sold as the evidence seems to indicate, what does this reveal about the conditions of the Byzantine state in the fourteenth century? First, the government could sell taxing rights only if they were in demand. They could be in demand only if they were lucrative. The lives of Alexius Apokaukos, John Vatatzes, and the apographeus Patrikiotes show that taxing rights could be a source of great wealth for some. If in the fourteenth century tax collecting was profitable, then the lands from which direct state revenues were raised could not have shrunk to the extent that Byzantinists, who stress immunities and exemptions in the decline of the Byzantine state, have thought. Secondly, these men who purchased their offices wanted a strong central government to preserve their field of activity, their source of wealth and power. They would oppose out of self-interest any aristocratic decentralization. Apokaukos, whom Cantacuzenus called the first of the tax collectors, was thus the natural enemy of Cantacuzenism, the aristocratic movement of the fourteenth century.

1 Cantacuzenus (Bonn, 1828-32), 3, 14: 2, 89, 5-20.

2 Thomas Magister, De regis officiis, PG 145, 477 A.

The Changing Place of Byzantium in the Levant Trade of Montpellier: Notarial Evidence before 1350

Kathryn L. Reyerson (University of Minnesota)

While relations of Italian towns such as Genoa and Venice with the Byzantine Empire have long been studied, the commercial contacts of western towns of secondary, although still impressive, commercial reputation remain more obscure. The unpublished notarial evidence from Montpellier before 1350 provides details concerning the evolution of relations between this town and 3yzantium.

Montpellier, itself a tenth-century foundation, came of age economically in the twelfth century. Located within ten miles of the Mediterranean, but with only limited port facilities because of the inland waterways and shifting streams which separated it from the sea, Montpellier would never be the equal of either Genoa or Venice in naval or commercial prowess. However, from the mid- thirteenth to the mid-fourteenth century, it was the most important commercial center in southern France, favored by its Aragonese and Majorcan political ties.

In the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries Montpellier established diplomatic relations with trading centers in the Levant such as Tyr, Acre, Cyprus and Tripoli. Although there is evidence for trading activities of merchants of Montpellier within the Byzantine Empire at the end of the thirteenth century, the only remaining agreement between the Empire and Montpellier was a grant of privileges dating very probably from the reign of Andronicus III (1328-1341). The authenticity of this grant might be questioned but it will be argued that such an agreement between Montpellier and the Empire was plausible. The town of Narbonne, a major fourteenth-century trading ally of Montpellier, was favored with a similar grant, the most important clause of which assigned a 4% customs duty to goods in transit.

In the 1330's and 1340's there is evidence that Montpellier and Narbonne organized annual cooperative voyages to Cyprus and to the Byzantine Empire from the port of Aigues-Mortes, about twenty miles east of Montpellier. Cloth exports financed the costly eastern imports of spices, alum, silks and grain. Montpellier acted as a distribution center in the West for eastern luxury products. The Champagne fairs which had been traditional outlets for these goods were supplanted in the fourteenth century by markets in Paris and Bruges.

Shipments to Byzantium of fine-quality northern French wool cloths and Burgundian linen were supplemented in the early 1340's by the export of wool cloths of the local Languedocian cloth industry, more modest in price and quality. in the inflationary fourteenth century the cloth consumption patterns in Byzantium which had earlier favored silks, linen and cotton must have been altered sufficiently to create a demand for such cloths.

Although the volume of commercial activity directed from Montpellier to Byzantium did not equal the trade of Montpellierains with Acre in the thirteenth century or that with Cyprus in the fourteenth century, a progressively greater interest in the markets of the Empire can be noted in the years 1336-1343. This trade, however, was probably short-lived. With the death of Andronicus III in 1341, the Empire again faced a period of civil strife and foreign threats. The disintegration of Mongol unity in the same years disrupted the spice supply routes from Asia and in turn had repercussions on western trade. In the West the Hundred Years War was creating new economic constraints, while the demographic and economic problems of Europe were soon to be climaxed by the arrival of the Black Death in 1348.

For Montpellier, too, internal political and economic problems in the late 1340's dampened initiative in the Levant trade. The state-controlled economy of the Byzantine 1hpire and the privileged positions of Venice and Genoa may have stunted the trade of towns such as Montpellier and Narbonne. Nevertheless, the years 1336 to 1343 stand out as a successful interlude in commercial endeavor before the further decline of the Empire and the full effects of economic depression in the West made their impact on commerce.


Diane LeBurrier, Presiding

Architectural Backgrounds in the Menologium of Basil II

Connie L. Waltz (Ohio State University)

The Menologium of Basil II (Vaticanus graecus 1613), produced around the year 1000 or perhaps slightly earlier, is one of the most familiar of all Byzantine manuscripts. A great deal of research has been done on its miniatures, particularly on the problem of the eight artists' "signatures" which accompany the illustrations. There are, however, many other aspects which remain to be studied, among them the use of architectural representations.

The Menologium offers a wealth of architectural motifs and backgrounds: of its 430 miniatures, 248 include some type of architecture. These architectural motifs can be separated into a number of different categories, including churches, monasteries, amphitheaters, fortified cities, and small pagan monuments which enrich landscapes of a strikingly Hellenistic character. The most frequently occurring type of architecture, however, is the elaborate symmetrical background which extends laterally across the entire miniature, usually in the form of a lower central portion articulated by windows, columns, or arcades, and framed by two tall corner blocks or towers at either end. Most constructions of this type serve as backdrops for iconic rather than narrative images, framing one or more standing, frontal figures of saints or prophets.

Several scholars have mentioned in passing that these symmetrical backgrounds derive from the scenae frons of the ancient theater, as do the backgrounds of many Byzantine Evangelist portraits. Further study of the Menologium backgrounds has revealed connections not only to the theater, but also to antique villa and palace architecture. It is the purpose of this paper to examine the sources of these backgrounds and to explore their iconographic significance in relation to the figures which they frame.

Manuscript Painting in the Monastery of the Galakrenai in the Eleventh Century

Jeffrey C. Anderson (George Washington University)

The dating and exact localization of Byzantine manuscripts still presents problems of some magnitude, ones which can often be approached only through matters of little apparent significance. The speaker examines the work of the two painters who collaborated on the initials of the Vatican Gregory of Nazianzen, Vat. gr. 463, made in the monastery of the Galakrenai in 1062. One of these two painters also contributed to the painting cycle of the Vatican Book of Kings, Vat. gr. 333. The Book of Kings is itself the work of a number of painters, one of whom was solely responsible for the miniatures of the Venice Cynegetica of the Ps-Oppian, Marc. gr. 479. Thus, from the evidence offered by the colophon of Vat. gr. 463 it is possible to show that one of the more important painting centers active around the middle of the eleventh century was that of the monastery of the Galakrenai. These attributions also raise the methodological question of exactly what was the relationship between the painter's style and that of his model in the Byzantine period. The speaker also briefly takes up the problem of the location of the monastery.

New Work on the Walters Psalter

Anthony Cutler (Pennsylvania State University)

When Dorothy Miner published the first study of Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery cod. W. 733, she reproduced a representative if small fraction of its vignettes and, on the basis of stylistic comparisons with the (then) unpublished Theodore Psalter (Add. 19. 352) and the (still) unpublished and undated (sic) Barberini MS (Vat. Barb. gr. 372), she dated it ca. 1100. A few other vignettes have since been published but still no more than one-fifth of its more than 150 miniatures are known. No significant revisions of her chronology have been made although there has recently been a tendency to place the Psalter before the end of XI century.

This paper calls attention to a further group of images which, above all, call in question the date accepted on the basis of style. For palaeographical reasons--the varying ductus of the original hand which sometimes uses Middle Byzantine and sometimes "modern" forms--there is reason to believe that the Walters Psalter is a copy (of a mid-XI century MS, as Miner proposed) made in the early XIV century. (The author is grateful for confirmation of the belief to Prof. Linos Politis).

This suspicion is strengthened by the manner of drawing figures, trees, buildings and animals, sometimes in an XI century manner and elsewhere in a fashion that indicates familiarity with Palaeologan art. This belief is finally corroborated by a few instances of iconographical transformations--sea-monsters, crosses etc.--that are not known before the end of XII century and not widespread before ca. 1300. Rightly, one would not expect iconographical novelties in a copy but, as in the case of the script, the painter has erred in including a few motifs unknown in Middle Byzantine art.

This re-dating of W. 733 places it in a context in which marginal illustration was still practiced; in which the cultivation of copies by a society demanding archaizing luxe has been documented; and sufficiently close to the Kievan Psalter of 1397 (shown by Miner to depend on the same model as the Walters MS) to explain the formal similarities between the two that so surprised Miss Miner. An early XIV century date, finally, helps to explain the mistaken interpretations of traditional Psalter iconography pointed out by the first student of W. 733.

The Moses Cupola at San Marco: Bologna, Venice and Byzantium in the Late Thirteenth Century

Michael Jacoff (Brooklyn College)

Palaeologan art exercised a substantial influence on the art of both Bologna and Venice in the late thirteenth century. In Bologna the impact of contemporary Byzantine art is apparent in a distinctive group of illuminated manuscripts consisting of a series of Bibles and Psalters as well as liturgical, legal and literary texts of the end of the thirteenth century. In Venice Palaeologan influence is seen principally in the mosaics of the easternmost cupola of the north arm of the narthex with scenes from the life of Moses of the 1280's.

Close links exist between the reception of Palaeologan influence in Bologna and Venice. In at least one instance both the Bolognese illuminators and the Venetian mosaicists used the same Palaeologan model. Otto Demus has already suggested that the Moses scenes in the cupola at San Marco were based upon a Palaeologan Octateuch. The iconography of almost half of the Moses scenes at San Marco reappears in very similar form in the Bible of Charles V in the Biblioteca Capitular in Gerona, one of the most important members of the Bolognese group. The similarities and differences In the representation of these episodes is such that the relationship can only be explained by the use of a common model rather than by the dependence of one cycle on the other. The iconography in question is rare and appears to derive from an early source. However, the immediate common model must have been a Palaeologan work, since the same distinctively Palaeologan stylistic elements appear at precisely the same points in both the miniatures and the mosaics.

This relationship suggests that Venice may have played an important role in the transmission of contemporary Byzantine influence to Bologna in the late thirteenth century. However, a comparison of the miniatures and the mosaics also shows that the common Palaeologan model has been interpreted differently in the two centers and that each cycle reflects the particular background and purposes of the artists concerned.

The Kings Illustration in the Morgan Old Testament Picture Book

Harvey Stahl (Manhattanville College)

The Old Testament Picture Book in the Pierpont Morgan Library (M. 638) illustrates almost 350 biblical episodes from Genesis to II Kings and preserves one of the most extensive and detailed Old Testament cycles of the Latin Middle Ages. The origin and date of the manuscript are unknown, but it relates iconographically to several mid-thirteenth century Parisian works associated with St. Louis--the Bible Moralis?e, the stained glass of the Sainte Chapelle, and the St. Louis Psalter (Paris, Bibl. Nat. ms. lat. 10525). Although many iconographic formulas in the manuscript derive from relatively recent twelfth and thirteenth century sources, the core of the cycle depends upon an early source for which Middle Byzantine illumination provides consistently close comparisons.

This paper is limited to a discussion of sources for selected miniatures illustrating Kings I and II. For these scenes the most striking parallels are to be found in the Vatican Kings manuscript (Vat. gr. 333) where comparisons may be made not only to single miniatures but to whole sequences of miniatures and to double register compositions with similar narrative arrangements and landscape settings.

While the Kings illustration in the Morgan manuscript may be shown to derive from a source incorporating the Byzantine Kings recension, comparisons to other works in the same recension suggest that the Parisian model or its source was earlier and more detailed and extensive than the Vatican codex itself. This more detailed Kings cycle must have been known in the West at an early moment, and a latinized version of it may have independently influenced the Morgan manuscript by way of its twelfth and thirteenth century sources. When these more recent sources are isolated and set aside, the Morgan cycle assumes a particular interest for preserving in a thirteenth century idiom something of the richness of its lost Byzantine source as well as several unique iconographic formulas which once must have existed in Byzantium.

Byzance aprés Byzance: The Revival of Greek Manuscript Production in Post-Byzantine Wallachia

Gary Vikan (Dumbarton Oaks)

Rarely after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 did the production of deluxe Greek manuscripts reach a level of refinement, inventiveness, and intensity equal to that achieved in the Romanian principality of Wallachia during the last decades of the sixteenth and the first decades of the seventeenth centuries. There is hardly a major manuscript collection lacking one or more of these distinctive Post-Byzantine codices--many of which are richly illustrated with author portraits or narrative cycles, all of which are delicately ornamented and elegantly transcribed in a large, regular minuscule. Yet, despite their technical sophistication, copious internal and external documentation, and most significantly, their unique value as witness to lost Mid-Byzantine and Palaeologan prototypes, these manuscripts have received scant critical notice. Accordingly I propose, through an examination of some of the finest of these Post-Byzantine codices, to introduce and briefly characterize the scriptorium at the center of this extraordinary revival.

Special emphasis will be placed on the career and oeuvre of the leading figure in that scriptorium, Luke of Cyprus (c. 1550-1629). An immigrant Greek monk who rose to the position of Wallachian Metropolitan while cultivating the patronage and protection of a succession of Voevods, Luke produced, over a period of nearly fifty years, an impressive series of luxurious ecclesiastical manuscripts. At the same time he succeeded in organizing a substantial group of active and dedicated students, the most accomplished of whom, Matthew Metropolitan of Myra (c. 1550-1624), was as famous for his elegant calligraphy as for his versified chronicles of the Wallachian court. A survey of Luke's manuscripts will serve to elucidate the formative influences and inner workings of his Wallachian scriptorium. That is, who commissioned the illumination of which texts? How were they produced and for whom were they destined? The personal style of Luke, Matthew, and several of the other leading students will be examined as will the extent to which they depended on the collaboration of illuminators trained in other styles. Special attention will be given to identifying the various specific models upon which his workshop drew, and the degree to which Romania's manuscript revival evolved from the copying of cherished Mid-Byzantine and Palaeologan prototypes. Illuminated chancellery documents will be introduced in order to help localize Luke's scriptorium to the Wallachian capital of Tirgoviste, and at least a brief indication will be given of its extensive influence in the Orthodox world. Finally, an attempt will be made to interpret this revival phenomenon within the broader framework of Romania's vigorous patronage and her uniquely independent status in the Ottoman world.

From this survey will emerge, I believe, a clearer image of the nature and scholarly significance of Post-Byzantine manuscript illumination as well as important new corroborative evidence for Nicolas Iorga's well-known thesis that there was, beyond the banks of the Danube, a Byzance aprés Byzance.


John Meyendorff, Presiding

The Origin of the Dialogue in the Bazaar of Heraclides

Roberta C. Chesnut (Notre Dame)

In the last hundred years, certainly one of the most important christological texts made available to western readers has been Nestorius' only surviving full-length work, the Bazaar of Heraclides. In 1963, in Unter suchungen zum Liber Heraclidis des Nestorius, L. Abramowski threw into question the authenticity of the first 125 pages of the Bazaar. These pages are in dialogue form, and scholars are agreed that at one time they formed a separate treatise from the rest of the Bazaar. Her reasons for rejecting the authenticity of the dialogue are primarily four: (1)The text of the dialogue is disordered where it is joined to the main part of the Bazaar. (2) There appear to be differences in content between the dialogue and the main body of the Bazaar. (3) There are differences in tone between the two parts. (4) The later historian Barhadbeshabba, who uses the main body of the Bazaar in his own history, makes no use of the dialogue.

In 1974, L. Scipioni, in Nestorio e il concilio di Efeso strongly disputed Abramowski, effectively rejecting each of her arguments and putting forth his own hypothesis concerning the origins of the dialogue. He sees in the Bazaar a re-writing by Nestorius himself of two of his own earlier works, the Theopaschites and the Tragedy, both of which are now lost. The two revised works, he believes, were joined by a follower of Nestorius some time after his death.

The scholarly consensus is at the point of conceding the argument to Abramowski by default; for example, such a scholar as Grillmeier, in his most recent edition of Christ in Christian Tradition, acknowledges the validity of Scipioni's arguments, but out of an unwillingness apparently to use even possibly disputable material, includes nothing from the dialogue in his discussion of Nestorius' theology. The question of the authenticity of the dialogue is too important, however, to be settled in this way.

There are strong arguments for the authenticity of the dialogue. (1) The Syriac translator, ithin 80 years of Nestorius' death, had the Bazaar as we now know it, under Nestorius' ame. (2) Evagrius Scholasticus describes in his history, written in 593, a work he has seen hat is almost certainly the Bazaar and ascribes it to Nestorius. (3) The authenticity of the dialogue is never questioned in the tradition. (4) There is evidence from at least two ources that Nestorius wrote one or more dialogues. (5) The common themes and images in both parts of the Bazaar are best explained by postulating a common author; the differences are best explained, as Scipioni does, in terms of development in Nestorius' thought.

Because of the strength of these arguments, it is important to separate Scipioni's hypothesis about the origins of the two parts of the Bazaar from his refutation of Abramowski. The connection which he hypothesizes between the dialogue and the Theopaschites in particular can only be regarded as speculative; our information about the Theopaschites is too limited to make such a judgment. But his arguments against Abramowski's position are decisive and more than compelling.

The present author's position is that the dialogue form of the first part of the Bazaar is not purely literary creation; it is in fact a letter written to Nestorius by a skeptical but not unfriendly enquirer investigating the possibilities of a one-nature christology; the fragments of the beginning of this letter are found on page 126 of the Syriac. Nestorius' replies and comments were probably written marginally, and copied into the text by a later scribe, or perhaps, equally likely, Nestorius himself answered the letter in this form. The date of the dialogue would be very early, before the arguments of Nestorius' opponents would have been sharpened up into a totally coherent system; Sophronius' arguments are not nearly as clear as they would have been in late fifth or early sixth century monophysitism. Nestorius' own christology, however, has clearly received its basic form already, and the main part of the Bazaar, which was written by him later as a separate work, represents only a development from that earlier position.

A Critical Edition of the Strategikon Attributed to Emperor Maurice

George T. Dennis, S.J. (Catholic University)

Composed about the year 600, the Strategikon comprised eleven books, to which a twelfth, consisting of four autonomous sections, was added by the author. Early in the seventh century at least three copies of the original treatise, or most of it, must have been produced. These gave rise to three families of manuscripts and to three separate transliterations from majuscule to minuscule script. Previous editions (J. Scheffer in 1664 and H. Mihăescu in 1970) are unsatisfactory, and studies of the text (R. V‡ri, A. Dain, M. Higgins) are helpful but incomplete.

The principal manuscripts are: 1) Mediceo-Laurent. gr. 55, 4 (M), the closest to the archetype, written about the middle of the tenth century under the direction of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. 2) Three closely related manuscripts representing a tradition characterized by Dain as interpolated: Vat. gr. 1164 (V); Neapol. gr. 284 (N), a copy of V; Paris. gr. 2442 and Barberin. gr. II, 97 (P). These date to the early or middle eleventh century and form a coherent group, here designated as VNP. 3) The manuscript, no longer extant, from which Emperor Leo VI excerpted or paraphrased in composing his Problemata and Tacticae constitutiones ([lambda]). 4) Ambros. gr. 139, mid-eleventh century, is a paraphrase in contemporary language which derives from both the M and the VNP traditions, but which also contains some diagrams and readings which indicate that it made use of an older and more accurate version of M. None of the manuscripts has the complete text of the Strategikon.

In this paper a stemma is proposed, and specific textual problems are discussed: interpolations, stylistic differences, military commands in Latin, the diagrams of troop formations, the transposition of folios. Something will also be said on the question of date and authorship.

Narrative Unity in the Digenes Akrites

G. Ronald Kastner (University of Iowa)

Reading the Digenes Akrites can be a disappointing experience. It appears so episodic. From one textual tradition to another the incidents portrayed and their manner of treatment vary. An analysis of the Grottaferrata text reveals, however, a narrative of considerable structural complexity and integrity. This paper will cast some light on the warp and woof of this Byzantine poem.

A study of the plot of the Digenes shows that the work is divided into two semi-autonomous parts (Books 1-3 and 4-8). This necessitates an analysis of the unifying structures in each part and then those between the two sections. For the first three books we shall consider the role of guile and the letter motif. In the last five books we shall study the role of violence in courtship, hunting and death; and the ekphraseis.

The author of this particular text has been especially lavish in offering correspondences between the story of the Emir and that of his son. Parallels can be noted in the courtship episodes, the birth and death scenes of Digenes, and the story of the woman abandoned in the desert. This tale serves as a near recapitulation of the opening three books. The differences which all the episodes experience in their treatment hinge on the shift from intrigue and craftiness in the opening books to overt violent action in the later books. It is this same change of emphasis which accounts for the increasingly heroic and sadder tone in Books 4-8.

The final point which will be addressed is the meaning of the two-part form of the Digenes Akrites. The impulse to amplify which William Ryding suggests in Structure in Medieval Narrative as the reason for that common medieval literary device does not, in my judgment, do justice to this poem. That is particularly true because of the author's skilful blending of the contradictory tendencies toward tragedy and comedy (as set forth in Northrop Frye's recent book on romance, The Secular Scripture) into a united whole.

The emphasis placed on the origin of the term digenes by this structure can be more easily viewed as an assertion of the value of such a parentage. In a polyglottal and polyethnic empire such as the Byzantine, that is not unimportant.

Some Didactic Lessons in Diplomacy from the Excerpta de legationibus

Frank E. Wozniak (Appalachian State University)

For studying Byzantine diplomacy between the sixth and tenth centuries, it generally seems that only the De Administrando Imperio of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus approaches, what might be called, a theoretical consideration of the elements of foreign policy. Yet, even in the De Administrando Imperio, the greater number of the chapters examine geographical and historical information and only a limited amount of space is given to consideration of specific or general recommendations for policy development or implementation. The De Ceremoniis aulae byzantinae provides other possibilities, but this work is too episodic in its discussion of matters related to foreign policy other than the elaborate ceremonies for the reception of foreign embassies.

In the Excerpta de legationibus we have another work on diplomacy in which the preface (by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus) claims a. didactic purpose by presenting excerpts from historical works related to Roman and East Roman foreign relations. Because of its episodic and fragmented nature, the Excerpta de legation ibus has many of the same problems as the De Administrando Imperio as well as the same didactic purpose.

Considerable attention has always been paid to the De Administrando Imperio, but less consideration has been given to the Excerpta de legationibus either as an element in the encyclopedic literary efforts of the mid-tenth century or as an individual work concerned w1th foreign policy. It seems that a careful examination of this work is long overdue particularly with regard to its didactic claims in foreign relations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be to suggest some of the diplomatic lessons that the compiler appears to have intended to be drawn from a consideration of the various excerpts.

The Versions of the Vita Niconis

Denis F. Sullivan (University of Maryland)

The Vita Niconis (BHG3 1366, 1367) has been characterized as "eine der wichtigsten Quellen fŸr die innere Geschichte Griechenlands im 10. Jahrhundert." St. Nikon Metanoeite lived ca. 930-ca. 998. His vita is preserved in two manuscripts, Vatican Barberini gr. 583 (15th cent.) and Koutloumousi 210 (1630 A.D.). The former has never been edited; the latter was edited by S. Lampros in 1906. A comparison of the two texts reveals a number of differences which cannot be explained by the mechanics of transmission. Rather one is apparently a rewriting of the other. The problem is to establish which is the original version. I propose two arguments which show almost conclusively the precedence of that in the unedited Barberini manuscript.

First, a comparison of the two versions of the Vita Niconis to the earlier Vita Lucae Junioris (BHG3 994) discloses that the author of the Vita Niconis modeled parts of his work on the Life of St. Luke. Both the B and K versions contain a number of precise quotations from the Vita Lucae. This previously unnoticed plagiarism is embedded in both extant versions of the Life of St. Nikon and must have been present in the original. The Barberini version, however, preserves these borrowings more precisely and completely than the Koutloumousi. This strongly suggests that B contains the original form of the vita. The plagiarism was there from the beginning; it is most fully preserved in B; portions, but not all, of it were lost in the revision found in K.

A second approach leads to the same conclusion. Both versions of the Vita Niconis contain a series of posthumous miracles. The sequence of the miracles in B differs from that in K and there are also some factual discrepancies. An examination of the sequence indicates that it should follow a chronological arrangement. The author states that he will proceed kath hexēs and a number of specific references in the text confirm this intention. The sequence in the K version, however, contains two clear violations of chronological arrangement, while that in B has none. Again the evidence suggests that the original version of the Vita Niconis is the one in B. I conclude that a new critical edition of the Vita Niconis based on the unedited Barberini manuscript is a desideratum.

Planudes and the 'New' Literature of the Thirteenth Century

Elizabeth A. Fisher (University of Minnesota)

Greek translation of Roman literature languished through the Middle Ages, until the monk Planudes rendered several works from Latin into Greek prose late in the l3th century. Two translations clearly served the Unionist purposes of Michael VIII--Augustine's De trinitate, and Ps.-Cyprian's De duodecim abusivis saeculi-- but the remaining translations are less obviously topical and pragmatic--Ovidâs Metamorphoses and Heroides, Boethius' De consolatione philosophiae, Macrobiusâ commentary on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero, the Satires of Juvenal, and the Dicta Catonis. Although no less an authority than Carl Wendel asserts that these literary texts were translated for use in Planudes' school, such an explanation for Planudes' motives in translating them ignores several facts: (1) the transla- tions do not occur with an accompanying Latin text and would be therefore unsuit- able for language instruction, (2) their contents cannot be regarded as uniformly appropriate for young readers (e.g. the Metamorphoses), and (5) there is no evidence that any of Planudesâ students learned Latin or employed it in his adult career. Moreover, the literary quality of the translations themselves suggests that they were intended to be read end enjoyed by sophisticated literati appreciative of Greek aesthetic effects. The first sentence of the Metamorphoses translation will illustrate: tas eis kaina siomata metameiphtheisas morphas ho nous me legein dianistēsin (In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora). The translation is close to its original and serves to explain Latin idiom for the reader with a bilingual text; as an independent work of Greek literature, however, it offers such stylistic attractions as alliteration, meter, and a word-play on the title of the work.

Planudes' grave epigram indicates that his contemporaries regarded the translations as enjoyable and admirable works of literature in their own right and accorded them primacy of place in listing this polymath's numerous achievements.

Why did Planudes expend his energies on artistic translations of Latin literary works? I believe that his motives were manifold and indicate the cultural climate in certain 13th-century Byzantine circles. First, the circumstances of Planudes' early life apparently placed him in contact with Latins in Constantinople, where he learned their language and gained some sympathy for their outlook and cultural heritage. Second, the abandonment of Unionist negotiations under Andronicus II closed the possibility of ecclesiastical harmony with the West but left secular studies open for Byzantines attracted to Latin culture. Third, Planudes' "Lieblingsautor" Plutarch held Roman literature and culture in high regard, as indicated by the premise of the Parallel Lives and by Plutarch's own claim to have learned Latin (Demosthenes 2).

I would propose that the idea of a dual, Roman/Hellenic cultural heritage for the Byzantine empire enjoyed currency in some 13th-century circles, and that Planudesâ translations appealed to these cosmopolitan Greeks. After all, Metochites, an associate and perhaps student of Planudes, later observed that Roman culture, being imperial, was worthy of study by its Byzantine successors.

Closely related to this question in the use of the term Ausones in the 13th century, when it became a popular equivalent for the traditional Rhōmaioi among some authors, coeval and perhaps acquainted with Planudes, The use of this word, long a designation for the inhabitants of South Italy, emphasizes the double Roman/Hellenic heritage of the Byzantine Empire when applied generally to its members.

The success of Planudes' attempt to make Roman literature appealing to Byzantine Greeks may be illustrated by the Nachleben of the Metamorphoses translation: (1) it survives in numerous manuscripts,(2) it was proudly pointed out to Cyriacus of Ancona as a treasure of the library at Vatopedi in 1444, and (3) it may explain why Ovid's version of the Erysichthon legend survived on Cos, and why Jason and Medea are mentioned in Ovidian fashion in the anonymous "Satire on Women" from late l5th-/early 16th-century Crete.

The Symbolism of the Apple: An Example of Kazantzakis' Debt to Byzantine Erotic Imagery

A. R. Littlewood (University of Western Ontario)

The erotic imagery of the apple and similar fruits is essentially a Greek literary phenomenon, of seemingly endless facets that can be traced from Hesiod to the present day. Byzantine literature in the "high" language adopted its classical inheritance with minor refinements and a few omissions, but the imagery, together with the underlying belief in the magical fertile powers of the apple, survived also in quotidian life where it gained interesting additions and emphases (the principal evidence for this is three supposedly historical tales and in particular three mss. of late Byzantine demotic poetry, ms. Brit. Add. 8241, cod. Nap. III B 27 and cod. Vind. th. gr. 244).

This imagery is of great importance to Kazantzakis, who uses it some sixty times in his Odyssey alone and frequently in his novels. For it he is indebted primarily to the great demotic tradition that surfaces first in Byzantium. Thus, for instance, he accepts the non-classical Byzantine equation of a girl with the fruit, or the tree, and in adherence to the tradition finds virginity in the firm, whole, unbitten apple, nubility and fecundity in the ripe apple, sterility and death in the rotting and withered apple. Moreover, he takes three non- erotic Byzantine facets of the fruit's imagery--its association with heavenly bodies, divisions of time and dominion--to which he lends erotic colouring.

In his use of the imagery Kazantzakis works within the frame-work of his tradition. Nevertheless, through his sensitivity to nature and his flair for poetic associations, he leaves upon it, like the better Byzantine writers, the distinct impress of his own individuality.

This is done in an article to appear shortly in Aufstieg und Niedergang der ršmischen Welt. A classical index locorum appeared in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 72 (1967) pp. 147-181 and a more detailed survey for the Byzantine period in Jahrbuch der …sterreichischen Byzantinistik 23 (1974) pp. 33-59.


George P. Majeska, Presiding

The Symbolic Image of the Covenant in Judaic, Early Christian and Byzantine Art

Edith Cooper (State University of New York at Binghamton)

The theme of the covenant between God and man appears repeatedly in Judaic and Early Christian theology. Since the predominant doctrinal writings of the Early Christian period were concerned largely with the links between the Old and New Testaments, and the major single motif was that of the covenant, it would seem logical for it to appear in Judaic and Christian art of the period. It will be the purpose of this paper to call attention to a hitherto unrecognized symbolic expression of the covenant theme. In the Bible, God ratifies covenants in the form of a "flaming torch" or a "devouring fire" (Genesis 15:17ff). We have noted the presence of burning, brightly-colored cloud formations in contexts which indicate that the artists of the Judaic, Early Christian and Byzantine periods employed this motif as a specific means of alluding to the covenant.

The cloud-covenant motif first appears in gold-glass objects and wall paintings in Jewish catacombs in Rome. Its appearance in this context is purely symbolic, for it takes its place alongside of other symbolic objects, especially the shofar, which is related to the theme of the covenant in both Judaism and Christianity. The cloud-covenant motif next appears among the Old Testament mosaics of Sta. Maria Maggiore in Rome, and in contexts where it supplements explicit narratives of the covenants between God and man. In Ravenna, the motif appears in the mosaics of St. Apollinare in Classe, and its significance was reinforced in the mosaic cycle in San Vitale, where the device is employed both as a narrative image and as a pure symbol, once more in conjunction with the shofar. In Byzantium, the cloud-covenant symbol is traceable in a series of richly-illuminated manuscripts (e.g., the Vienna Genesis, the Paris Psalter). Contextual evidence indicates that the motif still carried its intended meaning in art of the Middle Byzantine period, and that its appearance at this late date was not simply the result of the replication or revival of earlier compositions or styles of representation.

The cloud-covenant motif may thus be shown to have been an enduring iconographic element in explicitly symbolic and in narrative depictions of the Judaic, Early Christian and Byzantine periods. The fact that this particular motif has gone unrecognized may be due in part, to the traditional assumptions of historians of Medieval art that the appearance of cloud formations in Early Christian art could be explained as simple stylizations, a remnant of Late Antique illusionistic landscape painting. In retrieving the meaning of this symbolic convention, we have an insight into the creation and transmission of symbolic imagery in major cultural epochs of the Medieval world.

The 1976 Excavations at Nag Hammadi

Bastiaan Van Elderen (Calvin Theological Seminary)

About 30 years ago a peasant living near Nag Hammadi, a city about 250 miles south of Cairo, accidentally found a large jar containing 13 codices, consisting of a total of about 1200 pages of papyri and containing some 45 different treatises, mostly religious, written in Coptic. These documents, mostly Gnostic in character, include the Gospel of Truth, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip.

The actual find-spot has not been identified nor the area investigated archaeologically because of military restrictions and international politics. Improved conditions in recent years made possible the first season of archaeological study of the area from November 25 to December 19, 1975. The author was the field director of an international team which conducted a preliminary excavation and survey of the area near Nag Hammadi.

Byzantine Coins from the Kenchreai Excavations: Numismatic and Historical Considerations

Robert L. Hohlfelder (University of Colorado)

The excavations conducted at Kenchreai, Greece by the University of Chicago and Indiana University for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (1963-1968) uncovered 251 coins of certain Byzantine provenance, ranging in dates from the currency reforms of Anastasius I to the reign of Manuel I. With the exception of seven miliaresia of Basil II, discovered together, and another silver issue of uncertain date, all of these coins were bronze.

Issues from the late fifth and sixth century through the reign of Justin II predominate (177). most are minimi, with some unique type variants, and are from a single hoard with a closing date of c. A.D. 580.1 Included in this total are four palm-tree Vandalic coins and three issues bearing the monogram of Baduila. The decades following Justin II are represented by only three half- folles of Tiberius II, one of which is barbarous.

Seven coins from the seventh century were found, two of which seem to be Arabic imitations. No coins of the next century came to light and only one, a follis of Leo VI, from the ninth was uncovered. Tenth century issues numbered 12, including the seven miliaresia of Basil (which may have been struck in the eleventh century), four folles of Romanus I and one follis of Constantine VII. Nine coins of eleventh century origin, all struck by Alexius I, 18 from the twelfth century--one of John II and the rest from the reign of Manuel I, five anonymous bronzes and 22 uncertain issues complete the record.

These coin finds from the Byzantine millennium are meager but indicative of the insignificant role Kenchreai played in Imperial affairs. The numismatic evidence and other collateral data suggest that the once vital seaport, which in Roman times had handled the bulk of Corinth's considerable eastern trade, survived the vicissitudes that plagued Greece in the late Roman period and prospered through the reign of Justinian. Shortly thereafter, c. A.D. 580, the city fell victim to the Slavs and Avars and never recovered from the devastation caused by their attacks. Commercial activity, its lifeblood and raison dâtre, did not revive. The outstanding port facilities of Roman times were allowed to decay and ultimately to sink beneath the waters of the Saronic Gulf. Kenchreai had lost its urban character and former economic importance. It seems probable that at best a small village of peasant squatters survived through the middle and late periods of Byzantine history bearing the name of the former city (as is the case today), but isolated from the changing fortunes of Corinth, the Isthmian metropolis it had once served.

1 Robert L. Hohlfelder, "A Sixth Century Hoard from Kenchreai," Hesperia 42 (1973) 89-101.

Iconoclasm and Monachomachy in the Eighth Century

Stephen Gero (Brown University)

Anti-monastic persecutions during the reign of the emperor Constantine V have been explained in various fashions; some scholars claim that iconoclasm in toto was merely a pretext for appropriating the economic wealth of the monasteries, others argue that the monks formed the backbone of the iconoclastic resistance, or else that devotion to both the monk--"holy man", and to the icon were viewed as separatist threats to the state and the church authorities, fighting for survival against Islam.

There is no evidence for such systematic persecution during the reign of Leo III or that of any other iconoclastic ruler besides Constantine. Even in Constantine's reign the anti-monastic persecution comes at a relatively late date, in the 760's and the 770's. Very revealingly, close reading of the more reliable narrative sources (Theophanes, Nicephorus) shows no connection between iconoclasm proper and the transient anti-monastic measures of Constantine.

The measures against monasticism need not be attributed to causes other than the autocrat Constantine's great personal antipathy to the whole monastic way of life, which was diametrically opposed to his own. The confiscation and secularization of monastic property was merely a byproduct of Constantine's resolve to eradicate monasticism, in contrast to the well-documented economic and demographic causes of the persecution of Buddhist monks and destruction of votive images in China in the middle of the 9th century.

Much more work must be done to obtain a better understanding of the various aspects of Byzantine monasticism in this period; but this work should be carried on unhampered by an artificial connection between iconomachy and monachomachy in the eighth century.

The Application of Comparative Analytic Techniques to the Study of the Byzantine Imperial Office

Dean A. Miller (University of Rochester)

This paper will not--and could not--deny the usefulness of traditional scholarship in describing and analyzing the Byzantine imperial office--i.e., studies of individual reigns and of dynastic groups, of political theory, action and reaction. I suggest, however, that there presently exist a number of analytic techniques, developed in sociology, anthropology, depth psychology, folkloric studies and comparative religion which, properly understood, can deepen and widen our perception of Byzantine sacral kingship.

The paper suggests that our knowledge of the structure of imperial power is advanced by such sociological treatments as those of S. N. Eisenstadt--for the interactions of power-holding groups--and Max Scheler--for the sociological dimensions of the 'powerful man.' This latter theme is now under serious scrutiny by a number of anthropologists, but I am concerned here with the broader theoretical implications of the work of Claude Lvi-Strauss, and more particularly with the redactive and interpretive attempts of Lvi-Strauss' chief British observer, Edmund Leach, in the views of both on the myth-creating mind, and on 'primitive' power and its origins. Power, in its 'archetypal' formulations, is of course also a theme of C. G. Jung, and of his disciple Erich Neumann. The specifically historical dimension of Jung's analytic psychology, viewed and used with care, gives another set of answers to the problem of ruler, ruled, and the origins of power.

The field of comparative religion crosses and mixes with that of anthropology in the work of Victor Turner and Mary Douglas, among others. The former's theories of liminality have special value, while Douglas has investigated the nature of Îreversed' power and purity, taboo-formation and the ambivalent areas of dominance. The figure of Georges DumŽzil, whose work extends over the last 40 years, has importance for the student of myth-in-history, especially his theory of twinned (Mitral-Varunal) sovereign powers. Mircea Eliade includes in his very wide range a set of studies of 'powerful' individuals, specifically Smith and Shaman, which should be known. Georg Widengren, the foremost figure of the Uppsala School, provides, with others, a series of important analyses of Iranian and Near Eastern royal signs, symbols, and significations.

In sum, the named scholars--and others--may provide a set of reinforcing and alternative theoretical tools suited for the investigation of the 'deeps' of the imperial office: of its legendary and mythic representations, of aspects of imperial iconography, of hagiography, and of imperial ritual. These transdisciplinary investigations do not obscure the historical particularity of the office and its history, but extend and enrich this particularity.

From Byzantine Subjects to Ottoman Tribesmen (1261-1324)

Rudi P. Lindner (Tufts University)

Study of the early Ottoman enterprise draws upon Byzantine, Arab, and Turkish authors. These sources celebrate the recovery of Bithynia under the Nicene interlude and divulge the unfortunate results of Michael VIII's European preoccupations. By 1302, a Byzantine army was a foreign presence in Bithynia.

Osman made a tribe, the Ottomans, of his nomad followers. The political program supporting this tribalization was a regular predation that overburdened the supportive capacities of Bithynian nomadism, with its limited pastures and manpower. Both Osman and Orhan, therefore, opened their tribe and its enterprise to others, especially to the ex-nomads and ex-farmers ruined by other Turkish competition and Byzantine severity. The tribe grew with these new recruits, but it was no longer a nomadic tribe. Successes forced changes in its very nature. The so-called "holy war" of Islam played no role in these events.


Dimitri Conomos, Presiding

New Views of the History of Russian Chant

Miloû Velimiroviâ (University of Virginia)

Within the last five years Soviet musicologists have been paying an increased amount of attention to the study of the Russian Chant. Besides studies in musical paleography and examination of the neumatic notation, a few recent publications have attempted a systematization of concepts of the theory of music and musical esthetics of the Chant. None of these works have yet been subjected to the scrutiny of the Western scholarship and most of them have, in fact, barely been noticed.

The paper will try to assess the significance of these publications and examine the validity of some of the results so far obtained. Specifically, a critical examination of Brazhnikov's volume on the Old Russian Theory of Music will present the strong points as well as weaknesses of his survey of sources; Belonenkoâs article on some "methodological principles of the Soviet studies on the old Russian Chant" calls for a re-examination of formerly accepted attitudes about the meaning of the neumatic notation and about the validity of the application of statistical methods in attempts to find a key to transcription of melodies into the present [Western] staff-notation. Rogov's anthology of writings on esthetics of music in Old Russia and Sereginaâs recent article on the same subject will be discussed, as well as the posthumous editions of the most important studies about the Old Russian Chant by Belayev and Brazhnikov.

 The Three Types of the Amomos Chant

Diane Touliatos-Baxker (Ohio State University)

The 118th psalm of the Septuagint version of the Psalter is known in the Byzantine rite as the "Amomos." The date of the composition of this text goes back to the period of the Babylonian captivity (c. 606-536 B.C.). It is uncertain exactly when music was added to this text, but it is known that in Byzantium the 118th psalm was chanted as early as the ninth century in the office of the Asmaticos Orthros, where it received its name from the opening verse "Amōmoi en hodōi Allēlouia" During the height of its existence in the Byzantine rite, the Amomos was incorporated into the following services: Asmaticos Orthros, Mesonyctikon, Orthros, and Nekrosimon Akolouthia or Service for the Dead.

An investigation of the earliest akolouthia mss. (14th-15th centuries) from Mt. Athos and the Athens National Library reveals that the Amomos appears only in the Nekrosimon Akolouthia and not in the akolouthia of Matins (Orthros). As part of the Nekrosimon Akolouthia, three basic types of Amomoi emerge in the manuscripts:

1. gia koimēthentas laikous or kosmikous--regular version for the common man

2. gia koimēthentas monachous--special version for monks

3. gia tēn koimēsin tēs Theotokou--special version for the Theotokos (The latter version is the same as that of the service for saints, martyrs, and the Son of God.)

It is impossible to state when the Amomos underwent a transformation from its form in the Asmaticos Orthros to the three basic types of Amomoi found during the height of its tradition in the 14th and 15th century manuscripts. However, it would appear hypothetically correct to assume that these three forms of the Amomos existed during the 12th and 13th centuries as well.

In each of these three versions- -either for kosmikous, monachous, or the Theotokou--a basic model appears for each type. A summary of these three versions follows:

KOSMIKOUS: This version is divided into three stasis and is performed antiphonally between two choirs. The prōtos or dexios choros chants the first and third stasis while the aristeros or deuteros choros sings the second stasis.

MODES: The first stasis is chanted in the Authentic II mode; second stasis, in Plagal I or as a second option in Nenana; third stasis, in Plagal IV. Mss. Vatopedi 1528 and Iviron 1120 are used to demonstrate the scheme of verses present in this version.

MONAHOUS: This type is divided into two stasis with the first choir beginning with the 12th verse "Eulogētos ei Kyrie..." and following with verse one. The second choir then continues with the second verse. This exchange of verse between the two choirs continues throughout the two stasis with a small litany taking place between the stasis.

MODES: Both first and second stasis are usually chanted in the Plagal 1. Mss. Vatopedi 1528 and Iviron 1120 are also used to present the scheme of verses for this version.

THEOTOKOU: This version is divided into three stasis but has the unique peculiarity of containing interpolations of the egkōmia or lamentations of Christ. The first stasis is chanted by the dexios choros ; the second stasis, by the aristeros choros ; and the third stasis again by the dexios choros . MODES: The first and second stasis are chanted in Plagal I, but the third stasis is in mode Nana. Mss. Vatopedi 1281 and Philotheou 122 are used to present this unique scheme in which only six verses are present from the Amomos.

Mention will also be made of melodic differences between the same versions of Amomoi and also a citation of composers of the Amomos at its height.






Three stasis

Two stasis

Three stasis


Antiphonally between 2 choirs

Exchange of verses between 2 choirs

Antiphonally between 2 choirs


1st stasis: Auth. II

1st stasis: Pl. I

1st stasis: Pl. I


2nd stasis: Pl. I or

2nd stasis: Pl. I

2nd stasis: Pl. I



3rd stasis: Nana

3rd stasis: Pl. IV

Verse Scheme

Vatopedi 1528

Vatopedi 1528

Vatopedi 1281


Iviron 1120

Iviron 1120

Philotheou 122


'Light-Metaphysics' in the Hymns of Syrmon the New Theologian

Kent Kraft (University of Georgia)

The hymns of Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022) express in an ecstatic and lyrical fashion a vision of the divine as pure and intense light. In their emphasis on the actual nature of God as light in essence and not simply by analogy, they fall into a tradition of "light-metaphysics" which can be traced back to the works of Plato. Perhaps the most influential expositor of this tradition to both the Byzantine world and medieval Latinity was Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; in his Letters, Celestial Hierarchy, Divine Names, and, above all, Mystical Theology, he set forth a paradoxical manner of describing the luminous nature of the Deity and his activities.

The purpose of the paper is to discuss the hymns of Symeon (in particular Hymns 1, 25, and 351) and assess their relation to the tradition of "light-metaphysics", especially as it is expressed by the Pseudo-Dionysius. The question of influence, as Walther Všlker has recently indicated,2 has yet to be resolved; arguments both for and against are examined by comparing the paradoxical oxymoron of Dionysius and Symeon and their use of imagery based on light, particularly that of the mirror.

Attention is also given to the authors' association of the divine light as a creative force in the cosmos with the Logos or divine word as a cosmogonic power. Also, in order to indicate how incantation is used by Symeon to suppress the mind's verbal activity and facilitate a purely visionary apprehension of the Deity, his Mystical Prayer (Euchē mystikē) is contrasted briefly with the negative technique of aphairesis or "abstractive negation" (in Jean Vanneste's terminology) of Pseudo-Dionysius' Mystical Theology.

The paper concludes with a short discussion of a problem common to any form of visionary experience -- whether the intensity of the phenomenon and its limitation to a single sensory mode do not really act as a hindrance to true contemplation and absorption in the divine, and whether visions are perhaps not best avoided by the sincere mystic. The question was one put to Symeon by contemporary critics, and his hymns show his ambiguous viewpoint in regard to it.

1 In the edition of Johannes Koder, Sources Chrtiennes, Vols. 156, 174, and 196.

2 In Praxis und Theoria bei Symeon dem Neuen Theologen: Ein Beitrag zur Byzantinische Mystik (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1974), pp. 359-60.

Evolution of Melody in Middle Byzantine Music

Thomas G. Whitney (Ohio State University)

I have studied the evolution of melodic lines in many chorales arranged by J. S. Bach. The analysis was greatly assisted by the computer command language SLAM (Simple Language for Analyzing Music). I have developed an encoding language (BYZY CODE) for Middle Byzantine Music with the assistance of Prof. A. Jakovljević of The Ohio State University's School of Music. I have been able to then translate the BYZY CODE to western notation for analyzing the change of interval choice over time by Byzantine composers of different periods. The source of the data is part of the archive of 30,000 Byzantine Musical Manuscripts which Prof. Jakovljević has.

I wish to report on statistically significant differences in the melodies for different time periods within the Middle Byzantine period. I will relate these differences to those I have found within Bach's arrangements which, in my studies, span the time 1525 to 1730.

Melodic Style in Late Byzantine Communion Chants

Horst Loeschmann (University of British Columbia)

An analysis of the Communion chants in Athens MS 899 provides a generous amount of information on the melodic construction of late Byzantine chant. Athens MS 899 has been dated in the first half of the fifteenth century and seems representative of the Akolouthia type of manuscript which flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In their contents these Akolouthiai were the successors of the earlier Psaltikon and Asmatikon, and contained the bulk of the musical chants of the Byzantine rite. Regarding musical style, these manuscripts show a marked departure from the earlier centonate compositional procedure and reveal a new kalophonic style of melodic embellishment which owed its existence to the modified liturgical demands of the fully evolved Byzantine rite and the generally universal acceptance of the Round system of notation.

An examination of the forty-seven Communion hymns contained in Athens MS 899 will show the strong melodic interrelationship of various chants by composers as widely separated as Korones (early fourteenth century) and Markos hieromonachos (mid fifteenth century). Similarly the internal structure of various hymns will be examined in an attempt to appreciate more closely the compositional techniques of this much-neglected late Byzantine music.

APPENDIX [To Session 1: p. 6]:

The Byzantine Response to the Arabs: Some Fortresses of Asia Minor

Clive Foss (University of Massachusetts, Boston)

The Persian invasions in the time of Heraclius struck a fatal blow to the city life of Anatolia. As numerous cities were ruined, a primary element of classical civilisation, which had survived until then, was destroyed. In normal circumstances, the civilisation would have had the vitality to rise from its ruins, but urban life had been in decline since the time of Justinian at least, and recovery was impeded by the persistent attacks of the Arabs.

The Arabs entered Asia Minor in the reign of Constans II and began a series of devastating attacks which culminated in the two sieges of Constantinople in 673/77 and 717/8. The victories of Leo III began to establish some security, but the raids--some of them actually large-scale expeditions--continued through the eighth and well into the ninth century. Under these circumstances, defense was a primary need of society, and the luxury of reconstructing the ruined open cities with their large public buildings and extensive services was far beyond the resources of the age.

Instead, fortresses came to dominate the landscape and continued to do so through the Byzantine period. Few of these can be dated or associated with historical events, since inscriptions are almost entirely lacking and the style of construction has revealed little. In a few cases, however, recent research has established a date for some fortresses, and comparisons may suggest that a group can be assigned to the early years of the Arab attacks.

Recent excavations at Sardis has established that the fortress on the acropolis as well as the reconstruction of the highway through the city may be dated to the origin of Constans II, concrete evidence for the great transformation of urban life in the period. Similar evidence shows parallel phenomena at Pergamum, while historical inference would date the citadel of Ankara to the same period.

On the basis of these examples, several fortresses of similar style, particularly in Lycia, will be considered, in the hopes of identifying and appreciating some of the Byzantine defences against the Arabs in the Dark Ages.

Second Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
November 12-14, 1976

Officers and Committees

Executive Committee

  • Walter E. Kaegi, Alice-Mary Talbot, Co-Chairmen
  • David B. Evans, Secretary-Treasurer

Organizing Committee

  • John W. Barker
  • Deno Geanakoplos
  • James Breckenridge
  • Timothy E. Gregory
  • John V. Fine, Jr.
  • Herbert Kessler
  • Margaret Frazer
  • Thomas Mathews
  • Nina Garsoian
  • David Wright

Program Committee

  • Herbert Kessler, Chairman
  • Dimitri Conomos
  • George P. Majeska
  • Angeliki Laiou
  • Cecil Lee Striker
  • John Teall

Arrangements Committee

  • University of Wisconsin:
  • John W. Barker (History), Chairman
  • Frank M. Clover (History)
  • Frank R. Horlbeck (Art History)
  • Wanda C. Thompson (History)

THE BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE is an annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers and research in all aspects of Byzantine studies. Its Abstracts are prepared for, and distributed to, all registrants of each meeting. Separate copies of the 1975 Conference Abstracts (at $2.50 each, including postage) and the 1976 Conference Abstracts (at $3.00 each, including postage) may be ordered from: Byzantine Studies Conference, c/o Prof. David B. Evans, Department of Theology, St. John's University, Grand Central and Utopia Parkways, Jamaica, N. Y. 11439.