Byzantine Studies Conference Archives
TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE
Abstracts of Papers
The Byzantine Studies Conference is an annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers embodying current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture. The Abstracts of Papers booklet is produced from camera-ready copy supplied by the speakers.
Copyright (C) is reserved by the individual speakers.
Copies of the Abstracts are available for purchase. Subscriptions for Series 5 (21-25, 1995-1999) are available for $45 as a set, or $9 per copy. Series 4 (1620, 1990-1994) is available for $30 (without No. 18 which is out of print), with individual copies costing $7.50 each. Series 3 (11-15, 1985-89) is also available for $30, individual copies $7.50 each. Series 2 (6-10, 1980-84) is available for $20, with individual copies costing $6.50 each. Nos 3, 4 & 5 area available individually for $6.50 each. These prices include postage. All other numbers are out of print. All orders must be prepaid in U.S. currency; make checks payable to the Byzantine Studies Conference and send orders to:
Prof. Sharon Gerstel
Byzantine Studies Conference
Abstracts of papers - Byzantine Studies Conference, Ist-1975-Madison, Wis. [etc]
The cover illustration is a detail of a sixth-century mosaic pavement with an inhabited vine rinceau inscribed primarily with animals, birds, and with some human figures associated with vintaging. It was excavated in 1994-1995 by the Combined Caesarea Expeditions under the direction of Kenneth G. Holum. Photo by Aaron Levin.
Table of Contents
Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks): The Byzantine Studies Conference 1975-1999. Looking Back after the First 25 Years
Session I: Plenary Session
Thomas F Mathews (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU): Panel Paintings of Late Antiquity: A Preliminary Report on the Project
C. S. Lightfoot (Metropolitan Museum of Art): Excavations at Amorium 1988-1998
Margaret Mullett (Queen's Univ., Belfast): Twenty-five Years of Byzantine Literature: The Case of the Letter-collection of Theophlact of Ochrid
Session II: Pioneers of Byzantine Studies in America V. 6
Nina Garsoian (Columbia Univ): Sirapie Der Nersessian in America
Igor Robert Blake (Univ. of California): In Search of Byzantium: The Life of Robert Pierpont Blake
Willim L. MacDonald (Washington. D.C.): Thomas Whittemore, 1871-1950
Session III: Death, Demons & Deviants.
Eric A. Ivison (College of Staten Island, CUNY): A "Profit·Extraordinarily Accursed": Grave-robbing in Medieval Byzantium
Patrick Viscuso (Chantilly, Va.): Vampires, Not Mothers: The Living Dead in the Canonical Responses of Joasaph of Ephesos
Jacquelyn Tuerk (Univ. of Chicago): Magic, Words and Images: an Early Byzantine Amulet and its Semiotics
Session IV. Session In Honor of Seka Allen.
Slobodan Ćurčić (Princeton Univ): Byzantine or Romanesque? The Question of Style in Medieval Ecclesiastical Architecture of Serbia
Ruth E. Kolarik (Colorado College): Question: of Intent and Interpretation in Sixth-Century Balkan Floor Mosaics
Dusan Korac (Univ. of Maryland): All the Emperor's Men: Political Loyalty and Economic Power in Fourteenth-Century Byzantine Macedonia
Eunice Dauterman Maguire (Krannert Art Museum, Univ. of Illinois): Tame Cheetahs and Woven Luxury in the Early Byzantine Period
Ljubica D. Popovich (Vanderbilt Univ): A Contribution toward Identifying Some of the Figures in the Five Domes of the Virgin Ljeviska in Prizren
Session V. Ecclesiastical Politics.
Stephen Bartlett (St. Louis Univ): The Sacrificial Lamb: The Importance of the Byzantine Eucharistic Rite in the Azyma Controversy
Patrick Gray (York Univ.): Misrepresenting an Ecumenical Council: The Short Latin Version of the Acts of Constantinople II
Michad Gaddis (Syracuse Univ): High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Impeaching the Late Antique Bishop
Tia. M. Kolbaba (Princeton Univ.): Who Made Michael Keroularios a Hero (or Villain) in the History of the Schism between Rome and Constantinople?
Adam Schor (Univ. of Michigan): Genuine Heretics, Genuine Heroes: The Origenist Controversy and the Historiography of Rufinus of Aquilea
Session VI Iconography.
Warren T. Woodfin (Univ. of Illinois): Things Terrible to Speak of and to Behold: Ekphrases of the Studios Apse Mosaic and its Significance
Alfred Bchler (Berkeley, Calif.): The Triumph of Orthodoxy, the Christological Dispute of 1160-1166, and the Titulus of the Cross in Byzantium
Bissera V. Pentcheva (Harvard Univ.): A New Image of the Virgin in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Constantinople
Alison S. Locke (Yale Univ.): Monte Sant'Angelo or Mont-Saint Michel? The Problem of Site-Specificity
Erica. Cruikshank Dodd (Univ. of Victoria): From Jerusalem to Arles: The Syrian Connection
Session VII. Architecture.
Robert Ousterhout (Univ.of Illinois): Recovering the Pantocrator
Carolyn S. Snively (Gettysburg College): Recent Investigations in the Rotunda Church at Konjuh
Vasileios Marinis (Univ. of Illinois). St. Nicholas in-the-Fields and the Question of Imitation in Byzantine Architecture
Christina Maranci (Massachusetts College of Art): A Reconsideration of Methodology in the Study of Armenian Architecture
Session VIII. Reading Byzantine Literature.
Derek Krueger (Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro). The Hagiographical Logos: Theology and Literary Composition in the Early Christian East
Frederica Ciccolella De Luigi (Columbia Univ.): John of Gaza's Anacreontic Poetry: Genres and Audience
Maria Mavroudi (Berkeley, California): Arabic-Greek Herbal Glossaries and the Appearance of Arabic Medical Terms in Greek Manuscripts
Elizabeth A. Fisher (The George Washington Univ.): Planoudes, Ovid, and the Byzantine Audience for Latin Literature
Session IX: Church Treasures: Session In Honor of Margaret Frazer.
David Buckton (British Museum & Courtauld Institute): The Enamels of the Pala d'Oro John Osborne (Univ of Victoria): The Portrait of Doge Ordelaffo Falier on the Pala d'Oro
Holger A. Klein (Univ of Bonn & Walters Art Gallery): Lost Treasures: Three Closely Related Byzantine Reliquaries of the True Cross
Vera von Falkenhousen (Universit di Roma - Tor Vergata): Treasure Inventories from Greek Monasteries in Southern Italy and Sicily (10th to 12th Century)
Nancy P. Ševčenko (Philadelphia, Pa): Icons out of the Mainstream: Some Peculiar Icon Types Listed in Byzantine Inventories
Session X: Late Antiquity.
R.Scott Moore (Ohio State Univ): The Current State of Byzantine Archeology on Cyprus
Irfan Shahd (Georgetown Univ): The Reservoirs of Sergiopolis
Jodi Magness (Tufts Univ): The Decline of Syria-Palestine in the Mid-Sixth Century: A Reconsideration of the Archeological Evidence from Dehes
Hugh Elton (Florida State Univ): The Economy of Southern Anatolia in Early Byzantine History
Charles Pazdernik (Emory Univ): A Dangerous Liberty and a Servitude Free from Care: The Case of Victorinus
Frank M. Clover (Univ of Wisconsin, Madison): The House of Aelia Verina
Session XI: Crusader Greece and Cyprus.
Glenn Peers (Univ. of Texas at Austin): On the Vita Icon of St. George in Athens
Monika Hirschbichler (Univ of Maryland): The Legend of Alexander the Great in the Morea: Two Paintings from the Gatehouse of Akronauplia, Greece
Lynn M. Snyder (Smithsonian Institution) Frankish Meals in Greece: The Identification and Recognition of an Invader's Cuisine
John Rosser (Boston College): Saranda Kolones Castle in Paphos, Cyprus
Session XII. Byzantine Ritual.
Batrice Caseau (Collge de France/Paris IV: Sorbonne): Emperor and Incense: Towards a Reinterpretation of Imperial Rituals in the Churches
Bernadette McNary-Zak (St. Bonaventure Univ): Reassessing the Ritual for the Remission in the Pachomian Movement
Lilliana Simeonova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences): Emperor Leo the Wise: A Reformer of Byzantine Ceremonial
James C. Skedros (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology): Ritual and the Panegyris. A Byzantine Institution Revisited
Session XII. The Medieval Balkans.
Cyril Pavlikianov (Univ of Sofia "St. Clement of Ochrid"): Eusebios: A Descendent of a Serbian Sebastokrator and Athonite Monk
Svetlana Popovic (Greenbelt, Md.): The Monastery Settlement Revealed: The Case of Mileseva
Srdjan Djuric (Univ of Toronto) The Painter Manuel Panselinos: Towards a Reconstruction of the Opus (ca. 1295-1312)
George Stricevic (Univ. of Cincinnati): Chronology Gracanica Frescoes
Session XIV. Viewing the Object.
Anthony Cutler (Pennsylvania State Univ.): Out of the Mauss Trap: Byzantine Gifts and Gift Exchange in the Light of Arab Sources
Leslie Brubaker (Univ. of Birmingham, England): Iconoclasm and the Trier Ivory
John Hanson (Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania): The New York Deesis Casket and Middle Byzantine Gospel Frontispieces
Lynn Jones (Philadelphia, Pa): Byzantine Identity and Relics of the True Cross
David H. Wright (Univ. of California; Berkeley): The Menil Paten
Session XV: Byzantium's Borders.
Ralph W. Mathisen (Univ. of Souh Carolina): Sigisvult the Patrician, Maximus the Arian, and "Impossible Missions" ca. 425-440
Laura Reynolds Fry (Univ.of South Carolina): The Code of Euric: Origin, Transmissions, and Implications
Walter F. Kaegi (Univ. of Chicago): The Experiences of Heraclius in Africa
Pamela G. Sayre (Henry Ford Community College): Odenathus of Palmyra, Theodoric, and the Ghassanid Phylarchs: Late Roman Client-Kings?
Ian Mladjov (Univ. of Michigan): A New Look at Byzantium's Neighbors in the Tenth Century (Bulgaria, Magyars, and Greeks in Byzantine and Hungarian Sources)
Session XVI. Early Byzantine Spirituality.
Monica J. Blanchard (Catholic Univ. of America): The Syriac Discourses of Bhisho' Kamulaya (fl. 8th c.) On the Monastic Way of Life
Jennifer L. Hevelone-Harper (Gordon College): The Education of a Holy Man: The Spiritual Development of John of Gaza
William North (Carleton College): Rethinking a Rigorist: Eulogius of Alexandria's On Economy in its Sixth-Century Context
Witold Witakowski (Uppsala Univ.): The Eschatological Program of the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius
Session XVII. Byzantine Women.
Ruma, Niyogi (Univ. of Chicago): The Exotic Among the Other: Writing Women in Byzantine Studies
M. P. Vinson (Bloomington, Ind.): Sexual Slander in Byzantium
Eustratios Papaioannou (Univ. of Vienna): Images of Women in Michael Psellos' Literary Work.
Session XVIII. Egyptian Monasticism.
Kirsti Copeland (Princeton Univ): The Date of the Apocalypse of Paul: State of the Field and Beyond
Darlene Brooks-Hedstrom (Miami Univ): Monastic Practice and the Solitude of the Cell in Christian Egypt
Nicola Aravecchia (Univ. of Minnesota): The Architecture of the Kellia. A Comparative Study on the Use of Space
Elizabeth S. Bolman (Temple Univ.). The Discovery of Early Byzantine Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea (Egypt)
Session XIX: The Classical Tradition.
Denis E. Sullivan (Univ. of Maryland): John Doxopatres' On Hermogenes' Peri Staseon: An Eleventh-century Approach to the Pedagogy of Rhetoric
Richard A. Layton (Univ. of Illinois): Biblical Scholarship and Greek Paidea: Philosophical Education and Cultural Competition in Late-Antique Alexandria
Alain Touwaide (Madrid/Dumbarton Oaks): The Tradition of Classical Medicine in Byzantium: Towards a Reconsideration
Katerina Ierodiakonou (Technical Univ of Athens): The Anti-Logical Movement in Byzantium
Marios Philippides (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst): History Repeats Itself: Constantinople 1453 and the Sack of Troy
Session XX: Medieval Georgia.
Ketevan Mikeladze (Chubinshvili Institute of Georgian Art History, Tbilisi): The Murals of the King Davit Narin Chapel at Gelati Monastery
Elena Boeck (Yale Univ.): Projecting Mixed Messages: Marketing Monarchs in Medieval Georgia
Irine Nikoleishvili (Tbilisi State Univ.) & Irakli Iakobashvili (Kekelidze Institute of Manuscripts, Georgian Academy of Sciences): A Relief from the St George Church of Mokvi: "Excommunication" of the Clergyman
Cornelia B. Horn (Catholic Univ. of America): Befriending the Christian Romans or the Impious Persians? The Vita Petri Iberi on Byzantine Georgian Relations in the Fifth Century A.D.
Session XXI: Manuscript Illumination.
Georgi Parpulov (Univ. of Chicago): Texts and Miniatures from Codex Dionysiou 65
Mary-Lyon Dolezal (Univ. of Oregon): Lectionary Dissonance. The Palaiologina Group, Again
Ferdinanda Florence (Univ of Maryland): The Sacrifice of Isaac in Armenian Illumination and Ritual Sacrifice in Medieval Armenia
Rima E. Smine (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU): The Byzantine Iconographic Sources of Syriac Lectionaries: Vatican Syr 559 and London British Library Add. 7170
Session XXII: Archeology and Material Culture.
Franz Alto Bauer (Deutsches Archologisches Institut, Rome): The Constantinian Episcopal Basilica in Ostia: A Preliminary Report on the Excavation
Timothy F. Gregory (The Ohio State Univ.): Archeology and Slavic Settlement of the Byzantine Peloponnesos
John Cotsonis (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology): Saints and Cult Centers: The Evidence of the Seals
Peter Lampinen (Combined Caesarea Expeditions): Metallurgical Analysis of Coins of Constantine XI. The Last Coinage Issue of Constantinople
THE BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE 1975-1999: LOOKING BACK AFTER THE FIRST 25 YEARS
Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks)
On this occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Byzantine Studies Conference, it seems appropriate to take a few moments to reflect on the genesis of the conference and its evolution over the past twenty-five years, coincidentally the final quarter of the 20th century. Space permits only a brief sketching of the history of the BSC, and a few personal reflections and observations as one of the co-founders, who was "present at the creation".
I believe one can trace the origins of the BSC back to 1972 when the Senior Fellows at Dumbarton Oaks decided to make a momentous one-time departure from the traditional program of the annual spring symposium. Up to that year, and thereafter, Dumbarton Oaks symposia had been organized around a unifying theme, with one or more symposiarchs planning the program and inviting appropriate speakers, who were typically established scholars of a certain age and predominantly male. In 1972 the decision was made to invite a number of younger scholars who had recently completed their dissertations to speak on their research in progress; the symposium was entitled "Current Work in Medieval and Byzantine Studies". Nine papers were delivered, four by men, five by women; clearly change was in the wind. I would argue that this D.O. symposium served to "heighten the consciousness" of North American Byzantinists: they came to realize that there existed no forum in this country for the presentation of papers on current research in Byzantine studies, especially by younger scholars. In the words of Walter Kaegi, co-founder of the BSC, "No existing learned society or annual meeting in the early 1970s could or would provide sufficient annual space on their program for a critical mass, not merely a token representation, of interdisciplinary Byzantinists to communicate and discuss their latest research. The unwillingness of the 1974 American Historical Association's program committee to accept a full complement of Byzantine applicants was one of several catalysts for the creation of a new specialized conference." Approaches were made to a number of societies and conferences for some form of affiliation, but in the end this kind of arrangement was rejected because no single group could accommodate the wide range of interests of Byzantinists.
Consequently, shortly after the D.O. symposium returned to its usual format in 1973, a group of Byzantinists who were mostly in their thirties or early forties decided to launch a new conference designed to "serve as an annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers embodying the current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture". It was deliberately scheduled for the fall, to balance the spring symposium at D.O., and was open to scholars of all ages, including graduate students. To ensure the quality of papers abstracts were to be submitted to a program committee, which would select the speakers to be invited.
Walter Kaegi of the University of Chicago deserves credit as the person who initially conceived of the idea and played a key role in planning the initial conference. I was asked to serve as co-chair that first year and as local arrangements chairman in Cleveland, even though I had no university affiliation and had to arrange for the conference to be held it the Cleveland Museum of Art. Walter and I also chaired the program committee. In 1975 there were of course no funds upon which to draw, so the first conference was a real bare-bones, shoestring affair. The registration fee was $7.00, including abstracts, and the motel rooms cost $17.00 for a double. The conference lasted two days, and forty papers were delivered. We hoped that perhaps 75 people would come; to our amazement, about 120 registered. The inaugural banquet of home-cooked Greek food was provided free of charge through the extraordinary generosity of the women of the cathedral of Ss. Constantine and Helen.
In any case we were persuaded that there was a need for such a conference, and steps were taken for the organization of a permanent annual forum. David Wright played a prominent role in drafting the constitution which has served as well to this day. A pattern was established of moving the conference each year to a different university or college campus, or occasionally a museum, normally alternating between venues on the East Coast and in the Middle West. We have met once in Canada, but never on the West Coast, much to the dismay of our colleagues in California, Oregon and Washington. An elected governing board of sixteen scholars decides on policy and chooses the location of each conference and the program chair. We have resolutely remained a conference, and not an association, despite periodic attempts to expand the BSC mandate.
From many points of view the conference has achieved its original goals, of serving as a forum for ongoing. Research in Byzantine Studies in Canada and the United States, and of welcoming participation by scholars at all phases of their careers. The conference continues to grow, suggesting an increasing interest in the discipline of Byzantine studies. From a low of 40 papers in 1975, the inaugural year, the BSC has expanded to an all-time high of 117 papers in 1993 at Princeton, with three simultaneous sessions. Normally the number of papers ranges between about 70 and 90. There have been particular efforts to attract graduate students as attendees and speakers, through subsidized registration fees and meals, travel stipends, and the offering of a prize for the best graduate student paper. As a result graduate students now present as many as one-third of the papers. The BSC is an equal opportunity organization in other ways as well, and the participation of women in leadership roles is especially noticeable. Over the past 25 years, thirteen-women and ten men have served as president, and seventeen men and thirteen women have been program chair. In the 1990s women have come to dominate: the presidency has been held by six women and four men, and eight women and two men have chaired the program committee. Another trend has been the increasing participation of scholars from abroad. This year, out of 94 speakers eleven have crossed the Atlantic specifically to attend the conference, coming from such lands as Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Georgia. One possible negative result of the establishment of the conference has been the increased isolation of the field of Byzantine studies; Byzantinists are now much more likely to attend the BSC than meetings sponsored by the Medieval Academy, the Medieval Institute in Kalamazoo, the AHA or CAA.
A rapid survey of the contents of papers over the past 25 years reveals both certain consistent patterns and some emerging trends, which reflect the profile of the discipline in North America. One phenomenon is the dominance of late antique studies in the programs of the BSC. Papers on topics of the 4th-7th c. have typically composed from 40-50% of the sessions. The other side of the coin is the weakness of late Byzantine studies; the percentages of papers on the l3th-15th c. are usually in the teens or twenties. If we look at the distribution by discipline, the results produce few surprises. Papers on art, architecture and archaeology taken together typically comprise about one-half of the program, with most of the rest divided between history and literature. Although historical topics have been more numerous than those on literature, philology and given the fact that currently only two North American Byzantinists are teaching in the field of literature and philology. Thus the choice of topics for presentation at the BSC suggests that a number of Byzantine philologists are masquerading out of necessity as historians and classicists. Weak areas as far as representation on the program is concerned are theology, liturgy and church history, numismatics and sigillography, history of medicine, and law. Almost entirely absent are any papers on history of science and epigraphy. To a certain extent these percentages accurately reflect the interests of North American Byzantinists, since American researchers in the fields of Byzantine numismatics, sigillography, epigraphy, legal history and history of science can be counted on the figures of one hand. I would argue, however, that there is much greater interest in this country in Byzantine church history and patristics than one would guess from papers presented at the BSC. Certainly if one judges by the numbers of recent dissertations in the field, with 17 on John Chrysostom alone, patristics would seem to be thriving. The answer must be that theologians and historians of religion rarely participate in the BSC, preferring to attend conferences in their own discipline. I should also like to note the emergence of papers in the field of women's studies, beginning in the 1980s, and in applications of computer technology to our field.
On this celebration of the 25th anniversary of the BSC, we can say that it has reached its maturity, and that its basic character is well established. As we enter the 21st century let us hope that the conference will continue to be responsive to new trends in scholarship and indeed to take the initiative in pointing out new directions for our discipline.
Session I: Plenary Session
Chair: Kathleen Corrigan (Dartmouth College)
Panel Paintings of Late Antiquity: A Preliminary Report on the Project
Thomas F. Mathews (Institute of Fine Arts, N.YU.)
The search for the origin of icons has generally privileged imperial laurata, the official imperial portraits which have all disappeared, and has consistently bypassed one significant body of surviving paintings namely the Late Antique panel paintings of pagan gods. I have been assembling a corpus of this material, which now amounts to more than two dozen panels, and I have been finding striking resemblances, in construction, composition, and iconography to Christian icons. To see to the technical examination of these precious paintings conservator Norman Muller of the Art Museum of Princeton University has joined the project. We hope eventually to examine all aspects of the panels from physical construction to iconography and use. I would like to present some very preliminary findings in this session.
Principally from Egypt, many of these panel paintings are now dispersed in collections in Europe and America. They are generally assigned dates from the late second to the early fourth century, they range in size from 24 cm. to 62 cm. high, and some include their original frames. They are all executed in tempera, sometimes on a very thin coat of gesso. A surprisingly large percentage--about half--are wing panels of triptychs, while about a third of Christian icons before the 9th century are triptychs. One was equipped with a sliding lid, a feature also familiar in Christian icons. Like the figures in Christian icons (and unlike the better known Fayum mummy masks), the gods appear full-length or half-length, standing or enthroned, singly or in groups. They are generally strictly frontal, staring at the viewer, and haloed. Isis, Serapis, Harpocrates, Arcs and Aphrodite are recognized, along with Heron and other anonymous soldier gods, some in Syrian costume.
Of the five that have precise archaeological context, four come from a domestic situation. Significantly the four earliest attestations of Christian use of icons (Irenaeus; the Acts of John, Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica and Epist. ad Constantinam) locate Christian icon cult within the home and link it to a parallel pagan practice. I propose Christian icons took root in an un-official popular realm where they were continuous with pagan antecedents which they gradually replaced.
Excavations at Amorium 1988-1998
C. S. Lightfoot (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
The ancient and medieval city of Amorium (the Modern village of Hisarky) lies 1 km east of Emirdag and approximately 180 km south-east of Ankara in central Turkey. Excavations started under the auspices of the University of Oxford, England in 1988, directed first by Prof. R. Martin Harrison (1998-1992) and more recently by Dr. Chris Lightfoot (1993-1998).
Amorium was an important provincial city in Roman Asia (from 133 B.C. onwards) close to the border with Galatia. It gained greater importance after the founding of Constantinople in 330 as a strategic point on the main route across Asia Minor from the capital to the Syrian frontier and the Holy Land. In the late seventh century it became the capital of the Byzantine theme of Anatolikon and the headquarters of the army of the Anatolics; it was frequently regarded by ninth-century Arab sources as the largest Byzantine city in Anatolia. Frequently attacked by Arabs in the seventh through ninth centuries, it fathered the Amorium dynasty of emperors (820-867). The sack of Amorium in 838, recorded in both Byzantine and Arab literature, was regarded as such a humiliation for the emperor Theophilus that it may have contributed in no small way to the restoration of icons in 843. Despite the claim that after the sack of 838 the city never fully recovered (cf. W. Treadgold, A History of Byzantine State and Society, Stanford 1997, p.573), excavations have shown that Amorium remained a large and prosperous settlement until the late eleventh century.
Work has concentrated on medieval occupation layers with the aim of investigating the nature, extent and layout of the city and tracing changes in the settlement pattern. A secondary objective has been to uncover evidence of the city's turbulent history, and most especially, for the events of 838. At the same time it has been recognized that the site preserves a unique record of the material culture of the Middle Byzantine period.
Areas excavated so far include: (1). A section of the Lower City fortifications, constructed in the late fifth/early sixth century and destroyed during capture of the city in 838. (2). The Lower City Church, an aisled basilica with a similar history to the fortifications, but completely rebuilt as a domed basilica in the late ninth century, and in use until the late eleventh century. The building was embellished with a fine opus sectile marble pavement, painted frescoes on the walls, glass mosaics in vaults and domes, and carved marble furnishings. (3). The Upper City mound, where trenches on the south and north sides have revealed evidence of Middle Byzantine occupation within a circuit wall. Occupation of this man-made mound probably stretches back to the Early Bronze Age (third millennium B.C.), but it has also provided evidence for Seljuk and Ottoman occupation (thirteenth-eighteenth century). (4). New excavations started in a central area of the Lower City, called the Enclosure, in 1996; these were extended during the 1998 season, revealing substantial traces of Byzantine occupation in the seventh-eleventh centuries.
Twenty-Five Years of Byzantine Literature: The Case of the Letter-Collection of Theophylact of Ochrid
Margaret Mullett (Queen's University, Belfast)
In 1975, the BSC was born, at a time when the study of Byzantine literature as a European literature was very much in its infancy, and a young lecturer moved to take up a position in Belfast, having completed a first draft of a dissertation on the letter-collection of Theophylact of Ochrid and believing confidently that it would be possible to move on to look at other literary texts of the period. Twenty-five years later, the BSC is one of the established fora of the international Byzantine world, the study of Byzantine literature has matured almost unrecognisably -- and I am still being asked to talk and write about the letter-collection of Theophylact of Ochrid, though I still hope some day to move on to other literary texts. I should like to look at these twenty-five years in the light of these three themes: the achievements of the BSC and of its members in the field of Byzantine literary studies, the evolution of my understanding of Theophylact's letter-collection in the context of developments both inside and outside Byzantine Studies, and what is now a continuing debate about how and why we should approach that body of privileged texts which is Byzantine literature. I shall look at issues of epistolarity, genre, reception, literacy, personal relationships, networks, identity and gender, at the contributions of social anthropology, literary theory, art history, film criticism, feminism and queer theory, and at what will appear to later historians as the major development of the period the increasing use of computers. I shall note the achievements of American literary scholars in small ways (the teaching of Byzantine literature, literature surveys, listings of translations) and in big projects (Psellos, Hagiography, Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents) as well as the individual contributions of great American Byzantinists.
And I shall look at the future of Byzantine literature. We take as a given the need to continue to edit Byzantine texts: why otherwise would we elect to work in a field where there is still so much to do? But what form should these editions take, and what tools shall we need to provide for the students and scholars of the next millennium? We also accept that there is an imperative to bring our texts before a wider audience, and there is every opportunity: Byzantine literature is the only European literature still virgin territory for postmodern critics, entirely innocent of New Critical approaches. We can develop reading strategies which will bring this body of text before the most theoretically advanced textual communities in the world. But what are the most productive ways to do this? And is there really any conflict about the right way to go - or are we all eclecticists now? That debates flourish in Dialogos, The Journal of Early Christian Studies, Symbolae Osloenses and elsewhere may suggest that we feel at least there ought to be debate, though I suspect differences are less fundamental than the debaters believe. With these assessed we can then look forward to the next twenty-five years, of the BSC, of Byzantine literature -- and to other Byzantine texts.
Session II: Pioneers of Byzantine Studies in America
Chair. John Barker (University of Wisconsin)
Sirarpie Der Nerssessian in America
Nina Garsoian (Columbia University)
Born in Constantinople under the Ottoman Sultanate, Sirarpie Der Nersessian (1896-1989) died in Paris after a long, rich, and cosmopolitan career. By background, she was connected to one of the most important families of the Armenian community in Constantinople. Her studies, teaching, lecturing, and her researches developed into a truly international career, involving her with leading scholarly centers and personalities in both Europe and America.
It is upon her years in the United States that attention will be focused in particular. Through her teaching in Wellesley and her long residence at Dumbarton Oaks, she became a major figure in the development of Armenian studies in this country as well as abroad. As a teacher she took a warm interest in her students, and became a supportive and nurturing mentor to younger specialists entering the field. At Dumbarton Oaks, where she served two terms as Acting Director of Studies during her residence, she was a significant intellectual force in its faculty, while she and her sister, Araxie, were beloved members of its community. In her scholarly activities there, too, she played an important role in furthering work in Byzantine art history, whose relationship to the Armenian field she brought into new appreciation. To both of those fields, she contributed an important corpus of seminal scholarly publications.
Though an intensely private person, she was nevertheless warm and affectionate in her friendships and cordial in all her contacts, both professional and social. Those who knew or worked with her will always cherish her memory fondly.
"In Search of Byzantium": The Life of Robert Pierpont Blake
Igor Robert Blake (University of California)
Robert P, Blake's search for Byzantium became focused in Russia at the suggestion of Professor Eduard Meyer, University of Berlin, in 1910 where Robert had gone as a John Harvard Traveling Fellow in Classics. Armed with a general letter of introduction from President Taft he went to St. Petersburg where he was impressed by the Faculty of Oriental Languages at the Imperial University. He returned to Russia in 1911 for his second year as a John Harvard Traveling Fellow in Classics and History and studied history with Professor Rostovsteff.
After a short time as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania he returned to Russia in 1914. Robert began his study of Oriental languages--Arabic, Syriac, Armenian and Georgian, returning to the United States in 1916 to take his Ph.D. examination at Harvard. Three months later he was back in Russia. He took his degree of Magistrant in 1918, which allowed him to teach at the Russian universities. In 1918 he was sent to the Caucasus to update the conflicting catalogues of the Tiflis manuscripts and then to investigate various texts of the Bible. He became a Professor of the State University of Georgia when it was founded.
In 1920 he received an appointment from Harvard, which began his career there.
As a result of the insight, contacts, energies and connections of Robert Pierpont Blake several major efforts to preserve and promote Byzantine history were advanced.
First, in Tiflis in 1919-1920 he met Thomas Whittemore and a decade later worked with him to establish The Byzantine Institute. Thomas Whittemore, with the backing of The Byzantine Institute Directors, convinced Mustapha Kemal Ataturk that the Christian mosaic in the Church of Holy Wisdom should be revealed. Both Blake, as President, and Whittemore, as Director of the Institute, died within a month of each other in 1950 and eventually The Byzantine Institute was folded into Dumbarton Oaks.
Robert P. Blake was instrumental in the early discussions with Mildred and Robert Bliss for the donation of Dumbarton Oaks and its endowment to Harvard University. Robert served as Senior Scholar there in 1942.
The third major spin off from the search for Byzantium was the Harvard Yenching Institute. In 1910, while at the University at St Petersburg, Robert had been impressed that all the languages of the Near East and major languages of the Far East were taught. He felt that Harvard should offer a spectrum of the major languages of the Far East. This opportunity was created by his 1928 appointment as one of the first Trustees for life of what was to be the Harvard Yenching Institute.
Thomas Whittemore, 1871-1950
William L. MacDonald (Washington, DC)
Whittemore's work in Istanbul is well known, but the man isn't, chiefly because of his habitual secrecy and a not inconsiderable academic skepticism. His background and objectives are reviewed in this brief, informal talk.
He graduated at Tufts, taught there, then spent several years at Coptic sites excavating with the Egypt Exploration Society; frescoes in particular attracted him. In 1916 he organised a committee to fund the covert emigration of Russian youths and their subsequent education in the west, a successful fifteen-year venture. In the late 1920s he taught at N.Y.U. and in 1930 created The Byzantine Institute (he was its Director until his death), a Massachusetts charitable corporation; generous contributors to the Russian program stayed with him. He planned a research library, a publications program and, above all, hands-on work in Istanbul. In 1932 he secured, face to face, Atatrk's permission to work in the Ayasofia, a great coup; the grant was later extended to other Istanbul buildings. Work began immediately. Upon Whittemore's death in 1950 Paul Underwood, assisted by Ernest Hawkins, who had been Whittemore's lieutenant, took over. In 1953-1954 the Institute was quietly absorbed by Dumbarton Oaks.
Whittemore's deeply held High Church convictions and aesthetic values, as well as considerable powers of explanation and persuasion, underlie his success. He was an aesthete with an iron will, short with the common herd, courtly and fraternal with the rich and powerful. At once pensive, abstemious, mysterious, and elegant, he managed to be, for some, a romantic crusader for Byzantine art. In some ways a poseur, he was nevertheless highly practical, and brought to his scaffolding new procedures, though his assistants there and elsewhere were not always granted proper credit; that, together with his somewhat sparse scholarship, kindled much criticism. But his work in the Ayasofia and the Kariye Camii survives to record his ambition and determination; others interpret, but he revealed the evidence.
Session III: Death, Demons & Deviants
Chair Henry Maguire (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
A "Profit·Extraordinarily Accursed": Grave-Robbing in Medieval Byzantium
Eric A. Ivison (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
For the Byzantines the tomb was a place not only for personal piety and sentiment; the tomb sheltered the "sleeping" body awaiting the physical Resurrection, and was the focus of intercessions on behalf of the deceased. In this context, it was popularly believed to be crucial that this resting place should remain undisturbed. The desecration of tombs and their contents was therefore regarded by civil lawmakers and church canonists with horror, as a sacrilege almost beyond comprehension. Tombs were protected by law against grave-robbing, which was condemned as a capital and spiritual crime. Grave- robbing was therefore regarded by Byzantine authors as one of the most grotesque crimes committed by the Latin armies that sacked Thessaloniki in 1185, and Constantinople in 1204. Grave robbing also followed in the wake of the Turkish conquests, and was associated with ungodly barbarism.
Despite the association by Byzantine authors of grave robbing with the enemies of Byzantium, grave robbing is attested in Byzantine society, both by documented cases and by legal measures. Grave-robbing in Byzantium is deserving of study for it offers insights on how Byzantines viewed the profane corpse and its resting place, and in particular, the exposure or handling of decomposing human remains. Grave robbing therefore provides a useful counterpoint to Byzantine veneration of the incorruptible, saintly corpse, and allows us to explore the often thin dividing line between what was considered grave-robbing and the translation of relics.
This paper will discuss the phenomenon of grave-robbing in Byzantium from the Ninth through the Fourteenth Centuries, bringing together evidence from civil and canon law, historical testimonia, epitaphs, and archaeological materials. Legal definitions and penalties in and penalties in civil and canon law will be discussed, assessing the official position of State and Church. This will be compared against the popular perception of grave-robbing, as attested by historical testimonia and other: non-institutional sources, concerning the causes and consequences of grave-robbing. Using these legal precedents and documented cases, this paper will determine which individuals and groups were found guilty of grave-robbing in Byzantium, and the nature of their illicit activities. These cases also offer insights on the effectiveness of laws in discouraging grave-robbing, and on the wide-ranging motives for breaking these laws.
Byzantine attitudes to the profane body revealed by descriptions of grave- robbing, and the perceived risks to public hygiene and mores, will also be explored. Such accounts offer important evidence of popular folklore concerning supernatural intervention and divine retribution. This conceptual background will be discussed in the context of inter-linked notions of physical and spiritual pollution brought about by contact with "the unfortunate dead" (Christopher of Mitylene, On the Buried Dead, ed. Kurtz [Leipzig- 1903] No.82).
Vampires, Not Mothers: The Living Dead in the Canonical Responses of Ioasaph of Ephesos
Patrick Viscuso (Chantilly, VA)
Byzantine canonical legislation often deals with satanic influences and demonic activity. This brief study will reproduce the historical and theological framework in which the discussion of female vampires or giloudai takes place in the canonical answers attributed to Ioasaph (d. 1437), the metropolitan of Ephesos. The author's canonical discussion represents one of the few such treatments in Byzantine canon law. The role is restricted to women, and the victims to infants.
In contrast to images of motherhood, the giloudai are portrayed as taking, rather than contributing blood to children, whom they destroy, rather than birth. This brief examination will attempt to show the historical, medical, and theological precedents to the author's discussion as well as parallel legislation on female vampires in other canonical works.
Ioasaph is attributed authorship of fifty-seven answers to questions of a certain presbyter, George Drazinos, apparently resident in Crete. Two manuscripts of the work have been published in rare Russian and Greek editions (1903 and 1933). One of these manuscripts is dated 1438 by the hand of the copyist. Although the work contains few explicit references to Byzantine legal sources, as a former Great Protosynkellos the author based his responses on an expert knowledge of civil and ecclesiastical law. Unlike other similar questions and responses, the writing gives the appearance of a pastoral work directed towards a clerical audience, but not jurists.
This study will draw general conclusions concerning the author's views on the nature of women, evil, and the reception of the sacred. These conclusions will contribute to a broader understanding of religious life and women in Byzantine society.
Magic, Words, and Images: An Early Byzantine Amulet and Its Semiotics
Jacquelyn Tuerk (University of Chicago)
Late Antique Levantine amulets exemplify sophisticated and practical semiotic structures that reveal desires and expectations for experience, and semantic differences that portray multiple layers of inter-religious beliefs. A fifth- to sixth-century engraved bronze amulet, from Syria or Palestine and now in the Kelsey Museum at the University of Michigan, displays a rich and fascinating collection of apotropaic symbols, images, and words of "pagan," Jewish, Christian, and pan-Levantine character, as do numerous similar Late Antique amulets, that are often modest in material or workmanship, but that are challenging and multi-faceted as historical documents for late antique spiritual practices. Late Antique texts tell us that amulets offered eastern Mediterranean people, with limited resources, recourse for addressing the problems of everyday life, including healing, protection from the evil eye and various demons and ailments, protection in childbirth, curses, and love spells. Never in doubt about the affects of magic, Christian church authorities argued against the use of magical tools however potent. These amulets of ritual power display words and images in heterodox combinations, thus we encounter various Iaos, Osirises, and Christs populating ritual practices, and in this regard we can speak "Christianities" in the plural and in conjunction with other seemingly distinct religions. The amulets exploit such a multiplication of referents in order to generate Power (powerful utterances, powerful images, powerful affects) for the people who used them. For instance, the signs of alpha and omega appear on liturgical silver as an abbreviation for Christ as the beginning and the end of Creation, in Egyptian papyrus inscriptions as powerful signs that bind various demons, and as punctuation to signify the beginning and end of a spell written on a broken clay pot, depending upon shifting contexts and interpretations. The more the multiple and shifting referents for single signifiers, then the closer that signifier comes to being a simulacrum, that is, its own referent, that encapsulates and suggests various other referents -- a sign of signification itself. This semiotic mechanism -- the generation of simulacra -- makes signs into objects for manipulation, and renders numerous amulets socially powerful and psychologically efficacious. These objects offer a model for the multiple and shifting semiotic schemes of Late Antiquity and provide examples of unorthodox though common spiritual practices.
Among the concerns that this paper will address are: the iconography and social contexts of Late Antique Levantine amulets, their psychological and semantic motivations, Early Byzantine models for desire and expectations for experience, the recent reevaluation of the complex term "pagan" as well as the reformulating of the term "magic" as "ritual practice" and various problems of Christian bias in Modern scholarship. In addition, it will suggest that the Late Antique ideas concerning the power of images along with the possibility of simulacra that these amulets embody also describe a pre-history for the Byzantine theory of holy icons that was developed a few centuries later during the Iconoclast Controversy.
Session IV: In Honor of Seka Allen
Chair: John V. A. Fine, Jr. (University of Michigan)
Byzantine or Romanesque? The Question of Style in Medieval Ecclesiastical Architecture of Serbia
Slobodan Ćurčić (Princeton University)
A great variety of stylistic modes witnessed in medieval ecclesiastical architecture of Serbia has long been recognized, and various explanations of this phenomenon have been proposed. None of these explanations have addressed the central question: how such a variety was possible considering the fact did the Serbian Church was an Orthodox church and that frescoes used in the interiors of the same church buildings showed a consistent and exclusive adherence to the Byzantine artistic tradition.
This paper will argue that the style of church buildings in the context of the Serbian Orthodox Church, unlike the interior decoration of the same churches, was not governed by the prerogatives of the Church as the user of these buildings. The choice, it would seem, was left to the patrons or the builders of individual buildings. Likewise, it would appear that the individual patrons strove to get the best available builders at any given moment, regardless of their ethnic or religious origins. As builders often came from culturally different parts of the Balkans, the style of church buildings differed accordingly.
The paper will examine a number of specific cues of patronage with very interesting results as far as the style of building is concerned. The architecture of monastery churches of Studenica, Sopocani, Gradac, Arilje, Gracanica, Banjska and Decani will be explored. Each of these cases will consider the idiosyncratic circumstances that appear to have governed the ultimate choice of architectural style. Collectively, these demonstrate that the choice of architectural style--unlike that of the interior frescoes in the same churches--was completely free of any constraints that may have been imposed by the Church authorities as the principal users of the buildings in question. Ultimately, the lessons of this paper may shed light on some broader developments in Byzantine architecture where diverse stylistic elements associated with foreign architectural traditions (Islamic, Western) often appear alongside the genuinely Byzantine aspects. This may permit us to conceptualize different areas and levels of input of individual patrons in shaping different aspects of a given cultural tradition.
Questions of Intent and Interpretation in Sixth-Century Balkan Floor Mosaics
Ruth E. Kolarik. (Colorado College)
The study of meaning in early Byzantine floor mosaics is complicated by the very nature of the medium. Images that could be walked on had a different function than images illustrating the text of a book or adorning an apse vault. Recent studies of symbolism in floor mosaics have focused on the relationship between the texts of sermons and images on floors (H. Maguire) or liturgical context and meaning (Donceel-Vote). Both approaches have yielded important insights, but have limitations. The sermons are sometimes centuries removed from the mosaic floors and evidence for liturgical practices from specific times and places is scarce. This paper will approach the issue by considering the historical circumstances in which elaborate imagery on the floors of churches developed from 450 to 550, and the process by which the floors were designed, using examples from Stobi, Delphi, Tegea, Heraclea Lyncestis, and Nikopolis.
Imagery on church floors was, with few exceptions, restricted to subjects from the natural world, but even this limited vocabulary was not used consistently. After an initial period of exuberant decoration in the fourth century, most floors of the early fifth century in the eastern Mediterranean had austere geometric ornament. From the middle of the fifth century, however, floor mosaics became ever more ambitious incorporating a profusion of images from nature. During this period, Christian basilicas were built and decorated at an extraordinary pace. The surviving remains show that these churches were lavish, if not gaudy, products of a prosperous provincial culture, in which church building was a manifestation of civic pride and a matter of prestige for ambitious local bishops.
Such patrons demanded colorful floor mosaics with a wide variety of flora and fauna often combined with complex ornamental patterns. In response mosaicists enhanced relatively simple compositions by adding more figures and also turned to sources from other media such as "scientific" illustrations or wall decoration. The mosaics under consideration show a range of approaches. At Stobi the narthex mosaic includes a rich assemblage of images and patterns organized in a grid. In the nave and narthex at Delphi images of birds, land animals and water creatures are sorted into different sections of the mosaic. The Tegea mosaic uses personifications of months and rivers of paradise. In the Heraclea narthex a garden painting is adapted to the floor. At Nikopolis the topographic meaning of a landscape image is made explicit by an inscription.
The patrons' desires for rich effects and the craftsmen's methods should be considered when interpreting floor mosaics of this period. While most can be generally identified as terrestrial creation, coherent symbolic constructs are the exception rather than the norm. At Nikopolis an inscription identifies the frame of water creatures as ocean, but one cannot automatically assume the same meaning at Tegea and Heraclea. The symmetrical composition in the center of the Heraclea mosaic probably carries more significance than others placed within patterns at Stobi and Delphi. At Delphi the central placement of an animal combat scene used elsewhere in less prominent locations remains ambiguous.
All the Emperor's Men: Political Loyalty and Economic Power in Fourteenth-Century Byzantine Macedonia
Dusan Korac (University of Maryland)
Stefan Dusan of Serbia conquered Eastern Macedonia in 1344-1345. The entire region, including Mount Athos and its hinterland with numerous monastic properties, remained an integral part of the Serbian Empire until the battle of the Marica in September of 1371. Athonite archives contain a number of documents; many of them issued immediately after the Byzantine reconquest in 1371, concerning land disputed between the local archonts and Athonite monasteries.
Contrary to the commonly held opinion it seems that the Serbian tsar did not change the existing administrative system in traditional Byzantine regions of his Greco-Serbian Empire. Many among the local Byzantine aristocracy accepted the new ruler, as the monks and protos of Mount Athos immediately did, and in reward not only kept their property but also received new ranks and new estates. Without their support Stefan Dusan could not have annexed large portions of Byzantine territories without having fought a single battle.
A number of local Byzantine landowners opted to remain loyal to John V Palaeologos or John VI Kantakouzenos and fled the region before Stefan Dusan. Their property was confiscated and handed over to either Athonite monasteries or those local noblemen who recognized the new ruler.
In the fall of 1371 the despot Manuel Palaeologos, the governor of Thessalonika, liberated many towns from the "Serbian yoke" and made it possible for "justice to shine and for the Mighty and Holy Lord and Emperor to assume the reign he had been deprived of." However, the rhetoric of the chrysobull was not matched by great changes in land distribution. The documents issued by Serbian authorities remained legally valid after 1371. Monasteries and many among the local dignitaries kept their property. The Byzantines who had left the region before the Serbs were in the worst position. Many of them could not retrieve their lands, which had been given to monasteries during the period of Serbian rule. However, the extant documents do not express just the bitterness and resentment of Serbian rule on the part of those who had lost their property and whose legal rights had been disrespected; some are full of gratitude and respect "towards the late, Holy Emperor Stephen [Dusan]" and "the devout Lady, the Empress [Helen of Serbia]." Kyr Doukas Koreses, for example, joined Stefan Dusan in the fall of 1345, kept his properties, and joined the ranks of the tsar's courtiers. In the autumn of 1371 he was once again in the service of the Byzantine emperor and, once again, he kept his property. Such an attitude was obviously much more profitable than loyalty to the party which lost.
The 26 years of Serbian rule were a period of arrested economic development for those among the local landowners who remained loyal to the emperor in Constantinople. At the same time, they proved very beneficial for the economic and political power of those who had a more flexible perception of political loyalty. Having annexed Byzantine territories, Stefan Dusan acted as one of the sides in the incessant Byzantine civil wars: he was obviously accepted as such by many of the local magnates exhausted by decades of civil strife and tired of ever shifting political alliances.
Tame Cheetahs and Woven Luxury in the Early Byzantine Period
Eunice Dauterman Maguire (Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
This paper is submitted in fond memory of Seka Allen, and in grateful recognition of her undying interest in considering any evidence for expanding our knowledge of life in the Byzantine world, during all the years of her active and devoted association with Dumbarton Oaks. The choice of evidence from textiles honors the sharp and critical eye with which she found and rescued find Asian carpets hidden in unlikely places like Urbana, Illinois; and the feline subject honors her affection for cats.
The use of cheetahs for hunting in, the middle-Byzantine period parallels the prestigious practice of equestrian falconry as a mark of high status not only in the Empire itself, but as a cross-cultural phenomenon stretching from Asia to Western Europe. We can point to tame cheetahs in a variety of eleventh and twelfth century depictions, Byzantine and Iranian. A cheetah on a red leash is set free to chase a stag above a richly-decorated eleventh-century canon table, opposite a scene of a falcon with its master. Cheetahs observed in domestic relaxation lend their charm to painted initials in a twelfth-century manuscript; and on the carved ivory of the presumably South Italian Clephane horn, a demonstration of equestrian hunting with cheetahs takes place in the Constantinople hippodrome. Three-dimensional glazed ceramic figures of riders with cheetahs similarly mounted behind them survive from Seljuk Iran.
Although at the present time we lack a securely-dated sequence of textiles to document an unbroken series of cheetahs from the early Byzantine period into the Comnenian, there is evidence in textile images that tame cheetahs were esteemed and used in much the same way centuries earlier than these middle-Byzantine depictions. Close inspection of the rich animal imagery of the Horse and Lion tapestry at Dumbarton Oaks suggests that the hunting cheetah may already have been a prestigious animal in the sixth century. A closely-related tapestry in the Cleveland Museum depicts the parading of cheetahs on leashes by trainers in Persian dress. The apparently Persian imagery linking these two tapestries hints that the tame cheetah was known as a sign of imported luxury.
Small-scale textiles from the early Byzantine period provide further hints of the exotic status of the tame cheetah. One tapestry-woven scene, probably cut from a luxurious tunic found in an Egyptian burial, and now in a Swiss collection, represents the bringing in homage by trainers in Persian dress, of a pair of large spotted cats, in harness and on leashes. The animals are offered along with covered pyxes to a ruler throned under the arches of a ceremonial entrance. From the assumption that the scene is Bacchic has followed an identification of the cats as panthers, brought to celebrate the god's conquest of Asia. If, however, cheetahs were actually tamed and presented as courtly gifts by the time this fine weaving was made, perhaps as early as the fourth or fifth century, they would have been the likely models for the felines in such a scene.
Three textiles in another recently published collection exhibited at Krannert Art Museum and scheduled to be shown at Harvard in honor of the Byzantine Studies Conference there in the year 2000, also appear to represent tame cheetahs. The earliest example may date to the fifth or sixth century, the second to the seventh or eighth, while the third, with cheetahs mounted behind riding hunters in the presence of a falconer, seems to be more medieval in its abstraction. Their tentative chronology aside, these textiles represent three different aspects of the cheetah: its alien but powerful presence, in relation to familiar and more realistically rendered aquatic birds; its hunting prowess, in a vignette inserted into a design representing a paradisal garden; and its remarkable ability to sit behind the saddle of a moving horse. The presence of these animals on garments or saddle accessories, like scenes of falconry on silks, implies that their later Byzantine appearance in texts and painted or ceramic images is either a conscious revival of an earlier fashion or a continuation of a practice whose early history has been lost to us.
A Contribution toward Identifying Some of the Figures in the Five Domes of the Virgin Ljeviska in Prizren
Ljubica D. Popovich (Vanderbilt University)
To insure the proper identification of individual figures, Byzantine masters followed well established iconographic traditions and used accompanying explanatory inscriptions. When such identifying texts are lost, the subject of each composition can easily be recognized by other means. As far as individual figures are concerned, traditional head types or occasional attributes might help with identification. In spite of these iconographic factors, the icon and the attribute, many saints whose name inscriptions are lost remain anonymous in Byzantine painting. Such is the case with a number of standing figures in the Cathedral of the Virgin Ljeviska painted soon after the completion of its renovation in 1307, under the ktitorship of King Milutin. These figures are depicted in the lowest as well as in the highest zone of this church.
Although from multiple points of view in a monographic study by Gordana Babic, the much damaged frescoes in all five domes and drum did not receive the lengthy analysis needed for possible identification and a contextual interpretation of all the figures painted there. Most of the images under consideration have lost their name inscriptions, and most of the texts inscribed on the scrolls that some of them carry survive only in fragments. Additionally, all of the fresco surfaces suffered extensive damage, especially in the areas depicting the head and upper torso of the figures.
Because of their place within the iconographic program of the Virgin Ljeviska and their location in the drums of the domes, the figures are identified by Babic as belonging to the general iconographic category of the prophets. This categorization seems to be further strengthened by the fact that twenty-two of the total twenty-four figures wear classical-type garments. Furthermore, body language, hand gestures, and scrolls (either rolled or opened) seem to confirm this rather generalized iconographic grouping. All these impressions are strengthened by the use of the epithet "prophet" inscribed above the right shoulder of each figure.
In this paper, attention will be directed toward identification of the above-mentioned figures and their texts through a comparative iconographic, textual, and statistical analysis with earlier or near contemporary monuments in which Old Testament authors and other characters are positively identified, and where they occur in a comparable number. Although all the surviving epithets refer to the corresponding figures as "prophets" some of the surviving names surprisingly belie that identification, revealing an unexpected mixture of authors of the Biblical prophet books, other characters who are commonly called prophets (e.g., Elijah and Elisha), and others who were never labeled as such, to the best of the author's knowledge (e.g., Gad, Asher, Zebulun, etc., who, for example, are represented in the south dome of the esonarthex of Kariye Camii). A prototype for the decoration of the domes of the Virgin Ljeviska is not found among the preserved monuments. The formal solution of the main dome of the Virgin Ljeviska is reflected in such churches as Staro Nagoricino. (ca. 1318) and the Virgin Hodegetria at Pec (before 1337), but the entire iconographic program of the five domes has never been duplicated, and in that fact lies its unique significance.
Session V. Ecclesiastical Politics
Chair: Michael Maas (Rice University)
The Sacrificial Lamb: The Importance of the Byzantine Eucharistic Rite in the Azyma Controversy
Stephen Bartlett (St. Louis University)
Over nine hundred years ago, the Christian Church was cleaved in two by the mutual excommunications of the pope and the patriarch of Constantinople. The historical issues and events surrounding this schism in the Church have been the subject of numerous studies which have exhaustively reviewed the political origins of this debate. From this mass of research, one controversial practice presents itself as enticingly unusual: the use of leavened or unleavened bread for the eucharist. For many historians, this bone of contention occupies a significantly subordinate role in comparison to the greater issues of the Filioque and papal supremacy. This opinion, however, betrays the lack of scholarly attention of historians to the intensely important role that the eucharist played in the Byzantine Church and the lives of its members. While the question of adding the Filioque to the Nicene Creed was of dogmatic importance to the Byzantine parishioner, it was the visual and tangible leavened eucharistic bread, which captured the minds and hearts of the Byzantines when considering the question of reunion with the Latin Church.
The aim of this paper is to contextualize the azyma controversy within the larger framework of the political and liturgical developments of the Byzantine and Latin worlds. By the end of the first Christian millennium, both the political and religious institutions of the Byzantine east and Latin west had undergone a dramatic transformation which manifested itself in artistic, architectural, and liturgical symbolism. It is the effect of this symbolism on the Byzantine clergy and congregations which helps to explain the original schism of the Christian Church and its failure to reunite after the irenic Councils of Lyon and Ferrara/Florence. As will be seen, developments in the eucharistic rite in the early Middle Ages elevate the importance of the issue of the eucharist to at least equal status with the Filioque question; for the substitution of unleavened bread in the Byzantine rite would have completely transformed the liturgy of the eastern Church and robbed the Byzantines of an essential element of their identity.
Misrepresenting an Ecumenical Council: The Short Latin Version of the Acts of Constantinople II
Patrick Gray (York University)
The first interest of historians being generally to recover "historical reality" through the most reliable records, it is probably not surprising that little attention is paid to inauthentic records. In the absence of all but a few quotations from the original Greek acts of Constantinople II the long Latin version published in Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum quite properly commands our attention if reliable records of the events of the council itself are indeed our interest. Inauthentic records, though, have a special interest of their own, revealing, as they often do, the quite different historical reality behind the foisting upon some intended audience of a "forged" image of the past. Such is the case with the now-neglected short Latin version of the acts of Constantinople II: passage-by-passage comparison of the two versions reveals the many ways in which the perpetrators of the "forgery" subtly, and not so subtly, re-presented and mis-represented this very problematic council to the Latin-speaking world. The intentional glossing over of Vigilius' opposition during the council is only the most glaring of many examples of this technique. What emerges from this study of the "forgers'" transformations of the record is the conviction that Justinian's circle of advisers very astutely calculated what might make the council acceptable to the West, and construed the council to meet those criteria. This is so despite the fact that other accounts, perhaps the longer version itself, could not be completely suppressed, and in the event the feared schism was not, as had been hoped, entirely avoided.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Impeaching the Late Antique Bishop
Michael Gaddis (Syracuse University)
Ecclesiastical histories and church council acts of the fourth and fifth centuries contain numerous accounts of bishops put on trial for a colorful variety of offenses. These "high crimes and misdemeanors" included heresy, misappropriation of church funds, excessive luxury, adultery, violence, and even murder and sorcery, and involved famous individuals such as Athanasius (for the notorious "hand of Arsenius"), John Chrysostom, Theophilus of Alexandria, Ibas of Edessa and Dioscorus of Alexandria. These charges have frequently been dismissed as politically motivated, biased, exaggerated or downright invented, and many of them probably were. But their evidentiary value is not limited to a simple question of their truth of falsehood in specific cases. Accusations against bishops are far more important for what they can tell us about the audience to which they were addressed. Polemical charges whether true or false--offer us a window into the expectations and values that governed Christian thought on the exercise of power, by showing the ways in which people imagined. an unscrupulous bishop might abuse his authority.
The conversion of Constantine led not so much to dominance of the emperor over the church--traditionally called "Caesaropapism"--but rather to the assumption by powerful bishops of various aspects of secular power: economic, administrative, judicial and even, on occasion, military. With such power inevitably came worries as to how that power might be used and abused. The charges allow us to study the rhetorical construction of the "tyrant bishop"--opposite of the idealized bishop/saint of hagiography. The polemical stereotype of the tyrant-bishop embodied both abuse of power, and corruption by power. It drew heavily upon secular political discourse and its classical models of "bad" emperors, tyrants and usurpers.
The tyrant-bishop distinguished himself by his greed, love of luxury and ostentation, which drove him to squander church resources intended for the poor. To satisfy his lust for power, he eagerly sought and sometimes stole ordination, and continually overstepped the legitimate bounds of his canonical authority. The tyrant-bishop, moved by anger and jealousy rather than concern for the faith, used doctrinal controversy as a means of pursuing personal vendettas, and frequently employed violence against critics and rivals. One of the most powerful polemical images featured the tyrant-bishop who surrounded himself with soldiers and imitated the trappings of a secular magistrate, emblematic of his desire to hold worldly power as well as spiritual authority. This discourse of episcopal misconduct allows us to examine the larger issue of how Christians sought to problematize the exercise of power within the church in the post-Constantinian era.
Who Made Michael Keroularios a Hero (or Villain) in the History of the Schism
between Rome and Constantinople?
Tia M. Kolbaba (Princeton University)
The schism of 1054 hardly appears in eleventh-century Greek texts--a point which every scholar who writes about it feels obliged to make. Michael Keroularios' contemporaries seem to have seen his quarrel as primarily personal and his complaints about the Roman Church as intemperate. The dispute between the papal legates and the Patriarch did, however, become central in later Byzantine accounts of how Rome and Constantinople came to be divided from one another. Those later accounts tend to portray Keroularios as a defender of the Orthodox faith against the schismatic (or maybe heretical) Latins--a heroic position which he has occupied, in some historical narratives, down to the present. Modern historians have not always acknowledged the possibly distorting affect of using these later accounts to understand what happened in 1054. In contrast, distortion of a different sort has resulted from relying too heavily on the reports of Keroularios' western antagonist, Humbert of Silva Candida. Historians who proceed in this way tend to see Keroularias as a villain, dividing the churches because of his own arrogant and combative personality.
This paper assumes that the question of whether Keroularios was a hero or a villain is unanswerable. For historians of Byzantium, it is important, instead, to identify which individuals and groups in the Byzantine Orthodox Church adopted him as a hero and when. Using published and unpublished accounts of the schism from different decades, this paper will trace the evolution of the heroic view of Keroularios, arguing that he is adopted as a hero of Orthodoxy only in the twelfth century, and then for reasons specific to the period and by writers who have their own anti-Latin agenda.
In a broad sense, the various Byzantine portraits of Keroularios highlight differences of opinion and changes of opinion within the Constantinopolitan church. Definitions of orthodoxy and heresy led always to disagreements, and the status of Latins was never entirely clear. Seen from this perspective, the Orthodox response to westerners; looks ambivalent and flexible--far from the monolithic and unchanging picture commonly painted in histories of the schism, be they medieval or modern.
Genuine Heretics, Genuine Heroes: The Origenist Controversy and the Historiography of Rufinus of Aquileia
Adam Schor (University of Michigan)
The traditional understanding of the reasons behind Rufinus of Aquileia's writing of a Church History has been the goal of edifying the Aquileian citizenry and distracting them from the Visigothic siege. Additionally, Rufinus is understood to have used the opportunity to advocate ascetic monasticism, and with the help of Chromatius distanced himself from the Origenist controversy. Although this is all that appears in Rufinus' preface, this understanding is too simplistic. Careful attention to Rufinus' narrative, and the definitions and concepts for which it is a vehicle show otherwise. Rufinus' Church History is rather another chapter within the Origenist controversy, as the author uses his narrative subtilely to argue a position on its issues.
Rufinus draws a picture of the fourth century as a struggle between orthodoxy and various manifestations of error, notably Arianism, Judaism, and paganism. He thereby defines error by several consistent attributes. Error concerns deviations in belief, and thus is not identical to religious crime. Manifestations of error have beginnings at the point when they are identified, and adherents during the preceding period should not be implicated or blamed unless they continue such adherence. Error must involve conscious acts of deception, themselves crimes, which fool people into following them. Error can only be identified by a specific process involving human debate, the invocation of God by a holy man, and the unmistakable sign of god's miraculous power as judgment Error holds this form regardless of the doctrine involved. Finally, error as a whole has by the time of Rufinus' composition suffered a severe blow and no longer represents a serious threat to Christianity.
The importance of these attributes of error for Rufinus' place in the Origenist controversy are clear. They allow Rufinus to draw a universe in which condemning Origen or the Origenist monks, at least so long as God remain silent. Rufinus, angry at Jerome's letters and Theophilus' synod, undermines the authority and legitimacy of their arguments by demonstrating what genuine heretics and apostates look like, and why Origen cannot possibly fit this all-or-nothing image. Contrary to the way some have viewed him, Rufinus does not appear in this light to be an Origenist as much as an advocate for an end to witch hunts and to the denigration of church heroes.
For this, the genre of church history serves Rufinus well. It allows him to build a work which operates on many levels, which offers edification and advocates monasticism for a wide audience, while for a certain group it presents a position in this controversy. My claim here is not that Rufinus used a secret code, or that people were necessarily intended to read these attributes of error as principles. Rufinus intimately ties his arguments over Origen to his other more explicit tasks. Yet, the use of a Latin history to argue church politics is neither unexpected nor meaningless. There was an ample audience, literate in Latin, eastern and western, for his views on Origen. The use of history here tells us something of the importance of representing the past to this controversy, something worth further attention.
Session VI: Iconography
Chair Genevra Kornbluth (University of Maryland)
Things Terrible to Speak of and to Behold: An Ekphrasis of the Studios Apse Mosaic and Its Significance
Warren T. Woodfin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The epigram "Eis ton naon ton Stoudiou" by John Geometres (fl. 959-990) furnishes valuable evidence which has hitherto been overlooked by art historians. The poem gives a detailed ekphrasis of the church of St. John Studios with special attention to the mosaic in the apse. This description is of twofold importance. First, it can be added to the mere handful of texts upon which our view of post-Iconoclastic monumental decoration in Constantinople is based. The other exphraseis that have entered into the art historical discussion, namely the Tenth Homily of Photios and the orations of Leo VI on the Monastery of Kauleas and the church of Stylianos Zaoutzes, describe elements that coalesced in the later tenth and eleventh centuries into the "classical" Middle Byzantine iconographic schema: Christ in the dome, the Theotokos in the apse, the saints on the lower walls, and the life of Christ in the intermediate zone. The mosaic Geometres describes at the Studios, however, presents an entirely different subject, a monumental apocalyptic vision or "liturgical maiestas." The newly adduced textual evidence thus dispels the notion that there was a single general scheme for the decoration of churches in the capital following the defeat of Iconoclasm.
The second contribution of this text is towards our understanding of the so-called "Archaic group" of Cappadocian churches, where the Studios apse finds its closest contemporary parallels. Whereas much of the extant literature on these monuments regards the apocalyptic vision as a backward holdover from Early Byzantine Syria and Egypt, more recent scholarship has suggested closer artistic ties between Cappadocia. and Constantinople, even within the "Archaic group." The epigram on the Studios furnishes evidence for a Constantinopolitan source for this subject, the most salient iconographic feature of these churches. Rather than looking to models already centuries old and long-since cutoff by the Islamic conquests, those who directed the decoration of Cappadocian cave churches seem to have looked to the leading monastery of the empire, that of St. John Studios.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy, the Christological Dispute of 1160-1166, and the Titulus of the Cross in Byzantium
Alfred Bchler (Berkeley, CA)
In 1990 I showed that subsequent to the restoration of images in 843, the titulus of the Cross, which in all four Gospels includes the appellation 'King of the Jews', is absent in Byzantine representations of the Crucifixion, but that by the end of the twelfth century the title 'King of Glory', HO BASELEUS TES DOXES (hereafter: OBTD) had taken its place. So far no satisfactory explanation of these developments had been advanced. Here I shall argue that the disappearance of the title 'King of the Jews' had its origin in the pervasive iconophile designation of iconoclasts as 'Jews', while the appearance of OBTD was prompted by the dispute of 1160-1166 concerning the Glory of Christ.
Neither patristic exegesis (John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, the Catenae) nor later Byzantine commentary (Michael Psellos, Theophylakt of Ochrid) supply arguments for the rejection of the titulus. The absence of serious theological reasons is underlined by the appearance of the titulus INBI modelled on the Latins' INRI on sixteenth-century Mount Athos. The specifically Byzantine nature of the elimination of the Evangelists' titulus is shown not only by the continuous practice of the Latin Church, but also by the prevalence of tituli, generally of the form 'This is the King of the Jews', in Syrian and Armenian illuminated manuscripts. The regular Byzantine use of the term 'Jews' in referring to iconoclasts could easily have suggested a reading of HO BASILEUS TON IOUDATON as 'The Basileus of the Iconoclasts', thus blocking its use in representations of Christ on the Cross. Contemporary Byzantine anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, as displayed in such manuscripts as the Khludov Psalter and the Paris Gregory and in the writings of Photius and Gregory Asbestas, probably played only a secondary role.
From the middle of the twelfth century onward, OBTD appears as the canonical label both of the Cross in scenes of the Passion, and of the icon variously known as Akra Tapeinosis, Imago Pietatis and The Man of Sorrows, for which Belting has proposed an eleventh-century origin. These two uses of OBTD, however, are probably the result of separate developments. Between ca. 500 AD. and the decades around 1100 the inscription 'King of Glory' (from Ps-23) is recorded some four times in association with the Pantocrator and twice with the Crucifixion. These earlier uses, and the various other associations of 'King of Glory' amply account for the appearance of OBTD on the new icon, "neither a timeless portrait nor the narration of an action" (Belting). Discussions of the image have always assumed that the use of OBTD here was based on an earlier and presumably regular association with the Crucifixion. The earliest firmly dated twelfth-century use of it, however, is at Kurbinovo (1191), where it appears both in the Crucifixion and in the Descent from the Cross. Here it has clearly taken on the role of the titulus of the Passion narrative, after a long series of Byzantine crucifixions showing at most a tablet inscribed with the monogram IC XC. I suggest that this development was the result of the christological controversy that agitated Byzantine society between 1160 and 1166 and that was terminated by an edict imposed by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. The dispute concerned the proper interpretation of John 14:28, 'The Father is greater than I', but it was commonly known as a dispute concerning the Glory (John Kinnamos: doxa; Hugo Eteriano: gloria of Christ. The appearance of OBTD on monumental images of the Passion could have satisfied all sides of the dispute; it may well have been preceded by its use as the tide of the Man of Sorrows.
A New Image of the Virgin in Eleventh-and Twelfth-Century Constantinople
Bissera V. Pentcheva (Harvard University)
A new image of the Virgin was introduced on the gold coins of the empresses Zoe and Theodora in 1042. The Mother of God appeared with her hands raised in a gesture of prayer, a medallion was placed on her chest with the blessing Christ Child inside. The image became popular only in the last quarter of the eleventh century when it was re-introduced on the coins of Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118). To this date there has not been any in-depth study of the origin and meaning of this iconographic type.
The image is often referred to in scholarship under the name of "Episkepsis," meaning "Visitation and Protection." Yet, a number of other names are also associated with this iconographic type such as: Blachernitissa, Panaglotissa, Platytera, and "Znamenie." We will argue that the names describe different facets of the image and its function, and thereby, reveal the fluctuating and unstable relationship between a name and a visual form.
The iconography of the "Episkepsis" expresses the paradox of the Incarnation by means of the supernatural way in which the medallion with Christ hovers on the Virgin's chest. Similarly, the Virgin's orante gesture speaks of her incorruptibility and the "fatherless conception." The image engages though a set of antitheses embedded in the dogma of the Incarnation. However, previous scholars have never considered the "Episkepsis" as part of the new "rhetorical" images that developed in the eleventh century such as the Basileus tes doksas or the Virgin Kykkotissa among others. This paper will integrate the "Episkepsis" within this group and explore the intellectual and spiritual developments, which triggered its creation.
Since the image became widespread only at the end of the eleventh and throughout the twelfth centuries, this paper will also focus on how the "Episkepsis" was exploited by the Komnenians as an expression of their Orthodoxy and a means to establish conformity to their imperial power.
Monte Sant'Angelo or Mont-Saint-Michel? The Bronze Doors of Pantaleon and the Problem of Site-Specificity
Alison S. Locke (Yale University)
The eleventh-century bronze doors donated by the Amalfitan merchant Pantaleon to the shrine of the Archangel Michael at Monte Sant'Angelo (FG), Italy, comprise twenty-three panels inscribed with captioned images of angelic activity within the realm of mankind, and a twenty-fourth bearing dedicatory inscriptions. Iconographic and liturgical analyses have led to an understanding of the doors as "gates of paradise" depicting one path of entry into heaven, via angelic assistance, while simultaneously establishing physical access to the surrogate heaven of the sanctuary and to the salvific rituals enacted therein; a didactic function may also be recovered by reading the angelic interventions as object lessons in God's consideration for mankind. Although a close connection between the doors and their site is implicit in such interpretations, the presence of the doors at Monte Sant'Angelo is not required for their derivation. This essay problematizes the relation between the bronze doors and the shrine and approaches the issues of encoded meanings through a consideration of the precise moments of event and text selected for presentation. When one looks closely at the specific images constructed to signal the mytho-historical foundation of the shrine, these doors, which would seem to be the epitome of medieval site-specificity, come strangely and quickly unmoored.
An examination of the three Panels representing the history of the shrine reveals a curious suppression of explicit links to the site. The moments selected for depiction are not, as one might expect, the actual manifestations of Michael at Monte Sant'Angelo that led to the foundation of the shrine, but three almost identically rendered apparitions of Michael in the dreams of an unidentified bishop, known from the foundation legend to be the bishop of Siponto. Not only did these apparitions occur several kilometers away from Monte Sant'Angelo, any indicators of geography or temporality have been edited out of image and caption alike. I suggest two interrelated reasons for this suppression of explicit references to the founding of Monte Sant'Angelo: as it had been the regnal shrine of the Lombard rulers, such references would have recalled a power structure only recently supplanted by that of the Normans; and undue emphasis on the shrine's status would have challenged Norman Mont-Saint-Michel, which had originated as a replica of Monte Sant'Angelo. The representation of Michael's apparitions in dreams was doubly suited to the type of ambiguity required, for in addition to figuring prominently in the foundation legends of both sites, dreams occur in a realm of their own that cannot be fixed in time or space. Medieval site specificity is thus reconfigured: it is not that the doors cannot be tied specifically to Monte Sant'Angelo, but rather that they can also be tied to Mont-Saint-Michel. The flexibility of referent generated by the visual program of the bronze doors benefits both sites, for just as the applicability of the doors to Mont-Saint-Michel bolsters its claims to veracity, the repetition of angelic activity---and its architectural results--at the later Norman site retrospectively validates the (now depoliticized) Italian shrine.
From Jerusalem to Arles: The Syrian Connection
Erica Cruikshank Dodd (University of Victoria, B.C., Canada).
When Nasr-i-Khusrau visited Jerusalem in A.D. 1047, he saw and admired the new Byzantine mosaics in the Holy Sepulcher where "Heaven and Hell were represented and the Anastasis behind the Great Altar". Among these mosaics, he also saw "Abraham, Ishmael and Jacob and their children." Two hundred years later, the motif of the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with bundles of souls held in their cloaks occurs among the figures of the Last Judgment at St. Trophime, in Arles.
Since Nasr-i-Khusrau was a good Moslem, he may have substituted Ishmael for Isaac in his description of three figures in the Last Judgment on the walls of the Holy Sepulcher. The older, Byzantine iconography for the Last Judgment represented only Abraham with the soul of Lazarus on his lap, as he is shown, for example in the great Last Judgment in Torcello. This is how the motif is adopted as early as the ninth and tenth centuries in Europe. The variant of this type showing film patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob instead of just Abraham has its origin in the Early Christian art of Syria and Palestine. In Yilanli Kilise, Cappadocia (second half of the eleventh century?), in Abu Ghosh, near Jerusalem (c. 1170), and in Mar Musa al-Habashi, near Nebek, Syria (A.D. 1192) the three patriarchs are represented along with the Last Judgment. By the thirteenth century, the motif is widespread in Cappadocia, Egypt, Italy, France and England.
This paper traces a single iconographic motif, the three patriarchs with souls in their laps, from their first appearance in Jerusalem to the wider Mediterranean basin and ultimately to the great cathedral portals of Europe.
Session VII: Architecture
Chair. Cecil L. Striker (University of Pennsylvania)
Recovering the Pantokrator
Robert Ousterhout (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The Pantokrator Monastery, now the Zeyrek Camii in Istanbul, was undoubtedly one of the most important constructions of twelfth-century Byzantium, and it remains a critical monument for Byzantine architectural history. Built in three phases by John II and Eirene Komnenos between 1118 and 1136, the irregular complex consists of three adjoining churches, topped by five domes, with three asymmetrical narthexes and an enclosed courtyard. The Pantokrator is also the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul lacking a detailed study. This is all the more surprising considering its state of preservation and the survival of its typikon, written in 1136, which details the liturgical use of the complex.
In collaboration with Profs. Zeynep Ahunbay and Metin Ahunbay of Istanbul Technical University, we have instigated a major program of restoration and documentation, begun in 1996. Our first concern is the stabilization of the building, which had fallen into disrepair during recent years. Presently we are completing the replacement of the lead roofing, including the repairs to fractured vaults and the reconstruction of broken arcading. We will begin work on the fabrication of new windows shortly.
As the work progresses, we have been able to make some observations concerning the historical development of the building, its construction methods, and its interior and exterior decoration. The purpose of the proposed communication is to discuss some of the issues raised by the restoration and to present the most recent discoveries from the Pantokrator.
Recent Investigations in the Rotunda Church at Konjuh
Carolyn S. Snively (Gettysburg College)
The first publication of the rotunda church near Konjuh, a village now located in the northeastern part of the Republic of Macedonia, appeared in 1952,in the Zbornik of the Byzantine Institute in Belgrade; Svetozar Radojcic published a plan, photographs, a detailed description of the building, and a careful comparison of the church with other Early Byzantine ones in the region.
The rotunda, excavated by local villagers in 1919, stood ca. 200 m. south of a large, Late Antique, city site, whose ancient name is unknown. On the exterior the church formed a trapezoid, whose east and west walls are parallel; an apse projected from the east wall. A doorway in the west wall gave access to a small narthex flanked by apsidal rooms. Through a tribelon one entered the U-shaped aisle whose east ends formed pastophoria beside the presbyterium. A circle of piers and double columns divided the aisle from the "nave," except at the east side, where two large piers marked the west comers of the presbyterium, and the division between aisle and pastophorion. A chancel screen running between the two large piers formed the west edge of the presbyterium. On the interior the apse was semicircular, but a wall--straight on its west face, convex on the east-- ran across the chord of the apse, except at the south side where the entrance to a blind anular corridor formed by the two concentric apsidal walls was located. Three steps in the wall on the chord of the apse gave access to a platform in the apse above the corridor, where the episcopal throne would have stood.
Large, cut stone blocks w ere used for the walls of the rotunda; arches vaults, and dome were built of brick. One of the impost capitals bears an inscription in Latin: DOMATRIRS, in which the first letter takes the form of a Greek delta.
The sole archaeological investigation of the rotunda had been a very limited one carried out in 1988 by the Conservation Institute, whose report was not published. The lack of information did not prevent speculation and declarative statements about the pre-ecclesiastical use of the site and the martyr buried there. In 1998, however, a Macedonian-American team led by Kiril Trajkovski and Carolyn S. Snively carried out further study of the architecture and dug some test trenches. A number of our conclusions were negative, e.g., the blocks of the fascinating anular corridor have almost completely disappeared, and the church was built on an nearly sterile site with no trace of burials or even potsherds. On the other hand, the location of the rotunda near a sacred spring still venerated today suggests a quite different reason for its location, and the architect Misa Milojevic's new plan of the building together with his architectural observations will allow us for the first time to go beyond Radojcic's conclusions and to present a tentative new reconstruction of the rotunda.
St. Nicholas in-the-Fields and the Question of Imitation in Byzantine Architecture
Vasileios Marinis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The church of St. Nicholas in-the-Fields in Boeotia, has long been recognized as an important monument of middle Byzantine architecture in Greece. Although it is one of the few examples of domed-octagon church type, no particular study has ever been devoted to its architecture, and scholars only occasionally refer to St. Nicholas, almost always in connection to the monastery of Hosios Loukas. Actually, closer examination reveals that many features of the building present interesting similarities with the church complex of the monastery of Hosios Loukas, namely the church of Panaghia and the Katholikon. Apart from the similarity of plan with the latter, reflections of Hosios Loukas are evident even in the smaller details. For example, St. Nicholas is equipped with a semi-underground cross-in-square crypt with decoration analogous to the crypt of Hosios Loukas, large three-light windows of the Constantinopolitan type, and rib groin vaults that cover some subsidiary spaces. Also the original architectural sculpture would appear to deliberately imitate the sculptural decoration of Panaghia. On the other hand, St. Nicholas presents some classicising features not found in Hosios Loukas, such as the existence of a krepis and the use of marble slabs for the revetment of the exterior walls, which connect it with a trend of 12th and 13th century churches in Greece.
The exact history of the monastery of St. Nicholas is not known. Two early Christian capitals and one recently discovered late Roman one indicate that probably an earlier structure stood at this place. The oral tradition connects St. Nicholas with Hosios Loukas. The earliest textual evidence that we possess is from the 16th century, when an official document includes St. Nicholas among the metochia of Hosios Loukas.
It is the purpose of this paper to examine the different problems that the church of St. Nicholas raises, particularly in relationship to the question of imitation in Byzantine architecture. Was the repetition of significant architectural forms "the selective transfer of architectural elements" as it is called by Richard Krautheimer -- a deliberate effort for symbolic meaning or are the numerous similarities simply the result of the continuation of workshop practices?
A Reconsideration of Methodology in the Study of Armenian Architecture
Christina Maranci (Massachusetts College of Art)
The churches of medieval Armenia are striking to the eye, and the force of their visual impact has affected the way that we study them. Since its beginning in the late nineteenth century, scholarship on the architecture of Armenia has focused on visual analysis as a means of interpretation. The theories set out by Josef Strzygowski in Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa, (Vienna, 1918), the foundational work of the field, are based almost exclusively on an examination of the ground plans and structural devices of medieval Armenian churches. Subsequent scholarship has continued with this method, producing, for example, typological studies of Armenian monuments, in which the buildings are classified according to their form. While these efforts have been useful, they leave many questions unanswered, and it is the purpose of this paper to explore new methodological directions for the field.
The contextual approach of current medieval and Byzantine art history, and particularly issues of patronage, may help us to formulate a new interpretative method. Using selected examples, this paper will outline a study of artistic patronage in medieval Armenia, considering ways in which artistic forms were actively chosen by contemporary patrons. It will focus on the domed, centrally-planned churches of the 7th to 10th centuries and draw upon the abundant contemporary epigraphic and literary data that pertains to them. Church inscriptions are particularly common in Armenia and typically outline details of the identity of the donor and the circumstances of the commission.
Artistic patronage was a reflection of the distinctive socio-economic structure that existed in medieval Armenia. Unlike in Byzantium and the Islamic Near East, Armenia was not made up of a network of urban centers, but rather of a group of dynastic families that ruled their own domains, possessed their own bishoprics, and commissioned their own churches and manuscripts. In rethinking the field of Armenian architecture, thus, the study of artistic patronage may improve our understanding of the monuments and the social and economic forces that informed them. In doing so, we may challenge the notion of Armenian architecture as a passive recipient of "imperial influence", supplement the prevalent approach of visual analysis, and open a new chapter in the study of the field.
Session VIII: Reading Byzantine Literature
Chair. Sarolta Takacs (Harvard University)
The Hagiographical Logos: Theology and Literary Composition in the Early Christian East
Derek Krueger (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
The genre of Christian literary biography emerged in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. A number of the earliest examples of Greek saints' lives were written by prominent theologians. These works contain both explicit and implicit ideas about the theology undergirding the production of Christian biography. Attending to theological constructions of the act of writing in early hagiographical works contributes to an understanding of the meaning and function of these works within late ancient Christian communities and affords perspective on the place of writing within the pious practices of authors.
Both Athanasius's Life of Antony and Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Macrina present themselves as letters. In an era before a genre of Christian biography was established, the effort to situate biography within an epistolary context had theological implications. In his festal letters, Athanasius compared Christian correspondence with God's sending forth of the logos into the world. The Life of Antony which presents its hero as "dominated by the logos" (VAnt 14.4), is a logos itself, a word sent into a community of Christian monks to assist in leading them to salvation.
Gregory of Nyssa, on the other hand, locates letters within Platonic discussions about the relationship between speech (logos) and writing. His epistolary biography of Macrina functions as a written logos about a holy person. This concept is enhanced by his playful description of his text as a "written longwinded speech," a suggraphike makregoria, among other things, a pun on Macrina's name. The significance of this blurring of speech and writing is revealed when Macrina's own deathbed autobiographical discourse is described as being "like a prose composition, " kathaper epi suggraphes. This collapsing of the gap or diastema between speech and writing has analogues in the incarnation and in the Eucharist, where the logos of God becomes present and immediate. Gregory launches his text as a eucharistic logos, a point underscored when he discusses thanksgiving as the proper aim of biography.
Both in the Life of Macrina and in the Life of Moses Gregory presents biography as a point of entry to contemplative philosophy. This presents a model for understanding biography as a subspecies of theology and of exegesis, rather than a separate genre. Finally, in a number of texts authors call on the Holy Spirit for inspiration, linking hagiographical texts to the- mechanism which cooperated in the production of the Bible. In each of these ways, hagiography becomes a theological exercise, a way for Christian authors to participate in the publication of the logos.
John of Gaza's Anacreontic Poetry: Genres and Audience
Federica Ciccolella De Luigi (Columbia University)
John os, the author of a poetic description of the pictures in a bath at Gaza, is one of the main representatives of the culture of this Palestinian city during the sixth century. Six Anacreontic poems have been handed down under his name by codex Vat Barb. gr. 310: an epibaterios?(scil. logos, "speech of arrival"), an encomium, an epithalamium, a schedion ("extemporaneous speech"), an epideictic speech, and an ethopiia. Published by P. Matranga (1850) and T. Bergk (PLG, vol.3, 1882), these poems have been generally neglected by Modern scholars as school exercises devoid of any literary value. They are however an important document of the Gazaean culture and society as it was immediately before the Arab conquest of Palestine. From a strictly literary point of view, these poems show the complexity and the variety of the poetry of Late Antiquity, in which the ancient tradition is renewed in original forms, and rhetoric becomes the preferred vehicle for the expression of poetic creation.
A comparison between John of Gaza's poems and the rules codified by the rhetorical treatises of Late Antiquity for each genre shows that the poems only partially conform to such norms. The way in which John 'breaks the rules' is a clue to our characterizing the audience to which his works were addressed. It was, first of all, a Christian audience. In the iambic introduction to the epithalamium the poet declares that he will leave apart the "licentiousness of the erotic language", surely so as not to displease his powerful and highly educated Christian patrons.
A clearer portrait of John's audience results from the first poem. In the hexametric prologue of the epibaterios, employing a technique used by Nonnus of Panopolis and his followers, the poet distorts the traditional epic diction and imagery, in order to express a fundamental detachment from the values of the epos, on behalf of a poetry, which combines sweetness and culture. The praise of the city, the usual object of an epibaterios is replaced by the celebration, in Hesiodic and Pindaric style, of the community of the Gazaean scholars and poets, which John considers a "second Helikon".
The sixth poem, a dialogue between Zeus and Aphrodite about the death of Adonis, begins as an ethopiia, an exercise typically mastered in ancient rhetorical schools, but later becomes a Platonic dialogue, in which Christian and Neoplatonic motives are intertwined in a sort of cosmology; the poem ends up in a critique of the traditional interpretation of myth. The sixth poem therefore, reflects the actual philosophical debate in that cultural environment, a debate aimed at reconciling the classical heritage with Christianity and Neoplatonism.
John of Gaza's poems confirm and widen the picture of the Gazaean culture which results from the works of other representatives of that literary community: a revival of Homer and the ancient authors through the language, technique, and style of Nonnus, and a revival of Plato through the interpretations of the Neoplatonists, with a Christian background.
Arabic-Greek Herbal Glossaries and the Appearance of Arabic Medical Terms in Greek Manuscripts
Maria Mavroudi (Berkeley, CA)
Herbal glossaries are a hitherto underutilized source for the history of Byzantine medicine. The paper will focus on four bilingual glossaries (Arabic to Greek) that survive in 15th and 16th century manuscripts and give the Arabic terms transcribed in Greek characters. Such glossaries seem to have been intended for individuals in the medical profession who did not know Arabic. Based on the format of these glossaries as they appear in the Greek MSS in which they survive, as well as the incorporation of Arabic medical terms in Greek medical texts, the paper will discuss the reason for and manner of compiling such glossaries. It will also discuss them in conjunction with non medical Arabic-Greek word lists, both published and unpublished, as well as a number of Arabic notes from Greek medical manuscripts, the earliest of which can be dated to the late 10th or early 1lth century.
Planoudes, Ovid, and the Byzantine Audience for Latin Literature
Elizabeth A. Fisher (The George Washington University)
The translations of Latin literature made by Maximos Planoudes are a rather startling feature of the so-called Early Palaeologan Renaissance. Of these translations, the Metamorphoses of Ovid is notable for its length, difficult Latin poetic diction, and narrative complexity. It is also a mine of sometimes obscure mythological information, a fact appreciated by readers both in antiquity and in the late medieval aetas ovidiana of western Europe.
Planoudes' Greek translation of the Metamorphoses takes its place among the other translations from Latin literature made by this scholar, who is known also for locating, preserving, explicating, and adapting the Greek literary heritage in thirteenth-century Byzantium. We are in a unique position to assess Planoudes' intentions as translator of the Metamorphoses because his autograph manuscript of the translation survives as Vaticanus Regineniis Graecus 132 and was identified by Alexander Turyn in 1974. Using my own transcriptions of Planoudes marginalia, and images of the manuscript itself, I shall examine the format and actual execution of the text in an attempt to assess how Planoudes intended his audience to use this literary work and what assistance he thought they would require in order to exploit its riches fully. I shall also assess the literary style and quality of the translation as a piece of thirteenth-century Byzantine literature, focusing upon the philosophical opening of the Metamorphoses (1. 1-88) and upon the Apollo/ Daphne episode (I. 452-567).
Session IX: Church Treasuries: Session in Honor of Margaret Frazer
Chair- Susan Boyd (Dumbarton Oaks)
The Enamels of the Pala d'Oro
David Buckton (British Museum and Courtauld Institute)
Margaret Frazer's Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium entry on the Pala d'Oro in San Marco, Venice, read in conjunction with the entry on enamels, constitutes a masterly summary of the state of knowledge on this extraordinary altarpiece. In 1105 the Doge, Ordelaffo Falier, ordered an antependium from Constantinople; this is recognizable as the lower two-thirds of the present Pala. By 1209, when the antependium was remounted as a retable, six large feast scenes and a figure of the archangel Michael, looted from Constantinople, had been added; these constitute the upper third of the Pala. In 1342-5 the whole assembly was given the Gothic framework it retains today.
A comparison with the no longer extant enamelled altarpiece ordered from Constantinople by Abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino will be used to suggest how such large commissions were undertaken, and a close examination of enamels on the Pala and elsewhere will be used to identify the workshop practices employed to fulfill them.
Much has been written about the enamelled 'donor portrait' of Ordelaffo Falier. The head of the Doge is an obvious replacement: a discrete enamel plaque, its edge coinciding with the outline of the halo and the Doge's neck, has been fitted into the main panel, in place of whatever head the figure originally had. The most favoured explanation has been that the figure originally represented Alexios I Komnenos: on the Pala, as an apparent pendant to Ordelaffo Falier, is the figure of an empress named Irene, almost certainly the consort of Alexios I whose portrait must originally also have appeared on the altarpiece.
It is, however, inconceivable that the panel depicting Ordelaffo Falier ever represented the emperor. Suggestions that the present inscription replaced an earlier one identifying Alexios can be dismissed: the temperature required for enamelling a new inscription would have irreparably and indelibly damaged the existing enamel on the panel, and the same argument rules out any change of colour--the Doge wears black boots, not the red ones appropriate to a Byzantine emperor. The only explanation which fits the physical evidence is that the figure of the Doge originally had no halo: on the Holy Crown of Hungary, made in Constantinople some thirty years earlier, enamel representations of the emperor Michael VII Doukas and his son are nimbed, whereas a bust of the Hungarian king is not.
The Doge's halo must have been an addition, necessitating a replacement head and neck, which it encloses. The position of the sceptre or staff of office over the Doge's shoulder limited the extent of the halo; this restricted the size of the new head, which in turn required an elongated neck to connect it to the rest of the figure. It was clearly important that Ordelaffo Falier should be depicted with a halo, even if it meant giving him a disproportionately small head and long neck. In a complementary study, John Osborne investigates the circumstances of the alteration made to the enamel.
Lost Treasures: Three Closely Related Byzantine Reliquaries of the True Cross
Holger A. Klein (University of Bonn/Walters Art Gallery)
"After the conquest of the city [of Constantinople] there was found inestimable wealth, most precious and incomparable stones, and also a part of the Cross of Our Lord, brought there from Jerusalem by Helena and decorated with gold and precious gem stones. This cross, which was held in highest veneration, was split into pieces by the bishops, who were present, and distributed among churches and convents after their return to their home countries." As the Chronica Regis Colonensis and other contemporary western chronicles recount, one of the most immediate effects of the Latin Conquest of Constantinople in 1204 was the plundering and subsequent dissemination of some of the most venerated religious objects of the Byzantine empire, which were formerly kept in the palaces and churches of the, capital. Charters, necrologies and inventories of many. western churches, abbeys and other religious foundations testify to the increasing number of Eastern relics and reliquaries in western treasuries, donated to them mainly by members of the aristocratic and ecclesiastical elite, who participated in what the anonymous chronicler from Halberstadt piously called a peregrinatio in Greciam.
Relics of the True Cross were perhaps the most prestigious and important among the many saintly relics that western noblemen, abbots and bishops brought back from their "Byzantine pilgrimage". Like the famous cross relic of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos and Romanos II in the cathedral treasury of Limburg an der Lahn, many of these relics reached the West in their original Byzantine containers. Unlike the Limburg Staurothek, however, most of these containers suffered considerable damage over the centuries or have not survived at all.
The present paper examines a group of three closely related Byzantine True Cross reliquaries of a triptych format, which have not received much scholarly attention. Two of these reliquaries have survived in a rather poor state of preservation in the monastery of St. Marienstern near Dresden and the State Hermitage of St. Petersburg. The third which was in the possession of Amiens cathedral until the French Revolution, has not survived, but can be reconstructed from a detailed seventeenth-century description and sketches preserved in two manuscripts of the Bibliothque Nationale in Paris and the Bibliotque de Carpentras. All three reliquaries were once richly decorated with enamels, precious stones and filigree work, none of which has survived. A close examination of the remaining parts of the recently restored reliquary from St, Marienstern, its sisterpiece from St. Petersburg and the lost staurotheke from Amiens, however, permits a reconstruction of their former iconographic programs and overall appearance. As will be shown, these reliquaries were most likely manufactured in the same Constantinopolitan workshop, probably in the late tenth or early eleventh century. The reconstruction of this distinct group of reliquaries leads not only to a better understanding of certain technical aspects involved in the production of Byzantine Cross reliquaries, it also leads to a reconsideration of the important role western literary sources and documents play in our attempt to reconstruct the formal and iconographic appearance of the Byzantine material now lost.
The Portrait of Doge Ordelaffo Falier on the Pala d'Oro
John Osborne (University of Victoria)
Few aspects of the Pala d'Oro in San Marco, Venice, have engendered as much controversy as the plaque depicting the Venetian doge, Ordelaffo Falier (1102-1118), which forms a pendant to that depicting a Byzantine empress identified as Irene. This controversy stems from a striking visual anomaly: the head of the doge appears proportionally much too small for his body, and clearly has been replaced at some later date. A wide variety of theories have been proposed to explain this circumstance, with the weight of scholarly opinion believing that the figure originally depicted the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (or perhaps his son and successor, John), and that this was altered by the Venetians who preferred to honour their doge. In a complementary study, however, David Buckton has established that this theory cannot be maintained on technical grounds. The enamel plaque naming Ordelaffo Falier must always have depicted the Venetian doge. This paper will attempt to answer the questions of why and when this change was effected.
It's not difficult to determine why the enamel was altered. The only change was to the head of the doge, and the visual anomaly stems from the fact the space originally occupied by the head is now occupied by both the head and a halo! But there is no suggestion that the Venetians wished to promote Doge Falier as a candidate for sainthood. Rather, the halo should be seen in the context of contemporary Byzantine art, as an indication of imperial status. Haloes may be found on a variety of depictions of Byzantine empresses; and emperors, but the best object for comparison is the near-contemporary "Crown of St. Stephen" (Budapest). This depicts the Emperor Michael VII Dukas (1071-1078), and his son Constantine, with haloes, but this attribute is notably lacking from the depiction of the King of Hungary, Geza I. The purpose of the change to the head of Doge Falier was to lay claim to imperial status for the doge.
When was this done? The known history of the Pala d'Oro offers two moments when significant alterations were made: 1209 and 1345. Of these, the first is by far the most promising, and it is perhaps significant that this restoration was carried out by the Procurator of San Marco, Angelo Falier, a descendant of the doge in question. In the years immediately following the Fourth Crusade (1204), the doges entertained serious pretensions as successors to the emperors of Byzantium. Although the actual throne passed to Baldwin of Flanders, Doge Enrico Dandolo and his successors adopted the title "Lord of a quarter, and a half of a quarter, of the Roman Empire", and Dandolo himself was buried in St Sophia, possibly in the south gallery which had constituted a sort of "imperial box", The same years witnessed the addition of a series of imperial "trophies" to the public spaces of Venice, among them the porphyry tetrarchs and bronze horses of San Marco, and many other pieces of relief sculpture. By appropriating the tangible symbols of imperial power and authority Venice laid claim to that power -- and there was no more appropriate place to make such a claim than on the high altar of the state church, a building which served as a metaphor for the Venetian republic itself.
Treasure Inventories from Greek Monasteries in Southern Italy and Sicily
(10th to 12th Century)
Vera von Falkenhausen (Universit di Roma - Tor Vergata, Italy)
In the second half of the 10th century St. Sabas the Younger, a Greek monk from
Sicily, who had founded several monasteries in Calabria and Lucania, was quite an important personality in Italian ecclesiastical politics. According to his Bios (BHG 1611) written at the very end of the century by Orestes, patriarch of Jerusalem, a few years before he died (Rome,.February 6, 990), Sabas took the hiera keimelia of his monastery in Calabria to a friend's house at Amalfi, to rescue them from the Arab invaders. According to a document from Vietri (about 20 km east of Amalfi) dated 986 two monks ex genere Grecorum, the abbot Sabas, whom I would like to identify with the homonymous saint, and the priest Cosmas, offer to the modest church of S. Giovanni at Vietri a number of very precious objects: 10 liturgical Greek books, nine silken and linen garments, ten icons, 10 candele constantinopolitane and a turibulo constantinopolitanum (1). Some decades later, in the treasure of S. Nicola at Vietri (4-5) there are mentioned among other precious objects 11 yconas Constantinopoleas depictas auro and 27 candelas Constantinopoleas vitreas. Obviously the Byzantine origin of church ornaments was important to Greeks in southern Italy, even in the Norman period, as we know from the testament of the abbot of S. Salvatore di Bordonaro (nr. 8) and the Bios of St. Bartholomew of Simeri (BHG 235)
It is tempting to connect the Vietri treasures with the presence of St. Sabas in the area of Amalfi, for normally the inventories of Greek monasteries from southern Italy are rather poor and don't list more than those books and objects which were most essential for liturgy.
References in chronological order:
1) 986, 5. Giovanni a Mare (Vietri): Codex diplomaticus Cavensis, II, Milan-Pisa-Naples 1875, nr. 382, pp. 233 f; 2) 1032, SS. Maria Nea, Giovanni Evangelista, Giovanni Battista (Bari): Codice diplomatico Barese, I, Bari 1897, nr. 18, pp. 31 f; 3) 1050 (about), S. Salvatore (Reggio Calabria): A. Guillou, Le brbion de la mtropole byzantine de Rgion (vers 1050) (Corpus des actes grecs d'Italie du sud et de Sicile. Recherches d'histoire et de geographie; 4), Citt del Vaticano 1974, p. 181; 4) 1058, S. Nicola di Gallucanta (Vietri): P. Cherubini, Le pergamene di S. Nicola di Gallucanta (secc. IX-XI), Altavilla Silentina 1990, nrs. 76-77, pp. 193-200; 5) 1065, S. Nicola di Gallucanta, (Vietri): ibid., nr. 88, pp. 219-223; 6) 1109, S. Nicola di Gallucanta (Vietri): ibid., nr. 126, pp. 309-313; 7) 1110, S. Nicola di Gallucanta (Vietri): ibid., nr. 127, pp. 313-315; 8) 1114 or 1119, S. Salvatore di Bordonaro (Messina): V. Di Giovanni , Il transunto dei diplomi del monastero del presbitero Scholao di Messina, in "Archivio storico siciliano" 21(1896), pp. 335-341 (only in Latin translation from 1476); 9) 12th cent. (around 1130), SS. Pietro e Paolo d'Arena (Mileto):B. de Montfaucon, Palaeographia graeca, Paris 1708, pp. 403-407;
10) 1138, S. Teodoro (Stilo): S.G. Mercati, C. Giannelli, A. Guillou, Saint-Jean-Thrists (1054-1264) (Corpus des actes grecs d'Italie du sud et de Sicile. Recherches d'histoire et de gographie, 5), Citt del Vaticano 1980, nr. 14, p.102; 11) 1189, S. Maria di Bordonaro (Messina): A. Guillou, Les actes grecs de S. Maria di Messina (Istituto siciliano di studi bizantini e neoellenici. Testi 8), Palermo 1963, pp. 208-214; 12) 12th cent. (end), S. Giorgio di Tuccio (Reggio Calabria): S. Luc, L 'inventario di libri e suppellettili della chiesa di S. Giorgio di Tuccio dalle cc. 276v- 277r del Cod Messan. Gr 98, in "Scritti in onore di Salvatore Pugliatti', V, Milan 1978, pp. 511-521.
Icons out of the Mainstream: Some Peculiar Icon Types Listed in Byzantine Inventories
Nancy P. Ševčenko (Philadelphia, PA)
A Byzantine monastic inventory often included a list of icons owned by the monastery. The terms used for these icons are by now fairly well understood (terms for busts vs. full length figures, diptychs or triptychs, templon icons, double-sided or processional icons, icons with images on' their frames and with silver-gilt revetments, etc.), and the references to such icons easily bring to mind actual icons that survive today.
But there are also references in these inventories to themes and types of icons for which we have no extant equivalents. This paper will aim to shed some light on the rarer kinds of icons mentioned in these texts; it will also draw attention to some unusual forms of Byzantine icons found in icon collections today. One example of the latter would be the icons with strips of narrative resembling in format the miniatures of the Paris Gregory (B.N. gr. 5 10) or of Esphigmenou 14 (e.g. the Palaiologan icon at Chilandari with the vita of Mary of Egypt, G. Babic, Icons [Belgrade, New York 1988], pp.34-35; eadem, Icons [Munich 1998], pp.84-87). I will speculate on the origin and purpose of such icons, and on possible reasons for their having remained out of the mainstream of Byzantine icon painting.
Session X: Late Antiquity
Chair Marie Spiro (University of Maryland)
The Current State of Byzantine Archaeology on Cyprus
R. Scott Moore (The Ohio State University)
The island of Cyprus throughout its history has been an important link between different regions of the Mediterranean world. This had a significant impact on its political, economic, social and cultural development throughout all phases of history. Unfortunately, while certain aspects of its history have been well studied by scholars, such as the Cypriot Bronze Age, other areas, such as the Late Roman or Byzantine periods have been less rigorously examined. Much of this is due to Cyprus' place in the ancient literature, or perhaps more properly its lack of prominence. Fortunately, the ever-increasing amount of archaeological work performed on the island, particularly in the last twenty-five years, has broadened our knowledge of the Late Roman and Byzantine periods on Cyprus.
While there has been an increase in the quantity of Late Roman and Byzantine archaeological work conducted on the island, the historical benefits have resulted not only from this increased work but also from the application of newer archaeological techniques and a change in archaeological focus. For example, the utilization of new archaeological tools, such as underwater archaeology at Paphos, and survey archaeology (Canadian Palaipaphos Project and Danish Akamas Project), have proven to be effective in producing new and original data that helps to better illuminate the Byzantine economy on Cyprus and its relations with other markets, both local and global. The shift in archaeological focus, from a narrow political one to a more encompassing one, has brought to light important information about the various relationships at work on the island. These relationships not only include the political relationships between various cities or between Cyprus and the Byzantine and Arab empires, but also between a city and its hinterland and even between church and city.
In fact, our present historical view of the Late Roman and Byzantine periods on Cyprus has been greatly influenced by archaeological work of the past twenty-five years. closer examination of recent archaeological work on the island, such as the archaeological survey conducted by the Sydney Cyprus Survey Project from 1992 to 1998 in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, will illustrate how our current understanding of the political, economic, social, and cultural life on the island has been influenced by current archaeological work.
The Reservoirs of Sergiopolis
Irfan Shahd (Georgetown University)
The builder of the impressive reservoirs of Sergiopolis, revealed by the work of the German Deutsche Archologische Institut, has been controversial. The fundamental article is that of W. Brinker in Damaszener Mitteilungen, Damaskus Band 5 (1991), pp. 119-146 in which he discussed the two candidates, Justinian and a Ghassanid King, and he decided in favor of the former. It will be argued that the latter is the much more likely builder and in support of this the following may be adduced.
As the "great reservoir" is anepigraphic, the question of who built it is open. But the only source that ascribes a builder to the great reservoir is the literary Arabic one, and so it has to be taken seriously.
1. The passage in the Buildings (II ix. 6-7) speaks in general terms but avoids using one of three technical terms usually employed for reservoirs, even by Procopius himself.
2. Procopius, is well known for his adulation of Justinian in the Buildings and ascribing to him what he did not do.
On the other hand, there is the statement on the Ghassanid king who built the "great reservoir" of Sergiopolis. It may be supported by the following:
1. The source that states this, quoted by Yaqut (a late writer), actually goes back to an early authentic source on the Ghassanids, written in the seventh century. The discovery of "the source of the source" puts a new perspective on the value of Yaqut, who quoted it. Of this, W. Brinker was unaware when he rightly thought a late Arabic source would not be reliable.
2. The Ghassanids were enthusiastic builders, philoktistai witness their impressive structures, still standing: the Tower at Qasr al-Hayr (West), the Tower at Dumayr (only recently disappeared) and above all the Praetorium. extra muros at Sergiopolis itself. And most relevantly their forte was water conservation.
3, The Ghassanid foederati were especially associated with Sergiopolis witness the Praetorium; and they provisioned the city with food. It was only natural for them to attend to the water supply of the city that carried the name of the saint who was their patron.
This omission on the part of Procopius may be added to the series of veri and suggestio falsi when the Ghassanid foederati are involved in his work, but this depends on whether the Ghassanid king associated with building "the great reservoir" lived before or after Procopius wrote the Buildings.
The Decline of Syria-Palestine in the Mid-Sixth Century: A Reconsideration of the Archaeological Evidence from Dehes
Jodi Magness (Tufts University)
It is widely believed that Syria-Palestine experienced a dramatic decline in prosperity and population levels in the mid-sixth century. This view is based largely on the testimony of various historical sources, which describe a series of disasters that affected the region at this time, including earthquakes, plagues, and enemy invasions. In a 1085 article ("The Last Century of Byzantine Syria: A Reinterpretation," Byzantinische Forschungen 10, pp. 141-183), Hugh Kennedy suggested that the Muslims easily conquered this region because it had been so greatly weakened by these disasters. Kennedy included archaeological evidence from the city of Antioch and the northern Syrian villages to support his hypothesis. He disagreed with Georges Tchalenko that these villages remained prosperous until the early seventh century. According to Kennedy, the decline of coastal cities such as Antioch in the mid-sixth century would have brought about the decline of the villages as well, through the loss of their market outlets.
The northern Syrian villages are thus central to the hypothesis of decline in the mid-sixth century. Unfortunately, most of the archaeological work conducted to date in the region consists of surveys rather than excavations. Until recently, Tchalenko's survey was definitive (Villages antiques de la Syrie du nord, Le Massif du Belus a l'epoque Romaine, Volumes 1-2 (1953]; Volume 3 ). Based mainly on epigraphic evidence and the historical sources, Tchalenko concluded that the villages flourished from the second to sixth centuries. The only excavations carried out to date in any of these villages were conducted in Dehes in 1976-78 by Jean-Pierre Sodini and Georges Tate (J. -P. Sodini et al., "Dehes [Syrie du Nord], Campagnes I-III [1976-78], recherches sur lâhabitat rural," Syria 57 , pp. 1-303). In their wake, Tate published a comprehensive new study (Les Campagnes de la Syrie du nord I, 1992). The excavations at Dehes yielded a radically different chronology from what had previously been supposed on the basis of surveys alone. The excavators distinguished two main architectural phases in the village's houses, which they dated to the fourth and sixth centuries. Although they discerned no new construction after the sixth century, occupation at Dehes continued without interruption into the ninth to tenth centuries. Based on these excavations and on surveys, Tate concluded that the villages reached their greatest level of prosperity between ca. 350-550, peaking in about 500. In other words, despite the evidence for continued occupation after the seventh century, these new findings support the view that Syria declined in the mid-sixth century.
Based on a reexamination of the published archaeological evidence from Dehes, I hope to demonstrate that none of the excavated houses was constructed before the sixth century. Instead, the ceramic and numismatic evidence indicates that the houses were built in the late sixth to seventh centuries. My conclusion contradicts the view that this region experienced a decline in the mid-sixth century, and has other important historical implications.
The Economy of Southern Anatolia in Early Byzantine History
Hugh Elton (Florida International University)
In the early Byzantine period, before the Arab invasions, the mountainous southern coast of Anatolia (Lycia, Pamphylia, Isauria, Cilicia and the island of Cyprus), was rich and prosperous. This paper examines the basis of this regional prosperity which, unlike most of the Mediterranean, was not based on agricultural production. Much of this prosperity depended on the production of three crops, timber, olives and wool. Tracing these products must be done through literature or through indirect archaeological evidence such as the distribution of regionally produced LRA 1 amphorae. Inscriptions like the Anazarbus tariff also help to understand the types of goods being distributed. A further means of examining the region's wealth lies in the extensive building construction, especially of churches. It. can also be seen in Justinian's creation of the quaestum exercitus, exploiting the region's resources to support the Danubian frontier.
Southern Asia Minor was not, however, a single economic bloc. The regions of Cilicia and Isauria, were strongly linked to Syria, while Lycia and Parnphylia were more strongly influenced by areas to the north and west. Cyprus' relations with the Aegean were not the same as those with Cilicia or Syria. Thus, economic activity is examined at both regional and extra-regional levels to show local variations. Particular attention is paid to the impact of the empire on the economy of the region.
A Dangerous Liberty and a Servitude Free from Care: The Case of Victorinus
Charles Pazdernik (Emory University)
Two inscriptions associated with Justinian's reconstruction of the Hexamilion wall at the Isthmus of Corinth acknowledge the contributions of one Victotinus, who describes himself both as the pistos doulos of Justinian and as gnsis douleun (IG IV 20-205, see also SEG 2.377; bibliography in T. R. Gregory, Isthmia vol.5  12-149 D. Feissel and A. Philippidis-Braat, Travaux et Mmoires 9 (1985) 279-81). Other epigraphical evidence (e.g. SEG 11.52a, CIG 8740) gives us a reasonable basis for supposing that in the course of the sixth century comparable expressions identifying the dedicators as gnsioi douloi of the emperor became established as a recognized mode of self-identification for imperial officials. These expressions may plausibly be linked with the oath Justinian imposed upon such figures, obliging them to swear to render gnsia doulea to himself and the empress Theodora (Nov. 8 iusiur. [15 April 535], 89.50-90.3 Schoell-Kroll).
How are we to translate these expressions, linguistically and culturally? What conception of sovereignty do they disclose? How has it come about that the identification of the relationship between high-status, public figures and their sovereign is characterized in terms that, in their most literal and concrete sense, denote a servile condition? A single answer to these questions is incapable of capturing the range of signification possessed by terms denoting freedom and servitude in the sixth century. The conventional rendering of pistos/gnsios doulos as "faithful servant" masks the profound political and cultural fault-line which divides Victorinus, whose affirmation of douleia was presumably ungrudging, from figures like Procopius of Caesarea (HA 30.26) and John Lydus (De mag. 1.5-6), for whom the pejorative classical associations of the expression doulos tou basiles were inescapable. Nor should it be forgotten that even as Justinian accepted such tokens of allegiance, he also gave enormous animating force to the idea that the protection and extension of freedom was the proper object of lawful Roman government.
A remarkable mass of epigraphical, legal, and literary evidence, only part of which can be mentioned here, testifies to the fact that talk about freedom and servitude was a preoccupation on the part of a surprising array of people during Justinian's reign. Such talk is a thread upon which one can reconstruct the differing bases of political and cultural allegiance in late antiquity and the complex interplay of classical Greco-Roman and Christian influences in the formulation and dissemination of a distinctly Justinianic imperial ideology. As in other ages (including our own), freedom and servitude were invoked as terms of inclusion and exclusion, serving as highly polarizing and often contradictory badges of identity. In apportioning both to his subjects, Justinian confirmed his own power while also affirming and legitimizing a particular sense of belonging and an idiom of participation which recognized himself as a unique source of authority and focus of allegiance.
The House of Aelia Verina
Frank M. Clover (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Between the demise of the Lineage of Theodosius (A.D. 455) and the preliminaries of Justinian's House (A.D. 5 18, the accession of Justin I) stand two generations of imperial chaos, during which, it would appear, not even the suspicion of a dynasty prevailed. In the 470s, the time of extreme. crisis, four elements - - the family of Emperor Leo I (regn. 457-474), a Dalmatian military combine led by western Emperor Julius Nepos (regn. 473-475), the Isaurian relations of Emperor Zeno (regn. 474-475, 476-49 1), and the Turcilingi (a Balkan clan led by Odovacar) - - were all seemingly the near-miss ingredients of a new dynasty. But what if the four were related?
Using key passages in the histories and chronicles of the Roman East -- in particular a murky paragraph in the Constantinian excerpts from John of Antioch -- I will establish marriage connections or blood descent among the four elements mentioned above. The central figure of this dynasty-in-the-making was Aelia, Verina -- widow of Emperor Leo I, sister of Basiliscus (rep. 475-476), great-aunt to both Julius Nepos and Odovacar, and the moving force behind the marriage-alliance of her daughter Ariadne and Zeno.
The House of Verina, then, is the thread which connects the lineages of Theodosius and Justinian. Why was it not more successful? And did family ties play a role in Zeno's response to Odovacar, during the fateful disruption of 476? I will attempt to answer these questions at the close of my paper.
Session XI: Crusader Greece and Cyprus
Chair. Sharon E. J. Gerstel (University of Maryland)
On the Vita Icon of St. George in Athens
Glenn Peers (University of Texas at Austin)
The thirteenth-century icon of St. George in Athens is part of a remarkable class of icons. Never very common, vita icons contained an iconic subject, framed by elements of hagiographic narrative. The conventions of the genre are generally clear. However, the icon in Athens has many points of interest that make it a distinctively creative example. Most strikingly, the icon combines sculptural relief and painting: the figure of George in the center is carved in low relief while the framing scenes are painted. This combination betrays the hybrid character of objects created in the multi-cultural context of the thirteenth century; it belongs to the convenient stylistic category of 'Crusader'. Other elements reinforce this designation. The shield at George's side is western in shape and design, while the scenes of the lives and deaths of George are fully Byzantine in content and style. The icon fits the framework of the vita icon genre in a general way, but it has not been approached with an eye to discerning the reasons behind its peculiarities: the figure of George is unprecedented, the scenes are unique in their choice, and the dynamic relationship between the donor, the military saint and Christ in the central portion of the icon is without precise parallel. This paper takes the position that this combination of visual elements demands concentrated examination and an explanation that takes into account the singular quality of the object.
The key is, naturally, the mediating figure of George and his credentials for defending the interests of the woman crouched in the lower left-hand corner. George is shown in the scenes on the sides of the icon as martyr: he is shown undergoing his seven years of torture, his multiple deaths and resurrections, before his final death and the burial of his miraculously-whole body. The focus of these twelve scenes is George's body, the body constantly unblemished and unaffected despite the rigors of the attacks. This resistance to pain and death is essentially George's claim to sanctity, and it allows his activity in the center. In this portion of the icon, George is turned three quarters and directing his attention to Christ appearing out of the ether. Here, not frontal like George's enduring body on the frame, George is the intercessor on behalf of the woman below. This center body is the fully spiritual, essential body attacked on the frame, and so the center and active frame work together to reveal the superhuman qualities of George's resistance and of his powers to protect. This relationship of frame and interior, then, reflected the strange relationship of George and his bodies, his re-resurrected forms made vivid in hagiography and its illustrations. This devotional reality, furthermore, determined the particular choice of forms on the icon, western and Byzantine. This paper looks carefully at the icon for its demonstration of George's own claims to intercession and for its special realization of the donor's desires.
The Legend of Alexander the Great in the Morea: Two Paintings from the Gatehouse of Akronauplia, Greece
Monika Hirschbichler (University of Maryland)
The antechamber of the gatehouse at Akronauplia, Greece, contains the only known surviving monumental cycle in the Morea that can be directly attributed to Frankish sponsorship. Largely religious in subject matter, the program includes depictions of Christ in a Mandorla supported by four angels, St. Christopher, St. George, St. James of Compostela, the Agnus Dei, and five Frankish coats of arms. This paper discusses the gatehouse decoration and focuses on two enigmatic images; a soldier and a dog-headed figure.
In his preliminary publication of the Nauplia wall paintings, Wulf Schaefer identifies the soldier as the emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282-1321/9) or his general, Alexios Philanthropenos. He identifies the dog-headed figure as St Christopher Kynokephalos (Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archologischen Instituts und Archaologischer Anzeiger 76 (1961], 156-214). The representation of the two figures on white ground, and their placement across from each other on the north and south walls of the chamber, suggest that the soldier and dog-headed figure were intended to be viewed as a unit In this paper, I propose that the figures represent the encounter between Alexander's army and the tribe of the Kynokephaloi; a subject described in the J1 recension of the Historia de Preliis Alexandri Magni by Leo of Naples. Other representations of Kynokephaloi in Byzantine art can be observed on stone plaques such as a tenth-century relief found at Tusla, Turkey, which depicts a soldier and a Kynokephalos in front of some foliage.
The depiction of this encounter in a crusader-sponsored gatehouse raises questions about the reading of the image. Literary sources and visual evidence, as that found in versions of the Histoire Universelle, show the immense popularity of the Legend of Alexander during the Middle Ages. With its stories of encounters with strange foreign cultures and its tales of heroism, the Legend of Alexander contains a range of qualities that make it fit to be displayed in a crusader context such as the Frankish Morea, where tales of chivalry and romance resonated among the knights who had settled in the region.
Frankish Meals in Greece: The Identification and Recognition of an Invader's Cuisine
Lynn M. Snyder (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC)
Following the Fourth Crusade the Franks began a campaign to take and occupy the Corinthia. In the area of ancient Corinth this invasion was complete by 1211. The city of Corinth was at least partially occupied, and Byzantine complexes destroyed and/or altered to fit Frankish purposes. The Franks in turn were to occupy Corinth for little more than 100 years. By 1314 they had themselves been ousted by the Catalans.
Beginning in 1989, Charles K Williams II, then Director of the Corinth Excavations, began excavations in a previously unexplored area of ancient Corinth, south of the new Archaeological Museum and the Roman temple designated Temple E. In this area, lying very near the present surface, he uncovered intact deposits of the late Byzantine and Frankish periods. Ten subsequent years of archaeological investigation revealed the remains of one or more Frankish buildings which appear to have been part of a chapel and hospice complex. Within this complex, above the narthex floor of a reused Byzantine church, were found the closely spaced burials of over 100 individuals of all ages, many of whom showed evidence of chronic diseases.
In addition to artifactual debris from the Frankish deposits, well preserved faunal materials (animal bones) were recovered in large numbers, deposited in bothroi (latrines), abandoned wells and cisterns. All matrix from discrete contexts was screened, and all recovered faunal materials from these contexts were saved. The analysis of this assemblage gives a rich picture of Frankish period cuisine as well as butchering and food preparation practices, herd management decisions, and manufacturing processes involving bone and horn.
From a small isolated well or cistern in the comer of a walled garden associated with the hospice, came a small assemblage of animal bone and tableware debris that appears to have been discarded directly from the table. The bones of young lambs or kids roasted whole, pork roasts, and individual lamb or goat chops, plus a number of fowl indicate that both roasts, possibly cut at the table, and individual meat cuts were being served. In contrast, bothroi from an area to the southeast of the hospice served as a covered meat market or stabling area, contained bones indicative of both primary or secondary butchering and lower quality meat cuts and boiled joints. Finally, at the top of several of these deposits, both within and outside the hospice complex, roughly cut and chopped cattle bones and sheep, goats and cow horn cores appear to represent either prima- butchering waste or industrial debris, probably deposited shortly before or after the Catalan takeover of the area.
Saranda Kolones Castle in Paphos, Cyprus
John Rosser (Boston College)
The ruined Crusader castle called Saranda Kolones (Forty Columns) takes its name from the mound of the same name that overlooked the ancient harbor at Paphos, Cyprus. The mound proved to be a castle, built ca. 1200 and destroyed by earthquake in 1222. Its lowermost storey, which had remained largely preserved, contained the working areas of the castle: the smith's forge, stables, a mill-room, bake oven, and six latrines, all filled with tons of debris from the upper piano nobile. Excavations at the site by A.H.S. Megaw and the writer were undertaken throughout the 1980s. The results of this work now allow this great medieval monument to be placed within broader Crusader and Byzantine contexts.
Having conquered Cyprus, the Crusaders seem to have rejected the former defense of Paphos, as represented by its Byzantine phrourion, in favor of a new castle reminiscent in plan of Belvoir Castle, built in the Holy Land by the Hospitallers, between ca. 1167-1187. The new castle seems to have been part of a larger Crusader defensive. strategy -that emphasized (until 1204) the defense of Paphos as the key to any attempted reconquest of the island. The previous Byzantine defensive scheme organized by Alexios I Komnenos emphasized the Turkish threat to Cyprus's northern coast. In any case, a reevaluation of the Crusader defense of the island, as compared to its previous Byzantine defensive scheme, is important if the castle's military role is to be properly understood.
The Crusader conquest of Cyprus in 1191 connected the island more closely to the commercial network of the Crusader states. This is illustrated by many of the objects of daily use preserved in Saranda Kolones. Moreover, these objects are closely dated from ca. 1200-1222. The breadth of these commercial links are wide indeed, as illustrated by the presence of Zeuxippus Ware and related glazed wares, and by precious glass objects whose parallels are found far from the eastern Mediterranean.
New industries created on Cyprus after the Crusader conquest included sugar, for which Saranda Kolones provides the earliest evidence. Several studies, including those by Megaw, D. Papanikola Bakirtzis, and M.-L. von Wartburg, have illuminated the origins of the early Cypriot glazed pottery industry, examples of which were excavated at Saranda Kolones. This local glazed ware can be placed well within the broader tradition of Byzantine glazed wares.
Session XII: Byzantine Ritual
Chair George Majeska (University of Maryland)
Emperors and Incense:
Towards a Reinterpretation of Imperial Rituals in the Churches
Batrice Caseau (Collge de France/ Paris IV Sorborme)
This paper offers to study an important shift in religious practices between Late Antiquity and the tenth century. Spontaneous gestures of worship such as the kindling of censers inside the churches still allowed to lay persons during the early Byzantine period, came to be forbidden and were strictly restricted to members of the clergy, with one major exception: the emperor. The fact that the Byzantine emperors were allowed to go beyond the chancel barriers and kindle censers; inside the sanctuary of the Hagia Sophia is recorded in the tenth-century Book of Ceremonies. These imperial privileges and especially the use of incense by and around emperors have been interpreted as a borrowing by the Church of court rituals. (E. Piltz) But looking back in time, tenth-century emperors were simply allowed gestures that used to be permitted to all the faithful, centuries earlier.
A first part of this paper will study the numerous Late Antique texts that provide us with examples of men and women kindling a censer before asking a favor to a saint inside a church. In the martyria where incubation was practiced, censers were often kept at the disposal of the faithful, who started their prayers by offering incense to the saint. The mother of Symeon the Stylite the Younger, for example, once came to the sanctuary of John the Baptist, she took a censer and threw a large quantity of incense in it before asking the saint for a child. The kindling of incense was therefore a gesture that lay persons felt free to perform when needed to accompany their prayers.
A second part will study the restrictions imposed on lay persons concerning the offering of incense inside churches, and the access to the sanctuary. For example, two texts from the Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Romanae reveal that the Roman clergy of the late sixth century saw it as unacceptable that laypersons, women especially, offer incense in the churches, now the exclusive duty of the clergy. To give it more weight, the interdiction was anachronistically attributed to ancient popes. The first text claims that pope Soter (162- 170) forbade monks to offer incense in the holy church. The second text asserts that pope Bonifatius (418-422) forbade that women and nuns offer incense in churches. This offering should only be done by an ordained minister. It is possible to see in the emperor the last of the lay persons allowed to perform gestures once allowed to many lay persons. Yet, even the rights of the emperor were partly canceled. The emperors had the privilege to partake communion inside the sanctuary in the time of the Theodosian dynasty, while in the tenth century they were taking communion outside the sanctuary.
Instead of reading imperial ceremonies inside the churches as an extension of court ritual, can we read them rather as the relic of what used to be common for the faithful and was later restricted to the clergy? This part will discuss the special status of the emperor in between clergy and lay people, recently demonstrated by G. Dagron.
Reassessing the Ritual Gathering for the Remission in the Pachomian Movement
Bernadette McNary-Zak (Rhodes College)
This paper attempts to redefine the gathering for the Remission, one of two annual group gatherings in the Pachomian movement. The Remission was a small, Yet important, aspect of the ritual behavior of the Pachomian monks.
Earlier assessments of this gathering argue that it served a purely administrative function (i.e. the rendering of accounts of labor and finances) during the lifetime of Pachomius, and that it acquired a supplemental religious function (i.e., the forgiveness of sins and transgressions) during the rule of Theodore, one of Pachomius' early successors. Yet, these assessments were unable to make use of the recent find of a Greek fragment of one of the letters of Pachomius, dated to the fourth-century, which pertains directly to the gathering for the Remission. A revised assessment of this gathering that utilizes this evidence reveals that the religious function for the gathering was indeed instituted by Pachomius himself, and that this function was retained under the rule of Theodore and later under the rule of Horsisios.
A cursory examination of the Biblical and non-Biblical models that have been proposed by scholars for the gathering for the Remission shows that there is little agreement over why the gathering was instituted. The evidence of the Greek fragment of Pachomius' letter can serve to anchor this debate as well.
Standard evidence for the creation and maintenance of the Pachomian movement during the fives of Pachomius and his immediate successors is extremely complex. In addition, the Pachomian movement has been the source of considerable study. Despite this, however, there is no known study of the role of the Remission as religious ritual. Thus, the paper concludes with suggestions for framing this discussion.
Emperor Leo the Wise: a Reformer of Byzantine Ceremonial
Liliana Simeonova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia)
As has been shown by J. Grosdidier de Matons, P. Magdalino, A. Schrninck, S. Tougher and others, the presentation of Emperor Leo VI as wise was directly inspired by the biblical model of King Solomon whose wisdom, being a gift from God, found expression in his talent as a judge, a temple builder, a writer of songs and proverbs, a man who had a great knowledge of the natural world and a king at whose court foreigners flocked to behold him. Leo's desire to represent himself as the archetypal "wise king" and his love of multiculturalism found expression in the innovations introduced, on his initiative, to the ceremonial of his day.
The Byzantine court and public ceremonies altogether follow the liturgical calendar of the Orthodox church with its nine seasons and five liturgical colors. The document that sheds light on the changes which were made in the Byzantine ceremonial during Leo's reign is the so-called Kletorologion compiled by the imperial atriklines Philotheos in A.D. 899. These changes could be studied at several levels. In the first place, there are the innovations that bear reference to Leo's ascent to power. These are: the changes in the four-day celebration of the Feast of the Prophet Elijah commemorating the end of Leo's exile in a monastery, the two-day celebration of the blessed memory of the "Orthodox emperor" Basil and the subsequent coronation of his two sons, and the brumalia of Leo, his brother Alexander and his third wife, Zoe.
In the second place come the manifestations of Leo's talent as a hymnographer for example, some changes had to be made in the vesper preceding the Feast of St. Elijah as well as in the celebration of the twelfth day of the Christmas festivities at the palace in order to accommodate religious hymns composed by the emperor. In the third place, Leo's claims to universality found expression in the increased participation of foreigners in the receptions and banquets at the palace. The Kletorologion makes provisions for great numbers of foreigners (i.e., important foreign guests, "barbarians" from the imperial guard and foreign prisoners of war kept in Constantinople) to partake of the festivities at the imperial court. The imperial masters of ceremonies had to go as far as to cancel certain ancient ceremonies in order to make room for the introduction of new, ones that involved the participation of foreigners. In the fourth place, Leo's ambition to represent himself as a universal ruler who presided over an ethnically diverse but religiously uniform world made him resort to a coded ceremony of quasi-baptism of Muslim prisoners of war which took place during the Christmas Day and Easter Sunday celebrations.
While Solomon was believed to have presided over the Golden Age of the Jewish kingdom, Leo the Wise (or "the wisest", as he is called by the contemporary sources) wanted to be remembered as the ruler who presided over the Golden Age of the Roman empire. Solomon's judicial fame was to be matched by Leo's recodification of Roman law; Solomon's fame as a wise king whose court was visited by people of numerous nationalities was to be matched by Leo's own fame as a universally recognized Christian ruler.
Rituals and the Panegyris: A Byzantine Institution Revisited
James C. Skedros (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology)
The Byzantine panegyris of a saint was ubiquitous in Byzantium. It was an institution which survived the vicissitudes of many centuries of Byzantine history and encompassed several aspects of Byzantine life: religious, social, and commercial to mention the most obvious. As a cultural phenomenon, the panegyris of a local saint or martyr was a Mediterranean institution with classical Greco-Roman antecedents. Like its predecessor in classical times, the Byzantine panegyris was not a homogenous institution. The word panegyris itself had a variety of meanings. It could refer to a completely religious phenomenon such as the celebration of Easter or to a local commercial market. Yet the most common and perhaps the most interesting panegyris of Byzantine society was that associated with the memory of a saint. This paper focuses on the religious panegyris held in honor of a saint, a martyr, the translation of relics, or a religious feast day in general.
The religious panegyris has received a fair amount of attention from scholars. Students of the religionsgeschichtliche Schule (B. Schmidt, M. Nilsson) have tended to emphasize the classical roots of the panegyris as well as its transformation from a pagan to a Christian institution. Here the panegyris is often seen as the "pagan panegyris converted and baptized" (S. Vryonis 1981, "The Panegyris of the Byzantine Saint," The Byzantine Saint, 214). More recently, attention has been given to the economic and commercial aspects of the panegyris. As important as these approaches to the study of the Byzantine panegyris for a saint are, they often overlook the fundamental religious character of the panegyris. This paper will address the panegyris from its religious and ritualistic perspective. Beginning with the nyktegersia?(the beginning of the festival in the middle of the night) and ending with the apolysis?(the departing ritual) this paper will present evidence for the religious expressions of the panegyris in an attempt to delineate some basic rituals which were shared among the various panegyreis throughout the Byzantine world. The paper will present several examples, some well-known such as the panegyreis of St. Demetrios and St. Thekla, and others less well-known studied such as St. Artemios, St. Elizabeth, Sts. Sergios and Bakchos, and St. Menas.
Although the main purpose of this examination is to establish some of the common characteristics (e.g. the celebration of the liturgy) of the religious panegyris, the paper does not presuppose that there existed some defined ritualistic pattern for the celebration of the panegyris. On the contrary, the local character of the panegyris seems to be an established fact. Therefore, a second and related result of this paper will be to demonstrate that although many panegyreis of a saint shared common features, the panegyris was also noted for its local distinctiveness. It will be argued that local ritual practices associated with the celebration of a local saint, martyr, or feast day coincided with the local needs and customs of a particular community. The numerous and varied references to the panegyris throughout Byzantine literature not only evidence the extent to which the panegyris impacted Byzantine society but also reflects the variety of ways in which the celebration of the memory of a local saint was carried out as an expression of local civic identity. This paper will suggest that part of the local rituals associated with the panegyris, (as distinct from the common characteristics) were related to the creation and maintenance of a parochial civic identity. The religious panegyris through a combination of shared and local ritual was capable of simultaneously maintaining an association with universal Byzantine religious practices and localized ritual.
Session XIII: The Medieval Balkans
Chair Ellen Schwartz (Eastern Michigan University)
Eusebios: A Descendant of a Serbian Sebastokrator and Athonite Monk
Dr. Cyril Pavlikianov (University of Sofia "Saint Clement of Ochrid", Bulgaria)
In the beginning of the 15th century and most probably immediately after 1402 a Serbian Athonite monk named Eusebios added an inscription to a Russian manuscript now kept at the State Museum of History in Moscow, stating that he was a grand-son of a "valiant sebastokrator" (G. Vzdornov, "Rol'slavjanskih monastyrskih masterskih pis'ma Konstantinopolja i Afona v razvitij knigopisanija i hudozstvenogo oformlenija russkih rukopisej na rubeze XIV-XV vv.", Literaturnye svjazi drevnih slavian (TODRL 23), Leningrad 1968, 177-189). Trying to identify his anonymous ancestor, in 1953 M. Dinic pointed out that he was probably the sebastos Junac de Manolo who is mentioned in 1323 in a letter of King Vladislav (M. Dinic, "Rastisalici. Prilog istoriji raspadanja srpskog Carstva", ZRVI 2 (1953), 139141). His suggestion is based on the meaning of de Manolo's first name, which is the Serbian and Bulgarian term for valiant and coincides with the word used by Eusebios as a determination of the anonymous sebastokrator. This idea seems quite plausible, but it ignores the essential difference between the tides sebastos and sebastokrator in Byzantium and Serbia during the 14th century (ODB, III, 1862-1863). After the discussion between B. Ferjancic ("Sevastokratori u Vizantij", ZRVI 11 (1968), 141-192) and A. Kazhdan, ("Sevastokratory i despoty v Vizintij XII v. Neskol'ko dopolnenij", ZRVI 14-15 (1973), 41-44), which greatly clarified the development of the sebastocrator's title, according to our opinion it seems more probable that the ancestor of Eusebios was the sebastokrator John, who is mentioned together with his brother, the despotes Theodore, in a church inscription preserved in the region of Korca in Albania (tou amiralados autodelphou paneutychestatou sebastokratoros Ioannou kai panypselotatou despotou kyr Theodorou). Rejecting the view of P. Miljukov that sebastokrator John can be identified with John V Palaiologos, B. Ferjancic concludes that John and Theodore were Serbian noblemen residing in southern Albania. If so, they can easily be linked with the family of Eusebios' mother - the influent Serbian clan of Rastisalic well known for its activity in the Danube region during the 14th century. Eusebios declares that he has formerly been "a servant" of Bayazid I, so our main goal is the reconstruction of his biography as a Turkish vassal, which seems to be typical for the average Byzantine and Serbian nobleman on the eve of
the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans.
The Monastery Settlement Revealed: The Case of Mileseva
Svetlana Popovic (Greenbelt, MD)
The thirteenth-century Mileseva monastery is located in the south-west of Serbia near the modern town of Prijepolje. It was founded by the Serbian King Stefan Vladislav (c.1218). Until recently, the main monastery church dedicated to the Ascension was the only medieval building surviving in its entirety of the original complex. The history of the monastery is closely connected with the life of St. Sava of Serbia (Rastko Nemanjic, the first archbishop of the independent Serbian church, and King Vladislav's uncle.
According to the written sources, Mileseva monastery was located on the private family estate of the Nemanjides, probably on the estate that originally belonged to St. Sava.His personal involvement in shaping the Mileseva monastery, including the iconographical program of the church, was immense. Possibly he even built a spacious exonarthex to be his burial place. Sava's death (1236) occurred accidentally on his way back from the Holy land in Turnovo in Bulgaria. He was buried there in the church of Forty Martyrs, and shortly afterwards translated to his burial place in Mileseva. From that time Mileseva became one of the most venerated monastic sites and pilgrimage centers in the Balkans. Later, in the fourteenth century, the monastery was also known as St. Sava's monastery.
Recent archaeological excavations brought to light a vast monastery settlement with the church at its center. Various medieval buildings were unearthed there including the monastery refectory. Enclosure wall, built of stone, designated the monastery settlement which once had two entrances. Monks' cells were attached to the encircling walls, and some of them consisted of two rooms with the porch facing the church. At the north-eastern side a chapel was unearthed, incorporated within a residential building. Storage rooms with grain pits were excavated at the southern side of the monastery. A water supply network was discovered, which provided fresh water for the monastery from the mountainous hinterland in the vicinity. Various heating appliances were identified - stoves, fire boxes and open hearths. In sum, Mileseva monastery proves to be a developed settlement with a fairly high standard of living.
In this paper I shall present the results of my long-range research on Mileseva monastery in my capacity as chief of investigation of the monastery settlement. My paper will explore, through an analysis of excavated archaeological artifacts, the layout and development of the monastery including a functional analysis of various buildings and their interrelationship and meaning within the monastery context.
The Painter Manuel Panselinos: Towards a Reconstruction of the Opus (ca. 1295-1312)
Srdjan Djuric (Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto)
The 1997 exhibition of the treasures of Mount Athos in Thessalonika was a unique opportunity to see together the treasure, otherwise scattered through many monastic cells and kelia, and often inaccessible, not only to scholars. It also was a perfect stage for discoveries.
Represented in the catalogue, and one of them actually exhibited, were Hilandar masterpieces, the despotic icons of Christ and the Virgin, and the feast icon of the
Presentation of the Virgin to the Temple. Although known to art historians for a long time, they have never been thoroughly studied. The first two are generally dated in around 1260 and the third one ca. 1320. Still, a meticulous stylistic analysis proves them to be parts of the same contemporary ensemble. Their further comparison with two newly cleansed icons from a Vatopedi iconostasis, St. George and St. Demetrius, which were also exhibited, confirms that all these icons were made not only roughly in the same period, but also by the same hand. Because of the conspicuous similarities with the idiosyncratic style of Protaton, I concluded that this was the hand of Manuel Panselinos from Thessalonika, whose art was "brighter than the moon".
Still, this was not the end of discoveries. Recently the cleaning of frescoes of the Vatopedi katholikon has been completed, followed by a lavish monograph. The study of the published material brought forward a new conclusion that, outside an extraordinary anonymous master, who seems to have introduced a new spirit into the Palaeologan painting, there was also master Panselinos, who surely must have led the undertaking.
Now we are able to attribute five Athonite ensembles to Manuel Panselinos: (1) Protaton and (2) Lavra frescoes, (3) Hilandar iconostasis, (4) Vatopedi iconostasis and (5) Vatopedi katholikon frescoes. In spite of that, it is not possible to give a firm chronological reconstruction of Panselinos' opus, given the fact that only in Vatopedi there is a precise date, 1312. The evidence of the inscription in Hilandar thought until last year as absolutely reliably set into 1293 is now proven false. However, the year 1293 remains a very distant possibility for an earlier iconostasis.
Although uncertain about the year in which it was painted, on stylistic grounds we might stipulate that the Panselinos' Hilandar iconostasis of the King Milutin was painted somewhere in the late decade of the 13th century. It clearly fits into the first phase of Panselinos' painting. Slightly later on the chronological scale, belonging to the very end of the 13th century, are the two icons from the Vatopedi iconostasis. In close sequence, ca. 1300, together with Lavra fragment, the frescoes of Protaton characterize the full development of Panselinos' style. Finally, its last phase is marked by the frescoes of Vatopedi katholikon (1312). On the basis of now five attributed wholes, Panselinos' style reveals itself as the one of a slow evolution, with a permanent, firm grasp of classical prototypes, quite contrary to vehement and frequent shifts of the stylistic procd of his contemporaries and peers, Michael and Eutychios.
More important than dating are other two aspects of Panselinos, art: the attribution of previously unknown icons or anonymous frescoes as his work, and the full extent of brilliance and mastery they reveal. In return, they offer a new insight into the artistic patronage of King Milutin, the ktetor of Hilandar.
Chronology of Grananica Frescoes
George Stricevic (University of Cincinnati)
On the basis of the year 1321/2, written at the end of the founding charter, which is preserved in a fresco-copy on the western wall of its diakonikon, the church of Grananica (Kosovo, Serbia) is considered the last of some forty (according to his biographer) foundations of the Serbian king Stephen Uros II Milutin (died Oct. 1321). In the study of the architecture of the beautiful five-domed church, S. Curcic has, however, shown that its construction should be dated at least ten years earlier, allowing that the year recorded in the charter might refer to the completion of its painted decoration. Very unusual, such a long delay in the decoration of the church has been, nonetheless, accepted by most of Grananica students, including B. Todic who supplemented Curcicâs study with a monograph on the frescoes of Gracanica, and suggested that they were painted, at the end of their long career, by the same group of artists (Michael, Eutichios-Astrapas and their assistants) who in 1294/5 finished the murals in Peribletos church at Ochrida, then worked in Prizren (1307/13), at Staro Nagoricino (1316/18), and in St. Nikita at Banjani (before 1320), all of them, except the first mentioned, being the foundations of King Milutin. Prominent place and special treatment (size of the figure and golden halo) of St. Ignatios in the naos of the church, would suggest, Todic argued, that it was Gracanica bishop Ignatius (ca. 1317), mentioned in the founding charter, who supervised the decoration of the church. In that document, in which Gracanica is said to had already been decorated both, "outside (the interior of the original, later replaced by a larger one, portico was, apparently also painted with frescoes) and inside." Milutin's older brother, former king Dragutin, is mentioned as being still alive (died March 1316). All this points out that the year preserved in the fresco copy of the charter could not be referring to the time when it was issued by the founder, but to the year when it was transcribed on the wall, inside the church.
That the Gracanica frescoes should be dated after the summer of 1314 can be seen from the omission in the genealogical tree of Milutin's family, painted in the narthex of the church, of his oldest son and heir apparent, Stephen. In the spring of that year Stephen, at the instigation of nobility, tried to overthrow the King, but was summarily defeated, taken prisoner, blinded, and banished to Constantinople and placed there into custody of Milutin's father-in-law, Emperor Andronikos II. The same family tree provides also, until now overlooked, a terminus ante quem for the painting of Gracanica frescoes. Next to his father Dragutin, there is there a portrait of prince Vladislav, who, according to an agreement between Dragutin and Milutin, was to inherit the royal throne of Serbia at his uncle's death. However, immediately after Dragutin's death, Milutin had Vladislav imprisoned in order to seem the throne for his own son Constantine. Therefore, the frescoes of Gracanica must have been painted after the rebellion of Stephan in 1314 and before the imprisonment of Vladislav two years later. This conclusion must be taken into consideration in any future attempt to establish the place of extraordinary the Gracanica frescoes in the history of medieval Serbian - and Byzantine - painting, and in particular in the impressive opus of the masters of the so-called King Milutin's Palace School. If Michael, Eutichios and their companions were indeed responsible for the Gracanica frescoes, then their earlier chronology would explain why stylistically the Gracanica frescoes fit better to the time before and not after the paintings of Staro Nagoricino.
Session XIV: Viewing the Object
Chair Maria Georgopoulou (Yale University)
Out of the Mauss Trap: Byzantine Gifts and Gift Exchange & the Light of Arab Sources
Anthony Cutler (Pemsylvania State University)
To the extent that scholars have considered Byzantine gift exchange, they have modeled their approach on Mauss's Essai sur le don (1925) and its various translations or on Levi-Strauss's commentary on this work (1950). This dependence entails difficulties, both theoretical and practical, that are the subject of this paper.
First, exchange is by definition a two-way street. Yet the initiatives and responses of Byzantium's diplomatic and commercial partners have been largely ignored, despite the fact that Arabic texts in particular provide far more detail-in terms of circumstance, motivation and quantity---than the Greek sources. They allow a fuller understanding not only of the occasion and evaluation of such transactions, but also of the degree to which the goods involved were culturally specific and imaginative statements that speak about both donors and recipients. Framing this neglect of a major body of evidence has been reliance on outmoded economic and anthropological concepts. On the one hand, the contrast between commodities and gifts found in classical economics allows no place for an, exchange system in which things have the status of persons and sometimes the value of fetishes. On the other, Mauss's distinction between "mechanical" and "moral" compacts elides the historical context in which gifts moved across the medieval Mediterranean. Neither Byzantium nor Islam were "archaic" or "primitive" economies and to treat them so reflects the mentality of an age of colonial administrations. Likewise, "the universal gaze of the philosopher" (M. Godelier)--be it Levi-Strauss's or Lacan's--presupposes; an immutable attitude toward the "other" rather than the nuanced appreciation required by the changing conditions of Byzantine-Muslim relations, and their mutual gifts, across eight centuries.
Iconoclasm and the Trier ivory
Leslie Brubaker (University of Birmingham, England)
The Chalke gate served as the entrance vestibule to the Great Palace of the Byzantine emperors from, apparently, the time of Constantine until the mid-tenth century, and its basic story was established in 1959 in Cyril Mango's classic The Brazen House. Only Prokopios, in the mid-sixth century, provides a serious description of the monument, and unfortunately he sheds little light on the feature of the Chalke that is currently exercising scholars, which is whether or not it supported a portrait of Christ before Iconoclasm. This question has been the subject of considerable debate since Marie-France Auzpy first aired her scepticism, based on a close reading of the literary sources, in 1990.
Auzpy concluded that the legend of Leo III's destruction of an icon of Christ
above the Chalke--an event supposed to have initiated Iconoclasm in 726 or 730-
was fabricated around the year 800. The two different versions of the episode do
indeed demonstrate that its account, at least, was carefully constructed. Earlier texts also show that the Chalke had been a focus of tales of imperial transformation since
at least the early seventh century: whether or not one agrees with Auzpy's conclusion that the destruction of the portrait under Leo III never took place because the image itself never existed, the focus on the Chalke as a site symbolic of imperium and its mutations fits into a larger pattern.
This leads to the Trier ivory relief that shows a relic translation within an architectural precinct bounded on one side by a church under construction before which stand an emperor and an empress and on the other by a tetrapylon gate surmounted by a bust of Christ in a lunette; this structure is surely meant to represent the Chalke. The authoritative publication of this ivory by Kenneth Holum and Gary Vikan in 1979 established that it represented the translation of St Stephen's hand to Constantinople in 421, in the presence of Theodosios II and his sister, the virgin empress Pulcheria, who had a chapel built especially for its reception. This account is, however, recorded only by Theophanes Continuatus, and as John Wortley has already suggested, may in fact represent a ninth or tenth-century belief rather than record an actual fifth-century event. (The epigram adduced by Holum as evidence against this tells us only that Pulcheria was linked with relics of Stephen by 439, in which year she did indeed orchestrate a very well-attested translation of the saint's major relics.)
The date of the ivory itself is not, of course, dependent on the date of either the event it portrays (images of the crucifixion do not, for example, all date from AD 33) or whenever that event was constructed, but it is important to the Chalke arguments because whenever the ivory was made there was clearly a portrait of Christ on the gate. Unfortunately, the date of the ivory-like the date of everything in this narrative--is uncertain. The iconography is clearly not much help, and the style has always been seen as enigmatic and unique.
I think, though, that all of these loose ends can be tied into a rather sloppy bow if we accept a late date for the ivory itself. Two ivories that have never before been compared with the Trier panel suggest a niche for it in the ninth or tenth century. While the emphasis on the empress on the ivory might suggest an association with either Eirene (780-802) or Theodora, wife of Theophilos and mother of Michael III, both of whom had close associations with the Chalke Gate, the core emphasis of the relief is on the translation of Stephen's relics to the palatine chapel in Daphne, the site of most coronations and imperial marriages throughout the eighth and ninth centuries: if we accept the view of most commentators on the relief that it originally formed one side of a reliquary, there were many occasions when a renewed reliquary casket could have been appropriate.
The New York Deesis Casket and Middle Byzantine Gospel Frontispieces
John Hanson (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
There is an ivory casket in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, normally dated to the tenth century, with. an image on the lid of the enthroned Christ, enclosed in a circular frame, surrounded by four smaller circular frames containing John the Baptist, the Theotokos, and two archangels; the whole enclosed in a rectangular frame. A similar composition is used on a plaque in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The lid of the New York casket bears a striking resemblance, in theme, composition, and decorative motives, to Gospel frontispieces of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, such as a Gospel Book in Parma (Palatine Library 5, fol. 5r). The motif is quite common among manuscripts of the Komnenian era, but unknown among those of the tenth century, to which the casket is most commonly dated. How are we to understand this similarity? Is it satisfactory to describe the New York casket's composition as an isolated and precocious forerunner to the later illuminations?
The answer need not be purely speculative, as there are other aspects of the casket which help to elucidate the situation. The construction of the casket, for example, is unusual. It is made of solid walls of ivory, whereas the vast majority of Byzantine caskets are made of wood, covered with thin ivory veneer. This solid construction is known among only two other examples, caskets in Stuttgart and Troyes, Again, the theme itself is exceptional. Images of Christ and the Saints are quite common on carved ivory panels, but unusual on Byzantine ivory caskets, known on only two other examples, in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection in Washington, D.C., and in the Museo Nazionale in Florence. Most of the ivories cited so far also exhibit stylistic anomalies, especially western aspects which have caused some of them to be attributed to Italy. In fact, all of these deviations can be used to set up a framework for understanding the relationship of the New York Deesis Casket to the Middle Byzantine Gospel Frontispieces.
The final piece of the puzzle is a historiographical point When Adolf Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann published a corpus of Byzantine ivory caskets in 1930, they dated all of the ivories cited (with the exception of the Dumbarton Oaks casket, which was not included in the corpus) to either the eleventh or twelfth centuries. In the publication of the reliefs volume of the corpus in 1934, they were all pushed back to the tenth century, a chronology which is still in general use today. I propose that these ivories should be redated to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and argue that the eccentricities of these ivories actually accrue to Western influence. This hypothesis helps to explain the oddities of style, technique, and composition, and provides a suggestive framework for the later manuscripts.
Byzantine Identity and Relics of the True Cross
Lynn Jones (Philadelphia, PA)
The agent, site, and circumstance of the discovery of the True Cross insured Byzantium sole control of the Cross and of the distribution of its fragments; for much of the Middle Ages other Christian cultures could obtain relics of the Cross only from Byzantium. This exclusivity insured that relics of the True Cross were emblematic of, and identified with, Byzantium. In this paper I will examine how relics of the True Cross functioned as conveyors of Byzantine identity outside of the Empire. I will restrict my inquiry to those relics which can be assigned a Byzantine origin by textual tradition or the evidence of Byzantine-produced reliquaries, and which later entered the possession of non-Byzantine Christian cultures. Once in foreign hands, when was Byzantine provenance concealed, and when was it emphasized? How were these manipulations effected: through the creation of written traditions, the physical alteration and refashioning of relics and reliquaries, or by particulars of. display and use? Such relics, reliquaries, and their associated texts provide particular insight into perceptions of Byzantine identity both within and without the Empire.
The Menil Paten
David H. Wright (University of California at Berkeley)
The fragmentary silver paten now in the Menil Collection in Houston was sold at Sotheby's in London on 30 November 1990 with no indication of provenance. It had been offered to several museums without evoking interest in its purchase and therefore came to auction with its reputation somewhat tarnished. The auction catalogue entry was supplied by Marlia Mundell Mango, dating it c. 600, and a laboratory report by Peter Northover of Oxford put the copper content rather high within the range expected for Byzantine silver at this time and described the intergranular corrosion of the surface as confirming its antiquity. It appears to have been mounted for a considerable time on a wooden ring covered with worn velvet and Northover observed that rust around the mounting clips suggested that it might have been there for close to a century. It was executed in good repouss work but has no stamps; there is no trace of a foot and enough of the fragment survives (diameter 15.8 cm) to suggest there never was one. Because of unavoidable circumstances I have not yet been able to examine the piece out of the case but I am strongly inclined to accept its authenticity and present this paper on that assumption. It is expected that there will be an opportunity for close examination during the Byzantine Studies Conference.
The relief shows a nimbed Christ standing behind an apparently hexagonal altar and holding a chalice in his left hand while reaching out with his right hand to offer the host to the standing figure of St. Paul at the left; St. Peter stands at the right and both apostles hold out their open hands with their palms up, an arrangement bearing little resemblance to the Communion of the Apostles depicted in the Rabbula and Rossano Gospels. On the altar, which is covered by a cloth, are two more chalices and a circular loaf with a grid pattern on it. A comparable altar with two chalices and a bread basket with a grid pattern is depicted under a ciborium in the lunette mosaics of the Syriac monastic church near Kartmin (dated 512, see Mundell in DOP 27, 1973, 289-90 etc.).
The figures are accurately proportioned and generally well articulated. The two apostles have mostly rational drapery depicted with soft folds and they are reasonably well-ponderated; the drapery of Christ is similarly treated and establishes a sense of bulk in his body. In these ways and in the spatial composition in general the new piece resembles the best Constantinopolitan silver of the 620s, such as the Vienna bucket and the David dishes from Cyprus. The faces are worked in relatively high relief with narrow noses and deeply set eyes, as in the David dishes.
The faces of Peter and Paul are very similar to those in the medallions of the Horns vase, including Peter's distinctive crew cut, but Peter's beard is a little longer. The head of Christ is strange; he has curly hair and a flat top almost resembling a character from Dick Tracy but he has rounded cheeks and a full clean-shaven jaw instead of the thin face, pointed jaw and short beard of the Syrian type familiar from the Rabbula gospels (586) and the coins of Justinian II in his second reign (705-11). Except for the flat top this head resembles the type used for David in the Cyprus dishes. Perhaps this strange head is the result of a Constantinopolitan artist wanting to reflect the Syrian iconography but not realizing that a short beard was required, and transforming the type into his familiar style.
The quality of work here is not as good as in the best of the David dishes but I would assign the Menil paten to Constantinople in the 620s; it has no stamps, which suggests that the patron felt no need for official approval. I suppose it was made for a minor church in Constantinople. The close resemblance of the heads of Peter and Paul to those on the Horns vase helps confirm Catherine Metzger's recent attribution of that vase to Constantinople in this period.
Session XV: Byzantium's Borders
Chair: David Olster (University of Kentucky)
Sigisvult the Patrician, Maximinus the Arian, and 'Impossible Missions,'
ca. 425 440
Ralph W. Mathisen (University of South Carolina)
During the Later Roman Empire, individuals who originated among the northern exterae gentes generally have been recognized, both then and now, more for their military prowess than for their intellectual finesse. Barbarian intelligence was disparaged as craftiness: the western Master of Soldiers Ricimer, for example, was known for his "customary cunning." Nevertheless, some so-called "barbarians" engaged in noteworthy intellectual endeavors, especially in the religious sphere. The best known example is Ulfila, the bishop of Goths who invented a Gothic alphabet, translated the Bible into Gothic, and converted many Goths to a form of Arian Christianity. Arian ecclesiastics also became involved in secular political activities. In 409/410, for example, Sigesarius, the Arian bishop of Alaric's Goths, baptized the Visigothic puppet emperor Priscus Attalus, "to the great satisfaction of Alaric and the Arian party."
This paper will focus upon two incidents ca. 425-440 which, it will be argued, document the collaboration of an Arian general and an Arian bishop in non-violent political intrigues. The first occurred in North Africa, where the Comes Africae Boniface revolted in 427 against the western government. In the same year, the imperial general Sigisvult, an Arian barbarian, was charged with bringing Boniface to heel. He was accompanied by the Arian bishop Maximinus, whose ostensible function seems to have been, la Sigesarius, to act as a kind of high-ranking army chaplain. Sigisvult's campaign is noteworthy for its lack of attested military engagements. Yet, a settlement with Boniface was soon reached. It will be argued that Sigisvult and Maximinus, rather than utilizing traditional barbarian brute force, orchestrated a bloodless settlement by shrewdly manipulating the social and religious circumstances of Roman North Africa.
Some years later, developments connected to North Africa again demanded Sigisvult's attention. In 439, Carthage and the rich province of Africa fell to Geiseric and the Vandals. The next year, the Vandals took to the sea. On 24 June 440, Valentinian M announced, "the most illustrious master of soldiers, Sigisvult, does not cease to organize guards of soldiers and federated allies for the cities and coasts." No help was forthcoming from either the eastern emperor Theodosius II or the western patrician Fl. Adtius, and Sigisvult was left to deal with the situation as best as he could by himself. It will be argued that the Arian prelate Maximinus who was accused in Nicene sources of "inviting" the Vandals to occupy Sicily is none other than Sigisvult's comrade of 427, and that he was acting not as an Arian "fifth-columnist," but as an imperial negotiator. Maximinus, it will be suggested, averted a Vandal occupation of Sicily by the use of subtly planted disinformation regarding the arrival of non-existent imperial reinforcements.
This discussion will demonstrate that when it came to finding solutions to political and military problems in the late Roman period, "barbarians" could do more than just fight. Barbarian generals could be just as clever as Romans in the game of scheme and counter-scheme, and bishops -of barbarians were happy to play along as well Sigisvult and Maximinus seem to have made an extraordinarily good team. Perhaps a detractor would have disparaged their efforts as typical barbarian "slyness", but, if so, their slyness was every bit as effective as the intellectual artifice of any Roman. One would dearly love to know what other impossible missions they may have undertaken during these tumultuous times.
The Code of Euric: Origin, Transmission and Implications
Laura Reynolds Fry (University of South Carolina)
In AD 376, the Visigoths crossed the Danube into the Roman Empire, and in 378 they defeated the eastern emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople. Subsequently, they wandered from east to west until 418 when they were granted land for settlement in Aquitania. The Visigoths then established the so-called "Kingdom of Toulouse," becoming the first barbarian people to create their own territory within the bounds of the Roman Empire.
As ground-breakers in this endeavor, the Visigoths had no precedent regarding how to best govern not only themselves, but also the Roman population. Early Visigothic kings appear to have taken an ad hoc approach to creating legislation, apparently on the Roman model. The Codex Euricanus (Code of Euric) was a law code created by the Visigothic king Euric (465-484) which attempted not only to maintain the autonomy of the Goths but also to settle disputes between the Roman and barbarian peoples. The Code of Euric survives only as a palimpsested (rewritten) document, and includes legal commentary on issues including land disputes and borders, property rights, and social concerns. Because of the condition of the surviving portion of the code, however, the immediate structure of the document and the implications of its contents are not evident, and the significance of the Code of Euric has not been appreciated.
This paper will discuss the significance of the Code of Euric with regard to 1) the Physical and material format of the code itself, 2) the relationship between the Roman and Visigothic cultures, and 3) the development of other barbarian legal codes during Late Antiquity. A reconstruction of die original format of the pages and binding sections reveals the structure of this legal code. An analysis of the laws contained within the code depicts the dynamic interaction between the Romans and Goths in this most significant transitional period is seen in a new light. This research can then be used to assess with greater exactitude the role of the Code of Euric as the first barbarian law code in the evolution of later barbarian legal codes. And, in general, this study will help to clarify nature of the barbarian settlement in both the western and eastern parts of the empire.
The Experiences of Heraclius in Africa
Walter F. Kaegi (The University of Chicago)
I assess the approximately ten years during which Heraclius lived in Africa between 600 and 610 CE, when he was about twenty-five to thirty-five years of age. He spent most of that time at or near Carthage. It was a decisive period of his maturation. No previous or subsequent Byzantine emperor lived in Africa or brought any experiences of living in Africa with him to Constantinople. This unique ten-year span of Heraclius' life has received relatively little attention. His experiences included not merely confronting specific events, but also developing a long-term familiarity with a different physical environment, different ethnic groups, and different cultural vestiges and imprints. I shall evaluate the relevance of Africa for Heraclius' later military and political decision-making and for his understanding of the empire's Roman heritage, for the construction of his reputation, and for helping him to develop techniques for coping with external and internal political and military rivals. His lengthy stay in Africa provided him with some unique perspectives and knowledge that complicated the tasks of his opponents in understanding and defeating him. I intend to make use of diverse although admittedly. fragmentary primary sources: George of Pisidia, Theophanes, Fredegarius, Rhabanus Maurus, Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam) as well as some non-literary evidence (e.g., seals and archaeological evidence). I shall endeavor to explain the lasting influence of Heraclius' years in Africa on his policies and frame of reference as well as that of his dynastic successors.
Odenathus of Palmyra, Theodoric, and the Ghassanid Phylarchs-Late Roman Client-Kings?
Pamela G. Sayre (Henry Ford Community College)
The status of Theodoric the Great has always been viewed as an anomaly in Late Roman or Early Byzantine studies. His power, independence, legal position within the Empire, and his quasi-imperial titles and actions are unique in the late Western Empire. Further emphasizing Theodoric's unique position is the attempt, after his death, to reclaim Italy for the Roman government. However, Theodoric's position in the Empire is only unique in the West.
In the Eastern lands there are two other examples of virtually independent "client-kings" who accepted the suzerainty of the imperial government. The first of these was Odenathus of Palmyra, who ruled his lands during the reigns of Valerian and Gallienus. Like Theodoric, Odenathus held high Roman titles. He was also the commander of the Eastern limes near Palmyra and virtual co-ruler of much of the East. Although His exact powers and position is not as great as that of Theodoric, the later historians describe it in such a way that Odenathus emerges as a parallel, perhaps even a precedent, for Theodoric.
The second example of a late Roman "client-king" is found in the East in the 500s among the Christian Arab Ghassanids, Mundhir and his son Nu'man. Although they are usually given the title phylarchos, their state is regularly referred to as the basileia, implying something greater than simple tribal rule. Like Odenathus, they gave primarily military duties and titles. However, such duties imply command over Roman troops and legal jurisdiction over those same men, one of the more striking elements in Theodoric's power.
What I would like to explore in this paper are the similarities of these four men to try to see why they had the role in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine political system. What did they have in common that set them apart from other federate leaders to give them such distinctive positions and almost unique powers? Is Theoderic unique in his status or is he the only Western example of powerful federate leaders? And finally, what were their powers and titles? Do the tell us anything about Late Roman government on the frontiers of the Empire?
A New Look at Byzantiumâs Northwestern Neighbors in the Tenth Century (Bulgaria, the Magyars, and Greeks in Byzantine and Hungarian Sources)
The tenth century witnessed notable changes in the political geography of south-eastern Europe and what became, in Ostrogorsky's words, the Byzantine Commonwealth. A key feature of these transformations was the migration of the Magyars from their previous home in what is now Ukraine to their modern homeland. This event is reflected in several contemporary western and Byzantine sources, as well as in later Hungarian chronicles, namely the Anonymi Gesta Hungarorum and the Illuminated Chronicle. Modern historians tend to agree that the Hungarian migration across what is now Romania deprived the Bulgarian Empire from its transdanubian provinces and resulted in the virtually immediate establishment of Hungary as a unified political unit within its traditional medieval frontiers. In many ways the Hungarian and Byzantine sources seem to support such an interpretation, but the information contained in them simultaneously poses serious obstacles to arriving at such a conclusion.
Several statements of the Gesta Hungarorum that have been disregarded as historical evidence because they simply do not fit within western scholars' conception of events need to be reconsidered, in particular the author's repeated identification of the Magyar's rivals in the Carpathian Basin as Bulgarians and ÎGreeks'. As many of the events in the Gesta have been shown by Gyorffy to have occurred circa 1000 rather than circa 900, further analysis of the chronicle's evidence would imply that the Carpathian Basin remained at least partly under Bulgarian control until the year 1000. This conclusion is supported by Constantine Porphyrogenitus' De Administrando Imperio, written in the middle of the tenth century. The Byzantine emperor's account of his neighbors, geographical placement exhibits contradictions that can be solved only by supposing a condominium between Bulgarians and Magyars in the Carpathian Basin and along the Tisza. The present essay, drawing on the relevant primary sources and important secondary works, explores the status of the Carpathian Basin 900-1000 and agrees with a conclusion that Bulgarian nominal control in the region survived until 1000.
Apart from correcting a misperception of the political geography of the region, and agreeing with recent Bulgarian scholarship's argument that transdanubian Bulgaria endured for a century after the Magyar migration, this examination of the sources offers a new picture of tenth-century southeastern Europe. The apparent Bulgaro-Magyar symbiotic settlement in the Carpathian Basin must account for much of Byzantine cultural influence in that region. Furthermore, the proposed arrangement offers a new understanding of the administrative structure of Bulgaria and of the power relations within the nascent Magyar state. The apparent foedus-like arrangement between the Magyars and. representatives of the distant Bulgarian government in the Carpathian Basin may reflect a tradition going back to the fourth- and fifth-century Roman Empire, and in particular the practices of the government at Constantinople. On the other hand, the apparent willingness of Magyar population and leaders to settle under nominal Bulgarian control and the need for them to be subjected by the Arpadian monarchy after 1000 may reveal yet another dimension to the prolonged power struggle between the Arpadians and other Magyar chieftains.
Session XVI: Early Byzantine Spirituality
Chair: Sidney Griffith (The Catholic University of America)
The Syriac Discourses of Behisho' Kamulaya (floruit 8th c.) on the Monastic Way of Life
Monica J. Blanchard (The Catholic University of America)
The Catholic University of America's Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) owns a small Syriac manuscript containing six discourses or mmr on the monastic way of life. The discourses were composed by one Behisho' Kamulaya, a monk of the "Nestorian" Monastery of Karnul/Kmul in the Jazirah during the later part of the eighth century. Mention of Behisho' and his book appears in the Syriac catalogue of the library of 'Abdisho' bar B'rikha (d. 1318), also a member of the Syriac-speaking "Nestorian" Church or Assyrian Church of the East. Recently Johannes C. J. Sanders has drawn attention to a twentieth-century codex in the library of Mar Aprem, the Metropolitan of the Church of the East in Trichur, Kerala, India. Trichur MS 7 (16) contains "A history of important rules for the dutiful and perfect anchorite, by Mar Bs of Kmol." The contents of the Modern Indian copy show striking parallels with the text of the CUA manuscript, which seems to be the only extant ancient copy of the discourses. A date no later than the twelfth century and perhaps as early as the ninth or tenth century has been suggested for the CUA manuscript on paleographical grounds.
The immediate purpose of this communication is to introduce the work and thought of Behisho' to a larger audience. An immense and widely copied monastic literature is preserved in Syriac. An attempt will be made to define the relationship of the discourses of Behisho' to the Syriac treatises of his near contemporaries and fellow East Syrian monastic writers Joseph Hazzaya and John of Dayatha. Their works are better known and already available in modern editions and translations.
An edition and English translation of the Discourses of Behisho' is nearing completion, but for now this spiritual father must be read in Syriac.
Rethinking a Rigorist: Eulogius of Alexandrias On Economy in Its Sixth Century Context
William North (Carleton College)
Trained as a monk in the region of Antioch, Eulogius became bishop of Alexandria in 580 and thereby assumed the leadership of the Chalcedonian minority in the city until his death in 607. A friend, house guest, and theological counselor of Pope Gregory I among other notable ecclesiastics, Eulogius was recognized as a uniquely qualified spokesman for Chalcedonian orthodoxy; indeed, as John Moschus related in his Pratum Spirituale, Pope Leo I actually embraced Eulogius in a vision and openly professed his appreciation of Eulogius's eloquent defence of his Tome. Eulogius also composed what was the last and perhaps the greatest polemic against the Novatians. He is best known, however, for an invective entitled Peri oikonomias which he wrote after two monophysite sects had briefly reconciled their theological differences and joined forces. The risk that this meeting of heretical minds would become part of contemporary collections of erempla used to legitimate acts of ecclesiastical oikonomia seems to have provided the impetus behind Eulogius' polemic. As, described in Photius-who seems to have read all of Eulogius' major works and respected him as a theologian, exegete, and controversialist the bishop of Alexandria. used his treatise to outline three contexts in which the "ecclesiastical economy," or the capacity to abrogate or moderate the strict dictates of the canons, could be legitimately used to achieve ecclesiastical union: 1) in disputes over matters other than dogma; 2) in situations in which a temporary "economy" or accommodation would prevent a greater evil; and 3) in doctrinal disputes arising from problems of linguistic usage or translation. It was an attractive formulation and was repeatedly deployed to oppose ecclesiastical compromise by such figures as Theodore of Studios in the ninth century and Patriarch John Bekkos in the thirteenth. Eulogius's On Economy has consequently been interpreted by Modern scholars as an early expression of that conservative impulse in Byzantine religious life and legal thought to uphold the dictates of the Fathers and the conciliar canons syn akribeia?
This paper argues that an assessment of Eulogius' conception of ecclesiastical oikonomia cannot be solely based on his treatise On Economy but must be grounded in a close reading of the other available evidence for his views found in his writings in defense of Leo's Tome and against the Novatians excerpted and summarized by Photius. This more comprehensive approach towards Eulogius' thought makes clear that, far from having been "un homine de âakribeia." (G. Dagron), Eulogius was an active proponent of economy in the sphere of canon law and an opponent of blind rigorism in both ecclesiastical and penitential contexts. Informing this commitment to oikonomia in ecclesiastical contexts, it will also be argued, was Eulogius' own exegetical practice which rejected the literalist hermeneutics of groups like the monophysites and Novatians and emphasized the social and theological importance of reading each part of a sacred text or theological work within the larger economy of thought and language embodied in the whole.
The Education of a Holy Man: The Spiritual Development of John of Gaza
Jennifer L. Hevelone-Harper (Gordon College)
John of Gaza is known as the brother and colleague of the sixth-century holy man Barsanuphius. For over eighteen years the two exercised spiritual authority over lay and monastic Christians in the region surrounding Gaza. Working together as close partners, though physically isolated from one another, Barsanuphius and John strove to display a unity of will as they corresponded with hundreds of petitioners from all stations of life. Their disciples were convinced that the holy men "knew each other's thoughts" and could communicate without the aid of verbal interchange.
The letters of Barsanuphius and John do not explicitly mention the beginning of their collaboration, other than a brief reference to Barsanuphius giving up his cell to John. In this paper I will argue that within the body of the correspondence is a series of letters that contain the earliest communication between the two monks. The letters from Barsanuphius to John of Beersheba introduce us to a new member of the community who frequently acts as a trouble maker, directly challenging Seridos, the abbot of the cenobium. Nevertheless, Barsanuphius places the newcomer in a position of authority over other monks and begins to nurture his hidden leadership abilities.
After proposing an identification of John of Gaza with John of Beersheba, I will explore the manner in which this monk made the transition from awkward newcomer to trusted spiritual leader. This series of letters grants us an in-depth view of the process of spiritual direction in sixth-century monastic circles. The letters of Barsanuphius portray a system of authority under construction. They broke from the model of other monastic texts that propagated belief in the holy man or woman's unilinear development from a holy infant and permit us a rare view of the contentious struggle for cooperation that underlay truly effective leadership teams. Only after he had worked through his early struggles with Barsanuphius and Seridos, could John of Beersheba become a tried partner of the other holy men and a competent father for his disciples. Having challenged authority himself, John was finally capable of guiding others to submission.
The Eschatological Program of the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius
Witold Witakowski (Uppsala University, Sweden)
The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius is known both in its original Syriac, and in various translations, Greek (in which four versions exist), Latin, Armenian and other languages. Today the original is accessible in a good edition provided by G. Reinink in the Syriac series of the CSCO. The Apocalypse became very popular in the Byzantine world and in the Latin West, as one of the first compositions of that character to deal with Islam. It was written, as was shown by Reinink, in the 690's, that is nearly a century after the Arab Muslim conquest of the Near East. It is the work of an anonymous Syrian Orthodox author seeing the first wave of numerous conversions of his co-religionists to Islam, and wishing to stop it by showing his readers that "time is short" and that the successes of the Muslims are to be understood as the convulsions of the eschatological epoch that soon was to lead to the End.
Ps.-Methodius based his eschatological program on what was usual in apocalyptic tradition, and some constant elements (like Gog and Magog) are present in his composition too. However the apocalyptic solution in worldly terms is innovative, and, it seems, specific to a Syrian Orthodox writer. What is interesting is the figure of the eschatological emperor, who is of course Roman, but with an Ethiopian pedigree, being the son of an Ethiopian princess.
This peculiarity can be explained by the role that Ethiopia must have played in the mentality of a Syrian Orthodox. The Syrian Orthodox Church was according to common usage (today somewhat obsolete) "Monophysite", and as such regarded as heretical by Byzantine Orthodoxy. In the last centuries of Byzantine rule in Syria there were persecutions, sometimes bloody, which left a traumatic memory among the Syrians. There was only one place to which they could turn their hopes, Ethiopia, a kingdom whose Christianity was also "Monophysite", and whose role in helping the Christians of Nadjran and South Arabia (who had been persecuted in the 520's by a king who had converted to Judaism) was remembered among the Syrians. It was supposedly this South Arabian connection that brought together the Syrians and the Ethiopians, thus creating contacts of which today only few traces remain.
Session XVII: Byzantine Women
Chair: Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks)
The Exotic among the Other: Writing Women in Byzantine Studies
Ruma Niyogi (The University of Chicago)
The subject of women in medieval history is a topic that, today, hardly requires justification for study. Indeed, within the last twenty-five years, scholarship has moved beyond simply identifying the existence of women in the Middle Ages to offering sophisticated and nuanced historical analyses using gender theory, feminist theory, sociology, and anthropology, to name but a few methodological approaches. The study of the Byzantine woman, however, is different from the study of her western medieval counterpart. It is well known that the field of Byzantine studies, in and of itself, has often been colored by discourses of orientalism, exoticism, and feminization, quite apart from the mention of actual "females" in Byzantium. In this paper, I shall demonstrate how historians who wish to study women in Byzantium must face the problems of exoticism and of 'The Other'---constructions that are already inherent in Byzantine studies. Additionally, I shall highlight some of the trends in current scholarship on gender and women in Byzantium. Finally, I shall propose suggestions for approaches to studying women in Byzantium that function within the wider framework of Byzantine studies.
Since its inception in the seventeenth century and up until the end of the nineteenth century, Byzantine studies were regarded either as a conclusion to the Roman Empire, or as a prelude to the Renaissance. In both cases, the study of Byzantium was dependent upon existing mentalities about the ancient world and of the early modern period in which scholars were writing. This approach has now changed Byzantine history and culture have formed a distinct body of research (Kazhdan and Constable, People and Power in Byzantium [Dumbarton Oaks, 1982], p. 1). The study of women in Byzantium, however, has only recently begun to be liberated from its antiquarian yoke. Although most scholars would now agree that the study of women in Byzantium is axiomatic for understanding social -life, it seems that many such studies are still predicated on stereotypes and categories about women that were forged from these very same antiquarian attitudes of previous centuries. As a result of this influence, Byzantine women are frequently simplified into such categories as viragos, sanctified mothers, or holy women. This fact raises the very important question of whether or not these categories are Byzantine realities or modern constructions for understanding The Other. My paper will attempt to address these issues in order to under-stand the future direction of women's studies within Byzantine studies.
Sexual Slander in Byzantium
M.P. Vinson (Bloomington, IN)
Like their pagan predecessors, the Byzantines used sexual slander to discredit their political enemies and treated women as a means to this end. One of the most striking differences between classical and Christian invective occurs in the treatment of marriage, which came to be seen as inviolable and indissoluble. In effect, men now began to be held to the old Roman standard of the univira while for women there was a new emphasis on premarital chastity and virginity. This change can be seen quite clearly in Procopius' Secret History where, in contrast to classical invective, both emperor and empress enjoy immunity from allegations of sexual misconduct during the actual course of their marriage. Instead, Theodora is condemned for her wild behavior before her marriage while Justinian is faulted for choosing such a woman as his wife. These two themes, the empress' virginity and the emperor's choice of wife, subsequently play a prominent role in accounts of the Byzantine bride shows. In Theophanes' Chronographia, for example, Nicephorus I is condemned for marrying his son to a woman who was not only already engaged but had slept with her former fianc "many times." Yet if breaking up a betrothal was bad, the dissolution of a marriage was worse and we find that remarriage in such circumstances is tantamount to adultery as evidenced by the case of Constantine VI and the Moechian Controversy. The protective barrier erected around marriage also includes the family with the result that incest becomes a mere shadow of its former self. For example, both Antonina, and Maria of Alania are alleged to have had sexual relationships with their sons, but these children are adopted rather than their own flesh and blood. Allegations of male homosexuality, on the other hand, retain the classical distinctions between the active and passive roles as well as the relative youth and maturity of the participants. The tenth century appears to mark a turning point in the treatment of sexuality and one may speculate that the resolution of the Affair of the Tetragamy paved the way for the return of adultery to the invective repertoire on the part of classicizing authors like Michael Psellus.
Feminine Physis in Michael Psellos's Literary Work
Eustratios N. Papaioannou (University of Vienna - Dumbarton Oaks)
Psellos ascribes to himself, in his typical auto-graphic manner, a feminine nature- feminine Physis. By this he evokes an image used in late antique Christian rhetoric. In this paper I will generally define what feminine nature means in Psellos's Own discourse using examples that range from the ironically presented imperial women to marginal female figures of nuns and prostitutes, as well as from medical texts to theological and philosophical treatises. Furthermore, I will discuss how Psellos articulates his relationships with his mother and his daughter and how these correlate to his own autographing of feminine physis.
In my opinion, there is a connection between Psellos's rhetorically manipulated sanctification of his mother and daughter, (along with the silence of his wife) and his self-ascribed feminine nature. Ultimately, I will show how, in Psellos, a literary motif stylizes a rhetorical self.
Session XVIII: Egyptian Monasticism
Chair: Georgia Frank (Colgate University)
A Tale of Two Cities:
The Egyptian Monastery and the City of Christ in the Apocalypse of Paul
Kirsti Copeland (Princeton University)
The Apocalypse of Paul (Visio Pauli) is a Byzantine Egyptian revelation whose goal is to describe the afterlife of souls, both righteous and wicked. The portrayal of the fate of the righteous Soul is curiously divided into two sections, a fertile land of promise and a majestic City of Christ. In the earliest manuscripts of the Apocalypse of Paul, there is a hierarchy between these two locations; the City of Christ is "Seven times greater than the land of promise. Correlated with this hierarchy are the inhabitants of the spaces; the City is reserved for "virgins," while the land of promise is for the married. Two aspects of the relationship between the land of promise and the City of Christ require explanation. First, the direction of the hierarchy, namely that the City of Christ is seven times greater than the land of promise and not vice versa, goes in opposition to the one source which has been suggested in partial explanation for this division. Second, why are the "virgins," read monks, in the City, while the married are in a pastoral scene? What has happened to the ideal of the desert monk?
This hierarchy of the City of Christ and the land of promise in the Apocalypse of Paul, whether it is considered part of the original framework of the text or a slightly later addition, reflects the developing picture of the monastery in Byzantine Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. Not only was the village format of the Pachomian monasteries challenging the picture of the lone desert monk, but also Shenoute and Besa were referring to the monastery as the Heavenly Jerusalem. These and other connections between the City of Christ and the Egyptian monastery demonstrate that at least an early editor of the Apocalypse of Paul, if not the original author, read the City of Christ in this text as a monastery. This reading, in turn, highlights the growing halo of sanctification that was encircling the monastery in Byzantine Egypt.
The Architecture of Kellia: A Comparative Study on the Use of Space
Nicola Aravecchia (University of Minnesota)
The site of Kellia in Lower Egypt is one of the earliest, most extensive and most innovative examples of monastic architecture known to us. Threatened by agricultural development, the site was intensely surveyed and excavated by French, Swiss and Egyptian missions from the Sixties to the Eighties, and the rich finds have been carefully published and discussed.
Taking advantage of the excellent documentation, I will discuss the nature and the origin of the cell typology. The site revealed about 1600 cells, the plans of which differ in size and level of complexity, but usually reveal a clear common origin. One cell would typically include space for a senior monk, subordinates and for reception of guests. Therefore, they have functions similar to those of contemporary houses and villas.
The fundamental issue is, how much of what was done at the Kellia was new, how much was influenced by pre-existing structures? To answer this I am comparing the hermitages to contemporary examples at other sites in the Near East and Egypt (Esna), and also to contemporary domestic architecture, beginning with the limited number of examples known from Byzantine Egypt (principally Alexandria, Karanis, Elephantine, and Thebes). The spatial analysis carried out by Roman archaeologists such as Thebert and Ellis shows us how domestic architecture reflected social change, and I am applying similar methods of analysis to the hermitages (i.e., the relationship of public and private, of grand and humble).
What seems possible to say about the cells of Kellia is that they were built following typological criteria, which were in part original, while in part they can be found in other examples of religious or domestic architecture. These preliminary conclusions raised issues that can be taken into consideration by further studies.
Monastic Practice and the Solitude of the Cell in Christian Egypt
Darlene Brooks-Hedstrom (Miami University)
Can a physical space teach a monk the disciplines of the ascetic life? Abba Moses believed so when he told a young novice, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything" (Moses 6). St. Antony said, "Just as fish die if they stay too long out of water, so the monks who loiter outside their cells or pass their time with men of the world lose the intensity of inner peace. So like a fish going towards the sea, we must hurry, to reach our cell, for fear that if we delay outside we will lose our interior watchfulness" (Antony 6). Abba Ammonas recognized that sitting in the cell was no simple matter when he said, "A man may remain for a hundred years in his cell without learning how to live in the cell" (Poemen 96). These three statements all underscore the importance of the physical structure of the cell to the practice of monastic living. The question then arises; how does the cell function?
The cell was the space in which a monk lived in solitude and devotion. It was the place of spiritual work; this work involved the attainment of salvation through imitating the lives of other monks with the hopes of attaining true solitude. No formal or comprehensive study of the physical structures in which the monks of Coptic Egypt lived has examined how monasteries provided the necessary withdrawal from the world. We know from ostraca and papyri that the monks were involved in several activities with the surrounding villages and towns. Therefore, we must ask how they were able to "flee from the world and yet "live rightly with men."
I will argue that the cell played a critical role in monastic practice because it was the one place where monks could daily encounter God and place the demands of human interaction into proper perspective, in order for these meetings with God to occur, the monk needed to follow a set of practices which would allow him to attain a place of inner peace which was not overwhelmed with thoughts of his brother or the cares of the world. Regardless of one's level of spiritual maturity, the cell was a revered place, so much so that monks would boast of not leaving their cells for 30 or 40 years.
In this paper I will examine how the monks viewed the physical structure of the cell and its relationship to monastic life. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the form of these cells varied greatly throughout Egypt. By considering two sites, Kellia and Esna, I will illustrate the necessity to include the archaeological data as a critical body of data for reconstructing the history of monastic practice in Egypt.
The Discovery of Early Byzantine paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea (Egypt)
Elizabeth S. Bolman (Cairo, Egypt)
The renown of St. Antony the Great in Byzantium and the West in the Middle Ages can hardly be overstated, as numerous depictions and written accounts demonstrate, but familiarity with the monastery founded at the site of Antony's remote hermitage is rare among Byzantinists. One reason for this is that scholars have believed that the monastery's earliest structure, the Old Church of St. Antony, dated only to the beginning of the thirteenth century, a period in which Coptic culture is generally thought to have lacked vitality and originality. Additionally, the church is not large or made of expensive materials, and its wall paintings have presented a decidedly unappealing sight, covered with dense layers of soot and bad overpainting. A USAID-funded project to clean, conserve and publish the wall paintings has been undertaken by the Antiquities Development Project of the American Research Center in Egypt, and has yielded startling results. Not only are the thirteenth-century paintings aesthetically and iconographically compelling, but remains of significantly earlier paintings have been found.
The best preserved of the early paintings depict an enthroned Christ in Majesty flanked by busts of apostles, in roundels. Iconographic and stylistic parallels make it possible to date this composition between ca. 550 and 700 C.E. Traces of early painted plaster have been found by the conservators, Adriano Luzi and Luigi de Cesaris, in all parts of the church, excepting only the sanctuary. The extent of the early painted program and its implications for the dating and architectural development of the church will be presented.
Session X: The Classical Tradition
Chair: John Duffy (Harvard University)
John Doxopatres on Hermogenes' Peri staseon: An 11th-centriry Approach to the Pedagogy of Rhetoric
Denis R Sullivan (University of Maryland)
In his article Teachers (in The Byzantines, ed. G. Cavallo, 1997) Robert Browning notes that the Byzantine teacher of rhetoric "inherited textbooks from late antiquity that continued in use through the Middle Ages." Such texts were not used with static acceptance. Browning cites, for example, the works of Hermogenes (2nd century A.D.) for which "the dense mass of commentaries·is evidence of their regular use in the classroom." Among the many commentators is John Doxopatres (11th century) who wrote annotations on Hermogenes' Peri staseon, Peri eureseos and Peri ideon, as well as on Aphthonius. The last has been published in full; the others remain unpublished with the exception of their prologues. Doxopatres' commentary on the Peri staseon (Hermogenes' work classifies types of disputes and corresponding argumentative approaches) has been discussed by S. Glckner (ber den Kommentar des Joannes Doxapatres zu den Staseis des Hermogene, [Kirchain, Nieder Laisitz] 1908-09), who examined it in manuscript; he characterized the unpublished annotations as a line commentary attached to lemmata from Hermogenes' text and noted that in one important manuscript, Vindobonensis 130, the comments of Doxopatres are interspersed with others introduced with such terms as "allos" and "heterouexegetou." H. Rabe (Prolegomenon Sylloge, Leipzig, 1931) edited the Prologue from Vindobonensis 130 and Vaticanus gr. 1022 and considered the Vienna ms. superior.
The commentary on the Peri staseon is extensive, covering 86 folios in the Vindobonensis. My examination of the manuscripts and of Rabe's edition of the Prologue, in connection with a planned edition, reveals a number of teaching techniques used by Doxopatres. Some examples: in the Prologue (i.e., his introductory lecture) Doxopatres states that he will "'examine the objective, utility, authenticity, placement in the sequence <of Hermogenes' works>, reason for the title, division into sections, instructional mode and the philosophical category of Peri staseon." I have identified this schematic with Neoplatonic methods of analysis first found in Proclus. At Vindobonensis 130 folio 110r Doxopatres comments that Hermogenes employs "three approaches in his present teaching, systematic presentation ("methodos"), definition ("horismos"), and example ("pardeigma"I have found this tripartite frame-work elsewhere only in Syrianus' (the Neoplatonist) Commentary on Hermogenes. At folio 99v Doxopatres gives as examples of a defendant's attempts to use "transposition of cause" ("metathesis") for his father's disappearance "he fell in with robbers" and "he was killed while travelling to a distant land." The examples derive from Luke 10:30 and 15:13. The presentation will characterize the role of such passages in Doxopatres' approach to teaching rhetoric in an 11th-century classroom.
Biblical Scholarship and Greek Paideia: Philosophical Education and Cultural Competition in Late-Antique Alexandria
Richard A. Layton (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Rival pagan and Christian factions competed for cultural hegemony in late- fourth-century Alexandria. In this environment, leaders of philosophical schools helped to articulate a cohesive identity for the various factions. The tension within religio-ethnic communities produced by this competition is exemplified by variant Christian responses to the schools of Hypatia and Didymus the Blind. Hypatia, a pagan philosopher, was admired in the highest echelons of both Alexandrian Christian and pagan society, and enjoyed an illustrious career until her brutal murder at the hand of a Christian mob in 415. Didymus was celebrated in ascetic circles as the foremost biblical exegete and interpreter of the controversial intellectual, Origen. His school never achieved the level of influence of Hypatia, and ended with the banishment of the "Origenists" shortly after his death in 398.
These two prominent philosophers shared a religious world view that was Platonist in doctrine and grounded in Aristotelian logic. Despite this similarity, a decisive gap separates these two schools. Among Hypatia's students, philosophy occupied the pinnacle of the rarified Greek paideia, and culminated the arduous effort to obtain mastery of the poets and orators. In Didymus' school, the Bible replaced the classic texts as the foundation of philosophical inquiry. Biblical exegesis, for Didymus and his students, did not only strive to explicate this problematic text, but also to fashion a philosophical language that consciously supplanted the traditional paideia. As exegesis in this model had an irreducibly social component, a considerable gap likewise marked the social location of each school. Christians formed a significant portion of Hypatia's students, and her school supplied the church with several future bishops and imperial officials. Didymus' students did not enter the ranks of power, but used the power of the pen to advance the ascetic ideal among Christian laity. Often mislabeled a "catechetical" school, there is little evidence that Didymus obtained either the official sanction of the bishop, or that he conducted his curriculum under the auspices of the episcopal administration. Shortly after the death of Didymus, the expulsion of the "Origenists" by bishop Theophilus effectively ended the influence of Didymus' school in Alexandria.
Comparison of these two schools sheds light on the complexity of cultural competition between pagans and Christians. Hypatia's school enjoyed broad support among Christian ruling classes of both the civic and ecclesiastical hierarchies despite its explicitly pagan commitment. Didymus' school engendered sharp conflict among separate Christian factions in the Alexandrian community, and eventually collapsed under the pressure applied by the episcopal hierarchy. Hypatia's school offered a more congenial collaboration between classical ideals and Christian doctrine for the ruling elite than did Didymus' ascetic enterprise. Her shocking death led to a withdrawal of pagan intellectual leaders from co-operation with Christian officials, which may have contributed to the promotion of the strict biblicism formed in the ascetic circles of scholars such as Didymus.
The Tradition of Classical Medicine in Byzantium: Towards a Reconsideration
Alain Touwaide (FLS, Madrid-Washington)
In the bibliography, it is generally admitted that Classical Medicine has been transmitted almost uninterruptedly in Byzantium, providing the basis to medical thinking and practice. The history of text of Classical medical treatises exemplifies this view, as it identifies some of the ways followed by Ancient treatises in Byzantium, and gives rise to a reconstruction of Byzantine scientific activity, which appears to be dominated by the preservation of Classical Medicine.
From a closer examination, it appears, however, that such a view has to be reconsidered. A personal analysis of the contents of Greek medical manuscripts, which are by far more numerous than in Diels' Die Handschriften der griechischen Arzte (Berlin, 1905-1907), reveals a double tendency of Byzantine Medicine: Classical treatises were continuously reproduced, as stated in the bibliography, since they represented the basis of medical thinking; but, at the same time, they underwent modifications and gave rise to new works, both the phenomena resulting from the material and cultural, viz, anthropological context.
Among the many examples of this twofold tendency, we can quote the continuous reproduction of Dioscorides' De materia medica and the inclusion of Arabic drugs from the 11th c. onwards, with the impact of these new products on theoretical Pharmacology; the introduction of Symeon Seth's De alimentorum facultatibus, which reproduces the beginning of Dioscorides' praefatio, changing, however, its perspective; and, even, the reproduction of mythological representations including plants used as drugs, together with their transformation into strictly narrative scenes by means of their depaganisation.
If we focus on these modifications and analyse their contents, we can consider them as a source of information rather than heterogeneous interferences. In this perspective, they reveal new data for the study of Byzantine History, which do not necessarily come out in other sources. A good example is given by the changes occurred in the usages of drugs in Dioscorides' text: they are not always textual deformations, but they can reflect a modification of the treatment of the pathologies and, probably, also, of the pathologies themselves; as such, they constitute a source for the study of Epidemiology.
This change in the approach of Byzantine Medicine transforms thus the History of Health Care in Byzantium into a source for the general History of the Byzantine World and it shows, at the same time, that the current picture of Byzantine Medicine is a direct result of the method of study, determined by the model of Classical studies and, consequently, by the paradigm of textual, viz, philological analysis.
The Anti-Logical Movement in Byzantium
Katerina Ierodiakonou (National Technical University of Athens)
The substantial number of surviving Byzantine manuscripts of Aristotle's Analytics as well as the related Byzantine scholia, commentaries and logical treatises testify to the fact that the basic elements of ancient logic were taught throughout the Byzantine era as a preliminary to theoretical studies. However, the attitude of different Byzantine scholars towards the importance of logic differs greatly, and there are periods in Byzantine intellectual history in which we witness a fierce dispute over the use of logical reasoning. Some Byzantine authors claimed that when it comes to theology, we should not concern ourselves with logical theory and logical arguments, while others claimed that we should avail ourselves of logic in the exposition and explanation of Christian dogma. According to the former view, logic is inadequate for understanding the mysteries of faith and reaching anything which transcends discursive thought, the kind of thought logic is concerned with, because the only way to come to know God is through contemplation. Logic is thus regarded as a play of words for mediocre minds, and sometimes as the mother of heresy. The second view is found both in a milder and in a more extreme version: There are Byzantine scholars who think that, although syllogistic argumentation has its limits, logic still is useful for exercising our minds and for refuting the heretics, since heresies often have their origin in logical or philosophical confusion. But others make clear that we should also use logic to try to prove the truth of Christian dogmas, that is, in giving rationalist interpretations, for instance, of the Incarnation or of the procession of the Divine Spirit As this last view was also expressed in the West, the debate over the uses of logic quickly acquired political ramifications.
My paper focuses on two periods in which the dispute over the uses of logic becomes particularly fierce. In the eleventh and twelfth century Michael Psellos, Ioannes Italos and Eustratios of Nicaea defend the importance of logic against the anti-logical views of mystical thinkers like Symeon the Theologian. Again in the fourteenth century Nikephoros Gregoras, Theodoros Metochites, and Barlam are in constant disagreement on this subject with the hesychasts, and in particular with Gregory Palamas. I intend to examine the ways in which the two sides in these two periods support their claims, and to compare them so that the common motifs which are invoked in favour of or against the use of logic become clearer. I am also interested in tracing their origins, since both in Hellenistic times and in late antiquity the anti-logical movement had its adherents. Thus, the attempt to clarify the complicated issues involved in the dispute in Byzantium over the importance and the uses of logic helps us to better understand a particular area in which ancient philosophers influenced Byzantine thought but also to determine the various ways in which we Byzantine scholars reacted towards this ancient heritage.
History Repeats Itself: Constantinople 1453 and the Sack of Troy
Marios Philippides (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
After the sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, European humanists struggled to view the disaster in a scholarly context. While the image of the Turk as a savage barbarian continued to be employed in popular literature, a few intellectuals attempted to bring the Turks into the humanistic sphere by viewing them as descendants of the ancient Trojans. The assimilation of Turk into Trojan had been created in the late fourteenth century when the Latin term employed to designate a Turk was not only Tercus but also Teurcus. Teurci was the term the celebrated Vergil had used in antiquity for the Trojans in his Aeneid. It was even said that in 1453 the Ottoman Turks avenged the sack of Troy that had taken place in antiquity, and that Mehmed II, the Turkish sultan, avenged the murder of Priam and his family by the Achaean Greeks of the Bronze Age and even concluded that the sack and devastation of the Greek capital in 1453 was a justified act of revenge intended to correct past injustices. So the circumstances of the sack of Troy and its drama were repeated.
In the west, once the equation was made, more parallels and similar circumstances were sought and even created. It is clearly a case where History is forced to repeat Herself: a Procrustean bed was invented to produce the desired image. In stories and tales that circulated after the fall, the participants in the siege and sack of 1453 seem to reenact the roles of their ancient counterparts in the sack of Troy. The cold facts of history clearly and unambiguously state that Constantine XI Paleologus-Dragas, the Greek emperor, who fell in a desperate struggle and in a heroic last stand against the sultan's janissaries in the modern neighborhood of Sule Kule (by the Gate of Saint Romanus), appears in humanistic literature as old Priam, the king of Troy. Yet historically reality was raped; facts were twisted to recreate the old story of Troy. The contemporary Italian literature for the equation of Greek emperor, Constantine Palaeologus-Dragas, by examining neglected passages in the works of such writers as Ubertino Pusculo, Adamo di Montaldo, Filippo da Rimini, Engelhaus, Martinus Crusius, etc. We will see that it was seriously thought that Constantine was killed, with fictitious members of his family (clearly invented on the parallelism with Troy) in Santa Sophia (like Priam in a temple). Tales claim that Constantine perished in circumstances reminiscent of his ancient predecessor, Priam (who, in the company of his family, had fled to the temples of Zeus and Athena).
Particular attention will be paid to an early story (dating back to the summer of 1453), according to which Constantine had a daughter whom Mehmed II raped on the very altar of Santa Sophia. The daughter of Constantine II and the entire incident are of course fictitious. On the other hand, we will recall that a similar incident took place in Troy, when the daughter of King Priam, Cassandra, was raped on the altar of Athena. Clearly the rape of 1453 is an allusion to the events that took place in the Bronze Age. This aspect of the sack of 1453 that attracted the humanists of the Quattrocento has been overlooked by modern scholarship. The emerging, conflicting tale of the reversal identities that the humanists invented in their Procrustean bed of History will thus provide our main focus: Greeks become Trojans, Turks become Greeks, and in time the Greeks are supposed back once more to remove the modern Trojans.
Session XX: Medieval Georgia
Chair. Kathleen Maxwell (Santa Clara University)
The Murals of the King Davit Narin Chapel at Gelati Monastery
Ketevan Mikeladze (G. Chubinashvili Institute of Georgian Art History)
The southeast chapel of the main Cathedral in Gelati Monastery (West Georgia) is a burial chapel of King Davit VI Narin (1225-1293). The walls of this small chapel are covered with murals (1291-1293). The program of the decoration is limited: Deesis, half-length figures of Apostles and Fathers of the Church in the apse; the Hospitality of Abraham on the lunette of the west wall; three prophet figures on the south slant of the vault and the portrait of King Davit Narin(?) on the north slant; St. Theodore on the north wall; St. George, St. Demetrius and the figure of King Davit Narin standing in prayer on the south wall; King Davit Narin and Queen blessed by Christ on the west wall.
For a long time the paintings of King Davit Narin's chapel have been of interest to Georgian as well as foreign scholars (e.g., D. Mouriki, G. Babic V Djuric, etc.). The murals raise several important issues: they are the earliest preserved example of Palaeologan style painting in Georgia, and one of the first examples of burial chapel decoration in Georgia.
Unlike Byzantium, the tradition of arranging burial chapels (as well as crypts) and adorning them with murals is not common in Georgia. Only a few examples of painted burial chapels and chapels in general have been preserved from the l3th14th centuries. This tradition becomes more widespread later on (16th- 17th centuries), though the iconography of the chapels is not as richly elaborated as in the Byzantine examples.
The most significant peculiarity of the Gelati murals is the presence of the double funerary portrait King Davit Narin is represented here twice-- in monk's costume on the south wall, and in secular royal costume on the west wall. There is no other example of representing a person twice in one and the same space in Georgia, while in Byzantium the tradition of funerary portraits, including double portraits, is widespread (an early example being Cappadocian funerary portraits, and a later example the Kariye Camii double portraits). Thus the double portrait of the donor Davit Narin, which is non-traditional for Georgia, is linked with- Byzantine practice and influenced by the same.
The style of the murals (facial modeling, rendering of the figures, treatment of draperies, color range) obviously demonstrates highly developed Palaeologan style, surpassing contemporary Georgian painting, and having analogies in Byzantine art. There is no doubt that the artist working in the chapel of Davit Narin was familiar with contemporary Byzantine art. This suggests that the development of burial chapel decoration in 13th- and l4th-century Georgia is linked with Byzantine tradition. This is not surprising given that Davit Narin's spouse was the daughter of Michael VII Palaeologus. Thus, Davit Narin's chapel decoration is very important for understanding Georgian-Byzantine historical and cultural relations
Projecting Mixed Messages: Marketing Monarchs in Medieval Georgia (1125-1213)
Elena N. Boeck (Yale University)
Long considered a cultural province of Byzantium, only recently has Western scholarship begun to examine the ways in which the Georgian monarchy asserted its identity and marketed itself to the world. The surviving evidence suggests that Georgian monarchs, beginning with Demet're I (1125-56), created a sophisticated style of self-representation that synthesized Byzantine, Near Eastern and local features. My paper will examine how Georgian rulers extracted useful models from various cultural vocabularies, creating an eclectic amalgamation of Byzantine and Near Eastern models of power and influence.
The reign of Demet're I (1125-1156) marks a turning point in Georgia's relationship to Byzantium. Beginning with his reign the Georgian monarchy adopted a royal style that asserted an identity separate from Byzantium and Byzantine models. Christian iconography disappeared from Georgian coinage and Islamic models were adopted. A surviving fresco image of Demet're depicts the ruler in Georgian vestments engaged in ceremony unknown to Byzantine ritual.
The coinage of his successor, Giorgi III, was a clever synthesis of Eastern and Western elements that projected an image of the monarch that was intelligible to both Near Eastern and Byzantine consumers. Dressed like a Byzantine ruler, but seated in a pose common in Near Eastern representations of royalty, Giorgi holds a falcon, a symbol of a royal pastime that knew no cultural and religious boundaries.
While her predecessors could project images of confident, independent monarchs successfully negotiating the political and cultural complexities of the frontier zone between Christianity and Islam, Queen Tamar presented considerable problems for those who engaged in marketing the Georgian monarchy. Unable to perform the traditional duties of a Georgian monarch - raiding and ruling - her image makers tried various modes from extolling her beauty to presenting her as the fourth member of the Trinity. In her surviving images she is never depicted alone, but instead is flanked by men, who in the Georgian political culture mattered. Her mint masters solved the gender problems by dropping imagery altogether. Though Anthony Eastmond has recently suggested that Tamar projected a "masculine" image, the sum of the textual and visual evidence indicates otherwise. One of the most intriguing images of Tamar depicts her in vestments reminiscent of Byzantium, while her face conforms to standards of feminine beauty intelligible to consumers of "Islamic" art.
My research suggests that previous studies of Georgian royal style have devoted too much attention to reinforcing dichotomies such as Byzantine/non-Byzantine, East/West, Islamic/Christian, etc. Georgian royal self-representation carefully synthesized available models to create a new form of representation that suited specific, targeted audiences. Hence both Byzantine and Near Eastern forms could be selectively reshaped to project a content that belonged fully to neither.
A Relief from the Church of St. George of Mokvi: "Excommunication" of the Clergyman
Irine Nikoleishvili (Tbilisi State University); Irakli Iakobashvili (Kekelidze Institute of Manuscripts, Georgian Academy of Sciences)
In 1986 we undertook conservation work in the tenth-century domed church of St. George in Mokvi (Western Georgia). During conservation work ca. 3,000 square meters of the nineteenth-century plaster was removed from the walls. Fragments of the fourteenth-century murals (ca. 80 square meters) were discovered underneath the removed plaster.
The limestone ashlar relief was discovered on the southeast pillar of the central nave of the church, at a height of 25 meters, under the nineteenth-century plaster. The relief (30 x 37 cm.) was on the inner (not visible) part of the ashlar and upside down. A small section of the upper left part of the relief h as been lost. All of this, as well as the fact that the pillar was rendered, suggests that the ashlar is of secondary use.
There are three figures on the relief. One of them, a man in clerical dress, is shown lying on the ground. The second figure, also in clerical dress, presses his knee onto the chest of the first figure, grasping his beard in his right hand, while raising his left hand toward the third figure. The third figure is a bearded man, also in clerical dress. The third figure raises his right hand in blessing, while holding an object in his left hand. This object is the center of the relief's composition. The dynamic style of the relief as well as the poses of two of the figures definitely indicate that the relief shows a scene of punishment.
Unfortunately there is no inscription which would explain the meaning of the composition. Probably it was on the lost upper left portion of the relief.
The object held by the third person is partially damaged. Only the lower part is clearly visible, and this is a circle smaller than the fist. The upper (damaged) part also would be smaller than the fist. We would argue that the object on the relief was a pair of scissors.
This suggestion fits the context of the relief. If this is indeed the case, the second figure can be seen as "cutting the beard" of the fallen clergyman in other words, his
We could not find exact parallels to this composition, either among Georgian reliefs or other types of artworks. Nor could we find parallels in Byzantine art.
Stylistically the Mokvi relief is close to Georgian reliefs of the second half of the 10th century (e.g., Shepiak, Kvaisa-Jvari, Nadabazevi, etc.). Therefore, we think that the Mokvi relief was done by tenth-century Georgian professional craftsmen. Given its size and composition, we believe the Mokvi relief was part of the church's altar screen. Carved altar screens exist from the tenth and eleventh centuries that are decorated with canonical, biblical scenes, and sometimes these are combined with historical scenes which show the realities of that period (e.g., Skhicri, Saorbisi, Zedanzeni).
As stated above, the relief probably represents the "excommunication" of a clergyman in the tenth century. And since there is no description of this ritual in historical sources, we propose that the relief represents a historical event which took place in this church in the tenth century.
Befriending the Christian Romans or the Impious Persians? The Vita Petri Iberi on Byzantine-Georgian Relations in the Fifth Century AD.
Cornelia B. Horn (The Catholic University of America/ Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
The Vita Petri Iberi is the hagiographical biography of the Georgian prince, Peter the Iberian, who spent most of his youth as a hostage at the imperial court in Constantinople. Having enjoyed the parental care of Emperor Theodosius II and his wife, Eudocia, Peter the Iberian later played a key role in the Christological controversies over the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon in Palestine and Egypt. The version of the Vita Petri Iberi which is accessible in a Syriac translation was composed in Greek by one of Peter the Iberian's followers, most likely at the end of the fifth century AD.
The Vitra Petri Iberi provides valuable information about the person and career of Peter the Iberian, about issues relating to the controversies over the Council of Chalcedon, about pilgrimage to the various loca sancti in Palestine, and about the influential role of the monastic communities there. However, it is also an astonishingly rich source for studying the history of the Byzantine-Georgian relations in the fifth century AD.
The present communication has a threefold purpose: From the viewpoint of the Vita Petri Iberi: a) it will discuss the rather difficult situation of the Georgians in the fifth century, when they found themselves locked in between pressure from two sides: the Byzantine Empire in the west, and the Persians in the south; b) it will show, on the one hand, how the Georgians' acceptance of the Christian faith strongly influenced them to take sides with the Byzantines and against the Persians, since the Georgians recognized it and were grateful for having received the Christian faith from the Byzantines; c) it will illustrate by examples from the life and career of Peter the Iberian, on the other hand, how the Georgians continued to claim independence from the Byzantine powers. Insisting on going their own ways, the Georgians found new and deeper roots for their Christian faith when they started to connect their religious identity directly with the Holy Land.
In its conclusions, this paper will maintain that from a Georgian perspective the Byzantine-Georgian relations in the fifth century were seen as positive and were valued mostly for the support they gave to the Georgians in matters of religion. Based on fifth century material, this paper will be able to substantiate certain results which Stephen R Rapp achieved from an investigation of medieval Georgian sources. The picture will be enriched through pointing out an additional dimension which helped the Georgians to find a balance in their religious, and thus political, dependence on Byzantium: the relations between Georgians and the Holy Land. These had their beginnings, at least on the monastic level, with Peter the Iberian.
Session XXI: Manuscript Illumination
Chair: Susan Madigan (Michigan State University)
Texts and Miniatures from Codex Dionysiou 65
Georgi R. Parpulov (University of Chicago)
The illustrated Greek Psalter cod. Dionysiou 65 has now been convincingly dated to the twelfth century. The unusual iconography of three of its miniatures (fols. 11r-12r) warrants their closer study. The full-page images, framed and divided each into two horizontal sections, successively represent a monk (1) prostrate at God's heavenly throne, (2) facing a large fire that evidently stands for the torments of hell, (3) lying on his deathbed, an angel pulling the soul out of his mouth, (4) the soul undergoing judgment by means of a pair of scales held by two angels, and finally, the two alternative states of (5) posthumous damnation and (6) salvation.
The miniatures are accompanied by short marginal inscriptions. I have identified six of the latter (three among them previously untranscribed) as taken from an alphabetical acrostic ("alphabetos") by Nikephoras Ouranos (ed. Papadopoulos- Kerameus, Byzantinische Zeitschrift VIII (1899): 68-70). The poem, penitential in tenor, offers no subject for literal illustration, and texts of this kind were not read in church. The images, therefore, are not explained through the contents or liturgical use of their attendant text. Rather, I suggest, the text itself was added to independently conceived imagery.
This new form of integrating words and images is generally characteristic of Byzantine art in the twelfth century. Then, for example, hymnographic passages written on scrolls held by their authors appear in mural depictions of the Dormition (in the Bachkovo ossuary), Crucifixion (Boyana church), Lamentation (Patmos refectory), etc. Text and image independently point to a common referent, the respective Gospel event.
The corresponding common referent of the Dionysiou miniatures is the personal judgment which, the Byzantines believed, followed upon death and preceded the universal Last Judgment that was to come at, the end of time. While Gospel events were commemorated by communal liturgical celebration, the posthumous fate of the soul formed the object of private religious meditation.
The marginal texts around the Dionysiou images highlight their personal character. The use of the first person in four of them invites the viewer to identify empathetically with the personage whom the miniatures depict undergoing judgment. This figure closely resembles the donor portrait of a monk on fol. l2v. If one is to believe the colophon, this monk, Sabas, was both the copyist and the owner of the MS.
It is noteworthy also that the Dionysiou miniatures are not directly related to the principal contents of the MS, the Psalter (although the Psalms were, of course, used in funerary and commemorative church services). Iconic imagery placed at the beginning of Byzantine Psalters but unrelated to the Psalms proper is characteristic of the last quarter of the eleventh and the first half of the twelfth century. Codices like Vindob. theol. gr. 336 (AD 1077), Vat gr. 342 (AD 1087/88), or Vatopedi 762 exemplify this type of illustrated Psalter, to which Dionysiou 65 belongs as well.
All these MSS contain a number of short additional texts that vary from one codex to another. In general, these are different prefaces and explanations to the Psalms, plus a variety of prayers and troparia. In Vatop. 762, in particular, there are several alphabetical acrostics similar to the above-mentioned one by Ouranos.
In some instances such textual additions are related to a book's decoration, in others they are not. On the one hand, the frontispiece miniatures of Vat. gr. 342 (fol. 24v: King David enthroned among prophets and musicians) and probably that of Vatop. 762 (fol. 17v: the Heavenly Jerusalem) are inspired by a pseudo-Chrysostomic preface to the Psalms. On the other hand, the Crucifixion at the beginning of the Viennese MS or the images in the Dionysiou one are not meant to illustrate any of the texts that precede the Psalter in the respective codex.
In general, additional texts in Psalters may not always explain the images on adjacent folios but their presence highlights the function of the book as a whole. Since additions are non-standardized and more often than not, non-liturgical in character, illustrated codices like Dionysiou 65 were produced for personal use and reading.
Accordingly, the Dionysiou miniatures served as a kind of private 'spiritual mirror', a visual reminder of death and an aid for pious meditation upon it. Their unusual iconography met an attendant demand for more personal and personally affecting imagery. Since intense emotional effect could be only partially achieved by visual means, the excerpts from a penitential poem were added to the miniatures in order to amplify their impact, and therefore their efficacy in religious meditation.
While contemplatio mortis was practiced by Byzantine monks since early times, it is only in the twelfth century that one finds it visualized in the miniatures of the Dionysiou Psalter. This MS thus exemplifies the growing personalization of religiosity and the new role of religious images in the Comnenian period.
Lectionary Dissonance: The Palaiologina Group, Again
Mary-Lyon Dolezal (University of Oregon)
Study of the lectionary has generally focused on those examples that were produced in the middle Byzantine period. Moreover, until recently, scholars' interest in these manuscripts was determined by their respective disciplines, which resulted in a separation of text from image and obscured the broader meaning and function of these books. The attention given to the middle Byzantine representatives of this genre by art historians is understandable: the most deluxe, as well as the few surviving densely illustrated lectionaries, are dated to this period and seem to offer an aggregation of riches for rewarding research. From my perspective, they have not disappointed. As the Middle Byzantine lectionary has become better understood, examples from the Palaiologan period have received modest scrutiny, yet they too deserve considered analysis. Over twenty years ago (1978). H. Buchthal and H. Belting, in their monograph on a proposed atelier from late thirteenth-century Constantinople, discussed four lectionaries that they associated with their "group" and their proposed patron the aristocratic intellectual Theodora Raoulaina Since then various scholars have made additions, to the point that in an article (1991), R. Nelson and J. Lowden reassessed the nature of the "group" which now includes at least eight-ten lectionaries. Nelson and Lowden examined the codicology, palaeography, and ornamental decoration of these manuscripts, but did not analyze the texts. Their purpose was to establish further relationships between the books and to question conclusions concerning patronage and function inherent in the Buchthal -Belting thesis.
Stimulated by Nelson and Lowden's contribution, I began to examine the lectionaries in the "group: and expanded the scope to other late Byzantine examples. My analysis has revealed a panoply of puzzles regarding the evolution of the lectionary and its function in the late empire. Most critical, the texts of the lectionaries assigned to the "group" do not follow a single pattern. For instance, they divide between the Saturday-Sunday and Weekday types, and their menologia, the normal sites for disparity in lectionary texts, differ from each other and from middle Byzantine versions. It is significant that deluxe lectionaries attributed to Constantinople from the Palaiologan period present a different textual profile than their counterparts from the earlier period. Remarkable is the omission of feast days or saints that are connected to Constantinople, such as post-Iconoclasm patriarchs or celebration of events and disasters in the city. On the other hand, to focus on one case, the Palaiologan lectionary Istanbul, Ecumenical Patriarchate, cod. 1, documented as belonging to Hagia Sophia, is unlike both its contemporaries and its forebears: it is a weekday type with a complete menologium, not immediately exceptional, but the inclusion of complete lections for every feast and saint is rare if not unique. Thus, some lections are repeated multiple times, instead of using the reference system found in most unabridged lectionaries. This suggests, among other things, that the Istanbul manuscript was tailored for particular use, possibly for (even easier) reading on a daily basis in Hagia Sophia.
Highlighting the Istanbul lectionary exemplar gives further credence to the questions already raised concerning the construction of a group or atelier with a large proportion of lectionaries as its members. The texts of this and other manuscripts demonstrate that the Palaiologan lectionaries were not made for a single aristocratic patron in or for a single center, corroborating other data set forth by Nelson and Lowden. The decorative and textual profiles of these late lectionaries offer provocative evidence for determining an altered role for this liturgical book in the period after the Latin Conquest and may suggest an altered scheme for liturgical practices in the capital in the waning years of the empire.
The Sacrifice of Isaac in Armenian Illumination and Ritual Sacrifice in Medieval Armenia
Ferdinanda Florence (University of Maryland)
The scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac is included in illuminated manuscripts from Greater Armenia dating from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. Often paired with the Annunciation, the Old Testament scene appears among miniatures featuring the life of Christ, which are commonly placed at the beginning of the Gospel Book. The Sacrifice of Isaac is also found in Greater Armenian lectionaries as a marginal illustration. Appearing in over 20 codices, the scene is more common in Greater Armenian manuscripts than in any other source, suggesting a special importance of this subject in medieval Armenia.
The Sacrifice of Isaac symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ in the eucharistic celebration. This typological relation is reflected in the scene's proximity to the altar in Byzantine church decoration. In manuscripts such as the Chludov Psalter, images of the Sacrifice of Isaac illustrate Psalm 105, the story of God's covenant with the people of Israel, thought to presage Christ's fulfillment of the Old Testament through his sacrifice. The comparison of Isaac and Christ is also emphasized in Armenian manuscripts through the inclusion of the scene among the Gospel's prefatory miniatures and with the Holy Week reading of the Sacrifice of Isaac in lectionaries.
In this talk I will suggest that the widespread practice of ritual sacrifice in Greater Armenia imbues the Sacrifice of Isaac with a deeper significance. The Sacrifice of Isaac receives particular attention in the rites of madagh, the ritual sacrifice of animals performed by the Armenian Church in honor of Christ's sacrifice at Easter. The rites of madagh are extensively described by such authors as Katholicos Nerses IV Shnorhali ("the Gracious"), patriarch of the Armenian Church, writing in defense of the practice against Byzantine criticism in the mid-twelfth century. As recorded by Armenian theologians, prayers and biblical passages read prior to the animal's slaughter directly refer to the Sacrifice of Isaac as foreshadowing Christ's sacrifice. The writings of the fourteenth-century scholar Grigor of Tatev confirm this typological link, forged through the rites of madagh.
The popularity of this ritual, with its links to the Sacrifice of Isaac, may well explain the Popularity of Sacrifice of Isaac imagery in Greater Armenian manuscripts. The lectionaries would have provided the service readings for the moment in the church calendar when Christ's death and resurrection was celebrated by animal sacrifice. Accompanying the readings for Great Tuesday of Holy Week, the illustration of the Sacrifice of Isaac must have been understood as a reference to the celebration of Christ's sacrifice in the madagh, a celebration uniquely significant in medieval Armenia.
The Byzantine Iconographic Sources of Syriac Lectionaries: Vatican Syr. 559 and London British Library Add. 7170.
Rima E. Smine (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU)
Vatican Syr. 559 and British Library Add. 7170, the most lavishly decorated of Syriac lectionaries surviving to this day, are the product of thirteenth-century Northern Iraq. My own research on this topic proves that they originated in the same workshop in the city of Mossul (BSC 1995, New York). This identification helps us understand one aspect of the illuminations, mainly the "Oriental" style because they belong to an Islamic art historical setting.
This "Orientalism" is also apparent in the manner in which typical Byzantine images are reversed in order to be read from right to left, as the Syriac script would be read. Another Syriac element that proves that they cater to a local Syriac audience can be seen in the program of illumination based on the Syriac calendar, used in all other Syriac lectionaries.
Despite these "Oriental" aspects, the iconography fits perfectly well the scheme of Byzantine painting. Therefore, before we determine all the Syriac elements which would be expected in these illuminations, we must focus our attention on the possible Byzantine sources. Many of the images of the main feasts (Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism etc.) appear to be derived from Byzantine examples and it is very common in all previous publications on this subject to show comparisons with Byzantine prototypes.
Comparing these two Syriac manuscripts to Byzantine examples in all types of artistic media is helpful but not necessarily precise. I propose to limit my consideration to specific examples appearing in manuscripts. I am concentrating on manuscripts of the New Testament and Lectionaries, and more specifically on the manuscripts of the so-called "Provincial Tradition," produced between Palestine and Cyprus.
The results of such a comparison reveal the manner in which Syriac artists were inspired by Byzantine prototypes. First, as would be expected, the major prototypes are commonly found in Gospelbooks or lectionaries. Soon, however, we find that the Syriac artists are not limiting themselves to these books, because a few of the Syriac illuminations are not found within them. It will be pointed out that some illuminations are derived from other manuscripts such as menologia and psalterbooks. The Syriac artists involved in the production of Vatican Syr. 559 and British Library Add. 7170 widened their spectrum when need occurred. If they found it necessary to illuminate a feast not represented in their first Byzantine sources (gospelbooks), they reverted to other ones. Several examples will be shown to illustrate this variety of sources. Finally, this eclecticism found in so far as the sources are concerned, will lead us to consider the role of Syriac taste in deciding which images to include.
Session XXII: Archaeology and Material Culture
Chair: Marcus Rautman (University of Missouri)
The Constantinian Episcopal Basilica in Ostia: A Preliminary Report of the Excavation
Franz Alto Bauer (Deutsches Archologisches Institut, Rome)
The biography of Pope Sylvester in the Book of Pontiffs contains the following passage (Liber Pontificalis 1, 183): "Eodem tempore fecit Constantinus Augustus basilicam in civitate Hostia, iuxta portum Romae, beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli et Iohannis Baptistae, ubi et dona obtulit [·]"
Until now, all efforts to localize or identify this important imperial foundation among the excavated monuments of Ostia have failed. Most recently, however, a geophysical inspection of the unexcavated areas in Ostia has revealed the remains of a large basilica in the southeastern part of the city. This sensational find led to the first excavation campaign undertaken by the Deutsches Archologisches Institut in Rome. During this first campaign, six trenches were opened at different parts of the church complex. The most important preliminary results of this campaign can be summarized as follows:
Of the huge basilica, which, including the atrium, measured about 80 meters, only a small portion of walls have been preserved above the foundation level. About two thirds of the complex have been preserved at foundation level only. Thus, the information gained for the furnishings of the interior of the church is scarce. It can be stated with considerable certainty, however, that the church was a colonnaded basilica mainly built from spolia; even the mosaic floor, which has been found in certain areas of the church, consists of spolia tesserae. It was possible to gain a large quantity of datable material from the trenches in different areas of the church's foundations. An analysis of the ceramic fragments, largely dating from the late third and early fourth century, confirmed that the complex was in fact built in the time of Constantine. As becomes clear from the excavation, Constantine had the whole area leveled and earlier buildings torn down before the new basilica was built. The view of the church was not obscured by earlier buildings on the same site, as it was, for example, for the cathedral in Portus. Instead, the church was clearly visible and dominated the south of Ostia. From the fifth/sixth century on, the church also served as a burial place: reused sarcophagi, which had been lowered into the ground, were found in the western part of the naos and the atrium. The church was in use at least until the seventh century, since its apse (which had probably been destroyed during an earthquake) was rebuilt at that time. The church was most likely reduced in size during the early medieval period: in the forecourt to the atrium poorly built residential complexes were found. Remains of cooking places were found in the western part of the church. Was the church reduced to a small part in the east, as can be shown for other places?
The church complex was abandoned in Carolingian times at the latest. A broad stratum of rubble with several ceramic fragments from this period was found and the collapsed southern exterior wall covered the already partly destroyed floor. This information matches with the tradition recorded in the Book of Pontiffs, which states that under Gregory IV (827-844), Ostia Antica was abandoned and the city transferred to the area of the current Borgo.
Archaeology and Slavic Settlement in the Byzantine Peloponnesos
Timothy E. Gregory (The Ohio State University)
The issue of Slavic settlements in Greece is one of the most hotly contested of Byzantine historical issues, not only because of obvious Modern political considerations, but also because of the importance attributed to the phenomenon and the difficult nature of the sources. Once it could be said that archaeology played no role in this question since few if any sites with "Slavic" material had been discovered, discussion was based almost entirely on narrative texts, especially Constantine Porphyrogenitos, and on toponymics. In recent years "Slavic" pottery has been discovered at many places, even in the Peloponnesos, and one imagines that the number of these will be increased many-fold in the coming years. The main published sites include Olympia and Argos, but material of this nature has been identified at many other places.
The archaeological issues presented by these finds, however, are no simpler than the discussion based on literary sources-indeed, it is probably even more complex~ One cannot, thus, simply plot the discovery of "Slavic" pottery in the way that Slavic place-names have been used to provide a map of Slavic settlements in the southern Balkans. The heart of the matter is the impossibility of making simplistic connections between material culture and linguistic, cultural, or genetic groups, as well as typical difficulties of chronology. Despite these observations, however, there can be no doubt that so-called "Slavic" pottery discovered in Greece does bear striking resemblance to wares found commonly further north in the Balkans and that new approaches need to be taken to deal with the pottery and associated finds.
This paper will provide an overview of the archaeological evidence adduced to date for Slavic settlements in the Peloponnesos and the problems associated with them. The paper will argue that this "Slavic" material cannot be understood in simplistic terms-either by dismissing it or by assuming it to be a simple marker of ethnic replacement. Rather, a consideration of the archaeological material--for better or for worse--pushes us back into the issues of social organization and interaction that have long lain at the heart of the discussion of state formation in the early medieval Balkans. The paper will admit that political ramifications cannot be avoided in this discussion but that these must be based on sound archaeological principles rather than a priori reasoning or simplistic equations. Further, it will argue that much more can be done concerning the chronology of the archaeological data and that this will lead to a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of Slavic settlements in the region.
Saints and Cult Centers: The Evidence of the Seals
John Cotsonis (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology)
The cult of saints has received much attention in scholarly literature. The relative popularity and prestige of holy figures has often been examined via literature, archaeology, the surviving examples of their images and their respective loca sancta. Another means of investigating various aspects of saints' cults is through the medium of Byzantine lead seals. Literally thousands of lead seals survive that bear images of saints and many of these possess their owners' title of office and geographical locations. Such sphragistic data provide a unique means of investigating the dispersion of various saints' cults over various regions.
This report of my analysis, ready for publication, will focus on a few metropolitan sees that had traditional associations with a local saint. The frequency with which occupants of metropolitan sees chose the image of the indigenous patron saint for their seals would reflect the relative devotion to the cult of these holy figures within these cities. In addition, this investigation will examine the iconographic choices for the seals belonging to the suffragan bishops of these metropolitan sees in order to determine how far the devotion to particular saints' cults radiated from their respective centers. Did suffragan bishops follow the iconographic choices of their ruling hierarchs or were other choices available and if so why? To what extent do images of local saints become signs of prestige, emblems of regional authority, or expressions of personal piety? This study will attempt to offer some light on these questions.
Metallurgical Analysis of Coins of Constantine XI:
The Last Coinage Issue of Constantinople
Peter Lampinen (Combined Caesarea Expeditions)
With the fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453, the thousand-year East Roman or Byzantine empire collapsed. For many decades numismatists studying the final period of Byzantine coinage had assumed that no coinage had been had been struck in the name of Constantine XI, the last emperor. None had even been noted, although textual evidence did allow for the possibility that coins had been struck in the last days of the siege of the city. Only in 1974 was the first definitive coin of Constantine XI identified, and until recently only three examples had been discovered.
In 1991 S. Bendall published for the first time a hoard of Byzantine coins dating from the final days of the empire. This hoard contained 93 specimens of silver coins of Constantine XI, in three denominations. This hoard was dispersed after its publication, and examples are now to be found in public and private collections around the world. This exciting discovery attracted the attention of the late Philip Devicci, a noted amateur numismatist and collector, who thought it would prove valuable to examine some technical aspects of this still obscure coinage by having a metallurgical analysis done on examples from the hoard, as well as comparative coins of the previous emperor John VIII. Mr. Devicci was unable to complete the research, so with the kind permission of Mr. Devicci's widow I will present the initial result of his studies, and suggest further avenues of research.
The results of the analysis by X-ray fluorescence gives further material evidence for the presence of two separate emissions of the mint at Constantinople, a proposal put forth by M. Hendy and S. Bendall. This division may be administrative and/or temporal, depending on changing circumstances. Furthermore, there is added physical evidence to buttress contemporary accounts of the chaotic and desperate measures undertaken to produce the last coinage of Constantine XI. In particular, the evidence suggests that the source of metal for this last coinage might indeed have come from church plate, and it was this specific hypothesis that was being tested when the analysis was undertaken.
The sampling size for this analysis is admittedly small, and certain limitations of the testing method must be understood before adopting definitive conclusions. Sampling must be extended over a larger corpus of numismatic material, covering both a broader chronological span as well as a greater number of coin types and individual samples. Nonetheless, further scientific testing can enlighten our study of historical, numismatic and artistic aspects of the final coinage of the Byzantine empire.
BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE
Officers and Committees, 1998-1999
To serve until the 2002 Conference:
To serve until the 2001 Conference:
To serve until the 2000 Conference:
To serve until the 1999 Conference:
Dumbarton Oaks Liaison Committee:
Local Arrangements Committee: