Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Ninth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
4-6 November 1983
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina


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 is printed from camera-ready copy supplied by the speakers. Copies are presented to each registered participant, and they are available for purchase by libraries and other interested persons. A five-year subscription covering the years 1980-1984 (Nos. 6-10) can be ordered for $20. Individual copies of Nos. 6 ff (1980 ff) can be ordered for $5 a copy. Prices quoted include postage. Orders should be prepaid (checks payable to Byzantine Studies Conference) and sent to:

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ABSTRACTS organized for printing by John and Claire Rosser.

Byzantine Studies Conference.

Abstracts of papers
Byzantine Studies Conference, 1st-
Madison, Wis. [etc.] Byzantine Studies Conference.
v. 22 cm. annual
Key title: Abstracts of papers÷Byzantine Studies Conference.
ISSN 0147-3387
1. Byzantine Empire÷Congresses.
DF501.5.B9a 949.5 77-79346
Library of Congress 77


Presiding: Ihor Ševčenko


Steven Bowman (University of Cincinnati)

The tenth century witnessed a renewed interest into the sources of Byzantine civilization by both Greek Christians and Greek Jews. Among the former was the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus who, during his years of forced inactivity due to the near usurpation of the throne by Romanus Lecapenus, directed and supported a research institute in Constantinople which produced an enormous amount of literary extracts from ancient authors organized around certain themes. This great encyclopaedia has been eagerly exploited by Classicists since it often contains the unique extracts or mention of an otherwise unknown classical author. Then too he wrote a number of treatises designed for the proper administrative functioning of the empire. Much of the latter material has been studied by Byzantinists for its invaluable insight into all facets of the contemporary empire and its environment. This latter material too contains many extracts from ancient sources. One of the major gaps in our understanding of Constantine's period is a discussion of his choice of material. Thereis some indication of the organizational principles of the encyclopaedia in the surviving introductions to several of the extant sections; at the same time there is no indication for the exclusion of certain material which on the surface seems integral to his general subject.

Since we have the complete text of Josephus' Greek writings, we can check quite readily what he took from Josephus and what he did not. We suspect that such an examination may give us an insight into his attitude toward the usurping Lecapeni.

Nor did the Jews ignore Josephus. True, rabbinic tradition ignores his massive testimony but then again the rabbis were not interested in history but rather the social and religious organization of their communities based on the successful adaptation of biblical law to the contemporary situation. But we do find an anonymous author in Byzantine southern Italy, a contemporary of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote an impressive Hebrew version of Josephus' survey of the First Temple in 586 BCE to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. This work may reflect the existence of a genuine but unknown historian in the medieval world.

This paper examines the passages culled from the Greek corpus of Josephus which are included in the extant portions of Constantine's encyclopaedia. A preliminary reading of the material indicates that a double selectivity was at work among the editors. The first was the obvious one of extracting moral lessons which was one of the key criteria of the Greek (and Jewish) historical tradition. The second is more subtle, namely that a reading of the edited passages hints at a veiled attack on the emperor's unwanted co-rulers who imprisoned him in a gilded cage. A key passage in Josephus has given the title to a section of the encyclopaedia in which his extracts constitute the majority of the quotations selected. The passage in Josephus attributed the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE to the vicissitudes attending the infighting among the usurping zealots. Constantine too repeats the oracle that presages the destruction of the city under those very conditions. May we not suggest that he was reading that very passage as a prophecy for his own time?

By reading the 'sacred' history of Josephus in such a way, Constantine was in fact transferring to a semi-secular text that same authority with which Byzantine ecclesiastics read the Bible, in particular the historical passages of the Old Testament. To them the Bible was an adumbration of the future, a prophetic outline of Byzantine probabilities to be interpreted by the Church.

The Hebrew Josippon poses a different kind of problem. First it shows the continuity of an historical tradition among medieval Jews. This observation is at odds with the predominant ahistorical traditions of the rabbis and contrary to the prevailing attitude among contemporary Jewish historians that such a tradition just did not exist. It may simply be, however, that just as Jewish culture elsewhere reflects the host environment that sustained it, so Byzantine Jews drew their interest in secular history and chronology from the prevailing trends in the larger Byzantine milieu. More important is the use of Josephus and relevant apocryphal material by a Jewish scholar since all of this material had entertained such an important place in the medieval anti- Jewish polemic of Christianity. Here in this work Josephus has been recovered as a Jewish historian. The influence of the Josippon and its successors, by the way, still influences traditional Jewish interpretations of the Second Commonwealth period. Secondly, it should be noted that the author makes no use of rabbinic material. Thus he, paralleling Constantine Porphyrogenitus is, as it were, 'secularizing' the Jewish perception of the past which a normative Jewish view saw only as refracted through the disjointed comments of its rabbinic leaders.

The parallels between these Greek and Hebrew studies of the Josephan corpus in 10th-century Byzantium raises the interesting question of the purpose of this historical approach -- as opposed to the ecclesiastic and moral exampla of the Church writings -- to the first-century origins of both medieval Jews and Christians. Do we have here an indication of a new but ephemeral attitude toward the past in a medieval society that is perceived by tradition as religiously oriented in all of its facets?


Leon J. Weinberger (University of Alabama)

There are several references to the imminent coming of the Messiah in the writings of Byzantium's Hebrew poets and homilists all of whom lived in Macedonia. These include a contemporary of the First Crusade, R. Tobiah ben Eliezer of Thessalonica and Kastoria who in his Midrashic commentary to Scripture Leqah Tob (written in 1097) revealed that he had "looked searchingly into our divine books and considered the length of our exile" and concluded that in the year 1096 (the year when the First Crusade began), "even as in the days of Egypt He will now show us wonders" (cf. Leqah Tob to Exodus 3:20). Spurred by this revelation of R. Tobiah, the Jews of Thessalonica, who lived "in great security" and "free of the poll tax and the other levies," stopped their work and, garbed in their prayer shawls, were urged by the governor (shilton) and the archbishop (hegmon ha-gadol) to sell their homes and go out to greet the Messiah (cf. J. Mann, "The Messianic Movements During the First Crusades," [Hebrew] Hategufah, 23, pp. 253-259).

R. Elia ben Abraham he'Aluv of Kastoria, a contemporary of the Second Crusade rejoiced in Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem in 1187 from the Christians (in a liturgical poem preserved in Ms. Oxford, Neubauer Catalogue, 1168, fol. 176) and urged his congregation to settle in the Holy Land even as he warned them not to rely upon the Emperor whom he called a "splintered reed" (after Isaiah 26:6). He cautioned the skeptics in his congregation who were loath to leave their homes and make the perilous journey that they would suffer the fate of Moses' spies (cf. Numbers 13:31) and pointed to the victory of "Joseph (i.e. Yusuf ibn Ayyub, Salah al-Din= Saladin), who now governs the land" (after Genesis 42:6) and that "only he (and not the Crusaders) rules the country and provides for the people," (cf. Genesis, ibid.) The similarity of Saladin's name to that of the Biblical Joseph who invited his father Jacob and his family to live near him in Egypt did not elude the poet R. Elia. (cf. my "A New Source on the 'Return to Zion' Movement in Kastoria," [Hebrew], Hadoar, 58, p. 594). Saladin's tolerant policies to Jewish settlement in Jerusalem was confirmed by Judah al-Harizi (d. 1230) who wrote in his Tahkemoni (Kaminka ed., #28, p. 245) that in 1190, following his conquest of Jerusalem, Saladin invited the Jews to settle there after they had been barred from residence in the city during the Crusader occupation. It should be noted that the action of Thessalonica's Governor and Archbishop in support of the Jews in the period of R. Tobiah ben Eliezer and the reluctance of R. Elia ben Abraham's congregation to leave their homes in Kastoria suggests that relations between the Jews and their neighbors had considerably improved since the attempts by the Macedonians Basil I (867- 886) and Romanus I Lecapenus (920-944) to forcibly convert their Jewish subjects.

Saladin's conquest of Tiberias, Hattin, Jerusalem and almost all of Eres Yisrael in his campaign of 1187 undoubtedly intensified Jewish Messianic expLtations and strengthened the longings to resettle the Holy Land, and probably prompted R. Menahem ben Elia of Kastoria, a contemporary of R. Elia ben Abraham to proclaim in a liturgical poem: "Mounted on an ass he approaches/ Bringing fresh forces to attack;/ Fair and ruddy, a paragon among ten thousand... The time of redemption has been computed/ Only a few years remain;/ Now Edom will be consumed,/ And (Jacob's) remnant will return again... The time of exile has elapsed/ The rod of wickedness is broken/ For Judah has prevailed ... Behold Captain Michael/ Alongside Captain Gabriel/ And between them the redeemer Messiah." (cf. my Romaniote Penitential Poetry, American Academy for Jewish Research, 1980, pp. 72-74).

The intensity of the Messianic expectations in Macedonia during the period of the Crusades is evident as well in the liturgical works of Kastoria's R. Mordecai ben Shabbetai ha-'Arukh, a contemporary of R. Menahem ben Elia, who speculated on the exact date of the Messiah's arrival, (cf. "A New Source on the 'Return to Zion' Movement in Kastoria,") and in a poem by R. David ben Eliezer (14th century) who was persuaded that the "birththroes" of the Messiah's coming had already begun (cf. Ms. Oxford, 1168, fol. 182). It is possible that R. Abraham Abulafia, self-proclaimed Messiah and propounder of the doctrine of prophetic Kabbalism (cf. G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, pp. 126ff) fueled the Messianic fervor in Macedonia that had been precipitated by the Crusades. Abulafia spent some ten years in Italy and Greece and his doctrine of the search for ecstacy and prophetic inspiration was apparently known to R. Menahem ben Elia (cf. my Romaniote Penitential Poetry, p. 20).


Stephen D. Benin (University of Washington)

The Chronicle of Ahimaaz is a fascinating Hebrew text describing events under the macedonian dynasty from the earliest days of the reign of Basil I until the fateful days of Basil II. It purports to chronicle the history of a notable Jewish family who arrived in Oria in the days of Titus. The text is that and much more. It is a valuable source for Hebrew poetry, liturgy, and even byzantine history.

The Chronicle, also known as the Scroll of Geneologies (Megillat Yuhasin) provides details concerning the relationship between Basil I and the Jews, and despite its use by Jules Gay, nearly eighty years ago, it is scarcely mentioned in either the pages or footnotes of most of the major studies of Byzantium. It sheds additional light upon the relationship between Jews and their neighbors in southern Italy, and reinforces that which is known from the writings of Sabbati Donnolo.

The Chronicle establishes beyond any doubt the importance of Oria as a center of Jewish learning, and its position as a major stop on the highway by which eastern Jewish learning--Babylonian--entered Europe. Especially enticing are the descriptions of mystical speculation and lore brought west by Abu Aaron of Baghdad. The text details the rise of several members of this family to positions of honor and responsibility in both the Christian and Muslim worlds.

The Chronicle describes Basil I as an 'ignorant and superstitious bigot' who nevertheless honored a pledge made to the Jews of Oria not to persecute them. Perhaps he did this because one of the Jews, at Basil's invitation, came to Constantinople to discuss Scripture with Basil, and was learned enough to cure Basil's daughter! This is the only source which tells of Basil's daughter, a child he 'loved as the apple of his eye'. If Basil's daughter is a surprise, then so is the potrait of Leo VI; a picture strangely at odds with conventional accounts. Leo is praised as the restorer of religious freedom, rather than blamed for the strictures of the Basilika and the Novellae. The text seems to contradict conventional opinion about Basil and Leo, and yet is a text that begs for examination and elucidation. This unique, and uniquely ignored source, will be examined as a valuable text for Byzantine studies.


John Wortley (University of Manitoba)

A surprisingly small number of the hundreds of "spiritually beneficial tales" digseis psych™pheleis -- have anythinv to say about Jews, probably because most of them pre-date the Arab conquest and the hardening of Byzantine attitudes to the other chosen people; probably also because many of the tales originated in a monastic, not in a secular, context. What they do have to say is interesting though, and even a little surprising. The best known is perhaps the story of a Jew who put his son into a furnace. It is a particularly interesting tale in its own right, for it has survived in a 1arge number of varieties, belonging to two main families, the rural and the urban versions of the tale. But also because it well illustrates the ways in which motifs from different story-traditions could be and were contam- inated. The Jewish element may have been introduced at a relatively late stage in the development of this particular concatenation of motifs. Predictably, there are also conversion stories, always with a miraculous element; indeed, whilst suggesting that no Jew was ever converted without a miracle, these also present the analyst with the problem of trying to decide whether he is really dealing with digseis or miracula. Especially noteworthy are the two conversion stories in the Pseudo-Amphilochian Vita Basilii, long since recognised as a collection of digseis rather than a true vita. Stories in which Jews are portrayed in a wholly bad light are very rare indeed, and most of them concern a charge--or suspicion--of pharmakeia, but then no worse is said of Jews in this respect than is said of Christian clergy in other tales. On the other hand, there are two tales, quite independent of each other, which tell each one of a righteous Jew who remains faithful to his paternal creed, but is nonetheless praised by the story-teller for his righteousness. One of them appears to have been taken over more or less unaltered from a rabbinic tradition, and in this, so far as the present writer can discover, it appears to be something of a hapax. Lastly, there is one tale, and only one, of a Christian, and a monk at that, who converted to Judaism. This is not the kind of story the tellers were likely to cherish, but in this case a most unpleasant end is interpreted as a punishment for his apostasy. It does not however in the least detract from the implied sincerity of his conversion. Thus the tales, far from revealing any animosity towards the Jews, seem rather to indicate a measured degree of respect, possibly not entirely unconnected with the fact that Jews seem to be particularly associated with the practice of medicine in the tales.


Presiding: James Morganstern


Ruth E. Kolarik (Colorado College)

The term "provincial" has often been used in art historical literature to disparage the aesthetic quality of a work of art as well as to indicate its place of origin. Implicit in this attitude is the assumption that provincial art is derivative, a futile attempt to emulate a cosmopolitan model in style and/or subject matter. This view assumes that changes in provincial art follow the innovations made in cosmopolitan centers. Chronologies have therefore been constructed in order of quality or distance from superior "models". While the limitations of this concept are often noted in passing, it still forms the basis for dating much late antique art. This simplistic view leads to errors in dating, but more significantly, it misrepresents the diversity and creativity of provincial culture in the late antique period.

The study of the floor mosaics and architectural sculpture from Stobi provides insights into the nature of change in provincial art. Stobi was certainly not one of the great cosmopolitan centers. It was a prosperous town somewhat removed from the major highways to the capitals. During the fifth and early sixth centuries it supported local schools of mosaicists and sculptors whose products are surely provincial. Their work has, in most cases, been dated on external archaeological evidence; thus, their relationship to the art of other localities can now be assessed objectively.

Analysis of the floor mosaics, one of the most widespread media in the late antique period, demonstrates that the Stobi mosaicists sometimes copied superior models, but in other situations they were more innovative than might have been predicted. In the baptistery mosaic they copied motifs from a floor laid by a cosmopolitan workshop fairly closely. A series of fifth- century illustrates, however, that they modified conventional patterns by elaborating them with a variety of geometric and figural designs of their own choice. In a floor in the nave of the Episcopal Basilica they added mosaic inserts to an opus sectile floor to create an unprecedented combination. These examples show that the Stobi artists did not always mindlessly follow models but often adapted them to suit their situation and tastes. Such "provincial improvisation" is not limited to floor mosaics, a typically provincial medium, but is evident in the architectural sculpture from Stobi as well.

The extraordinarily unconventional nave capitals of the Episcopal Basilica were, like the mosaics, created at the site, although the sculptors may well have come from elsewhere. While local manufacture was the norm for mosaic floors, it was somewhat less common for major architectural sculpture. Capitals were more often imported from the Proconnesian workshops. It has therefore been difficult to place the Stobi capitals within the established stylistic chronologies. Kautzsch and Kitzinger favored a date of c. 500, Nikolajević suggested 425, and recently Betsch, comparing them to Proconnesian work, dated them to the third quarter of the sixth century.

The nave capitals are now securely associated with the first phase of construction of the Epsicopal Basilica towards mid-fifth century. The Stobi sculpture therefore anticipates much later developments in the Proconnesian workshops. It is another result of "provincial improvisation" that altered the canons of its period. It is not likely that the carvers of the Stobi capitals were directly responsible for changing the history of late antique architectural sculpture. The evidence does indicate, however, that to judge provincial art either explicitly or implicitly according to cosmopolitan standards results not only in mistakes in chronology, but also in the misunderstanding of the rich and diverse provincial culture of the late antique period.


Ann Raybin Terry (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Twenty-one magnificent opus sectile panels, inlaid with a variety of precious materials, line the apse wall of the mid-sixth century Eufrasian Cathedral at Poreč (Parenzo) in Yugoslavia. Plain marble revetment was a regular feature of well-funded churches in the Early Christian period and these "marble meadows" are familiar to us through a number of examples across the empire. However, very little actual opus sectile, a particularly intricate type of paneling, has survived from that period. By definition, opus sectile is a wall or floor covering conoisting of slabs or pieces of marbie cut in a variety of shapes, usually geometric. Three main examples survive from the sixth century, the programs at H. Sophia in Istanbul (532-37), S. Vitale in Ravenna (546-48) and the Eufrasiana in Poreč (ca. 550). Among these, the Poreč panels stand apart, not only by virtue of their unique and imaginative design, but also as the sole survivor to have escaped the hand of the restorer. In spite of this singularity, the opus sectile at Poreč has received little notice in the literature, commanding only a sentence here or a paragraph there. This paper has a two-fold purpose: to briefly introduce the panels and to demonstrate that, contrary to current notions, they were the product of a local workshop.

The twenty-one main panels are disposed around the curve of the apse in such a way that the designs of the first ten are repeated by nearly identical counterparts in the last ten. The central panel, which illustrates a gold cross on a hill-top and is situated directly over the bishop's cathedra, is the only design which is not repeated. Above this main order runs a three-part decorative frieze, or the upper register, In this upper register, four separate motifs alternate in a very loosely rythmic sequence, bordered above and below by simple decorative bands. The pavement of the apse, although it is also inlaid with variously cut pieces of marble, has been altered on several occasions.

The compositions of the main panels are characteristically oriented around a central disc or slab of red or green porphyry. The designs employ a wide variety of geometric shapes and stylized naturalistic motifs. Many of the panels are purely decorative, some contain one or two pictorial elements, and a few present recognizable, if highly abstracted, scenes. While the dominant materials in the panels are red and green porphyry, giallo antico, pavonazzetto, alabaster, mother-of-pearl and an assortment of colors of glass, as well as a host of other marbles and materials (ivory, paint, plaster, sandstone) enliven the unusually rich range of colors, textures and patterns in the panels.

The Poreč panels are generally linked. on the basis of style and materials, with similar sectile work at S. Vitale and H. Sophia. Suggestions have been offered that the panels were made in Constantinople or that the workshop responsible for the Pavennate panels also produced those in Poreč. A kinship between these contemporary sets is readily apparent, and this will be discussed in the paper. However, a careful examination of the style, technique and materials discloses substantial and critical variations between them. The main part of this paper will identify specific workshop practices and circumstances of manufacture in order to demonstrate that the Eufrasian panels were produced in Poreč by primarily local artisans who operated with a serious shortage of supplies. Extensive use of spolia from the neighboring Roman temples argues for an on-site workshop. The insufficient supply of appropriate materials implies a workshop with minimum resources. Finally, many of the highly inventive designs at the Eufrasiana find no corollary in Ravenna or Constantinople. Although the Poreč panels owe a certain material and aesthetic debt to other contemporary examples, they nevertheless represent an essentially independent production.


Thomas F. Mathews (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

To Ebersolt and Van Millingen the principal interest of the Atik Mustafa Pasa Camii lay in its place in a presumed evolutionary development of Byzantine architecture that advanced from a simple cross-domed type into the "standard" four-column or cross-in-square type edifice. The missing links in this chain of evolution, however, were never found, and architectural historians have come to accept the existence side-by-side of anumber of different building types developing in parallel rather than consecutively. In Constantinople the two monuments most closely associated with the Atik in building type have been shown to belong not to a transition period in the formative years of Middle Byzantine architecture but to a period considerably later: the GŸl Camii to the eleventh or twelfth century, the Kalenderhane Camii to the late twelfth. This would leave the Atik alone as the sole Constantinopolitan exampe of a cross- domed church of early date if its usual ninth-century date could be sustained. But having abandoned the evolutionary hypotheses of VanMillingen and Ebersolt, we have also lost the basis they had for proposing a ninth century date. MŸller-Wiener has accordingly proposed a date in the eleventh or twelfth century.

Virtually nothing has been said about the physical evidence of the building itself. However the monument in its present state does offer significant clues bearing on its date as well as efidence for reconstructing its original shape. Though mosque uses preclude proper archeological survey or excavation, comprehensive photography of the monument and a careful reading of its masonry, along with the measured plans and sections provided by Thiers and by the Eski Eserleri Koruma Encumeni (the latter unpublished) has permitted accurate reconstruction of the east and south facades. Analysis of the masonry of the east end reveals a complex pattern of windows and decorative niches which, in terms of formal design evolution, would seem to place the church between the eighth-century design of Hag-Eirene and the tenth-century designs of the Lips and the Myrelaion. It is proposed that the building belongs to the new surge of church building that followed the defeat of iconoclasm in 842. Analysis of the south side of the church reveals that the building was originally flanked by wooden porches that reached from the narthex to the center bay of either side. The west and center bays opened into these porches through arcades. The original purpose of these porches is puzzling.

The archeological evidence does not permit any firm conclusions about the original dedication of the church.


Eunice Dauterman Maguire (Urbana, Illinois)

From Augustus to Hadrian and beyond, Roman imperial monuments purposefully borrowed decorative motifs for architectural sculpture from Greece and further East. The New Rome in the East also borrows from an earlier period, reclaiming some of the same forms. In the sixth-century flowering of architecutral sculpture new forms often incorporate Roman motifs. With a new emphasis and in new shapes certain ideas traceable to Roman buildings or recorded in wall paintings and relief sculpture, are recapitulated in the sixth century and then again in middle and later Byzantine examples and also in the West.

There are Romanesque and even earlier Western capitals which present counterparts for early Byzantine representational motifs, as well as for abstract principles of structure developed in the fifth and sixth centuries in the East. The possible models in Italy for a Western revival are not enough to explain all the correspondences.

Nor are the sculptors inspired by early Byzantine designs guilty of unthinking imitation. The richness and diversity of Romanesque capital sculpture is due in large part to borrowings and adaptations of Byzantine forms in a new context. At Moissac, for instance, in the dome-vaulted narthex under the West tower are three capitals based on special types found in Justinianic buildings. One is a mesh pattern of stylized plant-stems. Two are derived from windblown foliage capitals, combined with the popular early Byzantine motif of animals at the upper corners. A pair of pilaster capitals in Ravenna provides a precedent for such a combination depicting the symbols of the four evangelists over windblown leaves. But only one makes use of the windblown form to depict a scriptural reference. Its windblown units have become stylized waves. Windswept waves being even less substantial than leaves, the Moissac capital goes conceptually further than its models. The idea of windswept leaves had begun by extending the Corinthain concept of a soft disguise for the block of stone, adding motion to flexibility. This water capital adds more: it becomes an illustration of Psalm 42, the hart at the waters as the image of the soul's thirst for God. Over the stream, the angles of the capital are shaped as stags. If there is no immediate model for this ensemble in the East, it is nevertheless to Byzantine examples that the designers of Westerns capitals may have looked to reinforce the notion that a capital can be not simply a unit of architectural function, but a compound of recognizable and significant motifs.

Some forms, such as certain two-zone capitals, or capitals with angels or cherubim at the angles, may be based in East and West on a mutual use of Roman sources. Others appear to depend, in the West, on Byzantine developments of form: lozenge-grid or mesh capitals, or windblown-leaf capitals come into this category. A third group includes capitals with large-scale anthropomorlipic masks filling the whole height of the capital, a genre which seems to be exclusively Byzantine in its origin. Yet lion mask capitals go back to a Roman exapple representing Hercules's lion skin, with the lion's head forming the face of the capital. The frontal lion's head continues to reappear in both East and West. Another structural group of capitals, with what I call a Corinthian echinus, enjoys a flourishing development in the fifth and sixth-century East, when changes in the upper registers of foliage capitals are echoed even on capitals which have no leaves. Related types recurring in Lombardy and farther North make up a yet-to-be-studied category or Romanesque capitals.

In the West, the special treatment of a small detail is often the identifying mark of a genuinely Byzantine motif. The alignment of the leaves or other motifs, and of the spaces between them along the vertical axes, the patterning of solids and voids in the design, the attention to horizontal units in their numbers and distribution: all these features may be clues to the nature of the model. How or when might Byzantine models have become known to Western stonecutters? How much borrowing from Roman remains continued to occur, either in the East or in the West? Some answers may be hidden in clues of this kind. The evidence to be explored goes back to comparisons of Byzantine with Western sculpture at least as early as the Carolingian and Visigothic periods.


Irina Andreescu-Treadgold (Hillsdale, Michigan)

In recent studies, scholars, (Glass, Barral y Altet) have ascribed the medieval floor mosaics still present and visible in the north Adriatic area (Venice and the Venetian islands) to western masters. Because of the only precisely dated pavement (Murano, 1141) and the lack of other dated evidence in the area, a whole group was placed around the twelfth century.

Medieval mosaic pavements for which dates and the names of the masters have been preserved are still visible in Italy in fairly large quantities; hence the study of the various groups and schools has been envisaged mostly as an Italian phenomenon. The Byzantine floor mosaics, of the same and earlier periods, on the other hand, have been less fortunate. Few have survived, and even fewer have preserved a sizable surface that would allow a typological study. But the formal vocabulary of those that have survived (e.g., Pantokrator in Constantinople) shows a striking similarity with elements encountered in some of the floors preserved in the Veneto. In fact, in the eleventh to twelfth centuries one can distinguish two large groups among the Venetian and related mosaics: the first uses mainly opus sectile as well as large, plain marble slabs, distributed in progression towards the east end and giving a clear idea of composition keyed to the architecture (and possibly to the liturgy), while the second, mostly decorative, uses much opus tessalatum and the opus sectile, though used as well, lacks the tectonic clarity which characterizes the first group. The various panels of the latter group, some decorated with figurative motifs, seem to have little intrinsic connection with each other.

Among the Venetian churches, the floor now visible in the basilica at Torcello, along with that in San Marco, displays the elements of the first group assembled in an almost genuine composition. This floor, however, replaces an earlier one (only visible in two small areas, uncovered in earlier restoration) which is entirely composed in opus tesselatum of the most rudimentary kind, using only black and white natural stones and posaibly a few red ones. A similar floor has been excavated at the site of the ninth-century church of Sant' Ilario, a building contemporary with the first church of San Marco of the late 820âs, both being foundations of the same Doge, Partecipazio. The architecture that goes with the floors of the ninth century is clearly local and western. However, later commissions in Venice show a strong turn toward Byzantine modes, drawing on both traditional Ravennate and contemporary repertoires. While not all churches changed their decorations to follow fashion, the third church of San Marco, and Santa Maria Assunta at Torcello did. At Torcello we have the unique situation of both phases being pxeserved in situ for the floor mosaics. Putting together the information available for this church from the study of the architecture (a western-type basilica) and that of the wall mosaics (made by a Byzantine workshop) as well as the data available for other Italian and Byzantine floor mosaics, this paper attempts, to reassess the attribution of the Torcello pavement now visible and to raise the question of its Byzantine components, here adapted to decorate a western building.


Mark J. Johnson (Princeton University)

The mosaics in the Cathedral of Cefal have attracted considerable attention from scholars of Norman-Byzantine art. Although the iconography of the mosaics has been treated in a summary way by most studies, the important problem of how the mosaic program relates to the character of the church's royal foundation by King Roger II has not been examined in any detail. The object of this paper is to address this problem, showing how the choice of subjects and their arrangement were made in deference to the patron.

The church was founded in 1131 and in 1145 Roger donated two porphyry sarcophagi to be set up in the church, one intended for his own subsequent entombment. In 1148, the mosaics of the apse were completed as noted in an inscription. The mosaics of the presbytery walls, however, are not securely dated, with proposals ranging from the 1150's to as late as the 1260's. The most recent study shows the mosaics to date from two periods; the upper registers were done c.1150-1155, the lowest registers to c.1155-1170. This dating may be supported by the events surrounding Roger's death and his entombment in Palermo in 1154. A document dated 1170 shows that the canons of Cefal were still attempting to have the king's body brought to the church. This unsuccessful attempt may have been the reason behind the completion of the mosaics at that time. In any event, the mosaics were designed as a uniform program with the royal patron in mind.

The iconography of the program as a whole has been variously interpreted as representing the Ascension, the Second Coming or a Litany. All of these views are probably correct to some degree but more may be understood from the program, especially when compared to the program of Roger's other great foundation, the Cappella Palatina, in Palermo. Professor Kitzinger has demonstrated that the subjects of the mosaics at this church were arranged in such a way that those saints or subjects which had royal connotations were made to face the royal box located on the north side of the sanctuary, creating a "royal view". It is my assertion that a similar "royal view", though more limited in scope, existed at Cefal.

From the sedes regia located on the north side of the presbytery, the king would have been confronted with a view of prophets and saints chosen for their connections with Roger. In the upper register are the figures of the great biblical kings David and Solomon, who wear diadems similar to that worn by Roger in the coronation panel at the Martorana. As is well known, the Byzantine emperors styled themselves after David and Solomon and there is little doubt that the Norman kings did likewise. Here the two kings flank a medallion containing a bust of Abraham. Significantly, all three persons are mentioned predominantly in the ordo coronationis used at Roger's coronation. Two registers below are the military saints who face the king here as they do in the Cappella, Palatina. Among these, St. Theodore may have had a special connection with the king as his relics were captured by the Normans in a raid on Corinth in 1147. Directly below St. Theodore is St. Nicholas who is known to have been a special favorite of the Norman kings. Several of the figures of the south wall way refer to the legend of the legend of the founding of the church. The legend states that when Roger was returning to Sicily from Salerno in 1130, his ship was caught in a violent storm.

Fearing for his life, he vowed that if his life were saved, he would build a cathedral dedicated to the Saviour at the site of his landing, which happened at Cefal. The biblical prophet Jonah brings to mind his story of salvation from the depths of the sea. St. Theodore in invoked for protection during storm while St. Nicholas is the protector of sailors and those who embark on sea voyages. St. George is mentioned in the legend as having appeared to Roger during the height of the tempest.

Conversely, certain concessions were made to the bishop for his view of the northern wall from the sedes episcopalis located opposite the kingâs throne. In the register corresponding with the military saints of the south wall, are here located church deacons. Also in the bishop's view were St. Gregory, who wrote the Regula pastoralis; St. Silvester, who signifies the supremacy of Rome; St. Augustine, an obvious choice as the church was staffed by Augustinian canons; and St. Dionysus, symbolic of growing ties between Sicily and France.


Presiding: George T. Dennis, S.J.


Sidney H. Griffith (Catholic University of America)

Ever since Dom Edmund Beck's influential article, "Symbolum-Mysterium bei Aphraat und EphrŠm," (OC, 42 (1958), pp. 19-40). scholars have been aware that from the complex preserve of biblical typology, Ephraem had elaborated a whole system of concrete imagery with which to depict the basic mysteries of Christianity. What is less often noticed is Ephraem's insistence that poetic images and symbols, as opposed to philosophico-theological formulae, make up the only appropriate idiom for religious discourse. And he often employed the image of the image-maker's craft to describe the poetic deployment of religious types and symbols, both those found in the scriptures, and those taken from nature.

The present communication puts forward an analysis of Ephraem's image of the image-maker's craft, derived principally from his Hymni de fide, de azymis, and de virginitate. Here he developed the lines of thought according to which Îimaging,â Îpainting with words,â is the only fit manner in which human beings may make some statement about God and the mysteries of salvation, following the example of the typological sense of the scriptures. The present analysis examines Ephraem's vocabulary in the use of this figure of speech, and interprets his theory about its significance and role in religious descourse.

Curiously, at a time when the use of icons and frescoes was growing in the church, Ephraem's image of the image-maker's craft remains a literary, heuristic device. While the success of the figure of speech required familiarity with the craft, Ephraem does not mention icons, mosaics, or frescoes as items found in churches. Nor is there the slightest hint of the theories that would emerge later in Greek speaking circles about any sort of identity between images and models. In Ephraem the image is a way of contemplating the unseen. Nevertheless, Ephraem says nothing negative about the image-maker's craft, and it is only a short step from pondering biblical typologies in concrete images, all the while likening the process to the painter's work, and actually painting them on the wall of the church. Perhaps the examination of Ephraem's image of the image- maker's craft may help one to understand the impetus that moved Christians actually to take the step.


David B. Evans (St. John's University)

In a recent article, Paul Rorem has argued against Jan Vanneste that the negative theology of Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite in On the Divine Names and The Mystical Theology is not to be fundamentally distinguished from the "theurgy" of The Celestial Hierarchy and The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy ("The Place of The Mystical Theology in the Pseudo-Dionysian Corpus" in Dionysius IV [1980] 87-98). To the contrary, Rorem makes a "case for a unified corpus": MT, he believes, both summarizes a theology of the divine processions (an "cataphatic" or positive theology) in DN and introduces a theology of divine ascent to come (an "apophatic" or negative theology) in CH and EH. Rorem's conclusions seem to me correct; but his argument, I think, stumbles upon a number of difficulties. These difficulties this paper seeks to remove.

Dionysius's corpus, of course, constitutes a Christian Platonist answer to the well-known Neoplatonic problem: how can an utterly transcendent deity be discussed at all? His answer: God (or more exactly, "the thearchy") can be known only in its divine processions beyond itself, to which correspond also a return to the deity ("reversion"), a divine ascent of the soul. Now it is precisely in his account of the divine reversion or ascent that Rorem himself finds the major difficulty in his argument. That argument requires, in brief, that every phase of the divine ascent be produced by a negation of the terms appearing in that phase. Nonetheless for the middle ranges of that ascent (specifically in ET), he recognizes that no such negative theology is to be found. His attempt to reconstruct such a negation in ET seems to me unconvincing; and it is that part of his case which I propose to correct here.

The fault lies, I believe, in Rorem's earlier assumption that for Dionysius the sole cause of reversion is the thearchy and not (as, e.g., in the system of the Neoplatonist Proclus) an immediately superior entity. The solution is to interpret Dionysius's account of the divine ascent in accord with the position of Proclus, Platonic Theology 4.11-.12: the symbols at any level of the divine ascent (in this case, the level of liturgical symbolism) may appear wholly "adequate" and "appropriate" (ET) to the divine realities in question, and so quite beyond contradiction; but in the face of the superior causality inherent in the immediately superior level they are by definition negated and the divine ascent thus advanced.

With this, I hope, the inadequacies of Rorem's case have been repaired and his major contribution to the reinterpretation of the corpus dionysiacum more firmly secured.


Robert J. Penella (Fordham University)

According to Eunapius, Lives VII 3.7-8 [476] Giangrande, the Caesar Julian deliberately planned his acclamation as Augustus to abolish the tyranny of Constantius. His accomplices were, in addition to an Eleusinian hierophant, the physician Oribasius and an otherwise unknown Euhemerus of Africa. Later in the Lives, in his highly laudatory account of Oribasius, Eunapius alludes differently to the same incident: Julian had taken Oribasius to Gaul as a physician, but Oribasius, so superior in every way, made (apedeixen) Julian emperor (Lives XXI 1.4 [498]). Understanding apedeixen to mean only that Oribasius "fitted" Julian for the throne by his virtuous teachings, Barry Baldwin sees a "flagrant inconsistency" between the two passages: XXI 1.4 is a politically toned down version of VII 3.7-8 from the last years of the fourth century, when Oribasius was still alive and "no one would have wanted to be remembered as the man who elevated Julian" (Acta Classica 18 [1975] 89-91). VII 3.7-8 should have been excised, but was not; and that, Baldwin continues, "might lend support to the notion of two editions of the [Lives], both discernible in our version."

Baldwin's depoliticized interpretation of apedeixen does not seem likely (cf. apodeixas at Lives VII 4.9 [478]). Both at Lives VII 3.7-8 and at XXI 1.4, Eunapius unhesitatingly refers the reader to the fuller account of Julian's proclamation as Augustus in his History. A fragment of that account happens to survive. It refers to a plot of Julian and six others--among whom, one may assume, the Eleusinian hierophant, Euhemerus and Oribasius (frag. 14.5 Mueller). Yet even if apedeixen does have a non-political sense at Lives XXI 1.4, it is not flagrantly inconsistent with VII 3.7-8: the latter passage will simply emphasize Oribasius's political role, the former passage--in the highly laudatory life of Oribasius as a man of learning and virtue--will stress his simultaneous moral and intellectual influence on Julian.

There is, however, an important difference between VII 3.7-8 and XXI 1.4 that Baldwin has not noticed: in the first passage Julian acts with the aid of the Eleusinian hierophant, Euhemerus and Oribasius; whereas, in the second passage, in the laudatory account of Oribasius's life, Oribasius is the prime mover and no co-conspirators are even alluded to. But this inconsistency does not require the notion of a revised, second edition of the Lives either. The simplest explanation is that biographical auxēsis is at work in the Eunapian account of Oribasius, Eunapius's friend and literary helper, exaggerating the physician's role and suppressing any mention of other conspirators.

Baldwin's notion of a second edition of the Lives is not new (cf. V. Lundstršm, Proleg. in Eunap. Vitas [1897]; K. Latte, Hermes 58 [1923] 441 ff.). And he adduces the same sort of evidence as one of his predecessors, Latte allegedly inconsistent passages in the Lives, one the revised version and the other the original that for some reason was never excised. His predecessors have been convincingly refuted. There was a second edition of Eunapius's History (Phot., Bibl. 77). It is undoubtedly that fact that has encouraged scholars to look for evidence for a comparable revision of the Lives.


Alexander Kazhdan (Dumbarton Oaks)

A comparison of Psellus' Life of St.Auxentius with the Metaphrastic (?) Life of the same saint reveals a series of innovations and additions that form a coherent system. The core of these innovations is the rapprochement of the hero and the author. The goal is achieved by the following means:

1. Direct and explicit juxtaposition of Psellus and Auxentius (they both loved music); 2. The re-modelling of Auxentiust friends to correspond with Psellust friends: one becomes the phylax of imperial epistles (like Laichudes), another the teacher who ascended the thronos of Constantinople (like Xiphilinus), the third one is said to have dwelt on a rock (petra), John Mauropus having been a monk of the monastery of Petra; 3. Auxentius' transformation into a counsellor of emperors, a reformer, philosopher and moralist developing ideas typical of Psellus himself; 4. Insertion into the story of Auxentius expressions used by Psellus in the Chronography in order to describe events of his own life.

The re-working of the Life of St.Auxentius is in line with the general tendency of Psellusâ writing who was interested not only in his own personality but well aware that his continual self- glorification appalled and made indignant some readers.


Kenneth Snipes (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The Chronographia of Michael Psellos is perhaps the finest and most original work of Byzantine literature. Its lively narrative and gossipy account of life at the Byzantine court gives the work a popular appeal to modern readers that is conspicuously absent in the dry accounts of the succession of rulers and battles in the ordinary Byzantine chronicle or history. Very little, however, has been written about the origin of the work or the audience for which it was intended. It is not possible to interpret a medieval text adequately without first considering the audience for which it was written. Several modern scholars, for example, have remarked that it was "strange" that the Chronographia has survived in only one manuscript "when one considers how popular it ought to have been with the Byzantine reading public." This paper examines the manuscript tradition and transmission of the Chronographia within the wider perspective of the transmission of Byzantine literature in general, and the Byzantine historians and chroniclers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries in particular. It shows that, on the contrary, it is not surprising that the Chronographia has survived in a single complete manuscript, in spite of its popularity among modern readers and the great reputation which Psellos enjoyed throughout the later Byzantine period as a prodigious scholar and master of prose style, the Chronographia was read by only a few aristocratic readers in the capital during the Byzantine period.

If we make a survey of the manuscript tradition of the other historians of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it becomes clear that the survival of the Chronographia, in one manuscript, 1712, is in no way unusual. Only the History of Niketas Choniates has been preserved in more than one or two manuscripts from the Byzantine period. This is in striking contrast to the larger number of manuscripts which have survived of the chroniclers of the same period, especially of the popular verse chronicle of Constantine Manasses. The survival of the Atticizing historians in only one or two manuscripts is not simply an accident of history. It is possible to form a relatively clear picture of the reading habits of the Byzantines during the eleventh and twelfth centuries by examining the contents of Byzantine libraries, both monastic libraries and the few private collections that existed. The monastic libraries contained, almost without exception, only books of liturgical or theological content. Three manuscripts of the historians, Coislin 136 (Attaleiates), 163 (Kinnamos), and another manuscript of Attaleiates listed by the owner of 157, all have some connection with private collections of persons resident in Constantinople.

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the writing of history centered around the imperial court. The Princess Anna Comnena and the Caesar Nikephoros Bryennios wrote histories in the "high" Attic style in honor of Alexios Comnenos. Michael Attaleiates, an important legal official, dedicated his History to Nikephoros Botaneiates, and both Psellos and Kinnamos were high imperial officials. Only Anna Comnena, Bryennios, and Zonaras, another imperial official, can definitely be shown to have read the Chronographia, each having copied extensive excerpts into his own history. There must have been a manuscript of the Chronographia in a palace collection in the twelfth century from which they were able to copy these passages, probably in the private library of the imperial family. This manuscript would have been accessible to very few readers outside the imperial circle. A few more copies of the Chronographia may have circulated among Psellos' friends, but his contemporary, Attaleiates, shows no knowledge of the work. Even the celebrated and enigmatic criticism of Psellos' historical work in the preface to Skylitzes' History that Psellos "merely records a list of emperors, saying who succeeded whom and nothing more," refers not to the Chronographia, but to another previously unknown historical work by Psellos, the Historia syntomos, only recently discovered in a manuscript in the Monastery of St. Catherine, Mt. Sinai, by the author of this paper. It is not surprising that, after the three historians of the twelfth century, Anna Comnena, Nikephoros Bryennios, and Ioannes Zonaras, there is no mention of the Chronographia until it is quoted at the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem.


Andrew R. Dyck (University of California, Los Angeles)

A veritable topos in recent discussions of Byzantine literary taste is mention of the fact that Michael Psellus composed an essay comparing Euripides and George of Pisidia. Yet a penetrating analysis of the method and sources of the work is lacking. This paper is intended as a contribution toward filling that gap.

What is unique about our work in comparison with other sygkrisis-essays is that it compares authors working in different genres, Euripides in tragedy, George in didactic and epic-panegyric poetry. To justify his choice of subjects Psellus emphasizes at the beginning of the piece that both poets used the iambic trimeter; yet he by no means confines himself to a discussion of their respective techniques in iambic versification. The conclusion of the essay embodies the comparison itself; because this part is mutilated it remains moot whether or how Psellus overcame the fact that his subjects are unlike quantities.

Psellus used various sources for his remarks on tragedy, including Aristophanes' Frogs, a Life of Euripides, Aristotle, a treatise on tragedy similar to that used by John Tzetzes in his poem on the subject, the Suda, and (probably) Euripidean scholia. Inaccuracies at several points betray reliance on memory. The critical terminology derives from the treatise De Ideis of Hermogenes of Tarsus. Even on tragedy, however, Psellus is not wholly unoriginal: cf. his remarks on the Prometheus Bound which adumbrate recent criticisms of that play by Mark Griffith.

What lends special interest to Psellus' essay is his warm appreciation of George of Pisidia. He praises George's handling of metre, his seeming effortlessness of composition, his Hellenic diction, and his use of tropes. What he dwells on most, however, is George's mastery of the technical vocabulary of various disciplines, such as the art of the physician, the charioteer, the soldier. Psellus prided himself in his knowledge of such fields as medicine and military science, as various passages in his writings make plain. Evidently he found in George a kindred spirit.

What might Psellus have said in the mutilated conclusion? The project of comparing him with one of the admired ancients has the effect of raising George's stock. Also, the introduction of Aeschylus as a foil for Euripides enables Psellus to bring to light some faults of both tragedians, on the pattern of Aristophanes' Frogs, whereas George receives pure praise. We may suspect, then, that the conclusion was not wholly unfavorable to the Byzantine poet.


Barry Baldwin (University of Calgary)

First, the date. I am neither original nor unique in ascribing the Timarion to the 12th century. However, the matter still demands precise discussion, since at least two other dates (11th and 14th centuries) have appeared in print in the last decade or so.

External evidence is restricted to the letter denouncing the "impiety" of the Timarion written by Constantine Acropolites, published by Treu in BZ 1 (1892). The date of Acropolites' death is usually given as c. 1325, thereby affording an obvious terminus post quem non.

The internal clues largely derive from the dates of historical personages who appear in the dialogue's Hades. Those named are the emperor Romanus IV Diogenes, Michael Psellus, John Italus, and Theodore of Smyrna. Clearly the Timarion cannot precede their deaths. In addition, some have detected an allusion to Theodore Prodromos in the anonymous iamb-spouting mannequin who appears near the end. But to say the least, this identification is fragile. Furthermore, the author's introduction into his infernal narrative of Brutus and Cassius awaiting sentence for their murder of Julius Caesar is taken by Romano as an implied comment on the death of John II Comnenus in 1143. If true, this would add to the register of termini, and might bolster the argument of R. Browning's 'The death of John II Comnenus,' Byzantion 31 (1961). where the Timarion is not adduced. But again, this is an item that can be otherwise explained.

To date, three candidates have been proposed for the authorship, as follows:

1) Timarion himself. That is, the narrator is equated with the author. This is the theory of DrŠseke (Neu. Jahrb. f. d. Klass. Altertumsw. 29 (1912), 342-6), and comports the powerful allegiance of Vasiliev (HBE, 497). It might gain strength from the fact that Acropolites simply refers to the dialogue by its narrator, and seems not to know any other authorial name. But this could simply mean that the piece was, or had become, anonymous. If correct, the notion would, on internal evidence, equip the author with Cappadocian origins and a sophistic career in Constantinople, in which latter connection we may recall the opinion of N. G. Wilson, expressed in the Dumbarton Oaks Books and Bookmen colloquium, that the Timarion was a pice d'occasion for a limited audience.

2) Theodore Prodromos was proposed by Hunger in his edition (1968) of that worthy's Katomyomachia, but only on the syllogistic grounds that Prodromos is known to have penned Lucianic satires. Interestingly in this connection, Romano lists no linguistic parallels between Prodromos and the Timarion. Hunger's notion would of course rule out the aforementioned equation of Prodromos with the dialogue's diminutive iambographer!

3) Nicolas Callicles is the choice of R. Romano who expounds the theory not only in his edition (Naples, 1974) but in both previous (Giorn. it. di fil. 25 (1973), 309-15) and subsequent (Ann. Fac. lett. e filos. Univ. di Napoli 22 (1979-80), 61-75) articles. His candidate bids fair to become the orthodoxy in that it has attracted the favour (in that they do not overtly question it) of such distinguished critics as Robert Browning (Byz.Metabyz. 1, 1978) and Matthew Macleod (JHS review). Therefore, most attention will be paid to Callicles' claims. They turn out to be surprisingly weak, being essentially based on supposed linguistic parallels and a greatly exaggerated estimate of the medical expertise required of the Timarion's author.

Playing Guess the Author tends to be a futile game, but negativism towards the theories of others may enjoin an upbeat finale, if only to promote discussion. Therefore, I launch two kites for flying and/or bringing down. First, bearing in mind Lucian's nom de guerre Lykinos, we should perhaps look for a name similar in sight and sound to Timarion. Alternatively, if forced to choose a candidate from the 12th century, I would be inclined for a number of reasons (to be spelled out) to canvass the claims of Michael Italicus.


Presiding: Ioli Kalavrezou-Maxeiner


Anthony Cutler (Pennsylvania State University)

A miniature in the Madrid Skylitzes (Vitr. 26.2, fol.64v) shows a deacon defacing icons on the epistyle of a templon at the order of the Patriarch Iannis (John the Grammarian, 837-43). Grabar read these icons as an archangel and a De?sis and the event as one of the Patriarch's attacks on images while in office. This reading ignores the text of Skylitzes (ed. Thurn, 84, 84-92) who describes the incident as happening after Iannis' deposition and imprisonment in a monastery and specifies the images as Christ, the Mother of God and the archangels. At least this second error derives from the tendency among historians of Byzantine art to impose the typical on the anomalous, to allow a type to become tyrannical. In this case, the similarity to the Desis of the group of icons represented has misled the art historian. Yet this group is not a normal Desis , nor is this particular combination of images represented on any surviving Middle Byzantine epistyle. Should one there- fore suppose that this particular combination is a mistake on the part of the painter? No. He is faithful, here as elsewhere in the 12th century MS, to Skylitzes' text. Or that this probably south Italian artist deviated from the Byzantine norm? Again no, although the demonstration of this point requires a more complex argument.

Some time late in the 11th century Gregory, a Bithynian monk and disciple of St. Lazarus the Galesiote, wrote a Life of his master. In it he tells of Nikon, an old monk, who died in the monastery's refectory beneath "the holy icons of the Theotokos and of the archangel Michael stretching out (their arms) in supplication to the Saviour eis deēsin pros ton sōtēra teinomenai (AASS Nov. III, 560E). This contradicts Christopher Walter's observation that "the only case where we find deē or deēsis associated with the picture is when a petition is actually being presented to Christ in the name of the donor of the picture." The picture in the Galesiote monastery is a Trimorphon, the term that Walter prefers to Desis since "we have no positive evidence that the subject which nowadays we call the Desis was given the same name by the Byzantines." Yet it is a Desis in Gregory's words. Indeed if, as Walter has more recently suggested, outstretched arms on flanking figures are a cri- terion, the Trimorphon-plus-one of the Skylitzes miniature is likewise a Desis. Neither is representative of what nowadays we call a Desis but neither represents a stage in a development towards or away from this image: orthodox, fully-fledged types (Christ flanked by the Virgin and the Prodromos) existed long before and continued long after Gregory wrote his Vita. Rather, they are alternative types, monumental examples fully justified by the office of the Prothesis and enlightening when one encounters archangels attendant upon the "normal" Desis in Middle Byzantine ivories and enamels.

Walter was more correct than he suspected when he declared that "a firm and univocal definition of deēsis is impossible." To ignore this is to lapse into the error of supposing that all possible representations must be representative of a class when, in fact, that class has been decimated by loss and conceptually straitjacketed by our insistence on the typical.


Jean-Guy Violette (UniversitŽ Laval)

The purpose of this paper is to present one type of codicological inquiry which has been realized in the study of the miniatures of the Paris. Gr. 74, a Gospels from Constantinople which is dated generally in the third quarter of the eleventh century; the results of this inquiry have been applied to the study of the iconography of the miniatures, their style and the problem of hands.

The order in which the 27 quires were illustrated was established by taking into account some technical procedures and the use of different colors to represent objects or elements which are often repeated, like the house, the groud line with plants and the foliage of the trees. It has been possible to distinguish two large groups of quires by the way the nimbos were done, precisely by the way the reddish underpaint was applied.

In all, nine phases of work have been distinguished. The first phase include the first quire of each of the four Gospels (i.e. the quires 1, 9, 14 and 22) and the second quire of Luke (quire 15). Then the work progressed more or less simultaneously in the four Gospels.

These nine portions of the whole work cannot have been done by different painters (or teams of painters) working at the same time, since there is a coherent development from the first to the last phase.

By regrouping in a chronological sequence the different miniatures illustrating the same subject, it is possible to observe how were transformed some of the iconographic formulas which were used at the beginning of the work. The first miniatures to be done appear, in general, to be the more consistent and the more related to the text; those which followed look often as if they were copies from the first. These "copies" are characterized by the elimination of some narrative details, by the misunderstanding of some other details, by the addition of elements which are not required by the text or even contradict the text. If this analysis is right, we have an opportunity to see the process of copying in the manuscript itself.

The stylistic analysis of the miniatures is also illuminated by the knowledge of successive phases of work: there is a manifest development in the style itself. Two slightly different styles may be distinguished. In the first group, there are some traces of a "classic" style, in the modeling of the faces, in some volume of the drapery, in the harmonious and balanced compositions. In the second group, the style is more abstract: the heads are more schematic, the draperies are flat surfaces covered by lines, the proportions of the figures are extending and may be very elongated and, in general, the compositions become loosely organized and monotonous. Alongside these stylistic differences, one can observe a diminution of quality between the two large groups of miniatures, partly because in the second group the work was done more quickly and was more standardized.

Finally the 371 miniatures must have been done by a very small team of painters. Since the technical mastery and the quality of the drawing in the best miniatures of the first group are much greater than in those of the second group, a possible explanation is that two main painters worked successively. Moreover it is clear that the main painter in each group was helped by at least one assistant, for inside some quires the quality of the miniatures differ greatly, even if the technical procedures and the iconographic formulas are exactly the same.


Robert S. Nelson (University of Chicago)

In 1941 Graham Pollard published an article with the cryptic title, "Notes on the Size of the Sheet," in which he discussed the printer's practice of folding and refolding sheets of paper to form a folio, quarto, or octavo volume. Pollard thought that early printers derived this technique from the craft of manuscript production. In 1977 Leon Gilissen returned to this problem and with indefatigable precision demonstrated that the quires of many medieval Latin manuscripts were formed in this manner. In contrast to this research on Latin books, little attention has been given to the construction of quires in Byzantium with the exception of Jean Irigoin's pioneering studies on copying centers of 1958 and 1959.

The extensive oeuvre of the early Palaeologan scribe Theodore Hagiopetrites makes an ideal starting point for an investigation into how Greek scribes made their quires. The comparative page sizes of fourteen of the scribe's manuscripts that can be studied in this regard reveal that Hagiopetrites probably did determine the size of his books by folding and refolding larger sheets of parchment, because the length of a smaller book equals the width of a larger one and twice the width of the former equals the length of the latter. In his ornament and script, Hagiopetrites was seldom innovative, and his method of determining page size is also traditional and conforms to procedures that were centuries old. For example, six tenth-century manuscripts from the Studios monastery in Constantinople have interrelated measurements, as do a group of ninth-century philosophical texts studied by Allen and Fonkitch.

In the latter case the interconnection of page sizes confirms that the manuscripts are in fact related and from the same scriptorium and offers a method for deciding if groups of manuscripts associated by other criteria do derive from the same workshop. For instance, Hugo Buchthal and Fans Belting have argued that a large group of late thirteenth-century manuscripts represent the output of a single atelier in Constantinople. Because their analysis of miniatures and ornament in the books is so persuasive, it should not be surprising that a single standard sheet size was used for twelve of the fourteen manuscripts discussed by the authors and that the two exceptions are related to each other. Finally page size offers insights into two pairs of Middle Byzantine manuscripts: Parma, Bibl. Palat. gr. 5 and Oxford, Bodl. Lib. E.D. Clarke 10; and Rome, Vat. gr. 1162 and Paris, Bibl. Nat. gr. 1208. The association of each pair has been discussed before, but their page sizes help to define more precisely the nature of these relationships. Because each pair appears to have been made from the same size of parchment sheets, the Parma and Oxford Gospel books and the two copies of the Homilies of the Monk James must have been created by the same scriptoria. Both workshops were probably in Constantinople and active in the late eleventh century and the second quarter of the twelfth century, respectively. In the next century when Theodore Hagiopetrites was preparing the quires of his manuscripts, he was, therefore, following traditional craft methods, ones which resemble, as well, those of the Latin West.


Robert W. Allison (Bates College)

The beginning of the sixteenth century witnessed a major convulsion in the history of the Athonite monastery of Philotheou. Shortly after 1500, the Hosios Dionysios ho en Olympō arrived at the monastery, then under Bulgarian domination, to become its new abbot. He proceeded to import a group of Greek monks from Constantinople with a commission to colonize the monastery, end the Bulgarian rule and transform Philotheou from the loose idiorhythmism of its Bulgarian regime into a traditional koinovion observing the Greek liturgy. In the prevailing interpretation, these events at Philotheou evidence a surge of Greek nationalism, attested elsewhere as well in sixteenth-century tourkokratoumenē. Although Dionysios was ultimately forced to depart under the threat of murder by the Bulgarians, the transformation prevailed. Representatives of Philotheou from 1505 on sign documents in Greek. By 1540 the Greeks had successfully tapped the lucrative reserves of philhellene-Orthodox patronage in Georgia, as attested by the physical renewal of the monastery funded by Leon and Alexander II of Kakhetia.

It is precisely during this period that book production at Philotheou was revived. During the three decades of the 1520's through the 1550's, a small bibliographic workshop was active in the monastery, essentially a one-man operation, comparable to its fourteenth-century predecessor. The calligrapher-monk Maximos came from Gallipoli to Philotheou where he produced a codex or more per year from 1529 through 1539. He identifies himself as son of the priest Konstantinos, who had been the head of one of the last remaining Greek communities under the Turkish administration in Gallipoli. The abbot Gennadios, otherwise known only from an Athonite document of 1547, wrote at least one codex as prohigoumenos during the 1550's.

This small operation was expanded during the sixties when a new abbot, the Pneumatikos Kallinikos, arrived from the monastery of Dionysiou with a small group of disciples. About the same time, another Gallipolite calligrapher, the hieromonk Gabriel, followed his predecessor, Maximos, to Philotheou. The monastery seems to have become a refuge for expatriot Gallipolite intelligentsia forced from their city during the final stages of its turkification. This Gallipoli connection fits a larger pattern of Philotheite associations in the Black Sea region, documented by codices from that region in the library as well as by Georgian patronage, and probably originating even before the fourteenthcentury patronage of the Comnenoi of Trebizond.

Kallinikos and the two Gallipolite caliigraphers, together with a few less skilled collaborators at Philotheou, devoted themselves to copying primarily Greek liturgical books, fulfilling the commission of Dionysios which had marked the beginning of the Greek revitalization. The two finest products of the scriptorium are Gabriel's Evangelion for use in the Greek liturgy (cod. 61) and the Sabbas Typicon produced for the monastery by Gabriel and Kallinikos (cod. 174). If these manuscripts give expression to the character of the sixteenth-century revival at Philotheou, then it can be seen that the revival, although initially anti-Bulgarian, was not fundamentally nationalistic. In fact, Gabriel's colorful ornamental painting is purely Turkish, as comparison with contemporary Turkish ceramic art reveals. The real objective and central motivating symbol of this revival, from Dionysios' commission to the codices of Gabriel, was the Greek Liturgy and services of the hours, whose celebration and preservation, especially in the face of the turkification of the Black Sea region, became the mission of the coenobitic monastic life at Philotheou and of its scriptorium.


Alice Taylor (New York University)

In the last decades of the thirteenth century, the part of Armenia around Lake Van experienced a revival in the arts, in which manuscript illustration played a large role. In the surviving illustrated manuscripts, it is possible to trace the development of a distinctive Lake Van Gospel cycle, and indeed to observe the mechanisims by which changes in the iconography of that cycle occurred.

Hundreds of illustrated Gospels survive from Lake Van. Because the great majority of them carry colophons identifying scribe and artist, patron and scriptorium, the manuscripts of this region provide a rare opportunity to study the concrete effects of artistic personality, patronage, and workshop tradition on the development of iconography. in addition, the Gospels frequently repeat the same cycles of illustration with minor variations, so that these variations -- the locus of iconographic change -- can be traced against a stable background.

The Lake Van Gospels have two important features in common. First, they group full-page miniatures in the first one or two gatherings of the codex. This "pictorial preface" is the oldest of the Armenian formats for Gospel illustration, used extensively throughout Armenia from the seventh through the eleventh centuries. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, new patterns for the placement of images overshadowed it, but the Lake Van artists used the older and least complicated format without exception. Secondly, their lengthy Gospel cycles almost always included the Annunciation, Nativity, Presentation, Baptism, Transfiguration, Raising of Lazarus, Entry, Crucifixion, Women at the Tomb, Ascension and Pentecost. As a group, this core of scenes does not have an ancestry in Armenian manuscripts before the Seljuk invasions, but it came to dominate full-page illustration in thirteenth century Gospels from all parts of Armenia. Gospels of the Lake Van revival combine an archaic format with a widespread contemporary iconography.

In addition to this core of scenes, which repeat in almost every manuscript, the typical Gospel book of the Lake Van revival contains five to ten more scenes. Strong relationships between various additional scenes is suggested by their tendency to replace one another; in some cases the substitions involve equivalencies, in others, rejection of the standard image. Variant versions of Christ's Miracles, the Communion to the Apostles, and the Pentecost reflect the attitudes of various scriptoria to Thomist doctrines spread agressively in fourteenth century Armenia by Catholic missionaries.


Kathleen Maxwell (University of Santa Clara)

Brescia cod. A.VI.26 has been variously dated to the tenth, twelfth, and fourteenth centuries. This Greek Gospel Book's ornament is comprised of three Evangelist portraits (John is missing), a number of headpieces and two unusual frontispieces illustrating the prologue of Epiphanios.1 Robert Nelson discussed the prologue illustrations in his recent book and dated the text to the twelfth century. Prof. Nelson demonstrated, however, that this date could not be applied to the Evangelist portraits as their inflated figure style can only be ascribed to the Palaeologan period. Attention was also drawn to physical evidence which indicates that the present portraits are not contemporaneous with the text and text ornament.2

Although the Evangelist figures themselves do resemble Byzantine products of the late thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, the architectural setting and the palette are atypical of Byzantine production. This fact may have contributed to the difficulty scholars have encountered in reaching a concensus regarding a date for the manuscript. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Prof. Nelson's proposal of a fourteenth century date for the Evangelist portraits is supported by evidence drawn from fourteenth century, illuminated Armenian manuscripts. This is best illustrated by the work of Sargis Pidzak, a prolific scribe and painter of the Kingdom of Cilicia. Over thirty-three manuscripts have been associated with Sargis and a number of these provide parallels for those aspects of the Brescia portraits which are not Byzantine in character. These include manuscripts now housed in the Library of the Mekhitharist Fathers at San Lazzaro, Venice (No. 16; dated 1331) and in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin (No. 561; dated 1329 and No. 614; dated 1342). These Armenian parallels assist in establishing the type of sources which must have influenced the artist responsible for the repainting of the Brescia portraits. The linear and highly decorative approach to the architectural setting as well as the awkward writing gesture assumed by Matthew in the Brescia manuscript are paralleled in the work of Sargis Pidzak.

It is more difficult to ascertain whether an Armenian or a Byzantine artist was responsible for the repainting of the Brescia portraits. Arguments in favor of an Armenian artist are supported by the unusual palette. In addition, Martini noted that the manuscript features both Greek and Armenian quire signatures and that the latter were executed in a different color ink than that used for the text.3 Perhaps these date from the period of the repainting of the portraits as this process may have necessitated that the manuscript be taken apart, repainted and finally, rebound. The presence of the Armenian quire signatures suggest that this may have taken place in a scriptorium which employed at least one Armenian craftsman. It is impossible to decide on the basis of our present information where this scriptorium was located. In any event, the decorative approach popularized by Sargis Pidzak was widely copied through the seventeenth century in Armenian illustrated manuscripts, but remained a rarity in Greek production.

1 A color portrait of Matthew is reproduced in Storia di Brescia, I, pp.1024-5.

2 R. S. Nelson, The Iconography of Preface and Miniature in the Byzantine Gospel Book, (New York, 1980), pp. 60ff. and figs. 35-37.

3 E. Martini, Catalogo di manoscritti greci esistenti nelle Biblioteche Italiane, (Milano, 1896), I:2r pp. 259-60.


John Lowden (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)

The Prophet Book, containing the twelve Minor and/or four Major Prophets was one of those convenient textual divisions, like the Psalter or Gospel Book, in which the Bible was produced by the Byzantines. A number of illuminated Prophet Books survive. Although they contain, for the most part, only author portraits, they shed an interesting light on the illuminated Byzantine manuscript, how it was produced, for what patron, what purpose it was intended to serve, and its relationship to humbler volumes without illustration. The Prophet Books are also important in themselves, for among them are some of the most splendid Byzantine manuscripts to have survived, although others are less artistically distinguished.

None of the Prophet Books can be precisely dated, but their relative chronology, spanning the period between roughly the middle of the tenth and the middle of the thirteenth centuries, is not controversial. Most interesting, therefore, is the observation that the youngest of the manuscripts,, is a direct copy of the oldest, Vat.Chigi.R.VIII.54. This relationship is explicit in the text of the two books. The later work is a transcription of the Chigianus with the addition of new errors. On each page the scribe can be observed in action, coping with the complex layout of his model, and on one occasion with a serious blunder by the artist which led to a reorganisation of the text. The miniatures of the later manuscript, however, are not in any obvious ways "copies" of their early models. When placed side by side their relationship to one another is not apparent. But they do have certain peculiarities which require explanation, and for which the influence of the earlier miniatures may provide some answer.

The other illuminated Prophet Books have valuable information to provide, but it is Vat.Chigi.R.VIII.54 and which are the focal point of this paper. To some extent the conclusions that can be drawn from these two about how a scribe and artist worked on the production of a manuscript can also be used to test the validity of the hypothetical models often proposed as influential on other surviving manuscripts.


Presiding: Annemarie Weyl Carr


Helen C. Evans (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

The Study of Byzantine art during the era of the Latin Interregnum has been based on the assumption that works created in border areas of the empire could be used to understand the course of the development of Byzantine art while the capital was in Crusader hands and its artisans presumably dispersed. Among the major cultural centers at the edge of Byzantium in this era was Cilician Armenia. An affluent, independent kingdom on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean sea, it maintained extensive political and merchantile relations with Byzantium, the Latin West, and the Crusader states while exploring religious union with both Rome and Byzantium.

Cilicia's manuscript tradition in the mid-thirteenth century received a new wave of Byzantine influence generally associated with its ecclesiastical center at Hromklay. The first major manuscripts of this innovative era were illuminated by Tâoros Roslin, presumably the greatest Cilician artist, at Hromklay for the Catholicos Constantine I and the imperial family. Artistic connections between Armenia and Byzantium through Anatolia in the era of the Latin Interregnum have been suggested. Buchthal has argued for the possibility of an Armenian element in the manuscripts grouped about the presumed imperial scriptorium at Nicaea. Connections have been made between the style of Tâoros Roslin and Trebizond. Associations have also been suggested with Palestine where the Melisende Psalter was produced in the twelfth century for the Armenian wife of Fulk of Anjou.

This paper will demonstrate the extent to which the manuscripts of Tâoros Roslin can be used as a tool for the study of the development of Byzantine art in the era of the Interregnum by a study of specific motifs in his manuscripts new to the Armenian tradition and their sources.


Rebecca W. Corrie (Bates College)

Between 1204 and 1261 Constantinople lay under Western rule, and the perpetuation of Byzantine culture fell to the small kingdoms that formed in its wake, such as Nicaea and Epiros. For art historians the Latin Interregnum remains a baffling period. It is the seed-bed of Palaeologan art, and yet, despite the efforts of Professors Weitzmann, Demus, Buchthal, Belting and others, the evolution and localization of Byzantine art between 1204 and 1261 remains unclear. For those who study the Western outposts of Byzantine art, such as thirteenth-century Italy, the picture can be equally perplexing, for we see the fractured images of various periods of Byzantine art mixed with the influence of contemporary Byzantinizing centers. Today, I would like to offer some observations on ways in which the reflections formed in Italian art can be interpreted to clarify events in Eastern Mediterranean art.

Dated Italian works such as the Padua Epistolary of 1259 indicate that elements associated with the style Hans Belting has called the "First" Palaeologan style were well developed before the reconquest of Constantinople. And, as Wolfgang Grape noted in his 1973 dissertation, the style of the Padua Epistolary was an international style, shared by the manuscript painters of Armenia. Armenian manuscripts confirm the international character of Byzantine elements found in another Italian region, Southern Italy and Sicily. The Conradin Bible produced in that region shortly before 1270 shares distinctive qualities with Armenian manuscripts produced in the third quarter of the thirteenth century. While some of these characteristics are broadly stylistic, a few motifs are so specific that they suggest a connnection between Sicily and Armenia. Closer analysis suggests that many of the similarities can be attributed to a common dependence on works produced in the style of the so-called Nicaea manuscript group. Taken as a whole the evidence offered by these Venetian, Sicilian, and Armenian works, in addition to some Italian panel paintings, indicates that the style of the Nicaea group, dated variously between the late twelfth century and the first quarter of the thirteenth century, held the attention of Byzantinizing artists well past the middle of the thirteenth century, and, indeed, may have persisted in a center such as Nicaea until that time. In the Padua Epistolary and the Conradin Bible the influence of the Nicaea style appears side-by-side with the influence of the First Palaeologan style. This influence is not, however, as evident in Armenian manuscripts, allowing us to speculate that the Nicaea style and the early Palaeologan style were not actually sequential as has been generally supposed, but that for a time at least, they existed concurrently, possibly radiating from two different centers. Analysis of the Conradin Bible allows us to speculate on one other aspect of the Interregnum period, for several motifs including the so-called "lost profile," appear in the Bible associated with figures which do not reflect Palaeologan style. Yet, to date, the inauguration of these motifs in Palaeologan art has not been dated before 1300. Their presence in the Conradin Bible and other works testifies to their circulation in the Mediterranean basin during the Interregnum period, and adds evidence that some aspects of Palaeologan art emerged decades before we can document their appearance in Byzantine art.


Ellen C. Schwartz (Eastern Michigan University)

The thirteenth century has been seen as a time of great stylistic creativity in Byzantine art. In the frescoes of Serbia, the development of a new volumetric style presented in terms of light and shadow has been traced from Studenica (1208/09) to Sopoćani (c. 1265). But alongside this style, there persists a more archaic style relying on line, which appears in a large number of monuments.

There appear to be four explanations for this persistence of linearity in Balkan fresco painting at this time. The first is the use of archaic models, seen in the Bulgarian frescoes of Bojana. Dated to 1259, these paintings exhibit stylistic traits of the early twelfth century. This may be explained by the Byzantine occupation of Bulgaria, 1118-1185, when new types in art and architecture were introduced, to be copied in monuments decades later.

A second factor explains the archaisms evident in many of the frescoes in Macedonia, such as those at Manastir (1271). These small provincial churches exhibit stylistic tendencies typical of the Late Comnenian frescoes in the same region, a case of local persistence in a cultural backwater.

The most interesting of the Serbian frescoes are those which use elements from the volumetric style, but define them in terms of the old linear motifs. While several of these ensembles have been attributed to a single workshop (Bogorodica Ljeviûka, c. 1220; Sv. Nikola at Studenica, c. 1240; and Morača, 1252), most of them are clearly not the work of the same artists. In some cases, such as Mileûevo (c. 1234) and Sopoćani (c. 1265), the linear style occurs in the same churches as the volumetric, but is relegated to subsidiary spaces. Here the older style seems to have been preserved in the work of lesser masters, hired to decorate the less important and/or less visible areas of the churches.

The paintings of Peć (c. 1240-65) and Arilje (1296) seem to have a fourth reason for their archaism. While the work of Pećâs Master A shows cognizance of the developing three-dimensional style, his draperies are articulated by lines which form geometric patterns. These paintings find no parallels in Serbia; the closest are the frescoes of the Vlacherna monastery near Arta in northern Greece. The frescoes of Arilje, despite their later date, exhibit a body type and linear definition close to that seen at Peć. And Arilje, too, has ties to northern Greece: the discovery of the acrostic marpou links the workshop directly to Thessaloniki in the years before 1261. Thus the archaism of Arilje and its similarities to Peć are due both to the use of old-fashioned models and to the common origin of both ensembles in the art of northern Greece. Perhaps, just as Constantinople has been suggested as the home of the volumetric style, the artistic centers of northern Greece may be posited as the home of the new linearism--a style which interpreted the new forms of the thirteenth century in the formal language of the twelfth.


Cecil L. Striker (University of Pennsylvania)

After an interruption of several years, work resumed in 1977 on the cleaning, conservation and reconstruction of the St. Francis wall paintings from Kalenderahne (DOP 22 (1968), 189-91). The work was carried out in three seasons by Franca Callori di Vignale (Rome), concluding with the montage of the paintings for museum display. A set of scale drawings of the reconstructed fragment was made by Elizabeth Simpson in 1982 for inclusion in the Kalenderhane final report, and these assisted in answering a number of questions about the original form of the cycle.

Among these are the definite attribution of the large-scale eyes to one of the standing Church Fathers, the identification of one of the Fathers as Chrysostomos, and the definite location within the cycle of a suprising number of excavated amd pieced-together fragments.

On the basis of this some additional progress has been made in identifying individual scenes and in reconstructing the original form of the cycle as a whole.


Presiding: Kenneth G. Holum


Michele Renee Salzman (Boston University)

Several modern scholars -- and chief among them are A. Alfoldi and H. Bloch -- have argued that Rome in the reign of the Emperor Constantius II was a city polarized by the conflict between pagans and christians. This view rests largely upon the evidence of the Theodosian Codes (XVI.10.2-.4) which outlaw pagan sacrifice in the firmest possible terms beginning in 341, and on interpretation of cultural artifacts, such as the contorniates whose pagan iconography was viewed as evidence for a hostile reaction on the part of the pagan aristocracy. Only recently have scholars begun to argue that the model for pagan-christian relations in the fourth century can be better understood as one of assimilation, rather than conflict, and have focussed on various aspects of the problem. D. Novak, for one, has studied the epigraphic evidence for the relations between Constantine and the Roman Senate, and R. von Haehling has analyzed the religion of imperial appointees. But there has been no comprehensive study of the evidence from Rome for the relations between pagans and christians under the reign of the Emperor Constantius II.

This paper will discuss the literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence in order to emend and refine our understanding of pagan-christian relations in Rome under the Emperor Constantius II (337-61). My analysis will concentrate on the famous illustrated Calendar of 354, dedicated to a Christian; on the significance of the Via Latina Catacomb and its paintings; and on the results of recent epigraphic and prosopographic studies. I will argue that this period was not one of conflict between pagans and Christians in Rome at any rate. Moreover, I will argue that the laws against pagan sacrifice were not implemented at Rome, as the writings of Libanius indicate; and that the evidence for pagan sacrifice at Rome suggests that the only significant change in the ritual practices of Roman paganism in this period may have been the increasing use of libation in the place of animal sacrifice. The resulting picture of Rome is of a a city of relatively peaceful coexistence between pagans and christians, and one in which Roman pagan traditions continued virtually unchanged throughout the rule of Constantius II.


Frank M. Clover (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

The ancient record of the Church of Saint Agatha of the Goths, situated along Rome's Via Mazzarino, is sparse. An apse mosaic, lost when the vaulting collapsed in 1589, read: Fl(auius) Ricimer u(ir) i(nlustris) magister utriusque militiae patricius et ex cons(ule) ord(inario) pro uoto adornauit. The offices named on the commemoration fix its date: Ricimer received the patriciate and probably the high command from Emperor Leo I in 457, and held the western consulate in 459. Ricimer therefore adorned the apse of the church between ca. 460 and 472, the year of his death. By the time of Pope Gregory the Great the shrine, dedicated to the memory of Saint Agatha, had long been frequented by Arian Goths. This situation evidently prevailed during the Ostrogothic occupation of Italy, and one suspects that the half-Goth Ricimer set the precedent in 460-472.

On this much critics agree. Some go a step further. Noting that Saint Agatha, traditionally martyred at Catania, was especially popular in Sicily, some observers posit a Sicilian event as the origin of Ricimer's devotion at Rome. The current guess is that Ricimer's success against the Vandals at Agrigentum, attested by Sidonius Apollinaris (Carmen 2. 367) and assigned to a campaign of A.D. 456, was the event which moved the general to honor the martyr of Sicily. I think that these critics have the right idea but the wrong event. Priscus of Panium (in a fragment transmitted in the Constantinian Excerpta de legationibus Romanorum ad gentes) notes that around 460 or 461 Count Marcellinus of Dalmatia withdrew from Sicily after Ricimer bribed "a force of Scythians" away from him. While most historians regard Priscus' "Scythians" as Huns, it seems clear from a closer examination of the text that the troops in question were Amalic Ostrogoths from Pannonia. For events after the year 454, when the Battle of the Nedao River marked the end of the Hunnish hegemony in the Balkans, Priscus used the term "Scythian" to describe not so much the Huns, but the barbarian heirs of their domain. In the fragment which precedes the one under discussion (also in the Excerpta de legationibus Romanorum ad gentes) the Amal Valamir, the uncle of Theoderic the Great, is a "Scythian." On the strength of this reading of Priscus one can argue that around 460 or 461 Ricimer lured a force of Amalic Ostrogoths from Sicily to Rome. The dedication on the apse of S. Agata dei Goti describes the sequel: Ricimer, Master of Soldiers, Patrician and former Consul, adorned an existing shrine or founded a new one. Thus began the occupation of a Sicilian martyr's memorial by Arian Goths.

My reconstruction of events is at best tentative. If it is accepted, one gains an interesting perspective on one of the anomalies of the late fifth century Theodoric the Great's march to Italy in 488/9. Why did Theoderic and his people move westward? The present argument brings into view an inducement: part of the Amali had been residing and worshipping in Rome for a generation.


Alan Cameron (Columbia University)

Almost all our sources for the foundation of Constantinople are of the late sixth century -- or even later. By then truth had long been yielding to legend. And as if Byzantine myths were not enough to cope with, the present century has made massive additions to their number.

Modern scholars have been obsessed by alleged pagan elements in the actual foundation ceremony (which can hardly have lasted more than an hour or two), and ignored the fact that the city was founded on the anniversary of its principal martyr, S. Mocius. On closer inspection, the 'pagan' ceremonies turn out to be misinterpretations of passages in Malalas and John the Lydian, of no historical value whatever. Thus there is simply no basis for the widespread belief that the city was dedicated to Tyche, or that Constantine erected a statue of himself as the Sun-god, or that Constantine gave the city a 'mystical' name (Anthusa) to match the 'mystical' name of Rome (Flora). A horoscope of the city allegedly commissioned by Constantine can be shown on the basis of newly published evidence to be a fabrication of the tenth century.

More interesting are the Byzantine myths. For example, the elaboration of the link with old Rome: the discovery (ca 400) that Constantinople had seven hills, the division into 14 regions. In particular the notion of the foundation as a quest: the new Aeneas, like the founder of Rome, made a number of unsuccessful attempts (Thessalonica, Chalcedon) before hitting on Byzantium, guided by various oracles. The most intriguing legend is the alleged abortive foundation on or near the site of Troy, supported by ruins visible from the sea.

This led to the myth tnat Constantine had brought to Byzantium the Palladium that Aeneas had rescued from Troy and taken to Italy.

Contrary to another widespread modern belief, there was no succession of stages to the foundation (linitatio, inauguratio, consecritio) spread out between 324 and 330. There was one Christian consecration in 330. Constantine seems to have called the city Constantinople and given it the title 'New Rome'. Contemporaries used the name, but from the beginning it was the bishops of the city who affected the title in their style, to enhance their prestige. It is only in the light of this (by 381 long established) practice that we can understand the otherwise surprising decision of the council of Constantinople to raise the status of the see of the new capital to be second after Rome on the ground that Îit is the New Romeâ.


Sarah E. Bassett (Bryn Mawr College)

When Constantine founded his capital on the Bosporus in A.D. 324, he brought cult images, commemorative monuments, and curiosities from around the Empire to adom the forat streets, and public gathering places of him city. Perhaps the greatest of the Constantinopolitan depositories for antiquities was the Hippodrome: literary accounts and archaeological evidence indicate that there were at least 25 ancient monuments in the circus. Because most of these antiquities have long since been destroyed, it is not possible to say what they would have looked like, except in a very general sense. From the literary testimonia, however, it is possible to create a clear picture of the kinds of images set up in the circus, and to consider whether or not there was programmatic intent behind the massing of the collection.

Antiquities brought to the Hippodrome may be classed in three Groups: victory monuments, images of Rome, and apotropaia. Of these monuments, images of victory are by far the most common. At least three aspects of this concept seems to have been represented in the selection of antiquities under Constantine. Some monuments each an a group of tripods brought from the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, can be viewed as generic victory dedications. Others, such as the Serpent Column, also from Delphi, have specific associations with military victories. Still other works, ouch as the great Herakles of Lysippos, may be seen to serve as exampla virtutium for Hippodrome competitors.

Apart from images of victory, there war monuments associated with the idea of Rome. Two groups, a sow with piglets, and a wolf with Romulus and Remus, recalled the dual legends of the ancient capital's founding. With these images in place, the Constantinopolitan hippodrome was identified an the circus of Now Rome.

Finally, the Hippodrome was adorned with a series of apotropaic images whose ranks included statues of pagan dieties, wild animals, and fantastic creatures. Each of these figures had ancient associations with the circus and was designed to ward off evil from the course.

An account of the afterlife of antiquities in the Hippodrome is interesting on several accounts. The consistency of the imagery not only indicates that the monuments were grouped according to a program, but also shows that most of these works retained their ancient associations. These specific observations imply first the possibility of programmatic intent behind the gathering of antiquities in other areas of Constantinople, and, secondly, that there in little that can be said in favor of a Christian reinterpretation of pagan statuary in the fourth and the fifth centuries. These ideas, in turn, suggest that the attitude towards antiquities as emblems of a despised and depraved pagan past was non-existent in the capital at this time.


Stephen R. Zwirn (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

This reexamination of the Vienna diptych is an attempt to confirm and correct its place among the monuments of Late Antiquity. Delbrueck dated it to A.D. 469, and proposed a source in the West; recently, Cutler (BSC 1982) suggested that it is a product of the Carolingian court school, thereby reaffirming a Western origin, with a shift into the early ninth century.

Some of the ideas presented here were first formulated in the catalogue Age of Spirituality (no. 153), where I proposed that the diptych is neither Western, nor of the fifth century. The ivories can easily be dissociated from the historical events which Delbrueck invoked; and they are, I maintain, quite different in style and conception from the noticeably more mannered and elaborated carving of the Carolingian school. A redefinition of the chronological and cultural placement of this diptych begins with a brief typological survey of the gabled aedicula serving allegorical and official figures. This review demonstrates that, though the doubled gable may be unique on these ivories, none of the elements in this presentation and their basic design is extrinsic to the Late Antique, contra Cutler.

A reappraisal of the style of the figures constitutes the method for delimiting the range of possible dates. Comparisons to the manner of carving the anatomy and drapery, as well as rendering of details, attributes and architecture, reveal a very close relationship to ivories that are dated in the first half of the sixth century, and to others that are attributed to this period.

The figures have been generally accepted as personifications of Roma and Constantinopolis. Although this may be correct in essence, I think their identity is charged and expanded by the addition of prominent attributes, which significantly modify their interpretation. No longer mere personifications, these figures serve as complex allegories of the "universal" range of the imperial persona and its authority.

For what occasion, then, was the diptych designed, if the symbolic content may be understood as imperial? There is the possibility that it was distributed to mark one of Justinian's consular appointments during his reign (528, 533, 534). The lack of the fasces, however, makes a connection with such an event questionable, especially with the emphatic presence of other attributes. I suggest, instead, that, as a silver medallion of ConstantiusII, commemorating his tricennalia, is decorated with images of the two capital cities, so the Vienna diptych was made to celebrate a regnal anniversary of Justinian, the only person for whom the political allusions would be appropriate. Therefore, whereas I proposed a date ca. 500 for these ivories in the catalogue entry, I would now emend that date to the second third of the sixth century.


Presiding: Kathleen J. Shelton


Dorothea R. French (University of California, Berkeley)

The Riot of Statues in Antioch (A.D. 387) and the imperial response to the disturbance, illustrates the relationship existing between the emperor, the city and the public spectacles in late antiquity. The citizens of Antioch rioted over what they perceived to be an intolerable tax levied by Theodosius I. In the course of their anti-imperial demonstration, they attacked various symbols of imperial rule throughout the city including the home of the governor of Syria, the lamps in the imperial baths, as well as the images and statues of the emperor and his family. After calm was restored, Theodosius took steps to punish the citizens of Antioch for the outrage. First, he dispatched two imperial judges to investigate the riot and to penalize those parties responsible for instigating the tumult. Secondly, he deprived Antioch of her metropolitan status, and closed her hippodrome, theatres and baths. Scholarship on the riot has tended to focus on the first of these two imperial actions. Historians have been concerned with identifying both the onerous tax that precipitated the riot, and those men responsible for perpetrating the upheaval.

However, it is important for our understanding of imperial civic relations to recognize the fact that by closing the buildings designed for public pleasure and entertainment Theodosius was pursuing a drastic policy of punishing the citizens of Antioch. Riots were not uncommon in late antique cities. They tended to erupt wherever crowds were likely to congregate--in the forums, marketplaces, theatres and hippodromes. Occasionally disputes between the fanatical partisans of the circus factions erupted into full-scale disturbances. More often however, the riots were symptomatic of deep anxieties in the cities over real or perceived shortages of grain, wine or oil; over the high prices of goods in the marketplaces; or over an increase in taxation. Imperial responses to these outbursts freqently included both some degree of armed intervention to restore the peace, and the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators of the violence. Rarely did a ruler punish a city either by closing the theatres and hippodromes, or by prohibiting games altogether.

There were precedents for Theodosius' punishment of Antioch in A.D. 387. Byzantium (in A.D. 197), Alexandria (in A.D. 212) and Antioch (in A.D. 176) had all faced similar disgrace. By examining these earlier incidents, and by comparing them with the events surrounding the Riot of Statues, we are able to gain fresh insights into the relationship between the ruler, the imperial cities, and the public spectacles in late antique society.


Ralph W. Mathisen (University of South Carolina)

In the Chronicle of Hydatius, The Gallic emperor Eparchius Avitus is given three regnal years, viz. 455, 456, and 457. Historically, however, Avitus was acclaimed Augustus on July 9/10, 455 and was deposed on October 18/19, 456. This anomalous reference to a third regnal year, therefore, has been condemned universally as an error of this isolated Spanish bishop. But was there, perhaps, some other reason besides Hydatius' ignorance for this reference? An analysis of the very fragmentary evidence surroundinq Avitus' fall suggests that there just may have been one.

During the summer of 456, civic dissension forced Avitus to leave Rome, and this was followed by a revolt of the Italian army under Ricimer and Majorian. Avitus then withdrew to Gaul, where he raised what forces he could, although his appeals to the Visigoths, who were pursuing their own interests in Spain, fell on deaf ears. He then returned to Italy where he was defeated at Piacenza, forced to abdicate, and consecrated bishop of the city. But for both Avitus and the Gauls the matter did not end there. In southern Gaul the mysterious "coniuratio Marcellana de capessendo diademate," mentioned only by Sidonius (Epist.1.11), arose later in the year. And meanwhile Avitus himself attempted to return to Gaul.

Hitherto, these two incidents have been dissociated--indeed, some have gone so far as to assert that it was a Marcellinus, not a Marcellus, who was involved in the conspiracy and that this was Marcellinus of Dalmatia. But a perhaps more likely, as well as more internally consistent, reconstruction may run some- thing like this: Many Gauls had no desire to subordinate themselves to rule from Italy once again after Avitus' fall--this much is certain--and for the time beinq may have refused to recognize the deposition of their own imperial candidate . Therefore, the "Marcellan conspiracy" arose not to place some un- known individual on the throne, but to place Avitus back on it. This then explains why Avitus attempted to return to Gaul. But, he died on the way home and the plot ultimately was still-born.

Such an analysis would obviate several difficulties engendered by past interpretations. It would give yet another reason for discarding any role played by Marcellinus of Dalmatia. It would explain why the Marcellan conspiracy withered on the vine, and why Avitus made his abortive attempt to return to Gaul. And it also would shed light on Hydatius' otherwise inexplicable reference to Avitus' third regnal year, for at least at the beginning of 457 Avitus was still recognized in Gaul and Spain.


R. Bruce Hitchner (University of Virginia)

At present, very little is known about the rural economy and society of North Africa in Late Antiquity. The major contemporary sources, Augustine, Victor of Vita, Procopius and Corippus, provide at best only occasional elliptical references to matters pertaining to rural life. There is also a decided dearth of epigraphical and archaeological evidence on the subject. The result is that modern treatments of life in the African countryside in the late Roman, Vandal, and Byzantine periods tend to be extremely vague or, as is more often the case, mere rehashes of the evidence of the literary sources.

To partially remedy this situation, further fieldwork in archaeology is necessary. To this end, I recently undertook a survey of some sites recorded on the Kasserine feuille (#XLVII) of the Atlas ArchŽologique de la Tunisie. (The survey was supported by a grant from the American Philosophical Society.) The im- mediate goal of the survey was to gather data on the settlement history of a small area some 18 km southeast of Kasserine (ancient Cillium) known by inscriptions of the late secoild and early third century to have been occupied by the tribe of the Musunii Regiani. Overall, the survey was intended to be a preliminary step in a full-scale archaeological reconaissance of the entire region of Kasserine planned for spring 1984 which will be carried out by a team formed jointly by the University of Virginia and the Tunisian Institut National d'ArchŽologie et d'Art. The purpose of the cooperative survey project will be to produce a gazetteer of sites to update and supplement the information of the Atlas ArchŽologique and to prepare a historical overview of the Tunisian high steppe in the periods of Roman, Vandal, and Byzantine rule.

The survey concentrated on eleven sites at the foot of Djebel Selloum. Although it has not been possible as yet to determine the function and purpose of each of the sites, it would appear that at least seven were associated with the cultivation and production of olives. Of these, two were either small agricultural villages or extended villa complexes, one of which seems to have been fortified. A third was without a doubt a small farm. The remaining four sites were very modest structures of one to three rooms. Of the four other sites located in the survey, one was a small rectangular structure with an apsidal room on its west side. This building, the function of which is uncertain, was located at the entrance to an ancient pass through Djebel Selloum. Another site is noteworthy for the presence on it of a small pottery kiln, possibly belonging to the Islamic period (post-seventh century). Two sites could not be properly identified owing to extensive modern robbing and plow destruction.

Ceramic evidence suggests that virtually all of the sites were occupied from roughly the second or third to about the sixth century. It should be noted, however, that three sites turned up Islamic glazed wares. Although most of the ceramic finds were local or red slip wares produced in southern Tunisia, some sherds have been tentatively traced to eastern Algeria suggesting trade or other forms of contact between that region and the area of Kasserine. (Dr. Lucinda Neuru has kindly read all pottery gathered in the survey.),

To sum up, the data from the survey suggests that sedentary agriculture, specifically olive cultivation, was introduced on a significant scale in the territory of the Musunii Regiani in the second or third century. It also appears that such agricultural activity continued without serious interruption down to the sixth century. After that time there appears to have been a decline in the number of agricultural settlements as only three sites retain any evidence of possible continued occupation into the Islamic period. The historical implication of this evidence is that during the period of Byzantine rule, the social and economic formations of the region of Kasserine were significantly changed. The reasons for this change are not evident in the data gathered by the survey, but may perhaps be attributed to the upheavals in North Africa created by the long conflicts between the Byzantines and Moors in the sixth century and the Arab razzias after 647.


Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)

The consensus of scholarly opinion now holds that the temples of Greece played little role in the conflict between paganism and Christianity in late antiquity. The old idea of the "conversion" of the temples has been generally discredited and paganism is thought to have died a slow and peaceful death long before the first Christians ventured into the deserted pagan sanctuaries. Some early churches, it is true, were built in the vicinity of the pagan temples, but this was either because they served nearby settlements or because the deserted temples provided readily- available building material.

The Asklepieion in Athens, however, deserves to be considered more fully in this regard. From Marinos' Vita Procli we know that the pagan Asklepielon was still being used at least as late as the middle of the fifth century, but by ca. 485 the temple had either been destroyed or at least deconsecrated. A short time later a Christian church was built directly over the ruins of the sanctuary, incorporating many of its foundations in the construction. The crucial question here concerns the date of the church and its relationship with the former temple. Unfortu- nately, little of a datable nature has survived from the church, but a closure slab from the chancel screen appears to be quite early and not likely to have been carved later than A.D. 500.

This suggests that the church must have been constructed when the pagan Asklepieion was still a very vivid memory.

In fact, as we have seen, the pagan temple was destroyed before the church was built. That this was not the result of natural causes can be seen from the fate of relief sculptures from the sanctuary which were deliberately mutilated. There is no reason to believe that these reliefs were ever again visible after the destruction of the temple, so their mutilation must have occurred at the time the temple was destroyed, probably by a mob of Christians who singled out the building as one of the most viable pagan centers in fifth-century Athens.

The "conversion" of the Asklepieion in Athens provides one of the very few examples of direct pagan-Christian confrontation in Greece. There is, unfortunately, no good evidence as to whether there was any continuity of cult in the Christian Asklepieion: it is easy simply to assert this, but proof remains lacking, The incorporation of what was probably the former Stoa of Incubation within the church may lend weight to this argument, but in the absence of parallels or more direct evidence, this must remain only speculation.


S. Thomas Parker (North Carolina State University)

The Central Limes Arabicus Project, a long term regional examination of the Early Byzantine frontier east of the Dead Sea in modern Jordan, is addressing two principal historical questions: 1) What can account for a massive military buildup of this sector of the imperial frontier about A.D. 300? 2) What can explain the apparent abandonment of most fortifications in this sector by the early 6th century?

The frontier is being examined through full-scale excavation of the legionary fortress of el- Lejjūn, limited soundings of a half dozen smaller forts, intensive survey of the frontier zone itself, and a parallel survey of the desert fringe east of the frontier in an effort to learn something of the nomadic opponents of the Empire.

Excavation of the legionary fortress demonstrated that it was constructed under Diocletian ca. 300. It served as the base of legio IV Martia, a unit of no more than ca. 1500 troops. Thus far, excavations have revealed portions of the prinicipia, a barracks block, two towers of the fortifications, and an exterior caravanserai. The fortress was abandoned after an earthquake, probably that attested in 551.

Three smaller fortifications have been sounded to datet a watchpost (Rujm Beni Yasser) and two castella (Khirbet el-Fityān and Qasr Bshīr). Yasser was constructed in the first century B.C. or A.D. by the Nabataeans, but was reoccupied and enlarged by the Romans ca. 300. Both castella were also built about this time. They formed important components of a defense in depth, based on a broad fortified zone 20-30 kilometers deep. The castella were placed about one day's march apart and held auxiliary units. The watchposts covered the gaps between the castella and served as the 'eyes and ears' of the system. The survey suggested that virtually all these posts were abandoned by ca. 500.

The surveys of the frontier zone and the desert fringe have located nearly 200 sites, most previously unrecorded. The evidence suggests that the region was sparsely populated in the first two centuries of direct Roman rule (106-300). The military buildup of 300, however, coincided with a sharp increase in the number of occupied sites, even along the desert fringe. Most of these sites were also abandoned by the early 6th century.

It seems probable that the military buildup in this sector was due to increasing pressure from Arab tribes on the frontier. Encouraged by the weakness of the Empire in the chaotic 3rd century and perhaps impoverished by a decline in Arabian commercial traffic, the tribes increasingly turned to brigandage. Groups of tribes may have formed anti-Roman political alliances in the late 3rd and 4th centuries. The Empire responded systematically to these challanges. Diocletian, after defeating the Sassanids in 298, developed the defense in depth strategy, based on new forts, increased military garrisons, and repair of the road system. Static units held the strongpoints located at key positions while mobile units attempted to intercept and repell the invaders. The success of this strategy is reflected in the high density of sites occupied in the 4th and 5th centuries.

If the new system was so successful, why was it abandoned by the early 6th century? The evidence from excavation and survey reveals much about the frontier in this period. All four sites excavated thus far were abandoned peaceably. The Lejjūn legionary fortress remained occupied another half century, to 551, but the nature of this occupation suggests that the legion was demobilized along with other eastern limitanei by Justinian. Justinian replaced the effective but costly limes of Diocletian with Arab federates under native phylarchs. Thus the central Arabian frontier was abandoned primarily for economic reasons. This policy conserved scarce resources for other frontiers but also sharply reduced local security. From an imperial perspective, the savings in money and manpower gained from the abandonment of the Arabian limes perhaps was worth the loss of population and revenue from a peripheral province of the Empire. But eventually this change in strategic policy proved disastrous. Justinian's successors progressively weakened the Arab phylarchs without any corresponding revitalization of the old limes. This contributed significantly to the Muslim conquest of the Levant in the following century.


Archer St. Clair (Rutgers University)

Of the approximately forty-two ivory pyxides that survive from the Early Christian period, only nine are devoted to Old Testament scenes, and only the Basilewsky pyxis is devoted exclusively to scenes from Exodus. Generally dated in the sixth century, it is included in the large group of ivories stylistically associated with the Maximianus cathedra. As with the cathedra, its specific provenance remains problematic.

Iconographically, the pyxis has proved difficult to interpret not only because the artist was forced by the small size to be highly selective, but also because he took into account the circular format and function of the pyxis and rejected a narrative approach for one that stresses the meaningful juxtaposition of figures and scenes not originally related. The result is a specifically Christian work that presents the messianic theme central to the Christian faith as revealed in the events of Exodus.

The right side of the pyxis, beginning at the lockspace, is devoted to the Receiving of the Law and events related to it. Moses, accompanied by Joshua, receives the Law in the unique form of a codex incised with a cross, the familiar form of gospel books in contemporary art. Both Joshua's presence and the form of the Law can be explained by reference to the typological writings of the early church fathers, where the Old Law was presented as a type of the New that would succeed it, just as Joshua would succeed Moses. In the next scene, formerly identified as the Water Miracle of Rephidim, Aaron is approached by the disbelieving Israelites who to Christians foreshadowed the Jews who reject the New Law and Jesus Christ. An interesting topographical feature is the spring that issues from Mt.Sinai and flows to the bush beneath the lockspace, a reference to the spring near the burning bush where Moses watered his flock, a site that is still venerated within the monastery walls at Mt.Sinai.

The left side of the pyxis is devoted to a scene of offering in which two men bring offerings of a goat and bread to Aaron who stands beside an altar. Instead of the horned Jewish altar, however, a typical Christian altar, on which rests an open codex, is depicted. Juxtaposed to the closed codex received by Moses, the open codex represents the fulfillment of the Old Law in the person of Christ, whose sacrifice replaced the sacrifices of the Old Law, and who as a replacement for the blood sacrifices of the Jews, "gave bread to use as the symbol of his body" (Eusebius, First Principles, VIII,I).


Margaret Gibson (University of Liverpool)

The Asclepius-Hygeiea diptych now in the Merseyside County Museums (Liverpool) belongs to the small group of 'pagan diptychs' from the milieu of the Roman aristocracy in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Within the group its closest associate is Symmachorum Nichomachorum: both express the forms of traditional Roman religion, whereas the Consecratio panel in the British Museum (arguably 431AD) reflects imperial panegyric, and the dionysiac diptych in Sens has yet to be fully analysed.

Asclepius (L) and Hygeiea (R) are shown as statues: Graeven 1913. For Asclepius the ultimate model was the gold and ivory statue at Epidaurus (Pausanius ii.27.2), which survives in a number of Roman copies of the second century AD (KerŽnyi: Types I-III). None of these exactly matches our panel, but conjointly they supply Asclepius' stance, with scroll and rustic staff at his L side; the snake; the omphalos (centre R border); Telesphoros. For Hygeiea the best iconographic precedent is a statuette in Rhodes, with snake and Eros but lacking the tripod (second century AD), one of a pair with Asclepius (KerŽnyi, pl. 31, 33). Thus Asclepius (L) bluntly refers to a known statue; Hygeiea (R) may not do so.

In Rome the cult of Asclepius had long been established on the isola tiberina: Ovid, Met.xv.653-7; Piranesi, Vedute di Roma ii.121 (note bucranion). For Antoninus Pius (137-61) it expressed the ancient religious observance that preserved the state; Julian (361-3) was identified with Asclepius by his panegyrist (Libanius Or.XIII.42) and himself prebented Asclepius/Helios as an alternative to Christ (Hymn to Helios 144B etc.). By 380-400 the pagan cults were under threat: the emperor Gratian repudiated the title of pontifex maximus, temple property was confiscated, and Symmachus failed to secure the restoration of the Altar of Victory to the Senate.

The men involved in these events are the dramatis personae of Macrobius' Saturnalia: Praetextatus, Symmachus, Nichomachus and the rest. They knew the temple of Asclepius on the isola tiberina; as city prefects they had the oversight of its welfare; Praetextatus excepted, they lived to see the cult decay. For Macrobius (c.431) it had ceased altogether, but Asclepius still had meaning. Praetextatus defines Asclepius, son of Apollo, as the eternally-renewing principle that is visibly symbolised by the sun (Sat.I.20.1-5). The snakes, he explains, that we see (sc.c.380) beside the statues of Asclepius and Salus--here at least Hygeiea--make the same point: Îinfirmitatis pelle deposita ad pristinum reuirescant uigoremâ.

The Asclepius-Hygeiea diptych lies between the actual events of c.380 and Macrobiusâ dramatisation of c.430. It records a specific public cult, vanished or vanishing, and sets out the imagery of a universal--and not itrrational--personal philosophy.


Presiding: Lawrence Nees


Mildred Budny (University College London)

British Library MS Royal 1 E. vi, the fragment of a de luxe bible enriched with a number of purple-dyed leaves and originally also with an extensive series of full-page illustrations, was produced in the early ninth century at St Augustine's Abbey. It represents the surviving trace of developments at Canterbury approximately contemporary with illustrated Carolingian bibles at Tours. The Royal Bible stands parallel to them -- its decoration and figural style is fully equal in excellence of conception and execution -- but yet it is distinct, depending upon a different bible model and a different tradition.

Whereas a number of Tours bibles have survived intact, the Royal Bible is reduced to little more than a gospel fragment. In its original state it surpassed in grandeur the Codex Amiatinus copied at Wearmouth-Jarrow by 719 from Cassiodorus's Codex Grandior, a single-volume bible equipped with several purple leaves and full-page illustrations.

Certain elements in the decoration of the Royal Bible -- particularly the layout of the leaves carrying the gospel openings -- owe much to Carolingian developments embodied in de luxe manuscripts of Charlemagne's Court School from about 790 onwards. Still more elements however -- ranging from the nature of the Vulgate text (with a number of Old Latin readings) and its layout to the numerous purple leaves and illustrations -- derive from a late antique model imbued with Greek elements.

That model was probably the lost Biblia Gregoriana which belonged to St Augustine's Abbey and which medieval tradition believed to have been sent by Pope Gregory to St Augustine. It can be reconstructed on the basis of both the brief accounts given of it in the late Middle Ages, particularly in the chronicle of the abbey by Thomas of Elmham and the library catalogue, and the traces which it left in copies made of it, notably Royal 1 E. vi and the illustrated Hexateuch rendered in Old English paraphrase by Aelfric. This manuscript (British Library MS Cotton Claudius B. iv), produced in the second quarter of the eleventh century probably at St Augustine's Abbey, shows in some of its numerous illustrations distinct traces of a late antique cycle of bible illustrations which belongs to no otherwise known recension and displays marked Greek characteristics.

In combination, Royal 1 E. vi and the Old English Hexateuch -- produced at an interval of approximately two centuries apart -- and the fragments of an illustrated gospel book or lectionary dating to circa 1000 and probably also from Canterbury, now at Versailles, allow us to come closer to the venerable lost bible which left its reflection in them. The medieval tradition that Pope Gregory sent it to Augustine might well have been correct.

We know that the text of the Biblia Gregoriana was Latin, but both the 'Ravennate' character of the figural illustration in the arcade which frames the Luke gospel opening in Royal 1 E. vi and the eastern Mediterranean symptoms in the illustrations in the Versailles fragments and some of the illustrations in the Hexateuch indicate that the decoration in that bible had a distinct Greek accent. After all, Gregory had important contacts with Constantinople. In 688 Theodore of Tarsus and Hadrian were sent from Rome to become respectively Archbishop of Canterbury and Abbot of St Peter's (later known as St Augustine's), and during their time Canterbury became a renowned centre for Greek learning. Mirrored in the Anglo-Saxon versions ofthe first six books of the Old Testament on the one hand and of the first four books of the New Testament (plus one leaf of a fifth) on the other hand, the Biblia Gregoriana offers a missing link in bible illustration in Anglo-Saxon England.


Genevra Kornbluth (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Investigations of Byzantine influence on Carolingian art have usually centered on the models of Charlemagne's court schools. The later engraved gems offer the opportunity to study a different type of Byzantine role. Hans Wentzel's recent proposal that the impetus for Carolingian gem-engraving came from direct contact with Byzantine artists (Pantheon 1970) must be rejected on the basis of new technical evidence. The Byzantine influence found here is that of inspiration and revival, not that of instruction.

Byzantine intaglios show an extraordinary range of style and quality. All of them, however, show traces of working with the same tool, the flat-sided wheel. The characteristic cuts of the wheel, which can establish curves only by a series of straight lines, are easily seen on the cruder Byzantine gems, but are equally present on more accomplished works.

Carolingian engravers, on the other hand, seem to have used only the round drill. The individual cuts on all extant Carolingian gems show the true curves which only such a drill can produce. This use of different tools makes it highly unlikely that the Carolingians were taught by their colleagues from the East. In format, however, the western material is clearly dependent on Byzantine works.

The most common material for Carolingian intaglios was rock crystal. The decoration was carved on the reverse, and viewed through the obverse face of the stone. Despite differences of scale, the only real precedent for this format is provided by a series of Byzantine crystal amulets carved with Now Testament scenes. These amulets, constructed to be viewed like the Carolingian crystals, are generally dated in the sixth-seventh century. Stylistically and iconographically too far from the Carolingian works to have served as actual models, they nonetheless indicate that the inspiration for this new type of object in Carolingian art was probably Byzantine.

The Carolingian Baptism crystal in Rouen raises more directly the question of a Byzantine model. The rectangular format and wide border-strips of this stone suggest a manuscript model, and the standing angel, pyramidal water, and long-robed Baptist indicate that such a model could have been Byzantine, The gem also, however, contains iconographic features not found in any phase of Byzantine art. The intaglio is therefore probably not a direct copy from a Byzantine miniature. It is possible that the overall composition could have been inspired by such a manuscript page. This use of the Byzantine object for inspiration rather than actual model would be consistent with the kind of influence exerted by earlier amulets on the Carolingian Crucifixion crystals.

The evidence of the engraved gems speaks against apprenticeship or direct copying on the part of these Carolingian artists. It also shown the positive role Byzantine art played in the development of Carolingian art after Charlemagne, inspiring some of its most original creations.


David Ganz (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The study of Greek in the ninth century depended on a close reading of those Late Antique works which contained Greek terms and phrases. These comprised bilingual biblical texts and liturgica, glossaries and hermeneumata, and patristic and encyclopedic treatises. The theological writings of Boethius, and especially his De Consolatione Philosophiae, had a special interest on Carolingian thought, and a precise analysis of how these texts were studied and glossed is particularly revealing.

This paper attempts to show how Boethius's Greek vocabulary, and the Greek quotations in his writings, were interpreted, and thereby to analyse those tools which were available to Carolingian scholars and so reveal some of the preconceptions with which they approached their task. The discovery of a Lotharingian manuscript containing an unpublished Greek grammar preceding the Consolatio and the Opuscula Sacra provides striking evidence of a major centre of Greek learning at the end of the Carolingian period.

After a brief summary of the problems of mastering Greek script in the Latin scriptoria of the ninth century, especially at Corbie, St. Amand and St. Gall, where Late Antique exemplars were available, I shall outline the transmission of the Opuscula Sacra and their influence on the Dicta Candidi, the debate on the World Soul, and Carolingian opposition to the appointment of Photius and the teachings of the Eastern Church. Here Greek is primarily the source of a vocabulary for theological discourse, though the gloss on the Opuscula Sacra referring to Nicholas I's letter to the Bulgars shows how closely the text was read.

In dealing with the Consolatio I shall by opposing the methodology, evidence and conclusions of F. Troncarelli, whose recently published study of the textual transmission of the Consolatio asserts that the work was edited by Cassiodorus. Unlike Troncarelli, I shall review the correction of the text in the ninth century, and argue that the Greek glosses and headings in some manuscripts, notably the Lotharingian de luxe volume, depend not on Cassiodorus, but on Carolingian scuolars. Both the schools of Laon and of St Gall had the grammars and glossaries to intepret. Boethius's Greek, and extant manuscripts of the Consolatio imply the use of chose tools, especially the Thesaurus Linquae Graecae in MS Laon 444. The Lotharingian manuscript, Harley 2688 + 3095 is unique in transmitting alternative readings for tne Greek quotations, and an extensive set of Greek rhetorical terms which describe the figures and tropes used in the text. It also contains the commentary of Bovo on III metrum IX. This commentary, and the Old High German glosses, provide a clue to the origin and provenance of the manuscript, for Bovo translated the marriage proposal which Leo VI sent to Conrad Ist in 912, and understood Greek terms used by Macrobius. Thus this volume shows how the tradition of careful textual scholarship was transmitted and persisted into the tenth century.

In conclusion I shall compare the study of Boethius with that of Martianus Capella. It was the study of Late Antique classics which provided the spur to the mastery of the Greek alphabet and of rudimentary Greek grammar. Though Carolingian philology seldom rose above such rudiments, they shaped theological speculation and cultural contact with Byzantium, and their importance should not be neglected. Both the interpretation of Greek in Boethius, and the tools and assumptions which shaped that interpretation, are central to any understanding of Byzantine links with the Carolingian west.


Presiding: Robert Browning


Michael Maas (Dartmouth College)

The long ascendancy of Justinian I (527-565) provoked active debate on the derivation, obligations, and legitimization of imperial authority. There was little agreement about the causes and consequences of change, though contem- porary writers agreed that they lived in a period of significant change. The relationship of contemporary events to imperial action and to the Roman past was much discussed, for late Roman traditionalism placed a high value on maintaining continuity with the Roman past, however dimly it might have been remembered. Thus innovation and restoration were frequently used categories of political analysis. They presumed imperial agency and deliberately placed imperial activity in an historical context.

One of the most curious of these theories was developed in John Lydus' de Magistratibus, a work which heretofore has been seen merely as a goldmine of antiquarian data. Lydus in fact concocted a highly original scheme, derived from his understanding of philosophy and from his own experience in the civil service, which gave the emperor sole ability--and responsibility--to restore governmental institutions and so society as a whole. Lydus stressed human agency working in conformity with a cyclical pattern of generation, decline, and renewal. Historical continuity was of vital importance to Lydus. He deliberately took liberties with the historical record to create links with the early Roman past to show why specific acts of restoration should be undertaken. Consequently he developed a version of Roman history built around the creation and decline of administrative offices.

De Magistratibus is a coherent work of strong opinion and political analysis. The structure of de Magistratibus, and Lydus' choice of data, make sense when his theory of cyclical change and imperial action is understood.


Evangelos Chrysos (University of Jannina)

Justinian's wars to regain the western provinces of the Roman Empire, which had been occupied by barbarian nations, are usually interpreted within the framework of Byzantine "imperialism," as defined by the modern political notion of this term. Justinian is supposed to have spent the limited military power of the Empire in unrealistic adventures in the West, guided by the allegedly revived Roman imperial ideology of world dominion and driven by his anachronistic ideals and personal ambitions. However, a thorough investigation of the evidence supplied by contemporary sources in regard to the background of imperial policy toward the barbarian federates from the fourth to the sixth centuries helps to modify this current opinion. In this paper, I intend to reexamine the evidence concerning a concrete event: the peace negotiations that took place in Ravenna in 540, immediately before the surrender of the city to Belisarius's troops.

Although the Byzantine advance in Italy clearly indicated the surrender of the Ostrogothic king and the end of Gothic rule in Italy, the proposals carried by Byzantine ambassadors were both realistic and moderate. Only the lands south of the Po were to come under direct Byzantine administration. The provinces north of the river were to remain under Gothic rule. This territorial division of Italy anticipated the survival of the Ostrogothic kingdom in (northern) Italy. Thus the favourable proposals were eagerly accepted by the Gothic leadership in Ravenna. Belisarius, however, refused to guarantee the fulfillment of the peace treaty, since this would have deprived him of the complete success of his military endeavour. Later, after his conquest of Ravenna, and the triumphal return of Wittigis and the royal treasure to Constantinople, Belisarius was nevertheless coolly received by the emperor and was deprived of a triumphal entrance into the capital. The obvious reason for Justinian's behaviour is that Belisarius had failed to carry out the emperor's instructions for a political solution to the Gothic question in Italy.

It can be demonstrated that the imperial peace initiative of 540 was part of Justinian's goal to establish new legal relations with the western barbarian kingdoms and to reorganize the political status of those provinces without relinguishin? the barbarian settlements, also without annihilating the German nations. Justinian, in fact, wanted just the opposite of what imperial ideologists and generals demanded. He wanted to restrengthen both the legal and political relations of the former provinces in the West with the empire. To accomplish this, he was willing to permit the barbarians a measure of political authority.


Marie Taylor Davis (Princeton University)

It is generally accepted that the 5th and early 6th century West had all but completely lost its knowledge of Greek culture and language. Even the limited and abortive Îhellenic renaissanceâ postulated by Courcelle for the reign of Theoderic is generally disbelieved. The evidence, though fragmentary, has not yet been given full consideration and, particularly with the recent redating of Macrobius and Martianus Capella, the current view deserves reexamination.

McGuire, in an important and little known article (CF XIII, 1959), related the perceived decline in Greek studies and language to a decline in the need to know Greek: much of classical Greek culture and language had already been (and continued to be) assimilated and translated into Latin language and literature. There was, therefore, less need to read Greek (i.e. classical Greek), although the bilingual educational tradition was maintained for a time in a limited number of aristocratic families.

One can go beyond McGuire's modification of Courcelle: knowledge of Greek was not limited to the small so-called circle of Boethius. There is evidence for study and use of Greek by other aristocrats, among ecclesiastics, and in the Ostrogothic court. The accidents of survival allow us only a very limited view of interest in literary Greek; they allow us a slightly better (though still fragmentary) glimpse of the period's more practical uses of Greek: translations from current or classical Greek , and use of current spoken Greek in ecclesiastical, theological, and diplomatic contexts (e.g. Italians discussing theology in Greek in Constantinople, a bilingual divine office in Pavia, etc.)

This paper will attempt a reexamination of the evidence for the varied knowledge and uses of Greek (technical, ecclesiastical, literary, etc) in Italy of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, with attention to the presence of Greek-speaking travelers and inhabitants as well as to the travel of bilingual Italians to the East.

When we trace the evidence from the 5th century on and amplify the evidence used by Courcelle, knowledge of Greek under Theoderic (greater than thought) appears not as an attempted renaissance but as a rather normal part of a continuing pattern which the quality of our evidence tends to obscure.


Joseph D. C. Frendo (University College, Cork)

The present paper sets out to demonstrate how there grew up during the reign of Justin II ,in the context of relations between Byzantium, Iran and Armenia a complex of ideas and attitudes which have their closest analogue in the Koranic concept of Jihad. Its starting-point is a speech which the historian, Theophylact Simocatta, in the course of an excursus dealing with the Persian Wars of Justin II and Tiberius I Constantine, puts into the mouth of the Roman general, Justinian the son of Germanus just before thekbattle of Melitene in 575. Certain portions of the speech are analysed and an attempt is made to elucidate the novel and distinctive nature of some of the ideas expressed in them Attention is then drawn to the Qur'ān, Sura 2 verses 190-194 and then to Sura 4, verse 74 (numbering according to Cairo edition). Both Koranic passages are carefully analysed and compared with the material contained in Theophylact. After that the ideas expressed in the Theophylact passage are related to the historical events of the Armenian rebellion of 571-2 and the subsequent reactions to it by both Byzantium and Iran.

Theophylact Simocatta's Histories have been insufficiently utilized as a source of historical information owing to the immense linguistic difficulties caused by the manner in which that author chose to express himself and to the lack of translations into well-known modern European languages. The speech in question has, moreover, been totally ignored by Historians ever since 1919 when E. Stein (whilst accepting one detail as authentic) dismissed it as just so much "rhetorical trumpery and therefore historically worthless". Yet it contains in the opinion of the present writer material of great value for the history of ideas. It is also his contention that events and ideas can be seen to be mutually illuminating and that the material gathered from the present paper might serve as a basis for further research into a neglected and poorly documented aspect of the period of Byzantine History which stretches from the death of Justinian to the death of Heraclius. It may also shed some much needed additional light on the early history of Islam.


Presiding: Charles Brand


Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr. (University of Chicago)

Many gaps of information obscure the Byzantinists' understanding of of the Byzantine losses to the Muslims in the seventh century. This is not the proper occasion for a total reexamination of Byzantine-Armenian relations in the seventh century. Nevertheleas, extant sources permit some reconsiderations and conclusions. The focus is on the years from 630 to 650. Greek sources include not only Theophanes and Nicephorus, but also the Passio LX Martyrum, the Vita and Acta of St. Anastasius the Persian, and the Strategikon of Maurice. Arabic sources include al-Tabarī, al-Balādhurī, al-Yaâqubī, and al-Azdī al-Basrīâs Tārīkh futūh al- Shām, while the principal Armenian one is Sebeos.

It is impossible to determine precisely the relative proportion of Armenians within the Byzantine armies of the Prefecture of Oriens during and on the eve of the initial Islamic conquests. The historian can reach some conclusions about Heraclius' relative dependence on Armenians and his concern for them and Armenian territories immediately following the deb‰cle of his armies at the Yarmūk. The puzzling and stubborn Heraclian defense of an outflanked and dangerously exposed salient of the provinces of Osrhoene and Mesopotamia is somewhat more comprehensible in the light of Heraclius' efforts to protect the escape route of his Armenian soldiers during their flight from Palestine and Syria, to guard transportation and communications, and to maintain a territorial buffer between the invading Muslims and the heavily Armenian populated territories to the north. The bitter struggle for Melitene was an important step in the development of a new secondary Byzantine defense line. Heraclius, of course, wanted to retain Mesopotamia and Osrhoene, which had been the object of so many of his earlier military, administrative, and ecclesiastical labors. But especially important for Heraclius was maintenance of control of Armenians and Armenian regions for strategic as well as any sentimental motives. Both Heraclius and the Muslim leaders probably perceived, in the light of the major role of Armenians in Heraclius' major military campaigns of the 620's against the Persians, that it was essential to any successful Byzantine counteroffensive (not a totally extravagant idea at that time) or defense of Anatolia that Heraclius maintain control of Byzantium's Armenian territories and his ability to draw on Armenian manpower from them. Similarly, it was important for Muslim armies to prevent Heraclius from achieving that goal. It is important to examine Byzantine and Muslim actions and policies after the battle of the Yarmūk in the light of these calculations. The geographic scope of this paper includes Byzantine Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and the upper Euphrates region.


Warren Treadgold (Hillsdale College)

As many non-Byzantinists and some Byzantinists have noticed, despite a vast production of publications our general knowledge of Byzantine history is advancing very slowly. Our standard political history, Ostrogorsky's, is in its essentials over forty years old, and no satisfactory successor to it is in prospect. Strictly speaking, we have no general histories of the Byzantine economy, Byzantine society, or the Byzantine administration, church, or army. Even all the scattered secondary literature on these subjects taken together leaves enormous gaps and includes no well-documented general syntheses. Much of this literature discusses basic controversies that years of argument have failed to bring to a consensus: the origins of the themes, the causes of Iconoclasm, the nature of Byzantine feudalism, the fate of Byzantine cities, and the degree of continuity between Byzantine and Classical culture. Much more of the literature would acquire real significance only if it were incorporated into a wider synthesis that never comes.

Of course, some satisfactory general works do exist, but they tend to be limited to the earliest and latest periods or to the geographical periphery. For the chronological and geographical center of Byzantine history--the seventh through eleventh centuries within the Empire's borders--there are many highly specialized studies but scarcely any general works. This neglect of the middle Byzantine period has perpetuated some serious deficiencies in Byzantine historiography that extend to other periods as well.

Foremost among these are persistent tendencies to see Byzantine history either as one static whole or as two static halves with an apocalyptic break in the middle. Though most scholars realize that there was more change at Byzantium than the first view allows and that this change was more gradual than the second view admits, to substantiate this gradual development would require much more detailed general work on the middle period.

Another unfortunate result of neglect of the middle period is a narrowness of focus in scholarly controversies, in which scholars treat the point at issue in detail but go into the background only very selectively. Most Byzantinists would agree in principle that the running controversies on the themes, Iconoclasm, and so on concern aspects of a larger political, social, and economic transformation that took place in the middle period. But to study this transformation as a whole would require writing the general studies of the Byzantine state, society, and economy that have not yet been written.

Finally, neglect of the middle period has greatly hampered Byzantinists in coming up with overall results suitable for comparison with those of scholars in other fields. Byzantium is often compared to the medieval West, Islam, or other societies, but almost always in a superficial manner that leads to thoroughly lame conclusions. To compare Byzantium to other societies intelligently we must have a clear, detailed, and integrated idea of what Byzantium itself was like, and that we cannot obtain without much more thorough study of the middle Byzantine period.


Danuta M. G—recki (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Appendix A-II to Synopsis Basilicorum Maior includes Romanus Lacapenus's Novel of 934 and the two sentences of Magister Kosma. Svoronos defined these three documents as an "assemble indissociable" that represented the final elaboration of the institution of preemption. In his Novel of 922, Romanus Lacapenus restricted the right "to sell, to rent and to hire" (kata prasin ē emphyteusin ē misthōsin) land in rural communities in order to stop the disintegration of the communities which resulted from encroachment of the big property and which was disorganizing the fiscal and military administration of the state. The Novel of 934 strengthened the discipline of executing this law by removing its loopholes and by introducing Harsher sanctions for breaking it. The following analysis of these three documents attempts to find out how each of them related to the preemption, and which features of Byzantine agrarian regime were expounded in their provisions.

I. The Novel of 934 points to the existence of various forms of land property (e.g., in one piece or in several pieces, owned individually or collectively, taxed jointly with or independently from the community) and to existence of several categories of owners (physical or juristic persons: farmers, soldiers, partnerships, the state). With respect to restrictions of sale, the numerous potential relationships among these objects and subjects of ownership were met by equally diverse provisions of the Novel. Analysis of those that related to military holdings allows some observations which might challange the theory that a soldier owned the land allotted to him by the state. The Novel of 922 distinguished between two categories of soldiers' land: the official share, which was not alienable, and the land in excess of this share, which could be sold on the same conditions as the property of any other community member. The legal features of the not alienable land were reminiscent of the Roman ager publicus, which was extra commercium. The same restriction as to sale applied to rent in communities of landowners and emphyteutae alike. From the viewpoint of agrarian policies that were to be secured by preemption, these two categories of communities differed in that, that the sympathetic land, i.e, the property of an absent farmer which under certain circumstances could be exempted from taxes, could exist only in communities of landowners. Since the institution of sympathetic land turned into the main means to circumvent the restrictions of preemption by the potentates, these communities were more vulnerable to their ingression than the communities of emphyteutae. Even if alienation of such land was illegal, the state officials rented it to the potentates. By paying taxes for this land, the potentates -- according to the judgement of the same officials -- acquired the status of community members and thus the right of priority to buy it when the ownership of the absent owner expired. II. The Sentence of Magister Kosma dealt with allotment of state land to entire fiscal units. This policy might have served two objectives: either to distribute the state barrens for fiscal reasons or to distribute good state farmland free of charge to farmer communities. The latter suggestion is perfectly consistent with the imperial policies of strengthening the communities. In these policies, allotment of free land to farmers who could not afford to buy it served the same objectives as the institution of preemption.

III. It is difficult to interpret The Sentence of Magister Kosma on Paroikoi in terms of its relevancy to preemption, defined as the means to secure communities against ingressions of big property, because this document deals with the paroikia, i.e., a form of land tenure which could take place only on big property. Hence the conclusion that either Svoronos was in error in linking this act with preemption or that the scope of this institution which was delineated in the novels was too narrow. The paroikia represented a contract of precarious character that could be dissolved by either of the parties at any time. Terminating the contract, the tenant had to return the land directly to the landlord.

As it is generally knownt the Byzantine fiscal system comprised two types of taxation units: homokenson, which was collectively liable for land taxes of its co-residents, and homodulon, in which the owner was individually liable for taxes from all his land. It is obvious that only solvency of all these units of taxation could secure adequate revenues for the state. Thus one can hypothesize that these provisions of the paroikia that secured the landlord the sole right to rent his land represented a form of preemption that enabled him to control fully the quality of his tenants. Therefore one can conclude that -- if Svoronos was right -- the Macedonian preemption had, in fact, neither cared for the poor nor for their communities, but aimed to secure the maximum efficiency of all fiscal units of taxation.


John Philip Thomas (Georgetown University and Dumbarton Oaks)

Sisinnius II, the third of the six patriarchs of Constantinople who held that office during the reign of Basil II, directed the affairs of the Byzantine church for only twenty-eight months, but his actions proved to be of lasting importance for Eastern Orthodoxy.

One of those rare laymen like Tarasius and Photius who were promoted to the patriarchate without a clerical background, Sisinnius II was renowned for his knowledge of law and medicine. Modern historians know him best for his opposition to epidosis and charistike, two programs for the management of ecclesiastical property extensively employed in the late tenth century. Epidosis featured the donation of monasteries from one ecclesiastical authority to another, originally with the intent of providing better management for institutions suffering from misdirection by their overseer bishops. By the late tenth century, however, the revenues of diocesan monasteries had become the principal means of support of the church, and the ecclesiastical authorities became accustomed to employing epidosis to bolster the endowments of poorer episcopal sees.

The charistike, a more recent program, was developed jointly by Basil II and Sisinnius II's predecessor Nicholas II Chrysoberges (980-992). This was a public program designed to facilitate the private management and restoration of dilapidated monasteries and philanthropic institutions. The laudable aims of this program did not suffice to convince Sisinnius II of its rectitude. He issued a decree which ordered the return of all patriarchal monasteries alienated by his predecessors, not only those entrusted to laymen under the charistike, but also those granted to other ecclesiastical institutions under epidosis. He based his objections to these programs on a conservative interpretation of the forty-ninth canon of the Synod in Trullo, which he understood as a ban on all external exploitation of ecclesiastical institutions.

In his own day, Sisinnius II was unable to win either Basil II or the rest of the ecclesiastical hierarchy over to his views on these programs, and his successor Sergius II (1001- 1019) was to overturn his decree. Yet the long run experience of the church with the charistike (if not with epidosis) evefitually vindicated Sisinnius' opinion, and the ecclesiastical reformers of the later eleventh century like John of Antioch considered him a hero and a forerunner of their own ideas about the sacrosanctity of church property.

A recently edited decree of Sisinnius II confirms his reputation as a fearless, independent thinker. In it the patriarch prohibited his bishops from exacting fees for the blessing of abbots or for the enrollment of clergy in the episcopal registers. The patriarch was concerned to maintain the independence of both the clergy, who had been treated like serfs and oppressed with angareia by their bishops, and the independent monasteries, who were in danger of losing their property and incomes.

Sisinnius II was also interested in the vexed question of canonical disabilities preventing the contraction of valid marriages. Several decrees show the patriarch dealing with this problem with a generally conservative outlook. As in his other extant decrees, there is ample evidence of a sharp mind at work, and his knowledge of canonical precedent is impressive indeed.

Overall, the evidence provides some insight into the workings of this curiously distinctive patriarchate so out of step with contemporary ideas, yet so forward looking in its reliance on canonical precedent and its advocacy of clerical and institutional independence.


Martin Arbagi (Wright State University)

Charles Constantine was a tenth-century Duke of Vienne, a town in the valley of the river Rh™ne, in what was then Burgundy, but is now the Department of Isre in France. He was still alive and duke as late as 962. The son of Louis the Blind (King of Provence, 887-928; Emperor, 901). Charles was a great-great-great-great grandson of Charlemagne.

This obscure offshoot of the once mighty Carolingian dynasty has attracted the attention of scholars because of his second name. "Constantine", like "George" or "Michael", was never a common name in the West at any time in the Middle Ages, certainly not in the ninth and tenth centuries. In the nineteenth century, a German scholar, A. Hofmeister, speculated that Charles was part Byzantine, but never followed this conjecture up. In 1914, the English Mediaevalist, C.W. PrevitŽ-Orton, identified Charles' mother as Anna, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI, the Wise (886-912), by his second wife, Zo‘. Anna was half-sister to the future Emperor Constantine VII, Porphyrogenitus, Leo's son by a subsequent marriage. Constantine is thus Charles' uncle. In 1964, another German scholar, Rudolf Hiestand, returned to the extraordinary union between Louis the Blind, a petty Western ruler (albeit an ambitious one, as shown by his short-lived attempt at the imperial title in 901) and the only (at the time) child of Leo VI. What was in it for Louis? What for the Byzantines? On the Byzantine side, Hiestand is of the opinion that Leo projected henōsis-- dynastic union--between the Eastern and Western imperial lines. What Justinian could not do through military means, Leo proposed to accomplish through marriage diplomacy.

This paper seeks to make two points: (a): Overenthusiastic Mediaevalists who assert that Charles Constantine would have been heir to the Byzantine throne had not his grandfather, Leo VI, had a son are reading Western ideas of legitimacy from the high and late Middle Ages into tenth century Byzantium. Such notions did not even fully prevail in the West at this time! To be sure, the idea of legitimacy was striking root in the East, as shown by the ultimate failure of Romanus Lecapenus and his sons. But whether Byzantine public or court opinion would have accepted a Latin barbarian who did not know Greek (Anna seems to have died while her son was young) as Basileus; simply because Leo VI happened to be his maternal grandfather is dubious. (b): More important, Hiestand stated in 1964 that we do not know what provided the initial impulse for the marriage negotiations from the Western side. We do now. An Americar scholar, Constance Bouchard, recently demonstrated that at this time Western canon lawyers were greatly increasing the prohibited degrees of marriage. Because the higher nobility of Western Europe were so interrelated, it became increasingly difficult to contract marriages with social equals that were not technically incestuous. Later in the tenth century and on into the eleventh, this led to such curious matches as that of Otto III with Theophano, and Henry I of France with Anna of Russia. Louis the Blind's marriage with Anna of Byzantium may have been an early example of this, especially since Hiestand plausibly concludes that the match was proposed by papal envoys who happened to be in Constantinople in 900 on other business.


Presiding: Nancy Ševčenko


Carolyn S. Snively (Gettysburg College)

Pagan cemeteries were located for centuries along the roads leading out from the gates of the classical city. Only gradually did the Christians segregate their burials and develop Christian cemeteries or concentrations of Christian graves in the common necropoleis. In the late 4th or 5th century AD churches began to appear in cemeteries located outside the cities of the Balkan peninsula.

Numerous examples of churches in necropoleis have been found; they include, e.g., the Extra Muros Basilica at Philippi, Basilica Delta at Nea Anchialos the recently discovered extramural church at Thessaloniki, Basilica Beta at Demetrias, the Cemetery Basilica at Stobi, and the basilica of Kodratos and the one near the Cenchrean Gate at Corinth. Most of the extramural churches date from the 5th and first half of the 6th century; a few examples from the later 6th or early 7th century, most notably the basilica on Temple Hill at Corinth, were apparently located within the limits of the settlements which they served. This possible relaxation of the prohibition against intramural burial is obscured by, or may even have been caused by, the Slavic invasions and consequent disruption of urban life in Eastern Illyricum. The instances where one or two tombs have been discovered within intramural churches have confused the picture, as did the Slavic practice, at least in Macedonia, of burying the dead in the ruins of Early Byzantine churches.

Although exceptions and variations may be noted, certain features seem to be characteristic of the 4th to 7th century church in a cemetery in Eastern Illyricum. Most are located outside the Late Antique fortifications of the city. A three-aisled basilica of rather small dimensions is the most common form; frequently annexes are attached, and occasionally an atrium lies to the west. The cemetery church was arranged and furnished for the celebration of the liturgy in the same manner as churches without funeral associations. The building was sometimes constructed over pre-existing tombs of Christians and, since the area might have served as a necropolis for centuries, over pagan tombs as well. Apparently the church did not always stand above the burial of a martyr and thus does not fit Krautheimer's definition of a cemeterial basilica in Rome, as a basilica ad corpus, built over the primary burial of a martyr whose grave provided a reason for construction. Once built, the cemetery basilica served as a focus for burials of the Christian community; interment might continue within the church and around it in both already existing and new tombs.


George Stričević (University of Cincinnati)

During the archaeological excavations conducted in 1960 in Sremska Mitrovica (ancient Sirmium), some 70 km. west of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, a marble relief was found in the debris of a large building which was later to be identified as a granary. Although not more than a small fragment of a considerably larger slab, the subject-matter of its representation could be easily recognized: Prophet Jonah being disgorged by the sea-monster. The marble out of which the relief was made, as well as a good quality of the carving, suggest that the relief was imported from a major artistic center rather than made locally. The likely date: ca. 400 A.D.

Scarcity of objects of this kind unearthed in Sirmium until then and -- for that matter -- since, makes the Jonah relief an important addition to the rather modest catalogue of documents related to the history of Sirmium in Early Christian times although the city is known to have been a major ecclesiastical center.

Another fragmentary marble relief which was found in Sirmium and aquired by the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna as early as 1852, turned out to be a direct extension of our piece: on it the Prophet is represented sleeping under an arbor. Considered together the two pieces can be identified as the part of the raised frame of a table-top. Late Antique marble table-tops of this kind (always embeded either in a masonry base or in the floor but never supported by legs) can be rectangular, circular, or sigma-shaped. Since, however, of those that have their raised frame decorated with figurative reliefs not a single one of rectangular form has ever been discovered, it might be assumed that the Sirmium table was sigma-shaped.

Quite a number of objects of this kind have been published and twenty- odd of them have reliefs with Biblical representations. Although this would seem to support the contention that some of marble sigma (or round) slabs originally served as altar tables in Early Christian churches, in no case was a connection between the two proved archaeologicaly. That these marble slabs served rather as mensae funebrae, either placed over an individual tomb or set in cemeterial triclinia where they would be available for commemorative feasts to many collegia, can be seen from the iconography of the reliefs: virtually all the Biblical representations on marble table-tops which are now known (most frequently illustrating stories from the Old Testament: Jonah and Sacrifice of Abraham being most common, then Daniel in the Lions' Den, Adam and Eve, Three Jews in the Fiery Furnace, David and Goliath, but sometimes also the events recorded in the New: Raising of Lazarus and Christ Healing the Blind -- the latter on an intriguing fragment in the Dumbarton Oaks collection) belong to the familiar repertory of motifs that appear almost exclusively, for easily understood reasons, in Early Christian sepulchral art -- in painted decoration of tombs, on reliefs of sarcophagi, and in the decoration of various objects which were used in funerary ceremonies: offertorial dishes, lamps etc.

The assumption that the decoration of the Sirmium table is related to its function is supported by the comparison with a similar object, found at Manastirine, one of the cemeteries of Salona. On the straight, front side of the Manastirine sigma table (incomplete; most of the fragments are in the Archaeological museum in Zagreb and one is in the Kunsthist. Mus. in Vienna) shows again Jonah being disgorged, while the latteral and rear, semicircular sides are decorated with a series of male figures (saints?), standing under arches carried by columns. Both arcaded figures and the story of Jonah appear, side by side, on some Early Christian sarcophagi -- the former on the casket of the socalled columnar type, the latter on the narrow frieze of the lid (e.g. a sarcophagus in San Bernadino in Perugia), suggesting that the iconographic program of Manastirine table as well as its decorative system, originated on and were taken over from the deco- ration of a sarcophagus. In several cases (e.g. in Tarragona, in Tipasa and, finally, in Salona itself) the funerary, sigma-shaped table served at the same time as the cover of the tomb, constructed within a masonry funerary clina.

Recent excavations in Sremska Mitrovica, results of which are still not completely known, show that our Jonah relief was found not far from the martyrial basilica of St. Demetrius, the patron saint of the city.


Dorothy de F. Abrahamse (California State University, Long Beach)

As Aries and other western historians have reminded us, in pre- modern societies not only was death an accepted and public part of life, funerals and deathbed rituals played an important social role in the life of a community. Although the evolution of funerary practices in Greek folklore, especially the ritual lament, have been impressively elucidated, less is known about their Byzantine precedents. As is generally the case, most of the surviving evidence describes funeral customs in two specific settings--aristocratic (or imperial) and monastic life. This paper will analyze the sources for these rituals inthe middle Byzantine period in a consideration of what they may show of the more ordinary death of the Byzantine citizen of city or village.

Evidence for 'extraordinary' death between the seventh and eleventh centuries may be found abundantly in hagiographical descriptions of the deathbed, funerals and entombments of Byzantine saints. The saint's deathbed was a mandatory hagiographical topos, including the hero's prediction of approaching death, a farewell sermon, and the presence of disciples and friends at the deathbed. In addition to these general topics, saints' lives often included detailed descriptions of the vigils and processions accompanying the death of a saint, as well as ofthe preparation of the body, the entombment and origins of a posthumus cult. Many also described widespread public response to the death of an ascetic hero, including the presence of crowds ready to dismantle a body in search of relics, the appearance of worshippers at the tomb, and a yearly public remembrance of the event. Aristocratic burial customs may also be traced during this period in rare biographies of lay saints, wills and monastic typika; they suggest the increasing popularity of tonsure shortly before death, monastic burial and remembrance for this stratum of society.

The problem for the historian of everyday life is an obvious one: how were these rituals related to lay burials in provincial and/or non- aristocratic society? It will be argued here that some of these texts and scattered references in other non-literary sources may be used to trace in part the role of family and community in death, funerals and commemorations of the dead; they may also provide some indication of how monastic customs may have had their lay counterparts in urban or village society. Consideration will also be given to the way in which this subject serves as a methodological example of the dangers and possibilities in the use of literary (especially hagiographical) sources for recovering Byzantine everyday life.


Natalia Teteriatnikov (Institute of Fine Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Numerous graves in the church pavements, arcosolia niches, parekklesios, and narthexes reveal a rich variety of burial places in church architecture of Cappadocia. Although this subject is important for identifing the local funeral tradition in Byzantine provinces, it has never received the serious attention of art historians. The purpose of this paper is two-fold, to examine, first, the development of traditional burial places in Cappadocia from the Early to the Middle Byzantine period, and second, the innovations that began only during the Middle Byzantine period. The discovery of monks and laymen graves might also provide us with some evidence for their respective roles in the christian communities of Cappadocia.

There are two distinct manners of burial that began in the Early Byzantine period: the arcosolia niche and the burial chamber. Both are usually attached to the various parts of the church walls or the walls of the narthex. The origin of both these types lies in Roman funeral architecture and in particular in rock-cut tombs. The early christian communities probably adopted the location of the graves within arcosolia niches and chambers from the Roman tombs. The surviving examples of the transformation of the Roman rock-cut tombs into christian churches are known in the region of Phrygia in Asia Minor. They are very similar to the ones in Cappadocia. The earliest examples of arcosolia graves and funeral chambers are found within the north and western walls of the narthex of the church Durmus Kadir in Avcilar (pre- iconoclastic period). Both arcosolia niches and burial chambers were very popular in Cappadocian architecture in the Middle Byzantine period as for example in the 9th century chapel 3 and 11th century Meryemana church in Gšreme, 10th century St. Barbara and 11th century Canavar kilise in Soğanli and others.

In addition to traditional burial locations, grave sites during the Middle Byzantine period were also located in perekklesions and narthexes of the Cappadocian churches. The graveyards cover the pavements of parekklesions in a great number of churches of that period, such as 9th century St. Basil near Mustafapaşakšy and 10th century St. Eustathius in Gšreme, 11th century Yilanli kilise in Ihlara and others. At the same time graveyards within the pavements of the narthexes also were extensively developed. (10th century chapel 9 and 11th century chapels 13, 22 and others in Gšreme valley). The use of parekklesions and narthexes in Middle Byzantine architecture is found in the churches of Constantinople, Greece, Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia, and Balkans. The use of these church compartments for the burial places probably reflected some changes that occured within church liturgical ceremonies. The use of parekklesions for instance might be a result of the Middle Byzantine development of the private celebration of the commemoration of the dead for the layman and the clergy. In fact, all parekklesions are provided with independent altars, liturgical furnishings and altar screens.

My own on-site observations of the graves in Cappadocian churches indicate that they are intended to be used for the clergy as well as laymen and their families. Several churches enable us to distinguish specifically monks graves, for example the church of St. Theodore in †rgŸp (the grave excavated within the apse in front of the altar). St. Simeon in Selve and others. On the other hand, the representation of three donors near the figure of Christ with a cross just above the grave which is located near the western wall in ‚arikli kilise (11th century) Gšreme, strongly suggests the identification of a lay grave here. Moreover, the numerous graves of various sizes including ones for small children and babies indicates that not only monks but private families were intended to be buried there. (Parekklesios in St. Basil church (Mustafapaşakšy, St. Eustathius, chapel 11 in Gšreme, Kirk Dam Alti 13th century in Belisirma and many others). Finally, the surviving dedicatory inscriptions and epitaphs in several Cappadocian churches mentioned both clergy and laymen as donors. This points to the fact that they were both an integral part of the social and economic order of the monastic communities in Cappadocia.


Robert Ousterhout (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Of the countless deaths commemorated in Byzantium, none was more important than the death of Christ. Although the event was mystically reenacted in the liturgy, the actual site of Christ's sacrifice received relatively little attention in the Byzantine period. In the eleventh century, however, there was direct Byzantine involvement with the site in Jerusalem. Following the destruction of the church of the Holy Sepulchre by al-Hakim in 1009, a reconstruction was undertaken by the emperor Constantine IX Monomachus between 1042 and 1048. Although this phase in the building's history was short-lived, it exerted considerable influence on Western European architecture in the following century. Seen by the participants of the First Crusade, it inspired the numerous memento Holy Sepulchres constructed in the West, such as S. Stefano in Bologna and the Holy Sepulchre in Cambridge. The eleventh-century building has been discussed in this context, but it remains to be placed in the context of Byzantine architecture.

As rebuilt by Constantine Monomachus, the Holy Sepulchre was much more modest than the fourth-century ensemble. The great f ive-aisled basilica, destroyed by al-Hakim, was never rebuilt, and the central, porticoed courtyard became the focal point of the complex. A series of small chapels or oratories was arranged around its perimeter, commemorating events of the Passion, forming a sort of via Dolorosa in miniature. The form of the Anastasis Rotunda was maintained, but its height may have been decreased. The central area was covered by a conical wooden roof. This may have caused the Byzantines some difficulty, as the 22 meter diameter was much larger than standard construction in the Middle Byzantine period.

The plan of Constantine Monomachus' complex fits well into our picture of Middle Byzantine architecture. The multiplication of chapels reflects on the one hand the unique nature of the site and the events it commemorated. On the other hand, the eleventh-century form with the main church (the Rotunda) enveloped by a series of subsidiary chapels formally incorporated into the overall design reflects a common Middle Byzantine practice. The positioning of chapels on two levels around Calvary might be compared with the Theotokos of Lips in Constantinople. The alignment of the apses of the chapels flanking the Rotunda might be compared with the similar arrangement of apses at Constantine Lips and the Pantokrator in Constantinople or Hagia Sophia in Kiev. In addition, many portions of the surviving Byzantine construction at Jerusalem are in the recessed brick technique, alternating with single courses of stone. This technique may be associated with the architecture of Constantinople in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It is quite similar to that at St. George of Mangana, also built by Constantine Monomachus. Brick construction is unusual in the Holy Land, and it would seem that the builders and possibly the bricks were brought from the Capital.

The type of dome construction at the Holy Sepulchre also reflects Byzantine practice of the eleventh century. The elevated, southeast corner chapel is covered by an octagonal dome raised on squinches. The baptistery was similarly covered, although its dome is now missing. Specific decorative features of the domes can be associated with the architecture of Constantine Monomachus elsewhere. The expanded corner squinches of the baptistery alternate with semicircular niches in the upper wall, forming an irregular octaconch at the transitional level. The closest comparison for this unusual form is the domed octaconch of the Katholikon of Nea Moni on Chios. The southeast chapel is articulated on the exterior by triangular and semicircular strips, quite similar to decorative features found at St. George of Mangana. The eleventh-century Holy Sepulchre fits well into and broadens our picture of the architectural patronage of Constantine Monomachus.


Slobodan Ćurčić (Princeton University)

Medieval royal tombs in the Balkans constitute a little known subject. Our limited state of knowledge in this matter is largely due to the virtual obliteration of all original tomb installations. However, it also reflects a somewhat casual attitude in the past toward recording the surviving remains. Oniy in recent years the remains of several royal and other tombs have been accurded the archaeological attention they merit. This paper will focus on a number of such royal tombs from Serbia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia. They will be examined from two distinct aspects; 1. their iconographic setting and decoration, and 2. their relative placement within the respective mausoleum-churches.

The best known aspect of royal tombs in medieval Serbia is their iconographic setting, that is the iconography of fresco decoration in the immediate vicinity of the tomb. The most common scene directly above the tomb usually depicts the deceased led toward Christ (or the Virgin) by the Virgin (or an ancestor) following an established Byzantine formula. Such scenes are found at Mileûeva (c. 1235), Sopoćani (c. 1263), and Gradac (c. 1275). A completely different conception of tomb setting was found in the church of the Archangels (near Prizren), the mausoleum church of Stefan Duûan, "Emperor of the Serbs and the Greeks" (d. 1355). Here, a blind arcade supported by slender octagonal colonnettes created a pseudo- architectural backdrop for the tomb. Such a setting, in sharp contrast with Byzantine fresco decoration, is of distinctly western origin. Equally western was the gisant figure of the Emperor which was found to have adorned his tomb slab. Excavations at Tsarevets-Tŭrnovo, Bulgaria have brought to light fragments of what is believed to have been the gisant of the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Aleksandŭr (d. 1371). Less surprising, on account of the totally western cultural ambient, was the discovery of fragmentary remains belonging to several royal gisants in the funerary chapel of the royal palace at Bobovac, in Bosnia.

The basic use of gisant figures in Catholic Bosnia, as well as in Orthodox Serbia and Bulgaria, suggests that the decoration of tombs may have been subject more to the patrons' preference than to religious dictates. The relative placement of the tombs, on the other hand, reveals substantial differences between eastern and western practices. The royal tombs at Bobovac, for example, were located within the sanctuary enclosure. By contrast, all of the Serbian and Bulgarian royal tombs were situated along the periphery of the church (ambulatory spaces; narthexes). In accordance with the Byzantine ecclesiastical practice, these tombs were never placed in the naos, or the sanctuary.

The examination of medieval royal tombs in the Balkans leads to the conclusion that criteria governing their iconographic and decorative treatment, as well as their placement, differed according to the cultural sphere of influence. While decorative aspects of tombs appear to have been subject to a certain degree of compromise, other factors, such as the placement of tombs, seem to have been governed by strict ecclesiastical rules.


Presiding: N. Michael Vaporis


John V. A. Fine, Jr. (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Jerina Kantakuzena married George Branković in 1414. In 1427 George became the ruler (Despot) of Serbia. Little data survives about Jerina from contemporary sources; and only two sets of instructions to Ragusan envoys to Serbia, telling them to persuade her to use her influence on her husband, suggest she might have been an influential figure at court. However, in Serbian epics, she is not only a major figure, but also an evil one.

The fortress of Smederevo, Serbia's last capital, was built in the early 1430's. In the epics this rapidly erected fortress was built on the blood of the people, both mercilessly driven to work as slaves and also taxed beyond their means. The driving force behind the building and the way it was carried out, according to the epics, was the Cursed Jerina. Later in 1439 this fortress fell to the Turks. Orbini, writing in 1601, seemingly on the basis of oral sources, states that the fortress could have held out, but the garrison was starved into capitulation because Jerina, wanting cash, had sold the town's grain reserves.

Two years later the Ottomans blinded the two eldest Branković sons, Grgur and Stefan, one of whom, if not both, was George's son by a previous marriage. Jerina had nothing to do with the blinding, but a variety of epics have Sultan Murad II carrying out the act at the instigation of their sister and his wife, Mara. In several epics Mara had been voluntarily given to the sultan by Jerina, and some had Mara turning the sultan against her brothers because of secret letters received from Jerina. After George's death in December 1456 his youngest son Lazar succeeded. There seems to have been a power-struggle between Factions at court; most probably he and his mother, Jerina, did oppose each other. But whether they were quarrelling over wealth she had secreted, as some later sources say, or her insistence on exercising power, as others suggest, or both as Kritovoulos states, is not known. She died in May 1457 at a second court in Rudnik, while Lazar was residing at Smederevo. Orbini, again following what was probably an oral source, claims she died from eating a salad poisoned by Lazar. The actual circumstances of her death are unknown (Kritovoulos says she was old, unhappy, and sick), but suggesting tensions within the family, immediately after her death her blind step-son Grgur, step-daughter Mara, the widow of Murad II who had returned to Serbia when widowed, and Jerina's brother Thomas Kantakuzenos, if we can believe sixteenth-century annals, fled to the Ottomans.

My paper shall examine Jerina's reputation. Why was she hated? Do the epics preserve a kernel of truth not preserved in extant contemporary sources? Or did the epics distort her character to fulfill a popular psychological need?


Mark C. Bartusis (Rutgers University)

The nature of the megala allagia--ostensibly provincial military units-- has puzzled students of the Palaiologan period. The existence of the Vizyeteikon mega allagion is known solely through a single undated inscription carved on a marble block which was found embedded in the wall of a church at Bălgarevo, a village on the road between Burgas and Ajtos (medieval Aetos) in Bulgaria. It reads in three lines: +Pyrgos tou Bizyēteikou megalou allagiou+ (V. Beûevliev, SpŠtgriechische und spŠtlateinische Inschriften aus Bulgarien, Berlin, 1964, p. 119 #172 and pl. 73, cited by N. Oikonomides, T & M 5 [1973] 338 n. 8). Since Bălgarevo, by modern road, is about 160 miles north of Vizye (mod. Vize), the block with inscription was not transported from Vizye; rather, a local provenance is found in a ruined fort which lies west of the village. Apparently this pyrgos formed part of the defenses running from Mesemvria to Sliven on the border of Byzantium and Bulgaria, an area which was the subject of much contention between these two states in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The inscription may at least be dated to the period during which this area was under Byzantine control, from around 1262, when Michael VIII con- quered it, to 1304-05, when it was retaken by Theodor Svetoslav.

Since the pyrgos at Bălgarevo was part of the Vizyeteikon mega allagion, this mega allagion included more than simply the garrison of Vizye or even the army of the countryside surrounding Vizye. The name of the mega allagion, the great distance separating Vizye from Bălgarevo and the locations of these towns, all indicate that Vizye was the administrative center of a provincial military unit which included soldiers living and stationed in eastern Thrace as far north as the Black Sea cities. And since Vizye came under Nikaian control no earlier than 1235 and without any history as an administrative center, the inscription reflects Vizye's newly-acquired status as a real administrative center in the second half of the thirteenth century.

This inscription allows us to make a few observations about the nature of the megala allagia and provincial administration in general. First, while all the soldiers who belonged to the other known megala allagia--those of Serres and of Thessaloniki--were or could well have been middle-level pronoiars who functioned as reserve cavalry, the inscription suggests that the megala allagia were in reality composed of more heterogeneous groups of soldiers. In an age when fortresses were best defended by lowly archers or modestly-paid crossbowmen, it is very unlikely that a frontier pyrgos would have been garrisoned exclusively with elite cavalry. Therefore, we conclude that the megala allagia included either lower-level pronoiars, settled soldiers or mercenaries, in addition to middle-level pronoiars. Second, the inscription and its find-spot support the view that after the Nikaian reconquest of Thrace and Macedonia there was an effort to reconstitute a provincial administrative apparatus composed of vast quasi-thematic regions for military as well as the known fiscal purposes. And last, it seems that the megala allagia, by linking soldiers who lived in the provinces to a distant administrative center, functioned broadly as a centripetal force in a centrifugal age.


Stephen D. Salamone (Boston University)

Art historians (M. Hatzidakis, A. Graber, David Talbot Rice, etc.) were the first contemporary scholars to recognize the cultural achievements of the last Byzantine dynasty, that of the Paleologans. So vigorous and original was the art of this period (1264-1453) that it is now commonly known as the Paleologan Renaissance. Other scholars (Steven Runciman, Dino Geanakoplos, et al.) subsequently have discovered a similar renaissance in the theological and secular scholarship of this same period. It is now generally agreed that while the Italian Renaissance was simultaneously developing, along with the economic and political expansion of the northern city-states, Byzantium was -- despite its most desperate efforts -- hopelessly in decline. Thus, the Paleologan Renaissance is presumed to be nothing more than the last brilliant flash of cultural genius paradoxically attendant upon the death throes of a formerly great civilization.

This view is one exemplified by Runciman who nostalgically seeks to understand how such a flowering of intellectual and artistic creativity could result from and possibly contribute to the futile politics of a dying Byzantium. His conclusion is succinct: since Byzantium died, so also along with it died the fruits of the Paleologan Renaissance. Even more, with the demise of Byzantium, Hellenism itself (and here he has the secular and humanistic tradition in mind) also died.

What is problematic in this point of view is its historical determinism, even fatalism, which obscures the essence of the Paleologan Renaissance and therefore its actual culturological success. I will argue, contra Runciman, using the life and work of George Gemistos Plethon, that the essence of the Paleologan Renaissance, i.e., the revival of Hellenic consciousness, both secular and theological, continued in two powerful and influential forms even after Byzantium ceased to exist as a political force. In fact, my analysis of Plethon will demonstrate that the Paleologan Renaissance may be best understood not as the end of a civilization, but as the genesis of a new cultural and intellectual order as well as the nucleus of an emergent national Greek identity. As such, the Paleologan Renaissance insured the growth and survival of Hellenism even after Byzantium itself was no longer existent and capable of nurturing its development.

In order to understand my thesis contra Runciman, one must see how the work of prominent scholars such as Plethon created diametrically opposed, but mutually influential currents of cultural life and intellectual activity. On the one hand, for instance, Plethon's influence and work contributed to the ideological form of ethnic Greek survival; he staunchly opposed the Latinization of Byzantium and thus bolstered the Orthodox church in its rapprochement with the Ottomans. On the other hand, perhaps paradoxically, Plethon also contributed to the institutionalization of secular humanism (as in the Platonic academy) and the revival of pagan Hellenic teaching in Renaissance Italy and the West.


Marios Philippides (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

The Chronicon Minus and the Chronicon Maius have traditionally been assigned to the pen of George Sphrantzes (1401-1477), the childhood friend, companion, and minister of the last Greek emperor of Constantinople, Constantine XI Dragazes-Palaeologus (1148-1453). While the Minus is largely a collection of notes and entries on the major events of the period 1401-1477, the Maius is a more ambitious account, purporting to present a history of the Palaeologan dynasty; it also includes a detailed narrative on the siege, sack, and subsequent events of the fall of Constantinople to the Osmanli sultan Mehmed II Fatih. Since the Maius was thought to have been composed by an eye- witness member of the Byzantine court, scholars have traditionally assigned an important place to this work within the corpus of late Byzantine historiography.

Since 1934, however, our views on the nature of the two documents have been modified radically. The Minus, which used to be viewed as an epitome or as a rough outline of the Maius, was shown to be the authentic composition by Sphrantzes.1 Intense scrutiny of the Maius soon revealed that this work was composed by Makarios Melissourgos-Melissenos, the former metropolitan of Monemvasia, a member of a family of industrious forgers, and a notorious forger of Palaeologan chrysobulls himself; he produced the Maius in Naples c. 1577, one century after the death of Sphrantzes.2

It has now been proven on linguistic grounds that the major portions of the exciting narrative of the siege of 1453 in Book III of the Maius derive from the letter of Archbishop Leonard of Chios; the Greek text of the Maius is, in numerous instances, no more than a paraphrase or a translation into Greek of Leonard's Latin text.3 The elaborator took great care to follow an authoritative source; from this point of view the "forgery" is not a work of historical fiction.

In addition to Leonard, Melissenos also made sporadic use of the thirteenth century historian George Akropolites and of Laonikos (Nikolaos) Khalkokondylas. No other additional sources have been identified so far.

One of the basic differences between the Minus and the Maius is treatment of ecclesiastical material; the author of the Maius, it is obvious, had a lively interest in the church. The Minus does not treat the affairs of the church after the fall, while the Maius presents a thorough account of the appointment of George Kourtetsis Scholarios (Gennadios II) as the first patriarch under Mehmed II. Most importantly, the concluding sections of Book III of the Maius deal with the powers that the sultan bestowed upon the patriarch, and allude to a document (presumably a firman) which delineated the privileges and the duties of the patriarch. If this section of the Maius is shown to be based on the authoritative source, this passage would be of the utmost significance for the history of the Orthodox Church and of the Greek millet under the early Osmanli sultans; it would further resolve the scholarly debate as to the actual existence of the firman.4

For the first time here it will be demonstrated that Melissenos employed in this section of the Maius the Patriarchal Chronicle attributed to Manuel Malaxos; the dependence of the Maius on Malaxos will be proven on linguistic grounds, through a comparison of the key passages. That Melissenos was familiar with this work should not come as a total surprise, once it is recalled that the metropolitan spent a year at the Patriarchate in Constantinople, involved in litigation (1570). It will be shown that Melissenos put this time into good use, as he had already begun his research for the composition of the Maius. Thus, another, previously unsuspected source for the composition of the Maius can be identified and studied.

It will be further shown that the section of the Maius dealing with Mhemed II's firman to the patriarch is not to be found in Malaxos; Melissenos either misunderstood Malaxos' information or simply invented his information. Thus the controversy in regard to this firman finds resolution.

Malaxos could not have derived his information from the Maius, which was finished c. 1577. Melissenos must have read Malaxos' work, while he was in Constantinople (1570). The Patriarchal Chronicle was not known in Italy before Crusius published his Turco-Graecia (1584), i.e., after the appearance of the Maius. It has been generally thought that Malaxos' work was completed before 1580. This date will be revised here, as Melissenos read it in 1570. Thus, it is concluded, Melissenos also used Malaxos as a source, indicating, once more, that a great deal of "research" went into the composition of the Maius.

1 Cf., among others, J. B. Falier-Papadopoulos, "Phrantzs est-il rŽellement lâauteur de la grand chronique qui porte son nom?," BullInstArchBulg 9 (1935), 177-89, R. Dšlger, "Fin literarischer und diplomatischer FŠlscher des 16. Jahrhunderts: Metropolit Makarios von Monembasia," Byzantinische Diplomatik (Ettal 1956), 371-83, and J.-R. Loenertz, "Autour du Chronicon Maius attribuŽ ˆ Georges Phrantzs," Miscellanea G. Mercati III (Studi et Testi 123 (1946)), 273-311.

2 I. K. Khasiotes, Makarios, Theodōros kai Nikēphoros hoi Melissēnoi (Melissourgoi) (Thessalonica 1966), and M. Philippides, The Fall of the Byzantine Empire: A Chronicle by George Sphrantzes, 1401-1477 (Amherst 1980).

3 M. Philippides, "The Fall of Constantinople: Bishop Leonard and the Greek Accounts," GRBS 22 (1981), 287-300, and M. Philippides, "Synkhrones Ereunes sta Keimena tou Sphrantzē," Parnassos 25 (1983), 94-99.

4 For an overview, cf. T. Papadopoullos, Studies and Documents Relating to the History of the Greek Church and People under Turkish Domination (Brussels 1952), part I.


Presiding: William Tronzo


David H. Wright (University of California, Berkeley)

The small anonymous catacomb accidentally discovered on the Via Latina in 1955 has the highest known concentration of excellent wall paintings in any catacomb, and poses some of the most fascinating unresolved problems for historians of the fourth century. The first part (cubicles A-C) is exclusively Christian, though profoundly influenced by Jewish tradition, while the second part (cubicles D-F and G-O) is predominantly Christian, but includes scenes normally interpreted as Pagan. Some kind of Christian interpretation has been offered for everyone of these scenes individually (cf. Josef Fink in Riv.Arch.Cr. 56, 1980, 133-146, etc.), but I claim that when they are reviewed as a group withTn the context of this unique catacomb, and with reference to the intellectual history of the second half of the fourth century, they emerge as a coherent visual statement of pagan thought. It seems the owners of this private catacomb, most likely an extended family, had agreed to disagree. Under these circumstances, I believe, the minority pagan faction felt driven to go beyond traditional justifications of pagan ritual, and in competition with the Christians to select and arrange the subjects of their paintings to make statements about the afterlife that amount to a pagan theology.

In view of the many disagreements about the iconography of the Via Latina Catacomb in recent literature, and the uniqueness of some of the scenes, it is necessary to examine the evidence systematically, in priority order: 1. The intrinsic meaning of the posture, gesture, and glance of the protagonists in each scene, and the distinctions among participants in a scene, as suggested by size, location, dress, or attributes. 2. The location of the scene in relation to its neighbors in this catacomb. 3. Similarities between the scene and related iconography found elsewhere. Such an approach is scarcely new; it has been expected of specialists in Renaissance art, for example, at least since Warburg and Saxl, but scholarship bearing on catacomb paintings has too often developed as an isolated specialty, has too often pursued step 3 in my scheme while omitting step 2 and passing so quickly through step 1 as to miss essential clues. One outstanding exception is William Tronzo's recent Harvard dissertation, where he has defined an elaborate and subtle Christian program developed out of Jewish traditions in cubicle C. Now I propose to give the pagans equal time.

To get our bearings in this investigation it is useful to begin with cubicle O, the last in the sequence. The program is clearly Christian, in part a misunderstood copy of cubicle C, as Tronzo has shown. The main themes are resurrection (Lazarus) and salvation (Crossing the Red Sea). But at the entrance to the cubicle, on either side, each looking into cubicle O, are depicted standing women who do not fit our preconceptions of standard Christian iconography; at the left a woman in ordinary dress holds sheaves of wheat in each hand, while at the right a woman similarly dressed but with a radiate yellow nimbus holds wheat in her right hand, a torch in her left, and has two amphoras standing to the right of her and apparently a bundle of wheat to the left of her. This second woman has been labeled Ceres by some, but surely we can assume that in this context any pagan meaning has been denatured; the presence of wheat and presumably wine invites Christian interpretation.

Cubicle N, on the other hand, is consistent in showing the deeds of Hercules, and has no obviously Christian symbols. The choice and arrangement of those deeds is striking. In the two minor panels closest to cubicle O we find two scenes of combat: the Hydra at the right and a defeated man at the left, probably Cacus, a specifically Roman episode. Opposite these are a panel with another of the twelve familiar labors, the Apples of the Hesperides, and an unusual scene of Hercules clasping arms with Minerva. In the former he stands contemplating the tree with its guardian serpent and the apples that are the token of the immortality he will earn, while in the latter he meets his patroness apparently on equal terms. presumably having already gained immortality. These four panels show Hercules achieving his own salvation. But the two most important panels in this cubicle, directly above the two graves, show at the left Admetus on his deathbed, with members of his family, including Alcestis who will now die in his place, and at the right Hercules leading Alcestis back from the underworld to rejoin Admetus, accompanied by a tame Cerberus. The program of cubicle N, therefore, shows not only Hercules's achievement of salvation for himself, but more prominently his ability to resurrect the dead. The basic themes are the same as in cubicle O, and the cult of Hercules is claimed to be as efficacious as that of Christ. While precedents for the details of this iconography can be found in earlier pagan sarcophagi, here the program is selective and more tightly focussed so as to become a theological statement.

Chamber I in the middle of the second part of the catacomb appears to embody the most elaborate statement of an agreement to disagree. On the hexagonal vault are busts of philosophers and on four side walls of this chamber are standing men with rolls, a type that in later Christian usage would be assumed to be a prophet, here flanking the entrances to two cubicles that were never used. he program remains incomplete, but the context of philosophy and prophecy is clear, and the two cubicles that were used offer the strange contrast of Christ with Peter and Paul (at the left) and a group seated with a philosopher and apparently a cadaver (at tile right). The basic meaning of Christ as teacher and authority is obvious, and is reinforced by the flanking panels with male and female orants, and scenes of the Calling of Moses and of Job and his Wife.

The corresponding philosopher scene is more difficult to intrepret, and the flanking panels have subjects too generalized to help (putto, victory, lamb, goat, garlands). The central figure with a white beard dominates the group of seven men in the front row; he alone has his garment draped to reveal his chest and right shoulder and he looks up to the right, presumal)ly for divine guidance, while reaching out with his right hand in a calm teaching gesture that is echoed by tile figures to the left of him. To the right of him the only other bearded man (but wearing the standard tunic and cloak) turns to the man further to the right and raises his right hand specifically in a gesture of speech; at the extreme right a beardless man looks at bim and raises his right hand in a gesture of reception. The man seated between these two looks at the central figure and reaches out with his right hand, holding a long thin staff pointing at the small nude figure, apparently male, stretched out stiffly in the foreground, apparently dead. That this scene depicts something more than academic discourse is suggested by the blue arc or aureole above the group and the distinctive opening in the abdomen of the corpse. Such an opening is characteristic of ex voto anatomical models offered for cures of abdominal disorders, and to the the numerous terracotta examples from around the fourth century B. C. previously cited I can add a marble example in the Vatican (Sala dei Busti 381) that must be much closer in date. When this implication of a miraculous cure is added to the basic meaning of a philosopher teaching under divine guidance in a supernatural setting, implicitly with many followers (ten heads in two rows behind the foreground seven) I think we are justified in concluding that this painting embodies a pagan theological statement about life and death, even if we cannot define it precisely. It is placed here in deliberate confrontation with the scene of Christ with Peter and Paul.

Similarly, in cubicle M there is a deliberate confrontation between the Fall of Adam and Eve (at the right) and a puzzling scene at the left where two soldiers are turning an urn to cast lots. They are not casting lots over Christ's garment, as Ferrua thought, nor in the literal sense can they be casting lots to determine places at the starting line of a race, for nothing of the sort is shown. Nor can these soldiers be compared to Minos seated in judgment (Aeneid 6.430-433; cf. Lieselotte Kštsche-Breitenbruch, Jb.A.C. Ergbd. 4, 1976, 442-45) but the building behind them is probably a temple and the theme of judgment is implied. This must be a pagan statement about destiny, placed in deliberate confrontation with the Christian statement of the Fall of Man.

Finally we may consider the deliberate confrontation of cubicle E on the cross axis with cubicle F. The latter is obviously Christian, though its secondary panels include interesting adaptations of Roman iconography concerning the afterlife; in one scene an unidentified man is going out through a doorway while in the other an unidentified man is leading another through a doorway towards us. Cubicle E has only one major scene, a nimbed semi-nude reclining female holding a serpent in her left hand while looking up and raising her open right hand, presumably to some divine power; behind her are red flowers at the left and a wreath at the right, and above them a blue arc or aureole like the one in the painting of philosophers. Margherita Guarducci proposed that this figure is Tellus (Rend.Pont.Acc.Rom.Arch. 37, 1964-5, 259-281) but Michael Maas in these Abstracts (3, 1977, 9-10) argued, convincingly to my mind, that this is Isis, one of the most important pagan cults promising immortality. Once again it seems the pagan faction in this family is stating its claims to a theology just as effective for the afterlife as that of the Christians.

The date of these paintings can be argued only on the basis of their style, but I am not alone in preferring a date well advanced in the fourth century. Indeed, I would like to place them around the decade of the 380s, for particularly in cubicle O the contrast of very plastic heads with relatively insubstantial bodies, and generally the use of clarified flattened compositions with hierarchic scaling, reminds me of the reliefs on the obelisk base of Theodosius, dated 390. Of course the obvious differences in medium and location make such a comparison no more than a suggestion, but if that is the correct date then we realize our catacomb was painted when Quintus Aurelius Symmachus was pleading the cause of pagan traditionalists in Christian Rome. His Relatio 3.10 provides an appropriate motto for the iconographic scheme I have discussed: Uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum.


Henry Maguire (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Since its discovery the enigmatic floor mosaic of the East Church at Qasr-el-Lebia (Libya) has been subjected to repeated attempts at interpretation. In spite of excellent scholarly attention, however, certain puzzles remain unsolved. For example, why does the nymph Castalia, representing a pagan oracle, recline among the Rivers of Paradise? To what does the fruit-carrying personification Ananeosis ("Renewal") refer? What, if any, meaning can be attached to rare motifs such as the eagle rending the deer, which appears immediately beneath Ananeosis? And how far should we go in reading meanings into peripheral images, such as the Nilotic motifs at the edges of the floor, and the lighthouse at the bottom? Are they a random collection of workshop motifs, or is there a logic that connects them? This paper will try to answer some of these questions and, in so doing, suggest new ways of looking at the symbolism of Early Christian art.

I intend to argue that in the Qasr-el-Lebia mosaic the context is defined by one of the inscriptions: ktisis. This word may have a twofold meaning here. In the first place it refers to the creation of the church and of the city which it adorns ("New Theodorias"). But, secondly, it also refers to the Creation of the world, for the restorers of the city (Justinian and Theodora) imitated the actions of the Creator himself. Contemporary texts will be presented to support this interpretation.

A short discussion of the literary texts on the Creation of the world (the Hexaemeron) will follow. The patristic commentaries and sermons can be classified broadly into three types: (1) those which give the literal sense; (2) partial allegories; and (3) comprehensive allegories. The paper will give examples of floor mosaics depicting thecreated world which correspond to each of these three categories. In the literal treatments, the artist presents a selection of motif a (e.g. plants, fish, animals) which can be shown, by inscriptions or by their arrangement, to stand for the world. Obviously the designer cannot show the whole of Creation in its entirety. The motifs he selects, therefore, are examples of metonymy, or signs; the parts of Creation stand for the whole. In the second category (partial allegory), the complete work of art still stands for the world, but the designer indicates, by inscriptions or by compositional means, that certain motifs have an allegorical meaning beyond their literal sense. These motifs have added metaphor (or symbolism) to metonymy. The Qasr-el-Lebia mosaic belongs to the third category, of comprehensive allegories. Here very many of the motifs signifying the created world carry additional symbolic meanings.

The idiosyncratic selection of motifs in the Qasr-el-Lebia mosaic is found to correspond in some detail with allegories of the congregation of the gentiles in commentaries on the Creation. In one text, by an unknown author who wrote after the early sixth century (P.G. 89, cols. 851-1077) we find that the apparently disparate subjects of the four Rivers of Paradise, Castalia, fruitful Renewal, the river Nile, the light over Egypt, and even the deer with its carcass were all fitted together into the complex but coherent pattern of allegories. Thus the sermons and commentaries can help us to understand the mentalities that lay behind both the written documents and Early Byzantine works of art.

In the conclusion of the talk the main theme of the mosaic (the gathering of the gentiles and their conversion into one church) will be set into the political context of Justinian's campaign to pacify the lands to the west of Egypt.


Dale Kinney (Bryn Mawr College)

In 1939 Erwin Panofsky defined iconography as "that branch of the history of art which concerns itself with the subject matter or meaning of works of art, as opposed to their form". Three years later came the seminal "Intro- duction to an ÎIconography of Medieval Architectureâ" by Richard Krautheimer, who proposed a "meaning" in medieval buildings "transcend[ing] the visual pat- tern of the structure" and comprising -- in rough paraphrase -- religious or lit- urgical function, symbolic reference, and traditional associations of the shape. Both analyses explicitly distinguish form from content or meaning, but there is a difference. In painting and sculpture a reading, or identification of the forms (e.g., seated woman with child on lap) not only precedes but is necessar- ily congruent with iconographical analysis (Theotokos with infant Christ). In architecture too the form can create and convey the building's meaning (as Krautheimer claimed to be the case with polygonal baptisteries resembling mauso- lea), but this is not always so; form and meaning can be quite independent, even contradictory (as Krautheimer demonstrated with the "copies" of the Anas- tasis).

It seems that for iconographers of architecture the basic formal reading of the monument -- Panofsky's "pre-iconographical description" -- presents difficulties not encountered in medieval painting and sculpture, difficulties of which there has been, to my knowledge, no explicit theoretical consideration. In the figurative arts it is a datum that the forms of the work are representational; without that assumption, iconography would not be possible. The question is whether the same assumption holds for architecture. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia plausibly "represents" a cross, but what of forms that have no referent outside architecture itself, e.g., the basilica? This paper will propose that, for the purposes of iconography, there are fundamentally two kinds of architectural forms: pictographic formations, with referents outside the architectural tradition, and conventional configurations, whose referents are intra-architectural. The first category includes the octagon (=8), the dome (=heaven), and the cross. The second category includes the basilica and the tetraconch. Although the second category cannot by its nature have a meaning like the first, the first can be meaningful like the second; i.e., a pictographic formation can have an intra-architectural reference in addition to its extra- architectural one, but it will not necessarily do so. For example, virtually any cruciform building can be safely read as representing the cross (whether in its historical or its symbolic manifestation), but only a few of those buildings can be shown also to make allusion to an architectural model like the Holy Apostles Church. The iconographer is obliged to distinguish among these cases, to identify those in which such intra-architectural references are possible or likely, and those in which they are not.

With buildings of conventional configuration, it is the iconographer's first task to identify the meaning of the convention. What, for example, was the formal "meaning" of the basilica? More subtly, how did that meaning change and deepen with the chronological accretion of independently significant examples? And at what point does the convention become clichŽ or habit, taken for granted and thereby deprived of significative potential? A survey of early Christian basilicas illuminates these methodological questions, and conversely, the iconography of some of the examples comes clearer when viewed in this theoretical light.



(with Page Numbers)


Officers and Committees, 1982-1983



To serve until the 1986 Conference:

To serve until the 1985 Conference:

(Nominating Committee)

To serve until the 1984 Conference:

To serve until the 1983 Conference:


PROGRAM COMMITTEE for 1983 Conference


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