Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Tenth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
1-4 November 1984
The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio


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. Copyright (©) reserved to the Individual speakers. Copies of the Abstracts are presented to each participant paying the General Registration fee, and they are also available for purchase by other interested persons and libraries. Subscriptions are available in five-year units: 1975-79 (Nos. 1-5) for $15; 1980-84 (Nos. 6-10) for $20. Individual copies can be ordered for $5 the copy. All prices include postage. Orders must be prepaid (checks payable to Byzantine Studies Conference) and sent to:

Byzantine Studies Conference
c/o Dumbarton Oaks
1703 32nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007

Byzantine Studies Conference

Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference, lst-1975--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

Abstracts indexed and prepared for printing by Martin Arbagi and Steven Bowman. The Index appears on pages 65-66.


Justinian II. First reign, 685-695. Gold Solidus. Constantinople, 686/7. 4.43 gr., 21mm. ↓

Obverse: IUSTINIA NYSPEAN Young bust facing, wearing divitision and chlamys fastened at right shoulder by a fibula, and crown with cross and circlet. His right hand holds a globus crucinger.

Reverse: VICTORIA [A]NZUS Cross potent on base and three steps. In exergue CONOB

W. Hahn, Moneta. Imperii Byzantini, III, p. 261 (2). Private collection in Cincinnati


Photo - Huey McClellan

Description - Michael Braunlin


Friday Morning, 2 November-

Friday Afternoon, 2 November-

Saturday Morning, 3 November-

Saturday Afternoon, 3 November-

Sunday Morning. 4 November-


Presiding: Gary Vikan (Dumbarton Oaks)

"Imperial Travelers and the Origins of Christian Pilgrimage"

Kenneth Bolus (The University of Maryland)

The pilgrim festivals belonged to the religion of Israel aiready during the later monarchy, and Muhammed made the Hajj one of the five pillars of Islam. In Christianity, however, although it was a cognate of Judaism and Islam, the compulsion to travel to holy places did not assume significant proportions until the age of Constantine the Great. The contrast is striking. Both the general absence of pilgrimage from the piety of the early church and its sudden flowering in Constantine's day require explanation. This paper will address only the latter problem.

Earlier studies on the beginnings of Christian pilgrimage have devoted most of their attention to reports that a handful of Christians traveled to Palestine in the second and third centuries to visit the holy places. An example is Melito of Sardis, whose journey to the Holy Land in the 160's had the specific purpose of research on the canon of scriptures. For sore scholars the travels of Melito and others like him already included most of the elements that made up the ethos of pilgrimage in the fourth century. In this view Melito and his contemporaries already traveled for the purpose of worship in the holy places, and to experience there as nowhere else the physical reality of Biblical events. Hence Christian pilgrimage might best be interpreted as a natural outgrowth of primitive Christian tradition, with its ultimate origins in Jewish veneration of graves and holy places. This is roughly the position of Hans Windisch and Bernard Kštting among older studies, and more recently E. D. Hunt has adopted it in his book Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire.

Hunt's view--that pilgrimage grew naturally from primitive Christian origins--is untenable. In 1931 Ewald Burger had a1ready pointed out that the ethos of pilgrimage, as revealed in fourth-century texts, is either unknown or not securely attested among Christian travelers in the second and third centuries. Although both Eusebius and Jerome believed that pilgrimage had existed from the earliest days of Christianity (and thus read this view into their accounts of Melito and the like), Eusebius especially makes it clear that the first thronging of pilgrims to Jerusalem corresponded with the end of persecution and the reign of Constantine.

Ewald Burger argued that by the tine of Constantine Christianity had become a popular religion (Volkskirche) and that it imported pilgrimage along with other elements of popular piety from Greco-Roman paganism. There is a great deal of truth in this view, but Burger left unexplained why pilgrimage began to flourish precisely in the reign of Constantine.

A study of St. Helena's pilgrimage in 326 will provide part of the answer. As is well known, thousands of men and women of both aristocratic and more humble status emulated Helena, flocking to Palestine and Jerusalem to visit the holy places of the Old and New Testaments. Helena's importance in the development of pilgrimage is clear; what is less well-known (though suggested, paradoxically, by Hunt) is that her famous journey belonged in a tradition of aristocratic and imperial travel across the Empire extending back into Roman Republican times. Like Helena, the Emperor Hadrian (for example) traveled to emphasize the relationship of the imperial personage with the Empire at large, its cities, and their inhabitants. Helena's pilgrimage can best be understood in that tradition It had roots in the past, not indeed in the world of primitive Christianity but in the touring customs of the most exalted Romans.

Rooted in aristocratic and imperial tradition, Helena's pilgrimage also included decisive innovations. She traveled specifically to Jerusalem, as part of her son's efforts to cement an alliance with the Christian God. As a result of this imperial journey, inhabitants of the Empire would locate themselves more and more not only in miles from Rome but along a line from the imperial capital to Jerusalem. Moreover, Helena was a woman, equipped in the ancient view with the usual physical and moral frailties of her sex. An emperor like Hadrian, with manly virtues and the full resources of the state post, traveled easily and in principle could reach the most distant corner of the Empire even before report of him arrived. Although Helena ranked as Augusta and likewise employed imperial facilities, her sex emphasized the exertions of long-distance travel and the ascetic side of the journey, bringing what had been an imperial and aristocratic practice Into the purview of ordinary Christian devotion.

"On the Pilgrim Maps of the Holy Land in the Sixth Century, C.E."

Yoram Tsafrir (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

The Latin early sixth century composition De Situ Terrae Sanctae ascribed to Theodosius, is one of the most important pilgrim guides of Palestine in the Byzantine period.

The work is divided into thirty-two paragraphs, each of them containing a description of one itinerary or bringing an independent source. As a whole, the composition may be divided into two major parts. The first part (paragraphs 1-11) is a detailed and systematic description of Palestine and Jerusalem. The second part (paragraphs 12-32) contains material drawn from different sources and describes sites outside Palestine as well as complementary information on sites in Palestine and Jerusalem. our study will seek to determine the geographical sources for the first part. Paragraphs 1-5 describe five different itineraries starting from Jerusalem toward the east, the north, the northwest, the southwest and the south. The stations along the roads are places of Christian significance. The distances between stations are counted by miles. Paragraph 6 mentions several holy sites in the close neighborhood of Jerusalem. Paragraphs 7-11 point out the main churches and the main pilgrim stations within Jerusalem; the distances between them are counted by paces.

Scholars interpret the first five paragraphs as derived from one of the Holy Land itineraria. For example, J. Wilkinson (Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, Warminster 1977, pp. 63-71, 184- 192), assumes that the functional section--the stations and distances--were taken from a civil itinerary guide, to which the editor, Theodosius, added the Christian traditions. However, a careful comparison between our composition and the existing secular itineraria, does not confirm this hypothesis. Differences in routes, stations and distances are recognizable.

We prefer the possibility that Theodosius derived his information not from an ordinary pilgrim guide book, but rather from a map. This was a map for the use of pilgrims, or their tour leaders, who established their base in Jerusalem. Its graphic representation resembled that of the Roman road map of the Tabula Peutingeriana, with depictions of main roads, main stations and settlements and the signs, in numerical characters, of the distances between each station. The Christian cartographer added in the empty spaces short explanations or Biblical quotations which fit the sites. The map was probably drawn on parchment and circulated in a small number of copies. One of these copies came into the hands of Theodosius and became his main source of information concerning names, distances and traditions. This hypothesis can be further corroborated through a comparison with the only existing map of Byzantine Palestine--the Madaba mosaic map--although this map is entirely different in its goals and character, and based on various sources. If we check the sites and the traditions mentioned by Theodosius, we find that they appear on the mosiac map (we can check, of course, only the regions which were preserved on the mosaic). it is our conclusion that the artist who made the Madaba map found a basic framework in a similar pilgrimage map. He used, most probably, a Greek copy of the same Latin map which Theodosius knew.

The description of sites within Jerusalem was drawn from another map--a city map of Jerusalem. The reconstruction of this map will remain, however, beyond the limit of the present paper.

"Locus Sanctus Architecture"

Robert Ousterhout (The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

The attraction of the holy sites which brought about the institution of pilgrimage in the early Middle Ages also led to the creation of a variety of souvenirs which served to document the journey. The best known of these are works of the minor arts now known as locus sanctus objects but originally called eulogiai or "blessings" by the faithful. Frequently these objects were containers for secondary relics such as dirt, water or oil from the holy site, and often a schematic representation of the site and the events it commemorated would appear on the container. The objects had a certain prophylactic value, and the combination of image and relic would help to recreate at a distance the sanctity or spiritual validity of the original site. The importance of locus sanctus objects in the visual arts has been examined by Weitzmann (DOP, 1797-4. 33 ff.), while Vikan has clarified the social and functional significance of these objects (Byzantine Pilgrimage Art, 1982). In this paper, I propose to include architecture in the discussion pilgrims' souvenirs.

Numerous "copies" of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were constructed in Western Europe from the ninth century onward. Since Krautheimer's study of the "Iconography of Medieval Architecture" (JWCI, 1942. 1-33), these copies have been frequently noted in architectural studies, but primarily as curiosities, out of the mainstream of development. However, when viewed in relationship to pilgrimage, the copies help to broaden our understanding of a significant cultural phenomenon. In both form and function, the architectural copies are analogous in concept to the smaller, portable pilgrims' souvenirs. Often constructed by returning travelers, the copies follow a mode of representation which parallels the locus sanctus images: parts were taken to stand for the whole, and the religious significance outweighed the visual similitude. In addition, many copies contained relics from Jerusalem, and the reproduced architectural image and relic worked together to transfer the sanctity of the holy site. Finally, like the locus sanctus objects, the architectural copies could serve a variety of functions which gained in significance by the association with the holy site.

St. Michael at Fulda, for example, is perhaps our earliest certain copy of the Holy Sepulchre. The octagonal chapel contained relics from Bethlehem and Mt. Sinai as well as a copy of the Tomb of Christ, all part of the original construction ca. 820. Both copy and relics were meant to increase the sanctity of an adjacent cemetery. The chapel was thus designed to function as a sort of reliquary, a large-scale locus sanctus object. The combination of relics and image representing different holy sites is not unusual and it paralleled in some reliquaries. The Sanctum Sanctorum casket, for example, contained "blessings" from a variety of Holy land sites which do not necessarily correspond to the painted images on its lid. In both the reliquary and the chapel of St. Michael, the intent was to document in a general way the source of the "blessings."

On an architectural scale, the copy effected a sort of topographical transfer, through which the faithful could visit by proxy the holy sites of Jerusalem. Thus the creation of one pilgrimage could easily become the object of another. The copies took on added significance when it was impossible to visit Jerusalem due to disruptions in the Near Last. The rotunda of Neuvy-St.-SŽpulcre, for example, was apparently constructed by pilgrims who had visited the Holy Land in the eleventh century. It contained a copy of the Tomb aedicula with relics of the Sepulchre. The church was located on one of the main pilgrimage roads which led from northern France to Santiago da Compostella in Spain. Thus the pilgrim to Santiago could conveniently visit "Jerusalem" along the way.

"Some Notes on the Early Marian Relics of Constantinople"

John Wortley (The University of Manitoba)

The principal--though by no means the only--Marian relics revered at Constantinople prior to the disruption of 1204 were the girdle (zon) and shawl (maphorion) of the Theotokos, conserved respectively at the Marian churches of Chalcoprateia (encaenia on 2 July) and of Blachernae (21 July,) but this clear distinction of the two relics is characteristic only of a period beginning towards the end of the ninth century, prior to which there was considerable confusion and uncertainty surrounding the questions of which relics lay where. The confusion appears to have arisen in part from the fact that the relics each lay in a sealed casket (soros), the origins of which were at best somewhat ambiguous, the precise nature of the contents very unsure. There are two independent stories of how a soros came to the Capital, both pointing to the third quarter of the fifth century. The so-called Euthymiac History which describes the reactions of Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem to an imperial request for corporal relics of the Theotokos, also includes the earliest known statement of what would come to be known as the doctrine of the bodily assumption of the Virgin. This is used to explain why a box (soros) of himatia and entaphia would have to suffice. The other story, the Legend of Galbius and Candidus, narrates the most flagrant case of pious larceny imaginable, perpetrated to deprive a pious Jewess of a robe-containing soros and bring it to the Capital, where it was installed at Blachernae. Not until the eve of the Iconoclastic Controversy is there any mention of the Marian clothing by name, and then it is the girdle which is hailed as guardian of the City. The feast is 2nd July, but there is nothing to suggest the relic has already moved to Chalcoprateia. The later use of an identical office for it and for the maphorion seems to suggest both a common origin and a fairly late separation date. This may well have been ca 900, for the zon seems (for the first time ?) to have been taken out of its soros to perform an act of healing on Zo Carbonopsina. It is likely that it was only in 860 that the maphorion was first revealed for what it was, and gained fame and glory for itself by repelling the R™s. Leo VI may have given the zon independent status at Chalcoprateia.

"New Rome to New Jerusalem: The Evolution of Constantinople as a Pilgrim Goal"

George P. Majeska (The University of Maryland)

Soon after Constantine the Great had declared Byzantium his capital he began to remold the image of the city on the Bosporus by importing the antique art lacking in the city and emblems of the newly-favored Christian faith. His success in the latter endeavor would eventually eclipse his activities in the former until it was assumed by many that Constantinople had been founded as a Christian city. The accumulation of evangelical relics instigated by the dowager empress Helen later gave way to the importation of bodies of saints or, once their indivisibility was questioned, parts of the mortal remains of the servants of God. The gradual loss by the Empire of the Semitic East brought more relics from their original locations in the Holy Land as pilgrimage to the sacred sites of Palestine grew more difficult. The final stage in the accumulation of physical tokens of the activity of divine grace came in the period around iconoclasm when Constantinople produced not only many relics of its home-grown saints, but also miracle-working images to belie the iconoclast claims. Constantinople had by then become the world's major treasury of objects of pious Christian veneration.

While the number of hospices in Constantinople testifies to the pilgrim traffic coming to the Byzantine capital in the middle ages, we know little about how the pilgrims were handled or about what particular shrines and relics they wished to venerate. A sort of pilgrim's map of Constantinople before the Fourth Crusade can be created on the basis of descriptions of the city written by an English visitor and by a Russian pilgrim, as well as by a Latin translation of a Greek proskynetarion. The resulting "popular" version of the religious configuration of the city can then be compared with the official depiction of Constantinople's sacred treasures given by Emperor Alexius Comnenus. These two visions of the sacred city can, in turn, be juxtaposed to the lists of religious plunder expropriated by the knights of the Fourth Crusade, yet another pious inventory.

The restoration of Byzantine power in Constantinople coincided with a reconstitution of the marks of Constantinople as a sacred city. The aura of the myth, it seems, overshadowed the reality of the earlier looting. A comparison of the shrines and relics described by "ordinary" pilgrims with the lists of holy treasures shown to official visitors in the Palaeologan period demonstrates the success of the Byzantine authorities in reconstituting the symbols of the sacred city after the looting of the thirteenth century and also demonstrates the meshing of popular and official pieties in the final epoch of Byzantine history.


Presiding: Walter Emil Kaegi. Jr. (The University of Chicago)

"Diplomats, Potentates, and the Patriciate in the Early Byzantine Empire"

Ralph W. Mathisen (The University of South Carolina)

The function of the title "patrician" in the Later Roman Empire remains very imperfectly understood; it has been described simply as a "personal distinction, granted by the emperor to his nearest friends and highest officials" (Jones, LRE p. 106, cf. 528). Furthermore, in the fourth and early fifth centuries the title seems to have been used but infrequently. But by the mid fifth century it had became a good deal more common, and in the west, even though others continued to receive it, the title came to be applied in particular to the first magister militum praesentalis. So here, at least, the title had a much more narrowly applied significance. Another specific use of the title was that employed on occasion by eastern emperors, after the fall of the west, who used it to honor barbarian chieftains (e.g. Odovacar, Theoderic, Clovis).

But what of the many other patricii other than western masters of soldiers and barbarian kings? Do any of them have anything in common, aside from being friends of the emperor or high officials, which might have justified their acquisition of the title? It may be that such can be found in the area of diplomacy, for it appears that many eastern patricians acquired their titles in conjunction with an embassy, and that many ambassadors held this rank. One might note, for example, the embassies of Fl. Taurus to Armenia c.354/355, of Tatian to the Vandals in 464, of Fl. Probus to the Huns c.526, and of Strategius to the Persians in 531. All these individuals appear to have become patricians in conjunction with their embassies. And confirmation that such a policy of endowing ambassadors with this title seems to come from Malchus (fr.3), who reports that Zeno sent Severus to the Vandals in 474 "having made him patrician so that he might make a more majestic impression." Indeed, it may be that it was felt that the granting to an ambassador of the same title often granted to barbarian potentates would have made it particularly appropriate.

The eastern association of this title with the office of ambassador also seems to have been applied, moreover, to western ambassadors whom the Byzantine emperors received. one notes, for example, the report of Fredegarius (4.5) that count Syagrius, king Guntram's ambassador to Constantinople in 585, was made patrician "fraude." And other westerners too seem to have gained the title at about the same time as they served on embassies to the eastern court (e.g. Fl. Rufius Postumius Festus in 497, Fl. Agapitus c.509/511, and Q. Aurelius Symmachus c. 510). one wonders whether such grants may have been a means by which the eastern emperor could assert his nominal authority over the west, viz., by granting a title even if he could not grant an office. If so, it could explain the late sixth-century Frankish opinion that such a grant was fraud- ulent.

If the hypothesis that the title of patrician was felt to be especially appropriate for ambassadors can be accepted, it can have important prosopographical and political implications. It can suggest not only when, but also why an individual may have been granted the title, and in some instances such a suggestion can be very revealing. One might suggest, for example, that Sidonius Apollinaris was made a patrician by Anthemius in 468 in order to heighten his status as an ambassador to the Burgundians. Certainly, such a suggestion would be consistent with what is otherwise known of the easterner's western policy, and it might be noted that even here this use of the title seems to reflect an eastern rather than a western practice. Moreover, it may be that the same emperor's promise to make Sidonius' brother-in-law Ecdicius patrician as well was in the same context, and not, as always has been assumed in the past, part of a plan to make him first master of soldiers. And a study of a list of other patricians (unfortunately, there is none in either volume of PLRE) reveals similar instances of how insight into the granting of the title can be gained in a diplomatic context.

"Usurpation and Legitimization: The Case of Phocas"

David Olster (The University of Chicago)

In all of Byzantine history there is no ruler who has received such universal condemnation as the emperor Phocas (602-10). George of Pisidia described him as the vengeance of nightmares and Theophylact Simocatta wrote that from the moment Phocas took office disasters and defeats devastated the Empire. The later historians Leo Grammaticus and George Cedrenus left portraits of a wild, scarred visage twisted with drunkenness, lechery and brutality. Most modern historians have followed these sources, and their verdict is hardly less harsh. Recently, however, F. Tinnefeld and P. Speck critically reviewed the sources, condemnation Phocas and found that their bitter judgment was conditioned by their historical context. It is no accident that the hideous caricature that we have received should have issued from the pens of writers who served Phocas, successor and exe- cutioner, the emperor Heraclius. It was a fundamental element of Heraclius' own efforts for self-legitimization that his predecessor's reputation be blackened as thoroughly as possible. The damnatio memoriae imposed on Phocas covered him with obloquy and consigned works that praised him to oblivion.

Phocasâ activity in the capital, moreover, was not limited to murdering aristocrats and debauching other men's wives. Phocas, just as Heraclius after him, came to the throne through the violent overthrow and execution of his predecessor, and similarly required some means of legitimization. From the first, he attempted to bring religion to his aid. His coronation in the church marked a clear departure from previous practice and lent an air of divine approbation to his accession. On the other hand, Phocas' consular celebrations, a traditional element of imperial accession, were celebrated for the last time by Phocas. These elements of imperial presentation constitute a moment of transition in the development of the imperial office.

Besides the ceremonial references, there also exist some sources that were written during Phocas' reign and praise him as one would expect a reigning emperor to be praised. The letters of Pope Gregory heaped praise upon Phocas and thanked God for his accession. In addition, a poem of the later Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, praised Phocas for his piety and his close relations with holy men. Were these sources our only information about Phocas' reign, we would certainly praise his rule as well.

Phocas, as the first successful usurper in nearly three centuries, faced a number of political challenges, one of which was establishing his legitimacy. He failed, and history has preserved the account of his reign left by the writers of his vanquisher. Phocas' overthrow is the best evidence of his political failure and there is no reason to take the rosey praises of the sources literally, just as there is no reason to accept the violent condemnation of the biased authors of Heraclius' reign literally. But the formulaic praises and the ceremonial developments of Phocas' reign set a precedent that was not ignored by Heraclius. A serious examination of the efforts of Phocas to establish his imperial credentials yields important information about the steps taken by Heraclius and deepens our understanding of the process of political change and transition in Byzantium.

"The Silver of Mediaeval Anatolia"

Rudi Paul Lindner (The University of Michigan)

For objets dâart and coinage both, Byzantium needed precious metals. Whether the gold and silver in question came from foreign trade or from local mines has been an important question for numerous scholars, and there are useful remarks on the topic by Bryer, Hendy, Vryonis, and a brilliant article by Watson. It was Vryonis who first discussed the mines on the basis of pre- and post-Byzantine evidence, an approach the later generation emulated. Watson pioneered the use of coinage to good effect upon the problem, basing his excellent theory on a thorough plundering of published catalogues.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extraordinary richness of Anatolian silver in the thirteenth century, a silver of such abundance that it fuelled the economy of Mongol Iran as well as the Lascarid and Seljuk revivals. The evidence on which these assertions rest comes from the contemporary coinage of Anatolia, most of which Muslim rulers struck. It includes some twenty thousand unpublished coins drawn from private collections, Anatolian hoards, and museum cabinets in the U.S., Europe, and Turkey. The use of neutron activation analysis in combination with geological surveys has produced information about the fineness of Anatolian silver and has also located the mines from which certain mints obtained the silver they coined. Much of the evidence for this talk, therefore, will be new to the listener.

The interpretation of this evidence will also be new, for the economic history of medieval Anatolia remains to be written, if indeed it can be written with any confidence. First, the terms of trade within the peninsula, and between it and its neighbors, must be addressed once again, in the light of Muslim-Christian currency 'communities'. Second, the evidence forces a new response to the question about east-west bullion shifts. Third, the measure of Anatolia's silver wealth, and of Byzantium's historic share in that wealth, must be taken anew. Finally, an interesting question of method arises in working over the material for this analysis: how to interpret Byzantine 'weakness' and Seljuk Îstrengthâ on the basis of parallel, if not exactly identical, information.


Presiding: Ihor Ševčenko (Harvard University)

"Byzantine Letter Writing: A Positive View"

George T. Dennis (The Catholic University of America)

Byzantine letters, as distinct from official and private letters of other sorts, emerge as a separate literary genre in late antiquity, noticeably in the fourth century with a neo-pagan emperor and a Christian bishop among its earliest and most notable practitioners. The most imitated letter writer throughout the entire Byzantine period was the pagan orator Libanius. Yet, it was a Christian saint, Gregory of Nazianzus, who was the first to prepare an edition of his collected letters, and who set down the "rules" of good letter writing, which were carefully observed and referred to a thousand years later. Gregory posits three characteristics of a good letter: conciseness (syntomia), clarity (saphēnia), and elegance (kharis). One should also be careful, he adds, to avoid affectation and excessive use of rhetorical devices, and one should include a bit of pleasantry (paidia).

Most scholars recognize a definite break, generally placed in the seventh century, between the civilization of late antiquity and that of the Byzantine period. Yet, there was continuity in one important respect, the education of the upper classes, their literary interests, and their manifestation of these in their correspondence. The practice of fine letter writing was carried on continuously by the Byzantines from the fourth century to the fall of their empire in 1453.

The literature of the Byzantines, their letters in particular, have often been criticized, and not without reason. But scholars have recently begun to judge the letters on their own merits and not simply according to modern tastes. This is indeed the only way to understand them and the people who wrote and who read them. However artificial they may seem to us, and whatever else they may have been, Byzantine letters were real letters written to real people. They valued the art of writing letters very highly and devoted a great deal of time and energy to it. Approximately some fifteen thousand such letters survive, clearly only a fraction of those written.

In addition to bearing a message, the Byzantine letter evolved into a vehicle designed to convey emotion, akin, as one scholar has noted, to lyric poetry. It was not poetry, of course, but neither was it prose in the ordinary sense of the term. It was a literary objet d'art, the product and the badge of an intellectual elite. It bound educated men and women in an exclusive group which included pagan and Christian, cleric and lay, monk and emperor.

While addressed to one individual, the Byzantine letter was intended for a wider public, and for posterity as well. One could argue that the formal letters written by the Byzantines were one of their greatest literary achievements. One of the very few scholars to have studied them in detail claimed that "according to absolute aesthetic standards, they belong to world literature". This was also, although they would certainly not admit it, the one area in which they surpassed their ancient models. A careful reading of the letters composed by the Byzantines may provide us with some historical and prosopographical information. More importantly, though, they can tell us what they thought and how they felt, and they can add another dimension to their personalities.

"Achilles Tatiusâ Reception in Byzantium"

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

The existence side-by-side of a literature of devotion and a literature of education, each representing different values, constituted a problem which educated Christians have dealt with in a variety of ways. The radical rejection of pagan literature of Tertullian and others gave way to the more moderate solution espoused by St. Basil, since the religious debate under the Roman Empire forced Christian apologists to exploit the arsenals of pagan rhetoric and literature.

Refractory elements in the pagan legacy could be dealt with in various ways; 1) simple avoidance (St. Basil; warnings of Photius' Bibliotheca); 2) finding Christian connections for the author (Nonnus' Dionysiaca preserved because of his conversion and authorship of a paraphrase of John's Gospel; Socrates' story of Heliodorus' conversion); 3) allegorical interpretation (Demo on Homer; Philip Philagathus on Heliodorus).

Achilles Tatius' novel Leucippe and Clitophon was a particularly difficult case because in matter and language it is much less restrained than Heliodorus. Photius concluded that "the extreme indecency and impurity of the content make the reading of it repugnant and to be avoided" (Bibl. cod. 87). Though Psellus seems to share Photius' qualms about the book on moral grounds, he asserts the rhetorician's right to "pluck flowers" from the garden of Achilles Tatius as well. The Byzantine rhetorician sees literature as essentially a quarry to be mined. Just as in his letter to John Xiphilinus Psellus asserts his right to combine pagan lore with Christianity in his own way, so here he wants to assert his freedom as a rhetorician to choose decorative elements from various sources as he pleases.

Attitudes such as these helped to protect such works against moral sanctions. This was surely also Psellus' aim in an essay in which he argues that Heliodorus and Achilles Tatius should be read, not at the beginning, but at the culmination of one's literary studies, an attitude which adumbrates the modern solution of channeling specific types of entertainment to specific audiences on the basis of their maturity.

"Cleomedes Byzantinus"

Robert B. Todd (The University of British Columbia)

As has recently been noted (A. Thion, Byzantion, 51 [1981], 603- 624), Byzantine astronomy is a relatively neglected area. This is inevitably true also of elementary presentations of astronomy, i.e. descriptive non-technical surveys contributing to general education. Matters are complicated by the absence of any canonical Byzantine handbook of elementary astronomy such as Sacrobosco's Sphaera in medieval and early modern Europe, and no strong reliance on any ancient text such as we find occurring in sixteenth-century Europe with Ps-Proclus' Sphaera. Progress has been made in defining the Byzantine reception of relevant ancient material through the research of J. Martin and G. Aujac into the manuscript traditions of Aratus and Geminus respectively (J. Martin, Histoire du Texte des PhŽnomnes d'Aratos (Paris, 1956), and Scholia in Aratum Vetera (Leipzig, 1974); G. Aujac, GŽminos: Introduction aux PhŽnomnes (Paris, 1975), Introduction, XCI-CXIX.), but so far little work has been done on the fortuna of Cleomedes whose elementary survey of astronomy (the KuklikŽ Theoria) had a wide diffusion and influence. In this communication I would like to summarise findings that have resulted from work on a new Teubner edition of this author, and on an article for the Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum.

Cleomedes was known in the eleventh century to Michael Psellus and Symeon Seth, but not surprisingly became better established during the well-known revival of interest in astronomy in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries (on which see e.g. Thion art. cit., and D. Pingree, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 18 [1964], 135-160). Most of the earliest manuscripts of this author belong to the period 1270-1350 (at least twelve compared with three of Geminus). He was used by Nicephorus Blemmydes in his EpitomŽ Physica (cf. W. Lackner, "Zum Lehrbuch der Physik des Nikephoros Blermnydes," Byzantinische Forschungen, 4 (1972), 157-169 at 166) and George Pachymeres in his Quadrivium. A collection of the older scholia was augmented by John Pediasimus. One manuscript (Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Ms. Adv. 18.7.15) is an autograph of Maximus Planudes (see A. Turyn, Dated Greek Manuscripts of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in the Libraries of Great Britain, 57-59). Finally, there are more arguable associations with Demetrius Triclinius and Nicephorus Gregoras.

I shall survey this material, laying particular stress on the use made of passages from Cleomedes containing numerical information, or susceptible to reformulation in geometrical terms. In the latter regard, we can observe that Theodosius' Sphaerica and de habitationibus, and Euclid's Elements and Optics, were particularly exploited in explaining and criticising Cleomedean passages. Pediasimus' compilation is interesting from the standpoint of education. His recension of the older scholia involved introducing Aristotelian perspectives, and emphasising issues of method. His reconstruction of Eratosthenes, celebrated measurement of the earth (Cleom. 1.10) is the most extensive investigation of the topic after antiquity. Also one of the scholia that he adds appears to be an introduction to basic astronomical concepts, presumably for the students using his notes. (For Pediasimus I shall be drawing on unpublished material that I am editing.)

I shall also give some attention to Planudes' autograph of Cleomedes; it does not contain the radical revisions found in his treatment of Aratus (also in the Edinburgh manuscript), but may be of some interest because of a possible connection with Pediasimus' scholia.

In sum, my thesis in this survey will be that Cleomedes was part of the revival of interest in astronomy in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries; study of some neglected evidence shows the penetration of his influence, and how his work helped complement at an elementary level the more advanced continuations of Ptolemaic astronomy.

"Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Areadius"

Alan Cameron (Columbia University)

This paper will propose a new solution to the old problem of Synesius' de Providentia and a new interpretation of the anti-German factor in the politics of Arcadius' reign.

O. Seeck showed in 1894 that the 'kingship of Egypt' in Synesius' allegory represented the praetorian prefecture of the East, and since 'Typhos, succeeds 'Osiris' as 'king' in Synesius' story, and Osiris is certainly Aurelian (prefect 399-400), it follows that Typhos must be the prefect who succeeds Aurelian in 400. According to Seeck this was Caesarius, but in 1964 A.H.M.Jones argued that it was Eutychian instead. I shall show that Seeck was right about Caesarius, but wrong in his overall interpretation of the de providentia. For Seeck argued, on the basis of a misreading of Synesius, (1) that Typhos/Caesarius fell from power, and then (2) that Osiris/Aurelian returned to and held on to power for some time, finally putting into effect his policy of 'degermanizing' the state. The execution of the Gothic general Fravitta, dated to 401, is usually seen as the culmination of this process of degermanization. It is further (and more extravagantly) implied in many current works that this degermanization of the eastern state was a salutary move that saved it from the fate of the western empire.

This far reaching hypothesis must be completely abandoned. There is no evidence in the law codes that the antigerman Aurelian returned to the prefecture, and Synesius (if read carefully) clearly implies that he did not. The truth is that the progerman Caesarius remained in power for several years, and there was no antigerman purge. The death of Fravitta took place not in 401 but several years later. There is not the slightest evidence that antigermanism as such was a serious factor in the political infighting for the power behind the throne of Arcadius.


Presiding: Vladimir Goss (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

"Who Was Stefan Nemanja?"

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

In about 1166 a major dynastic change occurred in Serbia. The old dynasty, represented by four brothers (Uroû II, Desa, Beloû, and Primislav) was replaced by a new one, also represented by four brothers (Tihomir, Stracimir, Miroslav, and Stefan Nemanja). It was headed at first by Tihomir who was quickly overthrown and replaced by his brother Stefan Nemanja. This new dynasty was to reign in Serbia until 1371.

Where the founders of this new dynasty came from and what--if any--connection they had to the preceding dynasty is a matter of great controversy. Most scholars have concluded the four new brothers were somehow related to the preceding dynasty. Later Serbian and Dalmatian sources from the 16th and 17th centuries state Nemanja was the son of Desa. A relationship to the previous dynasty is also suggested by the fact that Nemanja's charter issued to Hilandar in 1198 and the biographies of him written by his sons (Sava and Stefan the First-Crowned) state that Nemanja's great- grandfather and grandfather had ruled the land, but not his father. If this last statement is accurate, Desa could not have been his father. Also militating against Desa as his father is an inscription written by Nemanja's brother Miroslav in a gospel which states that Miroslav was the son of Zavid. Nothing else is known about Zavid--though that name appears in later genealogies as a brother of Nemanja-- though he might have been an otherwise unknown brother of Uroû II and Desa.

The life of Nemanja by his son Stefan states that Stefan Nemanja, the youngest son of a man whose name is not given--which is odd if that man were Desa or one of his brothers--, was born in Zeta after his father, having involved himself in a power struggle with his brothers, had fled Raûka for Zeta. Later the father returned to the "place of the throne" (stolnoje mesto). Did this mean that he simply returned to the capital city as a place or did this mean, as Anastasijević argues, he returned to the throne itself, i.e. returned to rule? When this unnamed father died each son received a hereditary appanage. Precedence went to the eldest son, Tihomir. Nemanja's appanage lay in the region of the Ibar River. Though no dates are given in any source as to when Nemanja received this appanage, it probably was about 1166, the approximate date when the four brothers replaced Desa as joint rulers of Serbia, with seniority going to Tihomir.

It seems likely this family was installed by Manuel, and one would expect him to turn to the existing ruling family for rulers. Manuel's role and the approximate date of 1166 for the change of rulers finds support in a Byzantine oration (discussed in the paper), published by Browning. Since 1166 is about the date other sources give for Tihomir's coming to power, it makes sense to conclude that Tihomir was the ruler appointed in that year over the Serbs by Manuel. The paper then briefly traces the struggle between Nemanja and Tihomir, resulting in Nemanja's expelling Tihomir and assuming the throne of Serbia in 1167 or 1168.

The bulk of the paper will be devoted to analyzing the contradictory evidence from our various sources: the later Serbian genealogies and 16th and 17th century Dalmatian chronicles and histories, the two biographies written by Nemanja's sons, the limited amount of biographical information included in Nemanja's charters, and the Byzantine evidence from the oration and from Niketas Choniates. Nemanja and his brothers, sons of the mysterious Zavid, seem to have emerged from nowhere to take over Serbia, with Byzantine help. But was Nemanja really the son of Zavid? We know only that Miroslav was his son. Could "brother" mean a first cousin--in this case as it does in modern Serbian-- leaving Miroslav Zavid's son as a cousin rather than brother of Nemanja? In that case Nemanja's father could be Desa or one of Desa's brothers. I shall then examine the vague account of the uprising that led to Nemanja's father being expelled from Raûka. Is there any grounds for Anatasijevićâs view that this account, written by Nemanja's son, implies the father had been and later returned to be again the ruler of Serbia? If this was the case, did his sons suppress this fact? If so, why might they have done this? And finally do the later (16th and 17th century) Serbian and Dalmatian sources contribute any hard information, as opposed to legends, to the question?

"King Milutin's Restoration of Chilandari"

George Stričević (The University of Cincinnati)

That the Serbian King Stephan Uroû Milutin restored the monastery of Chilandari on Mount Athos and supposedly replaced its existing katholikon by a new, larger church, is known from the King's biography written by Milutin's contemporary Danilo, the Archbishop of Serbia. He, however, speaks about this resto- ration in rather general terms giving neither the date nor the reasons why a new church had to be built there. In addition to Danilo's reference to the rebuilding of Chilandari main church by King Milutin, there is a long painted inscription above the southern of the three doors that lead from the narthex into the naos of the church in which it is said that the King pulled down the original katholikon in order to erect and decorate a new one on the same place in the year 6801 A.M., i.e. in 1293 A.D. That year has been accepted by virtually all the students of Chilanadari history as the date of Milutin's restoration of the monastery in spite of the fact that the year given is incom- patible with Milutin being called in the same inscription a son- in-law of the Emperor Andronicus II: the Serbian King married the Princess Simonis only in 1299. The explanation, often repeated, that the year in the original inscription -- which was retouched when the church was repainted in 1804 -- read SωIA (6811 = 1303) was altered by the negligent painter of the 19th century, does not seem possible: there is simply no room between the ω and A for another letter.

Of the 14th century frescoes in the church, several individual figures and compositions have been cleaned recently. To the same period belongs a group of portraits in the southwestern corner of the naos, among them one, well preserved, of King Milutin. Judging by the King's age, this portrait should be placed somewhere between the likeness of Milutin as donor at Staro Nagoričino (painted in 1318) and the last one in the long series of portraits of Milutin that were painted during his life-time, one in Gračanica which was painted in 1321, i.e. in the same year in which Milutin died. To resolve the discrepancy between the year given in the inscription and the King's age in his Chilandari portrait, scholars now suggest that the church was built in 1293 (or, possibly, in 1303) while the frescoes were painted in 1318-1320. This is not only an unlikely but also unnecessary proposal. In a charter with which Milutin donated the hamlet of Uljari to the Archbishop's cathedral at Peć, there is a reference to a meeting of the Council of the State which was held in Peć somewhere around 1318 and at which several decisions were made, among them that the monastery of Chilandari should be restored. The charter is preserved, that is true, only in a copy from the beginning of the 15th century (Chilandari Archive, Nr. 143), but several recent studies have shown that the authenticity of its text is beyond doubt. On the basis of this, until now completely overlooked reference to the restoration of Chilandari, the rebuilding of the katholikon of the monastery can be placed between the years 1318 and 1321, which fully agrees with the testimony provided by the King's likeness in the naos of the church.

The implications of this conclusion are manyfold. First of all, an extensive restoration of Chilandari katholikon, and many other buildings of the monastery, can be much more easily understood if it took place after the serious damages were inflicted upon the monastery in the course of several attacks on Chilandari by the Catalan mercenaries who, having been let go by the Byzantine Emperor who could not afford to pay for their services any longer, devastated first Thrace, then the hinterland of Thessaloniki, and, finally, Athos itself, attacking its monasteries including Chilandari. Danilo's anonymous biographer claims that, under the brave Abbot's leadership, Chilandari withstood the siege which lasted for over three years (from the spring of 1307 through the summer of 1310), but leaves no doubt that the monastery suffered a great deal. Secondly, if Milutin's restoration of Chilandari katholikon consisted, as I have argued earlier (at the Byzantine Studies Congress in Vienna, 1981), in addition to the repairs of the church (the scope of the 14th century repairs on the main part of the church will be hopefully determined by the study, now in progress, of the fabric of the church, being conducted by Prof. P. Mylonas) also of the construction of the spacious exonarthex which is traditionally ascribed to the time of Prince Lazar (1371-1389), then the connection between the architecture of Chilandari and several 14th century churches in Serbia becomes much clearer. To the direct influence of the Chilandari katholikon as restored and enlarged my Milutin, one could ascribe the building of open exonarthex in Gračanica, Sopoćani, the Cathedral of Prizren and, lastly, but most importantly, at the Archbishop's cathedral in Peć. Here Archbishop Danilo, former Abbot of Chilandari, and who might have also supervised Milutin's restoration of the Serbian monastery at Athos, built, in front of the three parallel churches, a spacious open exonarthex which not only in general design and construction but also in architectural details and decoration virtually paraphrases the exonarthex of Chilandari.

And, finally, the addition of a large exonarthex to the ka- tholikon of Chilandari in the last years of Milutin's reign, can be explained as the consequence of the introduction in the Ser- bian Church of the so-called Typikon of Nikodim, in fact a tran- slation from Greek of the Synaxarion, or the second part of the so- called Jerusalem Typikon, the translation that was completed by, or, at least, at the request of Nikodim, at the time the Archbishop of Serbia. The Typikon prescribes that many different services should be performed in the narthex, presumably the exo- narthex which is also known as the 'liti'. If the exonarthex was added to the main church of Chilandari in the last few years of King Milutin's reign, then it would represent the first archi- tectural response to the liturgical requests of Nikodim's Typikon, soon to be followed by a series of such additions to many major churches in Serbia itself.

"The Persistence of Linearity in Thirteenth-Century Balkan Painting"

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.

"The 'Three-Porch' Church in Early Russian Architecture"

Patricia Cain Rodevald (Princeton University)

The arrangement of annexed spaces in Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture has been the focus of several studies in recent decades. Among the various schemes for subsidiary spaces, a plan emerges in Early Russian architecture, which utilizes projecting porches attached to the north, south, and west facades of a cross-in-square core. These churches have been discussed in the general context of annexes in centrally-planned buildings, and as a characteristic product of thirteenth-century Byzantine architecture in a general sense, but have not been studied as an individual group. I suggest, however, that an analysis of these projecting porches in medieval Russian architecture reveals a definite evolution of function and form. The analysis of this development will, in my opinion, lead to a better understanding of similar architectural forms in other regions of the Byzantine world.

This paper traces the development of the "three-porch" plan in Early Russian architecture. The earliest examples are found in, or near, Kiev and date from the late eleventh or the early twelfth centuries, such as the Church of the Savior in Berestovo. The porches at this stage were small, single-storied annexes, isolated from the naos, and devoid of any apparent liturgical function. In the course of the twelfth century, the plan was disseminated to various Russian principalities. The twelfth and thirteenth-century examples are marked, however, by the addition of apses and arcosolia, the introduction of a two-storied arrangement, and a more open access between the porch and naos, indicating a new conception of these subsidiary spaces. Examples of this development may be seen at the Church in the Upper Citadel in Polotsk (mid-twelfth century), the Church of the Archangel Michael "Svirskaia" in Smolensk (ca. 1180- 97), the Church of Paraskeva-Piatnitsa in the Market Place in Novgorod (1207), and the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in Suzdal (1222-25). At Polotsk one finds the introduction of apses into the lateral porches. At Smolensk the north and south annexes contained an apse, evidence of an arcosolium was discovered in the west porch, a two-storied arrangement was introduced in the annexes, and the porches were no longer isolated from the principal church core. This spatial relationship was continued at Novgorod, where two-storied porches with arcosolia were open to the naos on both levels. Finally, the Suzdal Cathedral illustrates the continuity of the "three-porch" plan, with its open access between the lateral projecting porches and the naos, well into the thirteenth century. Subsidiary spaces in these examples show a change from simple porch areas, separated from the interior of the church, to chapels with definite funerary function, and spatially integrated with the naos.

Our understanding of this functional and formal development of Early Russian porches may be used to illuminate related developments within the broader context of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture. Porches attached to centrally-planned monuments in Georgia, Serbia, Trebizond, and elsewhere, roughly contemporary with the Russian material, have been recognized as part of a general development in Byzantine architecture. The particular aspects of the functional and formal evolution of the "three-porch" plan in Russian architecture constitutes new valuable information for the understanding of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture in the broadest sense.


Presiding: William Tronzo (The Johns Hopkins University)

"The Torah Shrine at Dura-Europos and the Feast of Tabernacles: A Re‘valuation"

Archer St. Clair (Rutgers University)

Among the paintings of the synagogue at Dura Europos, that on the face of the Torah shrine has long been recognized as unique. Differing in style, technique, and iconographical details from the narrative cycle, it is generally accepted as an earlier work and appears to belong to an original decorative scheme that did not include a narrative cycle. Nonetheless, scholars, with few exceptions, have interpreted the Torah shrine images in relation to the narrative paintings. This paper is an attempt to re-evaluate the painting as a work of art complete in itself, which was created and remained unaltered as the focus of worship for the congregation throughout the synagogue's history.

At the center of the composition is a tetrastyle structure flanked on the left by the menorah, lulab, and ethrog, and on the right by the Sacrifice of Isaac. Citing collections of cult objects that appear on Jewish gold glass and in mosaics, scholars have interpreted the painting as a general evocation of the Jewish cult with the Sacrifice of Isaac functioning purely symbolically as well, although the nature of its symbolism is disputed.

Two factors argue against this interpretation. First, the painting does not present the traditional collection of cult objects despite ample space to do so. Second, the Sacrifice of Isaac is depicted with an unprecedented richness of narrative detail, making its function as a purely symbolic motif questionable.

An alternative explanation is that the painting was meant to evoke a specific event, the Feast of Tabernacles, which it represents both as it was celebrated in the past and as it will be celebrated in the future.

Originally a harvest festival, the Feast of Tabernacles became in post-Exilic times the pre- eminent festival of the Jewish year, characterized by an array of historical associations and by its eschatological focus. The festival drew its name from the requirement that participants dwell in specially made booths for its duration, a practice begun by Abraham who, according to Jubilees, instituted the feast and celebrated it after the Sacrifice of Isaac. Tabernacles was, in addition, the first festival celebrated by Solomon at the dedication of the Temple, an event that was commemorated in the special lections for the feast, as was the hope of its rebuilding in a time of blessedness, peace, and perpetual light when all nations would come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zachariah XIV).

The feast thus became a major vehicle through which the messianic hopes of the Jewish people were expressed. After the destruction of the Temple, moreover, it continued to be celebrated in the synagogue, where many of its essential elements were retained, including the special lections, the lulab and ethrog that were specific to the feast, and even the dwelling in booths.

At Dura, it is through the evocation of this feast that the Jewish faith in the future is expressed. On the right the celebration of the feast after the Sacrifice of Isaac is depicted by the small figure who stands before or within his booth. Through the faithful celebration of the feast he is assured, as is the congregation at Dura, of a heavenly booth in the world to come, and of a place in the paradise prophesied by Zachariah where, as indicated by the hand of God, the temple will stand rebuilt and all nations will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with lulab and ethrog in the perpetual light, symbolized by the menorah, of the messianic age.

"The Corbridge Lanx Reconsidered"

Barbara Oeblschlaeger-Garvey (The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Since Otto Brendel (JRS, 1941) suggested that the Corbridge lanx might be associated with Julian the Apostate's sacrifice at Delos in 363, it has often been considered one of the few securely dated pieces of Late Antique silver with a certain Eastern provenance. However Brendel's hypothesis should not be elevated to the status of a fact. Upon stylistic examination of the lanx, one finds striking similarities to Western ivories of the late fourth and early fifth centuries A.D. A reassessment of the provenance and the date of the Corbridge lanx is required.

The figural style of the lanx, particularly in facial features and bodily proportions, show close relationship to the Nichomachi-Symmachi diptych, the so-called Stilicho and Serena diptych, the Asklepios and Hygieia diptych and especially a diptych in the Museo Cristiano,Brescia which once belonged to Cardinal Querini. Kitzinger calls the figures of the lanx "strangely anaemic" because of their attenuated bodies, large heads, flaccid limbs and disproportionately large hands and feet. "Serena"âs extremely elongated body with high-placed breasts bears close comparison to the Diana or Minerva of the lanx. The long, swaying and somewhat flabby-muscled Apollo of the lanx reminds one of the Endymion on the Querini diptych. A concurrent elongation of figures with large hands and feet can be noted on sarcophagus sculpture of c. 400 from Rome (Brandenburg, RM, 1979). Furthermore the working method, facial features, figural style, costumes and architectural features of the lanx have long been associated with Projects's Casket, the Ulysses flask of the Traprain Law hoard, and the Mildenhall plate, even though all three are Eastern provenance and the date of 363.

The pagan aristocracy which remained active in the late fourth century in Rome provides a reasonable milieu in which the lanx might have been created and understood. The Delian iconography need not be discarded. Prudentius and Macrobius betray a knowledge of the Delian shrine in their writings.

Found in Corbridge, England in 1734 near the find spot of 4 other pieces of late Roman silver, the lanx is believed to be part of a hoard. A Chi-Rho dish was among the other four pieces, giving the hoard a mixed profile and suggesting a late date for the burial of the objects, probably well after 363. The lanx could have been a family showpiece, displaying accumulated wealth and Roman connections. It need not necessarily have been a tool of Julianic propaganda. The date of the lanx's execution should probably be moved to later in the fourth century and the attribution to an Eastern workshop removed.

"Lateran 174: The Fourth Century and the Sixteenth Century"

Alice Christ (The University of Chicago)

The fourth century Christian sarcophagus Lateran 174 (Repertorium der christlich-antiken Sarkophage I, no. 677) is widely considered a prime example of classical style in fourth century Christian sarcophagus carving. This opinion must depend in part on tile iconographic resemblance of the center scene to the central Christ enthroned above Caelus of the top register of that most renowned monument of fourth century classicism, the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. For in fact, the style of Lateran 174 is problematic. Stylistic differences between Lateran 174 and the Bassus sarcophagus of A.D. 359 have been explained by dating Lateran 174 a generation later, hence into the Theodosian Renaissance, and often by citing Eastern influence as well. At the same time, it has long been recognized that Lateran 174 has been to some undefined extent recut. Most scholars seem to feel that this recutting was not so radical that it spoils the sarcophagus as evidence of sculptural style of the second half of the fourth century. On the other hand, Wessel (Pantheon, 1967), referring to iconographic as well as stylistic peculiarities of the sarcophagus, has made the provocative claim that Lateran 174 is a seventeenth century "copy," perhaps of a sarcophagus found in a fragmentary state.

In treating the sarcophagus as if it remains in something close to its originally intended state, whether of the fourth or (correcting Wessel's documentation) of the sixteenth century, both opinions perhaps relied on Bosioâs Roma Sotterranea of 1632, where a depiction seemingly of the present state of Lateran 174 describes the sarcophagus as "ben conservata dall'antichita." The recent display of Lateran 174 in the exhibition of Treasures from the Vatican has afforded an opportunity to re- examine this assertion. Lateran 174 consists of three pieces which were depicted in a seventeenth century drawing by Menestrier as the front and ends of a single sarcophagus, but given two different discovery dates. On these grounds, the exhibitors chose not to reassemble the parts after they had been dismantled for cleaning. The display of Lateran 174 as a sarcophagus front and an independent pair of "reliefs" makes explicit tile challenge already posed by the replaced heads and broad seams of repair visible even in previously published photographs of the front. For in spite of the notes on Menestrier's drawings, the front of Lateran 174 is now intimately bound to the ends, not only by tile guard of Pilate from the far right niche of the front who has slipped behind the last column onto the right end, but also by numerous kindred head types and drapery treatments. Any theory about the nature and origin of Lateran 174 must account for this integrity as well as for the clear evidence of repairs and alterations. The style of Lateran 174 cannot be understood without an understanding of its state of preservation.


Presiding: Bezalel Narkiss (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

"The Nave Cornices of Hagia Sophia"

Lawerence E. Butler (The University of Pennsylvania)

The nave cornices of Hagia Sophia represent a complete and unstudied ensemble of Justinianic sculpture and provide a wealth of information on the history of the structure. In 1983 1 was able to study and photograph the two cornices, whose 216 stones encircle the nave at the gallery and springing levels. They comprise a key monument in the evolution of the Byzantine entablature. Each of the nearly one thousand corona soffit panels is richly decorated with vegetal or geometric carved designs which are quite unlike their late antique prototypes. I have collected and organized these designs in a photographic corpus which, it is hoped, will be of use to scholars of sixth-century art and architecture.

Each block once bore one or more masons' marks. While most of those on the lower cornice have been abraded away or smeared with restorers' plaster, a nearly complete series Is still visible on the upper cornice. A number of these marks recur on Proconnesian marble sculpted pieces at Adriatic and mainland Greek sites. While the precise purpose of these marks remains unclear, analysis of them in relation to the carved blocks on which they appear sheds light on contemporary workshop practice.

Scars and irregularities on the exposed upper surfaces of the cornices yield further information on the construction and structural history of the church. By comparing this physical evidence from the upper surfaces with the sculpted ornament Of the undersides, the sequence in which these important parts of the fabric were designed, carved, and set in place becomes clear. Series of regularly-spaced holes show the method and pattern of lamp emplacement as well. In my analysis of the structure I am deeply indebted to Robert Van Nice for the precise measurements and unpublished observations he has kindly put at my disposal.

The results gained from this study of the Hagia Sophia nave cornices bear on a number of unsettled issues in sixth-century art and architecture; especially, on the dates of specific pieces and on the organization of the marble trade during Justinian's great building campaign. It is hoped that this will be only the beginning of the detailed examination of Hagia Sophia's rich, but neglected, sculptural decoration.

"Syncretic Typology in the Kontakion on the Second Dedication of Hagia Sophia"

Daniel J. Sheerin (The Catholic University of America)

[Abstract not received in time for publication?]

"The Nave Mosaic of the Justinianic Basilica at Sabratha"

Henry Maguire (The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

The nave mosaic of the basilica built by Justinian at Sabratha is among the finest works of art to survive from his reign. This pavement displays a vine which fills the entire width of the nave and harbors in its scrolling branches an extraordinary variety of birds. One of the many questions posed by this little- studied mosaic is that of its meaning: did the designer of the floor intend the plant and the birds to be read only in their literal sense, as examples of God's handiwork, or did he intend the viewer to read further levels of symbolic meanings into the images?

A review of Early Christian literature shows that while some authors were unwilling to allegorize the birds and other animals of creation, many writers treated them as symbols with wide ranging meanings. The birds which occupy the vine at Sabratha had a rich potential for symbolic interpretation in the Early Byzantine period; the question is, how many, if any, of these potential meanings were actually intended by the designer of the floor?

If we compare the mosaic at Sabratha with similar bird-rinceau mosaics surviving in Asia Minor, in North Africa, and in Palestine, we find a significant detail in the Libyan mosaic which may guide us to the interpretation which its designer had in mind. In the Sabratha floor the branches of the vine are tied together by three jewelled crowns on the central axis, a detail that does not occur in most other vine-rinceaux containing birds. This clue may allow us to associate the Sabratha mosaic, at least, with the numerous texts which link the birds (created from the waters blessed by God) with the righteous, and especially with martyrs (e.g. Tertullian, Origen, Didymus of Alexandria, Ambrose, Severianus of Gabala, Anastasius).

Finally, it may not be an accident that in this church founded by Justinian in newly occupied territory, most of the birds selected for display on the central axis of the floor (eagle, peacock, and phoenix on globe) had strong imperial, as well as Christian, associations. The reference to martyrdom made by the crowns on the central axis may also have had an imperial significance, for the victories of the martyrs were associated by Justinianic writers (e.g. Romanos) with the victories of the emperor over his enemies.

"Procopius, Virgil, and Epirus: Where Was Anchialus?"

Frank E. Wozniak (Mšbius Research)

In the last part of chapter 22 in the eighth book of the Bellum Gothicum, Procopius presents an account of the Gothic sack of Corcyra and coastal Epirus in A.D. 550, On the Epirote mainland, the Goths plundered the territories around Dodona, Nicopolis and Anchialus. In the whole of the short account of the Gothic raid, the events and their location are relatively clear; only the location of Anchialus stands as a puzzle. We know of an Anchialus in Epirus solely from this citation in Procopius. Neither classical nor medieval historians or geographers seem to know of its existence, and it is not present in any of the ecclesiastical lists for the fourth to fifteenth centuries.

A brief digression following the reference to Anchialus offers a possibility for answering the question of the town's location. Procopius states that the local population held that the place took its name from Anchises, the father of Aeneas. According to the local story, Anchises passed from the world at this place while he was sailing from Troy; as a result the place was called Anchialus. The local story seems to be a garbled excerpt from books III and VI of Virgil's Aeneid. Following Augustus' establishment of Nicopolis, The Epirotes came under not only Roman political Influence (political domination had been established in the second century B.C.) but also Roman cultural influence. Because of contacts with the Romans who were proud of their Trojan lineage and whose tribal ancestor had led his people through parts of Epirus, some place in Epirus had come to call itself Anchialus, after the father of this Aeneas. Some renderings of the Roman legends passed into the lore of the Epirote population, including the accounts of Aeneas in Epirus as turned into epic poetry by Virgil. In transmission the Epirotes tied Anchises more closely to Epirus than did Virgil by having him the in Epirus rather than in Sicily.

Book III of the Aeneid recounts the brief sojourn of the Trojans in Epirus and the subsequent death of Anchises in Sicily. In book VI, Aeneas organizes games in honor of his father but precedes them with a sacrifice in which Aeneas summons the spirit of Anchises to be released to cross the Acheron to be present to receive gifts from the living. The Acheron, the river of the underworld, was believed to flow forth in Epirus. This brings us once again back to Epirus and connects Anchises a second time with Epirus, especially with the area of the Acheron where I believe we must focus the search for Anchialus.

The only substantial late Roman site on the Acheron is the unfortified town of Gliki which lies at the mouth of the Acheron gorge at the head of river navigation. Gliki whose late Roman name is unconfirmed by any epigraphic evidence was a river port in late antiquity and again in the late middle ages. The site was also on the principal route from the Ionian Sea to interior Epirus being on the sacred way from Nekromanteion to Dodona. Though Gliki is best known for the remains of a magnificent early Christian basilica and a late medieval bridge over the Acheron, the site would appear to have been a thriving town until some time in the sixth century A.D. Insufficient archaeological work has been completed at the town itself to ascertain whether the town was sacked or merely abandoned.

From the second century B.C. to the early fourth century A.D., pagan Romans frequented this river port on their way to the oracle at Dodona, bringing with them the stories of Anchises and his association with Epirus and the Acheron. Consequently, this paper suggests that Gliki had the name Anchialus in the time of Frocopius due to its situation on the Acheron where the river broke forth from the mountains as from the underworld itself. Further, a Roman could hardly have missed the parallel between Gliki (Anchialus) as the point of disembarkation and embarkation in route to and from the oracle at Dodona and the role of the river and its boatman Charon in the stories of the underworld. The whole impression was intensified due to the familiarity with the famous literary passage regarding Aeneas, calling forth of the spirit of Anchises.

While it is impossible to state conclusively that the Anchialus of Procopius is the site at Gliki unless or until we have epigraphic evidence, it does seem logical to conclude that the two can tentatively be identified as the same place.


Presiding: Kenneth Snipes (The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

"A New Athonite Scriptorium"

Robert W. Allison (Bates College)

[Abstract not received in time for publication.]

"An Autograph Draft of John Kantakouzenos' Antirrhetik‡" Franz Tinnefeld (Munich and Dumbarton Oaks)

In 1956, Linos Politis, as a result of a learned study, affirmed that the assumption that a copyist Joasaph was identical with John Kantakouzenos, was erroneous1. So far, Donald M. Nicol is right to resume: "There is no evidence that John ever copied manuscripts himself"2, and we seem to be justified in denying any survival of a sample with the emperor's handwriting, except for his signatures under imperial records3. But these are of just as little value for an efficient palaeographical comparison as some marginal notes of the hand of Kantakouzenos (and their copies) recently discovered by J. Featherstone4.

Nevertheless, there exists an autograph of the ex-emperor, which was first mentioned in the dissertation of Edmond Voordekkers, submitted in 1967/8 in Gent/Belgium and written in Dutch5. The thesis remained unpublished, and so its results remain unknown to the learned world. According to Voordeckers, there exists in the manuscript an autograph draft of Kantakouzenos' polemical treatise(Antirrhetik‡), part one, against the anti-palamist monk Frochoros Xydones. Voordeckers did not give any reasons for his assertion, but he announced a study of the question to be published later , which nevertheless never came out, the author having been prevented from any palaeographical work by a serious eye-complaint.

As a result of my occupation with the Kydones letters, I became acquainted with Mr.Voordeckers and agreed with him upon a collaborative project of a critical edition of the Antirrhetik‡. In October, 1983 I travelled to Paris for a codicological examination of the gr.1247 in the Biblioth?que nationale. The result of the examination and the preliminary study of the manuscript film is that the 1247 on pages 68-146v indeed does contain an autograph of the ex-emperor: on ff.68-86v a copy of Prochoros' treatise De essentia et operatione, book VI; on ff.87-146v a draft of the first part of Kantakouzenos' own refutations. The fact that the character of a draft of the latter section is irrefutable in particular gives us the authorization to assume that the ex-emperor himself was the writer of the whole text, written in an otherwise unknown handwriting.

That we have to do with a draft can be proved especially by the numerous marginal additions, often affixed after erasures (better to be seen in the original manuscript than on the film). It is very unlikely that the emperor had a secretary who did for him the troublesome work of writing the copy, the draft and all the later corrections according to the dictation of his master. On the other hand there is no reason to doubt that Kantakouzenos did the work himself. We can agree with Politis that he did not generally work as a copyist, but the short copy of the Prochoros text was essential to his own refutations, and it is very unlikely even in general that the emperor did not write the drafts of his numerous works with his own hand.

The date of composition of the draft is to be placed between April, 1368(date of the ecclesiastical trial against Prochoros) and September, 1369 (first dated copy of the whole Antirrhetik‡, written by Tzykandeles at Mistra). Because it is likely that Kantakouzenos left Constantinople for Mistra in summer 1369, the autograph may yet have been written in Constantinople.

1 L. Politis, Jean-Joasaph, "Cantacuzne fut-il copiste?" Rev.Et. Byz. 14(1956)195-199. 2 D.M. Nicol, The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos (Cantacuzenus) ca.1100-1460, Dumbarton Oaks/Washington 1968, 101. 3 Survey of his signatures in: F. Dšlger, Byzantinische Diplomatik, Ettal 1956, 249, n.7. 4 J. Featherstone, "An Iconoclastic Episode in the Hesychast Controversy", Jahrb.…sterr.Byz. 33(1983)179-198. 5 E. Voordeckers, Johannes VI Kantakuzenos, keizer (1347-1354) en monnik (1354-1383), Diss., Gent 1967/8, 449-450.

"A Menologium in Messina"

Nancy P. Ševčenko (Harvard University)

Housed today in the University Library in Messina is a puzzling manuscript of the Metaphrastian Menologium (S. Salvatore 27). It contains the Lives of the Saints from February 1 to June 29 -- a slightly expanded version of the standard Volume IX of the Menologium, which usually goes only as far as the end of April. Another manuscript now in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin (Gr. fol 17) turns out to be the next volume (Volume X) of the same edition of the Menologium; this manuscript starts exceptionally with the saints of July (instead of May) and goes through the end of August in the usual way.

The text of these volumes is written In a purely Byzantine hand of the late 11th century, and their illuminated initials are undistinguishable from those found in any number of contemporary Constantinopolitan Menologia. But the remarkable portraits of the saints which accompany the texts are painted in a hybrid style which is not as easy to place, and which warrants further investigation.

A closer look at the manuscripts themselves reveals a clear discrepancy between what the scribe was assuming his artist colleague would be painting namely the small- scale portrait of a saint followed by a strip of ornament -- and what the artist actually painted -- namely a large portrait filling all the available space, with no ornament at a. This discrepancy leads us to suggest that text and miniatures, although roughly contemporary, were not executed in the same place.

Where, then, can these striking miniatures have been painted? Their captions betray a non-Greek-speaking artist, and we naturally think first of Sicily, given the provenance of the Messina manuscript The Greek monastery of S. Salvatore, to which it formerly belonged, was founded near Messina by Count Roger after his conquest of Sicily, then refounded by Roger II in the 1130s. Abbot Luke, who was given special privileges by Roger II at this time, informs us that he has been collecting books(among which he specifically mentions volumes of Metaphrastes), and has established a scriptorium in the monastery. It is possible that our manuscripts came from Constantinople to Sicily soon after they were written, and that they were illustrated locally and acquired by Luke for S. Salvatore. While we have no proof, there is a piece of evidence to suggest that our Berlin manuscript was in S. Salvatore before 1141.

Yet the high quality of our miniatures is rare in a Sicilian milieu of this time, most 11th and 12th century Greek Sicilian or South Italian miniatures -- with the obvious exception of the Madrid Skylitzes -- appear rude by comparison. Perhaps we are dealing rather with a Latin artist active in Sicily and already more thoroughly trained in the Byzantine style than any of his South Italian contemporaries.

"New Light on the Dionysiou Lectionary"

John Cotsonis (Pennsylvania State University)

Of the eleventh and twelfth century gospel lectionaries known to us, Dionysiou codex 587 is the most lavishly illustrated. Work to date has centered on a description of both text and miniatures in addition to hypothesizing a date and intended destination for this manuscript. Liturgical influences upon this codex have also been noted by referring to the concentration of scenes connected with the Great Feasts and special readings. Changes made to various narrative scenes were attributed to a reflection of ceremony while other miniatures have been considered invented specifically for the needs of the lectionary. However, within this manuscript, there exist miniatures which have not been fully studied in previous investigations. The relationship between several images and their accompanying texts can be properly understood only when considered in conjunction with illustrations found in marginal psalters and the rubrics of various typika. This method reveals a greater complexity of liturgical influences upon this lectionary than has heretofore been assumed.

A framed miniature of Church Fathers and Monastics heads the lection for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ. Typika call for the commemoration of the Old Testament patriarchs and the reading of Matthew's genealogy in the liturgy. A discrepancy has been noted previously between image and text since no representation of the ancestors of Christ appears. In light of the specifications outlined in the typika, it becomes clear that the illustrator did not misinterpret the commemoration but rather reflected a more subtle understanding in choosing the miniature. The psalm verses prescribed for the liturgical celebration in the Theodore Psalter also received similar images of Church Fathers. In addition, readings of patristic homilies dealing with Christ's genealogy are indicated for this day. The appropriateness of the image of Church Fathers and Monastics therefore becomes more intelligible.

This method can contribute to a fuller understanding of other images in the lectionary which appear to present ambiguities. Liturgical specifications offer insight into the relationships of images intended for the lections of the First Sunday of Lent and for the commemoration of the Constantinopolitan earthquake of 740. Even when image and text appear to be in a direct correspondence, an investigation into the miniatures of marginal psalters and into the rubrics of the typika reveals a refined message intended by the choice of illustration.

Any attempt to interpret the miniatures of Dionysiou cod. 587 solely in terms of their location within the manuscript proves to be insufficient. The subtle theological complexities of the images can properly be understood only within the complete liturgical context for which the manuscript was intended.

"Observations on the Narrative Cycles of Paris Gr. 54 and Athos Iviron 5"

Kathleen Maxwell (The University of Santa Clara)

The narrative cycles of these thirteenth-century, Byzantine Gospelbooks have long been linked in the literature, but an exhaustive comparative study has not yet appeared.1 Scholars have stressed the intimate relationship of the manuscripts' Evangelist portraits, but too often it has been assumed that this degree of interdependence holds equally true for their narrative cycles.2 The purpose of this presentation is two-fold: first, the iconographical relationship of the two cycles will be probed through a detailed study of common miniatures and, second, the relationship between text and image in the two manuscripts will be examined.

Paris 54 is a bilingual (Greek and Latin) text in a two-column format.3 If completed, its narrative cycle would have comprised some fifty miniatures. However, less than half of these were fully executed, and another five were begun, but remain unfinished.4 Iviron 5 is a single-column, Greek manuscript with a narrative cycle of twenty-nine miniatures.5 These twenty-nine scenes were also illustrated or intended for illustration in Paris 54. There are, however, only seventeen miniatures common to both manuscripts due to the extensive number of unexecuted miniatures in Paris 54.

An analysis of the eleven miniatures in Matthew and Mark common to the two manuscripts demonstrates Paris 54's dependence upon Iviron 5. Most of the iconographical modifications introduced by the artist(s) of Paris 54 in these eleven miniatures can be attributed to the physical change in miniature format dictated by its enlarged, bilingual format. The average height of Paris 54's text miniatures is slightly less than that of Iviron 5. However, because Paris 54's miniatures extend across both text columns they average 5.1 cm greater width.6

A comparison of the next five scenes common to both manuscripts (from the Gospel of Luke) reveals significant differences between the two cycles and a new iconographical independence on the part of Paris 54. These differences indicate that Paris 54 incorporated a second model, more recent in date, which included many Palaiologan characteristics.

Results of an examination of the physical relationship between miniature and its textual passage in both manuscripts present a noteworthy contrast to the iconographical conclusions above. Twenty- seven of the twenty-nine miniatures of Iviron 5 illustrate the text of the same Gospel illustrated (or intended for illustration) in Paris 54.7 Twenty-four of these twenty-seven scenes interrupt the text at the same juncture in both manuscripts (i.e., these miniatures are located after the same Greek word in both cases). This is remarkable in view of the fact that the texts themselves assume very different formats and they are not of the same textual recension.

In conclusion, it is important to recognize that regardless of the close relationship between these manuscripts' Evangelist portraits, the original narrative intentions of their text cycles differed significantly in overall scope. Paris 54, had it been completed, would have contained some twenty-one more miniatures in its narrative cycle than Iviron 5. However, the illuminator(s) of Paris 54 appear to have followed closely the example of Iviron 5 regarding miniature location in the text in spite of the fact that they adopted a different format and text recension and, that in the miniatures of Luke, a different iconographical model was consulted.

1 The author is preparing a dissertation on Paris 54 under the direction of Prof. Robert Nelson of The University of Chicago. 2 For example, K. Weitzmann, "Constantinopolitan Book Illumination in the Period of the Latin Conquest," Gazette des Beaux-Arts 25 (1944): 193-214. 3 The overall dimensions of Paris 54 are 31.6 x 25.2 cm. 4 Matthew's text includes 12 completed miniatures. Mark has a total of 9 minia- tures, 4 of which were executed and 5 which were not initiated. Luke has a total 18 miniatures; 5 were completed, another 5 remain unfinished and 8 were not begun. For the 11 miniatures of John, only 1 was completed and the others were never initiated. The uninitiated state of a miniature can be gauged from space reserved in the text or from the presence of empty frames. 5 Iviron 5 measures 22.5 x 17 cm. The text of Matthew includes nine miniatures, Mark and Luke both contain six miniatures and eight are found in John. The minia- tures on fols. 214v, 456v, 457r and 457v do not illustrate the Gospel text proper. 6 Paris 54's average miniature size is 8.2 x 17.2 cm and Iviron 5's is 8.6 x 12.1cm. 7 Two other scenes accompany parallel texts in different Gospels.

"Pigment Analysis of Some Byzantine Manuscripts at the University of Chicago"

Sister Mary Virginia Orna. O.S.U. (The College of New Rochelle) and Robert S. Nelson (The University of Chicago)

The work described in this abstract is a continuation of the project initiated and supervised by Professor Thomas F. Mathews of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. The project is essentially one which seeks to come to a better knowledge of the palette used by Armenian and Byzantine manuscript illuminators by analysis of samples taken from representative manuscripts using physical and chemical methods. The earlier stages of the project involved the sampling and analysis of pigments taken from the Glajor Gospel Book of the University of California at Los Angeles and a variety of Armenian manuscripts from both Greater Armenia and Cilicia which are housed in the collections of the Armenian Patriarchiate of St. James in Jerusalem, the Walters Art Gallery, the Freer Gallery of Art, the J. Pierpont Morgan Library, etc. This work has been reported in a number of journals and monographs by Professors Mathews and Orna and Dr. Diane E. Cabelli.

The present phase of the project marks the beginning of the team's examination of Byzantine manuscripts. Ten manuscripts from the University of Chicago*s Special Collections were sampled. The most notable of these were Ms. 131, the Chrysanthus Gospels, second half of the 12th century, Ms. 972, the "Archaic mark," of uncertain date, thought to be from the late 12th century, but possibly post-Byzantine, Ms. 1054, the Elfleda Bond Goodspeed Gospels, which has been linked by Dr. Susan Madigan with a group of 10th century manuscripts in the Paris and Rome collections, and Ms. 965, the Rockefeller McCormick New Testament, second half of the 12th century and perhaps done in Cyprus or Palestine according to the researches of Professor Annemarie Weyl Carr.

Over seventy samples covering the entire range of hues were taken from these manuscripts and analyzed using standard methods of X-ray diffraction crystallography, polarized light microscopy, chemical microscopy and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy where sample size allowed. The chemical composition of the Byzantine palette was then compared with that of the Armenian palette determined from the earlier studies.


Presiding: Robert Gregg (Duke University)

"Egyptian Elements in the Christus Patiens"

Leslie S.B. MacCoull (The Society for Coptic Archaeology [Washington, D.C.])

A. Tuilier's upholding of the traditional attribution of the Christus Patiens cento to Gregory Nazianzen has not found favor with critics of his Sources chrŽtiennes edition (1969). The dating and localization of this work are still to be sought. Of interest to the historian are, not so much the Euripidean borrowed lines, as the originally-composed 'connective tissue' of some 1100 lines, that stitches them together into a Christian dramatic narrative. Analysis of these portions of the text reveals many features shared with Egyptian poetry of the fifth and sixth centuries, from Nonnus and Pamprepius to Dioscorus of Aphrodito. Echoes of the Protevangelium of James, an Egyptian work, have already been noticed by earlier scholars. Further Egyptian features may be discerned, such as the frequent use of technical terminology as found in the bureaucratic language of the documentary papyri. The epithet diphyēs (1. 1795) points to Cyril of Alexandria and the Egyptian liturgies; while the formulation of 1. 2164, kakou gar hypostasis ouk enesti tis, has a long history in Alexandrian Neoplatonism (especially, of course, Proclus). The closing prayer to the Virgin has many elements in common with Coptic Theotokias (and with the Empress Sophia's prayer in Corippus). I should like to suggest that, along the lines of Golega's attribution (1960) of the pseudo-Apollinarian hexameter Psalter to a fifth-century Egyptian poet, the Christus Patiens should be credited to an Egyptian writer of the late fifth to early sixth century. It may be thought of as an Egyptian product of the 'age of the cento'.

"Ephraem's Hymns, 'Against Julian': Meditations on History and Imperial Power"

Sidney H. Griffith (The Catholic University of America)

Being records of the thoughts of one who viewed Julian's corpse before the walls of Nisibis, Ephraem the Syrian's hymns "Against Julian" are well known to historians as the earliest of all the extant Christian invectives against the "apostate" emperor. As such, biographers of Julian have not been slow to cite the witness of Ephraem's hymns in their efforts to piece together the story of the emperor's life and early death. In a recent book review, for example, G. W. Bowersock refers to the current scholarly attention to the hymns as "one of the most fruitful developments in the study of Julian" (Numen 28 (1981), p. 91). But so far none of this attention has been concerned with the hymns themselves for the sake of studying them as literary documents with their own story to tell. Therefore, in an effort to redress the imbalance, the purpose of the present communication is to explicate Ephraem's hymns "Against Julian" from their own point of view.

The hymns "Against Julian" are preserved in the earliest of all Ephraem manuscripts, BM Or. add. MS 14571, which was written in the year 519 A.D. The Syriac text has been available in a modern printed edition since 1865, in J. J. Overbeck's publication of selections from early Syriac writers. In 1878, G. Bickell published a German translation of the hymns, which S. Euringer adapted and annotated in 1919 for inclusion in the series, Bibliothek der KirchenvŠter. In 1957 Edmund Beck again published the Syriac text, with a new German translation, in the series, CorpusChristianorum Orientalium, vols. 174 and 175. To date no other translation into a western language has appeared, nor has there been any further scholarly study or commentary on the hymns.

The present explication of Ephraem's four hymns "Against Julian" highlights their principal themes, which include the following topics: the protective role of the Roman emperor in the Christian imperium, the unlawfulness of paganism, the inadequacy of human intellectual inquiry, the divine plan for human history as revealed in the Bible, the eclipse of Judaism, and the Persian victory in 363, seen as a divine punishment for sin and as a call to future repentance. While none of these themes are particularly remarkable when considered from the perspective of later Byzantine religious history, what is notable is the fact that they were already clearly voiced in the Syriac, just after the mid-fourth century, in the territory of the oriental patriarchates. These ideas took root and eventually came to provide a model for consolation in later trials, when the Roman imperium was but a memory and an eschatological dream in the east. Ephraem's meditations on these themes, composed in view of Julian's corpse, provided a classic expression of ideas whose later deployment in such popular works as the apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius became the staples of hope for beleaguered Christians in desperate situations.

"The Juncture of Martyrdom and Asceticism in Egypt and the Syrian Orient"

Susan Ashbrook Harvey (The University of Rochester)

Christian asceticism has traditionally been understood through the model of St. Antony of Egypt (d. 356), a model itself traditionally interpreted as solving the dilemma posed for Christian witness by Christianity's triumph in the fourth century. Despite the recognition that asceticism emerged autonomously and indigenously as a central aspect of Syrian Christianity from its earliest times, scholars have tried to account for the severity of Syrian asceticism by applying this understanding of Antony's model (living martyrdom), intensified by strong influences from external extremist religious sects.

But how helpful is this Egyptian model for understanding Syrian asceticism, and what correlation can be found between martyrdom and asceticism? The divergent Egyptian and Syrian ascetic traditions can be explored most clearly at the point of Juncture for martyr and ascetic: the early fourth century. What do contemporary writings indicate about this point?

As portrayed in his Vita, Antony transformed Christian devotional life into a rigorous life of discipline and training through which humanity could fight the demonic. Antony's unsuccessful brush with martyrdom provided a metaphor for understanding his practice:. his life was a living, daily martyrdom. But the motif is brief in a hagiography otherwise explicit in its purposes: discipline, training, and the defeat of demons. The martyrs celebrated by Eusebius of Caesarea, in an analogous situation in Palestine, share certain features with Antony. Eusebius highlights those martyrs prepared for their ordeals by the Îphilosophic lifeâ, leading disciplined lives of renunciation and religious training. Thus prepared, they, too, fight the demonic -- but in human form.

In both situations, the body provides the greatest temptation, by demons both human and non-human. Discipline enables a disregard for the body, what Antony calls the 'enslaving of the body' to humanity's higher aspect, the soul. Thus, too, is Satan defeated.

In a different vein, Syrian Christianity was perceived to be an inherently ascetic religion on the basis of biblical models. At root was the believer's utter devotion to the divine, giving body and soul alike wholly to God. Key scriptural images crystalized that devotion: Jesus' call to renunciation, the promised eschatological paradise, the ideal of ihidaya (singleness), and above all Christ the Heavenly Bridegroom to whom all believers were betrothed.

Aphrahat and Ephrem substantiate the Syrian tendency towards literalizing symbols; religious symbols were to be lived physically as well as pursued with one's understanding. Their view is illuminated further by contemporary Syrian martyr accounts. Accused by their torturers of hating their bodies because of what they were willing to endure, Christians replied that they lose their worldly lives to find their 'true' lives, echoing the resurrection motif. The shared model here is that of giving one's whole being, body and soul, unto God. The body is as necessary for God's work as the soul; indeed, through Christ, body and soul are reconciled as they were before the Fall.

Spirituality produces the content and intent of asceticism. The polarities of religious perception for Egypt and Syria resulted in practical differences for their ascetic traditions.

"Pilgrimage and Holy Sites"

Thomas R. Hurst (St. Mary's Seminary)

The recent analytic studies of John Wilkinson and E.D. Hunt, as well as the works of Kštting and Turner, while recording the pilgrimages of such widely diverse people as the Bordeaux Pilgrim from Gaul, Eucharius of Lyon, the Piacenza Pilgrim, and the nun Hugeburc, have taken little notice of Syriac speaking pilgrims. This omission is partially due to the paucity of readily available sources, in either critical editions or translations. An analysis of the Syriac and Arabic sources is a necessity if we are to have a fuller and more accurate understanding of the phenomenon of pilgrimage in the world under the political and intellectual influence of the Byzantine Empire.

The two-fold purpose of this communication is to highlight the presently available sources and to indicate some of the spiritual, social, and political aspects of the practice of pilgrimage in Syriac-Speaking society so closely allied with the Byzantine Empire and yet so different culturally, religiously and linguistically. The Syriac sources under consideration fall into various categories: personal narratives, liturgical and mystical texts, hagiographical along with exhortatory stories, and canonical material. Sources, such as The Book of Governors of Thomas Bishop of Marga, record not only the facts and routes of the various pilgrimage journeys but also set out various motives of the pilgrims themselves as well as the encouragement and cautious offered by the ecclesiastical authorities.

One of the primary sources for Syriac speaking pilgrims is the thirteenth century Jacobite maphrien, Gregory Bar Hebraeus, whom Wright calls, "one of the most learned and versatile men that Syria ever produced." Bar Hebraeus in his Ethicon sketches out the rules which must be followed in preparing for the journey, the conditions which must be met en route, and correct behavior at the pilgrimage sites. In addition to listing the laws and customs which should be observed Bar Hebraeus delineates the attitudes which should accompany these external acts.

Perhaps of more significance for the contemporary scholar than the pilgrimage practices themselves are the attitudes of various ecclesiastical authorities in respect to these customs. On the one hand, the liturgical and mystical texts, such as the Book of the Cave of Treasures and the Exposition of the Offices of the Church, provide a theological legitimization and justification for pilgrimage, especially pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The canons of the various synods of the Nestorian Church, especially those of the sixth century, on the other hand, view pilgrimage as a practice which stems from self-satisfying motives and leads to an infantile spiritual life. In addition to the harm that it causes the individual believer, pilgrimage also empties local churches and monasteries of worshippers and contributions. Therefore, for both spiritual and economic reasons it is to be at least discouraged, if not condemned.

People of various cultures and religions have found pilgrimages to deepen their faith and enrich their lives. Christians who spoke Syriac had a special attraction towards, yet a certain wariness of this religious custom. It is with that attraction as well as hesitation that we are concerned as we try to enrich our knowledge of the past.


Presiding: Michael McCormick (Dumbarton Oaks)

"Some Differences in the Monastic Experience of Men and Women"

Alice-Mary Talbot (Hiram College)

Typika survive, in whole or in part, for six Byzantine nunneries, ranging in date from the 12th to the 15th c. In general, the rules of these typika resemble closely those for male monasteries. One finds the same admonitions on the cenobitic life, enclosure, church offices and dietary regime, and the same twofold division of the monastic community into those responsible for chanting the offices, and those entrusted with housekeeping duties.

There were substantial differences, however, in the monastic experience of men and women. In view of the prevailing attitude that women were the weaker sex, it is not surprising that several typika for nunneries emphasize that the ideal for nuns is to become like men, and that nuns need male supervision and protection. Because women were not admitted to the priesthood, priests and confessors had to come from outside to attend to the liturgies and the spiritual needs of the nuns. The question of male ephors and oikonomoi for nunneries will be briefly summarized, since it was already addressed at a previous session of the BSC devoted to women and monasticism (November 1981).

Nuns performed the same housekeeping duties as monks; some even worked in the fields and vineyards. Less attention was paid to intellectual life in convents; In general, their libraries were smaller, female scribes were few, and female artists non-existent. it cannot be proved that Byzantine nuns did embroidery like their female counterparts in the West, but it is possible that this should be the interpretation of the term ergocheiron, which also seems to mean spinning and other cloth-making activities.

It is significant that five of the six typika for nunneries were for foundations in Constantinople. This proves not to be an accident of survival; unlike male monasteries, female convents were primarily an urban phenomenon, and were concentrated in the major cities of Constantinople and Thessaloniki. Evidently the founders of aristocratic and imperial nunneries preferred to settle in the capital near their families. Furthermore, an isolated location In the countryside may have been considered unsafe for nuns.

A phenomenon perhaps related to the concentration of nunneries in an urban environment is the absence of female hermits in the late Byzantine period. Unlike their male contemporaries, who often sought out solitary retreats on the holy mountain of Athos or in Paroria, nuns almost always lived in a cenobitic community. The early Christian period offers several examples of hermitesses, such as St. Pelagia the Harlot and St. Mary the Harlot, but I have not found any in the sources for the Comnenian and Palaiologan periods. The series of invasions that threatened the empire from the 11th c. on may have made it too dangerous for women to contemplate living in isolated areas.

At the same time the monastic ideal for women had changed; the nun was supposed to remain in a cloistered community. The typika contain strict provisions with regard to the rule of enclosure for both monks and nuns, but in reality both men and women found numerous opportunities to leave the monastery. It will be argued, however, that nuns did confine themselves to the cloister more rigorously than monks, who travelled a great deal on pilgrimage, or in search of a spiritual master. Men were also much more likely to move from one monastery to another. Nuns tended to spend their entire lives in the same institution where they took the habit.

"The Rise of Independent and Self-Governing Monasteries"

John Philip Thomas (Dumbarton Oaks)

The Byzantine monastic typika span a period of about six hundred years, from shortly after 800 to about 1400. Midway through this period, there was an important change in the form of organization of Byzantine monasteries, thanks to the ecclesiastical reform movement of the late eleventh century which convinced many lay benefactors that it was improper for them to insist on the financial perquisites that traditionally had been seen as their just dues. A new category of monasteries arose which were neither private in the traditional sense nor constituent parts of the public church system. These now "independent and self-governing" monasteries, as they were called, dominated the ecclesiastical landscape of the empire in its last three hundred years of existence, and in fact managed to outlive it in many cases.

The surviving typika illustrate the transformation in forms of organization especially well. Michael Attaliates' typikon of 1077 for the ptochotropheion or "almshouse" at Rhaedestus provides the most specific picture of the traditional private ecclesiastical foundation available in the sources of this era. The author viewed his foundation was an integral part of his personal estate which he intended to bequeath to his son. The proprietary nature of the institution is emphasized by the provision of the typikon which awards Attaliates' heirs with two- thirds of the surplus revenues of the foundation.

In 1083, hardly six years later, another Byzantine philanthropist Gregory Pacurianus drew up another typikon according to the new independent and self-governing form of organization. In so doing, Pacurianus was assuming a much greater financial sacrifice for himself and his heirs than was customary. The typikon explicitly bars all relatives of the founder from exercising any financial rights in the institution. The hegoumenos, the director of the institution, had security of tenure, and was entrusted with the administration of the monastery's endowment. For himself Pacurianus retained only a few traditional perquisites such as preferential consideration for his relatives for admission as postulants.

So popular did this form of organization become that even members of the ruling Comnenian dynasty such as Irene Comnena, wife of Alexius Comnenus, and John II Comnenus, his son, adopted independent constitutions for their foundations in typika which are still extant. The independent and self-governing foundations soon came to eclipse the traditional foundations in popularity, and thanks to the documentation provided by the Dumbarton Oaks/NEII project to translate the corpus of Byzantine monastic typika will soon be better known to a broader audience of contemporary scholars.

"Monastic Foundations in Late Sixth-Century Anatolia"

Frank R. Trombley (The Ohio State University)

This paper will deal with four monastic biographies which describe local conditions in the countryside of Anatolia between circa 550 and 640. J.B. Bury and E. Stein and, most recently, A.H.M. Jones (The Later Roman Empire 284-602, A Social Economic and Administrative Survey, 1964) generally ignore these texts, despite the significant data furnished in them about widespread building of monasteries, village economic life, the survival of paganism, rural topography, the smaller cities, working relations between the monasteries and the imperial administration, and the rich endowments in the form of cash allotments, precious metal vessels, relics, and so forth.

The principal text in question is the life of Theodore of Sykeon (ob. 613), which offers detailed evidence about Galatia. Not one article exists on this material, despite the Baynes-Dawes translation/summary (1948) and a new, complete edition of the text with extensive notes and a French translation by Festugire (two volumes, 1970). There are three other monastic lives, none of them translated from Greek, which offer important supplementary data: Nicholas of Hagia Sion (Lycia, ob.565), Eutychius of Amasea (Helenopontus, inter 565-577), and Alypius the Stylite (Helenopontus, ob. inter 610-641).

The monastery at Sykeon will be taken as the primary example, because the evidence here is the fullest. The discussion will include the economic background of Theodore's family and his advancement through the ecclesiastical ranks; expansion of the monastery of St. George from an isolated martyrion to a large establishment with 50 monks, a three-apsed basilica, an imperial subsidy of 600 modii of grain per annum, and the right of asylum; its significance for the local economy (quarrying, hiring of artisans, mining of unslaked lime, mobilization and use of rural transport) and culture (proliferation of icon veneration, elimination of pagan cult sites, eradication of popular fears associated with the chthonic deities believed to reside in ancient structures, the protection of tilled field with Christian symbola). The relations of the monastery with the civil government will also be examined (its position on the public post road, visits and endowments by emperors and high civil officials like Domnitziolus, its role in harboring fugitives from extortion by public officials), as well as its role in settling legal disputes between persons and villages without recourse to litigation. The geographical position of the monastery at Sykeon and its relations with other churches (Germia and Pessinus) are noted in the life of Theodore, as are the names and locations of various other monasteries and the abodes of ascetic monks. This picture is supplemented by the other monastic biographies mentioned previously. Details are omitted here.

The author of the life of Theodore makes two separate references to his methods of gathering information. The paper will conclude with an analysis of the historical plausibility of the texts considered here, based on the remarks of Theodore's hagiographer, other historical data, archeological evidence, and topographical detail.

"The Monastery of Tatarna at Evritania in Greece"

John T.A. Koumoulides (Wolfson College, Oxford)

The prefecture of Evritania is located in the northwestern region of central Greece. It is a mountainous and fairly impassable area with many churches, monasteries and remote chapels widely dispersed among the many villages of the area and hidden in the mountains of the region. With only few exceptions, we may accurately state that the christian monuments of Evritania have not been studied systematically nor has the area seen much archaeological activity. The monastery of Tatarna is located in the mountains of Agrafa west of the village of Tripotamo and west of the city of Karpenisi of the prefecture of Evritania. Detailed investigation of the monastery of Tatarna was carried out in July 1982 as part of a research project surveying the post-Byzantine churches and antiquities of Evritania under the supervision of the author of this abstract and Mr. Lazaros Deriziotis, epimelitis, of Byzantine antiquities of Thessaly and Evritania, and grants from Dumbarton Oaks and the Hellenic Studies Fund of Ball State University. The field work of the 1982 season carried out at Tatarna helped clarify the history of the monastery.

The monastery comes under the ecclesiastical authority of the metropolitan bishop of Karpenisi. Founded in the year 1555 by the monks David and Methodios the monastery of Tatarna, which was originally dedicated to the "Panaghia e Phaneromeni", is considered as being, historically and architecturally, second in importance to the late twelfth century monastery of Proussos also in Evritania. It is also believed that the foundations of a thirteenth century church are situated below the foundations of the sixteenth century Katholikon of the monastery. Further field research in the area should help clear the mystery. Construction of the Katholikon, cross-in-square plan, was completed in 1580 and its decoration twenty years later in 1600. The monastery seriously damaged by the Turks during the years of the Greek struggle of liberation (1821-29), was in time destroyed, but on orders of king Othon, first king of liberated Greece, it was rebuilt during the years 1841-1844. Fortunately, architectural plans of the 1555 structure survive and are located in the archives of the present monastery of Tatarna. A landslip in 1963 completely destroyed the monastery. Construction of the present foundations started in 1977. Items rescued by abbot Dositheos are now housed in the archives and library of the present monastery whose community consists of the abbot and three young monks. Only few monasteries in Evritania have a richer and more distinguished history than the monastery of Tatarna. Also few spots anywhere in Evritania are more pleasant than this tree- shaded area of Evritania.

In this original presentation the history of the monastery and some of its treasures will be presented as a contribution towards a better and greater understanding and appreciation of the importance, historical, architectural, and artistic of the monastery of Tatarna during the years of Ottoman occupation of Greece.

"Cycles of Saints' Lives in Byzantine Churches from the Twelfth to the Mid-Fourteenth Centuries"

Thalia Gouma-Peterson (The College of Wooster)

The importance of the cult of saints in the Christian East has long been recognized, as has the significance of the saint's life as literary genre and socio-historical document. The indispensable place that saints held in Byzantine society as protectors, friends, and active participants in everyday life is demonstrated by the popularity of pilgrimages, the translation and veneration of relics, the many stories of miraculous healings and the veneration of living saints ("saints in the making" Magdalino). The canon of saints and parallel body of hagiographical literature continued to grow throughout the history of Byzantium, in spite of periods of retrenchment. The growth took various shapes and was influenced by complex and changing patterns of popular piety and church and state politics. But it never lost its central force and always included a component of living saints who were a constant presence both in the cities and in the country side.

In view of the hagio-centric nature of Byzantine life one would expect that narrative cycles of saints' lives would have been an especially popular genre. But this does not seem to have been the case. Illustrated saints, lives in Byzantine manuscripts appear to have been few even in editions of the Metaphrastian Menologion (N.P. Ševčenko) and icons combining an image of the saint with scenes from his or her life appear to have been the exception rather than the rule. The evidence provided by Byzantine church decoration from the tenth to the mid-fourteenth century, though fragmentary and partly determined by accidental survival, suggests that monumental cycles of saints' lives were equally limited in number and restricted in range.

A survey of the churches of Cappadocia, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Russia (including Georgia) from the tenth to the mid-fourteenth century though incomplete due to the loss of monuments, does yield some informative and rather startling evidence. During a period of approximately 450 years the life of only 19 saints was included in church decoration. Of these, 9 were represented only once, and the life of only two saints was represented more than five times - George 36 and Nicholas 31. The survey also shows a dramatic increase in narrative cycles of saints lives from the latter part of the twelfth century on: from 18 cycles in the twelfth century to 42 in the thirteenth and to 40 for the first half of the fourteenth.

The evidence provided by this survey does not claim to be complete, not even of preserved monuments. Further study may turn up more instances but it seems doubtful that the outline will substantially change. The available evidence suggests a pattern of growth from what one could term a resistance to the inclusion of saints lives in church decoration during the tenth, eleventh and first half of the twelfth to an increasing acceptance in subsequent centuries. This acceptance coincides with the temporary dissolution and progressive decentralization of the Empire and with the growth of foreign centers and rural regions with special local interests and needs. However, the fact that the two saints whose lives were the most popular (George and Nicholas) were legendary rather than historical personages, also indicates that the life of the historical saint with an accredited vita composed shortly after his or her death never became an accepted genre in Byzantine church decoration. Perhaps the power that living saints always had as intercessors, advisers, and political foci made the permanent recording of their lives on walls of churches dangerous for they might have challenged too vigorously the Christo-centric and unitary authority of the church. The phenomenon of St. Francis of Assisi and the blossoming of impressive monumental cycles of his life shortly after his death never happened in post-Iconoclast Byzantine society.


(Session co-sponsored by the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East)

Presiding: Charles Brand (Bryn Mawr College)

"The Venetians and the Fourth Crusade"

Donald E. Queller (The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

The thesis of this paper is that the Venetians, while not devoid of selfish motives, did not turn the crusade from the Holy Land to Constantinople, that their motives were not less religious or more selfish than those of other crusaders, and that their decisions were reasonable ones in the predicaments in which they found themselves.

The argument hinges upon the treaty for transportation of 1201, under which the northern crusaders contracted for transportation for many more crusaders than they could produce a year and a half later. The Venetians, fulfilling their contract like the good bourgeois they were, prepared for perhaps three times the actual number of northern crusaders. Nonetheless, they agreed to sail despite nonpayment by their allies of a considerable portion of the agreed sum. Historians have assumed that the Venetians should have sailed off on a wave of spirituality. They had, however, called off the foreign commerce upon which Venetian wealth was based for a year and a half, they had invested large sums in an impressive fleet of about two hundred vessels, and while, I suppose, a city of saints could simply write all that off as an unfortunate, but essentially trivial obstacle to the crusader, that Doge Dandolo and the Venetians could not does not provide an argument that they were more greedy and less pious than the common run of mankind.

The Venetians did take advantage of the situation to gain the help of their allies in reconquering rebellious Zara. The delay in arriving at Zara was due to the necessity for picking up men and supplies from the northern adriatic towns and for securing some of those towns by a show of power.

Along with the northern crusaders, the Venetians accepted the offer of the refugee Byzantine prince Alexius to restore him to the imperial throne in return for aid in the conquest of the Holy Land. I argue that they could not have planned an attack upon Constantinople from the beginning, although young Alexius was certainly in the West in September or October of 1201: in no way could anyone have foreseen the concatenation of circumstances which led to the agreement with young Alexius, nor could the Venetians have any hope of manipulating to their purposes a crusading army, which its own leaders could not command. In part, like the northern crusaders, the Venetians seized an unexpected and perhaps not unwelcome opportunity; in part, they and their allies believed that they were restoring a rightful prince and heir and gaining much needed reinforcements for their depleted crusade, altogether a worthy undertaking.

The Venetians and their allies believed, as young Alexius had told them, that they would be welcomed as liberators by the people of Constantinople. They were confused and offended when the gates remained closed to them, and the one clearly foolish thing that Doge Dandolo did on the entire expedition was to mount young Alexius between himself and the Marquis of Montferrat on the ducal galley and parade him under the walls, expecting the Greeks to hail him. Sometimes it is a foolish act which proves good faith.

Although, of course, all historians dealing with the Fourth Crusade recount the two conquests of Constantinople in 1203 and 1204, those who charge the Venetians with betraying the crusade by diverting it to Constantinople conveniently forget that in 1203 they and their allies adhered rigorously to their pact with Alexius. They restored Alexius and his father, Isaac II, hoping, of course, that the co-emperors would be more friendly than the usurper, Alexius III. I think, however, that they could hardly have expected them to be puppets, once the crusading army left Constantinople, and there simply is no evidence to support any doubt that their intention was to proceed to the Holy Land.

One of the most convincing arguments in favor of the Venetians is that neither Villehardouin nor Robert of Clari, who differ in so many ways, suspects them. Villehardouin was a sophisticated leader, soldier, and diplomat. Robert reflects the view from the ranks, complaining bitterly about the Frankish leaders, but not about the Venetians. Nicetas Choniates, of course, believes in the treason of the Venetians, but he was within the walls and knew little of what happened in Western Europe, on the journey, or in the crusaders' camp, much less about the state of mind of the Venetians.

I do not wish to argue that the Venetians in the Fourth Crusade were pure and sinless, but only that they acted in a reasonable and, as they saw it, honorable way.

"Rhodes after 1204" Anthony T. Luttrell (The Institute for Advanced Study)

A vague outline of developments on Rhodes between the fall of Constantinople in 1204 and the Hospitaller conquest of the island after 1306 is provided by various publications, but no work satisfactorily assembles the known and knowable facts. The subject is interesting as an example of island history; for the degree if independence which Rhodes maintained; and as the necessary background to the detailed study, now under way, of Byzantine Rhodes between 1306 and 1522. The scarcity of information means that every scrap must be collected. In addition to the chronicles, the written sources include imperial and ecclesiastic documents in Greek, from Patmos and elsewhere; papal and official Western documents; notarial and commercial acts; and texts relevant to the conquest of Rhodes and subsequent Hospitaller rule, though these are themselves very fragmentary down to 1346. Non-written data should come from coins, including a hoard; from surviving buildings, fortifications, churches, frescoes and at least one inscription; from a study of the topography and toponymy; and, eventually maybe, from excavation. A reasonably reliable outline of events must be constructed before the meager information available can be built into any picture of the population, the economy, the landholding arrangements, the church and other aspects of Rhodian society.

Rhodes escaped Latinization after 1204 when its Byzantine governor Leo Galavas continued to rule the island independently, just beyond the fringe of the Nicaean empire. In 1224 the Emperor John III Vatatzes captured Kos and made Leo his vassal, and in 1233 John IIIâs admiral, Andronikos Palaiologos attacked Rhodes. In 1234 Leo became a vassal of the Venetians, promising them a church, a warehouse and a fondaco in return for freedom for Rhodians to trade in Crete; but in the following year Leo was commanding John IIIâs fleet. Leo was succeeded by his brother John Favalas and in 1248, while the latter was away serving John III, the Genoese seized Rhodes; John III retook it soon after. The Genoese returned after 1261 as allies of Michael VIII Palaiologos whose brother John had estates on Rhodes. In 1278 the Byzantine admiral, Giovanni de lo Cavo, held Rhodes, and there were further alienations to Genoese adventurers though a measure of imperial authority still survived in 1306. Increasingly there were Latin traders and slavers on the island, which also suffered from Turkish razzias. When, in 1306, Vignolo de Vignoli, another Genoese who had claims on the island, brought in the Hospitallers, the Rhodians made a lengthy resistance with assistance from Constantinople, but a century of independence or quasi-independence on the margins of Byzantium, Latin Romania and Turkish Anatolia was at an end.

"Commerce Between Byzantium and the Crusader States of the Levant"

David Jacoby (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Dumbarton Oaks)

[Abstract not received in time for publication.]

"ÎThe Descent of the Virgin into Hellâ in Crusader Nazareth"

Jaroslav Folda (The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

In 1908 Father Prosper Viaud excavated five capitals in Nazareth. Carved in an excellent French Romanesque style that can probably be dated to the 1170's, they were found in nearly perfect condition stored away for safekeeping. Although the capitals have generally been reconstructed on the west facade portal of the Church of the Annunciation since Enlart proposed this in 1928, it is more likely that they were executed to decorate the shrine-grotto monument of the Holy House of the Virgin.

The shrine-grotto visible today in the Church of the Annunciation is the lower rear part of what was apparently a small house or aedicula in Crusader times. With a vaulted entry foyer, called the Chapel of the Angel in certain pilgrims' texts, and the grotto itself at the rear, the aedicula as planned in the twelfth century generally resembled some other monuments at familiar holy sites such as the Holy Sepulchre or the Tomb of the Virgin. The Nazareth Capitals themselves present important evidence for aspects of the exact configuration of this shrine monument. Moreover, the-2 iconographical program was a new departure in the decoration of holy sites during the Crusader period prior to 1187.

In regard to major iconographical questions about these capitals we shall focus on the large rectangular capital and identify an unique representation of the Virgin Mary there. With reference to textual sources ranging from the Early Christian period to the High Middle Ages, we shall endeavor to argue that the enigmatic female figure leading a bearded apostle by the wrist is a scene rarely found East or West, namely the Descent of the Virgin into Hell. In contrast to the usual identification of the female figure as "Fides" or "Ecclesia", recognition of this figure as the crowned Virgin Mary can help us also understand the special liturgical circumstances for which this extraordinary capital was carved.

In sum, we propose to see this capital on the shrine monument of the Holy House of the Virgin at Nazareth sculpted in a French style with subject matter of the Christian East pertaining to the Virgin which was specifically relevant to this holy site. As such the carvings on this capital demonstrate the characteristic blend of East and West found in Crusader art, but heretofore observed primarily in painting.

"Cilician Illumination and the West in the Thirteenth Century"

Helen C. Evans (The Metropolitan Museum of Art [New York])

The routes for the transmission of artistic influences between the East and the West during the era of the Crusades remains perplexingly unclear for the thirteenth century. Among the eastern communities least studied, but most strongly allied with the Crusaders, is Armenian Cilicia whose ties to the West began with its participation in the First Crusade. Cilicia was the sole eastern kingdom to extensively intermarry with the nobility of the Latin Levant, including the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Cyprus. The overlordship of Cilicia by the Rupenids was climaxed at the end of the twelfth century with the crowning of their last and greatest leader, Leon II, as king by emissaries from Frederick Barbarosa and the Pope. Extended consultations over union were hold between Rome and Cilicia which resulted in 1250 A.D. in an attempt at formal union with Rome by the succeeding Hetumid dynasty under King Hetum I and his Catholicos Constantine I.

Thus the possibility of extensive artistic interaction between Cilicia and the West, or its Crusading States, is evident. Yet there is little evidence of this before the climax of the Cilician artistic tradition in the series of elegant, densely illuminated gospels that begin with the artist Tâoros Roslin in the middle of the thirteenth century. Buchthal and Weitzmann have suggested Crusader influences on these manuscripts through the scriptorium of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and Crusader icons. Der Nersessian has argued that Italian images of the Madonna of Misericordia and French historiated initials were influential on later thirteenth and early fourteenth century Armenian illuminations. Other scholars, especially Grappe, Pace, and Durnovo, have suggested the reverse -- that Cilician illuminations were a source for the Byzantine elements in contemporary Italian art.

However, no study has explained why East/West connections should be specifically a thirteenth century phenomena. No serious consideration has been given to the possible role of Cilicia's commercial ties with Venice and Genoa, nor has the role of the eastward thrust of the now missionary orders, the Dominicans and the Franciscans, been carefully considered. This paper will attempt to demonstrate that these were the major forces linking Italian and Cilician art in the second half of the thirteenth century and that the route was from West to East. As the styles involved in themselves often reflect earlier Italian contacts with Byzantine art, it might also be suggested that unusual Byzantinizing elements in later eastern works do not necessarily reflect lost Byzantine manuscript traditions from the period of the Latin occupation of the capital but possibly the influence of Byzantinized western styles moving east with the missionary orders and Italian commerce,

"The Byzantine Iconography of a Madonna by Coppo di Marcovaldo"

Rebecca W. Corrie (Bates College)

At a conference held in Cleveland in 1976, 1 proposed that an unusual motif in a painting by the thirteenth-century Florentine, Coppo di Marcovaldo, was based on the artist's somewhat unorthodox reworking of a Byzantine motif. The painting is the Madonna and Child executed by Coppo in 1261 for the church of S. Maria dei Servi in Siena. The motif in the painting is the bare- legged Child sitting on a large, yellow cloth in His mother's lap. My continued research on the paintings of Coppo di Marcovaldo and recent work by Henry Maguire on the textual underpinnings of Byzantine images of the Virgin and Child now convince me of the accuracy of Coppo's interpretation of the Byzantine motifs in the painting. In this paper I will argue that Coppo di Marcovaldo, a well-documented and unmistakably Tuscan artist, understood the theological implications of the motifs he adapted from Byzantine art, and that he used them to create an image tailored to the needs of the order of the Servi di Maria, founded in Florence in 1233.

The iconography of the Siena panel was formulated from a series of motifs including several which were Byzantine in origin. The Virgin sits on a lyre-backed throne which has acanthus-shaped supports. She holds the Child to the right in a position associated in Byzantine art with a type of Virgin known as the Hodegetria, although here she does not point to Him, but holds His foot. Images of the Virgin seated on similar thrones appear in important decoration programs of the late Comnenian period, such as the mosaics of Monreals, The foot or leg holding motif belongs to the same era. Examples can be found in a manuscript of the "2400" group, the frescoes at Kurbinovo, and in numerous icons.

The most complex formula in the panel is the representation of the Child, bare-legged, with a harness-like strap across the upper portion of His body, and seated on a large yellow cloth. The motifs appear in Byzantine versions of the Virgin and Child, which are known as the Glykophilousa, Eleousa, Kykkotissa, and the Virgin of the Passion. In addition, the costume appears frequently in scenes of the Presentation in the Temple, or images of the Child with Simeon. Strong arguments can be made for the interpretation of this Child as a sign of the coming passion and ultimately the Eucharist, a more literal representation of long-standing Marian iconography. And, indeed, in recent analyses Henry Maguire has offered texts which suggest that images of the types mentioned above were intended to recall the Lamentation scene from the passion cycle. Maguire's interpretation is in turn supported by the treatment of the figure group in the Siena panel, and by the devotion of the Servite order to the sorrows of the Virgin.

The image of the Madonna and Child in Siena was probably formulated for that panel. Its closest imitations are in Siena and the nearby town of Pomerance. Nevertheless, the individual Byzantine motifs can be found in Florentine works, which suggests that the motifs were brought to Siena by Coppo. Hans Belting has revived the discussion of the presence of Byzantine artists in Tuscany in his recent article on the problematic Washington panels. The remarkable comprehension of Byzantine iconography in this Tuscan panel supports the argument that a profound Byzantine influence was at work in Tuscany.


Presiding: James Morganstern (The Ohio State University)

"Byzantine Carthage: New Evidence from Recent Excavations"

Lucinda Neuru (McMaster University)

Belisarius reconquered Carthage in 533 and thereby re-established Roman in place of Vandal rule. These were, of course, Eastern Romans; consequently Carthage made not only a political transition back to a Roman, but also became a Byzantine city.

The cultural transition, however, was more complex, had economic aspects and was effected over a lengthy span of time. This paper presents reflections on ceramic evidence retrieved from recent excavations along the late city wall in the North of Carthage directed by the late Edith Mary Wightman of McMaster University in Canada.

The very beginning of Byzantine Carthage can probably be dated to the late fourth-early fifth century when Eastern amphorae began to be imported. Ideas flowed into Carthage with the trade goods, most obviously reflected on this site by the Byzantine-style meandering zigzag wall with its battered-wall tower built in c. 425.

The political transition in 533 gave additional impetus to the developing Byzantine character of the city. Trade, and therefore cultural exchange continues, but now because African goods are again exported from, rather than Eastern goods imported into, Carthage.

Eastern amphorae dwindle and disappear after 533, as Carthage again had access to her own agricultural sources in the interior. The fine ware, African Red Slip, deteriorates in quality; paste, slip and forms are more coarse, but this ware regains part of the international market lost in the preceding century. The desire of fine ware producers in North Africa to recapture the market probably resulted in the deterioration of ARS seen at Carthage, either because too rapid production to try and fill the market-place, or because the best quality goods were exported. Both are perhaps factors.

The locally produced plain and small to medium coarse wares of this period are extremely interesting. New forms appear in these local fabrics, some of which are decidedly foreign in appearance and are not found in levels dating before the reconquest. Other more familiar vessel shapes of the preceding centuries undergo considerable transition. Really large vessels, amphorae, are increasingly rare, replaced by a series of medium sized household amphorae and one- handled ewers; some of these decorated with wavy or zigzag lines. New series of cooking wares appear, and a new series of painted plain wares.

The increasing quantity of household amphorae and ewers is probably reflective of the increase in local agricultural supply: larger quantities of cheaper produce could be bought and stored at home. The Eastern military presence at Carthage gave the local pottery producers the impetus to alter their goods to suit Eastern tastes, and this accounts for new, and altered versions of older vessel shapes which appear at this period.

Carthage must have enjoyed reasonable economic circumstances under the Vandals: someone bought the imported goods, even if they were expensive. The city appears to have had a brief surge in economic activity and prosperity in the sixth century at the beginning of the Byzantine rule, but this appears to have been short-lived: deterioration in buildings and roads, and further real deterioration in the quality of the ceramic remains thereafter, indicates most certainly that the city became increasingly more depressed over the years remaining before the Arab conquest at the end of the seventh century.

"Recent Investigations at Sardis"

Marcus L. Rautman (Indiana University)

The late antique city of Lydian Sardis has been the site of continuous excavation and study by the joint Harvard-Cornell Expedition since 1958. The results of the Expedition's first phase have appeared in monographs concerning early Byzantine history, coins, glass, and metalwork, and are summarized by G.M.A. Hanfmann in Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times (Harvard University Press, 1983). Since 1976 continuing investigation of the site has expanded understanding of the city and clarified aspects of its urban life.

Exploration of early Byzantine Sardis has included surface reconnaissance of the urban plan and selective excavation. Although the heavy alluviation of the site hinders statistically useful sampling, the distribution of cultural material suggests that habitation gradually withdrew from the terraced foothills of the Acropolis and relocated on previously undeveloped parts of the Sardian plain. Excavations near the so-called "Byzantine Fortress," a massive structure built atop one such terrace, document the area's general abandonment during late antiquity and raise new questions concerning the supposed Dark Age citadel.

Recent excavations in one part of the western city are of special interest for understanding early Byzantine Sardis. The MKS sector comprises an irregularly shaped insula that extends south from a broad public plaza, which may be the plateia of the Roman city. During the late Roman period the area was apparently bounded on its other sides by colonnaded streets. At the center stands an expansive architectural complex overlying the remains of a monumental pre-Roman structure. This complex consists of a sprawling assemblage of interior spaces on several different levels, which are organized in close association with previous building on the site. To the northeast are several spacious halls, elegantly decorated with marble, mosaic and fresco in a manner similar to the HanghŠuser at Ephesos. Further to the south are grouped similar spaces of uncertain purpose around a central court with cistern. A large apsidal room located to the west belongs to a separate but contemporary structure within the sector. The complex's architectural design suggests various public functions for the larger halls, and detailed study of the contextual finds casts new light on the domestic life of the early Byzantine city.

The continuing exploration of the MMS sector documents the extent and modest luxury of late Roman habitation in the area. The relative importance of the complex within early Byzantine Sardis is suggested by its proximity to major public buildings and its continued occupation over several phases. A conflagration ca. 460 preceded the final phase of construction, when the large halls were laid out. During the sixth century circulation patterns were changed, spaces were closed off and their marble furnishings were stripped for use in other projects. Although the large public rooms were closed by mid-century, habitation to the south continued into the early seventh century, when the quarter was finally abandoned. The progressive demise of this urban sector further illuminates the general economic and social conditions of Sardis during the last years of the early Byzantine city.

"The End of the Polis in Asia Minor: The Evidence from Anemurium"

James Russell (The University of British Columbia)

The fate of the traditional polis in the eastern Empire has excited much scholarly interest in recent years. This appears to have produced a general consensus, at least concerning the broad lines of the phenomenon--a marked contraction of city-life by the late sixth century, if not before, followed in the course of the seventh by virtual extinction, except for a few major centres. When urban life eventually revived in the tenth century in association with fortified kastra, it presented a vastly different face from that of late antiquity.

Much of the progress made in developing this picture of the collapse of the polis may be ascribed to the increasing readiness of Byzantine historians to recognize the limitations of literary testimony for this kind of subject and to range further afield for evidence. Recent attention to archaeological and numismatic material in particular has widened the scope of the discussion appreciably. Unfortunately the archaeological evidence too rarely lives up to the expectations of the historian; as often as not it shares the same fragmented and imprecise character as the literary sources. This arises from the careless treatment traditionally bestowed on Byzantine contexts in the excavation of most classical cities. Yet the enormous potential of careful excavation for filling in the details of the general picture of the last phase of the ancient city can hardly be overstated, as has been demonstrated by recent work at sites as various as Sardis, Carthage and Cherson. Without question, future progress in answering the many questions raised in recent years depends heavily on the steady accumulation of evidence in comparable detail from a larger selection of sites.

Results from the Canadian excavation of the city of Anemurium on the coast of Isauria will serve to illustrate the degree of refinement possible in interpreting an early Byzantine city in the final phase of its existence. From this we may trace the survival virtually intact of the physical apparatus of the late Roman city as late as ca. 580. But this fact probably belies a serious loss of population and prosperity that only becomes apparent in the aftermath of an earthquake that produced widespread destruction around that date. The almost total failure of the inhabitants to restore any of the collapsed public buildings is eloquent testimony of the community's weakened condition. Yet despite its now reduced circumstances, the community survived for close to a century after the disaster, displaying a surprising resilience throughout. Though hardly more than a village in comparison with its former condition, Anemurium during the first half of the seventh century continued to support a remarkable variety of trades and retail activities. With the exception of a hiatus in the coin series between 618 and 629, a phenomenon noted elsewhere and probably the result of a sharp reduction in the supply and circulation of copper coin in the civilian economy, Anemurium shows no signs of disturbance as a result of the Persian War. This is surprising, considering the city's proximity to the war zone, and raises doubts about the general validity of Clive Foss's theory that the Persian invasion of Asia Minor was the principal factor in the collapse of the polis in that region (English Historical Review 357 [1975], 721-47). The end of the city in fact does not occur before the 660âs, and even then seems to have been a gradual process rather than the result of any sudden catastrophe.

"A Lost Byzantine Monastery at Palatitsia-Vergina"

Slobodan Ćurčić (Princeton University)

Atop the ruins of the Hellenistic palace at Palatitsia-Vergina once stood a small Byzantine monastic complex. Described as a 'picturesque ruin' around the middle of the nineteenth century, it has completely disappeared since. The demise of the monastery's remains began in 1861 when the systematic excavations of the Hellenistic palace were initiated by Leon Heuzey. Fortunately, a detailed plan of the monastery and its church was made prior to their ultimate removal. This plan, which was published by Heuzey in his Mission archŽologique de MacŽdoine (Paris, 1876), has escaped the attention of Byzantinists. The plan contains much useful information about the layout of the monastery and the architecture of the church, and should become known as a rare document of this type. My visit to the site revealed an additional bit of evidence which may be surmised to have belonged to the lost monastery -- a phiale basin, recut from a Doric column drum.

The plan published by Heuzey facilitates a meaningful reconstruction of the monastic complex and the church, and even provides a basis for their approximate dating. A number of Late Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monastic complexes reveal general similarities of planning. The church has its closest parallels in the general region of Palatitsia (e.g. Verria -- Anastasis Christou) and in the architecture of Thessaloniki (Hag. Nikolaos Orphanos), both dating from the first two decades of the fourteenth century. Even the phiale basin may be meaningfully compared to such basins from the Late Byzantine period.

The available information, as limited as it is, enables us to salvage from oblivion one of the many Byzantine vestiges lost under the spade of nineteenth and early twentieth-century classical archaeology. The plan of the Byzantine monastery published by Heuzey suggests that recording of post-classical remains prior to their removal was not an unknown practice at that time. The moral of this brief presentation is that more attention should be paid to past archaeological reports and unpublished records. For all their shortcomings, they may be holding more information about 'lost' Byzantine buildings than we might be ready to admit.


Presiding: Timothy E. Gregory.(The Ohio State University)

"A Method of Affixing Bubble and Mortar Barrier Walls to Steep Gradients"

W.J. Cherf (Loyola University, Chicago)

The rugged topographical conditions of central Greece have always presented the military architect with design challenges that demanded durability and ingenuity. By late Roman times, this challenge to military engineering was burdened with the additional requirements of rapid, yet economical construction. This latter trend in architectural design and construction was observed in a free-standing, rubble and mortar fortification wall that ascended a steep gradient.1 Unlike the dry masonry fortification walls that are characteristic of central Greece during the Hellenistic period and that required extensive foundation preparations2, this example utilized construction techniques that required little if any such foundation preparation, while its rapidly built upper courses proved to be remarkably durable under extreme conditions.

The fortification wall under discussion, that ascends the steep eastern slope of Mt. Oite's Nisi area in north central Greece, represents the northwest section of a formidable late Roman- early Byzantine military complex that once fortified the critically strategic Dhema Pass.3 As part of a two-stage system of overlapping fortification walls, this wall section would have effectively hindered any flanking maneuver against the pass from the steep slope of Mt. Oite, while funnelling all approaching traffic towards the main gateway of the pass.

The foundation of this wall was anchored to its near 35 degree slope with the liberal use of mortar and the careful placement of rectangular ceramic bricks and flat tiles between the facing stones of the foundation course and the exposed bedrock. By propping up the down slope end of each facing stone, the foundation was continuously leveled in relation to the slope's fall line. Despite the economical simplicity of this foundation technique, the structural integrity of the foundation is amply attested in long preserved sections that have for centuries successfully resisted the tectonic activity of the region. Only the cumulative affects of erosion, intrusive holly-oak roots, and man have managed to dislodge or disrupt the course of this fortification wall's foundation.

1 The investigation of the defensive architecture within the Dhema Pass was conducted between 1976 and 1980 by the Loyola University of Chicago Phokis-Doris Expedition in Central Greece under the direction of Professor E.W. Kase. Without the cooperation of the Hellenic Ministry of culture and science, Dr. P.G. Themelis, Ephor of Delphi, and Mrs. Fanouria Dakoronia of the Ephorate of Lamia, this research could not have been undertaken. Appreciation is also due to Dr.C.K. Wolfe, Jr., for his encouragement and assistance in the field.

2 As found at Lilaea, Chaeronea and Tithorea. See: A.W. Lawrence, Greek Aims in Fortification (Oxford 1979) plates 20-1, 75.

3 Concerning these defenses, see: W.J. Cherf, The Dhema Pass and Its Early Byz- antine Fortifications (Ph.D. Loyola University of Chicago 1983) chapter 2. For the strategic implications of this pass, see: E.W. Kase, G.J. Szemler, "Xerxes' March through Phokis (Her. 8,31-35)," Klio 64 (1982) 361-2 and W.K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography, Part IV (Passes) (Berkeley 1982) 225-7 and plate 136.

"The Hexamilion and Fortress on the Isthmus of Corinth"

Timothy E. Gregory (The Ohio State University)

The remains of the Hexamilion, the massive six-mile long Byzantine wall across the Isthmus of Corinth, have long been known. Systematic study of the chronology, construction, and purposes of the fortification, however, began only with a series of campaigns of the Isthmia Excavations in 1967. In the course of this study the entire length of the Hexamilion was traced, from the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf, and detailed investigation focused on the principal Fortress near the former Sanctuary of Poseidon.

Excavation has shown that the entire fortification system across the Isthmus was constructed at one time and that a Justinianic date, once proposed for the Fortress, is in fact much too late. Rather, the Hexamilion and its attendant structures were completed in the early years of the fifth century, as part of a massive campaign designed to strengthen the defenses of the southern Balkans. In subsequent years there were substantial rebuildings and redesigns of the fortification, one of which may be confidently associated with the reign of Justinian. In these early phases the Hexamilion and especially the monumental gateways into the Fortress presented an impressive appearance that went far beyond the simple needs of defense. At some undetermined time the great gateways were blocked and the Fortress apparently became an isolated, "castle-like" structure, but it was periodically reconditioned and put into service until the time of the Ottoman conquest. The last phases, in fact, have left some of the most interesting evidence for re-use and domestic habitation within the early Byzantine walls.

This paper will present a summary of the results of the excavations and explorations of the Hexamilion and the Fortress at Isthmia, along with a consideration of the evidence used in the architectural and chronological reconstructions.

"The Fortifications of Byzantine Carthage: New Archaeological Data"

Patricia A. Coyne (Bishop's University) and Leonard A. Curchin (University of Western Ontario)

This paper is based on the results of excavations at Carthage, Tunisia under the direction of the late Edith Mary Wightman of McMaster University, Canada. Professor P.A. Coyne of Bishop's University supervised excavation of the tower and part of the wall to be discussed below.

Procopius (Bell. Vand. 1.23.19) attests that a defensive ditch was dug around the circuit of the city of Carthage by order of Belisarius. On the south side of the city the British excavation team has indeed located a deep defensive ditch outside the city wall. However, an Italian team digging on the north side of the city, to the west of the Kardo Maximus and outside the wall, could find no ditch whatever. A drilling project carried out in 1983 under the direction of Professor Wightman with Dumbarton Oaks funds confirmed that there was no deep ditch on the north side of the city. On the other hand, there remains the possibility of a broad, shallow ditch of the type often encountered in Byzantine contexts. The wide field of vision possible to the north of the city (unlike the south), which provided both early warning and a broad field of fire, may have made a shallow ditch preferable in this sector.

Work on Professor Wightman's main site included the excavation of an early Byzantine-style tower on the zigzagging circuit wall of the city. The wall was built by Theodosius II in ca. 425 as a defense against the Vandals, and was repaired by Belisarius in the sixth century. The tower itself appears to be contemporaneous with this wall. It is a semi-rectangular structure, jutting out from one of the projections of the wall's meandering course. Together with an apparent tower on the Italian site, this is the earliest example of a Byzantine-style tower in North Africa. One complete course of ashlar masonry remains above a battered-wall base. It was constructed solidly on the juncture of the rural and urban cadastrations, and destroyed a rural villa; below one corner of the tower is a splendid mosaic floor with an unusual architectural design, datable to the third to fifth century.

This paper will consider possible parallels for this tower, from North Africa and elsewhere, and will suggest that the two projecting towers were ideally situated to provide mutual support and enfilading fire against any enemy assault on the wall, with the aid of the presumed shallow ditch and the palisade mentioned by Procopius as additional obstacles.

"The Crusader Donjon at Anavarza in Cilicia"

Robert W. Edwards (Dumbarton Oaks)

On a majestic outcrop of limestone in the center of Cilicia Pedias is the castle of Anavarza. From an altitude of 200m the medieval occupants of this most strategic site had a clear view of every road in the eastern lobe of the plain. The walls of the fortress, which are skillfully adapted to the natural contours of the rock, show today at least six periods of construction. When the adjacent city of Anazarbus prospered as a Metropolis during the reign of Vespasian, the outcrop was partially fortified as the city's acropolis. In the 6th century both Justin I and Justinian financed repairs to the city after devastating earthquakes. The Arab invasions left the site abandoned until Hārūn ar-Raûīd introduced Arab settlers and repaired the defenses in 796. The Byzantine raids on Anazarbus in the first half of the 9th century were so successful that the Calif al-Mutawakkil undertook reconstruction at this site before 861. Fragments of a Cufic inscription in the circuit wall of Anazarbus bear his name. In the 10th century it was refortified by the Hamdānid Sayf ad-Dawlah. The especially brutal campaign of Nicephorus Phocas in 962 resulted in the surrender of the city, the death of many of its inhabitants, and the felling of over 50,000 palm trees. Repairs were carried out on the defenses and a Byzantine garrison resided in the fortress of Anavarza through most of the 11th century. In early 1098 it was captured by the armies of the first Crusade (Wm.of Tyre, Hist.VII 2,280 RHC Occ.,I/1); the site was later incorporated into Bohemond's principality of Antioch. By September of 1108 Bohemond allegedly recognized the suzerainty of Alexius I Comnenus in Cilicia, but it is unclear when the Frankish occupation ended (Ann.Comn., Alex.XIII 21-22,134ff. Leib III). The Greeks briefly held Anavarza before it was captured by the Rubenid Baron Teoros I (ca.1111). Except for brief periods in 1137 and 1158/59, when the Byzantines occupied the fort, Anavarza (as well as most of Cilicia) was an Armenian possession until 1374 (m. Canard, "'Ayn Zarba," EI2 [1960], 789f.; cf., C. Foss, "Defenses of Asia Minor," Gr. Orth.Th.Rev.27/2-3 [1982], 149).

Michael Gough ("Anazarbus," Anatolian Studies 2 [1952], 85ff.) has distinguished the various periods of construction on the outcrop and assigned them to particular builders. In the south bailey he has correctly identified some of the Arab and Armenian masonry as well as two periods of Byzantine construction. However, I take exception with his assessment of the three-story donjon which separates the south bailey from the central bailey. Gough (and most recently H. Hellenkemper in his Burgen der Kreuzritterzeit . . . im Kšnigreich Kleinarmenien [Bonn, 1976], 199, 291f.) be1ieves that this donjon is an Armenian construction because of the in situ inscription on its south face. This rather cryptic Armenian epigraph was executed by Baron Levon II in 1187 to advertise his reconstruction of the site.

The physical remains offer a more accurate account of the donjon's building periods. Only the upper third of the donjon has a type of facing stone that is ubiquitous in Armenian garrison forts: the rusticated ashlar with irregular drafted margins. This masonry was used to repair the structure. The lower two floors, which represent the first period of construction, are built with a masonry that is unprecedented in the forts of Cilicia: a smooth, cyclopean ashlar whose flat face is slightly raised by neatly drafted margins. This type of masonry is common in the Frankish castles of the Levant (e.g., Saone, Crac des Chevaliers, and Chastel Plerin). Also, on the interior of Anavarza's donjon the vaults are articulated with moldings that are common in Frankish architecture, but unknown in Armenian forts. A close examination of the Armenian inscription reveals that it was cemented rather clumsily into a pre-existing rectangular space in the Crusader masonry. Perhaps a relief or a Latin inscription originally occupied the niche. The cement around the Armenian inscription differs in color and texture from the mortar of the Crusader masonry.

That all of the Crusader construction at Anavarza is confined to the donjon reveals just how conservative was their strategy for defending this site. The Franks made no attempt to repair the south bailey; they simply cut a deep foss on each side of the donjon to isolate their structure from the rest of the complex. The only other verifiable evidence of Crusader construction in Cilicia Pedias is at Amuda Kalesi (see R. Edwards, The Fortifications of Medieval Cilicia [Dissertation: Berkeley, 1983; University Microfilms International], 106, 111). This Teutonic site is also characterized by a donjon which is smaller and possessed of a more crude masonry than its counterpart at Anavarza. After the Franks abandoned Anavarza, Teoros I completely rebuilt the central and south baileys and placed in the latter his baronial church. The Armenians made only limited use of the donjon, because some of its lower rooms and all of the embrasures were filled with concrete to prevent the collapse of the structure. Also, donjons are not part of the Armenian strategy for defense; there is no known example of an Armenian donjon within a garrison fort. The characteristic features of Armenian military architecture (e.g., bent entrances, multiple baileys, horseshoe-shaped towers, ect.) were perfected in eastern Anatolia before the 10th century and were imported into Cilicia by migrating Armenians (cf., F. Hild, G. and H. Hellenkemper, "Kommagene-Kilikien-Isaurien," Reallexikon zur byz. Kunst IV [1984], 305-08; R. Edwards, "Bağras," REArm 17 [1983], 419ff.; and idem, "Doğubeyazit (Daroynke)," REArm 18 [1984]).

The presence of such an impressive piece of Crusader construction in the center of the Pedias indicates more poignantly than any of our extant sources that the Franks intended from the moment they entered the Levant to control Cilicia. It was Greek and then Armenian opposition which eventually confined the Crusaders to the east flank of the Anti-Taurus mountains. Since the Frankish occupation of Cilicia lasted roughly from 1098 to 1108, this conflict provided the impetus for what may be the first Crusader military construction in the Levant.


Presiding: Thomas Mathews (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

"A Middle Byzantine Censer at Dumbarton Oaks"

Carol Moon (Dumbarton Oaks)

One of the most complex genres of Early Christian/Byzantine liturgical vessels known to modern scholars is a constantly expanding group of cast bronze censers decorated with scenes from the life of Christ. Consisting at present of nearly fifty examples, this group is frequently treated as an entity despite some fairly startling variations in size, shape, style, workmanship and iconography within the group. To date, twelve different scenes have been identified as appearing on the vessels, with any individual vessel bearing from four to nine scenes, the number being totally unrelated to the size of the piece. Various members of the group have been at one time or another dated as early as the second century and as late as the seventeenth century, often with no firm basis. The standard date assigned to these censers is, however, the sixth/seventh century. In order to explain the widely varied findspots that have been reported for the vessels, ranging from Trebizond to Egypt, the censers are usually taken to be objects produced in the area of Syria-Palestine and taken home as souvenirs by pious travellers. Both date and localization are based largely on the similarity of the iconography on the censers to that appearing on ampullae known to have been produced at Holy Land shrines.

Because of the disparities that he saw within the group, however, Elbern attempted to create a relative chronology within the group based largely on the shape of the vessels (Archivo espa–ol de Archeologia, 45-47 [1972-74]). Making use both of the similarity of the scenes to those found on the ampullae and of comparisons to similarly shaped chalices and lamps, he attempted to anchor his chronology to firm dates, but was hampered by his inability to assign specific dates to his "later" comparisons. A censer with a cycle of Christological scenes purchased by Dumbarton Oaks in 1962 may provide a key to this dilemma.

Crude in workmanship and decorated with the most common selection of scenes found within the group--Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism, Crucifixion, and Angel at the Tomb--the censer, which conforms to the latest of Elbern's types, was initially dated to the sixth/seventh centuries (D.O. Handbook, no. 122). The neck of the vessel, however, bears a Greek inscription that can be shown through lettering and suspension marks to date to the ninth or tenth century. Further support of a middle Byzantine date for the vessel is provided by the inscriptional formula used, which is totally unlike those that appear on objects securely datable to the sixth and seventh centuries. The incised decoration and the form of the suspension device--one of only a few that have survived on these censers-also point to a later date. As the D.O. censer is very similar to a censer purchased by the Ashmolean Museum in 1970 (Sotheby sale 28.7.70, lot 119; Hamilton, Iraq., 36 [19741), we have a firm base from which to form a group of middle Byzantine censers and to demonstrate that as with encolpia and pilgrim tokens, pre-iconoclastic censer types continued in use in the post- iconoclastic period.

"On Byzantine Boxes: The Other Side of the Renaissance"

Anthony Cutler (The Pennsylvania State University)

Perhaps because we have no certain information as to where, when or for whom the so-called ivory caskets were made, study of these objects has hardly progressed since Goldschmidt's and Weitzmann's corpus (1930-34). Apart from additions to this main group (including, significantly, a number of unrecognized forgeries), scholars have made inconclusive attempts to place some of them in the twelfth century and desultory efforts to localize them in Italy. The main body of these objects remains where it was fifty years ago, largely unscrutinized and generally misunderstood.

Recent examination of a considerable number of these boxes (and their vestigial parts) allows a fundamental point to be established. Not one of them is made entirely of ivory; most of them consist of bone panels pegged in assembly-line fashion to wooden cores. Even Veroli, the most celebrated of the "caskets," uses ivory for its figural scenes but pre-fabricated bone strips for its ornament. The majority of boxes have small bone panels, bearing a limited and repetitive repertoire of figures often skillfully carved but hurriedly attached to cores of a few standardized sizes and shapes.

The first task is to determine the relationship of this mass of carved bone to ivory products -- some of them datable -- of the period. In some cases it can be shown that they were made in the same shops or at least employed the same carving techniques. While some boxes carry religious subject-matter, it is clear that ivory was reserved in the main for Christian icons and triptychs; for "pagan" and other secular iconography bone, not steatite, was the Middle Byzantine substitute for ivory. Yet in the absence of information on the relative cost of material or the status of their patrons, it is less useful to divide their clientele simplistically into ecclesiastics and laymen (laymen were devout; churchmen read the "pagan" classics) than to recognize the conventions to which these boxes subscribe. Far from pious reproductions of antiquity, their subjects are, for the most part, satirical. They have their own stock of characters, less venerable than the cast of Christian mythology but no less recognizable once we forgo seeing them as degenerated Classical heroes: curly-headed putti who play the lyre or the fool, the fat man, the dazed philosopher, pairs of comic lovers, stuffed animals and heavily-armed but scantily-dressed warriors. They are not homages to classical or hellenistic art but disiecta membra. Even if some were originally "quotations," divorced from a narrative setting they function as counters to be slipped "irrelevantly" into and out of alien sequences. Thus the Stoning from the Joshua Roll intrudes upon the Rape of Europa. It is not the subject of Alexander's Ascension (Darmstadt) but its context that resists understanding until we appreciate how these boxes were put together.

While the absence of narrative order lacks parallels in literature, their tone is that of the mime plays and a small body of satirical writing of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. The subjects on these boxes are not academic recreations of the Macedonian era but jokes, sports and freaks, the flotsam of the profane world. Belonging to the exo sophia, they lack the logic and seriousness of high-minded, contemporary Christian art. But with more than a hundred surviving examples, they constitute the important residue of an urban culture of which we have almost lost sight in Byzantium.

"The Joshua Fresco at Hosios Loukas"

Carolyn L. Connor (New York University)

A remarkable Byzantine fresco depicting Joshua, the hero and prophet of the Old Testament, was discovered at Hosios Loukas in 1964 on the tenth century facade of the Panaghia church. This is the best preserved tenth century fresco painting in Greece and is a work of highest artistic quality. Of special interest is the inscription in Greek next to the figure, which not only makes possible the precise identification of the event depicted but also the reconstruction of a missing figure in a lost section of the fresco. Above the haloed head of the figure in elaborate military costume is the label, "Jesus the son of Nave" (i.e. Joshua); to the left, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"; below Joshua's outstretched arm, "I am Michael, the commander of the army of the Lord and I have come to strengthen you." The inscriptions allude to the event in Joshua 5:13-16 which takes place on the eve of the Battle of Jericho when Joshua is confronted by a heavenly being. Thus, a second monumental figure, that of the Archangel Michael, must have appeared at the left facing Joshua on the other side of their inscribed dialogue.

The inscribed text shows two changes from the Septuagint text, indicating the special meaning and intent behind Joshua's appearance at Hosios Loukas. Considered together with artistic and literary evidence these inscriptions provide the key for an understanding of the fresco in its tenth century context.

First, the heavenly being is referred to as the "man" in the Septuagint whereas at Hosios Loukas he identifies himself as Michael. This identity can be shown already in the fourth-fifth century exegetical writings of Aphraates the Syrian and Theodoretus of Cyrrhus. The second variation in the fresco's inscription is the addition of the phrase, "And I have come to strengthen you"; the Septuagint passage offers no such explanation for the angel's presence. This expansion of the fresco inscription is the result not only of interpolation from parallel passages in the Old Testament but also a reflection of the role of the Archangel Michael as protector of the Macedonian House.

Several other Byzantine works underline similar concerns. In the famous Menologium of Basil II (Vat. gr. 1613) the Koimesis of Joshua shows the fully armed figures of Joshua and Michael, while the entry relates the important events from Joshua's life; the emphasis is on instances where Joshua received divine aid in his conquest of the Holy Land. A letter from the time of Nicephorus Phokas dramatizes the preoccupation of that time with belief in divine aid for the Byzantine armies in their conflicts with the Arabs; the letter requests the prayers of several monasteries in behalf of the imperial armies. The monastery of Hosios Loukas was endowed by the Armenian general Krinites; the place became an important pilgrimage site, drawing special recognition after Saint Lukas' prophecy of Byzantine victory on Crete was fulfilled in 961.

An instance of church decoration associated with military patronage is found at ‚avucin in Cappadocia where the frescoes in the East end include Nicephorus Phocas and his family directly below a large depiction of Joshua before the Archangel Michael; the association is implicit in their location. Most closely comparable with our fresco is the composition of the Michael - Joshua scene in the great Joshua Roll (Vat. Pal. gr. 431). The similarities with the Joshua Roll also make evident how very unusual is the facial type represented by Joshua in the Hosios Loukas fresco. One possible explanation is suggested by the correlation between our fresco and an Armenian Bible (Jerusalem Patr. Arm. no. 1925): Joshua is represented as an Armenian general because of the preponderance of Armenians among the leading military figures of the Macedonian dynasty.

In the climate of the later Macedonian period with its military preoccupations and fervent appeals for divine aid Joshua was seen as the divinely aided military hero par excellence, and as such Michael announces his presence at Hosios Loukas.

"Middle Byzantine Images of Christ's Davidic Ancestry"

Anna Kartsonis (The University of Washington)

In 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council put an end to the first phase of the Iconoclastic controversy. One of the most important arguments in its Acts supporting the use of religious imagery was based on Christ's human nature, its circumscribability as well as its irrefutable historicity. The circumscribability of his humanity rendered him depictable in images, while the historicity of his humanity distinguished his representations from those of the pagan gods, which were fictitious, and, hence, idolatrous.

During the following century Byzantine artists contributed to the consolidation of the Iconophile victory by pictorially developing themes which expressed and enhanced the core Iconophile doctrine. The exploration of one such theme started relatively modestly in the late eighth or early ninth century. It sought to establish in images Christ's Davidic lineage as proof of the historicity of his humanity. An important result of the effort was the standardization of two interrelated iconographic topoi by the first half of the tenth century: the twin portrait of King David and his royal son Solomon, and the image of David Theopator. Moreover, the exploration of the theme of Christ's Davidic ancestry led to the experimental formulation of a schematic pictorial statement on Christ's Davidic genealogy. As such, this image pointed to the iconography of the Tree of Jesse, a popular, though somewhat mysterious theme, which made its formal debut somewhat later both in Eastern and Western Medieval art.

This paper proposes to discuss the systematic iconographic exploration of the theme of Christ's Davidic lineage which materialized during the Macedonian period and predates the image of the Tree of Jesse -- the ultimate pictorial crystallization of Christ's Davidic ancestry. The results allow a sample insight into the methodical innovation of religious imagery that took place during the Middle Byzantine period.

"Style in Ninth-Century Byzantium"

Leslie Brubaker (Wheaton College)

[Abstract not received in time for publication.]


Presiding: Warren Treadgold (Hillsdale College)

"The Economic Background to the Macedonian Renaissance"

Warren Treadgold (Hillsdale College)

Spending more money on art presumably tends to produce more and better art. Though our evidence for economic prosperity and artistic production between the late eighth and late ninth centuries is poor, what we have indicates a general upward trend for both. There are, however, exceptions to the trend, which seem to depend mostly on who had the wealth and how willing they were to patronize art with it.

For the Byzantine economy as a whole, growth was evidently the rule from the late eighth century into the tenth. Much of this came from a healthy demographic expansion following the end in 750 of two hundred years of recurring plagues and furthered by Nicephorus I's colonization of the Greek peninsula between 805 and 810. As the expanding population produced more, the Empire's wealth increased. Up to the mid-ninth century, however, a large part of the surplus wealth remained in the hands of the state. Constantine V (741-75) was a notorious hoarder of gold who confiscated much church property and supposedly left so little money in circulation that prices tumbled. Though Irene (780-802) was more liberal, she still maintained a large gold reserve. Nicephorus I (802-11), a former finance minister, tirelessly tracked down tax evaders and collected enormous amounts, especially from wealthy private citizens and the Church. Theophilus (829-42) left an immense gold reserve that grew further under his widow Theodora (842-56). By contrast, Michael III (856-67) and Basil I (867-86) collected less in taxes and spent more. Before 856, however, the Church and wealthy citizens seem to have been squeezed hard, and had good reason to avoid attracting attention by lavish patronage of art to whatever wealth they retained.

The emperors themselves varied widely in their willingness to spend on art and architecture. Even before the Empire's economy revived, Constantine V financed some repair work and mosaics compatible with his iconoclasm. more impressively, Irene built a new palace and churches and restored icons. Except for Michael I (811-13), some of whose brief munificence went for church decoration, Irene's successors appear to have had little interest in art until Theophilus, who spent vast sum on building new palace structures and commissioning large decorations in gold. Theodora and Michael III paid for both palace construction and church decoration, including the apse mosaic in St. Sophia. Though Basil I can scarcely have outspent Theophilus, he is known for his restoration and construction of churches, and his Macedonian dynasty continued artistic patronage after him. As for private spending, private citizens built a number of monasteries under Irene, though these do not seem to have been grandiose. The first tine when private citizens were in a position to spend on a grand scale was evidently under the Macedonian dynasty.

No doubt much art was produced throughout the iconoclast period, but that art tended to be either inexpensive or centered on imperial palaces. Thus we have some churches built with spoils under Irene, some illuminated manuscripts of the early ninth century, and the Leo scepter (if it is to be attributed to Leo V). But such works as the paintings commissioned by the Patriarch Tarasius (784- 806), attested in his Life, have not survived time and iconoclasm, and many cheaply built structures must have failed to last, at least in recognizable form. We do apparently have the substructures of the Bryas Palace of Theophilus, and more excavations at Istanbul would probably produce a good deal of evidence about Irene's and Theophilus' building activity there. But only from the mid-ninth century did both imperial and private commissions of artwork become numerous enough, and of durable enough materials, that a significant number of them are known to us today and we start to speak of a Macedonian Renaissance.

"A Byzantine Painter Working in Rome Just After 787"

David R. Wright (The University of California, Berkeley)

In 1900 the engineer M. E. Cannizzaro excavated under the medieval pavement of the church of S. Saba in Rome, finding there a cemetery with loculi of a type otherwise unknown in Rome, but to be expected of a Greek monastic community in Palestine. The building had apparently been the apsed hall of a mansion or civic building and had been converted into a church by immigrant Greek monks, probably in the seventh century; it was much smaller than the medieval basilica built over it after the Cluniacs received the site in 1145. Cannizzaro also found many fragments of wall paintings, most of which were soon mounted on panels and are now displayed in ruinous condition in the hallway connecting the modern monastery to the repristinated medieval church. Cannizzaro published several short notices of his work in the next three years, and there were also some worthless journalistic accounts, but there was never a finished report on the excavations. Wilpert included the important frescoes in his plates (1914) but without comment, and his short article on them in 1906 (MŽ1. Ec. fr. Rome) is inadequate. The only significant publication of the fragments remains the article by Paul Styger in Ršm. Quartalschrift 18 (1914) 49-96.

Leaving aside various later fragments, including the feet of standing saints in the apse, there are two sets of frescoes we should consider. There is a set of frontal standing saints, nearly life-size, of which the head and torso of one Survives, and the heads of six others survive; these were all found as detached fragments near the middle of the south wall of the oratory, according to Styger ("A" on his plan, p. 52). Although names are often given these saints by Wilpert, Styger, and others, no inscriptions can be securely associated with them. The only criterion for dating these frescoes is their style. Here I agree with Kitzinger (Ršm. Mal., 1934, pp. 31-33) in placing them at the beginning of the eighth century. They are of such high quality, and despite their severe frontality they are so naturalistic in key expressive details of the eyes, that compared to frescoes in S. Maria Antiqua they seem closer to the work of John VII (705-7), as in the Church Fathers flanking the apse, than to the work of Zacharias (741-752) in the chapel of Sts. Quiricus and Julitta. Therefore I suggest they may be the work of a Greek painter who came to Rome before 726.

The other set of fragments come from what must have been an extensive cycle of scenes from the life of Christ, each with an explanatory inscription in Greek. The larger fragments were found still attached to heavy sections of wall (visible in old photographs) on both sides of the chapel (B, C, D, and E on Styger's plan), but not near the fallen fragments of frontal heads. Cannizzaro reported (Atti VII Congr. Int. di Scienze Stor., Roma. 1903, VII, 1905, p. 183) that these scenes were on a second layer of plaster, clearly seen in the Healing of the Paralytic; it is not possible to confirm this observation from the surviving fragments in their present condition. Styger pointed out that there was room on the side walls for at least 24 scenes in this cycle, and he identified ten by taking into account all known fragments of figures and inscriptions, including some already lost when he wrote in 1914. His reconstructed cycle includes: Joachim and Anna in the Temple, Betrothal of the Virgin, Presentation of Christ in the Temple, Baptism of Christ, Miraculous Draught of Fishes, Healing of the Paralytic, Storm on the Sea of Galilee, St. Peter Saved from Drowning, Transfiguration of Christ, Entry into Jerusalem.

Although Kitzinger sought to associate in one decorative scheme the frontal saints and the narrative scenes, pointing to similar combinations in S. Maria Antiqua, I think it is safer to suppose they belong to two separate campaigns of decoration. Cannizzaro's specific statement about layers of plaster can no longer be confirmed, but it deserves some credence. The heads were found all in one confined area, all as fragments detached from the wall, and all with the painted surface in relatively good condition. The narrative scenes were found in two groups, one near each side wall, with the larger fragments still attached to large blocks of wall, and at least in the case of the Healing of the Paralytic the paint representing the faces had been applied in a technique that made it deteriorate much more than the paint representing the bodies. We might guess that the set of frontal saints constituted a fairly small scheme of decoration, perhaps left intact when the cycle of the life of Christ was executed, perhaps higher up on the wall.

Before attempting to date the narrative paintings, we should review the early evidence for the history of S. Saba. Writers as early as John the Deacon (c. 875) have obscured that history by attaching to it a legend involving Silvia, the mother of Gregory the Great. Around 1900 some writers with obvious nationalistic and sectarian prejudice (as Bacci and Grisar) sought to use these vague references to prove that the origin of the monastery was Latin rather than Greek. But on careful review of contemporary references (Ferrari, Early Roman Mon., 1957, pp. 281-290) and archaeological evidence (Krautheimer, Corpus, IV, 1970, pp. 51-71) it has been demonstrated clearly that the first monastic community on the site was Greek. It was probably established in the seventh century, perhaps by refugees from the monastery of St. Sabas near Jerusalem, who might have fled either the Persian conquest of 614 or the Islamic conquest of 640. But the community achieved prominence in the historical record only under Hadrian I, who sent their Abbot Pardus as envoy to King Desiderius of the Longobards in 772-4 (Lib. pont. I, p. 493), and then in 785 sent their Abbot Peter as legate to Constantine VI and Irene (ibid., p. 511); Peter stayed to participate in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. The continued prominence of S. Saba in the next generation is attested by gifts recorded in the Liber pontificalis from Leo III, 795-816, and Gregory IV, 827-844 (ibid. II, pp. 9, 22, 70), but after that the monastery fades into obscurity, and fragmentary paintings from the tenth century use Latin inscriptions instead of Greek.

Circumstantial evidence suggests, therefore, that the best Greek paintings, the cycle of the life of Christ, could be the result of Abbot Peter's mission to Constantinople in 785-7. I believe stylistic evidence confirms this possibility. Consider first the style of the Greek lettering in these paintings. It is noticeably different from that of the Greek inscriptions made for John VII in S. Maria Antiqua, for it is more purely Greek in style. The letters H M N have wide vertical strokes and narrower cross strokes, reflecting Greek traditions of penmanship, while the Greek inscriptions of John VII tend to be contaminated by the Latin style of shading the strokes. Where they are reasonably well preserved, the active figures in these scenes turn and move convincingly, and have a voluminous effect achieved not only by gradations of modeling, but more importantly by a system of organizing the folds of the garments in a pattern of clusters that clarifies the articulation of the body. By comparison with Italian painting in the eighth century, such as the flattened linear renderings of narrative scenes in the chapel of Sts. Quiricus and Julitta (741-752), these paintings must be attributed to a Greek painter of exceptional skill, working in the metropolitan tradition.

On stylistic grounds alone it would be possible to consider dates around 700, around 800, and soon after 843. For the early date, the narrative scenes made for John VII show a similar style clumsily executed, but if we turn to a Constantinopolitan comparison from that era, the Great Palace mosaic (which I argued at the first BSC should be dated 694, Abstr., 1975, pp. 24-5), we find an earlier version of our figure style in which the figures move more freely and have folds of drapery less firmly organized in clusters. In our scene of the Healing of the Paralytic there is a sense of spatial detachment, even of contradiction, between the background architectural setting and the foreground figures, which seems later than the relatively coherent treatment of architectural elements in the Great Palace mosaic and in the mosaic of the Great Mosque of Damascus (705-715). For a possible late date, in both style and iconography there are interesting parallels with the Paris Gregory, but a date at the end of the ninth century would make no sense in the Roman context.

That Roman context, on the other hand, makes a date just after 787 very appealing. Davis-Weyer has pointed out that the style of our frescoes could account for a basic component of the style of the first Carolingian mosaics in Rome (Z.f.Kg. 28, 1966, 111-132, esp. 121-2). Indeed, I would go further, and claim that the painter who came from Constantinople to execute these paintings helped revivify western art in the years just after 787. By practicing with such skill the Byzantine version of the classical tradition, with its relatively naturalistic elements, he helped make possible a revival of convincing narrative art in Rome. In Italy the effect of this influence is visible in the great papal commissions of the next generation, in metalwork as well as in wall painting, and is still apparent at S. Vincenzo al Volturno two generations later. Elsewhere, in the years around 800, the effect of this influence turns up in widely separated centers, whether it be at Charlemagne's court (as in the St. Mark of the Soissons Gospels) or at the northern limit of the British Isles (in specific figures in the Book of Kells and the St. Andrews shrine), as I explained at the Dumbarton Oaks Symposium in April. A revival of this sort in the west depended on a new infusion of foreign artists and foreign models, but from the point of view of Constantinople the narrative paintings of S. Saba teach us a different lesson. They emphasize continuity in stylistic development, for they fit naturally between the works of around 700 and the works of the generation after 843. We may lose sight of Constantinopolitan art in the dark period of the iconoclastic controversy, but the S. Saba master shows that the continuing tradition could flourish again as soon as circumstances permitted.

Index of Authors and Abstracts

An author's name without a title indicates that the abstract was not received in time for publication. The title only of the paper appears on the appropriate page with other papers in its session.


Officers and Committees, 1983-84


  • President, Frank Clover
  • Vice-President, Nancy Ševčenko
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Emily Albu Hanawalt

Governing Board:

Serving to the 1987 Conference

  • Emily A. Hanawalt
  • James Morganstern
  • Robert Nelson
  • John Rosser

Serving to the 1986 Conference-

  • Dorothy Abrahamse
  • Barry Baldwin
  • Angeliki Laiou
  • Henry Maguire

Serving to the 1985 Conference-

  • Frank M. Clover
  • Nancy Ševčenko
  • Alice-Mary Talbot
  • John Wortley

Serving to the 1984 Conference-

  • Charles Brand
  • Valerie A. Caires
  • Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr.
  • Ioli Kalavrezou-Maxeiner

Those members of the Governing Board serving until the 1986 Conference constitute the Nominating Committee.

Committee on Dumbarton Oaks-

  • Annemarie Carr
  • Elizabeth Clark
  • Frank Clover, ex officio
  • Timothy Gregory
  • Kenneth Holum
  • John Rosser

Program Committee for 1984 Conference

  • Ann Epstein, Co-Chairperson
  • Kenneth Snipes, Co-Chairperson
  • Elizabeth Clark
  • Jaroslav Folda
  • Kent Rigsby
  • John Rosser

Local Arrangements Committee  for 1984 Conference

  • Martin Arbagi
  • Steven Bowman, Chairman
  • Chris Demakes
  • Eugenia Foster
  • Lowanne Jones

The Local Arrangements Committee gratefully acknowledges aid and assistance from the Office of the Vice-President and University Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Judaic Studies, and the Department of Classics of the University of Cincinnati, and the Department of History of Wright State University. Their cooperation greatly facilitated both the printing of this volume and other aspects of the Conference.

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