Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Thirteenth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
5-8 November, 1987
The Ohio State University Columbus, 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: Series 2 (1980-84, Nos. 6-10) for $20; Series 3 (1985-89, Nos. 11-15) for $30. Series 1 (1975-79, Nos. 1-5) is available only in single copies costing $6.50 each. All prices include postage. Orders must be prepaid (all checks payable to the Byzantine Studies Conference) and sent to:

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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 MARC-S

Cover illustration courtesy Hilandar Room
Gospel Lectionary copied for Prince Miroslav (1190-1200), Cyrillic














The Local Arrangements Committee gratefully acknowledges the support of the College of the Arts, the College of Humanities, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies of The Ohio State University, and the special assistance of Petar Milich.


(page numbers refer to the text preceding the number)


Anthony Cutler, Pennsylvania State University, Presiding

Rome and Constantinople: Growth of a Mystique

Alan Cameron, Columbia University

Byzantines had no doubt that Constantinople was in every sense the New Rome. Not only did it succeed Rome as administrative capital and chief city in Christendom. It was assumed that its institutions, its buildings, its iconography and its very topography had been modeled on Rome from the start.

It is in fact most improbable that Constantine had any such far-reaching intentions when he decided to expand and refound Byzantium in September 324. Much of what might be called the "Rome mystique" of Constantinople undoubtedly postdates the Gothic capture of Rome in 410. But some elements go back before this, not least the title "New Rome". Despite some skeptics, it now seems certain that this goes all the way back to 324, though it is by no means clear what the title was originally intended to signify. This paper will attempt to trace the growth and evaluate the significance of this Rome mystique in art, literature, legend and ecclesiastical propaganda during the fourth and fifth centuries.

The Evolution of Byzantine Palace Architecture

Slobodan Ćurčić

(Abstract not available at time of printing)

San Lorenzo, San Vitale, Hagia Sophia

Dale Kinney, Bryn Mawr College

S. Lorenzo, S. Vitale, and Hagia Sophia are all "double shell" buildings in which a central vault is carried like a baldachin on isolated internal supports, and the central space is surrounded by aisles and galleries curtained from it by curved or rectilinear colonnades. Depending on one's larger view of history, these similarities can be viewed as evidence of an evolutionary progress from the 4th- cen., late Roman design of S. Lorenzo to the Byzantine conceptions of S. Vitale and Hagia Sophia; less mechanistically, as individual variations on an idea that emerged in late antiquity and found definitive Byzantine expression; more radically, as evidence of the fundamental Romanness of the great architectural projects of Justinian; anarchically, as coincidence, and so forth. On the first two of these models we might expect that the design of S. Lorenzo would grow increasingly "Byzantine" as it was repeated in buildings of progressively later date.

This paper tests that expectation by investigating the repetitions and analyzing the variations in their design.

S. Lorenzo in Milan (unlike S. Vitale and Hagia Sophia) is a tetraconch. There are over 20 5th- and 6th-cen. churches of the same basic shape in Syria, the Balkans, and Egypt. Though many are poorly preserved, it is possible to observe formal sub-groupings within the larger class; one such is constituted by the tetraconchs in Athens and the Balkans (Peruûtica and Ohrid), and another by the Syrian examples in Apamea and Seleucia-Pieria. The tetraconchs in Athens, Apamea and Seleucia-Pieria all were remodeled in the 6th cen., which makes it possible to confirm the existence of trends over time. Trends important in this context are: (1) the rejection of the symmetrical, true centrality of S. Lorenzo in favor of an asymmetrical emphasis on the east side or exedra; (2) elongation along the eastwest axis leading, in the 6th cen., to quasi-basilican elevations (e.g., Resafa); (3) presumable use, in most cases, of light wooden coverings rather than masonry vaults; (4) suppression of the baldachin principle in favor of a superstructure supported at least partly by the outer walls (Athens-Balkan group; Resafa).

Observing these trends it appears that the tetraconch is not an evolutionary link between late antiquity and the baldachin domes of Justinian; for the latter we must posit another genealogy (in secular, specifically palace architecture), revival (i.e., a deliberate return to designs and technologies of the Roman past), or (the least used of art historical hypotheses) invention. At the same time the deformation of late antique design practiced in the later tetraconchs cannot be dismissed as not "Byzantine". On the contrary, this history reflects demands on ecclesiastical architecture which were conditioning factors on Byzantine church planning long after Justinian. These demands include architectural acknowledgement of the liturgical use of the building, and especially the definition of a sanctuary and a presbyterium; and the adaptability of architectural types to non- Roman, regionally variable building technologies. These requirements are recognized (and more or less effectively fulfilled) in the planning of S. Vitale and Hagia Sophia, and they contribute as much to the Byzantine character of these buildings as the desire for a floating dome.

A final inference from the analysis of the tetraconchs is the proposition that the truly centralized vaulted space was liturgically dysfunctional. 6th-cen. architects confronted and even emphasized this fact, and consequently produced designs that are in some sense paradoxical. The insistence on the central dome is novel and cannot be explained ö this study suggests ö by mechanistic models concerned only with morphological transformation.


Gary Vikan, The Walters Art Gallery, Presiding

Propaganda in the Marketplace: The Iconography of Early Byzantine Flat Weights

Gary Vikan, The Walters Art Gallery

That the consumer and tax-payer of early Byzantium thought he was being cheated÷and that, in fact, he was÷is clear from the frequency with which the procedures and equipment of the vendor and tax collector were the subject of imperial legislation. Novel 128 of Justinian, dated 545, is especially revealing:

We command those who extract public taxes to use just weights and measures .... If, nevertheless, tax-payers do feel themselves injured ... they have permission to receive the measures and weights of commodities from the Most Glorious Prefects, and the weights of gold, silver and other metals from the Most Glorious Comes Sacrarum Largitionum of the time. And these measures and weights are to be preserved in the most holy church in each city.

Yet the state did not rely solely on the authority of the Prefect and the Comes÷and the protection of the church÷to persuade its citizens of the legitimacy of transactions involving the weighing of precious metal or payment in kind. In addition, it developed a rich variety of symbols, phrases, and images which, engraved into the surface of the weights themselves, boldly proclaim their accuracy and honesty. But more than that, they clearly imply that the exchanges they sanctioned were at once reflections of the Empire's legitimacy and material contributions toward its prosperity.

This presentation will introduce Late Antique (4th-7th c.) bronze flat weights÷and their corresponding legislation-- as they bear witness to a new and distinctive category of imperial propaganda. Many show co-emperors, some, portraits and names of their issuing agents: the Prefect (calibrated in oungiai, for commodities) and the Comes (calibrated in nomismata, for coin). Personifications of the state often appear, as do evocations of the imperial hunt, and representations of the Abundance of Earth and Sea. Some among the earlier specimens are inscribed with terms for "Honesty" or "Justice" (e.g., dike), in contrast to later examples, which bear instead invocations ("Holy Mary, help") or pious phrases ("Grace of God"). Clearly, the aim at first was to imply that prosperity÷as facilitated by just weights÷was a by-product of harmonious co-rulership (the double portraits), and that rulership drew its legitimacy from the polis (the tyche) and depended on imperial virtus (the hunt). Later, when weights were consigned for safekeeping to the local church, crosses would replace personifications and portraits, and just weighing- the very integrity of the marketplace÷would be vouchsafed solely by the "Grace of God."

From Amulet to Art: The Mirror's Power

Eunice Dauterman Maguire, Krannert Art Museum

Late Roman and early Byzantine objects of daily life, such as combs, pectoral crosses, and spindle whorls, are frequently decorated with a repeated motif of a dot enclosed by concentric circles. Many of the objects decorated in this manner have survived from Egypt, but numerous examples have also been preserved from other parts of the late antique world.

While it is possible that the motif was purely decorative in some contexts, in others it may have been apotropaic in function. For example, a shrine-shaped amulet with a gabled top in the Detroit Institute of Arts has the concentric circles as its only ornamentation, which indicates that the motif itself had a protective function.

On some combs the concentric circles are used interchangeably with small circular mirrors set into the wood. The motif of a dot or small circle enclosed by concentric circles was one that was commonly used to decorate mirrors in the Roman world. It may be seen, for example, on the mirror held up for Projecta in the relief on her silver casket, and it appears on numerous surviving bronze mirrors. It may be proposed, then, that on many objects of daily life the dot in circle motif was a sign intended to represent a mirror. Mirrors had an apotropaic function in the ancient Near East, as is evidenced by the Jewish and Christian mirror plaques that have been found in fifth-century tombs. These stone plaques incorporate mirrors into gabled architectural settings.

Another design that is frequently found on circular mirrors is a ring of small circles placed around the circumference of the disk. it may not be fortuitous that a similar pattern is found decorating pilgrims' flasks from the Holy Land, on which the ring of circles encloses scenes of the life of Christ or heads of the apostles. in the case of the flasks, the contents and the mirror- like connotations of the container may have worked together to protect the owner.

A more sophisticated and visually spectacular ring of circles enframes the four Evangelists in the Rossano Gospels. Here the disks are clearly represented as reflecting surfaces. Here, too, the design may have been more than a conspicuous ornament, for it also could have been associated with the mirror's power.

Problems of Land Use and Water Supply in Late Antique Lydia

Marcus Rautman, University of Missouri-Columbia

Recent study of late antique society has focused on its urban setting. Primary objectives have included defining the structural changes the classical polis underwent during the 4th-8th centuries, and identifying how those transformations became manifest in aspects of building, art, and daily life. The contributing reasons for this epochal cultural change have been sought in bureaucratic restructuring, patterns of public patronage, economic crisis, disease, and external aggression. Relatively less attention has been directed to exploring the interaction of late antique society with its physical environment. The semiarid Mediterranean climate shared by most parts of the empire necessitated efficient management of resources. The primary importance of the empire's agrarian base is known through legislative and hagiographical sources, especially after the 6th century. Urban life in particular relied on the dependable supply of water, the provision of which numbered among the most essential public services provided by the late classical city.

The environs of Lydian Sardis offer an example of the complex ecological interrelationship of one major settlement with its rural setting. Exploration of the area by the Harvard-Cornell expedition has provided a glimpse of the environmental concerns of the city's inhabitants in late antiquity. Traditional patterns of farming favored the cultivation of annual crops on the well-watered alluvial plain at the confluence of the Pactolus and Hermus rivers, with olive orchards and vineyards located on the terraced foothills. Residential neighborhoods were established on the plain, along the Pactolus banks, and an the lower slopes of the city's acropolis. Local hydrological needs were met by one or more aqueducts that originated in the upper foothills of the Tmolus range. Public fountains and private basins located throughout the city were supplied by an extensive network of conduits and drains that expanded with the city through the 5th century.

Although this picture resembles many contemporary centers of the eastern empire, underlying the prosperity of the 5th-century city was taking place a process of environmental transformation only recently suspected. The primary evidence appears in the palynologic record of the Lydian countryside) which documents a decline in the cultivation of long-term cash crops. Apparently synchronous with this agricultural reorientation occurred a new destabilization of the regional topography, including the accelerated erosion of topsoils and steep slopes previously revetted by terrace farming. A third feature of the 5th- century ecosystem involved important changes to the urban water supply. The excavated sectors suggest that the flow of water to such public facilities as baths and fountains became increasingly constricted around this time. By A.D. 600 the supply to a number of buildings had shifted from the obsolete centralized high-pressure system to local cisterns and wells, newly installed to serve the needs of the city's reduced population.

The implications of these changes for Sardian urban history reinforce the emerging picture of serious structural problems that undermined the prosperity of the late antique city. In addition to demographic shifts, contributing factors may include marginal climatic fluctuation as well as a breakdown in classical agricultural practices. Recognition of and organized response to these changes appear to have been limited, however, and the decline of the province in the 6th and 7th centuries reflects an inability to maintain its environmental equilibrium.

Epigraphic Evidence on Eastern Mediterranean Social and Economic Life at the End of Antiquity

Frank R. Trombley, Georgetown University and Dumbarton Oaks

This paper will consider select materials pertaining to the social life and economy of the cities, smaller towns, and countryside of Syria, Palestine, Cilicia Tracheia, the Aegean coastlands, and other districts ca. 500-650 A.D. Previous studies, and most recently that of A.H.M. Jones (Later Roman Empire, 1964), have given only sparing treatment to the epigraphic evidence for these phenomena. Some sites, such as Korykos in Cilicia Tracheia, offer a large enough sample of the urban trades to permit statistical generalisation about the economic characteristics of the smaller towns. For preliminary remarks, see Ancient History Bulletin, 1 (1987) l6ff. The discussion will emphasise microeconomics (prices, wages, personal wealth), short- and long-distance shipping routes, regional economic differences, the religious and ethnic make-up of some trades (e.g. Syrian and Jewish elements), the effects of the Justinianic fiscal policy on the cities, and the question of the ruralisation of the Late Antique economy.

The basis of discussion will be the present writer's research in the epigraphic corpora, entailing the synthesis of some 3000 inscriptions, most of them funerary, but also building inscriptions. Among these collections are: CIG, MAMA, IGLS, Waddington, the fascicules of SEG, IG, ICG-As. Min. (=Gregoire), Feissel's IC-Mac?doine, S.L. Agnello's IC-Sicilia, IGL Jerusalem (ed. p. Thomsen), IG-Corinth (vols. 8.1 and 8.3), IGL-Tyre (ed. Rey-Coquais), the publications of the Princeton Syrian expedition, and so forth. The Nessana non- literary papyri will be considered, as will select hagiographic texts, including John Moschus' Pratum Spirituale, the two lives of John Eleemon, and the works of Cyril of Scythopolis. Occasional data will be drawn from Procopius' Secret History and the Justinianic laws.

The aim of the discussion will be to establish the characteristics of the period under consideration. The epigraphy often confirms A.H.M. Jones' affirmations, but sometimes permits a firmer understanding of trends, particularly with reference to the urban trades and other professions. Among the characteristics of the period, confirmable from the epigraphy, are:

1)Nonproductive Personnel: A disproportionately high percentage of public officials, soldiers, and ecclesiastics in local epigraphic samples (e.g. Korykos and Tyre), regularly some 25% of the attested professions; Even if provision is made for underrepresented groups like the urban poor, and fishermen, these figures suggest a top-heavy administrative elite divorced from the process of production.

2)Building Activity: There is a well-attested decline in the number of building inscriptions after ca. 540. This finds clear explanation in the Justinianic fiscal policy attested in Procopius' Secret History. The towns appear to be in decline by ca. 550. Inscriptions suggest that the number of artisans in the building trades made up a small percentage of the urban population. C. Mango's theory about the itinerant Isaurian stonecutters has merit for this paradigm.

3)Local Trade: There is considerable evidence for trade in foodstuffs between coastal towns and the chōra, among them Tyre with the Hauran, Myra with the Lycian hinterland, and Gaza with Nessana in the Negev desert.

4)Local Concentrations of Trades and Professions: Among the more salient examples of this phenomenon are a possible leather industry at Korykos, workers in the murex industry at Tyre, and large numbers of government officials and soldiers at, and in the hinterland of, Thessalonike, reflecting the wars and administrative apparatus of the prefecture of Illyricum.

5)Palestine: The principal industries were, in order of precedence: pilgrimage in its widest economic sense, which entailed the construction and ornamentation of churches and xenodochia, plus large donations in specie (all of which follows the paradigm of tourism almost exactly); agricultural production by smallholders; and brigandage which preyed upon the pilgrim traffic.

6)The Province of Achaea: The inscriptions of Attica, Corinth, and Phthiotic Thebes (although the samples are admittedly defec- tive) suggest the relative backwardness of the eparchy of Achaea, a fact confirmed by the Price Edict of Diocletian (301 A.D.). Some cities had local specialties: Athens had its philosophical and rhetorical schools, and Corinth the officium of the provin- cial governor, but the real basis of wealth was far and away agriculture.

7)The Syrian Diaspora: The very large number of Syrians attested in Mediterranean towns (Korykos and the Aquileia district provide good examples) reflect the large rural population posited by Tchalenko. The inscriptions, which often name the urban territorium and village of the migrant, suggest large-scale emigration because of land hunger.

8)Bullion Trades: Gold- and silversmiths had a relatively high social and economic status. Their members performed the same acts of public munificence, and could afford sarcophagi in the same nekropoleis, as government officials, bishops, and military officers, as at Laodicea Combusta.

9)Sea Lanes: Epigraphic evidence on the nautical trades is in evidence everywhere, even in the smaller towns. Hagiographic texts (e.g. the lives of John Eleemon and Moschus' anecdotes) relate their activities in detail. Some of this is confirmed by the Yassi Ada shipwreck (late 620's A.D.).


Warren Treadgold, Hillsdale College, Presiding

Discussion topics:


John Wilkinson, Catholic University, Presiding

How accurate are accounts of pilgrims in describing architectural complexes which they visited in the Holy Land? It is the purpose here to examine in some detail the literary evidence for several such sites, with particular attention to monasteries and churches as revealed by recent archaeological digs. The juxtaposition of both types of evidence, literary and archaeological, will further illuminate the interrelations between the historical reality and what the pilgrims saw and described.

The Origins of Christian Pilgrimage

John Wilkinson, Catholic University

(Abstract not available at time of printing)

Early Byzantine Architectural Complexes in the Light of Early Christian Pilgrimage

Asher Ovadiah, The Israeli Academic Center, Cairo

The area under examination is the coastal plain of Palestine where a curious phenomenon is observed during the early Byzantine period: namely, the growth of settlements in what had previously been sparsely populated regions. In many of these settlements a monastery was discovered. It appears that, though none of these sites had biblical ties, their development can be best explained as a consequence of pilgrimage. Here, the relations between monasteries, settlements and pilgrimage are traced with particular attention to recent archaeological discoveries.

Pilgrimage and its Influence on Patterns of Settlement in the Early Byzantine Period

Moshe Fisher, Tel Aviv University

Between Eusebius' Onomastikon at the beginning and Jerome's translation of it at the end of the fourth century, the historical geography of the holy places witnessed an unparalleled growth. A considerable number of places, of the precise location of which Eusebius had been unaware, were added to the map of biblical sites. Two factors appear to have exercised decisive influence over this development: monasticism and pilgrimage. The impact of both on this process and their specific contribution to the expansion of holy topography will be here examined.

Pilgrimage, Monasticism, and the Historical Geography of Eretz-1srael in the Fourth Century

Hagith S. Sivan, University of Witwatersrand

At the turn of the fourth century, when Eusebius compiled his Onomastikon, the biblical map of the Holy Land consisted mostly of sites with Jewish and pagan traditions. At the end of that century, when Jerome translated Eusebius' work, a visitor saw numerous churches and monasteries which created a predominantly Christian network of holy topography. An increasing number of pilgrims who flocked to the Holy Land in the wake of Helena, Constantine's mother, and the considerable expansion of monasticism in the area, created a need to expand and consolidate the map of Holy Land topography.

Nowhere else at that time do we witness such a phenomenal pace of Christianization in one province. Aside from imperial patronage, numerous traditions were enlisted to identify a given locality in the fourth century with its biblical antecedent. Some of these traditions can be traced back to Jewish and even pagan associations; others appear to have been pure inventions to promote tourism. A careful reading of contemporary pilgrims' accounts reveals similarities and discrepancies in the description of various sites, a result of the complexity of the process.

Three types of localities are here examined: namely, those connected with a major event in Jewish history; those linked to a major biblical figure; and a third centering on a minor OT figure which became important in Christianity. The first case brings us to the Sinai, where early monastic settlements in the peninsula and especially in the area of the present Jebel Musa (Byzantine Mt. Sinai) and Jebel Sufsafeh (Byzantine Horeb) created a geographical reality of the Exodus. In the second case, the vagueness of the biblical story prompted rival claims to the land of Job. These conflicting claims were finally settled owing to the intervention of the local monks, and the location of the winning site on a major pilgrim route. Finally, the prophetic figure of Melchisedech, so important in early Christian theology, and his city of Salem, reveal another aspect of the "precocious cartographic emergence of the Holy Land" (Le Goffe). Here even fourth century archaeology was taken into account to establish a claim to a site, when ruins of what was the supposed palace of the king were pointed out to pilgrims. Moreover, this particular case demonstrates the parting of the ways between Christian and Jewish traditions of holy topography. In flagrant contradiction of the Jewish identification of Melchisedech's Salem with Jerusalem, of which Christian theologians were fully aware, monks and pilgrims preferred to pay homage to the king on the other side of the Jordan.

The incorporation of previous traditions, the acceptance of some, the rejection of others, and the invention of yet more, brought into existence a whole map of biblical locations which made the Holy Land unique. This process, coupled with the expansion of pilgrimage and monasticism in the area, marks a turning point in the history of Eretz Israel, and its transformation from a Jewish-pagan territory into a Christian entity.


Irina Andreescu-Treadgold, Hillsdale, Michigan, Presiding

Workshop Practices in Late Antique Floor Mosaics

Ruth E. Kolarik, Colorado College

While it is commonly stated that late antique floor mosaics were manufactured by "workshops," the sources offer no information concerning the organization, composition and size of these workshops. The few mosaics with signatures usually mention only one artist, although in some cases the designer is different-tiated from the person laying the mosaic or a workshop is mentioned. This limited epigraphical evidence, the precise definition of the various crafts in the Edict of Prices, as well as workshop practices from crafts in later periods provide the basis for hypotheses concerning workshops. Historians assume that mosaics were laid by several craftsmen of varying degrees of skill working together under a master designer. It is further presumed that each "workshop" tended to have a fairly limited repertoire of patterns, to employ similar techniques, and usually to work in a limited geographical area. Using these hypotheses, it has been possible to associate floor mosaics and trace influences.

The study of specific cases often suggests, however, that the general pattern is by no means universal and consistent. The role played by clients, the use of a variety of models, and local conditions complicate the picture. Some examples from the floor mosaics of the Balkans illustrate variations on the model. The mosaics of the North Adriatic are characterized by the presence of elaborate donor inscriptions that list not only the name of the donor, but often their profession and the amount of mosaic that they paid for. Some-times the inscriptions are integrated into the overall design of the floor. In other cases, a variety of patterns are arbitrarily juxtaposed within the same floor. It seems probable that individual clients exercised some influence on the appearance of the part of the floor that they paid for.

The variety and discontinuity evident at some sites such as Stobi, suggests that workshops came and went. Either they travelled, or they were formed and dissolved according to demand, Some floors differ internally, but in other cases very similar floors were laid for different clients÷Christians and Jews, for example. At Caricin Grad, there is a discrepancy between the sophistica-tion of the subject matter÷mythological creatures like centaurs and Amazons, a good shepherd, and hunting scenes÷in a floor that is quite crude. It seems likely that a model or models unfamiliar to the workshop were used, perhaps at the suggestion of a patron.

In the mosaic of the narthex of the Large Basilica at Heraklea Lynkestis a sophisticated and icono-graphically complex model was copied precisely, although part of it was, perhaps intentionally, reversed. The border of this same mosaic, however, has irregularities in the layout and execution of the most banal ornamental designs. Evidently some irregular situation in the organization of the workshop or the need to adapt a model from another format produced misunderstandings. These examples suggest that while our assumptions about workshop practices in late antique floor mosaics can produce useful information, they cannot be assumed to be uniform and consistent.

Early Christian Sculpture Workshops: A Case Study

Ann Terry, Wittenberg University

Hundreds of architectural and liturgical sculpture fragments from the fifth and sixth centuries are preserved at Grado, a small island city just south of Aquileia. Conventional wisdom, applying a broad stylistic analysis based on the handful of fully preserved examples with figural decoration to the mass of less attractive fragments, envisions the group as a "provincial school" which reflects both a once-grand Aquileian tradition and current trends in Constantinople.

The present contribution approaches the material from a different point of view. First, an analysis of all of the surviving fragments, one which attempts to apply a more precise and objective vocabulary in identifying specific characteristics or idiosyncratic traits (method of carving relief, surface articulation, border types, selection of motifs and the interrelationship of these factors) reconsiders the traditional stylistic and chronological schema, establishing these sculptures as the production of two phases of a local/regional workshop. The second part of the paper examines the sculpture from a broader perspective, reassessing its position with respect to contemporary examples both at other provincial sites in the Upper Adriatic and larger metropolitan centers of production.

The Question of Ivory "Workshops"

Anthony Cutler, Pennsylvania State University

(Abstract not available at time of printing)

The Blank Page and Iconographic Invention

Nancy P. Ševčenko, University of Massachusetts, Boston

The artist of a Middle Byzantine manuscript was often quite dependent on the nature of the spaces left at his disposal by the scribe. They could affect his final composition. John Lowden and Jeffrey Anderson have revealed in separate studies how the size and location of various spaces left blank by scribes of the Octateuchs determined how the artists reshaped their models. If the new manuscript had a different format from the original, or a couple of inserted texts, the artist could find himself faced with unexpected spaces to adorn, and forced to improvise.

This paper deals with some maverick manuscripts from the Middle Byzantine period, and tries in each case to determine how the page of parchment must have looked when it was first handed to the artist, and how his response to the challenge led to iconographic innovation. Given the task of filling the spaces inexorably reserved by the scribe before the beginning of each text in the volume, artists of this time fabricated compositions which so perfectly match the traditional ones elsewhere in the manuscript that we tend to overlook their innovation. Once we approach manuscripts in this way, we discover other factors of potential importance for the final composition, such as the rulings in the area the artist was to paint, the margins made available to him, or the content of the very opening lines of the text. The chosen format for the entire volume or series of volumes, then, could have a decisive influence on each individual illustration, and should not be ignored in any assessment of its miniatures.

The Eleventh-Century Mosaic Workshop at Torcello

Irina Andreescu-Treadgold, Hillsdale, Michigan

The Torcello mosaics that originally date from the eleventh century, because of their vast expanse and very high quality÷ranking with the best contemporary decoration preserved in Constantinople, Greece, or Kiev÷ provide an excellent case for studying the methods of a Byzantine workshop. Together with an understanding of the patrons' demands for ideological changes in the traditional iconography, close scrutiny of the mosaics when they were consolidated and surveyed for publication has illuminated many of the problems of composition and execution that the workshop faced. This study has shown from different kinds of typological evidence how the composition copied from a different building to a less suitable architectural context, fitted into Byzantine iconography

Western and local elements requested by the patrons, corrected mistakes in layout midway through a composition by expanding or contracting a scene, executed the work in a set vertical and horizontal sequence, assigned the work loads, and compensated for the lack of necessary standard materials.


Ihor Ševčenko, Harvard University, Presiding

Themistius and Other Missing Persons in Eunapius, Lives of Philosophers and Sophists

Robert J. Penella, Fordham University

It has long been noted with interest that Themistius was given no biography in Eunapius's Lives of Philosophers and Sophists (399/400 A.D.) - in fact, he is not even mentioned in that work. His omission there has been thought deliberate and significant: closely connected with the throne and Constantinople, accommodating towards Christianity and "barbarism," and given to a practical and socially useful philosophizing, Themistius stood for everything Eunapius opposed. This understanding of Themistius's omission from the Lives needs some qualification, and attention needs to be drawn to other persons lacking biographies in that work:

(1) Eunapius's Lives is not a randomly picked gallery of men of learning. It will be shown (with the help of a handout) that Eunapius's philosophers (like his sophists) form a stemmatically and professionally interconnected group. Eunapius features Iamblichan Neoplatonists. Themistius, whom Eunapius would have classed as a philosopher, was not an Iamblichan Neoplatonist and apparently had no significant professional ties with the philosophers who are treated by Eunapius. In light of all this, it is not surprising that he does not appear in the Lives.

(2) Significant omissions from the Lives are the philosophers Euphrasius, Theodorus of Asine, and Eusebius of Myndus, the rhetor Tuscianus of Lydia, and the sometime rhetor Musonius. Eunapius mentions them with praise in the Lives yet does not provide biographies of them, even though he does provide÷biographies of the teachers and some of the distinguished fellow pupils of all of them except Musonius and does give sketches of other members of Musonius's one-time milieu (i.e., the rhetorical schools of Athens). I contend that Theodorus and Eusebius were not given biographies because, as we know, they deviated from Iamblichan Neoplatonism; Euphrasius may lack a biography for the same reason. Tuscianus and Musonius were not given biographies because they entered the imperial civil service, a career choice that Eunapius did not wish to put on display in the "academic" Lives.

(3) The absence of biographies of Euphrasius, Theodorus, Eusebius, Tuscianus and Musonius in the Lives is worth remarking: these men were denied biographies despite having a "prosopographical claim" to them, i.e., despite being in the teacher-pupil lines or professional circles that claim Eunapius's attention. Though Themistius and Eunapius were ideologically opposed (and Themistius's non-adherence to Iamblichan Neoplatonism and his identification with the Roman order were important factors in that opposition) and Eunapius would not have wanted to include him in the Lives, there was never any prosopographical imperative to include him in the first place. Themistius's absence from the Lives strikes us as more glaring and inappropriate than it is simply because we regard him as such an important late ancient figure.

Leo, Son of Leo I and Verina

Frank M. Clover, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In Late Antiquity the Houses of Theodosius and Justinian were among the most successful and long-lasting. Between the demise of the former (around A.D. 450- 470) and the beginning of the latter (around A.D. 520) stands an awkward interval during which two Emperors, Leo I and Anastasius I (regnabant 457-474, 491-518), attempted to build dynasties. The efforts of Leo were less successful than those of Anastasius. The usurpation of Leo's brother-in-law Basiliscus and the unpopular reign of his son-in-law Zeno brought the House of Leo to an untimely end.

Leo and his wife, the Empress Verina, might have succeeded in establishing a great lineage if their son had lived beyond infancy. The evidence of this son is slight. The Life of Saint Daniel the Stylite places his birth between events which occurred in 461 and 465 respectively. A horoscope in the Codex parisinus graecus 2506, folio 25v, predicts the death of this infant at the age of 5 1/6 months. The accompanying chronological and horoscopic computations set the date of death around 30 September 463, right in the center of the Life of Daniel's four-year span. Neither the Life of Daniel nor the horoscope indicates the name of the infant, and he remains anonymous in the most recent scholarly discussions of Leo's family (cf. Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, II, Stemma 7; and G. Dagron, Analecta Bollandiana 1982).

I want to introduce new evidence which will enable the modern observer to give the infant a name, and perhaps to identify his imperial rank. The testimony is that of the sixth-century Oracle of Baalbek, lines 140-144. The passage in question is part of a prophecy-after-the-fact against an emperor with the name of a beast. Scylla, the beast's wife, will bear two wombs, and one of these will give birth to a son who will bear his father's name and sit (i.e., rule) with him. In his edition of the Oracle (Dumbarton Oaks, 1967), Paul Alexander identified the beast-emperor, Scylla, the fertile womb and the homonymous offspring as the Leo I, Verina, daughter Ariadna (wife of Zeno), and Leo II (Caesar in 473 and then Augustus, with Leo I, in 474). I think Alexander's interpretation is on the whole correct, but the text of the oracle requires a modification of his identification of the offspring. Lines 142 and 143 of the Oracle specify twice that the offspring of the fertile womb will bear the name of his father. Leo II was the grandson of Leo I. I think the best way to interpret this statement is posit the Oracle's confusion of two Leos, the son of Leo I and Verina, and the son of Ariadne and Zeno. Can the modern critic (from the same passage in the Oracle) argue that Leo, son of Leo I and Verina, was born into the purple?

I want to discuss this problem at some length. At this writing I think there is a tenuous possibility that when Leo I made Leo II Caesar in 473, he was following a dynastic plan conceived ten years earlier upon the birth of his son.

Reading John Malalas: Pleasures and Profits

Barry Baldwin, University of Calgary

Malalas as a growth industry may sound implausible. Yet the recent appearance of a translation of him from Australia along with the promise of a commentary and a volume of Studies, also the projected new text in the CFHB series by I. Thurn, constitute a relative boom. A good time, then, for taking stock and reconsidering the work of the much-maligned John Malalas. Hence, the present proposed paper.

First, a brief survey of the scope of his work, both content and chronology. Malalas is generally considered to have set the tone for Byzantine chroniclers: to what extent was he actually original or traditional in these regards.

Then a look at his sources. Not a futile hunt for lost Quellen, but some exploration of the many named and (to us) obscure authorities. Who, e.g., was the "most learned Domninos"?

Malalas is nowadays most notorious for his many absurd errors. One cannot help having a soft spot for a man who puts Polybius before Herodotus chronologically, and who has Vitellius rule for 9 years or Nero die of illness at the age of 69! Other such jewels will be displayed. But this is more than a contemptuous listing of nonsenses. As A.J.P. Taylor once remarked, "Error is fertile, perfection sterile." On this reckoning, Malalas is one of the world's greatest historians' What has to be faced (it rarely has been) is how to reconcile this frequent rubbish with the fact that Malalas was a professional scholar. How disconcerting is this for the general quality of Byzantine information about the past? Also very much to the point, how on earth could Malalas, given the general perceptions of the 6th century, possibly praise (as he does) Caligula, Nero, and Domitian (this last especially notable in view of Procopius' treatment)?

On the credit side, careful reading of Malalas shows that he has a not always appreciated eye for telling detail and even niceties of style. Some choice items will be spotlighted to show how valuable he can be for such things as social history and Byzantine appreciation of Latin.

Finally, some special attention will be paid to Book 18, on the reign of Justinian. Select items with wider ramifications include his accounts of charioteers, religious beliefs and the teaching of law at Athens. In general terms, it needs to be borne in mind that there can be perhaps significant discrepancies between the various textual traditions (Greek and Slavonic, notably), and some pertinent cases will be adduced.

Overall, the proposed paper is not a whitewash job. However, it does urge that Malalas merits a cooler and more sympathetic look than he has usually received. His follies are not to be shuffled to one side; indeed, they are in themselves sometimes instructive of wider Byzantine matters. There are compensatory virtues and those who mine him will find more than fool's gold.

The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Pesyntheus: Coptic Protest Under Islamic Rule,

Leslie S. B. MacCoull, Society for Coptic Archaeology

At the Third International Congress of Coptic Studies in Warsaw in 1984, J. Martinez called attention to the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Pesyntheus as being a typical production of Egyptian apocalyptic, a genre of protest writing brought into being by the Arab conquest of Byzantine Egypt. In this text, preserved in Arabic but from a Coptic original, Martinez particularly noticed the literary device of the scene of competing liturgies staged between Monophysite and Chalcedonian prelates as emphasizing Monophysite/Coptic hopes for vindication. The principal witness to the text of the Apocalypse is an Ottoman-period MS. written in Egypt and now in Paris; the earlier transmission of the work, and its rendering from Coptic into Arabic, remain matters for speculation. But there are further features of this text that may serve as pointers to its date of composition and the historical situation that gave rise to it. Among the historical data mentioned by the writer of the Apocalypse are the building of new Arab palaces near Babylon (Fustat); the exaction of a tax of one-tenth on trade by non-Moslems; a plague pandemic; and the use of the name of Mohammed on the coinage. It would seem reasonable to connect these topoi with actual events surrounding the replacement of Umayyad by Abbasid rule in A.D. 750. In view of the Coptic revolts against Abbasid rule that broke out in the 760s, it can be suggested that the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Pesyntheus, with its message of the eventual deliverance of Egypt's Christians at the hands of the emperor of Byzantium (Rum), put into the prophetic mouth of a revered Coptic holy man of the seventh century, was composed by an unknown Coptic writer in the late eighth century to express the grievances of the Coptic community under a new and more militant Islamic regime.

Photius on Josephus

Michael Maas, Rice University

Photius' Bibliotheca contains three separate hypotheses of Josephus' works (no. 47 on the Jewish Wars, and nos. 76 and 238 on the Antiquities). Since Josephus' works survive independently, a close comparison of them with the Photian hypotheses can provide useful information about Photius' methods and interests as an editor. Recent monographs of HSˇgg and Treadgold have not addressed Photius' treatment of Josephus in detail, and the brief study by Bouquet (JThS 36, 1935) is now out of date. Photius' own concerns emerge forcefully from his treatment of Josephus. In particular, no. 76 demonstrates his interest in the proper relationship of secular and ecclesiastical authority and in the office of the High Priest itself. Methods of accession to power and transfer of authority in the High Priesthood and Kingship receive primary attention, and Photius does not hesitate to express strong opinions on the subject. Such issues are intriguing in light of his own career in the Patriarchate. Photius highlights connections between Christian present and Jewish antiquity. He displays in these hypotheses little interest in the pagan Roman past, and seems more comfortable in tracing connections with Jewish institutions than with Roman imperium. Contemporary issues largely determined in his choice of material from Josephus. Photius shows little concern for the cohesiveness of the original source or the integrity of its narrative. His summarizing violates the structure, purpose, and orientation of Josephus. There is little room in such a summary, almost an encyclopedia entry, for discussion of historical cause and effect. These hypotheses show Photius as an editor, working from notes or from manuscripts on his desk. Hypothesis 238, for example, in part overlaps no. 76 on the subject of the high priesthood. Since the overlapping portions derived from different manuscripts (Niese, ed. Antiquities, vol 3, p. L), Josephus must have written them at different times when different manuscripts were in front of him.

On the Afterlife of Italo-Greek Saints Lives in Post-Byzantine Italy

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

Hagiographical texts are most often read by modern scholars for their content, as sources for social history, asceticism, or the concept of sanctity. Increasingly, they are also studied as hagiographical compositions in their own right, with an intent to evaluate the author's method and purposes in writing, as well as his sources and style. A third dimension is equally important for a full understanding of any saints' life: appreciation of how the text was read and used by its medieval audience in the generations after its composition. Who read or copied a hagiographical text and why? Did the vita form part of a continuing cult of the saint ? Did the text, as opposed to oral legend or liturgical references, play a part in an on-going commemoration of the saint? Were these texts, indeed, read at all between their composition and the renewal of interest in Italo-Greek saints in the sixteenth century?

Although the dispersion of Byzantine manuscripts means that these questions can almost never be answered fully, some exploration of the uses of texts is possible. This paper analyzes the nachleben of lives of tenth and eleventh century Italo-Greek saints in southern Italy and Sicily between the Norman conquest and the late middle ages, using the vitae of Elias the Younger and Elias the Speliot as a case study. The texts and traditions of Italo-Greek saints offer considerable challenges. As late and provincial compositions, they survive in few manuscripts and were not included in standard menologia. Many of the lives owe their survival to their inclusion in a single manuscript, the menologion of Messina (Mesa. 29-30) of 1308. Others are preserved only in Latin translations of the middle ages or Renaissance. Some outlines of the use of the text and its role in the commemoration of the saint, however, may still be recovered.

A first source for continued knowledge of the texts may be found in subsequent hagiographical literature, where earlier saints and their cults are referred to; although some texts of the eleventh and twelfth century suggest only knowledge of the saint's cult or reputation, at least one demonstrates reading of the vita itself. Similar evidence may be found in hymns composed for some of these saints, where the texts of their lives are quoted directly or indirectly. However, these same hymns also demonstrate a gulf between the hymnographer and his original source, for the material used often demonstrates a partial or superficial reading of the text. Further evidence for continued devotion to the saint (or its absence) will be sought in synaxaria, other liturgical texts from southern Italy, and the manuscript traditions themselves. The analysis suggests that in the later middle ages, tenth and eleventh century saints were little remembered and less read about in Greek monasteries in southern Italy, and that modern devotion to their cults stems more from the seventeenth century revival of interest in their vitae than continuous devotion. The factors that led medieval audiences to copy or read these texts will be suggested as an important corrective to our modern judgment of their historical and literary value.

George Sphrantzes in Ubertino Pusculo

Marios Philippides, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

George Sphrantzes (1401-1477), the well-known historian of the authentic Chronicon Minus, as well as the Prōtobestiaritēs and (unofficial) Megas Logothetēs of the last Greek emperor of Constantinople, Constantine XI Dragaû-Palaeologus (1448-1453), has provided very few details about his own life in his work. Beyond his narrative, very little can be gathered about Sphrantzes' life, as no official documents bearing his signature or seal have survived. Moreover, this important courtier of Byzantine Constantinople is not mentioned by the other major or minor Greek historians of the Quattrocento. Thus Sphrantzes is absent in Syropoulos' Apomnēmoneumata, in Laonikos Khalkokondyles' Historiarum Demonstrationes, in Doukas' Historia Turco-Byzantina, and in Kritoboulos' Historiae. Furthermore, the standard western accounts of the fall of Constantinople to Mehmed II Fatih fail to mention this important personality and his role during the siege of 1453: Barbaro, Tetaldi, Riccherio, Benvenuto, Leonard, and Isidore. Perhaps this significant omission can be attributed to the fact that Sphrantzes himself, as it is abundantly clear in the authentic Minus, was a professional diplomat, who believed in the "low key" approach, in stark contrast to such notorious figures as the controversial Megas Doux, Loukas Notaras, or the irascible and unpredictable George Scholarius-Gennadius II. The fact that westerners also overlooked Sphrantzes, with one major exception to be discussed in this paper, can perhaps be attributed to Sphrantzes' inactive role in the defense of Constantinople in 1453, as he was indeed among the non-combatants. His "low key" approach seems to have been successful, as he indeed managed to make no impression on most foreign residents who left accounts of these events.

There may be one exception to this point, as the Slavonic text of Nestor- Iskander does mention a nameless Byzantine "Chancellor," who may be George Sphrantzes himself. But the Povest' o Tsaregrade may equally refer to someone else in the court, such as Theophilus Paeologus or even Theodoros Karystenos.1

Sphrantzes does appear, nevertheless, in the neglected epic poem on the fall of Constantinople by Ubertino Pusculo, an eyewitness survivor of the sack from Brescia, who published his version of the events in Latin hexameters; his composition is entitled Constantinopoleos libri quattor.2 This paper will examine the appearances of Sphrantzes in this poem of the Italian humanist and will attempt to reappraise the role of this courtier in the siege of 1453. After all, this is the only surviving document to treat the personality of Sphrantzes in extenso. Modern scholarship, in general, has neglected this poem and has never taken notice of the fact that Sphrantzes does play part in the narrative. He is even assigned a short speech. We are further treated to a physical description of the historian, which amounts to the only portrait that we have of this important author. It further becomes evident that Pusculo must have been close to the Constantinopolitan court, since he was aware of the importance of Sphrantzes in the Palaeologan administration. It thus becomes more than likely that Pusculo knew Sphrantzes personally.

As an important by-product of this study, one can now establish the proper form of Sphrantzes' name with a degree of confidence. A great deal of ink has been spilled over this matter in the twentieth century and some scholars still sup- port the erroneous view that the proper form of this name is "Phrantzes" and not "Sphrantzes."3 Such speculation can come to an end, as Pusculo's manuscripts re- port the name as "Sphrancius," and not as *"Phrancius," showing unambiguously that in the fifteenth century this name was pronounced "Sphrantzes." Thus this paper will also establish the proper form of the historian's name, putting an old contro- versy to rest.

1For a new edition with English translation, cf. W. K. Hanak and M. Philippides, Nestor-Iskander, The Tale of Constantinople (of its Origin and Capture in the Year 1453): The Troitso-Sergievaia Lavra Ms. No. 773, forthcoming.

2I have followed the old edition in A. Ellissen, Analekten der mittel- und neugriechischen Literatur (Leipzig 1857); for a new edition in preparation, cf. M. J. McGann, Respublica Litterarum 7 (1984), 37-54.

3Cf,, among others, V. Laurent, "Sphrantzēs et non Phrantzēs," BZ 44 (1951), 374-376; idem, "Sphrantzs et non Phrantzs. A nouveaux!," REB 9 (1951), 170, 171; and P. Ş. Năsturel, T?moignages roumains sur les formes Sphrantz?s et Phrantz?s," REB 19 (1961), 441-443. More recently, cf. I. Tsaras, "Sphrantzēs, Phialitēs ē Phrantzēs," Byzantina 9 (1977), 123-139; C. Maltezou, "Prosographika Byzantinēs Peloponnēsou kai Xenokratoumenou Hellēnikou Chōrou (me aphormē ton phakelo Foscari tēs Benetias)," Symmeikta 5 (1983), 16; and D. Nastase, "Les dŽbuts de la communautŽ oecumŽnique du Mont Athos," Symmeikta 6 (1985), 297-299.


Thalia Gouma-Peterson, College of Wooster, Presiding

The Gold Marriage Belt at Dumbarton Oaks

Linda Moskeland Fuchs, University of Illinois

It is the aim of this paper to elucidate the iconography of the gold marriage belt at Dumbarton Oaks and to present a hypothesis for its dating and attribution.

The body of the belt depicts figures associated with the Greco-Roman pantheon. Six different busts are repeated with varying frequency on a total of twenty-one medalets. Mercury is readily identifiable by the wings in his hair and caduceus which he bears. Full-bearded Apollo, with sun- rays in his hair, also carries a caduceus. The other four male figures are Dionysiac types of various ages: The youngest wears a fruitless headdress of ivy and grape leaves; he carries no attributes. The second age is shown with grapevine leaves projecting from the sides of a band across his forehead, grapes hanging from the lower parts of the coiffure, and a conspicuously beaded staff. The next oldest Dionysiac type, with a stippled suggestion of beard growth, wears a headdress more heavily laden with bunches of grapes and has a faintly beaded staff . The baldness of the full-bearded, eldest Dionysiac figure is partly concealed by a scant ivy-vine crown; he carries what appears to be a drinking bowl in one hand and supports what is probably a wineskin on the opposite shoulder.

The imagery of the medalets provides clues f or the identification of the couple whose marriage is blessed by Christ on the pseudomedallions. The pseudomedallions are patterned after Roman imperial medallions inscribed CONCORDIA, which display a standing bridal couple joining hands before a pronubus figure. A wedding solidus of Marcian and Pulcheria, the first depiction on numismatic material of Christ as pronubus, provides a terminus post quem of A.D. 450. The beaded staff of an angel or victory figure on the reverse of sohdi (which appears throughout the fif th and early sixth centuries) is replaced by a smooth staff during Justinian's reign. Beaded staffs held by two Dionysiac types on the belt suggest A.D. 565 as terminus ante quem.

The bride on the belt wears a diadem; the groom, however, wears no imperial accoutrements with his military chlamys. Only two legitimate imperial princesses lived in the eastern half of the Roman Empire between A.D. 450 and A.D. 565: Ariadne and Leontia, who both married military men during the reign of their father Leo I.

A pendant necklace at Dumbarton Oaks depicts Anastasius on the obverse and Dionysus on the reverse of its pseudomedallion; mounted at the clasp are solidi of Zeno and Anastasius, both husbands of Ariadne. This necklace, probably made for Ariadne (namesake of the spouse of Dionysus), contains stylistic parallels to the belt (e.g.Dionysiac staff, grape leaves, figure style). It seems likely, therefore, that the belt (zōnē), with its Dionysiac imagery, was also made for Ariadne. Since the bridegroom on the belt is young, probably the first marriage (to Zeno) is shown, dating the belt between A.D. 466 and May 468.

Parallels with contemporary literature show that the Greco-Roman busts on the marriage belt÷ Mercury, Apollo, and four ages of male Dionysiac figures (or of Dionysus, explainable by Macrobius, Saturnalia 1. 18. 9-10)÷are part of a visual epithalamium.

Image and Legend: A Study in the Meaning of Gold Glass Representations of Peter and Paul

Stephen R. Zwirn, Dumbarton Oaks

Numerous examples of gold glass medallions with a variety of images of Peter and Paul survive from the second half of the fourth century. There have been some recent studies in which these medallions are considered as a coherent group and interpreted as visual counterparts to texts stressing the ideal of a concordia apostolorum.

I propose other, contemporary comparisons to the gold glass medallion images to clarify their meanings. The comparisons are selected from dated numismatic material, and provide striking formal analogies to the Peter and Paul images. The coins will be surveyed in terms of the occasions for which they were issued, as well as the messages they broadcast through their legends. The evaluation of these comparisons will reveal that the gold glass images of Peter and Paul did not serve a unitary ideal of concordia apostolorum, but conveyed a wider range of meanings integral to this stage in the ideological and institutional growth of the Roman church.

Perhaps under direct ecclesiastical patronage, the gold glass objects were distributable commodities, through which the Roman church could promote its claim to a sphere of influence coextensive with the state. Most of the gold glass medallions do not carry legends; however, the association between image and legend on the coins, naming time-honored Roman concepts such as Felicitas, Gloria and Victoria was transferred to the glass along with the adaptation of the imperial iconographical formulae to the apostolic patrons of the Roman church. The meaning of each image may have became more generalized in this process, but, in concert with other contemporary developments, the images would express those themes being used to validate the growing status of the new ecclesiastical establishment.

The Mantle of Earth

Henry Maguire, University of Illinois

In 39 A.D. Queen Kypros sent the Emperor Gaius a textile which was a "perfect copy of the harvest-bearing earth, all that the land encircling ocean girdles ... and the grey sea too. " (Anthologia Palatina 9.778) This gift must have rendered pictorially a common concept of Roman cosmography, the notion that the inhabited earth was surrounded, like an island, by a continuous sea. While the weaving sent to Gaius no longer survives, there are several textiles with this subject extant from the Byzantine period; one of these textiles is well known, but the others are hitherto either unpublished or unidentified.

The known piece is a silk of the sixth or seventh century from the coffin of St. Cuthbert at Durham. It was woven with repeated medallions each enclosing the frontal figure of a woman shown half length, richly dressed, holding a scarf filled with fruits, and rising from waves in which fish and ducks were swimming. By analogies with inscribed floor mosaics (Church of the Priest John at Knirbat al-Makh5yyat; Dumetios Basilica at Nikopolis), this personification can be identified as Earth rising from the midst of the ocean with its creatures. In addition to the Durham silk, there are other, previously unrecognized textiles which portray Earth surrounded by the ocean. For example, a square panel of tapestry weave in the Field Museum of Chicago (no. 173888) shows the frontal bust of a richly dressed woman encircled by water creatures and plants. A piece of tapestry weave in the Cleveland Museum of Art (no. 73.21) contains an abstracted version of this design repeated several times within a segmentum and a gammadion, which may have decorated the lower border of a tunic. A square of tapestry in the Louvre (no. 4736) depicts a richly attired woman who receives offerings of vases filled with fruit, like the personifications of Earth depicted on certain floor mosaics (Churches of St. George and of the Priest John at Khirbat al-Makhāyyat, Jordan). To such examples can be added other Egyptian textiles which may be more tentatively identified as portraying personifications of Earth.

The personification of Earth was as much at home in the decoration of domestic textiles as she was on the floors of churches. Whether she was repeated as a charm on a garment or laid out on the floor of a sacred building, the portrayal of Earth, richly adorned and framed by water, held out the promise of plenty in arid lands.

The Witness of John the Baptist on an Early Byzantine Icon in Kiev

Kathleen Corrigan, Dartmouth College

In this paper I will argue that the icon of John the Baptist in Kiev, which has previously been dated to the sixth or even the late fifth century, should be seen as a product of anti-Monophysite thinking of the seventh century. The icon, in which John is shown pointing to an image of Christ and holding a scroll with an inscription from John 1:29, reflects the point of view ultimately expressed in Canon 82 of the Council of 692 in Trullo: "On some venerable images is depicted a lamb at whom the Forerunner points with his finger .... We decree that [the figure of] the Lamb, Christ our God, who removes the sins of the world, should henceforward be set up in human form on images also, in place of the ancient lamb·".

An analysis of the development of John the Baptist iconography and the role of John the Baptist in religious writings of the period will serve to support the thesis that the icon was produced some time in the seventh century, perhaps in Palestine. Through this analysis I will also attempt to define what such an image of John the Baptist would have meant to a seventh-century audience, and in particular to members of the Council of 692 who demanded that it replace the rejected image of the Baptist pointing to the lamb.

The Canon itself indicates that the Council's actions were prompted in part by the desire to emphasize Christ's human nature, which is hardly surprising given the focus of the theological controversies of the seventh century. The Canon also stresses the importance of physical experience for an understanding of the union of Christ's human and divine natures,

Representations of John the Baptist in the written and visual sources of the period indicate that he had come to serve as a primary witness not only to Christ's divinity, but to his humanity as well. And, it is his physical experience of Christ that is often emphasized. Thus, an icon of John the Baptist pointing to Christ in human form was a perfect vehicle for expressing the belief in the reality of Christ's human nature.

It is also significant that Christ is represented on the Kiev panel in a medallion image, which had come to signify, more than any other form, the icon of Christ, John the Baptist, by his gestures, bears witness to the reality of the Incarnation on which the authority of Christ's image is based. Thus the image on the Kiev icon could have been understood in part as an implicit defense of the veneration of icons, which was already being called into question. In a sense it provided the justification of its own existence.


Alice-Mary Talbot, Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Presiding

Martyrdom Male and Female: Reconsidering Hagiographical Imagery

Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University

Violence provided a significant foundation for Christianity's emergence as a religion. The crucifixion and resurrection as the decisive moments for the gospel message, and the subsequent mirroring of those events in the experience of persecution and martyrdom for the early church, forced an encounter with life dependent on a violent encounter with death. The literary expression of this paradox was profoundly articulated in the stylized form of the martyr's passion. My concern in this paper is to consider a particular literary motif from early Christian martyrs' passions of the second through sixth centuries÷the motif of torture, and then to consider one particular appearance of this motif: the sexual torture of women. Correlation of this motif with parallel images of sexuality from early hagiography of the same period will help us to clarify the issues at hand. While my concern is the literary function of torture within the frame of narrative, torture also provides a sharp view to the intersection of story and historical event in these texts.

The violence of torture is the sine qua non of the martyr's story. In these texts a religious motive is present in the literary depiction of violence: the battle between good and evil is here at work. For literarily the violence is such that it moves all participants beyond the realm of humanity. In the stories' view, no human could endure such torture, but neither could a human inflict such torture. The martyr displays the holy power of God through superhuman endurance, while the persecutors have descended beyond the ranks of human sin.

Fundamentally the martyr recapitulates the drama of salvation. Hence the stories emphasize the theme of reversals: death becomes life, defeat becomes triumph. The martyr's activity reverses the reality of sin. In the larger context of martyrs' passions, torture functions literarily to polarize the story into extremes of good and evil, strength and weakness. These extremes are then reversed: torture strengthens rather than weakens the victim, torture enables God's word to be spoken rather than silenced.

However, we have a specific group of texts within this context: those of women martyrs who suffer torture of a specifically sexual nature, from sexual harassment to sexual mutilation. Whether or not this actually happened, as a literary motif we have no equivalent in the passions about men. The use of women's sexuality as a religious symbol for the poles of perdition and purity (the harlot and the virgin, Eve and Mary) is common in early Christian literature. This treatment works in the martyrs' stories to represent another reversal. Normally the source of sin, in the instance of martyrdom by sexual torture women's bodies become the source of salvation. Moreover, because these are stories about women rather than men, they reveal with particular force what our writers see as the astonishing greatness of God's victory over Satan. Deserving God's grace less than men by virtue of gender alone, women here display it all the more.

Where Have All the Arians Gone?

John V. A. Fine, Jr., University of Michigan

Byzantinists and Church historians have long presented the following unquestioned but hard-to-believe picture: The empire in the fourth century was in ferment over the Arian dispute; still late in the century it remained a hot issue, even among lower class individuals in the market. During the long reigns of Constantius (337-61) and Valens (364-78) Arianism (in one form or another) was favored and, though stoutly opposed, came to be the faith of the overwhelming majority in such major cities as Antioch and Constantinople. Then in 378 along came Theodosius I, who against the Arians issued a series of edicts and called the Second Ecumenical council (Constantinople, 381); so, by the end of his reign, in 395, Arianism had ceased to be an issue in the empire÷except among the Goths. some scholars even speak of the faith's demise during his reign. First we must determine whether support for Arianism declined as rapidly as most think? And if that be the case, then we must examine the puzzling question, of why it should have been so. After all, the Nicene faith survived under Arian Emperors.

In examining the question I considered the various assumptions scholars have regularly held. (1) Were the Arians really as numerous in Constantinople, Antioch, and elsewhere in the East as Sozomen and Gregory Nazianzus report? My paper concludes that this was the case. (2) Were the average citizens really as excited about matters as Gregory of Nyssa reports? Besides his famous statement about theological responses to changing money and buying bread, he elsewhere reports that schools of medicine resounded with disputes on the question. And as late as the patriarchate of John Chrysostom (398-404), the Arians could put crowds together for processions and riots. However, even if some townsmen were excited, the majority of common people could have been relatively indifferent and ready to follow the views of any priest who preached in their local church. That the two Gregorys emphasize the importance for their cause of capable Nicene leaders suggests they felt Arian believers were not intransigent. And when Gregory Nazianzus derogatorily accused the Arian Eudoxius of "collecting congregations," he implies Eudoxius was winning over priests (or getting his priests into churches) and the congregations just went along. Thus this question is harder to answer. (3) Did Arian numbers really decline as rapidly as we have been led to believe? This is doubtful, and in the Church historians÷Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret÷we find many references to Arians active into the late 420s, though for some reason scholars have ignored this information, Timothy Gregory being a notable exception. (4) To what degree were imperial edicts against Arians actually enforced? The contemporary Church historians clearly state that though the Arians lost their churches inside cities, they continued to hold services beyond the walls; moreover they report that edicts against Arians as individuals were not enforced.

That individuals were rarely bothered facilitated Arianism's survival for several decades. What seems to have done Arianism in during that period was a lack of charismatic Arian leaders, the fact Theodosius I and his successors were all Nicenes, and the fact that the Arians had split into various sects, bickering among themselves, which weakened them as a party. As Sozomen writes: "Owing to the disputes which had arisen among the Arians and Eunomians, these heretics daily diminished in number. Many of them in reflecting upon the diversity of sentiments which prevailed among those of their persuasion judged that the truth of God could not be present with them and went over to those who held the same faith as the emperor" (VIII, 1).

Thus the demise of Arianism seems, as one might expect in the absence of direct persecution, to have been a gradual process. And by 428, when we find Nestorius initiating action against them in Constantinople÷some 48 years after Theodosius' edicts and council÷, the generation of Arians from 378 was dead, and those of their descendants who had not drifted away were few in number and divided among competing sects. That they did not last much beyond 428 is hardly strange, but that they survived that long (with gradually declining numbers), as can be documented, is just what we should expect and far more plausible than the picture we usually see.

Italo-Greek Monastic Typika in Byzantine Italy

David Hester, Saint Mary's Seminary and University

For the monasticism of the Italo-Greeks during the centuries of Byzantine rule there are no surviving monastic typika. This does not mean that Italo-Greek monasticism did not have rules for its monks. To discover these rules, however, one must turn to the Bioi of monastic saints and to Spiritual Testaments.

In various Italo-Greek Bioi, mention is made of monastic rules. Elias the Speleot (+c.960) tells his disciples: Hodou tou monathikou biou mē enklinēte. (#74) Neilos of Rossano (+1004) praises the monks of Monte Cassino epi tēi eutaeia kai pepaideumenēi katastasei autōn(#73). Philaret of Seminara (+c.1070) is noted for non tabulas lapideas ferens, sed optimas monastici instituti leges in corrde descriptas gestas.(#34) Saint Bartholomew of Simeri (+1130) kai autos tous askētikous kanonas kai typous ekpaideuein toutous akribōs espoudazeto. (#18)

An indication of the composition of these canons and rules is found in the bios of Sabas the Younger where Sabas (+c.990) tells his monks phylattein te ton kanona aparasaleuton, kai tas entolas autou atropous diatērein. (#48) One notes here two components to monastic rules: the mandates personally given to monks by their elder and a rule in addition to the elder.

The first is seen in the bios of Bartholomew the Younger when a monk is told by Bartholomew (+c.1055) in a vision: Hypostrephe eis to monastērion, kai eipe tois adelphois emmenein tēi paradosei hēi paredōka autois.(#20) These personal mandates have at their heart a strong emphasis an personal obedience to the will of one's elder.

The second is found in the precepts of monastic Fathers, particularly Basil the Great. Basil is the primary legislator for monastic life in the Italo-Greek world of this period. In the bioi, there are references to Basil's monastic rules. Bitalios of Castronovo (+994) tells his monks: Traditiones et praecepta sanctorum Patrum, Basilii scilicet et aliorum, nolite respuere.(#17) Neilos orders Stephen to destroy the basket he made without permission, outō gar legei ho megas Basileios. (#31) John Theristes (+c.1099) goes to a cenobitic monastery which follows tēn agōgēn kai askēsin tou megalou Basileiou.(#3)

In the early years of Norman domination, around the time of the codification of the paleo- Calabrian typikon, Gregory of Fragala's Spiritual Testament of 1105 presents Gregory as governing and reforming his monastery according to the rules of the holy Fathers, tou megalou Basileiou kai tou hosiou Theodōrou tōn Stoudiou kai pantōn tōn paterōn. (Cusa, I diplomi, I, 397)

At the same time, Bartholomew of Simeri founds his monastery, the Patirion, and codifies a rule for it. This typikon comes from similar sources since, as the bios states, the monastery was tois parâ autou ektetheisin entheois typois te, kai kanosi rhythmizomena te kai dioikoumena.(#20) Whose canons? The answer is to be seen in the typikon given by Bartholomew's disciples Luke, for the monastery of The Most Holy Savior, which states that it comes ek diaphorōn palaiōn typikōn tēs Stoudiou monēs, tou Hagiou Horous, tōn Hierosolymōn kai heterōn tinōn. (Rossi, "Pre+azione", 93)

Thus even prior to the Codification of Italo-Greek monastic typika, there were definite rules and mandates that ordered ItaloGreek monasticism. Italo-Greek Monastic Typika in Byzantine Italy David Hester (Saint Mary's Seminary and University, Balto., MD)

Byzantine Ecclesiastical Reform and the West

John Philip Thomas, Hingham, Massachusetts

The history of church reform in Byzantium and the medieval West exhibits a close parallelism up to the era of the Gregorian reform and even beyond. After the fall of the Roman Empire, private benefactors in Byzantium and the West achieved dominant positions in their respective churches and secularized the management of surviving facilities. Despite these general trends, advocates of the public authority of the institutional church such as Pope Nicholas the Great (858-867) and Patriarch Photius (858- 867) occasionally came to head the churches both in Byzantium and the West. They were both committed to reform in their own, often disharmonious ways. Yet the reform impetus petered out, giving way to the entirely opposite tendencies of the tenth century.

By the latter half of the tenth century, strong-minded emperors like Otto the Great (936-973) and Nicephorus Phocas (963-969) began to assume the responsibility of supporting and reforming their churches. Their patronage of monasteries sowed the seeds for the reform movements of the eleventh century. Towards the end of the tenth century, capable patriarchs and popes reappeared. They owed their appointments to reform-minded monarchs like Basil II (976-1025) in Byzantium and the Ottonian and Salian emperors in the West. Many proved to be spirited and independent prelates, a portentous development for the future. Scarcely less significant was the contemporaneous reawakening of interest in canon law both in the East and in the West.

In the East, there was a final consummation of the conception of a church controlled by private patronage interests under the program of ecclesiastical renovation known as the charistike. The patriarchate was able to stave off an attempt by lay interests to usurp appointments to episcopal sees. This assured that there would be no need for a "Byzantine investiture controversy."

The broad movement of Byzantine ecclesiastical reform occurred after the Gregorian reform of the West and was probably influenced by it. The Byzantine reform of the 1080's was initiated by members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, most notably, Leo, metropolitan of Chalcedon, who objected to a confiscation of church treasures carried out by the government of Emperor Alexius Comnenus. As a result of the protests against this action, private profiteering in religious institutions now came under relentless attack. While less comprehensive than the Gregorian reform, its Eastern counterpart left an indelible mark on the ideology of the Byzantine church.


Antony Littlewood, University of Western Ontario, Presiding

Discussion Topics:


David H. Wright, University of California, Berkeley, Presiding

Incipient Theology in the Hercules Sarcophagus from Velletri

David H. Wright, University of California, Berkeley

Most Hercules sarcophagi are dull. They depict the Twelve Labors, or as many as will fit in, with monotonous regularity. But the enormous and astonishingly elaborate sarcophagus accidentally found in a vineyard near Velletri in 1955 is entirely different. The original publication by Renato Bartoccini, in RivIstArch NS, 1958, 129-214, was largely superseded by two studies that appeared independently of each other: a long section of Bernard Andreae's Habilitationsschrift, published as RM Erg 9,1963, and an article by Marion Lawrence in AJA 69,1965,207-222.

Although the sarcophagus follows the "Asiatic" scheme of decoration it lacks consistently "Asiatic" features and must have been made in a Roman workshop. Andreae proposed a date at the end of the Hadrianic era, relying on a strangely selective stylistic analysis, but Lawrence made a more convincing case for a date at the end of the second century, a date now generally accepted. Although a bit coarse in details of execution, and quite different in the proportions of the figures (as Andreae insisted), the Velletri sarcophagus is comparable in artistic ambition to the great battle sarcophagus found at Portonaccio in 1932 (now in the Terme), but it reveals an entirely different attitude toward funerary iconography.

wind Helios Caelus Selene wind

hunter Mercury Jupiter Pluto Persephone

Neptune Hercules herds- Protesilaos

Alcestis man Laodameia Admetus

Ceres and chariot

flower Rape of Nyx in cave Eros ?

in chariot picking Persephone

A glance at the scheme of the front makes this clear. Pluto and Persephone are enthroned in the center, while in hierarchical order Jupiter and Neptune stand next to them; the gods of the underworld preside, while the gods of our world stand by. The cosmological implications are reinforced by the figures in the gables above: Caelus flanked by Helios and Selene, and on the back Nyx flanked by two heads of the Medusa; the idea is carried further by having four winds in the outer gables of the long sides and a giant in each gable of the ends. Then in the strip of small scenes along the bottom of the sarcophagus the Rape of Persephone is shown beneath the enthroned figures of Pluto and Persephone, with related scenes flanking it, and scenes connected with the underworld are shown in the corresponding strip on the back.

The specifically funerary meaning of this iconographic program is focussed by placing two scenes of resurrection flanking the gods on the front of the sarcophagus. At the left Mercury brings Protesilaos back through an open door for a final meeting with his grieving wife, Laodameia, while at the right Hercules brings Alcestis back to life through an open door after she had died in place of her husband, Admetus. Placed in the cosmological context of this decoration these two scenes appear to offer some promise of afterlife for the deceased, one for a woman, one for a man. Comparing the two stories selected we must consider Hercules the more effective miracle-worker, since he brought Alcestis back to life, while Mercury could arrange only a brief visit. So it is appropriate that most of the rest of the sarcophagus is given over to the story of the Twelve Labors, the means whereby the hero achieved his own immortality. These begin on the right end of the sarcophagus and continue in the normal order around the back and left end, where Hercules brings Cerberus out through an open door, and then achieves immortality by seizing the Apples of the Hesperides.

giant & But on the right end the sequence is interrupted thunderbolt after the first labor by the scene in the middle, an enigmatic encounter between a youth wearing a ch- Hercules youth and Hercules lamys fastened at his right shoulder, holding a staff and Lion old man and Hydra against his left shoulder and holding forward with his right hand a patera, and an older bearded man wearing a cloak draped to reveal his torso; both have bare man and bull victimarius man and bull feet. They stand in front of a partially opened door, and the older man reaches out to accept the patera.

This central scene can be connected with the narrow strip below, in which a victimarius in the center, holding a bowl in his left hand, stands ready to perfom a sacrifice, while at the sides are two bulls, the one at the right accompanied by another victimarius, the one at the left by an attendant wearing a tunic and carrying a standard in his left hand. The main scene may show the newly deceased greeting an ancestor as he is about to pass through the doors into the underworld, or it might be a more generalized scene of Roman pietas in honoring ancestors.

wind Medusa Nyx Medusa wind

Herc- Herc- Hercules Hercules Hercules ules & ules & Hercules Hercules & and Stag and Birds Hippo- Stables and Bull and Horses Boar lyte

women and tree Sysiphus Charon's boat Tantalos Danaides

There are other allusions to the afterlife in the minor decoration drawn from the standard vocabulary of the idyllic pastoral life: in the narrow spaces at each end of the front of the sarcophagus stand a hunter and a herdsman, and in the scenes in the bottom strip of the left end two herdsmen flank a tree with a goat nibbling at either side of it. These and many other features, such as the Victory slaying a bull on the only surviving end pediment and the sphinxes and eagles decorating the comers, all have their place in Roman traditions of funerary iconography.

What is unique in the Velletri sarcophagus is the Victorysense of rational order imposed upon this wide range and bull of iconography. The appropriate gods preside herein due hierarchy. Piety and exemplary labors have their giant place in the life of man, and can lead to immortality. and shield The afterlife includes the suffering of the damned and the idyllic pastoral existence. And the possibility of Hercules Hercules Hercules resurrection is illustrated, all within the context of and Gerson and Cerberus and Apples of traditional pagan thought. This is no random accu- Hesperides mulation of familiar myths and symbols as usually found in elaborate Roman sarcophagi. This amounts herdsman tree and goats herdsman to a statement of pagan theology. It is the kind of elaborate and sophisticated iconographic program we find emerging in Christian art roughly two centuries later. The Velletri sarcophagus seems to have been an isolated phenomenon in its period, but we must recognize it as an important precedent.

The Emperor's New Beard

Jacqueline Long, Columbia University

A strong visual sensibility dominated fourth-century perceptions. Certain spectacles such as imperial adventus are depicted again and again, their rapt audience never omitted. Physical description of the emperors always finds a place in Ammianus' assessment of their reigns. Costume is conspicuous and emblematic. An emperor (or usurper) was recognized by his display of purple cloth (e.g. Amm. 15.8.11, 26.6.15). A philosopher might be identified by his cloak, staff and unbarbered hair (e.g. Jul. 223D, 414CD). When Julian was summoned to court from Athens to be made Caesar, the first order of business was to shave him and change his clothes (Jul. 274C, cf. Amm. 15.8.1). Constantine the Great's cleanshaven chin, a break with the military look of his Tetrarchic predecessors, had established a new imperial image. It was an iconographic necessity that his dynasty's newest member conform.

As Caesar, Julian remained within the Constantinian mold, though Ammianus suggests that his scholarly image continued to function in abuse of him (17.9.3,10.1). Already entitled to the purple, he did not have the usurper's usual iconographic problem when his troops proclaimed him Augustus (e.g. Silvanus, Amm. 15.5.16, Jul. 98D); instead, Ammianus records the dilemma of finding a correctly auspicious makeshift diadem (20.4.17-18). When Constantius' expected ratification did not come, Julian finally assumed a jewelled diadem at his quinquennalia (Amm. 21.1.4). Meanwhile, the Gallic mints under his control titled him D N and AVG. He still remained cleanshaven. It used to be assumed that he grew the beard again only after Constantius' death left him free to proclaim his paganism openly, but Mamertinus' panegyric refers to it already at his entry to Illyricum (Pan.Lat. 3[11]6.4), too early for any overt pagan statement to the Empire at large. Julian had still found it politic to celebrate Epiphany (Amm. 21.2.5); the pagan references of Ath. (esp. 277B) were addressed to an audience he knew to be uniquely sympathetic. The new beard primarily marked his break with Constantius, by whom he represented himself as personally aggrieved. The courtiers who had shorn off the old beard wanted to make him "a totally laughable soldier" (Jul. 274C, cf. Amm. 16.5.10). This was now valuable propaganda: their joke had backfired. Julian could claim a string of successes in Gaul, including the well-publicized battle of Strasbourg, against Constantius' depressing record in the East. His troops, spontaneously he insists, had proclaimed him Augustus. All despite his initially unpromising appearance. (The soldiers might have found his beard, like his abstemious diet, an attractive sign of sharing in their hardships; cf. Amm. 16.5.3, Jul. 359B-360D.) His reverses VIRTVS EXERC GALL and later VIRTVS EXERCITVS ROMANI exploit this same strength.

For Julian personally, his new beard probably did evoke the philosophic style of his schooldays. The image of the philosopher-emperor Marcus may well have crossed his mind (cf. 317CD, written later). But he never explicitly links it to his philosophy, or makes his philosophical training a basis for his claim to rule. What philosophical argument Ath. can be said to boast amounts more to a claim of divine sanction (cf. Amm. 20.5.10). It should also be noted that references to philosophers' hair generally stress its unkemptness, not the mere fact of a beard itself (e.g. Sen. Ep. 5.2, Gell. 9.2, Jul. 317CD). Ammianus' testimony (25.4.22) reassures one in taking the lurid details of Misopogon as exaggeration. The beard may not have been so plainly the icon of pagan philosophy now generally assumed. In any case, in the crucial period when Julian first grew it back, it did bear a different and obvious message. If he did not want to shave thereafter, he need not.

The Setting and Architecture of Late Antique Imperial Mausolea

Mark J. Johnson, Brigham Young University

Imperial mausolea form one of the most conspicuous groups of buildings of Late Antiquity. Yet, previous to my recently completed dissertation,1 these important monuments had not been the subject of a major study. There are, therefore, several basic observations about their setting and architecture that may be made with the goal of defining their principal characteristics.

The most common characteristic of the setting of the mausolea is their placement near a residence, be it palace or villa. Freestanding mausolea generally stood within a temenos enclosure, either a wall with niches as at Split, or a quadriporticus as at Constantine's mausoleum-church of Holy Apostles. Most of the Christian mausolea were attached to churches, this being an expression of the universal Christian desire for burial ad sanctos.

As regards their architecture, all of the Late Antique imperial mausolea were domed rotundas, either circular or octagonal in plan. The freestanding mausolea possessed a pronaos while those attached to churches invariably had a vestibule separating them from their respective churches. Little attention was placed on the articulation of the exterior, with the only embellishment being the addition of a portico in some instances. All of the buildings were faced with ashlar masonry or with stucco drafted to look like ashlars. The thickness of the exterior walls was reduced to the minimum necessary to support the dome. Thus, primary attention was focused on the interior space. Interiors, articulated with niches and freestanding columns along the walls, were given a soaring, vertical Emphasis. Two general distinctions between the interiors of pagan and Christian mausolea may be made. First, the crypt as a fully developed subterranean space appears only in pagan mausolea. Second, the interiors of the pagan mausolea were poorly lit and quite dark. Christian mausolea, on the other hand, possessed large windows which flooded their interiors with light.

The most important conclusion which can be drawn about the setting and architecture of Late Antique imperial mausolea is that they followed the general development of Roman funerary architecture. The location near a residence, often seen as being unique to the Tetrarchy and symbolic of divinization, actually stems from a firmly entrenched tradition, as does the practice of placing the mausolea within temenos enclosures. Furthermore, the domed rotunda tomb type evolved within the realm of traditional funerary monuments and was not an exclusively imperial type. The imperial nature of the mausolea in question did not stem from any one of these individual characteristics but rather was brought out by their placement next to imperial residences, by their great size and monumentality, and by the splendour of their decoration.

1"Late Antique Imperial Mausolea," Princeton University, 1986.

St. Lawrence: From Paganism to a Christian Holy Rome

Debra N. Israel, Dickinson College

Among the earliest known images of St. Lawrence, several late fourth and fifth century cemeterial gold glasses present curious views of this third century martyr and saint. On these glasses, St. Lawrence÷on whose blood, it is believed, Rome was converted to Christianity÷figures prominently, either enthroned with and flanked by Sts. Peter and Paul, or paired with St. Stephen Protomartyr, or enthroned with his foot resting on a sphere, evidently symbolic of the world (orbs mundi). The principal historical facts and hagiographical features of Lawrence's life and passion÷no atti are known ever to have existed÷have been well known since the nineteenth century. However, Lawrence's prominence not only in early cemeterial glasses and medals (where the image of this martyr is one of the first to appear in early Christian art after those of the Princes of the Apostles), but in several patristic sources (preeminently Sts. Ambrose and Augustine, and the poet Prudentius) has yet to be investigated systematically. This paper examines Lawrence's apparent importance for early Christian Rome as viewed through the testimony of the early images of Lawrence related to the patristic literature.

Set against the backdrop of the conflict in the later fourth century between the pagan senatorial aristocracy and Christianity, St. Lawrence emerges as the latest in a long line of Roman heroes, like Aeneas, for example, who particularly embody "Romanitas." In particular, Lawrence seems to have represented Rome÷"Roma"÷from the second half of the fourth century, coincident with the establishment of the cult of martyrs generally and his cult particularly, during the reign of Pope Damasus I (366-384), well known for his ardent search for, and commemoration of, the tombs of the new heroes of Rome: the martyrs of Christ.

The cult of St. Lawrence is first considered in the scholarship, which is archaeological in nature. For the most part, scholars have been concerned with the date and means of Lawrence's death (d. 258), or issues extrinsic to the cult itself. The combined evidence of the literary sources and historical events contemporary to the establishment and subsequent flourishing of his cult from the second half of the fourth century, provide eloquent testimony supporting an interpretation of the cult as visualized in early gold glasses, where St. Lawrence is equated with the still more ancient personification of Roma.

A fresh reading of the early sources and historical events serves to identify immediately the pivotal issue in any attempt to reconstruct the early cult of Lawrence: the pagan conflict with the Christians over the removal of the winged figure of Victory from the Altar of Victory, housed in the Roman Curia since Augustus was empowered by the Senate to set it up in 29 B.C. It is a major purpose of this paper to address explicitly this conflict between the Christians and pagans, its implications for the triumph of Christianity, and Lawrence's role in the conflict.

Thus, Pope Damasus I's invention and commemoration of the relics of martyrs is of singular importance, because it seems to have been the focal point for his÷and later÷papal policy concentrated on establishing Rome as the "sedes apostolica." That Lawrence was a key figure in Damasian policy is attested not only by the four epigrams raised by Damasus to this martyr alone, but to the foundation in his family palace of a church dedicated to St. Lawrence (i.e., San Lorenzo in Damaso). The evidence of various hymns and sermons by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine is treated as well, because the stress placed on Lawrence as deacon, martyr, hero, and as an "imitatio Christi" (paralleled by St. Stephen Protomartyr, with whom he is paired as a type from the later fourth century on), goes far to explain the historical significance of the cult, and why Lawrence is among the first Christian personages depicted by artists. The inquiry concludes with considerations of the meaning of the cult per se, as epitomized in a poem by Prudentius (Peristephanon), in which Lawrence, the very foundation of a Christian Holy Rome, is explicitly likened to Roma, or the spirit of Rome, the luster of which is now increased, thanks to holy Lawrence, by the luster of Christian belief.


Ruth E. Kolarik, Colorado College, Presiding

No Constellations for Israel?

Lucille A. Roussin, Yeshiva University

The prominence in ancient synagogue decoration of the representation of the twelve signs of the zodiac in a radial arrangement around the chariot of the Sun with the personifications of the four seasons surrounding it has long posed a problem for scholars of late antique art and religion. The frequency and persistence of this composition in Palestinian synagogue decoration indicates that it cannot have been an unconscious copying of a pagan model; it is rather a deliberate adoption of the composition.

Avi Yonah sought to explain the presence of the zodiac in the synagogue mosaics as a kind of liturgical calendar, basing his argument on the relationship of stone inscriptions of the twenty four priestly courses of I Chronicles XXIV: 1-9 to Hebrew liturgical poetry. ("The Caesarea Inscriptions of the Twenty Four Priestly Courses," The Teachers Yoke. Studies in Memory of Henry Trantham (Baylor, Texas, 1968),46-57.)

My research indicates that a number of factors militate against acceptance of this theory. The Jewish festival calendar is a lunar calendar, and the priestly courses were related to that calendar and not to the solar zodiacal calendar. The fact that in most of the preserved zodiac pavements the seasons and months do not correspond also makes calendrical interpretation unlikely.

Despite the statement of Rabbi Johanan that "there are no constellations for Israel" (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat, 156a), there seems to be abundant evidence for the practice of magic, astrology and angel worship among the Jews in the late antique period. Jewish worship of angels is attested to by many early Christian writers. Jewish texts are even more eloquent in shedding light on the worship of angels and provide an insight into the symbolism of the zodiac pavements in the synagogues. The Sefer Harazim (Book of Secrets), a text of the late third or early fourth century, is particularly important because it was widely influential even among the Orthodox Jews and shows that the worship of angels was accepted as compatible with worship of Yahweh as the sole, supreme God. All the elements of the Sefer Harazim have their counterparts in the Helios-in-zodiac compositions depicted in the synagogue pavements. In all cases the radial zodiac composition forms the middle field of decoration, while above it is a representation of the Torah Shrine and Jewish liturgical implements and below it is a biblical scene or an inscription. When the overall compositions of the synagogue pavements are analyzed in terms of the structure of the Sefer Harazim the symbolism becomes clear. The lowest level represents the earthly realm, the Helios-in-zodiac panel in the center represents the celestial sphere, and in the highest sphere is the Torah Shrine panel, symbolic of the seventh firmament where Yahweh resides.

Some Sixth-Century Capitals from Oxyrhynchus

Anna Gonosov‡, University of California, Irvine

Excavations at Oxyrhynchus, modern el-Bahnasa, undertaken between 1896 and 1934 and resumed recently in 1982, brought and are bringing to light one of the largest finds of Late Roman and Early Byzantine÷primarily architectural÷ sculpture in Egypt. As many as 800 fragments, now scattered in various museums and collections, have been assigned to the period between the fourth and early sixth centuries and tentatively identified as coming from a variety of secular, religious and funerary structures. The majority of the fragments are decorated with traditional Late Roman and Early Byzantine motifs presented in simplified and stylized versions characteristic of provincial art. Although a generally accepted chronology of the Oxyrhynchus sculpture is still lacking, this sculpture has been considered an example of earlier÷fourth and fifth century÷phases in the development of Christian, both Byzantine and Coptic, art in Egypt because of its adherence to the traditional repertory of motifs and still relatively classical style. So far, it is the later sculpture (that of the later sixth and seventh centuries) which has not yet been satisfactorily isolated among the Oxyrhynchus material, although the historical situation of the city as shown by the sources would warrant its existence.

In this paper I would like to present two groups of heretofore unpublished impost capitals in support of important building activity in sixth century Oxyrhynchus, thereby confirming the evidence of the sources. The first group consists of a set of imported marble capitals carved in a characteristically Justinianic ˆ jour technique, stylistically associated with the sculpture of St. Sophia (532-537) and Sts. Sergius and Bacchus (between 527 and 536) in Constantinople. For example, the best preserved capital of the Oxyrhynchus set is carved with the design of an overlapping lattice of lozenges with stylized foliate fillers, the earliest documented examples of which are the mullion capitals and the inner faces of the lintels in the south gallery of Justinian's St. Sophia. Now found in the mosque of al-Hasan ibn Saleh Hashemy in modern el-Bahnasa but undoubtedly removed from the ancient site, these capitals not only demonstrate a sixth-century building activity, they also confirm the link between Oxyrhynchus and Constantinople and other Byzantine centers known from the sources.

My second group of the Oxyrhynchus capitals is represented by a pair of limestone capitals with a basket-weave design, also found near the ancient site. Unlike the marble capitals, this pair is carved of locally quarried limestone. The basket-weave design is quite irregular, with strands having a central groove common to the Oxyrhynchus architectural sculpture. Although the basket-weave motif occurs frequently in Byzantine architectural sculpture from the late fifth century onwards, its use over the entire surface of the Oxyrhynchus capitals as well as their squat proportions argue for a late sixth century date. As a local version of post-Justinianic architectural sculpture, they suggest the continuation of building activity well into the late sixth century.

Byzantine "Isles of Refuge" in the Chronicle of Galaxeidi

John Rosser, Boston College

Sinclair Hood has suggested that the small offshore islands in the Bay of Itea, near Galaxeidi, were places where the local Greek population took refuge during the Slavic invasions of the sixth and seventh centuries. The pottery evidence also indicates the possibility of occupation in the fourth century ( perhaps in response to Alaric's invasion of Greece), as well as later medieval occupation. Remains of permanent houses with stone foundations and tiled roofs, in addition to cisterns and other structures, point to a continuous threat from the mainland that Hood believes can only indicate the Slavic threat.

This hypothesis has, for, the most part, been accepted uncritically (for example, by Koder, and by Weithmann). However, T. Gregory has voiced serious reservations, and has suggested, based on his investigation of similar islands along the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth, that such islands may have had more important commercial purposes.

The issue is clarified to some extent by the Chronicle of Galaxeidi, written in 1703 by the monk Euthymios. The chronicle, which makes use of much older sources, reports a tenth century Bulgar attack on Amfissa and Galaxeidi vhich resulted in the citizens of Galaxeidi seeking refuge on the small islands near Galaxeidi. In the eleventh century, another barbarian attack, probably by Uzes, produced the same response. In fact, at the time of the Frankish conquest there were still some families living on these islands, perhaps suggesting that they might have had some commercial use as well. In the early fifteenth century, the citizens of Galaxeidi ceded two islands to the Hospitallers, who were small in numbers and who feared an attack from Turks on the mainland. These and other references in the chronicle make it clear that the islands were used as places of refuge in the Middle Ages. Another source, incidentally, the Life of St. Luke the Younger, also mentions these islands as having been used as places of refuge from a Bulgar attack.

Problems still remain. Is it true, for example, as Hood supposed, that the inhabitants of these islands must have depended on the mainland to grow their crops and to pasture their flocks? Why does the occupation during the period of the Slavic invasions seem to have ceased in the early seventh century? More important, what other uses did these islands have? And from what period, or periods, do the architectural remain date? Quite possibly some are later than the period of the Slavic invasions.

Hitherto Unidentified Prophets from Nova Pavlica

Ljubica D. Popovich, Vanderbilt University

Discovered in 1932 under a layer of plaster, the frescoes in the church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the monastery of Nova Pavlica in the Ibar Valley of Serbia, Yugoslavia, have undergone cleaning and conservation work that was completed in 1960. This rather well preserved fresco ensemble, dated by scholars either ca 1371-1389 or ca 1397-98, has received somewhat cursory attention.1 One part of its decoration remains virtually unexplored standing figures of eight prophets located in the interfenestration of the drum. When cited by scholars, the prophets are generally referred to as "unidentified figures;"2 in the one instance, when two prophets are specifically named, only one identification is correct.3

While the identifying inscriptions are lost, the eight prophet figures in the Nova Pavlica drum, along with the text inscribed upon the scrolls held by them, are relatively well preserved. This fact allows the author to decipher these texts, identify the eight prophets based upon their iconography and the texts that they hold, as well as verify these identities by comparison with contemporary examples of prophet figures whose inscribed names have survived. Following the cycle of figures clockwise from the eastern window, they may be identified as: Elijah (I Kings [111] 19:10 or 19:14); Isaiah (Isa. 7:14); Jonah (Jon. 2:3); Ezekiel (Ezek. 20:34), Elisha (II Kings [IV] 2:12), Jeremiah (Jer.11:18), Habakkuk (Hab. 3:2); and Daniel (Dan. 2:34). The author will examine also how this cycle conforms to and deviates from other contemporary cycles in regard to the selection of prophets and their order of placement, as well as analyze the texts held by the prophets, focusing upon the following questions: Is a given selection frequent, or is it rare or even unique? Are all or only some of these texts included in the liturgical lessons and why? Finally, what message was emphasized by means of the texts held by the prophets surrounding the Divine Liturgy and the Pantocrator in the dome of Nova Pavlica? The author's conclusions are that some of the texts deal with the Incarnation and the Passion of Christ, that only some of the texts are derived from the liturgical readings, and that some of the selections are rare although characteristic of the Morava period in Serbian history (1371-1451).

By adding this cycle of prophets to already known examples from the territories of Medieval Serbia in the Morava period, the author hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the selection of particular prophet figures as well as the choice of the prophets' texts and their meaning in the liturgical context of the churches of the period.

l Svetozar N. Radojčić, Staro srpsko slikarstvo (Beograd, 1966), pp. 168-169; Vojislav J. Djurić, Vizantiske freske u Jugoslaviji (Beograd, 1974), p. 96; M. Mihajlović, "Zidna dekoracija novopavličke crkve," Raûka baûtina I (1975), 71.

2Srdjan Djurić, Ljubostinja (Beograd, 1985), p. 78, fig. 80, 81.

3S. Radojčić, (1966), p.169 mentions two prophets: Elijah, which is correct, and David, which is erroneous.

Excavations at H. Aikaterini in Didymoteicho

Robert Ousterhout, University of Illinois

The city of Didymoteicho in Greek Thrace figured prominently in Late Byzantine history. It had been a major military and administrative center since the mid-13th century. With the coronation of John VI Cantacuzenus at Didymoteicho in 1341, the city became his de facto capital and continued to enjoy imperial attention until its fall to the Turks in 1361. The formidable enclosure walls of the citadel still survive, and within them are remnants of dwellings, numerous rock-cut storage cham- bers and cisterns, and the remains of two Palaeologan churches. With the almost complete disappearance of the Byzantine monuments of nearby Adrianople, the remnants at Didymoteicho take on an added importance, providing our best indication of the architectural character of urban Thrace in the Late Byzantine period. Recently the Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities at Kavala, under the direction of Ch. Bakirtzis, undertook the excavation and study of the 14th-century chapel of H. Aikaterini, in which the author participated as Visiting Scholar.

The chapel is small (ca. 5 x 9 m.) with a single-aisled plan. The north and west facades are preserved, as well as portions of the east and south facades. The remainder was crudely rebuilt in 1910. The sophisticated treatment of the facades, with handed brick and stone masonry, articulation with stepped pilasters and arcades, brick decoration and ceramic rosettes, recalls the architecture of Constantinople, Lascarid Asia Minor and Chios, and possibly Bulgaria. Construction is rather crude, but irregularities were originally masked by mortar with etched joints. The use of the "brick filled mortar joint" construction technique also indicates ties with Lascarid and Constantinopolitan architecture.

Excavation of the interior clarified the plan, with the original floor level about half a meter below the present. The stubs of wall pilasters were uncovered, which divided the interior into four bays of irregular size. These probably related to a banded barrel vault. The floor and lower portions of the foundations were cut directly from the bedrock. Interior and exterior wall articulation did not begin until above the level of the bedrock. The shallow apse is also stepped up slightly from floor level. Remains of fresco decoration were found in the dado zone. Cuttings in the floor for the templon were also discovered, although apparently at a later date a brick base and built templon were introduced.

Remains of a small funeral chapel and cemetery were excavated to the south of the building, with numerous rock-cut tombs. The presence of some jewelry may indicate an aristocratic burial. One tomb was covered by a stone plaque in second use, with a lengthy inscription from the year 1173 for the burial of a monk, Dionysios. The inscription mentions the Emperor Manuel Comnenus and the Empress Maria, and it is the earliest inscription from the city. Several tombs were found to the north of the building as well, and it seems likely that this was a funeral chapel. Still to be determined is the relationship of the chapel and cemetery with the numerous cave dwellings and storerooms in the vicinity.


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