Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Fourteenth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
10-13 November,1988
The Menil Collection and The University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas


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. 1115) 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 (an checks payable to the Byzantine Studies

Conference) and sent to:

Byzantine Studies Conference
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1703 32nd Street, N.W.
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Byzantine Studies Conference

Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference, lst-
1975Madison, 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 949.577-79346
Library of Congress 77 MARC-S

Cover: Detail of an archangel from a processional icon. Probably Constantinople, around 1380. Courtesy of The Menil Collection.

Table of Contents


Presiding: Charles Brand (Bryn Mawr College)

The Flourishing City of Euchaita?

Alexander Kazhdan (Dumbarton Oaks)

Recently F.Trombley devoted an article to the Miracles of St. Theodore, concluding that Euchaita survived during the Byzantine "Dark Age." I would like to make some corrections to his thesis:

1. The last event mentioned in the Miracles is to be dated (if we may trust hagiographical data), not in 663/4, but in 754.

2. The anonymous author of the Miracles--unlike his predecessor Chrysippos of Jerusalem (fifth century)--does not describe urban life at all, although he provides us with some topographical information about a hill, a river, a rampart. In any event, cattle, not trade, is the economic mainstay of this settlement. There is no flourishing city described in the Miracles--it is a stronghold surviving hostile attacks.

3. In the story of Chrysippos, Theodore is linked to Amaseia: here he met Eusebia, killed the dragon, and died. When Euchaita appears in the revised Vita with the Miracles it is not a city but an estate, a ktema or oikos, which was the property of the pious Eusebia. Nikephoros Ouranos, in a parallel text, calls Euchaita proasteion. The unnamed asty or polis of the Miracles is Amaseia rather than Euchaita.

4. Euchaita was a small polisma granted the status of a city by Anastasios I, who also established a bishopric there. Its history is unknown until the 880s when Photios appointed his favorite, Theodore Santabarenos, metropolitan of Euchaita. The place became an ecclesiastical center of a certain importance at the end of the tenth century when John I Tzimiskes built a church there in honor of St. Theodore and changed the name "Euchaneia" to Theodoropolis.

The Disputed Muslim Negotiations with Cyprus in 649

Walter E. Kaegi (The University of Chicago)

It was the arkhon [Greek; Arabic urkun] or governor of Cyprus who negotiated with Mu'awiya in 649 for the terms of the settlement of Cyprus with the Muslims. According to al-Baladhuri, the Cypriots agreed to pay 7,200 dinars annually to the Muslims, as well as report to the Muslims' information about the Byzantines.1 Again, the negotiation on the part of the arkhon underscored the readiness of local civil leaders, who were not Byzantine thematic commanders, to make their own best possible settlements for their regions and their subjects.2

A. Stratos doubts the authenticity of the information of Baladhuri, arguing that Cyprus had no "ruler" at that time. But the Arabic terminology indicates the very old origin of the source. The urkun was the old Late Roman praeses provinciae, somewhat comparable to the old curator John Kateas who had negotiated with the Muslims at Chalkis (Qinnasrin, in northern Syria) in 637. Baladhuri's information is not distorted on this point. That a local civilian official would make such negotiations was part of Byzantium's problem.3 What is unclear is whether the Byzantine government in Constantinople authorized or ultimately confirmed this agreement. The date is not absolutely certain, but probable.4 This incident in the history of Cyprus requires examination in the light of the larger context of Byzantine- Muslim relations in the seventh century to become intelligible.

Abu ÎUbayd al-Qasim b. Sallam, who lived from 770 to 838, also reports the existence of such a treaty (he specifies 7,000 dinars annual tribute) between Mu'awiya and the Cypriots, who also continued to pay taxes, which he interpreted to be tribute, to the Byzantine government. He is a source earlier than Baladhuri, although he does not specifically mention the governor of Cyprus in connection with this treaty, nor does he give a specific date; but he and his early source al-Awza'i (d.774) are the source for the tradition that Baladhuri cites.5 Al-Qasim b. Sallam's text cannot give absolute confirmation to that of Baladhuri, but it does help to establish its probable veracity.6 The Muslim requirement that the Cypriots report on the Byzantines has been doubted, but this requirement was also imposed in Syria on the inhabitants of Duluk. It is a plausible obligation for the Muslims to have attempted, however mistakenly, to have imposed on the local inhabitants in Cyprus.

Byzantinists have ignored Ibn Sallam's testimony, perhaps because there is no translation from the Arabic. Cypriot historians such as A. Papageorgiou,7 Andreas Stratos, and A.I. Dikigoropoulos have misunderstood the valuable information on the relationship of Syria and Cyprus in the Futuh al-Buldan of al-Baladhuri. They have questioned the veracity of al-Baladhuri, but actually his description of this incident in the Syrian governorship of Mu'awiya is a confirmation of the authentic character of this tradition,8 and it is consistent with other information on local Byzantine governors' attempts to negotiate special settlements with the Muslims. These were the kinds of actions that the Heraclian dynasty generally tried to prevent from happening whenever possible. In this case, the Byzantine governor probably had no alternative.

The treaty between Mu'awiya and the Cypriots in 648/649 is best understood in the larger context of efforts of earlier Byzantine governors in Egypt and Mesopotamia, namely Kyros and John Kateas, to negotiate special settlements to protect the subjects of their provinces from Muslim attacks. The Cypriot case cannot be properly understood in isolation. It is part of a larger pattern of local Byzantine governors attempting to make separate arrangements for their provinces. It is unclear whether the government in Constantinople formally approved this governor's arrangements with Mu'awiya. They may simply have acquiesced. In any case, the incident proves that Heraclius' efforts at the end of his life to stop such separate local agreements with the Muslims had ultimately failed, or any rate that his successors could not always maintain such a strict policy of control from Constantinople. Mu'awiya had benefited from his knowledge of other negotiations between Muslims and local Byzantine civilian authorities during and immediately following the rapid conquests in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Precedents had already been established. The anonymous Byzantine governor of Cyprus, on his part, probably was familiar with arrangements that had been made previously in Syria. These helped to create a pattern for the terms of 648/649 on Cyprus. The evidence in the works of al-Qasim b. Sallam and Baladhuri indicates that the Muslims also later thought in terms of broader patterns of terms for such negotiations.

1. Al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-Budan (ed. M. De Goeje [Leiden: Brill, 1866 and reprints] 153). Ibn A'tham al-Kufi, Kitab al-Futuh, 2: 119 Beirut reprint edn., calls the Cypriot governor Malik, which distorts his role. In no sense was the governor a "king," although a number of late Arabic sources may loosely term individual Byzantine provincial governors or even bishops as malik. In contrast, Baladhuri is very correct in using the term urkun.

2. A. Stratos, Byzantium in the Seventh Century 3: 40.

3 Better is Costas P. Kyrris, History of Cyprus (Nicosia 1985) 176-185, who accepts the plausibility of a Byzantine-Muslim agreement in 648/9 or soon after. But Kyrris, p. 184, is aware that there was Byzantine arkhon, but he does not know of other examples of local negotiation, such as that of John Kateas.

4. See also, Kyrris, "The Nature of the Arab-Byzantine Relations in Cyprus from the Middle of the 7th to the Middle of the 10th Century A.D.," Graeco-Arabica 3 (1984) 149-176, with more citations of scholarly literature. Kyrris expresses his strongest skepticism on p. 154. Note that Nikolas Oikonomakis, "He en Kypro Arabokratia kata tas arabikas pegas," Praktika ton proton diethnous kyprologikou synedriou (Lefkosia, 14-19 Apriliou 1969) (Lefkosia 1972) 2: 192-193, apparently accepts the genuineness of the 648/649 negotiated tribute payments of the Cypriots to the Muslims. A.I. Dikigoropoulos, "The Political Status of Cyprus A.D. 648-695," Report of the Department of Antiquities (1940-1948; publ. Lefkosia, 1958) 94-114, questions the veracity of the Muslim tradition. See also, A.I. Dikigoropoulos, "Agrarian Conditions and the Demography of Cyprus during the Period of the Arab Wars 648-965," Bulletin of the Cyprus Geographical Association 8 (1978) 3-14. 1 have not seen the unpublished 1961 Oxford Ph.D Diss. (Lincoln College) of Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus Betwixt the Saracens and the Greeks AD 648-965." Dikigoropoulos does know the seventh century archaeological evidence very well, but it cannot provide any decisive refutation of the reports of al-Qasim ibn Sallam and Baladhuri.

5. Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam, Kitab al-amwal (Cairo 1968) 248; same editor, but Beirut 1986 reprint, p. 188. On al-Awza'i: F. Donner, "The Problem of Early Arabic Historiography in Syria," 23-24.

6. Marius Canard, "Deux ?pisodes des relations diplomatiques arabo-byzantines au Xe si?cle," Bulletin d'Etudes Orientales d l'Institut francais de Damas 13 (1949-1950) 62-63; repr. in his Byzance et les musulmans du Procbe Orient (London: Variorum, 1973), apparently accepts the credibility of the earlier source for Ibn Sallam, who is al-Awza'i (d. 774, in Beirut).

7. A. Papageorgiou, "Les premi?res incursions arabes ˆ Chypre et leurs conse?quences," Aphieroma eis ton Konstantinon Spyridakin (Lefkosia 1964) 152-158, esp. 153-155, doubts the veracity of Baladhuri's account.

8. Especially convincing is al-Baladhuri's vocalization of the Greek arkhon as urkun with its effort to reproduce the omega of the original Greek word. It indicates some contact or knowledge of actual Greek institutions of that early period. The term was not so common later, but it was the correct word for a governor in the middle of the seventh century.

Investigating the Byzantine Military Land (Strateia): A Word about the Method

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

My recent studies of the strateia have focused on: (1) its legal status and administration; (2) its function in state military and fiscal policies; (3) its evolution as reflected in changes of Byzantine positive law. I presented my findings concerning the first two subjects at the International Byzantine Congress of 1985 and the Twelfth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference of 1986; the third subject is still under investigation. The present discussion deals with the method I have employed in these studies, i.e., an exploration of the strateia within the context of the institution of rural community through a legal analysis of sources.

1. Why the rural community?

According to the Macedonian novels, the strateia was territorially and administratively integrated with the farmers' land within the rural community. While the legal status of the farmers' land has been precisely defined in modern scholarship, the status of the military land still awaits a definition. This study attempts to prove that this status can be brought to light by an analysis of the administrative procedures used in managing the productivity of these respective lands by the communal organization. Thanks to the Taxation Treatise, a source which exhaustively explained the organization and the fiscal function of the rural community, this institution sets up the most solid ground for investigating the strateia.

2. Why a legal analysis of sources?

Constantine Porphyrogenstes' novel Peri t™n stratiot™n, which is the basic source for current theses concerning the military land, does not directly define the legal status of the military land. However, numerous provisions of the novel point to individual elements of this institution and thus, reveal its status indirectly but precisely. It must, however, be emphasized, that any definition of a legal institution based solely on its individual elements is risky, since different legal institutions often share the same elements. In order to successfully distinguish between various institutions, a scholar must identify full set of the rights and duties pertinent to the legal content of each institution under his scrutiny, and this requires some knowledge of positive law. For instance: the basic feature of ownership is the owneres full power over the object, including the right to alienate it; according to the sources, the farmers' land was alienable, while the military land was not. After a farmer's ownership expired, his land became property of the state, while the military land could never be acquired or alienated by the fisc. Nevertheless, because historians do not precisely distinguish between dominium and possessio, they continue to equate the military land with individual ownership. Thereby, they miss the fact that it is the legal difference between dominium and possessio that leads to the procedural differences in control of the farmers' and the military land respectively. Mutatis mutandis, the procedural differences in handling these two categories of land by the rural community points to the legal differences in their legal status.

A precise definition of the legal status of the military land, a definition which emerges from a juxtaposition of the Taxation Treatise and the novel Peri t™n stratiot™n, automatically answers many questions concerning the institution of the strateia.

Piracy, Commerce and Population Movements in the Gulf of Corinth During the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou (The City University of New York)

Vacalopoulos, Antoniades-Bibicou and others have called attention to the flight of inhabitants and the subsequent depopulation of certain areas of central Greece during the Byzantine period and the Tourkokratia. These population movements and the resultant abandonment of old settlements were often a consequence of either the destructive effects of foreign invasions or the deliberate policy of governmental authorities. Yet, in some areas it is obvious that the systematic withdrawal of coastal populations to new habitations in the interior was caused by endemic piracy.

Studies of piracy during the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods have concentrated on insular Greece and Macedonia. This paper deals with the breakdown of naval security in the Gulf of Corinth during the late twelfth and the thirteenth centuries and the catastrophic effect this had upon the area's economy and coastal settlements. It is argued that the flight of many of the inhabitants of the northern gulf coast to more secure areas in the interior represents a pattern for this region that was a direct result of endemic piracy and the breakdown of imperial central authority. Naval insecurity also reversed the economic prosperity that central Greece enjoyed during most of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. From the twelfth century on, the themata of Hellas and Nikopolis were dominated by political instability and foreign invasion.

Information drawn from sources recently made available such as the writings of John Apokaukos, metropolitan of Naupaktos between c. 1199 - c. 1232, indicate that prior to the latter half of the twelfth century, this city was prosperous and participated in the silk production centered in Thebes. This provincial economic activity sharply declined as a result of the naval insecurity in the Gulf of Corinth as imperial authority was replaced by that of local archontes like Leon Sgouros. The situation became worse when Latin feudal states vied with these local Byzantine authorities for control after 1204.

Apokaukos makes known to us that during the early thirteenth century much of the population of Naupaktos had abandoned the city and withdrawn to the interior. His references are supplemented by the Chronicle of Galaxeidi which,although written at the start of the eighteenth century, contains reliable information concerning local events drawn from earlier sources now lost. The Chronicle relates that many of the cities east of Naupaktos had also suffered an economic decline and that their populations had withdrawn to the interior.

Both sources show that in central Greece coastal populations had a long experience with piracy and flight to places of comparative security well before the advent of the Ottoman conquest. By that time a pattern of coastal depopulation had been well established and remained characteristic of the region for centuries. It only changed when after the Veneto-Ottoman wars the Ottoman state brought relative peace to the Gulf of Corinth in the eighteenth century.

What Should Byzantine Social History Be Like?

Warren Treadgold (Florida International University)

Few Byzantinists or non-Byzantinists are satisfied with the Byzantine social history written to date, and some would doubt whether any worth mentioning has been written at all. But what sort of Byzantine social history would be better?

Presumably it would not simply be a large collection of facts about Byzantine daily life drawn from the sources. That is already available in Phaidon Koukoules's five long volumes in Greek, with which dissatisfaction is almost universal. Since Koukoules's work is tolerably accurate and comprehensive in scope, and other similar compilations have found no more favor, the problem seems to be with the philological approach, which lacks both color and analysis.

The studies of western medieval society that are now most in favor offer vivid descriptions of life in specific places during restricted periods. For the most part Byzantinists lack the sources to produce comparable work, because the Byzantines did not share our interest in recording the minutiae of daily life. Some scholars have tried to overcome this problem by concentrating on what did interest the Byzantines, and thus producing history of mentalities. Their main sources have been hagiography and court oratory; their conclusions have been that the Byzantines were obsessed with holy men and ceremonies. But other sources reflect no such obsessions, particularly among the great majority who had never seen a holy man or been to court. This sort of history seems already to be exhausting its materials, and to be unlikely to develop much further.

Many have long believed that we need to identify social structures in Byzantium comparable to the ancient polis, western feudalism, or modern class systems. Recent work has shown that the Byzantines had nothing comparable to any of these, leaving the impression that Byzantine social structures were weak and individual Byzantines felt isolated. Yet such a feeling of isolation is very hard to document. The Byzantine village seems to have been at least as cohesive as other ancient or medieval villages, and most Byzantines at least as much attached to their government and church as others were to theirs. The Byzantines appear to have been well enough satisfied with their institutions, even if modern scholars are not.

These approaches, originally developed to study societies that were more homogeneous and restricted in time than Byzantium, tend to oversimplify Byzantine society. A philological method, generalizing evidence from the fourth century to the fifteenth, gives a static and colorless picture by ignoring social change; efforts to generalize evidence about small groups of people produce distortions by ignoring social diversity; and social change and social diversity alike defeat attempts to find generalized social structures. Any generalization about all of Byzantine society from the beginning to the end is likely to be either false or banal.

Specific studies of the evolution of the court, city, village, church, army, and society as a whole can and should be written, but facts about one of them in one period should not be applied to other contexts without arguments or evidence. Byzantium is a very big field, in scope more like all of Greco-Roman antiquity than like late medieval England or Renaissance Italy. To be satisfactory, Byzantine social history will need to take into account a great deal of diversity and change.


Presiding: Susan Boyd (Dumbarton Oaks)

Byzantine Glass Weights in The Menil Collection

John W. Nesbitt (Dumbarton Oaks)

This paper is basically a follow up to Dr. Vikan's discussion at last year's BSC Conference concerning Byzantine bronze weights. Although several catalogues of Byzantine glass weights have been published, the subjects of use, metrology and decoration still await systematic treatment. Our paper begins with establishing the function of glass weights and then turns to consideration of what their introduction suggests regarding expansion of the Byzantine economy. We then take up briefly metrology and the matter of the different types of coins that they were intended to weigh. We close with a survey of decoration. Since glass weights are often chipped or corroded, the iconography of several series has been ill-understood. The Menil Foundation Collection of glass weights allows us to correct past misconceptions and more accurately document iconographic developments within this genre of object.

From Logos to Logo: Trademarks in Byzantium

Gary Vikan (The Walters Art Gallery)

A heavy bronze stamp (D = 12 cm) of Early Byzantine manufacture bears around its circumference the phrase "The Stamp (typos) of Theodore: Life, Health," and on a cross at Its center, "Fruits of God." What Is this object, and what was it for? Who was Theodore, and what were God's "fruits"?

This Is one of a wealth of surviving bronze stamps which, to judge from their vast numbers and rich variety, must for centuries have played a major role in the daily life of Byzantium. Over the years many Byzantine wood and clay stamps have been published; most are from Egypt, and most date from the early centuries of the Empire. Occasional bronze specimens have been noted as well, in museum and exhibition catalogues, in the Corpus inscriptiorum graecarum, and even, three years ago, on the cover of the BSC Abstracts (Malcove Collection: a cruciform stamp inscribed dynamis). Yet surprisingly, no systematic analysis of Byzantine stamps has ever been attempted--despite the fact that they clearly represent a significant body of inscriptional/archaeological evidence in their own right, and despite the fact that their Roman antecedents, called signacula, have been the subject of thorough scholarly research. Moreover, these implements are almost invariably (as in the 1985 Abstracts) misidentified and misinterpreted as bread stamps.

My Intention is to introduce this very distinctive object type (the typos), which is more thoroughly documented in the Menil Collection than anywhere else in the world, and to move it out of the church and into the marketplace--into the world of trademarks. The two major categories of Byzantine bronze stamps (those for amphora handles, and those for amphora stoppers) will be presented and dated, their various commercial functions (mostly in the wine trade) will be identified, and the significance of their inscriptions (mostly private names and "good wishes") for everyday piety and commerce will be explored.

Inside an Early-Byzantine House: Form and Meaning of the Menil Curtain Fragments

Anna Gonosova (University of California, Irvine)

Extant decorated textiles have rarely been studied as examples of domestic art in spite of the general paucity of this category of Late Roman and Early Byzantine art. Because these textiles were usually found in graves they have been considered primarily as shrouds and as tomb furnishings. At first glance, the funerary function of these textiles seems to be confirmed by their decorative designs, which in most cases employ Dionysiac, pastoral and seasonal motifs, which are used on other funerary objects as well as in tomb decoration. A comparison with other examples of Late Roman and Early Byzantine domestic and private art, however, contradicts this one-sided interpretation since the same themes abound on floor mosaics, table utensils, furniture fragments, and even on costume and jewelry. In the almost total absence of Early Byzantine domestic architecture and its wall decoration, it is these curtains and hangings that can provide an important body of material for the study of the appearance and the content of domestic interior decoration.

The three curtain fragments in the Menil Collection, which on stylistic and technical grounds can be assigned to the fifth century, are examples of such Early Byzantine domestic furnishing. A fragment with the personification of the Nile belongs to a curtain type usually decorated with large scale mythological and pastoral figures. The two other fragments, now preserved only as separate colorful trees, represent another curtain type employing floral and vegetal motifs derived from the Seasonal iconography. The tree design may also be typologically related to the simulated garden rooms of earlier Roman houses. Iconographically, the designs of the Menil curtain fragments--the cornucopia carrying god of the Nile and the fruit laden trees--can be best understood as allegories of regeneration used in the domestic context to insure the continuous prosperity and good fortune for the inhabitants of the dwelling.

A Byzantine Polycandelon in The Menil Collection

Jeffrey C. Anderson (George Washington University)

The Menil Collection, Houston, contains a highly unusual Byzantine lighting device: a polycandelon into which has been incorporated a Roman bronze. The design of the openwork base, which held the set of lamps, can be related to those of other polycandela made before the eighth century, for instance, ones from the ruins of the church of St. Titus at Gortyna (Crete). The base is suspended by means of four chains affixed to a collar in the shape of an inverted flower; it in turn, connects to an inscribed (MΩΣ-ZΩΗ) cross. Individually and as an ensemble these units are thoroughly traditional throughout Byzantium over a long period of time. The cross hangs from a loop fixed, slightly off center, into the bottom of a Roman balsamarion. The cast bronze head is unmistakably that of a black African.

In this paper I will explore separately the date and typology of each part of the work. Concluding remarks will be devoted to the circumstances under which the Roman and Byzantine elements might have been joined.

Silver Liturgical Objects from Attarouthi in Syria

Margaret E. Frazer (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

A collection of fifteen liturgical objects from the prosperous merchant town of Attarouthi in the province of Apamea has recently been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It comprises ten silver gilt chalices, three silver censers, a wine strainer and a dove. The chalices and the censers bear Greek dedicatory inscriptions around their rims and in all but two examples, a village called Attarouthi, variously spelt, is mentioned. ( I am grateful to Marlia Mundell Mango for her identification of the site). The two largest chalices seem to form a pair. They have a capacity of 2000-2100 ml., are inscribed: "Of St. Stephen of the Village of Attarouthi", and decorated with a series of holy figures, none of whom is identified by name. The eight smaller chalices and the three censers also bear dedications around their rims. They mention five donors: Kyriakos, the deacons Diodoros and John, and two brothers named Kerykos and Martyrios. The chalices are dedicated to Saints Stephen and George of a church that stood near the town of Attarouthi and to St. John the Baptist outside the village's walls.

With the exception of one of the smaller chalices which has a cross and star design of a type commonly used on Early Christian objects, such as the lead ampullae from Monza, all the chalices are decorated with holy figures. With the aid of the saints mentioned in the dedicatory inscriptions-Stephen, John the Baptist, George and Theodore-tentative identification of the figures may be suggested. On the two largest chalices, for example, a youthful Christ is flanked by a deacon, probably Stephen, and a military saint, perhaps George. The Virgin orante stands between Sts. Theodore and John the Baptist.

Although the chalices were made in different sizes with the figures placed sometimes under arcades and at other times standing within an unarticulated field, the design of the borders that decorate the rim, the bottom of the chalice's bowl, the knops, the band below them and, sometimes, the base remains constant.

The three censers retain their original chains and copper liners. The finest example, probably made in the sixth century is inscribed, "St. John of the village of Attarouti" within beaded and rope borders. Medallion bust images of Christ and two archangels alternate with monumental crosses of the type depicted on chalices 9 and 10. The other two censers are more difficult to place within a sixth century chronology. Although the iconography follows the pattern of decoration of the censer just described, the style and quality of the relief is much ruder. The face of Christ is emaciated and the arms of his cross-inscribed halo jut out from behind his head in a manner that resembles most the design of the coins of Justinian II during his second reign(705-711).

The objects also include a wine strainer and a small dove with removable wings. The former is made in two parts, the actual strainer, which is pierced with cross-shaped designs, and the funnel used to decant the wine. Quite a few examples are known from the Early Christian world, for example, in the Treasures of Trapain Law in Scotland and of Kaiser Augst in Switzerland. The dove is more unusual but St. Gregory had a dove hanging over the altar of his church in Tours and one hovered in the apse of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople when the Russian pilgrim Anthony of Novgorod visited the church just before the crusader's sack of the city.

"Early Byzantine" Crystals of the 6/7th, 11/12th, and 20th Centuries

Genevra Kornbluth (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)

Although Early Byzantine rock crystal intaglios are generally called rare, fully 32 of them have been published. Many, however, are problematical in terms of date, culture, and authenticity. For the group to be properly evaluated, the small secure core of 6/7th-century gems must be identified.

The published crystals almost all share certain formal characteristics. They are slivers of transparent quartz, about 1-1/2 inches high, convex on one face and engraved on the other, flatter side. They are often paired with similar unengraved crystals and set in gold to form pendants. They also share a common style. Figures are composed of straight, narrow cuts, with very little modelling. This style is a result of the engraving-technique used, and does not indicate affiliation between the gems.

Some of the crystals have variant formats. A small gem in Washington is clearly a ring-stone, to be excluded from the present group. A monogram of Christ in the BM is like the Byzantine crystals In scale and shape, but uniquely engraved on its outer convex surface. It should perhaps be placed in the small corpus of iconographically Christian Sassanian gems. Three other jewels with imperial iconography are so strongly curved that, with their backing-stones, they form nearly spherical pendants. This unusual form is partially responsible for the questions of authenticity raised by Susan Boyd and Gary Vikan in 1981.

Boyd and Vikan also cite peculiar iconography as evidence of forgery. Given the unrevealing style of the crystals, iconography is indeed the most reliable chronological index. Hans-Georg Severin bases his rejection of the Marriage crystal In Berlin almost totally on iconographic arguments (1982).

When format and iconography are taken into account, only seven of the published crystals can be securely regarded as Early Byzantine. These are: a rider and angel and a Christ with the haemorrhoissa in the BM; an Adoration of the Magi in the Vatican; an angel with orb in the Cabinet des MŽdailles; a Baptism of Christ in the New York Metropolitan; a Christ Emmanuel at DO; and the ex-Gutman bust of Christ with a cross. Three of the remaining works (a Nativity and two Anastasis crystals) are iconographically later, probably from the 11/12th century.

Most of the other gems are iconographically peculiar. Some reproduce late western compositions (e.g. a Baptism of Christ based on a Piero della Francesca). These were probably made in the twentieth century. Other stones have small iconographic oddities, not extreme enough to indicate certain forgery but still suggesting caution. These include e.g. an Annunciation with the angel presenting a wreath or crown; an "Adoration" with a winged Wise Man; and a Baptism with Jesus clothed and in an architectural frame.

Nearly all of the securely-attributed crystals have been known since before 1950. Problematic works have generally been acquired since that date. Most recently-acquired objects need further investigation, to show whether they are Early Byzantine. In the meantime, scholars should refer to the published gems with extreme caution, basing their work on the seven securely dated objects.

Armchair Pilgrims

Sheila Campbell (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies)

Many objects of popular piety such as pilgrim flasks, pectoral crosses, and reliquary crosses have been found at Aphrodisias in Caria. The items under consideration in this study are twelve terra cotta pilgrim flasks.Such flasks have been found in many locations throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. It is generally believed that the iconography on the flasks relates them to specific sites, and that this would also be the site of manufacture. However, these sites of manufacture have not yet been identified and the iconography frequently cannot be localized.

A large group of ampullae in the Louvre constitutes the largest published collection. However, most of these were acquired by that institution from private collections, and not from controlled excavations. Other published examples from excavations usually consist of one or two items only. This series therefore, found at Aphrodisias, constitutes a larger than usual grouping of ampullae from one known location.There are eight iconographical types represented here. But can we fix these types to any location? The Aphrodisias examples will be discussed along with comparanda from the Louvre collection, all of which are said to have come from the region of Izmir and Ephesus. The iconography on these flasks is not particularly appropriate to the 'holy' sites in this area. Nor is it likely that a number of pilgrims who lived in this region would all have brought home the same souvenirs from the Holy Land.


Presiding: John Duffy (The University of Maryland)

Cartoons, Erotica and Other Classical Things: Some Literary Evidence for Latin Roman and Byzantine Art

Barry Baldwin (University of Calgary)

John Ruskin opined that the "book of their art" is the most trustworthy record of the deeds of great nations. In terms of what physically remains, chacun ˆ son gout. But as with so many things, there is an underbelly worth tickling, to tease out more evidence. A number of facets of late Roman and Byzantine art hardly exist to be seen, but they are knowable from the literature of the periods. The purpose of the proposed paper is to look at a few, with a pervading emphasis on how literature and art mutually illuminate each other, often more so than has been realised in some quarters. Cartoons, for easy instance. One might expect societies with high illiteracy to make much use of pictures as substitutes for words. There is literary evidence of a disparate sort, from (e.g.) Tertullian, Eunapius, Nicetas Paphlago, the Parastaseis, and Nicetas Choniates, and this will be explored in some little detail. Also harped on here, as elsewhere in the paper, will be the classical pedigree of all this, an element wrongly denied to (in particular) the later Byzantines by some.

Erotica is here used as a neutral term. Eroticism is not a quality routinely associated with the Byzantines, and many people have managed to write books on their lives and culture without a word about it. Nowadays, we can do better; the healthy sexual elements in Byzantine art and literature can be openly acknowledged and better enjoyed in a diversity of contexts. Again, the evidence is disparate. Items for discussion will include the early church fathers, late Neoplatonist attitudes, hagiography, the 12th century romances, and 12th century satire (with stress on Theodore Prodromos and the Timarion). A complementary theme is the evidence for erotic books and pictures in the everyday lives and emotions of ordinary Byzantines.

A pot-pourri of themes will follow, designed to enhance and extend the above-mentioned topics. The teaching of art in Byzantium is one such item, as is evidence for that modern-looking phenomenon, the lightning artist. Luxury (perhaps illuminated) editions of Homer by comparison and contrast to the more familiar bibles can be explored through a fragment of the historian Malchus, a text that has never been rationally analysed before. The poor old Byzantines are always ridiculed for the clich6 of the lifelikeness of portraits, but its classical antecedents can and will be pointed up as rarely before. Other seemingly Byzantine phenomena, criticised and misunderstood in their own day, gain meaning and perspective when viewed in this way. Examples include the wearing of decorated clothes, painters who insert pagan features into Christian portraits, and the use of children (kiddy-porn of a sort) in art.

Failure to appreciate the classical tradition has misled both ancient and modern scholars. Two final examples wil be treated in some detail to make the point. Eusebius in the VC badly distorts (by accident or design) the innovatory side of Constantine's political/ religious iconography; the emperor's skill reposed in reshaping the past rather than novelty of image. The other case consists of a passage in Digenis Akritas involving paintings with mythological and classical themes. Here, it will be shown that much ink and ingenuity have been wasted by scholars, over a description that makes perfect sense if one invokes Homer - even Henri Gr?goire, who made two notable stabs at the issue forgot his classics on this occasion!

From Constantinople to Vivarium: Byzantine Echoes in the Works of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus

Luciana Cuppo Csaki (Fordham University)

There is still much to be done in regard to the study of the transmission of Byzantine culture in literary texts of the 6th century in Italy. Historians of the period preceding the Lombard conquest preferred to concentrate on the history of the Goths in Italy or stressed the military aspects of the conflict with the Byzantine Empire in the Gothic War. The effort made by scholars to study the permanence of the Roman tradition in 6th century Italy is still comparatively recent. The study of literary texts important for the transmission of Byzantine culture in the West in the 6th century is largely to be done. My paper will introduce and evaluate the evidence for the presence of elements of Byzantine culture, as found in the works of Priscianus and as reflected in the works of Cassiodorus.

While the Latin sources of Cassiodorus have been studied to a considerable extent, no comparable effort has been made for his Greek Byzantine sources or for any aspect of exchanges between the literate circles in Costantinople and the area of influence of Cassiodorus at Ravenna, Rome or Vivarium. My paper intends to be a small contribution in the identification of such sources.

First, by gathering and coordinating names and events scattered in various texts and often not readily accessible, the paper will provide information on persons who had contacts both with Constantinople and with Cassiodorus. The first such person is Cassiodorus himself: while it was formerly assumed that he went to Squillace immediately after the fall of Ravenna, it is now believed that he was in Constantinople between 540 and 554; it is, however, generally agreed that little is known about such stay. Pertinent data will be evaluated and, if appropriate, presented as circumstantial evidence for the influence of the Byzantine milieu on Cassiodorus' work.

Next, the paper will analyze passages from the De Laude Anastasii Imperatoris and De Arte Grammatica by Priscianus. There will also be passages from De Ponderibus et Mensuris, still attributed to Priscianus by some scholars. These passages will be compared to loci of Cassiodorus to see if, and to what extent, we can speak of direct influence (or of Priscianus as a source) for some of Cassiodorus' work.

Byzantine Hermeneutics after Iconoclasm: Word and Image in the Leo Bible

David Olster (University of Kentucky)

Art historians and historians have long relied on a Renaissance model to explain Byzantine cultural evolution. They have proposed a conflict between "perennial Hellenism" and "medieval" or "Christian" elements in Byzantine culture, in which the former periodically overcame the latter to spark a Renaissance. One of the most commonly cited examples of this cultural dynamic is the so-called Macedonian Renaissance. Following the "medieval moment" of iconoclasm in the eighth and early ninth centuries, the resurgence of interest in classical texts " literary and artistic styles, and iconography in the later ninth and tenth centuries constituted a victory of Hellenism.

The tenth-century Leo Bible is one of the manuscripts upon which scholars base this interpretation. Its miniatures' "painterly" style and "classical" iconography have been used to illustrate the Macedonian Renaissance. The Leo Bible, however, is an unusual manuscript, for its miniatures also have epigrams running around their borders. These epigrams interpret the miniatures, and provide contemporary evidence for Byzantine aesthetics. An analysis of these miniatures and epigrams demonstrates that the Byzantines had no classical perspective, but rather, the key to Macedonian style and iconography lies in the theological developments of the iconoclastic period, not in the resurgence of "perennial Hellenism."

The iconoclastic period evolved a theology that redefined words as literary images, and images as a pictorial language. This theology of language is clearly articulated in the Leo Bible. Through an analysis of the theological evolution during the iconoclastic period, and its delineation in the Leo Bible miniatures and epigrams, Macedonian style and iconographic evolution can be placed in its proper historical perspective, and the cultural implications of iconoclasm can be applied to the succeeding period.

One discovers, in fact, that "perennial Hellenism" is a modern anachronism that sets Byzantine culture against itself, and ignores the links of continuity between iconoclasm and the Macedonian period. Indeed, the "classical" style and iconography that characterizes Macedonian art is not the "victory" of "perennial Hellenism" over "Christian medievalism," but has its foundation in the theological evolution brought about by the "retarditaire" phenomenon of iconoclasm.

The "Lay of the Emir" in the Grottaferrata Version of Digenes, Akrites

Andrew R. Dyck (U.C.L.A.)

The lay of the Emir', comprising the first three books of the Grottaferrata Version of the epic Digenes Akrites, is a secondary accretion to the Digenes saga. It is less like a prologue to the adventures of Digenes than a self-contained narrative of domestic equilibrium disturbed on either side of the border and subsequently reestablished. It is only interwoven with the plot of the main poem insofar as Digenes' passion can be seen as his father's legacy and his heroism as an inheritance from his father and his maternal uncles (especially the youngest). ÎThe Lay' does not, as is sometimes asserted, give the poem an 'epic'quality, for the motives of the actors are no more national and less personal in scope than in the main body of the poem: the Emir's duel with the youngest of the brothers Ducas, as well as his duel of words with his mother, is for the sake of retaining his beloved, not for the sake of some larger entity or ideal. So, too, the brothers of the abducted woman fight to restore her to her home (and avert their mother's curse), not for 'Byzantium'. Finally, the appeal of the Emir's mother serves her own personal interests as one who is a victim of oppression and in need of a protector once her son has removed to foreign soil. The dominant motives in the ÎLay of the Emir' are, not nationalistic,but simple, personal motives, love and fear -- the love of a beautiful woman and the fear of a mother's curse. To begin with the latter, the Lay of the Emir' comprises two actions undertaken to preserve the integrity of a family, both set in motion by the threat of a mother's curse. Each time a crisis ensues which may part the Emir from the woman he loves. The Greek general's wife threatens her three sons with a curse if they do not rescue their sister, who has been captured by the Emir (G 41-52); and the Emir, once having converted to Christianity, married his erstwhile captive and settled on Byzantine soil, is threatened with a curse by his mother if he does not return to Syria (G 360-406). Both threats take epistolary form and initiate parallel and opposite actions -- the departure of the brothers to fetch their sister from the Emir; the departure of the Emir to return to his mother and other dependents. The brothers' arrival in Syria is followed by retardations. But finally a solution is found which fulfills the needs of both the brothers and the Emir: their sister is to return to her native land; the Emir is to convert to Christianity and marry her. One factor is thereby ignored, however, namely the Emir's Syrian dependents, who now suffer persecution in his absence. Hence the second half of the drama redresses this lingering imbalance. Again the mother's letter is the catalyst. Again there is a retardation, this time in the form of the brother's dream and subsequent intervention to prevent the flight of the Emir and his wife, interpreted as an act of bride-theft. Again a solution is found through love, this time the wife's love for her husband. She saves him as he is on the point of suicide, just as his love for her had spared her the fate of his other captive women. On her mediation good faith is restored, and the Emir is allowed to visit his mother, but alone. There follows the duel of speeches in Book 3 by which the Emir succeeds in converting his mother and persuades her and his dependents to join him in a new life in Byzantium. Both plots of the 'Lay' thus begin with movement from Byzantine to Syrian soil, but both missions result in a surprising migration from Syria to Byzantium. The theme of the 'Lay', rising to a crescendo at the end of Book 1, is amor vincit omnia. The 'Lay' works out the consequences of this proposition in the life of a man of extraordinary military and temporal power with the paradoxical result that his victories on the battlefield are annulled by the charms of the general's daughter. The border, itself an inconvenient obstacle to the reuniting of families and lovers, is the backdrop. The Emir is seen, not as a stereotypical barbarian, but simply as a man in love. Menacing as he is when he appears mounted on a fabulous charger to duel with the youngest brother, he is not heroic: he loses his nerve when his lieutenants urge him to give up the fight, and his conflict with his brothers-in-law in Book 2 brings him to the verge of suicide. But as a victim of the relentless and universal pathology of love he wins the reader's sympathy. The ÎLay of the Emir' thus does both less and more for the plot of Digenes Akrites than is ordinarily claimed: It is a literary exercise by a poet interested in paradox and in reversal of symmetrical plot structures. Not being epic in scope, it complements, rather than contrasts with, the 'Romance of Digenes'. It adumbrates the theme and motive of the following action -- love.

Some Prosopographical Considerations in the Povest'o Tsaregrade

Marios Philippides (University of Massachusetts)

Modern scholarship has demonstrated that some of the material included in the Povest' of Tsaregrade actually derives from the pen of an eyewitness, Nestor Iskander, who was present in Constantinople during the siege of 1453. Most of this narrative can be compared to the famous Giornale that was composed by the Venetian physician Nicolo Barbaro; the Giornale and the Povest' seem to complement each other, as the former concentrates on t events at the harbor, by the boom, and the latter on the land sector of the fortifications. The existence of the Povest' has been known to scholars for over one century. Yet a systematic study of this important eyewitness source has not yet appeared. Scholars have so far restricted themselves to observations on the narrative, which are not backed up by thorough research or documentation.

I propose to begin a systematic study of this interesting document by concentrating on the list of combatants mentioned by Nestor Iskander. Thus Nestor Iskander supplies information on Constantine XI Dragaû-Palaeologus, the last emperor of Greek Constantinople, on Loukas Notaras, the last mXgaH doux, on a logoqXths (who might be George Sphrantzes, who is otherwise only mentioned in the Latin poem by Ulbertino Pusculo), on a "patriarch" (who might be Cardinal Isidore, as no patriarch reigned in Constantinople at that time), on the "empress" (an otherwise unknown mistress of Constantine XI, no doubt), and on some other well-known individuals. It will be demonstrated that Nestor Iskander was indeed familiar with numerous important individuals of the Constantinopolitan court. Conversely, it will be shown that this Turkish "prosopograhy" is lacking and is indeed inferior to the information he has supplied on the defenders. The obvious conclusion is that Nestor Iskander was familiar with the defenders and not with the besiegers. Thus it can be shown that Nestor Iskander was definitely within Constantinople and not in the Ottoman camp, as it has been sometimes assumed by scholars.

One particular person will receive special mention. Nestor Iskander speaks of the deeds of StrathgëH Singkourlas. The person has not been identified so far by modern scholarship; some scholars claim that "Singkourlas" is a corrupted form of Palaeologus-Sgouromalles; others have given up and simply state that the form is corrupted beyond all recognition and that the original name can never be recovered. It will be demonstrated that Nestor Iskander's "Singkourlas" is a historical. person, mentioned in documents of the period. It will be thus demonstrated, on prosopographical grounds this time, that this document provides important information on the siege and should not be dismissed lightly. How else could Nestor Iskander know of Singkourlas? Why should he have mentioned this otherwise obscure person? He must have seen him in person and in action. Thus the value of this document is demonstrated once more; it is gratifying to note that this account is authentic, when so many other, supposedly eyewitness accounts, have been shown to be forgeries by modern scholarship.


Presiding: Ljubica D. Popovich (Vanderbilt University)

The Architecture of Lesnovo in the Light of Political Realities in mid-Fourteenth-Century Macedonia

Slobodan Ćurčić (Princeton University)

The church of the Archangel Michael at Lesnovo Monastery in the region of Zletovo in eastern Macedonia was built in two distinct phases: 1) the four-piered cross-in-square naos, after 1341, and 2) the single-domed narthex, begun probably in 1347.

The architecture of the older part reveals a distinctive, simple, monastic church without a narthex, a type common in Macedonia through much of the 14th century. Its earliest surviving example is the church of St. Nikita at 3u·er (Banjani), built before 1307, while the church of St. Stephen at Kon·e Monastery, built before 1366, is its latest preserved example. Despite its typological similarity with a number of roughly contemporary buildings, the naos of Lesnovo displays the highest quality of construction. This indicates the work of a builder brought in from outside, most likely from Thessaloniki, under the aegis of the powerful nobleman, Sebastokrator Jovan Oliver.

The expansion of the church by the addition of the single-domed narthex shortly after the completion of the naos was accomplished under the auspices of the same patron. By this time Jovan Oliver had advanced in rank, having become Despot Jovan Oliver. This change was the result of a major political development in the area -- the establishment of the Serbo-Greek Empire by the Serbian King Stefan Duûan, who proclaimed himself Emperor in 1346.

The single-domed narthex was an entirely new element in Serbian ecclesiastical architecture of the period. Its specific source may have been Byzantine imperial architecture of Constantinople (most notably the South Church of the Pantokrator Monastery). On historical grounds it can be argued that several years spent by Duûan in his youth within the confines of the Pantokrator Monastery, may have been responsible for the new Byzantinizing wave which swept Serbia between 1330-1350. Unlike the first such wave which occurred during the reign of King Milutin (12821321), and which emanated from Thessalonikiand Epirus, this wave was decidedly Constantinopolitan in character.

The Frescoes of Lesnovo

Smiljka Gabeli° (Institute of Art History, Belgrade)

The frescoes of the church dedicated to Archistrategos Michael in the Monastery of Lesnovo (eastern Macedonia, Yugoslavia) were completed in two stages -- in 1346 or 1347 (the naos) and in 1349 (the narthex). The frescoes In these two parts of the church, though painted only a few years apart, reveal significant thematic and stylistic differences. This paper will consider these differences in the light of particular historical circumstances.

The frescoes in the naos are of a distinctly monastic character, revealing predominantly archaizing iconography and numerous apocryphal themes. The narthex frescoes, on the other hand, are theologically more complex, more sophisticated, and closely related to contemporary developments. The naos frescoes were painted in a vigorous, almost expressionistic manner, with an affinity for decorative details and strong colors. By contrast, the narthex frescoes appear subdued, calm, and are characterized by a cool color palette.

Thematic and stylistic differences between the naos and the narthex frescoes reflect the attitudes and the tastes of their respective patrons. The naos was built and painted while Lesnovo was an ordinary monastery, and its ktitor, Jovan Oliver, was at first a Grand Duke, and subsequently a Sebastokrator. The narthex was added to the church and painted at the time when the monastery became the seat of the Bishop of Zletovo, while Jovan Oliver became a Despot, thus obtaining the-highest title a nobleman could hold at that time.

A Palaeologan Illustration of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

Kathleen Maxwell (Santa Clara University)

Paris, Bibl. Nat., codex grec 54, a thirteenth-century Byzantine Gospelbook, features an extensive cycle of narrative miniatures within its bilingual Greek and Latin text. An illustration of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13) distinguishes itself from the rest of the text miniatures by its decisively symmetrical and hierarchical composition. Christ, flanked by two angels, stands in the center of the composition in a blue-tinted mandorla. To Christ's right are shown the five wise virgins and to his left, the five foolish virgins. All thirteen figures occupy the frontal plane of the composition, which is delimited by a tall wall extending laterally the width of the miniature. The formal symmetry of this illustration separates it from allByzantine representations of this parable. The narrative aspects of the parable's text have been suppressed; instead, the artist has chosen to evoke the imagery of the Last Judgement, the symbolic content of the parable.

The "nuptial" parable of the wise and foolish virgins prefigures the Last Judgement. The bridegroom symbolizes Christ. The five wise virgins represent the saved, the five foolish virgins, the damned. In most renditions of the parable, the bridegroom is depicted as Christ. In Byzantine representations, the literal content of the parable is otherwise followed. In Paris 54, however, the artist suggests the underlying meaning of the parable, recalling Last Judgement iconography in his rigorously symmetrical composition. The iconographic influence of Last Judgement compositions is not likely to be coincidental, given the thematic parallels of the two scenes. It is noteworthy that Jesus actually refers to the Last Judgement shortly after the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:31-46). The illustration was deliberately designed to draw connections between the parable and the Last Judgement.

One must look to the West for comparable renditions of this parable that stress its thematic ties with the Last Judgement. Numerous representations of the parable appear in European monumental sculpture from the twelfth through fourteenth centuries and some of these make explicit reference to the Last Judgement. In Byzantine art, pictorial connections between the wise and foolish virgins and the Last Judgement remain undocumented. However, the presence of the five foolish virgins has been detected by Der Nersessian in a thirteenth-century Armenian miniature of the Last Judgement by Tloros Roslin (1).

The monumental mode of this parable distinguishes it from the much more narrative tone of the other text miniatures in Paris 54. The result is an exceptionally harmonious relationship between content and composition.

1 . Baltimore, Walters W 539 (dated 1262), fol. 109v; see Sirarpie Der Nersessian, Armenian Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, (Baltimore: Lund Humphries, 1973), p. 20.

A 13th Century Crusader Icon of the Crucifixion in the Western Egyptian Desert

A. Dean McKenzie (University of Oregon)

A central theme in Christian imagery has been the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From early Christian times the theme has developed along two basic lines. Appearing most frequently was the canonical type in which the dead Christ on the Cross is flanked by his mother and St. John the Evangelist. The other line of iconographic development reflected a need to interpret the theme theologically and narratively. In the latter line of pictorial development such additions as the two crucified thieves, Longinus and Stephaton, the Centurion, other female followers of Christ, etc. were added.

In western Medieval art beginning with the Carolingian period the Crucifixion scene saw a profusion of theological motifs added such as the dead rising from their graves, the personified Church catching the blood of Christ in a chalice and the Synagogue being turned away from the Cross. A number of these motifs found their way into Byzantine art after Iconoclasm, particularly in the 13th century.

As Weitzmann has pointed out, 13th century Crusader icons, while often closely duplicating the Byzantine style and iconography, always seem to have some revealing western elements. The Crusader Crucifixion icons he discussed are all of the canonical type. However, there is a unique 13th century Crusader icon in the Egyptian Western desert that apparently has escaped serious notice. This icon of the Crucifixion is crammed with theological and narrative details, reflecting Western influences and trends in Byzantine monumental painting of the period. Located in the Katholikon of the Dair Al-Suryan Monastery in the Wadi El-Natroun, this Crucifixion can be compared with the theme as it is depicted in the frescoes of the Church of the Virgin at Studenica (1209), the Church of the Trinity at Sopocani (1260s), and elsewhere.

This paper's analysis will focus on the relationship of the various iconographic and stylistic elements in the Dair Al-Suryan icon with major works in Byzantine and west European art. The objective will be to bring out the major significance of this rather obscure icon, so that it might properly take its place alongside the already well-known Crusader icons at St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai.

The Post-Byzantine Icons of Piana degli Albanesi: New Discoveries

John Lindsay Opie (Université dellâ Aquila)

Eight years ago an examination of the icons belonging to the Eparchate of Piana degli Albanesi in Sicily was undertaken by myself and others. As a result about one half of the collection was cleaned, studied in a preliminary manner and shown in an exhibition held at the Archbishop's Palace in Palermo in 1980-81. Cretan imports apart - including a monumental St Nicholas of the I5th century -, most of the icons were attributed to three newly-constituted masters or shops, believed to have been working in Sicily during the 17th century. The 1980-81 mostra received considerable national and international publicity (Ill Settimanale, Rome, the London Times, the London Times Sunday Magazine, etc.) and was presented by myself in a lecture arranged by the 16th International Byzantine Congress in Vienna. Since then the remaining icons of the collection have been cleaned and new icons have by fortunate chance come to light. In particular, a complete set of Apostles with dedicatory inscriptions, dating from the early 17th century, has been revealed beneath total repainting. The surviving six panels from a probable set of ten full-length Fathers of the Church, certainly to be ascribed to Ioannikios hieromonachos - the most notable figure in the high season of Sicilian post-Byzantine painting -, can now be appreciated, having been delivered from similar condition, and four large panels belonging to another series, one signed by Ioannikios, have been found in a store-room, which pose the problem of a hitherto unsuspected late period in the painter's oeuvre. In addition,scattered panels have been reassembled on the basis of stylistic criteria and the identity of various donors ascertained on archival evidence. These icons will be on view for the first time in an exhibition commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the founding of Piana degli Albanesi to be held in September 1988 In the same town, near Palermo. During the years following the exhibition of 1980-81 the icons of Piana have been further studied by myself and viewed by Greek specialists, resulting in new proposals concerning the dating and chronological interrelations of certain works. There can no longer be any reasonable doubt regarding the existence of a local Sicilian school of post-Byzantine icon painting of high quality displaying a sophisticated knowledge of 15th century Cretan iconography and 16th and 17th century Cretan artistic modes, but nevertheless distinguished by both particular and general characteristics. This Sicilian school of icon painting constitutes a new and remarkable chapter in the history of latter-day Byzantine art.


Presiding: Henry Maguire (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Where and When Were the Byzantines Seated in the Churches?

Natalia Teteriatnikov (Dumbarton Oaks)

Scholars have noticed the presence of benches in some Byzantine churches, but their origin, development and practical use has never attracted attention. While the provision of seats for the clergy in the sanctuary is a commonly known fact, we still need to know about the arrangement and use of seating in the nave of the Byzantine church. In the search for this unswer, it will be helpful to examine well preserved rock-cut seating in Cappadocian churches, their various types and arrangement from early to Middle Byzantine times. The comparison of Cappadocian data with the scattered seating remains of Byzantine churches will clarify the furnishing in the Byzantine churches.

There are two types of seats found in Cappadocian churches: (1) benches and (2) individual seats. Both are integrated into the design of the individual church.

Rock-cut benches appear as the earliest and most widely used seating in the church. They are found along the walls throughout Cappadocian churches , as for instance in the 5th or 6thcentury basilica of St. John in ‚avusin, 6th-century basilica DŸrmuÍcadir, 9th-century church of Joachim and Anne in Kizil ‚ucur, or 11th century churches such as Elmali and Karanlik Kilise in Gsˇreme and others.

Unlike benches, individual seating is found only in churches dating from the 9th to the 13th century. There are several variations in the placement of such seats also constructed along the wall in a continuous fashion. One type of individual seating depends on wall articulation. In this case seats were constructed between the pilasters which divided the wall in the series of blind arcades, and they can be seen in the 10th-century New Tokali Kilise, 11th-century Kili?lar KŸzlŸk, the Holy Apostles in Sinassos, the KarÍ Kilise (c.1212) in GŸlÍehir and others. Another type of individual seating appears as niches cut into the wall next to each other as for example in the 9th-century Ayvali Kilise in GŸlŸ Dere, 10th-century El Nazar in Gsˇreme, 11th-century PŸrenli and SŸmbŸlŸ in Ihlara and others. Rock-cut chairs represent a third type of private seat. They are relatively rare and they are found in a small group of churches dating from the 9th to the llth century such as chapels 1 and 5 In GŸlŸ Dere, the New Tokali Kilise and Karanlik Kilise in Gsˇreme and Ta÷ar triconch.

These observations show that seats were commonly used in the early and Middle Byzantine churches in Cappadocia. Prior to interpreting the purpose of seats we need to compare Cappadocian data with the furnishing found in the naves of Byzantine churches elsewhere. Although the majority of published plans not always indicate the seating, they still can be found in early and Middle Byzantine churches. The Christian House at Dura Europos is the earliest Christian building furnished with benches, and it is dated to the 3rd century. Similar benches are found in the 6th-century rock-cut basilica in the monastery in Mydie in Thrace, 5th-century baptistery of the Alahan monastery in Cilicia, in several chapels of the St. Catherine basilica in the Mount Sinai, early and Middle Byzantine rock-cut churches in Phrygia, and others. The presence of seating in Byzantine churches lets us know about the place where people were seated in certain parts of the liturgical services.

When were the clergy and parishioners permitted to take their seats? The presence of benches in the Christian House at Dura Europos suggests that the custom of seating in the churches has an early origin. According to the 4th-century Pachomian rules, seating was permitted at the beginning and end of vespers. By the 4th-century this Pachomian tradition was a part of the cathedral services of urban centers as well. But also the reading of kathesma (a seating) was the time when participants were instructed to sit and contemplate the meaning of the psalm.

Implications of the Vita of St. Luke of Steiris for Dating the Monastery of Hosios Loukas

Carolyn L. Connor (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Saints' Lives are increasingly being shown to shed valuable light not only on holy men and women themselves and the events of their lives but also on religious beliefs, cult practices and political and Social aspects of their times. Through them we are permitted rare and vivid glimpses of Byzantine society. In the monastic Vitae, references to the religious foundation where a Saint had lived (or was buried) -- its buildings, monastic cells and churches -- most often apply to long vanished monuments or piles of rubble. The Vita of Saint Luke of Steiris or Luke the Younger (not to be confused with the Evangelist Luke) is unusual in that the monastery founded by this saint, the monastery of Hosius Loukas located in the foothills of Mount Helikon in central Greece, survives in a remarkably good state of preservation. The dating of this most spectacular of all Byzantine monasteries has long been debated. The Vita of Luke of Stivis, which can be dated fairly precisely on the basis of internal evidence to the third quarter of the tenth century, refers to two successive phases of the building of the monastery. Close examination shows these are references to the construction of the monastery as we know it today, furnishing a new dating for the Panaghia church and the adjoining Katholikon with its burial crypt.

The first building phase at the monastery is described in chapter 59 of the Vita where the strategos of Hellas, Krinites (c. 946), undertakes the construction of a church: "...he most zealously performed every service and made every expenditure, as for example in donating what was most essential for the construction of the church of the superbly victorious martyr Barbara: much money along with the work force." The church of Saint Barbara will be shown to be that now dedicated to the Panaghia. This building project was continued after the saint's death in 953 when (ch. 67): "...they immediately applied themselves to building the cells and the church (oikodomen kellion kai naou). First, they completed in haste the church of the divine Martyr Barbara ... then they build a number of small structures ... for communal use and for the reception of visitors. Then they transformed that very cell in which was the tomb of the great man from its former appearance, and they made it over very beautifully into a holy oratory (eukterion)in the shape of a cross." It will be argued that this passage refers to the building of the Katholikon.

The dates of mid-tenth and third quarter of the tenth century for the Panagia church and the Katholikon are consistent with architectural evidence, other documentary evidence and historical circumstances, thus supplying with a high degree of probability two new fixed points in the history of Byzantine architecture.

Originality in Byzantine Architecture: The Case of Nea Moni

Robert Ousterhout (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

The katholikon of Nea Moni on Chios is a puzzling building: O. Demus regarded it as "almost a freak in middle Byzantine architecture and decoration." Constructed under the patronage of Constantine IX Monomachus (1042-55) with masons and artisans sent from Constantinople, Nea Moni remains a unique creation. A comparison with the sophisticated design of the slightly older katholikon of Hosios Loukas emphasizes the tentative and experimental nature of Nea Moni. Problems in the proportions are almost immediately evident: the tall dome is completely out of scale, lacking a clear relationship with the low sanctuary and narthexes. The transition from square plan to the octaconch at the intermediate level is not fully resolved, and inconsistencies are masked by the decoration. The mosaic program has also been rearranged to fit the unique architectural scheme.

Ch. Bouras recounts the tradition that the design of Nea Moni was based on the lesser church of the Apostles in Constantinople, which he takes to mean the mausoleum of Constantine the Great, and which he speculates to have been a domed octaconch. He suggests that this design was superimposed on the square plan of the naos to adapt it to the necessities of a monastic church. The argument is ingenious but cannot be substantiated.

This paper proposes a second possibility: that the building was begun as a cross-in-square church, but the design was altered in the process of construction in order to create a more dynamic solution. There is nothing in the lower portions of Nea Moni that gives any hint of the form of the naos vault. The details and proportions of the plan, the low forms of the narthex and sanctuary, as well as the pilasters and arcades of the facades, all suggest instead a cross-in-square church.

Such a change is not without precedent. In his description of the church of St. George in the Mangana in Constantinople, Monomachos' biographer Michael Psellos related that the emperor had the masons alter the plan three times, constantly enlarging the church, to increase the grandeur. Could Nea Moni possibly represent another instance of Monomachos (or his architect) changing the design during the process of construction?

In addition, the octaconch transition, which breaks the interior into horizontal layers, has no precedent in middle Byzantine architecture. It compares more favorably with contemporaneous Arab architecture. The reconstruction of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Constantine Monomachos offers a possible point of contact: in that project a Constantinopolitan workshop and masons trained in the local Arab style worked side by side. Through the analysis, the 11th century emerges as a particularly creative period in Byzantine architecture, and the search for exotic forms seems to have been particularly encouraged by Monomachos.

Private Religious Foundations and their Critics

John Phillip Thomas (San Francisco, California)

George Ostrogorsky declared, "It was the ambition of every Byzantine nobleman to be a ktitor," that is, the founder of a private religious foundation. Yet these foundations were not without their critics. I propose to examine the viewpoint of these critics in detail and quote extensively from their writings. These included the pagan poet Claudian as well as St. Jerome and John Chrysostom, who considered private religious foundations to be more monuments to personal fame than pious provisions for Christian worship. This reflects a deep-rooted ambivalence about whether the community of believers or the building itself constituted the "ekklesia."

Critical imperial legislators denounced private religious foundations in the hands of dissident sectarians as "dens of thieves." Their unwillingness to allow them to serve as refuges for religious sectaries gave rise to the first restrictions on patrons' rights in these institutions.

Later, the Iconoclast emperors identified private religious foundations as the principal bulwark of resistance to their religious policies. This gave rise to the only attempt to abolish private religious foundations and convert them into public institutions. This effort was met with fervent resistance from the wealthy private benefactors of the empire such as Theophanes the Confessor. Pledged to marry the daughter of an Iconoclast sympathizer, Theophanes chose to put her away and liquidated her substantial dowry for his favorite monastic charities. The vociferous protest of his father-in-law is one of the most stunning denunciations of the ideals cherished by pious Byzantine philanthropists.

The most critical denunciation of the motivations of the founders of private religious foundations is contained in the novel of Emperor Nicephorus Phocas issued in 964. He recognized that personal vanity was high among the motivations of the founders, and that this had led to a situation in which the empire possessed more private religious foundations than could be justified. His solution was the banning of additional foundations, a drastic remedy abandoned by Basil II twenty-four years later in 988.

Basil II's innovation of the charistike, a state program for the private renovation and financial exploitation of the empire's existing stock of private religious foundations, had the effect of stilling the opposition to these foundations for nearly a century. Indeed, by the end of this period, abuses in the charistike had made the few remaining independently administered private religious foundations look rather like a model for future ecclesiastical reform. But the ecclesiastical reform movement of the late eleventh century chose to endorse the independent and self-governing religious foundation.

These foundations would dominate the rest of the history of the church in Byzantine times, but they too had their critics. Emperor Manuel Comnenus was among them, and he consciously chose to recall the opposition of his predecessor Nicephorus Phocas to traditional private religious foundations in his own legislation. Eustathios of Thessalonica agreed with the emperor that the wealth of the independent foundations was a scandal and denounced their insatiable appetite for acquisitions of property.

The Lectionary and Textual Criticism

Mary-Lyon Dolezal (The University of Chicago)

Extensive investigation of deluxe lectionaries from the Middle Byzantine period, among them,--to name a few--Rome, Vatican Library, cod. gr. 1156; Venice, San Giorgio dei Greci, cod. 2; New York, Morgan Library, cod. M639; and Mt. Athos,Diongsiu, cod. 587; indicates how markedly decorated lectionaries differ from one another in terms of selection and placement of their illustration. This notable diversity among deluxe lectionaries does not allow for easy categorization of this manuscript type nor has a solely art historical examination adequately interpreted lectionary illustration or defined the particular function of these more lavishly ornamented lactionaries. However, the lectionary has not exclusively been an object of art historical scrutiny. Indeed, textual scholars have contributed the majority of publications concerning lectionaries. Thorough analysis of the considerable research contributed by textual scholars will determine the following: the usefulness of textual data collected, the soundness of hypotheses proposed to explicate the evolution of the lectionary text, and the viability of the methodology used by textual scholars for lectionary studies in general and for the art historian in particular.

The lectionary became the focus of a three decade long project organized by New Testament scholars. The stated goal of the textual critics was to determine the original form of the Gospel text. The lectionary, the liturgical form of the Gospels, was believed, For various reasons, to be a key element in achieving the stated goal. Further, the participants in the project sought to recreate the original, definitive lectionary text under the assumption that it was separate and distinct from the continuous Gospel text and that the lectionary text was homogeneous rather than heterogeneous in character. The outcome of research that included word by word collations of limited sections of the lectionary and attempts to establish a genealogy of lectionary manuscripts was, ultimately, the dissolution of the project. Evidence provided by some textual scholars in the later years of the project establishes the heterogeneous character of the lectionary text and suggests that a reconstruction of a definitive, single text is not possible, contradicting the original premise of the project.

Lectionaries, therefore, differ not only in the selection of illustration, but also, differ in certain aspects of their textual form. In neither case does the lectionary manuscript conform to particular genealogical schema. The methodology employed by the textual critic may not be useful for explicating the structure or the development of the lectionary Form, textual or otherwise. However, although the methodology and some data resulting from this prolonged project may not be of use to the art historian, the textual scholars did contribute other important evidence concerning the structure of the lectionary as well as valuable historical data concerning the Formation of the lectionary that will be critical in future lectionary research.


Presiding: Thalia Gourna-Peterson (The College of Wooster)

The St. Basil Icon

Leslie Brubaker (Wheaton College)

This paper will discuss the iconographical tradition of the Life of St. Basil the Great, comparing the selection, order and morphological details of the biographical scenes on the Basil icon in the Menil Collection with those appearing in manuscripts(Paris gr. 5 10) and wall paintings (at Fortuna Virilis in Rome, and in Cappadocia).

"Vita" Icons and the Origin of Their Form

Nancy P. Ševčenko (Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium)

The "Vita" icon type is so widespread in post-Byzantine art that it is surprising to discover that there are only a couple of dozen surviving Byzantine examples; almost all of these come from Sinai, Cyprus or Kastoria, the earliest being of the late 12th century.

The usual design of a Vita Icon comprises a standing saint or his bust surrounded on all f our sides by little scenes - sometimes 16 or more - from his life, painted on a much smaller scale. The interest in the full biography of the saint, not just his martyrdom, should probably be connected with new dispositions for the reading of long saint's lives In those monasteries which adopted Studite liturgical typika in the 12th century. The extended sequence of narrative scenes was originally thought to have had its source in manuscript painting, but I am now convinced that cycles of this length were even rarer in manuscripts than they are on icons.

As for the form of these icons, there are certain early parallels to be cited: antique mosaics showing Herakles surrounded by scenes of his Labors; Early Christian works such as the five-part ivory diptych in Milan or the portrait of Luke in the Corpus Christi Gospels showing small scenes flanking a large central image. But there the story seems to stop, and there is nothing quite comparable in the East, at least in icons, manuscripts or ivory carving, until the surprise appearance of these icons in the late 12th century.

But there is one possible contemporary source of inspiration for the Vita icon form, namely the silver Icon revetments of the 11th and 12th centuries. Though few early examples survive, monastic typika reveal a burgeoning and utterly unprecedented interest over the course of the late 11th and 12th centuries in elaborate silyer-gilt icon frames. The poems in Venice Marc. gr. 524 suggest that anyone who was anybody in the mid 12th century was commissioning fancy icon revetments, often to encase older icons. The revetments included holy figures; though these are usually specified as busts or standing figures, in a couple of cases we might be justified in reconstructing actual scenes. Georgian silver revetments which imitate Byzantine models do have small panels containing Feast scenes alternating with panels of ornament, and in Palaiologen times there are plenty of actual Byzantine examples (cf. Grabar, Les rev?tements). The revetments of icons in the palace sanctuaries are reported to have been plundered by Isaac II Angelos on the eve of the Fourth Crusade, much to the dismay of Chonlates. Perhaps the idea of surrounding of a saint's portrait with little painted scenes may have begun in just this period as a cheap imitation of a particular type of metal revetment then in vogue. Other aspects of metal frames were being copied on panel paintings in the early 13th century: the raised nimbus and "chased" background of many Cypriot icons clearly imitate earlier metalwork, and correspond exactly to the 12th century revetments described in the sources.

The specific function of these Vita icons - whether they were always designed for chapels dedicated to the saint they depict, as was probably the case on Sinai (cf. my Life of St. Nicholas In Byzantine Art, 164-5; Weltzmann, Deltion 12[1984], 94-107; Mouriki, The Griffin 1-2[1985/6], 51) - is a question which can be settled only on the basis of new evidence. In the meantime, it is worth suggesting that these icons, which, like the metal ones, very often have tiny donor portraits depicted near the saint, may have simply been a now form of "decorated" icon (kekosmemene eikon, the common term for an icon with a metal or jewelled frame). "Decorated" icons were always quite special donations; in the 14th century such a gift virtually guaranteed the giver that annual memorial services would be recited at the monastery in his name(Typikon of the Bebala Elpis, Delehaye, Deux typica 92-4). Vita icons may have served the same purpose.

The St. Stephen Icon

Ellen C. Schwartz (Eastern Michigan University)

This paper will examine an icon of St. Stephen from the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. This superbly painted icon shows the bust of the saint, presented frontally on a gold bevelled panel. The condition of the icon is good, despite a large crack mended probably in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. The technique is somewhat unusual, for the ground beneath the entire panel is mordant, an earth pigment usually reserved as a base for the figure alone.

Dressed as a deacon, St. Stephen swings a censor with his right hand and holds in his covered left hand a small house-shaped pyxis on a golden plate. While the presentation of Stephen in deacon's dress with liturgical implements is standard, several elements make this icon unusual. The censor shown in its entirety is primarily reserved for full-length depictions; bust portraits include only the upper parts of the chains. Here it is shown in detail, down to the bottom flange and the glowing embers within. The artist clearly was interested in depicting this object relatively realistically. The other object carried by Stephen is in itself unusual. Typically the pyxis he holds has a cylindrical shape and domed lid; here, the golden box is house-shaped with a pitched roof. While most preserved small metal boxes are reliquaries, like the 6th century one in the Menil Collection, such house-shaped pyxides are occasionally seen in depictions of deacons in frescoes from Serbia and Macedonia such as those in the King's Church at Studenica (1313/14). The emphasis on the three liturgical objects in our icon seems to stress the multiple functions of the deacon who plays a major role during the liturgy and at communion time, and also carries communion to other churches as well as to the homebound.

The St. Stephen icon has been attributed to the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The proportions of the figure and its relationship to the panel recall the Chilandar Panteleimon icon dated to the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century. The exaggerated triangular shape of the head and the thin neck support this dating, as do other stylistic details and the pyxis comparison with the Milutin group frescoes. A date in the first quarter of the fourteenth century thus seems most reasonable. The inscription in Greek points to a Greek provenance and artist, probably from a workshop in Thessaloniki with connections to the artists decorating contemporary churches in Serbia.

The St Marina Icon

Jaroslav Folda (University of North Carolina)

There is in the Menil Collection in Houston a small icon recently acquired which depicts the image of a bust-length figure of Saint Marina. This icon was part of the Bradley Collection in London and has been exhibited in London at the Temple Gallery (1969), in Cardiff (1973), and at Dumbarton Oaks (1983). In 1969 the icon was attributed to the "School of Jerusalem orAcre, 13th century."

The icon measures 20.4 cm. (height) by 15.8 cm. (width). It has a raised border and is painted on a light but dense wood as yet unidentified. Along with the flesh tones, the figure is painted In bright red and blue and the border is done in red and green with yellow decoration; there is no evidence of gold having been used. The bust-length figure of Saint Marina is frontal with a halo emphasized by stucco work (gesso in relief) along with additional relief decoration at the sides and top of the figure and forming the cuffs of her undergarment.

Bust-length images of Saint Marina appear in middle Byzantine art in a variety of media including mosaics, metalwork and manuscript illumination. The basic iconography of the saint as exhibited in the Menil Icon may go back to a Constantinopolitan icon of the 10th or llth century. The technique of the painting is essentially Byzantine although no linen is used as a foundation for the gesso on which the image is executed. The specific stylistic and iconographical results of this painting suggest, however, a non-Greek artist and/or patron. Despite the use of a green ground for shading the face and layered application of flesh tones with some particular features noted in Byzantine icons from Cyprus, the face is represented more in terms of flat pattern than three dimensional rotundity and volume. Iconographical peculiarities with regard to the figure of the saint and her decoration further suggest a non-Byzantine origin.

An attribution of this icon to the 13th century seems reasonable, but its origin must be explored not only in the mainland Crusader States, but also on Crusader Cyprus. The icon is distinguished by the excellent condition of its paint surface, but its size and other physloal characteristics pose a difficult question in regard to function. If the icon is accepted as a work of Crusader painting, it would be one of only two such examples recognized outside of the collection at Saint Catherines, Mount Sinai.

Murals from Thirteenth-Century Cyprus at The Menil Collection

Annemarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University)

This paper presents wall paintings purchased by the Menil Foundation on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus after their detachment from the apse and dome of the church of St. Themonianos at Lysi in the Famagusta District. Published hitherto only cursorily in the annual report of the Cyprus Museum for 1974 and then in the 1987 edition of the Stylianous' The Painted Churches of Cyprus, the murals are little known and strike the viewer at once for their high quality.

The church is a small cruciform building with pointed arches of a type known on Cyprus from the second half of the twelfth century onward. Only the paintings in its apse and dome have been known, though further images may have existed; a donor's inscription at the base of the apse citing St. Themonianos and an Abbot Paul was destroyed during the paintings' theft. Themonianos is otherwise unknown, and the little building was probably a personal votive dedication. The program of its decoration elicits votive veneration. Its dome, with the Pantokrator surrounded by venerating angels converging on the Etimasia flanked by Mary and John the Baptist, repeats the imagery of Trikomo, and so probably also repeats the content expressed in Trikomo's inscriptions, of celestial veneration of Christ as judge. Facing the judge from the apse is the Virgin Episkepsis--the vehicle of salvation--flanked by angels.

The paintings belong to the thirteenth century: though reminiscent of late Komnenian painting in their sharp linearity, they exhibit an interplay of line and volume and a use of colored line for modelling that are closer to the murals of Moutoullas (1280) and the ikons associated with them. It is hard to know where within the thirteenth century they belong, but they are of notable interest in being the finest murals of this date surviving from Cyprus.

Significant in view of their date is their recognizably Cypriot and strongly Byzantine character. They are distinctively Cypriot in iconography; more notably, they are--as the late twelfth-century paintings are not--distinctively Cypriot in style, producing a compound of late twelfth-century elements that serves in turn as a basis for the vocabulary of forms used in the Asinou narthex of 1332/3. As such, they suggest that the thirteenth century saw the development of a local manner of very considerable quality based on the twelfth-century heritage of Byzantine works. That Cyprus did in fact see a period of artistic vitality in the thirteenth century has been argued by Doula Mouriki, and Lysi's murals reinforce her view. They suggest, however, that this vitality was grounded not--or at least not exclusively--in the development of the hybrid style hitherto known as "Crusader," but in a thoroughly Byzantine art with strong local roots.

A Problematic Russian Dormition Icon

Christine Havice (University of Kentucky)

The large icon of the Dormition of the Virgin now in the Menil Collection offers an imposing representation of this iconography and was apparently once part of the feast row of a Russian iconostasis. The sixteenth century Muscovite attribution of the icon is supported by its almost square format and elongated, delicate figure style, as well as by the handling of space and the palette. However, close inspection of the painting, which is in excellent condition, reveals areas of overpainting in certain faces, details of ecclesiastical garb, and in the central mandorla with Christ and the angelic choir. Moreover, at all four corners, cracks in the wood cut across substantial portions of the architecture and the feet of the apostles and suggest some drastic interventions to the icon. The situation becomes further complicated when we examine the icon from the back: there, the octagonal central portion of the panel corresponds to the roughlycircular inner area of the front but still bears parts of its original cross-pieces, while a lower cross-piece, made up of two unmatched bars, alone reinforces the panel.

The puzzling aspects of the icon's construction are matched almost precisely by an Ascension of identical size that was also bought from the Tretyakov in the 1930's by George R. Hann. These and certain features of the painting surface in our Dormition led V. Teteriatnikov (Icons and Fakes, 1981) to declare the work a modern forgery, along with many others in the Hann collection that were sold at Christie's in 1980.

This paper attempts to sort out the technical and material problems of this icon, based in part on the results of recent testing in Houston, as well as to offer the evidence of the lower stratum of painting and a tighter stylistic analysis than has been made thus far, to offer a more precise history of this panel.

An Icon of the Pokrov, the Feast of Romanos Melodos, and Russian Hymnological Icons

Alice Christ (University of Kentucky)

The Menil Collection possesses a sixteenth century icon of the Pokrov which offers an opportunity to to comment on some recent proposals [A. Grabar, Cahiers. Archeol. 25(1976):143-162] about the origins and meaning of this much discussed iconography. The iconography is complex, depicting a vision of the Mother of God who, according to the Life of Andrei Salos, appeared during a vigil at the Blachernae church, promising protection during a siege by raising her veil above the congregation. Andrei's Vision is usually dated to the ninth or tenth century. To this basic subject, icons attributed to the tradition of Vladimir Suzdal', and their Muscovite heirs, added the central image of the fifthcentury saint, Romanos the Hymnographer standing in an ambo with a scroll on which his Nativity Kontakion is inscribed.

Many explanations have been offered for this assemblage of asynchronous characters. The subject has obvious reliquary and historical associations with the Blachernae church. Origins in the weekly display there of an image of the Mother of God have been argued. And it has been well noted that the Pokrov was celebrated in the Russian church calendar on October 1, th day of Romanos Melodos in the Byzantine and Russian churches. Intimate connection of the icon subject with the liturgical calendar is certain. But it does not seem sufficient to attribute, with Grabar, the invention of the composite iconography to a preexisting calendrical coincidence of the Feast of Andrei Salos (in the Russian church much more widely than the Byzantine) on October 2. The Life of Andrei Salos places his death on May 28. Moreover, the Feast of the Pokrov, like the iconography, finds no Byzantine documentation, and therefore no pre-established day to be recieved into the Russian liturgical calendar.

It seems perverse in the face of the preserved evidence to deny the long suspected Russian origins of the Pokrov. Certainly the famous icon in the Russian Museum, Leningrad, cannot be taken for a reproduction of a Byzantine archetype, less correctly copied in examples like the Menil icon. Rather, the Pokrov may be interpreted as an early manifestation of a Marian devotion which was indeed first learned in Constantinople, but which quickly received a characteristically Russian politico-liturgical elaboration. The icon may also have served as an ideational and partly as a visual precedent for later Russian icons illustrating liturgical praises of the Mother of God (like O Tebe raduietsia, recently proven of Russian origin by A. Dumitirescu), with which its Muscovite development has much in common. These hymn subjects too have specific calendrical associations. But like the Pokrov, they seem principally designed to reiterate the sacred image of Muscovite society as a mirror of the divine order.


Presiding: Emily Hanawalt (Boston University)

Statuary in the Baths of Zeuxippos

Sarah Bassett Clucas (Dumbarton Oaks)

The Baths of Zeuxippos were one of the major Constantinopolitan bathing establishments. They stood in the heart of the city between the Hippodrome and the Augusteion. Septimius Severus initiated their construction in the 3rd century; however, they appear not to have been completed until the later part of the 4th or the early 5th century, at which time they were decorated with sculpture. Fires attendant upon the Nika riots of 532 destroyed the late antique complex. This was subsequently rebuilt by Justinian. The Baths remained in use throughout the later Byzantine period,although their function varied. The 6th-century fire at the Zeuxippos destroyed not only the architecture at the site but also the sculpture. Although ruined by the conflagration, the collection is known from literary evidence and supporting archeological materials. A 416 verse ekphrasis by the Egyptian poet Christodorus of Thebes describes 65 statues or statue groups. Among the figures documented by the poet are images of gods and mythological heroes, as well as literary, philosophical, and historical characters. Two inscribed statue bases found during the excavation of the site correspond to figures mentioned in Christodorus' ekphrasis. On the basis of their profiles, these bases may be dated to the 5th century. Dowel holes on their upper surfaces indicate that they supported statues made from bronze. Apart from their yield of chronological and material information, the bases are important in that they demonstrate that Christodorus was responding to an extant collection of sculpture. Although the statue bases are datable to the 5th century, it has always been assumed that the statuary described by Christodorus was of pre-4th-century manufacture. Fragmentary pieces of relief sculpture from the site, one of 5th-century B.C. Attic manufacture and another of Hellenistic or Augustan workmanship, support this supposition. Such a reuse of materials would have been consistent with the public and civic decoration of late antique Constantinople itself, where many of the city's fora, streets, and gathering places were adorned with ancient statuary. The act was also consistent with traditions of bath decoration in which large quantities of statuary were reused for purposes of economy. What was anomalous in the decoration of the Zeuxippos complex was the nature of the iconography. Customarily, statues of gods and mythological figures associated with health, healing, and water adorned bathing complexes; however, Christodorus describes no such figures at the Zeuxippos. Rather the types of statues mentioned are those more usually associated with libraries and theaters.

The Akropolis and Lower City of the Byzantine "Dark Age" Town (7th-8th century):The Cases of Gortyna, Soloi, and Druinopolis

Frank R. Trombley (U.C.L.A.)

Recent articles have questioned the thesis that the cities of Anatolia underwent catastrophic decline from the Sassanid raids of 611-628 (Byzantion 52, 1982, 429ff.) and that the resultant damage meant the extinction or the towns' corporate identity (Bvzantina kai Metabyzantina 4, 1985, 65ff.). This paper will integrate the evidence for certain non-Anatolia towns into what might be called the "Euchaita paradigm", to wit, that the "lower cities" of the "Dark Age" towns remained centers of social, economic and religious life. After a synopsis of texts and inscriptions pertaining to Euchaita, Attaleia and Syracuse, the discussion will turn to three topics: Gortyna, the administrative capital of Crete; Soloi on Cyprus; and Druinopolis in Epirus Nova. In each instance, texts, epigraphy, and/ or site reports provide clear evidence of continuity. For Gortyna, ongoing excavations in the praetorium complex of the lower town match reports of considerable administrative and ecclesiastical facilities in 8th century sources (e.g. Vita S. Andrei, BHG 113), and their survival despite Arab sea raids. Similarly relevant are two inscriptions from Soloi dated 647/8 and 653/4 which record the consequences of an Arab sea raid which depopulated the island and of an earthquake, after which many buildings, including the basilica, were rebuilt (Soloi, ed. J. des Gagniers). The church lay in the lower city near the theatre, but above the agora. The enceinte of fortifications--which were sketchily surveyed--appears not to have been reduced thereafter. Neither at Gortyna nor Soloi were the lower cities abandoned in favor of akropoleis for the purpose of habitation, despite the proximity of the sites to Arab-infested seas, a trait characteristic of inland Euchaita as well. For Druinopolis, Fragment VI of the Epirotika, a text written in post-Byzantine Greek but demonstrably based on early lost documents or inscriptions of 6th or 7th century date (ed. I. Bekker, Bonn, 1849), describes the upland valleys of Epirus Nova. The construction of hundreds of buildings is noted at a site called Druinopolis, including churches and mills, during the reign of Justinian I. The time of invasions came here in the reign of Justin II (565-578), when a local magnate named Argyros and his family built defensible kastra in upland districts, and became the de facto local governors-under Tiberius Constantine (578582). The-dstrict remained secure--and free of any major Slavic Landnahme--until at least 655, when Constans II (whom the Epirotika correctly identify as Constantine Pogonatos) subsidized a monastic church there. Upland and akropolis settlements are thus more characteristic of the Adriatic coast than or Crete and Cyprus in the instances cited, an important corrective to the currently held thesis that "hill castles" became the principal sites of habitation during the Byzantine "Dark Age". The discussion will conclude by relating this evidence to C. Mango's remarks on the 7th century city in Byzantium: The World of New Rome.

Not Absolutely the Best Defense: Ammianus on the Revolt of Silvanus
Jacqueline Long (Columbia University)

Patterns of events in historical narrative are both literary, and historical devices. As they recur, they build a framework of expectations for the specific incidents. At the artistic level, their parallels and divergences create irony and suspense. At the same time, analysis is served as particular and common factors can be distinguished, characters illuminated, events understood. One frequent yet neglected pattern in Ammianus' Res Gestae is that of treason in self-defense. It appears at every level. Common soldiers desert to avoid penalties for wrongdoing (14.3.4, 16.12.2, 18.6.16, 25.5.8). Higher ranking civilians like Antoninus (18.5) and Craugasius (18.10, 19.9) defect amid more complicated intrigues. Every usurper is driven by fear of the reigning emperor. Procopius anticipates Jovianâs displeasure at a rumor that Julian intended him to succeed: he goes into squalid refuge, to emerge into even more squalid rebellion under Valens (26.5) Julian faced Constantiusâ false suspicions and his courtiersâ intrigues several times Caesar. The order to send East half or more of the Gallic army seems to further these threats and to endanger the West; Julian usurps the title of Augustus (20.4). Though other defectors and usurpers win only qualified syrnpathy by their desperation, Ammianus uses it to justify Julian's response. Gratuitously, he imagines that Gallus thought of usurption before the end (14.11.8). But he elaborates the concept of defensive treason most fully in Silvanus' rebellion (15.5).

His narrative occupies two movements. First, a pack of officials conspires to accuse Silvanus of treason, supporting. Their case with a set of forged letters. Imperial investigation is set ominiously underway. Silvanus' friends protest and are incriminated in turn. But as expectation grows grimmer, the forgery is uncovered. Silvanus' name is cleared. Guilt and innocence stand distinct, the absolution of the conspirators superficial irony (15.5.3-14). In the second stage, however, deeper irony complicates Amniianus' morally simple beginning. Ignorant of his vindication and cut off from court, Silvanus has already sought safety in a strong offence: he has taken the purple. Now Constantius faces a real threat. Ursicinus, himself suspected of treasonous ambition, is recalled, judgment deferred, and dispatched to lure Silvanus back to court. He arrives to find the rebellion already too far progressed, and is obliged to beguile the usurper until he can arrange to have him assassinated (15.5.15-31). A brief necrology and routine prosecutions conclude the episode (15.5.32-6.6).

Parallels with Gallus' end implicitly validate Silvanus' paranoia. Ammiamis offers the pattern of defensive treason as a ysychological explanation of the revolt. In view of the relative calm that supervened in Gaul, a personal explanation may, be preferable to modern historians' attempts to find a broader political basis (Balducci, Ceska, den Boer).

The narrative's internal parallels between Ursicinus and Silvanus too establish an instructive contrast. Modern critics have objected both to Ursicinus' conduct in suppressing the revolt and to Ammianus' treatment of him. The assassination is despicable (Thompson) or at best, "true Roman" chauvinistic ruthlessness (Dautremer). Ursicinus himsel unjustly depreciated Constantius' consistent trust and favor, and Ammianus parrots his chiefs bias (Thompson). Constantius cannot have doubted his loyalty, to have sent Silvanus'so valuable a potential ally (Thompson, den Boer). All these criticisms miss a profounder aim of Ammianus' portrayal. He regularly mines history for behavioral exempla e.g. 14.11.10,22; 16.10.3); he offers his own patterns in the same spirit. Ursicinus faces all the provocations that moved Silvanus (15.5.27-28), but he remains loyal. He affords Ammianus a humbler antitype of the usurper than Julian. Heroically, and yet as a more generally applicable paradigm, he resists psychological forces of established power.

Sic erit adventus Domini: Verecundus of Junca's Eschatological Vision

Susan T. Stevens (Indiana University)

Verecundus of Junca was a bishop of a minor see in Byzacena (present day Bordi Younga in Southern Tunisia) who lived in the middle of the tumultuous sixth century when the African church, still reeling from the persecutions of the ArianVandals, took a stand against Byzantine imperial interference in ecclesiastical affairs. Verecundus and his compatriots Facundus of Hermiana, Victor of Tonnena, and Primasius of Hadrumetum led the defense of the Three Chapters (and the Council of Chalcedon) against Justinian and paid the price for their independence with exile. In the documents of the Three Chapters Controversy (e.g. Vict.Tonn. ad ann. 51,552) Verecundus' career is condensed into a few episodes of 551 and 552: his summons to Constantinople by Justinian with the other African bishops, his flight to the Church of St. Euphemia in Chalcedon, and his subsequent death there. As a result, Verecundus has contributed little to the history of Byzantine Africa or our understanding of the African Church in the sixth century outside of his role in the Three Chapters Controversy.

However, this approach to Verecundus ignores a more important aspect of the bishop as a devout and educated Christian. Like an older contemporary, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Verecundus rose to prominence in the African church through his learning and literary talent. Fellow churchmen describe him as 'let sanctitate et divinarum scripturarum scientia ornatus" (Epistula ad legatos Francorum, PL 69 116B), a tribute to a biblical scholar who wrote Commentarii super cantica ecclesiastica before his ordination as bishop. Verecundus was also the last Christian Latin poet from Africa and the African continuator of Isidore's De viris illustribus recognizes him as "studiis liberalium litterarum disertus" for his poems De resurrectione et Iudicio and De Paenitentia (PL 83, 1088A). The current study focuses on Verecundus, only surviving poem, De satisfactione paenitentiae, in which the poet throws himself on the mercy of God. Whereas past work has highlighted the versification of the poem (L. Vernier, "La versification latine populaire en Afrique, Commodien et Verecundus," Revue de Philologie n.s. 15 (1891) 14-23.) and its debts to earlier Christian Latin poets like Commodianus and Prudentius (M. Manitius, Geschichte der Christlich-lateinischen Poesle (Stuttgart 1891) 406.), I will concentrate on its contents, a personal and heartfelt testament through which Verecundus professes belief in an imminent and literal cataclysmic end of the world. This paper will argue that De satisfactione paenitentiae was more influenced by apocalTptic literature and contemporary apocalypticsm than by the models of earlier Christian Latin poetry. Verecundus' poem speaks most powerfully as evidence in sixth-century North Africa for a religious worldview which includes a vigorous belief in literal and imminent apocalypse, a worldview rarely represented in the Church after Augustine.

Origen and Pseudo-Dionysius on Divine Names

Naomi Janowitz (University of California-Davis)

Pseudo-Dionysius' treatise The Divine Names continues a lengthy debate about language, and in particular, about the special function of names. As part of a broadly defined "mystical" tradition, he is often compared with another "mystic" Origen. However, an analysis of their vocabulary reveals that they had distinct theories of langauge, theories which we in turn need. Origen, while he criticizes what we would call natural based theories of language, ultimately opts for one. The origin of language is divine, which makes the study of language a "divine science." In Contra Celsum he rejects Celsus's idea that it does not matter which names is used to refer to the deity. Names are a source of power, including the names of the deity, names of daimons and even the names of "wise men" who are "related to God" [1.15]. Moses knew enough about these "secret doctrines" to prohibit mentioning names of gods.

Pseudo-Dionysius shares with Origen only the most general ideas about names. He would find most of Origen's ideas shocking and "magical." He, unlike Origen, had a theory of language influenced in part by Proclus. Origen was also influenced by Stoic ideas, and in addition was familiar with Hebrew theories of names which he learned from Hebrew exegetes. These theories held that names did not represent, but were actual icons of divine power. Pseudo-Dionysius on the other hand has a strictly representational theory of language in which an iconic notion of names was not a factor.


Presiding: Annemarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University)

Pilgrimage to Lalibela, Ethopia's "New Jerusalem"

Maggie Duncan-Flowers (University of Illinois)

On the slope of Mt. Abuna Yosef in the heart of the Ethiopian highlands lies a Christian pligrimage sanctuary ascribed to the thirteenth-century Zague king, Lalibela. The site consists of ten rock-cut churches disposed In two groups, and one church that stands alone. Four are fully isolated from the volcanic tufs, and sculpted, inside and out to resemble the built prototypes Indigenous to Medieval Ethiopia. Several churches, of which Blet Mariam is the best example, reveal the Influence of Byzantine models in plan, and in the painted and sculpted decoration.

The sanctuary, located just outside the Zague administrative center of Adafa, was conceived or as a "New Jerusalem", and in this respect is comparable to the phenomenon in Byzantium and western Christendom of making architectural copies of the monuments marking the holy sites in Palestine associated with the life of Christ and the Virgin. The churches are not literal copies of the holy places, but evoke the sacred topography of Jerusalem by dedication names, such as Biet Golgotha, which contained the Tomb of Christ.

According to tradition, the holy city was founded in response to a divine mandate. In a vision, KingLalibela was transported to heaven, where he was shown ten churches carved from one stone. Christ commanded him to build the churches he had seen in order "to save souls from perdition", and promised him the assistance of his angels who "made the measurements Indicating the required dimensions..." Later, Lalibela made a pilrgimage to the earthly Jerusalem where Christ reiterated his order. The transfer of the mystical power associated with the historical model is apparent in Christ's promise to Lalibela that whoever makes a pilgrimage to his sanctuary will acquire the same merit as those who make a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre. The political context in which the pilgrimage center was developed suggests that the reasons for its foundation are more complex than would appear in the legendary account. Dynastic legitimacy and political unity were foremost among the concerns of the Zague kings, who were considered usurpers of the throne. The "New Jerusalem" was an attempt by Lalibela to unify the Ethiopian Empire through the ritual of pilgrimage. This paper will explore how the symbolism embedded in the Holy Land monuments was appropriated to serve the vested interests of the king, and later, the monastic community that controlled the site.

The Castelseprio Artists

Paula D. Leveto (Georgia State University)

The study of the Castelseprio frescoes has involved such controversial issues as dating, provenance, iconography and style, but little or no attention has been directed to the technique of the frescoes. This neglect has been due, in part, to the inaccessibility of the frescoes themselves, known exclusively through poor quality and limited photographic reproduction. The analysis of technique offered in this paper is based on information gleaned from the restoration of the monument which was conducted in the early 1980s. Accompanying the paper is a detailed photographic record taken from scaffolding within inches of the paint surface. The subject of this paper is the painter himself. The creative process, as reconstructed, reveals an interesting and unique look at the act of painting. The examination of the walls settles the question of whether the paintings and structure were made in a single phase. The study of technique traces the painting process from the preparation of the walls, to the rough coat of plaster, the levelling of the plaster layers, the white coat, the use of nails, plaster joins, incised guide lines and the application of paint. At the point of color application, technique moves to style and allows for the recognition of two artists with conspicuously diverse means of constructing the human form. The recognition of distinct hands reveals two artists of greater and lesser quality, seemingly stemming from different artistic traditions and apparently "leapfrogging" around the apse. One reason for the freshness of these paintings after centuries of obscurity is the imprint left on them by their creators. If not by name, the Castelseprio artists are known more intimately through clues left behind as to their identity: finger tip smoothings of the plaster surface, experimental arcs to position a medallion, mistakes, alterations, miscalculations and adjustments. The personalities and the artists come alive and with them, yet another avenue yielding insight into this intriguing monument. The analysis of painting technique is not only pertinent to the study of this particular monument, but also insofar as it establishes a basis for future comparative studies of Italian medieval, or Byzantine, wall painting techniques.

The Feast Cycle in Armenian Gospel Illumination

Dickran Kouymjian (California State University, Fresno and Paris)

The influence of the Byzantine artistic tradition on Armenian Gospel decoration both in iconography and the formal use of scenes from the Life of Christ has long been observed by art historians. Yet, Armenian artists never imitated slavishly their imperial neighbors to the east, rather they took selectively what they wanted or needed, modifying it to meet their own religious attitudes while guarding their own indigenous traditions. This paper focuses on the standard christological cycle to illustrate the fundamental similarities and the more abundant differences between Armenian and Byzantine Gospel decoration.

Short cycles in Armenian Gospels, whether complete or fragmentary, are known from the paleo- Christian period and later the tenth century. By the eleventh century, however, a series of manuscripts from a single western region of Armenia allows us to present a profile of the contents of the cycle. In the Byzantine world, at least by the same eleventh century, a fixed, though non-canonical, tradition of Twelve Feasts, the Dodecaorton, begins to impose itself on the decorations of icons and other objects including Gospel illumination.

Only starting in the late thirteenth century, after the devastating effects of the Seljuk invasions of the previous centuries, do Armenian scriptoria produce enough decorated Gospels to study the development of the feast cycle. Clearly Armenian art never developed or adopted a cycle of Twelve Feasts so characteristic of Byzantine art. A "standard cycle" that became associated with Armenian Gospels was almost always larger than twelve and changed according to region and period.

The sequence of the scenes grouped together at the beginning of most illustrated Armenian Gospels (exceptions will be discussed), their contents, and frequency, serve as the focal point of the paper. A database was carefully assembled of some 150 Armenian illuminated Gospels with a complete Christological cycle executed at the beginning of the manuscript before the text proper. This group of Gospels dates from the eleventh to the seventeenth century; they are from every region of Armenian book production and from all of the major manuscript collections.

The accumulated statistical data provide a clear notion of the size and composition of life of Christ cycles in Armenian Gospel painting. Variations over centuries in number of scenes and contents of the cycle are clearly observable. The relative popularity of individual subjects becomes instantly apparent. For instance, the most frequently painted episode in the Armenian cycle is Baptism while the Dormition of the Virgin is very rare.

The paper, in presenting the results of the survey, makes concrete what until now have been vague notions about the composition of the Armenian feast cycle. It also points out the similarities and differences between the Armenian and Byzantine experience. There is a certain lack of constancy In the Armenian cycle. This phenomenon and the rich iconographic diversity characteristic of Armenian miniature painting, provide a profile of Armenian art that eludes simple generalization.

The Influence of Cyprus in Lebanon in the 13th Century

Erica Cruikshank Dodd (University of Victoria)

Amioun, in the district of Koura, between Tripoli and Batroun, once belonged to Hughes de Giblet (1170-1220) and his descendants, the Lords of Besmedin. They remained closely attached to the Gibelets, and during the 13th century, the history of the Seigneury, Besmedin (modern Bichmezzin, near Amioun), is closely interwoven with the fortunes of Giblet. When Tripoli finally fell to Waoun, in 1289, the remnants of the Besmedin fled to Cyprus.

The simple, barrel-vaulted church of Mar Phokas in Amioun is in the architectural style of the late 12th or early 13th century, and was once entirely covered with frescoes, of which traces remain on the walls of the nave, the piers, the aisles and the apse. The apse is painted with a fine Anastasis, above the standing figures of saints. Other parts of the church are decorated with other scenes, most of which are fragmentary and two layers of decoration may be discovered. A panel shoving the tall figure of St. Phocas is painted on the northern wall, with the small figure of a donor, " Phillippe, "at his side. The Anastasis, the standing figures of saints, and the figure of Mar Phocas are painted in a style related to the frescoes of Lagoudera, Cyprus 0 192), and the second period of Panagia Amasgou at Monagri (early 13th century). Other fragmentary remains are in a different and probably later style. The figures in the apse are inscribed in Greek, with the exception of the inscription referring to the donor, which is in Latin.

The placement of the Anastasis in the central apse recalls the placement of the same scene in Abu Ghosh, in Palestine, and it occurs again in the frescoes of a side chamber, a sort of parakklesion at Mart Chmouneh, in the Kadisha valley.

The frescoes of Amioun are the only frescoes in Lebanon distinctively painted in Cypriot style, and are therefore useful as a point of reference in tracing the cross-currents of Crusader styles in the Levant. The frescoes stand in vivid contrast to the frescoes in other churches in the Lebanon, which are painted in an Eastern tradition, and inscribed in Syriac. It is this strong affinity with Cyprus, in affinity that is directly explained by historical circumstances, that make these frescoes most useful to an understanding of currents in l3th century painting in the Mediterranean.

Hilandar Serbian Church Slavonic Chrysoboull 139/141 as Evidence for Byzantine-Serbian Cultural Interaction

Petar Milich (The Ohio State University)

Serbia's eastward cultural and political orientation, manifest during the reign of Stefan Uroû II Milutin (1282-1321) in architecture, court ceremonial, and to a degree in diplomatics, has led some scholars (e.g., Kreki°, Cur·i°, and Mauromatis) to characterize this period as a watershed in Nemanjid Serbian history. In essence, two events served as catalysts for the dynamic cultural interaction between Byzantines and Serbs under Milutin: Serbian military expansion into Byzantine Macedonia; Milutin's marriage to Simonida in 1299. As regards diplomatics, Milutin's Hilandar edicts represent evidence indicating cultural interaction on a specific plane, confirming suggestions made earlier in other contexts by Mogin.

A diplomatic analysis of Hilandar Serbian Church Slavonic Chrysoboull #139/141 confirms Latin and Byzantine chancery techniques existing side by side. The combination or substitution of one set of diplomatic formulae for another is not passive borrowing by the Serbs. Quite the contrary, it indicates, among other things, an awareness by the royal chancery of the need to accomodate both Latin and Orthodox Christians living within the realm by maintaining diplomatic norms familiar to each group.

Aside from these broader considerations the significance of Hilandar Serbian Church Slavonic Chrysoboull #139/141, issued by Milutin to Hilandar Monastery sometime between February 1314 and July 1316, is twofold: it confers important properties upon Hilandar. It also represents one of the few rescripts issued by an official in the service of the royal chancery whose identity we can now firmly establish on paleographic evidence. Analysis allows us to attribute scribal authorship to a certain Djak named Radoslav who in 1316 assumed the monastic name Georgije. This attribution is significant because few scribes from Milutin's chancery have ever been identified.


Presiding: Timothy E. Gregory and Marcus L. Rautman

Byzantine Archaeology and the Historians of Art

Marcus L. Rautman (University of Missouri-Columbia)

Recent work in all aspects of Byzantine studies has emphasized the importance of visual evidence in cultural exploration. Yet the relative abundance of written sources has slowed the development of systematic methods to address this material, which is the direct concern of both archaeologists and art historians. Lack of communication and perceived rivalries between the two disciplines often hinder the potential contributions they can offer. With the goal of stimulating discussion among panel participants and the audience this paper assesses the topical and methodological distance between the two fields and suggests areas of cooperation.

Byzantine archaeology's potential contribution to art history goes beyond the discovery of and assigning dates to objects through stratigraphic excavation or scientific analysis. By broadening the range of study to include objects of lesser intrinsic or aesthetic value, an archaeological approach to physical evidence offers a perspective of material culture beyond the aristocratic-imperial end of the social spectrum. Often this shift of attention to include industrial artifacts can illuminate the more familiar luxury arts, as is the case with ceramic and silverplate production. Archaeology also stands to contribute alternative methods to the study of material culture. Foremost among these are the roles of theoretical modeling and deductive reasoning in the study of Byzantine culture. The forming of hypotheses to be applied to the surviving monuments can clarify latent presuppositions as well the objects themselves. Quantified analytical systems, such as seriation and multivariate analysis, can confirm or refine those evaluations of type, iconography, and style traditionally grounded in intuitive study. Recent work with macro-social structuralism and cognitive archaeology attempts to compensate for positivist biases historically inherent in the field. Inter alia, perhaps the most significant contribution of archaeological research is to stimulate further methodological discussion and increased awareness of the need for multidisciplinary approaches to Byzantine culture.

Byzantine Archaeology and History- A Failed Promise

Timothy E. Gregory (The Ohio State University)

The potential value of archaeology for Byzantine history is obvious: it can provide evidence about chronology, political and military events, and social and economic developments. Nonetheless, few observers would claim that achaeology has lived up to its potential or that it has attained anything other than a peripheral place in Byzantine studies in America. Historians have generally misunderstood the potential of archaeological evidence and they have commonly interpreted that evidence in a narrow and misleading manner. Archaeologists, for their part, have rarely turned their attention to the Byzantine period or have focused narrowly on artistic or aesthetic questions. This paper discusses the role of Byzantine archaeology in a broad context, citing specific examples, and it makes suggestions about the fuller incorporation of archaeology in the mainstream of scholarship on Byzantium.

Byzantine Archaeology in an Urban Context

John H. Humphrey (University of Michigan)

In the context of the international campaign to save Carthage, organised by the Tunisian Institute National d'Arch?ologie et d'Art and placed under the aegis of UNESCO, many teams have during the last 15 years done work on Byzantine layers in several different parts of the ancient city as well as on its outskirts. They include the British, three American, two Canadian, French,Italian, German and Swedish teams, amongst others. Publications which relate particularly to the Vandal and Byzantine period include: H.R.Hurst and S.P.Roskams, Excavations at Carthage. The British Mission, vol.I, i-ii (Sheffield, 1984); seven interim reports edited by this writer, Excavations at Carthage conducted by the University of Michigan; The Circus and a Byzantine Cemetery at Carthage (University of Michigan Press, 1988, forthcoming) ; five interim reports of the first Canadian team, edited by Pierre Senay, Carthage I-V (Cahiers des Etudes Anciennes) , as well as shorter publications by members of the second Canadian team (C.M.Wells and E.M.Wightman and others), and articles by the other projects mentioned above.

Carthage is beginning to provide a useful case-study for comparing the methods and results achieved by different national teams working on separate sites which are within one or two miles of each other. Yet the varying interests and different priorities of the various excavators and of their specialists appear to affect to a considerable extent the kinds of information and data which are being gathered and/or published. While it is true to say that Carthage is now becoming one of the few Mediterranean sites of this period for which it is possible to begin to reconstruct some broad changes which took place in a large city over a span of 160 years (A.D.533-698), changes which are not necessarily documented by the literary sources, students of antiquity will need to tread with care as they try to synthesize the results of the excavations. Nor is it likely that much consensus would be reached amongst the excavators and specialists working at first-hand with the material evidence.

Regional Byzantine Archaeology- Definitions, Problems, and Possibilities

R. Bruce Hitchner (University of Dayton)

The limited contribution of archaeology to Byzantine history is readily apparent to anyone familiar with the standard works in the field. Ostrogorsky's classic survey of the Byzantine state, for example, devotes not a single page to archaeological evidence, unless one considers references to art and architecture in this category. This unfortunate situation stems in part from a long tradition of hostility or indifference to Byzantine archaeology on the part of Classical archaeologists, but also from continuing uncertainty on the part of Byzantinists as to what actually constitutes "Byzantine archaeology." The problem is rooted in the very nature of the Byzantine empire, in particular its long duration, fluctuating borders, ethnic and cultural diversity, and, most fundamentally, its own prejudices and fears (so evident in its historiographical tradition) of the world beyond "the city." Put simply, the greater the distance from Constantinople, the more difficult it has seemingly been to define "Byzantine" in terms of archaeological knowledge. This archaeological myopia is not diminished by the relative youthfulness of the field of Byzantine studies which still requires concentration on certain "fundamentals"; i.e., the translation and criticism of literary and ecclesiastical sources, a focus on elite or central state architectural and artistic developments, and the development of a "deep" history of the imperial capital. What is required is a perspective which, among other things, sees "Byzantine archaeology" as a primary and distinctive body of evidence which allows Byzantinists to come to grips in a new way with the material, cultural, social, and economic world of the empire as a whole, that vast and evolving human landscape beyond the Theodosian Wall. Fortunately, this vision has begun to take hold in some quarters. The focus of my comments in this session will, therefore, be on the problems which have bedeviled Byzantinists in their efforts to define Byzantine archaeology in regional or empire-wide terms. To illustrate the problems and possibilities, I will use as a case study, the "Byzantine" archaeology of North Africa.

 Archaeological Reconnaissance and Byzantine Fortifications

John Rosser (Boston College)

A singular problem faced by Byzantine archaeology is the numerous castles and fortified sites, including urban sites, that remain unstudied, or at least poorly studied. One could argue that what is needed is more excavation. In this regard, each of us could create a list of priority sites (mine would begin with Amorium). However, the high cost of excavation as compared to the more modest cost of survey work make the latter much more attractive as a way of dealing with the general problem. Add to this the fact that parts of Asia Minor, even Greece, have never been surveyed adequately, and survey work becomes a kind of imperative for Byzantine archaeology. Moreover, an added advantage of survey work is that it can be done by small groups, even single individuals. To cite just one example of what can be achieved, Breyer and Winfield surveyed the Pontos region and brought to light over 300 monuments, many of them fortifications, and almost all of them previously unpublished.1 More examples could be cited from the publications of Foss, Koder and Hill, Edwards and others. All of this confirms the impression that continued support for survey work offers the best opportunities for increasing our understanding of Byzantine fortifications.

1 A. Breyer and D. Winfield, The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos, (Dumbarton Oaks Studies,20) Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1985.


Presiding: Bertrand Davezac (The Menil Collection)

The Probus Diptych and Christian Apologetic

Alan Cameron (Columbia University)

The consular diptych of Anicius Petronius Probus, western consul in the year 406 A.D., is highly unusual. In the first place, consular diptychs normally concentrate on one or both of two themes: the consul himself in his regalia, and the consular games he provided. Second, alone among its fellows, the Probus diptych does not give the consul's full names and titles. Third, the iconography of consular diptychs is secular to the last. Leaving the Probus diptych on one side, it is not till a full century later that we find the first modest intrusion of Christian imagery, an inconspicuous cross on one of the ornamental diptychs of Areobindus cos. 506. Last, the figure represented is not the consul at all, but the emperor shown as a soldier, carrying a flag bearing the legend in nomine Christi vincas semper, "in the name of Christ you will always conquer". This must surely allude to a specific victory. Late in 405 Italy was thrown into a panic by the sudden invasion of a huge horde of Goths led by a chieftain called Radagaisus. Since the disastrous defeat at Adrianople in 378, no Roman army had managed to defeat the Goths in pitched battle. Furthermore, pagan subjects of the now officially Christian empire had a ready explanation for its recent military failures: the banning of all forms of pagan worship.

A complicating factor in the religious aspect of the barbarian crisis was the fact that Alaric and his Visigoths were Christians. Arians, to be sure, but Christians none the less. Radagaisus' Goths, by contrast, were a primitive band from beyond imperial frontiers, all pagans. What if pagan Goths should defeat Christian Romans? That the issue was indeed formulated in these terms by contemporaries is proved by Augustine's account in his City of God of both the defeat of Radagaisus (1.7) and Alaric's sack of Rome five years later (5.23):

And so, in the first place he allowed [Radagaisus] to be miraculously defeated, lest the glory should be given to those demons, whose help he was known to have entreated, to the overthrow of feeble minds. After that, he suffered Rome to be taken by [Alaric] who, contrary to the usages of war in former times, protected those who took sanctuary in holy places out of reverence for the Christian religion.

Stations's decisive defeat of Radagaisus came as a great relief to Christians. No longer did they need to doubt the power of their God to deliver victory over unbelievers. When the Probus diptych was made, all the usual conventions were thrown to the winds. Tlis is why Honorius is represented as a soldier carrying the banner of Christ.

Lombard-Byzantine Contacts Before 568 A.D.

Pamela G. Sayre (University of Michigan)

The Lombards are a people largely ignored by Byzantinists. They make their appearance in the Mediterranean World late, during the reign of Justinian the Great, and when they do, they settle in Italy well out of Byzantine control. They are glossed over in the many histories of the Byzantine World and even in works dealing with the Germanic tribes. The Oxford Classical Dictionary sums up the prevailing view neatly when it states that the major event in their history was the conquest of Northern Italy in 568 A.D. and their subsequent settlement and two-hundred year rule (p. 618).

The Lombards are seen as being especially barbaric as well as somewhat unambitious, even when compared to the other Germanic tribes - the Vandals excepted for obvious reasons. The common impression is that the only contact they had with the Byzantine World and things Roman was violent, military conflict.

However, the Lombards followed the same pattern of relations with the Byzantines as did the other major tribal confederations: individual service, service as a warband or warbands, and finally, full federate status.

Clear evidence for this is found in the works of Procopius. Few Lombards, other than their leaders, are named, but one of them Ildiges (or Ildigisal) was accepted by the Byzantines into their society. The emperor Justinian named him "commander of one of the guard companies, the 'Scholae"' according to Procopius. His warband apparently joined him; Procopius says that "300 Lombards 'followed'" Ildiges. One of the Lombardic kings, Auduin, called himself the "friend and ally of the Romans," philos te romaiois kai symmachos."

Evidence for full federate status is also available. The Lombards are referred to as the "friends and allies" of Rome," philoi te kai symmachoi". They received lands from Justinian in Noricum and Pannonia while still living under their own laws and rules. Lombard troops fought in the armies of Belisarius and Narses against the Ostrogoths in Italy. Finally, the Lombards often had Roman aid or troops in their war against the Gepidae. The Lombards were also used by the Byzantines to check the Frankish expansion eastward under their king Theudebert.

Despite the rather sketchy record of pre-conquest Byzantine-Lombard contacts, it is evident that the traditional pattern of Roman-barbarian contact was followed. The only major differences lie in the fact that Lombardic lands rarely adjoined Byzantine territory and that their period of contact was extremely short.

Numismatic Evidence for the Treason of Pope Martin (A.D. 649-654)

Michael Dennis O'Hara (Eggington, England)

In view of the observations of some historians that the reign of Constans II (641-68) is one of the least documented in Byzantine history, any new evidence, especially of a primary nature, such as may be deduced from the art, artifacts or coins of the period, assumes an even greater importance.

Pope Martin was arrested and removed to Constantinople where he arrived in 653, Although he had flouted the emperor's decree (the Typos) that there should be no discussion of the "one will, one energy" problem (Monothelete theory) by presiding over the Lateran Synod of 649, where the anathematisation of the doctrine of Monotheletism as heretical was drawn up, the reason given for Martin's arrest was that he had been unlawfully consecrated without imperial permission, but by the time of his trial the charges against him were developed to include treason. It has been suggested that the Byzantine authorities had made every effort to ensure that the major doctrinal controversy of Monotheletism was transformed into a political affair - the implication being that the treason charges were more expedient than real.

The purpose of this short paper is to discuss a coin type which suggests that the reverse may be the case, The coin is known only from one example included in a recent hoard, its significance was overlooked in the preliminary publication (M.D.O'Hara, "A Find of Byzantine Silver from the Mint of Rome for the Period A.D. 641-752", Swiss Numismatic Review vol.65 1985, number 7 of type 3). The obverse depicts an effigy in military dress and with a completely different portrait from that of the ruling Byzantine emperor Constans II. The type fits chronologically and stylistically to the time of the revolt of the military governor of Italy, the Exarch Olympius in A.D.651-652. Olympius had been instructed to arrest Pope Martin but after having failed in this attempted to set up an independent kingdom. It is the opinion of some historians that he was fully supported in this by Pope Martin.

A military style of dress is not usual on the coinage of Constans II. The last occasion a facing military effigy appeared was on the first gold issues (610-13) of Heraclius and a little later on the copper, and was not to appear again, apart from three exceptions, for nearly three hundred years.

It has been shown elsewhere that the striking of coinage is a decisive mark of sovereignty, and the implications of the 'papal mint' striking for Olympius during the period of the insurrection are considerable, and would seem to support the view of some historians that the charges brought against Pope Martin were genuine charges of treason. The observations on the existence of a 'Papal' mint operating together with the ducal or imperial mint are set out in the preliminary publication of the hoard. An ecclesiastical mint operating together with a royal mint was quite a common practice in early medieval England and elsewhere.

The Identity of the Newly-Discovered Torcello Mosaic Head

Irina Andreescu-Treadgold (Florida International University)

In 1986, a head in mosaic was discovered in the sacristy of the church at Talygarn, Wales. Identified as the apostle at the far right in the Torcello Last Judgment (i.e., as St. Philip), it sold at auction at Sotheby's one year later for some $450,000 to a buyer who remains anonymous. The catalogue entry by R. Cormack identified the mosaic on the basis of some recent publications concerning the Torcello West Wall, although the preliminary report on the first West Wall campaign and a large batch of archival documents that mostly pertain to the nineteenth-century restorations contained enough information to cast doubt on his conclusion.

Extensive tampering with the upper registers by the Salviati Company in 1872-73 (and not by Giovanni Moro) is responsible for the loss of some original heads and their replacement with duplicates of mosaics of other apostles. Thus the original Apostle 1 is duplicated in Apostle 5, and the original Apostle 11 is duplicated in Apostle 3. The Salviati Company also confused the order of the heads and mismatched them with other apostles' bodies; the clearest example is the head of Peter, now upon the body of Apostle 8 which holds a book, while Apostle 6 has Mark's head on his shoulders but holds Peter's keys, wears Peter's characteristic blue tunic, and sits in Peter's place.

Such nineteenth-century confusions seem to have passed completely unnoticed by either restorers or patrons, but they generated odd identifications in the iconography-conscious twentieth century. The correct identity of the apostles can however be reestablished by comparing their facial types, their positions within the series, and their attributes.

When I first discussed the twelve figures, I considered Apostle 12, the modern copy of the Talygarn head, to be a complete iconographical fake. This dismissal of the nineteenth-century mosaic even as an iconographical document was supported by the head's incongruous position, because in that place, in the eleventh century, we should always have a member of the young, beardless pair of Philip and Thomas, one of whom appears as Apostle 1. A bearded Apostle 12 was obviously wrong in that place.

Now that the original head has resurfaced, we can further refine the picture of the changes that the mosaics suffered in modern times. The iconography of the Talygarn head, like that of Apostle 2, is characteristic of James or Bartholomew. Thus it belongs above a body without a Gospel book. Its direction assigns it to one of the inner four pairs of figures, which are turned toward each other. Of those pairs, the Talygarn head's most likely position is either on the left, above Apostle 3 (now with the copy of Apostle 11's head) or above Apostle 5 (the other modern fake, duplicating Apostle 1), or on the right, above Apostle 11 or Apostle 9 (now wrongly wearing Matthew's head, though the body has no Gospel book; I myself mistakenly published the head as Andrew and only realized its true identity after a discussion with Gary Vikan).

The Talygarn head has reduced the number of unidentified apostles on the West Wall by one. Its original position, however, was not in place 12. It is to be identified with James or Bartholomew, but certainly not Philip. The apostolic tribunal of Torcello's West Wall is therefore entirely typical of eleventh-century Byzantine iconography, and shows no Western influence.

Shop Procedures and the Formulation of the Maniera Greca

Rebecca W Corrie (Bates College)

In his 1976 dissertation and a subsequent article, Michael Jacoff made a connection. between manuscript illumination and monumental painting, the importance of which, I think, has been overlooked. He noted that certain figure motifs found in the mosaics of the atrium of San Marco appeared in manuscripts produced in Bologna in the same period as the mosaics. In my own dissertation study on the Conradin Bible, I found a similar correspondence to the twelfth-century mosaics at Monreale. Such correspondences reach beyond the fact of a relationship between monumental and manuscript art. They also tell us something about the mechanisms by which aspects of Byzantine art passed into the repertoires of local, thirteenth-century Italian ateliers. It was not done by a general "feel" for or memory of the style of a few Byzantine works, but by the specific imitation of Byzantine art, perhaps copied later at second hand by more provincial artists.

In a series of less general comparisons we may be able to see this process at work. Scholars have often noted instances of manuscript and panel painters such as Guido da Siena, who can also be found at work on monumental paintings. But, by and large, these have not been the same scholars who have worked on the problem of the Byzantine sources of Western art. Yet pulling this material together is important, for in manuscripts the subject matter seems to remain closer to the subject matter of likely Byzantine "models," while in panel painting, especially in images of Italian saints' lives subject, iconography, scene lay-out, and even panel shape and use are changed. One result may have been changes in style, but another, in the twentieth century, may be the failure of art historians to recognize a painter or atelier out of context. Examples include the painter of the small panel at Assisi, St. Francis with Scenes of Miracles, undoubtedly a Bolognese manuscript painter. Here techniques learned in illustrating christological or Old Testament scenes appear to be applied to another project. Another example is in the work of the painter of the Perugia triptych of the Madonna and Child with scenes of his life. The same painter can be found at work in two antiphonaries, one in Perugia and a second in the Vatican. In the Vatican manuscript our painter completed several illuminations but left several others as thoroughly executed, unpainted drawings. Some of these were finished by assistants, and in their work we can see the crystallization of a local maniera greca. Such information on painters' procedures in thirteenth-century Italy can be applied to the solution of other problems. Certainly it suggests that we have underestimated the speed with which local, Byzantinizing styles formed in the thirteenth-century Mediterranean basin.


Presiding: John Fine (University of Michigan)

Views of Roman Decline during the Reign of Emperor Leo I

Frank M. Clover (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Between the assassination of Valentinian III and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus (A.D. 455-476) the Roman West witnessed the final succession of emperors to rule in Italy. In the East, by contrast, a singleemperor, Leo I, enjoyed a successful reign for most of this span of time (457- 474). During this generation the New Rome proved beyond question its ability to direct Roman affairs. Without Leo I, Justinian the Great would have been unthinkable.

Literate contemporaries of Leo did not share a modern critic's positive assessment of that emperor's reign. Instead, they announced that the Roman Empire was on the verge of collapse. At the end of Leo's reign, for instance, two authors from differing quarters of the Mediterranean -- the Spanish chronicler Hydatius and the rhetorician Priscus of Panium -- reflected on the empire's final days, and ascribed much of the imperial collapse to the deeds of that emperor.

Constraints of time will cause me to concentrate on the reflections of gloom and doom in the Historia byzantiak? kai ta kat' Att?lan of Priscus. Written in the early 470s, this classical-style history (containing many verbal reminiscences of Herodotus and Thucydides) offers a dark view of the Roman Empire's destiny. Modern critics have seen in a dialogue -- Priscus' famous account of the visit to Attila's camp contains an exchange between the author (then an ambassador) and a captive merchant --indications to the contrary. During the verbal duel the merchant announces that he is happy with his captivity because the empire has gone to ruin. Priscus (the dialogue character) then rebuts. Modern observers have seen in the rebuttal the author's own optimism about the Roman state. A closer inspection reveals pessimism instead: the merchant's indictment is devastating, and Priscus' rejoinder is merely a statement of the way the empire ought to be. Priscus (the author) even allows the merchant a subsequent response to Priscus (the dialogue character): the empire is ideal in theory, but in present practice it is being ruined.

Priscus of Panium was pessimistic about the future of the Roman Empire. The preferred interpretation of the dialogue between Priscus and the merchant finds confirmation in another portion of Priscus' history -- a notice of Leo I's response to Vandal raids on Italy. Leo's mixture of diplomatic intervention and inadequate defense was no help to the Romans of the West, and this above all (says Priscus) damaged the health of the Roman Empire. The cause of the damage is more apparent here than it is in the dialogue: Leo must bear the blame for the disintegration of the Roman Empire.

Today's historians may properly see in Leo's long reign many intimations of the New Rome's future greatness. Why did Priscus of Panium, an intelligent contemporary witness, see devastation and imminent doom? In attempting to answer this question, I will focus on Priscus' literary and social background.

Leo III as Preserver of the Christian Order through his Laws

Carmen E. Hernandez (Fordham University)

In his preface to the Ecloga, Leo III the Isaurian expressed his desire to make the laws more humane. The adoption of mutilation as punishment in criminal cases was described by Ostrogorsky as "scarcely dictated by a spirit of Christian philanthropy," Insofar as the treatment of adultery in these laws is concerned, however, it may be precisely a spirit of Christianity which moved Leo to alter the existing code,

The influence of Christianity is apparent when the Ecloga affirms the indissolubility of marriage, Although there existed legal precedent for the indissolubility of marriage in the Roman and Justinianic traditions, Leo spoke of the need to respect the word of the Lord which teaches that God has joined in one flesh [a husband and a wife]. What is less apparent, but striking, is the possible -Christian influence in the punishments stipulated for adultery. According to Christian doctrine, men and women are equal. The punishment for adultery in the laws of Justinian are harsher for women than for men, and although they indicate that treatment should be equal for all, in reality women received stiffer penalties. In the Ecloga penalties were indeed the same for men and women. Adulterers had their noses cut off, and the cutting off of noses was used exclusively for adultery, marking both transgressors equally.

This paper examines the individual laws concerning marriage and adultery in the Ecloga and compares them with both the laws of Justinian and those of Basil and Leo VI relating to the same topics. It also compares the Ecloga with the canons of the Council in Trullo which frame adultery in female terms. Though the Macedonian emperors discredited the work of their Isaurian predecessors, they nevertheless drew on the Ecloga in the compilation of their own laws. Leo III is best remembered for his iconoclasm and his orientalization of the Byzantine empire, but it may be that he deserves a more prominent place as a preserver of the Christian order than he has received.

The Byzantines on the Slavs

George R Majeska (University of Maryland)

The major written sources for the study of the early Slavs are those composed by Byzantine authors. However, these sources cannot be accepted at face value. This material (most notably the works of Procopius of Caesarea, Agathias, Menander Protector and Theophylact Simocatta, as well as the so-called "Strategicon of Maurice") was meant to convey "true meaning," but in large part, it would seem, did not. The difficulty of using their data is not simply that a certain amount of the information presented was "second hand" (although much of it was), but that the information was, if not based on, at least filtered through, unacceptable presuppositions.

One can isolate three major suppositions that can make Byzantine "ethnographic" material misleading. First, the assumption that a contemporary ethnic group necessarily resembles in its way of life the group that had earlier inhabited the same region allows Byzantine authors to "reuse" data from earlier periods without noting that the facts might no longer be true. Second, the belief that all foreign tribes of the same area are similar and need not be carefully distinguished leads these authors to assign specific traits of one tribe to a different tribe. Finally, the belief that "barbarians" (i.e., non-Byzantines) are all similar in mentality and value system permits Byzantine writers describing foreigners to draw almost at will from a whole arsenal of essentially "racist" stereotypes to describe those who do not dwell in empires. An active awareness of the nature of these "presuppositions" is essential if one is to use Byzantine materials on foreign groups like the Slavs.

Towards a New Edition of the Nomocanon of the Fourteen Titles

Bernard H. Stolte (State University of Groningen)

The Nomocanon of the Fourteen Titles is a systematic repertory of canons of Church Councils and certain Fathers (kanones), interspersed with extracts from the civil legislation (nomoi) relevant to the same subject; these extracts are cited in full,whereas the canons are just referred to by the name of the Council or Father and a number. These references suppose the availability of a collection of these canons, and indeed such a collection normally follows the repertory in the manuscripts. The Nomocanon was first compiled in the early seventh century and underwent several revisions. The available editions, none of them very good from any point of view, at best present just one stage in the development of this most Important collection of canon law of the Byzantine Church; sometimes they even present a text that probably has never existed in that form. Certainly there is no satisfactory edition for the purpose of historical research. The way to such an edition has been prepared by V. Benesevic, who in the beginning of this century investigated the early history of the Collection of the Fourteen Titles, which is the root from which this Nomocanon has sprung. Benesevic's outline of the development of the collection and his classification of the manuscripts form the basis on which any prospective editor will build.

It is my intention to produce a new edition. One of its principal alms will be to reconstruct the original redaction of this Nomocanon. It Is true that, at least as far as I know, no manuscripts of this original redaction have survived, but the extant evidence, manuscript and otherwise, is sufficient to admit of an attempt at reconstruction. In my view a far better text than is now available can be established by (a) taking into account the history of the transmission of the text; (b) being aware what stage in its development one is going to edit; and (c) making use of all available sources for that particular stage, None of these principles are revolutionary; on the other hand they are precisely those that have been neglected by everyone except by Benesevic, who however did not produce an edition like the one proposed here.

A Prosopographical Database for Early Byzantine History

Ralph W. Mathisen (University of South Carolina)

A great deal of significant and innovative research now is being undertaken in the society, religion, economy, culture, and politics of the early Byzantine Empire (c.284-640). Much of this research makes use of the methodological approach called "prosopography" (or "collective biography"), the study of individuals in groups, and how they respond to their environment and interact with each other. One of the problems facing the prosopographer of this period is the great abundance of source material, both secular and ecclesiastical. This includes, for example, chronicles and histories, poetry, inscriptions, coins, law codes, records of church councils, saints' lives, lists of bishops, and theological tracts. All of these sources provide material of some kind or other about specific individuals. Sometimes only a name and a related historical context is given; at other times we have detailed careers. There also exist a number of prosopographical dictionaries for this period, such as the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Altogether, there now is available biographical material of one form or another on several hundred thousand individuals who lived at this time. If a prosopographical methodology is to be used effectively, relevant information on large numbers of these individuals has to be available at the same time. This is the kind of problem which is ideally suited for computer analysis. All the individuals included in these sources and catalogues have associated with them recurrent kinds of information, such as name, sex, religion, marital status, social and economic class, date of activity, place of activity, type of activity, offices held, and so on. If all the relevant,available information on each individual could be put into a standardized format and collected into a single database, it would be but a simple matter to do very comprehensive analyses upon them all in a very short time. The database could be sorted to create groups of individuals who share the same characteristics, such as, for example, all the Christians who lived in Gaul in the fifth century A.D.

This paper will discuss the work which has been done so far on the construction of such a prosopographical database. There will be a discussion of the data format, and of how the information available for each individual is reduced to computer format. There also will be a review of the information which has been entered so far: the database now contains approximately 5,000 individuals. Finally, I will discuss the future of the project, such as applications to which the database can be put, and suggestions for collaborative efforts. if there is an IBM PC or compatible available on site, I also would be able to demonstrate the operation of the database.

Index of Speakers


Officers and Committees, 1987-88


Governing Board

To serve until the 1991 Conference:

To serve until the 1990 Conference

(Nominating Committee)

To serve until the 1989 Conference:

To serve until the 1988 Conference:

Dumbarton Oaks-BSC Liaison Committee:

Program Committee

Local Arrangements Committee

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