Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Sixteenth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
26-28 October, 1990
The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland


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 copy supplied by the speakers. Copyright î reserved to the individual speakers.

Copies of the Abstracts are presented to each participant paying the General Registration fee, and they are also available for purchase by other interested persons and libraries. Subscriptions are available in five-year units: Series 2 (1980-84, Nos. 6-10) for $20; Series 3 (1985-89, Nos. 11-15) for $30; Series 4 (1990-94, Nos. 16-20) for $35. The remaining volumes of Series 1 (1977 and 1978, Nos. 3 and 4) are available only in single copies costing $6.50 each. All prices include postage. Orders must be prepaid (all checks payable to the Byzantine Studies Conference) and sent to:

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Street, N.W. Washington, DC

Byzantine Studies Conference
Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference, 1st- 1975-
Madison, Wis. (etc.) Byzantine Studies Conference
v.22cm. annual
Key title: Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference
ISSN 0147-3387
1. Byzantine Empire÷Congresses
DF501.539a 949.5 77-79346
Library of Congress 77 MARC-S

Cover illustration: Fragment of an ivory diptych. Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, no. 71.304


I. Saints and Their Cults in Eastern Christendom
Chair: Alice-Mary Talbot

II .Byzantine Art in Diverse Media
Chair: Hugo Buchthal

III .Arms and Men in Late Antiquity
Chair: Michele Salzman

IV. Iconographic Problems: The Isolated Image
Chair: Helen Evans

V Women in the Byzantine Patriarchy
Co-chairs: Dorothy Abrahamse and Thalia Gouma-Peterson

VI .The Walters Collection
Chair: Gary Vikan

VII. Aspects of Byzantine Political and Social History, 9th to 15th Centuries
Chair: Stephen Reinert

VIII .Early Byzantine Architecture
Chair: Thomas F. Mathews

IX .Visible Signs of Power
Chair: Michael McCormick

X. Liturgical Tradition and Musical Notation in Byzantium and Muscovy
Chair: Edward V. Williams

XI .Syria-Palestine and Cyprus 58
Chair: Oleg Grabar

XII A Memorial to Laskarina Bouras 62
Chair: Nancy Patterson Ševčenko

XIII .Uses of Byzantine Art in the West 67
Chair: Herbert L. Kessler

XIV .Late Antique Literature 75
Chair: Emily Albu Hanawalt

XV Later Byzantine Literature 78
Chair: Andrew Dyck

XVI .Rome and Ravenna 83
Chair: Dale Kinney

Index of Speakers 88

[Note page numbers were not recorded in the scanning of this document]


Chair: Alice-Mary Talbot, Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

"Were the Early Acts of the Martyrs Morale-Building Tracts?"

Ihor Ševčenko, Harvard University

As a genre, the genuine Acts of the Martyrs are among the precursors of Byzantine hagiographical works. The paper will raise two questions: Why and for what purpose were the Acts written? What reality did they reveal, and what reality did they conceal?

The last time an essay was devoted entirely to the question of the purpose of the Acts was in 1910, that is, on the eve of World War 1. At that time, Adolf von Harnack gave a relatively commonsense answer by suggesting that the authors of the Acts wished to prove to their audiences that God, who through Christ operated so visibly in this world in the time of the Gospels, continued to operate in it in later times as well. (The answer attempted by Hans von Campenhausen in 1936 was diffuse).

Today we are able to look at the story of Christian resistance in the pagan empire through the experience of the last seventy years or so, which witnessed heavy pressures exerted upon large populations by alien state ideologies. We also have also become familiar with modem resistance movements and the ways their stories were used for morale building in times of distress, and reused for indoctrination and for literary purposes in times of ultimate victory. In addition, more clarity obtains today concerning resistance and acquiescence in other, more remote, periods of crisis, such as the Byzantine Iconoclastic controversy or the Spanish Christian reaction to the inroads of Islam in the ninth century.

The model that emerges from such material is one in which resistance, however heroic, was the exception, and compliance, however unwilling, was the rule. This model seems plausible when we apply it to the time of persecutions. It is borne out, e.g., by the prudent behavior of early martyrs occupying important administrative positions, such as bishops Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 167) and Cyprian of Carthage (ca. 250 and 258), both of whom tried to avoid arrest. Differences of opinion as to what was to be done with those - presumably numerous - Christians who had lapsed from the faith or compromised it during persecutions, led to three schisms (Novatiansim, Meletianism, Donatism) in the early Church.

With the help of such a model, the early Acts of the Martyrs may be interpreted as tracts addressed to members of communities under severe stress by authors aware of apostasies and of submission to State authorities; and one of the purposes of these writings would have been to uphold the sagging morale of these communities by proffering examples of heroic steadfastness, and presenting them as the rule rather than the exception. This hypothesis will be tested on texts of the genuine Acts, especially on the Acta Pionii, a work closely reflecting the Great Persecution under Decius (250).

"Politics and the Greek Language? Invocations to Martyrdom in the Letters and Catechisms of Theodore of Studios"

Peter J. Hatlie, Fordham University

Theodore the Studite's reputation as a champion of the so-called "rigorist" party and a defender of the ecclesial doctrine of exactness (akriveia) is mostly well-deserved. The Abbot's reforms at Studion were inspired mainly by the monastic ideals of Basil of Caesarea, whose monastic rules he sought to re-inforce despite opposition by more liberal monastic groups. Among his many activities within the Church at large, Theodore vehemently opposed those attempting to broaden interpretations of Church doctrines and canons, a role exemplified in his struggle for a narrow definition of oikonomia against the more progressive theologians of his generation. In light of these conservative tendencies, the ideas about martyrdom (martyrion) which he presents in his Letters and Catechisms seem singularly out of place. In some instances, he adopts traditional and precise terms, claiming that true martyrion is either by blood as in the early Church - or through monastic ascesis. In other cases, however, Theodore's language is evasive, compromising, and ostensibly without precedent. True martyrion can take many forms, including temporary physical suffering, bearing bravely the ridicule and alienation of other Christians, serving and supporting other confessors, bearing witness to the holy icons, performing ascesis in a place safe from persecution, or indeed, dying for Christ.

Modem scholars concerned with the concept - including Von Campenhausen, Hedde, Holl, Sherman, Frend, Pagels, and others - have documented the transition from "red" (confessional) to "white" (monastic) martyrion during the early Christian centuries. Discussions about both types of martyria continued into the Byzantine era, particularly during the Iconoclast age when imperial policy created numerous monk-martyrs. Yet few studies have traced the survival and usage of the term, apart from its association with the cults of martyrs and relics, for these later centuries.

By separating traditional from novel currents within Theodore's conceptions and seeking explanations for his uncustomary drift from ancient authorities, this paper will contribute much to our understanding about martyrion among iconodule groups during the early ninth century. The paper will conclude that Theodore's employment of different meanings of the term in sources which are nearly contemporary indicates that the status and individual circumstances of his audience were important considerations in his formulation of martyrion . It will argue, furthermore, that he invoked the term time and again for the purpose of rallying his group of sympathizers in protest against the "heresies" of the early ninth century.

"'Incense in our Land': Julian Saba and Early Syrian Spirituality"

Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University

Julian Saba (d. 367) marked a crucial turning point in early Syrian ascetic tradition. A wilderness recluse, Julian gained a following and eventually the leadership of a large monastic community formed on his model. Centered on the practice of prayer in the context of this community and on periods of withdrawal into the desert, he also took his monks on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and entered Antioch in 365 to intervene during the Arian crisis there. Julian represents two important developments in the history of Syrian asceticism. First, Syrian ascetic tradition prior to the late fourth century had been focused on a way of life enacted within the church community in service to the parish and the church hierarchy. Julian's career marks the turn to an ascetic life pursued in distinct separation from the church community while yet tied to its service. Secondly, he marks the growing tendency in the Syrian Orient of this time to pursue a more extreme ascetic practice; his career initiates the golden age of Syrian ascetics who lived on pillars, in cages, in trees, or in other notably dramatic forms of askesis.

Julian is best known through Theodoret of Cyrrhos' Historia Religiosa , ch. 2, written in the 440s. Rarely studied but no less important for understanding the work of this saint is a cycle of 24 hymns composed in Syriac soon after the saint's death (CSCO 322 and 323). The cycle is attributed to Ephrem, though only the first four hymns hold any possibility of such authorship. Still, the entire cycle shows clear signs of coming from Ephrem's disciples, and captures vividly Syrian spirituality of the late fourth and early fifth centuries.

In this paper I will discuss how the Hymns on Julian Saba , and especially the first four, depict this saint and the meaning of his vocation. These hymns have as their task the interpretation of the changes marked by Julian's choices, and the reconciliation of the ascetic life - now physically separated from the life of the lay community - with the ongoing life of the church. The presence of Julian's relics in Edessa and the celebration of his addition to the cult of the Edessan saints (e.g., IV.2 and 7: he seems to have been buried in the same tomb as the Edessan Martyrs Shmona, Guria, and Habib), is one theme here employed for this purpose. But the sense of ascetic continuity and change is best assessed in the rich imagery of these hymns. Thus Julian enacts and embodies the image of the divine, painting it on his heart with the pigments of good works (11.8). The cross is a treasury of wealth. sumptuously described, which Julian "fastens inside his body" (VIL 14). Finally, with the image of Julian as incense spreading the sweet fragrance of grace throughout the land (1.5, IV.2, VII. 19) - an image here merging both Julian's prayer practice and the prayers offered at his tomb - we find the profoundly poignant terms by which the spirituality of the stylites will soon come to be articulated in action and in text.

"From Theologian and Bishop to Saint: TheVita of Epiphanius of Cyprus (d. 403)"

Claudia Rapp, Worcester College, Oxford

The details and circumstances of Epiphanius' life are well known from contemporary sources. Born around 310/320 near Eleutheropolis in Palestine, he spent the formative years of his youth as a monk in Egypt, and on his return to Palestine founded a monastic community near Besanduc. In 367, Epiphanius became bishop of Constantia (ancient Salamis) in Cyprus. He is best known through his works in refutation of heresies, the Panarion and the Ancoratus , both composed in the 370's.

A fervent defender of Orthodoxy, Epiphanius became involved in the major theological debates of his time, an involvement which often took him on long journeys: to Rome in the company of Jerome and Paulinus, in order to appeal against the decision of the Second Ecumenical Council of 381 in the Antiochene Schism, to Jerusalem (in 393), in support of Jerome's plight against the origenist teaching of Patriarch John, and finally to Constantinople (in 402) for the antiorigenist party, where he was influential in the decision of the Synod of the Oak to exile the Patriarch John Chrysostom. Epiphanius departed before the Synod convened and died on his homeward journey. Not long after his death, his tomb became the centre of his cult as a miracleworker.

In stark contrast to this detailed and reliable picture stands the Vita of Epiphanius, a text which has been largely dismissed as legendary and fictitious. The purpose of this paper is to introduce and discuss selected aspects of the Vita Epiphanii, an edition, analysis and commentary of which I am about to complete. The Vita purports to have been commenced by John, a disciple of Epiphanius, and continued after John's death by a younger disciple named Polybius. An appendix of two letters relates the events surrounding Epiphanius' burial. I have been able to establish that the Vita must have been composed not later than the mid sixth century, originating perhaps in the ambience of Epiphanius' monastery in Palestine.

A closer look at the text reveals the materials the author drew upon and the ways in which he adapted them to suit his own intentions. He obviously used some notes which were compiled during the saint's life, supplementing them with his own knowledge of minor details. He may have used a hymn on the saint, as one can infer from the traces of metric passages in the narrative, and perhaps derived some inspiration for particularly vivid descriptions from a wall-painting. Although he lacks any knowledge of and interest in history and chronology, the author makes mention of all the major events in Epiphanius' life. However, he carefully avoids any controversial or theological issues, basing the course of the narrative entirely on Epiphanius' miraculous powers, a tendency which is in keeping with the requirements of the hagiographical genre.

"Interpreting Pilgrimage Centers: The Case of Ayatekla, Meriamlik"

Alessandra Ricci, Princeton University

The figure of Thecla, one of the earliest female protomartyrs, still puzzles scholars because of numerous uncertainties within the hagiographic literature about her and a lack of archaeological data regarding the pilgrimage center which developed around her shrine located on the shores of Cilicia.

As a young woman, the high-spirited Thecla renounced the prospect of an advantageous marriage in her hometown of Iconium in Asia Minor in her desire to become a member of "God's Family". Determined to fulfill her vocation to its utmost, she abandoned town and family, and embarked on a risky journey to Antioch in search of the Apostle Paul. The Acts of Saint Paul and Thecla and the Miracles tell us that she not only managed to join the ranks of Paul's disciples, but also became a famous teacher and martyr.

Since antiquity a number of legends have flourished regarding her life and miraculous powers after death. One source claims that the Emperor Zeno prayed to Thecla in order to gain back his throne in Constantinople (Evagrius, Historiae Ecclesiasticae , III, 8) and dedicated a sumptuous church to her on a hilltop not far from Seleucia where the saint's cult was already established. Other contemporary sources add that this site became an important place of pilgrimage, attracting large numbers of visitors during the Middle Ages. Until recently, however, historians were in disagreement about the value of written sources. Indeed some have been reluctant to affirm that Thecla was an historical person at all. Moreover even though Dagron has clarified several aspects of the written evidence pertaining to her shrine, doubt still persist in regard to its location.

In particular the scattered ruins of the multi-functional pilgrimage center are still awaiting a more complete reading from archaeologists, topographers, and art historians. At the beginning of this century E. Herzfeld and S. Guyer conducted a campaign of excavations, limiting their work to two churches: one above the holy cave, and another to the north which they have called the "Kuppelkirche". The study concludes that this "Kuppelkirche" dates between 460 and 470. Since then, scholars like Forsyth, Krautheimer, Dagron and more recently Hellenkemper have debated the merits of this identification and chronology. Unfortunately, however, these discussions have focused on questions concerning the originality of this plan in comparison to those of later Constantinopolitan churches instead of attempting to read the church as part of a complex site with a variety of buildings which included churches, baths, cisterns, gardens, and defensive walls.

This paper will attempt to reassess the findings of previous scholars by reading the site of Ayatekla within its topographical, functional, decorative and regional context. Moreover, it will try to establish correlations between Thecla's pilgrimage center and the nearby town of Seleucia.

"Physical and Spiritual Healing in the Mosaics of Hosios Loukas"

Henry Maguire, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The biographer of Nikon of Sparta tells us that a boy was afflicted with paralysis of the jaw. He prayed to the icon of Nikon which "hung before the inner sanctuary of the holy precinct of the monastery" where he was living as a novice. Subsequently, he fell asleep, and dreamed that he was transported to Nikon's shrine at Sparta, first to the tomb of the saint, which he kissed, and then to the "very ascent by the west stairway of the divine and holy house" where "the commanding and divine icon bearing the name of [Christ] Antiphonetes is situated, and also the image of the great one is figured." Responding to instructions which issued from the icon of Nikon itself, the boy anointed himself with oil from the lamp that hung before it. When he awoke he was fully cured. The biographer concludes: "this extraordinary miracle testified even more to the saint's access to God."

The interest of this story for the historian of Byzantine art is threefold. First, it shows that not all icons of the same saint were equal. Secondly, though the monastery of Nikon is no longer standing, we can still relate the physical lay-out of its shrine to the existing Katholikon at Hosios Loukas, where Holy Luke's relics, with their associated oil, were the focus of a healing cult in the north arm of the crypt (see Carolyn Connor, "The Crypt at Hosios Loukas and its Frescoes," Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1987). The relics of Holy Luke were directly beneath the miracle-worker's mosaic portrait in the northern arm of the upper church, an arrangement similar to that of the shrine of Nikon (relics below, image above). Thirdly, the Life of Nikon tells us about the arrangement of Images in a healing shrine. The icon of Nikon in his own shrine was placed near an icon of Christ "Antiphonetes," an association of images that was a visual witness to the intimacy of the saint with God. A similar logic connects the images in the north and the south arms of the church of Hosios Loukas, which are centered upon the two healing saints, Luke and Panteleimon. Each holy man is associated with a mosaic of Christ (Panteleimon is set below a Christ of the Antiphonetes type) and with an intercessory image of the Virgin and Child, as a visual demonstration of the saints "access to God," and thus of their effectiveness.

A common theme in saints lives was the contrast between spiritual and physical medicine. On the west wall of the south arm of the Katholikon, St. Panteleimon holds the instruments of physical medicine, a scalpel and a box of medical instruments. St. Luke, on the other hand, in the corresponding position on the west wall of the north arm, raises his two empty hands in prayer, just as he is described in his Vita when he performs a miracle ("raising his hands up on high, he prayed ). The juxtaposition makes a point stressed by the biographer of Nikon: the saint's prayer is a kind of medicine. This message is reinforced by the mosaics in the vault above St. Luke. Immediately above the saint, is "James the Brother of the Lord". His presence here is a reference to the Epistle of James, chapter 5, verses 13-16: "The prayer offered in faith will save the sick man A good man's prayer is powerful and effective."


Chair: Hugo Buchthal,Warburg Institute, University of London, emeritus

"On the Alexandrian Origin of the Vatican Annunciation and Nativity Silks"

Anna Gonosov‡, University of California, Irvine

The Annunciation and Nativity silks in the Museo Sacro at the Vatican, deservedly among the finest Byzantine textiles, do not need introduction. Yet, in spite of this familiarity, to date either their place of manufacture (Alexandria, Constantinople or Syria) nor date (6th-9th centuries) has been satisfactorily established. Also, the Vatican silks are but two best examples of a larger group of red-ground silks decorated with figural motifs inside a medallion pattern, all without a known provenance, date and place of manufacture. At the same time, similar designs generally considered inspired by silks decorate wool-and-linen ornaments on costume found in large numbers in Byzantine and post-Byzantine graves in Egypt. Although the Vatican type silks have already been used in the study of such clothing ornaments (as, e.g., in L.H. Abdel-Malik's Joseph's Tapestries and Related Textiles, PhD diss., Boston University 1980), more needs to be done in this area of research.

With respect to the date and place of manufacture of the red-ground Vatican type silks, it is my belief that a closer scrutiny of the relationship between these silks as models and tapestry woven, wool-and-linen costume ornaments as their copies can establish that these silks were made in Egypt, most likely in Alexandria, in the period preceding the Arab conquest of Egypt in 640/641. For example, a design of mounted hunters on a red ground framed by a garland of stylized flowers common in wool-and-linen costume ornaments was originally copied from silks of the red-ground Vatican type such as two panels with hunters in London (A.F. Kendrick, Textiles from Burying-Grounds in Egypt III, London 1922, nos. 822 and 823), as an exceptionally accurate version of the design on a tunic clavus in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond demonstrates (Beyond the Pharaohs , The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I., 1989, no. 68). A medallion pattern on a wool-and-linen tape of a tunic fragment in London (Kendrick, Textiles from Burying-Grounds in Egypt III, no. 626) also closely copies the Vatican type silks, above all a hunting amazons silk in SŠckingen (Otto von Falke, Kunstgeschichte der Seidenweberei , Berlin 1913, fig. 70), although its three figural motifs--a mounted emperor, boating figures, and an animal trainer(?)--do not.

The wealth of the wool-and-linen silk inspired costume ornaments, of which the Virginia clavus and the London tape are only two examples, attests to their wide appeal. Moreover, such rare figural motifs as seen on the London tape may actually indicate an existence of other silks of the Vatican type, now lost. It is this availability of a range of patterned silks of the Vatican type in Egypt that strongly suggests that these silks--like their humbler wool-and-linen copies--were made there, while their thematic content, whether classical or christian, supports a late sixth and early seventh century date for their original appearance.

"The Question of Color on Late Antique and Byzantine Ivories"

Carolyn L. Connor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Byzantine ivories have been the subject of scholarly analysis and debate from the standpoint of iconography, historical significance, stylistic groupings, technique and crafting, but not of their original appearance. A study of some forty carved ivory objects of the 5th to the 12th centuries reveals numerous traces of bright colors and gilding on their surfaces; objects examine include plaques, pyxides, diptychs, triptychs, boxes, furniture revetment and icons. Although still work in progress, these observations raise the possibility that polychromy is an important though neglected feature of Byzantine ivories.

We have become comfortable with the idea that ivories are monochrome, ranging from creamy white to mellow yellow, with a complex grain and lustrous surface. It is often assumed that such a precious substance as ivory would not have been painted. Those traces of color that have been noted have often been dismissed as not original, even though it is now widely recognized that many types of ancient as well as western medieval sculpture were originally painted. Pigment analysis is one way of determining the likelihood of the colors being original.

Visual analysis, however, must take place first. A binocular microscope at 10X to 40X power reveals localized areas of polychromy -- blue, red, green, brown and gold -- as well as individual flecks of pigment. Comers, cracks and undercuttings often harbor pockets of color. UV illumination makes even more dramatic the overall former polychrome effect. In view of the 19th century practice of cleaning, bleaching and taking casts of many ivories it is surprising that any traces of color remain. However, using these methods of observation it is possible to determine the former appearance of some ivories.

The implications of polychromy on ivories need to be investigated further; for example we need to know how extensively ivories were painted and how the function of color on ivories compares with that in other media. Early indications suggest that ivories and other Byzantine luxury objects, like manuscripts, enamels, goldsmithing, icons, silks, as well as monumental mosaics and frescoes, shared a consistent aesthetic: the Byzantine love of the bright, precious and brilliantly colorful.

"The Syriac Inscriptions on the Paintings in the Church of the Virgin of the Monastery of the Syrians (Dier es Souriani )"

Monica J. Blanchard, The Catholic University of America

The Monastery of the Mother of God in the Domain of Anba Bishoi or, as it is more popularly known, Deir es-Souriani~-that is, the Monastery of the Syrians--in the Egyptian Wadi Natrun, is well known to scholars of the literary heritage of the Christian Orient. Due in large part to the efforts of a tenth century abbot, Moses of Nisibis (ft. 906-943), a deliberate and extensive program of library acquisitions and on-site scribal activity was initiated, and the monastery became one of the great depositories of Syriac Christian literature. In the course of the nineteenth century many of these Syriac manuscripts were acquired by the British Museum. There they sparked an immediate and widespread interest in the study of Syriac Christianity, a field which even today is largely supported by scholarly endeavours based on these very manuscripts.

Historians of the artistic heritage of the Christian Orient are also familiar with the Monastery of the Syrians for the series of wall paintings that decorate its Church of the Virgin, el-ÎAdra. These paintings lately have been assigned by scholars to dates ranging from the last quarter of the twelfth century to the second quarter of the thirteenth century. They replaced earlier wall decoration, some of which may have been done under the direction of this same tenth century abbot Moses, who is known to have interested himself in the decoration of the church.

The wall paintings have been studied carefully, most recently and exhaustively by Jules Leroy, Les peintures des couvents du Ouadi Natroun (Memoires publiŽs par les membres de l'Institut Franais d'ArchŽologie Orientale du Caire, L CI; Cairo, 1982), and by Lucy-Anne Hunt, "Christian-Muslim Relations in Painting in Egypt of the Twelfth to mid-Thirteenth Centuries: Sources of Wallpainting at Deir es-Suriani and the Illustration of the New Testament MS Paris, Copte-Arabe I/Cairo, Bibl. 94," Cahiers archŽologiques 33 (1985) 111-155. These studies situated the paintings within a multi-cultural Christian context, e.g. Copto-Syriac, or as the work of a local artistic workshop made up of artists from a plurality of Eastern Christian backgrounds, including Copts, Armenians, and Syrians, among others.

The purpose of this communication is to examine these paintings within a more exclusively Syriac context, and specifically to give an account of the peculiarities manifest in the Syriac inscriptions on the paintings. This study will highlight the iconographical character of the Syriac inscriptions, with a view to explaining those discrepancies in spelling and orthography that have so puzzled scholars.

"A Byzantine Silk Binding for the Psalter of Queen Melisende"

Jaroslav Folda, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Among the Byzantine influenced features of Queen Melisende!s Psalter (British Library Egerton Ms. 1139) the twenty-four full page prefatory miniatures painted by Basil and the carved ivory bookcovers hold pride of place. Surprisingly however, the only purely Byzantine component of the codex has been largely overlooked. There is on the spine of the original binding an embroidered silk with equal-armed crosses in red, blue and green.

Byzantine silks are not infrequently found as part of luxury bindings for early medieval manuscripts in Western Europe. This example is however the first use of such material associated with manuscripts executed in the scriptoriurn of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The existence of such a handsome silk as part of the original binding of this famous codex raises numerous questions. What is the date of the silk, where was it manufactured, how do we explain its appearance in Jerusalem as part of a special commission, and what is the meaning of its iconography? Whatever the answers to these and other questions the identification of this silk on the Melisende Psalter is further testimony to the strong Byzantine tradition and its continuing presence in Crusader Jerusalem during the 12th century. It is also an important component in the reassessment of the patronage, dating and significance of the Melisende Psalter as a pivotal monument in the development of the art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land.

"Fifteenth-Century Novgorod Illumination: Masters and Traditions"

Engelina Smirnova, Moscow University

In the 15th century, Novgorod was one of the principal centers of book production in Old Russia, along with Moscow. Illuminated manuscripts from Novgorodian scriptoria are of great interest not only to the historians of Russian medieval art, but also to scholars of late Byzantine and post-Byzantine art. The 16 known illustrated codices from Novgorod comprise 4 Gospelbooks, 4 Gospel Lectionaries, 2 Acts of the Apostles and Epistles, 1 Bible, 2 books of the liturgy, and 3 Heavenly Ladders of John Climacus. Notes concerning the production and presentation of these manuscripts along with some other data indicate that these codices were copied not only in the scriptorium of the archbishop but also in city churches and monasteries and various other centers in the vast Northern territories of Novgorod (such as the Barlaam monastery on Lake Ladoga).

The miniaturists worked independently from the scribes. The book manufacturers in scriptoria had to commission miniatures from independent artists, because no regular book painters were foreseen on their staff. Nearly all miniatures in Novgorodian manuscripts are painted on inserted leaves (a feature typical for Byzantine manuscripts of the Palaiologan period). It should be noted that the painters of ornament also worked independently from the scribes: some frontispiece leaves with headpieces, and decorated initials, are carefully inserted, and text lines are copied to fit a previously calculated space. There are cases where the decorative elements of a manuscipt were evidently painted in the same atelier as the text, while the miniatures reveal a quite different artistic manner. The work of scribes, ornament painters, and miniaturists had to be coordinated by a special organizer.

In their iconography, Novgorodian miniatures of the 15th century show considerable originality. Some rare Byzantine features were introduced to emphasize ideas useful to Novgorod at the moment (for example St. Luke as a painter with the Wisdom-Angel of God; the detailed composition of St. Paul as a scholar in a library, etc.).

The miniatures of Novgorod reflect the general stylistic trends of Russian art of the 15th century, but in a rather peculiar development. The miniatures of the first half of the century show in their interest in the treatment of space, the generalization of outlines, the elements of classicism and the particular expression of faces and poses, and the contrasts of colors, elements which differentiate them from the art of Moscow. In the second half of the century, the role of outline, silhouette, rhythm and ornament increases. Steps are taken to revise certain Byzantine traditions.


Chair: Michele Salzman, Boston University

"New Evidence from Arabia on the Size of the Late Roman Army"

S. Thomas Parker, North Carolina State University

The Roman army of the Principate is well known in terms of its strength, internal organization, equipment, military role, and conditions of service. But debate has long raged among scholars about the late Roman army of Diocletian and later, due primarily to the lack of adequate literary and archaeological evidence. The Limes Arabicus Project conducted five seasons of excavation between 1980 and 1989 at the late Roman legionary fortress of el-Lejjun and four smaller fortifications in central Jordan. The excavations have shed new light on this debate.

Lejjun, located ca. 35 km. east of the Dead Sea, offers the rare opportunity to examine a late Roman legionary fortress built de novo on a virgin site. The fortress was almost certainly built for legio IV Martia (Not. Dig ., Or. 37.22) during the reign of Diocletian (284-305) and was occupied until destroyed by an earthquake in 551. Afterwards, its history was not complicated by significant subsequent occupation. The four smaller fortifications excavated by the project were occupied contemporaneously with Lejun.

The fortress occupies an area of just 4.6 ha. (ca. 11 acres), only about 20% the size of legionary fortresses of the Principate designed to accommodate 5,000 troops. Analysis of the barracks within the Lejjun fortress suggests it was designed to accommodate about 2,000 legionaries, or a reduction of 60% from Principate norms. The sharp reduction in legionary unit strength is paralleled by the auxiliary castella excavated by the project. The evidence suggests a significant cut in the late Roman auxiliary units from the 500 man Principate norm. The size of these forts accords well with units of ca. 120-160 attested in Egyptian papyri from the reign of Diocletian.

The most important implication of this paper is the doubt it casts on long-held views that Diocletian dramatically increased the size of the late Roman army, perhaps even doubling its size from the estimated Principate strength of 300,000. This alleged increase was based on unit strengths assumed to have been at or near Principate levels. This supposed increase, it is argued, put enormous strain on the empire's population that had already been reduced by plagues, civil wars, and invasions of the third century. The new evidence from Arabia, which can be substantiated elsewhere, casts great doubt on the traditional view. Instead, it seems that there was no significant increase in the size of the late Roman army. Rather, the army was simply dispersed among many more individual units of much smaller size.

"The Theodosian Fortifications of the Thermopylai Frontier"

W. J. Cherf, Somerset, N.J.

Five lime mortar carbon-14 samples collected in 1988 from defensive structures found along the northern frontier of central Greece at Thermopylai date to the first two decades of the fifth century A.D. These data, in conjunction with others from the Dhema Pass west of Thermopylai (Byz. Stud. Conf. Abstr. 1982 45-46; AJA 1984 594-598), all yield pre-Justinianic dates that are predominantly clustered during the fifth century for the defense system of Greeceâs northern land frontier. These independent laboratory results compare favorably with the chronologies for the late defensive constructions at Corinth, the Isthmian Long Wall and with other Theodosian defense projects throughout the Balkan region.

Some implications of these radiocarbon data immediately come to mind: 1) Imperial investment in the defenses of the empire by the administration of Theodosius II in the wake of the Visigothic incursion appear to have been far more ambitious than perhaps previously thought; 2) the extensive fortification de novo of the mountainous southern coast of the Malian basin indicates that it was recognized as a legitimate frontier zone during this period; 3) Procopius' claim (De aed. 4.2.1-22) that the Thermopylai frontier defense system was a considerable Justinianic undertaking is seriously misleading if not an outright falsehood; 4) Procopius' statements (De aed. 4.1.14, 1.33, 2.1-22, 2.27-28) that the mid-sixth century defense of the Balkans rested upon a multi-layered system of defense in depth -- at the Danube, Thermopylai and the Isthmus, more likely reflects the conceived and implemented Imperial strategy of the early fifth century. Consequently, and despite the efforts of Whitby (JHS 1985 129-148) to the contrary, Procopius' De Aedificiis must be read with extreme care (Cameron 1985 passim ) and his attributions perhaps taken with a grain of salt.

" A Neglected Census of Heraclius"

Walter E. Kaegi, Jr., University of Chicago

The S§ noyis CronikZ of Theodore Skutariotes (sometimes cited as the Synopsis Sathas, from its editor, Constantine Sathas, Mesaiwnik BiblioqZ kh 7: 110) contains a neglected but potentially important reference to a survey of land undertaken late in the reign of Heraclius: _ § toH ñ basile× H ð pograf n Ï kX leuse genX sqai, kai khnseuqÐ nai pÆ san tÐ n tÐ H RwmaikhÐ H Ï pikrate\ aH gÐ n, di Filagr\ ou, kai Koubikoular\ ou, kai Sakelar\ ou. Translation: "This emperor ordered there to be a survey, and the whole of the land of the Roman [Byzantine] Empire was to be assessed, by Philagrios, who was Koubikoularios and Sakellarios."

This hitherto unnoticed act, which was not cited by F. Dšlger in his Regesten , probably was a census taken after the loss of much territory to the Muslims. Heraclius probably needed to ascertain what remaining financial resources existed for the support of his government after losses to the Muslims and Slavs and Avars. It is impossible to say whether this survey resulted in any controversial institutional changes. The exact chronological limits of Philagrios as Sakellarios (Treasurer) are unknown, but he held that office after Theodore Trithurios, who was Sakellarios at the time of the battle of the Yarmuk in August, 636. Philagrios continued to be sakellarios after the death of Heraclius in February 641. He remained sakellarios until early in the reign of Constans II, when he was exiled to North Africa, in 642 or 643. Lead seals (Zakos-Veglery No. 1365, Laurent No. 740) of Philagrios are known, as well as his activities on behalf of Constantine III as successor of Heraclius (Nicephorus, Hist 28-29 De Boor 1880 edn.), and his exile at the instigation of General Valentinus (Nicephorus, Hist 29 De Boor, and John of Nikiu). This is the only reference to this act. It is uncertain how long it required to complete this census or whether its implementation encountered problems or how thoroughly it succeeded in reassessing land within the empire. It is an example of Herachus' strong initiatives even very late in his reign and is perfectly consistent with Muslim sources' claims that Heraclius remained very energetic until the end of his reign. It is another example of the occasional valuable nuggets of information that the Sb noyis CronikZ of Theodore Skutariotes. contain concerning the obscure seventh century (recall the valuable and neglected reference in it to Comentiolus, a hitherto unknown brother of Phocas, which I examined in "New Evidence on the Early Reign of Heraclius," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 66 [1973] 311). No information exists about the precise results of this survey. Other than his decisions concerning the imperial succession, this should be regarded as one of the very most important final acts of Heraclius. It took place at a critical moment in the empire's history. Despite military disasters the government was not paralyzed and its bureaucracy was still capable of functioning. The information from this lost census probably would solve many controversies about economic, political, and military institutions in the seventh century.

"Ansila and the Date of Dracontius' Satisfactio"

Frank M. Clover, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The poet Blossius Aemilius Dracontius flourished in Vandal Carthage during the reigns of Kings Gunthamund and Thrasamund (regnabant A.D. 484-496 and 496-523 respectively). Sometime during his adult life Gunthamund imprisoned the poet because he had addressed verses to a distant ruler rather than to Vandal royalty. The Satisfactio ("Amends"), and elaborate apology and appeal to Gunthamund, was Dracontius' own effort to gain his freedom.

Modem critics have wished to locate the year in which Dracontius penned his appeal from prison. The desire for precision has produced one noteworthy argument, which is now enshrined in the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire [hereafter PLRE ], volume II, s.v. Ansila 2. At vss. 191-218 of the Satisfactio Dracontius urges Gunthamund to be clement, and (vss. 211-214) compliments the king for victories on land and sea--triumphs accomplished in the King's absence. The close of the compliment forms the basis of the modern case for the date of the poem: Ansila testatur. Maurus ubique iacet. It is argued that Ansila, possibly an Ostrogothic commander, met defeat during a vandal raid on Sicily. Since the Vandals ceased such raids by treaty in 491 (see Cassiodorus' Chronicle, s.a.), the attack in question must have occurred no later than that year; the Satisfactio therefore dates from after 484/491.

It is indeed possible that Dracontius composed his appeal to Gunthamund during the latter years of the king's reign. The passage cited above, however, will not support this chronology. Dracontius is here providing a specific example of the victories on land and sea, for which Gunthamund's tutelage was the crucial ingredient. The Mauri, the vanquished, were troublesome neighbors of the Vandals in Africa's interior, especially after ca. 480 (see Procopius Bellum vandalicum 1. 8. 1-6). Dracontius here refers to one of the many encounters between Vandals and Mauri, a triumph for Gunthamund's forces in the King's absence. And who was the victorious commander at this engagement? Ansila, states Dracontius. (The desire of modern observers to make Ansila an Ostrogoth is understandable. Other fifth-century bearers of the name were Goths. The critics have forgotten, however, that Alans, Goths and Suevi stood among the ranks of the Vandals in Africa [cf. Possidius Vita Augustini 28.4]. Ansila was a Goth, but a member of the Vandal optimates .)

The effort to date Dracontius' Satisfactio from vss. 211-214 has yielded instead a new addendum to PLRE II: Ansila, a Goth in Vandal service who defeated the Mauri. And when exactly did Dracontius set Ansilaâs success amidst an appeal to King Gunthamund? I know of no part of the poem which will support a time more precise than the regnal years of Gunthamund (again, 484-496). For the text of the Satisfactio we depend on a ninth-tenth century manuscript Vat. Reg. Lat. 1267, folia 143v- 150v. The copyist who penned the subscript offers as precise a date as possible for the Satisfactio : explicit satisfactio Dracontii as Guthamnundum, regem Guandalorum, dum esset in uinculis.


Chair: Helen Evans, Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The Wisdom Figure in Byzantine Art"

Deirdre Good, General Theological Seminary

As part of a longer study of the Wisdom figure in Christian art, I would like to survey representations of Wisdom in Byzantine art of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. In Byzantine art of this period, Wisdom is, for the most part, depicted as female. I would like to propose that the best way to understand the (female) depictions of Wisdom is not as a "Wisdom angel" (Florovsky, Diehl, Meyendorff, Grabar) but rather as "Incarnate Wisdom," i.e. as a Christological interpretation. My arguments will be based on readings of the literary and slides of the visual evidence from writers of the Byzantine period and Byzantine iconography from Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. The description of Wisdom as an angel is sometimes based on a partial reading of the evidence (e.g. extant Byzantine iconography in the region of Apulia in Southern Italy is wrongly judged to show "western" influence and hence ignored) and results in a failure to appreciate the significance, longevity and essentially conservative nature of Wisdom Christology in Byzantine tradition. A brief discussion of this classification (the significance of angels in icons) and its consequences will be given. I hope to correct this reading of the evidence from Southern Italy and elsewhere and suggest that the thirteenth century figure of Wisdom in Soleto belongs in Byzantine tradition by surveying the art of the region. The figure in Soleto has a cruciform nimbus, a clear inscription, a cup of the Eucharist (Proverbs 9) and no wings. It will also be suggested that the later proliferation of images of Wisdom at Sopćani, Dečani, Ohrid, Gračanica and Thessaloniki in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries is an aftermath of the iconoclastic controversies rather than "late" examples of the Wisdom angel. Some of these figures have wings and some a cruciform nimbus. Surveyed in their entirety, the proliferation of Wisdom figures is not sexually specific--the (bearded) "Pantocrator" figure of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki identified by the inscription as Wisdom will be discussed as an attempt of Byzantine painters to understand incarnate Christ as Wisdom in human form and thus able to be represented as both male and female. Finally, the sixteenth century example from Novgorod has the same features as the Soleto figure: cruciform nimbus, eucharistic cup and no wings. The icons of Novgorod, Ohrid and Gracamica are depictions of Proverbs 9 that ignore the Septuagint translation douloi for Wisdom's female servants, preferring to retain the Latin (via. Slavonic) "maidservants." In conclusion, it will be argued that the rich Christology of Byzantine tradition can enhance our understanding of the person of Christ in history and inform contemporary discussion.

"The Image of God as Creator"

John Lowden, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

One of the most familiar and powerful images to have survived from the Middle Ages is that of the Creator, used as a full-page frontispiece in the l3th-century Parisian Bibles moralisŽes Holding a large pair of compasses, God measures and circumscribes the universe. Traditionally, art historians (e.g. Hausherr, Heimann) have traced a source for this image through a Byzantine parallel in the lost Smyrna Octateuch of the mid-12di century. Behind this, it has been argued, lies a lost model of the early period. This explanation is reconsidered briefly in the present paper. The miniature in question in the Smyrna Octateuch appears to have been on a single leaf, and was, to judge from the photographs, a later addition to the manuscript. There is no closely related image in any of the other Byzantine Octateuchs, with which the Smyrna manuscript has the closest connections. Nor does the image have any close parallel elsewhere in Byzantine art. It seems probable, therefore, that the Western examples were developed without recourse to a Byzantine model. It is conceivable that the situation might even have been the exact opposite of the one previously proposed, with the artist of the Smyrna miniature reflecting to some extent his knowledge of a Western composition. It remains to consider when and why the image might have been added to the Smyrna Octateuch. Since the manuscript cannot be consulted in the original, this inevitably involves an element of guesswork. There were notes at the back of the book, providing various untraceable names, dates of 1256 and 1259, and the information that in the latter year it was presented to S. Nikon. This seems to mean that the Octateuch was presented to the saint's cult center in Sparta. As S. Nikon's particular role was as a patron of penitents, the donor, or so we may surmise, is likely to have been a pilgrim to the shrine, fulfilling a penitential vow. Because S. Nikon was widely known, it is not possible to say where the Octateuch's then owner might have come from. On the basis of its style alone, the Creator miniature might seem to date from some decades after 1259, in which case the motive and circumstances for its supply remain unfathomable. If, however, the miniature can be accepted as a work of 1259, then we can suppose that it was included as part of a project by the Octateuch's then owner to restore a possibly damaged book, already a century or so old, as a fitting gift. In conclusion, black and white photographs are no longer acceptable as the basis for art-historical investigations; detailed examination of the original manuscripts is essential; but when photographs are all that survives, we may still learn something new by studying them with an open mind.

"The Mandylion in Medieval Georgian Literature and Art"

Zaza Skhirtladze, Čubinasvili Institutefor the History of Georgian Art

In Georgia, the Mandylion is closely linked to legends concerning the keramion , the image of the Holy Face transferred from the cloth onto a tile, and brought to Georgia from Edessa by Anton of Martqopi (6th century), one of the "Syrian" fathers. The tradition of Mandylionworship, obviously a response to the growing importance of the cult of images in the early Middle Ages in the Christian East, is clearly reflected in the literature and art of Old Georgia, which, unlike other regions of the Byzantine world, remained consistently iconophile. This tradition can be traced in Georgian literature on the basis both of original hagiographical and hymnographical writings (The Life of St. Anton of the 17th-18th centuries, the Canticles by Saba Svingelos of the 12th century, Arsen Bulmaisimisdze the Catholicos of the 2nd quarter of the 13th century) and of translated texts. Among the latter, the various versions of the correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar (appended to Sinai Georg. 78 of the 11 th century, to the Alaverdi Gospels of the year 1054 and to the Gelati Gospels of the 12th century) occupy a prominent place. The earliest known Georgian images of the Holy Face - the icon from the Anchi Monastery (6th century) and the apse fresco of the Telovani church(9th century) - are based on the oldest liturgical, iconographic and artistic traditions. Along with icon and miniature painting, this theme appears frequently in Georgian mural painting from the I lth century on, especially in apse decoration, where the place reserved for the image of the Holy Face is subject to considerable variation.

"Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--a Paradise Team in the Apse of the Church of St. Basil, Cappadocia"

Natalia Teteriamikov, Dunbarton Oaks

A small Chapel of St. Basil in Cappadocia has been attributed to the Iconoclast period because of the representation of the cross - a major image in its decoration - and inscriptions revealing the Iconoclast attitude toward the cross. Among the variety of cross representations in this chapel, there are three distinct crosses labeled Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the apex of an apse. They were generally assumed by scholars to be part of an Iconoclast decorative program. The specific role of their names and their association with the crosses in the apse of this chapel was not, however, understood. This paper will examine why the names of the three Patriarchs appear in the apse, and why they were strangely attached to the three crosses.

The cross is the focal theme in the fresco decoration of the south nave of St. Basirs Chapel. A huge cross occupies the entire ceiling, and a large panel with a latin cross is located in the western part of the south wall; the remaining walls are ornamented with floral and geometric design. An apse of this chapel has also a multi-cross representation. Three latin crosses are depicted between the floral motifs on the walls of the apse. In addition, three multi-crosses in intertwined medallions are placed in the apex of the apse. They appear as a focal point of the apse. Near each cross is inscribed: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The appearance of the names of three Patriarchs together is very unusual.

Images of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the scene of Paradise appear in Byzantine art only after Iconoclasm. From the eleventh century on they become a part of the Paradise scene in church decoration. The presence of the names of the three Patriarchs in the Chapel of St. Basil can be seen then as an early aniconic version of this Paradise formula. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as a symbol of Paradise were widely venerated in Palestine, Syria and the Christian East. Prayers addressed to the three patriarchs were enclosed in the funeral services since the early days of Christianity. In fact, personal prayers including a wish to be in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were inscribed on the grave stones from Faras, Nubia (7th and 8th century). The tombs of the three Patriarchs on the Hebron hill in Jerusalem were venerated by pilgrims who probably stimulated the funeral cult of saints. The source for the saints cult was most likely Palestine where liturgical texts including the prayers for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were originated.

This paper will suggest that the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the apse of St. Basil can be interpreted as a funeral invocation; the latter was a reflection of the funeral cult of the three Patriarchs. The Chapel of St. Basil was a funeral chapel. The north nave has never been decorated, and its pavement was used as a graveyard. The decoration of the south nave suggests that it was used for liturgical services and in its apse commemorative prayers were recited. Its decoration is a symbol of Paradise. The three crosses in the apex of the apse can be then interpreted as symbols of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

"Double-Sided Icons of the Virgin and St. Nicholas"

George Stricevic, University of Cincinnati

A Large double-sided icon from Rhodes, with the Virgin Hodegetria, on one side and a half figure of St. Nicholas on the other, was shown at the exhibition of icons and frescoes from Greece which toured the States recently (Catalogue, No. 18). The outstanding quality of the painting suggests that it was made in one of the major artistic centers, possibly Constantinople, and the style makes the proposed date in the second quarter of the 14th c. quite likely. What adds to the interest of this masterpiece of Palaeologan panel painting is that it belongs to a small group of icons which seem to have served as processional icons as it can be seen from their size, from the fact that they are painted on both sides, and, finally, from the notches on the lower edge where a handle was attached.

To the 15th-16th c. seems to belong such a double icon in the Russian Museum in Moscow, while two others, one, presumably of Novgorodian provenance, the other from Tver, are dated to the late 14th c. or the first quarter of the l5th. However, the most famous processional icon which pairs St. Nicholas with the Virgin (who, incidentally, can be of various iconographic types: Hodegetria, Eleusa or the Virgin of the Sign), and virtually contemporary with the one from Rhodes, is the Virgin Tricheiroussa of Chilandari which the late-medieval tradition claims to be the very icon which restored the hand of St. John of Damascus. According to a legend, St. Sava of Serbia was given this highly venerated icon when he visited the monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem, brought it to Serbia and it was later miraculously transferred to Chilandari on Mount Athos. In the catholikon of the monastery it functions as an integral part of the donors' composition, painted in the south-westem comer of the naos, above the original tomb of the ktitor, Symeon (Nemanja). The association with the portraits of the founders exists in yet another Fourteenth-century ensemble: on the west wall of the Holy Apostles at Pecâ the cathedral of the Archbishop of Serbia, a large double-sided icon of the Virgin and St. Nicholas is reproduced, in fresco technique, next to the group of the Nemanjids.

The connection between the processional icons with St. Nicholas and the cult of the dead is suggested by the fact that one of the chapels, some of them free-standing, the others in form of parekklesia attached to, or fully integrated into the catholikon of many medieval monasteries on Mount Athos, as well as in Serbia, were dedicated to St. Nicholas and were used for regular weekly memorial services for the deceased brethren.

St. Nicholas seemed to have played a role of mediator as he did on some of the so-called Deesis icons which show him standing either in the place usually occupied by the Precursor, or, as, for example on a 16th c. icon in Stavronikita monastery, on Christ's right side where in a traditional Deesis the Virgin would be represented. The role of St. Nicholas as an advocate of the deceased is illustrated in the old Russian folk-poetry and, also, in popular funerary customs (the deceased is buried with a Îletterâ addressed to St. Nicholas) about which the earliest preserved records go back at least to the 16th century.

It might be postulated that the double-sided icons with the Virgin and St. Nicholas were originally used in funerary services.


Co-chairs: Dorothy deF. Abrahamse, California State University, Long Beach; Thalia Gouma-Peterson, The College of Wooster

"Male Domination of Woman in the Writings of the Byzantine Church Fathers"

Valerie A. Karras, The Catholic University ofAmerica

The Church Fathers dealt with the relationship between man and woman within the context of the creation account in Genesis. Gen. 1:27 implies a fundamental equality between the sexes: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Fathers from all centuries and all points of view affirm this spiritual equality of the sexes. However, the theological view of some is affected by the so-called second creation account, specifically God's creation of woman. The reason given in Genesis 2:18 for her creation - "Then the Lord God said, " It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him" - has often been cited as evidence that woman is subordinate to man because she was created for and subsequent to him.

Yet, while authors such as Procopius of Gaza and John Chrysostom make a few comments seeming to support this view of God-ordained female subjection, their general stance is again an egalitarian one. Curiously, it arises from Gen. 2:21-23, the creation of woman from Adam's rib. Chrysostom, Procopius, and many others interpret this mode of creation not as showing woman's dependence on man but rather as affirming her equality with man; the Fathers frequently use the word —mogenZ H to describe her relationship to man. It is human disobedience which affects the former equality. Gen. 3:16 delineates Gods punishment of woman: "To the woman he said, 'I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."' Chrysostom interprets the second half of this verse as showing the beginning of the inequality of the sexes. Male domination of woman is part of the fallen state of humanity, a distortion of the original state.

There is another patristic view different from that of such representatives of the Antiochian School as Chrysostom and Procopius. This is found in the speculative theology of the Cappadocians and their successors, especially in Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. Sexual differentiation is not part of the original human state; it is an aspect of the animal world which God incorporated into human nature as a procreative mechanism when humanity fell from its original state of grace. It has no connection with the divine image and, according to Maximus, is transcended by Christ. Thus, the Byzantine Fathers, from various perspectives, affirm the fundamental equality of the sexes, particularly in the prelapsarian state, and view male domination of woman as a symptom of humanity's fall.

"Taphe Gynaikon : Female Burials in the Byzantine Fortress at Isthmia"

Myra Giesen and Timothy E. Gregory, The Ohio State University

The Byzantine Fortress on the Hexamilion across the Isthmus of Corinth was constructed in the early years of the fifth century and served as a primary means of defense for the Peloponnesos until the fifteenth century and beyond. Although little of the interior of the Fortress has been excavated, preliminary studies suggest that it was occupied primarily by typical military structures such as barracks and a command-post (Gregory and Kardulias, Hesperia , forthcoming 1990). Thus, one must suppose that habitation in the Fortress was essentially military, at least in the early Byzantine period.

Recent osteological study of the skeletal remains from a number of burials along the walls of the Fortress, however, shows that a substantial number were tombs of women. This raises a number of interesting questions about the use of the Fortress and the status of the women who were buried there: what was the relationship of the women to the soldiers defending the Hexamilion? were women allowed to live with soldiers in the Fortress? were the fortifications temporarily abandoned and given over for civilian use, at least for substantial periods? In addition, these burials present a significant and interesting data base for research on female burials in the early Byzantine period. This paper discusses the nature and placement of the graves, the gravegoods offered with the burials, and the physical condition of the skeletons--all in the context of gender differentiation. It explores the relationships between male and female burials and the degree to which female burials can be differentiated as a result of single characteristics.

"Patterns in Byzantine Matronage: Aristocratic and Imperial Commissions, Fourth to Sixth Centuries"

Leslie Brubaker, Wheaton College

We know little about the ways Byzantine women dispersed what economic resources they had at their disposal. Surviving documents focus on female landholdings, donations of various sorts to the church, and contributions to the urban architectural landscape. Women (like men) erected statues, and very wealthy women commissioned buildings. During the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, the types of buildings women felt comfortable building - or at least the types of commissions the (male) chroniclers felt comfortable recording - were predominantly religious or charitable institutions bearing the name of a saint rather than eponymous civic monuments. Nonetheless, to commission a large structure of any sort is a form of public display, and the dedications, decorations, or locations of women's building often carried messages about the way in which the commissioner wished herself to be seen and remembered.

Galla Placidia (b. ca. 388) provides a paradigmatic example. In her buldings and the decorations she funded, Galla Placidia, seems quite consciously to have linked herself with the most saintly imperial forebear, Constantines mother Helena. To this end, she built Sta Croce in Ravenna in the 420s in honor of the cross that, by this time, was widely believed to have been discovered by Helena in Jerusalem. Galla Placidia also added mosaics to Sta Croce in Gerusalemme, the palace chapel that was, by the mid-fifth century, firmly attributed to Helena herself. In her church of St John in Ravenna, Galla Placidia broadened her scope to emphasize the ties of her family to the Constantinian house in general: here family portraits were accompanied by inscriptions that narrated the imperial line from Constantine to Galla's son Valentinian. Galla Placidia's emphasis on dynastic continuity may also be seen in her contributions to the rebuilding of S Paolo fuori le mura in Rome, where her inscriptions commemorate her father's earlier structure on the site of the original Constantinian martyrium.

Galla Placidia's identification with Helena was sustained by her relatives, and the linkage was made explicit in 451, when the Council of Chalcedon proclaimed the Augusta Pulcheria 399-453) the equal of Constantine the Greatâs venerated mother: "Pulcheria the New Helena! You have shown the faith of Helena! You have shown the zeal of Helena! Your faith is the glory of the churches!" In truth, women of the Theodosian house seem to have emulated Helena before the Chalcedon Fathers acclaimed Pulcheria, and they continued to do so afterwards. At the beginning of the sixth century, Anicia Juliana still asserted the family line by commissioning Hagios Polyeuktos in the Theodosian/Constantinian enclave of Constantinople. Her attempts were however, doomed: Justinian, to protect the lineage of his own family, tore down the church on Anicia!s death, and with Theodora we enter a new realm of imperial female commissions.

" llV me kwlb ei kai aidf H ,... î ti suggrage× H ¤ jwge gun (Alexiad, X V ix 1, Leib 3 p.223, 11.12-13). Positive Semantic

Space in Anna Komnene's Alexiad "

Dion C. Smythe, University of St. Andrews/Queen's University of Belfast

Feminist criticism has provided a utilitarian method of approach, distinguishing between biological sex and gender, the social construction deemed appropriate to an individual of a specified biological sex. It then moves on to suggest that "a literature of their own" would be one which authenticates the different experience of women.

What then of Anna Komnene's Alexiad ? A feminist viewpoint (defined as "protest against [dominant ideology] standards and values, and advocacy of minority rights and values, including a demand for autonomy" is not upheld by the evidence in The Alexiad. Is it an example of feminine writing, whereby there is "imitation of the prevailing modes of the dominant tradition, and internalization of its standards of art and its views on social roles"? Or is it female writing, "a phase of self-discovery, a turning inward, freed from some of the dependency of opposition, a search for identity"? [E. Showalter, A Literature of their Own (London: Virago Press, 1984) p.13.] Recent historiography on Byzantine women has largely been feminist in Showalter's terms; as a result, it has also been largely negative. Women's space in Byzantium has been seen as limited, constrained and marginalized by the dominant patriarchal mentalitŽ. The evidence for this is overwhelming. But are we asking the right questions? Notions of women's sphere or culture has the danger of marginalizing women's experience still further, placing it in a ghetto of minority interest, but to accept that histoire ŽvŽnementielle is more important, universal, than la vie privŽe is to accept patriarchal ground rules.

Does The Alexiad of Anna Komnene authenticate a cultural space for women, a marginalized social group? Does she provide a positive semantic space? The answer lies in close analysis of the text. Does Anna Komnene talk about different things? The topics chosen for coverage in The Alexiad and The Four Books of History are analyzed to see if a pattern of difference can be seen. The style and diction, whether Woolfian differences in sentence structure exist between Komnene and Bryennios, and the choice of vocabulary are also analyzed to see if there is evidence in The Alexiad of womanspeak or Žcriture fŽminine.

Given a difference between the two works, is Anna Kornnene writing "a literature of their own" in a room of her own? My conclusion is that she is not. Anna Komnene articulates her view of society drawn from her own experience. Kindred alliances and the advancement of lineage are the major arena of female action; female networks of support and direct action are also present. The choice of topic and means of delivery are in part dictated by the intention of the work as a whole. For the incomplete Four Books of History this is a problem; the work of Zonaras provides a control. Anna Konmene articulates a different experience and viewpoint. Part of that is because she was a woman, but not all. Anna Komnene wrote a literature of her own.


Chair: Gary Vikan, The Walters Art Gallery

"A Filigree Enamel Medallion in The Walters Art Gallery Reconsidered"

Terry Weisser, The Walters Art Gallery , and Catherine Herbert, University of Delaware

The small enamelled gold medallion decorated with a cross-in-wreath and two orbs in the collections of The Walters Art Gallery, considered Early Byzantine in origin, has been familiar to scholars since the exhibition of Early Christian and Byzantine art organized by The Walters in 1947. The medallion, executed in a technique known as filigree enamel, is generally cited as one of the earliest known examples of Byzantine enamelling. It is so closely allied, in technique and conception, with a gold medallion in Paris decorated with the bust of an empress (seemingly Licinia Eudoxia, Augusta in the West 439-455), that the two medallions must either be contemporary, or one must have been made in imitation of the other. Most scholars have dated the Walters medallion to the fifth century on the basis of this resemblance. Interpretations of its iconography, which is clearly intended to suggest an imperial context, have centered on the two tripartite globes surmounted by small crosses appearing under the cross arms. According to one explanation, the medallion was intended to enrich an imperial garment, possibly a diplomatic gift, with the globes alluding to the shared rule of an emperor and co-emperor, or an emperor and empress.

Yet puzzling aspects of its iconography and style remain to be investigated. One troubling anomaly is the absence of known depictions of tripartite globes in the Early Byzantine period, when bipartite or quadripartite globes were the norm. Moreover, one can find no precedent for the use of two globes under a cross to symbolize co-emperorship, a concept for which quite different iconographic formulae existed. On stylistic grounds, the unusual form of the central cross, with flaring arms whose tips curl back on themselves, also presents difficulties. While none of these points alone is sufficient to prove that the medallion is not authentic, together they suggest that a reconsideration is in order, and that technical analysis may provide the key.

In view of its importance, the medallion merits both a detailed technical analysis and an art historical study. Terry Weisser, head of the Division of Conservation and Technical Research at The Walters Art Gallery, will present the results of a technical analysis of the medallion's enamel and gold, as well as its technique and condition. As a complement to her findings, Catherine Herbert will situate the medallion in relation to objects comparable in iconography, technique, and style, laying particular emphasis on what is known of Early Byzantine imperial iconography from coins, medallions, ivories, and silver.

"The Earliest Virgin Eleousa : A Coptic Ivory in The Walters Art Gallery"

Robert P. Bergman, The Walters Art Gallery

Fifty years ago the unusual and vexing half-round ivory of the Virgin and Child in the collection of the Walters Art Gallery (and a closely allied carving in Milan's Castello Sforzesco) was introduced into modem scholarly literature. Since then controversy has never ceased to surround this fascinating object. The primary issue concerns its date and place of origin. An eastern Mediterranean center has always been seen as the place of manufacture. While Syria was mentioned as a possible home for the workshop, consensus has emerged favoring Coptic Egypt as the most probable localization. Concerning the date, however, there has been considerably less than consensus, with opinions dividing down the line between an early dating in the sixth-seventh century or a late dating in the ninth-tenth century. The varying implications of these two dates are profound: one would fix the ivories in the waning period of late antiquity in Byzantine Egypt, while the other would establish them as creations of the medieval Christian community of Egypt already dominated by Islam. In this paper I will offer observations intended to contribute to solution of this problem.

The second point usually raised with regard to the Walters Madonna--and not unrelated to the date--concerns its iconography. The tender embrace of mother and child and their cheek-to- cheek pose identify the group as a Virgin Eleousa, a Madonna of "mercy" or "tenderness." Russian scholars at the turn of the century, believing that the type could not be found in Byzantium or Russia before the fourteenth century, proposed that the intimate, emotional Eleousa came to Byzantium as a result of an influence from Trecento Italy. In fact, as later scholarship revealed, the type was widely dispersed in Middle Byzantine art from c. 950 and the Italian "Virgin of Tenderness" was surely derived from Byzantine sources, rather than vice-versa. Many scholars then assumed that the type was a Middle Byzantine invention. The Walters Madonna, since its introduction into the scholarly realm, stood virtually alone as a pre-tenth century Eleousa . How is this seeming anomaly to be understood?

"The Life of David on Coptic Textiles"

Thomas E. A. Dale, Columbia University

The Walters Art Gallery possesses a collection of forty-six Coptic textiles, most of which have never been published. This paper focuses on two tapestry-woven panels, likely dating between the 6th and 8th centuries, depicting episodes from the life of David. The first piece (83.727) comprises a single roundel of David receiving a messenger, the second (83.728) contains a central roundel representing David before Saul, flanked by four half-roundels with pairs of equestrian warriors. The original context of these fragments may be reconstructed through an analysis of some twenty other Coptic textiles with David scenes as well as the much better known group of over fifty textiles with the life of Joseph.

A David textile still attached to its original linen backing, now in the Metropolitan Museum (90.5.814), demonstrates that both Walters panels once decorated the sleeve of a tunic. They thus provide additional testimony for biblical narrative on clothing, documented as early as the fourth century in a well-known sermon of Asterius of Amaseia (Homil . 1, PG 40, 165-68). In design, style and function, the group of David textiles is analagous to the Joseph textiles. A limited repertoire of episodes is rendered in a highly schematic fashion, sometimes accompanied by garbled inscriptions--a distant echo of more legible narrative sequences in silk or manuscript illumination. Whereas the Joseph repertoire comprises eighteen or nineteen separate episodes with as many as nine scenes within a single roundel, the David series appears to be limited to four or five episodes from the hero's youth, with no more than three narrative scenes per sleeve and one per roundel. In addition to the episodes depicted on the Walters textiles, two others are frequently represented:- David wrestling the lion, and a two-figure composition probably to be identified as David confronting Goliath. The three most legible scenes, which can be connected both with the Cyprus Plates and Middle Byzantine Psalter illustrations, provide valuable evidence of the state of pre-Iconoclastic David iconography.

H. Maguire has pointed to the apotropaic potential of the Joseph imagery on clothing. That David imagery functioned in a similar way is suggested by a number of factors: the concentration on scenes from David's youth emphasizing his divine election and power over inimical forces; the interpretation of the same episodes by patristic writers as types for Christ's advent as Messiah and his triumph over Satan; the juxtaposition of scenes from David's life with paired "Holy Riders", a motif commonly employed on amulets; and finally the arrangement of narrative medallions in a frieze around the sleeve to form a complete ring comparable to amuletic armbands found in Coptic Egypt.

"A Collection of Byzantine Tiles"

William Tronzo, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

In 1956, the Walter Art Gallery acquired a collection of glazed terra cotta tiles consisting of some 800 pieces, mostly small fragments, bearing both ornamental and figural decorations (accessioned in two lots: T.L. 18.1956 and T.L. 19.1956). Early on it was claimed that the collection came from the bazaar in Istanbul, and had been found on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, but, in fact, nothing certain about the provenance of the tiles is known. Nor is it certain that the files came from the same site or were originally designed to form an ensemble. To the extent to which they may be reconstructed, the tiles possess a variety of shapes and sizes -long and short rectangles, either flat, convex or concave, large and small squares, etc. -- suggesting a variety of purposes and functions. There are also differences in style and in the colors of the glazes.

Nonetheless the Walters's collection stands beside a number of others -- in Sofia, Istanbul, Paris and Washington, for instance -- which helps to bring some of the picture into sharper focus. The Walters's tiles belong to a genre of secular and ecclesiastical decoration known in byzantium from the ninth century on. To judge from the few cases where tiles have been found in situ or with evidence of context (Touzlalaka; church of Constantine Lips), most if not all of the Walters's tiles were used as revetments for walls. But many questions about sources, chronology, function and iconography remain.

The purpose of this paper is three-fold: to survey the Walters's holdings of byzantine tiles; to discuss some of the problems and questions that they raise; and to suggest one way in which they might be understood.

"The Walters Art Gallery Psalter, MS W733"

Jeffrey C. Anderson, George Washington University

In the summer of 1946, the Walters Art Gallery purchased an illustrated psalter at the Phillipps sale. Ten years later, the enthusiasm the acquisition generated still charged Dorothy Miner's scholarly account, which she wrote for Albert Friend!s festschrift. Rarely can a medieval manuscript have come available for purchase at so ripe a moment. Ernest De Wald's two psalter volumes had just been published; Kurt Weitzmann was finishing Roll and Codex , the text of the Princeton manuscripts' seminar that he and Friend taught jointly. In her writing on the Psalter, Dorothy Miner stressed its place among the well-defined group formed by the Pantokrator, Chludov, Bristol, Theodore, Barberini, Hamilton and Kiev psalters. Miner's Walters Art Gallery Library had acquired a Marginal Psalter closely related in style and scope to the famous Theodore and Kiev psalters.

Over half a century has passed and the Walters Psalter remains the one Byzantine manuscript of its kind still unpublished. Many of its miniatures have been reproduced in studies by both Miss Miner and Anthony Cutler, who successfully redated the manuscript to the fourteenth century. I take the opportunity of the recent rebinding to raise the question of what we search for when we study such books. Our perspective has changed in favor of the social and religious issues that prompted the invention and revision of psalter imagery. Yet the concerns outlined in Dorothy Miner's inaugural publication remain in most regards fundamental. In this informal talk, I will try to frame some of the issues surrounding the study of the psalter in the postmodern world.


Chair: Stephen Reinert, Rutgers University

"Nikephoros Phokas and the Byzantine Experiment with Heavy Cavalry"

Eric McGeer, UniversitŽ de MontrŽal and Dumbarton Oaks

The emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969) devoted his treatise Praecepta militaria (ca. 965) primarily to the subject of battle tactics for Byzantine armies on campaign against the Hamdanids; in Cilicia and northern Syria. His system was simple enough. The infantry in square formation maintained a solid defensive base while the cavalry provided the offensive force, spearheaded by the recently developed corps of heavy cavalrymen (the kataphraktoi ) whose equipment, deployment and tactics were meticulously reviewed in the Praecepta.

While the arms and armour of the kataphraktoi and the cost involved in raising them have received attention from scholars, their role in battle has never been the object of detailed study. My purpose in this paper will be to analyze their tactics as prescribed in the Praecepta and other manuals both to explain why they formed up and launched their assault against the enemy as they did, and to reveal a process of trial and error in the perfection of their methods of attack. At the same time, it will be important to focus attention on the initial war of nerves between attacker and defender and how Phokas sought to ensure the discipline and cohesion of the charging kataphraktoi as a means of intimidating the enemy before actually coming into direct contact with them. Accounts in historical sources of the kataphraktoi in action will be introduced to compare the prescriptions in the treatises with the recorded performance of these men in battle.

"1204 Viewed from Richard Lionheart's Conquest of Cyprus in 1191"

John Rosser, Boston College

The conquest of Cyprus in 1191 by the Third Crusade has some curious parallels to the conquest of Constantinople in 1204. Considering these similarities offers an interesting perspective on Crusader attitudes toward the Byzantines ("Griffons" in the English sources for the 1191 conquest). Oddly, some of the same kinds of problems arise in analyzing both conquests. The possibility of a previous plot to seize Cyprus must be considered, as well as a "theory of accidents." In both instances, the Crusaders faced Byzantine rulers who broke treaty arrangements and oaths of fealty. Both conquests were justified in Crusader eyes by Byzantine treachery.

The initial treaty provisions between Richard Lionheart and Isaac Conmenus, the ruler of Cyprus, are of particular importance. Isaac promised to give Richard 20,000 marks of gold, and to accompany him to Syria with 100 men-at-arms and 400 turcopoles. He also promised to surrender his castles, and offered his daughter as assurance of his commitment to live up to the terms of the treaty. Richard must have defined the terms of the treaty, not Isaac as is sometimes argued. Thus Richard, like the leaders of the Fourth Crusade, appears to have had no initial desire to possess Byzantine territory. However, he did want recompense, and when Isaac broke his oath and fled he decided that conquest was the only means to obtain it.

One can make of these parallels what one likes. At the very least, they seem to provide an excellent backdrop for attempting to understand the events of 1204.

"The Value of Christoforo Riccherio's 'Eyewitness' Narrative on the Fall of Constantinople in 1453"

Marios Philippides, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

One of the sources on the fall of Constantinople (1453) is the work of Christoforo Riccherio, usually cited as La Presa di Constantinopoli. Very little is known about Riccherio, whose work, it has been generally assumed, was first published in Francesco Sansovino's popular collection, Historia Universale dell'origine et Imperio dŽ Turchi (Venice 1560 and reissued a number of times subsequently: 1564, 1568, 1573, 1582, 1600, 1605, 1654). This collection also served as the collection on which Sansovino based his immensely successful Gl'Annali Turcheschi etc. (Venice 1571). The Historia included, in Italian translation, a large number of sources dealing with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

The same sources were employed in the composition of Sansovino's second book. He tells us that he included "molto scrittori Greci et Turcheschi et Latini." Among them, we have Sagundino (= Nikolaos Sekoundenos), Khalkokondyles, Giovio, Riccherio, and Cambini. Because Riccherio was included in this collection, scholars began to assign a special position to his narrative on the fall; soon afterwards, it became a general view that Riccherio was indeed an eyewitness. Thus E. Pears in his monumental book, The Destruction of the Greek Empire (London 1903) states that Riccherio has provided "a valuable and brightly written narrative." S. Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople 1453 (Cambridge 1965) goes even further: "Other Westerners present at the siege were the Genoese Montaldo, Cristoforo Riccherio Neither Montaldo nor Riccherio can be considered as eyewitnesses to the fall. The assumption that Riccherio was an eyewitness has also influenced a modem translation of his work: R. Melville Jones, The Siege of Constantinople 1453: Seven Contemporary Accounts (Amsterdam 1972), has been misled by this assumption and translates an ablative absolute (Latin text: . cognita Maomethis acerba sanctione atque hostili prospecto apparatu . ) as "On the other side, we Christians had heard of Mehmet's instructions, and seen the preparation made by the enemy . (p.120).

The present paper will demonstrate that Riccherio's "document" is a secondary source, far removed from the time of the siege; it is based on other, secondary material, on sources that have not been identified thus far. It will be shown that the first edition of Riccherio appeared in Paris in 1540 and that the author was a cubicularius of the king of France, a detail that seems to have escaped the notice of scholars. The original text was not in Italian (in spite of the assumption of certain scholars, who have been misled by Sansovino) but in Latin. The sources of Riccherio will then be examined and it will be shown that one of them derives from the work of Pope Pius II. Furthermore, some of the events alluded in Riccherio's work belong to the sixteenth century.

Thus it will be demonstrated that this account of the fall of Constantinople is, in reality, a secondary document without any primary value. Consequently, the number of genuine sources on this important event continues to decrease.

"Joseph of Egypt and the Orphanotrophoi of Constantinople"

Timothy S. Miller, Salisbury State University

Although the Orphanotropheion was the oldest and most prestigious of Constantinople's many philanthropic foundations, most extant sources offer little detailed information on how this institution actually functioned, nor do they describe precisely the responsibilities of the orphanage director, the orphanotrophos. Most texts simply mention the ancient orphan home located on the city's acropolis or refer to the orphanotrophos in a list of other civil or ecclesiastical officials. Three sources, however, do provide some curious additional information on the duties of the orphanage director. In praising virtuous directors, all three of these texts compare good orphanotrophoi to the Old Testament Joseph, Pharaoh's viceroy whose prudent grain policy provided enough excess food to save the Egyptians from seven years of famine (Gen. 41). Why do three separate sources -- the first from the eighth century, the second from the twelfth, and the third from the fourteenth -- hail a good orphanotrophos as a new Joseph? (1) Since the orphanotrophos supervised not only the orphanage on the capital's acropolis, but also the leprosarium on the Galata Hill, he was responsible for feeding many people, both the children of the orphan home and the many patients at the leper hospital. It is possible that panegyrists considered prudently managing the resources of these two large charitable foundations sufficient grounds for comparing conscientious orphanotrophoi to the pharaoh's Joseph. On the other hand, Joseph's work in Egypt was closely tied to famine and to a reserve supply of grain. Carefully managing the estates of the orphanage and the leprosarium would not fit very closely Joseph's actions in the Book of Genesis.

The ninth-century Kleterologion of Philotheos perhaps provides the key to understanding the Joseph image. In describing the subordinates of the orphanotrophos, it lists four categories of officials: the chartoularioi of the house (oikos), the chartoularioi of the saint (hosios), the arkarios, and the kouratores.(2) The chartoularioi of the house were administrative officials who handled affairs of the orphanage; those of the saint managed the leprosarium, closely linked with the legend of saint Zotikos (hosios Zotikos); the kouratores managed the individual estates which belonged to the office of the Orphanotropheion. But who was the arkarios? Perhaps he served as a treasurer for both philanthropic houses, but it is more likely that such an official would have been called an oikonomos or that some of the chartoularioi would have managed financial affairs involving the orphanage and the leprosarium. On the other hand, the arkarios might have supervised an activity unconnected with the two philanthropic institutions. Could he have overseen the ancient arca frumentaria , a reserve treasury established by Constantine and expanded by Theodosius II, a fund set aside to buy grain whenever shortages threatened the poor of Constantinople? If the arkarios in the orphanotrophos' office did in fact manage such a fund, this would easily explain why Byzantine writers compared virtuous orphanotrophoi to Pharaoh's Joseph

1. Vita Sancti Andreae (eighth century), ed. Athanasios Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Analekta hierosolymitikes stachyologias (Saint Petersburg, 1898), vol. 5, 174; "Encomio inedito di Niceforo Basilace per Alessio Aristeno" (twelfth century), ed. Antonio Garzya/Macerata, Bvzantinische Forschungen , 1 (1966), 109- 10; Manuelis Philae carmina inedita , Poem 43 (early fourteenth century), ed. A. Martini (Naples, 1900), 49.

2. Kleterologion of Philotheos , ed. Nicolas Oikonomides, Les listes de prem4ance bvzantines de prŽsŽance bvantines des IX et Xe siŽcles (Paris, 1972), 123.

"The Effect of the Black Death on the Fourteenth-Century Byzantine Empire"

George Contis, Meidical Service Corporation International

After devastating the Byzantine Empire for over 200 years and then disappearing in 768 A.D., the plague returned to Constantinople in 1347. There are only two descriptions of the later epidemic in Byzantium -- those of John VI Cantacuzenos and Nicephoros Gregoras. Thus, an assessment of the effects of the plague on the Byzantine Empire must be inferred from accounts of the disease elsewhere, and from the results of modem medical research.

The "Black Death" which began in the 14th Century was one of the most cataclysmic events in recorded history. It was the second pandemic of plague to descend on the Byzantine Empire. During the first, the "Plague of Justinian" which occurred from 541 to 768, successive outbreaks of the disease were recorded throughout the region. The second pandemic shared many common features with the first -- both recurred over a protracted period of time, both relied on seaborne transmission in the initial stages, and both resulted in high mortality. With the Black Death, however, the more deadly pneumonic form of the disease was prominent. In addition, this pandemic affected a wider geographic area and resulted in a greater number of deaths.

Modem scientific research has confirmed many of the observations about the plague written by contemporary historians. These early accounts are credible given what is now known about the virulence of the plague bacillus, its clinical manifestations, and the epidemiology of the disease. Many intriguing questions remain unanswered, including why the pandemic ended and how the Byzantine people were able to cope with the plague's devastating impact.

For the people of the Byzantine Empire, the Black Death was one in a series of calamities associated with the unrelenting deterioration of the Empire. The disease was yet another disaster in a period marked by civil anarchy, political intrigue, religious division and disintegrating socioeconomic conditions. To make matters worse, measures to prevent the disease were inadequate, and there was no effective treatment.

In the East, the Black Death was one factor that helped hasten the demise of the Byzantine Empire. In the West, the plague was a powerful factor which contributed to changes in the feudal structure, to the evolution of religious expression, and to the emergence of a new social and political order in Europe. Despite the ravages of the Black Death, it is remarkable that the people of the Byzantine Empire managed to carry on, even while their socioeconomic and political institutions were crumbling around them.


Chair: Thomas F. Mathews, New York University

"Scarcity in Later Roman Arts and Crafts: A Comparison of Old and New Ideas"

Robert Grigg, University of California, Davis

On at least two occasions, Constantine expressed concern about the availability of skilled artists and craftsmen. In 334 A.D. he complained that architects could hardly be found for the work at hand. To compensate for their scarcity, he instructed Roman officials to offer a variety of inducements to encourage young men to undertake the study of architecture. In 337 a law published in his name lists no fewer than thirty-five arts and crafts in which training was to be encouraged by means of similar incentives. Constantine's successors issued two similar laws designed to increase the supply of skilled architects and painters.

The scarcity these laws were intended to remedy, according to A.H.M. Jones, resulted from a combination of causes. One was a decline in the number of skilled artists and craftsmen in the third century, largely due to the loss of patronage. Another was an increase in demand that accompanied the recovery at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries. To meet the increased demand, standards were lowered. This explains, according to Jones, the slovenly building techniques and use of spolia that are such striking features of later Roman building. He thought that parallel changes occurred in the pictorial arts, leading to the emergence of a vigorous but somewhat primitive style.

These laws have received relatively little attention from scholars of late-Antique art. That is also unfortunately true of such general topics of inquiry as the demand for skilled labor, its availability, the wages received by artists, the prices commanded by the products of their art, and the economic and social institutions that traditionally impinged on the skilled professions in Roman society. Beat Brenk's recent discussion of spolia provides an instructive example of the indifference that most specialists in late-Antique art have shown to such evidence and topics of inquiry.

Not surprisingly, this general disinterest has left several gaps in our knowledge of late Antique art. One deficiency is the lack of a serious consideration of the causes of labor depletion in the third century. The decline of patronage is usually cited as the cause, but it was probably not the only one. Much less appreciated are the third-century military reverses inflicted on the Romans. The episodic interruption of workshop production in centers like Athens of course is easily understood. But what has been largely overlooked is the evidence in the written sources of the forced migration of craftsmen from the Roman provinces to territories controlled by the enemies of the Roman state.

This could only have helped to deplete the provinces of their pools of skilled labor. The scope, magnitude and consequences of these losses represent issues that have remained unexplored.

"The Episcopal Basilica at Stobi: An Update"

Carolyn S. Snively, Gettysburg College

The last season of major excavation in the Episcopal Basilica by the Yugoslav-American Stobi Project took place in 1979, although some tests were dug in 1980 and investigation of the earlier church under the terrace by a Yugoslav team continued until 1987. The final publication of the building is not scheduled to appear until ca. 1995. 11us, in the light of some recent, conflicting publications, it seems appropriate to outline a few of the discoveries concerning the basilica, in particular discoveries which may be important for the history of ecclesiastical architecture in the Balkan peninsula.


The early church, under the basilica on the terrace, was also of basilica form. Both ceramic and numismatic evidence indicate a terminus post quem of the last quarter of the 4th century for its first phase. While an earlier structure on the same site cannot be ruled out, the basilical church with the mosaic pavement is not Constantinian but was constructed in the late 4th or possibly the beginning of the 5th century. In a second phase the early church was extended to the east. After some period of use, the early basilica was carefully dismantled and a larger building was constructed on a 4 m high terrace above it. A terminus post quem for this later church, phase I of the basilica on the terrace, has now been provided by Virginia Anderson-Stojanovic's study of the Stobi pottery (volume I of the Stobi Final Report , Princeton University Press, in press). The pottery indicates a third quarter of the 5th century date for the fill beneath the phase I floor of the basilica on the ten-ace.

The Form of the Sanctuary and the East End

One result of the study of the apsidal crypt, examples of which have been found in several important basilicas in Macedonia, has been to demonstrate that the form of the presbyterium in those churches was influenced and to some extent restricted by the need to provide access to the crypt from nave and aisles. The narrow corridors behind the clergy benches gave access to the crypt but at the same time prevented the lateral expansion of the sanctuary into the aisles. In the Episcopal Basilica at Stobi, large arches at the eastern ends of the colonnades gave the appearance of a transept and thus at least visually united the presbyterium with the east end of the aisles. A similar arrangement in a better state of preservation, but in a church without an apsidal crypt, is found in the basilica east of the Museum at Philippi.

"An Analysis of the First Dome of Justinian's Hagia Sophia"

Rabun Taylor, University of Minnesota

Many scholars have speculated on the exact shape of Hagia Sophiaâs first central dome, which was demolished in 558 after an earthquake. In this century Antoniades, Conant, and Mainstone have suggested in various forms that it was a shallow structure, anchored directly to the upper cornice at the culmination of the pendentives. The basis for assuming a shallow dome is a single passage in Malalas, which--in the course of a brief account of the rebuilding--mentions that the new dome was constructed "twenty feet higher than before." The original dome, then, must have been notably shallower than the present dome, perhaps even shallow enough to share the surface curvature of the pendentives.

By accepting Malalas' testimony almost too eagerly, these scholars subvert the eyewitness account in Procopius De Aedificiis , which makes clear reference to a "circular structure" (kykloteres ) resting on the pendentives and standing below the dome itself. Such a structure, which according to the author contains the dome's windows, can only be interpreted as a drum.

But if the crown of the original dome were 20 feet lower in elevation than it is now, and its springing raised by the height of a drum, the dome's profile would be impossibly flat; such a hallow calotte across a 100-foot span is unthinkable. One is tempted to conclude that Procopius has somehow erred in his description. But in fact, Procopius refers in almost identical terms to the central vaulting of the Apostoleion in Constantinople. He even takes pains to draw a parallel here with the vaulting of Hagia Sophia. Is Procopius wrong twice?

We have written confirmation from the 10th-century panegyrist Constantine of Rhodes that the Apostoleion did indeed have drums under its domes. Since there is no record of a major remodeling of the church before the Rhodian wrote his ekphrasis (Basil I's work on the church was clearly superficial) and no hint in the ekphrasis itself of a remodeling, we can reasonably assert that the Rhodian is describing the original vaulting. If we then accept that Procopius is describing a drum under the Apostoleion's main dome, we must also accept his parallel description of a drum on Hagia Sophia.

On the inside, the great church's drum must have been at least 1 1/2 meters high if it were to be seen over the cornice from the gallery. Since it accommodated the windows (apparently to their full height) and undoubtedly offered sufficient headroom for persons walking on the cornice, we may conclude that the drum stood between two and three meters high. To the observer standing directly below, such a drum would be invisible behind the cornice, flooding with light the unseen interval between cornice and dome, and leaving the illusion recorded by Procopius that the dome seemed "not to rest upon the solid structure, but to cover the space as if suspended from the golden chain of heaven."

Malalas' 20-foot differential, if it is reliable in the first place, is not violated by this hypothesis; for he could be referring simply to the relative depths of the first and second domes, while ignoring the change in elevation implied by raising the second dome on a drum.


Chair: Michael McCormick, The Johns Hopkins University

"The Insignia of the Byzantine Client-Kings: The Ghass‰nid Crown"

Irfan Shahid, Georgetown University and Dumbarton Oaks

With the exception of two colorful passages, one in Procopius on the Armenians before the extinction of the Pentarchy (Buildings III.i. 19-23) and one in Malalas (Chronographia, 412-413) on the Lazic king, Tzath, not much is known about the insignia of the Byzantine client-kings in the East.

One of these client-kings was the Ghass‰inid Alamoundaros of the seventies of the sixth century, and there are two references to his crown, one in the Latin Chronicle of the Spanish John of Biclar (MGH AA XI, 1, Chronica Minora 2 (Berlin, 1893, p.214), and another in the Syriac Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus (Historia Ecclesiastica, CSCO , Scriptores Syri, Ser.3.T.3 versio 106, p.168, lines 22-23). Both are dated; the first to 574/5 and the second to 580, and the two references are associated with two journeys to Constantinople made by Alamoundaros.

In the classic on the Ghass‰nids, Die Ghass‰nischen FŸrsten (p.25), Nš1deke argued that John of Biclar was confused and that reference in his work to a journey to Constantinople must be the one mentioned by John of Ephesus for A.D.580. In so saying, he argued against A. von Gutschmidt who had maintained that the two were separate journeys.

With superior knowledge of Byzantine history, E. Stein (Studien . p.51, n.6) has invalidated Nšldeke's conclusions on the chronology of the estrangement between Alamoundaros and Byzantium, and showed that it came to an end not in 578 but in 575. The implications of this has not been laid under contribution in the discussion of Alamoundaros's crown and this is what this paper addresses: the following gains may be registered:

1. Alamoundaros comes to Constantinople in A.D. 575 with his crown and possibly goes through an appellatio regis either for the first time or for the second after his revolt and the breaking of the foedus.

2. In A.D.580 he comes for the second time and receives from Tiberius a higher-grade crown, clearly described in John of Ephesus, who goes out of his way to say that this was not usual klila , the circlet, but a t‰gh‰ , a crown or a diadem.

3. The first crown is described in general terms by an Arab poet, while the second is likely to be similar to that of Tiberius. What it looked like may be seen on the coins of this emperor.

4. Most important is the significance of giving Alamoundaros the crown or diadem in 580; possibly in recognition of his services in bringing peace among the Monophysites of the empire or more likely in relation to the prospective campaign against Persia, which targeted Ctesiphon itself.

"Clovis, Anastasius, and Byzantine Honorary Titles circa A.D. 508"

Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina

In the second book of his History of the Franks, Gregory of Tours reported that, after the Frankish defeat of the Visigoths at Vouille in 507, Clovis "received the consular codicils from the emperor Anastasius," Gregory then went on to describe in detail the attendant ceremony: Clovis' being garbed in the "tunica blattea" and "chlamys," his wearing of the diadem, his equestrian procession, his distributions of gold and silver to the crowd, and his being hailed as both consul and augustus. The account is complicated, moreover, by the chapter heading, which states that Clovis received not the consulate (or the emperorship, for that matter), but the patriciate.

Several controversies have surrounded this account. For one thing, it remains unclear what titles or honors Clovis obtained: the consulate, the patriciate, the emperorship, some combination -- or something else? It also is unclear whether any titles Clovis assumed were all necessarily bestowed by Anastasius, or whether one or more may have been simply usurped, either by Clovis or just by popular perceptions.

Much of the recent discussion of these events, however, has focused on the meaning of the ceremony, and how it was intended and interpreted, in Gaul. Sight seems to have been lost of the consideration that the impetus for the granting of any honors came from Constantinople. What this paper will look at is how Gregory's account might be interpreted in the context of contemporary Byzantine imperial policy and procedures, regardless of how this policy would later have been received in Gaul.

First of all, it will be argued that there are no inconsistencies (as it usually is assumed that there are) between the honors specified by the chapter heading (the patriciate) and the text (the consulate, presumably honorable). There were, in fact, good precedents for a combined grants of these titles. Gregory was not confused; he simply reported what actually happened. The chapter heading is a summary of the entire proceeding, whereas the text gives the details. The two titles were not mutually exclusive; rather, the honorary consulate (which ranked below the patriciate anyway) could be viewed, on occasion, as but one element of a grant of the patriciate. Furthermore, particular reasons of status, it will be suggested, also argue for a grant of the honorary consulate along with the patriciate in this situation. Finally, it should be noted that a patrician also could be referred to as "pater Augusti," which would provide some formal basis for the muddled report of Gregory, who presumably was not up on the intricacies of Byzantine technical terminology, that Clovis was hailed as "Augustus."

In general, it will be suggested that any analysis of Anastasius' granting of honors to Clovis must begin with an analysis of Byzantine policies in general regarding such awards. Only then can one have a meaningful discussion of the reception of Anastasius' grants in Gaul.

"The First Portraits of Constantine and the Last Portrait of Maximian"

David H. Wright, Oakland, California

Greatness was thrust upon Constantine at a relatively tender age, probably in his midtwenties (although one line of argument would make him as old as 33). He had been raised at he court of his father, Constantius, and had served with Diocletian and Galerius in the East, but he had held no position with important responsibility before 25 July 306, when at York his father on his death bed conferred the imperium upon him and had him saluted by his loyal soldiers. This move violated Diocletian's principle of selecting experienced leaders as heirs instead of passing authority to an emperor's son, and Constantine's position was therefore tenuous. Exactly what happened in the next weeks is not clear on the record, and Lactantius, our principal narrative source for these events, was not an eye witness, but the coinage makes it clear that Constantine used the title Caesar for a little over a year.

His best means for proclaiming his authority was the coinage struck at Trier, which und his father had been the locus of a unique classical revival in art, including a very naturalistic Portrait of Constantius. Unfortunately, the gold, where we expect to see the best examples of the Portrait Young Constantine chose to Propagate, is extremely rare until the quinquennalia issues of 310, and there is only one artistically significant issue of silver coins of Constantine as Caesar, but by carefully selecting the best examples of the more plentiful and better dated bronze it is possible to follow Constantine's use of three different portrait types during those years.

We should ignore what are probably the first coins, which show a generic youthful beardless head also used for Maximinus Daja as Caesar, probably the result of confusion at the mint. The next coins, probably struck during the fall of 306, show a very youthful beardless head that is nevertheless clearly recognizable as Constantine because it has his distinctive hooked nose. 'Ibis type must be the young Caesar's deliberate choice. In showing himself youthful and beardless he is following a rare but established political iconography whereby the young son of an Augustus is shown this way when first raised to the rank of Caesar. That iconography had last been used under Carus in 283, when many of the coins of his younger son Numerianus show him beardless as Caesar but bearded when raised to the rank of Augustus, while all the coins of the older son, Carinus, have him bearded first as Caesar and then as Augustus. The meaning of beardlessness must have been specifically the claim to authority as the father's son, and that was exactly Constantine's position as an unknown trying to consolidate his authority in the fall of 306.But there seems to have been some uncertainty at the mint, for of the two gold coins known from this phase one had a nascent beard that was cut into the die but then smoothed out before the surviving coin was struck, and the other has a superficially cut beard added by a different hand after the die for a beardless Portrait had been finished but before the surviving coin was struck. The earliest bronze coinage of Constantine, however, seems to confirm the choice of this very youthful beardless Portrait type.

The next development is attested by an important group of silver coins struck for Constantine still as Caesar and for "Maximianus Augustus." Sutherland identified the latter as Galerius, implying that this series was part of the mutual recognition that developed not long after July 306, but Dr. Bastien convincingly argued that this must be Maximian, now returned from retirement and marrying his daughter to Constantine. That makes July of 307 a likely starting date for the series. Here the portrait of Maximian is a new type showing the aging soldier in the highly naturalistic style that had been used for Constantius toward the end of his reign. The identification of this portrait, although at a lower artistic quality, is confirmed by bronze coins identifying Maximian as Senior Augustus, and the type is also known at higher quality from three very rare specimens in gold. This was the fIrst time since the death of Constantius that that emperor's distinctively naturalistic style had been used by the Trier mint, and the resulting image is very different from the formulaic portrait of Maximian, with short turned-up nose, that had always been used before. The style of the new portrait can therefore be seen as a conscious statement by Constantine of his new political alliance.

The first of the portraits of Constantine in this series of silver coins, all with the title Caesar, still has the nascent beard, but that is probably a mistake since there is no report that he was following the precedent of Octavian in growing a beard as a sign of mourning for the death of Julius Caesar. But in a more important way it is clear that Constantine was setting out to associate himself with Augustus. The coins in this silver series can be put in order, taking into account the die-links between those of Constantine and of Maximian, and step by step, probably in the course of a few months, the portrait of Constantine changes from a very youthful sallowlooking head with thin neck and small jaw to a heroic idealized type with prominent cheekbones and strong jaw. At the same time, Constantine's hair is combed forward and grows slightly longer, in imitation of the Augustan hairdo instead of the Tetrarchic crew cut. The resulting portrait is known at the highest quality from a unique gold medallion in Berlin and also an unpublished gold fraction in Berlin, both still with the title Caesar. It is also found on a unique solidus from the "Mediterranean Hoard" with the title Augustus. And it is found at much lower quality, but recognizable in type, in bronze coins that can be dated quite accurately because their weight was reduced progressively at this time. By the end of 307 it seems that Constantine had established a portrait type for himself that was an ostentatious political statement, a claim to be the new Augustus.

In effect this was an early version of the standard Constantinian portrait that was introduced in the coinage of Rome and Ostia shortly after the conquest of 312, and that is found in the recut heads on the Arch of Constantine. Yet while this seems a boldly effective political statement for the ambitious young man to make in 307, it was not the portrait type he used in the intervening years. Precisely documented in the gold struck for his quinquennalia in 310, but apparently starting a little before that in the bronze, is a radically different portrait type, a strictly naturalistic portrait that is quite unflattering. Constantine is shown to have fleshy cheeks and a receding jaw. Except for the hairdo, the allusion to Augustus is gone. But the naturalistic portrait used for Constantine in the best of his Constantinopolitan gold in the years just before his death confirms that this was his true physiognomy.

When he first introduced this naturalistic portrait, the only precedent for it was the style of his father's last portraits, a style that was the culmination of the whole of his father's art patronage. It was also the style that Constantine had used for Maximian when the senior Augustus was briefly his close ally. Although to our eye this portrait of Constantine may seem inherently less effective propaganda than the Augustan type, he must have associated it with his father's tradition, and probably expected the public to understand that association. This may have been effective in Gaul, where coins of Constantius in this style had circulated for several years, but after the conquest of Rome Constantine bad to address a larger audience and therefore conspicuously associated himself with Augustus. In the same way in 324 when he conquered the East he struck his coins in imitation of Alexander the Great. But he seems never to have forgotten his debt to his father, and that may be why his last coins return to the style of Constantius.

"A Sign of Contradiction: The 40-Nummi Piece of Theodahad and the Roman Senate"

Luciana Cuppo Csaki, Manhattanville College

The reign of Theodahad is better known for the relations of this ruler with Byzantium than or his interaction with the Roman aristocracy. His 40-nummi pieces with the famous portrait on the obverse have been often interpreted as a sign of independence from Justinian. My paper will present a different view, studying the coinage of Theodahad in the light of the relations between this Gothic ruler and the Roman Senate.

It should be noted that gold coinage (international in character and reserved to the emperor), not copper, was the best medium for a show of autonomy from Constantinople. The monogram of Theoderic on solidi provided a precedent, yet (so far) we know of no gold coins of Theodahad distinguishable from those of Justinian. The copper coin with the obvious symbol of authority (Theodahad on the obverse) may convey amessage to Justinian, but the immediate target audience is Roman and the coin is meant primarily for Romans. Furthermore the coin is clearly anti-senatorial in character, in its obverse, reverse and denomination.

Recent archaeological finds seem to indicate that Theodahad does not wear a crown, as generally assumed, but a Germanic helmet. Thus the coin stresses the military character of the ruler and is in direct opposition to the municipal (senatorial) coins of the Ostrogothic period with the Dea Roma on the obverse. Dea Roma also wears a helmet, but her prototype are the denarii of the Roman Republic, when the Senate had effective leadership. Thus the helmeted Theodahad presents a clear antithesis to the ideals of the Senate (romana libertas ).

The reverse (Victory on prow) shows even more explicit opposition to Republican ideals. Its prototype has been defined as Flavian, but the coins of Vespasian with a similar reverse are themselves restored coins, going back to Augustus' celebration of the victory of Actium which marked the beginning of the Principate. Thus Theodahad's reverse celebrates the ruler as princeps , in opposition to the senatorial class. Like the obverse, the reverse contrasts sharply with the reverses of municipal coins (eagle and wolf with twins), which had Republican prototypes.

The 40-nummi denomination is also in contrast with the tradition dating from the Codex Theodosianus . Theodahad introduces this denomination on western coins, in opposition to the view of Cassiodorus (Var. I.X) that would have kept the ancient metrological system ("denarius" as smallest denominational unit and 6,000 denarii to a solidus).

The self-celebrating character of Theodahad's propaganda was not lost on his contemporaries: while Theodahad posed as new Augustus, Cassiodorus in Var. XII.XX offers a different characterization. According to this text, Theodahadâs exemplum ("Superaturn est exemplurn quod in historia nostra magna intentione retulimus") surpasses not Augustus, but Alaric--not the restorer, but the destroyer of Rome.

"Dates and Identities in the Imperial Panels of San Vitale"

Maria Andreescu-Treadgold and Warren Treadgold, Florida International University

This presentation has two parts, the first a technical and iconographical analysis of the figures in the imperial panels of San Vitale by Irina Andreescu-Treadgold based on a first hand inspection of the mosaics from a scaffolding in April 1990, the second an historical analysis of the figures by Warren Treadgold.

From the left of the Justinian panel, we see in turn: a group of guards; two men, one young and beardless and the other bearded and middle-aged, both of patrician rank as indicated by the purple laticlavus on their chlamyses; the emperor; an offical in late middle age with stringy hair shown only in bust, without feet or even a lower part of his body, since a narrow strip of gold ground is visible where his chlamys should continue at the lower right of the emperor; a bishop labeled "Maximianus"; and two deacons. As has long been noticed, the four figures to the right of Justinian differ from the rest in having less idealized features, as if they had been done from life.

From the left of the Theodore panel, after a door and a small fountain we see in turn: two eunuch patricians; the empress; two prominent and richly dressed women, the first in late middle age, as her sagging cheeks show, and the second quite young, as shown by her round cheeks, and pointing to the first with her hand; and a group of ladies in waiting.

Inspection of the mosaics reveals evidence, previously overlooked or misinterpreted, of two distinct phases of the work: an original phase covering the whole Theodora panel and most of the Justinian panel, and a very early repair or revision. The latter includes the head of Maximian and that of the partly visible official next to him (which are clearly the work of a single mosaicist), the top of the head of the first deacon, part of the gold ground including the name "Maximianus", and a section of the architecture and border above.

Maximian's head has been made slightly lower than the others to accomodate his inscription, which may have been added to distinguish him clearly from the bishop he replaced. 'Me absence of a lower body between the emperor and the bishop indicates that the original composition included no figure at all between the two, so that the bust of the middle-aged official was added only in the second phase.

For these figures three identifications are secure and generally accepted: Justinian, Theodora and Maximian. Yet the evidence for the second phase indicates that Maximian was not in the original mosaic, because his head and inscription had to be added later. Given that the original figure was a bishop, was replaced by Maximian, and was in office after Justinian took Ravenna in 540, he can only have been Maximian's predecessor Victor (537/38-544/45).

Who are the others? Justinian's guard and Theodoraâs eunuchs and ladies in waiting are evidently generic figures introduced to complete a court scene. The deacons whose portraits seem to have been done from life were presumably prominent at Ravenna at the time, but we are not likely to be able to identify them now. Remaining to be identified are two men and two women in the original composition, plus one man added later.

The man to the emperor's right and the woman to the empress's left are almost certainly Justinian's general Belisarius and his wife Antonina, because Justinian named no other single official to command in Italy between 540 and 544/45 and the adolescent to Belisarius's right is too young to be a co-commander. Belisarius left Ravenna at once after taking it in 540 and did not return until he spent several months there from the autumn of 544 to the spring of 545. Thus the mosaic appears to date between autumn 544 and February 15, 545, which is the later of two possible dates for bishop Victor's death. (The possibility that Victor died on February 15, 544 should therefore be rejected.)

If so, the young woman at Antonina's left is presumably her adolescent daughter Joannina (as some have already suggested), while the young patrician at Belisarius's right is presumably Anastasius, the grandson of Theodora, betrothed to Joannina in the spring of 544. Procopius (Anecdota iv-v) makes it appear that Theodora forced this engagement upon Belisarius so as to gain control of his wealth at a time when he was in disgrace; but these panels put the engagement in a perspective that is somewhat different, though perfectly compatible and plausible. The mosaic's ideological message to the Italians is that Belisarius and his wife, despite any reports of his disgrace, are now very close to the imperial pair, stand next to them at court, and enjoy a marriage alliance with the empress.

The revision of the mosaic, with the substitution of Maximian's head and the addition of the bust of the offical to Justinian's left, should belong to the time between late 547, when Maximian entered Ravenna, and the midsummer of 548, when news of Theodora's death on June 28 would have reached the city. Although Belisarius was commander in Italy up to the end of this period, toward its end his failure was evident and his authority uncertain, particularly over his chief subordinate John, always identified as the nephew of the earlier usurper Vitalian.

The additional official to Justinian's left is most probably John himself, who had made his own marriage alliance with Justinian's cousin Germanus in 545, arrived in the region of Ravenna in early 548, so that like Maximian he could have sat for his portrait if necessary, and at that time seemed likely to succeed Belisarius as commander of Italy. Apparently Maximian believed that John was worth cultivating, and included him among the figures close to the emperor when altering the mosaic. But Maximian's main purpose was to bolster his own authority in Ravenna, where the people objected to his support of Justinian's edict of the Three Chapters, by reminding his flock that the emperor supported him and by laying claim to a church that was almost entirely built and decorated by others.


Chair: Edward V. Williams, The Pennsylvania State University

"Ps 23:7-10: Its Ritual Use as Rememorative of the Ascension"

Daniel Sheerin, University of Notre Dame

The dialogue of Ps 23:7-10 came to be associated with three events of the Divine Economy: the Entry into Jerusalem, Descent into Hades, and Ascension. The link with the Ascension is preserved and elaborated in homilies and poetic texts composed for the Feast of the Ascension (and, by transference, in texts for the feast of the Dormition), but identification of a rememorative evocation of the Ascension in the use of Ps 23:7-10 in the various entrance rituals where it is chanted is problematic.

The precise intentions of the composers/redactors of the rituals are difficult to ascertain, as are the interpretations of Ps 23 within specific rituals by participants. The understanding of Ps 23 in one ritual context may not be transferable to its use in another. We may be limited to saying that it is the content and form of Ps 23:7- 10, so very suitable to entrance rituals, that accounts for its employment, and that the use of the psalm may be either not rememorative, or rememoratively neutral, i.e. could be rememorative of none, or of all of the salvific events traditionally associated with the text.

However, in some instances the inner, dramatic logic of a particular ritual may itself favor one possible rememorative interpretation over another. Commentaries on the liturgy may canonize traditional rememorative interpretaton or give wide and long-lasting influence to an innovative interpretation of the commentator, making it, in effect, traditional. Popular understanding of a ritual element may come to substitute for earlier tradition, the previous two factors not withstanding.

The first two factors can be seen at work in the interpretation of the use of Ps 23:7-10 in the entrance rite of the church dedication ritual. The progress of the ritual contributes to an interpretation of the psalm as rememorative of the Ascension (in contrast to the situation of PS 23 in the Latin dedication ritual), and is it so understood by Cabasilas and Symeon of Thessalonike.

A related kind of logic suggests the Ascension as the basis for the interpretation of the use of Ps 23:7-10 at the re-entry into the church after the outdoor proclamation of the gospel in the ritual of the paschal vigil. But the third factor seems to have come into play here, for it appears that the association of Ps 23:7- 10 with the Descent into Hades predominated in the popular understanding of this rite and contributed to the general exclusion of Ps 23 from this entrance ritual.

"The Sticheraric Tradition in Byzantine Musical Manuscripts from the Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries"

Nina Ulff-Moller, University of Copenhagen

Between 11th-15th centuries, the Byzantine musical notation and Sticheraric written tradition went through different stages. The appearance of more complex neume signs and elaborate melodies seems to be typical for every new stage. Therefore, it is of great interest to investigate the extent to which the Byzantine Stichera have been preserved, developed, and eventually changed under the different historical conditions.

The Byzantine Sticheraric tradition was investigated on the basis of melodic - rhythmic formulas, since the formulas are the most important structural and compositional unit in the Byzantine Chant. They are graphically stable, with a definite modal structure, and they keep their melodic outline through centuries. This characteristic feature of the formulas makes it possible to analyse when and how the changes in the notation and the melodies appear, and how these transformations continued to develop further in the Byzantine Stichera from later periods.

This study was carried out on approximately 65 Stichera Idiomela for the months of September, November, and April, collated from 60 Byzantine musical manuscripts written in Chartres, Coislin, and Round notations.

From the analyzed material it could be concluded that the combination of conventionality and instability has been very typical for the Byzantine Stichera from the llth-15th centuries. There are plentiful variants on the same melodic formulas based on a constant, unchanged formulaic structure. The substitution of some melodic intervals by others, small changes in the melodic lines, reversal of the rhythmical accents etc., changed only the expressive character of the chant, without disturbing its main structure.

"Kukuzeles' 'Didactic Song' and Russian Musical 'Azbuky"'

Miloû Velimirovicâ, University of Virginia

The comparative studies of Byzantine musical notation and that found in the Russian musical manuscripts of the 12th to 14th centuries have already established the dependence of the musical notation in the earliest Russian musical manuscripts on one of the early stages of the Byzantine neumatic notation of the type called "Coislin". While in Byzantium the musical notation had evolved from that stage - which was prevalent in the I I - 12th centuries - to a more 'advanced' stage known as Middle Byzantine notation, the Russian musical manuscripts have retained the early stage in subsequent centuries. However, from the 14th century onward there are some changes in the Russian musical notation which by the middle of the 15th century necessitated the creation and appearance of the so-called "AZBUKY" of the musical notation, which contained not only neumatic signs (znamya) but also introduced for the first time a new Russian musical terminology.

The first significant Byzantine listing and rather specific explanation of the meaning of individual notational signs appeared in the early 14th century in the form of a "didactic song" listing the signs and conveying an interpretation of each of the signs. By now there are several studies dealing with this "didactic song" which is attributed to John Kukuzeles and which is found for the first time in MS 2458 in the Athens National Library.

Until recently only 2 Russian "AZBUKY" have been known and the most recent results of Russian scholars indicate that in the 15th century there were no less than 6 such AZBUKY compiled and that their number increases to about 40 specimens in the 16th century.

So far there has been no comparative study undertaken of the Byzantine "didactic song" and the Russian "Azbuky".

The proposed paper will represent the first scholarly attempt at a comparative study of these documents as an effort to reach a better understanding of the meaning of the Russian musical notation in the 15th century, when this notation begins to depart from the Byzantine principle of indicating the intervallic distances from the preceding pitch and begins to spell out the specific pitch, a stage which Russians reached perhaps as early as the middle of the 16th century and definitely used by the beginning of the l7th century.

While the end result of the evolution of the meaning of the Russian musical notation presents a totally different principle of notating a melody, the starting point in this evolutionary process is, as far as can be determined at this time, the Byzantine principle of notating a melody in relationship to the preceding melodic outline. The proposed paper will attempt to establish the meaning of the Russian terminology and names of individual neumes and their derivation from Byzantine sources and, insofar as possible, suggest the lines of evolution of meaning of these neumes.


Chair: Oleg Grabar, Institute for Advanced Study

"'Orientalism' and the Creation of Early Byzantine Style in the East"

Thelma K. Thomas, University of Michigan

Edward Said's Orientalism should be considered seriously by Byzantinists. In particular, the early historiography of Byzantine archaeological and art historical researches in the Near East provides a provocatively detailed scenario of Said's "Orientalist" premise: a mode of discourse which expresses and represents part of European culture underlies our current methods of describing and understanding the development of early Byzantine style in the eastern provinces.

A rash of late Roman and early Byzantine discoveries in the Near East during the second and third decades of this century was made possible after the Great War by the Allied Powers' control of territories in Palestine, Syria and Turkey. Most important of these discoveries for the present discussion are certain wall paintings at Dura Europos. James Henry Breasted, founding intellect of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, made the first discovery of wall paintings at Dura, the "Wall of Bithnanaia," thanks to the protection of British troops during his expedition of 1919-1920: "It was the good fortune of the University of Chicago expedition to make the first dash undertaken by white men after the Great War across this desert region Creeping up the Euphrates as quietly and as expeditiously as we could, and making every effort to elude the treacherous and hostile Beduin, we reached Dura-Salahiya just as the British were about to begin their retirement down river." (James Henry Breasted, Oriental Forerunners of Byzantine Painting. First-century all- paintings from the fortress of Dura on the Middle Euphrates. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1924, pp. 1-2.)

Due to the imminent British evacuation, Breasted had one day only for recording his discovery. He and members of his expedition made photographs, drawings and detailed notes concerning the disposition of figures and colors. Soon thereafter, under the French military occupation of the region, Franz Cumont and other French archaeologists continued the excavations only to discover that Breasted's find was already ruinously damaged. Thus, Breasted's documentation became the only source for the study of these paintings. His initial publication included startlingly vivid color illustrations which he had constructed by 'colorizing' (according to the field notes) the black-and-white photographs, thus providing evidence supporting the claim that the long-lived process of the Orientalization of Hellenistic art produced early Byzantine style. The proposed paper will discuss ramifications of this claim and its photographic documentation in the art historical literature.

"Fires from God: A Neglected Feature in Some Christian Accounts of Julian's Attempt to Rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem"

Robert J. Penella, Fordham University

Despite the exhaustive unpublished Harvard dissertation by D. B. Levenson (A Source and Tradition Critical Study of the Stories of Julian's Attempt to Rebuild the Jerusalem Temple, 1979), there is still one feature of the Christian tradition on Julian the Apostate's attempted rebuilding of the Temple that has not been fully appreciated--namely, the tradition's tendency to see a parallelism between the God-sent fire that terminated, or helped to terminate, Julian's project and other God-sent punitive fires. Gregory of Nazianzus (Orat. 5.4) and John Chrysostom (Adv. Jud. 5.11) compare the fire that terminated Julian's project to the fire that caused the Old Testament figures Nadab and Abihu to perish. Gregory also compares the Julianic fire to the fire that destroyed Sodom. Chrysostom (e.g., in In Acta Apost. 41.3) sees a parallelism between the fire that ended Julian's project in Jerusalem and the fire that severely damaged Apollo's Temple at Daphne during the same emperor's reign. (This Daphne/Jerusalem parallelism is assumed in a tradition, which will be examined, that appears in the Arabic History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria and in the Arabic Jacobite Synaxarium and the Ethiopian Synaxarium : PO 1:4.418-19, 1:5:5.533-34, 17:3:84.531-32.) Finally, Rufinus (Hist. eccl . 10.38-40) and Artemii passio 58 seem to see a parallel between the Julianic fire and the fire that burned the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Ambrose (Epp. 10 Zelzer) must not be neglected either: he imagines that the emperor Theodosius will create another parallelism if he has the synagogue at Callinicurn rebuilt. God will stop the rebuilding, just as he stopped Julian's project in Jerusalem, by means of fire. These comparisons, whose nuances and elaborations will be examined, serve to underscore, and focus our attention on, a particular moment in the story of Julian and the Jewish Temple. They also serve, by linking the story of the Jewish Temple to other incidents, to interpret and generalize: the God who punished Julian has punished before and will punish again, in consistent and familiar ways.

"Archaeology at a Small Place: Kalavasos-Kopetra"

Marcus Rautman, University of Missouri-Columbia

Central to recent discussion of Late Roman society has been the urban context of culture change. Since Republican times Rome was an empire of cities, linked by sea and land routes and supported by the small towns of the hinterland. The lower end of this settlement hierarchy has received comparatively little attention, appearing primarily as sites observed in larger diachronic surveys of defined geographic regions. Renewed interest in the smaller settlements of the late empire is yielding a picture of increasingly great diversity at this provincial, suburban level of late classical life.

Recent investigations at Kalavasos-Kopetra offer one perspective of a previously unknown minor settlement of Late Roman Cyprus. Located in the lower Vasilikos valley about three kilometers from the island's south shore, this otherwise anonymous site stands on a bluff ridge overlooking both coastline and river plain. Its existence was first noted over ten years ago as part of the larger valley's systematic reconnaissance, which identified Kopetra as the area~s most substantial Late Roman component. Lacking standing remains, the habitation center was known only by its surface artifacts, which included primarily architectural and industrial debris as well as abundant pottery. Intensive survey of the vicinity has identified both approximate boundaries to and intersite variations within the settlement. The topochronological distribution of artifacts suggests aspects of the community's economic and social structure, which was apparently based on local cultivation and mining. An interim ceramic conspectus reflects the network of commercial contacts enjoyed by the valley during its apparently late-blooming prosperity in the 6th and early 7th centuries.

Three seasons of excavation have provided a more detailed view of different parts of the site. One sector includes a small basilica, constructed of the local gypsum and decorated with stucco moldings and details as well as mosaic floors. Subsequent alterations to the structure reflect the continued use of the church into the 7th century. Over 100 meters east of the presumed habitation center rises the low mound of Sirmata, atop which stand the lower parts of a similar basilica together with ancillary buildings. A deep cistern set within this church complex contained the summarily disposed remains of several local inhabitants and some of their buildings. Contextual finds associate the abrupt end of this outlying religious center with the mid 7th-century Arab campaigns on the island, which left the settlement at Kopetra similarly transformed and occupied on a reduced scale.

"The Destruction of Images in Eighth-Century Palestine"

Robert Schick, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

The edit against images that the Umayyad Caliph Yazid II is reported to have issued in 721 A.D. is well-known, but the existence of several dozen churches in Palestine with mosaics containing images that suffered deliberate damage sometime in the eighth century is less well known.

Scholarly understanding of when the deliberate damage to these church mosaics took place, along with the motivation for the damage, was radically changed by the discovery of a church in Umm er-Rasas, Jordan in 1986 with a mosaic floor in the nave seemingly dated to October, 785 A.D., as its dedicatory inscription records, after which date the images were deliberately damaged.

The date of 785 A.D., recorded as year 680 of the Province of Arabia, however, appears to be spurious and should be changed to 718 A.D. This revised date is possible because the inscription was damaged around the area of the date. The Greek letter Pi for 80 is an incorrect restoration of the original Greek letters Iota and Gamma, which look very similar to a Pi, done by someone who did not know Greek, as other misspelled repairs to the damaged inscription confirm. The Iota-Gamma sequence, rather than Pi, is to be preferred because 718 A.D corresponds to the second year of the indiction cycle, also recorded in the dedicatory inscription, while 785 A.D. is off by six years.

The change in the dedication date from 785 to 718 A.D. for the Umm er-Rasas nave mosaic, compatible with the architectural phasing revealed by the excavations, revives the possibility that the subsequent deliberate damage to the images in the Umm er-Rasas mosaic, and by extension the cases of less closely datable damage at other sites, dates not from the late 8th or 9th centuries, when no literary evidence provides a satisfactory motivation for the damage, but to the late Umayyad period or the first years of the Abbasid period. 721 A.D., the year of Yazid's edict, remains a possibility for dating the deliberate damage, as does 756 A.D., when a purely geometric mosaic was installed in the apse, a date that might not be just coincidentally close to the date of the 754 A.D. iconoclastic church council.


Chair: Nancy Patterson Ševčenko, Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium and Dumbarton Oaks

"Cassiodorus as an Art Historical Source"

Eunice Dauterman Maguire, Krannert Art Museum

It is well known that the books of Cassiodorus, and the planning of his monastic library, were of considerable importance to medieval monasteries in Western Europe. The aim of this paper is not to speculate further on the dispersion of the books, but rather to look at the texts as a repository of information of special value to art historians.

Cassiodorus gives us glimpses of Ravenna in the early years of the sixth century, when he served the Ostrogothic court. Letters discuss the duties of a palace architect, and the sending of architectural spoils and of marble workers from Rome; the aesthetics of marble revetment; the setting-up of a supply of murex dye from Otranto, to suitably clothe the king and his throne. He offers royal protection to potteries, and provides for the supply of lime in Rome. He comments on the giving and receiving of precious diplomatic gifts. He establishes the state's claim to buried gold and silver treasures.

At the same time Cassiodorus is a watchdog for the architectural and sculptural antiquities of Rome and of other cities. He asks that no publicly useful standing structures be destroyed, and that decayed ones be restored. He requests the respect of privately-owned antiquities. He praises the Forum of Trajan, he wants the baths repaired around a thermal spring on Northern Italy, he is seriously concerned about the theft of a bronze statue from Como, he permits the Jews of Genoa to rebuild (but not to expand) their ruined synagogue. He wants to appoint as director of public works in Rome a learned man. He himself expresses a consciously Western art historical interest. In a tribute to the Etruscans, he credits them with beginning the production of realistic sculpture in Italy, leading the way for Rome. Metalworking he sees as Italian also.

At least one passage in De Anima seems to reflect the imagery of Ravenna's mosaic compositions. Ibis treatise and the letters of the Varia were written during his Ravenna period, but his commentary on the psalms expands his frame of reference to Constantinople, where he spent some years before refiring to his monastery on the South Italian coast of the Ionian Sea.

Reading Cassiodorus can provide us with insights into subjects as diverse as music (including David and Orpheus), or garden and medical history (including channeled fishponds and Dioscurides). He gives us as some details of daily life; of the circus; and of the need for a return to the cities. Also of interest are some of his explanations of the meanings of geometric shapes and his theories of optics and vision. In a metaphor he even tells us something about liturgical curtains. Surely he would approve our trying to look through the veil, and to restore some of the fallen building blocks of reference his texts contain.

"Silver Revetments in the Sion Treasure"

Susan A. Boyd, Dumbarton Oaks

Paul the Silentiary's description of the costly silver revetments in the sanctuary of St. Sophia is well known to students of Byzantine art. It provides the most detailed evidence we have of the type of revetments that must have existed in many early Byzantine churches -- if on a less lavish scale. Altar tables, ciboria, chancel screens, ambos, columns, capitals, and even tombs were among the ecclesiastical furniture that were often described as having been clad in silver or gold. Until the discovery of the Sion Treasure in 1963--a large collection of ecclesiastical silver objects÷one had to rely on literary descriptions or inventory lists to visualize the kind of revetments that once existed, for none had survived among the several hoards of church silver that are known.

Among the extraordinary materials of the Sion Treasure are a disparate group of architectural revetments. These apparently belong to several different structures which are difficult to identify because the revetments are both fragmentary and badly damaged. The group under discussion in this paper, however, will be shown to have clad a large rectangular structure with a narrow rim, two sides of which are inscribed with a dedication; it measures approximately 8' by 4' by 2 1/2". This paper will present briefly my provisional reconstruction of these revetments. It will then focus on and explore alternative identifications of the rectangular structure--mensa of a large altar table or the lid of a tomb--based on material and literary evidence.

"All that Glisters . Byzantine Enamel on Copper"

David Buckton, The British Museum

Enamel is coloured glass: when it is heated to its melting-point, glass bonds to metal with which it is in contact. For technical reasons, the metal preferred by enamellers since Minoan and Mycenaean times has been gold, partly because it does not oxidize and no disfiguring oxidation- layer can form at the interface between glass and metal to ruin the effect of translucent enamel.

In the cloisonnŽ enamel which was introduced into Byzantium at the end of Iconoclasm the figure, bust or motif had a translucent background, usually green, which entirely covered the metal plaque. The second half of the tenth century saw the invention of the typical Byzantine enamel, where the subject was silhouetted against bare metal instead of having an enamelled background. In the twelfth century the enamelled background was reintroduced, but this time it was opaque.

With an opaque enamel background the underlying metal is invisible, and gold, for all its technical advantages, could be considered an extravagance. Conversely, the use of opaque enamel may have been dictated by the choice - on purely economic grounds - of copper for the substrate. While gold continued to be employed in conjunction with opaque backgrounds, particularly for small-scale luxury items, the use of copper increased.

So, too, did the size of the plaque, no longer constrained by the costliness of the metal. Even where the 'typical' appearance was desired, with the subject silhouetted against the metal, the copper could be gilded.

In the West, where no gold coins were minted between AD 1000 and 1252, the twelfth century had seen gold cloisonnŽ enamel give way to copper champlevŽ. It would be surprising if the increasing contact between Byzantium and western Europe occasioned by the Crusades had left no mark on Byzantine enamel (a western development, Žmail de plique, owed much to this contact), and both champlevŽ enamel and an imitation of that technique is found in later Byzantium.

"The Significance of Medieval Tinned Copper Objects"

Marlia Mundell Mango, Oxford University

Two of the objects discussed below were first published by Laskarina Bouras. Intrigued by her comments on them - as on so much else - I pursued the subject presented here in her memory.

From the early Byzantine period there are numerous silver objects of light weight and simple fabrication which served a wide market. Inscriptions on many of these "cheap" objects reveal that they had a relatively lowly destination in village churches. Fewer medieval silver vessels - whether simple or elaborate - have survived, although they are mentioned in written sources. What may be a novelty of the 9th/10th- 11th centuries are decorative (not cooking) copper objects tinned, apparently to imitate silver metal, which may have been intended to replace the cheaper silver objects of an earlier age. This tinned copper group appears to include patens, chalices, polycandela, and lamps in museums in Istanbul, Antakya, Berlin, Oxford, Athens, Geneva, Leningrad, London, and Washington; and others recently on the antiquities market. Known provenances include Claudiopolis (Bolu) and a village near Bursa, both in Asia Minor, and excavations (in 10th- 11th- century contexts) at Pergamon, Aboba Pliska, and Antioch (environs).

The patens and chalices, which repeat the forms of earlier and contemporary types in silver, are usually distinguished by double-stroke inscriptions and incised figural decoration in a graphic style. The hanging lamps have openwork decoration and may be seen as successors of lamps in the Sion treasure and predecessors of mosque lamps. The polycandela are very light compared with those of cast bronze - and recall Justinianic silver polycandela, in the Sion and Lampsacus treasures.

The replacement of one metal by another may reflect a change in current metal resources or their allocation. Regarding the possibility of tin replacing some silver by the 9th/10th century, two points are relevant. (1) The virtual disappearance by the late 7th century of silver objects and the termination by 651 of the intricate system of state control of silver objects (by Imperial stamps) followed the reintroduction of silver coinage in 615 (which had lapsed by 400), so that silver may have been "reallocated" from objects to coin. (2) The apparent replacement in copper alloy objects of bronze (copper + tin) by brass (copper + zinc) in the 6th-7th-century, has been explained by the loss to the empire of western tin mines in Britain and Spain. Now Aslihan Yener's work in the Taurus Mountains demonstrates that mines yielding tin continued to function in the eastern Mediterranean. The location of these mines at the Cilician Gates means that they probably passed between Byzantme and Arab hands. Did the introduction of tinned copper objects by the 9th/10th century signal, not so much a shortage of silver but fresh supplies of tin made possible by Byzantine reconquest?

"Triptychs in Post-Byzantium"

Maria Vassilakis, University of Crete, Rethymnon

Three Post-Byzantine triptychs from the Walters Art Gallery present me with the opportunity to speculate on the role triptychs seem to have played in the Post-Byzantine world. At the same time they allow me to raise some issues on the trade in triptychs during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The first triptych (entry no.:37.118) is a faithful representation of a church iconostasis; it is Cretan and has been dated to the sixteenth century. The second (no.:37.628) is partially preserved (central and left panels) and includes scenes from the Passion of Christ. It belongs to a group of triptychs either painted by or attributed to the Cretan painter Georgios Klontzas (second half of the sixteenth century) in which the Passion of Christ is the central theme. The third is a small triptych (37.629). The selection of scenes depicted on it (the Annunciation-Saint John and Prochoros before the cave of Patmos) indicate its close association with the monastery of Patmos. Whether it was executed by a Cretan painter or not, it is Cretan in the sense that it displays iconographic and sstylistic elements of Cretan painting. As is known, there were very close ties between Crete and Patmos.

On the basis of their size and iconography I would be inclined to place these three triptychs in three different categories. The first seems to have played the part of a domestic iconostasis for a private chent. The second is a piece of private imagery but could hardly be seen as just a piece of religious imagery. Its style and Iconography points in the direction of a work of art designed to serve religious purposes for a private client and also to satisfy his cultural and especially his aesthetic preferences. The third, as said before, must be associated with the monastery of Saint John the Theologian on the island of Patmos and seems to be an object of pilgrimage art of the time. Were these triptychs produced only on the island of Crete or was there a local production on Patmos itself? I will try to investigate these issues with the help of many more surviving examples as well as archival documents of the time.

This paper will try to see triptychs as a private category of religious imagery. Up to now most of the existing studies on Post-Byzantine triptychs present either a single piece or less often a group of triptychs and analyse their iconography and style. In this paper, style and iconography matter only in the sense that they can illustrate the role each triptych would play after leaving the painter's workshop or the monastery where it had been executed.


Chair: Herbert L. Kessler, The Johns Hopkins University

"King of Glory and King of the Jews: The Titulus of the Cross in the Christian East"

Alfred BŸchler, Berkeley, California

The appearance of 'King of Glory', O BASILEUC THC DOXHC, as the titulus of the Cross in Byzantine art has been noted a number of times. It has been discussed mainly in connection with the image known to the West as Imago Pietatis. Less noted has been the corresponding absence of tituli involving the appellation 'King of the Jews', common to both the Latin West and the Syro-Palestinian East. In this paper we shall briefly review these developments and suggest some possible reasons.

The earliest known representation of the titulus, on an ivory plaque in London (ca.420430), carries the inscription REX IVD. It is followed by the Crucifixion miniature of the Rabbula Gospels (586), with HNW` MLK' DYHWDY', This-is (the) King Of-(the-)Jews (Luke 23:38). The titulus given in John 19:19, eventually to become the familiar INRI of the West, appears for the first time in a fresco in S. Maria Antiqua in Rome (741-752), but in the canonical Greek form: IC O NAZWRAIOC O BASIALEUC TWN IOUDAIWN. Contemporary with this is Sinai icon B.36, with the titulus O BASIALEUC TON HOYD (sic).

In the West, there is from the early ninth century onward a continuous series of tituli incorporating the appellation REX IUD (A) EORUM. In the East, the Syriac titulus of the Rabbula Gospels still appears in a manuscript of the 12th-13th century in London, Syr. Add. 7169. What may be a related Greek version is cited as the titulus of the Cross in Adversus Constantinum Caballinum (John of Jerusalem, ca.770; PG 94, 316): IDE O BASIALEUC TWN IOYDAIWN. This text appears again in a list of inscriptions taken from a Greek picture cycle and copied in Italy about 850 (St. Gall, cod.48) and in the Crucifixion miniature of Vat. syr. 118 (10th-I lth century; before 1120/21). The text differs from that of Luke 23:38 as it appears in the standard Byzantine recension, but may reflect the IDE O BASIALEUC UMWN, Behold your King, of John 19:14.

Metropolitan Byzantine art appears to have rejected the title "King of the Jews" A number of possible reasons, such as heretical connotations, may be advanced, but so far they remain only speculative. Eventually, however, the place of the titulus is assumed by O BASIALEUC THC DOXHC. The earliest known use of this text in conjunction with the Crucifixion appears on an ivory triptych in the Cabinet de MŽddailles in Paris. The latter has been dated to the tenth, but more recently to the eleventh century. By 1200 "King of Glory" has appeared as the titulus on Sinai Cross I and at Kurbinovo (1191); and in 1208/ 1209 in its Slavonic form at Studenica. A major reason for this development may have been the felt need to affirm more explicitly than before the Divine Nature of the Dead Christ on the Cross. The well-known if not very clear statement of Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida (1054) may only be one example of a criticism of the Greek images; throughout the twelfth century Italian crosses still showed the open-eye Christus Triumphans. Under these circumstances the title 'King of Glory', with its roots in the Ascension Psalm 23, its resonances in the liturgy, and its association with the Sleeping yet open-eyed Lion of the Physiologus, would seem an eminently suitable means of stressing the divinity of the Figure on the Cross.

"Liturgy and Narrative in the Exodus Cycle of the Ashburnham Pentateuch"

Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk, Rutgers University

The Ashburnham Pentateuch (Paris, Bib. NaL, Nouv. Acq., lat. 2334) contains the largest, most important Exodus cycle from the early Medieval period. Based on paleographic evidence, scholars generally agree on a seventh-century date, but the provenance continues to be debated. The manuscript's seventh-century date makes it an indispensable bridge between Late Antique and Carolingian book illumination. Recent scholarship has focused on the manuscript's iconographic peculiarities which are derived from Jewish sources. While the investigation into Jewish sources has led to rewarding and enlightening results, the essentially Christian character of the manuscript has been of secondary importance. By understanding the manuscript's intrinsically Christian character a balance can be achieved which will lead to a truer appreciation of the complex interrelationships between Jewish and Christian iconography.

This paper will offer a new interpretation of the manuscript's pictorial content by examining two scenes from the Exodus cycle, the Crossing of the Red Sea and Moses Reading the Covenant. Both employ a liturgical and typological vocabulary characteristic of contemporary Christian thought and practice. For example, the substitution of the Paschal Candle for the Pillar of Fire in the Crossing of the Red Sea fundamentally changes the meaning of this scene from an Old Testament narrative to a New Testament liturgy. Similar substitutions and liturgical references, such as bread and wine for animal sacrifices in the scene of Moses Reading the Covenant, indicate a more complex typological meaning. Through the use of such pictorial devices, the Old Testament scenes were transformed into reminders or even portrayals of dramatic liturgical ceremonies which spoke directly to a seventh-century Christian community.

Owing to the regional character of public worship, the pictorial references to specific liturgical ceremonies in the manuscript also provide a clue to its provenance. Although the Ashburnham Pentateuch has often been considered a provincial product, the iconography of these Exodus illuminations, when closely examined, reflects a vigorously innovative and intellectually active milieu.

"Magi and Magicians: A Byzantine Source of the San Paolo Bible"

Archer St. Clair, Rutgers University

The Bible of San Paolo fuori le Mura is the most extensively illustrated bible surviving from the Carolingian period. It is generally agreed that it was created for Charles the Bald between 866 and 875.

The manuscript is the subject of a masterly study by Gaehde, who sought to distinguish the various artists and to identify the sources of the Old and New Testament illustrations. He concluded that in addition to a model from the Carolingian scriptorium at Tours, the artists had access to an Early Christian illuminated octateuch, a Book of Kings, and secular chronicles. A number of the compositions, however, defy such compartmentalization and appear to be highly original. Gaehde suggested that they may be explained by contact with the pictorial tradition of Reims, as seen in the Utrecht Psalter.

An example of one of these "problematic" miniatures is the first illustration for Exodus (21v), which depicts episodes from the life of Moses. The scenes from Moses' infancy and the Crossing of the Red Sea were connected by Gaehde, and by Weitzmann before him, with the frescoes at Dura Europos and the Byzantine illuminated octateuchs. The central scenes, the Miracle of the Rod and Serpent and Moses before the Burning Bush, both in their iconography and in the importance given the former scene, have no known parallels in Byzantine or Western art.

In fact, the compositional model for this illumination comes from an initially surprising source, a Byzantine Nativity composition of the type that is standard in the Middle Byzantine period, for example as the frontispiece for the Feast of the Nativity in gospel lectionaries. Instead of the reclining Virgin and the Christ child, however, Pharaoh sits within the cave in the mountainous landscape, while Moses replaces the announcing angel on the right and Pharaoh's magicians replace the Magi on the left. The earliest surviving examples of the type of Nativity illustration from which this illumination stems date from the 1lth century, but it has been suggested that such illustrations existed by the 10th century, and the notion of a feast cycle took shape at least by the 8th century. The San Paolo Bible confirms the existence of the fully developed centralized Nativity composition in the 9th century. At the same time, it provides interesting insights into the working methods of a Carolingian artist whose imaginative adaptation of apparently unrelated models produced a unique and harmonious composition.

The question remains as to whether the use of the Byzantine Nativity as a compositional model was intended to imbue the image with a deeper meaning. Early Christian and Carolingian typological exegesis suggest that this is indeed the case, and that this and other images in the manuscript were adapted to express a specifically Carolingian program.

"The Perugia Triptych and the maniera greca"

Rebecca W. Corrie, Bates College

This paper is an attempt to understand the remarkable, but in fact quite short, thirteenth century Tuscan and Umbrian experiment simulating Byzantine art known as the maniera greca . Part of the much wider distribution of Byzantine style and iconography in Europe in the thirteenth century, the maniera greca was one of its most intense examples, and may give us some insight into other efforts to use and simulate Byzantine art, and into its abandonment in favor of what might be called a more "illusionistic" style around 1300. While our usual model is one of a general stylistic evolution toward naturalism, a more complex series of factors may actually be at work.

Working with a single painting, the Marzolini Triptych, now in the Galleria Nazionale in Perguia, we can propose a series of elements that explain the use of Byzantine art by later thirteenth-century painters and patrons. This image, which shows an enthroned Virgin and Child of the Byzantine type known as the Eleousa , has scenes depicting the early life of Christ on the left side and the passion on the right. Both the type of the Virgin and the style and arrangement of the scenes reveals a familiarity with Byzantine art. And if we look at the manuscripts produced by the same artists we gain a sense of the procedures followed by painters who knew Byzantine art at second hand through other masters in Italy and through Byzantine manuscripts and possibly Byzantine paintings themselves. The meticulous effort to copy Byzantine and Byzantinizing work was not based on availability alone, but on a search for models.

For a fuller understanding of the mechanisms of this simulation, we should consider the analysis of Norman Bryson. Images such as the Perugia triptych carried a tremendous burden of meaning -- the liturgical and theological message of the Christ Child as sacrifice and the political implications of Byzantine style itself. Coupled together this information could only be conveyed by adherence to Byzantine style. We have tended in the past to describe the evolution of thirteenth century painting as movement from Medieval to Renaissance through the assistance of Byzantine art. This relegates thirteenth-century Italian painting to the position of an unsuccessful and superceded transitional style, an essentially negative assessment of the maniera greca . But the maniera greca , which appeared in several guises, was a successful style, wedding political and religious needs, and incidentally moving Italian art into a more natural phase. By the end of the thirteenth century, as political needs began to change and the political impact of Byzantine style faded, the maniera greca became obsolete. As Bryson would have it, denotation had begun to recede and the real intensified. Such an analysis not only helps us to understand the differences between the art of the maniera greca and the Italian trecento, but the links as well.

"The Doge as Christian Imperial Ruler in Thirteenth-Century Venice: The Tomb of Jacopo Tiepolo"

Debra Pincus, The University of British Columbia

To Renaissance and modern commentators on Venice, the Venetian doge was simply a "prisoner of the state." Such rhetoric has obscured the reality that in an earlier period the office of doge was at the center of the formulation of ideas regarding the Venetian state. In the first half of the l3th century, the office of doge served as a focus for the expression of Veniceâs new vision of itself following the 1203-1204 conquest of Constantinople and the dogeâs new status as "lord of a quarter and a half [of a quarter]" of "Romania"÷the Eastern empire. The tomb of Doge Jacopo Tiepolo (1229-1249), attached to the facade of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the first extant monumental ducal tomb in Venice, is a work that allows us to see the doge-and, by implication, the Venetian state--presented within a new frame of imperial rule.

The Tiepolo tomb is a wildly eclectic piece that still calls forth scholarly controversy. It uses antique material, antique models, and a bizarre version of "antiquated style" to present an image of a venerable ruler. Reading away later additions--as previous analyses of the tomb have failed to do--allows us to see the piece as the stark, somewhat abstract object that it originally was. In dealing with the style, I am suggesting that a deliberate cultivation of multiple references was at work here, something akin to what Ernst Kitzinger (in reference to the fifth century) has termed the "phenomenon of modes." The basic tomb type is pagan, onto which have been applied Christian motifs that draw on both Eastern and Western traditions. Of particular importance in the message of the tomb is the cross-potent-on-steps that, in the original presentation, would have served as the tomb's major decorative element. What we have here is a particular Byzantine cross type, with strong ruler reference, that circulated widely on coins both of Eastern and Western manufacture

Otto Demus, using San Marco as his focus, has brought forward the importance of the Christian imperial model, with specific Eastern reference, as it influenced the artistic and propaganda policies of thirteenth-century Venice. An analysis of the Jacopo Tiepolo tomb allows us to see Venice's maturing political ambitions embedded in what was to become an important and continuing class of state monument--the tomb of the ruler.

"The So-called Byzantine Church near Castiglione, Sicily"

Charles E. Nicklies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Approximately five kilometers southeast of Francavilla di Sicilia, en route to Castiglione, there exists an abandoned church that has undeservedly lacked proper evaluation of its place within the medieval architecture of Sicily. This neglect is not surprising since the building is remotely located in the countryside and misidentified in the popular guide books. More significantly, the research on the church, scarce as it is, offers mostly confused interpretations, which in consensus assign the building to the Byzantine rule of the island. I suggest, however, that the church belongs unequivocally to the Norman period (1071-1190), and demonstrates planning concerns, detailing, and construction practices related to other buildings of Norman Sicily. The broader implications of this evaluation reflect the general misunderstanding of Byzantine influence in the architecture of Sicily.

The previous researchers seem to have been inhibited by lacking a comprehensive discernment of architectural developments outside Italy. Although Edwin Freshfield intuitively ascribes the church to the Norman period, he suggests that the architecture is essentially Byzantine, and was perhaps constructed by immigrants from the Eastern empire. Freshfield, however, chooses poor logic to relate the church to Byzantine architecture, and his premises are seriously outdated. Pietro Lojacono, equally convinced of the Byzantine nature of the church, proposes a 9th-century date. Lojacono's arguments hinge substantially upon the construction techniques of the dome covering the naos; but his failure to provide specific comparisons from the Byzantine world underlies the feebleness of this assertion. Stefano Bottari also ascribes the building to the late Byzantine period of the island (826-965). He rejects the hypothesis that the ruins represent either the main church or a dependency of the Basilian monastery of S. Salvatore di Placa - known through textual sources to have been founded by Count Roger I in 1093 - because he sees no correlation between the remains and the Norman architecture in Sicily and Calabria.

Contrary to Bottari's assessments, however, the church offers numerous comparisons with the Norman architecture of the island. For instance, the construction of the dome, in essence built of rising sets of squinches, is not unlike that found in the two cupolas of the 12th-century church of SS. Pietro e Paolo d'Agr˜. Also, the manner in which the church near Castiglione combines centralized and longitudinal planning, compares favorably to SS. Pietro e Paolo, the Annunziata dei Catalani in Messina, and other churches from the Norman era. Moreover, many of the details of our church, such as the banded voussoirs that frame the windows of the west and east facades, and the corbels supporting the cross-vaults of the side aisles, clearly relegate the construction to the Norman period.

Ultimately, the muddled state of research of this church is indicative of the medieval architecture of Sicily. Only through a systematic examination of designs, details, and construction methods that considers the totality of architectural influences exerted upon the island may we hope to unravel the complex problems of this region.


Chair: Emily Albu Hanawalt, Boston University

"An Egyptian Encomium on Romanos the Melodist"

R. J. Schork, University of Massachusetts, Boston

In her monograph on Dioscorus of Aphrodito (6th cent. C.E.), Leslie MacCoull includes a bipartite Greek encomium (H12) on a certain "Romanos." Neither she--nor other editors of the two papyri constituting this 38-verse work--offers specific information about the honoree, beyond a suggestion that "he is likely to have been a duke of the Thebaid."

During the Sixth Century, certainly the most famous bearer of this name was Romanos the Melodist, the poet of the kontakion . In 551 Dioscorus set out from Aphrodito to Constantinople for a fairly long stay on official tax-business. After his return to Egypt, his first encomiastic poetry appeared. For the following reasons, I suggest that Dioscorus' poem H12 was, in fact, written in honor the the Melodist Romanos.

*Beside and beyond his legal service to the community, Dioscorus was also a poet. During his stay in Justinian's imperial city, then, this literary visitor from the provinces would hardly have failed to attend a festal presentation of one of Romanos'new and highly popular "sung sermons."

*Dioscorus- encomium has a pair of acrostics O KUROS RWMANOS; (A) and RWMANOS QAUMASTOS (B). All the kontakia of Romanos have acrostics, most involving the poet's name and an epithet (e.g. TOY TAIIEINOY RWMANOU); and three works are signed KYPIOY RWMANOU.

*The second section (B) of the encomium opens with MousV wn qerV pwn and ö llon ~ Omhron, flourishes certainly appropriate as tribute to a poet.

*A phrase in verse B 11, 86; qeë H panep` pthH , resonates to the refrain of Romanos' kontakion (44) on the temptation of the Patriarch Joseph, with its deliberately exotic Eqyptian setting and tone: ï ti pV nta ¤ forä Ü mma.

*Verse A10 reads: [M . edwn ¤ painon tetelesmX nos fb sei. If one supplies meladf n (as in B20) for the first word, then a pun on Romanos' distinctive epithet (melŒ d` H ) is typically worked into the encomium. Moreover, the rest of the verse echoes Pindaric praise of a genuine poet (Olympian 2.86).

*There are numerous parallels in diction between Romanos' two Joseph-kontakia (43 and 44) and the second section of Dioscorus'encomium; both works may also borrow from a roughly contemporary poem, Hero and Leander, by Musaeus.


Alan Cameron, Columbia University

Hypatia, the beautiful woman philosopher lynched by fanatical monks, has always cut a romantic figure. For a millennium and a half her admirers have lamented the loss of all her works.

An entry in the Suda records commentaries by her "on Diophantus, the Astronomical Canon, and a commentary on the Conica of Apollonius". And a heading to Bk III of her father Theon's commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest has been thought to attest her revision of Theon's work. A more careful study of that heading and a number of parallel headings to other late antique commentaries shows that it was not her father's commentary that Hypatia revised but the text of the Almagest. The extant text of the Almagest may in fact be (at least in part) Hypatia's work. She may be responsible for some interpolations recently detected by GJ. Toomer.

And the recent publication of an expanded Arabic translation of some long missing books of Diophantus' Arithmetica seems to incorporate Hypatia's "commentary", which may have been no more than an interpolated text of Diophantus, much in the way that our extant text of Euclid is the interpolated version of Theon. Her "commentary" on the "Astronomical Canon" may also be extant, the version of Ptolemy's Handy Tables long mistakenly attributed (without any manuscript evidence) to her father. In short, the long lamented works of Hypatia may be in great part extant.

"The Mystery of a Missing Rhetorical Tradition: Late Antique Formal Invective"

Jacqueline Long, University of Texas at Austin

Genre can be an extremely useful tool with which to approach late antique or early Byzantine literature. Rhetorical principles of presentation shaped a long tradition of literary works, and the principles perpetuated themselves through the works. But handbooks also analyzed the principles for didactic purposes. These texts confirm that ancient authors thought in terms of specific literary categories and patterns. They conveniently help to identify genres and generic criteria. Nevertheless, ancient authors were more profoundly influenced by the living literary tradition. The genre most abundantly represented was panegyric. Correspondingly, rhetorical treatises carefully subdivide varieties of panegyric, minutely explaining the parts and arrangement of each (e.g. Men.Rh. 1.2, 3, 11. 1-2 and passim ). The treatises also identify a corresponding negative genre, invective: it is to be composed in exactly the same pattern, only with each topic turned to vituperation (e.g. Aphthonius 2.11.28-30, 40.6-7 Spengel; Hermog. 15.9-11 Rabe). Modern studies of ancient rhetoric repeat these precepts (e.g. H. Hunger, Die hochsprachliche profane literatur der Byzantiner [1978]; G. Kennedy, Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors [1983]). Surprisingly however, it is almost impossible to find living invectives that follow these principles.

For example, Hunger tentatively classifies as invective the emperor Julian's Misopogon , in which by ironically censuring his own austerity Julian criticizes popular resistance to his efforts to improve public life at Antioch. The work uses many themes and techniques that would suit a normal invective according to the theoretical scheme. For example, in panegyric the subject' s ancestry and childhood are discussed in order to illustrate how they helped build his character; his admirable moral qualities are claimed to have perfected the achievements which the panegyric chiefly praises, and now to adorn his honors. Invective biographical material should denigrate the subject in the same ways. Julian emphasizes how his upbringing (351A-353A) fixed firm the inelegance bred into him from his ancestors (348D) and rendered him completely unfit for gracious luxury in adulthood. But Julian's invective topics are not arranged in the orderly system prescribed by the handbooks. Rather, they are scattered through the loose, digressive structure of Cynic diatribe. Hunger's other examples of invective too use invective themes but not the rhetoricians' formal pattern. For Libanius, among others, he cites Or. 37, 46, 56; similarly partial examples could be added (e.g. Or. 38.2, 42. 1). The one true instance of rhetorical invective that I can find is not a speech but a poem: Book I of Claudian's in Eutropium . It follows not only the organization of a formal invective, but also the expository impulse essential to epideixis. Each section of the formal scheme justifies a particular assertion about Eutropius, as a discrete unit. Otherwise the rhetorical precepts are embodied only stiffly, in the limited context of progymnasmata -(e.g. Lib. Prog .9, Aphthonius 2.40.18-42.19 Spengel).

Speakers frequently had hostile themes to express, but they always rejected the known theoretical scheme for invective, even while they regularly followed the exactly corresponding scheme for panegyric. The disparity arises because the full rhetorical scheme, presenting a whole life, was chiefly decorative. Comprehensive praise suited ceremonial occasions that justified themselves, such as consular inaugurations. Blame however generally contemplated a practical end: a grievance needed to be redressed or avenged, or perhaps the emperor needed to be swayed to depose an oppressive official. The rhetors acknowledged that specific issues were better served by more tightly focused speeches (e.g. Men.Rh. 414.32-415.5; Or. 21.4). Claudian could indulge in full epideixis because he was far removed from his victim, and his attack could have no direct practical goal immediately touching Eutropius. But speakers normally had to apply more selectively the techniques they had learned in progymnasmata.


Chair: Andrew Dyck, University of California, Los Angeles

"Anonymity and Identity: The Transformation of the Alexis Legend"

Melissa Belleville Lurio, Boston University

The life of St. Alexis, popular in both Byzantium and western Europe from the 10th century, is based ultimately on the 5th-century life of a Syriac saint known as the Man of God of Edessa. The Man of God was a wealthy Roman youth who fled his family, his betrothed, and great riches to become a poor beggar in Edessa. The Syriac vita presented an extraordinary saint, with no name, no miracles, no teachings, no body, no tomb and no feast day; by the 10th century, however, the saint had gained all of these in both East and West. In the later lives the Man of God, now Alexis, writes down his identity in a letter which is found in his hand after his death and read aloud. The most important feature of the later vitae becomes the removal of this letter and the discovery of the saint's identity; this is the moment generally depicted in visual representations of Alexis and described in great detail in the Old French life. In the Western vernacular lives the Man of God does not simply acquire a name. The act of naming replaces anonymity as the most important feature of the life, becoming part of a complex system of signification expressing Alexis's holiness. Focusing on the Syriac, Greek, and Old French versions of the life of Alexis or the Man of God, this study will discuss how and why the utterly anonymous holy man was transformed into a saint whose naming was of the greatest significance.

"Classicism, Content, and Contemporaneity in Michael Italicus"

Barry Baldwin, University of Calgary

In the words of Robert Browning, "Michael Italicus is an attractive and original character He is often jocularly sceptical of much in Byzantine culture In his ability to stand outside of and criticise the cultural tradition which he so richly inherits, he was unusual in the twelfth century." I myself, both at BSC and in print, have suggested him as a possible candidate for the authorship of the Timarion. Even if the cases have been overstated, there were cases to overstate. And Michael Italicus, though accessible in Gautier's edition (Paris, 1972), has not earned much space in anglophone discussions of Byzantine epistolography. For easy instance, he did not get into Littlewood's influential 'An "Ikon of the Soul": the Byzantine Letter,' Visible Language 10.3 (1976), and received only a single, glancing footnote in Mullettâs paper in the Birmingham volume (1981) Byzantium and the Classical Tradition. The relevant bibliography in Hunger has not a single entry under Sekundarliteratur. For a general appreciation, both Browning and Gautier could adduce nothing after Treu's item in BZ 4 (1895), whilst the pickings in Moravcik, Byzantinoturcica I (2), 432, are slim.

As Kazhdan has remarked often and rightly, Byzantine texts can tell us a lot if we will let them. Thus, much of this paper is given over to examination of various letters, discourses and monodies for signs of convergence between classicising style and 12th century realities. Special attention is paid to Michael's letters to Theodore Prodromos, comporting (e.g.) possible clues to the latter's claims to authorship of the Ptochoprodromic Poems. Similarly, it is shown how disparate items such as Michael's gazeteer to Prodromos, his discussion of Empedoclean physiology, a philological disquisition on the word homaimon , and an ethopoeia starring St Stephen may all have sharp contemporary point.

Also granted particular attention are two matters of interest to historians of science, namely a text in which some see (and others do not) Byzantine awareness of the heliocentric theory, and another one that discloses evidence of the practice of human dissection.

Elements of Michael's classical horizons, his quotations and allusions, and his often distinctive vocabulary are then laid under peremptory but illuminating contribution, this being by far the weakest side of Gautier's edition. The dead partridge monody is chosen for demonstration of the verve and panache of Michael's overall style.

By way of conclusion Michael does not give us the morbidly fascinating details of life in Constantinople provided by John Tzetzes, nor does he go in for the latter's bareknuckled style of abuse. But this is the difference between the rapier and the bludgeon. Michael's letters are not sweet nothings. They contain food for thought as well as thought for food, and help to consolidate the belated and welcome reputation the Conmenian age now enjoys as the apogee of Byzantine secular literature.

"Some Observations on a Byzantine Author and Title List"

John Duffy, University of Maryland

Tucked away in a comer of a 13th century Jerusalem manuscript (Taphos 106) is an unassuming and somewhat puzzling two-page document, which may turn out to have a certain amount of interest for Byzantlne studies. The problem, and one of the reasons why the piece has remained practically unknown, is that when we ask the simple question "What is it?", no ready and certain answer presents itself.

Essentially the document gives a list of authors, book titles and commentators for the four subject areas of rhetoric, medicine, Sacred Scripture and Aristotelian philosophy. In the only adition to date, printed as an appendix to a volume of the Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (CAG 1111, ed. P. Wendland, Berlin 1901), the editor regards it as a kind of book catalog and compares the Aristotle section to the Arabic bibliographic index of Ibn an-Nadim, known as the Fihrist. The comparison is certainly reasonable. On the other hand, the opening section of the Greek text, which Wendland for some reason did not have and which has never been published, suggests another possibility, namely to see the material as directly connected with higher education and as representing the reading list of the curriculum for those four subjects.

This line of approach, however, is not without its own problems. My paper will examine the arguments for and against the "curriculum" idea; it will bring into the discussion other parallel and little-known Byzantine documents to bolster the connection with education; it will also show that, regardless of its exact nature, the list does have potentially important implications for the question of how the Byzantines regarded their own literature and the extent to which they were prepared to propose their own writers as models of good style.

"Byzantine Cultural Hermeneutics in Tirant lo Blanch : Western Chivalry and Courtesy at an Eastern Court"

Roberto J. Gonz‡lez-Casanovas, The Catholic University of America

This paper examines Tirant lo Blanch (c. 1460-90), a Catalan novel set in the Byzantine empire, as a literary model for cultural hermeneutics. A work of fiction written by Joannot Martorell and Mart’ Joan de Galba about events in the Mediterranean world before the fall of Constantinople (1453), it recounts a series of encounters between East and West--Greek and Latin, as well as Turk and Christian--in terms of military, political, religious, and social interactions and confrontations in a crucial period of European history. It also represents a transitional genre, between romance of chivalry and historical novel, that functions as a critical, ironic narrative of education for the Western knight: his experience of real warfare and of a different culture forces him to reinterpret his conventional codes of love and action. What results, in terms of narratology and ideology, is a process of cultural discovery, translation, and assimilation that serves as a bridge not only between West and East, but also between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

At the outset, in England, the Breton knight Tirant is formed by his mentor William of Warwick in Western traditions of chivalry and courtesy; these are then recontextualized, questioned, and mediated by new historical realities and cultural phenomena in the East at the court of Constantinople, where the protagonist wins fame, love, and wisdom. The novel represents Tirant's exploits as a fictional account of Aragonese relations with the Byzantine empire and eastern Mediterranean during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: his military deeds recapitulate the heroic career of the Italian Roger de Flor and his band of Catalan almogavars in Greece (1302-7). The valiant, yet naive Tirant is also initiated into sensuous customs of Byzantine courtly love; a secret marriage to the Emperor's daughter climaxes a process of cultural shock and adaptation to foreign ways.

It is in the East, in Byzantium, that the knight Tirant undergoes harsh conditions, masters practical strategies, and acquires the worldly experience with which to make the transition to a modem world of real war and passion. As ironic narrative, Tirant lo Blanch serves to transform the Westâs encounter with Byzantium into a hermeneutic model for cultural education and criticism.


Chair: Dale Kinney, Bryn Mawr College

"The Ceionii, the Urban Prefecture, and the City of Rome in the 390s"

Ronald Weber, University of Texas, El Paso

'The death of Theodosius I in 395 marks one of the most obvious permanent changes in the organization of the Roman Empire: his heirs permanently divided the rule of the Empire east and west, and the two courts gradually separated their administrative systems from one another. This was in addition to the sharp division that already existed between the civilian and military arms of the govemment. Moreover, Rome had ceased to be the capital of even the Western Empire. It is the intent of this paper to examine how the office of the urban prefect of the city of Rome changed under these circumstances, what this meant to the city, to one aristocratic family, the Ceionii, and to the aristocracy in general.

By the 390's the Urban Prefecture of the City of Rome held a localized jurisdiction, while it served as the platform for maintaining the influence and patronage of the Italian aristocracy. The orator Symmachus is reputed to have called it the greatest office in the Empire. But even though much of what is known about the fourth-century prefecture comes from the writings of Symmachus, his assessment is open to question. For example, how could the office remain the most influential in the Empire when the city no longer served as the capital and the prefect's access to the court was restricted by distance.

From 389 to 403 two Ceionii served as urban prefects. Ceionius Rufius Albinus was prefect from 389 to 391, and Caecina Decius Albinus held the post in 402. Theodosius I appointed Rufius Albinus to the urban prefecture at the time of his first visit to Rome, and the legislation in the Codex Theodosianus indicates that the prefect was empowered to carry on Theodosius' plans to reinvigorate the city. On the other hand, Decius came to the office with a much less distinguished cursus , and most of the legislation bearing his name initiated from Milan. In the time between the terms of Ruflus and Decius the office was held by men with histories of service at the western court: many of them were not members of the Italian aristocracy, and few went on to higher office, one sign of a loss of prestige in the office. In addition, for a short time following Eugenius' revolt the praetorian prefect of Italy assumed the duties of the urban prefecture. And while previously the urban prefecture resulted from a term as praetorian prefect, after 395 it preceded praetorian office. Subsequently the Notitia Dignitatum showed it to be of lower rank than the praetorian prefecture. It was never again referred to as the greatest office in the Empire. As for the Ceionii, neither of the men noted here advanced to higher office; not until 428 did a family member achieve the praetorian prefecture; and it took until 444 for another Ceionius to become consul. 717his marked 79 years since C. Ceionius Rufius Volusianus had been simultaneously both urban prefect and consul.

"Miltiades, Maxentius, and the Basilica and Dumbarton Oaks Apostolorum in Rome"

Joseph D. Alchermes, University of Minnesota

Although the graves of Rome's most renowned martyrs, Peter and Paul, were recognized and elaborated with memorials already in the middle of the second century, the official liturgical commemoration of these apostles by the Roman community is first documented only about a century later. The martyrological calendar incorporated in the Chronograph of 354 fixes the date of A.D. 258 for public tribute to Peter and Paul. One locus of the apostolic cult was an open-air site on the via Appia ad Catacumbas: this modest porticoed courtyard, conventionally called the triclia is the oldest securely identified place of Christian assembly in Rome. For a half-century after its establishment the triclia served as the setting for essentially private gatherings in honor of deceased members of the Roman congregation, and also for small groups assembled for public cult, to venerate the memories of Peter and Paul. A large, aisled hall was laid out on the site early in the fourth century. This structure, today designated the basilica Apostolorum, obliterated the courtyard and much of the surrounding graveyard. In the seventy-five years that have elapsed since the basilica was excavated, its precise date and patronage have been the object of much discussion.

Because the distinctive U-shaped plan is shared by several Constantinian basilicas located in the suburbs of Rome, the fourth-century origin of the basilica Apostolorum has not been disputed. Within this century, though, dates proposed range from c. 3 10 to c. 380. The general tendency has been to view the basilica as a work of Constantine or one of his immediate successors. No documentary evidence supports the assertion that Constantine was the founder, and the archaeological record makes a post-Constantinian date unlikely. Inscriptions uncovered in the course of excavation have disproved the theory according to which the basilica Apostolorum was a papal foundation, the most ambitious undertaking of the tireless cultor martyrum, Pope Damasus. Dates early in the second decade of the century have also been suggested. A startling recent proposal builds on the hypothesis that in about 310 Maxentius, Constantine's pagan rival for rule over Rome, sponsored the construction of this monument to the apostles.

While the physical evidence strongly suggests a date not long after c. 3 10, the hypothesis of Maxentian patronage cannot be sustained. Still, several events that occurred late in the reign of Maxentius provide the context for envisioning a papal endowment of the basilica in that period. At the end of 311 or early in 312, pope Miltiades negotiated the restoration, ordered by Maxentius, of Christian property confiscated under Diocletian. One of the first areas to which the pope turned his attention may have been the courtyard on the via Appia, where for at least two generations the memory of Peter and Paul had been jointly honored. The longstanding tradition of official ecclesiastical concern for apostolic commemoration prompted the replacement of the unassuming triclia with the monumental basilica Apostolorum , an offering of thanks from the Church of Rome, triumphant after a decade of persecution.

Another activity that had long been a responsibility of the Roman Church, particularly of its bishop, also lay behind the construction of the new basilica. The thousand or more tombsites with which its walls and floor were honeycombed attest ecclesiastical concern with fostering the proper cura of the ordinary dead. The liturgical prescriptions of Hippolytus, preserved only in fragments, hint at the importance of this concern in the early third century. The funerary activities of Hippolytus' contemporary, the deacon (later pope) Callixtus, bear witness to the mobilization of the episcopal administration and its resources to furnish service in this critical sector. Similar motives in large part encouraged the continued development of ecclesiastical cemeteries throughout the third century.

When the loca ecclesiastica were returned to Miltiades in c. 312, the desire to provide a worthy setting for the apostle-cult and for the remembrance of the ordinary dead impelled the pope to break with the modest architectural traditions of third-century Christian Rome. Miltiades preferred to adopt a building type and scale of construction that foreshadowed the donations of early Christian Rome's greatest benefactor, the emperor Constantine.

"The Adoption of Roman Practice at Sant' Apollinare in Classe in Byzantine Ravenna: A Double-edged Sword"

Janet Charlotte Smith, New York University

Sant'Apollinare in Classe was not originally intended as the burial place of Ravenna's bishops. This usage was established about 45 years after its dedication in 549. The model for it was, undoubtedly, the popes'burials at St. Peter's in Rome. However, the function of the church as the focal point of the bishops' cult and the elevation of St. Apollinaris to apostle status was used by Ravenna against Rome in the subsequent autocephaly controversy. This paper will attempt to clarify the circumstances surrounding the church, its change of usage, and its new role in the schemes of the ambitious Ravernnate Church.

This basilica ad corpus in Classe became the established place of burial for Ravenna's bishops only after the elevation of a succession of archbishops who came directly from Gregory's circle in Rome. Gregory sent relics of three Roman saints--Marco, Marcello, Felicola--to the fast of these Roman appointees, Archbishop John. John built and/or decorated a chapel at Santâ Apollinare in Classe and installed the new relics in it. In 595, he was buried in the same chapel. His successor, Archbishop Marinianus, was another of Gregory's personal friends from St. Andrew's monastery and was picked for the episcopal chair by the pope himself. Marinianus was also buried at the basilica, probably in the narthex or one of the lateral towers, and the Roman tradition thereby took root in Ravennate soil.

Ravennate bishops of the 5th and 6th centuries had been buried in the apses of the churches that they had founded. An exception to this local custom was Archbishop Maximian's placement of the sarcophagi of bishops Ecclesius, Ursicinus, and Victor in the southern round side chamber flanking the apse at San Vitale. However, Maximian himself and Agnellus, the next archbishop, reverted to the older tradition and were buried in the apses of churches intimately connected with them by extensive building patronage.

Why was this Roman practice transplanted to Ravenna and why did it flourish? In the 5th century, the Roman Church had strengthened her position vis-a-vis the Constantinopolitan Church by stressing the primary importance of the Apostle Peter for the founding of the Christian Church. The Roman clergy established the tradition of burial for all of the popes in one location, usually near the western entrance doors to St. Peter's, the church memorializing the final resting place of the spiritual predecessor of the popes. The adoption of this last Roman custom at Sant Apollinare in Classe should be seen as an element in the struggle for parity with Rome, and ultimately, as an early salvo in Ravennaâs battle for autocephaly.

Following this change in burial practice, we see the invention of the Passion of St. Apollinaris in the early 7th century, which attempted to raise the first Ravennate bishop to apostolic status. With this passion, Ravenna sought to elevate her status in relation to that of Rome. A propagandistic strategy that had been utilized to good effect by the Roman clergy with the Apostle Peter in elevating the status of the Roman Church was meant to serve equally well in Ravenna with Apollinaris.

The two archbishops who initiated the tangible change in burial location were fully conversant with Roman practice and the history of the Roman Church. Although close friends of Gregory, probably owing their episcopal chairs to him, they proved to be recalcitrant, preferring the ways of the local church rather than the wishes of Pope Gregory. The pallium dispute exemplifies this quite well. They sought to further the independence of the Ravennate Church from Rome's jurisdiction by utilizing the same tool that the Roman clergy had used earlier for the same gain of independence and power--a double-edged sword.



Officers and Committees 1989-90


Governing Board

To serve until the 1993 Conference

To serve until the 1992 Conference

(Nominating Committee)

To serve until the 1991 Conference

To serve until the 1990 Conference

Dumbarton Oaks-BSC Liaison Committee

Program Committee

Local Arrangements Committee

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