Byzantine Studies Conference Archives

Seventeenth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
8-10 November, 1991
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts


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 8 reserved to the individual speakers

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Byzantine Studies Conference

Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference, 1st-19 Madison, Wis. (etc.) Byzantine
Studies Conference v.22cm. annual
Key title: Abstracts of papers--Byzantine Studies Conference
ISSN 0147-3387
1. Byzantine Empire÷Congresses
DF501.5.B9a 949.5 77-79346
Library of Congress 77 MARC-S


Chair, Ceila Chazelle, Princeton University


Judith Herrin, Princeton University

The identity of the princess Theophano, who was married to Otto II in 972, has long been disputed. But whether she was a blood relative of Emperor John Tzimiskes or not, she was probably prepared for her role as wife of the western emperor. Byzantine princesses regularly served as important players in state diplomacy, in marriage alliances made between Constantinople and foreign powers. Although Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus restricts such marriages to the Franks, in chapter 13 of his De Administrando Imperio, this may be special pleading. His half-sister Anna had been married to Louis the Blind of Provence.

As imperial figures, Byzantine brides brought additional prestige to the political agreements concluded by their male relatives. And through such marriages, Byzantine influence was extended to foreign courts, and Constantinople was able to maintain a visible presence in distant areas. The entourage of Byzantine brides might well include spies as well as ladies in waiting and Greek priests.

In addition, imperial princesses were trained in Byzantine court ceremonial, in customs, traditions and procedures developed in the Great Palace of Constantinople. How much formal schooling they received is hard to tell, but their education must have involved adequate instruction for them to participate in the required ceremonies and to follow court proceedings.

In the extremely formalized hierarchy of rank and office, the wives of all high dignitaries wore special costumes and had particular roles. The dress and deportment of princesses and their ladies in waiting was similarly fixed. On official occasions, they were costumes made of rare silks, richly decorated with gold thread and jewels, which symbolized imperial power and were stored in special wardrobes.

The fact that court life was so highly regulated makes it possible to investigate what sort of behaviour was expected of imperial princesses. Although very little direct information is recorded, it may be possible to go further and examine the particular training given to those who were destined to make foreign marriages. By studying everything that is known about their formation and their duties, a composite model of a tenth century Byzantine princess may be constructed. This may help to elucidate the position of Theophano at the Byzantine court, her early life and education, and the ideas she brought to her role as western empress. In this way, her influence in the reception of Byzantium in the West in the late tenth century can be made more specific.

The Contribution of Byzantium to the Court of Louis IX: The Arsenal Old Testament and the Sainte Chapelle

Daniel H. Weiss, The Johns Hopkins University

With twenty full-page illustrated frontispieces comprising 115 individual scenes, the Arsenal Old Testament (Paris, Bibliothque de l'Arsenal, MS. 5211) is the most densely illustrated biblical cycle to have survived from the Crusader Kingdom. In his pathbreaking 1957 book on Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Hugo Buchthal characterized the Arsenal manuscript as the "crowning achievement of miniature painting in the Latin Kingdom" and, on the basis of the style of illustration and certain iconographic details, he attributed the manuscript to Acre during the Crusade of the French King Louis IX in 1250-1254.

Although the program of illustration in the Arsenal Old Testament incorporates both French and Byzantine elements, the manuscript is fundamentally a French creation. The organization of the pictorial cycle is derived from the narrative program of the stained glass in the Sainte-Chapelle and much of the iconography of the individual scenes is based on the miniatures in the so-called Oxford Bible moralisee. Indeed, the closely related pictorial cycles of these three works affirms their attribution to a common patron and provides an artistic and cultural context for the Arsenal manuscript. However, the style of the miniatures in the Arsenal Old Testament is decidedly not French but a hybrid derived largely from Byzantine painting. Moreover, many of the illustrations incorporate Byzantine pictorial sources. Thus, fundamentally French ideas are articulated in Byzantine terms.

This paper explores the Byzantine contribution to the Arsenal old Testament and, to a lesser extent, to the SainteChapelle. In addition to the French works adduced above, the pictorial sources consulted by the illuminator of the Arsenal miniatures included several important Byzantine manuscripts and icons. The Byzantine elements present in the Arsenal manuscript served to enhance the perception within the French court that the Arsenal manuscript was a sacred object and that its eastern provenance was authentic. As Hans Belting has observed, the degree to which a western illuminator convincingly duplicated the Byzantine painting style was not of central importance, but rather, what mattered was that the work was meant to be similar and would be recognized as such. It was precisely these referential qualities that led the Arsenal illuminator to execute the miniatures in a hybrid Byzantine style and evoke the Paris Psalter, Niketas Bible, and the Octateuchs.

Paradoxically, the art of Byzantium also contributed fundamentally to the Sainte-Chapelle, a monument epitomizing the French gothic style. The purchase of Byzantine-owned relics from Baldwin II of Constantinople and the construction of the magnificent reliquary to house them were landmarks of Louis' reign, effectively establishing Paris as the new Holy Land, and the king's chapel as its most revered locus sanctus. Although the style of the architecture was decidedly a French achievement, the conception of the palace chapel was Byzantine.

The "most Christian" king was interested in the art and artifacts of Byzantium for much the same reason that he was led to take the cross: because he sought greater proximity to the Holy. While Louis' activities as a crusader dominated his foreign policy, his assimilation of Byzantine culture--and acquisition of its treasures --elevated his Imperial and religious status. The Arsenal Old Testament and the Sainte-Chapelle were expressions of these objectives; art served a political and religious ideal. However, the realization of these works depended on other factors including geographic context and function: the elegant reliquary chapel in Paris was Byzantine in conception but executed in the indigenous French gothic style, and the Old Testament book from Palestine was fundamentally French in conception but constructed to resemble a Byzantine object.

Allusions to loca sancta also pervade the images of the Arsenal Old Testament. The importance of Palestine is made clear through the provenance of the manuscript itself and selected pictorial details that situate the depicted events clearly in the Levant. Just as many crusader icons from the Acre workshop commemorate both an important figure and a holy site, such as Moses on Mount Sinai, the Arsenal Old Testament depicts the great leaders of Judah--Moses, David, and especially Solomon among others--engaged in the struggles that defined their lives and the history of their land. But with pictorial details evoking the Sainte-Chapelle, the West also is presented as a holy site. Through the pictorial language of the Arsenal Old Testament these disparate and distant Christian worlds are effectively united.

Ultimately, the appropriation of Byzantine styles and subject matter contributed to the imperial, religious, and artistic prestige of the Arsenal Old Testament and the SainteChapelle. The French king may even have intended to unite these works upon his return to Paris by according the Arsenal manuscript a place among the vast collection of Byzantine relics in the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle.

Perceptions of the East in Claudian's Art Descriptions

Barbara Lawatsch-Boorngaarden, St. Mary's College of Maryland

Claudian's carm. 8, the panegyric celebrating the fourth consulship of the Western Emperor Honorius in 398, contains one of the poet's most striking art descriptions, an ecphrasis of the splendid consular robe of Honorius. It follows the description of Honorius' triumphant entry into Milan, an event which is likened to Egyptian ceremonies in honor of the sun-god and presents Honorius, in the words or A. Cameron, as a "typical Byzantine Emperor". The unusually elaborate description of the Emperor's jewel-studded robe heightens the impression conveyed by the description of the procession. This effect is achieved not only by the radiant visual image that Claudian evokes but also by the numerous references to Eastern regions and nations, even beyond the Eastern borders of the Empire, which are named as places of origin of the precious materials used in creating Honorius' garment. By associating Honorius with the splendor of the East, the ecphrasis takes up a thematic idea prominent already in the beginning sections of the poem which stress Honorius' upbringing in Constantinople and his connections with the East in general.

In carm. 28, however, recited in 404 in Rome, Claudian paints a contrasting picture of Honorius. Taking into account traditional rights and sensibilities of the Roman population the poet strives to convince the audience that Honorius has consciously rejected the East, while being naturally drawn to the Western hemisphere and adopting the manner of a popularis princeps. A description of the imperial residence in Rome contributes to this portrayal of the Emperor by making subtle use of an allusion to the story of Phaethon in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Moreover, the palace serves as a reminder of Honorius' early connection with Rome and provides the poet with an opportunity to hint at the allegedly populist style of leadership of Honorius' father Theodosius. Thus, the ecphrasis of the palace helps to emphasize Honorius' ties with Rome and at the same time plays an important part in conveying the idea that certain desirable qualities of imperial leadership are associated with Rome. These qualities, it is implied, are lacking in the East, and Honorius' connection with the Eastern part of the Empire is downplayed.

In both panegyrics art descriptions take up an important underlying theme: contrasting views of the Western ruler's attitude towards and relationship with the Eastern hemisphere of the Empire. In the process Claudian articulates perceptions of the East that were to shape Western writers' views of Byzantium for generations to come.

Moneta Militaris Imitativa and Byzantine Military Operations in the West

Peter Lampinen, Quarryville, PA

Numismatists studying Byzantine bronze coinage of the sixth century have long pondered the questions posed by certain anomalous coinages, usually the large denomination follis, struck in the name of emperors from Justin II to Maurice, and nominally bearing the signatures of the Imperial mints at Constantinople and branch mints at Nicomedia, Cyzicus and elsewhere. What becomes clear after examining these coins is that they form a discreet group, the homogeneity of which precludes them being struck at their ostensible mints of origin. Stylistically they appear related to issues struck at western Byzantine mints, such as Rome and Carthage. Dr. Wolfgang Hahn labeled them Moneta Militaris Imitativa and ascribed them to temporary or mobile mints, most likely under military control.

The use of short-term or branch mints supporting Byzantine military operations is well documented by the coinage, especially under the two great expansionist emperors, Justinian and Heraclius. The period under discussion, the reigns of Justin II, Tiberius II and the early years of Maurice is more problematic. This span of about 30 years starting in 565 is characterized by a hesitancy to employ military might in the face of the strains imposed on the empire by Justinian's reconquest of the west and the chronic if somewhat desultory conflict with Persia. If operations in the east required the use of temporary mints, why would the products of those mints resemble those of western mints? If struck in the west, why would the infrequent Byzantine activity in Italy and elsewhere require a special coinage? From die time of the expedition of Badaurius in 575 Italy was the focus of occasional efforts to "show the flag". More often we find authorities in Rome begging Constantinople to provide support in the face of the Lombard occupation of Italy after 568. More often than not the assistance provided by the Imperial representatives at Ravenna was more a hindrance than a help. Under these circumstances the authorities in Italy might have issued subsidiary coinage for the Byzantine troops stationed in the penninsula, men who were certainly not paid on a regular basis by the central authority in Constantinople. The Italian mints produced no folles after Justinian and evidence suggests the bronzes they did produce were on a lower weight standard compared to eastern issues. The "MMI" issues may have been produced for the eastern troops stationed in the west in the name of a regional mint that they would find familiar. These issues would have been dispersed about the empire as units were moved about and have been found at sites ranging from Sicily to Syria.

This peculiar coinage reflects a regime in turmoil, unable to respond to the myriad threats confronting it, and resorting to stop-gap measures to permit normal civil functions to continue. Local civil and military authorities were allowed a great deal of autonomy in handling local affairs. The marshalling of documentary and archaeological evidence to identify the authorities behind this coinage is only in its initial stages, but is important for what it may tell us about Imperial policy and presence on the fringes of the Byzantine hegemony at its greatest extent in the late sixth century.

Venice and Byzantine Cάndax (Crete): Western Interpretation of Byzantine Culture

Maria Georgopoulou, Dumbarton Oaks and UCLA

The acquisition of Crete by the Venetians in 1204 altered the Byzantine appearance of the island significantly. The Venetians established an administrative apparatus that depended on Venice closely and reorganized the major cities of Crete to proclaim their position of power on the island. New administrative, military and religious structures were set up in the capital city, Cάndax/Candia, to ascertain visually its Venetian identity.

At first sight, it seems that the Venetians tried by all means to annihilate the Greek background of the city. At closer inspection, however, the Byzantine heritage seems to have been recognized and consciously incorporated in the new colonial context. For example, the Latin cathedral was dedicated to Saint Titus, the patron saint of the island since early Christianity; objects like the Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mesopantίtissa a most revered relic of the city of Candia, were now expropriated by the Roman Catholic church and were used in processions in which both the Latin as well as the Greek Orthodox clergy participated; finally, the artistic production of Crete centered on paintings executed in the A maniera greca@ . The preservation of Greek traditions appears as a symptom of Venetian fascination with Byzantium. In the context of colonial Crete however, this act betrays a further objective. The Venetians maintained certain Byzantine practices and presented them as inherent parts of their rule. Hence, they emphasized the ties of Venetian rule with the past of the island.

Through the study of instances of Venetian appropriation of Greek traditions on Crete, I will discuss the reception of Byzantine culture by the Venetians in light of the special relationship between Venice and Byzantium. In the context of thirteenth century Veneto-Byzantine relations, I will analyze the significance of the Constantinopolitan booty for Venice and the means by which the Venetians reinterpreted Byzantine heritage to serve their own ends. This phenomenon of assimilation was most apparent in the Venetian dominion of Crete where, despite the "inimical" environment, Byzantine traditions seem to have prevailed.

The Transtatio Imperii in Renaissance Historical Thought

Patricia J. Osmond, Rome, Italy

Today we are accustomed to the view that the foundation of Constantinople marked a turning-point in the history of the Roman Empire - whether we look at it as the inauguration of the Byzantine Empire or as the beginning of the decline and fall of the Western Empire. The latter interpretation - which is the subject of this paper - was already a commonplace of Enlightenment historiography. As Voltaire summed up the idea in a memorable epigram: "Il parait Žvident qu'il [Constantine] fit la dŽcadence de Rome .... L'Italie tomba quand Constantinople s'Žleva. " The theory seems to have a relatively recent origin, nevertheless, in Renaissance historical thought, where the idea of translatio was connected with the memory of barbarian invasions, decline of Latin literature, and decay of classical art.

The first historian in western Europe to link explicitly the translation of the capital to the collapse of the Western Empire appears to have been Leonardo Bruni, author of the Historiarum florentini populi libri XII, begun in 1415-16. Although Bruni attributed the 'internal' cause of decline to the moral effects of dictatorship (that is, to the loss of liberty under Caesar), he viewed Constantine's action as the 'external' cause, the event which soon opened the frontiers to a flood of barbarians. By moving the capital to the East, he contended, Constantine and his successors had abandoned the defense of the West.

Unlike other turning-points that were popularized by Renaissance historians, the idea of the translatio does not have any direct antecedents or 'authority' in the literature of late Antiquity.

Neither pagans nor Christians seem to have perceived New Rome as a threat to the Dower and prestige of the old capital or to the integrity of the western provinces. In the spirit of the Renaissance, however, Bruni and his contemporaries may well have been reacting against typically medieval conceptions of history particularly the theory of the four world monarchies and the concept of continuous decline.

Bruni could have found certain suggestions for his view of Constantine as infirmator imperii in the increasingly hostile attitude towards the emperor which characterized much of the imperial or anti-papal literature from the mid-twelfth century on. He also shared the cultural nationalism of writers like Dante and Petrarch, who had little respect for either Greeks or Germans. Yet, Bruni had no sympathy for empire even as a political ideal. As a turning-point in his history, the translatio did not signify the uninterrupted succession of a universal monarch, but rather the principle of discontinuity. Moreover, while the end of universal empire spelled devastation and cultural darkness, it also - in time - allowed the resurgence of independent city-states and nations. Whether or not the actual translatio contributed to the decline of the Western Empire, the idea helps define the new historical consciousness of the Renaissance - secular, nationalistic, and republican - and a new stage in the reception of Byzantium.


Chair, John Duffy, University of Maryland

Rhetoric and Reality in the Orations of Michael Psellos

George T. Dennis, Catholic University of America

Byzantine authors are notorious for their concealing concrete facts and names under rhetorical flourishes, obscure vocabulary, and convoluted syntax. Yet, scholars have shown that it is sometimes possible to extract genuine historical information from such works. This has been the case primarily with letters for, however cloudy the language, letters deal with specific individuals and events. Funeral or memorial orations, too, will of their very nature recall certain facts, embellished though they may be, in the life of the deceased. What I am concerned about here are more formal orations delivered for the most part at court and largely of a panegyric and encomiastic nature. And I confine my observations to one of the most noted practitioners of courtly rhetoric, Michael Psellos. Can we believe anything in a speech which, in great detail, compares the emperor to the sun and, of course, the empress to the moon? Once the layers of oratorical frills, bombast, and hyperbole are peeled away, one sometimes discovers matters of genuine interest. Great caution, obviously, is called for in making use of such information. Tn this paper I propose to present some examples of the sort of thing one can derive from a careful reading of these orations. These range from details about education and law to construction of aqueducts, military victories, and the parading of elephants and giraffes through the hippodrome. They may also tell us something of how the Byzantines perceived themselves or wanted to be perceived.

"The Child of One Night's Labor": A Treatise on the Greek Alphabet by Michael Psellos

John Duffy, University of Maryland, College Park

"I have often in my life begotten many different kinds of works, but never produced one like this, which I have given birth to after one night's labor." These are the colorful words which Psellos uses to describe one of the more unusual outcomes from his fluent pen. They occur towards the end of a twenty-page treatise on the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet, addressed to a certain John libellisios and representing, as the author claims, a unique and pioneering type of investigation. The text, which is preserved independently in two copies, has never been printed and will soon be edited for the first time in a Teubner volume of shorter philosophical treatises by Psellos. In the course of this paper we will try to come to grips with some of the immediate problems which the document poses, especially those concerning its uniqueness, inspiration and Tendenz.

At first sight Psellos' claim for its uniqueness would seem to be justified, since there is no obvious antecedent, at least not in the mainstream of Greek literature. However, a shorter and unrelated treatise on the same subject survives from the fourteenth century and there is considerable evidence before the time of Psellos for discussions on at least individual letters of the alphabet, especially in mystico-magical contexts. on this basis, then, it should be worth the trouble to explore the possibility that there had been a genre of such literature (i.e. complete treatises on the subject), with most of the examples no longer surviving. It may even be the case that Psellos and the later text represent two different medieval traditions.

The question of the document's inspiration and special slant must also be addressed. In the case of the unpublished fourteenth century text things are clear and straightforward: the interpretation is simply Christian and allegorical. Psellos, on the other hand, even if not agreeing with their views, mentions authorities such as Plato, Proclus and Julius Africanus. This suggests that he was exploring the topic against a background tinted with Neoplatonism and mysticism, but it remains to be established whether he was incorporating specific material from earlier discussions or was relying more on his memory and imagination. We should also try to find an explanation for Psellos' delving into this subject. Was it perhaps a more common topic of interest than we are aware of? And if not, what might have moved him to write about it? What needs would he be trying to satisfy?

Psellos' "Life of St. Auxentios": A Case Study in the Theory and Practice of Hagiography

Elizabeth A. Fisher, The George Washington University

Among hagiographical writings, the "Life of St. Auxentios" (1) is remarkable both for it, its length and its extreme fidelity to its prototype. Psellos carefully followed the "Life of St Auxentios@ preserved among the writings of his famous tenth-century predecessor in hagiography, Symeon the Metaphrast.. Psellos' subtle but pervasive alterations of his source emphasize what aspects of a holy man Psellos believed significant and also demonstrate what Psellos considered to be excellent hagiographical writing. Several features of Psellos= A Life@ will contribute to this discussion. First. Psellos has suppressed or altered historical details of the saint' s life, sometimes in order to make a rhetorical or theological point, sometimes in order to parallel his own situation more closely. (2) Second, Psellos has chosen Biblical parallels and quotations different from those of his prototype and has consciously altered its metaphors; this is evident from the first sentences of the Preface. Third, he has added various geographical descriptions as well as digressions on apparently tangential topics, such as the etymology of A elephantitis@ and the theory of demonic possession. Finally, Psellos has devised dialogue which characterizes the saint through his own words and in conversations with others.

These aspects of the A Life of St. Auxentios@ illustrate how Psellos applied the theoretical observations about successful hagiographical writing which he expressed in his A Life of Symeon the Metaphrast.@ (3) He praised Symeon for his clear and graceful literary style, for his ability to emphasize facts and personalities while maintaining fidelity to his source, and for his capacity to create a vivid setting for the events of his narrative. The threefold purpose of hagiographical writing which Psellos sees in Symeon' s exemplary work applies equally well to his own A Life of St. Auxentios@ : the hagiographer must write in a style worthy of imitation, he must present deeds worthy of emulation, and must reinforce the message of the Gospel.

Psellos has also deviated from Symeon's hagiographic model in the way he presents the persona of the saint and in his use of digressions. Psellos concedes that some criticized Symeon's writings as irrelevant to their own scientic, philosophical, or literary concerns. By incorporating digressions, Psellos attempts to correct this flaw in Symeon's hagiographical model.

1. Published by P. - P. Joannou, DŽmonoloaie populaire- -dŽmonolooie critigue au Xle sicle, La vie inŽdite de S. Auxence par M, Psellos (Wiesbaden 1971) 41 - 150.

2. Cf. A. P. Kazhdan, "Hagiographical Notes 3. An Attempt at Hagio-Autobiography: The Pseudo- Life of "Saint" Psellus?" Byzantion 53 ( 1983) 546- 556.

3. Published by E. Kurtz and F. Drexl, Michaelis Pselli Scripta Minora 1, (Milan 1936) 101-5.

Some Problems in the Biography of John Mauropous

Alexander Kazhdan, Dumbarton Oaks

1. Mauropous became bishop of Euchaita not under Constantine IX Monamachos in ca. 1050, but during the reign of Constantine X Doukas, most likely between 1064 and 1067. His appointment/election was not a form of honorable exile, but resulted from a presbeia and a petition presented by the inhabitants of Euchaita.

2. Before he became bishop, Mauropous had been a priest, or at least a deacon, in a church of the Virgin. The whereabouts of this church are unknown, though it seems to have been located outside Constantinople. It was probably during this period that Mauropous was offered the post of chartophylax, which he turned down.

3. The letters written by Psellos to Mauropous can be divided into two groups: those which were sent to Mauropous before he was elected bishop, and those sent afterwards. These differ both in the form of their address and in their content. The division of the letters into two groups allows us to clear up certain confusions in John's biography, and above all to reject the idea of his having been betrayed by Psellos.

4. Mauropous was involved in some sort of conflict in Euchaita, the precise nature of which we do not know. It is reasonable to assume that the conflict was connected in some way with a struggle taking place within the church of Constantinople, and that Mauropous was allied with the patriarch John Xiphilinos. The party of Mauropous won the day.

5. Mauropous left his bishopric in ca. 1075, probably for two reasons: Seljuk inroads into the area and the loss of patriarchal support after the demise of John Xiphilinos.

The Presentation of Outsiders in Psellos' Chronographia

Dion C. Smythe, Queen's University of Belfast

Psellos justifies the use of one science to elucidate all [Chon. VI 40, Reynauld I 136-7:5-11]. This Paper examines the portrayal of outsiders - by class, gender, race and religion - in Psellos' s Chronographia in the light of sociological theories of deviancy. I have two objectives: to "treat texts seriously" [Alexiou, BMGS 8 (1982-83), 451, localized in Jakobson's speech event nexus of addresser, context, content, contact, code and addressee rather than as a quarry from which to extract historical gems; and secondly, to understand (erklŠrendes Verstehen ) The Chronographia as a statement for the dominant elite [Abercrombie, The Dominant Ideology Thesis (London, 1980) 1-3] of the attitudes which articulated eleventh-century Byzantine social relationships between the powerful and the poor [Marger, Elites and Masses (New York, 1981), 29; Morris, P&P 73 (1976), 3-27].

Who are "outsiders"? They are "a motley group of people who are unwilling or unable to live up to the socially accepted or prescribed rules and roles" [Feuerlicht, Alienation (London, 1978), 85]. Individuals are cast in the outsider role by the dominant elite, thus creating cultural boundaries [Barth, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (Boston, 1969)]. This labelling orientation stresses that deviancy can be understood only in terms of what deviants deviate from, and who defines them as deviant; there is no material reality to deviancy (Liazos, "The Poverty of the Sociology of Deviance: Nuts, Sluts and Perverts [sic.] Social Problems 20 (1972-3) 103-20]. The famous definition is Howard Becker's: "The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behavior is behavior that people so label." [Becker, Outsiders (New York, 1973), 9]. Stereotypes, which identify social categories of people by evaluative trait characteristics, are necessary elements of human cognition; they become prejudice only when they are overgeneralized, based on too limited data, applied too widely and maintained in the face of contrary empirical evidence [Perkins, "Rethinking Stereotypes" in Ideology and Cultural Production, ed. Barrett et al., (London, 1979), 135-59 & Mackie, "Stereotype Inaccuracy", Social Problems 20 (1972-3) 431-471.

Psellos's Chronographia permits an indepth analysis of the use made by an exponent of the dominant ideology of minority group stereotypes - rebels, oafish clowns and churls who make the patriot's blood boil; feeble-minded women and unnatural eunuchs; Alanian and Tauroskythian barbarians; unchristian Hellenes - in an extended narrative text of high-level prose. My conclusion is that Psellos uses stereotypes to conceptualize and encode in the linguistic and lexicographical complexities of his text the outsiders he identified in his society, but that this use does not descend to prejudice, but shows "how it really was." We see through the glass but darkly perhaps, but we must recognize the validity of the encoded symbolic reality of Byzantine literature, as well as the distortions.

Is the Historia Syntomos a Genuine Work of Michael Psellos

Kenneth Snipes, Manhatten College

In the introduction to his editio princeps of the recently discovered Historia syntomos (Corpus fontium historiae byzantinae XXX, Berlin 1990), attributed in Sinaiticus graecus 1117 (482) to Michael Psellos, W.J. Aerts argues against the authenticity of the work, a survey of Roman and Byzantine kings and emperors from Romulus to Basil II, as a genuine work of Psellos. He bases his arguments on such considerations as the absence of any mention of such a work in the other writings of Psellos (especially in the Chronographia), lexicographical and syntactical anomalies in the text of the Historia syntomos, and differences in the handling of historical material common to both the Historia syntomos and the Chronographia. Aerts opposes the view of Ja. N. Ejubarskij and Kenneth Snipes that Skylitzes, while enumerating a list of some of his predecessors who had compiled synopses of history in the Preface to his own History, was referring to the Historia syntomos, and not the Chronographia, when he criticizes Psellos for giving only "a list of emperors, stating who succeeded whom, and nothing more." Aerts posits the completely fanciful theory that the Historia syntomos is a work of Psellos' pupil, John Italos.

This paper will examine and refute each of Aert's argunents against the authorship of Psellos, and will offer new evidence and interpretations to support the attribution of the Historia syntomos as a genuine work of Michael Psellos.


Chair, Annabel Jane Wharton, Duke University

Traveling Bishops and Virgin Church Dedications in the West: Pope John I's Trip to Constantinople and the Diffusion of the Virgin's Cult

Janet Charlotte Smith, New York University

Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna founded the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Ravenna's first church dedicated to the Virgin, shortly after his return from a trip to Constantinople with Pope John I in 525/6. Although the subject of several articles by Italian scholars (Cortesi, D'Ossat, Mazzotti) and briefly discussed by Deichmann, the church and its dedication can still tell us much more about the political and theological climate of Rome, Ravenna, and Constantinople in the early 6th century. It can also tell us much about the mechanism of influence transferral from the East to the West in this time period. This study examines and interprets the circumstances of the founding of Santa Maria Maggiore as well as contemporary practices in Rome and Constantinople regarding the cult of the Virgin and church dedications in her honor. Although Constantinople's prominent role in the growth of the Virgin's cult has been greatly clarified by Cameron, the emphasis of her study was on the rapid developments late in the 6th century, whereas the present study concentrates on the first half of the 6th century in Rome and Ravenna as well as in Constantinople.

Church dedications to the Virgin in Rome are unknown within this particular time period. On the other hand, Constantinople had many documented Virgin churches built or extensively renovated in the first half of the 6th century. These include the Justinianic Virgin churches mentioned in Procopius, as well as the Theotokos churches in Bassos, the Boucoleon Palace, Strategion, and in Sigma. The Theotokos in Honoratae was also built at this time by the famous Juliana Anicia and pecially commemorated in the Vienna Dioscurides. There is continuing debate about the precise dating, patronage, and extent of the building and remodelling of these various Virgin churches. However, taken as a group, they prove extensive building activity involving churches dedicated to the Virgin in Constantinople in our time period. This is in direct contrast to the situation in Rome.

Differences in cult practices between these western and eastern centers are further emphasized by a contemporary criticism from Monophysite Bishop John of Ephesus. In his Lives of the Eastern Saints, John accuses Pope Agapetus, who was staunchly Orthodox, of being opposed to commemorating the Theotokos. Although clearly a hostile witness, John of Ephesus was living in Constantinople in 535/6 when Pope Agapetus visited, which lends credence to his remark. Further thorny questions raised by his comment include whether the Virgin's cult was more strongly promoted at this time by the Monophysites than the Orthodox.

This study also reveals Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna's key role in promoting the cult of the Virgin in the West. He was one of three Italian bishops accompanying Pope John I on his ill-fated voyage to Constantinople. Ecclesius's founding of Santa Maria Maggiore, shortly after this journey to the capital in 525/6, introduced the cult to Ravenna. Bishop Sabinus of Canosa, another of Pope John's entourage, also founded a church dedicated to the Virgin upon his return to Canosa. Both instances highlight the crucial importance of bishops in introducing new religious practices in their local churches.

The founding of Ravenna's Santa Maria Maggiore should, therefore, be interpreted in the context of the Virgin's cult and Virgin church dedications in Constantinople and Rome, and as a clear example of the bishop's major role in the diffusion of cults and cult practices. Furthermore, this demonstrated importance of local bishops clearly is an early reflection of Justinianic legislation to strengthen the rights and powers of the episcopacy.

The Date of San Vitale in Ravenna

Jon Harstone, Toronto, Canada

Following the lead of Deichmann, scholars have dated the construction of San Vitale in Ravenna to the period after the Byzantine occupation of Ravenna in 540. The key piece of evidence for this date is the monogram of bishop Victor (537-545) which appears on the imposts of the ground floor arcade. But close examination of the architectural sculpture suggests that the imposts have been recut to allow Victor's monogram to be carved on them.

Once bishop Victor's monogram has been discounted, it is possible to reconsider the chronology of San Vitale. Agnellus records that the church was founded during the episcopacy of bishop Ecclesius (522-532) who is shown as the donor in the apse mosaic, and who was buried in the circular chapel on the South side of the presbytery. The capitals of the ground floor of the presbytery are similar in style to the altar of San Vitale and the sarcophagus of bishop Ecclesius, and were probably carved by a local atelier. A date of 532 for this sculpture would be appropriate.

In the spring of 526 bishop Ecclesius participated in an embassy to Constantinople. It has been suggested that his exposure to eastern influences led to his decision to build a centrally planned church in Ravenna. However the decision to build San Vitale should be seen in the context of the competition between the orthodox and arian churches. During the last three years of Theoderic's reign tension was very high between the orthodox and arians, culminating in an edict expropriating all the orthodox churches in Ravenna. Only Theoderic's death on August 30, 526, prevented this edict from being put into effect. The construction of the "most wonderful" church in Italy was a political statement that showed the resilience and strength of the orthodox church. San Vitale was meant to outshine the palace chapel of the arian king, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo.

The decision to build San Vitale was probably made shortly after Theoderic's death, and construction would have started in 527 or 528. The church would have been largely complete by the time of Ecclesius' death in 532. Agnellus records an inscription which credits bishop Maximian (546-554) with consecrating the church on April 19, 547. This inscription commemorated a rededication, most likely after the mosaics in the presbytery were altered to include portraits of Justinian and his court. In April 547 the Gothic king Totila was marching on Ravenna. The rededication would have included prayers for the deliverance of the city from the heretical Goths who were at the gate. There was no more appropriate place to make these prayers than at San Vitale.

The Mosaic Head of a Saint at the Victoria Albert Museum

Irina Andreescu-Treadgold, Florida International University

After the identification almost three years ago of the mosaic head of Christ from San Michele in Africisco, Ravenna, in storage at the Victoria and Albert Museum, two other mosaice heads, previously unknown, surfaced in the same place. One represents a female head with a halo and a crown, likely attributed to St. Catherine of Alexandria. The little that can be gathered about the circumstances of its acquisition point toward Venice, and its style, related to that of the mosaics in the Baptistery of San Marco, is Byzantine and of the fourteenth century. A probably deliberately misleading label about its provenance and date places it in Ravenna and dates it to the eight to ninth centuries, betraying a common practice intended to protect a dealer who was selling stolen materials. This paper will discuss the piece in both its contexts, the original position and the nineteenth-century trade in pilfered mosaic panels.

Two Venetian Mosaics Rediscovered

Thomas E. A. Dale, Columbia University

Two mosaic panels in a private collection in Milan, recently brought to light by Anthony Cutler, bear witness to a problematic group of mediaeval (or mediaevalising) disiecta membra--neatly framed portrait fragments divorced from their intended programmatic and spacial contexts. One of the Milan mosaics depicts the bearded head and draped shoulders of an apostle or prophet adjacent a pedimented structure. The second panel displays the upper torsos of two long-haired youths, who stand before a gabled pavilion and gesticulate towards an unseen interlocutor. This paper, which presents the fruit of research undertaken in collaboration with Prof. Cutler, proposes to restore the panels to their original Venetian settings.

The provenance of the two panels is entirely undocumented prior to their acquisition by the present owner (or his father) in the early decades of this century. However, on the basis of style and iconography, both mosaics can be associated with the basilica of San Marco in Venice. The bearded head corresponds closely to the type of Andrew in the "Doubting Thomas" on the south vault of the crossing, but its closest relatives, from the standpoint of technique, are to be found in the apostolic cycles of the south aisle. The two youths, on the other hand, replicate (in reverse) the heads of the Midianites in the first cupola devoted to Joseph in the northwest bay of the atrium.

Undocumented mosaics that purport to come from such a well-known monument as San Marco are naturally suspect, especially since the second half of the nineteenth century saw a penchant for authenticity in the technique of mosaic restoration that led to the production of deceptively accurate replacements in near-by Torcello. An analysis of technique and patterns of restoration within San Marco suggest that the bearded head is a genuine mediaeval creation of the late twelfth century, possibly removed from the north aisle vault before the seventeenth century renovations; on the other hand, the Midianites, which replicate so closely two original heads still in situ, appear to have been executed as a workshop exercise, perhaps in preparation for the replacement of the original heads. Both of the Milan fragments, then, provide valuable testimony to the vast restoration programs in San Marco, for which a complete history remains to be written.

Byzantine Influences in Italy: The Cross-in-Square Churches of the Marche

Mark J. Johnson, Brigham Young University

An extraordinary example of Byzantine influence on western architecture may be seen in a little known group of four churches located in the Marche Province of central Italy. Although the province had been part of the Byzantine empire until the eighth century, these churches were constructed in a later period, and date from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The dominant characteristics of the group are the cross-in-square plan, modelled on the Byzantine church type developed and, used, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, lateral apses in the Athonite tradition and cylindrical towers in the ravennate manner. Beyond these commonalities, the churches exhibit definite individual features. San Vittore near Genga is the earliest and best preserved church of the group. It has a deep porch flanked by towers, a tripartite sanctuary, and a dome on squinches set on an octagonal drum supported by tall circular piers. This church served as the model for the others including the nearby chruch of Santa Maria de le Moje. Santa Maria has an almost identical plan, but the crossing is defined by square piers and the nave bays are covered with a continuous banded barrel vault that gives the interior more of a basilican aspect. Santa Croce at Sassoferrato is tile most recent of the group, apparently dating to the late twelfth or thirteenth century. Its plan is also very close to that of San Vittore, though later modifications have obscured the fact. Its crossing is defined by square piers with dark semi-columns. The original covering has been lost but may well have been a dome. The exterior shows a construction of while ashlars and occasional brick, but the interior now exhibits a surface of stucco painted to imitate ashlar masonry. San Claudio al Chienti near Corridonia dates to the late eleventh-early twelfth century and is the only one to have two stories in the manner of a doppelkapelle. Its facade is flanked by twin cylindrical towers and a later staircase and portal give access to the upper chapel. The plans on both levels are defined by square brick piers and have tripartite sanctuaries. It is uncertain if the piers once supported a dome or tower, though the former seems likely.

This paper will explore the relationship between these buildings and those of the Byzantine world of this period and also explore possible reasons for the adoption of the Byzantine models for their design. One reason would be the contacts between the region and Byzantium that continued throughout the period. Byzantine influences are seen in other churches in the region, most notably in the monastic church of Santa Maria di Portonovo, near Ancona and in the Cathedral of San Ciriaco in Ancona. Another important fact may be the fact that all of the churches, except San Claudio, were constructed as part of Benedictine monasteries.

Contacts between Benedictines in Italy and the Byzantines were strong, as seen in the artistic patronage of Desiderius during the late eleventh century and in numerous domed Benedictine monastic churches in the Apulia region, like the Marche, located on the Adriatic coast of Italy.


Chair, Angeliki E. Laiou, Dumbarton Oaks

The Resurrection of Constantinople under Michael VIII

Alice-Mary Talbot, Dumbarton Oaks

When Michael VIII made his triumphal entry into Constantinople in 1261, he was faced with the monumental undertaking of reconstructing a city that had suffered grievous destruction during the six or seven previous decades. Even before the arrival of the Crusaders in 1203, Constantinople had been ravaged by fires in 1194 and 1197. Three more fires occurred in 1203 and 1204, these deliberately set by the Crusaders. Moreover, there was a devastating earthquake in March 1202. During the siege of the city in 1203-4, catapults damaged the Blachernai Palace and a battering ram broke through the fortification wall. Following their occupation of Constantinople in April 1204,the Crusaders systematicall y looted the palaces, mansions and churches of the city: at Hagia Sophia they smashed the altar into picces, removed silver revetments, and pulled down the ciborium; at the Holy Apostles they plundered the tombs of the emperors; they tore down bronze statues and melted them down for coinage. Numerous churches and monasteries were occupied by Latins, and their Greek clergy and monks driven into exile. Lead sheeting was removed from the roofs of palaces and churches. Other buildings suffered more from neglect than from deliberate destruction.

Michael VIII took immediate steps to restore the capital, reconstructing the palace, walls, ports and public buildings. The emperor also devoted attention to the restoration of churches and monasteries, especially Hagia Sophia which was refurbished (under the supervision of the monk Rouchas) for his second coronation, and the monastery of St. Demetrios of the Palaiologoi, which he restored and furnished with typikon. A few monasteries were also rebuilt by private individuals, including the Anastasis (by George Akropolites), and the Panagiotissa whose church was decorated with frescoes by the artist Modestos in 1266. Remarkably, priority was given to reconstruction of the mosque for Muslim merchants, which had been destroyed by the fire in 1203, and was rebuilt in 1262.

Michael' s role as the second founder of Constantinople was emphasized: his coinage broke with typical iconography to feature an aerial view of the capital on the obverse, while the reverse bore an image of the kneeling emperor supported by St. Michael and crowned by Christ. The patriarch commissioned a textile depicting Michael as the A new Constantine@ and the rhetor Manuel Holobolos praised his building activities. Most significantly, Michael commissioned a bronze statue representing himself offering a model of Constantinople to St. Michael, no doubt in conscious imitation of the mosaic in Hagia Sophia depicting Constantine presenting his new city to the Virgin. No such work of monumental sculpture has been made in Byzantium since Late Antiquity; its manufacture is yet further proof of Michael' s view of himself as a second Constantine.

The Miracle Tales of Saint Zotikos, Khazars, and the Jews of Pera

Timothy S. Miller, Salisbury State University

The Paleologan statesman and hagiographer, Constantine Akropolites (1250-1324), recopied at least 27 ancient vitae of Byzantine saints. One of these is a version of the Vita Sancti Zotici, a story which describes Zotikos' special care for lepers, his founding leprosarium in Pera on the Galata Hill and finally his cruel death under the emperor Constantius. (1) Scholars have assumed that Akropolites simply copied his version from one of the two extant redactions of the vita. They have consequently ignored his rendition of the story. A careful reading of Adropolites' Vita Sancit Zotici, however, reveals that it was copied from an eleventh century archetype which is no longer extant and that it contains significant details not found in the other surviving versions of the Zotikos legend. Among these are three post mortem miracle tales appended to the vita proper, additions which no other version of the vita includes. Two of these tales describe the supernatural healing of Khazars resident in Pera' s Jewish quarter (folios 9-10).

The first tale recounts the story of a man A from the race of the Khazars@ who was suddenly struck with leprosy. He sought refuge in the Zotikos leprosarium, and after anointing himself with oil from a lamp over Zotikos' tomb, he miraculously recovered. The man was apparently a Christian before he became ill, but his sister was Jewish and had a Jewish husband. The second miracle tale recounts how the sister subsequently contracted leprosy. Her Christian brother tried to convert her, but she clung to her ancestral faith. Her brother only succeeded in converting her by kidnapping her, and then having her baptized. Immediately after her baptism, the sister's leprosy vanished, a miraculous cure which also confirmed her in her new Christian faith.

Why are tow of the three miracles about Khazars? The third miracle tale provide the key to answering the question (folio 10). When a eunuch named John developed leprosy, he too went to Zotikos' asylum and anointed himself with the same lamp oil the Khazar man had used, but he also bathed in water from a spring near the Church of St. Panteleemon. In other Byzantine sources the only reference to a church at Panteleemon in the Pera district occures in Michael Attaleiates' Historia. He describes a fire in 1077 which burned a section of the Pera Jewish quarter from the Church of Saint Panteleemon to the top of the Galata Hill. (2) Attaleitaes' narrative and the details from Akropolites' vita reveal that the Jewish settlement of pera stood close to the Panteleemon church which in turn was next to the Zotikos leprosarium. That the leper asylum adjoined the Jewish quarter of the Pera explains why two of the three miracle tales deal with Khazars. Since most Khazars were Jewish, they had settled within the district around Constantinople reserved for Byzantine Jews.

Before the eleventh century Jews had lived within Constantinople proper. During the eleventh century, the imperial government moved them to Pera. The twelfth century Jewish traveler, Benjamin of Tudela, implies that the government had forced the Jews to move. (3) In fact, it had settled the Jewish community next to Zotikos' leprosarium, a location which was no doubt shunned by most Christians.

1. Constantine Akropolites' Vita Sancti Zotici is found in the Codex Ambrosianus H. 81 suppl., folios 1-11.

2. Michaelis Attaliatis historia, ed. I Bekker, CSHB (Bonn 1853). 252. See also the comments on Attaleiates' description by David Jacoby, A Les quartiers juifs de Constantinople ˆ l' Žpoque byzantine,@ Byzantion 37 (1967), 178-179.

3. The Itinerary of Benjamin Tudela, ed. And trans. Marcus M. Adler (London, 1907), vol. 1, 14.

Loukas Notaras, the Last Grand Duke of Constantinople and His Surviving Son

Marios Philippides, Universitv of Massachusetts, Amherst

The prominence of the wealthy family headed by the last grand duke, Loukas Notaras, is well-documented. Loukas' father, Nicholas Notaras, was an important official of Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus (1391-1425). Loukas himself was a key member of the court in the reigns of John VIII Palaeologus (1425-1448) and of Constantine XI Dragas-Palaeologus (1448-1453). This prominent figure remains controversial and scholars are still in disagreement in regard to his role during the siege and sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks (1453); some have seen the grand duke as a martyr, whose family was largely extinguished in the wave of executions that followed the sack; others have viewed him as an anti-unionist, a fanatically anti-Latin individual, who may have come close to collaboration with the Turks before he and numerous members of his family were executed. Furthermore, the exact activities of surviving members of his family in the west have become nuclei for legendary tales.

The present paper will briefly examine the personality and role of Loukas Notaras during the siege of 1453, in view of authentic documents that have been overlooked by scholars so far. Then this paper will examine the career of the only surviving son of Notaras, who was imprisoned in the sultan's seraglio for a number of years before he made his escape to Italy. Based on Italian documents, which have also been overlooked by scholars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the actual first name of the surviving son of Notaras will be established, beyond doubt; thus the scholarly controversy in regard to this individual's name will finally be resolved and a number of details will be added to the prosopography of late Greek Constantinople - early Ottoman Istanbul.


Chair, Leslie S. B. MacCoull, Society for Coptic Archaeology (North America)

The Vestis Militaris in Fourth Century Egypt

Jennifer A. Sheridan, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA

The reign of Diocletian marks a turning point in the history of Egypt. The sweeping financial reforms introduced by that regime completely transformed the economy of the province: in particular there were monetary reforms and many changes in the system of taxation. Since the fourth century is well documented in the papyri, some of the intimate details of these modifications can be observed easily.

One of the most interesting and well-documented taxes of the fourth century is the vestis militaris (as it is called in the Theodosian Code) which supplied the army with its uniforms. Perhaps the most significant fact about the vestis militaris is that it was collected in most of the eastern empire; hence the details of the tax have a more universal importance. There are some 60 texts covering the entire century which explain many of the particulars of the taxation system: assessment, collection/payment, and delivery.

Previous to the third century, evidence from Egypt shows military uniforms being requisitioned or purchased on an ad hoc basis as the need arose. The third century brought changes to this system: documents from this century show towns and villages responsible for procuring garments for the army. The burden continued to rest on localities when the system was reformed circa 285.

During the first quarter of the fourth century, the vestis militaris was a compulsory purchase, payable in kind by each town or village. The localities were reimbursed for these purchases at a rate set by the Edictum de pretiis. As the rampant inflation of the period eroded the value of the reimbursement, a revised system was put into place in which only the pagus or nome had to make its payments in kind. By the end of the century, the vestis militaris was purely a money tax.

The system of assessment and collection of the tax involved all levels of civilian government from the praefect to village liturgists, most of whom are represented in the surviving documents. This paper will explore the corpus of evidence on the vestis militaris, looking its evolution into and through the fourth century, its immense bureaucracy, and its place within the taxation system of both land and military taxes.

Big-City Banking in Two Sixth-Century Papyri

James G. Keenan, Loyola University of Chicago

Nearly all the Greek papyri from Egypt concern the people of villages and towns. Rarely do the papyri broach the "exchangist world" of Fernand Braudel with its thriving cities, long-distance trade, and commerical banking. Even evidence for local banking in Egypt disappears during the third century A.D. , presumably because of "the crisis of the third century," galloping inflation, and a loss of faith in banking's bedrock, a stable and reliable currency. The evidence resumes in the Byzantine period and includes two sixth-century papyri, each of which provides significant evidence for banking in the later empire.

1. The earlier papyrus, P.Cair.Masp. 11 67126, A.D. 541, is a famous loan, drawn up in Constantinople for two visitors from the Middle Egyptian village of Aphrodito, Apoll™s son of Dioscorus and his nephew, Victor the priest. This papyrus has often been discussed, but almost always from the standpoint of the villagers, not from that of the lending banker and his milieu. Flavius Anastasius was an imperial courtier ("Waiter of the Sacred Table") and a banker with both public and private interests. The loan in question is short-term (four months) for a modest sum (20 solidi) at regular interest (8%). It is secured against property, immovable and movable, owned by the debtors back in Aphrodito, and is to be repaid to Anastasius's agent in Alexandria. These details in themselves raise questions about the "infrastructure" of Anastasius's business--how he would have proceeded in case of default to secure and negotiate mortgaged property so far from home, how (and what kind of) proof of the loan's repayment in Alexandria would have been sent to Constantinople. There is one textual crux that calls for discussion and there are several words, indicative of the banker's activities, that require comment.

2. Even more significant is a later papyrus, PSI 1 76, an affidavit of the A.D. 570s, charging an Alexandrian banker with defaulting on the terms of a constitutum debiti alieni, an agreement to pay a debt in another's behalf. The papyrus is of special interest because it again takes us into the world of the imperial capital, first, because the aggrieved party, a propertied woman from Oxyrhynchos, threatens to bring her case before the authorities in Constantinople; second, because the linguistics of the document and the practices it envisages reflect Justinian's regulations on banking procedure in several of his Novels and Edicts (Novs. 4, 136, Eds. 7, 9). Although the papyrus has been re-edited and its connections with Justinian's legislation suggested (ZPE 29 [1978] 191-209), the practical connections between document and laws remain to be worked out.

Attempting to Settle a Disputed Legacy: P. MŸnch. 7 + P. Lond. V 1860

J. Joel Farber, Franklin & Marshall College

The London and Munich halves of the Patermouthis archive (493-613 C.E.), divided between those two cities, may be pieced together and drawn upon to give a narrative of the legal and financial disputes within the family that accumulated it on Elephantine and in Syene.(1) We find an almost uninterrupted series running from 574 to 613 C.E. in which Patermouthis or his wife, Kako, or his mother-in-law, Tapia, is a principal. I focus here on P. MŸnch. 7, dealing with an attempt to settle a long-standing dispute over the legacy of Iakobos, father of Kako.

A diάlusis like P. MŸnch. 1, this document's first operative paragraph has the same fourfold structure; 1) an act ante mortem; 2) a post mortem receipt of legacy; 3) suit; 4) arbitration decision. It is striking that here the arbitrator is an anonymous group of friends and not an official body, as in P. MŸnch. 1, Unlike the latter (and most of the other documents in the archive), this is an objectively-styled recitation of facts up until the Acknowledgment, in which the parties, speaking in their own names, affirm their adherence to the settlement.

In P. MŸnch. 1, composed less than a decade earlier, the siblings of Iakobos, supported by their mother, accused him of having appropriated an undue portion of their father's estate. In P. MŸnch 7, Ioannes, the son of that now-deceased Iakobos, accuses his brother-in-law (and by extension his sister Kako) of improper possession of part of the estate. In the earlier situation Dios, before dying, had given his son Iakobos a partnership in the business quite apart from what he was to leave to his heirs in general (P. MŸnch 1.12-13). So too, Ioannes' claim to his father's boat may have been based upon the fact that he in turn had been made a partner by his father Iakobos.

The settlement confirms the division of the estate of Iakobos between his children, Ioannes and Kako. Upon the death of Iakobos his son and daughter had divided the property equally, leaving outstanding debts owed to their father to fall due, after which they would divide the proceeds (lines 20-28). Ioannes then had sued Patermouthis about 1) a half-share of a boat that Iakobos had bought (possibly from Patermouthis) and 2) a share of a house Patermouthis had bought from Isakos and Tsone (P. Lond. 1724) but later sold to Iakabos. Ioannes seems to have found the deeds among his father's papers. What we have here is a record of the settling of that suit. Patermouthis and Kako had to yield one quarter-share of the three quarter shares, thus retaining a half-share of the boat (1/4 from the purchase and 1/4 from the legacy-lines 35-38). They also retained possession of the house share (39f.), regardless of the fact that Ioannes had got hold of the deed, which he is now to surrender (52-56). Ioannes further guarantees Patermouthis possession of a necklace his daughter holds (73-75).

1. A narrative overview of the whole course of the dispute is given in J. Joel Farber, "Family Financial Disputes in the Patermouthis Archive," BASP 27 (1990) 111-122. For a tabular "Chronology" of the entire archive, see p. 97 of J. Joel Farber and Bezalel Porten, "The Patermouthis Archive: a Third Look," BASP 23.3-4 (1986) 81-97.

Abu Mina. The Last Wine Harvest?

Georgina Fantoni, London

Excavations by the Deutsches ArchŠeologisches Institut Kairo at Abu Mina, situated forty-five kilometres south-west of Alexandria. have unearthed an archive of 123" ostrara. They form a single archive which records grape deliveries to a communal wine press. Because of the exceptionally large number, the ostraca allow some conclusions to be drawn about the production of wine at Abu Mina, the productivity of the land and the size cf the community.

The ostraca are in a remarkably good state of preservation and 950 are virtually complete, The archive is important for the number of prednminantly Greek names encountered, a few of which are hitherto unknown. Many ostraca are dated with an indiction year, but none bear a date. However the archaeological evidence shows that the wine press was built ,after the destruction of part of the town during the decade of the Persian occupation of Egypt between 619-629 A.D. and abandoned soon after 641 A.D., when the Greek speaking community left Abu Mina and the site was handed over to the Copts according to the terms of the peace treaty of 'Amr ibn al 'As”. The Greek records were subsequently disposed of by the incoming community on a nearby rubbish tip.

The number of growers using the wine press was between four and five hundred men whose harvest was picked over a twelve to fourteen day period. The grapes were picked by the growers themselves, some of whom delivered as many as fifteen baskets on a single day. It is thought that the capacity of the wine press was of the order of two hundred and fifty baskets per day. Although the baskets were occasionally transported by camel, the majority were loaded onto donkeys. The basket is presumed to have been a pannier of approximately thirty kilo capacity, of which the donkey could carry two and a camel four.

The annual crop is estimated to have produced a little over sixty thousand litres of wine, which would have required a vineyard area of about fifteen hectares or sixty arouras. It may be imagined that a good deal of the wine was drunk by the pilgrims visiting the famous shrine of Abu Mina. Water, evidently more plentiful in antiquity before the deforestation of the North African littoral and the resulting reduction of rainfall, was supplied chiefly from wells.

The newly discovered archive records an aspect of the everyday life of this site and provides a fascinating and personal glimpse of life in the 7th century.


Chair, David B. Whitehouse, The Corning Museum of Glass

A Problematic Enamel at Dumbarton Oaks

Stephen R. Zwirn, Dumbarton Oaks

Acquired in 1963, a cloisonne enamel (acc. no, 63.21) has received little scholarly attention. Small in size (h: 2.5 cm x w: 2 cm), it represents a human head and torso, winged feline body, and back-curving tail ending in a "dragon@ head biting the wing. The colors used include blue, green and white.

The cultural identitv of the creature is the main point of contention. Scholars have been consistently divided in their opinions: Byzantinists would consider it Islamic, while Islamicists consider it Byzantine.

The iconography tends to link the image with Islamic metalwork, where many sphinx-like creatures are found inhabiting a variety of scenes. However, the technique and some details of execution fit very closely within the Byzantine sphere. Through analysis of this enamel and a tentative attribution, some issues of Byzantine- Islamic artistic relations during the middle Byzantine period will be brought into focus.

The Chalice of Berceto and the Trade in Eastern Products

R. Schumann, Boston

In 1971, a blown glass chalice was found in a tomb one meter under the main altar of the former abbey church of Berceto on the Via Francigena, a route which became important for travel from the north to Rome over the high Apennine and the Cisa Pass in the Lombard and Frankish periods. The tomb has been identified as the second tomb of the abbot, Saint Moderamnus (about 684 to after 744, abbot since about 716), to which his body was transferred, with the chalice, from a nearby tomb in the same church at mid- ninth century. The paper will deal with the origin of the chalice in the eastern Mediterranean regions and the commercial relations and trade routes between these regions and northern Italy which it exemplifies.

Its survival over so many centuries without damage except two tiny nicks in rim and without the deterioration of its surface would indicate that the chalice is hardglass. Italian or other West European origin must be excluded. Isidore of Seville (560? -636) related that translucent glass was once made in Italy, Gaul, and Spain, but he Spoke of this glass-blowing as a lost art. Northern production knew glass as jewelry in the barbarian and post-barbarian period but there is no evidence of high quality glass-blowing. The earliest evidence of Venetian glass-blowing dates from the eleventh century.

The chalice must have been brought to Berceto from those regions of the eastern Mediterranean which had continued the high quality production of the late Roman period. Glass production continued particularly in northern Egypt, along the east coast of the Mediterranean, and in Constantinople. The making of use-glass as well as of highly decorative artistic pieces continued in all three areas into later centuries. Lacking decorative elements, the chalice of Berceto was not an artistic production. The chalice was use-glass, and this corresponds with the lack of any precious objects in the first or second tomb of Saint Moderamnus and the simple mountain community, many of whom refugees from Gaul, over which he presided.

It was however use-glass of high quality which increased in cost with its distance from the place of manufacture, and hence aside from its symbolic value as a mass-chalice worthy of being placed in the tomb of the abbot.

The import of use-glass to the European West must have been significant judging by the fact that a century after Saint Moderamnus Pope Leo IV (847-855) had to prohibit mass-chalices from glass and other perishable materials. The chalice may have come into the possession of Saint Moderamnus through traders over the Via Francigena or at markets that were not too distant. Saint Moderamnus was in close contact with the court of Pavia, King Liutprand having invested him with the abbey and large landholdings for his followers between 715 and 719. The king is known for the protection he granted in 715 to the traders of Comacchio over the Po, particularly in Eastern products, ultimately benefiting his capital. There is other evidence as well of a very active merchant community at Pavia and of Amalfitan merchants coming to the market of Pavia. Eastern luxury goods reached Pavia on the all-water route from the Adriatic and the protected inland routes from south-Italian ports. Glass preferred,the all-water-route via Comacchio or Torcello. "The Chalice of Berceto and the Trade in Eastern Products", R. Schumann, Boston.


Chair, Evie Zachariades-Holmberg, Hellenic College/Holy Cross

Two Late Antique Rings from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Christine Kondoleon, Williams College

There are two unusual gold rings datable to the 4th century in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that bring us into intimate contact with their wearers. One, a massive (about 73 grams!) gold ring cast with an elegant foliate design, bears a Greek inscription with a salutation and two names (previously misread by Marvin Ross). The inscription indicates that this was a presentation ring--rings made for exchange among members of the elite, and the names, although rarely attested, can be traced to two distinguished members of Late Antique society.

The other ring also bears a Greek inscription on the square bezel at the side of an engraved figural decoration. Although puzzling, it is clear that the inscribed phrase, "Cessation for those who desire," sheds light on the meaning of the scene, and relates to the amuletic function of the object. The torments of love-longing and their mastery appear to be the subject of the Virginia ring.

The Christogram at St. Domitilla and the Coins of Justin and Anastasius

Luciana Cuppo Csaki, Manhattanville College

The painted Christogram in the archway of the basilica of Ss.Nereus and Achilleus in Rome have not been widely studied. They are discussed only cursorily in the excavations reports by De Rossi, and not at all in the Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae. Yet one of them, in particular, is important because it differs from thetraditional Constantinian type (chi-rho) which was the official symbol in Roman basilicae and catacombs.

Scholars noted that this Christogram presents a stylistic break with other ones on site, but the only conclusion drawn was that it was a later type, perhaps attributable to the fourth, fifth or sixth century. The Liber Pontificalis states that Pope John 1 (523-526) refecit (or fecit, renovavit) the coemeterium of Ss.Nereus and Achilleus.

Coins, the most abundant source of documentation for variants of the Christogram, remain as yet untapped. My paper will examine variants of the Christogram on coins from Constantine to Justinian and compare such numismatic evidence with the Christogram at S.Domitilla. Analogies appear in strongest concentration with the coins of Anastasius and Justin. Thus a comparison with the coins, while strengthening the case for a sixth century datation of the Domitilla painting, also underlines its eastern (Byzantine) character.

The Christogram never appeared on western solidi of the Ostrogoths. The eastern Christogram at Domitilla throws a new light on this well-known fact: first, it proves that the eastern type of Christogram was known and could be found in Rome, a few miles from the mint of Theoderic. Consequently, its absence from western coinage cannot be due to geographical factors (different mints, ignorance of eastern models) but point to a deliberate differentiation between eastern and western coinage. Second, both in the case of Byzantine coins and at S.Domitilla the Christogram was an official symbol, under the jurisdiction of the imperial mint (for the eastern solidi) and of the Church of Rome (for the catacombs). As such, it was not made by chance and could not be left to the inspiration of the individual artist. Therefore the identity of symbolism between the Christogram at Domitilla, probably commissioned by Pope John I, and the coins of Anastasius and Justin, is a sign of rapprochement between the eastern emperor and the Roman Church.

The Christogram at S.Domitilla is important for hagiography, because its sixth century monuments attest to the vitality of the catacomb as a center for the cult of martyrs and relics (cf. my communication, "The Catacomb of Domitilla and the Cult of Martyrs in the Sixth Century and the Early Middle Ages", Twelfth International Conference of Christian Archaeology, Bonn 1991). But it is also important for the art historian, because it attests to similarities between eastern art and a monument in the heart of a Roman catacomb, and for the historian, because it is a document of the complex relations between Constantinople and the Church of Rome during the reign of the Ostrogoths in Italy.

I wish to thank the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, and particularly Dr.Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai, for the permission to study the monuments at S.Domitilla; Father Konrad Rams FMMA and Dr.Michele Bauer of Casa Domitilla(Rome) for their kind assistance. In New York, very special thanks go to Francis Campbell, Director of the Library at the American Numismatic Society, and also to William Metcalf, for allowing me to view the collections.

Sorcery Accusation as a Political Weapon at the Byzantine Court in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Richard Greenfield, Queen's University, Kingston

A small number of cases of sorcery accusation which occurred at the Byzantine court during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are studied in this paper; a close investigation of the evidence they provide illustrates the way in which such accusations could clearly be used as a political weapon at this time, while an attempt is also made to indicate the wider value of such episodes to the historian.

Five cases are considered here. The first episode is one reported by Theodore Balsamon which apparently took place some time between 1134 and 1143 and concerned unsuccessful efforts, allegedly involving sorcery, which ware made to save the life of Zoe, a member of the imperial family. The second and third, which occurred in 1167 and 1172, involved the disgrace of two prominent figures at the imperial court: Alexios Axouch, who was Manuel I's protostrator, and Isaac Aaron, the commander of the Varangian guard and a Latin interpreter to the Emperor. In both instances the charge of sorcery was used to secure or confirm the downfall of an imperial favourite. The last two cases, which date from the mid-thirteenth century, concern accusations of sorcery levelled against Michael Palaeologos and his sister Maria under Theodore II Laskaris at Nicaea, and against Gangrene, mistress of Michael II Angelos in Epiros.

On one level an examination of the historical tradition of the sorcery mentioned in these cases clarifies not only the details of what was supposedly going on but also casts light on the context of the allegations. Parallels to all the alleged practices are thus found in fifteenth and sixteenth century collections of Greek magic texts, while many may be further related to their antecedents in both the Greek magical papyri and in Classical and early Byzantine traditions.

On a second level these cases provide interesting evidence about the attitudes of Byzantines towards the power of sorcery in particular and towards orthodox Christian religion in general. They make clear the ambivalent position in which the Byzantine church found itself when attempting to condemn belief in magic and sorcery without itself lending credence to such practices by over-reaction, and they demonstrate the extent to which 'popular' religious beliefs operated at all levels of supposedly orthodox society.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for the historian, these incidents provide an interesting new insight into the context in which these accusations were made. It is thus clear that in every case the political affiliations of the accused may well have had a bearing on the charges brought against them and that sorcery allegations could, in the right circumstances, play all important part in securing the downfall of an individual or group at the Byzantine imperial court.


Chair, Anne Derbes, Hood College

An Early Christian Marble Relief at Kavala

Henry Maguire, Dumbarton Oaks

In June of 1952 an Early Christian marble was discovered built into the apse of the church of the Panaghia on the peninsula of Kavala, where it had been immured in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. The relief was taken to the Archaeological Museum in Kavala by Demetrios Lazarides, then the Ephor of Classical Antiquities, and there it still resides (inv. no. 55), under the jurisdiction of the Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities. The purpose of this paper is to present this interesting carving to a North American audience, concurrently with its full publication in Greece.

The marble, now broken into two pieces, has total dimensions of 103.5 cms. height, 61 cms. width, and 25.5 cms. depth. The stone was probably quarried on Thassos. The block is polygonal, with three carved facets. The central facet preserves the greater part of a shell headed niche, which was flanked by engaged columns and framed an eagle standing over a handled vase. The bird holds in its claws a small four-footed animal, now too damaged to be identified, and in its beak it originally held a snake. The left-hand facet of the marble adjoins the cental facet at an angle of approximately144 degrees. it also contained a niche, but only the extreme right hand edge of this niche, containing a plant stem, is preserved. The right-hand facet also adjoins the central facet at an angle of about 144 degrees. it, too, framed a niche, from the filling of which a few tips of acanthus leaves are preserved at the extreme left-hand border.

Due to the marble's circumstances of discovery, it is no longer possible to determine its original provenance. However, it is likely that the marble originally formed part of the base of a polygonal ambo. Several ambos are known to have incorporated similar marbles, which enclosed a whole niche, shell-head and all, within a single block of stone. Such monolithic shell-headed niches formed part of ambos in the following churches: Basilica A at Amphipolis; Basilica A at Nea Anchialos; St. George, St. Menas, and St. Sophia at Thessaloniki; and a church at Selcikler in Anatolia.

Given the fragmentary nature of the marble in Kavala, it is difficult to reconstruct the appearance of the ambo when it was complete. However, some clues are given by the angles at which the facets join. Such angles would have been appropriate for an octagonal ambo, such as the first ambo of St. Demetrius in Thessaloniki, or the small amoo of Basilica C at Philippi. Alternatively, the ambo to which our relief belonged could have been heptagonal, like the ambo of St. Menas in Thessaloniki.

On the basis of stylistic and iconographic parallels (especially the Lechaion basilica near Corinth; St. John Studios in Constantinople; the Acheiropoietos in Thessaloniki), a date range of 450 to 525 may tentatively be suggested. The (largely eucharistic) symbolism of the motifs carved on the marble exhibits a density of meaning typical of late fifth and sixth century Christian visual imagery.

The Inscriptions on the Votive Cross of the Monastery of Shenoute

Leslie S. B. MacCoull, Society for Coptic Archaeology (North America)

The silver cross formerly in Berlin (0. Wulff's catalogue [19091, no. 1106, vol. III, pp. 226-227; destroyed in World War II) has recently been republished by R.-G. Coquin and P. van Moorsel from notes left by the late Pre Jules Lerov (BIFAO 89 [1989] 73-80, Plates VIII-IX). On both sides it bears Coptic inscriptions, which have not in every case been correctly read in either of the two publications separated by eighty years. The content of these inscriptions can help us to understand the provenance and purpose of the object. On the front, to the right of the figure of Christ, an inscription states,"This is the cross which Theodote had made/commissioned (CMINTHTY) for Apa Shenoute," and on the top of the back Shenoute is portrayed, captioned "Abba Shenoute the archimandrite," the latter being St. Shenoute's usual title. To the left of Christ we find again "Ama Theodote the nun"; while on the back an image of a woman is inscribed "Ama Mannou the hegoumenos and great archimandrite", and on the lower arm is read "Ana Matermoute the deuterarios". This terminology places us firmly in the world of Shenoutean monasticism. We know from Shenoute's biography by his disciple Besa that in the fifth century he was superior over several houses of nuns in the congregation subject to him. Also, the technical term deuterarios for "second in command, prior, sub-superior" is found exclusively in, and is characteristic of, Shenoutean sources. We can conclude that the cross was made as a votive offering to the White Monastery of Sohag in Upper Egypt by three religious women of a Shenoutean congregation: a nun (MONAXH), her superior, and the convent's prioress. The Fayumic dialect feature of lambdacism is the inscription A AGGELOC KULIOU@ reinforces what we know about contacts between the Fayum and the White Monastery: e.g. codices written in Fayum scriptoria as gifts to St Shenoute's. What cannot yet be inferred from prosopographical attestations of the three women's names is a precise date for the object. Decipherment of the titulus on the cross will also tell us more about the theological import of the images on the object.

Mid-Byzantine Church Decoration: Image of Cosmos or Liturgy?

George Stricevic, University of Cincinnati

In his great little book on the Byzantine mosaic decoration, Otto Demus suggested that the post-iconoclastic system of interior decoration of a Byzantine church building can be seen either as an image of sacred topography, so that each part of the church is identified with a place in which an important event of Christ's life on earth took place, or that the church symbolizes Cosmos in its ordered hierarchy, or, finally, that the iconographic program of the church interior follows the Calendar of the Christian year, highlighted through the cycle of the Great Feasts, and laid down in the liturgy. Later literature on the subject supplements and clarifies some of the points which were presented - or implied in the interpretation of Demus, re-affirming also that an ideal system was the result of a gradual development.

The textual sources seem to suggest that the two methods the church as an image of Cosmos or as a visual counterpart of the Liturgical Year - are not necessarily alternatives but rather two facets of a single, well-integrated system. The key document is the description of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople by Constantine Rhodius, written after the restoration of the church by Basil I. The central dome bore the image of Christ, surrounded by the figures of the Virgin and the Apostles (Ascenssion ?), and in the zone underneath it were eleven compositions, easily recognized as belonging to the Dodekaeorta. Therefore, the iconographic program of the Apostoleion would be one of the earliest examples of the Liturgical Calendar system. Christ, Mary and the Apostles in the dome are, however, likened by the poet to the sun, the moon and the stars, making the case for the cosmological interpretation. The latter brings to mind the iconography of the original Apostoleion in whose center was placed the sarcophagus of Emperor Constantine, encircled by the twelve cenotaphs of the Apostles. The arrangement followed a well-known cosmological pattern of the Zoodiac which by the 4th cent. was recognized by the Church fathers as an image of the Eternal Time in which Christ stood for the whole while the Apostles symbolized His parts - hours of the day or months of the year. Applying this schema in his funerary church, Constantine usurped for himself the place which rightfully belonged to Christ - "the sun of justice" - alone. The Emperor's arrogance must have seemed even more intolerable if, as Eusebius seems to say, the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem was encircled by twelve columns, "like the number of Apostles". The inescapable comparison between the Holy epulchre and the Apostoleion led eventually to the removal of Constantine's sarcophagus and its replacement by an altar.

Even if it is not more than a coincidence that the cosmological interpretation by Rhodius follows closely theiconographic schema of the 4th century Apostoleion, the cycle of Twelve (the number is surely cosmological) Great Feasts, arranged, significantly enough, in a continuous circle, should be viewed as an extension of the Twelve Parts of the Whole, the latter placed in the hub: the dome.

It is virtually impossible to overstress the importance of the fact that the standard type of the domed posticonoclastic Byzantine church building was ideally suited to serve as the receptacle for the new system of interior decoration in which the cosmological schema served as a vehicle by which the Liturgical Year not only commemorated Christ's Mission on earth, but also, through the repeated liturgical re-enactments of that mission, conveyed the notion of Eternal Time, just as did its ultimate model the Christianized Zoodiac.

Liturgical Scrolls and "Concelebrating Bishops" in Late Byzantine Apse Decoration

Sharon E. Gerstel, Institute of Fine Arts

The painted decoration of the sanctuary in Late Byzantine churches is characterized by the inclusion of explicitly liturgical scenes. The standard Late Byzantine representation in the lowest register of the apse, the "concelebrating" hierarchs, was added slowly into the Byzantine artistic canons from the l2th century. This scene is comprised of the most important hierarchs of the church dressed in episcopal vestments and turned toward a central point of the apse which is decorated with representations of a painted altar, the hetoimasia or the melismos or is simply pierced by a window through which the light would flow during the morning celebration of the liturgy. The painted bishops, whose averted eyes and three-quarter stance in the rounded apse allow contact only with the celebrating priest, carry scrolls inscribed with the "secret" prayers of the liturgy.

The liturgical scrolls carried by the bishops are not merely decorative ornaments, but must be considered as representations of actual liturgical scrolls (eilhtaria, kontakia) used by the celebrant during the course of the liturgy. A large number of actual liturgical scrolls from the Late Byzantine period survive, although art historians have exclusively studied those containing decoration. The examination of the numerous undecorated liturgical scrolls, however, may lead to a deeper understanding of the relationship between these manuscripts and apse decoration.

According to Byzantine sources, the scrolls were employed during select moments of the liturgy. Not surprisingly, these moments seem to loosely correspond to the prayers inscribed on the actual scrolls held by the painted bishops. Thus the parallels between the actual use of the scrolls, that is, when they were unrolled during the liturgy, and the prayers chosen to be inscribed on the painted scrolls in the apse, are unmistakable.

This paper will took at the depiction of the scrolls in late Byzantine painting, as an example of the trend to "liturgize" apse decoration. An examination of actual sources will affirm the close ties between the celebration of the liturgy and the development of new iconography.


Chair, John Fine, University of Michigan

Arabs in the Leimonarion of John Moschus

Daniel J. Sahas, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The Leimon (Pratum Spirituale, PG 87: 2852-3112) of John Moschus (550-619) is one of the most interesting and significant sources on Palestinian, Sinaitic, Syrian and Egyptian monasticism and ascetic spirituality. Having received its final editorial attention by Sophronius the "Sophist", the celebrated monastic and dyothelite theologian who as Patriarch of Jerusalem (634-638) delivered the city to 'Umar ibn al Khatt‰b in 638, the book assumes even a further importance as a contextual Christian document contemporary to the rise of Islam.

The book has been very little studied, especially by the English speaking scholars, as a source of information on Byzantine life in the grass roots, as Norman Baynes (1947) and Henry Chadwick (1974) have noticed critically. Even less so has it been noticed as a source of information on Arab nomadic life in terms of transportation, food, culture, traits of personality, political, social, religious considerations, relations with monks and ascetics and a cross-fertilization of practice and manners, at the very moment of what Sophronius called "the Arab revolt", that is the rise of Islam, and the eve of the Muslim conquests.

This paper draws attention to Arab life and culture referred to implicitly or explicitly in the Leinion, as a contemporary "field" report, and possibly the earliest one, pertinent to the context of the rise of Islam and to the initial Arab (Muslim?)Byzantine relations.

Images of Heraclius in Arabic Sources

Walter Emil Kaegi, The University of Chicago

The images of Heraclius that Arabic sources of the eighth through tenth century provide are a neglected topic. Sources include al-Azd¤ al-Basr-¤ s Ta'r¤ kh fut h al-Sh~ m. Bal~ dhur¤ , K. Fut h ~ l Buld~ n. Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam, Futuh Misr al-Ya'qubi, Ta'r¤ kh, al-Tabar¤ , Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Jarir, Ta'r¤ kh al-rus l wa l' mul k, Ibn A'tham al Kufi, K. al Fut h, and Ibn Sa'd, Kit~ b al-Tabaq~ t. Arabic traditions on the actions or motives of Heraclius and the other Byzantine commanders at the time of the Muslim invasions have received little attention because of their contradictory reports, doubts about their trustworthiness, and linguistic difficulties.

The perception of Heraclius in the Muslim sources of the eighth through tenth centuries is complex; it is necessary to understand that behind extant Muslim sources lie complex and difficult to disentangle historical traditions. Christian and Muslim sources diverge in narrating the Muslim conquests in the eastern Mediterranean. Muslim sources consistently attribute much more personal responsibility to Heraclius himself for the direction of Byzantine strategy and operations. Byzantinists, have generally ignored this point. The Arabic sources probably attribute to Heraclius more personal responsibility for the control of events than he ever possessed. To them he personalized Byzantine resistance. Thev assume that he is a sovereign who can summon and direct resources from one part of his empire to another in vast quantities, yet they say almost nothing about other regions of his empire.

The Arabic sources describe Heraclius as a leader who reacted to events, as a leader who certainly was not in control of them, who consulted with his leading commanders, but yielded to pressures -despite his prestige and central role in decision making -- from them and his subjects in matters of military policy and operations in Syria. They portray him as a leader with strong passions of anger and doubt. They never claim that he was confident of victory in the entire series of campaigns. That is consistent with their own Islamic frame of reference. They also represent him as impatient and sometimes angry with his commanders and soldiers for their inability to perform satisfactorily against the Muslims despite their own numerical superiority. Their claims that Heraclius intervened personally from time to time in the conduct of the defense of Syria, and that he became angry at specific decisions of his subordinates and countermanded them, are plausible. Some attribute to him the appointment of emergency military commanders over some Syrian cities when he realized that the Muslim invasions were impending; there are important potential implications of these allusions for the elucidation of Byzantine institutional history. Implicit in the Muslim sources is respect for Heraclius as a great but unsuccessful leader. They disassociate his wisdom in military affairs from the errors of his subordinate commanders. These traditions in the Muslim sources possibly converge with what appears to be an Heraclian historiographical tradition of avoiding direct personal criticism of the actions of Heraclius in trying to defend Syria against the Muslims.

The Size of the Byzantine Army (300-900 A. D.)

Warren Treadgold, Florida International University

Recently some historians have argued that the Byzantine army was much smaller than the sources say it was. They have assumed that the army was mostly cavalry, though the sources say it was mostly infantry, and that figures the sources give for parts of the army actually represent the whole. In general, these scholars have assumed that it is more "cautious" to reject an attested statistic in favor of a much lower guess, as if a number that was much too low would somehow not be wrong and misleading.

Roman historians, readier to believe their sources, agree that about 235 the whole Roman army must have had around 400,000 men (34 legions plus auxiliaries). To my knowledge, Byzantine sources give five totals for the army as a whole from the third to the ninth century. John Lydus writes that under Diocletian the army had 435,266 men. Agathias reports that the army had at one time had 645,000 men, but in his day (about 565) had only 150,000. Theophanes says that the army had 80,000 men in 774. Finally, the Arab geographer Ibn Khurd‰dhbih, citing a source datable to around 840, gives a total of 120,000 men.

In view of the earlier Roman figure John Lydus' figure cannot be very much too high. A.H.M. Jones has defended Agathias first figure by calculations based on the Notitia Dignitatum, from which he arrives at a total of about 650,000 men. Jones has been criticized for overestimating the frontier troops, but his estimate can be sustained by assuming that it includes many who were on the rolls but not ready for service. In any case, few would challenge Jones' estimate that the Eastern field armies totaled some 104,000 men around 408. Since Procopius and Agathias give totals showing that new field forces added between 408 and 565 (in Armenia, Africa, and Italy) had at least 48,000 men, they closely corroborate Agathias' second figure.

Ibn Khurd‰dhbih is supported by other Arab geographers' totals for the individual tagmata and eastern themes. These add up to 104,000 men, excluding eight western themes that can easily account for the remaining 16,000. Byzantine evidence confirms several of the individual totals and shows that the army grew by 40,000 between 774 and 340, which in turn supports Theophanes' total. A figure for the army payroll and donative in 641 implies that the army then had about 92,000 men, a number that fits neatly between the 150,000 of 565 and the 80,000 of 774 in view of earlier losses under Heraclius and later losses in Africa and Italy. Several sources indicate that cavalry amounted to only a third to a quarter of the totals throughout these centuries.

These individual figures have often been attacked scholars who dislike numbers or are determined to see the army as an ingrown body of A praetorians@ too small to need supporting by military lands or a strong economy. But in the aggregate, the figures must be either very nearly right or result from a long-sustained conspiracy by almost all the sources to deceive us.

The Reception of Hero of Byzantium in the West and Vat. gr. 1605

Denis F. Sullivan, University of Maryland and Dumbarton Oaks

Two important Byzantine technical treatises, the first on siegecraft, the second on practical geometry, are attributed to Hero of Byzantium. The author is probably an anonymous compiler and commentator of the mid-tenth century to whom some manuscripts assign the name Hero, perhaps as a result of similarity of subject matter to the standard classical authority on mechanics, physics and pneumatics, Hero of Alexandria. The first treatise attributed to Hero of Byzantium, often referred to as the Poliorcetica, presents a description of the materials and methods used to besiege walled cities, drawing on the classical authors Apollodorus, Athenaeus Mechanicus, Philo of Byzantium and Biton. Topics include tortoises (for use in undermining walls), siege-towers, scaling ladders, reconnaissance towers and bridges. The second piece, generally referred to as the Geodaesia, complements the Poliorcetica in examining solutions to problems of practical geometry, which the author sees as having special applications to ballistics. of particular interest is the author's choice of sites in Constantinople to exemplify these geometrical techniques.

As an adjunct to a planned edition/translation of these treatises, based on Vaticanus gr. 1605, this paper will examine the reception of the works of Hero of Byzantium in the West.

Previous editions have primarily used a manuscript, once thought to be the archetype, copied at Bologna in 1533 by a known scribe, Valeriano Albini (Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna, MS 1497). A. Dain, following K. Mueller, however, has shown that this Bologna manuscript is a direct descendant of Vaticanus gr. 1605. The Vatican manuscript, which comprises 58 folios and contains 38 color illustrations of various siege devices discussed in the text, has not been edited. A Latin translation of the Poliorcetica, however, was made from it by Johannes Sophianos about 1458 and copies of the translation dedicated to Bessarion and to Lelio della Valla (Laurentianus Lat. XLV-18 and Marcianus Lat. 339). This translation has not been published. A second independent translation into Latin of both treatises was made by Francisco Barozzi from the Bologna manuscript and published at Venice in 1572. Focusing primarily on the unpublished translation of Sophianos, the presentation will examine the Latin technical terminology and its value for the edition and understanding of the Greek text and illustrations, particularly in those areas where Hero of Byzantium goes beyond his classical sources. The translation of Sophianos will also be set in the context of what is known about possible motivations for its creation.

Byzantine Versus Ottoman Chronicles

Rudi Paul Lindner, The University of Michigan

When the early Ottoman chronicles first appeared in print, some scholars expressed the hope that they would shed light on thirteenth century Byzantine history. This optimism soon gave way before the recognition that the Byzantine sources remained primary and in fact served as a corrective to the Ottoman literary sources. There do appear to be many similarities in the data from Byzantine and Ottoman sources for the history of Bithynia and northern Phrygia at the turn of the fourteenth century. This paper is about the differences, which are far greater than earlier appreciations have allowed.

A tradition of scholarship going back to Hammer-Purgstall (and Gibbon before him) has harmonized the material in the Byzantine and Ottoman chronicles on the assumption that both traditions concurred about the importance of certain events. In recent years, however, the Ottoman chronicles have come under grave suspicion and their authors accused of wholesale invention, to the extent that a recent account of Ottoman origins relies upon the Byzantine sources alone. The common assumption is that the Byzantine authors preserved a more reasonable, and less tendentious, account of happenings across the frontier. This assumption deserves further thought.

Our evidence for the Byzantine side comes from the chronicles of Pachymeres, Gregoras, and Cantacuzenus. The Ottoman sources derive from a number of divergent traditions: (1) the so-called Royal Calendars, primarily lists of dates; (2) a sources used as early as the 1390s by Ahmedi and abstracted more fully two generations later by Shukrullah; (3) the common, popular source of the Anonymous Chronicles, Uruj, and Ruhi; and (4) the fourteenth century source copied out by Ashiqpashazade and edited a number of times in the late fifteenth century.

Confronting the two traditions involves various considerations: do similar place names refer to the same location? If the events recounted in the Ottoman and Byzantine chronicles are not the same, how are we to gauge the importance of the "major" conflicts reported in contemporaneous traditions? Is the historical geography of the area a promising tool to help in deciding between the two differing traditions?

Among the more generally useful results of this comparison is a better insight into the assumptions and methods of composition of the authors of the traditions, as well as a clearer understanding of the different lessons they drew from their attempts to create and recreate their recent past.


Chair, Annemarie Weyl Carr, Southern Methodist University

Saints and Their Mothers in Byzantine Art

Lois Drewer, Index of Christian Art

Greek hagiographical texts have proved to be rich sources of insight into Byzantine attitudes toward women in a multiplicity of roles. In contrast, representations of saints in Byzantine art seem a relatively unyielding field of inquiry because of the widespread use of conventionalized images where female saints conform to an ideal beauty and are differentiated only by costumes which correspond to their occupation in life. Narrative scenes depicting the lives of women saints are relatively rare, and most of these record the sufferings of martyrs.

There are, however, exceptions. Female saints are presented in three special guises in Byzantine art: as ascetics, such as Mary of Egypt receiving communion from Zosimus; as virgin martyrs, such as Marina of Antioch overcoming Beelzebub; and as mothers of saints. In this paper I would like to concentrate on this last category.

One group of mother-and-son pairings consists of child martyrs and their heroic mothers, for which an important model is the account of the Maccabees, where the mother, Salomona, provides an example of indomitable courage for her seven sons. Sometimes the child saint takes the lead, as in the story of the boy from Nagran who plunges into the flames of a burning church to join his mother in martyrdom (11th-century menologion manuscript, Esphigmenou monastery, Mount Athos). In the case of Sts. Cyricus and Julitta, a precocious child martyr is blessed with an equally heroic mother.

Despite their explicit withdrawal from society and from ordinary family life, ascetic saints often retain strong emotional ties with their mothers, who in turn are depicted as taking a leading role in the devotion to their sons' cults. The relationship of the two saints Simeon Stylites with their mothers best illustrates the ambivalence of these attitudes. In his lifetime, Simeon the Elder refused to admit his mother to his presence, but honored her in death. In contrast Martha, mother of Simeon the Younger, served her son's cult during his lifetime, and on pilgrimage tokens she is depicted both as saint and as intercessor. More surprising, perhaps, is the attention paid to the mothers of saints who played active worldly roles as healers (Theodota, mother of Sts. Cosmas and Damian) or soldiers (Polychronia, mother of St. George). They are both represented as saints, along with their sons, in Middle Byzantine church decoration.

The functions of the depictions of these mother-and-son pairs of saints in Byzantine church decoration can best be explored through the story and images of Sts. Julitta and Cyricus. These encompass the themes of heroic mother and precocious son courageously embracing martyrdom, a mother devoted to the cult of her son, the working of miracles, and a strong emphasis on the intercessory role of both mother and son (frescoes in S. Maria Antiqua, Rome; Cappadocian and Balkan churches).

The Social and Economic Status of Byzantine Women: The Evidence of the Notarial Documents

Helen Saradi, University of Guelph

The Byzantine notarial documents (9th-15th c.) constitute an important group of sources for the study of women in Byzantium. Women of all classes are represented in these documents: aristocratic women, peasants, married women, widows and nuns.

In the Byzantine notarial documents traditional social attitudes toward women emerge within a complex system of legal concepts of their inferiority, physical and mental, as well as regulations securing their financial independence. The most remarkable example is the senatus consulturn Velleianum, according to which women were not allowed to act as surety for others, because of their infirmitas sexus. From the time of Justinian this ancient Roman law had been applied to all transactions. In the legislation of Justinian the inferiority of women's nature had been emphasized and a need for their protection had been recognized. In documents of transactions, the notarial clause of renouncing of the senalusconsultum Velleianurn is complemented and explained by terms implying the inferiority of women (gunaikeίa ð dunamίa, gunaikeίa ð fέleia, ð plόths, etc). In the formulation of these legal concepts, the Byzantine notaries added some new terms and expressions suggesting the social inferiority of women and their submission to their husbands (gunaikeίa × pakoή, × postolή, a® dώs, etc) as well as traditional expressions by which women referred to their husbands (ñ kύrios etc). In some documents interesting details are given: women admitted that fearing the authority of their husband, they had proceeded to an illegal sale of their dowry. According to the imperial legislation, however, women had to proceed to transactions by their own will, otherwise the documents could be invalid.

It is known that Byzantine legislation safeguarded a woman's dowry: it was protected against creditors and husbands, and only with a woman's independent assent could it be sold. Such social measures were based on the assumption that women were inferior to men by nature and needed protection. Free will and submission, social inferiority and financial independence are the conflicting realities of a long and complex legal and social tradition which is reflected in Byzantine notarial practice.

In this paper subtle distinctions made between women of different social classes will be examined in the documents of transactions, with particular reference to the concepts of women's social and legal inferiority and dependence (e.g. consent of other family members). In the same sources subtle distinctions are also made at a different level: while in all surviving documents, all women appear to have been illiterate, nevertheless expressions of fine personal feelings were often reserved by the notaries for the documents of some aristocratic women.

Some Women of Thebes-and Elsewhere

Charles M. Brand, Bryn Mawr College

Angeliki Laiou (J…B , 31/1 [1981] , 233-260, and 32/1 (1982], 198-204) and Lynda Garland (Byzantion, 58 [1988], 361-393) have ably summarized the information about Byzantine women found in such leading sources as Psellos and Anna Comnena; Prof. Laiou's discovery of a women's festival in Constantinople (Byzantium: Tribute to Andreas N. Stratos [Athens, 1986), I, 111-122) is particularly interesting.

I will discuss some information about Byzantine women of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries to be found in more obscure sources; many of the women prove to be from Thebes or its vicinity.

Tzetzes and Nicetas Choniates inform us about the working women of Thebes. The city was famous for its silk industry and the weaving seems to have been done by women. The Norman victors of 1147 carried off these women to Sicily.

The charter of a Byzantine confraternity at Thebes (early 12th Cent. in its present form) lists the membership, which includes three women. One of them was married, but her husband was not a member of the guild. All members of the guild, male and female, are equal in obligations and benefits.

The Life of St. Meletios by Nicholas of Methone preserves a story about the daughter of a prominent citizen of Thebes at the end of the Eleventh Century. While no individual story in a hagiography can be blindly accepted, Nicholas at least took for granted the existence of wealthy citizens there.

From the end of the Eleventh Century, also, comes the fragment of a tax register for the vicinity of Thebes, edited by Svoronos. In this, we meet a significant number of women landholders, mostly of very small plots. Presumably these women were widows. The document also shows who held a given plot previously. Interestingly, women are far more numerous (19.4%) in the "present" group of landholders than in the previous group (3.7%). The meaning of this fact requires investigation.

Finally, patriarchal documents preserve the romantic story of Eudokia Bo•oannissa, a wealthy widow of Durazzo, seized and married by the powerful Alexius KapandTites, rescued by her brother and married again under his auspices. While Eudokia's was an exceptional case, it does indicate what could befall a wealthy woman in a province as rough and wild as southern Albania.

Thus, from documents and sources somewhat outside the mainstream of historical research, we can illustrate the history of women of the working class, the middle class, and the wealthiest class.


Chair, Lucielle Roussin, New York

The Upside-Down Enamel of Late Antiquity

David Buckton, British Museum

If literary evidence is to be believed, all the Romans knew about enameling was that they did not do it: it was some sort of arcane barbarian practice entailing the permanent colouring of bronze horse-trappings. Archeaoogy, however, has produced gold and enamel personal ornaments of great delicacy not only from beyond the frontiers of the empire but also from Late Antique Gaul, and there is strong evidence that these were known in Rome itself'.

Dubbed A aviculae" by Marc Rosenberg in the early 1920s, these jewels are seen as forerunners of the cloisonnŽ enamel of the early middle ages and of the Middle Byzantine period. There is one fundamental difference, however: the aviculae have no metal substance, their strength and durability depending on the glass not on the gold, which provides only the internal design.

They must have been made upside-down, using much the same process as that employed in Ireland for the enamelled studs found, for instance, on the Ardagh chalice. This technique can, in fact, he traced back to the Mycenaean world. Although the upside-down process can be shown to have survived the eleventh century AD, it was not the forerunner of the Byzantine and medieval cloisonnŽ technique, which is completely different. It is, however, quite possible that the aviculae were forerunners of e-mail de plique ˆ jour (Fenstere-mail), a western Gothic technique using translucent cloisonn? enamel, with no metal substance to produce the effect of a stained glass window in miniature. The technique may well have been transmitted via the Byzantine world, where it was known in the eleventh or twelfth century.

Technique and Style in Fourth Century Sarcophagus Production

Alice Christ, University of Kentucky

The Early Christian sarcophagi of Rome present one of those ense, localized, continuous, yet sparsely documented, series of production which inevitably tempt art historians to construct chronological orders based upon evolutionary theories of stylistic development. Such schemes must select certain formal qualities as particularly indicative of the direction of stylistic change. One problem in fourth century sarcophagus studies is that the selection of these traits has not been grounded in an investigation of the tools and hands that produced them.

The important study of G. Eichner, Die Werkstatt des sogennanten dogmatischen Sarkophags (Mannheim, 1977), has claimed provocatively that traits accepted since Riegl to define the development of Late Antique style are no more than artifacts of the degree of finish applied to a given piece, valueless as chronological indicators. Eichner suggested that the division of labor in the sarcophagus shop was not on the artisanal basis of masters executing the more important figures and apprentices relegated to lids, ends, and background heads, as previous scholarship assumed. Rather, he argued for a quasi-industrial division of labor by specialization: designers, relief chiselers, drilling teams and polishers alternating within the working of the relief depth across the whole sarcophagus. Labor might be economized at intermediate stages of production, not merely at the final finish. Eichner's extreme proposition deserves to be considered seriously, for it arose out of meticulous studies of the stages of sarcophagus production based on unfinished pieces. At the same time, the evidence does not fully support Eichner's reconstruction of workshop specialization of labor.

This paper will present technical details of unfinished and finished sarcophagi to support a revised reconstruction of the role of hands in sarcophagus carving. The study will examine which hands, or which stages of production, could leave a visible trace in the final sarcophagus and which aspects of the final appearance of the surface may have chronological significance. For the fact remains that documented sarcophagi of the end of the century differ from those of the middle or early years in relatively systematic ways.

An explicit vision of the possible division of labor or economy of labor at different stages of the creation of sarcophagi will have important implications not only for future attempts at chronological or workshop attribution of individual pieces, but also for theories of stylistic evolution and quality.


Anthony Cutler, Pennsylvania State University

Few examples of imperial art are better known than the Barberini ivory in the Louvre (O.A. 9063); few, in truth, are less well-known than this assemblage featured in virtually every handbook on late antique and Byzantine art. The Barberini has never been the subject of a technical report; conversely, its iconography (including that of its missing plaque and its supposedly missing leaf) has occasioned more interpretation than perhaps any other ivory.

This paper does not offer any new (or old) identification of the emperor depicted, nor will it suggest a precise date for the Barberini's creation. I assume, but do not use as a basis for further argument, that it is a Constantinopolitan creation of the early sixth century. Rather, I examine (1) how it was carved and assembled, and (2) its physical history since its manufacture. Autopsy, not assumption, suggests (a) that the Barberini is a unicum, (b) that it therefore should not be considered simply the example par excellence of so-called five-part diptychs, and (c) that, indeed, it never had an attached leaf. The old idea that the "Barberini Diptych" was designed as a book cover can be shown to be without merit, as can the recent thesis that the central plaque of the Louvre ivory is a replacement for a lost original (P. Speck).

Little known aspects of the Barberini's provenance, and entirely unknown aspects of its restoration (ca. 1939), exemplify how widely accepted readings of the objects that we do possess come to be constructed on the basis of photographs and received opinion. If the ivory is complete (or almost so) in itself, then its ideological content and function need rethinking.

A complete version of the paper will appear in Tesserae. Festschrift fŸr Josef Engemann (=JbAChr, ErgSˇnzungsband 18), Münster, 1991.

Secondary Burial Practices in Hellenistic Judaism

Naomi Janowitz, University of California, Davis

Secondary burial was a widespread practice among Hellenistic Jews. This practice involved placing a body in a burial chamber and, after the flesh had rotted, collecting the bones for reburial, often in an individual stone ossuary. A very limited set of symbols occur on the ossuaries, including plants, rosettes, gateways, facades and columns. While the use of ossuaries was typical in the first century in Palestine, the practice of bone-gathering represents for modern scholars the most non-standard Jewish mode of burial because it seems to contradict rabbinic purity concerns. The ossuary evidence is often minimized in discussions of Jewish burial or labeled "syncretic" and ignored. This paper, instead of juxtaposing the literary evidence with the ossuary evidence, uses rabbinic discussions about bone gathering as a point of entry into a more general discussion about Hellenistic Jewish attitudes towards bones, death and rebirth. Many of the now well-challenged dichotomies (rabbinic vs. hellenistic, non-native vs syncretic) fade in the light of the common concerns of hellenistic Jews of all types about the transformational capacity of death.

An Early Byzantine Imperial Tyche in the Kresge Art Museum

S. P. Madigan, Michigan State University, Lansing

In the Kresge Art museum, Michigan State University, is an early Byzantine bust of a woman (6th century?) carved on three sides of a single block of good white marble . The Kresge Museum staff regards the figure as a memorial bust and has placed it within a late- Roman to early Byzantine context. The figure wears a heavy chiton and a tall, compact crown from which two streamers of fabric cascade down the back and up over the snoulders. A stylized, foliate band surrounds the base. This paper, inspired by the research of Kathleen Shelton, argues that the bust's special type of crown, the streaming veils attached to it, and the foliate symbols on the base provide collectively an iconographic identification for the work: a representation of a personification of a city, a Tyche.

The Kresge statue's crown is distinctive and immediately recognizable as a mural crown which, in the ancient world, was the chief attribute of the goddess Tyche. The most famous ancient representation of the goddess was the hellenistic statue, the Tyche of Antioch, by Eutychices. Its notable attributes were the mural crown and its veil, and hand-held grain and palm fronds. The popularity of the statue was long-lived so that the image and its elements were adopted variously in the Roman and Byzantine worlds. However, Shelton has argued that in the latter, a change occurred in the iconograpnic tradition for Tychai. In the early Byzantine period, the goddesses came to be associated with high public office and in this manner were absorbed into Byzantine imperial imagery. The ''new' Byzantine Tychai appeared in art wearing the distinctive mural crowns and carrying symbols of aoundance similar to their earlier counterparts but were now accompanied ov Byzantine Emperors, as in the 354 Calendar (Vat. Barc. lat. 2154). Tychai appear specifically as symbols of Constantinople and its governmental authority where they continue to sport veils attached to their mural crowns, as or, the gold cup in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and a sixth-century diptych in Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum. On an ivory diptycli of the consul Anastasius, bust-length Tychai wearing mural crowns adorn a curule chair. Such early Byzantine ''imperial Tycnai," ard not Roman funerary busts, provide a more accurate iconographic context for our understanding of the Kresge Art Museum's marble head of a woman.

Out of the Depths, Early Christian Swimmers and Sea-Creature

Eunice Dauterman Maguire, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Swimmers and sea-creatures, both mythical and actual, take their places in a strong current running through the art of the early Christian period. Their diverse sources meet in a confluence of verbal and visual imagery so varied in purpose that it challenges the historian to look for distinct traditions, and for the way they may or may not merge into the general flow. Dolphins, for example, belong in antiquity to Dionysus. In this respect, their connection with non-verbal form presages an interesting Chrisitian tendency to use them for hinting at spiritual powers which transcend any specific scriptural reference. With Nereids and Tritons and hippocamps, they inhabit the sea-triumph or marine thiasos as it appears on carved sarcophagi, and come across into Christian art along with the appropriation of funerary imagery; but in mosaics, metalwork, and small objects, their versatile curvilinear shape lends itself so aptly to decorative symmetry that their presence may often be too easily dismissed as ornament without contextual importance.

In a general sense, much water imagery expresses actual or wished-for well-being in association with the bounty of the fertile deep. The understanding of this propitious implication can extend from worldly into spiritual settings, raising the depths to new heights to indicate the universality of heavenly power, as in two sets of wood carvings for ceilings: on one, in Cleveland, naked Nerieds in a Nilotic sequence, swimming, fishing, and boating with enormous fishes, surround a heavenly triumph scene, with angels and a cross. On the other, a pair of Tritons, each carrying a cross-staff, flank the wreathed cross on a Justinianic casing for one of the ceiling beams in the church at Mt. Sinai.

Even in such a desert setting as Sinai, the sea is used a vivid metaphor. John Climacus envisions the monk immersed in theological texts as a swimmer in dangerous waters, This usage is entirely different from the evocation of enjoyment woven into a late antique textile depicting a Neried carrying a bowl of wine, or the practical pleasure Cassiodorus takes in a pool communicating with the sea to provide fish dinners for his monks. The benign personification of Thalassa presenting the coral in an illustration to a pharmacological fragment included with the Vienna Dioscorides, represents a secular tradition in contrast with the horrors of Noah's flood and its drowning swimmers painted in the Vienna Genesis. This paper will attempt to review some well-known images of swimmers or sea-creatures, and to examine them in comparison with others which may not have received as much notice, to indicate some streams of reference, and their tidal tributaries.

Domestic Architecture at Aphrodisias in Caria

Sheila Campbell, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto

At Aphrodisias in Caria, five large residential buildings have been partially excavated. All of them were luxuriously appointed, and appear to have been in use over varying lengths of time, but specifically in all cases, during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. An examination of the contents of these houses i.e. mosaics, frescoes, bronze vessels, lamps etc., the construction of the rooms themselves, and the division into public and private areas, tell us a great deal about, the daily life of the residents. In this context also one can examine the contemporary jewellery from the tombs and some carved gems found in the region of Aphrodisias, to try to reconstruct a picture of their standard of living. One may also compare these finds to the remarks of both Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory Nazianzus.

The Gospel Book as Lectionary: Parma, Palatina Library, cod. 5

Mary-Lyon Dolezal, University of Oregon

The deluxe Gospel book, Parma, Palatina Library, cod. 5, has long intrigued art historians because of its lavish and unusual decoration. Evangelist portraits, paired with elaborate headpieces containing feast scenes liturgically appropriate for the opening text of each Gospel, and other illustration placed at the beginning of the manuscript, form a portion of the illustration of this Gospel book. In addition, three full page miniatures, each divided into four quadrants of feast scenes, are placed at the end of the Gospel of Matthew and beginning of the Gospel of Mark. These three pages are particularly puzzling in terms of the selection of scenes illustrated and the strange placement of these pages tetween the Matthaean and Markan Gospels. It is the purpose of this paper to explore the possible rationale behind the selection of scenes found on these folios and their position in the Parma Gospel book.

In order to comprehend the unusual decoration in this manuscript, it is necessary to consider its textual characteristics. Analysis of the text indicates that the Parma Gospel book is a complex version of the Gospel text. It is, in fact, a liturgical presentation of the Gospel text. Although liturgical Gospel books are not unusual in the middle Byzantine period, the Parma Gospel book is notable for its precise and complete notations for the entire set of Gospel readings for the liturgical year. Explicit and easily readable gold uncial titles in the margin announce the lections for specific days of the year and the beginning and end of each lection is also carefully denoted in gold. Additional information concerning certain lections is written in gold within the text, not unlike the notations found in some lectionary manuscripts. Moreover, a complete list of all Gospel lections for the year, divided like a lectionary into the movable and fixed feasts, is found at the end of the manuscript. Because of this amplification of its text, the Parma Gospel book would have functioned in the Byzantine liturgy as a lectionary.

The deluxe nature of the decoration in this manuscript also positions it with the most sumptuous lectionaries produced in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In particular, the three pages of feast scenes, situated between the Matthaean and Markan Gospels, are similar to the single full page of feast scenes in the lectiona Rome, Vatican Library, cod. . 1156. This single page of feast scenes introduces a special series of lections read during Holy Week. Each of the six scenes illustrates an important event pertaining to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ commemorated in these Gospel readings. The majority of the feast scenes depicted on the three pages in the Parma Gospel book can be shown to be related to these special lections that appear toward the end of the first half of a lectionary text. Thus, these images all punctuate the narrative of Christ's Passion and Resurrection. The similarity of the three folios in the Parma Gospel book to those in Vat. gr. 1156 suggests that this illustration is best explained in terms of lectionary illustration rather than Gospel illustration. Moreover, the text, which is so like a lectionary, affirms this interpretation of these folios of feast scenes. Explanation of the set of Passion and Resurrection images in Parma, Palatina Library, cod. 5 in terms of lectionary illustration also provides a foundation for further speculation concerning the inclusion of the other, eucharistic images, which begin this sequence of liturgical images.


Chair, Ihor Ševčenko, Harvard University

The Acts of Paul and Thecla and Classical Romantic Themes

Jean Alvares, University of Texas, Austin

In De Baptismo 17 (c. 198-200) Tertullian, referring to Thecla's precedent for feminine authority to baptize and instruct, condemns the author of the Acts of Paul, (= AP) a work fabricated to enhance Paul's prestige. But as Schneemelcher notes, Tertullian speaks not of the Acts of Paul and Thecla, (= AThe) but of the entire AP. Further, the Coptic manuscript PHeid gives (in the restored colophon) the AP's title as "The Acts of Paul A[ccording to] the Apostle", giving proof of its original publication as an apostolic pseudepigraphon. Yet the AThe preserved in PHeid hardly seems designed to glorify Paul or even to be centered upon him. It is centered far more on Thecla, possessing many elements of traditional romantic storytelling. I suggest the independent AThe represents a later reworking of a segment of the original AP, a clever integration of older erotic themes with Christian doctrine. The point is not that the writer is using the honey of romance to sweeten the bitterness of ascetic doctrines; rather it is to point up how straight romances and saints' lives are nurtured by a common soil of traditional popular storytelling.

Many plot elements of the AThe conform with this tradition, yet are easily adapted to the new purposes. Thecla, like the romantic heroines of Heliodorus, Xenophon of Ephesus, Achilles Tatius or Chariton, is of a leading family, exceptionally beautiful, and a virgin. She is engaged to Thamyris, Iconium's leading citizen, the sort of man Thecla might be paired with in a traditional romance. As eros captivates the romantic heroine, desire for the word of Christ captivates Thecla. Eros confines the heroine to her sickbed and distresses her house; likewise the captivated Thecla stays by her window, and her house mourns. Though Paul is balding and bandy-legged, his face possesses angelic beauty, and Thecla becomes as intensely devoted to Paul as any romantic heroine. The jilted Thamyris in turn plays the traditional part of rejected suitor. Romantic heroes are usually jailed for alleged (but false) rapes or seductions, and here Paul is jailed for disrupting the marriages of the Iconians. Thecla labors to visit Paul in prison, (like Charicleia seeking Theagenes in Heliodorus) and like all the heroines searches for him once they have been separated. Thecla is threatened by Alexander, another rich and powerful man in love with her, and is again separated from Paul. Trials and miraculous rescues like Thecla's are also common to romance; Habrocomes in Xenophon, for example, is saved both from crucifixion and burning, and remarkable exploits in the arena form the conclusion to the Ethiopian Romance. The romantic heroine always fights to preserve her chastity, as does Thecla. Thecla returns after her wanderings to be reunited with her mother, an event common to romances. Finally, many of the romances (such as those of Xenophon, Heliodorus and Longus) intend to demonstrate the power of divinity (whether Pan, Eros or Isis) and the special status of the romantic pair, which the Acts of Paul and Thecla certainly does.

Latin Analogues to the Kontakion and Related Forms

Daniel Sherrin, University of Notre Dame

The many discussions of the origin of the genre 'kontakion' have focused on parallel and antecedent features in Syriac poetry to the relative neglect of a group of analogous Latin documents which exhibit most if not all of the following features: they are 1) a chanted popular address in 2) nonquantitative, isosyllabic verses which are 3) disposed in stanzas arranged according to 4) an alphabetic acrostich with 5) a refrain following each stanza, all preceded by 6) an introductory stanza independent of the acrostich.

All of these features are found in two related texts, Augustine's rhetorical Psalmus contra partem Donati, modeled apparently on lost psalmi abcedarii, and Fulgentius of Ruspe's Abecedarium against the Vandal Arians, an imitation of Augustine's work. Another African work from earlier in the fourth century with a different tone and subject matter, the narrative Psalmus responsorius, exhibits most of these features.

The extent of the influence of Augustine's innovation seems to be limited to his own work and Fulgentius'. The Psalmus responsorius has metrical counterparts sharing some of the above features in the poems of Hilary of Poitiers, in Prudentius' Cathemerinon IX, the pseudo-Hilary Hymnum dicat turba fratrum, and in Sedulius' A solis ortus cardine. More numerous rhythmical compositions with even more of the features listed above appear in the sixth century, e.g. the anonymous Apparebit repentina dies magna domini and Columcille's Altus prosator.

The point of a review of these texts which exhibit many formal elements also characteristic of the kontakion and related types of Greek religious poetry is to suggest that a case might be made for a widespread pattern of related, but possibly independent responses to the demand for popular religious verse. The responses were related in that they drew on a common depositurn of biblical models and on common techniques of appeal to popular culture to meet common pastoral challenges, models and techniques and challenges shared to such an extent that they evoked similar, but independent poetic innovations.

Nothing ambitiously definitive is offered here, neither denial nor assertion of very specific instances of influence, but only a suggestion that the larger study of the emergence of innovative Christian poetic forms might benefit from a broader comparative basis.

Moses of Nisibis (fl. 906-943) and the Library of the Monastery of the Syrians

Monica J. Blanchard, The Catholic University of America

It is to Egypt rather than to the Syriac-speaking regions of Syria/Mesopotamia that we owe the preservation of one of the most important collections of Syriac Christian manuscripts. The library of 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 Wadi Natrun, was home to these manuscripts, many of which are now in the British Library. Today they are the mainstay of scholarly endeavours in the field of Syriac studies.

The collection of manuscripts from Deir es-Souriani in the British Library was in large part the impetus for Hugh Evelyn White's monumental work, The Monasteries of the Wadi 'n Na trun (3 v.; Publications of the Metropolitan Museum of Art EgyptianExpedition, 2, 7, 8; Mew York, 1926-1933). His "Excursus: the Library of the Syrian Monastery," (v.2, Iq32) remains the best overview of the history of the library.

The purpose of this communication is to examine the efforts of a tenth century abbot, Moses of Msibis (fl.906-943), to augment the existing library holdings of the Monastery of the Syrians through an extensive program of acquisitions and the promotion of on-site scribal activity. Moses, an eminent bibliophile and gifted administrator, left his mark on many aspects of the monastery. This communication will highlight the acquisition activities of Moses with a view to investigating the availability of Syriac books at that time. It also will focus on his additions to the library in order to learn more about the contents of this impressive monastic collection, and to explore the literary interests and requirements of the Syrian monastic community in Egypt during the years of Moses' abbacy.

On an Ill-fated Friday Synesius Set Sail

Jacqueline Long, University of Texas, Austin

Synesius of Cyrene's liveliest narrative is contained in Ep.5 Garzya. Strandec along the coast awaiting repairs to the ship which should have carried him from Alexandria to Cyrene, Synesius composed for his brother Euoptius the history of his disastrous voyage. Every conceivable jinx should have warned him not to embark. The captain and his crew make up the unlucky number thirteen. More than half of them are Jewish and therefore malevolent towards all Hellenes, the rest are inexperienced landsmen. Every one of them is physically deformed. The ship performs the nautical equivalent of tripping on the threshold by running aground two or three times before it even gets out of the harbor. The journey itself lives down to its auspices. The ship races from peril to peril through two storms, until it limps mastless into an unfamiliar harbor. There the travelers face starvation. They are saved not by the charity but by the curiosity of the native women: all of them have such large breasts that they marvel at the slenderer women travelers, and bribe them with food in order to be allowed to study their bosoms. Synesius narrowly avoids the moral peril of dependency on them. The tensions of the letter relax into friendly greetings and wry jokes about the hazards of travel.

Synesius fills the tale with artful reversals, mingling high drama and human exasperation. The captain abandons the tiller as the first storm swells, because the Sabbath has come and he must read the Torah. The passengers plead and threaten, but, he remains obdurate until the storm becomes strong enough to kill them all. When he returns to work, the passengers prepare for death with unabated hysteria. Synesius sagely ponders Homer. One passage authorizes him to approve pedantically the travelling soldiers' determination to kill themselves rather than drown. Jewish, folk and learned secular superstitions mesh with delicate irony. After this storm, two days' clear sailing temporarily reverses the first bad start from Alexandria; but astrological omens threaten even worse disaster than did the human misfortunes with which the trip began. In the second storm the ship itself is crippled. The travelers' final rescue suits traditions of fantastic voyages in strange lands.

Among the signs of disaster, Synesius reports enough astronomical and calendaric detail to define several theoretically possible dates for his voyage. Historical considerations can further narrow the list. Thus from Ep.5 we have the rare opportunity to determine scientifically the specific day of an ancient event. In this paper I will redate Ep.5 in accordance with accurate astronomical data, and I will analyze how this very entertaining letter builds its excitement and humor. Correct dating removes a pall cast over Synesius' character by the most recent published study (D. Roques, Etudes sur Ja Correspondance de SynŽsios de Cyrne, 1969, 181-6). It consequently restores sympathetic enjoyment of Ep.5's agile pacing and deft modulation of tone, which display at its best the literary sensibility on which Synesius so prided himself (cf. Dion 61D-62D).

The Role of the Almogavars in the Byzantine Empire: Crusaders and Mercenaries in Catalan History and Fiction

Roberto J. Gonzdles-Casanovas, Catholic University of America

This paper considers the role of the almogavars as crusaders, mercenaries, and popular heroes in two works, the Cr˜nica (1325-28) and Tirant lo Blanc (146090), written in Catalan by the soldier historian Ramon Muntaner and by the courtier novelist Joannot Martorell respectively. Using methods of cultural historicism, this paper attempts to compare the heroic pretext, narrative textuality, political subtext, and historical context of the almogavars in relation to the Byzantine frame for their image of chivalry and the Mediterranean stage for their acts of prowess.

The almogavars were Western knights and soldiers from the Crown of Arag—n in eastern Spain who were led by the Italian Roger de Flor; they fought in the Byzantine Empire during the early fourteenth century and established there the "Latin" or "Frankish" (Catalan- speaking) dominions of the Duchies of Neopatria and Athens. Their exploits (service against the Turks, assassination of their leader, vengeance against the Byzantines, and conquests of Greek territories under James II of Arag—n) are interpreted in two major works of Catalan historiography and narratology that span two important centuries of relations between Arag—n and the Byzantine empire: Ramon Muntaner's Cr—nica offers a documentary account of contemporary events that is full of confidence in Western power; Joannot Martorell and Martf Joan de Galba's Tirant lo Blanc develops an indirect fictionalization of past history that combines a nostalgia for chivalry with a critique of modern warfare.

This study questions the two texts as mirrors that appropriate the otherness of Byzantine culture so as to reflect a self-image for the West in an age of expansion. This exemplary function depends on the codes of interpretation by which the Greek East is "read" and rewritten as a text by the Latin West. The heroic exemplarity also relates to the models of reception by which Western readers develop a sense of cultural identity and historical mission within the changing geopolitical circumstances of the Mediterranean. Studies by Phillips, White, Hampton, and Jauss (on medieval history, cultural historicism, rhetoric of exemplarity, and reception theory respectively) provide a useful framework for analyzing the almogavars as types of the Western adventurers who profit from crises in the East and are then transformed into heroes of the West's cultural mythography. What emerges from such a study of the historical discourse of Muntaner's chronicle and Martorell's novel are the textual, rhetorical, and ideological strategies of propaganda used to interpret the Western heroism "made possible" in and by Byzantium.

Semiotic Aspects of the Byzantine Musical Formulas

Nina K. Ulff-Moller, University of Copenhagen

The existence of the Byzantine musical notation as a sign system, and the conventionality and instability of the neumes constructed musical formulas, seems to be a good reason for a semiotic interpretation of the Byzantine Chant. This semiotic interpretation is based on a single dominating invariant factor - the duality of the medieval Chant and its division into two contradictory spheres, one of which is functioning as written, while the other one is functioning as oral tradition- The patterns of the musical formulas studied seem to construct an organic model, in which these two contradictory spheres do not simply co-exist, but presume and define each other. Such model permits the re-reading of numerous facts, related to the various aspects of the musical tradition and the different stages of the Byzantine Chant development

The present paper analyzes 20 Byzantine musical formulas covering different stages of the Byzantine musical notation - Chartres, Coislin, and Round - from 11 - 16th c. The structural analysis of the formulas and the mechanisms of their development provide the necessary base for the semiotic study of the musical formulas. The  musical formulas have an iconic character because of the neumes nature. Therefore, a strong connection between the level of expression and the level of meaning seems to exist. This paper also examines the behaviour of the Byzantine musical formulas in the manuscripts (written tradition) and in the social life (oral tradition). The modeling role of the musical formulas, especially their model-construction-function at the beginning and the end of the Chant seems to be of special importance. Data that describes the dynamic interrelationship between the neumes applied in the musical formulas and their real melodic context, is also presented. The results of the study could help for a better understanding of the role of the musical formulas in the development of the Byzantine Chant.


Chair, Christine Havice, University of Kentucky

Female Saints in Byzantine Monumental Decoration

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

This paper concerns the presence and significance of portraits of female saints in Byzantine monumental church decoration after iconoclasm. Although most surviving mosaic and fresco programs are incomplete, in the few that are largely intact women sometimes appear within the ensemble. What is the meaning of their appearance [or absence] in Byzantine church decoration?

Initially, the mosaics of Hosios Loukas will be considered, since this monument has an unusually complete and well preserved program of decoration. Portraits of female saints are concentrated on the west wall of the narthex in the lunettes of the north and south bays. In the north bay we find medallion portraits of Thekla, Anastasia, Petronia, Agatha and Eugenia grouped around full length portraits of Constantine and Helena. In the south are medallions with Euphemia, Marina and Juliana around full length figures of Irene, Katherine and Barbara. That is, we find in these two groups a total of twelve female saints, the only ones other than the Virgin Mary in an overall program that includes portraits of over 100 male saints; in the frescoes of chapels and crypt are another 60 male saints. What do these female saints represent in terms of emphasis given to some (the full length portraits) and in terms of the groups they form? What are their associations? How do they fit into the overall progrann ind function of the narthex? Drawing on the Life of St Luke of Steiris, founder of the monastery, and other contemporary documents we can glean some explanations for the presence of holy women at Hosios Loukas.

In other surviving church programs we find comparison and contrasts with the situation at Hosios Loukas. At Daphni and Nea Moni on Chios holy women are absent. The same is true of the Paleologan ensembles at the Pammacharistos and Carive Camii in Istanbul. However, the Cappadocian cave churches of the tenth and eleventh cent-aries provide numerous examples of female portraits, including some that are repeated over and over and in similar groupings. Among the churches surveyed all but one induded Constantine and Helena in their decoration, -usually near the entrance. In conjunction with them are found most often Katherine, Barbara, Marina, Parascheve and Anastasia.

In attempting to explain the presence and absence of female saints the following factors will be weighed: geographical differentiation, special associations of Constantine and Helena, associations and groupings of individual saints, the function of the part of the church where they appear, their appearance in other media. The numerous interpretive problems raised by this evidence provide particularly productive opportunities for discussion.

Princess Milica of Serbia in Art, Literature and Epic Poetry

Ljubica D. Popovich, Vanderbuilt University

Equally well-known in history to the Serbian Queen Helen of Anjou (d. 1405), but much less studied, is a distinguished Serbian noblewoman, Princess Milica (d. 1405), the subject of this examination. A descendant of the Nemanji° line and the widow of Prince Lazar, killed at Kosovo 1389), Milica became the country's regent during one of one most difficult periods of Serbian history.

The variety of source materials pertaining to Milica dictates an interdisciplinary approach to her image--through art, literary sources and epic poetry.

In the visual arts, two conventionalized portraits of this remarkable woman have survived in fresco, one in Ravanica and the other in her own foundation, Ljubostinja. However, it is through the written words of her close contemporaries that Milica's personality is individualized. In An Historical Word about Knez Lazar, by the patriarch Danilo III, Milica's grief over the tragedy of Kosovo becomes real: "All of a sudden a sharp weapon pierced my soul . . My young girls and young men are taken into slavery." At this historical juncture Milica sends her youngest daughter to the harem of Bajezid i (1389-1402) as an act of diplomacy to protect her people. Konstantin the Philosopher, in writing the Life of Despot Stevan Lazarevi° paints a vivid portrait of Milica, mother of the despot. Hecharacterizes her as a superlative mother and as a person of virtue and mercy, traits well documented by her deeds. A touch of realism is provided when Konstantin reports how much Milica feared her mission to the court of Suleiman (1402-1410) , and how she found one of her kinsfolk, the nun Jefimija, to be her "tower of strength."

Folk imagination added another dimension to the visual and verbal portraits of Milica. Other women, historical and legendary, were given roles in Serbian epic poetry, but the role of Milica was unique among them. Through the Nemanji° line, she provided a connection with the glorified past and, through her martyred husband, to the Kosovo epic cycle. The words of an anonymous bard, while describing the richness of Milica's garments in conventionalized terms, invest ger character with certain ethnicaily admired virtues. In the epic Poem, The Building of Ravanica, she is depicted as a gentle spiritual advisor to her husband; in Tzar Lazar and Tzaritza Milica, the love of her husband for her, as well as Milica's proverbial love for her brothers, is described. It is Milica who receives the tragic news from Kosovo, either alone (in Servant Milutin) or together with her daughters (in Tzaritza Milica and Vladeta Vojvoda). Finally, in. a bugarûtica, it is Milica's role to conclude the death theme in the Kosovo epic cycle (Death of Miloû Obili° ). Here the final metamorphosis of Milica's portrait occurs: the poetic words remove it from the realm of the individual, making Milica into a national prototype which, in some of its iconographic aspects, parallels images of the Virgin.

Byzantine Musical Tradition in Contemporary Greek Orthodox Monasteries for Women

Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, Butler University

Byzantine music is an integral and indispensable part of Greek Orthodox liturgical worship. Women, however, are generally barred from taking a position at the psalterion (chanter= s stand ) in Greek Orthodox churches in Greece. The main exception to this occurs in monasteries for women, where the nuns may form a Byzantine choir. Since women lack the musical advantage of growing up at the Psalterion (young boys with musical and/or ecclesiastical leanings or connections are encouraged to stand with the male singers), the development of musical skills necessary to perform the function of the Psaltes (chanters) is most often delayed until entrance into the monastery as a novice (i.e., adulthood). Thus, some monasteries rely on importing male chanters, for worship services. Others have developed a distinctly feminine style of chanting. The focus of this paper will be two such monasteries located in Halkidiki that have developed contrasting musical styles (both while staying within the musical tradition). At both monasteries, selected nuns responsible for chanting were interviewed and field recordings were made.

Session 14: ICONS

Chair, Gary Vikan, The Walters Art Gallery

Servants of the Holy Icon

Nancy P. Ševčenko, Cambridge

In his Typikon of the Pantokrator monastery in Constantinople founded in 1 136, John I I Comnenus makes provision for the services to be performed in his memory. One of his requests is that the icon of the Hodegetria be brought on the anniversary of his death from its sanctuary across town into his tomb chamber, where it should remain overnight, When the icon leaves, the people who brought it are to be paid the sum of 50 nomismata hyperpyra divided as follows: 6 for the icon, 24 for the 12 "koudai", and 2 each for the bearers and other servants of the holy icon (eæ to× ς bastagarίouς kai loipo× ς douleut ς tÐ ς ÿ gίaς e® kόnoς). The remainder is to be divided into smaller denominations and given "to the signa", i.e to the other icons involved in the procession.

These bastagarioi must be the bearers whom we see depicted either shouldering a large icon of the Hodegetria or standing alongside it in various 14th century Serbian Akathistos cycles, on a 13th century fresco in Arta, and on some icons of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. They are sometimes clad in red, with special hats or hoods, and fit the written descriptions provided us by pilgrims to Constantinople, for whom the colorful weekly procession of the Hodegetria was something not to be missed. These pilgrim accounts imply that bearers such as these belonged to a special brotherhood, or even that the privilege of attending the icon could remain in the same family over generations.

The important study by Nesbitt and Wiita (BZ 86 [19751, 360-84) found evidence for the existence of such a community in late 11th- 12th century Greece; each of its members signed himself do¯ loς § peragίaς qeotόkou tÐ ς Nepakthtήshς ("servant of the [icon of the] Virgin of Naupaktos"). In this paper, other sources relevant to the subject of such brotherhoods will be investigated: the mention by Eustathios of Thessalonike of a brotherhood that regularly carried an icon of the Hodegetria around the city of Thessalonike in the mid 12th century; a miracle story involving a layman who, after being cured by the Virgin at her monastery at Pege, inscribed himself as a do¯ loς tÐ ς qeotόkou and became the prώtoς tŠ n adelfŠ n tÐ ς presbeίaς at Pege; some seals of an official called a prώtoς tÐ ς presbeίaς tŠ n blaxernŠ n, which Laurent has proposed belonged to the man in charge of presbeia processions (regular Friday night services in honor of the Virgin, which included a procession of icons). The thus occasionally technical meaning of the otherwise common phrase do¯ loς tÐ ς qeotόkou will also have to be explored.

A Visual Treatise on the Veneration of Icons in the Twelfth Century

Nicolette Trahulia, Harvard University

The paper deals with a twelfth century icon from the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai which has hitherto not been discussed in any depth, despite its unusual composition. The main body of the icon consists of six registers containing scenes of the miracles and Passion of Christ. Along the top of the panel are five images of the Virgin, four of which represent famous icons which were housed in certain churches in Constantinople. The fifth image, not identified as a specific icon, represents the enthroned Virgin and Child, the type of image that usually appeared in the apse of a church. At the feet of this enthroned Virgin kneels a supplicant, probably the monk John who names himself in an inscription on the back of the panel.

The panel as a whole can be read as a visual treatise on the veneration of icons, particularly those of the Virgin. Marian worship gained particular popularity following iconoclasm, a phenomenon which can be explained in large part by the emphasis the iconophiles put on the Virgin. She is honored as the vehicle of the Incarnation which served as the main justification for the depiction of Christ.

Furthermore, the balance between the human and divine natures of Christ was a key issue throughout the iconoclastic controversy and it is this sort of christological dogma which is contained in the Sinai icon; Christ is shown in both His human and divine aspects, His miracles standing for His divinity and His Passion as a reference to His humanity. These images are complemented by images of the Virgin and Child illustrating the Incarnation and the balance of the divine and human in Christ.

The juxtaposition of icons of the Virgin and scenes of the miracles of Christ also lays emphasis on the miracle-producing capacities of the icons themselves and recalls a justification of the veneration of icons, made as early as the seventh century.

Thus, the Sinai panel makes a statement about the intercessory power of the Virgin through the medium of her holy icons, a subject particularly relevant to the twelfth century. However, ultimately, the Sinai panel speaks not only of certain miraculous icons of the Virgin, but of the veneration of icons in general.

The Icon of the Standing Archangel Michael (Venice, Treasury of St. Marco): The Materialization of an Imperial Archangel

Mary Vokes, University of Michigan

The icon of the standing Archangel Michael is one of the most astonishing and unique products of Byzantine metalwork. Measuring 18-12" by 14-12", the work fuses on a large scale the dazzling material and technical might of Byzantine metalwork with the dual divine root of Byzantine imperial power. Through a complex assemblage of silver-gilt, gold cloisonnŽ enamel, repoussŽ enamel, semi-precious stones, and pearls, the immaterial archangel boldly materializes before the Garden of Paradise. Brandishing sword andorb, Michael stands as the leader of the celestial army whose regiment, the martyred military heroes of Christendom, stand on watch with alerted eyes beside him.

Most likely brought to Venice as part of the spoils from the Fourth Crusade sack of Constantinople, the icon has received little critical attention since entering the Treasury of San Marco. Several studies were produced in conjunction with an exhibition and thus provide only a description of the icon. Other references in survey books on Byzantine art history or techniques are equally brief. The emphasis of this scholarship has been to use the style of the enamelwork to establish a date. The most recent exhibition dates the icon between the late eleventh and early twelfth century. Unfortunately, past scholarship has failed to examine the icon's high state of preservation as an invaluable resource for understanding the techniques, organizational philosophy, and spirituality of not only the Byzantine artists who created this work but the imperial patron who certainly commissioned this vision. This paper will discuss the spiritual concerns addressed in the icon's material, metalworking techniques, and organization and the role each plays in the creation of a complex and multi-leveled interpretation of the Archangel Michael.

A Palaeologian Ascension Icon in the Menil Collection

Thalia Gouma-Peterson, The College of Wooster

An Ascension icon recently acquired by the Menil Collection provides a lively and complex representation of that very significant Biblical event which concludes Christ's life on earth. In this paper I will consider the style and iconography of this icon in relation to other Palaeologan examples in order to determine its place within the development of the art of this period.

The very fine quality of this small icon is readily discernible despite the considerable damage to the paint surface. Freedom and expansiveness of composition, mobility and expressiveness of figures, and brightness and vivacity of color scheme are its most outstanding characterristics. The painter, extremely competent and in control of his medium, was able within the small confines of the panel to create the impression of a circular composition expanding both outwards and upwards. This circularity reflects the increased spatial consciousness characterstic of Palaeologan painting, especially in the decades between 1260 and 1320. Equally characteristic are the mobility of the figures, the classicizing structure of the garments, and the dramatic intensity of posture and gesture. These stylistic traits, traceable to classical antiquity and common in Palaeologan art, were derived primarily from tenth and eleventh-century Byzantine manuscripts, and firmly place the Menil icon within the style of the Palaeologan period.

Iconographically this Ascension is related to a group of early Palaeologan frescoes and icons dated c.1295-1310. In all of these the Virgin stands directly on the ground and turns to the left in a three quarter profile, looking up toward Christ. This iconography makes the Virgin an integral part of the dramatic context of the event. In the Menil Ascension the liveliness and drama of the figures on earth also extend to the upper section of the composition in the two mobile and asymmetrically placed angels who support Christ's aureole. This kind of asymmetry is very unusual even in Palaeologan examples, where the angels are normally shown in profile and are mirror images of each other. Equally unique is the identity of the two winged beings that support the aureole from above. These are not abbreviated versions of angels; they are seraphim. According to the prophets (Isaiah 6:2-3 and Ezekiel 9:3-4) and according to the Liturgy, the seraphim and cherubim are the angels next to God's throne. The combination of seraphim with the Ascension is rare and only exceptionally are they shown as bearers of Christ's aureole. Their presence in the scene emphasizes the double manifestation of Christ who ascends to heaven as both man and God. The painter of the Menil icon most likely derived this special iconography from Middle-Byzantine manuscripts and adapted it to his particular needs or, more probably to the wishes of his patron.


Chair, Cecil G. Stricker, University of Pennsylvania

Archaeological Evidence for Christianity in Southern Jordan

Robert Schick, Case Western Reserve University

This paper will examine what recent archaeological investigations have revealed about Christianity in southern Jordan during in the Byzantine period. Since the 1930s, site surveys in southern Jordan - the area south of the Wadi Mujib, which formed the eastern half of theprovince of Third Palestine - have identified church ruins and/or recorded inscriptions, particularly tombstones. But it was only in 1985 at el-Lejjun that the first stratigraphic excavation of a Byzantine church took place. Since then substantially more archaeological work has been carried out that sheds light on Christianity. This presentation will focus on discoveries in the last several years at four sites, with which I have been involved.

At Petra, the capital of Third Palestine, archaeological traces of Christianity have been surprisingly meager, given the importance of the city. Survey work in 1990 identified a major basilica, perhaps the cathedral church, in the heart of the city. Among the ruins of this basilica are traces of glass wall mosaics. Plans are being made to excavate this church. Also in 1990, the monastery at the summit of the nearby mountain of Jebel Harun has been surveyed. As literary sources attest, it continued in use up through the Crusades.

Ongoing excavations since 1988 at the isolated monastery of Deir 'Ein 'Abata, near the southeast end of the Dead Sea, have revealed what is probably the church of Saint Lot, identified on the Madaba mosaic map. Excavations in 1991 at Humeima were carried out at one of the two identified basilicas. The ongoing excavations since 1985 at 'Aqaba have uncovered a number of architectural pieces from Christian churches reused in the buildings of the early Islamic city. The accumulating evidence from these, and other discoveries, permit some preliminary observations about the nature of Christianity in the area of southern Jordan in the Byzantine period.

The Sabaite Monasticism in Palestine

Joseph Patrich, Zinman Instilue of Archaeology, University of Haifa

St. Sabas (439-532 AD) was one of the main leaders of the Palestinian monasticism. At a time when older laurae were being transformed into a coenobia, he gave a new impetus to lauritic life in the Judean Desert - the desert of the Holy City of Jerusalem, that became the main center of Palestinian monasticism. The laurae he founded in 483, called 'the Great Laura', stood at the head of six laurae. and six coenobia, in all of which St. Sabas written Rule was applied thus they formed a kind of confederation, and the largest cohesive group in the Palestinian monasticism. Sabas= personal qualifications as a monk, an abbot, a builder, an archimandrite and a legislator, and his repurarion as a holy man and an ecclesiastical leader are the facts that shaped his monastic system, spread its fame and preserved its vitality for long generations after his death. Sabaite monks underwent a systematic preparation and instruction as novices and a careful selection, so that they were well educated, fervent and highly conscious in their faith. In later times, Sabas' Great Laura became a center of theological and literary activity, and the Sabaite monks led a resolut fight for orthodoxy during the Origenist controversy, the iconoclastic struggle and the dispute, on the filioque issue.

This paper will discuss various aspects, of the Sabaite monastic system, in the light of new archaeological finds and of an attentive study of the literary sources.

The Palaeologan Trapeza at Didymoteicho and its Frescoes

Robert Ousterhout, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The town of Didymoteicho in Greek Thrace was a favorite hunting retreat and residence of the Byzantine emperors during the late 13th and early 14th centuries. As a consequence, Didymoteicho maintained close relations with the imperial court in Constantinonle, and the town became the de facto capital in 1341 when the coronation of John VI Cantacuzenus took place there. Didymoteicho continued to enjoy imperial attention until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1361. In spite of its significant position in Late Byzantine history, Didymoteicho is not well known to scholars. Archaeological work in the region is only beginning, and few of the remains have been systematically examined.

In 1990-91, I Joined the Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities at Kavala in an excavation of a building which we have identified as a trapeza, or monastic dining hall. The remains of the trapeza are located in a narrow space between the 19th-century cathedral of Ag. Athanasios to the south and a series of rock-cut storage chambers in the cliff to the north. The building was long and thin, measuring about 4.5 X 17 M. internally, constructed of brick and stone. Its lateral walls were lined with arched recesses. The north wall still stands its full height. During the 1990 season, we were able to identify the floor level of the trapeza, as well as the remains of the apsed east end and a portion of the south wall. The building rests on bedrock, and its construction technique is extremely fine, although the plan is curiously irregular and symmetrical.

We identified three major phases of use, although the chronology is still not fixed precisely: (1) a cemetery with tombs cut into the bedrock, preceding the construction of the trapeza; (2) the trapeza, -which may be dated to the first half of the 14th century; and (3) the subsequent reconstruction and conversion of the eastern part of the building into a funeral chapel, with an ossuary crypt cut into the bedrock below the nave. From the 14th century phase we have uncovered hundreds of fresco fragments, some of which preserve fine figural details and inscriptions. One large section of fresco was found on the wall, the lower half of a life-size imperial portrait. The figure was shown seated on a throne, wearing jewelled robes and red shoes. The feet rest on a red hypopodion elevated on a footstool. Unfortunately, there is no clue to his identity, although John VI is a good possibility.

The investigation is important for a number of reasons. First, the high quality of the construction and decoration, as well as the presence of an imperial portrait, suggests imperial patronage for the building. Architectural details correspond to those known from 14th century Constantinople. Second, nothing was known about monumental painting in this region before the excavation. The frescoes are of the same level of quality as those known in the major centers of the period, such as Constantinople and Thessaloniki. Third, no examples of monastic dining halls have survived in Constantinople, although they were a standard feature of a Byzantine monastery. If our identification is correct, this is the first Byzantine trapeza known in the orbit of the Byzantine capital, and the form of our building may reflect the lost architecture of Constantinople.

Satellite Reconnaissance and Frankish Settlements in the Western Peloponnesos

Joseph Alchermes, University of Minnesota/Dumbarton Oaks

Frankish invaders and other European powers occupied and controlled the western Peloponnesos from 1205 through the early fifteenth century. While the military and political history of the Frankish occupation is fairly well documented, much Frankish archaeological evidence has not received adequate attention, and the economic and social consequences of the extended Frankish presence have barely been investigated. Professor F. Cooper and I have initiated an intensive survey of the area around Andravida, the Frankish capital. It is our purpose to clarify the picture of Frankish development of the area, and to identify the factors that motivated this development.

The initial stage of our survey focused on medieval sites in the rugged hills south of the Frankish heartland in the plain of Elis. Like so much of the western Peloponnesos, this region is dotted with numerous hilltop fortifications, ascribed for the most part to the Frankish period. These monuments are still incompletely catalogued, since the terrain over which they are scattered is generally difficult, and in many areas virtually impassable. These fortifications vary considerably in size, in layout, and no doubt in purpose. Small, isolated structures were perhaps meant as lookout towers, while the larger walled tower-complexes served the functions of both reconnaissance and defense. Topographers and archaeologists have described the remains of some towers, but our preliminary findings indicate that many have gone undetected.

Traditional methods of prospection have proven ineffective, since many fortifications are all but inaccessible. Towers have gone unnoticed in field survey on account of their ruinous state, or because they are blanketed in dense vegetation. For this reason, we have developed a program of topographical prospection based on computer analysis of spectral data gathered by NASA satellites. Few archaeologists have begun to exploit the potential of these satellite tapes.

Each class of ground cover on the earth's surface, whether it be a stand of pine, a deposit of stone or a field strewn with masonry rubble, has a characteristic biophysical signature. Known fortifications, such as the citadel at Smerna southeast of Olympia, have distinctive biophysical profiles. Using these training signatures, we have been able to extract from the vast array of pixels (picture elements) additional sets with identical values, an excellent indication of the existence of other citadels not documented or noticed in the territories under Frankish jurisdiction.

The use of these advanced satellite technologies makes it possible to organize and conduct topographical surveys on a vast scale. Other satellite technologies permit the evaluation of individual sites with a precision and rapidity unattainable as recently as a decade ago. The Trimble GPS (Ground Positioning System), for example, was employed with great success in Our 1991 fieldwork. Linked to a global satellite network, this device enables the surveyor to fix and store recorded ground positions, streamlining the task of drawing maps of fortifications, villages and other artificial or natural topographical features. Two sites where this tool furnished particularly valuable results are the citadel of Smerna near Olympia, and the well-known chfiteau of Akova in the mountains of Arcadia: both Smerna and Akova are so densely overgrown that it is impossible to map them using traditional surveying techniques. For this reason, maps created with the help of the GPS far surpass the sketchy and incomplete documentation of these important Frankish settlements provided by Bon and earlier topographers.(1)

A better understanding of the relation between these settlements and the medieval road systems that crisscrossed the area will shed much light on commercial patterns and contacts among the Franks of the Morea, their Greek rivals elsewhere in the Peloponnesos, the Italian maritime powers with interests in coastal development, and later, the invading Turks. Spectral analysis of the plain of Elis in the vicinity of Andravida has revealed a latticework pattern of channels, evidently linked with a medieval aqueduct system of which only a few short sections are presently visible. The evidence for medieval irrigation and agriculture, evaluated in connection with the provisions for defense, communication and commerce documented archaeologically and in the historical sources, broadens our picture of the development of this territory undertaken by the western invaders and deepens our understanding of the attractions that this land held for the Franks.

1. A. Bon, La MorŽe Franque. Recherches historiques, topographiques et archŽologiques sur la principautŽ d'Acha•e, 1205-1430 (Paris, 1969), 646 and figure 14 (Smerna), 634-635 and plate 83 (Akova).

Italian-Byzantine Interaction on the Isthmus of Corinth, 1350-1453

Timothy E. Gregory, Ohio State University

The Hexamilion and the other fortifications on the Isthmus of Corinth became the primary focus of the defense of the Peloponnesos against the mounting power of the Ottoman Turks in the fourteenth century. The despots at Mystra and even more the emperors in Constantinople consistently sought support in the defense of the Isthmus from the Italian powers, especially Venice. The history of those negotiations and their ultimate failure are well attested in the literary sources and the records of the Venetian Senate. Archaeological investigation at the former Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia since 1967 have considerably increased our knowledge of this period and the actual degree of interaction between Byzantines and Italians in the 14th and 15th centuries. Excavation has revealed, for example, large quantities of Western pottery at Isthmia, testifying to trade connections with Italy and even Spain. This information can help us to understand the broader economic and cultural currents that lay behind the specifically military and diplomatic issues that ultimately led to the fall ot the Isthmus to the Ottomans.

Session 16: SANCTITY

Chair, Susan Harvey, Brown University

Christian Burial and Communal Space in Fifth-Seventh Century Carthage

Susan T. Stevens, Agnes Scott College

Council records, laws, Saints' Lives and other Christian texts of the fifth through seventh century in the West give the impression of a normal and well-established practice of Christian burial. One searches in vain, however, for consistent and distinctive details of burial practice which might help to distinguish Christian from pagan burials. Archaeologists who have sought visible signs of Christian burial practice in the cemeteries of late antiquity have also been frustrated. One by one, burial practices identified as potentially Christian: inhumation, the west-east orientation of graves, the lack of grave goods, the extended supine position of the body have proven to be neither exclusively nor universally Christian.

This paper will argue that the apparent disparity of evidence for Christian burial from literature and archaeology lies in the reluctance of scholars to work the two sources together. It seeks, in a case study of Christian burial in Carthage from the fifth through seventh century, to establish a common ground between the theory and practice of Christian burial and the tracks of ancient and modern evidence.

The point of departure is Augustine's treatise De cura pro mortuis gerenda. In the process of developing his theme, that burial benefits the living more than the dead, he isolates two characteristics of fifth century Christian burial: the desire for ad sanctos burial and a lack of religious motivation for the mechanics of burial. Augustine appears more concerned with the place than the kind of interment, where and with whom individual Christians were interred, not how they were interred. According to his argument, the power of ad sanctos burial lies in the prayers of the Christian community offered at a saint's tomb which are efficacious for the ordinary dead. The presence of other Christians, particularly an active Christian community signaled by prayer is what makes the place of burial important. The tomb, he argues, marks the place of the sleeping faithful in the larger Christian community. By contrast, he argues that human nature and the social senses of gens and patria rather than religion regulate the mechanics of burial. Taken as a whole, the De cura suggests that this sense of community with the dead rather than any particular practice defines Christian burial.

Fifth through seventh century burials at Carthage confirm that the distinctive character of Christian burial lies more in the location and organization of cemeteries than in the mechanics of burial. Christian cemeteries at Carthage document how the integration of the sleeping faithful into the living community transformed the ancient city. Among the earliest cemeteries are separate enclosures associated with Christian buildings on the outskirts of the city, then Christian burials appear in extramural city cemeteries and finally in intramural churches and burial areas. The evidence of Christian cemeteries and the voices of African Christians together suggest that it is in their radical perception of communal space that the Christians of Carthage differed most from their pagan predecessors.

The Memory of the Eyes: Visualization ol the Sacred in Late Antique Pilgrimage

Georgia A. Frank, Harvard University

A ...for the ears are naturally less reliable than the eyes--and because very often forgetfulness follows what we hear, whereas the memory of what we have seen is not easily erased but remains imprinted on our minds like a picture." Historia Monachoruni in Aegypto, 1.19 (N. Russell, trans.)

This paper explores the relation between visual perception and participation in the sacred past in two late-fourth-century descriptions of Christian pilgrimage--the anonymous Historia Monachorum in Aegypto, recording a pilgrimage to holy persons, and the descriptions of holy place pilgrimage found in Athanasius's letter to virgins returning from Palestine (J. Lebon, ed. and trans., "Athanasiana Syriaca II," Le MusŽon 41 [1928] 169-216). Although the nature of the pilgrims' destination may differ, both accounts contain examples of visualization of biblical events or figures.

The centrality of sight for late antique pilgrims' spirituality is clear in Athanasius's descriptions of what pilgrims experienced in the holy land. In his letter of consolation to a group of virgins whose separation from the holy places has disrupted their ascetic practice, the bishop makes frequent mention of their visual perception of Christ in the holy places, he urges them to continue their ascetic discipline to perpetuate the immediacy of that visual experience. Gospel figures such as Mary, Peter, and Zacchaeus are invoked as models for ascetic behavior, because, like the pilgrims, they too have seen Christ. The connection between visual perception, imitation and participation in the sacred past is reinforced by the rhetorical juxtaposition of each gospel character's perception and the pilgrim's experience as the basis for spiritual transformation.

The priority of vision over the other senses for access to the sacred past is also clear in another type of pilgrim account: pilgrimage to living ascetics. The Historia Monachorum in Aegypto frequently alludes to the reliability of seeing over hearing for religious memory. The assumed permanence of visual experience leads some pilgrims to be dissatisfied with the blessing of an immured ascetic; their persistence is motivated by a desire to gaze upon the face of the ascetic (1.6-9). In addition to the importance of the gaze over verbal exchange, I shall examine descriptions of ascetics' physical appearance. Often, the pilgrim perceives facial resemblances between a particular ascetic and an angel, prophet, or patriarch. One of the briefest accounts, John of Diolcos (ch. XXVI), links that abba's power of healing to his physical resemblance to both Abraham and Aaron. Does the pilgrim's desire to gaze upon these family resemblances allow the pilgrim another form of participation in the biblical past?

In the final part of the paper, I shall attempt to relate visualization in both types of pilgrimage to theories of sight in late antiquity. In particular, late antique appropriations of the Platonic notion of the visual ray may illumine the privileging of sight over the other senses for engagement with the sacred.

The Life of George of Choziba: The Construction of a Saint

David M. Olster, University of Kentucky

The Life of George of Choziba must be counted one of the more amusing hagiographic works of late antiquity. George himself performed few miracles and attracted few disciples. He sat atop no pillar, and no crowds sat at his feet. In fact, the only serious miracle. that George performed was surviving the sack of his monastery during the Persian conquest of the Levant in the first quarter of the seventh century. With these narrow qualifications, how, or why, did George rate sainthood?

George was a saint because Choziba needed tourism. Perhaps the monastery had difficulty recovering from the sack; perhaps Antonius (the hagiographer) simply wanted to drum up some business. Whatever the reason, the Life sometimes reads more like a tourist guide than a spiritual guide. We are told that choziba offers the road-weary traveler an opportunity to stop and partake of the monks' hospitality while visiting the relics of the holy George.

The author of the Life of Georqe of Chobiza, in fact, seems to be quite conscious of his mercenary ends: the author's only problem seems to be George himself, a saint of rather uncertain qualifications. It is fortunate, therefore, that hagiography was a highly conventionalized genre. Were it not, Antonius might have had difficulty constructing a saint out of George.

We hope to examine three main topics: the social context of the monastery, the generic creation of George, and finally, the advertisement of Choziba as a cult center. We hope, in this way, to direct scholars' attention toward the integration of religion and society in an eccriomic, as well as literary context. As G. Dagron showed in his masterful monociraph on the Thecla cult saints and their cult centers were big business. The Life of George of Choziba is at times parodic, but its effort to raise up a cult is by no means unique. Historians riight ask themselves whether the praise of the saint is the sole, or even dominant, motivation for any hagiographer; in the case of George it is very doubtful.

Signs of Sanctity: Art into Vision, Vision into Art-An Ethiopian Perspective

Marilyn E. Heldman, St. Louis, Missouri

Demonstration of sanctity is a major objective of holy biography, and while martyrdom provides ineluctable proof of sanctity, conditions in Ethiopia, where Christianity had been the state religion since the sixth century, provided little opportunity for this sure-fire demonstration of sainthood. Furthermore, the Ethiopian Church, as the other Eastern Churches has never developed a judicial process of canonization. Therefore, achieving sainthood has depended upon recognition by one's peers, popular acclaim, and the witness of the word.

Ethiopian saints' Lives follow a general pattern: introductory praises of the saint; an essentially biographical account of the subject's life, often terminating with the establishment of a pact by which God promises to grant all the prayers prayed in the saint's name; and, finally, a collection of posthumous miracles. Because virtually all Ethiopian saints were monastics or spiritual athletes of God, authors of hagiography were limited by biographical circumstance as well as by literary convention. However, saints' lives may be enlivened by accounts of visions or visionary experiences. This facet of holy biography is as profound as it is dramatic, because visions or visionary experiences were recognized to be signs of sanctity, characteristics of a holy person.

The proposition that a visionary is a friend of God is not the creation of Ethiopian authors of holy biography, and, while direct antecedents of this notion are Biblical, established patterns of Christian hagiography provided the literary models. Visionary themes utilized by Ethiopian authors include a visions of divine illumination as well as out-of-body experiences, the latter including pilgrimages to Jerusalem or trips to Heaven. While visions described by Ethiopian hagiographers may be related to Biblical visions, the historic importance of these accounts lies in their relationship to the contemporary cultural milieu.

This paper will present visionary experiences taken from the Lives of two Ethiopian saints, an abbot-artist Takla Maryam, also known as Maba 'a Seyon, and a nun named Krestos Samra who had established a joint monastery of nuns and monks. Both lived during the fifteenth century, a period of dramatic change and fertile invention in Ethiopian painting. Visionary experiences of these two holy persons demonstrate how contemporary Ethiopian works of art and what may have been a Byzantine icon of the Crucifixion were invested by the saint with the power to elicit strong emotional and aesthetic responses. Gender roles and cultic interests are factors to be considered in interpreting the significance of their visions. The experiences of St. Krestos Samra were triggered by new and novel devotional images. The visionary experiences of abbot Maba > a Seyon, evidently inspired by a Byzantine icon of the Crucifixion, led him to introduce new devotions commemorating Christ's Crucifixion.


Chair, Alan Cameron, Columbia University

What's in a Name? The Gerontii of the Later Roman Empire

W. J. Cherf, Iona College

Original prosopographical research involves the laborious creation of files of individuals and their citations. When published, the most ambitous collections appear in encyclopedic form reminiscent of modern-day telephone books: the MPR, PIR, PLPE and recently, the CLRE. The value of such industry to the student of Roman History is admittedly very important; yet, such dense reference materials do have their limitations. Favoring broad coverage they tend to focus upon betterdocumented individuals of status to the exclusion of others. If, however, one wishes to undertake an onomastic study of any one cognomen, these collections and others offer a good place to start; but due to obvious practical limitations, such resources represent only the tip of a vast, submerged iceberg. Consequently, this onomastic investigation has ranged far and wide in its search for the Gerontii of the Later Roman Empire. It confronts the issues of origin, derivation and significance, status, chronology, spatial distributions, corruptions and variant forms.

Several general observations can be made regarding the Gerontii. First, although the precise origin of the cognomen remains uncertain, it most likely was an Eastern creation whose early significance probably is best approximated by the equation: senator = gerontios. Second, the Gerontii attested during the first eight centuries A.D. indicate that their the spatial distribution was Empire-wide, even if Egypt and Italy provide the bulk of the evidence. Consequently, the cognomen is not just a Western phenomenon, but a Eastern one as well. Third, regarding religious affiliation, the cognomen cannot be interpreted solely as a Christian tag. Rather, those who carried the cognomen during the second through third centuries in a nomen + cognomnen context tend generally to be pagans, while after the third century the use of the cognomen + filius seems to have been common among Christians. To date only one Jew is attested carrying this cognomen. Fourth, during the fourth and subsequent centuries, the cognomen clearly became popular among Christians of the West. Meanwhile in the East, and in Egypt in particular, a similar phenomenon also may have been the case, but the subject matter of the papryi does not afford any insurance of the fact. In the end, only a cautious conjecture can be made based upon the Egyptians' traditional religiosity and that many had been converted to Christianity. Finally, the cognomen's many orthographical corruptions, variants and shifts in spelling may have provided the basis for new name creations.

A Family Affair: The Purpose of the Patriciate in the Early Byzantine Empire

Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina

Previous studies of the Late Roman patriciate have focused upon the differences between it and the patriciate of Regal and Republican Rome. They have suggested that the new patriciate of Constantine was granted in a haphazard fashion, had little internal consistency, and had little or nothing in common with its predecessor of a millennium before. This paper will give Constantine more credit, and will look for points of contact between the old and new patriciates.

The paper will begin by establishing the direct imperial-cum-familial component of the Late Roman patriciate. Many imperial relatives, some of whom were notable only by their insignificance, were made patricians. One notes Julius Constantius, the half-brother of Constantine I and the first known patrician, and Petronius, the father-in-law of Valens. Similar examples occur in the fifth century and later. One also notes that patricians could be referred to as "pater Augusti" ("the father of the emperor"), an appellation suggested, of course, by the derivation of the name itself.

Attention then will be given to how the patriciate was used to create a pseudo-Imperial family ex nihilo. It is no accident that emperors attempting to establish new dynasties (e.g. Constantine, Valentinian and Valens, and Leo) and emperors of dubious legitimacy (e.g. Zeno) made extensive use of the patriciate in this way. This interpretation can help to explain the western phenomenon of endowing the highest ranking western masters of soldiers with the title of "patrician" as an attempt to adlect these powerful generalissimos into the imperial family. The first such individual, Constantius, set the precedent not only by marrying into the family, but also by eventually becoming emperor as well. Later such patricians had similar ambitions.

The connection of the patriciate to the imperial family also could cause problems, and even serve as an incentive to conspiracy. In a number of cases, it would seem, the aspiration of otherwise undistinguished individuals to the throne can be explained, in part, by the tie to the imperial family given them by their patriciates. The paper will conclude by discussing other evidence for familial aspects of the patriciate.

In sum, this paper will identify an underlying consistency in the granting of many patriciates. In particular, it will suggest that the familial aspect of the patriciate remained, but with one difference: in the past, the patriciate had been hereditary, serving to unify a number of important aristocratic families; in Late Roman Empire, however, the focus was on only one family, the imperial family. The family of the emperor, not the families of the patricians themselves, were now what counted. An hereditary patriciate would have been inconsistent with this reality, but the family aspect of the patriciate nevertheless remained.

Arians in Alexandria

Christopher Haas, Villanova University

While groundbreaking studies have appeared recently on Arius and the theological climate of Arius' Alexandria, our understanding of this outspoken Alexandrian presbyter and his message may be sharpened by looking more closely at the social background of his first adherents within the city. Both sides in this local theological dispute immediately appealed to authorities outside the city, thereby embroiling emperors and bishops in over a half-century of empire-wide conflict. Yet, Arianism endured as an Alexandrian phenomenon for decades. The size of the initial Arian faction can, in part, be gauged by recalling that Alexander communicated at least five presbyters and five deacons, and that each presbyter was likely to have had authority over an individual church. While events played out on the imperial stage had obvious repercussions within Alexandria, the changing fortunes of the Arian community in Alexandria were also dictated by local circumstances. An analysis of this local setting, in turn, also contributes to our understanding of sectarian religious groups within the larger urban centers of Late Antiquity.

The initial focus of Arianism in Alexandria was the parish church of Baucalis or Boukolia. Though this church occupied a position of prestige within the Alexandrian parochial system (as the site of the martyrium of St. Mark) , it nonetheless was located in a peripheral suburban district which served as a cattle market for the city. The rough inhabitants of the pasturelands and marshes immediately adjacent to this district had a history of conflict with the city dwellers, and the region proved to be an abundant recruiting ground for strong-armed adherents of Arian bishops. There are indications that specific Alexandrian groups attracted to the Arian cause may have included urban ascetics, beggars in the Agora, and portions of the city's Hellenized youth -- perhaps an echo of former ephebic organizations. As imperial pressure and patronage was brought to bear, other groups vulnerable to outside influence (the bouleutic class and the recipients of the grain dole) also expressed a willingness to identify with the Arian cause.

Despite Athanasius' long tenure as head of the Homoousian community and his reputation for brutality in suppressing dissent in his church, he was unable to snuff out the Arian community in Alexandria -- even during those periods when he enjoyed a respite from imperial displeasure. When Gregory the Cappadocian entered Aiexandria backed by imperial troops in 339, the Arian nominee for the patriarchate found a viable local community of co-religionists. It is only with the disastrous episcopate of George of Cappadocia (357-361) that Arianism loses all appeal among the Alexandrians, due to the association of the Arian cause with this unpopular and inept imperial appointee. The collapse of the Arian cause is clearly evidenced some fifteen years later, when the support for the Arian Lucius (himself an Alexandrian) extends only as far as the obedience bought by the Prefect's spears.



Officers and Committees 1990-91


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To serve until the 1994 Conference

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