1-20 of 40 results  for:

  • Early Christian/Byzantine Art x
  • CE 500–1000 x
Clear all

Article

Ahenny  

Roger Stalley

Site of an obscure Early Christian settlement formerly known as Kilclispeen (St Crispin’s Church) in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The only remains are two outstanding stone crosses and the base of a third (c. 750–900), which are situated in a graveyard below the village. The crosses belong to a well-defined regional group and were constructed of three characteristic elements: a square base with sloping sides, a shaft with an unusually wide ring and a peculiar, rather ill-fitting, conical cap (the latter missing on the south cross). With its capstone, the north cross measures 3.7 m in height. The form of the Ahenny crosses is emphasized by a bold cable ornament along the outer contours. Projecting from the main faces are sculpted bosses, the most prominent feature of the ‘Ahenny school’. The ring and shaft of the crosses are covered with dense patterns of carved ornament, including interlace, spirals, frets, entangled beasts and interlocking men. Much of this decoration can be compared with the metalwork and manuscript illumination of the period, and it appears that the sculptors were in effect transposing altar or processional crosses into stone. With the addition of pigment, the analogy with metalwork would have been complete. In contrast to the shafts and rings, the bases bear figure sculpture in low relief. That on the north cross is best preserved and represents Adam and Eve with the animals in the Garden of Eden, a chariot procession (a theme repeated on other Irish crosses), seven ecclesiastics (possibly symbolizing Christ’s mission to the Apostles) and an enigmatic funeral procession with a headless corpse....

Article

L. James

(b ?Constantinople, c. ad 461–3; d Constantinople, c. 527–9). Byzantine patron. As the great-granddaughter of Galla Placidia and daughter of Flavius Anicius Olybrius (Emperor of the West, reg 472) she was the last major figure of the Theodosian house. In 512, during a popular uprising against Emperor Anastasius I (...

Article

Mark Whittow

Group of late Roman and Byzantine sites on the Karadağ, an isolated mountain in the plain north of the Taurus Mountains in the modern province of Karaman in south-central Turkey (Roman and Byzantine Lykaonia). The mountain has been convincingly identified as the site of Barata, a minor city attested as a bishopric from the 4th century ...

Article

Butrint  

T. F. C. Blagg

Site in southern Albania, set on a hill beside a coastal lagoon connected to the sea by a natural channel. The city flourished in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine times. Excavation and display of its extensive and deserted remains, begun by the Italians in 1928, have been continued by Albanian archaeologists; finds are displayed in the site museum (renovated ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ...

Article

Susan Pinto Madigan

Site of an early Byzantine city located 30 km south-west of Leskovac in Serbia. The name means ‘the emperor’s fortress’, and it can almost certainly be identified with Justiniana Prima, which, according to Prokopios (b c. ad 500), Justinian I founded c. ad...

Article

Marco Carminati

Italian village in Lombardy, 14 km south of Varese, with a population of c. 1000. It was an important town from the Early Christian period to the late Middle Ages and its architectural and artistic remains were rediscovered, excavated and studied after World War II following centuries of dereliction. In the 4th or 5th century a fortified settlement called Sibrium was established in the hilly area between present-day Milan and Varese. It played an important military and strategic role and was soon granted a parish church, with jurisdiction over a vast territory stretching from Lake Lugano to the gates of Milan. Under the Lombards (569–774) it became the regional administrative centre. During the Carolingian period the surrounding region of Seprio experienced substantial prosperity and independence. Around the year ...

Article

John Lowden

Byzantine illuminated manuscript (Moscow, Hist. Mus. MS. D.29). It is a small Marginal Psalter (195×150 mm) of 169 folios, in which broad spaces were left blank on the outer edges of the pages to be filled with numerous unframed illustrations, glossing the biblical text in various ways (...

Article

Eirene  

L. James

(b Athens, c. 752; reg 797–802; d Lesbos, 803). Byzantine empress and patron. On the death of her husband, Emperor Leo IV (reg 775–80), she acted as regent for their son Constantine VI (reg 780–97). In 796 she had him blinded and took sole power as the first woman in recorded European history to be acknowledged as a sovereign monarch. Her proposed marriage with Charlemagne would have united the two empires. She was responsible for the restoration of images in Orthodox worship after their destruction and removal during the first wave of iconoclasm (...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc...

Article

See Macedonian dynasty family

Article

See Macedonian dynasty family

Article

See Macedonian dynasty family

Article

See Macedonian dynasty family

Article

Florentine Mütherich

The manuscript (Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., Clm. 4453) comprises 276 pages measuring 334×242 mm; it has been preserved with its original front cover, in the centre of which is a 10th-century Byzantine ivory representing the Dormition of the Virgin. It was produced on the island of Reichenau ...

Article

Thomas E. Russo

(b c. ad 575; reg 610–41; d Constantinople [now Istanbul], 11 Feb 641). Byzantine emperor and patron. Although it is sometimes claimed that Heraklios was of Armenian descent, contemporary sources record his family origins in Cappadocia. His father was the exarch of Carthage. In ...

Article

Carolyn L. Connor

Byzantine monastery 8 km east of Dhistomo in the foothills of Mt Helikon (nr anc. Stiris), Phokis, central Greece. Founded in the mid-10th century by the monk Loukas the younger (d ad 953), a healer and miracle-worker, the monastery has two unusually well-preserved churches, the Panagia or Theotokos (church of the Virgin) and the adjoining katholikon or main monastery church. The latter is famous for its lavish mosaics and wall paintings, which remain intact. Other monastic buildings of various periods survive....

Article

John Lowden

Byzantine illuminated manuscript (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. palat. gr. 431). It consists of 15 separate sheets of parchment, which were originally pasted together to form a roll 315 mm high and 10.42 m long. Although its manufacture is now dated to the mid-10th century (Weitzmann), a wide range of earlier dates were proposed in the older literature. On one side of the parchment is a continuous picture frieze, illustrating events from Joshua 2:15–10:27, with brief biblical excerpts in a contemporary hand below; the ...

Article

Kara Hattersley-Smith

Byzantine ruler and patron. He was a nephew of Justinian I and his successor; his wife Sophia (before 530–after 600) was the niece of Justinian’s wife Theodora (d 548). Sophia had considerable influence over Justin and with the onset of his attacks of insanity persuaded him to appoint his successor, Tiberios I (...

Article

Byzantine ruler and patron. He was a nephew of Emperor Justin I (reg 518–27), upon whose accession he was brought to Constantinople. He was prepared for political power by receiving the rank of comes illustris and according to contemporary sources he was the real power behind the throne during Justin’s reign. In 521 he became consul and in 523 he married Theodora (...