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date: 14 October 2019

Macedonian dynasty familylocked

  • Barbara Zeitler,
  • Paul Magdalino
  •  and Susan Pinto Madigan

Extract

Line of Byzantine emperors and art patrons (867– 1056). The dynasty was founded by (1) Basil I, whose family had settled in the military and administrative zone of Macedonia; it became extinct on the death of the empress Theodora (reg 1042 and 1055–6) in 1056. The earlier Macedonian emperors from Basil I to (3) Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus took an active part in the artistic renewal that followed the end of iconoclasm, and this has given rise to the concept of a 9th- to 11th-century ‘Macedonian Renaissance’; but contemporary sources offer little evidence in support, and the military emperors of the late 10th century and the early 11th, Nikephoras Phokas (reg 963–9), John Tzimiskes (reg 969–76) and Basil II (reg 976–1025), were not active patrons of art. Moreover, the characteristics usually associated with an artistic renaissance such as creativity, progress or close study of the art of antiquity are scarcely to be found in the Macedonian period (see Walter). Such claims as have been made for a revival of Classical art (see Weitzmann) have largely been based on a small number of manuscripts and ...

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