TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL BYZANTINE STUDIES CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS
5-8 November 1998 University of Kentucky
Plenary Session: Showcasing Byzantium
Chair: Robert Nelson (University of Chicago)
"The Glory of Byzantium" and Byzantine Studies
Helen C. Evans (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
"The Glory of Byzantium" held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 11 - July 6, 1997, was the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the distinct and powerful culture of the Middle Byzantine centuries (843-1261). One hundred and nineteen institutions in twenty-three countries lent more than 350 works of art enabling the Museum to present thematically the medieval religious and secular "glory" of the empire as well as its interac-tion with neighboring states (some at times incorporated within the Empire), the Islamic East and the Latin West. The catalogue was written by 59 authors, most of whom work in the United States. Edited by Helen C. Evans, Associate Curator for Early Christian and Byz-antine Art, The Department of Medieval Art, and William D. Wixom, The Michel David-Weill Chairman, The Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, the co-curators of the exhibition, the catalogue sought to present the present state of American scholarship in the field. In this it extended the national dialogue initiated by the recent exhibitions in France, England, and Denmark whose catalogues drew upon the state of research in those countries respectively. Preparation for "The Glory of Byzantium" began five years before its opening and eventually included the efforts of many here and abroad, most especially its Research Assistant, Olenka Pevny. Curatorial requests for advice from Byzantinists in America and abroad ranged from how to approach certain countries and institutions for loans to the sources of relevant quotations from the medieval era to be used as label copy. As many considered "The Glory of Byzantiurm" to be an intellectually important concept that would draw a relatively limited audience, information on the exhibition was handed out at Byzantine Studies Conferences, posted on the Internet, and run in the 1996 issue of "Gesta", vol. xxxvii. This effort to encourage attendance also successfully urged the development of college courses related to the exhibition.
Officially 460,850 people attended "The Glory of Byzantium" making it the third most popular exhibition in the world in 1997. The two exhibitions drawing greater numbers were on traditionally popular themes - Picasso and Degas. Apollo magazine named the exhibition one of the best of 1997, placing it first among those developed by an American institution. Thus "The Glory of Byzantium" became an official "blockbuster" event. This paper will consider from the curatorial perspective aspects of the intellectual and practical development of the exhibition, the perceived and actual audience for the exhibition, the transformation of the exhibition by its unexpectedly large public appeal into a cultural phenomenon that drew extensive positive coverage in the world press, national expectations concerning the exhibition, and the implications of its success for the field of Byzantine studies.
The Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantine Art at the Royal Ontario Museum
Helen Saradi (University of Guelph)
The fourth permanent Byzantine exhibit in North America has been created at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The collection, a donation by Joey and Toby Tanenbaum, was officially opened to the public on June 28, 1997. More than 300 Byzantine objects are exhibited dating from the fourth century and extending to the post-Byzantine era. The artifacts on display are arranged thematically in the following categories: official religion, popular religion, the history of Byzantium, aspects of daily life, trade, mosaics and the classical tradition, the legacy of Byzantium.
About 80% of the exhibited objects date to the early Byzantine period. Remarkable are two large mosaics, the one depicting Artemis, the other one with a geometric design framing a rooster. Most impressive are the 50 pieces of gold jewellery including rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and belt buckles (a sixth-century buckle depicts Odysseus). Pendant crosses and apotropaic amulets in bronze and lead as well as anathemata to churches in expectation of healing are some of the most valuable objects of the collection. A silver armband with an inscription is one of only two known examples. Other artifacts exhibited are liturgical objects in silver and bronze, patens, processional crosses, censers, bread stamps, terra-cotta pilgrim tokens of St. Symeon Stylites the Younger, reliquary casket and crosses in silver and bronze, steatite icons and crosses, lamps, stands and polycandela in bronze, fragments of frescoes from churches of Asia Minor (one with a personification of Notos), glass medallions, spoons in silver and bronze, bowls, cups and silver dish, stamps, weights, gold coins, and of course icons dating up to the eighteenth century.
A series of annual lectures and symposia is scheduled to highlight the exhibit.
The Politics of Byzantine Exhibitions
Sheila Campbell, Curator, University of Toronto Malcove Collection
In this round table discussion, my emphasis will be on the difficulties of remaining politically correct when installing an exhibition of Byzantine art. The world of Byzantium, late antique, medieval and post-medieval, is carried forward into the present. How does one write labels and organize events without offending one of the following groups - Greeks, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Russians, Serbians, Syrians - not to mention the various factions within these groups. For example in the Russian community of Toronto there are two distinct groups who do not speak to one another! Or can one label something as Constantinopolitan without offending the Thessalonikeans (or the Turks)? Can we talk of the Byzantine empire in Asia Minor and completely omit the Turks - medieval or modern? Which consulates should be invited to the openings? Can we invite the Turks along with the Greeks and the Cypriots? Will the Macedonian faction set up a demonstration? Will the Bulgarians take offense at the Macedonians? While the world seems to become smaller, the idea of nationalism seems to get bigger, perhaps in compensation for that phenomenon. I have not heard of this problem arising when organizing an exhibition of western medieval art. At least in Byzantine studies, there are ready answers when the question of "RELEVANCE" arises.
Session I: New Evidence for Byzantine Art and Archaeology
Chair: Ellen Schwartz (Eastern Michigan University)
The Wall Mosaics at the Cathedral of Eufrasius in Porec: Preliminary Findings
Ann Terry (Wittenberg University) & Henry Maguire (University of Illinois)
This paper reports on a first phase of fieldwork (June 1997) studying the 6th century wall mosaics at the Cathedral of Eufrasius in Porec (Parentium), Croatia. The project set two goals: (1) A visual examination of the mosaics from scaffolding, in order to assess the materials and techniques used by the original mosaicists and the subsequent restorers, and (2) the preparation of a computerized data base of images of the mosaics. This study was initiated following the recent discovery (State Archives, Vienna) of voluminous documenta-tion pertaining to the 19th century restoration of the mosaics, when the complex was under the care of Austrian officials. The mosaics were restored twice in the 19th century and have been repaired twice in the 20th century. The first restoration (1886; Neuhauser Firm) was limited. Luigi Solerti restored the panel of the Annunciation, on the south side of the apse. The second restoration (1890-1900; Vatican), by Pietro Bornia, was the most extensive (apse, triumphal arch, side apses). Efforts during the 20th century, by contrast, were minor, relating mainly to protective measures during wartime (1944/48; 1992).
Supplementing the restoration documents, early engravings provide information about the mosaics prior to their restoration. While these visuals offer valuable clues, particularly about iconographical details, they vary in trust worthiness, and raise a number of questions. The paper will identify certain areas apparently changed by the restorers (Virgin's footstool in the main apse, figures on window piers, lamb in the intrados of the triumphal arch). The substitution of a lamb for a chrismon in the apex of the triumphal arch is well documented, but the restoration documents are silent about the Virgin's throne and the window-pier figures.
The visual analysis, with the aid of scaffolding, was limited to the lower apse (up to inscription). Especially detailed analysis was done of 30 "sondages," areas of ca. 25 x 40 cm, examining their tesserae, setting beds and setting techniques. We distinguished three phases.
(1) The original 6th century mosaics consisted of 50+ hues, mainly of glass but including also marble, limestone and brick, set into a bed of gray mortar. (2) Solerti's restoration introduced colors not found elsewhere and set the tesserae very close together. (3) Bomia's restoration employed 30+ colors set into a pink mortar bed. Since the vast majority of the mosaics are either original or restored by Bornia, our discussion of the tesserae, setting beds and setting techniques will focus on the differences between the original mosaics and those of Bomia.
A hallmark of the Bornia restoration was the painstaking integration of original areas of mosaic with areas of restoration. While his hand may be found in virtually every segment of mosaic, his interventions were relatively minor, consisting mainly of repairs and patching. In most areas we examined, the mosaics were a careful mixture of old and new, with the old generally predominating. A few areas are essentially new, such as St. John the Baptist and the gold tesserae which had deteriorated more than other colors. It is the visual prominence of this new gold that lends these mosaics their new appearance, and, perhaps, an undeserved reputation for over-restoration.
The Family of the Great Palace Mosaic
Chuck Morss (Berkeley California)
This presentation focusses on style as a criterion for dating art. Since its discovery, the Palace mosaic of Constantinople has inspired dates ranging from the fourth to the eighth centuries AD. Although it seems classical, the pavement employs mannerisms subtle, numerous, and uniquely sixth century. These recur and evolve on the mosaics of greater Palestine, today found in Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. Many of these floors bear inscriptions: those dating from 557 to 579 offer the closest parallels. They suggest that Palestinian artists witnessed or helped assemble the Palace floor at that time.
Following excavation, Brett (1947) attributed the mosaic to the end of the fourth century, until Rice (1958) identified early sixth century pottery beneath it. Since then several authors have proposed dates from 500 to 700 AD, notably Trilling (1989) who linked the work to seventh century silver. Still a missing link remains: what group of mosaicists created the pavement? Its well muscled forms and lively scenes cannot be found in Ravenna or Thessalonika. The Syrian hunting floors are related, but lack secure chronology: even the one inscribed in 539 AD is disputed.
In the sixth century the area around Palestine produced more mosaic than the rest of the Byzantine Empire. Its abstract style has long deflected comparison with the Palace floor. But mosaic, like language, spoke in local dialects. From 500 to 550, artists in Palestine gradually developed the `onion slice' highlight, lacelike foliage, red-tongued acanthus crown, and tassel border familiar at Constantinople. After 550, muscular peasants, breastfeeding mothers, children at play, birdcatchers, loaded camels, and attentive dogs pose like their counterparts at the capital. The lion, tiger, mongoose, sheep and rabbit find their closest parallels on floors inscribed between 575-579 AD. As for people, the hairstyle, eyebrow and cheek seen at the Palace appear on these same floors, in wall mosaics after 555, and on gold and silver after 565 AD.
Two opposing explanations are possible:
1) An imperial workshop, drawing the best craftsmen of the empire, made the Palace floor in the first half of the sixth century (Jobst 1997). Its patterns influenced mosaicists and silversmiths as late as the seventh century.
2) Palestinian artists originated many patterns used at the Palace. They helped to design and execute it between 550 and 580 AD.
The two viewpoints can be reconciled. Palestine had the largest reserve of mosaicists in the sixth century. Hundreds of artists, apprentices and assistants were needed to create the Palace floor. Some brought provincial techniques to the capital, and later took neoclassical designs home. This second process peaked between 550 and 580, suggesting they finished the pavement in one of those years. They may well have begun it a decade earlier.
Over 20 slides accompany this presentation, documenting the evidence in detail. Over-views of the Palace mosaic come from a color restoration, one tenth scale, by the author.
The Discovery of Ancient Sykeon? In Search of St. Theodore in Central Anatolia.
Joel Walker (University of Washington at Seattle)
The Life of St. Theodore of Sykeon, composed by a disciple of the saint in the mid-seventh century C.E., has long fascinated late Roman historians and Byzantinists. Its rich and vivid picture of village life in late sixth-century Anatolia makes it a key text in the study of many aspects of Byzantine culture in the age of Justinian and Heraclius. The
hagiography centers on the village of Sykeon, birthplace of St. Theodore, located on the Roman imperial road "twelve miles from Anastasiopolis" in the province of Galatia (northwest of Ankara). Attracted by the asceticism and miracles of St. Theodore, his followers built a whole series of churches at Sykeon and "on the rocky hill which lay near the village" during the late sixth and early seventh centuries. Earlier archaeologists and historians, most recently Stephen Mitchell [see Anatolia: Land, Men, and Gods in Asia Minor (1993), chapter 19, esp. p. 125], have often used the text of the Life to search for ancient Sykeon in the vicinity of the modern city of Beypazari.
In this paper, I will describe the results of an archaeological survey conducted near the village of Tahirler, fifteen kilometers southwest of Beypazari, during two short seasons in the summers of 1996 and 1997. Our survey team, funded by Princeton University, studied a Roman/late Roman village site located on either side of the modern road leading into `Tahirler. The site, known to the local villagers as "Kiliseler," literally the churches," contains the remains of two (and probably three) churches, the best preserved of which measures 20 meters along its nave wall, with an apse 6.2 meters wide. A second, smaller apsed building (apse width, ca. 5.4 meters) stands nearby in parallel orientation. These two buildings face out on a rocky ridge, that descends from the Kirbasi plateau to the West. The ridge ends in a series of terraces, covered with late Roman courseware. A third building (church?), constructed of white limestone, stood on one of the lower terraces. A modern trench, cut during construction of a water-pump station in the 1980's, has exposed extensive architectural fragments, including polychrome marble revetment.
Although some questions remain (e.g. the location of the Roman road), our survey has produced substantial evidence in support of the identification of "Kiliseler" as ancient Sykeon. The pottery from the site, the size and masonry of the apsed buildings, and the decorative marble elements all suggest a Roman/late Roman village site with a series of richly-decorated, late antique churches. Results from the 1998 survey will also be, incorporated into my paper.
New Evidence for Byzantine Church Decoration in the Early Ninth Century
Robert Ousterhout (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The Byzantine church now known as the Fatih Camii (H. Stephanos?) in Trilye, located on the south shore of the Sea of Mamara, has long been recognized as a significant early example of the cross-in-square church type. Its date can now be firmly fixed in the early ninth century by dendrochronology, with a post quem date of 799 for the wood sampled in the building. In addition, the recent Turkish dissertation by Sacit Pekak (see XIII. Arastirma Sonuclari Toplantisi, Ankara 1995, pp. 310-14) has clarified the buildings' original design and has provided new architectural drawings.
The building was subjected to an authorized and undocumented restoration during the winter of 1995-96, which revealed many new elements of the ninth- century building. For example, it is now clear that the north and south crossarms of the naos were opened by arcades in the lateral walls, formed by columns and dosure slabs, which are now exposed. Several new pieces of architectural sculpture also came to light, and these appear to be a combination of sixth-century spolia and newly carved pieces and possibly recarved sixthcentury pieces as well.
At the same time, information was irretrievably lost in the restoration. Most significantly, much of the opus sectile decoration was removed from the interior and discarded. Sixteen fragments of varying size and complexity were subsequently recovered, however, but their original context within the building is no longer clear. None of the pieces had evidence of a plaster or mortar covering, so it is likely that most (but perhaps not all) of them came from the floor. In spite of our fragmentary knowledge, the pieces from the Fatih Camii provide important information about the development of opus sectile during a period that is poorly documented in Byzantine art. The examples from the Fatih Camii differ in both pattern and scale from the typical marble decorations of Late Antiquity, and their patterns often differ from the published examples of opus sectile from the Middle Byzantine period.
Session II: The Private Sphere in Byzantium
Chair: Eunice Dauterman Maguire (Krannert Art Museum)
Gold Glass of the Roman Empire: Deny Life and Afterlife
Stephanie L. Smith (Rutgers University)
Over 400 extant gold glass vessel fragments with figural decoration, produced from the mid- to the late fourth century, provide one of the richest sources of early Judeo-Christian imagery. Despite this fact, attention has been directed away from the cultural and economic contexts in which and for which these decorated vessels were produced. Scholars have concentrated instead on iconographic peculiarities of individual specimens, organizing the extant material into workshops based on stylistic affinities, or simply cataloging extant examples. This paper, by focusing on the morphological, contextual, and visual evidence will elucidate the primary domestic context of gold glass vessels, and the appropriateness of their reuse in a funerary context.
The gold glass technique involved spreading gold-leaf over a glass surface and making it adhere. Images and inscriptions were drawn in the gold with a stylus or needle. After drying, another sheet of glass was added, fusing the gold leaf decoration between the two layers. The extant fragments are of two morphological types: two- and three-ply vessel bases on which the turned down outer edges of the bottom layer form a raised foot-ring, and the gold leaf image lay sandwiched between the layers; and fragmentary vessel side-walls onto which blobs of glass were applied protecting gold leaf images. Although there are no complete extant examples, sufficient diagnostic fragments exist to recreate the original bowl shape of both morphological types.
The majority of gold glass vessel fragments were found inserted into the cement sealing loculi chambers in the catacombs of Rome. Although found in a funerary setting, I will show that their domestic origin is evident by the manner in which they were intentionally broken and inserted into the cement as well as by their inclusion in the same context as numerous other domestic objects. I will suggest, based on other objects found in the same context, including fragmentary bone and ivory furniture mounts, bone dolls, plaques and bracelets, coins, shells, jewelry and figurines, that breakage occurred when the complete object was too large for inclusion. In this case it was the more ornate, decorated portions that were selected: relief decorated sections of furniture or the imaged portions of gold glass vessels, underlining the continued importance of the object's decoration.
Imagery on gold glass vessels include Christian, Jewish and profane scenes, The in-scriptions refer to drinking and living a peaceful life amongst ones friends, family and God. The significance of gold glass vessels in the non-funerary realm, and thus their appropriate-ness for inclusion in funerary assemblages, is connected to their inscriptions and figural decoration. Gold glass vessels, although often modest in size and value, were able to ex-press the wealth, teaming, virtue, and devotion of their owners through their decoration. I will suggest that their funerary function is informed by this and that the breaking of the vessels and the inclusion of the imaged portion on the grave, along with other household objects, marked a metonymic link between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead, while also indicating and maintaining the deceased's position in the social hierarchy.
Querolus and the Domestic Slave
Geoffrey Nathan (U.C.L.A.)
Sometime around 400 CE, an anonymous author wrote an unusual dramatic comedy, the Querolus. A thorough reworking of Plautus' Pot of Gold from the second century BCE, it is our only extant play from the later Roman Empire. The anonymous author worked in the traditional genre of the Roman theater, with much bawdy slapstick, crude violent humor and social satire reminiscent of Greek New Comedy. And typifying such works, there are the traditional characters of an irascible master, a mysterious stranger promising wealth, and of course, a cunning if feckless slave. But the play is also rare in that it is the only time in the late ancient world we hear, in the first person, the voice of an unfree man.
The play and its characters raise the question of the status of the domestic slave in late antiquity, and what prevailing opinions existed about slavery in general and individual slaves in particular. How did their proximity, physical and emotional, affect opinion and behavior? How, if at all, did Christianization affect attitudes, both among slaves and masters? What other factors cultural, legal, economic or otherwise help to shape the understanding of the unfree person in the fourth through sixth centuries? Did the slow disappearance of the rural slave play a factor in these things?
Using the play as a focal point and bringing in supplemental legal and literary material as needed, we will attempt to gauge the nature of these changes. I hope to show that despite the large-scale transformations going on in Mediterranean society, predominating attitudes about slavery did not greatly alter. Nor, despite some regional variations, was there much difference in the manner in which they were treated or manumitted. Pantomalus, the most visible slave in the play, turns out to be a microcosm for broader societal notions of the enslaved state and the generally low regard for slaves even intimately connected with their masters. Despite being a conscious reworking of an earlier art form and story, the anonymous author of the Querolus offered a contemporary perspective about slaves, masters and the inner working of the domus.
Adaptation and Antiquarianism in the Proto-Byzantine City
Michael Milojevic (University of Auckland)
The transformational scenarios of the physical composition of proto-Byzantine settlements, whether rapid urbanisation, stagnation, de-urbanisation, or ruralisation, are to be seen within the context of the broad urban historical truism of continual urban flux. Consideration of the architectural and planning agendas for the maintenance, consolidation and renewal of proto-Byzantine towns and cities within their ancient extent as a whole and in their architectural particularity is a more detailed level of investigation. It is the contention of this paper that the evidence for the adaptation, consolidation and re-planning of existing infrastructure and existing building fabric for new purposes must be seen within the context of the control and co-ordination of new buildings and urban ensembles `according to plan', that is of a particular formal and aesthetic intentionality.
As well as concerning themselves with the logistics of urban infrastructure civic and episcopal authorities appropriated, transfered and interiorised public and street architecture in spatial and symbolic terms. There is evidence here towards a further interiorisation of public space having considerable architectural implications; for example honorific street bifrons/quadrifrons arches are recontextualised as the crossings of the miniaturized topography of the church and at least once as aciborium. It also is possible to present new findings for the re-use of secular public assembly buildings including bathes supplementing sites already known in new draw-ings which stress physical contextuality in order to further an architectural and historical interpretation. The basis of this paper, an extensive corpus of building conversions of sacred (updating Deichmann 1939, Claude 1969 and Vaas 1985) and secular buildings is part of this author's current doctoral research (Cambridge University).
The most powerful evidence comes not surprisingly from the realm of proto-Byzantine basilica design and construction for which, relatively speaking, there is so much evidence. While on one extreme there was a possibility to acquire key architectural components for new building work directly from the quarry workshops shipped anywhere in the Mediterranean. At the other conceptual and proceedural extreme is the acquisition, excorcism, and conversion of pagan cult buildings re-using spolia requiring continuous on-site decision making with respect to both the extent of re-configuration of the pre-existing building as well as considering the sensitivities of both the Christian and pagan communities with respect to which materials but also how and where spolia might be re-deployed. Exploring the general features of this aspect of the corpus and sampling the evidence for both temples and churches, in an era well after that of the Theodosian rescripts, the discussion is based on temple-churches from a variety of urban/suburban contexts and regions (Near Eastern, Graeco-Roman and North African).
The paper concludes with a consideration of the symbolic and aesthetic implications in architectural terms of adaptive re-planning of these unconventional churches whether from assembly, bath or temple structures and in particular the evidence they offer of a particular approach to `authentic' antiquarianism, comparable say to the conversion of a person, which purpose-built ecclesia could not claim by their architecture alone.
Form and Function of Byzantine Settlements in Cappadocia: Some Examples from the Peristrema Valley
Veronica Kalas (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
This paper proposes to explore the nature of settlement in Cappadocia during the Middle Byzantine period by presenting three newly discovered, rock-cut complexes in the Peristrema Valley, Western Cappadocia. The valley's settlements are carved into the rock cliffs along a fifteen kilometer stretch of a winding river gorge located at the northern foothills of Hasan Dag, the westernmost, now dormant volcanic mountain of Cappadocia. My survey has concentrated in and around Selime where the river gorge opens to a wide expanse of farmland between the river bed and the valley's edges defined by cliffs and tufa cones. Carved at the base of the tufa cones, the complexes are composed of halls, vestibules, porticoes, kitchens, storage areas, and stables arranged around courtyards identified by decorated, exterior facades. Each complex has an un-painted, yet elegantly carved domed, four-column, cross-in-square church attached to a series of rooms and courtyards. Located side by side within walking distance from each other, the complexes exhibit three different varieties of courtyard units.
Any attempt to read the original function and context of the complexes must take into account the social history of the area. Judging from donor inscriptions and portraits found in the painted churches of Cappadocia, the population which settled there was mixed, consisting of landed and military aristocrats, lay men and women, their children, priests and monks. In this paper I will suggest that the units should be interpreted as manor houses owned and operated by the local, landed elite and designed in order to make agricultural use of the large expanse of land situated between the cones and the river bed. This evidence supports the views of R. Ousterhout and T. and A.-C. Mathews who have proposed a secular, residential reading of certain courtyard units in place of the traditional interpretation of the exclusively monastic context of all rock-cut remains in Cappadocia.
Session III: Patronage and Style
Chair: Annmarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University)
An Itinerant Mosaic Workshop in Central Greece and the Peloponnesos
Marie Spiro (University of Maryland)
During the first half of the sixth century a mosaic workshop traveled in Central Greece and the Peloponnesos executing polyfigured pavements for ecclesiastical and private patrons. The presence of this workshop in Delphi, Hypati, Christian Thebes, and Megalopolis is briefly noted in two Corpora on the mosaics of Greece (Spiro in 1978; AssimakopoulouAtsalca in 1987) and in a few articles. In these published works, a general similitude in style, technique, and geometric patterns is cited as evidence of a common workshop. No one, however, examined the iconography and no one considered the influence of the patron on the selection of, or alterations to, the scenes as they migrated from Christian to secular contexts.
This paper will analyze the iconography of some of the pavements, which are notable for the size of their anthropomorphic panels, the inclusion of seasonal and calendrical cycles, scenes of the hunt, and for the use of caricature to visualize a Christian moral. Many of these images derive from Roman secular art, some from imperial art of the sixth century, and one is directly influenced by an image of a month in the Codex-Calendar of 354.
Some tessellated inscriptions will also be examined ranging from explanatory ones, Kaloi Kairoi and Akkwlos, to a dedicatory text identifying the designer of a pavement, the executor, and the priest who was responsible "... for all the fine work."
No other workshop in Greece in the sixth century, or in the Greek East for that matter, employed such a wide range of anthropomorphic imagery that is derived from seasonal and calendrical cycles and placed in large panels. The final segment of this presentation will attempt to show that Greece's classical heritage, and that of the patrons, may have played an important role in the preservation of these cycles and of human figures as the main actors in scenes that decorate triclinia, naves, and nartheces.
Artistic Patronage in Medieval Armenia and the Case of the Church of Zvarf noc'
Christina Maranci (Princeton University)
This paper will explore the circumstances of artistic patronage in Early Christian Armenia. The commissions of early churches in Armenia are recorded by an abundant amount of epigraphic and literary documentation, which yields information about the churches' construction, function, and contemporary significance, as well as a pattern of medieval patronage distinct from that of Byzantium. Until now, exploration has been restricted almost exclusively to visual analysis, and the patrons of Armenian churches have remained in the shadows.
A striking example of this problem is the seventh-century church of Zvart' noc' . Forming part of the patriarchal palace of Nerses III, Zvart'noc' was the first attested aisled tetraconch in Armenia, and finds, as Eugene Kleinbauer has shown, its precedents outside Armenia in Mesopotamia and Syria. The cylindrical columns at Zvart'noc' are also unusual in Armenian architecture, as are its Ionic capitals, and the Greek monograms of the patron that decorated them.
If we accept that these elements are imported into Armenia from its Greek-speaking neighbors, how are we to understand them? What did they signify to the patron of the structure? To answer these questions, we have a number of useful sources, including a contemporary biography of the patron. The sources repeatedly mention Nerses' "secret" religious affiliations, which seem to ally him more with the Byzantine faith than with that of Armenian Christianity. The "borrowed" elements of Zvart'noc' could thus be construed and indeed they have been as a statement of his Christological beliefs. But given the serious limitations of such an interpretation, this paper will argue for Nerses' "philhellenistic" patronage more as a political than a religious phenomenon, and explore the circumstances that produced it.
This study highlights the importance of viewing the active role of Armenian patrons in the development of Armenian architecture, which will help us to understand not only the character of Armenian architecture, but also perceptions of Byzantium in the Christian East, and, more generally, modes of cross-cultural exchange during the Middle Ages.
Pseudo-Kufic Decoration on Byzantine Sculpture
Sarah A. Taft, (Rutgers University)
Pseudo-Kufic decoration appears in a wide variety of contexts in Byzantine art, such as in brickwork, brick ornament, sculptured stone moldings, cornices, epistyles, capitals, the borders of stone plaques, screens, parapets, sarcophagus covers, on ceramic tiles inserted into the walls of Byzantine churches and in both monumental and miniature painting. It is however, only in Greece, and more specifically only in the regions roughly corresponding to the Middle Byzantine theme of Hellas and Peloponnesos, that pseudo-Kufic motifs appear in the sculptural decoration of the Middle Byzantine templon, on the epistyle, on colonnettes, on capitals, and on the marble screens. Pseudo-Kufic also appears on the marble frames for the proskynetaria, or the votive icons which were found on the piers to either side of the central apse, in close proximity to the templon. Not only is the use of pseudo-Kufic in this type of sculpture limited to this one geographical region in Greece, but its use is also limited to a very brief time period, that is, from the mid-tenth century to the late eleventh century.
The use of pseudo-Kufic in the decoration of a limited number of objects in a very specific region during a very limited time period raises several questions. This paper will discuss the ways in which pseudo-Kufic designs found their way into the decorative vocabulary of the Greek craftsman of the tenth and eleventh centuries and why pseudo-Kufic never became a standard part of the Byzantine ornamental repertory. It will trace the ways in which Greek craftsmen were able to see real Kufic and the specific historical circumstances in Greece during the Middle Byzantine period which may have served as the impetus for the use of pseudo-Kufic as decoration. Finally, this paper will discuss the meanings which may have been attributed to pseudo-Kufic decoration by the Greeks living in the theme of Hellas and Peloponnesos during the Middle Byzantine period, a question which may help us in determining why pseudo-Kufic was applied to the decoration of the templon.
Architecture and Sculpture in Middle Byzantine Aphrodisias
Laura Hebert (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Spectacular finds of well preserved marble sculpture and architecture dating from the Roman period have placed the ancient city of Aphrodisias in Caria among the most important archaeological sites in Asia Minor. The city continued to thrive in the Early and
Middle Byzantine periods, when it was the seat of the metropolitan bishop of Caria and came to be known as Stauropolis. While the site has much to offer to scholars of the Byzantine period, the monuments of these eras have thus far received relatively little atten-tion. Two groups of Middle Byzantine sculpture, the epistyles from two templon barriers, provide an excellent opportunity for fruitful study. The epistyles, while both clearly Middle Byzantine, differ in the styles of their carved decoration. This paper will attempt to date the sculptures based on both stylistic analysis and examination of their architectural contexts.
The epistyles come from two different churches, each of which survives in an unusu-ally good state of preservation. The first is the large (ca. 60 x 28 m.) basilica-plan cathedral created ca. 500 AD from the city's principal pagan shrine, the Temple of Aphrodite. Erected as part of a Middle Byzantine renovation of the cathedral, the templon barrier's base and column pedestals are for the most part in situ. These elements, along with the epistyle blocks, allow for a reliable reconstruction of the entire templon barrier and show it to have been of an unusual shape for the Middle Byzantine period. Whereas templon barriers of this era usually formed a straight line across the width of the church, that in the cathedral of Aphrodisias retained the plan of its Early Byzantine predecessor, projecting out, TT-shaped, into the nave. The second epistyle comes from a domed tri-conch church built during the Middle Byzantine period. This church, of generous proportions for the period, was constructed around a four-column monument of the Roman period that had marked the intersection of two streets near the city center. Here again a reconstruction of the templon screen is possible since many of its elements are also preserved, with a significant portion again in situ. The exceptionally high level of preservation in these monuments allows a rare opportunity to view the sculptures within their architectural contexts.
While the renovation of the cathedral and the construction of the tri-conch church were among the most important building projects of Middle Byzantine Aphrodisias, neither has yet been closely studied or dated. In addition, no reliable stylistic chronology for
Middle Byzantine sculpture has yet been formulated. Here, sculpture and architecture will be examined together, using securely dated comparanda to find dates that can accomodate both. Furthermore, a recognizable picture of a regional school of Middle Byzantine sculp-ture promises to emerge. Both sets of sculpture find excellent comparisons with pieces from two different Middle Byzantine phases of the church of St. Mary at Ephesus, Aphrodisias's nearby "sister city." This indicates that not only can regional sculpture styles be recognized, but also regional patterns of construction. Thus, we can begin to establish a much needed chronological "measuring stick" for Byzantine archaeology in this area of Asia Minor.
Chilandari Katholikon in 1198
George Stricevic (University of Cincinnati)
Of several building phases of the main church of Chilandari, the Serbian monastery on Mt. Athos, the least known remains the one of 1198 when an old abandoned monas-tery laying in ruins, was given by Emperor Alexios III to Symeon (Nemanja), the former Grand Zhupan of Serbia and his son Sava, to restore it in order to become the home for the monks apo tou genous ton Serbon. It has almost generally been accepted that the main church of the monastery which Symeon and Sava built there disappeared without a trace being a century later razed to the ground by Serbian King Uros Milutin, as his biographer claims, and replaced by a new, larger church which still serves as the monastery's katholikon. Recent studies of the building's fabric and its decoration showed, however, that certain parts of the standing church are older which is not surprising for it would be extremely unlikely that the King would pull down a still serving church which was built, only about a hundred years earlier by two of his canonized ancestors, one of them being the founder of the dynasty, the other the first Archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The integration of the preserved parts of an earlier church is also very much in keeping with contemporary practices: at Staro Nagoricino, for example, opposite to the statement in the preserved inscription, it can be easily seen that the substantial part of an older edifice was incorporated in Milutin's new church.
The largest part of the katholikon shows distinct structural characteristics of comnenian rather than palaeologan architecture, as does the fine opus sectile pavement in the naos whose closest parallel are of the mid 11th cent. (e.g. Iveron). The hypothesis which presents itself, that even the Symeon and Sava's church was not a completely new construction, is supported by the fact that their restoration took a very short time, between the middle of 1198 and the February of the following year when Symeon died and his body was laid in the church where the funerary services were celebrated and then buried in the southwestern corner of the naos. What, then, if anything, could be ascribed to the restoration of Symeon and Sava? The answer could be found when the dome of the katholikon is compared with the cupola of the main church of the monastery of Studenica, the major Nemanja's foundation in Serbia which was completed in 1208/9. All the way up to the cubic base of its dome, the church of the Virgin at Studenica was built in the technique and style of contemporary Romanesque architecture of the southern Adriatic littoral, an integral part of the Serbian state. A recent study has shown that the original design, which included a massive tower of a Romanesque type above the central part of the naos, was modified some time around 1200 - apparently on Sava's intervention - and the church was crowned by a distinctly Byzantine scalloped dome instead, and then decorated inside with frescoes whose painter left his signature, unfortunately incompletely preserved, in Greek. The dome is virtually identical in its sophisticated form, fenestration, external articulation and masonry technique, and very close in absolute size and proportions, to the main dome of Chilandari katholikon. It seems more than likely that the two were executed by the same builders, Constantinopolitan by training. Having completed their work in Chilandari they were sent to Serbia by Sava to complete the still unfinished church of Studenica with a Byzantine dome.
Session IV: Legitimations of Power
Chair: Thalia Gouma-Peterson (College of Wooster)
`... such a husband....
Areti Papanastasiou (University of Chicago)
Decorated with scenes from the life of David, and accompanied by two inscriptions pertaining to the occasion of its production, the Byzantine ivory casket at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, is considered one of only two ivory objects that can safely be assigned to the ninth century. On its lid appear an emperor and an empress blessed by Christ, whose identities remain elusive. The emperor has been identified as both Basil I, in relation to his accession to the throne as sole ruler following his murder of Michael III, and as Leo VI, in relation to his second or third marriages. However, in its extensive use of inscriptions within a preplanned scheme where no economy of labor or material is in evidence, the Venezia box may also be understood as a product of the tenth century, a dating supported by epigraphic evidence as well. Elements of style reinforce this view.
It therefore becomes possible to argue that a more appropriate occasion for the casket's production seems to be the marriage, in November 970, of John I Tzimiskes to Theodora, daughter of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos and sister of Romanos II. Although Tzimiskes had already been crowned emperor on Christmas day 969, just a few days after murdering Nikephoros II Phokas, his marriage to Theodora provided the aspect of legitimacy that helped consolidate his rule. Both marriage and claim to power by an usurper are tightly interwoven in the images and inscriptions on the casket, as an analysis of narrative will show. In the case of Tzimiskes, a comparison with David, is made especially compelling, when one also recalls the details of Phokas' murder. According to Leo the Deacon, the conspirators were assisted by empress Theophano, and were able to gain access to the palace using a basket that was let down from it. On the casket, this finds its echo in the scene where Michal helps David escape Saul. Phokas was finally decapitated in his own bed. Details such as these, no less than Tzimiskes' short stature, consistently commented upon by historians, suggest that David would have been a particularly appropriate figure to compare with this emperor.
As a gift however, the casket constitutes evidence for the donors' point of view in this reshaping of the story of David. So prominent is their presence on the lid, that it was thought, by at least one scholar, that their images were a second representation of the imperial couple. I would like to argue that the particular placement of this couple between the emperors and David's story, and through the agency of the inscriptions employed, suggest that the support offered to the emperor may just not be completely disinterested.
Nikephoros 11 Phokas and Theophanou in Cavusin: The Imperial Family as Model
Sarah T. Brooks (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
How people viewed the emperor and how they related to him is an elusive subject. The unique frescoed portrait of the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas and four imperial family members in the "Pigeon House Church," Cavusin, Cappadocia (c. 963-969) is an unparalleled source in this respect. In the composition's center stand the emperor and his wife, Theophanou, flanked on their left by the Caesar (Nikephoros' father, Bardas Phokas) and the Kouropalates (Nikephoros' brother, Leo Phokas) and on their right, by a figure whose identity is unknown. Scholars, including Rodley and Thierry, interpret the imperial portrait as commemorating Nikephoros' recovery of the True Cross relics evidenced by the diminutive crosses which the figures carry. The gesture of intimacy between the imperial couple suggests a different interpretation. Nikephoros reaches out with his right hand to grasp his wife's left forearm, a modified form of the ancient dextrarum iunctio pose symbolizing marital concord; this pose signifies marriage in Biblical imagery (e.g., the marriage of Esau, Cod. Vat. Gr. 746, f. 96v) and in imperial iconography (e.g., the Madrid Scylitzes manuscript, Bib. Nac. Vitr. 26-2, f. 206vb and f. 222b.)
On the composition's far left side, flanking Theophanou, is a figure whose inscription is no longer legible and whom Thierry has identified as male, perhaps the young Basil II (Theophanou's son from her former marriage). Hairstyle and the absence of a beard, on the contrary, identify the figure as a woman, as Rodley observed when proposing the identification with the Kouropalates Leo's wife (the emperor's sister-in-law). I propose that this female is the emperor's mother, Eudocima Maleinos. She is paired with her husband, Caesar Bardas Phokas, the emperor's father, on Nikephoros' left. Depicted is the marital harmony of Nikephoros and Theophanou. The formal arrangement of figures in the fresco parallels the actual marriage ceremony attended by the couple's parents, who are invoked by the priest throughout the service, serving as models for the new couple and as symbols of the old life they leave behind. The social and political context of the Cappadocian ruling classes, dominated by the Maleinoi and Phokades, further supports the identification with Eudocima Maleinos. Her presence documents the important political alliance between the Maleinoi and Phokades, as well as Nikephoros' blood relationship with Saint Michael Maleinos (Eudocima's brother,) to whom Nikephoros was personally devoted.
To date, scholars have not considered the significance of the couple's gesture, the joining of hands, which identifies the scene with marriage, nor the liturgical function of the north sanctuary and its rockcut altar. One of the sanctuary's possible functions, and therefore the portrait's potency on such occasions, is suggested by the marriage ceremony which takes place "before the holy doors" (Goar, Euchologion, 310). There the Cavusin community memorialized the marriage of their local general to the reigning empress, an event legitimizing Nikephoros' imperial elevation, as well as the marriage of his illustrious parents and the union of the Maleinoi and Phokades. In the church's daily functioning, this image would have served as a model through which prestigious saintly and dynastic connections could be attained.
The Absence and Presence of Emperors: Reading the Mosaic of the Southwest Vestibule, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Kathleen S. Schowalter (Johns Hopkins University)
Hagia Sophia was the central and paradigmatic church of the Byzantine realm. As home to both the emperor and the bishop, its ceremonies and decoration sacralized and formalized the correct relationship of church and state (taxis). The maintenance of taxis was very important to Byzantine culture. This paper suggests the ways that the mosaic of The Virgin and Child Enthroned between Emperors in the Southwest Vestibule of Hagia Sophia depicts a nexus of dynastic and divine legitimacy and the past, present, and future taxis of the Byzantine Empire under Basil II and the Macedonian Dynasty.
Central to the image is the Theotokos, who had a contemporary political meaning as well as a religious one. The Theotokos of a 989 coin commemorated the important Battle of Abydos that consolidated Basil II's power. Both the coin and the mosaic lack contemporary imperial portraits, but in the place of this portrait, both present other signifiers. The coin's inscription explicitly explains the close protective relationship of emperor and Virgin. In the mosaic, the presence of images of Constantine and Justinian fills the role of the inscription, and explains the close relationship of the ideal emperors and the Virgin.
The pendant donation figures indicate a close, mediating relationship between imperial and divine, and also connote a protective relationship. The correct functioning of the Byzantine empire required that church (the Virgin and Child) and state (the emperors) work together. Though the presence of Constantine and Justinian together is a unique image, these glorified emperors were commonly used by the Macedonians as signifiers of their own dynastic legitimacy. While the Theotokos conveys Basil R's victory over the usurpers through his divinely appointed legitimacy, Justinian and Constantine indicate Basil's dynastic legitimacy as part of the grand tradition of Byzantine emperors.
The mosaic functions on at least three levels in a multivalency typical,of Byzantine art. The simplified meaning of the mosaic is one of taxis. More specifically, the mosaic shows how the Empire should, had, and would work under Basil II and the Macedonian dynasty. The Empire should have ideal cooperation between the Church and State, and a close relationship between the imperial and the divine. The Empire had had this relationship when Basil II rode forth with the icon of the Virgin, and with her aid defeated the illegitimate usurper at Abydos. Finally, the mosaic of the Southwest Vestibule proclaimed that the Empire would continue to exist in a state of taxis under Basil II and the Macedonian dynasty. Basil II's dynastic and divine legitimacy shown by the sacred and secular powers allied on his side would allow him to be both an effective military leader and an effective mediator for his people. The mosaic of the Southwest Vestibule represents, in essence, a nexus of dynastic and divine legitimacy, and the past, present, future taxis of the Byzantine Empire under Basil II.
Nobility and the Imperial Ideal in the basilikoi logoi of the Nicaean Empire.
Dimiter G. Angelov (Harvard University)
The four imperial orations from the Nicaean period (1204-1261) to the emperors Theodore I Laskaris (1204/5-1221) and John III Doukas Vatatzes (1221-1254) is an interesting, although often neglected, source for the study of the imperial ideology of the Byzantine empire in exile. Niketas Choniates delivered two orations in honor of Theodore I Laskaris; Jacob, archbishop of Ohrid, wrote a panegyric to John III Vatatzes, and so did Theodore II Laskaris (1254-58), his son and heir.
The orations repeat, and reinterpret, many of the traditional tenets of the Byzantine Kaiseridee: divine rulership, justice, philanthropy, generosity, intelligence, tireless labor on behalf of the subjects, chastity, etc. In addition, there are concrete references to the role of the two emperors in the reconstruction of the state, to the battles they fought and to their relations with the subjects. When seen in their historical context, the panegyrics could yield valuable information about the legitimacy of imperial ~ower in a period of staterebuilding and conflict over the imperial title. N. Radosevic, in Zbornik radova Vizantoloskog Instituta, 26 (1987), pp. 68-84, esp. 73-74, and G. Prinzing, in Legitimation and Funktion des Herrschers, eds. R. Gundlach and H. Weber (Stuttgart, 1992), pp. 12980, esp. 136-38, have already pointed to some sources of legitimacy claimed by the Nicaean emperors.
A striking element in the orations that has escaped scholarly attention is the ambiguity, or total absence, of claims for the emperor's aristocratic lineage and noble birth. This marks a break from the imperial ideal during the eleventh and the twelfth centuries which A. Kazhdan has shown to have begun to include nobility (eugeneia) and military prowess. This significant change in the imperial ideal in Nicaea did not persist after the recapture of Constantinople in 1261 and the rise of the Palaiologoi. Noble birth and aristocratic lineage reappeared as imperial attributes in the orations to Michael VIII (1259-1282) and became an important source of legitimacy for the Palaiologan dynasty. The changes in the imperial ideal seem to reflect the different policies of the Nicaean and the Palaiologan emperors in creating networks of family alliances with the aristocracy centered around the imperial family.
The Romance of Alexander and Bold Byzantine Princesses: Coping With Accommodation and Alliance in Fourteenth-Century
Anatolia Robert Hallman (New York University)
While the Alexander Romance was copied incessantly, it appears, throughout Byzantine history and subsequently, the survival of two exceptional, near contemporary, manuscripts allows us to pinpoint an enthusiasm for the story in a more manageable segment of space and time. These are the Armenian manuscript, MS 424, of the S. Lazzaro Collection, Venice, and the Greek MS of the Hellenic Institute at Venice. Both manuscripts have been dated to the fourteenth century, and, following L. Gallagher's analysis of the Hellenic Institute MS, both can be located with some degree of confidence in eastern Anatolia. If the accidents of manuscript survival do not allow us to confirm that these were the only manuscripts of this caliber (the Hellenic Institute MS contains 250 miniatures, S. Lazzaro MS 424, 111 miniatures) produced in the Byzantine sphere in this period, we can at least assume that this type of investment signals a special interest in the Romance of Alexander.
The fourteenth century was a turbulent time in eastem Anatolia for all parties involved. Characterized by conquest and tenuous coexistence among Turkmen emirates and the re-maining Christian principalities, survival demanded realistic diplomatic policy whether or not it conformed to ideological ideals. Anthony Bryer points out that the marriage of the daughter of Alexios III to the son of Akkoyunlu emir Turali, was the first of eleven marriages arranged between Turkmen emirates and the Grand Komnenoi of Trebizond. A similar scenario saw the union of many Armenian and Georgian princes and princesses with the leading families of the emirates. Such conditions, one assumes, weighed heavily on the minds of both gazi chief and Christian basileus, a fact evidenced, this paper suggests, by the stories contemporaries told, commissioned, or wrote down for posterity.
4n the part of the emirates, at least four stories survive in the epics of the Dusturname and the Danismendname, in the legend of The Taking of Aydos Castle, and in the Book of Dede Korkut, which seem to address concems over such foreign relations. The clearest example perhaps is that of Kan Turali, a young prince who, falling for the beautiful daughter of the tekvur of Trebizond, successfully engages inthe death-defying contests set as her bride-price but still must overcome (with the assistance of the princess) six hundred soldiers sent by the treacherous Byzantine ruler to retrieve her. Thus it is much more conquest than alliance that sees the marriage of the gazi prince and the Byzantine warrior princess. Rebellion against their fathers and military aptitude on the part of Byzantine princesses are fundamental themes in several such marriage stories.
While there is no explicit parallel in the Byzantine or Armenian literature of the day, this paper contends that copies made of Digenis Akritas and, in particular, the initiative to commission such extraordinary editions of the Alexander Romance betray a similar sentiment and provide similar reassurance to their patrons and audiences. These manuscripts, in text, frontispiece, and illuminations, associate the victorious Alexander with contemporary Christian leaders and give assurance of the ultimate defeat of the Persians (both the Persians of old and their new incarnation in the Turks), as well as providing precedent for political and blood alliance with one's rivals. By exploring the details of these manuscripts alongside contemporary Turkmen epic tales this paper intends to demonstrate that fourteenth-century Anatolian literature reflects the social and political conditions which fostered its production.
Session V: Images of Author and Audience
Chair: Nancy Sevcenko (Rutgers University)
The Saintly Writer in Early Byzantium: Verbal and Visual Portraits of Biblical Authors
Derek Krueger (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Early Byzantine hagiographers often invoke biblical authors as typological precedents for their activity of narrating the lives of holy people. In the Lausiac History Palladius alludes to Paul's writing about a journey to the third heaven (2 Cor 12:5) to explain his own wandering in the ascetic paradise of the Egyptian desert and subsequent composition. Theodoret of Cyrrhus, in the Religious History, hopes that the same Holy Spirit who inspired Moses to write will inspire him. He also compared his method of utilizing both his own testimony and eyewitness sources to the compositional techniques of the various evangelists. Late Antique authors conceived of biblical writers as saints to be emulated. Thus Paul, Moses and the evangelists served as models for early Byzantine writers to follow.
How were the available biblical models for Christian authorship conceived? How did the emergent Christian culture construct the concept of a saintly writer? The biblical texts themselves provided some narrative details about various authors, and this information was supplemented by Jewish midrash and Christian legend. Already in the second centuries Papias supplied details about the evangelists. However, between the fourth and the seventh centuries further elaborations of biographies of biblical writers together with commitments to a biblical hermeneutics assuming divine inspiration gave rise to a notion of biblical author as holy man, as conduit for divine action. This model arose side by side with ideas about the miracle-working holy men of the Late Antique desert. In the absence of vitae of biblical authors (with the possible exception of Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses), early Byzantine ideas about biblical writers must be culled from other sources.
This paper contributes three sorts of evidence to an understanding of conceptions, of biblical authors-especially Paul and the evangelists. First, narrative portraits of biblical authors appear in introductions to patristic commentaries of biblical books: John Chrysostom on Paul; Origen, Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria on the Gospels. Second, early Evangelist portraits reveal a theological conception of biblical writers. The sixth-century mosaic portraits of the four evangelists in the vaulting approaching the altar in the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna and the portrait of the evangelist Mark form the Rossano Gospels (fol. 12 1 r) present gospel composition as a result of both inspiration and (especially in the cases of Matthew and Luke at San Vitale) research. These images present composition as virtuous labor. Finally, hagiographers' allusions to their biblical precursors confirm how the biblical holy writers functioned as icons for veneration and emulation. Instead of perceiving a disjuction between the composition of the Bible and their production, many early Byzantine hagiographers understood themselves as perpetuating patterns and techniques of biblical composition.
Early Christian Tradition and Byzantine Evangelist Portraits: A Reappraisal of the Mount Athos Gospel Book, Stauronikita MS. 43
Joyce Kubiski (Western Michigan University)
In his seminal article on Byzantine evangelist portraits published in 1927, A. M. Friend suggested that the architectural backgrounds behind the Gospel writers in a tenth century Gospel Book from Mount Athos, the Stauronikita 43, were copied from Roman domestic frescoes depicting architectural designs, which in turn had been inspired by painted stage sets for the theater. The connection between theatrical sets and Second Style painting has been convincingly challenged in recent scholarship, consequently making Friend's interpretation problematic.
In re-examining the Stauronikita manuscript, I will suggest that the backdrops to the evangelists' sacred activity remain rooted in late Roman/Early Christian traditions. The architectural designs have structural affinities not with the ancient stage, but with the Ro-man villa. Contextually too, there are many associations between villas and authors. During late Antiquity the country retreat became a locus for literary activity and it was here that late Classical and Early Christian authors wrote. The Stauronikita evangelists are not placed in front of painted stage sets, but at home, in the courtyard garden, diligently work. This conclusion is supported by contextual information concerning late Antique authorial traditions, contemporary narrative theory, as well as the traditional methods of formal analysis.
Framing the Monk: The Frontispiece of Sinal cod. 339
Glenn Peers (University of Texas at Austin)
Normally, the frame of a picture is the neglected aspect, but it has received an unusual amount of attention in the case of the frontispiece miniature of the twelfth-century liturgical homilies of Gregory Nazianzus, now- at Sinal (cod. 339). The frontispiece miniature shows Gregory dressed as a monk at work at his desk within a gold-filled trefoil recess. A half-length Christ appears in the upper right-hand corner of this recess and directs Gregory, with an abstracted expression and poised pen, to write. The surrounding architectural frame has, however, garnered the attention: it shows an elaborate, irregular architecture complete with a mosaic of the Virgin and Child, gardens and fountains. The architecture has generally been read literally, that is, as a description, albeit generalized, of the monastery in which the manuscript was produced, or at least with which the manuscript was closely connected. This paper will attempt to integrate frame and centre, and will argue that the writer and architecture are intimately connected in a way that expresses ideals of monastic behaviour for the twelfth century, and that determines a reading for the remainder of the miniatures in the manuscript.
Two scribal entries provide information concerning the commissioning and destina-tion of the manuscript. Joseph Hagioglykerites, abbot of the monastery of Christ Pantocrator in Constantinople, had the manuscript made to be presented to the monastery of Theotokos Pantanassa on the island of Hagia Glykeria in the bay of Tuzla. The manuscript was likely made for the consecration of that monastery in 1142. As well as this information about the production of the manuscript as gift, other information about Pantocrator survives, in the form of the typikon of 1136. All together we possess an unusual amount of material surrounding the production and context of this manuscript.
By taking advantage of this material, this paper aims to situate the frontispiece illustration in the context of developments in monastic practice in the twelfth century. In this period, the figure of the monk had lost much of its status and prestige as spiritual athlete, and a general trend led to a greater emphasis on conformity and common purpose. The frontispiece is, then, a visual demonstration of the cenobitic ideal: the monk saint is inspired by Christ and is settled firmly within the institutional framework that the generalized portrait of the monastery indicates. And like any frame, this architectural setting sets the tone, as it were, for interpretation of the other miniatures in the manuscript. Rather the manuscript's visual argument against contemporary criticism and its demonstration of monastic ideals are the determining features of its production.
Naming the Narrative Image: Tradition, Invention, Theology
Alfred Biichler (Berkeley, California)
The ninth and tenth centuries saw the formulation of the captions (epigraphs, klests, titlos) that accompany Byzantine narrative images. These captions acquired canonical status in the mosaics of the classic eleventh-century churches and went on to label the `feast icons' of the iconostases. The earliest inscriptions of narrative images, such as in the Rossano gospels, tended to be discursive, but in the Paris Gregory (BN gr.510, 879-884) and in Old and New Tokali Mlise (10th century) we can observe the 'short-title' captions in statu nascendi.
The image of the Baptism of Christ provides an example of the principle of selection of these captions. The Baptism is one of the mysteries of salvation history, celebrated in the feast known as Ta Phota, Ta Theophania, or Ta Epiphania. The' feast icon,' however, is labeled simply E BAPTISTS. Here St. John Chrysostom's definition of a mystery is helpful: `We see one thing and believe another.' The names of the feast suggest what is believed; the label of the image states what can be directly seen. In this case, the choice of caption seems straightforward. In what follows we discuss some more complex cases.
Annunciation and Visitation. According to St. Luke, Gabriel's "Chaire . . ."left the Virgin perturbed by this aspasmos. For the Evangelist, `aspasmos' implied a verbal salutation; later, the infant in Elizabeth's womb will leap at the sound (phone) of Mary's aspasmos. By the ninth century, however, `aspasmos' had acquired the meaning of a physical embrace or kiss. In the Paris Gregory and the two Tokali Churches the image of the Annunciation thus is titled by the more formal O CHAIRETISMOS (cf. De Ceremonies 1,30), and until at least the end of the twelfth century this will remain the caption of the icon associated with the feast known as O Euangelismos. O ASPASMOS, on the other hand, becomes the label of the image of the Visitation, where indeed the Theotokos and St. Elizabeth are shown embracing.
The Resurrection of Christ and the Raising of Lazarus. The verbs anistemi and egeiro are used almost interchangeably in the Gospels (cf Mk 5:41,42; Lk 9:22 and 18:3), but the Apostles proclaim the anastasis of Christ (Acts 2:31, 4:33), and this, pace Kartonis, may have decided the naming E ANASTASIS of the paschal image. Egersis, on the other hand, now being available, the E EGERSIS TO U LAZAROU of Daphni (ca. 1 100) supersedes the `Lazare deuro exo' (Jn 11:43) of Old Tokali Kilise (early 10th century) and the Anastasis tou Lazarou of the Jerusalem Liturgical Scroll (Stavrou 109; end of 11th century).
The Deposition from the Cross. Here the earliest image, in the Paris Gregory, is labeled E KATHELKUSIS (Omont),' The Lowering,' but already in Old Tokali we have the canonical E APOKATHELOSIS,' The Unnalling.'
Iconophile theology was concerned primarily with images of Christ, the Theotokos and the Saints; the titles of these images, proclaiming their homonymity with their prototype, asserted their claim to veneration. Narrative images, on the other hand, were rarely discussed in this context. Their captions suggest their catechetical and anamnetic role, and the appearance of these captions on `feast images' seems more the result of traditional practice than of a specific post-iconoclast theological imperative.
Byzantine Monuments and their Inscriptions: Reading, Speaking and the Participatory Experience
Amy Papalexandrou (Penn State University)
The study of Byzantine inscriptions has traditionally been conservative in nature, focusing on epigraphic material purely as documentary evidence. Scholars have typically ignored issues of formal appearance, placement, symbolism and function of the written word as it appears on buildings and objects. This approach to inscriptions is perhaps due to long-established models of publication such as the Inscriptiones Graecae, where epigraphs have been published according to modern printing conventions, as isolated texts and often without accompanying photographs. In this format the material is severed from its appropriate context and denied any artistic potential. Further, it is generally assumed that monumental inscriptions were read much as we read them today, that is, silently and with immediate comprehension. This assumption, however, denies the inscription of much of its inherent power and efficacy.
It is the purpose of this paper to consider Byzantine monumental inscriptions in a dif-ferent way, as a medium for communication as well as a potential catalyst for movement throughout a building. The basis for much of this discussion is an idea already postulated for the ancient world as well as for medieval scriptoria: It holds that the oral transmission of texts was a common feature of life in the Middle Ages. While contested by a small minority of scholars, the general consensus supports the theory that texts in general, and inscriptions in particular, were never intended to be read silently. Rather, the medieval reader who possessed enough skill to decipher the written word did so audibly, transforming it immediately into an oral, and therefore more credible, witness. Monumental stone inscriptions, painted inscriptions and floor mosaics will all be considered in an effort to show how and on what levels this material could function within its original context. As we begin to imagine the epigraphs in use, we can visualize an ordered and meaningful interaction of viewer and monument as the result of physical movement and verbal energy. This served to accentuate the power of the inscribed message and could heighten the spiritual experience for both donor and visitor alike.
Session VI: Identity and Status in Late Antiquity
Chair: James Francis (University of Kentucky)
Scenes from the life of Constantine in the wallpaintings of Karm al-Ahbariya (Egypt)
Hanna Witte Orr (Burlington, Iowa)
In 1967, the remains of a small sixth century church and its murals were found about 5 miles northeast of the pilgrimage center of St. Menas, near Alexandria. Some two thirds of the wall-paintings survived in fragments, and from these it has been possible to identify and theoretically reconstruct the entire mural decoration of the church. The decoration can be divided into several groups. Directly above the columns of the nave, a band of pictures showed the childhood and adult life of Jesus. Above these, a very broad area of portraits depicted Old Testament persons holding scrolls with Greek inscriptions. Directly under the rootbeains there was a third band ofgeometric ornaments imitating opus sectile.
Instead of Old Testament portraits, the middle band of decoration on the western wall of the nave showed several pictures from the life of Constantine the Great; unfortunately, the fragments from these pictures are small. One picture, showing Constantine's vision of the cross, has been reconstructed, and fragments from several others give clues to their content. The entire set of pictures can be compared with a possibly similar set which existed on the west wall of Hagios Polyeuktos, Constantinople. Of this set we have only the description as it was given in the relief inscription and recorded in Anthologia Palatina 1, 10.
In this paper I give a brief description of the painted decoration of the church at Karm al- Ahbariya, and then compare the depictions of Constantine's life from that church with those recorded in Anthologia Palatina 1, 10, and with a third depiction of Constantine's life which exists on fol.440 of Cod. Graec. 5 1 0 in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. This, known as the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus, was most likely commissioned by Photios and dedicated to Emperor B asillos 1. Two further, but more recent, sets of pictures of the life of Constantine one in Crete and the other in Ohrid, show their relation to the three mentioned above only in the scene of Constantine's victory at the Pons Milvius. Since there are so few known early examples of Constantine's vision, the question arises whether the wallpaintings from Karm al-Ahbariya, the depictions at Hagios Polyeuktos, and the illustrations of Cod. Graec.510 are perhaps all reflections of the same original set.
The Programme of the Mausoleum of Constans 1: Its Imperial Aesthetic and Hieratic Necessity
Grace E. Evans (George Washington University)
The royal mausoleum of Constans, son of Constantine 1, decorated by command of Constantius II, immortalized the Western Roman Emperor murdered in 350. The mausoleum is within the complex of the villa of Centcelles near the town of Tarragona south of Barcelona. The fragmentary programme includes fresco wall images and decorations to the window level. Four registers of mosaics rise to include the fictive oculus. These rising levels are framed by Roman sacred symbolic designs; the three upper levels reveal the Judaic/Early Christian themes of resurrection and salvation.
Several panels on the mosaic registers are fragmentary, requiring investigation into surviving iconographic and stylistic evidence from the third and later centuries. Those panels from the Old and New Testaments, dating the programme to 350, which are evident or undesignated, will be briefly discussed. The probable subjects of four lost panels that precede those in situ will demonstrate their necessity in the narrative sequence by comparisons to prototypes from the third and fourth centuries. These thematic comparisons will offer the basis for the entire programme and its ultimate Imperial Early Christian interpretation.
The survival of the Roman stylistic and iconographic features of the mosaic frames separating the levels, as well as the panels of the Four Seasons, will confirm the Imperial aesthetic of the Constantinian dynasty. The moderately hieratic element seen in the alternating portrait panels of the four enthroned emperors reveals their early "Byzantination".
The stylistic elements in this earliest surviving programmatic cycle reveals the Imperial aesthetic apparent both in themes and in execution. The hieratic necessity of Imperial dominance even in death will become apparent.
Biography, Ethics, and Spirituality: Ausonius and the Reading of Late-antique Portraiture
Lea Stirling (University of Manitoba)
Among the writings of Ausonius, a late 4th-century Gallic rhetor and poet, is a poem (Epicedion) which the author inscribed under a portrait of his father. Though little noticed by modern commentators, the poem provides a guide to the sentiments which portraiture evoked for a late-antique audience. Throughout the poem, Ausonius stresses his father's (and his own) virtus and accomplishments, his father's ethical standards and moderate lifestyle, and the reverence a son feels towards a father. The image associated with the poem thus combines elements of the biographical meaning of Roman Republican portraiture, the ethical inspiration of philosopher portraits, and the holiness or spirituality of icons. Lateantique portraits from Gaul and elsewhere exemplify how these three elements of biography, ethics, and spirituality were worked out in actual statuary. Even heirloom portraits, many of which decorated Gallic villas in late-antiquity, would have been viewed through the kind of lens that Ausonius describes.
A male portrait sealed under a mosaic floor at the villa of Seviac was originally displayed in the villa. As a portrait of a present or past owner, it would have served a biography= cal and spiritual, role. The head appears to date early in the 5th century, and the mosaic is approximately contemporary, a circumstance which suggests that the subject of the portrait had fallen from the favour of the villa's patron in a relatively short time. 1 Other statuary, including portraits, remained on display. Evidently this portrait became inappropriate in the biography, ethics, or spirituality it conveyed.
An heirloom portrait of the Stoic philosopher and emperor Marcus Aurelius from the late - antique villa at Nerac served an ethical and spiritual role, in addition to augmenting the rank of the homeowner through the implied imperial connections. It may have graced a family shrine: an anonymous biographer of the late 4th century mentions this practice for statuary of Marcus Aurelius (SHA, Marcus Antoninus 18.5). Painted philosopher portraits from a ceiling in Trier have deep-set eyes along with the customary beard. Their scrolls remind the viewer of sacred and philosophical texts outlining ethical guidelines.
Ausonius describes an almost religious reverence for his father: "I have always revered my father next to God." This line implies that the viewer felt pietas, or reverence, when viewing portraits. The wide eyes and intense gaze of those portraits strengthen the sense of spirituality, as seen in a female portrait from Toulouse. The nimbus, which starts to appear in 4th-century portraits such as painted female portraits from Trier, sets off the face and adds authority and focus to a portrait.
The same conjunction of meanings in Ausonius' poem appears in the herm balustrade at Welschbillig, where philosophers, emperors, historical figures, and mythological figures all rubbed shoulders and were equalized by the herm format. In this sculptural display, the emperor Valentinian illustrates a view of an ancient and modern world in which biographical, moral, and spiritual greatness could all be combined. Ausonius provides us a map from which to interpret such interconnections of meaning in late-antique portraiture.
The Early Career of Sophronius, Master of the Offices: Problems, Solutions and Importance
Thomas Brauch (Central Michigan University)
The official career of Sophronius of Caesarea is documented primarily by patristic epistography. Basil of Caesarea wrote several letters to Sophronius as Master of the Offices throughout most of the 370s and Gregory of Nazianzus sent his Letter 135 to Sophronius as Prefect of Constantinople in 382. However, letters of Gregory written in the late 360s allude to offices that Sophronius held prior to his Mastership of the Offices. The exact offices have not been established, and scholars often confuse them with Sophronius' later positions because notes to these letters in separate manuscript traditions designate him as either "master" or "prefect" at the time of the letter. Furthermore, in order to identify him for his Roman audience, Ammianus Marcellinus reports(26.7.2) that Sophronius was a notary at the time of the Procopius rebellion in 365 and prefect of Constantinople at an unspecified date afterward, and some commentators interpret this notice as a reference to Sophronius' prefectship of 382 while others see it as a reference to an urban prefectship of Sophronius in the late 360s. No consensus exists on these points.
Careful reading of Gregory of Nazianzus' letters written to Sophronius in the late 360s verify that Sophronius held two positions before his mastership of the offices. Letter 22 shows that Sophronius was the current prefect of Constantinople by the description of his having the authority to intervene in a legal dispute in the city, and textual and historical considerations date Sophronius' prefectship as 367 to 368. In addition, the context of Letter 21 suggests that Sophronius was vicar of Pontus at the time of its writing. This designation is supported by Gregory's description of Sophronius' office as an intermediary position that permitted him access to the highest state offices and by the contemporary practice of giving a notary a vicarship before his advancement to an urban or a praetorian prefectship. Sophronius' vicarship should be dated 366 to 367.
Other problems conceming these offices can be resolved. Manuscript notes to Gregory's Letters 21 and 22 which designate Sophronius as master or urban prefect derive from two early editors of Gregory's letters who only knew about Sophronius' mastership of the 370s and urban prefectship of 382 and confused these offices with those Sophronius held in the late 360s. Ammianus' report of an urban prefectship of Sophronius refers to the appointment of 382 because his readers in the 390s would have had better recollection of that office than the earlier prefectship.
The two recovered offices emphasize the extraordinary career of Sophronius. All of his known positions were of senatorial rank. In addition, few other men held an urban prefectship twice, and Sophronius' long tenure of the mastership of the offices is unusual in late Roman office holding. Membership in the schola of notaries, the favor of the emperor Valens, and continued prominence under Theodosius I explain Sophronius' preeminence in two successive reigns.
Databases, Prosopography and Byzantium
John R. Martindale (King's College London)
The Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire covers the period from 641 to 1261. This was for practical reasons sub-divided into three periods, and the CD-Rom, whose publication is due shortly, contains the materials gathered for the first, from 641 to 867.
The ambition of the project was to read all the surviving primary sources, Byzantine and non-Byzantine, in the original, and to extract and record all information about every relevant person recorded therein, relevance being interpreted broadly. From Byzantine sources everyone was to be recorded, whether Byzantine or not, and from non-Byzantine sources all individuals who were concerned in any way with Byzantine affairs. The principle was always to include borderline cases.
The main Byzantine sources have been thoroughly read and the information is recorded both in the main database in King's College London and on the CD-Rom. In practice limitations on resources and difficulties with the less accessible languages compelled some reduction in our coverage. One area where there are gaps is sigillography; the main collections are done but we cannot guarantee that all minor publications have been read. For sources in languages other than Greek and Latin, e.g. Syriac and Arabic, coverage is patchy; a few sources (e.g. the Syriac Chronicle of 1234) have been read in full and relevant information entered, but most are not fully covered and will inevitably contain extra relevant material. In due course this will be all extracted and entered into the main database, but the limitations of the CD-Rom in this respect have to be pointed out.
The information in the CD-Rom is in the form of `biographical' entries for each individual, in which the data in the primary sources is presented and supported by citations from the original texts; there is some editorial matter, by way of analysis and comment, to clarify obscurities in the text or problems with the sources, but the aim has been to keep this to the absolute minimum. This accords with the principle of presenting the primary evidence in full, to enable users to form their own judgement. For instance, alternative versions of events, including mutually contradictory versions, are set out in the entries without necessarily any comment.
To access the information, the CD-Rom uses indices, which list Names, Titles, Floruits, Locations, etc. The indices can be used either separately (e.g. to find all persons called Konstantinos) or in conjunction (e.g. to find all persons called Konstantinos who had the title of hypatos).
The CD-Rom is devised to be simple to use and to afford easy and quick access to a huge quantity of detailed information. As an instrumentum studiorum it will facilitate further studies, enabling long and detailed searches to be quickly performed. Other and even more complex questions and searches will be reserved for the online database, whose greater power and sophistication will offer still further possibilities to students of Byzantium.
Session VII: Byzantine Urbanism: Session in Honor of Alexander Kazhdan
Chair: Helen Saradi (University of Guelph)
The uses and abuses of the concept of `decline', with special reference to the Eastern empire in the 6th century.
W. Liebeschuetz (University of Nottingham, UK)
There is today a tendency for historians to reject the concept of decline and to construct their analyses exclusively, or at least as far as possible, in terms of change and transformation. I will argue that this fashion ties the historian's hands quite unnecessarily. History, as part of the natural process, is made up of an unending cycle of growth and decline, and the one cannot happen without the other. Both stages of the cycle are interesting, and each is equally worth investigating. Neither should be ignored. I will illustrate this theme with an account of the decline and fall of curial government of the cities in the East in the 6th century, and will argue that the end of the traditional government of cities made them less useful for the purposes of the Empire, and so weakened the imperial structure as a whole.
The Urban Ruralization in Provincia Palaestina: The Demise of the Byzantine Praetorium at Caesarea
Joseph Patrich (University of Haifa, Israel)
The 1993-1998 large scale excavations at Caesarea Maritima had uncovered large portions of the Roman and Byzantine government compound of that city. This compound, stretching along the seashore between the principal temple to Rome and Augustus and the theater, comprised of the praetorium of the Roman governor at the south - being the extension of Herod's palace, the praetorium of the Byzantine governor at the north, and two other palatial mansions in between. Vast complexes of Late Roman / Byzantine warehouses extended between all four palaces.
The stratigraphy and the archaeological small finds, including I.atin and Greek inscription, indicate that the Byzantine praetorium originated as the palace of the Roman procurator provinciae - the chief financial official of the province, first erected at the last quarter of the first century CE. By the early fourth century, after the praetorium of the Romnan governor - the Legatus, Augusti pro praetore went already mid third century into partial ruin and desertion, and due to the administrative reforms initiated by Diocletian, the Byzantine governor, holding the judicial and financial jurisdiction over the province, made the other palace his residence and administrative grounds. The reduced Roman praetorium presumably became the headquarters and residence of the dux - the chief military commander of Provincia Palaestina, when in town.
The portion so far exposed of the Byzantine praetorium, comprised the administrative-public wing, bolding the audience hall with vast courtyards to its front, the provincial revenue office, an apsidal hall that presumably served as an archive, and a spacious bath. The private wing, holding the dwelling quarters, and presumably more halls, courtyards and gardens, was in part destroyed by the Islamic / Crusader wall and moat, and is in part still covered by the present dirt road leading to the Crusader southern gate.
The archaeological evidence processed so far indicate that the Byzantine praetorium went out of use some time in the second half of the sixth century CE, or early in the seventh. The desertion was followed by a transformation of the warehouses insula to the south and parts of the praetorium itself into a terraced irrigated garden. Many wells were dug through the floors, fertile soil rich with city waste was brought in and poured over the flattened debris, and irrigation channels were cut in stones arranged In rows along each plot of land. Poor shelters, presumably for the workers, were also installed among the ruins.
In my paper I will present the architecture of the Byzantine praetorium and bring the archaeological and stratigraphical evidence for its demise by ruralization. A discussion on the historical circumstances that might have caused this misfortune will follow.
Caesarea Palaestinae: The Byzantine-Islamic Transition
Kenneth G. Holum (University of Maryland)
Located on the coast of Israel 40 km. north of Tel Aviv, Caesarea in Roman times was the maim port city on this part of the Levantine coast. It was seat of the governor of Palestine and mistress of a broad territory of rich agricultural land. In the sixth century it had fortification walls, colonnaded streets, a hippodrome, an elaborate aqueduct system, and an urban population of 25,000 of more.
In 640 or 641 Caesarea fell to the Muslims, who stormed it and brought a permanent end to Roman rule. When the texts next speak of Caesarea, it has become Qaisariyah, a much smaller but prosperous Muslim agricultural town on the shore of the "Greek Sea." According to Muqaddasi, writing ca. 980, it had no harbor, a fortress, a wall, water from cisterns and wells, and a beautiful mosque. Muslim Qaisariyah was celebrated for delicious fruit, white bread, and buffalo milk.
This paper explores the process of Caesarea becoming Qaisariyah. The focus is archaeological evidence brought to light since 1992 during intense year-round excavations. In area TP, for example, on the Temple Platform, change was long in coming. A sixthcentury octagonal church stood as late as the ninth or tenth century, near the mosque that Muqaddasi admired. Nearby a small but luxurious public bath, built in the sixth century, functioned until destroyed by an earthquake in the eighth. The harbors, however, succumbed swiftly to geological processes. By the ninth century the Inner Harbor, area I, had silted in, and compactly-arranged residences had established themsclves there. In area LL similar prosperous dwellings consolidated themselves in what had been a city street and in the interior of a large harbor-front borreum of the sixth century. Thus in. some parts of the site occupation continued without interruption from the sixth century to the tenth, but the nature and density of the occupation changed dramatically.
A radically different picture has emerged in a quarter of Roman Caesarea to the south. Here, arrayed on a ridge paralleling the coast, were palatial residences of the sixth century featuring audience halls, reception rooms with elegant mosaics, private baths, and attached porticoes and gardens. One residence was the praitorion of the proconsul of Palestine. Sandwiched between the praitorion and the next residence to the south was a block of horrea, six independent units in all, each with its own office and storage facilities for commodities. In contrast with the sectors to the north, this quarter passed quickly out of use after the Muslim conquest. After a period of abandonment and building collapse, but probably still within the seventh century, much of this quarter was given over to intensive garden agriculture. The latest coin found in one garden soil deposit dated to 618, and the ambient pottery was seventh century.
The evidence corresponds well with a reasonable scenario for the transition from sixth century Caesarea to Muqaddasi's Qaisariyah. There is no evidence of hostile destruction.
The wealth of the tenth century town reflects a prosperous and well-populated countryside, but the decline of the harbor and general weakening of trade links contributed to a gradual reduction in urban population. Above all, the sudden abandonment of the governmental, mercantile, and aristocratic quarter to the south represents the disappearance of the imperial establishment, and of the aristocracy that had exploited the wealth of the countryside to maintain the physical amenities and social order of the ancient city.
Reconstructing and Deconstructing the Middle Byzantine City: A Reassessment of the Role of the State in the Revival of Urban Life
Eric A. Ivison (The College of Staten Island, CUNY)
Evidence for the development of the Middle Byzantine city may yet be fragmentary, but it shows that the period 800-1200 was one of economic revival and physical recon-struction. This revival has been attributed to the reconquest of the Ninth and Tenth Centu-ries, which created a climate of greater security, and thus engendered local prosperity. However, a more complex evaluation of the causes for this revival, and the specific forces for renewal behind them, has not been considered. By reference to written and archaeological evidence, this paper will discuss one of these forces the Byzantine state and its role in the refoundation and reconstruction of cities. This paper will discuss how and why the state rebuilt cities, and whether this can help us in defining urban centers. In addition, this paper will assess the impact of imperial intervention on the urban landscape, and the role of these policies in the revival of the Empire.
One may assume that compared with the Empire of Late Antiquity, the more limited resources of the Middle Byzantine State precluded more radical, costly redevelopment of city sites. No Middle Byzantine emperor could afford to build as prolifically as Justinian I, but as historical and epigraphic sources show, emperors still funded major urban reconstruction. However, the extent of such "rebuilding" and the nature of these settlements, can only be considered through inclusion of archaeological evidence. This paper will refer to archaeological evidence from sites in Greece and Asia Minor, but will focus on the excavations at Amorium in Anatolia. Recent excavations at Amorium have revealed much about construction methods and planning, indicating that this city was rebuilt de novo following a major destruction, most likely not long after A.D. 838. The scale and presumed cost of this reconstruction can only suggest imperial direction and funding. This paper will further propose that this was carried out by the imperial army, which historically was the only institution with the manpower, organization, and skills to carry out such reconstruction.
This paper will demonstrate that the imperial investment in cities was important on an ideological and administrative level. By rebuilding cities, emperors fulfilled the concept of imperial renewal and so continued in the tradition of their Late Antique predecessors. But above all, this policy determined settlement hierarchy and the fortress concept of the "city," while emphasizing the importance still attached to cities as administrative and military centers. These fortress-cities took on heightened importance during the reconquest, providing bases of operations for campaigns and defense, and acting as "colonies" from which to project Byzantine authority and culture over newly recaptured lands. The process by which urban life revived is thus more complex than has been previously thought. Instead of prospering solely as a consequence of increased security, imperial investment in cities emerges as a primary factor in urban revival. Such investment formed a key component of wider policies of stabilization and reconquest that actively contributed to the revival of the Empire as a whole.
Session VIII: Ways of Seeing
Chair: Mary Lyon Dolezal (University of Oregon, Eugene)
Blindness, Sight, and the One-Eyed Man: An Early Byzantine Paradox
Georgia Frank (Colgate University)
"The paradox of seeing," writes art historian James Elkins, "is that the more forcefully I try to see, the more blind I become" (The Object Stares Back, 210). One finds a similar complicity between blindness and vision in early Byzantine religious thought. This paper examines how fourth-century pastors and theologians puzzled over the notion of blindness. Although stories of blindness and its reversal often provided Christians with metaphors for ignorance or unbelief, this paper focuses primarily on their inherent assumptions about physical blindness.
The first part of the paper explores theologians' efforts to explain why God created the physical senses, and specifically, the eyes. Central to this issue are Gregory of Nyssa's On the Creation of the Human Person, as well as similar treatises ascribed to Nemesius of Emesa and Basil of Caesarea. To these thinkers, anatomy was destiny, insofar as the eye was best suited to know the created order and even its creator.
From the praise of sight, we then turn to its loss. I shall examine how preachers and exegetes articulated a theology of seeing in their use of stories about blindness. Central to this section will be biblical interpreters' discussions of God's power to blind (Exodus 4:11) and Jesus' power to restore sight (e.g., Mark 8, 10; John 9). In particular, I shall focus on excerpts from John Chrysostom's Homilies on John and the Coptic Histories of the Monks in Upper Egypt, which recounts the story of a one-eyed man, whose blind eye is healed while his seeing eye is blinded. The final part of the paper considers how these meditations on the nature, function, and loss of visual experience can contribute to an early Byzantine theology of the senses.
The Rossano Gospels: Incarnation and Communion in the' Communion of the Apostles'
Diana Hilvers (Indiana University)
In early Christian and Byzantine art, depictions of the Last Supper commemorate Christ's last meal with his followers and the institution of the Eucharist as a sacrament. The Codex Purpureus Rossanensis, or Rossano Gospels, usually dated to the sixth century includes an
image of Christ in assembly with his Apostles and double images of Christ serving first the bread, then the wine of the Eucharist to his disciples. The liturgical procession of the Communion of the Apostles, or celebration of the Divine Liturgy as appears in the Rossano Gospels offers a heightened reference to Christ's Incarnation and presence in the elements at the Lord's Supper. Robert Taft places the origin of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy in the monasteries of Palestine. Provenance of the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis is unknown and dating remains uncertain. However, a closer examination of the image of the Communion of the Apostles suggests an earlier dating, as well as Syro-Palestinian origin for the Rossano Gospels.
Taft states that, after the Iconoclastic Controversy, "we see the victory of a more literalist popular and monastic piety, precisely in favor of a less abstracting symbolic and more representational figurative religious art." Hence, according to the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787), ,the Eucharist is not a symbol of Christ, but indeed Christ himself.
Yet the first iconoclastic controversy occurred within the Syro-Palestinian orbit. Antoine Guillaumont has suggested that the teaching of Evagrius Ponticus on "pure prayer" was responsible for touching off the Anthropomorphite controversy of the 390's. According toEvagrius, the Eucharist is linked with the formation of images in the mind; therefore, the ritual of the Eucharist is imperfect. The Anthropomorphites argued for Christ's "real presence" in the Eucharist when he said "whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells continually in me and I dwell in him." The Old Testament text of Genesis 1:28 states that man was made in God's image, and because man was made in God's image, the Genesis text may be taken literally as the reality of Christ in the Eucharist and God's image in man. In silver uncials on purple pages, the luxurious images of the Rossano Gospels record a literalism of popular monastic piety in an early representation of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy.
As the Incarnation is the paradigm of the Eucharist in the Byzantine Church, Christ offers himself in Communion with his Apostles in the original and uniquely literal images of the Eucharist in the Rossano Gospels, born in the iconoclastic controversy in the SyroPalestinian realm of the 390's.
Iconoclasm in Eighth Century Palestine
Jennifer Ball (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU)
From approximately 700 CE to the early Abbasid period, 800 CE, Palestinian churches under Muslim rule experienced a period of iconoclasm, defined here as the deliberate destruction of images of living beings. Though Palestinian iconoclasm partially coincided with the period of official iconoclasm in areas of the Byzantine empire, 726-843 CE, these periods are distinct in two ways. Iconoclasm in Byzantium was an official policy sanctioned by the emperor, while in Palestine there is little evidence for Umayyad or early Abbasid laws governing the use of images in Christian art. Archaeological evidence in Palestine reveals that iconoclastic destruction targeted images of all living beings. In Byzantium, however, it is clear that iconoclasts were concerned only with images of religious figures, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and saints; earthly humans and animals were not offensive to the Byzantines. This paper will examine who were the iconoclasts of Palestine and what motivations lay behind the outbreak of iconoclasm.
Literary evidence, particularly Christian authors writing in Arabic, suggests that Christians themselves were destroying images in their own churches. Theodore Abu Qurrah, for example, while a monk at St. Sabas monastery, wrote a pamphlet defending images in response to a desperate letter from a church official in Edessa who was upset because his own congregation was abandoning prostration before icons. Archaeological evidence found in floor mosaics in Gerasa, Madaba, Umm al-Rasas and other regions in Palestine, corroborate this behavior; destruction of images was followed by campaigns of careful repair by the Christians who were still using these churches.
By the eighth century Palestinian Christians had been living under Muslim rule alongside a fellow minority, the Jews. A Jewish sentiment against images is made clear by the absence of figural decoration found in most synagogues. Christians may have felt further pressure from the anti-Christian laws enacted by the eighth- century caliphs. Muslims themselves chose not to decorate their mosques and religious shrines with figures, as seen, for example, at the Dome of the Rock; this taste for non-figural decoration possibly influenced the Christian population although the access of Christians to these sacred Muslim spaces remains to be clarified.
Influenced by pressures from their non-Christian neighbors, the Muslims and the Jews, it can be suggested that iconoclasm in eighth century Palestine was an unofficial Christian phenomenon. There is little testimony to suggest that Muslims forced iconoclastic policies on Christians, as has been suggested in previous scholarship, or that Jews did more than verbally attack Christian imagery. Rather, Palestinian Christians were living in a world that abhorred images of living beings and therefore their attitudes changed from perceived pressures in their environment.
City Talismans in Tenth-Century Constantinople
Liliana Simeonova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia)
The extant sources provide enough evidence that, in Byzantium, the people of the elite were as susceptible to prophecies and fortune-telling as the people of the lower classes. And we know of at least one emperor, Leo the Wise, who endeavored to produce oracles.
In the Byzantine mind, the veneration of icons and relics went hand-in-hand with the wearing of amulets and the belief in talismans. Whereas the icons and holy relics, and especially the robe of the virgin kept in the Blachernae, were expected to secure divine protection of the City, talismans were seen as weapons against Evil. Similar to the amulets worn by individuals, the "collective talismans" of the community were endowed with apotropaic functions, that is, they were supposed to be able to ward off danger. Constantinople's pagan heritage (mostly sculpture brought from other parts of the empire or erected in the capital in Late Antiquity proved to be the fertile soil in which this type of belief grew and flourished.
In the paper, I will examine several cases in which antique pagan sculpture was seen by the tenth-century inhabitants of Constantinople as an efficient weapon against Evil, mostly against foreign invasion. In the first place, this was the gilded bronze statue of
Constantine the Great which had been brought to Constantinople from Rome; at the bottom of the huge marble column, on top of which stood Constantine's statue, the Byzantines had placed the statue of another pagan, Palladius, as an eleventh-century source informs us, by his time other "pagan" talismans had been placed under the column, too. This group was believed to be the city talisman against "barbarians".
Another antique sculpture that was endowed with similar functions by the tenth-century Byzantines was the Serpentine Column which had been brought, by order of Constantine the Great, from Delphi; these were four giant brass snakes whose tails were in their mouths, so that they would not do any harm. A tenth-century Arab author, Ibn-Yahya, writes that the column was viewed, by the City people, as a talisman against snakes; what Ibn-Yahya did not know was that, in the language of Byzantine symbols, the Snake often symbolized Muslims (and, above all, Arabs) and that the column was a city talisman against Arab attacks.
The so-called Ejp6Xo0oq , a hill in the Western part of the City, was known for it's archway with antique statues. One of them stood facing the West (,q Ova, the Balkans); Emperor Romanos Lekapenos was told that he ought to have that statue beheaded in order to cause the death of his powerful enemy, Simeon of Bulgaria; Romanos did what he was told and his enemy died. In return, Bulgarian apocryphal visions predict that, in the day of the Last Judgment, the bellowing Bull (in the visionary literature the Bull usually signifies Bulgaria) will rise and make the Eqp6XoON suffer.
These as well as other examples borrowed from tenth-century sources show that the City's antique and late antique sculptural heritage was endowed, by the Greeks of the middle-Byzantine period, with additional layers of meaning. In some cases, antique statues were seen as either city talismans against enemies, or as a personification of a certain enemy in particular. In order to decipher the coded language of this type of symbols, one needs to turn to the legends conveyed by the patriographs and the explanations available in the sibylline and visionary literature of the middle-Byzantine period.
Session IX: Economic Centers and the Distribution of Goods
Chair: Daniel Gargola (University of Kentucky, Lexington)
The Gold-Miners of Bir Umm Fawakhir
Carol Meyer (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)
The site of Bir Umm Fawakhir in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt, near the Wadi Hammamat, can now be identified as a 5th - 6th century Byzantine/Coptic gold-mining town. The site consists of a main settlement with 237 buildings and at least fourteen outlying clusters of ruins of the same date. The population of the main settlement is estimated at over a thousand. The buildings are well enough preserved that not only walls and doors can be plotted, but also features such as benches, wall niches, and silos. Four seasons of archaeological survey by the Oriental Institute have completed a detailed map of the entire main settlement and most of one of the best-preserved outlying clusters, Outlier 2. Although all of the mapped buildings appear to be domestic, walking surveys have identified peripheral features such as cemeteries, guardposts, ancient paths and roads, wells, granite quarries, and above all gold mines. In addition to geological studies of the vicinity of Bir Umm Fawakhir, the 1997 season also investigated the ancient mines and ore reduction techniques.
Bir Umm Fawakhir is therefore a special opportunity to study an entire ancient community; only one other town of this period has been excavated in Egypt, Jeme, whose remains were removed in order to expose the pharaonic temple of Medinet Habu. The site is also the first ancient Egyptian gold mining town to be investigated archaeologically, and one of the only ones in the Byzantine empire of the period, a time when the empire urgently needed gold for a multitude of purposes.
The question to be addressed concems the ancient inhabitants of Bir Umm Fawakhir, who were they and where did they come from? Slaves, prisoners of war, criminals, Nubian gold-mining specialists, and labor drafts or liturgies have all been suggested. Preliminary evidence favors the last suggestion. Egypt was never a slave society to the extent Greece or Rome were, nor do the ancient writers suggest that the Egyptian miners were slaves. In the Ptolemaic and early Roman periods prisoners are reported to have been condemned to the mines, but that is half a millennium earlier than the workings at Bir Umm Fawakhir. The few sherds of possibly Nubian pottery do not point to an extensive Nubian presence. On the other hand, labor drafts or liturgies are a well documented feature of Egyptian life in the Byzantine/ Coptic period, and there are a few references in tax lists and official documents to towns being required to provide miners or for individuals buying their way out of a mining liturgy. Although no church has yet been identified at Bir Umm Fawakhir, crosses stamped on plates and XPs painted on amphoras point to a Christian or Christianized population, with all that entails in terms of beliefs, teachings, work weeks, and holidays. What towns supplied the laborers, how long they stayed, how they were supplied, and what were the relations to the Bedouin are other questions.
Cyprus and Its Role in the Early Byzantine Economy
R. Scott Moore (The Ohio State University)
While there is a tendency to view the "Byzantine economy" as a single entity, there is no doubt that it was a complex cultural model with many distinct elements that interacted with each other on several different levels. Yet, for all of its complexity, little is known concerning the early Byzantine economy and, in particular, the way the Byzantine economy functioned in relatively isolated areas of the empire, such as the island of Cyprus. While the fourth through seventh centuries AD have been relatively ignored or neglected periods in Cypriot history, the abundance of archaeological work, both survey and excavation, conducted in the last twenty years has unearthed an astonishing amount of cultural material. The bulk of this archaeological evidence is ceramic remains. Scholars who attempt to understand trade, commerce, and the functioning of the Byzantine economy rely heavily upon ceramic information for data. The analysis of this ceramic material can help explain the movement of goods and contact between different regions, both inside and outside of Cyprus.
From 1992 to 1998, the Sydney Cyprus Survey Project (SCSP) conducted an intensive archaeological survey in the foothills of the Troodos mountains near the modern villages of Politiko and Mitsero. With the survey's conclusion and the completion of the analysis of the enormous amount of ceramic material collected by the field teams, several important conclusions can be drawn concerning the Byzantine economy in Cyprus during the fourth to seventh centuries AD, and in particular for the Mitsero region. My analysis of this archaeological evidence will argue that several different types of economies were operating on different levels in Cyprus during the fourth to seventh centuries AD and that Cyprus' place in the Byzantine economy can only be understood when examined in relation to both a global and regional view.
Preliminary Analysis of an Assemblage of Domestic Coarsewares from a Byzantine Shipwreck
D. M. Danis (Texas A&M University)
During the ninth century, a small merchant ship struck the base of a cliff on Turkey's southwestern coast and sank vath a cargo of wine. Excavations have revealed a cargo of more than 1000 amphoras, examples of glassware, and an assortment of galleyware. The Bozburun galleyware found to date includes coarse earthenware pitchers and cooking pots and a glazed ceramic jug. A preliminary analysis of the galleyware is presented in this paper in order to define their common characteristics and associate them to a particular region by comparing them to similar ceramic forms from contemporaneous terrestrial sites. As part of the ship's property, a galleyware assemblage can provide clues about the size and social organization of the ship's crew. Decoration on the ceramics may hint at the origin or homeport of the ship, or a port at which the ship had called.
The study of the galley pottery from Bozburun presents a problem due to the lack of a well-defined typology for the Middle Byzantine domestic coarsewares. Coarseware is just beginning to be recognized as a valid tool in the study of utilitarian pottery. Because it was the ceramic that served the most people, it can be found in many historical contexts. It was easily made because of its low firing time and temperature, but its distribution is not limited by contexts of low-socioeconomic status, unlike fineware, which, due to its costly manufacture, may have seen more movement in the trade of luxury items. Coarseware was locally produced in most regions and was ubiquitous in the Hellenistic, Roman, Medieval and Islamic worlds. Since it was the easiest ceramic to produce, placing its origin in the region of its recovery in a safe assumption. With this knowledge, we might gain a better idea of the production and commerce in ceramics within small geographic areas in the Middle Byzantine period.
Preliminary Findings from a Large Assemblage of Middle -Byzantine Transport Amphoras
Christine A. Powell (Texas A&M University)
The primary cargo of the ninth-century shipwreck near Bozburun, Turkey, included up to 1500 transport amphoras and their contents. Grape pips in the sediment within the amphoras confirm that most of them were carrying low-quality wine. Of these vessels, approximately 1200 survived to be recovered as partial or complete amphoras in the excavation begun by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in 1995. The Bozburun assemblage is one of the largest known collections of early medieval transport vessels from the Eastern Mediterranean basin. They are therefore a promising source of information about the Byzantine wine trade and related economic issues, as well as about the final voyage of the Bozburun ship.
The Bozburun amphoras are in four classes, with Class One being the most common. The preliminary statistical studies of the Class One amphoras show that their manufacture was highly standardized. This uniformity suggests that the potters, whether in one location or several, were manufacturing to a single design for an organized market. Because there are fewer examples of the other three classes, it is more difficult to draw any firm conclusions, although some may have been devoted to somewhat different purposes than the Class One amphoras.
The B ozburun amphoras apparently came from several different sources, probably including kilns in the Crimea. Similar vessels have been found in the Black Sea region, and the search for the closest parallels continues. Graffiti found on several of the vessels suggest that some may have been associated with ecclesiastical institutions. However, a number of amphoras show signs of damage; if these are evidence of reuse, this may make pinpointing the origin of the final contents more difficult. At this stage of the investigation, it can only be stated that these amphoras, and the ship that carried them, were involved in a regional trading network that included Crimean ceramic workshops and church institutions, as well as the producers and consumers of bulk wines.
Session X: Lay Spirituality
Chair: Claudia Rapp (University of California, Los Angeles)
Preaching to the Converted: John Chrysostom and the Christianization of Daily Life in Antioch
Jaclyn Maxwell (Princeton University)
In the late fourth century, the laws against pagan religious observance and the rise in influence and wealth of Christians encouraged, but did not yet compel, many people to convert to the new religion. At the same time, Christianity's transformation of its members' wider culture was not yet completely defined; the changes were still stretching out into corners of everyday life and testing the tenacity of previous traditions and habits. Consequently, this was the first great age of Christian preaching, both to convert non-Christians and to further Christianize the Christians.
I propose to examine sermons preached by John Chrysostom in Antioch both in order to emphasize some of the more mundane aspects of the process of Christianization and to find the reflections of an exchange between an elite preacher and his mass audience. Look-ing at the sermons in this way allows us to learn about the defining of Christian life as a process involving both the preacher and the audience, including debates and compromises rather than only commands and quiet obedience. I will discuss passages from Chrysostom's sermons involving the peripheries of Christianization that surfaced in the discussion of the daily habits of the congregation. All of these people, especially the newer converts, had to consciously create, forget, or add a Christian element to habits which did not always seem obviously connected to their religious beliefs. I want to draw out of the sermons the ways in which the audience reacted to such demands, and how this response might have shaped Chrysostom's views.
I will concentrate upon Chrysostom's extensive discussion of oaths in the homilies De Statuis. While explaining the theological and moral reasons for abstaining from oaths, Chrysostom's sermons reveal his audience's counter-arguments for the necessity of swearing oaths in their everyday lives. I will also discuss instances of the formation of customs which the congregation developed without Chrysostom's approval, such as a belief that they had the option to pray at home instead of coming to church (De Incomprehens. 3.34). Instances such as these illustrate how the congregation took part in the definition of the Christian life outside of the church and its rituals.
How many women came to hear John's homilies? Female participation and the late fourth century preacher's audience
Wendy Mayer (Australian Catholic University)
In his ground-breaking article "The Preacher and His Audience (AD 350-400)" (JThS NS 40  503-511) Ramsay MacMullen argues that those who ordinarily came to hear John Chrysostom and other fourth century fathers preach were a select group - from the upper-most echelons of society, wealthy, well-educated and predominantly male. While he does not deny that women of the same social stratum were present, he.expects that they attended in much smaller numbers. In his latest book, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (New Haven 1997), this view is refined to the point where he asserts that sermons were preached to only a small segment of the posible audience, namely, elite males. Philip Rousseau has in the interim put forward a more optimistic view. He argues that, although the preachers of this -period were themselves members of the elite, their target was broader. It was not just a case of elite male preaching to elite male. Who is right? In regard to the participation of women, minute exploration of the homilies of John Chrysostom and of other sources permits us to construct a more detailed picture of the number and variety of women within the audience of a single preacher than has hitherto been achieved.
Spiritual Direction and the Lay Christians of Gaza
Jennifer L. Hevelone-Harper (Princeton University)
Following the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Christendom experienced the first stages of a potential schism which would soon divide many branches of eastern Christianity from churches in the West and Constantinople until our own day. By the sixth century it was growing apparent that this rift would not be easily reconciled, despite the efforts of emperors and archbishops. The anxiety of an increasingly broken church was felt acutely in Palestine, a historic geographical crossroads for people in the eastern empire and a magnet for Latin speaking westerners seeking to learn of eastern spirituality. As certain traditional monastic centers in Egypt such as Scetis declined due to barbarian invasions, Gaza, in particular, became a center for monastic spirituality.
With the church hierarchy divided in theological allegiance, the traditional role of monk as spiritual advisor gained new importance. The boundaries between ascetic discipline and lay piety were bridged as monks instructed lay people and laymen became leaders of monks. Gaza and its environs became the center of a flourishing spiritual community where great ascetic teachers attracted groups of disciples seeking guidance in the religious life.
This paper will examine the spiritual direction of lay Christians in the Gaza region in the sixth century, by focusing on the writings of the anchorites Barsanuphius and John who lived near the village of Tawatha, about five miles from Gaza. Thanks to their ascetic isolation, these eminent spiritual guides communicated their wisdom through letters. The inclusion of lay Christians in this study of spiritual direction adds a new dimension tothe traditional picture of abba and disciple. The responses of Barsanuphius and John to questions addressed to them by lay people reveal the concerns of ordinary Christians. These laymen questioned the anchorites about correct interpretation of visions, appropriate treatment of slaves, social relations with pagans and Jews, physical sickness, distributing alms, and the way of spiritual advancement.
The letters of Barsanuphius and John to lay people show a Christian community searching for spiritual authority in an environment of theological conflict. Many lay Christians became disciples of the anchorites, and their spiritual progress (or lack thereof) can be traced through series of letters. Some eventually chose to join the monastic community in a more formal manner. Others continued to live in the world, but maintained regular recourse to their spiritual fathers. The treasury of personal letters to these lay Christians allow an intimate portrayal of one community in sixth-century Byzantine Palestine.
Adhibe Medicinale Purgatorium:Late Antique Oaths and Private Spirituality
Kevin Uhalde (Princeton University)
Legal and documentary sources demonstrate the long lasting and central role of oath swearing in the ancient world. Christian commentators did not share any consensus on the moral and religious permissibility of swearing. Their general ambivalence is most apparent in the pastoral message addressed to their lay congregations. They attempted to resolve Old Testament precedents for swearing with its apparently direct prohibition in the New Testament. Some preachers were more concerned with the social role of the individual which oaths relied upon for efficacy.
Several larger issues, some more contentious than others, revolve around the existence and nature of individuality. For religious questions, it is of particular concern whether lay persons had a notion of individuality to which ecclesiastical writers appealed. Public versus private penance, the rise of purgatory, fear of the apocalypse-all of these weighty subjects have been debated by scholars, who have often denied their relevance to the late fourth and early fifth centuries. An investigation of specific features of late antique episcopal ideology and ecciesiology and their relation to private spirituality will suggest some alternative solutions.
In particular, certain evidence for oath swearing, scarcely used by scholars heretofore, reveals concern among laypersons over the spiritual or moral implications of supernatural invocation. Responses by churchmen, particularly Augustine, attempted in part to harness such concerns to an understanding of the celestial hierarchy. The problem of swearing also provided commentators with a forum for preaching justice and retribution. Relevant material that has been used in debates over the existence of early private penance and the notion of purgatory will be reexamined. Some preachers made a concerted effort to encourage and control self-examination on the part of the laity. Oaths and religious discipline thus overlapped, frequently in the same literary contexts. They demonstrate a theology of the "interior man" (Romans 7, 22) which has practical implications for spiritual and mundane activity of private persons. Following historical models recently employed by Eric Rebillard to flesh out the changing philosophy of dying, it is possible to suggest causes and effects of this spiritual psychology in the theological landscape of the early fifth century. Most importantly, lay individuals-collectively or privately-had a real effect in directing this evolution.
Session XI: Orientalism and Nationalism in Byzantine Scholarship
Chair: Thelma Thomas (University of Michigan)
Hunting for Orientals .
Maria Georgopoulou (Yale University)
The notion of Orientalism has not been sufficiently explored in Byzantine historiography although the marginalization of Byzantium within academia can be partially attributed to the oriental footing of the Byzantine Empire. My paper investigates the relationship between Orientalism and the study of luxury objects in Byzantium. More specifically, it focuses on pieces decorated with the theme of the hunt which has been traditionally labelled "oriental." Made of precious metals, ivory, silk, or ceramic these pieces often defy the strict divisions between Byzantium, Islam, and the Sassanian East.
Arguably, technical analyses can provide clues for deciphering the origin of certain pieces, but incomplete knowledge of manufacturing techniques is only part of the problem. An Orientalist view of Byzantium and the Near East casts a net of associations that places luxury objects beyond the limits of the civilized (i.e. Western Christian) world. Why do we insist that the themes of the hunt, animal fights, or the so-called princely cycle are primarily (if not exclusively) associated with an "oriental" (read "Near Eastern") visual vocabulary of forms when there are numerous objects made in Byzantium and other adjacent areas that display similar motifs in their silverwork, textiles, ceramics, and even coinage? Does the exoticism of these scenes give rise to an instinctive need to marginalize them outside the borders of Europe and the Western world so as to maintain them as manifestations of the "other"? Indeed, the afterlife of some of these objects in church treasuries or princely abodes in Europe betrays a special fascination with their foreign origin.
On most objects displayed in the latest- Byzantine exhibitions such as the Troyes casket, the chasse of Bahram-Gour, the plate from Corinth, or the three Bulgarian (?) bracelets at the Louvre, the hunter is identified as Sassanian in origin. The Macedonian tomb paintings at Vergina have se curely established that the leisurely activities of the hunt and hunting parks were transplanted into the Greek world from the East from at least the time of Alexander the Great. With no apparent need to search for oriental prototypes for every hunt scene that appears in Byzantine art, the identification of these motifs as foreign to Byzantium obscures their original function and meaning. A closer look into the Byzantine pieces of the twelfth and thirteenth century suggests that they should not all be placed in the same category: some textiles show a deliberate will to emulate Sassanian specimens (going as far as faking the inscriptions), while examples in other media display a new treatment of the subject. The investigation of these pieces within the context of the marketplace shows that depending on the intended use of the object a different style could be used. Do these sophisticated choices reflect Byzantine self-confidence or a renewed interest in the hunt as a pastime as is exemplified in the aristocratic gardens of Constantinople? Are they just a Byzantine/Byzantinizing rendering of a theme shared by the aristocratic elites of the period regardless of ethnic origin?
Remarks on Problems of Orientalism in Scholarship on the Muslim Conquest of Byzantine Africa
Walter E. Kaegi (The University of Chicago)
I propose to examine the framing of earlier scholarly investigations of the causes for the Muslim conquest of Byzantine North Africa, espedally the provinces of Africa Proconsularis, Byzacium, and Numidia, in the second half of the seventh century. I shall compare some of the underl=ying assumptions of Byzantinists' and Islamicists' scholarship on the Maghrib with that on the slightly earlier Muslim conquests of lands that lay further east, namely,
Syria, Egypt, and Upper Mesopotamia. There are substantial differences in the content, tone, and assumptions of the respective scholarship on (1) western Asia and Egypt and (2) on North Africa, even though critics may perceive the imprint of Orientalism in both. Traces survive in contributions to encyclopedias as well as in monographs and articles in scholarly journals. Such premises affected investigations of historical cartography and toponymics. The scholarship in question referred to literary sources in Latin, Greek, and Arabic (in the latter case, often in translations of mixed value), and to archaeological and epigraphic evidence. Scholarship on topics concerning Byzantine Africa before the era of the Islamic conquests bears an Orientalist imprint as well. Byzantinists and specialists on Late Antiquity need to be alert to these tendencies even though there may be extremely valuable empirical material in the body of such scholarship. Certain features of Orientalism with respect to North Africa probably peaked in the decade of the 1920s. I shall inquire into the causes and the principal features of that Orientalism and how and why it changed during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An understanding of these topics should contribute to a more accurate knowledge of the Byzantine and Mediterranean worlds in the seventh century. This limited inquiry is part of what will be become a book-length study of the seventh-century Muslim conquest of Byzantine North Africa. Discussions with Tunisian scholars in Tunis during 1996 and 1997, while supported by a grant from the Social Sciences Research Coundl, helped me to sharpen my analysis.
Was There Nationalism In The Byzantine Commonwealth? The Question Of Slavic SelbstbewuBtsein
Petar Milich (St. Louis, MO)
The primary focus of this paper is recent paradigm shift within Slavistik and its implications for Byzantine studies. Nineteenth Century norms regarding Slavic ethnogenesis have undergone critical scrutiny within the past two decades. Our understanding of this dynamic and the cultural mechanisms suffusing it has been refined considerably since the inception of the great scholarly debates of the last century. For the first time alternative approaches, now emerging as fully elaborated intellectual constructs, may help shed lighton seemingly insoluble questions. It is not surprising, therefore, that there has been a discernable spin-off effect within Byzantinistik. In recent BSC conferences experts who specialize in the early Slavs also have propounded their views on this matter. But scholars should not stop there. Areassessment of the construct known as Byzantine Commonwealth as elaborated by D.Obolensky represents the next phase of inquiry. Many of its components stand in dire need of revision. To date, however, few attempts have been made to chart these waters. The Byzantine Commonwealth is an intellectual abstraction; it represents the projec-tion of modern political concepts onto the distant medieval past. It is well known that
Obolensky relied upon acculturation models borrowed from other disciplines. Some of the assumptions underlying the Commonwealth construct now may be suspect on grounds that they do not cohere with recent archaeological and linguistic evidence.
The prime example of this would be the use of the term nationalism in reference to premodern societies. Yet apart from its conceptual flaws the Commonwealth model opened new research vistas. Future research should attempt to identify acculturation mechanisms operating outside the high end of the settlement hierarchy. Understanding this process better would help us answer important questions regarding the dynamics driving an important acculturation pro cess, one that served as a stimulus to profound cultural transformation in the Balkans.
Racial Stereotyping in Byzantine Sources? The Truth about the Slavs
George P. Majeska (University of Maryland)
There is unanimous agreement that the best written sources on the early Slavs in the Balkans come from the pens of Byzantine writers of the sixth and seventh centuries. One can divide the Byzantine material on the Slavs into three general categories: reporting of contemporary events, reporting of historical events, and "ethnographic descriptions." The first of these types of information is often first-.hand (.or almost first-hand). The historical data is almost by definition "second-hand" since it often predates the author. But what about the third type of material, the "ethnographic reporting"? This category includes the most interesting statements about the nature of Slavic life and Slavic customs. Is this material "first hand" or "second hand," or, perhaps, "off hand"?
It is certainly possible that some of the descriptive material on the Slavs comes from writers who actualtv saw and perhaps talked to Slavs or even visited Slav encampments or vi llages. It is also possible that the authors got their information from others who had first hand knowledge of Slavic life through military encounters, diplomatic missions, etc. But there is another source that Byzantine authorities had at their disposal for their knowl-edge of Slavs and their ways, a generally accepted body of knowledge, or better, of "tru-isms," on non-Byzantines, that is to sav, on "barbarians.' Thus "barbarians," by definition, are bereft of the civilizing power of the civitas in the sense of society, specifically Christian society understood as the empire of law. All "barbarians" thus live lawlessly, in disorder and chaos, without divinely appointed leaders; they live in "democracy!" Not surprisingly, they are also poor and dirty. Another element of this fund of accepted wisdom has its roots in the so-called "milieu theory" on the formation of national essence. Barbarians were products of their environment. Thus, southern types are small and dark because they lived closer to the sun's warming rays, but. cooler in their "personality" than northerners (`that is to say, more "rational") to make up for the heat in which they live. Peoples of the north, on the other hand. are lighter in complexion, etc., and larger because they are less baked by the sun. They are also hot-blooded (and thus impetuous) to make up for the permanent cold of their homelands. Since national personality is environmentally determined, groups from the same area will necessarily behave similarly. "Barbarians" are literally children of nature rather than (like the Byzantines) children of God.
If these generalities are a priori true to Byzantine writers, how trustworthy are their reports of the mores of individual groups of non-Byzantines? A survey of the sources suggests that many of the details of Slavic life described by Byzantine authors are suspiciously similar to descriptions other foreign peoples, raising fundamental questions about the wisdom of drawing on this material to characterize earlv Balkan Slavdom.
Session XII: Byzantium and Italy: Interaction and Exchange
Chair: Carolyn Connor (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
"Merobaudes, Ravenna's St. John Evangelist and the Survival of Theodosius' House"
Frank M. Clover (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
In the early fifth century, Ravenna became a showcase imperial residence, even as its sponsor, the later Theodosian House, began its decline (through death or imposed celibacy) toward extinction. The ambitious Galla Placidia managed to postpone the demise by negotiating the marriage of her son Valentinian (III) to Theodosius II's daughter, Licinia Eudoxia. Soon after the wedding (437) the imperial couple took up residence in Ravenna and became parents of a daughter, Eudocia. The lineage of Theodosius might survive, after all. In the present contribution I want to bring into comparison for the first time two contemporary witnesses of the birth of Eudocia:
(1) Flavius Merobaudes. Carmina I and 2. Most modem critics [includin Clover, Merobaudes (197 1)] have erroneously interpreted these two classicizing descriptions of Ravenna palace mosaics as announcements of the birth of a second daughter, Placidia, around 443. A closer inspection of the poems shows that Merobaudes greeted the birth of Eudocia with praise for the imperial couple's fecundity, and augured the birth of a son and successor.
(2) Ravenna's St. John Evanizelist. Only the memory of the fifth-century church remains. The most specific remembrance is a Renaissance-era notebook which conveys the full text of a dedicatory inscription commissioned by Galla Placidia.
I will offer the first complete study of this amazing witness. Galla Placidia offers thanks to the saviors of all life, the Holy Trinity and the Apostles, and then proceeds to describe one important part of the life preserved, her own lineage. A full tabulation of the House of Theodosius follows, from the Constantinian beginnings to the present (ca. 43,8). The birth of Eudocia, the most recent event, receives spare but significant notice: Eudoxia, her mother, is Augusta; the imperial title came only after the birth. The expectation of future births is here too, but not as overtly as it is in the verses of Merobaudes.
Making the Madrid Skylitzes: Miniatures for Byzantine History in a Norman Workshop
Christine Havice (University of Kentucky)
While we tend to think of the illuminated manuscript of Skylitzes' in Madrid as a Byzantine work, evidence for its production in Norman Sicily has been mounting. Andre Grabar (1971, 1979) noted four major stylistic distinctions among the miniatures which led him to suggest a southern Italian or Sicilian provenance for the manuscript, `though he adhered to a fourteenth-century dating that has since been revised downward by Nigel Wilson. Wilson (1978) associated the second scribal hand in the Madrid manuscript with the scriptorium that produced Vat.gr.300 (a southern Italian manuscript from the mid-twelfth century con-taining a Greek translation of an Arab medical text) and proposed that the Skylitzes text was copied in Palermo in the third quarter of the twelfth century. He further hypothesized that its model was an illuminated manuscript brought to Sicily from Constantinople as part of a diplomatic mission by the scholar Henricus Aristippus in 1158. Subsequently, palaeographic parallels between the first scribal hand in the Madrid codex and a Greco-Latin 6171%X1ov, from the royal chancellery in Palermo and bearing a date of 1142, have led Guglielmo Cavallo (1982) to move the date of the Skylitzes up a generation, to the 1130's or 1140's. Sevcenko (1984) accepted this earlier dating but went on to propose that the most distinctive features of the Madrid work, the miniatures themselves, were not copied from a Constantinopolitan exemplar but created for the first time in Palermo.
In fact the miniatures have yet to be re-examined systematically in light of this claim or in light of the earlier date proposed for the script. Sevcenko briefly remarked on a number of features in them that he interpreted as evidence of an earlier style than that to be noted in Palermitan manuscript, Pietro da Eboli's Liber ad honorem Augusti, from 1194-96. How-ever, Sevcenko's analysis in fact rests primarily on iconographic and formal, rather than stylistic, analogies, and these are drawn primarily from a single section of the manuscript. Moreover, while the differential in styles among the Madrid miniatures is obvious even from reproductions of a limited selection of miniatures as in the recent catalogue for The Glory of Byzantium the corresponding differential in iconography has gone largely unremarked.
Through coordination of stylistic and codicological evidence we can see that even as three distinct groups of painters appear to have worked side by side to create this book as do the Greek, Arab, and Latin scribes represented in the Palermitan scriptorium in the Liber ad honorem Augusti their contributions are sharply distinguished by quire. What is more, while the painters responsible for the miniatures in Byzantine style appear to have been copying an illuminated manuscript from which they faithfully reproduced iconography, polycyclic overlays, and style, these features lack in the miniatures executed in the Arabic and Western styles. Clearly something changed in the process of making the Madrid Skylitzes. This paper explores the evidence of this process and proposes to interpret it in light of the tentatives proffered to both John II and Manuel Komnenos by Roger II as he styled himself P~F_ of Norman Sicily in the 1130's and 1140's.
The Mantle of Roger 11 and as-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars in the Context of 12th-century Mediterranean Talismanic Magic
Fatima Mahdi (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
The appearance of the so-called `coronation' mantle of Roger II and the interest of the Norman kings in astrology have been said to reveal the `Islamic' sympathies of the Norman kings. The interpretation offered here connects the two aspects; and places them within the context of a Mediterranean-wide court culture.
The interpretations of the lions on the mantle of Roger II have, for the most part, been limited to their symbolic association with royalty and the Altavilla family. Rotraud Bauer recently took the interpretation a step further, and connected the style and decoration of the lions on the mantle with images of the zodiac sign of Leo on certain Arabic-inscribed silver star globes. This paper offers another interesting comparison for the lions on the mantle - the depiction of the constellation Leo in the earliest (llc) manuscripts of Abd ar-Rahman b. `Umar as-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars. The large embroidered red dots of various sizes on the lions of the mantle are similar to the red dots in the manuscripts which mark the position and brightness of the stars within the constellations. The mirror-image lions on the mantle also reflect as-Sufi manuscripts where mirror images of each constellation illustrate its appearance in the sky and on a starglobe. The addorsed lions on the mantle suggest a cosmological interpretation in harmony with contemporary ideas on theocratic kingship - the dual nature of the king as human and divine, symbolized by the view of the constellation both from the human point of view, and from that of God. Manuscripts of as-Sufi are known to have been in Sicily in the 12th century, and Roger II was himself interested in astrology and the occult sciences.
None of the important events in the life of Roger II seem to have occurred when the sun was passing through the sign of Leo. This does not, however, disprove the identification of the lions on the mantle with this sign. Arabic and Greek magic used astrological signs in the making of talismans which harnessed the power of a particular sign for the benefit of the wearer. Several aspects of the mantle suggest that it was intended as a talisman of good fortune for the king, the sign of Leo being the sign of royal power and victory. The Arabic inscription around the hem of the mantle has a talismanic quality. The placement of the inscription evokes the form of Arabic and Greek talismans. The colors of the mantle, red and gold, are also associated with talismans made with the sign of Leo. Astrological and cosmological interpretations have been offered for two other images appearing on the mantle, the `tree of life' and the animal battle.
The rich iconography of the mantle can be appreciated within the wider shared court culture of the Mediterranean, but the final product has no precise parallels in any other culture. It is a unique Sicilian reception of Mediterranean ideas, adapted to the needs of the specific situation and the iconographic sources and techniques at hand.
Weaving Allegiances: the exchange of a pallio in the thirteenth century
Cecily Hilsdale (University of Chicago)
The silk pallio embroidered with the life of Saint Lawrence now held in Genoa's Palazzo Bianco is associated with a treaty between the Genoese and the Byzantines that was signed in Nymphaion in March of 126 1, then ratified in Genoa in July of the same year. Itis one of the few surviving examples of an art object created in the Byzantine empire whose intended patron, date and function are known. Ironically, perhaps because of this lack of ambiguity surrounding the textiles' origin, modern scholarly attention has been minimal. Its relative neglect may arise from an art historical material hierarchy that privileges painting and mo-saic over textiles, but it also eludes a straight forward categorization by style or iconography. As a product of the Byzantine world, it adheres to Byzantine embroidery customs and it even depicts a Palaiologan emperor. Yet its intended destination, Genoa, is equally promi-nent. It is inscribed in Latin rather than Greek, and the subject matter, the life of St. Lawrence, corresponds to its destination, the cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa, rather than its origin. In this paper, I argue that the pallio should not be categorized predominantly as either East-ern or Western but that it indexes both sender and receiver. What dominates the pallio, in fact, is its very status as an object of exchange. As such, it is encoded with the desire, expectation, and obligation ofboth protagonists Genoa and Byzantium.
While the pallio is undoubtedly the product of an eastern workshop, its finished form betrays its intended purpose: export as part of a diplomatic treaty. Any analysis of the pallio, must therefore first and foremost investigate the original impetus for its creation, Genoese-Byzantine relations leading up to the treaty at which it was given. Only once these circumstances have been established, may the implications of its exchange be addressed, and its status as a luxury object intended for a foreign audience.
In this analysis of the Genoa pallio, I propose that its pictorial content is not only entirely appropriate to its function but that it highlights its function and facilitates its effectiveness through an emphasis on good and bad rulership as well as transaction. Such an attempt to link the internal structure of the cloth with its external function stems from a necessity to re-evaluate the mechanisms of Byzantine diplomacy. A gift of silk is unanimously understood as the hallmark of diplomacy. Yet the actual process by which diplomatic exchange occurs has yet to be sufficiently addressed with regard to the pallio. I will investigate why the gift of a silk was required as part of a diplomatic alliance, and how in particular this pallio responds to its exchange at the treaty of Nymphaion.
Session X111: Byzantine Scholars
Chair: John W. Barker (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Milton V Anastos, Pioneer of Byzantine Intellectual History in the United States
John S. Langdon (Los Angeles)
In the grandest tradition of American Byzantinists, Milton V Anastos, who passed away last year at the age of 88 after a long and distinguished academic career, had one scholarly foot securely planted in the Pan-Mediterranean Roman Empire of Late Antiquity and the other in the thousand year history of Byzantium itself. He viewed Byzantine civilization in totality, from its roots during the transformation of the Late Roman World in the Third and Fourth Centuries A.D. through the extinction of that culture in 1453. From Anastos's perspective, the Mind of Byzantium was anchored in the intellectual enterprise of the society, which served as the starting point for his scholarly inquiries. Anastos is principally known for addressing some of the more challenging discrete historical problems of our discipline: inter alia, the authorship of the Edict of Milan, the genesis of Leo III's policy of iconoclasm and its effect on Byzantino-Papal affairs, Justinian's despotic control over the Church, the Photian Schism and the Synod of 861.
For him, at the core of the Byzantine psyche were patristics and theology. Thus he produced incisive articles on the tenets of Iconoclasm, complemented by longer essays meticulously examining the theology of Nestorius and of Basil of Caesarea. Schooled at Harvard under the exacting supervision of such mentors as Harry A. Wolfson and George La Piana, Anastos's conclusions were often bold and provocative, igniting the sort of scholarly dialogues that have greatly enriched our understanding of the Byzantina.
At Harvard, Anastos early made his mark in the Divinity School, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1940 by completing a masterful survey of Pletho that later gave rise to a lengthy monograph in the Dumbarton Oaks Papers. As the first bibliothecarius of Dumbarton Oaks, Anastos almost single-handedly built the foundations of that center's renowned library during his tenure there as a fellow and research professor from 1941 to 1964. Anastos concurrently began assembling his own extensive private library, which ultimately accompanied him to UCLA when he affiliated with that institution's Classics and Medieval/Renaissance programs in 1964. His library supported the doctoral programs of eight students who earned the Ph.D. at UCLA under his direction. In 1986 he was honored as the Charles Homer Haskins Lecturer of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Anastos was vitally concerned with understanding the legal basis and Classical precedents for Late Antique and Byzantine absolutism. He utilized his legendary command of the Roman law to delve into coronation practices of Byzantine emperors, in 1993 producing a masterful analysis of Zoe's coronation of Michael IV. As a measure of the esteem and affection in which his students and colleagues held him as a pioneer of Byzantine studies, Anastos achieved the rare distinction of being honored with two Festschriften. He stands as a true architect of Byzantine studies in the United States; each of his publications is a glittering jewel of scholarly enterprise, clothed in the most elegantof Enghsh prose.
John Meyendorff, Scholar and Churchman
John H. Erickson (St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary)
John Meyendorff was a distinguished Byzantinist and patrologist. He also was actively involved in Orthodox Church affairs and became one of that church's most eminent spokes-men in the ecumenical arena. Relatively few of his fellow Byzantinists knew or cared much about his activities as a churchman. Few, for example, read his monthly editorials in The Orthodox Church newspaper. Conversely, relatively few of his fellow Orthodox Chris-tians or ecumenists were familiar with his scholarly work save by reputation. Meyendorff himself, however, never divided his fife and activities into water-tight compartments. He believed that his work as a scholar was of practical value for the church today and that insights from living Orthodox Church experience were essential for a proper understanding of Byzantium.
This paper seeks to explore some of the interconnections between Meyendorff's work as a scholar and his activities as a churchman. It will touch, for example, upon his interest in late antique and Byzantine christology, a subject which he always pursued in full awareness of its implications for modern ecumenical relations, particularly between the Chalcedonian (or Eastern) and non-Chalcedonian (or Oriental) Orthodox Churches. Its focus, however, will be on Meyendorff's approach to ecclesiology.
Raised in the heady intellectual world of the Russian emigrafion in France, Meyendorff was deeply influenced by the "eucharistic ecclesiology" of his mentor at St. Sergius Institute in Paris, Fr. Nicholas Afanasiev. The church, for Meyendorff, was first of all a sacramental organism whose primary realization was experienced in its liturgical life. This convicfion is evident not only in works which deal specifically with liturgy. In dealing with Gregory Palamas, for example, he shows little taste for what he called esoteric mysticism" and instead regularly emphasizes the sacramental grounding of the saint's theology. This conviction also underlies works of a more purely historical character, such as Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions or Byzantium and the Rise of 'Russia. Institutional aspects of the church's life, he would argue, are intended simply to reflect and to maintain its fimdamental sacramental character, and they must always be evaluated in that light. Here too Meyendorff is a churchman as well as a scholar. Never far firom his mind were questions vexing modem Orthodoxy, such as the role of the patriarch of Constantinople in church life today.
Is it possible to combine scholarly integrity with commited churchmanship? While some scholars and some churchmen may doubt this, John Meyendorff was convinced that this is possible. And unless one takes into consideration Meyendorff's convictions on this point one wifl not be able to evaluate properly his contributions whether as a scholar or as a churchman.
Alexander Petrovich Kazhdan: The American Years
Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks)
Born in Moscow in 1922, Alexander Kazhdan was educated at the Pedagogical Institute of Ufa and the University of Moscow, where he completed a dissertation on Byzantine agrarian relations. Political difficulties prevented his attaining a teaching position commensurate with his talents; he taught at provincial pedagogical institutes and the college of Velikije Luki until 1956 when he received a research post in Moscow at the Institute for History of the Academy of Sciences. Here he remained until his departure from the Soviet
Union in 1978, producing an astonishing output of seminal books and articles on a wide variety of Byzantine subjects, including the aristocracy, cities, the economy, and literature. This paper will focus on the final phase of his career, as Senior Research Associate at Dumbarton Oaks, where he worked for 18 years until his death on May 29, 1997, the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. Despite the difficulties of adjusting to a new culture and new language, Kazhdan thrived in the more liberal atmosphere of the United States, where he was free to pursue previously forbidden areas of research such as hagiography and hymnography. His comprehensive readings in the hagiography of saints of the 1 st - 1 oth centuries led to a useful "bio-bibliography" of these saints and eventually inspired the Dumbarton Oaks Hagiography Database Project. He completed a concordance to the History of Niketas Choniates. He saw the fruition of his long held dream to produce a concise encyclopedia of Byzantine studies, The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, that appeared in 1991 in three volumes. He wrote or co-authored four books, including People and Power in Byzantium, Studies on Byzantine Literature of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, and Change in Byzantine Culture in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. Last but not least, in the final years of his career he devoted his energies to the preparation of a massive History of Byzantine Literature from the 7Ih to the 12 " Centuries, of which he completed the third volume on the day of his death.
This presentation of Kazhdan's scholarly career at Dumbarton Oaks will also attempt to shed light on his working methods: his organizational plan for the ODB, his meticulous compilation of an exhaustive bibliography based on the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, his famous "little cards" which recorded his reading notes, his love of lists and statistics, and his comprehensive reading of complete corpora of Byzantine authors.
Cyril Toumanoff and Byzantine Studies
Robert H. Hewsen, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey
Cyril Toumanoff, who died last year at the age of eighty-three, was one of the most distinguished specialists in Caucasiology, and his Studies in Christian Caucasian History (Georgetown, 1963), remains, even after thirty-five years, one of its seminal works. Like those of the other pioneers in our field, his productions have considerable import for Byzantine Studies and will remain of value as the starting points for future research.
Cyril Leo Heraclius Toumanoff was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on October 9, 1913, the descendant of an old Armenian family long settled in Georgia. His father, a Russian officer, fought with the "white" forces during the civil war that followed the Russian Revolution. His mother was shot by the Bolsheviks. In 1928, his father, was able to bring him to the United States, where he graduated from the Lennox School in 1931. At Harvard, his brilliance was early recognized by Professors John Coddington and Robert Blake, who secured the funds to enable him to pursue Armenology in Brussels under Nicholas Adontz, and the Georgian language in Berlin under Michael Tsereteli.
In 1938, Cyril Toumanoff settled in Washington, DC, completed his doctorate at Georgetown University in 1943, and secured a professorship there immediately upon re-ceiving his degree. At Georgetown, Toumanoff's major course was a four-semester series titled "The East Christian Middle Ages," that integrated Byzantine, Arab and Medieval Western Civilizations into a dazzling tapestry.
After a series of major articles on Caucasian social history begun in 1943, Cyril Toumanoff distinguished himself by his famed Studies in Christian Caucasian History followed soon after by a brilliant account of medieval Armenia and Georgia for the volume Byzantium and its Neighbors in the new Cambridge Medieval History. In 1970, Toumanoff retired to Rome, where he devoted himself to his magnum opus the Manuel de genealogie et de chronologie de la Caucasie chretienne (Rome, 1976), a vast compendium of genealogical charts of the royal and princely houses of Armenia, Georgia and Caucasian Albania, a work that, when advanced in years, he revised and republished as Les dynasties de la Caucasie chretienne de 1' antiquate jusqu'au XlXe siecle (Pavia, 1990).
Cyril Toumanoff's major research concerned the social history of the Caucasian countries in ancient and medieval times. His great contribution was his analysis of the social structure of the Caucasian states and his identification of the struggle between the feudal system, characterized by a diffusion of power among a number of coeval and coequal nobiliary houses, and what he called "dynasticism," defined as the tendency of the kings to reduce the hereditary rights of the nobility to privileges granted by the crown. Drawing upon the work of Adontz, Toumanoff did more than anyone to bring the study of Caucasia into the midtwentieth century. Never partisan, he rendered to the Armenians and Georgians what belonged to each - and in so doing, of course, inevitably dissatisfied both. Ultimately, however, Toumanoff was a true patriot, who cared deeply for the Armenian and Georgian peoples and who rendered to both a lifetime of service.
Session XIV: Popular Religious Sentiments
Chair: Patrick Gray (York University)
Eucharistic Practices in the Byzantine World (lVth-Xllth c.)
Beatrice Caseau (Paris IV Sorbonne)
Liturgical studies have made major steps forward thanks to the work of numerous scholars, in particular that of R. Taft, M. Arranz, and P. Yousif . We have a better understanding of the historical development of Christian liturgies. Yet more work has been done on either the doctrinal aspects of the Eucharist or on the liturgical texts than on eucharistic practices per se. This is why this paper offers to focus on the changes in the relationship between the faithful and the Eucharist.
The first part will gather available information on gestures and attitudes linked with communion, in particular its decreasing frequency from the time of John Chrysostom to that of Balsamon. Canon Law, Saints' Lives, commentaries on the Liturgy, sermons and iconography are the sources where such information is dispersed. The Apostolic Constitu-tions, for example, reveal the order followed by the community to receive communion. Sermons such as those of Cyril of Jerusalem invite the faithful to sanctify their senses with the Body of Christ. Yet a growing distance appears between the faithful and the Eucharist. John Chrysostom still invites his flock to come forward to communion, but he notes that few are those who come. In the time of Balsamon, everyday communion is still possible and allowed but it is very rare.
Indeed a growing sacralization of the Eucharist has led to an increasing distance be-tween the faithful and the Eucharist. This topic win be the focus of a second part. This evolution is marked by the building up of physical barriers to set apart the Eucharistic table and by a change in the method used to distribute communion, with the introduction of liturgical spoons. Stricter rules of purity are also emphasized. They are revealed both in canon law and in miracle stories, where the theme of the condemnation of those who did not respect the rules recurrently appears. As a result, a sense of unworthiness keeps ordinary lay persons away from communion.
Piety and frequency of communion seem to go hand in hand. Theodore the Stoudite gives this advice to a pious lady about the ideal frequency of communion: not too often, not too rarely. Purity of one's lifestyle also rules the frequency of communion. Yet conflicting images of the Eucharist are at play. Some monastic typika set up rules to regulate the frequency of communion and encourage frequent communion for monks and nuns living in a cenobitic community. Hermits, on the other hand, living a life of perfection can abstain from communion. The Eucharist therefore appears to be both a reward for the worthy and a help for the weak.
Late Byzantine Canonical Views on the Dissolution of Marriage.
Patrick Viscuso (Chantilly, VA)
Canon law often affirms the ideal of lifelong marriage and fidelity. Regulations prohibiting or justifying the dissolution of marital unions reflect underlying viewpoints concerning gender and sexual behavior. This study will treat the views of late Byzantine canonists concerning the dissolution of marriage.
It will be shown that in the canonical writings of the Byzantine canonist Matthew Blastares (ca. 1335) the uniqueness of a marital union in which God had "fitted one head onto woman" was affirmed on the basis of the fourth canon of St. Gregory of Nyssa, the canonical letters of St. Basil the Great, and the views of St. Gregory the Theologian. In accordance with this legislation, there was an implication that except in the case of adultery marriage is indissoluble in accordance with divine law. Nevertheless, Blastares and other late canonists, such as John Zonaras (death after 1189), Alexios Aristenos (twelfth century), and Theodore Balsamon (c. 1140 - c. 1195), also allowed grounds for divorce which permitted remarriage and were taken directly from imperial legislation.
Several explanations may be suggested for this inconsistency. One possibility might be that divorce legislation was purely a civil matter and that such laws were listed in late canonical sources either as a convenience for clergy serving in civil courts or merely as a matter of information. A second explanation is that the inclusion of such grounds was a concession. A resolution of this problem will be attempted by examining regulations governing divorce and expulsion of spouses.
This examination will reveal that in late Byzantine canonical sources there existed a sharp division between what was expected of clergy and laity. The question will be ad-dressed whether this variance in the discipline reflected two different underlying theologies of marriage. The study will contribute to an understanding of the church's views on marital union and human nature, as well as gender relations in late Byzantine society as a whole.
Have we Gained the Victory or Have we Sold the Faith?: The Popular Reception of the Council of Florence in Constantinople 1440-1453
George Demacopoulos (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The Council of Florence-Ferrara (1437-1439) came at a time when Turkish invaders were already well ensconced in Byzantine territory. It served as the most serious attempt at reunification between the Eastern and Western Churches since the schism of 1054. Although the delegates at the Council believed they had achieved ecclesiastical union, they were unable to enforce its decrees when they returned to the East. What is often seen to have been a decisive obstacle to the success of the Council was its negative reception among the people of Constantinople. It is one of those curious events in history that everyone refers to with confidence, but few have really tried to understand.
Doukas, a contemporary chronicler, asserts that a hostile lay crowd opposed to union with the West confronted the Eastern bishops returning to Constantinople in 1440. He and others describe an internal division which lasted until the sack of Constantinople in 1453 between those committed to union with the West, predominantly the ruling class, and those opposed to it, predominantly the monks and the "people." Although several scholars have alluded to the poor reception of the Council in Constantinople, no one has thoroughly investigated this phenomenon as an act of popular religious solidarity.
In this paper, I will establish some methodological parameters that help clarify this event as a "popular" religious movement. For example, I will take into account the "voice" of the crowd as a literary construction. At the same time, using the criterion of dissimilarity, a theory that an author does not manufacture damaging evidence against himself, I will salvage historical data from otherwise hostile reporters. I will then cite and critically examine the most significant documents that evidence a "popular" rejection of the Council of Florence by the citizens of Constantinople.
In the light of those texts, the rejection is best explained by four mutually reinforcing factors: the "heterodoxy" of the Council, the successful polemic of those opposed to union, the ineffective leadership of those who embraced the union, and an anti-Latin sentiment prevailing among the citizens of Constantinople. Through th.e testimony of Doukas and others, we can perceive in more detail than formerly the actual sources of tension and dissension that marked the final years before the Turkish conquest.
Myth into History: The Patriarchateand the "Surrender" of Constantinople in 1453
Marios Philippides (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
This paper will deal with two problems of later fifteenth - early sixteenth century Constantinople: (1) the "privileges" of the patriarchate (generally known as ooooooooo ), as they seem to have evolved in this early period after the fall and (2) a curious legend that is created some time after the fall, which claims that Constantinople in 1453 was not conquered by the sword but willingly surrendered to Sultan Mehmed II Fatih. As it is wellknown, eight months after the capture of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II revived the Greek patriarchate that had seen dark days since the union of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches had been declared in Florence in 1439. The sultan thus granted a new life to the Greek Church and sanctioned its existence. At that time the patriarch was also granted a number of "concessions." The exact nature and form of these concessions/privileges" has been the subject of scholarly debate, as no documents have survived from that early era. It is possible that these privileges were confirmed in written form, as a berat and/or a firman (perhaps even an aman-name) may have been given to the patriarch but soon afterwards, perhaps as early as the end of the fifteenth century, such documents disappear.
In the reign of Mehmed II the privileges of the patriarchs were never questioned as they had been granted, orally or in written form, by the sultan himself. In the reigns of Mehmed's son and grandson, Bayezid II and Selim IYavuz, the situation changes: the successors of the conqueror were not as sympathetic to the Patriarchate as Mehmed had been. Thus by 1500 the "privileges" began to be challenged and the patriarch was asked, a number of times, to justify the status of his Church. As no documents could be produced, a new strategy was devised to guarantee the status of the Greek patriarchate. In this paper I will examine overlooked patriarchal texts and documents and I will demonstrate that the patri-archate embarked on a campaign to prove, by hook or by crook, that the grant of these "privileges" was a historical reality. It was this campaign that assisted greatly in the formation and dissemination of the curious (and highly popular) story that related the "surrender" of Constantinople to Mehmed in 1453. It will be shown that this influential legend (which was presented, with the complicity of the sultan's viziers, the mufti and his ulema, and was subsequently accepted as history by the divan) was created in the reign of Selim Yavuz by Patriarch Theoleptos. This was a notable achievement by this patriarch, since the "privileges" came under threat frequently in the following centuries but reigning patriarchs could refer to the proceedings in the early sixteenth century and preserve their rights that had been supposedly granted to them by the conqueror himself
By investigating and combining the two issues of "privilege" and "surrender," I will show that we are confronting a case of conquerors and conquered cooperating and creating legends to rewrite history in order to serve purposes, whose problematic existence could not have been foreseen in an earlier era.
Session XV: The Byzantine Literary Tradition: Session in Honor of Robert Browning
Chair: Martha Vinson (Bloomington, Indiana)
Homeric and Hesiodic allusions in Cometas, On Lazarus (Anth. Pal. 15.40)
Edwin D. Floyd (University of Pittsburgh)
Anthologia Palatina 15.40, a poem by the ninth century Homerist Cometas, was long ago commented on, perhaps by a contemporary, as being by a Thersites pretending to be an Achilles. More than a millennium later, Paton, Buffiere, and Beckby (editors of bilingual editions in English, French, and German respectively) all pick up this comment in their own way. The Bude editor, BuffiBre, for example, combines mention of the anonymous epigram with the observation that Cometas is unlikely to get fame through his poem.
The setting for Buffiere's comment is Cometas' reference to God's fame being demonstrated throuah the raising of Lazarus. The French translator's comment, therefore, even though it is clever enough, seems a bit incongruous - surely, Cometas was not in competition with God.
Yet, though it seems unfair to judge Cometas against the standard which Buffiere implies, he may still seem to resemble Thersites in his gauche use of traditional language. At line 23, for example, the Homeric background to the mention of Jesus' "voice sweeter than honey" is Iliad 1.249. In that passage, the context is one of failure rather than success, inasmuch as Nestor is there unable to persuade Achilles and Agamenmon to desist from quarreling.
There is, however, more to it than woodenly reused Homeric models. As Beckby notes, line 41 of Cometas' poem draws on Hesiod, Works and Days, 8. A Hesiodic background is also important in connection with the comparison in line 23, for in addition to its sole Homeric occurrence at Iliad 1.249, the concept "sweet voice" occurs in Hesiod, Theogony, 97. The setting for this passage is the bard's being inspired by the Muses, Apollo, and Zeus; such a divine-human interface, more than Nestor's attempt to mediate between Achilles and Agamemnon, is appropriate as background for Cometas' poem.
Like his use of Hesiod, Cometas' adaptation of Homeric material is also, on occasion, sophisticated. Line 14, for example., picks up a famous formula, dealing with the soul's filamenting its fate", from Iliad 16.857 and 22.363. In Homer, there is a feminine singular participle yoow aoc, referring to a warrior's xp)xij; Cometas, on the other hand, has a feminine plural yooc~ Eat, referring to Martha and Mary, while ylvxhs is used adverbially, "with (all) their soul".
Besides displaying an almost Callimachean adroitness, Cometas' various adjustments in line 14 also have a substantive effect. His presentation gives us a sequence of (1) Lazarus' death, (2) his sisters' lamentation, (3) Jesus' revival of Lazarus, and (4) Jesus' subsequent fame. In contrast, then, to the finality implicit in the Homeric picture of a warrior, reduced to the lamentation of a tenuous yfvx~, Cometas uses the same phraseology to prefigure a point which is just below the surface of the Byzantine poem, viz., the equation of Jesus' fame with his resurrection.
The Story of a Tale in George the Monk: The Jewish Boy Legend
John Duffy (Harvard University)
George the Monk (9th cent.), like other leading Byzantine writers of chronicles such as Malalas and Theophanes, was fond of filling out his narrative with anecdotes and stories borrowed from all kinds of literary sources. This aspect of his style of composition was recently discussed in a refreshing approach by Ja. Ljubarski (JOB 44 ) who goes to some trouble to clarify the origins and identify the artistic features of a number of shortstory episodes in the chronicle.
The focus of this presentation will be on a section of George's work that contains what can only be called a folktale of the kind best known from the Pratum Spirituale of John Mosdius. Inserted in the otherwise very skimpy entry on Emperor Justin II (565-578) and betraying a relaxed attitude to chronological accuracy, the story relates how, during the patriarchate of Menas (536-552), a Jewish glassmaker in the capital threw his young son into the furnace of his workshop when he learned that the boy had eaten communion bread with a group of Christian schoolmates; the criminal act, however, is thwarted thanks to the miraculous appearance of a "lady dressed in purple"; the boy is saved, he and his mother willingly become Christians, while the murderous father, stubbornly refusing to convert, is executed by order of the emperor.
The tale (with characteristic variations in time and place and other significant details) enjoyed a remarkably widespread diffusion over many centuries in Greek, Latin and other Western European languages. This paper will discuss the earliest preserved versions which are found in Evagrius Scholasticus (ca. 536-594) and Gregory of Tours (ca. 540-594), will argue against the possibility that Evagrius was George's source, and will introduce new evidence (including fresh manuscript material) to bring us very close to the immediate origin of George's version. Time permitting a brief outline will be given of some of the twists and turns of the tale after the ninth century.
Educating an Intellectual Warrior in Ignatios the Deacon's Life of the Patriarch Nikephoros
Elizabeth A. Fisher (The George Washington University)
Nikephoros, Patriarch 'of Constantinople (806-815) vigorously defended the holy images against iconoclast attacks in both his actions and his writings. The Life of Nikephoros written by his younger contemporary, the repentant iconoclast Ignatios the Deacon, presents an account of the educational curriculum followed by Nikephoros (Vita Nicephori, ed. de Boor pp. 149.3-151.13). In its broad outlines, Nikephoros' education probably resembled that of other figures of the period prominent on both sides of the learned controversy over the holy images: the icons' supporters Patriarch Tarasios (784-806) and Theodore of Stoudion, and the iconoclasts John the Grammarian and Ignatios himself. Ignatios, however, adds to his sketch of this general curriculum a detailed summary of topics in Aristotelian logic, presented as the capstone of Nikephoros' education and the hallmark of his spirituality and of his intellectual activity (de Boor 150.15- 151.13).
Paul Alexander demonstrated the influence of Aristotle in the arguments presented by the apologists for icons during the Second Period of Iconoclasm (815- 843); among these latter day Aristotelians he includes Nikephoros (e.g., in his Apologeticus maior, Antirrheticus,
Re futatio et eversio) and Theodore of Stoudion (Paul Alexander, The Patriarch Nikephoros of Constantinople, Oxford 1958, 189-213). In this paper I will address the following questions. To what extent does the summary of Aristotelian topics in Ignation' Life of Nikephoros represent the essential elements of this debate? Do we see in this passage a serious introduction to Nikephoros' thinking from a biographer well acquainted with Aristotle himself? Or, as Paul Lemerle suggests, is Ignatios simply giving his biography a learned cachet by copying out the table of contents from a contemporary handbook of philosophy, as yet unidentified (Paul Lemerle, Byzantine Humanism2 Canberra 1986, 151)?
Ignatios demon strates'nis understanding of Nikephoros' arguments in support of the icons when he presents a lengthy dialogue between the Patriarch and the iconoclast Emperor Leo V (de Boor 169.10- 188.22). This dialogue gives us the opportunity to assess the influence of Aristotle in Ignatios' portrayal of the Patriarch's arguments and to measure that portrayal against Ignatios' earlier remarks about Nikephoros' education.
Apocryphal Exchange between Byzantium and Bulgaria: an Offering for Robert Browning
Jane Baun (New York University)
"On Bogomilism the literature is extensive and much of it is of little value" so observedRobert Browning, with customarily devastating precision, in the notes to his Byzantium and Bulgaria: A comparative study across the early medieval frontier (Berkeley, 1975; p. 220 n. 15). This paper proposes not without trepidation to add to that extensive literature a Bogomil study in the spirit of the Maistor: based squarely on texts, always probing the human values underneath. Browning characterized Bogomilism as a popular movement of social and religious protest, appealing above all to a "dissatisfied and alienated Bulgarian peasantry" (p. 165). With the movement went a literature of protest, "the earliest free narrative literature in Slavonic,' ` composed in traditional religious genres, but para-canonical in content. Bogomil groups in Bulgaria also evinced a particular interest in para-canonical writings circulating across the border in Byzantium. Many have detected their hand in Slavonic versions of well-known pseudepigrapha such as the Book of Enoch, The Apocalypse of Baruch, and The Gospel of Thomas. A less familiar Middle Byzantine apocryphon, the Apocalypse of Anastasia (ed. Homberg, 1903), also exists in a Slavonic recension. M. N. Speranskii, who published the Slovo Nastasiya in 1931, speculated as to a possible Bogomil connection, but did not draw any firm conclusions.
Was every Bulgarian or Slav translator of apocrypha a Bogomil? Emile Turdeanu, in his survey of the Slavonic pseudepigrapha (1981), thought not. Much work has been done on theoriginal context of medieval Slavonic versions of early Biblical apocrypha, but much less on the possible role of Bogomils in transmitting later, non-Biblically-related texts. The potential contribution of dual-recension medieval apocrypha such as the Apocalypse of Anastasia to the ongoing debate concerning the circulation of religious literature and ideas between the Byzantine andSlavonic Christian worlds has been little considered. By examining in detail the relationship of the Greek and Slavonic recensions of Anastasia, this paper seeks to add new evidence to broaden the scope of that debate.
The Slovo Nastasiya Chernorizitsya, or "Testimony of Nastasiya the Black-Robed," is preserved in two Slavonic manuscripts. The Slovo manuscripts clearly descend from the same ultimate Greek prototype as the extant Greek manuscripts (and may even preserve an earlier stage of it.) Can Bogomil sympathies be discerned in either version? The social doctrine of the Greek vision would certainly resonate among "a dissatisfied and alienated peasantry," and its fascination with cosmology would appeal to Bogomils but its ecclesiology would if anything make an excellent anti-Bogomil tract. Most notably, the Greek vision's special interest in baptism and other clerically- mediated sacraments clashes with known Bogomil sentiments. The Slavonic text, however, represents a drastic abbreviation relative to the Greek. Perhaps significantly, none of the sections relating to baptism or sacraments actually appears in the Slavonic. It cannot finally be proved conclusively that the Slovo was a Bogomil commission, but a number of its features are consistent with Bogomil interests.
Session XVI: The Byzantine Economy
Chair: Rudi Paul Lindner (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Byzantine Mint Practice in the 6th and 7th century. Centralization vs. Autonomy
Peter Lampinen (Combined Caesarea Expeditions)
Mint activity and production in the late Roman Empire had been standardized under the emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd century. Thereafter, until the mid 7t' century collapse which saw the loss of significant portions of the empire in both west and east, a network of provincial mints provided a uniform and centrally controlled currency for the empire.
While this traditional view holds true for the production of the all- important gold coin-age that provided the underpinning of imperial power through taxation and military expen-ditures, a closer view of the minor coinage suggests that some aspects of this system began to breakdown or at least evolve shortly after Anastasius' reform of circa 498. This seems surprising, when the drastic decline of standards during the 5th century saw little significant variation in the forms of the coinage struck at the provincial mints. Looking beyond the proliferation of contemporary counterfeits and the striking of pseudo-imperial local issues, it can be seen that in the 6th century imperial mints themselves wide latitude was granted (or taken) in the design and valuation of circulating coinage within a province, the output of mints at Thessalonica, Antioch and Alexandria being most obvious in this regard. Clearly factors other than broad empire-wide economic conditions caused imperial forms to mutate to fit local environments.
Although studies have examined the development and outputs of individual mints and others have provided explanations for specific instances of deviations from the imperial norms there is yet more to be done on the significance of these deviations, to gain a more unified understanding of the mechanics and principles behind imperial control of mint output and by extension the degree of monetary centralization in the empire. Was the dissolution of the network of provincial mints in the 7th century due to the collapse of imperial political and military control in the provinces in the face of outside threats? Or was it the end result of an ongoing process of devolution that was merely speeded up by events? Can changing morphology in provincial coinage provide a tool to understand relationships between center and periphery in the Byzantine empire? An analysis will observe monetary developments in the Balkans and Egypt that only make sense on a local level, and in Syria that appear to defy imperial authority.
The Dolger Treatise on Taxation as a Source for Social History
Leonora Neville (Princeton University)
Taxes are generally thought to fall under the rubric of economic history or administrative history. Yet as tax collection is the point at which individual citizens meet their government and where government control is tested, the history of taxation provides a wonderful approach to the study of society. In particular, the treatise on taxation in Marcianus Graecus 173, known as the Dolger Treatise provides a fascinating view to interactions between fiscal officials and the provincial population at end of the eleventh century. A detailed study of the treatise reveals that there were situations in which taxpayers had to interact with fiscal officials and attempt to illicit favorable treatment from the fisc. Procedures beneficial to taxpayers were done at the discretion of the tax assessor and the request of the taxpayer. These observations are confirmed by a study of the Cadaster of Thebes, a fragment of an eleventhcentury tax register. In the Cadaster individuals who held land in the same way were not registered for taxation in the same way. The difference in registration seen in the Cadaster is one which the Dolger Treatise described as being done at the request of the taxpayer. The changes in registration had the potential to affect the landholder's total tax bill.
The Byzantine fiscal system, far from being an anonymous bureaucratic system, de-pended on personal interactions and conversations between common citizens and fiscal officers to determine how taxes should be assessed. When we imagine how the methods described in the treatise would have worked in practice, we see that there were opportuni ties for even common individuals to change the way they were treated by the fisc.
Did Byzantium Have a Free Market?
Charles M. Brand (Bryn Mawr College)
The economy of the Byzantine Empire is usually thought of as characterized by monopolies and government control, without any freedom of opportunity for private enterprise. Profit, indeed, had a bad name, and loaning money at interest was discouraged. Nevertheless, in the 11th and 12th centuries, examples of private enterprise and personal profit can be detected.
Among the clearest cases is the grain market at Rhaidestos described by Michael Attaleiates. Prior to the establishment of the phoundax or warehouse there by Nikephoritzes, each grain grower (probably owners of large estates) sent wagons of grain, which were drawn up at "stations" (perhaps outside the city). The buyers, who were described as maritime shippers or city-dwellers or country-dwellers, went from station to station, able to make free bargains and pass on to the neighboring stations if the price was not to their liking. While Nikephoritzes' phoundax destroyed this system, it is generally believed that the phoundax itself ceased to exist when his regime fell, and presumably the system of free trading was restored.
One such shipper can perhaps be detected in the Maurix encountered in th same era at the Pontic Herakleia by the youthful Alexius Comnenus. This personage was a shipper who had apparently derived great wealth from his trading activities: he was able to place his slaves, servants, and military entourage at Alexius' service.
Monks felt that they needed freedom to purchase: in 1176, Manuel Conmenus allowed the monks of Patmos to convert an annual grant of grain from Crete into a cash subsidy, so that they could purchase whatever they needed. At the early 12th Century, Empress Irene Doukaina directed her foundation, the convent of the Theotokos Kecharitomene, to purchase clothing when it was cheap. This statement implies the existence of a cycle of prices (alternating dearness and cheapness, according to supply) even in Constantinople. Whether the cycle was seasonal or irregular is not clear, but its existence speaks for freedom of trade.
Banking and money-lending were theoretically closely controlled, but the existence of wealthy banking houses at the beginning and ending of the period suggests that more freedom existed than is usually considered. The Cappadocian family in the early 11th Century, and Kalomodios at the end of the 12th, demonstrate a surprising freedom in their enterprises.
The Public Post, Roadside Settlements, and Byzantine Taxation
Camilla MacKay (University of Michigan)
The organization of the system of public roads and the institutions associated with those roads in Byzantium, in particular the public post, had its origins in the Roman Empire. In general the operation of the Byzantine system seems to have continued the trends of the Roman.
Maintenance of roads and operation of the public post was made possible largely through corvee labor and requisitions of supplies, animals, and vehicles from roadside communities. Requisitions of labor, housing, and materials caused considerable complaint among the citizens on whom the burden fell. The sources which preserve or intimate these complaints include inscriptions, papyri, laws, and literary references.
Such a range of sources does not exist for Byzantium. But similar complaints exist for the Ottoman regime, which also relied on requisitions to maintain its roads and post. The situation during the Byzantine Empire, as long as such forms of extraordinary taxation were exacted in kind and labor, is likely to have been analogous. I would argue on the basis of the Roman and Ottoman sources that farmers had little reason to desire proximity to a major post road, since those who lived near were obligated to perform the services which maintained the physical road and the public post. In the Middle Byzantine period, however, taxes and services paid in kind and labor (many of which involved the road network and the post) were increasingly commuted to cash payments. I will consider in this paper the ramifications of this switch, and the possible effects on settlement patterns in the vicinity of major roads. As both general taxes which were sometimes paid in kind and services originally performed as corvee labor were commuted, individuals and communities had to find additional coin with which to pay their taxes; they are likely to have been forced to sell their produce to the state. M. Hendy (Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. 300-1450, 606) has suggested that the stations of the post served as the places where these transactions took place. The need to obtain coin for tax purposes might have made proximity to the major roads of the post increasingly desirable the necessity of selling produce to the state in return for cash payments could have encouraged the growth of roadside towns, through which such dealings would have been transacted.
Session XVII: Defining Heresy
Chair: Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Brown University)
Catholic Consolidation and Donatist Decline, 347 to 361.
Christopher Fuhrmann (University of Kentucky)
As it now stands, there exists a major problem in the historical literature on Donatism, especially in reference to the years 347 to 361. If considered closely, ancient sources deal-ing with the years immediately before and after Julian's accession directly contradict the judgment of Paul Monceaux and W. H. C. Frend, the two most prominent scholars who have treated the years 347 to 361. Both historians, caught up in the drama of the 362 Donatist reaction, believed that this period was a time of relative security for the Donatists. In 362 Julian allowed all exiled Donatist leaders to return to North Africa, with the result that the schism violently revived. The Donatist Church had been facing a fifteen- year re-pression which started with an abrupt crackdown in 347, while prior to 347 the Donatists had enjoyed steady growth under the charismatic leadership of Donatus of Carthage. How-ever, Monceaux' and Frend's inadequate periodization leads to a grave misunderstanding of the years 347 to 361. In their narratives, both men misinterpreted evidence which they believed suggests the failure of Catholic reforms after 347. Professor Frend went still further by claiming for the Donatists certain strengths which, indeed, they did not have during this period.
The main sources concerned include the Codex Theodosianus, minutes from ecclesiastical councils, the retrospective works of Optatus of Milevis and Augustine of Hippo, as well as the disheartened writings of Donatists that were actually produced during this period. The evidence shows that the Donatists were not in a state of security or consolidation, but serious decline.
In fact, these sources prove that the Catholic party quickly and effectively destroyed their opponents' institutional strengths by subduing the Donatists' leadership, confiscating their property, and forcibly combining rival parishes under Catholic leadership. Throughout most of Roman North Africa, Catholic services became the only option for Christian worshippers. These Catholic gains were a result of the persecution of emperors Constans and Constantius II, whose anti-Donatist stance unlike their father's remained consistent despite numerous other difficulties they faced at the time. The Donatists, meanwhile, were unable to carry on any organized resistance.
Moreover, Catholicism entered upon a revival, emerging from what J. P. Brisson called "a certain state of lethargy." In converting former Donatists, the Catholic party began to make advances that were unparalleled in the history of the schism. Many, if not most, peacefully attended Catholic services. Throughout Africa, Catholic communities were established in areas that were formerly dominated by the Donatists. (In fact, Augustine was bom in one such community during this period.) It was fortune alone that provided for the post-Julianic rejuvenation of the schism, for these steady Catholic gains came to an end only by the chance of Julian's accession and subsequent reversal of the Empire's religious policy. Understanding the years 347 to 361 is important not only in the history of Donatism, but it is also crucial in correctly evaluating the effect of the state's religious policy on ancient Christianity.
The Sanctification of Resistance: The Politics of Martyrdom in the Century After Constantine
Michael Gaddis (Princeton University)
We commonly think of the conversion of Constantine as marking the end of the age of martyrdom: the point at which actual persecution and martyrdom stops and the cult of the martyrs gets underway. Many considered the martyr's crown the highest honor a Christian could achieve, even (or especially) after the end of the "heroic age" of pagan persecution. In reality, religious conflicts continued to disturb the Christian community after Constantine, and in many cases victims of these conflicts were called martyrs.
I believe that the century after Constantine sees an evolution of the concept of martyrdom, toward a more generalized discourse of resistance to power, which I call "the sanctification of resistance" I will analyze several cases of claimed "martyrs" who do not
fit the traditional definition of "Christians killed by pagans for refusing to deny Christ." Over the course of the fourth century, claims to the status of martyrdom became a powerful ideological tool, used in conflicts between different Christian factions (Donatists and Catholics in North Africa, or Nicenes and Arians throughout the Roman world) to establish the legitimacy of one's own sect as the "true" church and to tar one's opponents as "persecutors". In other cases, the language of martyrdom and persecution came to be applied to incidents whose original context may have been more political than religious. Examples of these would include the "Innocentes" executed by Valentinian in Milan (Ammianus 27.7) or the so-called "Holy Notaries" killed in Constantinople under Constantius (Sozomen 4.3). Particularly illuminating will be cases where a claim to martyrdom is contested or rejected, such as Cyril of Alexandria's controversial attempt to sanctify a monk who was executed for assaulting the prefect (Socrates 7.14) or Augustine's response to Donatist assertions of martyrdom in the face of state persecution. Opponents may seek to present a so-called martyr as nothing more than a criminal, justly killed - a polemical tactic well illustrated by Martin of Tours' "discovery" that a grave popularly venerated as that of a martyr in fact housed an executed bandit.
When modern scholarship has addressed "martyrdom" in the age after Constantine, it has tended to focus on the practice of martyr-veneration as an expression of popular piety, and indeed church authorities in the fourth and fifth centuries had much to say about "propet" vs. "impropec' ways of honoring the martyrs. But alongside this debate over practice came an equally important controversy over the definition of martyrdom itself, a question as much political as religious. Who could rightly be called a martyr, and with what justification? And who had the authority to decide?
Gregory of Nazianzus' Orations 1-6 and the Image of the Ideal Bishop
Susanna Elm (Dept. of History, UC Berkeley)
Gregory's Oration 6 `On Peace' delivered in 364, marks the end of a period of tension between Gregory the Elder and his son, Gregory of Nazianzus. These tensions had originated some four years prior when Gregory the Elder had signed the creed formu
lated in Rimini and Constantinople in 360/361. This signature and its public endorsement of a creed almost immediately attacked as being of dubious orthodoxy, even by
members of Gregory the Elder's own congregation , became the catalyst for Gregory the Younger's fundamental reassessment of the meaning and function of an `orthodox' priest.
How could his father and many others, all perfectly orthodox bishops, have made such a fatal doctrinal mistake? How could this situation be remedied without loss of face for Gregory the Elder, the bishop and local patron? What lessons were to be drawn from this incident for the role of the `orthodox' bishop as such? And, once learned, how could these lessons be made visible and recognizable to congregations everywhere?
What emerges is Gregory of Nazianzus' re-definition of the ideal Christian leader, the first theoretical assessment of `orthodox' priesthood. It is a definition that does not openly challenge the form of episcopal authority represented by Gregory the Elder and his colleagues. Rather, it represents an `improvement of the `orthodox' ideal embodied by Gregory the Elder. Whilst Gregory the Elder's position is honored and hence preserved, Gregory the Younger portrays himself as having been given the opportunity to learn more and thus understand more profoundly the commandments that guide appropriate Christian leadership. In other words, Gregory the Younger has reached a `more true', i.e. more orthodox, interpretation of the Scriptural ideal of the Christian leader. He did so through the mastery of self and text he had achieved through ascetic withdrawal. As a consequence, he advanced one step further in his mimesis of the scriptural ideal, Paul.
Gregory of Nazianzus' prescriptions for the office of the `orthodox' bishop are inno-vations, but innovations intended to move `backward.' They enable the true Christian leader to move closer to the ideal, Paul, and then Christ, through a steadily improving process of mimesis. Orthodoxy in this conceptualization is thus quintessentially a process of constant innovation and interpretation defined as improved mimesis. It is a continuous dynamic movement towards the ideal prototype embodied and elaborated by Scripture, and thus requires continuous reading, learning, understanding and explication of Scripture. It is this process of scriptural interpretation which allows for the preservation of the mores of the orthodox fathers whilst necessitating the interpretative innovations of the sons. The result is asceticism or enkrateia as a requirement for clerical office. `Mis includes precise prescriptions as to how such a `new' ascetic bishop ought to comport himself, themes to which Gregory will return throughout his remaining writings on bishops.
"Eastern Councils, Papal Decreta, and Local Authority: The Development of Latin Libri canonum in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries"
Ralph Mathisen (University of South Carolina)
Late Antiquity saw the creation of many compilations of secular and canon law. Secular production culminated in the Codex Theodosianus in the 430s, and a century later in the even more ambitious Corpus iuris civlis. Ecclesiastically, in the Latin west, in the early sixth century, Dionysius Exiguus assembled the Codex canonum ecclesiasticorum (a compilation of ecumenical councils) and a collection of papal decretals, which were later combined and edited to form the so-called Dionysiana. Subsequent Roman corpora included a collection of Chalcedonian documents assembled by the deacon Rusticus in 549.
In the past, much of the study of the development of canon law has been concerned with identifying the "grand" processes of the creation of standardized texts such as the aforementioned Dionysiana, and the creation of systematic collections of canon law during the later Middle Ages. Much less attention has been paid to the purely local significance that collections of conciliar canons had, and this phenomenon can be illustrated best by a study of the manuscripts.
A surprising number of Libri canonum created during the sixth and seventh centuries in Gaul, Spain, and Italy either still are extant or survive in later copies. This, in and of itself, attests to the perceived value that such collections had over long periods of time. The manuscripts can tell us much about the circumstances under which each was assembled. They exhibit many similarities not only in the councils and papal decreta they cite, but, in many instances, in the order in which they cite them. For example, "standardized" Latin translations of the fourth and early fifth-century eastern councils commonly made their way into western compilations.
But equally striking are the many manifestations of a lack of uniformity. All the corpora show idiosyncracies of inclusion and sequence. No two manuscripts follow the same order in any of their sections for more than a few entries at a time. Compilers assumed the authority not only to choose what to include and what order to include it, but also to revise the very canons and other material they incorporated. Of particular interest is material of purely local interest, such as letters of local bishops or small diocesan councils, that was inserted into canon law compilations and as a result attained an authority it would not otherwise have had.
This paper will provide specific examples of how, during the sixth century in particular, canonical documents were locally analyzed and weighed based on their own merits. Ecumenical councils and papal decretals of course had great authority, but so did documents of purely local interest. In this regard, to paraphrase an American politician, "All authority was local"
Session XVIH: The Alexander Romance: Text and Tradition
Chair: Robin Darling Young (Catholic University of America)
Ps. Callisthenes, recensio vetusta: essay of metatextual analysis.
G. Traina (Perugia) - C. A. Ciancaglini (Roma)
The authors of the paper are working about a new critical edition of the letter of Alexander to Aristotle, as it is handed on by the witnesses of the so called recensio a or vetusta. It is well-known that this redaction of the Ps. Callisthenes constitutes the key to understanding
the origin and the development of the Alexander's Romance. Nevertheless, the Kroll edition shows many lacks, consisting especially in the poor consideration paid to the most important oriental versions, namely the armenian and the syriac ones. These two versions are autonomous witnesses of the recensio vetusta, together with the greek codex A, the Res gestae Alexandra Macedonis of Julius Valerius and the Historic de proeliis of Leo.
On the other hand, we don't have to charge only Kroll about the philological problems of the text. Among these problems, we have also a certain number of obsolete or disputable opin-ions coming from the authority of Ausfeld or No 1 deke, such as the idea that - inside the branch a - we have another autonomous recensio, that is d, which is testimonied only by the syriac redaction.and by the Historia de proeliis. Another famous and aged idea is the Noldeke's thesis concerning the existence of a lost pahlavi version, which would be the basis of the syriac redaction. These theories, so far commonly accepted, have to be reconsidered, because they have been proposed when studies about the two oriental versions were not so advanced: classical philologists read the armenian version mostly through the greek back version of Raabe; the syriac version - available only in the old critical edition of Ernest A. Wallis Budge (Cambridge 1889) - is so far philologically unavailable to scholars that don't know the syriac language.
In two previous contributions, we observed that all the theory about the recensio vetusta must be verified again. Particularly, the hypothesis of a lost pahlavi version of the Ps. Callisthenes appeared unsustainable, either on the linguistical point of view, or on the cultural one (C. Ciancaglini, Gli antecedents del Romanzo siriaco di Alessandro, forthcoming). On the other hand, we observed singular agreements between the armenian text and the syriac one; these agreements lead us to reconsider the relationships between those witnesses (G. Traina, La «recensio A>> dello Ps. Callistene e i suoi paralleli orientali: osservazioni sull'edizione di Kroll, forthcoming).
In the present paper we would examine some aspects of the letter to Aristotle; it is an important section of the text, either because the letter had an autonomous history independently of the Ps. Callisthenes itself, or because it shows a narrative context particularly suitable for interpolations. This letter, therefore, is full of textual difficulties. In our opinion, the basic philological problem is that the single linguistic traditions of the branch a have been examined so far independently each from the others. Because of the metatextual character of the Ps. Callisthenes, we claim on the contrary that the only possible edition must account for a continuous crossed comparison among all the redactions of the recensio vetusta, with particular attention to the oriental ones.
Steven Bowman (University of Cincinnati)
Alexander the Great was no stranger to Jewish sources whether in the prophecy of the biblical Daniel, the historical midrash of Josephus Flavius and his sources, or the iconography of synagogue mosaic. In late antiquity he appears in the Talmud along with the Gymnosophists whose wisdom he unsuccessfully challenged. Yet the most popular presentation of the Alexander story was not in the Greek historians, nor Jewish religious literature, but rather the romance of Pseudo-Callisthenes. The latter was early translated into many of the literary languages of the middle ages: Armenian, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic.
The lack of a Hebrew version is part of the story of the decline of Hebrew as a literary language after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the first century. The revival of Hebrew is a function of the spread of Arabic and the development of grammatical study in the eighth century. We know from the communal discord in the reign of Justinian that the autochthonous Jewish community in Constantinople was not literate in Hebrew, and did become so before the late ninth - at the earliest - or beginning of the tenth century. By the mid tenth century the Book of Maccabees had been rendered into Hebrew as was a stylisticaly powerful version of the Latinized Josephus (both in southern Italy). Known as the book of Yosippon, this Hebrew history rapidly became the `authentic' Jewish version of Josephus and the historical framework for the entire Second Temple period. It is not surprising therefore that a Hebrew version of Pseudo-Callisthenes, rendered from the Greek or copied in eleventh-century Italy and extant in the De Rossi collection of Hebrew Manuscripts in Parma, was part of an interpolation that entered the text of the Book of Yosippon, the latter itself copied or translated from the Latin.
The paper will analyze the interpolation and compare it to the Armenian version as well as the various Greek versions of Pseudo-Callisthenes. The Hebrew text is nearly a word for word transposition from the Greek to the Hebrew. Hence the text is particularly useful for examining the Greek version used by the translator.
Alexander in Armenia: Of God and Man
Lucine Barsamian (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA)
Alexander bypassed Armenia in his pursuit of Darius. The strate2oi of a century later Artaxias and Zariadres . quickly established independent kingdoms in which the influence of Greek culture, though powerful in many respects, had little impact on the basic forms of religion and society: these remained profoundly Anatolian, Iranized well beyond even the era of Byzantium.
But the literary image of Alexander still captivated the Armenians as it eventually did their Mediaeval Westem and Muslim neighbors who in the Koran praise Iskandar Dhu ElKarnain (Alexander, He of the Two Horns) for conquering the eastem and western earthly extremes of his time, for acknowledging unknown peoples, and for his reign over the realms of Gog and Magog. Thus, a few Armenian clerics who were also poets appended to the prose text of the Romance of Ps. Callisthenes verses on the model of the Arabic Qafiya that paraphrase or embellish the narra tive and are designed for oral techniques of recitation varied with musical accompaniment. These Qafiyas (Arm. Kafa) allow us an insight into the valuation of Alexander's image by a Mediaeval east Christian culture.
Each age created its own Alexander. In the Hebrew tradition he becomes somewhat of a national hero in that he is transformed into a rabbi and prophet. In the later Christian Greek and Syriac versions his faithful obedience to God is emphasized. The Armenian tradition presents Alexander as a Christ-like figure wherein, among many comparisons, he is described as an image of God bom of the Virgin Mary; also, Alexander's conquest of various nations is equivocated to the conquest of God through the Cross over Satan. The Kafas abound in such Biblical and Christological allusions culled from the Old and New Testaments, as well as from Apocryphal literature.
Hence we are able to understand how the Armenian Christian reader, from mediaeval down to early modern times, appreciated a composite text whose extravagantly imaginative and drily didactic aspects may seem incongruous to readers of the present day. However, the book's juxtaposition of the world conqueror of Romance, with the exhortation to chastity, and of ebullient adventure with the sure prospect of death will be seen in fact to echo Biblical and pan-Christian concems.
Christianizing the Alexander Romance: Khachatur Kecharets'i's Early 14th Century Redaction
S. Peter Cowe (UCLA)
In the transmission of narratives relating to Alexander of Macedon there have been several attempts to render the hero more acceptable in various milieux particularly with regard to religion. The third recension of the Greek text already includes certain Jewish and Christian data and in the medieval Islamic tradition Alexander appears as a Muslim.
After briefly indicating prior Armenian attempts to mitigate the pagan elements in the romance in a recension preserved in a manuscript (M10151) dated to the 13th century, this paper will focus on the more systematic undertaking of the aristocratic cleric, copyist and poet Khachatur Kecharets' i (c.1260-1331). Although it is often held that the latter significantly altered the text of the original translation probably effected in the last quarter of the fifth century, the presentation will seek to demonstrate that such intrusions were limited to reconstructing elements of what he informs us was an old exemplar then difficult to read.
More importantly it will then examine Kecharets'is judgement that the romance was too pagan in spirit and the remedy he elaborated of amending it by appending a series of verse commentaries in the hayren meter and kafa format of monorhymed quatrains, lament-ing the vanity of worldly pursuits. Particular attention will be paid to his conclusion to the work which contains a detailed Christian typology, unfavorably comparing Alexander's rule and exploits with those of Christ. Kecharets'is commentary will then be contextualized against the backdrop of the process of reconciling Greek philosophy with Christian revelation, which was characteristic of the Armenian monastic academies of this period. Finally, in the light of Kecharets' is condemnation of the work's pagan ethos, the matrix of the original translation will be subjected to re-examination, resulting in the hypothesis of the existence of educated lay coteries in Greater Armenia during the pre-Abbasid period who translated and circulated such texts of little ecclesiastical utility.
The Miniature Cycle in the Armenian Version of the History of Alexander the Great
Dickran Kouymjian (California State University, Fresno)
Alexander the Great struck the imagination of the Armenians from earliest times, no doubt in part because of his passage through the southern part of Armenia and his indirect involvement in dynastic changes of the fourth century B.C. The History of Alexander the Great was already translated into Armenian probably in the second half of the fifth century, shortly after the invention of the Armenian alphabet. Some have attributed the translation of the Greek History of Alexander of Macedonia by pseudo-Callisthenes, one of the first secular works rendered from Greek into Armenian, to Movses of Xoren. Stories about Alexander find their way into other Armenian texts, some directly from various Greek sources, others based on Armenian tradition, both oral and written.
A second and more intense Armenian interest in the Alexander story occurs in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when the traditional texts acquired hundreds of additions mostly by way of the kafa, from Arabic gafiya, verse in rhyme, in a standard Armenian meter known as hayren. Foremost in this movement was the poet Xacatur Kearec' i, who in the fourteenth century modified the History of Alexander the Great through the addition of kafas and turned it from a pagan idyll to a moralising Christian work. Later authors added their own poetic commentaries creating a unique Armenian version which survives in more than 80 manuscripts, though not all with kafas.
There survive more than a dozen illustrated manuscripts of the Armenian History of Alexander from the late medieval and pre-modern period, the oldest and most impressive of which is a partially damaged codex now in the Mekhitarist Library at San Lazzaro, Venice, MS no. 424, of the first half of the fourteenth century. The other illustrated copies fall into two chronological groups, one from the first half of the sixteenth century and the other from the turn of the seventeenth-eighteenth century. These illustrated manuscripts suggest that the fully developed Armenian Alexander cycle contained some 120 scenes.
The paper will present the major illustrated manuscripts with a preliminary iconographical discussion and comparison with Byzantine and Westem versions of the Romance of Alexander.
Session XIX: Definitions of Space and Regional Identity in Early Byzantium
Chair: Michael Maas (Rice University)
The Persian Peace of 363: Compromise and Continuity on the Eastern Frontier
Noel Lenski (The University of Colorado)
In 363, the emperor Jovian agreed to a treaty with Shapur II which came to be regarded as the most shameful military settlement of the fourth century. In the wake of Julian's perilous Persian expedition, Jovian was forced to cede to the King of Kings five traps-Tigritane provinces, the strongholds of Nisibis, Singara and Castra Maurorum and suzerainty over Armenia (Amm.Marc. 25.7.9-14; Zos. 3.32.1-2). The propaganda of the day derided the agreement as a pcx ignobilis (Eutrop. 10.17) and subsequent emperors chaffed under the terms of the agreement. Nevertheless, although the treaty had originally been ratified for only a thirty-year term, it continued to serve as the basis for Perso-Byzantine relations down to 502. I will argue that this longevity stemmed largely from the fact that the treaty was not as one-sidedly favorable to Persia as the western sources indicate.
The situation in which the treaty was struck indicates that the Persians had good reasons to compromise: Jovian's forces were still quite strong; they were not far from Byzantine-controlled territory; and Jovian had large auxiliary forces waiting to join him in Corduene. Then too, the fact that the treaty was only ratified after four days of face to face negotiation indicates that the terms were not dictated by one side.
The terms of the treaty as we know them also reflect a give and take. Jovian's cession of Nisibis and Singara was mitigated by his refusal to surrender their inhabitants. Moreover, though Jovian surrendered control over many of Rome's eastern territories, in the case of
Zabdicene and parts of Corduene, he was only formally ratifying a situation which already existed de facto. Most importantly, Jovian did not give up all that Shapur had demanded. Several sources (Amm.Marc. 17.5.6; 26.4.6; Lib. Ep. 331) make clear that Shapur's goal was to regain the "five territories" relinquished to Galerius by his grandfather Nerses in 298 (Petr.Pat. fr. 14). In the event, Shapur regained only some of these the territories of the Assyrian Marches while leaving others Sophene and Ingilene in Roman hands. Though "five territories" were ceded back to Persia, they were not the same five lost in 298 but rather three of these broken into five named units. Finally, Shapur's gains in Armenia were quite ambiguous and this ambiguity was quickly exploited to help Byzantine emperors worm their way back into this kingdom and officially regain part of it by 386. The treaty was thus a compromise which, though slightly modified and strenuously disputed over the years, proved remarkably resilient precisely because it had favored neither side too heavily.
Imperial Literature and the Construction of Ethnic and Provincial Identity: The Case of Late Antique Berytus in Phoenicia
Linda Jones Hall (St. Mary's College of Maryland)
In the Late Antique Greek East, the study of Latin, especially the works of Ciccro and Vergil, was seen as a way to advance in the legal profession or in a bureaucratic career. As many students came to claim the privilege of identifying themselves as "Roman," they also accepted the societal definitions of themselves as "Phoenicians," "Syrians," or other ethnic groups as depicted in these writers. Ironically, education in the imperial language initially fostered assimilation but came in time to provide an intellectual and social vocabulary for ethnic distinctions and imperial dissolution.
Although the teaching of the Latin language (as well as Greek) in the Roman Near East is usually perceived as fostering assimilation to the "Roman" rule centered in Constantinople, modern imperial situations suggest that another, unintended consequence may have been produced. Modern events in "post-colonial" countries suggest that although there is an initial acceptance of the values of the dominant imperial power through the study of the language and literature thereof, that eventually the "portrait" of the conquered peoples in the imperial literature holds great appeal for the indigenous student. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that imperially constructed definitions can become internalized and lead even to separatist movements in the name of categories that the conqueror constructed.
Just as Francophone schools in Algeria and Anglophone schools in India were designed to produce loyal literate bureaucrats but ended up shaping new definitions of local ethnicity, so Late Antique centers of learning in Berytus, Antioch, Gaza, and Alexandria
may have produced similar results. As a case study, in this paper I will suggest that" Phoenician" ethnicity became "heroized" by a study of Greek and Latin (especially the Aeneid) from the first to the sixth centuries A.D. and that this "reclaimed" ethnicity had far-reaching consequences for the creation of distinctive provincial identities. As early as the first century knowledge of Latin, especially the Aeneid, seems to have been a defining feature of life in Berytus, as exemplified in the work of the great grammarian M. Valerius Probus. The Severan dynastic propaganda consciously promoted the Phoenician-Roman connection by glorifying the author and the characters of the Aeneid by issuing coins, commissioning inscriptions, and erecting statues.
Geographical designations serve to create and sustain concepts of ethnicity. One may note the diligence of modern cartographers in redrawing territories and renaming regions in the wake of recent ethnic conflicts. Thus, we should view the carving up and renaming of "Roman' provinces in the Late Roman period with some attention to the implications for ethnic identity. From the time of Septimius Severus, Berytus was part of the province of Phoenicia. Numerous Late Roman eastern sources referred to this area as Phoenicia, but only western writers such as Polemius and Jerome used the term Syria Phoenice or Syria. The positive aspect of this provincial and ethnic differentiation seems to have had a profound effect upon subsequent events in the city and the surrounding area.
Isaurian Identity and the Empire of Justinian
Hugh Elton (Trinity College)
As part of his account of the battle of Callinicum in 532, Procopius mentioned the destruction of a regiment of Isaurians, before noting that they were in fact, not Isaurians but Lycaonians. Such uncertainty as to the precise origins of a recently recruited group of soldiers is interesting, suggesting certain preconceived ideas as to who Isaurians were and how they might behave. Another perspective, with its own preconceptions, was expressed by the historian Candidus, who noted that the Isaurians were descended from the biblical figure Esau. This paper will explore the problems raised by such contemporary remarks concerning the identity of the Isaurians during the sixth century. The way in which this identity was defined depended on context, viewer and viewed, criteria which could not remain constant. To examine this problem, the differing integration of Isaurians into the fabric of Justinian's Empire will be discussed, in terms of their participation in military, civil and religious hierarchies within and beyond the region. Although in many ways the region appears to be wellintegrated into the Empire, e.g., by providing the emperor Zeno and many prominent generals, and being decorated with ecclesiastical sites such as Alahan and Meriamlik, other factors pulled it away from the imperial center. Geographically, much of the region was remote and hard to reach, the Isaurian Wars of Zeno and Anastasius caused great hardship and broke established ties of patronage, and the ecclesiastical center was not Constantinople but Antioch.
Thus the identity of the Isaurians in the sixth century was dependent not simply on who was defining what, but when, where and why they were writing.
The Landscape of Procopius
Timothy E. Gregory (The Ohio State University)
Scholars have frequently commented on the lack of "realism" in The Buildings of Procopius : "In no sense does Procopius provide a guidebook, or even a comprehensive idea of what the city looked like in the sixth century" (Cameron 1985: 98). In large part this is due to the author's goal of largely political panegyric and, perhaps even more, to his rhetorical training and predilections. Indeed, "Procopius is as remarkable for what he leaves out as for what he does have to say" (ibid: 225). Historical sources in a pre-modern period only rarely speak about the physical environment, and in this respect Procopius is typical and the reader only rarely gets a glimpse of the natural background to his historical and political narratives. This is, of course, odd to modern generations, raised on the assumption of a powerful relationship between environment and history and our cultural sense of place as well as time.
While admitting the arguments already made about the purposes and processes inherent in Procopius' work, this paper uses the concept of "landscape" to explore The Buildings. It does so against the realization that Late Antiquity witnessed striking changes in the broader visible landscape: these were, most notably, the settlement of the barbarians in various parts of the oikoumene and, probably more visible to inhabitants of the East, the thorough Christianization of space. Other historical observers, of course, mentioned these phenomena and Procopius must have noticed them, although they play little role in his narrative.
A landscape approach to The Buildings will provide a new vantage and allow new insights into the historian's purposes and views and ultimately into the physical world of the period. Averil Cameron has already noticed Procopius' awareness of the "watery" aspect of Constantinople. One may extend this analysis to argue that Procopius was in fact concemed with water in a variety of contexts that that he apparently delighted in the description of seas, rivers, and lakes. One example of this (4.8.10-16) forms a long background for Justinian's construction of a bridge at Rhegion in Thrace, while in another (6.4.15-23) he describes the tides on the Libyan coast and the procedures adopted by the local sailors to deal with them. More commonly Procopius alludes to the environment in comparing various architectural forms and pieces to mountains or other natural features. In part, of course, all of these may simply be regarded as excurses, curiosa, or rhetorical conceits. Nonetheless, when taken together and compared to physical evidence outside Procopius, they provide a strikingly consistent view of the landscape that may provide us with an important eye onto the world of the sixth century or at least how it was being perceived by one of its outstanding observers.