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Architecture and Ritual in the Churches of Constantinople
Ninth to Fifteenth Centuries


  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107040168

£ 77.00

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the interchange of architecture and ritual in the Middle and Late Byzantine churches of Constantinople (ninth to fifteenth centuries). It employs archaeological and archival data, hagiographic and historical sources, liturgical texts and commentaries, and monastic typika and testaments to integrate the architecture of the medieval churches of Constantinople with liturgical and extra-liturgical practices and their continuously evolving social and cultural context. The book argues against the approach that has dominated Byzantine studies: that of functional determinism, the view that architectural form always follows liturgical function. Instead, proceeding chapter by chapter through the spaces of the Byzantine church, it investigates how architecture responded to the exigencies of the rituals, and how church spaces eventually acquired new uses. The church building is described in the context of the culture and people whose needs it was continually adapted to serve. Rather than viewing churches as frozen in time (usually the time when the last brick was laid), this study argues that they were social constructs and so were never finished, but continually evolving.

    • The first comprehensive study of architecture and ritual in medieval Byzantium
    • Includes an appendix with up-to-date discussion of the scholarship on each monument; updated and some newly created drawings of the Middle and Late Byzantine churches of Constantinople; and updated photographic documentation
    • Includes GIS map of Constantinople and the discussed monuments
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107040168
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 257 x 178 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 133 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Liturgical ritual: the shape and development of the Byzantine rite
    2. The sanctuary and the templon
    3. The naos
    4. The narthex and the exonarthex
    5. Subsidiary spaces: chapels, outer ambulatories, outer aisles, crypts, atria, and related spaces
    6. Non-liturgical use of churches
    Appendix: catalogue of churches
    Glossary of terms.

  • Author

    Vasileios Marinis, Yale University, Connecticut
    Vasileios Marinis is Assistant Professor of Christian Art and Architecture at the Institute of Sacred Music and the Divinity School, Yale University, and a fellow at Berkeley College. Marinis has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including the Aidan Kavanagh Prize for Outstanding Scholarship at Yale, a Junior Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, the S. C. and P. C. Coleman Senior Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has published on a variety of topics ranging from early Christian tunics decorated with New Testament scenes to medieval tombs and Byzantine transvestite nuns. Before coming to Yale he was the first holder of the Kallinikeion Chair of Byzantine Art at Queens College, CUNY.

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