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Art and Text in Byzantine Culture

Art and Text in Byzantine Culture


Liz James, Ruth Webb, Jas Elsner, Leslie Brubaker, Charles Barber, Robert S. Nelson, Bissera V. Pentcheva, Henry Maguire, Amy Papalexandrou
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  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521834094

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About the Authors
  • Art and Text in Byzantine Culture explores the relationship between images and words, and examines the different types of interactions between pictures and texts in Byzantine art. Byzantium is the only major world power to have experienced political upheaval on a vast scale as a result of an argument about art. Consequently, the dynamic between art and text in Byzantium is essential to understanding Byzantine art and culture. It allows us to explore the close linking of image and word in a society where the correct relationship between the two was critical to the well-being of the state. Composed of specially-commissioned essays written by an international team of scholars, this volume analyzes how the Byzantines wrote about art, how images and text work together in Byzantine art and how the words written on Byzantine artworks contribute to their meaning.

    • First collection on the relationship between art and text in Byzantium
    • Contributions by major Anglo-American scholars in the field
    • Takes various theoretical and methodological approaches
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… beautifully produced, well edited and a pleasure to read. The nine essays it contains are of high quality, accompanied by copious notes placed at the end of each essay. There are also colour illustrations, an appendix of Greek texts, a selected bibliography, and an index. It is a work aimed at a readership of specialists and advanced students of the Byzantine Empire. Having said this, however, one needs to add that a general public too would find it rewarding reading.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    '… an efficiently edited, thought-provoking volume …' Art History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521834094
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 185 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.752kg
    • contains: 56 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: art and text in Byzantium Liz James
    1. Accomplishing the picture: ekphrasis, mimesis, and martyrdom in Asterios of Amaseia Ruth Webb
    2. The rhetoric of buildings in the De Aedificiis of Procopius Jas Elsner
    3. Every cliché in the book: the linguistic turn and the text-image discourse in Byzantine manuscripts Leslie Brubaker
    4. In the presence of the text: a note on writing, speaking and performing in the Theodore Psalter Charles Barber
    5. Image and inscription: pleas for salvation in spaces of devotion Robert S. Nelson
    6. Epigrams on icons Bissera V. Pentcheva
    7. Eufrasius and friends: on names and their absence in Byzantine art Henry Maguire
    8. Echoes of orality in the monumental inscriptions of Byzantium Amy Papalexandrou
    9. 'And shall these mute stones speak?': words as art Liz James.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Western Civ Part 2
  • Editor

    Liz James, University of Sussex
    Liz James is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex and the author of Empresses and Power in Early Byzantium (2001). She is currently Director of the Leverhulme International Network on the Composition of Byzantine Glass Mosaic Tesserae.


    Liz James, Ruth Webb, Jas Elsner, Leslie Brubaker, Charles Barber, Robert S. Nelson, Bissera V. Pentcheva, Henry Maguire, Amy Papalexandrou

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