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Mosaics in the Medieval World
From Late Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century


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  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107011984

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Liz James offers a comprehensive history of wall mosaics produced in the European and Islamic middle ages. Taking into account a wide range of issues, including style and iconography, technique and material, and function and patronage, she examines mosaics within their historical context. She asks why the mosaic was such a popular medium and considers how mosaics work as historical 'documents' that tell us about attitudes and beliefs in the medieval world. The book is divided into two part. Part I explores the technical aspects of mosaics, including glass production, labour and materials, and costs. In Part II, James provides a chronological history of mosaics, charting the low and high points of mosaic art up until its abrupt end in the late middle ages. Written in a clear and engaging style, her book will serve as an essential resource for scholars and students of medieval mosaics.

    • The only book to offer a synthesis of mosaics in the Middle Ages
    • Discusses how mosaics were made and sets them into a chronological framework
    • Includes high-quality and unusual colour images of the mosaics discussed
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    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This fabulous book is a great achievement. The 166 splendid color illustrations (many previously unpublished) alone would make the volume of great value, but James (Univ. of Sussex, UK) also provides a rich scholarly apparatus of footnotes and bibliography and a fine list of all extant mosaics, arranged by period and country. Written with panache, the book wears its erudition lightly and is accessible to a wide readership. Essential.' L. Nees, Choice

    'This stunning new book will change the way you look at medieval mosaics … The attention to detail and to making this book useable, with indices, lists of sites and bespoke maps, ensure that this will be a much-consulted book for anyone working on the late antique, early medieval and medieval built environment.' Caroline Goodson, Medieval Archaeology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107011984
    • length: 650 pages
    • dimensions: 288 x 223 x 32 mm
    • weight: 2.04kg
    • contains: 167 b/w illus. 161 colour illus. 12 maps 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Making Wall Mosaics: Introduction to Part I
    1. Making glass tesserae
    2. Making mosaics
    3. The business of mosaics
    4. The value of mosaics
    Part II. Mosaics by Century: Introduction to Part II
    5. In the beginning: wall mosaics in the fourth century
    6. Types or prototypes? Mosaics in the fifth century
    7. Emperors, kings, popes and bishops: mosaics in the sixth century
    8. New beginnings? Islam, Byzantium and Rome: mosaics in the seventh and eighth centuries
    9. Medium and message: ninth- and tenth-century mosaics
    10. A universal language? Eleventh-century mosaics
    11. Incorrigibly plural: mosaics in the twelfth century
    12. Men and mosaics: the thirteenth century
    13. Boom and bust: mosaics in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
    Appendix of sites

  • Author

    Liz James, University of Sussex
    Liz James is a Byzantine art historian with an interest in mosaics. Her ambition is to see at first-hand all the mosaics discussed in this book, and she is approximately three-quarters of the way there. She is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex, where she teaches courses on Byzantine art.


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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