From the reception of imperial ekphraseis in Hagia Sophia to the sounds and smells of the back streets of Constantinople, the sensory perception of Byzantium is an area that lends itself perfectly to an investigation into the experience of the Byzantine world. The theme of experience embraces all aspects of Byzantine studies and the Experiencing Byzantium symposium brought together archaeologists, architects, art historians, historians, musicians and theologians in a common quest to step across the line that divides how we understand and experience the Byzantine world and how the Byzantines themselves perceived the sensual aspects of their empire and also their faith, spirituality, identity and the nature of ’being’ in Byzantium. The papers in this volume derive from the 44th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, held for the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies by the University of Newcastle and University of Durham, at Newcastle upon Tyne in April 2011. They are written by a group of international scholars who have crossed disciplinary boundaries to approach an understanding of experience in the Byzantine world. Experiencing Byzantium is volume 18 in the series published by Ashgate on behalf of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies.
'The rich Byzantine textual tradition is shown to enhance interpretations of artefacts and places, and ultimately the reader is left with a heightened understanding of this fascinating culture.' Antiquity Review
Contents: Editors' preface; Experiencing Byzantium, Claire Nesbitt and Mark Jackson; Section I Experiencing Art: Things: art and experience in Byzantium, Liz James; Repetition and replication: sacred and secular patterned textiles, Warren T. Woodfin. Section II Experiencing Faith: Experiencing the sacred, Béatrice Caseau; Experiencing the liturgy in Byzantium, Andrew Louth; Different approaches to an early Byzantine monument: Procopius and Ibn Battuta on the church of St John at Ephesos, Nikolas Karydis. Section III Experiencing Landscape: Locating Byzantine monasteries. Spatial considerations and strategies in the rural landscape, Nikolas Bakirtzis; Experiencing politiko: new methodologies for analysing the landscape of a rural Byzantine society, Katie Green; Processing emotion: litanies in Byzantine Constantinople, Vicky Manolopoulou. Section IV Experiencing Ritual: The cross of light: experiencing divine presence in Byzantine Syria, Heather Hunter-Crawley; Experiencing mid-Byzantine mortuary practice: shrouding the dead, Sophie V. Moore. Section V Experiencing Self: How Icelanders experienced Byzantium, real and imagined, Scott Ashley; Experiencing physical beauty in Byzantium: the body and the ideal, Myrto Hatzaki; Experiencing self: how mid-Byzantine historians presented their experience, Dion C. Smythe. Section VI Experiencing Stories: Experiencing the Byzantine text, experiencing the Byzantine tent, Margaret Mullett; Sensing ascension in early Byzantium, Georgia Frank; From Earth to Heaven: the changing musical soundscape of Byzantine liturgy, Alexander Lingas; Index.
This series publishes a selection of papers delivered at the annual British Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, now held under the auspices of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. These meetings began fifty years ago in the University of Birmingham and have built an international reputation. Themes cover all aspects of Byzantine history and culture, with papers presented by chosen experts. Selected papers from the symposia have been published regularly since 1992 in a series of titles which have themselves become established as major contributions to the study of the Byzantine world.