The Celebration of the Saints in Byzantine Art and Liturgy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Celebration of the Saints in Byzantine Art and Liturgy

1st Edition

By Nancy P. Sevcenko


376 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781409411604
pub: 2013-01-14

FREE Standard Shipping!


The studies in this volume all deal with images and texts that relate to the veneration of the saints in Byzantium after the 9th century. Some papers are devoted to the church calendar and the annual commemorations of hundreds of saints through liturgical poetry and sequences of isolated images in fresco, icon painting and illuminated manuscripts. Others are concerned with the longer and rarer, narrative cycles devoted to the life of a single saint, cycles found mainly in fresco and on the so-called vita icons that first appear in the East in the late 12th century. Additional studies deal with the developing role of icons in liturgical ceremonies, and with images of a saint being approached by a supplicant or patron. A final section is devoted to places made holy by the saints, and to their holy relics.


'… here are some papers that would otherwise prove difficult in tracking down and students of Byzantine art and liturgy will be indebted to Ashgate for bringing them together in a volume that does credit to its author. Behind the papers collected in this volume lies Å evÄ�enko’s ongoing fascination with the mutual influences of art and liturgy, especially liturgical performance…' Heythrop Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Saints and the Calendar of the Church Year: Canon and calendar: the role of a 9th-century hymnographer in shaping the celebration of the saints; The imperial Menologia and the 'Menologion' of Basil II; Three saints at Hosios Loukas; Marking holy time: the Byzantine calendar icons; The Evergetis Synaxarion and the celebration of a saint in 12th-century art and liturgy. Part II Narrative Icons: Vita icons and 'decorated' icons of the Komnenian period; The vita icon and the painter as hagiographer. Part III Saints and the Faithful: The tomb of Isaak Komnenos at Pherrai; Close encounters: contact between holy figures and the faithful as represented in Byzantine works of art; The representation of donors and holy figures on four Byzantine icons. Part IV Icons and Liturgical Performances: Icons in the liturgy; 'Servants of the holy icon'; The five hymnographers at Nerezi. Part V Holy Places, Holy Relics: The hermit as stranger in the desert; The cave of the Apocalypse; The Limburg Staurothek and its relics; The monastery of Mount Sinai and the cult of Saint Catherine; Addenda and corrigenda; Indexes.

About the Author

Nancy Patterson Šev�enko is currently Vice-President of the International Center of Medieval Art, USA, and honorary Vice-President of the Association Internationale des Études Byzantines.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / Medieval
HISTORY / General