The papers in this volume derive from the 29th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. This was held for the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies in the University of London in March 1995, in order to complement the British Museum exhibition 'Byzantium. Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture'. The objective of the symposium was to explore the ways in which British scholars, travellers, novelists, architects, churchmen and critics came into contact with Byzantium, and how they perceived what they saw. The present volume sets out some of the results of this enquiry. Byzantium is treated both as a source of influence on British culture as well as an 'idea' which British culture constructed in different ways in different periods of history. To give some comparative context, attention is also paid to attitudes towards Byzantium in continental Europe. Papers deal, amongst other topics, with the collecting of objects representative of Byzantine culture and with the changing appreciation of Byzantine manuscripts. They also include a series of case studies of individual historians and Byzantinists, and two deal in particular with Ruskin, who emerges as a perceptive 19th-century critic of Byzantine culture. Through the Looking Glass is volume 7 in the series published by Ashgate/Variorum on behalf of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies.
'The essays do indeed provide a worthwhile perspective on aesthetics, and I recommend them to all medieval architecture historians…. Books like these help us to be constructively self-conscious.' Aurora
Contents: Introduction, Robin Cormack; Section I: Encounters with places: Byzantine ’purple’ and Ruskin’s St Mark’s, Venice, Michael Wheeler; Twin reflections of a Byzantine city: Monembasia as seen by Robert Weir Schultz and Sidney H. Barnsley in 1890, Haris Kalligas; The great palace dig: the Scottish perspective, Mary Whitby; The British contribution to fieldwork in Byzantine studies in the twentieth century: an introductory survey, David Winfield; Section II: Encounters with books: The distorting mirror: reflections on the Queen Melisende Psalter, Barbara Zeitler; Byzantium perceived through illuminated manuscripts: now and then, John Lowden; From Britain to Byzantium: the study of Greek manuscripts, Patricia Easterling; Greek scribes in England: the evidence of episcopal registers, Jonathan Harris; Fair exchange? Old manuscripts for new printed books, Colin Davey; The Gospels of Jakov of Serres, the Family Brankovic and the Monastery of Saint Paul on Mount Athos, Zaga Gavrilovic; Section III: Interpreters: ’A gentleman’s book’: attitudes of Robert Curzon, Robin Cormack; Bury, Baynes and Toynbee, Averil Cameron; O. M. Dalton: ’ploughing the Byzantine furrow’, Christopher Entwistle; R.M. Dawkins and Byzantium, Peter Mackridge; Section IV: Other perspectives: Du Cange and Byzantium, Jean-Michel Spieser; Pyotr Ivanovich Sevastianov and his activity in collecting Byzantine objects in Russia, Olga Etinhof; Section V: Encounters with the imagined Byzantium: Simpering Byzantines, Grecian goldsmiths et al.: some appearances of Byzantium in English poetry, David Ricks; ’As the actress said to the bishop…’: the portrayal of Byzantine women in English-language fiction, Liz James; 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.