# Art and Identity in Thirteenth-Century Byzantium: Hagia by Antony Eastmond

By Antony Eastmond

The church of Hagia Sophia in Trebizond, equipped by way of the emperor Manuel I Grand Komnenos (1238-63) within the aftermath of the autumn of Constantinople to the Fourth campaign, is the best surviving Byzantine imperial monument of its interval. artwork and id in Thirteenth-Century Byzantium is the 1st research of the church in additional than thirty years, and is largely illustrated in color and black-and-white, with many pictures that experience by no means formerly been released. Antony Eastmond examines the architectural, sculptural and painted of the church, putting them within the context of latest advancements in other places within the Byzantine global, in Seljuq Anatolia and one of the Caucasian neighbours of Trebizond. wisdom of this zone has been remodeled within the final two decades, following the cave in of the Soviet Union. the hot facts that has emerged permits a substantially various interpretation of the church to be reached, and opens questions of cultural interchange at the borders of the Christian and Muslim worlds of jap Anatolia, the Caucasus and Persia. This learn makes use of the church and its ornament to check questions of Byzantine id and imperial ideology within the thirteenth century. this is often important to any figuring out of the interval, because the fall of Constantinople in 1204 divided the Byzantine empire and compelled the successor states in Nicaea, Epiros and Trebizond to redefine their innovations of empire in exile. artwork is the following exploited as major ancient facts for the character of imperial strength in a contested empire. it's endorsed that imperial identification was firm as a lot through craftsmen and expectancies of imperial energy as via the emperor's decree; and that this was once a reputable replacement Byzantine id to that built within the empire of Nicaea.

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Extra resources for Art and Identity in Thirteenth-Century Byzantium: Hagia Sophia and the Empire of Trebizond

Sample text

It also encouraged them to promote the independence of the church in their territory as a way of demonstrating their preservation of Orthodoxy. 49 In general, it seems that the imperial identity of Epiros/Thessaloniki was largely determined in opposition to that established in Nicaea. This is perhaps 10 ART AND IDENTITY IN THIRTEENTH-CENTURY BYZANTIUM unsurprising given that by the time that Theodore was crowned as emperor in 1225, Nicaea had already had eighteen years in which to develop its own ideology.

Rather than see the divergent nature of the many influences in purely artistic terms, I use them as evidence of the development of the empire of Trebizond under Manuel I Grand Komnenos and its ideology. This chapter outlines the various regional and international contexts into which all explanations and interpretations of the different elements of the church must be placed. With these contexts as a background, it is possible to establish a new and more nuanced gauge against which to judge the church.

From the surviving Nicaean texts it is possible to build up a detailed picture of the ways in which the political ideology was developed by its emperors between 1204 and 1261. It is this model that has been seen by modem historians as being the definition of Byzantine imperial identity in the thirteenth century. At its core lay traditional ideas about the emperor as God's vice-regent on earth. 29 The ceremony of anointing the emperor at his coronation also took on increased importance as the Nicaean emperor and his rivals all sought to claim divine legitimacy.