Stories in Topical Essays


Evan Freeman, Graduate Student, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday Mosque, Damascus

Iconoclasm in eighth- and ninth-century Byzantium is often presented as a straightforward, universal policy that was widely enforced. Do the works in the exhibition support such a view?

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Hajj: A Journey to Meet God

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, 2015–16 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012

Folio from the Majma al-Tavarikh

The words "pilgrimage" and "sacred space," one evoking human movement and the other performative space, are inseparable from one another. Through pilgrimage, the pilgrim embarks on a spiritual path toward the full submission to God in an often-distant sacred space.

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Letters and Letter Writing

Annie Labatt, 2012 Chester Dale Fellow, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ostrakon with Menander's "Sentences"

The exhibition contains a number of letters that reveal the movement and flow of ideas throughout the territories of the Byzantine empire, including Egypt.

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Family and Children

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, 2015–16 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Child's Tunic

Scholars have produced ample studies on the imperial and aristocratic life of Byzantium, focusing on buildings, endowments, clothes, and other aspects. While these studies provide essential insights into the Byzantine world, the empire did not consist solely of emperors, their entourages, or wealthy families, the dynatoi. Another view is offered through the lens of the non-elite society, which existed somewhat independently and shaped the Byzantine community economically, culturally, and socially.

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About this Blog

This blog accompanied the special exhibition Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, on view March 14–July 8, 2012.