Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012
At the age of seven, Symeon Stylites the Younger expressed his religious fervor by ascending a pillar (stylos). In 541 he moved to a pillar located at a site called the Wondrous Mountain, eleven miles west of Antioch, Syria. Ascetic monks like Symeon, known as "stylites," resided on the top of tall pillars—where they were exposed to rain, snow, and wind—as a way to disengage from the sinful world.1 The men attracted a number of pilgrims, as evidenced by several tokens featuring images of stylites.
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Few figures embody the transitional spirit of the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. as fully as does John of Damascus. His life gives a sense of the multicultural milieu of the early Islamic city and its diverse population of Christians and Muslims, Arabs and Greeks.
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012
For anyone hoping for a solid introduction to the major monuments of early medieval Byzantine art, Robin Cormack's Byzantine Art is a perfect place to start.
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition explores the wealthy southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire from Syria to Egypt and across North Africa as part of the empire and then as part of the emerging Islamic world. This blog joins the works in the exhibition galleries and the catalogue in seeking to understand this era of transition across a region that contains many of the lands of the "Arab Spring."