Sharp, Middle Byzantine Structures on the Black Sea Littoral (2010)

Sharp, Middle Byzantine Structures on the Black Sea Littoral (2010)
Form of publication

Roger Stephen Sharp, The Outside Image: A Comparative Study of External Architectural Display on Middle Byzantine Structures on the Black Sea Littoral. A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, (Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies – Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity – College of Arts and Low – University of Birmingham, Birmingham 2010)


From the Introduction: “The geographic focus of this study is the Black Sea littoral and the regions abutting it. The territorial focus is that of the Byzantine Empire and its cultural partners for the period from the end of the eighth century to around the first quarter of the eleventh century. The cultural product which will take the centre stage is architecture and, specifically, the manner by which the exteriors of the buildings of the period were articulated. I will argue that this articulation was a conscious form of display. Due to the limited survival of secular monumental architecture the structures to be examined will be, predominantly though not exclusively, churches. As is evident from the title, this study is concerned with ‘image’ in its broadest sense: the manner in which the Byzantine state, its faith and wider culture, was deliberately manifested. It will, consequently, also be concerned with identifying the audience(s) for the display...

... The study has, additionally, a temporal focus: from the close of the eighth century to the first third of the eleventh. The first quarter of that period sees both the second and final period of active imperial and ecclesiastical suppression of holy images and the resolution of the struggle over images in favour of the iconophiles. After 843 pictorial images of the holy were not merely permitted but required. Without them the church would be incomplete, false and lacking in power. That power emanated from the direct access to the supernatural facilitated by the images of the holy inhabiting the inner space of the church.”

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Key words
Amastris / Amasra.
Basilica, building.
Byzantine church construction.
Byzantine cities.
Byzantine communications, infrastructure.
Byzantine emperors.
Byzantine Empire.
Byzantine monuments.
Byzantine sources.
Chersonessos / Cherson / Sebastopol.
Chersonessos Taurica / Cherson.
Churches - mosques.
Constantinople / Polis / Istanbul.
Cyril and Methodius, saints.
Early Byzantine period.
Euxine Pontus / Black Sea.
Khazars, people.
Mesembria / Nesebâr.
Middle Byzantine period.
Pontus / Pontos.
Symeon of Bulgaria.