The Veneration of Icons in Byzantium

In order to appreciate the pivotal religious significance icons had in Byzantium for private devotion, in the liturgy, in civic ritual, and in military campaigns, we will survey the visual evidence along with a vast array of written sources. We will explore the origins of the Christian cult of icons in the Early Byzantine period and its roots in the Greco-Roman world of paganism. Through the close analysis of icons executed over the centuries in different artistic techniques, we will examine matters of iconography, style and aesthetics.

The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond

The cult of relics played a vital role in Byzantine culture and, consequently, left a strong imprint on the artistic production. Not only did the veneration of relics find expression in personal devotion, but the image of the Byzantine court was largely modelled on the claim that the emperors possessed the most precious of all sacred remains, first and foremost those associated with the Passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

The Veneration of Icons in Byzantium

In order to appreciate the pivotal religious significance icons had in Byzantium for private devotion, in the liturgy, in civic ritual, and in military campaigns, we will survey the visual evidence along with a vast array of written sources. We will explore the origins of the Christian cult of icons in the Early Byzantine period and its roots in the Greco-Roman world of paganism. Through the close analysis of icons executed over the centuries in different artistic techniques, we will examine matters of iconography, style and aesthetics.

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