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St. John the Evangelist from the Gospel Book of Abbot Wedcricus, 1147.











Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 532 – 537.











The building of Hagia Sophia
270' x 240'
112' diameter dome
Dome rests on pendentives 180' above ground
40 windows at base of dome
Virtual tour of Hagia Sophia
Plan of Hagia Sophia











The historian, Procopius wrote about Hagia Sophia, "One would declare that the place were not illuminated from the outside by the sun, but that the radiance originated from within, such is the abundance of light which is shed about this shrine." - Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Erdogan Pledges to Convert Hagia Sophia
to a Mosque Again
Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, interior of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 532 – 537.











Early Byzantine 324 - 726
527 - 565
Reign of Justinian
c. 570 - 632
Muhammad flees Mecca to Medina and founds Islam
Muslims conquer Spain
726 - 843
Middle Byzantine 843 - 1204
c. 768 - 887
Carolingian Empire
768 - 814
Reign of Charlemagne
Viking raids begin
800 - 900
Scandinavians invade North, Muslims invade Mediterranean,
and Magyrs invade the east, destabilizing Europe
Charlemagne crowned Emperor of Holy Roman Empire by Pope
Theodora repeals iconoclasm
c. 919 - 1024
Ottonian Empire
Division of Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic
Crusades begin
Crusaders' sack and occupy Constantinople
Late Byzantine 1261 - 1453
Byzantines recapture Constantinople
Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople, end of Byzantine Empire











Iconoclastic Controversy 726 - 843
icon = (Greek "eikon") image, an image in any material representing a sacred figure or event. Icons were venerated by the faithful, who believed them to have miraculous powers to transmit messages to God.
chancel screen - a screen frequently ornamented with sculpture, separating the choir of a church from the nave or transept. In Orthodox Christian churches it is decorated with icons and thus called an inconostasis
encaustic = a painting technique using pigments mixed with hot wax as a medium
Virgin and Child between Saints Theodore and George, icon, late 6th century. Encaustic on panel. 27 X 19 3/8".











The second commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Phidias, Athena Parthenos, c. 438 BCE. Model of the lost statue,of which was approx. 38' tall. Reconstructed Parthenon in Nashville, TN.










iconoclasts = image destroyers
  • Insisted on a literal interpretation of the Bible
  • Believed images led to idolatry
  • Restricted religious art to abstract symbols and plant or animal forms
  • Led by the Byzantine emperor
  • Supported mainly by the eastern provinces
Chludov Psalther, Mid 9th century.











  • Between 611 and 617, Sasanid Persians captured the cities of Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria
  • Arabs, under Islam, conquered the eastern provinces of Byzantium and Persia
  • Almost two-thirds of the Byzantine empire’s territory was lost
“The shock of these events persuaded the emperors in the eighth century that God had punished the Christian empire for its idolatrous worship of icons by setting upon it the merciless armies of the infidel.” – Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Mihrab of the Great Mosque, Cordoba, Spain, begun in 784 and enlarged 961 - 965.











Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem, 687 - 692.











Virtual Tour of the
Dome of the Rock
After taking Jerusalem from the Byzantines in 638, the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik erected the shrine between 687 - 692 as a tribute to the triumph of Islam.
  • Site of ancient Hebrew Temple of Solomon, destroyed by the Roman Emperor, Titus
  • Reputed location of Adam's grave
  • Place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac
  • Place where Muhammad ascended to Heaven
Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem, 687 - 692.











Iconophiles = image lovers
  • Believed that Christ and his image were inseparable
  • Recognized that imagery served a useful, educational and inspirational purpose
  • Led by the monks
  • Supported mostly in the western provinces
Transfiguration of Jesus, apse mosaic Church of the Virgin, monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt, ca. 548 - 565.











Portrait of Eutropios, citizen of Ephesus, ca. 450. Marble.











Virgin (Theotokos) and Child Enthroned, apse mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 867.











David Composing the Psalms, from the Paris Psalter, ca. 950 - 970. 14 1/8" X 10 ¼".











harp player

Male harp player, so-called Orpheus, from Keros (Cyclades), ca. 2600 - 2300 BCE. Marble, 9" high.