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The Latins at Hagia Sophia

Author(s): Emerson H. Swift
Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1935), pp. 458-474
Published by: Archaeological Institute of America
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IN THEwritings of the later Byzantine historians, as also in those of more recent
commentators, the Crusaders, the hated Latins of the conquest, are universally execrated as the vandals and despoilers of the Church of Hagia Sophia. Thus Nicetas
Choniates, writing in the thirteenth century and describing the capture of Constantinople and the sack of the church, tells how the Crusaders "spared not the
house of God nor His servants, but stripped from the great church all its rich ornaments as well as the hangings made of costly brocades of inestimable value . . .
And the holy altar, compacted of all sorts of precious materials, . . . was broken
into bits and distributed by the soldiers." ' That the "destructive rapacity "2 of
the conquerors was appalling we may freely admit, their immediate aim being loot,
yet to maintain that for this reason "the fifty-seven years of the Latin occupation
constituted the worst and most dangerous period in the entire history of the church
which was saved only by the recovery of the city in 1261 at the hands of Alexius
Strategopoulus'"3 is certainly not justified by a study of the monument itself. In
fact, quite the opposite seems to be the case. This may be inferred from a number
of historical sources as well as from archaeological evidence observable in the building as it stands today.
The great church of Justinian was destined from the very outset of its history to
be so wracked and jarred by earthquakes as to demand almost continual buttressing
and repair. Indeed, from the accounts of Byzantine writers it has been calculated
that twenty-seven severe earthquakes occurred in Constantinople from the beginning of the seventh to the middle of the fifteenth century,4 while the church itself
has been shaken by at least sixteen major shocks since its completion in 537.~ The
first restoration was that completed by Isidorus the Younger in 563 when four exterior tower buttresses in the form of winding stairways were added, each one apparently backing on the exterior the respond of one of the great nave piers and rising
to the base of the dome.6 The most extensive buttressing operations recorded, however, were those carried out by Andronicus Palaeologus the Elder in 1317 when the
huge unsightly masses, the "pyramids" of Gregory,7 at present so conspicuous on
the flanks and east end of the church, were piled against the outer walls. The Turks
have added to this confusion through the erection of various structures at the
southeastern angle of the church and elsewhere and have complicated matters still
further by the building of their four minarets. If, then, an impartial judgment of
the activities of the Latins is to be attained it is only just as a preliminary to enquire regarding the probable state of the church structurally and architecturally at
the time the reputed villain of the piece appears.
1Nicetas Choniates, Historiae, ed. Bonn, p. 758.
Lethaby and Swainson, Sancta Sophia, London, 1894, p. 143.
3E. M. Antoniadi, Hagia Sophia, Athens, 1907-1909, I, p. 25.
4 Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, Constantinopolis und der Bosporus, I, Pest, 1892, pp. 36-44.
5 Antoniadi, op. cit., I, pp. 22-23.
Cedrenus, Synopsis, ed. Bonn, I, p. 677.
7 Nicephorus Gregoras, Byz. Hist., ed. Bonn, I, p. 273.





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1854. cit.4 while between the years 1032 and 1041 two quakes of the third and four tremors of the second magnitude were recorded. ninth and tenth centuries. 1)..20 on Sat. XLVIIA). ed. 16.e. 193-194. the following century. 3 Antoniadi. Argyrus beautified the capitals with silver and gold in 1028. Historiae. fig.i the conclusion seems amply justified that the condition of the church was structurally precarious at the opening of the thirteenth century. Between them are now three doorways giving access to the outer vestibule (P1. the eleventh. pp. 175-176.212. XII. p. Bearing this fact in mind we can now turn to a consideration of the archaeological evidence. even today larger and more imposing than the others. Yet the fact remains that in the number and average intensity of the shocks which shook the city. 21. op. obviously a relic of the period from the thirteenth century onward when this bay was occupied by a belfry. so far as is known. fourth magnitude. was surpassed in the history of the church only by the sixth. whereas that of the sixth magnitude represents the most severe disturbance ever suffered by the city. 1852. 4 I. cit. the last major earthquake. It threw down the great western arch and a large part of the dome of the church. quoting from Glycas and Scylitzes. This arrangement. 4. 464. a shock of the fifth magnitude. cit.2 The rebuilding by Basil Bulgaroctonus was completed in 995. mention that Romanus 6 Vide infra.THE LATINS AT HAGIA SOPHIA 459 Within somewhat more than two centuries preceding the advent of the Latins. From that date until after the conquest and the subsequent expulsion of the Crusaders but one other seismic disturbance was noted. So far as historical records indicate. I. may not be original. which carry flying buttresses springing to meet the outward thrust of the vaults of the narthex and of the west triforium gallery (Fig. in the sixth. op. In face of the foregoing summary of the dangerous terrestrial shocks to which the already impaired fabric of the church had been subjected within the two hundred and fifteen years before the Latin conquest and in view also of the fact that. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. 5 Lethaby and Swainson. I. eighth. Lethaby and Swainson. pp. since the piers themselves seem of comparatively late date. During the second half of the century there occurred two more severe shocks. a tremor of the second magnitude in 1231. Contrasted with the preceding hundred years the twelfth century was remarkably quiet. that of the year 1159. served as the grand entrance portal 1 According to Antoniadi's classification.. London.. in 1063 and 1087. p. 8 Aya Sofia. however. Bonn. and one tremor in 1064. 9 Cf. there were undertaken during that entire period no buttressing operations or any repairs of more than a presumably routine character. cit.' occurred in 989. In the centuries before the belfry was erected it seems clear that this axial opening. From the western wall of the exonarthex project today four great rectangular piers. perhaps even earlier. 123. p. 7 Constantinopel. before the Latins had ever appeared upon the scene. a shock which in point of intensity had been exceeded but four times in the previous life of the church. in which a barely perceptible tremor is called a shock of the first magnitude. pl. op. 2 Deacon Leon.3 Thus in January of the year 1010 an earthquake of the fourth magnitude rocked the city. only a single quake of the third magnitude was reported.. This content downloaded from 83. op. this was the last extensive repair and strengthening of the structure to be undertaken until the great buttressing "pyramids" of Andronicus were erected early in the fourteenth century.7Fossati 8 and Texier in the first half of the nineteenth century 9 show the central opening filled by a window. Altchristliche von Baudenlcmale Berlin. pl.6 while Salzenberg.10.

and p. 7.Aul." From the information which he gives. 4 J. I.' known also as the Propylaeum of the Narthex. Byz. 1. 1910.3 Ebersolt.De Cerim.2 Although the location of the Beautiful Gate has long been disputed and earlier authorities have agreed in placing it at the outer end of the comparatively late vestibule which opens from the southern door of the narthex. 18~ (by implication).. 1680. Sainte-Sophie de Constantinople.6tudede topographied'apres les C6rdmonies. the famed Beautiful Gate. ed. and Antoniadi. since the Turks have melted the bells which were in it that they might make them into cannon. p. 415. Paris.Paris. cit. 146. cit. It is alluded to by Porphyrogenitus. as g/ya~ rvXv iri 7ricavXov. p. 152.212. it is evident that the belfry was supported on its north and 1 'Qpala ThbXrj. has satisfactorily demonstrated its position and shown that it was perhaps identical with the Propylaeum of the Narthex. through FIG.EMERSON H. 6 Guillaume Joseph Grelot. I. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. pp. note 6. This content downloaded from 83. op. Bonn. 91.4 The existence of the belfry alluded to as later displacing the Beautiful Gate is first vouched for in the seventeenth century by Grelot who figures a high rectangular tower at the middle of the west facade and says: "This tower was formerly the belfry of Hagia Sophia but is now quite empty.. Relation nouvelled'un Voyage de Constantinople. b 3Lethaby and Swainson.20 on Sat. pp. 2.10. 2 IIpor -XaoV 70o N'pOpcos. 124. p. Ebersolt. 4-5. op. SWIFT 460 of the church.--WEST PORTALS AND BUTTRESSES OF WEST FAqADE a careful study of the routes followed by the emperors as described in the Ceremonies.

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. the more so : -. a ?. * o?-o heels of the Latin occupation. SWIFT 462 south sides by the two central buttress-piers (cf." 2 The date given. op. there is no basis for Cr] . however. pp. XLVIIA) and that it was fully as wide as these.:' since the Russian pilgrim.20 on Sat. Bonn.rr indicating that their use had already as~a~c~ F ?61srSP~ aaoO become general." 6 Cf. According to Ebersolt. 4 and P1. . P1.P? a 128&2-1328. p. is incorrect.but that the belfry itself a *11D Lt~' was erected by them. Antonius a . cit. 12. 560.and directly upon the a. sent such to the Emperor Michael. rr fi? But whatever the evidence which may J i~t vouch for this Venetian gift in the . the vaults at the west end of the church could have needed no buttressing for many centuries. during the reign of Andronicus Palaeologus the Elder. "The use of bells. AFTER GRELOT Grelot. 2 Euchologium. ed. I. since at that time there was neither a doge of the name mentioned nor an emperor in Constantinople called Michael. Paris. 2 and 3. Palaeologus. i~i~ ~lt G S of Novgorod. The theory may t 2( r-.IY-. but these conditions were fulfilled in 865 itrlui .A a .=??t~:--*--fC~%i?~.on il ne pouvoit pas avoir dedans beaucoup de cloches ny de bien grosses.)' " was first adopted by the Greeks in 895 when Urso Patricio. Figs.-. showed arched openings at different levels and was covered by a pyramidal roof."'4 j k (rK a ~~ i ~ as~:~i~slc~r~~?zc-. op. st Q'-? c. ~3' are no bells in Hagia Sophia.. The latter." says Goarus. that it rose as a rectangular tower with an offset near the top. 109. holding them in great esteem.. the Doge of Venice. p Sr *I therefore be advanced that not only i' -JJbLlrLS s I I~ a ?were the bells an importation of the gi o Latins.. 3. declares in 1900 "there a. Andronicus 4. 19. p. 132.212. their workmanship giving the impression of a ? ? hr 1? xFigures are from Grelot's plates.j~C" :--dr. p.a 6? oa d ninth century.~. cit. loc. 5This is borne out by Grelot's remark. cit. " a supposing that the bell-tower was a rr~H_ erected at this time. 2.. 4.--x :_:~:'takably Romanesque character of the bell-tower as sketched by FIG. This content downloaded from 83.6 Because of their magnificent engineering and comparatively gentle slope. N ? 3 Ebersolt. on the comparative smallness of the belfry: "de cette fa. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .::_:? ~-aTaa~. a a p a .243. Kondakov thought that the tower might even have been of Turkish workmanship... 6.10.---.GROUND PLAN.r when the gift may have been made. p. This conclusion is borne out by an examination of the masonry of the buttresses at present supporting the western walls." On the other hand. ~ . set them up in a tower erected beside Hagia Sophia.. (Cf. PachyIrriPrr~rrrr ~deeB~g~ rsi~k~i~g~j~l~l~Ber BfflP~g~i~8~ ~k B~BI~ In E c sl meres makes mention of "the bells t at 4 of the church calling to service. an inference further supported by the unmisNFJI*lts BE VtNGTTGISCI :::I:-:~ ?::e--CIICIZ?-~L*1Cr~. I ::::?. note 3.. 3~ oM . XLVII-XLVIIIA. 1647. our figs..EMERSON H.7. 4Pachymeres.

one at each end and eight more between the nine windows of the western triforium gallery. his panorama.3 At a lower level they are joined together by tunnel 'According to Grelot. cit. 5). The five southernmost belong to the type known as flying buttresses. the upper the vaults of the west triforium gallery (cf." On the other hand. Those which incline outward show a drop of ca. 3. the lower abutting the vaults of the narthex." and on p. cit. 2Ca. cit. 123. This content downloaded from 83.80 m. All rise to the same level in the spandrils of the arched triforium windows 2 and are encircled by carved marble string courses at about two-thirds their height. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 87 (our fig. They are now seven in number (Fig. p. 6).' The four which stand at the middle of the facade carry double struts.- GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHURCH FROM THE SOUTHWEST to them the form of pointed arches (Fig. 5.. folio ed.. XX. 3 The acanthus ornament resembles stylistically that of the column capitals of the nave (cf.30 m. from east to west.10. 9-11). op. op. 132 he adds that the west gallery "est appuy6 de six arboutans. figs. 19. above the ground. Salzenberg.. 425). free-standing. p. while the string courses themselves are obviously composed of older fragmentary material (cf. the west wall of the triforium was supported by six flying buttresses.e. Fig. dans le milieu desquels se voit une tour quarr6e. This type in itself is an indication of late date.20 on Sat. "une demydouzaine d'arcs boutans tout a jour et a mesme distance. while their upper struts are supported at the abutting end by obviously Turkish re-enforcements imparting FIG. 1). actually shows a seventhbuttress at the extreme north behind the northwestern minaret.THE LATINS AT HAGIA SOPHIA 463 fairly late date within the Byzantine period. 7). Hence it seems probable that there were originally ten of these buttresses. the two which flank the main axis of the church differ from their immediate neighbors to north and south in that their tops are horizontal rather than inclined outward. 8). with struts thrown across in the form of half-arches to the adjoining wall (Fig. i. op..212. pl. p.

p.212. and Lethaby and Swainson.. Antoniadi 7 suggests that the northern and southern buttresses of the central group of four are the earliest. although all belong to this century or the next.. pl. to have come from the Hippodrome. 1 Cf.p. 5 and P1. Salzenberg. cit. 16.20 on Sat. is built up solid and partly incorporated in the wall of the adjacent minaret. from their position. op. much before the beginning of the thirteenth. 3Fossati. has a single strut with inclined top.. They are known.3 but observes that. were the work of the Latins. 6. An appreciation of this fact suggests. o0p. and Ebersolt likewise maintains 6 that they were erected at this time by Basil I in order to strengthen the great western half-dome then threatening to fall.10.p. that these buttresses. SWIFT vaults which spring from coarsely moulded imposts to form three sheltered porticoes. fig. op.. 7) as already in place in the ninth century. cit. op. however. likewise with a sloping top. although they are built of old materials. 29. which rises from the north wall of what was once the south cloister of the atrium. In discussing this problem we can at once discard any hypothesis which would date these buttresses to the ninth century for the simple reason that flying buttresses were unknown before the twelfth century and did not come into general use even in France. dating perhaps from 1317.. 87. where they seem to have originated. 6. says that the four famous bronze horses of the faqade of S. B. cit. while the one next south of it is considerably lower than any of the others.. Lethaby and Swainson 4 show six of the seven flying buttresses indicated by Grelot 5 (Fig. note 3. 6 Sainte-Sophie de Constantinople.464 EMERSON H.cit. pl. 141. 1878. cit. the northernmost. they cannot be contemporaneous with the construction of the church. cit. 5. II. 274. SOp. p. 2 Loc. (Cf.. Fig.--BUTTRESSES the height of the triforiumgallery and FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN MINARET surmounted by equestrian statues. XLVIIA. Exuviae Sacrae Constantinopolitanae. op. Thus Salzenberg in his restoration2 shows the four central piers rising to OF THE WEST FAqADE AS SEEN FIG.I. the central one of which is Turkish work of the later nineteenth century. cit.' Of the other buttresses of the facade the southernmost. This content downloaded from 83.) The date at which these buttresses were erected has never been satisfactorily determined although various hypotheses have been advanced. prima facie. Cf. 193. panorama. Marco which were brought from Constantinople to Venice in 1204 crowned these piers. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Fossati. cit. p. like the belfry. p. op. Riant. XII.

:-: ?:: ?::" ?::::-?::--::i-~--iii:::4 :?:::::::::: ?::::: : ? :-:r4_::-::::_: &..:-_: : ~i:-l7S~i r: z?_.: i-:~i: -:i-: i': : -:-: :- -::i.r i~: 1.-:-iii:f-:: V.-:i-::::: -:':::-. ai:i.i -i?.?7:-: -'sz. 9. 5 : i.'-ii~:i: r~i?~ira? :----i--?IVY j jet Tie~~s'~ i.~ .W-::_: ~~i:ii.- VIP?-: i~ i.w FIG.l:s I:I:-::-.:l~'*""~'i ~bg li-~ ~ UM: S ~W~ Orl~i0:ai-:_: ii?I:i-_r:_:?l::i:a?-:-i:8i~?:il--::::i-i :ii~~il:-::: l::::ii:.--HAGIA SOPHIA FROM THE NORTHWEST.a::-: -IM W:i~iiii~ii uv ~: a:-$: j -: O .-:l i:- :~i i-~ - : -:i 1 .~~ -::-is~~-iii~:iii~: ::::__-i~::.T 4mw 4 d to::__:.ii:i:::?..4p''.I:-i :~i.-:iiiiiii: ::::-:::. .'`'ijli r?$g _~~g~ga~a i"?:g.20 on Sat.:::..: : A41-:i-: i \w :_ -_ :- WIT ib~ui~ ..-::-i'--p4~~ii: a :i :- :- - its ta:: :I:::::: :::l~:a -:. EXTERIO . 7. i~::.~ -?: . 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions FIG. AFTER GRELOT'S PANORAMA This content downloaded from 83.~~a.i ilx: w&~i?: :-: _:. Vumv:: ..212.--HAGIA SOPHIA.i~ -~ne~a~-::~i": s~i :~l~i2-ii'~d:fii ii::-~i~ii~ii~~i~a":'i "'~'~~ ::? ::::: :-:1::: :. :.i :.: : : :-~-:i: :".i:i~i W . ~ l:i l: a~li-.i-- ~?~ 0 -:jt_::: 1w . - 13ji -~i i~ :9~i C .

this is the only one of the four which preserves its sloping top. 8).212. The two buttresses at the center were masked by the belfry which rested in part upon them. that the west facade was once re-enforced. were naturally enough entirely overlooked by Grelot. however. the lateral wall of an early Gothic church by a uniform range of eight or. dating from the last quarter of the twelfth century.3 More significantly. I. apparently neglecting the one additional example which he himself shows at the extreme north. H. 1 Cf. 82. in form and structural principles. a careful examination of these two buttresses reveals that. Cf. pp.g.20 on Sat. 463.10. This content downloaded from 83. 40. one finds it scarcely conceivable that. were erected between 1204 and 1961. supra. the very form and construction of the southernmost buttress of the central group of four. We may therefore assume. hidden by the bulk of the belfry. dating probably in the third quarter of the twelfth century. two embracing each end bay of the facade and perhaps two others midway between the central and terminal groups.e. four embracing the three central bays. during the Latin occupation. 5E. on the basis of the information furnished by Grelot and of a study of the extant buttresses themselves. Developmentand Character of Gothic Architecture. cit. The Turkish builders. ten 2flying buttresses with flat sloping tops and double struts. and figs. First we see that the seven buttresses figured by Grelot (Fig.5 analogies which had been created not many years before Frenchmen. The choir of the Cathedral of Soissons shows flying buttresses with double struts at the beginning of the thirteenth century. the only one which still stands presumably intact and unaltered. 4In Fossati's view. they should then have not more nearly approximated the vastly improved and perfected flying buttresses in use throughout western and central Europe at the end of the thirteenth century. in which the en3 trance to the cistern in the bay next south of the belfry is shown betweenthe belfry and the third buttress from the south. like the vanished belfry. pl. setting out on the Fourth Crusade.4 are closely paralleled by early Gothic buttresses in the Ile-de-France where analogies occur which are too close to be fortuitous. 127 (our fig. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 109 (our fig. 141-142.. The two central buttresses of the faqade. or any standard work on the Gothic style in France. 4). due allowance of course being made for the alterations effected by the Turks when the belfry was dismantled. 77-78. construction and dimensions they are exactly similar to those which flank them. 16. We are justified then in concluding that the buttresses of the west faqade of Hagia Sophia. and those in the apse of Saint-Leu d'Esserent. 2). the flying buttresses of the Church of Saint-Martin at Laon. thought to strengthen them by raising their sloping tops to horizontal. Moore. supporting the abutting ends upon segments of masonry between the windows. their sloping tops impinging upon the spandrils of the west triforium windows. And even agreeing for the moment with Antoniadi that the two northern and southern buttresses of the central group might represent the work of Greek hands in the extensive re-enforcement of the church in 1317. and thus imparting to the upper struts the form of pointed arches 1 (Fig. 41. Cf. p. p. turned aside to capture Constantinople with the aid of their Venetian allies. This is in unmistakable Grelot's view from the northwest. SWIFT In support of this theory strong arguments can be adduced. Antoniadi. C. who therefore declares that there were but six. p. pl. that in their construction earlier materials such as 2 Vid. 7) are of uniform type. op. Nevertheless. in essential form. also his plan.466 EMERSON H. pp.. i. note 1. more probably. doubtless considering that the struts had been weakened by the removal of the tower. the lateral walls of which were formed by their upright piers.London and New York..

FIG. 10. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions FIG.--THE FLYING BUTTRESSES OF THE WEST FAQADE.- SOUTHWESTERN BUTTRE DOME FRO .212. 8. STRUTS AND ARCHES This content downloaded from 83.20 on Sat.10.

In form. 4Width 2. XLVIIB.468 EMERSON H. while at the level of the triforium a wooden flooring has been laid and a doorway cut through to the central bay of the north gallery of the church.50 m. they were the work of western builders and were erected during the Latin occupation. like the latter.20 on Sat. and the solid walls so formed were united and strengthened by means of a tunnel vault which. their struts in the form of half-arches. like that correspondingly placed to the north. (Cf. while one. (Cf. 1 Each 2 With projecting 9.42 m. XLVIIIB. 3 Width 1. now considerably altered and obscured by incorporation in the ungainly masses erected by Andronicus Palaeologus and later Turkish builders.62 m. or more probably ten. with a width of 2. their size and massive proportions. a wall 1. of which five exist in more or less restored or altered form. and abutment of struts they resembled closely the northern pair. SWIFT ornamental string-courses found a place. following the slope of the original struts.40 m. with a width of 2. inclines sharply downward to the south. (Cf. At a later date. at least. XLVIIA. Thus an examination of the mass of masonry which backs externally the middle of the north wall of the church reveals the fact that it consisted originally of two parallel and rectangular walls I projecting at right angles and which in their lower portions back exactly the responds of the two outer columns of the central bay of the north aisle. consisted originally of two parallel masses of masonry projecting at right angles 5 and which. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Within the buttress as now constituted an irregular flight of fourteen steps leads upward to the exterior. P1. This content downloaded from 83. their powerful struts impinging upon the outer wall of the triforium between the windows of the bay and at the level of the springing of its vaults. Since the fall of the city.12 m.) Above the level of the pavement of the triforium. 6 Each projecting 9. the sloping tops of the two buttresses were united by a tunnel vault of like inclination. XLVIIB). that they originally numbered eight. thick.. perhaps under Andronicus. and the open end of the chamber thus formed was walled up 2 with the exception of a doorway 3 opening northward off-center and a large arched window at a higher level. as well as the scientific manner of their application exhibit such close and striking analogies to the flying buttresses of the west facade already discussed that there can be little doubt but that.90 m. became flying buttresses.10. Pls. XLVIIA. probably by Andronicus. construction.. The buttress at the middle of the south flank of Hagia Sophia.) As on the north. P1. above the level of the pavement of the triforium.25 m. except that they were somewhat more massive and that the more easterly of the two did not for some reason exactly back its column-respond but instead was allowed to overlap the aisle window which adjoins it on the east. they became flying buttresses. the existence of still others needed to complete a fully developed system of exterior buttressing may be reasonably inferred.212. another portal4 was cut through the western wall. however. In addition to the flying buttresses just discussed. others of the same type. the open quadrants beneath the struts were filled in with masonry in order to provide a solid backing for the responds of the outer columns of the triforium (cf.) Their sloping tops. P1. can nevertheless be clearly distinguished upon the flanks and east end of Hagia Sophia. retains intact its thirteenth century aspect. the quadrants here also were later filled in.

. must also be attributed to the latter. XLVII A. 3 Its projection is 16. p. Ces arboutans sont continus au mur. each covered by a sloping double-pitched roof 2 and now walled up and rendered inaccessible by reason of the two great flying buttresses which emerge from their roofs. Their purpose. apparently 1 Cf. admirably fulfilled. a huge rectangular mass of masonry. 14. In addition to the buttresses of French Gothic type considered in the foregoing pages.20 on Sat. . not only in that their eastern faces batter sharply. 465). p. cit. p. its width 10. Antoniadi. 4). 14. 6 Its projection is 17.00 m. op. but also in that they are provided with double struts (Fig. .50 m. one at navelevel. Their projection eastward is ca..3 Although apparently built solid. is to absorb the powerful eastward thrust of the smaller nave-pier south of the bema and the even more dangerous thrust transmitted along the line of the inner ranges of columns of the south aisle and of the south triforium gallery.e.5 From its south flank. 4Grelot says.THE LATINS AT HAGIA SOPHIA 469 the buttress has been still further re-enforced and extended southward by the Turks. and their combined width somewhat less.50 m. Salzenberg. larger and more lofty than the other. which opens from the east end of the north aisle. the information supplied by Grelot 4 as well as certain irregularities in its northern and southern faces (particularly in the former) give reasonable assurance that in its mass are incorporated two flying buttresses similar to those at the south of the apse." Cf. 465). perhaps considerably. the partial blocking of the window above this door.. etc. moreover. 9). 2 This content downloaded from 83. seems reasonably conclusive. there are others for which the archaeological evidence. its eastern face sloping sharply upward. rises to a height of ca.10. also his plan (our fig. cit. if the re-enforcements already discussed upon the flanks and west front of the church be accepted as of Latin construction. those opening to the east ends of the aisles) "sont les quatres arboutans. the other rising to the level of the vaults of the triforium (Pls.' From the exterior of the eastern wall of the church at the south of the sanctuary apse project two low chambers contiguous one to another.. we may observe in the eastern face of the great rectangular block of masonry6 which backs the respond of the main northeast pier of the nave the traces of another flying buttress. 160. 5Although denying the possibility of incorporated flying buttresses. Certain indications. These works. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . differences of material. a buttressing arch is sprung across to the adjacent angle of the sanctuary apse (Fig. II. op.. Turning once more to the north side of the church. though less clear. 8.00 m. From the northern flank of the buttress adjoining the apse a buttressing arch is sprung across to the outer angle of the sanctuary (Fig. 119: "Entre ces deux dernieres portes" (i. such as the blocking up of the small and richly moulded doorway which opened eastward from the diakonikon. The buttresses which rise through their roofs differ from the other flying buttresses on the north and south flanks of the church. Thus to the north of the apse and extending from it to within a few meters of the vestibule. B-XLVIII A).. and its width ca. the era of the Latin occupation.00 m. p. 17. op. the northern chamber.212. now takes the outward thrust of the prothesis wall and of the northern pier of the bema..50 m. p. 9. cit. prove conclusively that these chambers belong to the post-Justinian period but antedate. the existence of which is beyond question. 9. grudgingly concedes that it was perhaps not entirely built by Andronicus.

6 Antoniadi. cit. B) does not extend parallel to the lesser axis of the church but inclines considerably to the east.00 m. width 14. since there is no reason why it should have been allowed to interfere with the windows in the next bay to the east. 10. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .00 m. op. and its width ca. Hence it may be attributed to Andronicus.) Although Antoniadi thinks that the type of brick-work here employed indicates an early date within the Byzantine period.212. while at ground level it connects with the chambers north of the baptistery. and no traces of the flying buttress which probably stood here can be distinguished within the structure. Between the cylindrical skeuophylakionor sacristy and the extreme northeast angle of the church a series of three buttressing arches one above another 3 is thrown across the intervening space. II. Fig.. Of the remaining exterior buttresses about the church which rise from ground level. XLVII A.470 EMERSON H. evidence exists which proves that the same system was in all probability carried to the upper parts of the church. This content downloaded from 83. p. It is largely of stone and apparently built solid. In addition to the fully developed system of flying buttresses which absorbed on four sides of the church the outward thursts of the nave piers and the vaults of the triforium. its purpose being obviously to stiffen the responds of the inner angle columns at both nave and triforium level.' Like the latter and the one north of the apse. op. p.20 on Sat. are now inaccessible. 6... with a bearing of ca.10.00 m.) Equally clear traces of yet another flying buttress appear in the eastern face of the massive buttress which backs the respond of the main southeast pier of the nave.40 In. P1. cit. XLVII A. 10. its projection being ca. 229. older materials were here reused by the Latins. (Cf. (Cf.. its northern face showing a considerable batter. its interior is hollow and occupied by ascending stairs. op.02 m. P1. It is needlessly bulky and unscientifically placed. it is safe to conclude that it is of late date and perhaps to be assigned to the Palaeologi. Fossati. 4 Antoniadi. 920. p. B. 10.4 it seems at least possible that. it is not posed normal to the wall which it abuts. Internally it is divided into a long rectangular vaulted chamber flanked on the west by a stairway to the triforium.00m. 14. upon the aisle wall. each carried upon a squinch arch worked into the angle between the inner face of one of the four great tower buttresses and the adjacent face of the 1Except that it is somewhat smaller. two on the north side and two on the south.25 m. As represented in Fossati's plan.) Inasmuch as the type of brick employed is very thin and light. To a height of ca. as in other instances. II. in fact to the haunch of the dome itself. cit. This southeastern buttress shows a slight batter on its southern face but in other respects resembles closely the corresponding mass on the north side of the church. XLVII A.2if they still exist. PI. which. it should probably be attributed in its present form to Andronicus. 6Dimensions: mean projection 20.GObviously paired with the foregoing is the buttress which takes the thrust of the great southwest pier of the nave 7 since. XLVII A. B. Projection 14. (Cf. Cf. inclining slightly to the west. It very probably incorporates and obscures a fourth flying buttress similar in form and function to the other three along the north flank of the church. SWIFT similar to those already described at the middle of the north and the south walls.. Thus at either end of the two great lateral arches of the dome and above them on the exterior there appear diagonal buttressing walls. the huge mass which backs the respond of the main northwest pier of the nave5 (P1. 239.

5 so closely resembled Gothic FIG. pl. their original form was quite different. Fossati.. op. 31. 25. cit. Hon.20 on Sat. Relation of a Journey begun An. p. 476. p. 7. 127. Fig. upon attaining the edge of the terrace from which the dome actually rises on the exterior...10. impinging upon the latter just below its top (Fig. the crowns of the squinches stand about 39. III. Antoniadi.' (Cf. 2-Antoniadi. cit.2 Although these diagonal buttressing walls on squinches are now built up to a uniform horizontality and covered each with a double-pitched coping. From the latter. above ground level. others by Sandy. 4Reproduced from Fossati.FLANK AS SEEN FROM THE removed were buttresses. our knowledge of them is necessarily based upon the sources mentioned above.. Relation d'un Voyage du Levant.30 m. however. London. 6. op. 87. since they obviously carried to a logical completion the comprehensive system of 1 Average length of these walls is ca. and method of application they were quite analogous to the flying buttresses upon the flanks of the church and. 12 4). 3 Sketches by the anonymous artist of 1574.cit.. Lord Aldenham. These semi-arches which. op. width . Paris. when the base of the dome was strengthened by a double system of chainage.. pls. cit. p.. 11). 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This is amply demonstrated from several sources3 which show that each buttress rose diagonally and at a sharp angle from the top of the tower buttress to one of the small exterior buttresses between the windows of the dome (cf. Dom. construction. p. 107.65 m. Tournefort. while the wall and with it the face of the supporting squinch forms an angle of 27' with the lesser axis of the church. cit.6 and since no traces of these interesting structures are visible at present. 12).00 m. p. cit.212. SQUINCHES AND BUTmarks. 108. 1717. loc. cf. 1610..THE LATINS AT HAGIA SOPHIA 471 lateral arch of the dome. 243 (our figs. flying SOUTHWESTERN MINARET during the course of the restorations carried out by Fossati at the middle of the nineteenth century. 2. 10. Grelot. 25. pl. assumed the form of a strong halfarch which sprang across the open space of the terrace and met in midcourse the upright buttress between the two nearest windows of the dome. TRESSES OF THE SOUTHI.DIAGONAL WALLS. A Letter to the Rt. op. This content downloaded from 83. .. op. pp. 3). Fig. Each one of the latter. Op. III. cit. Freshfield. 1615. as Antoniadi re11. it is sufficiently clear that in form. its direction being such that the five middle windows on the north and on the south sides of the dome were comprised between each pair of buttresses (Fig. 6 Fossati. 3).) From behind each wall a roof slopes gently down to the terrace wall atop the tower buttress (Fig. I.

the flying buttress form was quite unknown before the rise of the Gothic style. whereas the squinches are probably contemporaneous with the tower buttresses. therefore. be it noted. As thus constructed they must have been of considerable service in strengthening the dome itself. seized upon the expedient of springing their flying buttresses from the tops of the tower buttresses. SWIFT 12.AFTERFOSSATI buttressing at the lower levels. WITH SQUINCH AND FLYING BUTTRESSES OF THE DOME. since the pentagonal form of the terrace roofs of the four tower buttresses shows. there is no evidence whatever for supposing that the diagonal flying buttresses were built at the same time as the squinches. moreover. as it seems. they would certainly have been built solid and pierced by a full round arch no wider than was necessary for the passage of the "roofers and workmen.10. and so leading them to the buttresses between the windows of the dome. indicates that. at the same time relieving the great lateral arches of some of the thrust upon their crowns by transmitting the pressure directly to the tower buttresses. may well date from 563 and seem to have occasioned the pentagonal form of the terrace roofs. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . if the "diagonal buttressing walls" had been of the sixth century. loc.212. having remarked the Gothic character of the buttresses. EMERSON H.. cit. As previously pointed out. nalvely suggests that the half-arch form was designed merely to afford an unobstructed passage for roofers and workmen about the terrace from which the dome rises. This content downloaded from 83.' As our resume of the terrestrial shocks to which the church of Hagia Sophia was 'Antoniadi. is that the Latin builders.20 on Sat. With equal naiveth he continues: "But these flying buttresses are very ancient. however. with the essential principles of Gothic engineering. taking what measures were possible for the buttressing of the dome itself. carrying them upon the heads of the squinches diagonally across the angle. there can be little doubt that they formed an integral part of the unified and scholarly scheme of exterior buttressing by which the Latins solidified and preserved the entire structure of the church. perhaps even dating from 563. in full accord.--HAGIA SOPHIA FROM THE SOUTHWEST. that the diagonal buttresses in question were erected contemporaneously with the parapets of the terraces themselves." The only logical conclusion." A study of the latter.47?2 FIG.

20 on Sat. It thus appears reasonably certain that the church was once surrounded on all four sides by a complete and carefully articulated system of flying buttresses. may perhaps be postulated at the southwest adjoining the baptistery. this new science of thrust and counterthrust in the support and control of lofty vaults and arches. it be admitted that the church was greatly in need of buttressing before the advent of the Latins. The Frenchmen and Venetians of the Fourth Crusade were shrewd and practical men. of the flying buttresses of the west facade. If. originally flying buttresses. the character and extent of the activities of the Latins are even more clearly evident in the building as it stands today. to justify the belief that within it are also embedded two flying buttresses (P1. smaller in scale and lighter in construction. In like manner the huge masses erected by Andronicus to back the responds of the main northeast and southeast piers of the nave show indications of the same sort of incorporations. must likewise be accepted as Latin work. B). and such a conclusion seems inescapable. The silence of the Byzantines. Having converted the building to the uses of the western faith. moreover. at least seven. And that this activity should have received no mention in the Latin chronicles of the time is not surprising.10. were representatives of the race which. sprang diagonally from the tops of the four tower This content downloaded from 83. since affairs of far greater import were afoot to be recorded by the pens of contemporary writers. but more probably ten. The former. was most deeply concerned with and most thoroughly skilled in the handling of just such problems as those presented by the threatening vaults of Hagia Sophia. were almost certainly erected during the Latin occupation. originally eight or more probably ten in number. of double struts upon the west front. four of single struts supporting the north flank and doubtless a like range to balance the former on the south. probably four of similar type on the east. the one which still presumably remains unaltered is so closely paralleled by early Gothic buttresses in the Ile-de-France that we are justified in concluding that it. then. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . together with its neighbors. the single struts of which were similar to those of the west facade. a corresponding strut. This skill. who would allow no virtues in the hated usurpers. it is entirely logical to suppose that they shortly took adequate measures to assure the stability of their newly acquired cathedral.212. the supporting masses at the middle of the northern and southern flanks of the church. Thus we have already seen that. is quite understandable also.THE LATINS AT HAGIA SOPHIA 473 subjected prior to the Latin occupation has made clear. XLVII A. when taken with Grelot's specific mention of "quatre arboutans" on the east side of the church. four others. as well as the vanished belfry. must surely have been invoked for the structural salvation of the great church. there can be little doubt that the conquering Crusaders upon their arrival in 1204 found the fabric of the church in a dangerously weakened state. more than any other at that particular period of history. and a corresponding attribution must be made for the flying buttresses of double struts which emerge from the roofs of the low chambers flanking the sanctuary apse on the south. now destroyed. If this be granted. In addition to the foregoing there may be observed in the ungainly buttresses of Andronicus flanking the apse on the north sufficient indications. a conversion which they had good reason to believe would permanently continue. while a similar state of affairs may be inferred for his northwestern buttress.

SWIFT . in view of the arguments adduced above. one of the Latin subjects of the emperor.EMERSON H. but rather that they became in fact the saviours of one of the two greatest monuments of the Greek architectural genius. Lib. That it was the work of the despised Latins appears equally certain. p. 1 Cantacuzenus. it is perhaps not unnatural that the freebooting Crusaders should have come to be regarded not only as the unmitigated scourge of the imperial city but also as the perpetrators of the most insensate vandalism ever inflicted upon the great church. IV. Bonn. since it indicates rather clearly that within some eighty-five years after the return of the Byzantines to power the Latins had obviously come to be highly esteemed in Constantinople for their structural skill. be willing to concede that the much maligned Latins were not as black as they usually are painted." The probable cause of the silence of contemporary historians regarding the important measures taken by the Latins to stabilize the entire fabric of Hagia Sophia has been suggested above. In this connection one significant fact deserves at least a passing mention. The failure of more recent scholars to recognize the hand of the Crusaders in the striking remains of an external buttressing system so typical of the structural methods of France in the early thirteenth century appears on the other hand surprising. Thus we are told that in the rebuilding of the eastern arch and dome cast down by the earthquake of 1346 Cantacuzenus and John Palaeologus were assisted "by John.10. ed. Yet in view of the hatred inspired by the conquest and the abiding tradition transmitted by Byzantine historians of the destructive greed of the western barbarians. SWIFT 474 buttresses upward to points between the windows of the dome.212. Even one most scandalously philhellene might. That this comprehensive scheme was scientifically conceived and skilfully executed as a unit for the purpose of stabilizing the entire vaulting system of the church wracked by quakes and weakened by the neglect of more than two centuries seems assured. 30. surnamed Peralta. But this opinion must now be revised. EMERSON COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY This content downloaded from 83. 26 Apr 2014 06:31:05 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions H.20 on Sat.

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