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Oaks Papers

Dumbarton Oaks
Center for Byzantine Studies
Trustees for Harvard University
Washington,Districtof Columbia


J. J. Augustin, Publisher
Locust Valley, New York

The DumbartonOaks Papers are published under the editorship of the Director of Studies and
Faculty; Miss Julia Warner, Associate Editor; Mrs. Fanny Bonajuto, Research Associate for
Publications (retired); Mrs. Nancy Bowen, Assistant Editor; and Miss Frances Jones, in charge
of Plate Layouts.

Library of CongressCatalogue Card Number 42-6499; ISBN 0-88402-072-X

Printed in Germany at J. J. Augustin, Gluckstadt
Le christianisme dans la ville byzantine

Late Antique and Byzantine Ankara

Malchus of Philadelphia


Double Names on Early Byzantine Lead Seals


The Depiction of Sorrow in Middle Byzantine Art


The Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul: The Rooms Above the Southwest Vestibule
and Ramp


Acts Illustration in Italy and Byzantium


The Translation of Relics Ivory, Trier


Eudokia Makrembolitissaand the Romanos Ivory

John VII Palaeologus and the Ivory Pyxis at Dumbarton Oaks


John VII (alias Andronicus) Palaeologus


The Preface of the Bibliothecaof Photius: Text, Translation, and Commentary

Urban Societies in the MediterraneanWorld. Dumbarton Oaks Symposium of 1976 . 351

List of Abbreviations, DumbartonOaks Papers, 31 353
(Following Page 112)
1-17. Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Seals: 10. Zacos Collection, no. 829A:
1. D.O. 55.1.4520: a. Obverse. a. Obvverse.b. Reverse
b. Reverse 11. D.O. c58.106.1169:a. Obverse.
2. D.O. 58.106.1098: a. Obverse. b. Revrerse
b. Reverse 12. Fogg 2380: a. Obverse.
3. D.O. 58.106.686: a. Obverse. b. Revrerse
b. Reverse 13. Fogg 156: a. Obverse.
4. D.O. 55.1.31: a. Obverse. b. Revverse
b. Reverse 14. D.O. c55.1.272: a. Obverse.
5. D.O. 55.1.4392: a. Obverse. b. Rexverse
b. Reverse 15. D.O. c58.106.873: a. Obverse.
6. D.O. 58.106.685: a. Obverse. b. Rexrerse
b. Reverse 16. Fogg 3197: a. Obverse.
7. D.O. 55.1.595: a. Obverse. b. Rexverse
b. Reverse 17. D.O. !55.1.6: a. Obverse.
8. Zacos Collection, no. 2435A: b. Re'verse
a. Obverse. b. Reverse
9. D.O. 55.1.624: a. Obverse.
b. Reverse

(Following Page 160)

1. Rome, Palazzo Sciarra. Sarcophagus, 7. Paris, Louvre. Pyx, The Massacre of
The Death of Meleager the Innocentss (photo: CaisseNationale
2. Bibl. Vat., lat. 3225, fol. 41r, The des Monuments Historiques, Paris,
Death of Dido No. MNLOA 1717)

3, 4. Jacob Receives Joseph's Coat: 8, 9. Paris, Bibl. Nat.:

3. Ravenna. The Chair of Maxi- 8. Gr. 74, fol. 5r, The Massacreof
mianus, detail (photo: Hirmer the Innocents
Fotoarchiv, No. 561.3041) 9. Gr. 510, fol. 3r, The Annunci-
4. Bibl. Vat., gr. 747, fol. 59r ation, The Visitation, and The
(photo: Conway Library, Story of Jonah (photo: Conway
Courtauld Institute, No. Library, No. 219/1[9])
225/19/35) 10. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 6r, Penitents
5. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol.
gr. 31, fol. 13v, detail, The Death of 11. Sopocani, Church of the Trinity.
Deborah and The Entombment of Fresco, The Koimesis, detail (photo:
Rachel Josephine Powell, No. 977-9)
6. Bibl. Vat., gr. 747, fol. 71v, The Burial 12. Paris, Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal.
of Jacob Ivory, Poets and Muse
* *


13. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, fol. 52v, (photo: Conway Library, No.
detail, The Expulsion from Paradise 276/2/18)
and Adam's Remorse (photo: Conway 30. Rome, Palazzo Sanseverino. Sarco-
Library, No. 219/2[5]) phagus, detail, Philosopher Reading
14. Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery. Ivory (photo: Benedettine di Priscilla)
Casket, detail, Adam's Remorse 31. London, British Museum. Ivory, St.
15. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 7v, Penitents Paul and Thekla
16. Ostia. Sarcophagus, detail, The Tomb 32. Munich, Staatsbibliothek. Ivory, The
of Meleager (photo: Fototeca, No. Koimesis (photo: Hirmer Fotoarchiv,
11236) No. 23202)
17-19. The Marys at the Tomb: 33. Istanbul, ArchaeologicalMuseum.The
17. London, British Museum.Ivory Weepers Sarcophagus, detail
(photo: Hirmer Fotoarchiv, 34. Paris, Cabinet des Medailles. Silver
No. 581.1325) Vase, detail, The Death of Patroclus
18. Leningrad, Public Library, MS and the Weighing of Hector's Body
21, fol. 8v, detail (photo: Bild- 35. Asinou, Church of Our Lady. Fresco,
archiv Foto Marburg, No. The Raising of Lazarus
36. Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. 1.56, fol.
19. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, gr.
13r, The Crucifixion (photo: G. B.
qu. 66, fol. 96r (photo: Conway
Library, No. 281/21/27a)
20. Xanten. Ivory Casket, detail, The 37. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, fol. 30v, The
Hercules of Lysippus Crucifixion, The Deposition, and The
21. Princeton, University Library, Garrett
16, fol. 112r, Monks Asleep during 38. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1156, fol. 194v, The
Passion and The Anastasis
22. Mt. Athos, Dionysiu, MS 587, fol. 66r, 39. Paphos, Monastery of St. Neophytos,
The Agony in the Garden (photo: Enkleistra. Fresco, The Crucifixion
Conway Library, No. 276/3/15) 40. London, British Library, add. 19352,
23. Istanbul, Seraglio, Octateuch, fol. 359r, fol. 116r, The Entombment (photo:
The Brazen Serpent (photo: Courtesy Conway Library, No. 99/27/45, by
of Kurt Weitzmann) Permission of the British Library
24. Bibl. Vat., Regin. gr. 1, fol. 461v, Job Board)
25. Coin of Vespasian, Judaea capta 41a-b. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol. gr.
154, fol. 143r,The Presentation (photo:
26. Moscow, Historical Museum, add. gr.
Conway Library, No. 264/13/14-15)
129, fol. 135r, The Hebrews Weeping
42. Cairo. Relief of Kairos
by the Waters of Babylon (photo:
Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris, Collec- 43. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 139, fol. 136v,
tion Chretienne et Byzantine) David's Penitence
27-29. The Nativity: 44, 45. Peter's Denial:
27. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1613, page 271 44. Brescia, Museo Civico. Ivory
(photo: Conway Library, No. Casket, detail (photo: Hirmer
226/57/30) Fotoarchiv, No. 561.3009)
28. Phocis, Hosios Lukas. Mosaic 45. Mt. Athos, Pantocrator, gr. 61,
(photo: Josephine Powell, No. fol. 48r (Hirmer Fotoarchiv,
Gr. 2-80) No. 644.2071)
29. Mt. Athos, Great Lavra, Skevo- 46. Monreale. Mosaic, The Disciples at
phylakion, Lectionary, fol. 144V Emmaus (photo: Anderson,No. 29683)

47-53. The Ascension: 66. Athens, Byzantine Museum.

Icon (photo: Hirmer Foto-
47. Rome, S. Sabina. Wooden
archiv, No. 644.2032)
Door, detail, The Ascension
(photo: Alinari, No. 27952) 67. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
48. Monza, Cathedral. Ampulla Red-Figured Bowl, The Ballot for the
Arms of Achilles
49. Rome, S. Clemente. Fresco
68. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 1208, fol. 173v,
(photo: Alinari, No. 26583)
The Annunciation
50-52. Salonika, St. Sophia. Mosaic,
The Ascension, details (photos: 69. Trebizond, St. Sophia. Fresco, The
50 and 52, Lykides; 51, Beat Feeding of the Five Thousand (photo:
Brenk) Dusan Tasic)
53. Stuttgart, Schlossmuseum. 70. Sopocani, Church of the Trinity.
Ivory Casket, detail, The As- Fresco, The Death of Jacob (photo:
cension (photo: Victoria and Josephine Powell, No. 987-7)
Albert Museum, London, No. 71. Berlin, Staatliche Museen. Ivory,
S 213) detail, The Massacre of the Innocents
54. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol. gr. (photo: Ann Miinchow-Lepper)
31, fol. 24v, The Death and Burial of 72, 73. Kurbinovo, St. George. Frescoes:
Jacob 72. The Lamentation (photo: Jose-
55. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 6v, Penitents phine Powell, No. 1008-7)
56. Asinou, Church of Our Lady. Fresco, 73. The Visitation (photo: Jose-
The Forty Martyrs phine Powell, No. 1017-8)
57. Bibl. Vat., gr. 749, fol. 29v, Friends of 74. Ravenna. Chairof Maximianus,detail,
Job Joseph and Jacob Reunited at Goshen
(photo: Hirmer Fotoarchiv, No.
58. Monza, Cathedral. Ampulla, The Cru-
75. Bibl. Vat., gr. 746, fol. 139v, The
59. Kurbinovo, St. George. Fresco, The Death of Jacob (photo: Conway
Koimesis, detail (photo: Josephine Library, No. 226/11/5)
Powell, No. 1011-8)
76-78. The Deposition:
60. Rome, Museo Nazionale. Battle Sar-
76. Tokali Kilise, Old Church.
cophagus (photo: Istituto Archeolo- Fresco
gico Germanico, Rome)
77. New York, Morgan Library,
61. Rome, Museo Pio Cristiano. Sar- MS 639, fol. 280r
cophagus, detail, Christ Crownedwith 78. Nerezi, St. Pantaleimon. Fresco
Thorns (photo: Alinari, No. 6403)
(photo: Dusan Tasic)
62. Florence, Bibl. Laur., MS VI.23, fol.
79. Paris, Louvre. Ivory, detail, The
58r, The Mocking of Christ (photo:
Entombment (photo: Cliche des
G. B. Pineider)
Musees Nationaux, No. 65 EN 3027)
63. Pskov, Miroz Monastery. Fresco, The
80. Nerezi, St. Pantaleimon. Fresco, The
Lamentation (photo: Conway Library,
64. Toulouse, Musee des Augustins. Sar- No. 125/15/8)
cophagus, detail, The Sacrifice of 81. Palermo, Martorana. Mosaic, The
Nativity and The Koimesis (photo:
65, 66. The Crucifixion: Courtesy of The Courtauld Institute
65. Phocis, Hosios Lukas. Mosaic of Art)
(photo: Josephine Powell, No. 82. Berlin, Staatliche Museen. Pergamon
Gr. 2-63) Altar, detail, Alcyoneus

83. Naples, Museo Nazionale. Fresco, 85. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1613, page 281, The
Hercules Finding Telephos, detail Massacre of the Innocents
(photo: Alinari, No. 12042a) 86. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 17r, Joyful
84. Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. 1.56, fol. Penitents
4v, The Nativity (photo: G. B.

(Following Page 240)

Robin Cormack and Ernest J. W. Hawkins: THE MOSAICS OF ST. SOPHIA AT ISTANBUL: THE

Color Plates: 20, 21. South Tympanum:

A. The Virgin 20. Medallion to West
B. The Patriarch Nikephoros 21. Inscription below
C. St. Constantine Medallion to East
D. St. Simon Zelotes 22-25. Alcove:
1-49. St. Sophia: 22. North Wall, Conch
1. Northwest Ramp, Exterior 23. View from Northwest
Corer of Room Over
2. Upper Southwest Corner the Ramp
(1936-37) 24. Vault, looking West
3. Southwest Corner (winter 25. Vault, looking South
26-49. Room Over the Vestibule:
4. Room Over the Ramp, South-
26. Looking South
east Corer
27. Looking North
5. Head of Southwest Ramp
28-37. North Tympanum.
6. Room Over the Ramp, South-
29. (Drawing: P. A.
west Corner, Floor
Underwood and
7, 8. Southwest Ramp, Disused E. J. W. Haw-
Section (Eighth Run): kins)
7. Staircase below Alcove 30. Christ
(1973) 31. Christ(Drawing:
8. Vault. Fresco Cross Underwood and
9. Southwest Vestibule, Vault Hawkins)
32. Head of Christ
10-21. Room Over the Ramp:
33. Throne, Right
10. West Wall
11. Vault
34. Left Foot of
12. South Wall Christ
13. North Wall 35. Byzantine Re-
14. South Tympanum pair of Footstool
15. Southwest Groin 36. The Virgin
16. Southeast Groin 37. Head of The
17. West Tympanum Virgin
18. South Window, East 38. East Spandrel between
Capital First and Second Bays.
19. Northeast Corner St. Peter and Ezekiel

39. Central Bay, East 44, 45. East Lunette.

Lunette. St. Andrew The Patriarch
and Unidentified Nikephoros:
Apostle (St. Luke?) 44. Detail
40-47. South Bay: 46. Vault. Uniden-
40. West Lunette. tified Saint,
The Patriarchs St. Stephen the
Methodios and Protomartyr,
Tarasios and St. Constantine
St. James the Great below,
41. East Lunette.
St. Simon Bishop and St.
Helena (?) above
Zelotes and
The Patriarchs 47. Vault. St. Con-
Germanos and stantine
Nikephoros 48, 49. South Window:
42, 43. East Lunette. 48. Left Soffit
St. Simon 49. Central Light
Zelotes: 43.

(Illustrations in Text)
Following Page 181 I. Plan of Room Over the Vestibule and Room Over the Ramp
(Drawing: P. A. Underwood)
Following Page 181 II. Head of Southwest Ramp, Section (Drawing: P. A. Underwood)
Following Page 181 III. Heads of Southwest and Northwest Ramps, Plans and Sections
(Drawing: P. A. Underwood)
Facing Page 189 IV. Room Over the Ramp, Section, looking West
(Drawing: P. A. Underwood)
Facing Page 200 V. Room Over the Vestibule, Mosaic Fragments
(Drawing: P. A. Underwood, 1951)

(Following Page 278)


1-8. Peter Heals a Lame Man at the 6. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek,

Beautiful Gate: cod. 1191 (theol. 53), fol. 433r
1. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39, 7. Palermo, Capella Palatina.
fol. 86v Mosaic (photo: Alinari,
2. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi No. 33129)
A.IV.74, fol. 119r 8. Sessa Aurunca, Cathedral
3. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 123v Portico. Sculpture (photo:
(photo: Perotti) Gabinetto Fotografico Nazio-
4. Vercelli Rotulus (after Cipolla) nale, Rome)
5. Monreale, South Chapel (after 9. Paris, Bibl. Nat., cod. gr. 102, fol. 7v,
D. B. Gravina, II duomo di Peter Heals a Lame Man at the
Monreale [Palermo, 1859-70]) Beautiful Gate, The Liberation of

Peter, The Martyrdom of James, and 24. Decani, Monastery Church. Fresco,
The Stoning of Stephen Philip Baptizes the Eunuch and The
10. Decani, Monastery Church. Fresco, Baptism of Paul (photo: National
Peter Heals a Lame Man at the Museum, Belgrade)
Beautiful Gate (photo: National 25-28. The Vision of Peter:
Museum, Belgrade) 25. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39,
11, 12. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch: fol. 93r
11. Vercelli Rotulus (photo: 26. University of Chicago Library,
Gabinetto Fotografico cod. 965, fol. 117r
Nazionale, Rome) 27. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi
12. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 128r A.IV.74, fol. 128r
(photo: Perotti) 28. Abbey Collection, cod. 7345,
13. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39, fol. 91r, fol. 465r (photo: Courtauld
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch,
and Saul Receives Letters 29, 30. Herod Ordersthe Execution of James
and the Arrest of Peter, and The
14, 15. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch:
Liberation of Peter:
14. Decani, Monastery Church.
29. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39,
Fresco (photo: National
fol. 94r
Museum, Belgrade)
15. Vatican Library, cod. gr. 1613, 30. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi
A.IV.74, fol. 130r
p. 107
16, 17. The Conversion of Paul and Paul Led 31, 32. Herod Ordersthe Execution of James,
to Damascus: and The Liberation of Peter
16. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39, 31. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 131v
fol. 91v (photo: Perotti)
17. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi 32. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek,
A.IV.74, fol. 126r cod. 1191 (theol. 53), fol. 437r
18. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 128v, Saul 33. Decani, Monastery Church. Fresco,
Receives Letters, The Conversion of The Arrest and Liberation of Peter
Paul, and Paul Led to Damascus (photo: National Museum, Belgrade)
(photo: Perotti) 34, 35. The Liberation of Peter:
19. Vercelli Rotulus, Saul Receives Let- 34. Palermo, Capella Palatina.
ters, The Conversion of Paul, The Mosaic (photo: Alinari,
Dream of Ananias, Paul Healed by No. 29055)
Ananias, and The Baptism of Paul 35. University of Chicago Library,
20. Rome, San Paolo fuori le mura. Bible, cod. 965, fol. 119v
fol. 310(cccvii)v, Scenes from the Life 36. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39, fol. 98r,
of Paul (photo: Fine Art Library, The Flogging of Paul and Silas
University of Toronto) 37, 38. The Flogging of Paul and Silas, and
21. Vatican Library, cod. gr. 699, fol. 83v, Paul and Silas in the Stocks:
The Conversion of Paul and Paul Led 37. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi
to Damascus A.IV.74, fol. 135r
22. Decani, Monastery Church. Fresco, 38. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 135v
Saul Receives Letters, The Conversion (photo: Perotti)
of Paul, and Paul Led to Damascus 39. Abbey Collection, cod. 7345, fol. 440r,
(photo: National Museum, Belgrade) The Miracleof the Evil Spirit and The
23. University of Chicago Library, cod. Flogging of Paul (photo: Courtauld
965, fol. 115v, The Baptism of Paul Institute)
* *


40, 41. The Flogging of Paul and Silas: 47-52. The Stoning of Stephen:
40. Vatican Library, cod. Barb. 47. Vatican Library, cod. lat. 39,
lat. 4406, fol. 97r fol. 90r
41. Decani, Monastery Church. 48. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi
Restoration Drawing (by A.IV.74, fol. 124v
Janet Brooke) 49. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 127r
42-46. The Raising of Tabitha: (photo: Perotti)
42. Giustiniani Codex, fol. 129v 50. Abbey Collection, cod. 7345,
(photo: Perotti) fol. 432v (photo: Courtauld
43. Vatican Library, cod. Chigi Institute)
A.IV.74, fol. 127v 51. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek,
44. Vercelli Rotulus cod. 1191 (theol. 53), fol. 435r
45. Palermo, Capella Palatina. 52. Decani, Monastery Church.
Mosaic (photo: Alinari, Fresco (photo: National
No. 29050, Museum, Belgrade)
46. Monreale, South Chapel

(Following Page 304)


1. Trier, Cathedral Treasury. Ivory, The 14. St. Mark Enthroned Amidst
Translation of Relics (photo: Ann his Successors
Miinchow) 15. Berlin, Staatliche Museen.Ivory Pyxis,
2-7. Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Coins, detail, The Sacrifice of Isaac (photo:
Obverse Hirmer Fotoarchiv)
2. Justinian, no. 37e.2 16. Dumbarton Oaks Collection. Ivory,
3. Tiberius II, no. 13a.2 The Nativity
4a-b. Maurice, no. 149: b. Enlarged 17. Paris, Bibl. Nat., suppl. gr. 1286,
5a-b. Heraclius, no. 13e.2: fol. 10v, detail, Herod's Banquet
b. Enlarged 18. Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. 1.56,
6a-b. Constans II, no. 22c: fol. 13v, The Ascension (photo: G. B.
b. Enlarged Pineider)
7. Justin II, no. 125a.1 19. Rome, Vatican Museum. Sancta Sanc-
8. Madrid,Real Academia de la Historia. torum Reliquary, Lid
Silver Missorium of Theodosius I 20. Mt. Sinai, Monastery. Icon, The Three
(photo: Hirmer Fotoarchiv) Youths in the Fiery Furnace (photo:
9. London, British Museum. Medallion Michigan- Princeton- Alexandria Ex-
of Justinian, Cast pedition to Mt. Sinai)
10. Rome, Treasury of St. Peter's. Silver 21. New York, Metropolitan Museum.
Cross of Justin II Silver Plaque, St. Peter (photo: Metro-
11. London, British Museum. Silver politan Museumof Art, Fletcher Fund,
No. 50.5.2).
22. Dumbarton Oaks Collection. Bronze
12. Florence, Museo Nazionale. Ivory,
Plaque, Saint or Apostle
Ariadne (photo: Alinari, No. 20848)
23. Rome, S. Pudenziana. Apse Mosaic,
13, 14. Paris, Louvre. Ivories (photos: Cliches Christ Enthroned in the Heavenly
des Mus6es Nationaux):
Jerusalem (photo: Gabinetto Foto-
13. "Barbarini" Diptych grafico Nazionale)
24. Utrecht, University Library, MS 32, 26-27b. Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Coins of
fol. 90r, detail, The Apostles' Creed Heraclius:
25. Milan, Museo del Castello Sforzesco. 26. No. 52a.1, Obverse
Ivory, The Three Marys at the Tomb 27a-b. No. 233.5: a. Obverse.
b. Reverse

(Following Page 320)


1. Paris, Cabinet des M6dailles.Romanos 13. Paris, Cluny Museum. Ivory of Otto
Ivory. and Theophano
2-4. Dumbarton Oaks Collection: 14. Mount Athos, Lavra, cod. gr. 86,
2. Folles of Constantine X fol. 65r
3. Miliaresion of Constantine X 15. Rome, Palazzo Venezia. Triptych
4. Histamenon of Eudokia 16. Paris, Louvre. Harbaville Triptych
17. Moscow, State Museum of Fine Arts.
5. Zacos Collection, Seal of Romanos IV
and Eudokia Makrembolitissa Ivory Plaque with Constantine VII
6, Dumbarton Oaks Collection: 18. Paris, Bibl. Nat., cod. gr. 139, fol. 431v
6. Histamena of Romanos IV and 19. Vatican Library, Reg. gr. 1, fol. 8r
Eudokia Makrembolitissa 20. Mount Athos, Dionysiou, cod. gr. 587,
7. Seals of Romanos IV and fol. 126r
Eudokia Makrembolitissa
21. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer
8. Paris, Cabinet des Medailles, Pattern Kulturbesitz. Ivory Plaque
for a Tetarteron of Romanos IV and
22, 23. Triptychs. The Crucifixionand Saints:
Eudokia Makrembolitissa
22. Paris, Cabinet des Medailles
9, 10. Dumbarton Oaks Collection:
23. London, British Museum
9. Tetarteron of Romanos and
Eudokia Makrembolitissa 24. Hannover, Kestner Museum. Diptych,
(enlarged) Wing, The Crucifixion and The De-
10. One-Third Miliaresion of position
Romanos IV (enlarged) 25. Dresden, Griines Gewolbe. Diptych,
11. Paris, Bibl. Nat., cod. gr. 922, fol. 6r Wing, Chairete and The Anastasis
12. Moscow, Kremlin Armory. Reliquary 26a-c. Paris, Cabinet des Medailles. Romanos
of St. Demetrios Ivory, Oblique Views

(Following Page 336)


la-f. Dumbarton Oaks. Ivory Pyxis 3b. Paris, Bibl. Nat., cod. gr. 1783, fol. 2r,
2. Paris, Louvre, Ivoires, cod. A 53, fol. 2r, John VII, Manuel II, and John VIII
Manuel II Palaeologus and Family 3c. Madrid, Bibl. Nac., Scylitzes Matri-
3a. Modena, Biblioteca Estense, cod. tensis, fol. 145v, Nicephorus Phocas
Mutinensis a.S.5.5., fol. 299r, An- Entering Constantinople
dronicus IV, John VII, and ManuelII

(Facing Page 343)

1. Marcianus Graecus 450 (A), fol. Ir, The Preface


Le present article est le texte d'une communication faite a
un Symposium (*UrbanSocieties in the MediterraneanWorld*,
Dumbarton Oaks, mai 1976) qui se voulait tres ouvert et
soucieux de comparatisme. De l le choix d'un large sujet et
le ndcessairemelange de ddveloppements correspondant i une
recherche originale et de passages plus allusifs. Les r6f6rences
bibliographiques ont 0ti rdduites i l'essentiel.
N OUS n'avons pas, pour l'etude de la civilisation urbaine a Byzance,
'equivalent des praktika ou des actes qui nous renseignent sur les
structures du monde rural. Cet equivalent, ce serait une documenta-
tion d'archives qui permettrait de tenter a Byzance-comme on commence
a le faire pour certaines villes occidentales-une analyse parcellaire du tissu
urbain, completee par une exploration archeologique plus systematique et
situee dans le temps de veritables chroniques urbaines. Le tout nous mettrait
en mesure de saisir la vie dans sa continuit e spatiale
s, et temporelle en une
(histoire simultanee de ses habitats et de ses habitants). Les vraies questions
que poseraient alors les byzantinistes seraient: qu'est-ce qui fait bouger le
tissu urbain et la societe urbaine? qu'est-ce qui permet sa cristallisation?
et ils obtiendraient de vraies rponses
problemesaux l qui, le plus souvent,
les occupent: la continuite ou non de la civilisation urbaine a Byzance, le
passage de la cite antique a la ville medievale, les rapports entre ville et
campagne, entre capitale et province.
Faute de veritables series documentaires, quelles voies suivre? Nous man-
quons encore d'etudes limitees debouchant sur des monographies de villes2,
ce qui donne beaucoup de flou a nos syntheses. Au dela, il est possible
d'accrocher a leur place sur une trame chronologique preetablie tous les
renseignements sur les villes et la civilisation urbaine tires des sources les
plus diverses; on obtient ainsi une histoire construite, mais pleine de trous,
de la ville byzantine, avec des periodisations qui sont un moyen terme entre
les continuites et ruptures constatees dans l'histoire de chaque ville. Le con-
cept meme de periodisation risquerait de devenir scientifiquement suspect
s'il privilegiait Fl'venement exterieur en detournant d'une veritable analyse
des structures et des modeles evolutifs, et s'il calquait toute histoire sur celle
de l'Empire; cet Empire dont les byzantinistes ne doutent peut-etre pas assez.
L'analyse directe etant impraticable, j'emprunterai une voie oblique en
etudiant le phenomene urbain par le biais de sa christianisation. Non que le
christianisme porte en lui un modele gen6ral de ville ou de societe urbaine3,
mais parce qu'il couvre de son nom ce qu'il y a de plus specifique et de plus
mouvant dans la civilisation byzantine, jusqu'a s'identifier a la fois a toute
evolution et a toute definition. Non que le christianisme soit cause du passage
d'un urbanisme antique a un urbanisme medieval (il serait tout aussi vrai
ou faux de dire qu'il en est l'effet), mais il colore cette transformation et
nous permet ainsi d'en suivre les detours et les contours sur la base d'une

1 Cf. F. Boudon, ?Tissu urbain et architecture:

l'analyse parcellaire comme base de l'histoire
architecturale#, Annales, Economies, Socidt6s, Civilisations, 30, 4 (juillet-aout 1975), 773-818.
2 Dernier
exemple d'utile monographie, fondee sur les decouvertes arch6ologiques et les textes:
C1.Foss, Byzantine and Turkish Sardis, Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Monograph 4 (Cam-
bridge, Mass., 1976).
3 On 6vitera
l'impasse dans laquelle se sont engages certains orientalistes en faisant de l'Islam
une religion des villes.

documentation plus large et plus pleine de sens. Pour n'etre ni trop long,
ni trop general, je me limiterai a quatre aspects de l'evolution des villes
byzantines, ou se rencontrent christianisme et fait urbain: la place des edifices
cultuels chretiens dans l'ensemble monumental et dans le tissu urbain; les
inhumations a l'interieur de la ville qui abolissent l'ancienne opposition polis/
necropolis; le role institutionnel et social de l'evque et du clerg6 dans la ville;
enfin les aspects poliades ou urbains du culte des saints et des reliques. Ces
quatre aspects ne seront pas egalement developpes.


Le probleme peut s'6noncer ainsi: eglise et monastere sont-ils, dans la

tradition antique, des elements d'un ensemble monumental, ou les noyaux
d'un tissu urbain proliferant? Sur un tel sujet, disons prudemment que la
recherche archeologique est encore insuffisante, meme si la litterature est
deja assez abondante4. Les archeologues n'en savent que mieux tout ce qu'on
attend de leurs publications....
Un premier cas parait simple: celui des temples antiques transformes en
eglises. Cette prise de possession des sites, prsentee dans les sources elles-
memes comme la victoire instantanee de la vraie religion sur l'erreur, donnerait
facilement l'impression d'une substitution et d'une sorte de conversion monu-
mentale qui laisserait a la cite christianisee sa forme antique. Fausse sym6trie,
ou du moins symetrie que l'evolution dement vite. Les quatre-vingt neuf
exemples repertories en 1939 par F. W. Deichmann5, et qui pourraient etre
aujourd'hui au moins triples, ne constituent pas une (s4rie coherente)>. II
faut distinguer parmi eux:
a) Les substitutions plus ou moins legendaires, comme celles suggerees par les
patriographes de Constantinople pour faire trembler les amateurs de diablerie
de la capitale chretienne des VIIIe-XIe s. par l'vocation d'une face secrete de
Byzance, ou pour marquer plus fortement le passage d'une religion a une
autre sous Constantin6.
b) Les simples oratoires ou les petites implantations monastiques destines a
neutraliser un site paien que les dieux, devenus demons dans le langage
chretien, n'ont pas encore deserte: entre beaucoup d'exemples, je choisirai
celui de Seleucie d'Isaurie, ou la conquete de la ville par sainte Thecle
s'accompagne de l'6tablissement, sur le promontoire maritime de Sarpedonios-
Apollon, sur l'Acropole d'Athena Kanetis et dans le temple de Zeus au coeur
de la cite, de sanctuaires propres a exorciser les lieux, mais qui ne remplacent
pas les temples et n'auront jamais meme fonction qu'eux, puisque le grand
4 Tentative de synth6se pour le VIe s. dans D. Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt im 6. Jahrhundert
(Munich, 1969). L'auteur cite un article de G. Kretschmar, ((Der Standort der Kirchengebaude
stadtebauliches und geistesgeschichtliches Problem in Antike und Mittelalter*, dans Kirchenbau und
hOkumene,Evangelische Kirchenbautagung (Hamburg, 1962), 128-70, que je n'ai pu atteindre.
5 ?iFriihchristliche Kirchen in antiken Heiligtumern), JdI, 54 (1939), 105-36.
6 Scriptores originum Constantinopolitanarum, ed. Th. Preger, Teubner (1901, 1907), 140, 214-15
(Saint-M^nas); 19, 198-99,209,215 (Saint-M6kios); 187 (Sainte-Th6kla); 234 (Sainte-IrBne du P6rama);
Nic6phore Calliste, Hist. eccl., VIII.55, PG, 146, col. 220 (Saints-ApBtres).

centre chretien s'etablit sur la colline voisine (l'actuelle Meriamlik), c'est-a-

dire sur un site vierge, et modifie par consequent la topographie sacree de la
c) La reconquete de certains lieux saints ou le christianisme a le sentiment
fonde d'une anteriorite (le Saint-Sepulcre)8.
d) Enfin les amenagements tardifs, comme a Athenes ou les travaux d'Alison
Frantz ont montre qu'un grand nombre d'eglises sont sans doute deja con-
struites lorsqu'on s'avise de proceder a la transformation des plus grands
temples (Parthenon, Erechteion, Hephaisteion) aux VIe-VIIe s.9, la ville s'est
alors retrecie, appauvrie apres les invasions des annes 580, et elle accommode
ses restes. Beaucoup de ces transformations sont sans doute mal datees, sur
la foi d'une legislation qui proscrit le paganisme, le considere un peu trop
tot comme defunt, et peut faire croire que le decor paien lui-meme a disparul0.
C'est parfois vrai, a Alexandrie, a Damas ou a Beroia; c'est le plus souvent
faux, comme a Corinthe, a Athenes, et a Constantinople meme, ou le centre
monumental paien est laicise, desaffecte, mais reste en place jusqu'a ecroule-
I1 n'y a donc pas vraiment continuite, c'etait le premier point a etablir,
de la ville antique a la ville <chretienne>.

L'implantation des eglises dans la cite, des l'epoque protobyzantine, est

revelatrice d'un nouvel urbanisme. On l'a dit, cette implantation est extreme-
ment diverse et ne semble correspondre a aucune regle particulierel2; ou plutot
cett nediversit
di ie est une ringlequi diffrencie trs tt l'Orient, o les monuments
chretiens ont tendance a se fondre dans la ville, de l'Occident, oiu la ville a
tendance a se reformer autour d'eux. Dans bien des cas le groupe episcopal
s'installe au centre, mais ce n'est ni obligatoire ni constant; cette conquete
du centre ne se confirme souvent qu'au VIe s., et l'on a observe qu'elle etait

7 La Vie et les Miracles de sainte Thecle, ed. G. Dagron, SubsHag (Bruxelles, 1978), Vie 27, Mir. 1-4.
8 Vita Constantini, III.25-28 (Saint-S6pulcre), 53 (Chene de Mambre).
9 Eusrbe,
A. Frantz, <(FromPaganism to Christianity in the Temples of Athens;, DOP, 19 (1965), 185-206.
CTh, XVI.10.16 (10 juillet 399): Si qua in agris templa sunt, sine turba ac tumultu diruantur;
XVI.10.25 (14 novembre 435): ... cunctaque eorum fana templa delubra, si qua etiam nunc restant
integra, praecepto magistratuum destrui conlocationeque venerandae christianae religionis signi expiari
praecipimus. ..
11Claude, Die
byzantinische Stadt, 69 sq.; a Corinthe, Cyriaque d'Ancone voit encore au XVe s.
le temple d'Apollon en ruines et les autres temples, cf. R. L. Scranton, Corinth, XVI. Mediaeval
Architecture in the Central Area of Corinth (Princeton, N.J., 1957), 9-10; sur Athenes, Frantz, <(From
Paganism to Christianity in the Temples of Athens>; sur Constantinople, G. Dagron, Naissance d'une
capitale, Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 d 451 (Paris, 1974), 374-76. Un recent article de
J.-M. Spieser, aLa christianisation des sanctuaires paiens en Grece*, dans Neue Forschungen in
griechischen Heiligtimern, Deutsches Archaologisches Institut, Abteilung Athen (Tiubingen, 1976),
que je n'ai pu utiliser ici, conclut d'un examen archeologique exhaustif qu'il y a rarement continuite
veritable entre temple et 6glise sur le meme site; la plupart des grands sanctuaires de la religion
traditionnelle etaient deja en decadence lorsque le christianisme s'y installe modestement.
Mise au point sur ce sujet dans Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 89-97; d'int6ressants parall6les
occidentaux sont a chercher dans Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 21
(SpolBte, 1974): Topografia urbana e vita cittadina nell'alto medioevo in Occidente, particulierement
dans le rapport de Paul-Albert F6vrier, (<Permanenceet heritages de l'antiquit6 dans la topographie
des villes de l'Occident durant le Haut Moyen Age,, 107-8, 119-26.

parfois suivie d'une sorte de reflux des edifices cultuels vers les quartiers et
la periph6rie, ou ils continuent de prolif6rer13.L'exemple de Gerasa montre
bien cette deuxieme 6tapel4.
Au demeurant, il faut distinguer parmi les eglises celles qui sont des
monuments au sens poliade du mot, et celles auxquelles conviendraient d'autres
termes, avec toutes les nuances qu'impliquent de grandes diff6rences de statut.
Le "monument" chr6tien par excellence est Sainte-Sophie, la Grande Eglise
comme il y a le Grand Palais, condu et situe dans un plan d'urbanisme pour
camper face a face les deux institutions, imp6riale et patriarcale. Insistant
sur ce caractere monumental, les sources l6gendaires qui 6voquent la recons-
truction par Justinien parlent d'impots publics (au lieu de donations privees),
d'expropriation de terrain (quand ailleurs il s'agit d'heritage)15; et elles vantent
la reussite de l'oeuvre en usant d'une comparaison avec le temple de Jerusalem
dont on comprendra le caractere equivoque en la rapprochant de l'un des
themes de la prEdication chretienne: la destruction definitive du Temple,
annonsant la fin du monde et l'attente par l'humanit de la deuxinme
parousiel6. Le cedlbre (Je t'ai vaincu Salomon#17serait un mot d'Opplschre-
tienne. Sainte-Sophie n'est nullement exemplaire, mais correspond a une
epoque et a un certain 6quilibre institutionnel. Pour compenser ce monument
unique on multipliera dans le meme temps les eglises dans la ville et les
oratoires dans le Palais. Aieurs qu Constantinoplemonumentales
se justifient en grande partie par rEference au modele, rapidement depasse,
de l'eveque repr6sentant de la cite; comme le disait D. Zakythinos, la ?(brillante
civilisation des grandes basiliquest doit moins sa disparition a des cataclysmes
ext6rieurs qu'a une inad6quation profonde, progressivement per9uel8.
Dans les villes d'Orient, l'edifice chretien est avant tout r6p6titif, et non
pas unique. Il suffit de d6nombrer les Eglises reper6es ou fouill6es (12 connues
a G6rasa, plus de 14 a Athenes, 19 a Oxyrhynkos)l9 pour comprendre qu'elles
excsdent les n6cessites du culte, ou du moins que leur multiplication et leur
repartititonne sont pas directement determinees par elles. La structure meme
des villes s'en trouve modifi6e: martyria, 2glises, monasteres s'accrochent a
toutes les asp6rites du site urbain: lieu saint, lieu memorable ou simplement
berceau d'une famille. Quelques emplacements cultuels anciens, que le paga-
nisme officiel et egalisateur avait plus ou moins oblit6res, sont ainsi rede-
13 F. W. Deichmann, RAC, II, col. 1237-41, s.v. (Christianisierung*.
14 C. H. Kraeling Geasa, City of the Decapolis (New Haven, onn., 1938). Le groupe piscopal
s'installe au centre dbs le IVe s., mais les lieux de culte se diversifient et se multiplient dans la deuxieme
moitie du Ve s. et au VIe s. (p. 66).
AtiioyiiS mTEplr-is oiKoSOIfis TroOvaoOvrij ... dcyias Soqfia., 2-5, Scriptores originum, 6ed.Preger,
16Jean Chrysostome, Homelie 75, In Mat., PG, 58, col. 685-94. La diff6rence entre temple et
synagogue ou 6glise a &te remarquablement mise en valeur par F. W. Deichmann, <Vom Tempel zur
Kirche*, Mullus, Festschrift Theodor Klauser, JbAChr, suppl. I (1964), 52-59.
AiiyraitS, 27, Scriptores originum (v. note 6), 105. Sur l'importance de cette comparaison et
la facon dont le Temple de Jerusalem a pu etre pris comme modele, cf. G. Scheja, ?Hagia Sophia
und Templum Salomonist, IstMitt, 12 (1962), 44-58.
18D. Zakythinos, (La grande brche dans la tradition historique de l'hell6nisme*, XapiolnrplovEts
'Avao,dolov K. 'Opxv6vov (Ath6nes, 1966), 315.
19Donnees rassemblees par Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 85-89.

couverts et renoves par le christianisme, plus proche de l'ethno-histoire

r6gionale. C'est peut-etre le cas de la source nabateenne de Gerasa, oubli6e
apres le Jer s. et redevenue eo
l'poqueechretienne fontaine miraculeuse o
l'eau se change en in pour 'anniversaire des noces de Cana, centre autour
duquel s'organise lentement un complexe episcopal20; c'est le cas des sanctu-
aires de la rgion de Constantnople
ntou d'ailleurs, qui paraissent correspondre
a des pelerinages pr6-chr6tiens21.Il y a aussi les lteux des thophanies (ou de
ces theophanies du second ge que snt les miracles), les souvenirs de faits
historiques, des sepultures particulieres, tout ce qui donne 'a l'difice chr6tien
sa dimension essentiellement commemorative.
Tel est le sujet mme des Patria de Constantinople ou de toute littrature
du meme genre: la mise en relation d'un lieu et
d'unee histoire; la oii une
source miraculeuse a jadis gueri des aveugles, a ot '08nryof,Pulch6rie a construit
un sanctuaire, que Michel III a transforme en monastere, et ou l'icone de la
Vierge Hodegetria continue d'operer des miracles22.L'6difice cultuel consacre
un 6venement ou en suscite la legende, il apparait et se d6veloppe au confluent
d'une sequence spatiale et d'une sequence temporelle qu'il va desormais
prolonger comme l'histoire d'un lieu. C'est sa fonction dans la ville. A lire les
notices des patriographes, on a l'impression que le hasard determine seul
l'implantation des eglises ou monasteres de la capitale, et qu'en tout cas cette
implantation ne correspond ni a un plan d'urbanisme preetabli, qui tenterait
d'organiser l'espace urbain, ni a une carte des paroisses, qui tiendrait compte
des besoins liturgiques:
Anastase fondesdeun sanctuaire de Saint-Michel la oi il habitait lorsque,
venu de Dyrrachium, il apprenait les lettres a Constantinople
Les soldats de Z6non fondent un sanctuaire la oh saint Elie leur est
Sous Leon I la Vierge est honor6e d'une 6glise aux Chalkoprateia,
la oil sa presence a laiss6 trace et miracles
Le cheval de Theodora, femme de Th6ophile, determine en bronchant
par deux fois l'emplacement d'une 6glise Sainte-Anne
Theodora, femme de Justinien, construit un sanctuaire a saint Pant&-
leimon dans un portique ou elle filait et vendait la laine avant de
connaltre la richesse et la gloire.
Anne, femme de Leon III, transforme en monastEre la maison d'un
protospathaire chez lequel elle avait 6t6 contrainte de s'arreter pour

30 Kraeling, Gerasa, 63-64.

21Peut-6tre les Michahlia
d'Anaplous et de S6sth6nion (Sozom6ne, Hist. eccl., II.3.8-13; Malalas,
ed. Bonn, 77-79)? L'exemple de Cyr et Jean a M6nouthis est encore plus clair.
Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 223; Etienne de Novgorod, Le Livre du Pelerin, dans Itineraires
russes en Orient, trad. B. de Khitrowo (Gen6ve, 1889), 120. Voir aussi ce qui est dit de la Vierge des
Blachernes, Scriptores originum, 242.
13Ibid., 236, 239-40, 242, 232-233 et 244, 248, 251.

Certes, ces explications sont en grande partie legendaires, mais on devine que
les vraies causes ne sont pas moins accidentelles; la legende aussi bien que
l'histoire a pour effet, dans ce cas, de rompre la coherence et l'unite spatiale
de la cite en y introduisant la dimension du temps.

Cette histoire que concretise le lieu de culte est le plus souvent celle d'un
patrimoine investi dans un oIKos de la ville. Par la l'eglise ou le monastere urbain
?aByzance appartiennent beaucoup plus au monde social et economique de la
ville qu'au monde institutionnel de la cite. Qu'on pense aux multiples fonda-
tions pieuses, nees de donations ou de dispositions testamentaires, qui trans-
forment une residence aristocratique en monastere, eglise ou hospice, et a
ces petits couvents dont nous avons tant d'exemples aux Xe-XIe s., qui sont
destines a abriter une sepulture familiale et a perpetuer le souvenir d'un
nom24. Dans tous ces cas, l'<asperite>a laquelle s'accroche l'edifice cultuel est
la fortune, avec les hasards de sa distribution dans la ville, dont dependra
exclusivement la localisation des fondations, et le caractere prive que ces
fondations garderont toujours plus ou moins.
Les Patria peuvent encore servir de point de depart: si suspects que soient
parfois les renseignements fournis par eux, il sont, faute d'archives, l'une des
tres rares sources qui nous indiquent la liaison entre fortune privee, fondation
pieuse et quartier urbain du Ve au Xe s. Si le detail reste flou, le mecanisme
peut s'interpreter.
La reussite d'un individu suppose, pendant toute cette epoque, sa venue a
Constantinople, son enrichissement, et l'achat, grace a cette fortune nouvelle,
d'un terrain (a batir ou deja bati) dans la capitale, un oltos qui soit a la fois
son oiKia(une residence lui donnant une "surface") et un capital investi. La
Vie de Daniel de Scete rapporte le cas tres simple d'un carrier enrichi d'Alexan-
drie, Eulogios, qui vient s'installer a Constantinople sous Justin Ier, devient
prefet du pretoire et patrice, achete une o0aiaa Eyai1r, tout un quartier de
Constantinople qui garde le nom de ra Aiy&rrTou,lorsque notre homme, com-
promis dans la sedition Nika, est oblige de s'enfuir et que les biens sont con-
fisques25. Ce que peut etre ce genre de bien foncier, la Vie d'Olympias en
donne deja une idee26: une residence, un ou des immeubles de location,
Epyaorfptia (ateliers-boutiques) et services divers (boulangeries, bains prives);
en somme, tout un complexe immobilier de bonne rentabilite, auquel sont
parfois affectees ces rentes d'Etat que sont longtemps les parts d'annone
attributes aux immeubles27et des revenus fonciers provinciaux.
Olympias donne ses oTKota Sainte-Sophie, ceux d'Eulogios reviennent a
l'Etat. Mais les Patria montrent par un tres grand nombre d'exemples que
1'olKosprive ne devient veritablement quartier que par la fondation d'un

24Voir les quelques exemples cites plus bas, note 82.

25Vie et r6cits de I'abb6Daniel, ed. L. Clugnet, ROChr, 5 (1900), 257.
26 Vie anonyme d'Olympias, ed. A.-M. Malingrey, SC, 13 bis (Paris, 1968), 416-18.
27 Sur les annones distribu6es ia
l'origine aux constructeurs d'immeubles a Constantinople et qui
o(suivent les maisons), ce qui en rend souvent des 6glises b6neficiaires, CTh, XIV.17.12-13.

etablissement charitable ou cultuel, beaucoup plus rarement d'un <?palais)> ou

d'un bain. L'eglise ou le couvent sont, sans doute des le Ve s., ce qui fixe et
stabilise le patrimoine foncier en lui donnant le caractere semi-prive semi-
public de quartier eponyme (ra 'Av-rioov, -ra eTTrpoJ,Tal EupoAtiouetc.), et ce qui
assure le relais entre l'initiative personnelle et une prise en charge par l'Etat,
autrement dit par la <gesnerositeimperiale). La maniere dont ces institutions
pieuses sont designees (ra Kdpov1 EOKOSToKo, Ta "lMou o a&yios'Icoavvis de pre-
ference a T-rO Kopou eiOEOTOKOS etc.. .)28 fait plus que les localiser: elle les lie
fortement au quartier fonde et au nom du fondateur, alors meme que l'empereur
les a soit restaurees, reconstruites et dotees29, soit creees la oiu l'oTos primitif
n'en comportait pas30. La ville, au moins cette ville neuve qu'est la capitale,
se constitue par sedimentation du patrimoine et se structure en petites unites
autour de ses eglises. En ?paroisses)? Le terme impliquerait une division
institutionnelle, tandis que les rares textes qui se soucient de preciser le sens
de ces fondations insistent au contraire sur leur independance et leur totale
autonomie financiere, qu'elles soient publiques ou privees31.
L'exemple du monastiere ue fonde Attaleiate et dont il precise le statut
par sa diataxis de 107732, nous permettra de retrouver, avec des differences
qui tienn eeen
t t 'dejpoque,les voies d'analyse que nous ouvraient dEPtles Patria.
Attaleiate a herite de sa tante par alliance, la rrpcouroo,raSa9ppiaa
un OTKOS dans la ville de Raidestos; il a lui-meme achete quelques pieces
contigues appartenant a deux autres olKol,il donne a l'ensemble le statut
religieux de TrTcoXoTpoqeTov
(hospice). Cette premiere partie de la fondation
correspond donc a une restructuration parcellaire et a la fixation d'une partie
du patrimoine (qui sans cela resterait mobile) dans un statut qui en interdit
en principe l'alienation, et en tout cas la laicisation. A Constantinople, le
meme Attaleiate procede a un remodelage beaucoup plus complique d'un
oTKOS,acquis de sa belle-sceur Anastaso, auquel il retire son rez-de-chaussee et
sa galerie sur cour (KaTcbyEov, pour en faire un petit monastere, avec
une eglise du Prodrome; ce monastere depend, dans une unite de statut
clairement affirmee, de l'hospice de Raidestos, les deux olKoIs'appellant

Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 220, 227, 252, et passim.
29 Ainsi -rT 'Apcavrfou,oi Leon VI r6nove 1'eglise Saint-Thomas que l'on dit fondee par Amantios,
ibid., 249; -rT ITrEipoVou les eglises des Archanges sont restaurees par Justinien et reconstruites par
Basile Ier: ibid., 220-22.
30 Ainsi aT-r
Kaptavouc'est Maurice qui construit une eglise, Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, II,
31Voir plus bas, notes 101-3. Je n'etudierai pas ici la distinction entre les KaSolKcd &KKAr1oial,
eglises #ouvertes8 dependant plus directement de l'6veque, et les EuKT1'plolOIKOI,chapelles #<priv6es?
relevant de monast6res ou de particuliers et desservies par un clerg6 propre (cf. E. Hermann, <Die
kirchlichen Einkiinfte des byzantinischen Niederklerus>, OCP, 8 [1942], 402-10); notons seulement
que les (6glises catholiques) ne sont pas des 8(paroisses*,qu'elles ne sont defendues avec vigueur par
Justinien que dans la mesure oiu leurs privileges sont menac6s, et que Leon VI place les chapelles
((priv6es))a egalite liturgique avec les eglises 8catholiques#, ce qui n'est evidemment pas sans conse-
quences 6conomiques (Nov 4 et 15). On peut donc dire que, dans les centres urbains au moins, il y
a a Byzance beaucoup plus qu'en Occident liberte de pratique cultuelle, comme il y a liberte d'entre-
prise economique.
32 Texte r6cemment etudie
par P. Lemerle, Cinq dtudes sur le XI6 silcle byzantin, Editions du
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris, 1977), 65-112.

orwXo-rTpopE0ovroi 'Pal8croij. Nous avons ici le cas, assurement tr6s banal tant
il est modeste, d'une fondation religieuse qui suit les contours d'une fortune
privee, la fige et la sacralise, etablissant une liaison fortuite entre deux centres
urbains, Raidestos et onstantinople, et remodelant deux iots d'habitation33.
Sans doute les cinq moines d'Attaleiate, son hospice du Misericordieux et son
eglise du Prodrome representent-ils peu de chose en eux-memes, mais ils sont
constitues par la diataxis en une veritable petite unite economique, dans
laquelle est investie une bonne partie du patrimoine, autant pour des raisons
fiscales que charitables, et qui aura a mettre en rapport des revenus de
provenances tres diverses (domaines ruraux, ateliers, boutiques ou logements
loues, ce que le texte appelle Ta vol ) avec des depenses locales (pauvres
(pau du
quartier, moines, malades, commemoraisons et, pour les surplus, descendant
Cette fondation, et en general toute fondation d'eglise ou de monastere
dans les villes byzantines, n'entraine donc pas seulement une modification
topographique et une nouvelle cristallisation du parcellaire urbain, mais,
minime ou tres importante, une polarisation economique. Tout se passe comme
si ce type de propriete urbaine etait a la fois une ref&renceindispensable a la
ville et l'element le plus instable de la fortune patrimoniale; comme si une
telle propriete pouvait se constituer et disparaitre en deux generations, avec
les consEquences que l'on devine sur l'evolution de l'habitat et la division
parcellaire, sauf si l'olKoSlaic devenait oITKO religieux et empechait le trop
libre jeu du droit successoral romain ou les empiftements du fisc. Le patri-
moine s'en trouve a la fois atteint dans sa dEfinition et consolide dans sa
duree. Quant aux eglises et monasteres, leur fonction de rouage economique
les rend particulierement sensibles aux variations de la fortune, de la circula-
tion monetaire et de la configuration urbaine; ceux-la memes dont l'existence
monumentale est attestee sur plusieurs siecles de l'histoire byzantine, ont
connu pour la plupart changements de statut ou de propri6taires et periodes

On comprend mieux comment l'edifice chr6tien peut etre associe a ce que

C. H. Kraeling qualifie de ,civic disintegration) et R. L. Scranton de ,signif-
icant decline in civic vigor*35,une perte de monumenta et apparemment
de coherence topographique, une privatisation aussi, mais relative, de l'espace
urbain, puisque les fondations religieuses sont des l'origine associees a la fortune
et deviennent les noyaux du tissu urbain dans une sorte de statut inter-
mediaire. L'urbanisme de la capitale en re9oit tres tot son originalite, mais
ailleurs aussi le meme phenomene s'observe, notamment lorsqu'une catastrophe
ext6rieure provoque une rupture entre un urbanisme herit6 de l'antiquite et
l'essor d'une agglomeration medievale.

33Miklosich-Miiller, Acta et diplomata, V, 297-98, 302.

34Ibid., 304-9.
35 Kraeling, Gerasa, 157, cite et commente par Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 101-2; Scranton,
Corinth, XVI (v. note 11), 26.

C'est ainsi qu'a Corinthe, les premieres eglises (IVe-Ve s.) sacralisent quel-
ques points plus ou moins eloignes du centre: sommet de l'Acropole, banlieue
du Kranion, site devenu
ede funraire 'Asklepieion; a la meme epoque (apres
395) le centre est remodele selon un plan d'urbanisme a l'antique, et probable-
ment sans eglise, la transformation de la basilique julienne en basilique
episcopale restant tres hypothetique36. Les eglises apparaissent lorsque l'espace
public est envahi: au IXe ou Xe s., une chapelle s'etablit sur le bema, en plein
milieu de l'Agora, la ou saint Paul etait cense avoir pris la parole37. Elle y
reste avec de multiples modifications pendant toute la periode suivante, mais
comme centre d'un quartier d'habitation de plus en plus dense, incluant
6choppes et boutiques, donc ouvrant a la vie economique un espace jusque-
la monumental. Au XIIe s., l momnastereSaint-Jean et ses dependances
restructurent en un grand ensemble la partie Ouest de l'ancienne place, tandis
que sur les ruines du Bas-Agora s'eleve un autre grand monastere38.A Athenes
encore, ou l'Agora antique est submerge d'habitations des avant le VIIe s.,
l'implantation d'eglises de quartiers et de fondations pieuses a caractere plus
ou moins familial correspond a une multiplication des centres39. Telle est la
ville medievale dont Michel Choniate est l'eveque et que les Latins prennent
en charge40.


L'introduction des tombes dans la ville est un autre changement significatif.

La legislation le souligne sans tout a fait le dater ni l'interpreter; il faut
recourir a d'autres sources pour voir comment les tombes, exclues de la cite
antique, sont partout presentes dans la ville byzantine, et pour comprendre
que nous avons la une ligne d'evolution qui interesse autant le statut des
morts que la definition de la ville. C'est bien son interet: pour que cesse le
vieil interdit d'inhumer intra muros, il faut a la fois qu'une nouvelle anthro-
pologie chretienne ait banalise la mort et qu'un nouveau type de croissance
urbaine ait desacralise la cite. La encore, l'interference du fait urbain et du
Ibid., 9-11; doutes exprimes notamment dans le compte rendu de F. W. Deichmann, BZ, 54
(1961), 159-62.
37 Scranton, Corinth, XVI, 42-46. Le ((Testament) de Nik6n 6 METavoETTE montre comment une
fondation religieuse peut prendre place au IXe s. en plein (forum) de Lacedemone, au risque d'empecher
les archontes de jouer 'a la balle ou au polo, cf. ed. Lambros, Nios'EMA., 3 (1906), 223-28.
38 Scranton, Corinth, XVI, 54-73. Cette analyse des donn6es
archeologiques doit etre compl6tee
par celle de D. M. Metcalf, ((Corinth in the Ninth Century: the Numismatic Evidence), Hesp, 42
(1973), 180-251, qui, d'apres les trouvailles de monnaies particulierement abondantes pour les regnes
de Th6ophile et Basile ler, montre la renaissance de Corinthe au IXe s., son extension vers l'Est et
la reconstruction sur les ruines ou ateliers commerciaux de l'Agora d'un nouveau centre, auquel Basile
Ier ajoute 6glise et b&timents publics (180-81, 193-96). Ces precisions permettent d'autant mieux de
comprendre qu'un nouvel urbanisme est ne, ici aux IXe-Xe s., ou l'Eglise joue un role nouveau.
39Cf. H. E. Thomson et R. E. Wycherley, The Athenian Agora, XIV. The Agora of Athens
ton, N.J., 1972), 208-19; I. Traulos, noeoSo080o1K^\S TCOV'ASivCv (Ath6nes, 1960), 130, 139, 148;
R. Janin, Les dglises et les monastOresdes grands centres byzantins (Paris, 1975), 301-40. A la fin du Xe
ou au debut du XIe s., la partie Sud-Est de l'Agora est restructuree par la construction de l'6glise des
Saints-Ap6tres b la jonction des deux rues principales; cf. A. Frantz, The Athenian Agora, XX. The
Church of the Holy Apostles (Princeton, N.J., 1971).
Voir notamment la lettre d'Innocent III du 6 fevrier 1209, qui contient une liste des 6ta-
blissements, Janin, op. cit., 324-25.

fait chretien designe a not re attention un point strategique de la grande

mutation medievale41.
Dans le droit romain, l'interdiction d'enterrer intra urbem remonte a la
<loi des douze tables)>:hominem mortuum in urbe (= Rome) ne sepelito neve
rito42; elle est rappelee ensuite plus d'une fois et notamment par Hadrien
qui fixe l'amende a 40 aurei, decide que l'emplacement de l'inhumation sera
confisque, et que le corps sera transfere extra urbem; le rescrit imperial,
ajoute leelgislateur, a une valeur superieure a toute reglementation municipale
tranchant dans un autre sens43. Diocltien et t Maximien ne font, en 290, que
rappeler la legislation anterieure44. Nous sommes a quelques decades de la
christianisation de l'Empire.
Cette christianisation ne marque pas une vraie coupure dans le probleme
qui nous interesse: rien n'est d'abord change ni dans les dispositions legales,
ni dans la sensibilite des gens. Des auteurs chretiens comme Gregoire de Nysse
et Jean Chrysostome professent le meme degout des cadavres queles atheniens
ou les rmains
m de la belle epoque, et le dernier se r6fere a l'interdiction
d'enterrer intra urbem comme a une mesure de bon sens45. Nous sommes
proches du viator auquel e les pitaphess rappellent que nul n'est immortel, et
encore bien loin du moine contemplant les <(osmis a nu)46. II y a seulement
ces morts d'exception que sont les martyrs, et le cas particulier des reli-
ques, qui ouvre une premiere breche dans les murailles des villes et dans
le vieux systeme de pensee, et qui reactive dans les rangs de l'opposition
paienne une horreur des morts poussee jusqu'a la caricature47. L'empereur
Julien innove en interdisant le transpot des corps a travers la ville aux heures
d'affluence (parce que les rencontrer est de mauvais augure) et en prescrivant
que les inhumations aient lieu la nuit (la douleur aime le secret, et le jour
41 Il n'existe pas sur le sujet de travail approfondi, citons Ph. Koukoules, BuvavrtvcovBiosKai rro-
7ATlnap6s, o
IV (Athenes, 1951), chap. 'H -rTAEvrKiali -ra, notamment 185-88; et pour certains aspects
juridiques, D. Petrakakos, Die Toten im Recht nach der Lehre und den Normen des orthodoxenmorgen-
landischen Kirchenrechts (Leipzig, 1905).
42Cic6ron, De leg., II.23.58.
43 Dig, 47.12.3 ? 5.
44 CJ, III.44.12: Impp. Diocletianus et Maximianus Victorino. Mortuorum reliquias, ne sanctum
municipiorum jus polluatur, intra civitatem condi jampridem vetitum est.
45Gr6goire de Nysse: <Les autres restes mortels [autres que ceux des martyrs] sont aux yeux de
la plupart des hommes un objet de dEgouit, et personne ne passe auprbs d'un tombeau avec plaisir.
Si, contre toute attente, il le trouve ouvert, et jette les yeux sur l'horreur des corps, c'est plein de
repugnance et gemissant lourdement sur l'humanite qu'il passe outre) (In Theodoro martyre, PG, 46,
col. 737); Jean Chrysostome: #Pense qu'aucun tombeau n'est amenag6 dans la ville ... Si l'on allait
enterrer un cadavre a l'emplacement ou tu manges et ou tu dors, que ferais-tu?* (Homelie 73, In Mat.,
PG, 58, col. 676).
4"Cf. R. Stichel, Studien zum Verhaltnis von Text und Bild spat- und nachbyzantinischer Vergdng-
lichkeitsdarstellungen (Vienne, 1971), notamment 83-112.
47 Cf. Marc le Diacre, Vie de Porphyre iveque de Gaza, 23 et 25, ed. H. Gregoire et M.-A. Kugener
(Paris, 1930), 20 et 22: les chr6tiens transportent dans la ville le diacre Barochas assomme al'exterieur;
les paiens, qui croient qu'on a introduit un cadavre dans la cite, provoquent une emeute. Un peu
plus tard, les magistrats et notables paiens de la ville viennent demander aux chretiens: <Pourquoi
avez-vous introduit un cadavre dans la ville, alors que les lois de nos ancetres le d6fendent?) Le
commentaire de Gregoire renvoie a Eunape (Vie des philosophes et des sophistes, dans Philostratus et
Eunapius, The Lives of the Sophists, ed. W. C. Wright, Loeb [London, 1922], 366), qui montre Jam-
blique renongant ostensiblement a suivre une route oi l'on vient de transporter un cadavre, et 'aJulien
l'Apostat (Contra Galileos, 335 B-C; Misopogon, 361 A-C; Oratio VII, 228 C, Ep. 114).

importe peu aux defunts)48; sa decision vise les chretiens de Constantinople49

et s'inspire plus d'un hellenisme litteraire que de la tradition juridique romaine.
Theodose Jer y revient en 381, lorsqu'il prescrit que soient transferees hors-les-
murs les sepultures qui, dans la ville, seront trouvees supra terram: elles y
seront un exemple de la condition humaine, et ne souilleront pas l'endroit
ou habitent les citoyens; et le texte ajoute que les eglises, <non plus que le
reste de la villea),ne sauraient etre considerees comme des lieux propres aux
inhumations50. C'est le vocabulaire de la tradition, a deux nuances pres: la
distinction entre le sol et le sous-sol, dont nous verrons ce qu'elle signifie a
Constantinople, et le cas particulier (que l'empereur refuse precisement en 381
de considerer comme tel) des enterrements ad sanctos: les reliques pourront
penetrer en ville, mais les morts ne pourront, en principe, les y suivre.
En principe, car a partir du IVe s. on ne doit plus invoquer la legislation
sans mesurer a chaque instant la distance croissante qui la separe de l'usage.
Notre sujet en fournit un des plus beaux exemples. Dans la codification de
Justinien, la loi de Theodose Ier eclate en deux parties differentes. L'inter-
diction d'inhumer dans les eglises est e
e reprise en des
etermes qui en changent le
sens: il ne s'agit plus de denoncer une fallax et arguta sollertia permettant de
tourner la loi et d'installer malgre tout des sepultures dans la ville, mais de
proscrire en general toute inhumation dans les odemeures des apotres et des
martyrspi5, qu'elles soient ou non urbaines. Des lors, le probleme n'interesse
plus qu'indirectement l'histoire des villes, et le codificateur du VIe s. semble
sous-entendre que les eglises ne relevent pas du droit urbain ordinaire. Le
texte du Code Justinien passera ainsi dans les Basiliques, et ce sont les
oresponsescanoniques)) qui, plus tard, le nuanceront52. Quant a l'interdiction
d'enterrer intra urbem, elle est repetee sous la forme absolue et sans nuance
de la loi de Diocletien et Maximien53,alors que la novelle 59, de 537, nous
avertit que l'usage a Constantinople existe deja, au moins depuis Anastase,
48 CTh, IX.17.5, du 2 fevrier 363: Imp. Julianus A. ad
populum... Secundum illud est, quod
efferri cognovimus cadavera mortuorum per confertam populi frequentiam et per maximam insistentium
densitatem; quod quidem oculos hominum infaustis incestat aspectibus. Qui enim dies est bene suspicatus
a funere, aut quomodo ad deos et templa venietur? Ideoque quoniam et dolor in exsequiis secretum amat
et diem functis nihil interest utrum per noctes an per dies efferantur,liberari convenit populi totius aspectus,
ut dolor esse in funeribus, non pompa exsequiarum nec ostentatio videatur. A ce texte de loi enregistre
par la chancellerie en latin correspond une longue page de rh6torique en grec, 1'ep. 136 (L'Empereur
Julien, Lettres, ed. J. Bidez [Paris, 1934], 129-31, 197-200).
49 Gregoire de Nazianze citait deja les enterrements parmi les causes d'encombrement de la capitale
(Oratio XXVI.1, PG, 35, col. 1228).
50 CTh, IX.17.6, du 30 juillet 381:
Imppp. Gratianus, Valentinianus et Theodosius AAA Pancratio
PU. Omnia quae supra terram urnis clausa vel sarcofagis corpora detinentur, extra urbem delata ponantur,
ut et humanitatis instar exhibeant, et relinquant incolarum domicilio sanctitatem... Ac ne alicujus fallax
et arguta sollertia ab hujus se praecepti intentione subducat atque apostolorum vel martyrum sedem human-
dis corporibus aestimet esse concessam, ab his quoque, ita ut a reliquo civitatis, noverint se atque intellegant
esse submotos.
CJ, 1.22: Nemo apostolorzumvel martyrum sedem humandis corporibus existimet esse concessam.
52 Basiliques, V.1.2: Mri8siskv
&KKArioji vEKpov;Reponse canonique de Th6odore Bal-
dyi( SacrrrTr-rc
samon, 41, Rhalles-Potles, Syntagma, IV, 479 (distinction entre les eglises a reliques et les 6glises
sans reliques); R6ponse de Jean de Kitros a Constantin de Dyrrhachium, ibid., V, 403-5 (les ortho-
doxes pourront etre enterres dans les eglises latines et reciproquement: le choix du lieu d'inhumation
n'a pas grande importance: laissez les morts enterrer les morts).
53 CJ, III.44.12, voir plus haut note 44.

d'enterrerElcoTrcOVvcovTEl)(ov TinSEOalovos TTci-IS TrEos54. Cette contradiction,

entre un principe et une reglementation, exprimee dans deux langages 16gis-
latifs desormais differents, celui des Codes qui conservent l'heritage et celui
des Novelles qui l'accommode a la realite55, nous la retrouvons par la suite,
dans le panorama legislatif perturbe que presente la periode post-justinienne.
L'Ecloga des Isauriens, promulguee par Leon en 726 (ou 740) et qui se veut
reformatrice plutot que traditionaliste, ne soule pa les problme6, silence
qui peut etre interprete comme une reconnaissance de l'usage, sinon comme
une abrogation de l'interdit. Et si les lois d'Hadrien et de Diocl6tien-Maximien
reapparaissent aux Xe-XIe s. dans l'Epitome legum (de 920), qui se pr6sente
comme un manuel pratique de droit mais puise directement aux sources du
VIe s., et de la dans 'Ecloga ad Prochiron mutata57,elles sont absentes des
Basiliques: la raison en est que Leon VI les a abrogees par sa novelle 53 qui,
dans un langage moralisateur de pure rhetorique, constate que depuis long-
temps la coutume chretienne a aboli la loi58.Les arguments se veulent de bon
sens, de cceur et de religion: c'est une honte pour la nature humaine que la
loi interdise les enterrements intra urbem; elle favorise ainsi les riches, qui seuls
peuvent faire face aux frais d'un long transport des corps extra muros; elle
ne tient pas compte de la douleur des parents qui souhaiteront, sans trop
avoir a marcher, visiter les tombes de leurs proches; enfin elle est inconse-
quente, et pour le montrer Leon VI suppose absurdement que les pauvres,
faute de pouvoir payer l'&Kpop&, laisseront les cadavres de leurs parents pourrir
en ville sans sepulture, ce que la loi par ailleurs interdit en faisant de l'inhu-
mation un devoir.
Il ne faut pas chercher dans cette novelle un changement dans les principes
du droit en matiere de sepulture, mais le constat d'une evolution bien ante-
rieure. Le retard est devenu si evident, de la loi sur l'usage, qu'il faut passer
d'une tolerance de fait a une autorisation explicite.

Depuis quand? et avec quelle diversite regionale? Ce serait a l'arch6ologie

de le dire. Pour autant qu'elle le fait, elle conduit a distinguer plusieurs
mod6les d'evolution. Certaines cites, les plus nombreuses encore au VIe s.,
54 Justinien, Nov 59.5 (bilingue, de 537); cette novelle se r6fere 'a une loi d'Anastase (CJ, 1.2.18).
55 Meme s'il n'y a pas de diff6rence juridique entre les lois des Codes et les Novelles, la
codification de Justinien marque historiquement une coupure entre un h6ritage 16gislatif qui sera
une r6f6rence 6crite a peu pres immuable, et les veapal Saorr6cEsS post6rieures a la codification, qui
correspondent beaucoup plus a la vocation des empereurs <lois vivantes* de corriger et d'adapter la loi
ecrite a l'evolution des moeurs; on en voit ici un clair exemple. Sur le probl6me de la transmission
du droit romain a Byzance, cf. L. Wenger, Die Quellen des rdmischen Rechts (Vienne, 1953), notam-
ment 652; sur la refonte des textes eux-memes lors du travail de condification, E. Volterra, cI1
problema del testo delle costituzioni imperialic, Atti del II Congresso intern. della Societa Italiana di
Storia del Diritto (Florence, 1971), 821-1097.
56 Dans l'Ecloga des Isauriens une seule loi concerne les sEpultures, XVII.14: A celui qui d6vali-
sera les cadavres dans leurs tombes, on coupera les mains.
57 Epitome legum, XL.39 = Ecloga ad Prochiron mutata, XXXVII.17: 'Edv -rTSv 7rr6MtE Sy, Si60cli
Tc fioKCiavopicov(TCXa.', Kai 6 &va(X6Vevos &pXcv p', Kai 6 TO67ro5
QinooOTaIKal T6 Afhiavov JQierapiperai,
K&V f avvfiSeia -rTsir6AEcos EXISmTE iV Ev aTrit* Tro*Sy&p yEVIKO1S v6po0VS IQcieV 61T rravTra)(0V; Epi-
tome legum, XL.43 = Ecloga ad Prochiron mutata, XXXVII.20: Kai crTrr6cAecos oS6Eis
68*vaXTat SVyai
58Les novelles de Ldon VI le Sage, ed. P. Noailles et A. Dain (Paris, 1944), 203-5.

reutilisent les cimetieres antiques hors-les-murs, au besoin en les regroupant

autour de martyria ou basiliques funeraires: tel est le cas, par exemple, a Side,
Korykos, Antioche, Tyr, Beroia, et meme a Justiniana prima59.Il y a d'appa-
rentes ou de reelles exceptions: a Demetrias en Thessalie, a cause de la con-
figuration du terrain; dans l'Afrique pre-justinienne, peut-etre, oiu l'inter-
diction ne parait pas respect6e60.Mais, dans l'ensemble, les cites provinciales
prolongent la tradition antique.
A Constantinople, inversement, dans la ville ou revolution urbaine et
revolution chretienne sont concomitantes, exception mais aussi modele, les
donnees memes de l'urbanisation ont ete bouleversees par l'essor demo-
graphique (la population est decuplee en un peu plus d'un siecle)61et par le
developpement de la superficie urbaine (qui passe d'environ 200 hectares a
700 en 330 et a plus de 1.400 en 412). Aussi la penetration des morts (<enville#
est-elle tout simplement ici une consequence d'une premiere extension de la
nouvelle capitale constantinienne sur les necropoles de l'antique Byzance
severienne, puis d'un deuxieme debordement de la ville de Theodose II sur
la zone extra urbem et donc cimeteriale du IVe s.62. Quelques trouvailles
archeologiques occasionnelles faites par E. Mamboury en 1947-1948 et par
N. Firath plus recemment sont revelatrices63: Constantin a fait remblayer,
afin d'etendre la cite vers l'Est, les tombes antiques qui couvraient les pentes
des collines au dela de la porte de Thrace et le long de la Via Egnatia (ou
Thracia), c'est-a-dire a l'emplacement de ce qui allait devenir le Forum Con-
stantini et le Forum Tauri. Les ingenieurs qui tracerent les nouveaux grands
axes, firent disparaitre les necropoles en organisant terrasses et murs de
soutenement et en detruisant les monuments funeraires qui depassaient. Nous
en sommes la lorsque Theodose Ier en 381 prevoit le transfert extra urbem des
sepultures supra terram et fait donc implicitement exception pour les sepul-
tures qui n'apparaissent plus en surface64.Dans sa nouvelle extension, la ville
n'est deja plus sure de son sous-sol, et toutes sortes d'histoires merveilleuses

59On se reportera aux

exemples analyses par Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 97-99.
1'Afrique, ou l'on a parle d'une influence donatiste (G. Kretschmar), voir P.-A. Fevrier,
Notes sur e dveloppement urbain en Afriquede u Nord: les exemples compares de Djemila et de
(1964),C 14
Stif, CahAch, 1-47; du meme, <Permanence et heritages de l'antiquit6 dans la topo-
graphie des villes de l'Occident durant le Haut Moyen Age>, Settimane di studio ..., 21 (Spolete,
1974), notamment 126-28 (exemple de Sabratha et de Setif, ou des tombes trouvent place au IVe s.
hors du pomerium, mais dans un quartier gagne par l'urbanisation).
61 En
comptant que, de 20 ou 30.000 habitants avant Constantin, la ville passe a environ 3.000
habitants des la fin du Ve s.
62 Etant entendu
que cette deuxieme 6tape est pr6cedee par une urbanisation des proasteia.
63 E.
Mamboury, Contributionna la topographie g6n6rale de Constantinople)), Actes du VIe Congres
intern. des Etudes byzantines (Paris, 1951), II, 244-46, et Byzantion, 11 (1936), 252; Z. Tashkhoglu,
Belleten, 86 (1958), 241 sq.; N. Firath, Les stWlesfundraires de Byzance grdco-romaine(en collaboration
avec L. Robert) (Paris, 1964), 8-10; idem, <Deux nouveaux reliefs funeraires d'Istanbul et les reliefs
similaires)>, CahArch, 11 (1960), 86 sq.;! idem, <Bizans agina ait tUg Mezarllk Buluntusu), Istanbul
Arkeol. Miizeleri Yilligi, 10 (1962), 37-41, 116-20; idem, ((Notes sur quelques hypogees paleochr6tiens
de Constantinople#, Tortulae (= RQ, suppl. Heft 30) (Freiburg, 1966), 131-39. Les
trouvailles ont 6t6 faites lors de la refection de l'Universite (entre Siileymaniye et le corps principal
de l'Universite) jusqu'en 1952, puis lors de travaux dans les quartiers de Taskasap et Capa (cor-
respondant i' la VIIe colline) en 1964.
64 CTh, IX.17.6, cite note 50.

sont relatees dans les Patria sur La decouverte, lors d'excavations, d'os de
geants ou de tombes sortileges au cceur meme de La vieille cite constan-
On doit admettre que les nouveaux cimetieres de Lavile, entre 330 et 412,
sont installes hors-Les-murs'a proximite des portes; mais ils sont 'a nouveau
incLusdans le perim&ereurbain defini par les remparts theodosiens, comme le
sont quelques monast6eres de banlieue qui deviennent alors sans le vouloir
monast6~resurbains , et cette fois ils ne paraissent pas avoir e'e detruits ni
recouverts, mais &re rest~s en usage. La d ouverte d'hypog6es, de frag-
ments d'elifices ou d'inscriptions funeraires dessinent une zone d'inhumation
entre Les anciens et Les nouveaux remparts, qui n'a du reste plus tout fait
l'unite et La disposition axiale d'une ne&ropoleantique, avec une particuli6re
densite sur La septieme colline. Sans doute peut-on hesiter sur La date de
certains reliefs funeraires67,mais non pas sur celle d'inscriptions qui prouvent
que bien apr'esTheodose II des sepultures continuaient de trouver place dans
Les regions de Constantinople nouvellement urbanisees". Une Loi d'Anastase,
reprise et precisee par Lanovelle 59 de Justinien sur Lagratuite des inhuma-
tions 'a Constantinople, apporte une confirmation; sont designes comme Lieux
habitueLs de sepulture: l'exterieur de Lavile (ca -rT-vvEcov'miax6v),LesBlacher-
nes, Sykai/Galata (-r76 'rppaacx 'IovarTivtavG$v XuOG$v) et Lazone urbaine tEXPI
TrWvvicov TELXI-V ou iaO TCOV VECOV TEtIX&V, c'est-'a-direLapartie de LacapitaLecom-
prise entre L'enceinteconstantinienne et L'enceintetheodosienne69; c'est Ia que
l'imperatrice Ir'ene transf'ere Le cimetiere des pauvres, jusqu'alors implante a
Sykai70; c'est Ia qu'il faut LocaLiserles Evacrraea cviija-raque Theophane oppose
aux 'rpoao'mc*apvflacra71, et Le cimetiere oii PselLos, au XIe s., en rentrant 'a
ConstantinopLe, voit sa familLepleurant sur La tombe de sa soeur72. Un peri-
m6etre demeure interdit aux morts, celui de La vieille cite constantinienne,
encore circonscrit par Les <cvieuxmursb, toujours visibLes et qui marquent
une etape dans Lesprocessions73:il est encore sacril'ge, sauf en cas d7epidemie,
d'y enterrer les morts; Theophane Lesuggere a propos de Lapeste bubonique
de 746, au cours de Laquelle La mortalite est si forte qu'on en est reduit 'a
TaPaa-r6Oais,5d, 25
= ps.-Kodinos, 90-91, Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 22, 34, 198-99.
66 Tel celui de Dalmatios, cf. ActaSS, Mai, vol. VII, p. 256.
67 Les reliefs funeraires chr6tiens trouves 'a
Ta?kasap et maintenant au Mus6e d'Istanbul (une
traditio legis et une majestas domini) 6taient dat6s par N. Firath du ye ou du debut du VIe s. (voir
ci-dessus note 63); A. Grabar propose une datation plus haute (vers 400) dans Sculptures byzantines
de Constantinople, IVP-X6 s. (Paris, 1963), 37-39; mais parmi les arguments invoqu6s, il en est un
qui ne nous parait pas convaincant: l'impossibilit6 de trouver une tombe 'a cet endroit, c'est-'a-dire
intra muros, apr6s 412.
68 Cf. A. M. Schneider, #Gotengrabsteine aus Konstantinopel*, Germania, Anzeiger der Rdmisch-
germanischen Kommission des Deutschen Archdologischen Instituts, 21 (1937), 175-77. Il s'agit de
tombes du VIe s. 69 CJ, 1.2.18; Justinien, Nov 59.5.
70Ps.-Kodinos, 11.87 et 177, Scriptores originum, td. Preger, 246, 270: T6v 89 a&ysovAovx&v,iv 4
ol -rE3vECbr-e3&rroovrat... Zi'riov Elpfivrif 'A3ilva{a 61TcaS&oapE&v 3&r-rovrratot -rivyrens.Sur -r&'Iepiov,
cf. J. Pargoire, IRAIK, 4 (1899), 45-56.
71 Th6ophane, ed. C. de Boor, I (Leipzig, 1883), 423.
72 K. N. Sathas, Meaacuwnvdj BiP?toSAiKn, V (Venice-Paris, 1876), 29: ME-TvXov Piv oiiv A.8-nTb -MXos
6 Or
Kai Kcrr'&KWvo-tb ppoS yev6W6voSIv3a aTb
EIaEWLTAW96J3S, -r$Sartto ...
T1s dc&5AXiis
73 des cort6ges triomphaux: la Voie triomphale franchissait la muraille constantinienne 'a
l'Exakionion, cf. Janin, Constantinople byzantine, 2e 6d. (Paris, 1964), 28.

enterrer Ev8ov TC-rVTrcoaalccv-T?rEtXV,dans les jardins et espaces publics74. Sans

doute la novelle de Leon VI n'enonce-t-elle aucune restriction en autorisant
l'inhumation intra urbem, mais c'est peut-etre plus affaire de sensibilite et
d'usage que de loi; sans doute aussi des tombes ont-elles fini par penetrer
a l'interieur des (?anciensmurs)>,mais grace au cheval de Troie que sont les
eglises funeraires, et non pas sous la forme institutionnelle des cimetieres.
Meme a Constantinople il reste une cite dans la ville; la repartition des
sepultures colore differemment un espace plus sacre qu'ont defini les rites de
la limitatio, de la consecratio et de la dedicatio, et un espace profane qui est
celui de l'accroissement demographique, celui d'une ville qui a triple sans avoir
eu de second fondateur.
En dehors de Constantinople, en dehors de Rome que les necessites du
siege de 408 transforme en ?<tombeau>de ses propres habitants75,il faut analyser
le cas des agglomerations que les invasions slave, perse ou arabe ont detruites
ou depeuplees, qui ont perdu leur caractere de cite pour renaitre villes medie-
vales aux Xe-XIe s. C'est encore l'evolution demographique, mais jouant en
sens inverse, qui perturbe ici l'urbanisme classique et implante des cimetieres
dans les villes. Les fouilles medievales de Corinthe ont revele l'existence de
sept concentrations importantes de tombes en plein centre de l'antique cite'.
Trois d'entre elles remontent aux VIIe-VIIIe s., c'est-a-dire a une epoque
oui le site est quasi abandonne et a en tout cas perdu son aspect urbain, mais
ils y restent lorsque la ville se ranime; quatre nouveaux sont implantes a
proximite et associes a des eglises ou couvents entre le IXe s. et le temps des
Croisades qui marque un nouveau tournant76. De la meme faSon, un change-
ment complet s'opere dans la distribution de l'espace urbain a Athenes apres
les invasions slaves des annees 580: un cimetiere est cree sur le site de l'ancienne
Agora, en liaison avec differents lieux de culte, et des tombes byzantines du
Xe s. ont ete trouvees notamment a proximite de l'Odeon77. A Sardes encore,
ou le dispositif des necropoles antiques parait s'etre a peu pres conserve
jusqu'en 616, la destruction de la cite par les Perses est suivie d'une modeste
renaissance d'agglomerations eparses ayant leur ((self-sufficiency)>
et regroupant
aussi bien les morts que les vivants dans un entassement de tombes et de
maisons78.Deux elements se retrouvent a peu pres regulierement pour faire de
la ville byzantine une cite qui absorbe ses morts: une perturbation demo-
graphique entrainant une variation ou un abandon des remparts et effacant
plus ou moins leur caractere sacre de limite, et une nouvelle repartition de
l'espace urbain en quartiers.
Ce sont des tombes qui entrent dans la ville, non l'institution cimeteriale
elle-meme, laquelle tend a disparaitre par une sorte de compensation. Le

74... ov Jll\VaiAa Kci TOiSEvSovT-CVTiaalCav -C T1XCov KT)roVUs?isTrIVrTOiaVrv

TrpoXcpioaia TCV
r avpco-rri-
vCov C
coodrTCOv Tapilv ..., Theophane, loc. cit.
75 Zosime, V.39.3: ... TaCpos jv i TrrOAiSrTCOv -rTve-rTov ...
Scranton, Corinth, XVI, 29-31 et passim.
77 A. Frantz, The Middle Ages in the Athenian
Agora, Excavations of the Athenian Agora, Picture
Books, 7 (Princeton, N. J., 1961); et les travaux cites plus haut, note 39.
78 Cf.
Foss, Byzantine and Turkish Sardis (v. note 2), 39-40, 46-48, 70, 73-75.

monde des morts perd de son unite et de sa coherence aussi bien dans le
domaine de l'eschatologie que dans celui des pratiques fun6raires: les deux
plans se completent et s'expliquent sans qu'on puisse etablir entre eux d'autres
liens qu'un large synchronisme. L'hagiographie oppose progressivement a l'idee
d'une condition commune dans la mort et a l'attente d'une resurrection collec-
tive, encore si fortement exprimees au VIe s., celle d'une rmuneration indivi-
duelle et d'une place devolue a chacun apres sa mort en fonction de sa vie79;
et a cette hierarchisation des recompenses et des peines post mortemcorrespond
une diversification es modes et des lieux de sepulture selon la saintete, le
rang, la fortune et meme le type de mort. Les condamnes ou suicides (pioSAvarol)
sont enterres a part 8, sans doute parce qu'a Byzance comme ailleurs on craint
leur vengeance; les etrangers et les pauvres ont droit a des oevo-rTaqa81; l'argent
permet inversement aux plus riches de fonder un monastere pour y avoir
leur tombe et celles de leur famille, ou d'acheter un lieu de sepulture dans un
monastere existant82; nous retrouvons ici le role du patrimoine: c'esta l'occa-
sion ou en prevision de la mort qu'il tend a se figer en fondations. Les eglises
n'ont pas eu seulement pour role de faire entrer subrepticement-comme
disait Dyggve83-la necropole dans la cite, mais de faire eclater le monde de la
mort et de differencier les morts. Le culte des reliques et la liturgie eucharisti-
que ont cet effet par la dialectique qu'ils instaurent entre une <vraie vie# et
une<vraie mort)>,rompant avec le dualisme antique; et surtout l'eglise, meme
garnie de tombes, n'est jamais cimetire: l'usage semble s'etre fixe dans un
assez subtil equilibre entre l'interdiction pure et simple d'enterrer la ou sont
conservees des reliques et la vieille attirance qui groupait les sepultures ad
sanctos; des saints veritables aux pieux eveques, clercs ou moines, qui <morts
ne sont pas morts>84, aux empereurs et hauts dignitaires, et jusqu'aux p6cheurs
dont un miracle expulsera le corps, comme une charogne, du sanctuaire oht
79Voir, par exemple, la Vie d'Andre Salos (PG, 111, col. 664-77 et 772-73 notamment) ou la Vie
de Basile Jeune
le (6d. S. G. Vilinskij [Odessa, 1911]). Aboutissement iconographique: la mort du juste,
distinguee de celle du pecheur; cf.'EprilvEiarijs coypapwKn s
TXVTiS, ed. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus
(Saint-Petersbourg, 1909), 212-13.
80 IUs sont enterr6s ai
nEayiov, cf. Th6ophane, ed. de Boor, I, 420, 437, 442; Janin, Constan-
tinople byzantine, 2e ed., 405; idem, Lageographie eccldsiastique de I'Empire byzantin, Premiere Partie,
Tome III. Les glises et les monasteres (Paris, 1953), 409. On ne fait pour les pioS&oroi aucun service
fun6bre (Cassien, PL, 49, col. 529); il faut pour les enterrer une permission sp6ciale (Basiliques,
60.53.3); ce traitement particulier repose sans doute sur la croyance, contre laquelle lutte Jean
Chrysostome, que ceux qui sont morts de mort violente deviennent sur terre des demons (PG, 48,
col. 963). Nous sommes tres pres de ce que Frazer appelait ((la peur des morts*, et de la distinction
habituelle dans les soci6tes eprimitives? entre mort naturelle et mort violente.
81 Ps.-Kodinos, 85, Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 246; Th6ophane, ed. de Boor, I, 106; pour
Antioche, Jean Moschos, Pratum spirituale, 88, PG, 87, col. 2945; pour Emese, Das Leben des heiligen
Narren Symeon von Leontios von Neapolis, ed. L. Ryden (Stockholm, 1963), 168. IL s'agit tant6t de
caveaux sp6ciaux, tant6t, comme a Constantinople, de veritables fosses communes.
82 Parmi une
longue liste d'exemples, qui pourrait commencer avec Rufin et son apostoleion des
Rufinianae (395), citons les monasteres TCa)Vracrpiov, Tris Ep9poorIvrIS, de Constantin Lips, de Saint-
Mamas apres sa reconstruction par Georges de Cappadoce, du Chartophylax, du Christ Philanthrope
(Janin, Eglises et monasteres, s.v.). Michel Attaleiate, quant a lui, a achete une tombe familiale dans
le monastere de Saint Georges Av-r4 KvTrapiaicp.
83 E.
Dyggve, #The origin of the Urban Churchyard#, CIMed, 13 (1952), 147-58.
84 La Vie et les Miracles de sainte
Thhcle, ed. Dagron, Mir. 30;
l'expression est employee a propos
de deux 6v6ques enterr6s exceptionnellement dans le collateral Sud l'6glise
de Sainte-Th6cle pres de

ils sont indument enterres85,une hierarchie se dessine, qui tend a faire dependre
l'emplacement des tombes de criteres de dignite et de moralite86,et a ordonner
les morts eux-memes entre les deux absolus de la mort et de la vie.
Chaque sepulture devient, a ce compte, un cas particulier, et la dispersion
prevaut. Mais il y a aussi le phenomene collectif, bien connu des archeologues,
des cimetieres spontanes, et souvent provisoires, qui s'installent sur le site
d'eglises, de monasteres ou de monuments publics abandonnes, a la recherche
d'un peu de sacre et surtout d'une terre dont le statut interdise l'alienation:
la basilique B de Philippes ecroulee, le monastere Saint-Menas lorsque Symeon
le Nouveau Theologien vient le restaurer87,plus tard le Grand Palais88. II
s'ensuit une grande spontaneite du fait cemeterial; les lieux d'inhumation se
trouvent de plus en plus lies au tissu urbain, marquant ses points forts, se
coulant dans ses vides, se fractionnant selon les fondations et les quartiers,
se depla9ant selon les epoques.
Cette nouvelle repartition des vivants et des morts dans l'espace urbain est
assurement a inclure dans une definition de la ville byzantine; des perturba-
tions demographiques suffisent sans doute a l'expliquer, le christianisme lui
donne forme et justification.


L'evolution institutionnelle et sociale qui fait de la cite paleochretienne une

ville byzantine ne peut, bien sur, s'interpreter a partir des seules sources
ecclesiastiques ou a propos des seuls problemes oful'Eglise se trouve impliquee.
Mais ces sources et ces problemesindiquent, comme par un flechage, une
direction constante: le progressif deperissement d'une legislation qui visait
(et reussissait plus ou moins) a controler les phenomenes sociaux et economi-
ques, et l'apparition sous le couvert de l'Eglise, du cadre institutionnel qu'elle
propose, des privileges qu'elle obtient, d'une societe urbaine que partagent
et regissent ses propres interets.
On a beaucoup ecrit sur le role de l'eveque et de l'institution episcopale
dans la cite89, evoque l'image de ces grands pasteurs evergetes, constructeurs
et administrateurs prenant en charge-tels Basile a Cesaree ou Theodoret a
Cyr-le monde des pauvres, des veuves, des malades, s'occupant d'edilite et
comblant progressivement un grand vide institutionnel90. Et il est bien vrai
que l'existence d'un siege episcopal est devenue, au moins a partir de Chalce-

85 Cf. les histoires exemplaires rapport6es par

Gr6goire le Grand, Dialogus IV.51-54, PL, 77,
col. 412-16.
86 Voir le texte tardif de Symeon de Thessalonique (mort en 1429), De finzeet exitu nostro e vita
et de sacro ordine sepulturae, PG, 155, 676-80; voir 6galement l'ordre hi6rarchique prevu pour l'inhu-
mation des moniales de la KEXapt-rcopivrl,Miklosich-Miiller, Acta et diplomata, V, 372-73.
87 Nicetas
St6thatos, Vie de Symlon le Nouveau Theologien, 34, ed. I. Hausherr (Rome [1928]), 47.
88 The Great Palace of the
Byzantine Emperors, First Report (Oxford, 1947), 27-28.
89 Cf. notamment E.
Kirsten, <Die byzantinische Stadt*, Berichte zum XI. intern. Byzantinisten-
Kongress (Munich, 1958), passim; Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 107 sq.
90 Th6odoret, Ep. 81; voir aussi Zacharias de
Mityl6ne, Chron., VII.6 (fondation de Dara/Anasta-
siopolis), et des documents 6pigraphiques tels que MAMA, III, 566-67 (no 106a), et AnalBoll, 30
(1911), 316.

doine, le signe distinctif de la cite; que l'eveque est devenu, par fonction, le
chef d'une assemblee de clercs et de notables qui remplace la curie dans la
designation du curatorlTrrcr6ip 'ro?cos, du defensorlxbSiKoset des autres SlolKrlTai91.
Telle est la solution d'Anastase, puis de Justinien pour redonner vigueur a
l'institution poliade, par reference a un modele politique traditionnel qui
equilibre representation municipale et pouvoir imperial delegue a des fonc-
tionnaires locaux. Mais il est clair quel'eveque, en se substituant aux magistrats
municipaux, joue un peu le meme role subversif que l'eglise en se substituant
au temple dans le schema de l'urbanisme antique.
La legislation du VIe s. aboutit a une veritable elimination du pouvoir
provincial au profit d'une sorte de pouvoir urbain qui ne reconnait plus que
l'empereur:. eveques, clercs et TrpoTA-rov-rTs
sont officiellement habilites a adresser
des demandes ou des ambassades dans la capitale, notamment pour se plaindre
des provinciarumjudices et denoncer leurs exactions92; la juridiction episcopale
s'elargit a mesure que la partialite du gouvemeur est tenue pour habituelle.
Le resultat est cette etonnante novelle de Justin II, qui decide, en 569, que les
praesides des provinces seront choisis et presentes a la designation imperiale
par l'eveque du lieu et l'elite des KT-rTOpeKal oiKTropEs, IVa.. .xi
. EvoiTIVS iT-reoirrl-
covT-rs aslKoTEvaLCras. L'empereur est encore necessaire pour con-
-rais rrapXiats
ferer TOtr
Oi(Po7a rfs apxis, mais c'est a l'aristocratie locale qu'il reconnait le
droit de gerer ses propres affaires; tout pouvoir qui n'est pas issu de la ville
est repute<(etranger#. Meme si la loi n'est guere efficace, meme si elle ne vise
qu'a supprimerl'abus des sufiragia et ne fait qu'etendre al'Empire entier le
systeme mis au point par Justinien pour l'Italie reconquise, ses dispositions
enregistrent un nouveau partage des competences politiques93.
Se produit donc des le VIe s., sous le couvert de l'institution episcopale, un
decollement entre les structures etatiques, reduites a leur aspect militaire et
fiscal, et une societe urbaine plus librement organisee qui va faire prevaloir
ses choix. Sort de cette evolution une regionalisation qui ne fait que reconnaitre
l'eloignement de Constantinople et la suprematie de quelques grands centres
urbains sur des cites en decadence, la dissidence des capitales orientales qui
decident, a l'initiative de leur eveque, de negocier avec les conquerants de
l'Islam pour poursuivre leur destin de vile94, etl'Empire des themes. Dans
un texte comme la Chroniquede Josue le Stylite (vers 510-515) le gouverneur
d'Osrhoene existe encore entre l'eveque et l'armee, entre l'empereur et la ville,
et quand il est dit aux troupes de Qawadh, ?Vous savez par experience que
cette ville n'est ni a vous ni a Anastase, mais au Christ qui l'a benie#, ce n'est
pas encore pour justifier, mais pour conjurer une dissidence95; mais bientot
91CJ, 1.4.19; MAMA, III, 122-9 (no 197); Justinien, Nov 15 de 535 et 128 de 545. Cf. A. H. M.
Jones, The Later Roman Empire (Oxford, 1964), 758-59.
Justinien, Nov 86 de 536 et 134.3 de 556; voir aussi MAMA, III, 122-29.
93 Nov 149; cf. Claude, Die byzantinische Stadt, 119-20; Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 306 et 395.
Theophane, ed. de Boor, 338-39 (Kyros d'Alexandrie); Michel le Syrien, Chronique, 6d. et trad.
J.-B. Chabot, II (Paris, 1901), 425 (Kyros d'Alexandrie, Sophronios de Jerusalem).
95 The Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite, chap. 39, 40, 42, 61, 78, 6d. et trad. W. Wright (Cambridge,
1882), 29-31, 52-53, 63. Les ambassades a Constantinople sont aussi bien le fait de Mar Pierre que
du gouverneur.

l'homme de Dieu se trouve seul devant l'homme de guerre (Pierre, frere de

Maurice, devant l'eveque d'Asemos)96,le representant de Constantinople devant
le clerge organise d'une cite qui n'est plus que sa residence et oiuil est etranger;
la societe de regions plus autonomes comme l'exarchat de Ravenne ne connait
plus guere qu'un clivage: l'appartenance a l'Eglise ou a l'armee97. La ville
demeure siege episcopal, ou metropole, mais son statut politique est mis entre
parentheses, au moins jusqu'a ce que l'Etat byzantin entreprenne une sorte de
reconquete politique de ses villes, au XIe s., avec l'eclatement des themes et la
nouvelle importance du krites et de l'archonte98.
Il faudrait ajouter que la geographie ecclesiastique, malgre le fameux prin-
cipe d' <#accommodement>, n'est jamais tout a fait celle de l'Empire: le decou-
page en patriarcat delimite des 451 ce qui restera de l'Empire byzantin apres
le VIIe s. et ce que conquetes ou invasions en detacheront; inversement, la
hierarchie ecclesiastique du temps des Comnenes cherche a maintenir la fiction
d'une unite par-dela les fluctuations territoriales99. Ces ecarts interessent au
premier chef l'histoire des villes.

et non pas du tout comme le president d'une assembleede type curial, c'est-

hautes et basses couches du clerge sont renforceesen Orient par un certain

entree dans les ordres majeurs, la latitude, si bien attestee par l'epigraphie
et les papyrus, qu'ont les moines aussi bien que les clercs d'exercerun metier
(potiers, medecins, bateliers...), et surtout par le caractere extremement
mouvant du monachisme.D'une certainefa9on,si l'eveque est le representant
ideal des possedants, les moines constituent la population urbaine type dans
les villes o ils s'installent: ils sont un lment
ogrhiqeent instable,
generalement etranger, generalement fondu dans le tissu urbain ou les faubourgs
des villes, comme le sont les martyria ou les fondations qu'ils animent10?.Aussi
96Th6ophylacte Simocatta, VII.2-3, 6d. C. de Boor
(Leipzig, 1887), 249-50.
97 Cf. A. Guillou, Rdgionalisme et inddpendance dans l'Empire byzantin au VIIe s. L'exemple de
'Exarchat et de la Pentapole d'Italie (Rome, 1969), 179.
98 Helene Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, ,L'administration de
l'Empire byzantin aux IXe-Xe s.), BCH, 84
(1960), 70-78.
99A la fin du XIe et au XIIe s.
beaucoup des eveques dont les noms figurent dans les listes de
presence des reunions synodales ont df abandonner leur siege; le probl~me est pose de savoir s'il
faut ou non revenir sur l'interdiction d'elire un eveque et de l'ordonner a Constantinople meme, cf.
N. Oikonomides, o(Un decret synodal inedit du patriarche Jean VIII Xiphilin concernant l'election
et l'ordination des 6evques,, REB, 18 (1960), 55-78. I1 y a donc soit des eveques in partibus, soit
une intervention religieuse effective du patriarcat de Constantinople et de l'empereur dans les terri-
toires soumis aux Turcs: Euthyme Malakes, dans le discours qu'il adresse i Manuel Comnene a
l'occasion de la venue de Kilidj Arslan a Constantinople en 1161, declare que Byzance continue de
nommer les 6evques dans tout ce qui fut l'Empire, cf. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Noctes Petro-
politanae (Saint-Petersbourg, 1913), n0 6, p. 162-86.
100 Voir ce que nous apprennent a ce sujet le canons s 4, 8, 18, 23, 24 du concile de Chalcdoine.

bien au temps des grandes heresies que du schisme arsenite et de l'opposition

a Michel VIII, la mobilisation du tagma monastique est au plus pres de ce
que nous appellerions une agitation urbaine.
Quant a la fortune de 'Eglise, qui se developpe a l'abri d'une legislation
d'exception et d'exonerations fiscales, elle est par essence cumulative, puisque
le transfert du patrimoine laic vers le statut de bien ecclesiastique est en
principe sans retour. L'Etat s'en trouve prive, d'une fa9on qui devient drama-
tique au XIIe s., de ses ressourcessnormales et des ses bases d'imposition.
Ceci est bien connu; mais il faut voir que cette fortue n'est que partiellement
thesaurisee: elle se redeploie en une vritablel conomie parallele. On peut du
reste e oilla s en mos parler de (fortunede l'Eglise, mais plutot de la
fortune des institutions pieuses, et bientot du statut eccl6siastique ou monasti-
que de certains biens: car l'Eglise cesse tres tot d'etre une unite economique.
A Constantinople, des le Ve s., une mesure decentralisatrice prise a l'initiative
de l'econome Markianos laisse a chaque tglise la libre disposition des offrandes
qu'elle re9oit qui devaient etre precedemment regroupees a la Grande Eglise
et redistribuees'01; dans le meme temps les fondations culturelles dont nous
avons parle sont dotees, et les economes sont declares necessaires pour la
bonne gestion de tous ces investissementsl02. Partout, sans doute, ou testa-
ments et donations se concretisent en monasteres et en eglises, la meme
autonomie financiere est de regle; et nous en arrivons ainsi au genre de fonda-
tions qu'illustre la diataxis d'Attaleiate: ecclesiastique, mais soustraite a toute
a de Eglise; familiale, mais sans que les descen-
juridiction ou droit de regard
dants aient droit d'en modifier le statut et les regles de gestionl03. Dans ce
systeme d'economie urbaine, le statut de bien ecclesiastique sert avant tout
de protection a l'avoir familial.
Bien loin de supprimer les inegalites sociales, 'Eglise les retrouve en son
sein, et par ses activites charitables elle consacre l'existence d'un monde des
riches et d'un monde des pauvres, entre lesquels elle 6tablit les transferts et
compensations indispensables a un equilibre social minimum. Un exemple fera
comprendre le sens de 'revolution. En 537, Justinien, en vritable empereur
romain, confirmait la gratuite des inhumations Constantinople pour tous les
citoyens, que la loi cherchait a maintenir dans une relative 6galit6, et il
renouvelait a la Grande Eglise l'attribution de revenus lui permettant de faire
face a cette charge publique104.A la fin du IXe s., evoquant la meme institu-
tion, Leon VI ne la comprend plus, ne sait plus a quoi servent ces memes
revenus, qui sont devenus un privilege sans charges correspondantes, et con-
state seulement que Sainte-Sophie assure gratuitement l'enterrement des
pauvres sur les donations des riches'05. Nous sommes passEs du langage de
1'Etat a celui de 1'Eglise, et d'un modele de soci&t6poliade (egalite theorique
des citoyens) a un modele de societe urbaine (compensation de l'exc6s de
pauvrete par le surplus de richesses).
101Theodore le Lecteur, Hist. eccl., 1.13, PG, 86, col. 172-73.
Obligation 6noncee dans le canon 26 du concile de Chalc6doine, et reprise dans le canon 11

du concile de Nicee II. 103Miklosich-Muller, Acta et diplomata, V, 320-21.

104 Nov 43 de 536. 105 L6on VI, Nov 12.

L'institution ecclesiastique dessine donc bien, encore une fois, les limites
extremes du phenomene urbain: une definition politique en marge de l'Empire,
et ce que nous appellerions une economie de <(libreentreprise).


Les metamorphoses du culte des saints me paraissent intimement liees aux

mutations de la geographie urbaine, et c'est cette derniere interference du
christianisme et de l'histoire des villes que j'evoquerai tres brievement pour
L'hagiographie nait de l'existence des cites et se nourrit de leur diversite
cultuelle. Saint Demetrius est le saint de Thessalonique; ecrire ses Miracles
est faire la citcron
chronique de la dans la mesure ou les miracles collectifs
l'emportent sur les miracles individuels. Cette saintete regionale a parfois un
enracinement plus lointain: la permanence d'un lieu saint ou d'un pelerinage
favorisant, comme au temple d'Isis Mnouthis christianise par les reliques de
Cyr et Jean, une simple substitution de cultel06, la pratique cultuelle survivant
au changement religieux. Il est, au total, naturel que le christianisme retrouve,
par le culte des saints, les structures pluralistes de la societe poliade, les
ravive et les renforce. Mais l'hagiographie propose gneralement un schema
plus complexe: elle decrit les saints comme autant de responsables locaux ou
de fonctionnaires qui ont recu delegation du Christ-empereurl07; ainsi la
pluralite des cites rentre dans l'unite de l'Empire. Elle peut aussi, par la
geographie des miracles, les deplacements des saints, les pelerinages, le calen-
drier des panegyries, souligner l'existence de regions, de villes preponderantes
et de cites ou bourgs satellises: la Seleucie de sainte Thecle et la Tarse de
saint Paul sont ainsi designees comme les poles urbains de la Cilicie des
montagnes et de celle des plaines; villes rivales et cultes rivauxl08. Une carte
apparait, plus contrastee, des metropoles.
Mais il y a surtout la diffusion des cultes et des reliques, qui fait que le
saint n'appartient plus vraiment a sa cite, que la cite devient ville ouverte
pour toute saintete. Transforme en relique ou en icone, le saint se demultiplie
a l'infini, et la specificite geographique de la saintete s'estompe au profit d'une
specificite charismatique: saints a invoquer pour le repos des ames, saints
militaires, saints guerisseurs de telle ou telle maladie. II s'agit la d'une etape
importante, assez rarement notee, dans l'evolution de l'hagiographie, qui ne
manquera pas de rappeler le passage d'une economie fermee aux specialisa-
tions du grand commerce. Les villes byzantines, et par excellence Constan-
tinople, pourront non seulement avoir des sanctuaires de n'importe quel saint
(il y en a au moins six de Kosmas et Damianos)109,mais n'importe quelle
relique dans n'importe quelle eglise, par un phenomene de repetition ou nous
avons deja vu une des caracteristiques de la civilisation urbaine. Et dans le
106Sophronios, Laudes in SS.
Cyrum et loannem, 24-27, PG, 87, col. 3409-17.
107 La Vie et les Miracles de sainte Thecle, 6d. Dagron, Prologue des Miracles et Mir. 4.
Ibid., Vie 27, Mir. 4 et 29.
109 Cf.
Janin, Eglises et monasteres, s.v. Elles ne sont pas toutes contemporaines.

meme temps oiu la ville est devenue un espace banalise et indifferencie, elle
retrouve une topographie sacree, celle de ses reliques, et un temps sacre, celui
de la liturgie et des commemorations, qui trace dans le tissu urbain des
itineraires processionnels.

On s'en tiendra ici a l'exemple de la capitale, le seul pour lequel nous

disposons d'une documentation suffisante. A toutes les epoques d'expansion
ou de recession, le drainage des reliques montre quels fils se tendent ou se
rompent entre une geographie de la chretiente et l'histoire de la capitale
chretienne. Fil tendu entre Constantinople et Jerusalem, quand un morceau,
mais un morceau seulement, de la Croix est envoye dans la capitale. Fil rompu,
quand Heraclius y ramene le Bois tout entier, et que Constantinople devient
ainsi la vraie Jerusalem et le principal centre de diffusion de cette inepuisable
relique jusqu'au grand pillage de 1204110. Par ce seul cas, on voit comment la
relique permet un transfert de legitimite historique d'un Empire oecumenique
dans une ville close.
Il y a plus interessant: la repartition et la redistribution des reliques dans
l'espace urbain. Le cas le plus simple est celui des eglises dediees a un saint
(Saint-Jean Baptiste, Sainte-Anne, Saint-Paul de Constantinople) et qui en
re9oivent le corps'l: sont mis en prolongement une histoire (la vie du saint)
et un culte, par l'intermediaire d'un lieu: lieu arbitraire ou surdetermine par
un miracle qui rend plus ferme l'ancrage topographique et fait passer sans
a-coups d'une histoire a une geographie du sacre: les chevaux qui trainent
le corps de saint Zotikos s'arretent la ou doit etre construite son eglisel12;
les ouvriers qui creusent pour la construction de Sainte-Irene Ev uKaTci trouvent
les reliques des quarante soldats de Mlitne
anespace eliurbain Mais permet
des repartitions plus significatives (par exemple, une veritable duplication des
reliques dans les eglises de la ville et dans les oratoires du Palais)114, et des
regroupements en de veritables sequences. Apres que les quatre trompettes de
Jericho eurent ete placees a Sainte-Sophie, onenen retrouve une au Palais
dans la chapelle Saint-Michel (qui evoque un culte funeraire), avec la corne
de belier d'Abraham et la croix de Constantin, et l'on dit que les anges vien-
dront sonner la Resurrection avec cette trompe et cette corne1l5; se trouvent
ainsi places sur un meme axe historique a Constantinople Peuple elu, Empire
chretien, Resurrection.
110A. Frolow, La Relique de la Vraie Croix: Recherches sur le ddveloppementd'un culte (Paris, 1961),
eeglise fonde pour recevoir des reliques, comme celle du Prodrome ?V TCA
111 Qu'il s'agisse d'une
'EPS6Acp (Sozomene, VII.21; Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 260) et peut-etre de Sainte-Anne 9v TC8
Aaerrpcp(Scriptores originum, 244), ou d'eglises qui changent de nom a l'occasion de l'arriv6e de reliques,
comme Saint-Paul (Sozomene, VII.10).
112 Synaxarium CP, 362; Antoine de Novgorod, Le Livre du Pelerin, dans Itindraires russes en Orient,
trad. B. de Khitrowo (Geneve, 1889), 108. Cette traduction sera bientot avantageusement remplacee
par celle de G. P. Majeska.
Procope, De aedif., 1.7.
Trompettes de J6richo, cf. Scriptores originum, ed. Preger, 98; Antoine de Novgorod, trad.
de Khitrowo, 98; pour les bois de la Croix, cf. Frolow, La Relique, 39-40, 77.
115 Scriptores
originumn,ed. Preger, 98; Antoine de Novgorod, trad. de Khitrowo, 98.

Il y a enfin les trajets dans la ville, qui s'organisent en fonction du calendrier

liturgique et qui relient en reseaux ces depots de reliques: procession, du
30 juillet au 14 aout, des Bois de la Croix dans tous les quartie de la ville
pour en eloigner les dangers d'epidemie de la fin de l'ete (les SavatrKade la
civilisation urbaine)ll6; procession de la Vierge Hodegetria, selon les epoques
et avec des sens differents, de son couvent a tel point dedelaa vile,e u Palais
aux Blachernes, ou du Palais au Pantocrator pour une veillee funebrel7.
Deja les recits des patriographes s'accrochaient a quelques statues magiques
et a quelqueques lieux saints: les pelerins de l'age suivant ne parlent plus que
des sanctuaires et de leurs trsors, et ce faisant ils montrent commentctette
histoire et cette geographie chretiennes clates que snt ss, les relique redistri-
buees dans l'espace urbain, y deviennent histoire et topographie de la ville.
Constantinople n'est pas un musee du christianisme, mais le christianisme y
est devenu le support d'une histoire et d'une culture urbaine.

Qu'est-ce donc qu'une wville chretienne>? Nous continuons de l'ignorer.

A mesure que se precise le dessin d'une ville byzantine, les elements propre-
ment chretiens tendent meme a s'estomper et a se fondre en elle: le batiment
cultuel ne se distingue plus toujours de l'ilot d'habitation, les morts rejoignent
les vivants, la fortune ecclesiastique touche au patrimoine, l'hagiographie se
dissout en anecdotes. Mais les quatre points que nous avons examines, et qui
relevent de domaines tres differents, font apparaitre une convergence: le
christianisme y favorise le passage d'un typede civilisation a un autre, en
l'occurrence d'une civilisation de la cite a une civilisation de la ville. L'implan-
tation des edifices cultuels montre, au-dela de ce qu'on appelle une ?decadence
de l'urbanisme, comment ses habitants prennentne possession d'une ville dont
eglises et monasteres constituent les points forts sinon les points fixes. L'ense-
velissement des morts dans la ville est le resultat d'une autre perturbation
que la demographie impose et qu'une nouvelle anthropologie chretienne justifie.
L'Eglise comme institution, le clerge comme societe, la fortune ecclesiastique
comme rouage economique marquent la liberte du fait urbain en marge de
l'Etat et de ses lois. Enfin, il est un temps ou l'hagiographie devient culture
urbaine. De quatre fa9ons nous avons saisi un processus par lequel se decompose
un ordre ancien et s'elabore un nouvel equilibre, caracteristique de la ville
byzantine, entre le public et le prive, entre le sacre et le profane, entre l'Etat
et la societe des riches ou des pauvres, entre la pure duree, l'histoire et la
Ajoutons seulement que cette transformation, qui est d'abord un fait
demographique, intervient a des dates tres differentes selon les villes: Con-
stantinople acquiert ses structures urbaines presque definitives aux Ve-VIe s.,
de nombreuses cites apres la crise des invasions, d'autres au XIe s., d'autres
College de France, Paris
116 Constantin
Porphyrogenete, De cerim., 11.8, ed. Bonn, 538-41; Synaxarium CP, 856.
Janin, Eglises et monasteres, 208-14; Antoine de Novgorod, trad. de Khitrowo, 99.

IN the eight centuriesfrom the reign of Diocletianuntil its conquestby the
Seljuk Turks, Ankara flourished as one of the most important cities of Ana-
tolia. Located on the busiest highway in the country, it long maintained
a role as a provincial capital, a military base, and a center of trade, industry,
and intellectual life. Its history is known from a variety of sources-histories
of the Empire and Church, letters, speeches, laws, lives of saints, inscriptions,
and others-which offer considerable, if sporadic, detail, providing far more
information on the first three centuries than on the succeeding half millen-
nium. The whole period falls into two discrete and clearly definable divisions:
the late antique, from Diocletian to Heraclius, and the Byzantine, from
Heraclius until the Turkish conquest. They are separated by an event of major
significance: the capture and destruction of Ankara by the Sassanian Persians
in 622. Previous to this event, the city was a large and developed metropolis
with monumental public buildings, spreading far into the plain beneath its
acropolis; subsequently, it consisted of an imposing fortress on the acropolis
containing the main settlement, with a field of ruins and perhaps scattered
habitations outside the walls. Although the period after the disaster is
relatively obscure, material is available to provide a narrative history of


Ankara owed its growth and prominence to its location on a highway

which in Late Antiquity became one of the most heavily trafficked in the
Empire. It occupied, in addition, a strategic junction from which roads radiated
in all directions. The main highway led from Europe to the eastern frontier:
from Thrace and Constantinople through Nicomedia and Nicaea to Ankara,
and thence to the Cilician Gates and Syria. Other significant roads connected
Ankara with eastern Bithynia and Nicomedia, with Dorylaeum and the
Propontis, with Gangra and Paphlagonia, and, to the east, with Amasea and
the Pontus, Sebastea and the northern part of the frontier, and Cappadocian
Caesarea and the Euphrates. All of these were of commercial and military
importance: those which ran between Ankara and the frontier became
increasingly busy as wars in the East grew more frequent in the late second
and third centuries. In that period, Ankara became the center of the defensive
1 For classical
Ancyra, see A. Erzen, IlkFagda Ankara (Ankara, 1946), and the references in the
following note. The history of the city in Late Antiquity, though of some interest, has been neglected;
for the Byzantine and Seljuk periods (seventh to fourteenth centuries), see P. Wittek, "Zur Geschichte
Angoras im Mittelalter," Festschrift Georg Jakob (Leipzig, 1932), 329-54; F. Taeschner, "Ankara,"
in El2; and the numerous references in S. Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor
(Los Angeles, 1971), index, s.v. Ankara, most of which refer to the Turkish period. For the purposes
of this discussion, two chronological terms will be used consistently: late antique, to denote the
period from Diocletian to Heraclius, and Byzantine, from the reign of Heraclius to the Turkish
conquest. For convenience, I shall generally refer to the city by its modern name, Ankara; the name
of the ancient city was Ancyra, pronounced 'Ankira' or 'Angira' by the Byzantines.

system of Asia Minor-a major supply base, a place where the troops could
take up winter quarters, and a gathering point for new recruits. Naturally,
numerous emperors and their armies passed through the city on their way to
the wars and contributed to the local economy.2
Although Galatia, a country of the interior with a rigorous climate and few
trees, was sparsely populated compared with the rich provinces
pAegean of the
region, it was well suited for raing sheep and goats and supported the related
industries of textile production and the manufacture of dyes. In all proba-
bility, much of this industry was centered in Ankara and served the needs
of the army.3 With its importance for trade, industry, and the army, it is not
surprising that Ankara became the capital of Roman Galatia and remained
an administrative center for a millennium, long after the Empire and its
organization had changed beyond all recognition.
In Late Antiquity the factors which had been responsible for the growth
of Ankara gave it continued a andeven increased importance and prosperity.
When the capital was moved to Constantinople, the highway through Ankara
became the main route between the capital and the East. During the fourth
century in particular, when the imperial residence was often at Antioch
(Constantius II stayed there from 337-51, Julian for about half his reign,
and Valens from 371-78), the court, the army, and officials and messengers
of all kinds constantly passed through the city. In maps and guides of the age,
therefore, Ankara occupies a prominent place. The Antonine Itinerary, revised
in the early fourth century, lists the three routes which connected the West
with Ankara, as well as those from Ankara to Tavium and Caesarea. In 333
a Christian of Bordeaux made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and left behind
a detailed record of the highway that led there. He listed not only the cities,
but also the mutationes, where it was possible to change horses and rest, and
the mansiones, small towns which offered overnight accomodation, for the
whole route was well organized for official or private travelers. In Asia Minor
the pilgrim passed through Galatia and Ankara; the entire region, which
stretched for about 200 miles, contained only three cities, but there was a

2 For the roads, see D.

Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton, 1950), 1308ff. (a useful
summary with references); W. M. Ramsay, The Historical Geography of Asia Minor (London, 1890),
to be used with the usual caution; J. G. C. Anderson, "Exploration in Galatia cis Halym," JHS,
191 (1899), 52-134 (with a detailed map and discussion of topographical questions); S. Mitchell,
The History and Archaeology of Galatia (diss. Oxford, 1974), unpublished dissertation dealing with the
classical period; I. W. Macpherson, "Roman Roads and Milestones of Galatia," AnatSt, 4 (1954), 111-20
(new milestones); and especially E. Gren, Kleinasien und der Ostbalkan in der wirtschaftlichen Ent-
wicklung der romischen Kaiserzeit (Uppsala, 1941), 44f., 107, 110, and index, s.v. Ankyra. For the
routes between Ankara and the East, see F. Hild, Das byzantinische Strassensystem in Kappadokien
(Vienna, 1977), 34-41, 77-84, 104-12. Evidence for the military importance of the highway through
Ankara in the classical period is provided by the representations of military standards on the coins
of cities located along it: see the discussions of C. Bosch, in AA (1931), 426f., and, in more detail,
idem, Die kleinasiatischen Munzen der romischen Kaiserzeit, II, pt. 1 (Stuttgart, 1935), 95-99. Note
particularly the inscriptions of Ancyra from the reign of Trajan in honor of a citizen who provided
hospitality for the troops spending the winter in the city on their way to the eastern frontier:
E. Bosch, Quellen zur Geschichte der Stadt Ankara im Altertum (Ankara, 1967) (hereafter Bosch,
Quellen), nos. 105-6.
3 Textiles and dyes: Pliny, Hist. nat., IX.141, XXII.3, XVI.32, XXIX.33.

mutatio or a mansio about every ten miles. A less detailed, but still significant,
record is provided by a fragmentary Egyptian papyrus of the fifth century,
which contains a somewhat garbled list of towns between Egypt and the
capital; the route is essentially the same as that of the Bordeaux pilgrim,
and the name of Ankara duly appears. The only map which survives from Late
Antiquity, the Peutinger Table, naturally shows the route and the stations
along it between Constantinople and the Cilician Gates via Ankara; it also
includes the highway from Ankara to Tavium and the East in a rather confused
form. On this map, Ankara is shown as a walled city with six towers, a
conventional portrayal of an important place.4
The importance of Ankara is well summarized in one late antique source,
the Expositio totius mundi et gentium, a description of the Empire compiled
around the middle of the fourth century:
Inde obviat Galatia provincia optima sibi sufficiens. Negotiatur vestem
plurimam; aliquotiens vero et milites bonos dominis praestat. Et habet
civitatem maximam quae dicitur Ancyra. Divinum panem et eminen-
tissimam manducare dicitur.5
This reveals that the province was rich in grain, pasture,
asand manpower,
and was a center of trade in textiles, probably manufactured locally. The
metropolis, therefore, would have had a significant commercial and industrial
role, and, in fact, Galatian merchants were famous in Late Antiquity. When
for example, the Emperor Julian was urged to attack the Goths in 362, he
replied that there was no need, since the Galatian slave traders, who sold
Goths everywhere, were already enough for them.6 Similarly, the poet Claudian,
writing in 399 against the eunuch consul Eutropius, pictures him in his youth
standing in the train of a Galatian slave trader, waiting for a buyer.7 Through-
out the period, active Galatians frequented the eastern provinces with different
purposes-as pilgrims to the Holy Land and Egypt, and occasionally as monks
to join the religious communities in those lands.8


As long as the frontiers were securely guarded, the highways brought

prosperity to the city; but during the troubles of the mid-third century the
same routes could provide easy access for an enemy to a rich and unplundered
land, and Ankara suffered accordingly. When Valerian set out for the East
to meet the invasion of the Persians, he stopped in Ankara and repaired the

4 Antonine
Itinerary: K. Miller, Itineraria romana (Stuttgart, 1916), liv-lxvii; Bordeaux pilgrim:
ibid., lxviii-lxxx; C. Noordegraaf, "A Geographical Papyrus," Mnemosyne, 6 (1938), 273-310. The
name of the city is spelled ANKAFPA,perhaps indicating a popular pronunciation of the name Ancyra
similar to its modern form and otherwise unattested; Peutinger Table: ibid., 656-67, 672f. The city
was walled, in fact, in Late Antiquity, as shown on the Table.
Expositio, cap. 41, ed. J. Rouge (Paris, 1966), 178, with parallel and virtually identical text of
a somewhat later and shorter work, the Descriptio totius orbis.
6 Ammianus Marcellinus, XXII.7.8.
7 Claudian, In Eutropium, 1.59.
Individual Galatian pilgrims and monks will be considered below.

military highway before proceeding to his headquarters in Antioch.9 His

efforts met with disaster; the Persians advanced into Asia Minor, seized
Caesarea in Cappadocia, and in 260 took the Emperor prisoner. After this
calamity, the Goths penetrated to Pessinus in Galatia and to Cappadocia,
apparently following the great highway. At Parnassus in Cappadocia, a town
on the highway near the frontier of Galatia, they captured a great treasure
and many prisoners, among whom were the ancestors of Ulfilas, the bishop
who converted the Goths to Christianity.1l In this campaign the Goths
probably attacked Ankara, if they did no.t take it. Not long after, Zenobia
moved into Asia Minor and seized the lands as far west as Ankara.12Her rule
was ephemeral; in 271 Aurelian recaptured Ankara and finally restored the
eastern provinces to the Empire. When the area was again in imperial hands,
he carried out extensive repairs to the highways, laying the foundation for a
restoration of prosperity.13
Inscriptions and saints' lives give some indication of conditions during this
time of crisis. An anonymous benefactor built the city wall from the foundations
"during the shortage of food and barbarian attacks"; he also rebuilt the
gymnasium of Polyeidus which had been ruined, and restored the office of
registrar of members
te ofhe local senate, which had long been abandoned.14
s of
Another public-spirited citizen, called John "the Restorer" from his works,
also carried out extensive repairs which suggest the degree of destruction and
neglect which had prevailed in the late third century. He effected a major
restoration of the Polyeidan gymnasium, and repaired a part of the Palace
and the building of Theodotus;tothe he was in charge of public prison, the
aqueduct, and the reservoir, which were perhaps in disrepair, and provided
the city with many other public works.15 Ankara thus would seem to have
suffered considerable damage during the attacks of the 260's; public buildings
were ruined and public services were interrupted.
At the same time, famine, the natural accompaniment of war and the fre-
quent passage of armies, was especially severe. It afflicted the city on at least
two occasions: during the reign of Aurelian and again around 280. After the
recapture of the city from Zenobia, the local economy was probably in
desperate straits from the invasions, and the food supply of the city was
9 This work is attested by milestones: Bosch, Quellen, nos. 281 and 285, with commentary; to
these should be added milestones 1 and 7a published by Macpherson (note 2 supra).
10The narrative of these events is confused, and their sequence subject to widely varying inter-
pretations: see, for example, the divergent accounts of W. Ensslin and A. Alf6ldi, in CAH, XII,
133-36 and 170ff.
11Gothic attacks: Magie, op. cit., 1566-68, and Alfoldi, in CAH, XII, 148, 721-23, both with full
reference to the sources; ancestors of Ulfilas (from the village of Sadagolthina in the territory of
Parnassus): Philostorgius, 11.5.
12 Zosimus, 1.50, a
passage which leaves no doubt that Ankara had been taken by Zenobia.
13Milestones of Aurelian: Bosch, Quellen, nos. 295, 296.
14 Ibid., no. 289, presumably to be dated to the time of the Tetrarchy, since the dedicand was

apparently still alive. He may be the governor who completed and dedicated the wall to the city,
and whose name is likewise missing: ibid., no. 290. Two other inscriptions, nos. 292 and 293, are
possibly also to be associated with construction of the wall. Both fragmentary, they mention the
clarissimus Aur. Dionysius Argaeinus, who completed an unspecified building at an unknown time.
15 Ibid., no. 306, probably of the time of Constantine or later because of the Christian name.

endangered. The steps which the government took to relieve the situation
are revealed in a short account of a local martyr. In the reign of Aurelian,
a grain merchant named Philumenus traveled from his native Lycaonia to
bring wheat to Galatia. When he arrived in Ankara, he was denounced as a
Christian and put to death.16His journey of a hundred miles or more to a place
which normally produced a surplus of grain may be taken to illustrate the
severity of the famine and methods adopted for its control. Famine again
struck Ankara when St. Clement, born in 265, was a young man not yet
eighteen. The narrative of his life records that the precocious Saint performed
great acts of charity when men and beasts were perishing from starvation.
He rescued pagan children whose parents had died or abandoned them by the
road, fed and
an clothed
cl e them, e and brought them up as Christians with th
providential assistance of an older Christian lady of some wealth.7 The charity
of the Christians thus supplemented the efforts of the government to relieve
the situation.
Diocletian finally restored settled conditions in which urban life could
flourish, and carried out a reorganization of provincial administration. Galatia,
a vast area which had stretched from the Pontic mountains to the Taurus,
was considerably reduced, so that it consisted only of the northern part of
the central Anatolian plateau. Ankara remained the capital, as it did after a
second reduction under Theodosius which detached the western part of
Galatia, making it into a new province with its capital at Pessinus. There-
after, Galatia Prima, the province of Ankara, was ruled by a governor with
the relatively high rank of consularis and contained five minor cities and one
urbanized region in addition to the metropolis.l8 It is possible that the head-
quarters of the vicar of Pontus, whose diocese extended over the whole of
northern Asia Minor from the Bosporus to the Euphrates, was also in Ankara.19
I6 Synaxarium CP, 263f.
17 Vita Clementis, PG, 114, cols. 816-93; for the famine, see col. 824. The date of Clement's birth
is given (col. 816) as the twelfth year of Valerian, when Valerian and Lucianus were consuls, which
at first sight seems impossible: Valerian reigned only eight years, and shared the consulship each
time he held it with his son Gallienus. The twelfth year of Gallienus, however, was 264/65; in 265
the consuls were Licinius Valerianus and Lucillus. This, therefore, must be the year which the author
of the Vita intended and which he indicated with remarkable accuracy for such a source. The Life
contains several historical references which may be worthy of some trust.
18 For the division under Theodosius, see Malalas, 348, and for the cities,
Hierocles, Synecdemus,
696.4-697.2. The date on which the governor assumed the title consularis is uncertain, but it would
seem to be earlier than the Theodosian division of the province. An inscription from Appola, about
twenty miles southwest of Amorium in Phrygia and apparently part of its territory, mentions a
consularis of Galatia: W. M. Calder, "Julia-Ipsus and Augustopolis," JRS, 2 (1912), 255-57, no. 13,
republished in MAMA, I, 439; cf. PLRE, s.v. ...tic(ius), where the stone is incorrectly attributed
to Ipsus, apparently because of the title of the original publication. The inscription, a
boundary stone commencing with a cross, comes from a district which belonged to Galatia Salutaris
after the division. Since Salutaris was governed by a praeses, mention of a consularis suggests that
the inscription antedates the division, and that the governor of Galatia was already consularis in the
fourth century. It is also possible that the inscription belongs to a time later than that of Hierocles,
and that the governor of Salutaris was then promoted to consularis, an assumption for which there
is no corroboration.
19The evidence is too complex to treat here; I hope to discuss it in detail elsewhere. The most
important indications that the vicar may have had his seat in Ankara consist of the following:
Vita Clementis, col. 825: the Saint tried in Ankara before the vicar; Vita Platonis, PG, 115, col. 404:
the vicar Agrippinus presides in Ankara; St. Basil, Ep. 225: bishops summoned to the
judgment seat

Administration of the city was in the hands of the local Senate with whom
the People was nominally associated.20
The attentions of the regime of Diocletian are evident in the restoration
of the highway system, which had apparently fallen into disrepair during the
long period of crisis. Under the Tetrarchy, the main highway was rebuilt,
as was the road which led westward to Germe and Dorylaeum.21 The same
period saw the beginning of restorations in the city which apparently con-
tinued into the fourth century, and involved the city wall and numerous
important public buildings.
The age of Diocletian is famed for the Great Persecution, which claimed
several victims at Ankara. The pious narratives of their sufferings, though
largely fictitious, contain some important details about the city.
St. Clement of Ancyra is the best known of the local saints. A native of
Ankara and already a noted philanthropist as a young man, his sufferings
began under Diocletian when he was taken before the vicar Domitianus in
Ankara, interrogated, and beaten severely. When he could not be brought
to recant, he was sent to be tried before the Emperor. As he left Ankara,
Clement prayed to the Lord to protect the city from the Devil and tyrants;
the civic patriotism which had characterized earlier centuries was still vital.
After numerous trials, he was sent back to his native Ankara and executed
at a place called Cryptus. The orphans whom he had rescued from the famine
many years before had already been slaughtered at the same place, as had
his associates Agathangelus and the deacons Christopher and Chariton.
Clement and Agathangelus were buried in a deep tomb at Cryptus, near
the entrance of a church which stood there at the time the life was written
by a man evidently familiar with the local topography. The deacons were
buried nearby, and a small shrine was eventually dedicated to their memory.22
St. Plato, a contemporary martyr, was more famous than Clement in Late
Antiquity. A church in Ankara was dedicated to him and his cult, celebrated
in the Galatian countryside, had spread to Constantinople by the sixth
century; he seems, indeed, to have been the patron saint of the city.23 His
life, however, provides few details beyond the usual narrative of interrogation,
torture, and execution. In the reign of Galerius, Plato was denounced to the
vicar Agrippinus who was presiding in the basilica opposite the temple of

of the vicar in Ankara; Justinian, Novel VIII: vicariate of Pontus abolished and combined with the
governorship of Galatia Prima, which suggests that they shared a capital. On the other hand, there
evidence which shows vicars active in other cities; it does not necessarily contradict the notion that
they had their headquarters in Ankara, for none of the other sources mentions a headquarters
where, nor would it be unnatural for the vicar, whose duties included collection of taxes and super-
vision of the revenue, to travel widely.
20 Note, for example, the dedication of the boule and demos to John the Restorer: Bosch, Quellen,
no. 306.
21 The work is attested by milestones: ibid., nos. 299-304, and Macpherson, op. cit. (supra, note 2),
no. 2).
22 See Vita Clementis, for the prayer, col. 833, and for the execution and burial, cols. 889-92. For

Cryptus, cf. note 205 infra.

23 For the cult of St. Plato, and for the other local saints, see H. Delehaye, Les origines du culte
des martyrs (Brussels, 1933), 156f.

Zeus. After unsuccessfully urging him to sacrifice to Apollo, the vicar had
Plato led outside the city to a place called Campus and executed.2
Plato had a brother named Antiochus who also enjoyed a local cult. He
was a doctor who was arrested as a Christian while curing the sick in the
cities of Galatia and Cappadocia. Taken before the governor, Hadrianus, he
was tortured and executed, but even at the moment of his death made a new
convert and martyr; the executioner, Cyriacus, when he saw blood and milk
miraculously issuing together from the Saint's headless trunk, professed
Christianity on the spot and was forthwith decapitated.25
Other local martyrs are not as well attested. Julian, a native of the town
of Crentius, about 20 miles northwest of Ankara, was an old man at the time
of the persecution of Licinius, when he withdrew into a wooded mountain
and hid in a cave with 42 companions. One day, as he went to get water,
he was seen by some local pagans who were sacrificing to Hecate at a nearby
temple and was taken to the governor in Ankara and executed.26 Eustochius
and his nephew Gaianus were natives of Lycaonia; together with the three
children of the latter, they were horribly executed at Ankara by order of the
vicar Agrippinus.27Other saints are associated with Ankara, but their chrono-
logy, and sometimes their very existence, is dubious.28
24 Details may be found in the Vita Platonis, cols. 404-25, a very vague account which deals
mostly with the dialogue between the Saint and the vicar and the torture and execution of the
former; cf. the criticism of the tradition by J.-M. Sauget, in Bibliotheca Sanctorum, X, cols. 959-61.
ActaSS, Iul., IV, 25f.; Synaxarium CP, 821, 824f. 26 Synaxarium CP, 41.
27 Ibid., 766; a town in
Lycaonia, near the monastic complex now known as Bin Bir Kilise, was
apparently named after Gaianus: see J. Noret, "Gaianopolis, ville de saint Gaianos?," AnalBoll, 96
(1972), 101-5.
28 I have excluded the
following, who are sometimes presented as historical martyrs of the Great
Persecution: Eustathius, Theodotus (and the Seven Virgins), and Socrates. The narrative of Eusta-
thius' gruesome sufferings (Synaxarium CP, 851) bears no chronology, and the name of the governor
Cornelius is not helpful. The acta of Theodotus were once regarded as having historical and topo-
graphical value; the case was advanced in detail by the editor, P. Franchi de' Cavalieri, in I Martirii
di S. Teodotoe di S. Ariadne (= ST, 6) (Rome, 1901), introduction, 11-16. The work was subsequently
demonstrated, however, to be almost entirely legendary: H. Delehaye, "La passion de Saint Theo-
dote d'Ancyre," AnalBoll, 22 (1903), 320-28. The topographical details have little conceivable relation
to Ankara, for the central event of the story involves a procession from the city to a lake to bathe
the images of the gods. No such lake exists near Ankara, which is situated in a region notable for its
dryness. The story, if it has any basis in truth at all, may refer to Antioch, where the featured perse-
cutor Theotecnus held office (though the lake of Antioch seems too far from the city to be readily
accessible, and apparently did not even exist at this time: cf. Sir L. Wooley, Alalakh [Oxford, 1955],
5; R. J. Braidwood, Mounds in the Plain of Antioch [Chicago, 1937], 9f.), or, as is perhaps more
likely, to Ancyra in Phrygia, a city located on a lake; Ancyra is mentioned only in the title of the
vita, without specification. It has been generally accepted that Malos, described in cap. 10 and sup-
posedly 40 miles from the city near the sources of the Halys, is to be identified with the modern
town of Kalecik, which is evidently built on the site of a substantial ancient settlement: Ramsay,
op. cit. (note 2 supra), 251; J. G. C. Anderson, "A Celtic Cult and Two Sites in Roman Galatia,"
JHS, 30 (1910), 163-67 (with description and justification); followed by Mitchell, op. cit. (note 2 supra),
444-46. If, however, the narrative has no reference to Ankara, there is no reason to suppose that
Malos was located in Galatia (note that Ramsay ignores, and Franchi de' Cavalieri tries to explain
away, the rather clear statement in the vita that Malos was located near the source of the Halys;
that river inconveniently rises in Armenia). It is conceivable, for example, that "Halys" might be a
corruption for the name of another river, such as the Hyllus which rises not far from Phrygian Ancyra.
A similar, if less complex, case is presented by Socrates, a priest who is supposed to have overthrown
the altar of Zeus at Ankara and to have been executed there: Synaxarium CP, 53, 158. This, too,
has been exposed as a fable by H. Delehaye, "Sainte Theodote de Niche," AnalBoll, 55 (1937), 201-25.
Naturally, the authenticity of the saints here accepted cannot be guaranteed, but three of them, at
least, were the object of local veneration in Late Antiquity.

The church of Ankara became one of the most important in Asia Minor.
It was the seat of the metropolitan bishop of Galatia, who came to rank
fourth in the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church. Ankara also enjoyed the
distinction of being chosen as the site of church councils in the fourth century.
Soon after the end of the persecutions, a general council was held there in
314 to deal with the problems arising from the actions of church members
during the persecutions. In such a critical time, accommodation and modera-
tion were necessary, and those who had lapsed were received back into
communion with degrees of penance which reflected the reluctance, willing-
ness, or even enthusiasm with which they had transgressed. Other provisions
treated a variety of disciplinary questions.29
The years of persecution had also been a time of political confusion with
several civil wars. These disturbances are attested at Ankara by a large
hoard of 577 coins which was buried in or near the city in about 310.30The
deposit probably reflects the insecurity of the time following the death of
Galerius, when a struggle for his inheritance seemed imminent. It might
also conceivably have been buried by a refugee from the Great Persecution.
In any case, stability was restored by Constantine, whose reign marks the
beginning of a long period of peace for Galatia and most of the other pro-
vinces of Asia Minor.


During the reigns of Constantine and Constantius II, Ankara is best known
for its ecclesiastical history, since the local church was headed by two bishops
who gained notoriety throughout the Empire as leaders in the Christological
controversies. The secular record preserves only the slightest notices: a statue
was dedicated to Constantine in Ankara by the praetorian prefect Flavius
Constantius, who held office from 324 to 327, and another was set up to
Constantine or Constantius II by Lucilius Crispus, vicar of Pontus. Either of
these may commemorate some benefaction to the city, or even an imperial
visit.31 Constantius II is known to have visited Ankara on at least two
occasions. On 8 March 347 he issued a law from Ankara, where he had stopped
on his way to campaign against the Persians, and three years later he passed
through again as he was returning to Constantinople after receiving the news
of the revolt of Magnentius.32 On this occasion, he was met by the aspiring
young orator Themistius, who delivered a highly successful speech on Philan-
thropia to the Emperor. He had apparently come to Ankara fearing that
his voice might not be noticed among the multitude of eloquent rhetoricians
who would flock to Constantius in the capital. His efforts were well rewarded:
29 For the Council of
Ancyra, see C. Hefele and H. Leclerq, Histoire des conciles (Paris, 1907), I,
30 The hoard is tabulated and
analyzed by D. Kienast, "Der Miinzfund von Ankara (270-310
n. Chr.)," Jahrbuch fuiirNumismatik und Geldgeschichte,12 (1962), 65-111.
31 Prefect: Bosch, Quellen, no. 305; vicar: R. D'Orbeliani, "Inscriptions and Monuments from
Galatia," JHS, 44 (1924), no. 45.
32 Law: Codex Theodosianus (hereafter Cod. Th.), XI.36.8.
the citizens of Ankara were so impressed by his speech that they tried to
persuade him to stay and teach there, and Constantius was so pleased that
he quickly promoted Themistius' career so that within a few years he was
one of the most distinguished rhetoricians in the Empire.33
During the first half of the fourth century, the role of Ankara in the history
of the Church was considerable, and barely missed being even greater. In
late 324 or early 325 Constantine called a general council in Ankara to
resolve the Arian controversy. The choice of the city is ready witness of the
distinction of its church and the convenience of its location, but Ankara was
not destined to be the site of the First Ecumenical Council. Within a short
time, the Emperor changed his mind and moved the council to Nicaea, on
the grounds that its location was more convenient for the western bishops
(who had now been summoned), that its climate was more salubrious, and
that it was closer to the imperial court which then met in Nicomedia.34 Of
these, the last reason was obviously the most important; the Emperor played
a dominant part in the proceedings of the Council.
Ankara was represented at Nicaea by its bishop Marcellus, who firmly
defended the Orthodox position. Unfortunately for his memory, he later fell
into heresy, was deposed from his see in 336, and was replaced by Basil.
Only afterethe decree of a council and with the support of the Pope and the
western Emperor could he return to the city. The population of Ankara,
however, had grown fond of their new bishop, and it was only after considerable
rioting that Basil was ejected and Marcellus restored. The disturbances were
violent: houses were burned, there was much fighting, and crowds stormed
through the city. Nuns and priests were stripped and dragged naked to the
Forum, and even the sacred Host was profaned by being hung around the
necks of priests. In the meantime, the doctrines of Marcellus had spread,
and the city had the dubious distinction of lending its name to the adherents
of the new heresy, who came to be called Ancyro-Galatians. The triumph
of Marcellus was short-lived with the death of Constans in 350, the Arians
gained the upper hand, and Marcellus was exiled, this time to disappear from
Basil, the successful rival of Marcellus, was one of the most important
bishops of the eastern Church in the mid-fourth century, the leader of the
substantial and moderate sect of Arians which was closest to the Orthodox
in doctrine. He was a native of Ankara and a doctor by profession. Like
many of his medical colleagues, he was a learned man and an accomplished
33 Themistius, Or. I, XXIII.299a; for the career of
Themistius, see 0. Seeck, Die Briefe des
Libanius, zeitlich geordnet (Leipzig, 1906) (hereafter Seeck, Die Briefe), 293f.; and PLRE, s.v.
Themistius 1.
34Notice of the planned council at Ankara survives
only in a Syriac translation of a Greek docu-
ment: H. G. Opitz, Athanasius Werke, III, pt. 1, Urkunden zur Geschichte des arianischen Streites
(Berlin, 1934), no. 20.
35The career of Marcellus may be reconstructed from Socrates, 1.36, 11.15,
19, 21, 23, 26; Sozo-
men, II.33; and Theodoret, Hist. Eccl., 11.8, a considerably more sympathetic treatment. For the
riots, see Hilary of Poitiers, frag. III.9, PL, 10, col. 665; cf. Athanasius, Apol. contra Arianos, 33,
PG, 25, col. 304.

speaker, for the medical education of the day stressed rhetoric as much as
technical training. During the years after his restoration to Ankara, where
he was evidently very popular, Basil took an active part in the administration
and policies of the Church in the eastern Empire and gained considerable
influence with the Emperor. The details of his career reveal little about Ankara
except that in 358 he celebrated the dedication of a new church there, an
occasion for festivi
est ann for a synod of the invited bishops. Two years later,
when Constantius had fallen under the influence of the extreme Arians, Basil
was deposed from office for various irregularities which had occurred during
his administration at Ankara. He was accused of striking and seizing the
papers of a priest who had been traveling through the city, of turning over
numerous of his ecclesiastical adversaries to the civil authorities for punish-
ment, and, among many less monstrous offenses, of failing to excommunicate
a quack doctor who had caused the death of several people. Another of the
complaints against him, which reveals much of the spirit of the time, was
that the clergy whom he had traduced to provincial governors were so cruelly
treated and loaded with chains that they had been forced to bribe the soldiers
not to treat them too severely. Whatever the truth of these charges, which
are known only from the accusations of his enemies, it is evident that the
bishop of Ankara had considerable power in the city and influence throughout
the Church. Basil went into exile from which, in 363, he unsuccessfully peti-
tioned Jovian for restoration to his see; thereafter, he disappears from history.3
As a man of learning who devoted his talents to the Church rather than
the state, Basil represents a phenomenon of his age, and the events of his
bishopric suggest that the life of Ankara was also typical of the period: riots,
corruption, and collusion between ecclesiastical and civil authorities were well
known in other great cities. In Galatia, however, the civil violence was so
severe that Julian could write sarcastically in 362 that the Christians should
be more grateful to him than to his predecessor, for in the reign of Constantius
many multitudes of heretics had been butchered in Galatia and villages
destroyed, while nothing of the kind had happened in his reign.37
The short reigns of Julian and Jovian saw great activity in Ankara as the
Emperors and their courts
theoo stoppedd re on their route between the capital
and the eastern frontier. Julian had been on the throne only a few months
when he left Constantinople in May 362 for Antioch, his appointed base for
a major campaign against the Persians. In Galatia he made a detour south-
ward to Pessinus to worship at the famous shrine of the Mother of the Gods,
where the indifference of the inhabitants showed him that his restoration of
paganism was not yet a success.38 The next stop was Ankara, where Julian
36 For the career of Basil, see the summary by R. Janin, in DHGE, with full reference to the
sources; St. Jerome considered him worthy of a chapter in his De viris illustribus, PL, 23, col. 372;
church at Ankara: Sozomen, IV.13; charges against Basil: ibid., IV.24. Two of Basil's numerous
works survive, one on theology and one on virginity: see Epiphanius, Adv. Haer., PG, 42, cols. 425-42;
and F. Cavallera, "Le 'De Virginitate' de Basile d'Ancyre," RHE, 6 (1905), 5-14.
37 Julian, Ep. 52, to the People of Bostra.
38 Ammianus Marcellinus, XXII.9.3-7; Julian, Ep. 22 ad fin.

stayed for some time, holding court and listening to the pleas of people who
had lost their property by violence or who complained that they had unjustly
been forced to serve in the local senates, an onerous burden which could
easily bring financial disaster. He judged fairly but severely; unlike most
emperors of the time, he rejected the testimony of slanderers and informers,
but he enforced the senatorial obligations without mercy. Julian was especially
concerned with the financial well-being of the Empire which was still consider-
ably dependent on the local senates to provide public works and services.
In this matter he was so severe that the petitioners, failing to find release
through justice, were characteristically forced to resort to large and secret
bribes to escape their unwanted obligations.39 During his stay in Ankara,
Julian issued laws that all teachers had to be approved by the municipal
senates, that governors should ensure that adequate postal service be available
to the agents of the treasury, and that governors should not begin new public
works until they had completed the projects of thei predecessors, with the
exception of temples.40Of these the first was especially appropriate to Julian,
who had recently forbidden Christians to teach, and to Ankara which had a
senate notoriously fond of learning.
The memory of Julian is intimately associated with his attempt to restore
paganism; at Ankara he took important measures for its success. One of the
features of his program was a conscious imitation of the strengths of the
Christian Church-its organization and its philanthrophy. Consequently, he
appointed one Arsacius to be high priest-a pagan bishop of the province-
of Galatia, and gave him elaborate instructions in a letter. In order to
strengthen paganism in Galatia, where it seems to have been making slow
progress, he requested that all priests provide a good example to the people
by attending divine worship with their families and servants, and not to
disgrace their office by appearing in theaters or taverns or indulging in any
shameful occupations. As we have already seen in the casee of St. Clement,
the Christians from an early time had organized active philanthropy of a kind
which had been almost entirely unknown to paganism and had thereby gained
converts and loyalty among the urban populations. Julian, therefore, instructed
his priest to set up hostels for travelers and to care for the poor by regular
distributions. The government would provide 30,000 bushels of wheat and
60,000 pints of wine yearly in Galatia; of this, one fifth would be given to the
poor who served the priests and the rest distributed among strangers and
beggars. The state thus proposed to take over the functions of the Church;
the grain and wine would probably be provided from the abundant Galatian
39Ammianus Marcellinus, XXII.9.8-12.
46 Cod. Th., XIII.3.5, VIII.5.13, XV.1.3. None of these laws bears an indication of its place of
issue, but the chronology makes Ankara the overwhelmingly probable site. The first was issued on
17 June 362, the second received in Constantinople on 20 June, and the third issued on 29 June.
Julian was still in the capital on 12 May (Cod. Th., XIII.3.4); he arrived in Antioch on 18 July:
J. Bidez, La vie de l'empereur Julien (Paris, 1930), 400 note 1. A saint's life suggests that Julian left
Ankara on 29 June: Vita Basilii, ActaSS, Mart., III, *14; he proceeded thence to Tarsus, and then
hastened on to Antioch. A stay of about two weeks in Ankara in June would thus be entirely prob-

harvests. Julian in the same letter also urged pagan villagers to offer their
firstfruits to the gods, and required the priests to keep a distance from the
civil authorities: they were not to visit governors in their homes or meet
them at the city gates, but were to receive them only in the temples.41 In
such ways the Emperor hoped to provide a firm foundation for his restored
religion, but his sudden death while fighting the Persians caused the whole
experiment to be aborted.
Julian is famous also as a persecutor of Christians, and his stay in Ankara
produced at least one martyr, Basil, a local priest whose life contains some
plausible circumstantial details.42 St. Basil had already gained some notoriety
by proving himself an annoyance to the Arians when they were supreme
in Ankara, and as a consequence had been prohibited from preaching. When
Julian came to the throne, Basil attacked the pagans so violently that he was
denounced to the praetorian prefect Saturninus for stirring up a sedition.
Informed of his actions, the Emperor sent two rhetoricians, Helpidius and
Pegasius (whom his biographer calls "teachers of perdition"), to convert him
to reason.43Although aided by a priest from Nicomedia, they had no success,
and Basil was left to the personal attention of Julian. The Emperor soon
arrived and was greeted on the outskirts of the city by "servants of the Devil"
bearing the image of Hecate. He proceeded to the palace where he met with
the leading citizens and distributed largess. On the following day he watched
the spectacles which were put on in his honor, then returned to the palace
and summoned the uncooperative Basil. After some fruitless discussions,
Julian, disgusted with th wewhole affair, departed for Antioch and left Basil
to be killed on 29 June 362.44
A certain Busiris was less successful in his attempt to achieve the crown of
martyrdom. He was arrested by the governor of Galatia for ridiculing the
pagans, tortured, and consigned to prison. After the death of Julian he was
released, renounced his heresy, and lived into the reign of Theodosius.45The
narrative of other persecutions inspire considerably less confidence, but may
Julian, Ep. 49; cf. Sozomen, V.16.
42Note that the persecutions of Julian, here as elsewhere, seem to have been quite mild; see
B. de Gaiffier, "'Sub Iuliano Apostata' dans le martyrologie romain," AnalBoll, 74 (1956), 5-49. He
lists the saints and criticizes the tradition, showing that the association of many of the martyrs with
Julian is doubtful, except when attested by other early sources.
43The statement about these two rhetoricians is one of the best indications of the accuracy of
the vita; Helpidius and Pegasius were historical figures, both renegade Christians. Helpidius is known
to have accompanied Julian on his Persian expedition, and therefore would have passed through
Ankara. See PLRE, s.v. Helpidius 6; and T. Barnes, "Another Forty Missing Names," Phoenix,
28 (1974), 224-33 for the identification of Pegasius. The association of two known men with Basil
does not, of course, prove that anything else in the vita is true; the comes scutariorum Frumentius
is otherwise unknown, but the hegemon Saturninus may plausibly be identified with the praetorian
prefect Saturninius Secundus Salutius, who accompanied Julian on his eastern campaign, and
set up a dedication to him in Ankara (see infra). It is not inconceivable that he preceded the Emperor
to the city, and that he persecuted Christians there as he did, very mildly, at Antioch: see PLRE,
s.v. Secundus 3. It had previously been suggested that Saturninus must have been a vicar of Pontus:
PLRE, s.v. Saturninus 4, where the events are misdated to 363.
44 Vita Basilii, ActaSS, Mart, III, *12-*15; cf. Sozomen, V.11, confirmation of the existence of

the Saint.
45 Sozomen, V.11, a narrative which concurs better with the known moderation of Julian, and

suggests salutary corrections to the story of Basil.


contain some element of historical fact, however preposterous the details.

St. Gemellus, for example, was a native of the territory of Climaxine, a place
otherwise unknown. He was arrested and tortured and driven along the
highway to a place called Edessa, also unknown in this vicinity; after further
tortures, he was finally crucified. At first sight, there would seem to be nothing
in this fable to attract serious attention, but a church of the holy martyr
Gemellus stood in Syceon, a village about seventy miles west of Ankara,
in the sixth century, showing that such a Saint did actually exist.46
One monument of Julian's stay in Ankara long survived him. The praetorian
prefect Saturninius Secundus Salutius, persecutor of St. Basil, made a dedica-
tion in honor of Julian "lord of the whole world," who had defeated the
barbarians from the Ocean of Britain as far as the Tigris. The inscription,
which was still visible in the eighteenth century, apparently accompanied
a statue of the Emperor erected while both he and the prefect were in Ankara
on their way east.47
After Julian fell in the Persian expedition, Jovian began the long march
back toto he capital, crossing the frontier of Galatia around the middle of
December 363. He was met at Aspona by a deputation of the army of Gaul
announcing that they had accepted him as emperor, and soon afterward
arrived in Ankara, where preparations were already in progress for the celebra-
tion of the new emperor's first consulate.48On 1 January 364 he duly assumed
that office with his infant son Varronianus as colleague; the child cried and
resisted being carried on the curule chair, an inauspicious omen soon to be
justified.49 At Ankara a deputation of the Senate of Constantinople met
Jovian to congratulate him on his accession; it included Themistius, who
delivered a speech to celebrate the consulship, urging religious tolerance.50
Two laws were issued during the stay of the court in Ankara: one, of 28 Decem-
ber 363, dealt with the responsibilities of governors of different ranks, and
the other, of 11 January 364, provided that those who had been found suit-
able to teach should practice in auditoria, thus forming a complement to the
law which Julian had enacted in the same city.51
The winter of 363-64 was particularly severe on the Anatolian plateau,
but the Emperor felt obliged to hasten on to the capital, and left Ankara
at the end of January. Several members of the imperial retinue were left behind
Synaxarium CP, 29498; Vita Theodori Syceotae, ed. A. J. Festugiere, SubsHag, 48 (Brussels, 1970)
(hereafter Vita Theod. Syc.), caps. 10, 25, 142. The martyrdom of Antonius, Melanippus, and Caseina
at Ankara is supposed to have taken place under Julian and the governor Agrippinus: Synaxarium CP,
201. In this case, it seems evident that martyrs about whom nothing was known were arbitrarily
assigned to the imagined persecution of Julian. The presence of Agrippinus, a notorious persecutor at
Ankara under Diocletian, shows the vagueness of the tradition.
47 CIL, III.247, first copied by Tournefort in 1707.
48 Ammianus Marcellinus, XXV.10.10; for the
chronology of the march, see 0. Seeck, Regesten
der Kaiser und Pdpste (Stuttgart, 1919) (hereafter Seeck, Regesten), 214.
49Ammianus Marcellinus, XXV.10.11; cf.
Philostorgius, VIII.8.
50 Themistius, Or.V; cf. Socrates, III.26, who incorrectly places the meeting and
51 speech at Dadastana.
CJ, 1.40.5, with the date emended by Seeck, Regesten, 214; Cod. Tlh., XIII.3.6, attributed
incorrectly in the superscription to Valentinian and Valens, corrected by Seeck, loc. cit., who, how-
ever, interprets the law as a repeal of Julian's exclusion of Christians from teaching, an assumption
which does not seem warranted by its language.

to follow later: among them were Datianus, a former adviser of Constantius

and one of the most influential men in the Empire who, because of his advanced
age, did not care to be exposed to the weather, and the commander of the
second division of targeteers, a certain Valentinian. Many others less fortunate
perished on the road in Galatia because of the winter storms.52 The court
and army stopped for a time at the obscure station at Mnizus, issued a law
to confiscate all temple property for the imperial treasury, then pushed on
to Dadastana on the borders of Galatia and Bithynia. The journey from
Ankara, about 100 miles, had taken two weeks. At Dadastana, on the night of
17 February, the Emperor was found dead, apparently asphyxiated by a
charcoal brazier burning in his quarters.53 The leaderless army marched on
for another week to Nicaea, where it debated the choice of a new emperor.
After much discussion, the aged Datianus wrote from Ankara to suggest
the name of Valentinian, who had stayed behind with him. This choice was
accepted unanimously, and Valentinian soon arrived in Nicaea to receive
the acclamation of the troops.54


Ankara gained renown in the mid-fourth century as one of the favorite

cities of the great rhetorician and teacher, Libanius of Antioch, whose cor-
respondence provides a different perspective on the life of the city by presenting
the pagan ruling classes, a prosperous provincial aristocracy with which
Libanius was closely acquainted and for which he felt particular affection.
He wrote of his fondness for the Galatians, for whom he had done more than
for others, and praised their capital, Ankara, a city which he loved as much as
his own and to which, he felt, he owed a debt of gratitude.5 He regarded
Ankara as a city which produced people with noble natures, a place out-
standing for its love of learning. His affection was so strong that when he
wrote to the Senate of Ankara in 365 he claimed to consider himself as one
of that assembly, whose members were lovers of the Muses and would be as
long as the city existed. The senators were distinguished by their love of
rhetoric and their skill in it; they flocked willingly to hear a good speaker,
for contests of words attracted them as the theater did others.5
Libanius' enthusiasm for Ankara was the result of two long visits which
he had made there-one of a month, the other of three-while he was teaching
in Constantinople from 348 to 353.57 On those occasions, he came to know
the city well, established firm friendships with the members of the leading
52Philostorgius, VIII.8; Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVI.1.5.
53 Ammianus Marcellinus, XXV.10.12-13, with alternative theories of the cause of Jovian's
death; cf. Socrates, III.26. Law: Cod. Th., X.1.8; the subscription Mediolanum was corrected to
Mnizus by Seeck, Regesten, 214.
54Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVI.1.4; Philostorgius, VIII.8.
55Libanius, Epistulae, ed. R. Forster, Teubner (1921-22), nos. 728, 768, 355, 1241; on what
follows, see the general discussion of P. Petit, Les dtudiants de Libanius (Paris, 1957) (hereafter Petit),
129-33. The letters here discussed, unless otherwise indicated, were written between 355 and 365.
56 Libanius, Eps. 756, 1517.
Ibid., Ep. 833; for the date of Libanius' visits, see Petit, 130 note 185.

families, and maintained such close contact that in later years their sons
would come to Antioch to study with him. The relationships were based on
mutual advantage as well as on friendship; in return for hospitality, Libanius,
a man of great fame and influence through the eastern Empire, could obtain
favors for his friends and could request help from them when needed. His
abundant correspondence, which often consists of such requests, brings many
individual citizens of Ankara into the light of history; most of them were
cultivated men of wealth and property, pagans prominent in civic affairs and
patrons of learning.
The ruling aristocracy of Ankara consisted of families closely related to
each other by marriage. The head of one of them, Maximus, was extremely
rich and of an old family. He had acquired his wealth by honorable means-a
circumstance unusual enough for Libanius to mention it-and by 361 had
retired from public life to his country estate where he lived as a gentleman
farmer and hunted. He rarely came into the city, and when he did he only made
his friends in the marketplace unhappy that he would leave so soon. When he
retired, he gave the greater part of his fortune to his son, who thus incurred
the obligation of being enrolled in the local senate and of assuming the burden-
some duties which accompanied that office.58Maximus was evidently one of
the most influential people in the city, for even new governors on assuming
office were recommended by Libanius to present themselves to him.59
Hyperechius, the son of Maximus, was a favorite of Libanius and the
object of his special attentions.60 He had come to study with the great teacher
when he was at Nicomedia (343-48) and continued as his pupil at Con-
lentinopleand Antioch. When this long training was finished, Libanius
advised him to become an advocate in the office of the governor of Galatia,
but Hyperechius decided instead on a career with the central government,
which could lead to greater advancement. Libanius obligingly gave his
assistance and wrote a vast number of letters during the reigns of Julian
and Jovian to officials who might be able to advance the young man's career.
Four successive governors of Galatia were besieged with requests to help-one
of them even after he had retired from office-as were Julian, the tax assessor
of Bithynia, Nicocles, a sophist of Constantinople, and high officials who
merely happened to be passing through Ankara, where Hyperechius could
hope to catch them. Among these were Modestus, the prefect of Constantinople
who was on his way to assume his new duties; Caesarius, the count of the im-
perial treasury, who was traveling with the court of Jovian; and Datianus the
patrician, who had been left behind when Jovian and his retinue moved on.61
Libanius, Ep. 298, and Seeck, Die Briefe, 210f.: Maximus XII.
59 Libanius, Eps. 298 to Acacius and 779 to
Maximus, both governors.
See PLRE and Seeck, Die Briefe, for full references and details of Hyperechius' career; it is
well summarized in Petit, 162-64.
61 Governors:
Ecdicius: Libanius, Eps. 267, 1359, 1419; Acacius, Ep. 298, cf. Ep. 308; Maximus:
Ep. 779; Leontius: Ep. 1267; Julian, Ep. 1454; Nicocles: Ep. 810; Caesarius: Eps. 1114, 1443;
Modestus: Eps. 308, 792; Datianus: Ep. 1115. The requests were not all direct; although
was advised to approach Modestus himself, the latter had been requested to intercede for him with
Acacius. For full details, see Seeck, Die Briefe, s.v. Hyperechius and the names above.

This extraordinary effort of Libanius to use his wide-reaching influence,

which was particularly strong at Ankara, was of little avail in spite of
Hyperechius' connections and talent. In addition to being the scion of a rich
and important family, he had also learned enough from Libanius to become
a persuasive and successful speaker. When he had received the premature
inheritance of his father's fortune, he became liable to assume the curial
duties, which appealed to him no more than they did to most of his contem-
poraries. His father suggested that he seek membership in the Senate at
Constantinople, which would grant him immunity from all sorts of financial
obligations, and where his wealth would be of great advantage in securing
influence. Libanius characteristically urged him not to follow this advice,
but to seek the rewards which would come from staying in Ankara and
serving his native ity.6 Nevertheless, thanks to his eloquence, Hyperechius
escaped from the local senate by persuading it to exempt him.63This success,
which showed that he was not lacking in talent, was one of the few that
Hyperechius would achieve. The only position which he could gain at first
was a mediocre one, secured through the influence of Modestus, under Acacius,
the governor. Finally, after a long barrage of supporting letters from Libanius,
in 364 he was made a castrensis, the officer in charge of the commander's
supplies at Constantinople. Libanius wrote that his efforts were thwarted
because Hyperechius had powerful enemies, but the good relations which his
father had with people of the highest positions at Ankara and elsewhere
makes it possible to regard this as a rhetorical complaint, and to wonder
whether some defect of character did not keep him from success. In any
case, he came to a bad end. In 365 his friend Procopius assumed the purple
and gave Hyperechius charge of a force in Bithynia. When he faced the army
of the legitimate Emperor Valens at Dadastana, his own men handed him over
to the enemy and he was apparently executed soon after.64
Other friends of Libaniususat Ankara were more successful. A relative of
Maximus by marriage was Agesilaus, a rich decurion who had been host to
Libanius during his two long stays in the city and who subsequently sent
his two sons, Strategius and Albanius, to study with his former guest. Both
of them had successful careers. Strategius became a leader in the council and
gained the signal honor of being sent by the governor on an embassy to bear
a golden crown to Jovian on his accession. Albanius planned to become a
teacher of rhetoric when he returned home after his studies, but fate intervened:
his father died suddenly, and Albanius took a position as advocate in the
governor's court, assuming and fulfilling his curial obligations.65
Achillius, the brother or brother-in-law of Agesilaus, had been a fellow
student of Libanius and had received visits from him in Ankara. He, too,
Libanius, Ep. 731.
Ibid., Eps. 777, 803; cf. R. Pack, "Curiales in the Correspondence of Libanius," TAPA, 82

(1951), 176-92, for the actions of Hyperechius in a broader context.

64 Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVI.8.5.
65 Albanius: Seeck, Die Briefe, 50-52, with a discussion of the family relationships; Strategius:

ibid., 284.

sent his son to Antioch to study and took his civic duties so seriously that he
spent a large part of his fortune for the city. Libanius wrote to the governor
asking some relief for his friend.66Another host of Libanius during his days
at Ankara had been Eusebius, son-in-law of Agesilaus. While visiting him,
Libanius held in his arms his young son, who subsequently grew to become
one of his pupils. The elder Eusebius was a skilled rhetorician, and as such
was commended to the governor when he returned to Ankara in 361.67 He had
a brother, Olympius, to whom Libanius wrote expressing his affection for
the whole family, for Ankara, and for the Galatians in general.68
All these closely related friends of Libanius were rich and influential
citizens; others, though not of this great family, were also of considerable
power in the city. Of them, Bosporius had been sent on the embassy to
Jovian with Strategius; he seems also to have been the head of the local
senate, for it was to him that Libanius wrote in 362 asking favor for another
Ancyran, Achillius. This Achillius had settled in Palestine and had become
a successful and popular doctor; when his father died in 362, however, he
was obliged to return to his native city to assume the duties of a decurion.
Libanius wrote to Bosporius asking exemption from the obligations, so that
the doctor could return to his adopted country.69
Libanius profited from his popularity in Ankara by becoming the teacher
of many sons of the leading families. The fathers are often known by name,
if not much more, from the correspondence. Among them were Parnasius,
whom Libanius had visited during his stays in Ankara; Pompeianus,
whom he commended to the governor as a special friend; and Arion, whose
father Agathius had been a philosopher.70
The practical effect of the network of friends which Libanius main-
tained is evident in the case of Aetius of Ankara and Obodianus of
Antioch. The former, a rich and influential man, had studied with Liba-
nius, then returned to his native city to become an advocate; he possessed
land in Phoenicia, and was able to give his daughter a generous dowry.
When Obodianus, a leading citizen of Antioch, had been sent to the capital
to congratulate Julian on his accession, he fell from his horse and hurt his
shoulder and was forced to stay in Ankara. There he received the hospi-
tality and consolation of Aetius, for both were united in their acquaintance
with Libanius. Naturally, when he returned to Antioch, Obodianus did not
cease to praise his Galatian host to their mutual friend.7' In this case, a
man of Antioch could find help and sympathetic company in a strange and
distant city because of the extensive connections of his famous compatriot.
Although the Ancyrans were usually extremely hospitable to strangers,
Libanius, Ep. 767; Seeck, Die Briefe, 47f.
67 Seeck, Die Briefe, 142, s.v. Eusebius XIX and XX.
68 Ibid., s.v.
Olympius VIII; Libanius, Ep. 1241.
Seeck, Die Briefe, s.v. Achillios III, Bosporios; Libanius, Eps. 756, 1444.
70 Seeck, Die Briefe, s.v. Parnasius
II, Pompeianus IV, Arion; see the table of students in Petit,
71Aetius: Seeck, Die Briefe, 49; PLRE, s.v. Aetius 2; Obodianus: Libanius, Ep. 733;
op. czt., s.v.

a philosopher and rhetorician named Iamblichus had a different experience.

While he was making a grand tour, he came to Ankara with a letter of
introduction to Maximus from Libanius. He was not well received and
complained to Libanius, who replied that the only reproach usually made
against the people of Ankara by strangers was that they were reluctant
to let them leave, but that perhaps their customs had changed because
of some recent disaster.72 The circumstances of this incident are totally
obscure, and it may perhaps be taken to show that in the vast majority of
cases the influence of Libanius was effective.
Libanius numbered among his friends not only the rich who inhabited
Ankara but the powerful who ruled it; he was well acquainted with the suc-
cessive governors of Galatia and had frequent correspondence with them.
Ecdicius, who held office in 360-61, was a native of Ankara. Like many of
his compatriots he sent his sons to study with Libanius in Antioch and
typically received letters from their teacher requesting favors for Hyperechius,
even years after he had left office.73His successor Acacius (361-62) was from
Antioch and already acquainted with Libanius before his move to Ankara.
To facilitate his stay there, Libanius suggested that he make the acquaintance
of the influential Maximus, who had a promising son whom the new governor
might help.74 In this way the new governor, a stranger, obtained an intro-
duction to a man of great influence in the city where he was to reside, and
might in turn reciprocatthethe favor by providing employment to Hypere-
chius. This was the first of a long series of such requests which Acacius received
from Libanius; finally, the young man was given a minor post on the gover-
nor's staff.75 After carrying out hisduts ies in Ankara, Acacius retired to
Antioch where his son was a student of Libanius.76
The most distinguished of the governors was Maximus, a native of Palestine,
who held office from 362-64. When he entered his new post in Ankara he
received a letter of congratulation from Libanius, who took the opportunity
to commend the rich Maximus to the new governor, and, as usual, to ask
favors for Hyperechius.77 Several other letters of introduction or requests for
favors reached the governor from the same source. Maximus is most important,
however, as a benefactor of the city. Governors of the age typically left
monuments of their rule behind them; Maximus is the only one whose local
building activity is recorded. His work was so extensive that Libanius remarked
that Ankara could as well be called the city of Maximus as that of Midas
whose birthplace it was according to legend. Maximus erected buildings of all
kinds, particularly fountains and nymphaea, which were favorite construc-
tions of the age. He was, in addition, a patron of rhetoric and education:
he increased the number of teachers, instituted more contests of rhetoric,
72 Libanius, Eps. 570, 607.
73 PLRE and Seeck, Die Briefe, s.v.; Libanius, Eps. 267, 1359, 1419.
74 Libanius, Ep. 298.
75 For full references, see Seeck, Die Briefe, 182.
Libanius, Ep. 1174; PLRE, s.v. Acacius 8; Seeck, Die Briefe, 36-39.
77 Libanius, Ep. 779; PLRE, s.v. Maximus 19; Seeck, Die Briefe, 207f.
and provided greater prizes for them.78The results of these benefactions seem
to have endured; it was after the term of Maximus that Libanius had occa-
sion to praise the local devotion to learning and remark on the fondness of
the Ancyrans for public debates. In spite of this generosity, evil rumors of
an unspecified nature about Maximus reached the court at Antioch, and his
reputation was only cleared by the eloquence of Hyperechius and the later
testimony of the delegates Bosporius and Strategius.79This aid was apparently
successful, for Maximus later rose to the high office of prefect of Egypt.
Galatia was governed in 364-65 by a fellow student of Libanius, the pagan
sophist Leontius, previously governor of Palestine. In an age which so
esteemed culture and rhetoric it was not uncommon for a writer or teacher to
rise to the highest positions, and even to succeed in them. As governor of
Galatia, Leontius received letters from Libanius of the usual kind asking favors
for various friends, including the inevitable Hyperechius.80 Since none of Liba-
nius' correspondence of 365-88 survives, the immediate successors of Leontius
are unknown, and only one later governor appears: Adelphius, who assumed
office in 392 as a young man beginning a career. He had been a student of
Libanius, appropriately holding office in the city with which his teacher had
such close relations.81
The letters of Libanius give some insight into administration and educa-
tion in a provincial capital. The question of the decurions, or local senators,
was one oferthe most serious which faced the government. Many municipal
public services depended on the generosity of senators who increasingly had
to be forced to contribute their resources as the financial situation of the
Empire deteriorated. This problem affected Ankara as much as other cities,
as already noted in the actions of Julian and in the cases of Hyperechius
and Achillius, the doctor of Palestine. But although the unwilling senators
attracted attention and thus occupy a major place in the modern perception
of the period, they seem to have been in a minority, at least in Ankara.
Albanius, the son of Agesilaus, for example, is mentioned as willingly fulfilling
his curial obligations, and Achillius, his uncle, had taken them so seriously
that he had drained his resources. The majority of Libanius' acquaintances
in Ankara, who evidently belonged to the curial class, seem to have been
prosperous and contented.82
The late antique government encouraged the spread of learning in order to
produce a supply of literate men qualified to serve in the greatly expanded
administration. The activities of the governor Maximus in promoting educa-
tion were thus not untypical. At Ankara, however, he was improving a favor-
able situation, for the city was already noted as a center of learning and had
Libanius, Ep. 1230.
79 Seeck, Die Briefe, 207.
80 PLRE, s.v. Leontius 9; Seeck, Die
Briefe, 195.
81 Libanius,
Ep. 1049; PLRE, s.v. Adelphius 3; Seeck, Die Briefe, 48f. I have dealt here only
with the governors mentioned by Libanius; for a list of those who held office from 284 to 395, see
PLRE, 1102, supplemented by Appendix I, infra.
82 Albanius: Libanius, Ep. 1444; Achillius: Ep.
767; for the senators, see A. H. M. Jones, The
Later Roman Empire 284-602 (Oxford, 1864), 724-63; and cf. Pack, op. cit. (note 63 supra).

distinguished teachers. The most famous was perhaps Hellespontius, an old

friend of Libanius who corresponded with him in 365. He traveled through
the world in the quest of learning, and finally as an old man came to Sardis
around 390. That city was a center of thaumaturgy, a system which practiced
divination and miracle-working as much as rhetoric, and whose proponents
were naturally not on good terms with more conventional rhetoricians and
teachers such as Libanius. When Hellespontius arrived in Sardis, he became
enamored of the teachings of the local philosopher Chrysanthius and regretted
that he had so long lived in error without learning anything useful-or so
Eunapius, a pupil of Chrysanthius and devotee of his fantastic doctrines,
wrote. After a dispute with Eunapius, however, the Galatian sophist left
Sardis and died in Bithynia shortly thereafter, instructing his disciple Proco-
piust to return to Sardis and admire Chrysanthius above all.83 Other local
teachers seem to have been more content with traditional learning. Agathius,
evidently a well-known philosopher, was a contemporary of Hellespontius but
is now known only as a name. In the 360's a certain Androcles was teaching
rhetoric in Ankara and sent pupils on to Libanius for more advanced study.
Among the many pupils of Libanius who themselves became teachers of
rhetoric two were Galatians, both named Libanius, apparently in honor of the
teacher. It is not certain whether they taught in Ankara or Antioch; in any
case, both died young.84
A normal education could be obtained in Ankara, but if the rich wished
their sons to succeed they would send them to a famous teacher abroad, who
would give them superior training and whose influence might be useful in
securing them a high position. Previous to this they might study with the
local professor. Libanius was the most famous teacher of the day, but he by
no means had a monopoly on influence or on the affection of the Galatians.
The same age produced two other famous teachers of rhetoric, both exact
contemporaries of Libanius: Himerius, who practiced in Athens and taught
the Church Fathers Gregory of Nazianzus and St. Basil, among others; and
Themistius, who taught, wrote, and held high political office in Constantinople,
but was already well known in Ankara. Himerius could boast that students
came to him from the cities of Galatia, and Themistius remarked that many
of his best students, those most devoted to learning, were Galatians; in addi-
tion, he praised Ankara as one of the Greek cities most learned and most
devoted to oratory.85 Since no correspondence survives, the students of these
teachers are not known, but their existence testifies to the prosperity of
Ankara and to the interest of its leading families in education and rhetoric.
Of course, an education did not guarantee success; Hyperechius, who studied
many years with Libanius, was unable to advance, and a certain Olympius,
who had been a student with Libanius, was forced to give up rhetoric since

83 Libanius, Ep. 461;

Eunapius: Vit. Soph., 504f.; for Sardis and its school, see C. Foss, Byzantine
and Turkish Sardis (Cambridge, Mass., 1976), 22-27.
Agathius: Libanius, Ep. 728; Androcles: Ep. 1242; the two Libanii: PLRE, s.v. Libanius 2.
Himerius, Or. LXIX.66 (given ca. 360); Themistius, Or. XXIII.299a (delivered in 377/78).
it failed to provide him with an adequate living. He became instead an
agens in rebus, or carrier of official despatches, a position which could lead to
considerable advancement and profit. It was in that capacity that he fre-
quently had occasion to pass through Ankara, where he would deliver messages
from Libanius.86
The correspondence of Libanius provides valuable insight into the life of
a class hardly mentioned in the other sources, the ruling aristocracy. These
men, who served in the local senate or in government offices or who lived on
their country estates, were almost all pagans and evidently had considerable
wealth.87 The sources of this wealth are rarely specified, but its existence
attests to the general prosperity of the city. Many evidently profited from
the opportunities which service in a venal administration offered; others had
succeeded as doctors, lawyers, or teachers; some inherited large sums and
estateses;and a goodly number must have been involved in the trade for which
the Galatians were famous. A large upper class flourished, maintaining the
pagan traditions and classical learning of its ancestors and sending its children
to famous pagan teachers. The influence of these men probably accounts for
Julian's favorable reception and the length of his stay; Ankara was by no
means run by its bishops and saints, as it might have appeared if the letters
of Libanius had not survived. When they cease, effectively after 365, the
fortunes of this class are no longer known, and in the following century,
when detailed information is again available, the social appearance of the city
was totally different.


The sources for the history of the city during the two and a half centuries
between the death of Jovian and the Persian invasion are much more sporadic
and less detailed than those so far considered. Such is the case for most of the
cities of Asia Minor; for Ankara, at least, they are sufficient to illustrate the
continuing military, administrative, and religious importance of the city. The
events of the beginning of this period, in particular, reveal Ankara as a major
military base.
Valens, appointed ruler of the East by his brother Valentinian while the
army was at Nicaea, had been on the throne for only a year and a half
when he was faced with the revolt of Procopius. He received the news in
October 365 at Cappadocian Caesarea and hastened to Galatia to learn the
seriousness of the revolt, which so depressed him that he considered resigning
the imperial power. However, urged by the encouragement of his friends, he

86 PLRE, s.v. Olympius 6.

Petit, 130, goes so far as to claim that all of Libanius' correspondents in Ankara were pagans,
and that the letter to the Senate, Ep. 1517, shows that its members were entirely pagan. Although
this may be true, evidence is lacking in several cases, and the rather conventional references to the
daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus (the Muses) in the letter to the Senate need not be taken to show
anything, any more than the fact that the poet whom they were encouraged to receive wrote on
pagan subjects. Nothing excludes the possibility that some, even many, of the senators may have
been Christians.

sent two legions into Bithynia to face the usurper. At Mygdus on the Sanga-
rius they were won over by an emotional plea by Procopius, and deserted
to him. Valens nevertheless persisted and marched westward, where his efforts
failed and he barely escaped capture. Leaving Bithynia in the hands of
Procopius, he withdrew to Ankara, which was to be his headquarters for the
winter. In these bleak circumstances, the imperial forces did gain one victory
at Dadastana on the frontier of Galatia, where the hapless Hyperechius was
turned over by his men without a fight. During the sojourn of the Emperor
and the army in Ankara, a son was born to Valens on 18 January 366. He
was called Valentinianus Galates, "the Galatian," a nickname reflecting his
place of birth. In the spring Valens ventured westward once again, took
Pessinus, and marched into Phrygia where he defeated and killed Procopius
and resumed supreme power.88For the rest of his reign, the Emperor resided
in the capital or in Antioch or fought on the Danube frontier. Naturally, in
their journeys between those cities, Valens and his retinue had occasion to
pass through Ankara; one such visit is marked by a law of July 371 for-
bidding anybody to give shelter to decurions who were seeking to avoid their
compulsory public duties.89
Valens, like Constantius, was a fervent Arian and persecuted the Orthodox
throughout his domains. One of his agents was the vicar of Pontus, Demos-
thenes, who summoned a synod at Ankara in mid-winter 375 in an effort to
discredit Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa.90After the death of Valens,
the Orthodox gained supremacy under Theodosius, who had little occasion
to visit the eastern provinces. Ankara, however, felt his presence in 381 when
he vindicated the memory of Paul, the patriarch of Constantinople who had
been deposed and executed by Constantius. The Saint's body, which had
apparently been preserved in Ankara, was brought from there and enshrined
in the capital.91
Under Arcadius, Ankara achieved new distinction as one of the residences of
the Emperor and his court. Each year in the early summer, as the climate
and humidity of the capital became insufferable, the imperial entourage would
set out for the fresher upland plains of Ankara, proceeding leisurely through
western Anatolia. The choice of Ankara seems to have been encouraged by
Arcadius' eunuch minister Eutropius, who, early in the reign, ran an adminis-
tration of such venality that provincial governorships were sold to the highest
bidder; that of Galatia is duly listed among them. The regime of Eutropius
was bitterly satirized by the court poet of the West, Claudian, who wrote
that the procession of the unwarlike minister and his train as they returned
from Ankara was so pompous that one might imagine that he had conquered
88For these events, see Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVI.7-9.
89 Cod. Th., XII.1.76. 90 St. Basil,
Eps. 225, 237.
91Socrates, V.9, an early source, and the only one to associate Paul with Ankara. The archbishop
was exiled to Armenia and executed at Cucusus; the circumstances of the removal of his body to
Ankara, which seems to have been firmly in the hands of the Arians since the accession of the bishop
Basil, are unknown. The lives of Paul by Photius (ninth century) and Simeon Metaphrastes (tenth
century) make no mention of Ankara; the latter, in fact, relates that the Saint's relics were brought
from Cucusus, though this might be a mere inference from the place of his execution.

the Persians and drunk of the Indus. Since the government moved with the
Emperor, it is possible to follow the imperial progress to Ankara for a few
years by the dates of laws which were issued along the road. In 397 Arca-
dius was at Nicomedia in late June, at Ankara by 4 September, and back in
Constantinople by 26 September. The following year he did not leave the
capital before 3 July, was in Nicomedia on the 6th of that month, at
Nicaea on the 12th, and at Mnizus in Galatia on the 27th; no laws were
issued from Ankara, but the court presumably spent August and part of
September there, returning to Constantinople before 11 October. In 399,
according to Claudian, Eutropius was about to leave for Ankara in the spring
of the year in which he was consul, but the annual movement had to be
suspended because of a devastating revolt of the Goths in Asia Minor. For
a few years it is not possible to reconstruct the imperial itinerary, but
in 405 the customary pattern reappears: the Emperor reached Nicaea early,
on 12 June, and was in Ankara on 10 July and 12 August, returning to the
capital before November.92 In general, Arcadius and his court seem to have
spent most summers in Ankara, which thus became functionally the capital
of the Empire. The city would have had to provide accommodation and
services for the whole retinue for months at a time, but would certainly
have benefited from their sojourn.
So far, Ankara has been seen as a military and administrative center, an
imperial resort, a place with a highly literate upper class, and a zealous
Christian community dominated by influential bishops. In the early fifth
century the city appears as a center of piety and charity, since it is known
primarily from the works of two Galatian Christians, Palladius and St. Nilus.
Palladius was born in Galatia in the reign of Julian or Jovian, became a
monk, and made extensive visits to Egypt and the Holy Land. He was made
bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia in 400, but was deposed and exiled five
years later because of his partisanship for the patriarch John Chrysostom.
In 412 he returned to Galatia, and subsequently became bishop of Aspona,
a city southeast of Ankara on the great highway; he died before 431. Palladius
is best known for his Lausiac History, written around 420, a series of bio-
graphies of holy men in Egypt and elsewhere.93 Less is known of his con-
temporary, St. Nilus, who was a native of Ankara and lived in a monastery
in or near the city for many years. He appears to have spent much time
in Constantinople, where he also became a disciple of Chrysostom; he died
before the middle of the fifth century. Many writings of St. Nilus on monas-
ticism and moral subjects have survived in addition to a remarkable corpus
of 1062 letters, two of which are addressed to Palladius.94The works of these
two holy men provide, en passant, much information about Ankara.
Eutropius: Claudian, In Eutropium, II.97-102, cf. 416; sale of offices: ibid., 1.259; chronology
of laws: Seeck, Regesten, 293, 295, 309.
93 See The Lausiac History of Palladius, ed. Dom Cuthbert Butler
(Cambridge, 1904) (hereafter
Hist. Laus.), for the text and details of the life of the author.
94 See M. Th. Disdier, in DTC,
XI, pt. 1 (1931), cols. 661-74, for the lives and works of Nilus and
a summary of the complex discussions which have arisen about his identity and the
authenticity of

In the early fifth century there were reportedly more than two thousand
virgins in Ankara. Among them, the most outstanding was Magna, a chaste
and ascetic woman who contributed generously to hospitals, to the poor,
and to bishops on pilgrimages. Palladius wrote a short account of her, and
Nilus addressed to her a treatise on voluntary poverty in 426 or 427 which
further reveals that she was a deaconness.95 Magna was evidently a rich
woman who had devoted herself to charity; she was not alone in such actions.
The ex-count Verus and his wife Bosporia were leading citizens of Ankara and
so generous that they cheated their heirs by giving the income of their property
to the poor and to the churches of the cities and towns. When a famine raged,
they opened their own stores of grain to the poor, and in so doing converted
many heretics to Orthodoxy. They themselves lived in great simplicity in the
country to avoid the luxury of the city, and wore only the cheapest clothes.96
The unusual name of Bosporia suggests that she might have been the daughter
or at least a relative of Bosporius, the correspondent of Libanius and leader of
the senate. He had been a rich pagan; the contrast between the luxurious
world portrayed by Libanius and the pious asceticism of its descendants of
sixty years later, when Christianity seems to have triumphed overwhelmingly
in the region, is remarkable, though of course exaggerated by the differing
nature of the sources.
While he was in Galatia, Palladius met an old man, Philoromus, who had
spoken boldly against Julian but seems not to have suffered excessively
thereby. Philoromus spent many decades in monasteries, journeyed on foot
to Rome, visited the Holy Land and Egypt, and retired to Galatia, where
he was still writing at the age of eighty; his works have not survived.97 An
unnamed monk completes the picture which Palladius presents of the pious
of Ankara and its region. This monk lived with the bishop of Ankara and gave
much help to the prison and the hospital. By his time, the Church had
developed an extensive system of philanthropy, already the subject of imita-
tion by Julian. One night, this monk went out to the porch of the church
where a multitude of people had gathered, lying there for their daily food-a
normal occurrence in all great cities, as Palladius remarked. On this occasion,
one of the women was in the pangs of childbirth with no doctor to assist
her; the monk obligingly delivered the baby. The same holy man would
immediately sell a book if given one, saying that he could not endure to
lean over a writing-tablet, since compassion drove him from studies.98
Further colorful details come from the writings of St. Nilus. Two of his letters
deal with the local martyr, St. Plato, who by this time had become the
patron Saint of the city. In one of them, Nilus violently reproaches the ex-
his works; cf. the detailed treatment of K. Heussi, Untersuchungen zu Nilus dem Asketen (Leipzig,
1917); see also infra, note 103. The works of Nilus are printed in PG, 79; the letters to Palladius
11.133 and 134, col. 256.
95 Palladius, Hist. Laus., 67; Nilus, cols. 968-1060.
96 Palladius, Hist. Laus., 66.
97 Ibid., 45.
98 Ibid., 68.

prefect Taurianus, a pagan devoted to the worship of Cronus. He had arrested

some monks who had fled into the shrine of Plato for refuge, and had put
them in jail; no further details are given, but there were still pagans in high
office (and would cotinue to be ntil the hof time Justinian)
againstiii whom
the Saint might reasonably be expected to protect the faithful.99 More impres-
sive is the miracle which St. Plato performed at a great distance. A certain
man of Ankara and his is young son went to Mt. Sinai and
inentered the famous
monastery. After some time, the monastery was attacked by barbarians who
carried the son off into the desert, where he began to suffer terribly. The
father, who had providentially taken refuge in a cave, prayed to Christ
through the martyr Plato, his compatriot. Hs petition was directed to the
right quarters, for immediately a strange horseman appeared to the son, leading
a second horse on which to bear him from captivity. The son recognized
Pla from often seeing his picturectuhis on icons; the Saint led him back to
father, then disappeared.100This miraculous narrative shows not only the
importance of the local Saint, but also the intense loyalty to his native city
which a citizen of Late Antiquity, like his classical forebears, still felt, as
well as the prevalence and importance of icons at the time.
Among the works of Nilus is an encomium on an otherwise unknown holy
man, Albianus, who had been born and raised in Ankara. He joined a
monastery on the mountain opposite the citadel of Ankara which was adminis-
tered by Leontius, later bishop of the city. Subsequently, Albianus retreated
to the desert of Egypt and became a monk.101Pilgrimages to the Holy Land
and to Egypt to visit the famous monks seem to have been a popular
activity of Galatians; Palladius spent a great deal of time there, Philoromus
visited, while Albianus and the anonymous beneficiaries of St. Plato actually
took up residence in Egypt. Similarly, a Galatian named Petrus felt the call
to holiness, traveled in the East, and made his home in an old tomb near
Antioch, where he passed most of his life and was visited in his old age at
the end of the fourth century by young Theodoret, the historian of the
The letters of Nilus are addressed to a great variety of people, civil and
ecclesiastical, throughout the eastern Empire; the recipients range from the
Emperor Arcadius to a slave, and include bishops, priests, monks, high
government officials, sophists, teachers, gold and silver workers, painters,
architects, and a variety of tradesmen. Unfortunately, the content of most
of the letters is so vapid that it is impossible without other information to
determine what proportion of these recipients were natives or residents of

99Nilus, Ep. 11.178, col. 291.

Ep. IV.62, col. 580f.
101Nilus, Oratio in Albianum,
PG, 79, cols. 696-712; see also cols. 700, 703.
Theodoret, Religiosa historia, IX, PG, 82, cols. 1377-88.
103 See the table of
recipients, in PG, 79, cols. 59-68; and the remarks of Heussi, op. cit. (supra,
note 94), 96ff. A. Cameron, "The Authenticity of the Letters of St. Nilus of
Ancyra," GRBS, 17
(1976), 181-96, has now shown that most of the headings of the letters are forgeries.

Leontius, who presided over the monastery in Ankara, is almost certainly

to be identified with the bishop of the city who held office in the time of
Arcadius and zealously enforced Orthodoxy.104He dealt with the Novatians,
whose sect had many adherents in the region, by the simple expedient of
seizing their church and refusing to return it.105Leontius' successor Theodotus,
who ruled the church from about 430 to 440, was a leading figure in the
Nestorian controversy, preaching against Nestorius during the Council of
Ephesus. He was a correspondent of other ecclesiastical leaders and wrote
numerous sermons as well as a long exposition on the Nicene creed.106
The careers and works of these bishops and writers illustrate many aspects
of Ankara in the fifth century. The religious life of the city may be further
reflected in a curious inscription which deals with the Patriarch Jacob, Abgar
of Edessa, and the Magi in their relationship to Jerusalem. The meaning of
this fragmentary document has not been determined.'07The following century
was generally peaceful for the provinces of Anatolia; the emperors rarely
a, and the Church, at least in this region, was relatively
stirred from the capital,
free from turmoil. It is therefore not surprising that only scattered notices
of Ankara have survived.
In 452 Galatia was afflicted by the twin scourges of famine and plague
provoked by a drought.108Such problems were endemic, since the agriculture
of the region depended on a delicate balance of natural conditions, but there
is no indication that they had yet provoked any decline in the population.
On two occasions, travelers appear who had suffered accidents and were treated
in Ankara. In the latter part of the century, some monks of the monastery of
the Acoemeti on the Bosporus were sailing on the Black Sea when their ship
was wrecked and they were forced to return overland. When they came to
Ankara, one of them fell sick, and was only saved by a miracle of the abbot,
St. Marcellus, whose prayers from the monastery near the capital effected a
cure.109In about 480, a traveler from the east was following the great high-
way when he was set upon by brigands, robbed, beaten, and left for dead
near Ankara. He was found by other travelers and brought to the bishop of
the city who had him taken to the hospital and treated. Since he was still

104Leontius was famous as a monk before he became bishop: Sozomen, VI.34.

105Sozomen, VIII.1.
106The works of Theodotus are published in PG, 77, cols. 1313-1431.
107 For a
preliminary publication, see B. van Elderen, "A New Inscription Relating to Christianity
at Edessa," Calvin Theological Journal, 7 (1972), 5-14. The inscription can be dated by its reference
to the impregnability of Edessa, which became part of the legend surrounding Abgar in the early
fifth century and would have been inappropriate after the Persian conquest of the city in 609. It is
preserved in the Roman baths at Ankara, but its provenance is unknown. The editor supposed that it
might have been transported from Edessa, an assumption which the size of the stone renders unlikely.
Even if it is from Ankara, the interpretation of the inscription is far from obvious. Perhaps it was
associated with a copy of the correspondence between Jesus and Abgar, which was inscribed on walls
as a protection. Prof. I. Sev6enko kindly provided reference to the inscription and explanation of
the mention of Jacob; I believe he will publish it with a novel interpretation.
108 II.6.
109Vita Marcelli, PG, 116, col. 729; the miracle is undated, but must have taken place before
the death of the Saint which occured in 485.
unable to use his legs after his recovery, he asked the bishop to help him
continue on his pilgrimage to the stylite saint, Daniel, who lived by the
Bosporus. The bishop granted him an animal, two men, and money for his
The reign of Zeno the Isaurian was disturbed by a series of revolts. One of
them was led by Marcian, son of the western Emperor Anthemius, but he
was soon defeated and exiled to Cappadocia. Shortly afterward, however, he
escaped, raised a large force from the local peasantry, and marched westward
to attack Ankara. The general Trocundes arrived there first and defeated
Marcian, who was exiled to Isauria.lll This abortive revolt is the only known
occasion in Late Antiquity when Ankara was even approached by a hostile
During the reign of Justinian, major administrative changes affected Asia
Minor. In 535 the office of vicar of Pontus was abolished and his salary was
added to that of the governor of Galatia Prima (the province of Ankara), who
would henceforth be given the rank of comes with civil and military power
over the province. This measure was taken to give the administration more
power to deal with troubles in the province, especially a great rise in brigand-
age. In the following years, however, the situation deteriorated; disorder was
on the rise and the governor, although he had been given extensive powers,
was unable to control the murderers and highwaymen who simply fled from
him across the frontiers of the province. In 548, therefore, the earlier decree
was revoked, the governor of Galatia was reduced once more to a purely civil
magistrate, and the vicar of Pontus was restored with wide-ranging civil and
military powers over the wholee regin
eion from
r theeBosporus to the frontier; his
headquarters were presumably at Ankara.112Among the troops placed under his
command were the corps of he Domestics and Protectors, who had originally
been high-ranking staff officers with numerous duties but by this time had
degenerated to an ornamental body with high pay and privileges, for which
they qualified by paying heavily for entrance into the corps. A body of these
stationed in Galatia, like their fellows elsewhere, felt the pinch of economy
when Justinian, who suffered the perpetual necessity of raising excessive
revenue to pay for his extravagant policies at home and abroad, forced them
to relinquish their salaries.ll3
Justinian was as seriously concerned with the defense of the Empire as with
its finances. In his great building activity, which affected every part of the
Empire, he repaired the military highway which led through Ankara to the
frontier. No work in the city is mentioned, but in western Galatia a stone
bridge was built across the river Siberis near the village of Syceon, and the
110 Vita Danielis Stylitae, cap. 87, in H. Delehaye, Les saints stylites, SubsHag, 14 (Brussels,
1923), 81f.
111 John of Antioch, frag. 211.4, FHG, IV, 619; cf. Candidus Isaurus, frag. 1, FHG, IV, 137;
and, for the events in a broad context, E. W. Brooks, "The Emperor Zenon and the Isaurians,"
EHR, 8 (1893), 209-38, esp. 219f.
112 Decree of 535:
Justinian, Novel VIII.3; decree of 548: Justinian, Edict VIII.
Procopius, Anecdota, 24.25.

fortifications of the nearby town of Juliopolis were rebuilt.114It was presum-

ably this highway that the pilgrim Theodosius followed on his way to Jeru-
salem in about 530. In the account of his journey he mentions Ankara as
the site of the shrine of St. Plato the martyr, which was for him the chief
attraction of the city.115 By this time, the cult of the Saint had spread and
a martyrium in his honor was built by Justinian in the capital, near the forum
of Constantine; his worship had probably been brought by merchants or
officials of Ankara.ll
During the reign of Justinian, Galatia was considered a fit place of retire-
ment for the last king of the Vandals, Gelimer, who was given lands there
after his kingdom had fallen to the Romans in 534.117But the most important
event by far for the province, and indeed for the whole Empire, was the
violent outbreak of the bubonic plague, which reached Asia Minor in 542. It
carried off a substantial proportion of the population and then became
endemic, recurring at intervals for the next fifty years. Although not known
in detail, it seems to have been the greatest disaster which the late antique
state had to face, and one which did much to provoke its ultimate decline.8
In Galatia, the plague struck Syceon when the local holy man, St. Theodore,
was twelve years old; he was miraculously saved by an icon of Christ.19 The
narrative of his life and miracles will provide the framework for the remaining
late antique history of Ankara.
Syceon was a village in Galatia on the great highway twelve miles from
the city of Anastasiopolis and about seventy miles west of Ankara. In the
village was an inn where traveers might find rest, refreshment,en, and
a ter-
tainment; it was kept by woman and her two daughters, all prostitutes.
Business was naturally very active because of the importance of the highway,
which brought imperial couriers and all sorts of government officials. One of
these couriers was a certain Cosmos who one day, as he stopped at the inn,
took Mary, the more beautiful of the daughters, to bed; from their union was
born the future Saint.120
When the young St. Theodore was about eight years old, the women
abandoned whoredom and decided to do business by the excellence of their
cuisine alone. As a result, they attracted many governors and officials to their
inn, and within ten years the Saint's mother had advanced so far financially
and socially that she took her portion of her inheritance, moved to Ankara,
the provincial capital, and made a good marriage with a leading citizen, the
Procopius, Buildings, V.4; for the remains of the bridge, see Anderson, "Exploration" (supra,

note 2), 65-67, with a plan; and Macpherson, o. cit.. (sra, note 2, 11, with a photograph, p. x.l.
It is not clear whether the road from Bithynia into Phrygia mentioned in Buildings, V.3.12-15, is
the great highway, as seems probable, or some other.
115 Itinera ed. P. Geyer, CSEL, 39 (Vienna, 1898), 144.
Procopius, Buildings, 1.4.27.
Procopius, Bell. Vand., IV.9.13.
118 For the
plague, see J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, 2nd ed. (London, 1923),
62-66; for its effects, see J. Teall, "Barbarians in Justinian's Armies," Speculum, 40 (1965), 294-322;
and E. Patalgean, Pauvret6 dconomiqueet pauvretd sociale a Byzance (Paris, 1977), 85-92.
119 Vita Theod.
Syc., cap. 8.
Ibid., cap. 3.
Protector David. When she died not long after, a messenger came with the
news and her dowry to the young Saint, who had stayed behind in the vil-
lage.l21 Theodore was left with the charge of his young sister, a virgin of
twelve who tried to imitate him in holiness. The Saint thought it best to
encourage her desire for piety, and took her to Ankara and committed her to
the nuns of the convent of Petris. She became a nun herself and died three
years later.122When his grandmother died several years later, she left Theo-
dore enough money that he was able to build a large church with three
apses on a hill near Syceon, with an oratory dedicated to St. Plato adjacent
to it.123
Sometime later there was a recurrence of the plague in Ankara, and both
men and oxen perished. The problem was so serious that the Protectors of
the city sought a typicay late antique remedy:
calemledthey on the holy man,
and led him back with them to Ankara. Some who had daughters in the con-
vent of the Mother of God of Beeia persuaded him to stay there and bless its
inmates with his prayers and his presence. Theodore found the cure for the
pestilence the same for a great city as for the remote villages of the country-
side. On an appointed day the whole population of the city and the neigh-
borhood went in procession behind the Saint who prayed to God for deliver-
ance. His prayers were successful, Ankara was freed from the plague, and
even the cattle were saved by being sprinkled with holy water which Theodore
blessed. The citizens of the metropolis then brought him back to his monastery
with profuse thanks.l24 In this scene, which was a common one and which
might be repeated in the West or the East for most of the next millennium,
the spirit of the Middle Ages is already evident. In the time of Julian and
Libanius a veneer of classical rationality still subsisted, especially in the
cites; now, two centuries later, an enormous change has taken place, and the
difference between country and city, which so marked classical culture, seems
to have faded as the rural, and less rational, spirit triumphed.
the fame of St. Theodore spread, the number and rank of his visitors
became more substantial. Many of them, of course, were peasants, and on
numerous occasions the Saint was called to the villages to relieve drought
or pestilence, drive out demons, or perform other public services. Others came
from Ankara; among them was a man whose dumb son the Saint caused to
speak.125But the most distinguished visitors passed through Syceon because
of its location on the great highway. In 578, as he was returning from a
victorious campaign against the Persians, the future Emperor Maurice stopped
to consult the Saint. A holy man from the desert in the East, on his way to
ask a favor of the Emperor, visited Theodore. Domentziolus, nephew of the
Emperor Focas, called on the Saint during his march to the frontier to defend
it against the inroads of the Persians, and became a frequent visitor as
121 Ibid., caps. 6, 25, 33.
122 Ibid.,
cap. 25.
123 Ibid.,
cap. 55.
124 Ibid.,
cap. 45.
125 Ibid., cap. 61.

his high military command caused him to pass often along the highway.
An imperial secretary was cured of stomach trouble at Justinian's bridge
over the Siberis, and a condemned prisoner, George of Cappadocia, who had
led a revolt against Focas, was offered consolation by the Saint. The notorious
consul Bonosus, a favorite of Focas, visited Theodore, but the Saint's reputa-
tion probably reached its highest point when he received the Emperor Herac-
lius in 613. The Saint invited the Emperor to stay for dinner, but the latter
replied that he must hasten on to the frontier.126All these dignitaries were
following the great highway which led through Ankara to the frontier; they
necessarily stopped in the city, and their presence, by illustrating the import-
ance of the highway, suggests that the prosperity of Ankara continued to the
very end of the age.
Theodore himself also traveled on occasion, making three journeys to the
Holy Land. On one of these he encountered some fellow Galatians, pilgrims
or merchants. They recognized him and commended him warmly to the people
of Jerusalem, who were then suffering from a drought. They had a holy man
in their country, they said, who could fill the whole world with rain in a single
prayer. By this time, Theodore had gained considerable notoriety as a local
saint, and the Galatians, loyal to their native country, showed great pride in
him, as they had earlier demonstrated for their patron Saint, Plato.127
The centralization of the late antique government required provincials to
go to the metropolis to conduct important business. Consequently, when the
bishop of Anastasiopolis, a city near Syceon, died in about 580, the local clergy
and landowners went to Ankara to petition the archbishop Paul to appoint
Theodore as their shepherd. The archbishop agreed, and the Saint was forcibly
dragged from his cell and ordained in the metropolis. His tenure as bishop,
although it lasted some fifteen years, was not an unqualified success; the holy
man, independent of the regular church organization, could not easily adapt
to its structure. After disputes with the local magnates, who had considerable
influence in the administration of the church, Theodore decided to resign his
office and went to Ankara with his request. The archbishop, reluctant to
accept the resignation, in his turn sent to the patriarch in Constantinople for
advice. When consent finally came from the capital, Theodore was freed of his
cares and allowed to return to his normal existence.28 He continued to work
miracles in the region, saving the peasantry and others from oppression,
demons, and natural disasters. During the reign of Maurice, for example,
when a severe famine again afflicted Galatia, the Saint miraculously provided
wheat for the villagers.129
Theodore's promotion to the bishopric illustrates some of the changes which
had taken place in the life of the late antique city since the time of Liba-

126 Maurice: ibid.,

cap. 54; holy man: cap. 73; Domentziolus: cap. 120; secretary: cap. 121;
George of Cappadocia: cap. 125; Bonosus: cap. 142; Heraclius: cap. 166.
127Ibid., cap. 50.
Ibid., cap. 58.
129 Ibid.,
cap. 104.
nius. In the sixth century, the local senates had virtually ceased to exist
and the administration of the cities was in the hands of the bishops, the
clergy, and the leading citizens. In Ankara the latter seem collectively to have
gained the rank of Protector. The influence of the bishop, in particular, had
grown considerably, and among his many other duties he had assumed some
responsibility for public works. A bridge on the road to Pessinus, about thirty
miles west of Ankara, was built by the bishop Paul, perhaps the same who
ordained St. Theodore.l30
Another aspect of the centralization was the extensive jurisdictional power
of the governor. Seemingly tvial infractions of the laws were referred to
him, and he was obliged to take direct action. On one occasion, the inhabitants
of a certain village approached Theodore in tears after the divine service
because a slab of stone had been removed from a hillside, releasing a host of
demons who had been horribly afflicting the villagers. The Saint obliged and
applied the remedy which had cured the plague in Ankara. He led the villagers
in procession in prayer around the town, replaced the stone in its original
position, cast out the demons, and planted a cross on the site to prevent
them from returning. In the meantime, the governor Euphrantas had got word
of the events and surmised that the villagers were digging for treasure, an
illegal activity. The governor's suspicions were probably correct: it is still a
common superstition in the Turkish countryside that old stones conceal
treasure, and that hills, in particular, are rich sources, as attested by the
common place-name Maltepe, "Treasure Hill." The Saint successfully inter-
vened; he wrote to the governor that the villagers had been led into their
activity by the Devil, and he saved them from prosecution.131 A similar
instance happened in a nearby village when a farmer dug into the side of a
hill and released unclean spirits who tormented the villagers. When the news
reached the governor, he decided to take firm action against the farmers who
had violated the law by breaking open a grave. Several of the villagers were
beaten with oxhides, and the offending farmer was taken away for punishment.
Once again the Saint appeared, cast out the demons, and restored peace.132
These two instances, trivial in themselves, present good examples of the swift
and heavy hand of late antique justice. Although the governor was more than
seventy miles away, word reached him quickly because the villages in question
were not far from the great highway, and he did not delay in taking appro-
priate action.
The biography of St. Theodore provides a remarkable and unique record
of life in the neighborhood of Ankara in the twilight of the ancient world.
Within a few years, this peaceful scene would be disrupted and changed for-
ever as victorious enemy forces descended on the country. The Saint did not
live to experience the coming disaster, but saw it with the eyes of prophecy.

130 The
bridge was three hours west of the village of Balkuyumcu; its inscription was published by
W. M. Ramsay, "Inscriptions de la Galatie et du Pont," BCH, 7 (1883), 22 no. 11.
131 Vita Theod.
Syc., cap. 115.
132 Ibid.,
cap. 116.

He predicted apostasy, barbarian attacks, bloodshed, captivity and destruc-

tion, desolation of the churches, and collapse of te Empire. These dire events
would foreshadow the coming of Antichrist and the end of the world.133
Theodore was not alone in his gloomy anticipations, nor were the fears of such
pessimists unjustified. Antichrist appeared in the form of Chosroes II, King of
Persia, and the ancient world soon came to an end in a bloody convulsion.
By the time the Saint uttered his prediction, Maurice had been deposed and
slain by Focas, and Chosroes, claiming to avenge Maurice, crossed the Roman
frontiers in force to begin a war which would be more destructive than any
the ancient world had seen. Before examining these disastrous events, how-
ever, it might be appropriate to review the archeological evidence for late
antique Ankara which will illustrate the sources so far considered.


In the early eighteenth century, Ankara was a densely inhabited city

occupying about the same area as its late antique predecessor; subsequently
so that w it is a modern metropolis
it has not ceased to grow and prosper,no,
which sprawls far into the countryside of Late Antiquity. Under these circum-
stances, it is hardly surprising that the archeological record is slender. In
the constant habitation and growth of the city many old buildings were
naturally destroyed, and few open spaces were left where excavation could
be pursued without great inconvenience. Nevertheless, some important work
has been done, mostly in the northern part of the ancient city, which has
provided some hints of the physical appearance of late antique Ankara. In
addition, the written sources mention numerous buildings, which are listed here
as some indication of the structures that were to be found in the city:134
Public buildings:
** The city walls (ca. 270; note 14)
* The palace (ca. 300, 362; notes 16, 53)
The praetorium (362; note 53)
The senate house (365; note 67)
The agora (343, 361; notes 36, 69)
A basilica where the vicar presided opposite the Temple of Zeus
(ca. 300; note 26)
A basilica (?) at Cryptus (ca. 300)135
The temple of Zeus (ca. 300; note 26)
The temple of Asclepius (362; note 53)
* The gymnasium of Polyeidus (ca. 300; notes 14, 16)

Ibid., cap. 134; cf. the quotations from the time of Focas and Heraclius about the end of the
world in Jones, Later Roman Empire (note 82 supra), 316f.
134 The following list gives the dates for which the buildings were attested and reference to the
footnotes of this work where more detailed references may be found. Those marked * were restored,
and those marked ** were built in Late Antiquity.
135 I infer the existence of a basilica or some similar public building from Vita Clementis, 860,
where the Saint was brought before the governor Curicius, who was presiding in a place called Cryptus.
* The
building "of Theodotus" (ca. 300; note 16)
The prison (ca. 300, 362, 420; notes 16, 53, 111)
** Unspecified buildings of John the Restorer and the governor
Maximus (ca. 300, 362-64; notes 16, 78)
Public works:
* The
aqueduct (ca. 300; note 15)
* A fountain
(ca. 300; note 15)
** Fountains and nymphaea (362-64; note 78)
Ecclesiastical buildings:
The cathedral church (420; note 98)
The new church dedicated by Basil in 358 (note 36)
Church of St. Plato (ca. 430; note 99)
Church of St. Clement at Cryptus (uncertain date; note 22)
Church of the Archangels (no date)136
Church "of the Saints" (no date)137
Church of the Novatians (ca. 403; note 105)
Chapel of Christopher and Chariton at Cryptus (uncertain date;
note 22)
Monastery of Nilus (5th cent.; note 94)
Monastery on the mountain opposite the citadel (ca. 400; note 101)
Monastery of Attalina (ca. 620; note 168)
Convent of Magna (426; note 95)
Convent of the Mother of God of Beeia (late 6th cent.; note 124)
Convent of Petris (late 6th cent.; note 122)
Hospice (xenodochion) (ca. 420; note 95)
Hospital (nosokomeion)(ca. 420, ca. 480; notes 98, 110)
Campus (ca. 300; note 24)
Cryptus (ca. 300; note 22)
Private buildings:
Country estate of Maximus (361; note 58)
To these, of course, should be added buildings mentioned in earlier texts
which would still have been standing and used in Late Antiquity, such as the
theater, the amphitheater, the bath, and numerous temples.138 The vast
majority of these buildings has vanished without a trace, or at least cannot
be identified with any surviving remains, but two are represented by important

136 See the

inscription of the sixth (?) century, the tombstone of Paul, "priest of the Archangels,"
in G. de Jerphanion, "M6langes d'arch6ologie anatolienne," MglUSJ, 13 (1913), 289 no. 63
after Jerphanion, "M6langes").
137 CIG, 9258, epitaph of Theodore,
priest of the saints; his church may have been dedicated to
Christopher and Chariton, or to some other group of saints.
138 For a list of these, see Bosch,
Quellen, index, s.v. "Gebaude in Ankara"; cf. Erzen, op. cit.
(supra, note 1), 94-100.

ruins and some others may be at least tentatively located. Archeological

investigations in the city, furthermore, have revealed buildings, particularly
private residences, which are not mentioned in the sources.
The city walls which were built by the unnamed benefactor in the time
of famine and barbarian attack were a typical development of the period,
when cities of the interior were subject to attack for the first time in
centuries. At Ankara, most of the walls of the late third century have dis-
appeared, but enough survived in modern times to suggest that their course
was not much different from that of the Ottoman city walls known from
old illustrations and maps.139A fragment of the line of the ancient walls was
excavated near the Roman baths in the northern part of the city. The wall
was 3.7 meters thick, and consisted largely of spoils; it was protected by a
ditch and was built directly over the ruins of a Roman building, apparently
a private house with a hot bath. Lamps and pottery found in the ruined
building suggest that it was inhabited in the second and third centuries, and
again only in the time of the Seljuks.140This small excavation is of great
importance in providing graphic evidence for the destruction wrought by the
barbarian attacks, and for the Roman response to it: parts of the city were
laid in ruins, and the new wall was built directly over them; the ancient
material which it incorporated no doubt came from other buildings which were
ruined and abandoned.141
The most important excavated site in Ankara is that of the large Roman
gymnasium at ankirikapi in the northern part of the city. This establish-
ment, built in the time of Caracalla, was a typical grandiose complex com-
posed of an extensive open exercise court, or palaestra, and an enclosed
building with the usual complement of hot and cold baths, dressing and

139 The course of the Roman city walls is described by

E. Mamboury, in Ankara touristique (Ankara,
1934) (hereafter Mamboury, Ankara), 71ff. The Ottoman walls were built at the end of the six-
teenth century, largely of ruins of ancient buildings; for a description of their circuit, see ibid., 7882;
and, for their history, S. Eyice, "Ankara'mn Eski bir Resmi," Atatirk Konferanslarz, 4 (1970), 61-124,
esp. 73, 74-87 passim, an extremely valuable and important survey of the history of the sources
for Ottoman Ankara, with especial consideration of a splendid anonymous Dutch painting of the
eighteenth century, whose importance Professor Eyice was the first to recognize (I am grateful to
Dr. Rudi Lindner for this reference). For the course of the Ottoman walls, see the map of Major
von Vincke (1839), apud Mamboury, op. cit., facing p. 69, and, on a larger scale, facing p. 78; also
Eyice, op. cit., figs. 60, 61. The walls appear in the engravings of Tournefort (1701) and Lucas (1705),
as well as in the Dutch painting, all conveniently reproduced in ibid., figs. 2, 3, 62. It would not be
impossible for an Ottoman wall to follow the course of one a millennium older; compare the case of
Pergamum, where the walls of Manuel Comnenus (built about 1170) followed those of the late third
century, which had been abandoned for a comparable time: A. Conze et a., Altertiimer von Perga-
mon. I, Stadt und Landschaft (Berlin, 1912), 299-304, 307f.
140 The stretch of wall discovered was about 40 meters long; see the excavation report of M. Akok,
"Ankara ?ehri isinde rastlanan tlkcag yerle?mesinden bazi izler ve iig ara?tlrma yeri," Belleten, 19
(1955), 316f.; parts of the "classical" walls of the citadel, found behind the Ankara telefon santrah
(ibid., 310 note 2), might belong to the same system. Other traces were found between the two circuits
of Byzantine walls: R. Arik, "Les r6sultats des fouilles faites i Ankara par la societe d'histoire turque,"
La Turquie kemaliste, 21/22 (December 1937), 48f.
141 The rather scanty evidence of the excavation does not entirely preclude the possibility that
the wall represents a construction of the seventh century or later, after much of the city had been
destroyed by the Persians (see the following section); the pottery, however, makes assignment to
the late third century far more likely. Coin finds, which might have provided substantial evidence,
were never published (they are mentioned by Akok, op. cit., 317).

anointing rooms, and swimming pool.142Such thermae were erected all over
Asia Minor and other parts of the Empire in the second and third centuries.
Its fate during the invasions is not certain, but it was included within the cir-
cuit of the third-century walls and shows evidence of substantial later repairs
which were considerably less splendid than the original construction. The
walls around the pool, for example, were originally covered with marble revet-
ment and mosaic; when these were repaired, the marble and mosai
removed and replaced with plaster. Similarly, in the interior of the building,
many places where the mosaic was removed were filled in with plaster or crude
mosaic.143Since the building has not yet been published in detail, it is not
possible to extrapolate much from the repairs. They evidently show that the
bath was in continued use, and that at some time the city did not have
the resources or the inclination to rebuild it in its original magnificence.
This would well accord with the circumstances of the age, when cities were
notoriously short of funds because
ca of the ever increasing financial demands of
the central government; but lack of chronology precludes consideration of the
remains in a satisfactory historical context. Valuable confirmation of the
continuity of the baths through Late Antiquity, however, is provided by the
coin finds from the site. These indicate considerable activity in the third and
fourth centuries, some decline in the fifth and sixth, and a break in the
reign of Heraclius.144A large group of very small bronze coins, "minimi," of
Anastasius, all in remarkably fine preservation, may reflect some major repairs
of the time or, more probably, represent a hoard buried for safekeeping.l45
This bath is possibly to be identified with the gymnasium of Polyeidus
named in two late antique inscriptions. The first records only that it was
restored after being ruined, but the other, which contains the praise of John
"the Restorer," is more specific and provides details of the reconstruction.
John restored the arches of the aqueduct which stood next to the gymnasium
and brought in the great volume of water that was needed; he roofed the
colonnades of part of the building which had been abandoned and rebuilt its
water channel; and he restored the "winter bath"-the room or rooms used
in the winter, presumably because they faced south-and adorned it with
marble revetment and other decoration.146From this, it is apparent that the
The baths have never been published, but useful preliminary reports and restorations exist:
K. O. Dalman et al., "Archaologische Funde in Ankara 1931," AA (1932), 234-48
N. Dolunay, "Tiirk Tarih Kurumu adina yapilan 9ankilrkapi hafriyatl," Belleten, 5
(1941), 261-66
(important); M. Akok, "Ankara Sehrindeki Roma Hamami," Dergi, 17 (1968), 5-37 (excellent series
of plans and discussion of restoration).
Repairs: Dolunay, op. cit., 264, 266.
The coin sequence is tabulated in Appendix II; I examined the coins in the Museum of Ana-
tolian Civilizations, Ankara, through the kind courtesy of Bay Raci Temizer, the Director, ana
Musa Kurum, numismatist, who will publish them properly. All the coins in the
Appendix were found
in the excavations of 1939: they are discussed by Bosch, Quellen, 321.
145 See
Appendix II; Bosch, loc. cit., mentions a hoard found in a waterpipe, but gives no indica-
tion of the coins which it contained; those of Anastasius seem by their
homogeneity and condition
to have formed an independent group.
146 Bosch, ibid., no. 306; his translation contains several
misunderstandings. The word holkos
does not mean "arcade," but "aqueduct" or "water channel," and is so used
commonly in Late
Antiquity, e.g., Justinian, Novel XXIV.3, XXV.4; and particularly a verse inscription of Miletus

gymnasium of Polyeidus was a large complex of the kind represented by the

Roman baths at (anklrlkapl; perhaps they were the same structure. The
colonnades of the inscription would be those of the palaestra, the "winter
bath" could be some part of the complex on the south side of the palaestra,
and the revetment certainly existed in the excavated building. On the other
hand, a city of the size and importance of Ankara could have had more than
one such establishment; only further discoveries can resolve the question.
Of the other buildings and places mentioned in the sources, few can be
identified with any probability. Neither the buildings of the governor Maxi-
mus, nor the "most useful work" built by the consularis Minicius Florentius
and commemorated on an inscription built into the citadel walls, can now be
located.'47The temples, government buildings, and fountains have disappeared,
as have most of the churches. The site of the aqueduct, however, may be
determined: it led from the east to the steep back side of the citadel, where
the water was conveyed uphill by means of a stone siphon composed of
large pierced blocks. These peculiar stones were reused in the east wall of the
Byzantine citadel, but not elsewhere.148The place called Cryptus, where one
of the governors who tried St. Clement held court and where the Saint and
his followers were later buried and honored by churches and chapels, was
probably at the foot of the castle hill, where the Byzantine church of
St. Clement later stood. Normally, the site of a martyrdom and burial would
have been outside the city walls, but the statement that the governor was
presiding at Cryptus strongly suggests that it was within the city. The
monastery on the mountain opposite the citadel would have been located on
Mt. Tamerlane, the modern Altmdag, a barren hill which, despite its central
location, was left outside the city until the time of the Republic, when a
settlement of Kurds was established on it. The monastery itself probably stood
on the peak of the hill facing the citadel at the Hldrhlk, where a small domed
building was erected in honor of the Moslem Saint Hldlr. In the early nine-
teenth century, this site contained the remains of a long building constructed
of large stones, which may have represented the site of the monastery.149It
was, in any case, appropriate, and a common development, that a monastery

from the time of Justinian (Milet, 1/9: A. von Gerkan and F. Krischen, Thermen und Palaestren
[Berlin, 1928], 170, no. 343) which associates holkoi of water with a bath. This meaning of holkos does
not appear in the lexica. For the correct interpretation of the "winter bath," see J. and L. Robert,
"Bulletin 6pigraphique," REG, 59/60 (1946/47), no. 207. I have supposed that the lacuna at the end
of line 4, s...... si (no indication of the number of missing letters), might be filled with skoutl6si,
"revetment." Much work remains to be done on the inscription.
147 Minicius: Bosch, Quellen, 291, an inscription which further exemplifies the building activities
of governors of the city.
Jerphanion, "M6langes," 151-53.
149 For Mt. Tamerlane and its modern settlement, see Mamboury, Ankara, 41, with the illustra-

tion on p. 86; and for the remains on its summit, W. F. Ainsworth, Travels and Researches in Asia
Minor, Mesopotamia, Chaldea, and Armenia (London, 1842), I, 133. The Moslem holy site is discussed
in Eyice, op. cit. (supra, note 139), 112 note 98. It appears in the engraving of Tournefort (1701) and
Lucas (1705), in the anonymous Dutch painting of Ankara (18th cent.), and on early photographs;
for these, see Eyice, op. cit., figs. 2, 3, 10, 13, 62; and Mamboury, op. cit., 81. For its significance, see
F. W. Hasluck, Christianity and Islam under the Sultans (Oxford, 1929), 325, 328, 449; and the refer-
ences in Eyice, op. cit., 112 note 98.

should occupy ground which was of no other use. Finally, the Campus outside
the city where St. Plato was executed would have been the plain west of the
city beyond the marshes now represented by the Genclik Parki. This area has
produced numerous Christian tombs and gravestones, and was still the site
of a cemetery in the eighteenth century.150
Most of the surviving or excavated late antique remains cannot be identified.
The former are represented by a column and a church; the latter consist
mostly of private houses.l51 The so-called "Column of Julian" is a familiar
sight in the center of the old city of Ankara. It stands 141/2 meters high,
and consists of a rectangular base, a horizontally fluted shaft, and amcapital
decorated with acanthus leaves and round blank medallions. No inscription
indicates its date and purpose; the population has attributed it since the
sixteenth century or earlier to the Queen of Sheba, while the more learned
are responsible for the association with Julian. The latter suggestion, though
more plausible, has nothing to recommend it beyond the known fact of
Julian's sojourn in the city. Stylistic investigation of the capital has suggested
instead that the column may be the work of the late sixth century; the
occasion for its erection remains unknown.152
Of the many churches and monasteries mentioned in the sources only one
survives from Late Antiquity, and this is not an original construction but the
partial rebuilding of the temple of Rome and Augustus near the Column of
Julian. After the prohibition of pagan worship by Theodosius, the solidly
built walls of the temple were available for new uses. The interior was divided
by rows of columns into three aisles, and an apse was added to the east end.
The paving of the cella was removed and the floor lowered, while a crypt was
excavated under the apse. At this time, or perhaps much later, arched windows
were cut into the cella wall. By the time of this work, part of the building
seems to have been in ruins, for the columns of the opisthodomus, which
certainly would have been used had they still stood, were not incorporated
into the new construction. The style of the apse, in which alternating bands
of red and grey stones are used, has suggested a date in the fifth century
for the transformation of the church.
Danger still lurked, however, in the stones of the pagan building, which
were commonly thought to be infested with demons; to safeguard against
them crosses were incised on the walls, a common practice under the circum-
stances. There is good reason to believe that the rebuilt temple was a
monastery. An epitaph carelessly incised on the inner wall in a late antique
150 See the
engraving of Tournefort and the map of von Vincke (supra, note 139), and infra for
the Christian remains.
151 Additional archeological evidence is
provided by the vast quantity of late antique fragments,
mostly of marble, which have been reused in various parts of Ankara, notably in the walls. They testify
to the prosperity of the city, but cannot be put to satisfactory use here, since they have not been
collected and published; a few, however, are discussed and illustrated by Jerphanion, "Melanges,"
Mamboury, Ankara, 189f.; Eyice, op. cit., 70, 101, 110; R. Kautzsch, Kapitellstudien (Leipzig,
1936), 202; for local folklore associated with the column, see Hasluck, Christianity and Islam, 713,

scrawl names a certain Hypatius, a hegoumenos, or abbot, no doubt of this

establishment. Furthermore, the building was surrounded by a heavy wall
forty meters away, which enclosed an area of about 120 by 160 meters; it
has been dated by its use of alternating courses of brick and stone to the
fifth or sixth century, and would have been appropriate to a monastic com-
The name of the building is unknown. It may have been the monastery
where St. Nilus lived and worked, or that of Attalina, or some other; the
presence of an abbot in any case shows that it was not a convent.153
Excavations in the general vicinity of the Roman gymnasium have un-
covered traces of private houses which, as might be expected from the known
prosperity of the city, are somewhat luxurious. Remains of two houses were
found about 300 meters southwest of the gymnasium. One had a substantial
private bath measuring about 25 by 20 meters, with curving walls with large
niches and heated by hypocausts. The walls were built of alternating courses
of brick and stone, and were revetted on the interior with marbles of differ-
ent colors. Objects found in the excavation show that the bath was of late
antique construction and was in use throughout the period.l54 Slightly to the
south a house of the fourth century with notable mosaic pavements was
found but could not be investigated in detail.l55 These houses give a hint
of the standard of living in the city; they suggest that comfort and luxury
were available, and invite comparison with better known late antique sites.
Outside the walls the necropolis avoided the marshes immediately to the
west and covered the terrain now occupied by the railway station and freight
yards, where many Christian tombs and epitaphs have been found.56 Notable
among them are three mortuary constructions. One of these, built on a rise
south of the station, was a rectangular building with an apse at the east end
and a crypt, which alone was preserved. The building, dated to the fourth
century, was a mortuary chapel which would have contained several tombs
and a shrine for divine service in memory of the deceased. Such chapels were
built in graveyards throughout the Empire and were specifically encouraged
by a law of Theodosius.l57 The other constructions, found northwest of the
station, were both vaulted tombs built of brick and stone. They were sealed
with stone doors, contained niches for burials, and were decorated with
typical frescoes of crosses, garlands, grapes, birds, and trees with fruit-
representations symbolic of paradise. The style of the paintings has suggested

153 D. Krencker and M. Schede, Der Tempel in Ankara (Berlin, 1936, 32-35; M. Restle, "Ankyra,"
in RBK, 171 f.; crosses: F. W. Deichmann, "Friihchristliche Kirchen in antiken Heiligtiimern," JdI,
54 (1939), 107; cf. Foss, Byzantine Sardis (supra, note 83), 49; inscription: Jerphanion, "MElanges,"
291 no. 67; wall: E. Mamboury, "Les parages du temple de Rome et d'Auguste a Ankara," TurkTar-
Derg, 5 (1949), 96-102 with plan.
154 Akok, op. cit. (supra, note 140), 324-29.
155 Ibid., 310 note 2.
156 See Jerphanion, "MElanges," 225f., for mention of numerous sarcophagi in the shape of jars
and discussion and illustration of several vaulted brick tombs. The necropolis extended up the slope
of Maltepe, the present site of the mausoleum of Atatiirk.
157 Dalman et al., op. cit. (supra, note 142), 250-55; law of Theodosius: Cod. Th., IX.17.7.
that the tombs were built in the fourth century.l58 The Christian epitaphs
found in this graveyard and elsewhere are generally uninformative; they bear
the name of the deceased, with a characteristic attribute of doulos theou or
panton philos, and often an indictional date, which is of no use in estab-
lishing chronology since there was a new indiction every fifteen years. Most
of these numerous inscriptions have been dated to the fourth-sixth centuries.
A few provide some specific information: two mention churches otherwise
unknown, two others indicate an occupation-a priest who was also a silver-
smith, and a grave-digger-while one may be dated with some precision.159
The country estate of Maximus, the friend of Libanius, presumably lay in
the environs of Ankara. Although it cannot now be identified, two buildings
which have been excavated near the city may be considered for comparison.
At Etiyokusu, five kilometers to the north, a viavi of several large rooms stood
on a hilltop. One of the rooms was evidently a kitchen; huge clay jars were
used for the storage of food, while cisterns guaranteed a supply of water.
Coins from the building show that it was in use from the late third century
through the late sixth or early seventh.160Another such edifice was revealed
at Yalncak, ten kilometers south of Ankara, where the excavators discovered
what seems to have been a large house with stone foundations and walls of
mud brick. It had six columns on the front and faced a courtyard; coins
show that it was inhabited in the third and fourth centuries.161Although few
details are known of these buildings, it is not unreasonable to surmise that they
represent the country estates of rich Ankarans. Besides such estates, the
countryside would have been dotted with villages, and contained numerous
churches and monasteries. Thee life
ie of St. Theodore vividly reveals the appear-
ance of the rural areas of western Galatia, but comparable material is lacking
for the neighborhood of Ankara. Only one inscription hints that monasteries
would also have existed there; found at Haci Abdul Pasa ;iftligi, about
one-half hour south of the city, it is the tombstone of the abbot of the local
(unnamed) monastery.162
158See the anonymous notice, "Freskli Bizans mezar," in Belleten, 3
(1939), 484; and K. Bittel
and A. M. Schneider, in AA (1940), 595f.; cf. M. Akok and N. Penge, "Ankara istasyonunda bulunan
Bizans devri mezannm nakh," Belleten, 5 (1941), 617-22. For the frescoes in the context of similar
works from Christian tombs of Asia Minor, see N. Firatlih, "An Early Byzantine Hypogaeum Dis-
covered at Iznik," Milanges Mansel (Ankara, 1974), 919-32.
159For Christian epitaphs, see Anderson, "Exploration" (supra, note 2), 97f.; Jerphanion, "M6lan-
ges," 284-91, nos. 61-66; Ramsay, "Inscriptions" (supra, note 130), no. 10; D'Orbeliani, op. cit.
(supra, note 31), 35; F. Miltner, "Epigraphische Nachlese in Ankara II," JOAI, 30 (1936), 27-66,
nos. 30, 36, 38, 42-44, 51, 52; churches: see supra, notes 136, 137; silversmith: CIG, 9258; grave-
digger: Anderson, op. cit., no. 84; dated inscription: H. Gr6goire, "Inscriptions historiques byzantines.
Ancyre et les Arabes sous Michel l'Ivrogne," Byzantion, 4 (1929-30), 437-68: "L'ere d'Ancyre et
Artemidore ambassadeur et cubiculaire": pp. 453-61, an epitaph apparently dated to the year 594
of the local era, equivalent to A.D. 573 (note that Gr6goire was mistaken about the era used at Ankara;
see the discussion in Bosch, Quellen, no. 133). The other inscription analyzed by Gr6goire is presented
as a set of verses in honor of Artemidorus, who served as an ambassador under Zeno; the text is so
uncertain, however, that it seems unwise to accept Gregoire's subtle arguments or to attempt to
interpret the inscription.
160 S. A. Kansu, Etiyokusu Hafriyatz (Ankara, 1940), 28, 35f.,
figs. 33-37. The late antique remains
are not discussed.
161B. Tezcan, Yalzncak
Village Excavation in 1962-1963 (Ankara, 1964), 15; ibid., 1964 (Ankara,
1966), 12; cf. Mitchell, op. cit. (supra, note 2), 436f. 162 Anderson, "Exploration," 97, no. 79.

The archeological evidence, though not extensive, illustrates and confirms

that of the literary sources. It shows that the city suffered greatly in the
invasions of the late third century and that it recovered and prospered for the
following three hundred years. In this respect, Ankara conforms with develop-
ments known from other cities of Asia Minor. In the Aegean zone, for
example, city life flourished in Late Antiquity; new public buildings and
works of all kinds were erected, and old ones were rebuilt and maintained.
The evidence from Ankara is not adequate to support detailed discussion, but
may be taken as a valuable supplement to the literary sources and used as
tangible illustration of the nature and prosperity of the city in Late Antiquity.


The reign of Heraclius (610-41) with its unprecedented disasters may be

taken as marking the end of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages
in the eastern Mediterranean. In its early years, the Persians forces of Chos-
roes II ravaged Asia Minor and occupied all the provinces from Mesopotamia
to Egypt. After a bloody and destructive war of over a quarter of a century,
a series of brilliant campaigns brought victory to Heraclius. But the Empire
had no time to recover before it was faced with a new and more persistent
enemy, the Arabs, who had definitively occupied the whole Near East before
Heraclius passed from the scene. In the meantime, hordes of Avars and Slavs
had overrun the Balkans; only the West remained reasonably intact. These
catastrophes naturally brought great change: the state was impoverished by
the loss of its richest provinces, and the social and economic structure of those
which remained was seriously altered. The network of cities, which had been
the backbone of classical civilization since the earliest times, suffered a blow
from which it never recovered. This is particularly evident in Asia Minor,
where the Persian invasions seem to have been accompanied by bloodshed
and destruction, and where numerous cities were ruined, abandoned, or trans-
formed.63 Ankara, because of its strategic location on the great highway, felt
the full brunt of the invasions.
By the time Heraclius came to the throne, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and
northern Syria had already succumbed to the Persians, leaving Asia Minor
open to attack from the east and south. Before the new Emperor could face
this threat, however, he had to deal with a serious revolt in Asia Minor.
Comentiolus, brother of the late Emperor Focas, had returned from the eastern
frontier to take up winter quarters in Ankara. He refused to recognize the
authority of Heraclius and used his command of the army to gain control of
an area which extended as far west as Syceon or possibly the borders of
Bithynia; it is probable that he held the office of magister militum per orien-
tern,commander of the army of the eastern frontier. This revolt is known from
the life of St. Theodore, who lived in the midst of the events. Heraclius tried
163 For the Persian invasions, with consideration of the numismatic and archeological evidence,
including that of Ankara, see C. Foss, "The Persians in Asia Minor and the End of Antiquity,"
EHR, 90 (1975), 721-47.

to settle the rebellion by negotiation, and sent a monk to deal with Comen-
tiolus. As he passed through Syceon, the emissary met the Saint and was
reassured that the revolt was foolish and would soon come to an end. When
the mission failed to accomplish its aim, Heraclius sent a far more important
representative, Philippicus, who had been in command of the Persian front
under Maurice. While he was observing the rebels' military movement in
Bithynia, however, he was arrested and transported to Ankara; on the way,
he received the blessing of the Saint. Comentiolus now planned to march west
to attack Heraclius, but was overthrown in his turn by Justin, patrician of
the Armenians, who led a force of his men and killed the rebel during the
night. Peace was established, and Heraclius assumed full control over Asia
Minor within a few months of his accession; the revolt seems to have taken
place during the winter of 610/11. This "Patrician of the Armenians" was
presumably the magister militum per Armeniam, an officer created by Justinian
who had the duty of defending the northern stretch of the frontier. His
presence at Ankara indicates that he, also, had taken up winter quarters in
the city, probably because of its strategic location with easy access to
threatened frontiers of Armenia and Syria. These events reveal the continuing
military importance of Ankara; it is no coincidence that the two generals
should retire there for the winter, nor that the usurper should make it his
headquarters. The city had been an important military base for centuries,
and would only gain in prominence as enemy attacks became more concentrated
on the borders of Anatolia in the succeeding age.164
In the following spring, Heraclius moved on the offensive, sending the
famous general Priscus to command the army at Cappadocian Caesarea. He
failed, however, to prevent the city from falling into the hands of the Persians,
who now penetrated for the first time the plateau of Anatolia. This blow
caused widespread consternation and fear that the Persians would soon
advance farther west. The villagers of western Galatia came to St. Theodore
for help and were reassured that they had nothing to fear so long as he was
alive. His prediction naturally was accurate, but his life soon came to an end:
when he died on 22 April 613, his native province was still untouched, but
disaster was near.165Heraclius set out on the great highway in January 613,
stopped in Syceon to receive the blessing of St. Theodore, and proceeded to
164 For the revolt of
Comentiolus, see Vita Theod. Syc., cap. 152. The importance of this source
was first noted, and the revolt discussed comprehensively, by W. Kaegi, "New Evidence on the
Early Reign of Heraclius," BZ, 66 (1973), 308-30. Kaegi, pp. 312-13 and note 11, seems surprised,
however, at the importance of Ankara, and remarks that the text of Theodore of Syceon "shows
its emergence as a military center early in the seventh century." In fact, as stressed many times above,
Ankara was a great military center as early as the second century and maintained that role throughout
Late Antiquity. Here, as so often, it is necessary to realize that the Byzantine period represents
a direct, if diminished, continuity from Late Antiquity, and that many of its "innovations" trace
their origins back to Justinian or earlier. Note also that the sources for military history of the
provinces within the frontier is obscure. It is possible that the army, or part of it, would as a matter
of course spend the winter in Ankara, as it had done in the time of Trajan (see note 2
165 Capture of Caesarea: Sebeos, Histoire
d'Hdraclius, trans. F. Macler (Paris, 1904), 63-65; Nice-
phorus, Breviarium, ed. C. de Boor (Leipzig, 1880); Vita Theod. Syc., caps. 153-55; prediction: ibid.,
cap. 153.

Antioch, which had fallen two years before. His forces were crushed there by
the Persians, and again at Issus as they withdrew. Cilicia was lost and the
Taurus and Anti-taurus marked the limits of imperial power.16
In the years after these defeats, Asia Minor lay open to the Persian armies.
In 615 they made a spectacular march the whole length of the country to
besiege and occupy Chalcedon. In this campaign, which illustrates the collapse
of the imperial defences, they probably followed the great highway and passed
by Ankara. Since they seem to have aimed at a decisive defeat which would
bring Heraclius to terms, they did not occupy the country through which
they passed and probably left many fortified centers intact behind them.
Unfortunately, these years are the most obscure of the war; the sources are
almost completely silent, and the devastation of Asia Minor can only be
reconstructed by using the supplementary evidence of coins and archeology.
One event, however, was of sufficient importance to be recorded by both
Greek and Syrian chroniclers: the fall of Ankara in 622. The circumstances
are unknown, but an oriental writer adds the significant information that the
Persian general Sharbaraz killed or enslaved all the inhabitants.167 In the
context of this war, which was fought with appalling brutality by both sides,
the fate of Ankara is altogether plausible. Many people, of course, would have
fled before the Persian army arrived. Among them was Eustathius, hegumen
of the monastery of Attalina, who is known from the writings of a fellow
Galatian, the monk Antiochus, a native of a place called Medosaga about
twenty miles from Ankara. This Antiochus, like many of his earlier country-
men, had taken up residence in the Holy Land. He had joined the famous
monastery of St. Saba near Jerusalem, but was forced to withdraw from it
when the Persians attacked. His surviving work consists of 130 homilies on
faith and conduct, representing an abridgment of the doctrines of the Old
and New Testaments. As he wrote in his prefatory epistle, these were intended
for the use of Eustathius, who had written to him of his own troubles. The
abbot of Ankara had been forced to wander from place to place because of
the prevailing "Chaldaean storm," by which Antiochus denoted the Persian
attack. He had been suffering hunger and thirst, not of bread and water but
of hearing the word of God. Since he could not carry books with him where
he took refuge, Antiochus offered him the scriptural abridgment for solace
and utility.168This brief but valuable notice illustrates the conditions of the
time; the monk had to flee from Ankara without his possessions as the Persians
advanced and to take refuge where he could find it. Neither his ultimate
residence nor that of Antiochus is known.
166 Caesarea and Antioch: Sebeos, op. cit., 65, 67; Vita Theod. Syc., cap. 166.
167 The date of the capture of Ankara is not certain. Theophanes, the only Greek writer to record
the event, places it in the tenth year of Heraclius (x.619-x.620); his chronology of this part of the
war, however, is confused, and I have followed the oriental writers, who give the date as the first
year of the Hegira (vii.622-vi.623): Michael the Syrian, Chronicle, ed. J. B. Chabot (Paris, 1904),
II, 408; Chronicon anonymum ad annum Christi 1234 pertinens, ed. I.-B. Chabot, CSCO, Scriptores
Syri, III, 14 (Louvain, 1937), 180; Agapius of Membidj, Histoire universelle, ed. A. Vasiliev, PO,
VIII, 198. Of these, Agapius adds the detail about massacre and enslavement.
168 See the
prefatory epistle of Antiochus Monachus, in PG, 89, cols. 1421-28.
The Persian troops ravaged the countryside as well as the city. A holy man
named Leontius, who had been a disciple of St. Theodore, lived in a cell near
a village in te vicinity of Syceon. When the
inPersians came, they ordered
him to leave his cell and killed him when he refused.169This incident, which
may have been associated with the capture of Ankara or with another passage
of the Persians through the district, was robably typical of the sufferings
caused by the war. Further details are lacking; the sources only record the
great siege of the capital which the Persians attempted with their Avar allies
in 626. This attack shows that the country was still open to their passage,
but it was a final effort. Within two years, Heraclius won a remarkable victory
and the Persians withdrew from Asia Minor forever. The damage they had
done, however, was enormous.
The archeological record of the Persian attack is of greatest value, for the
excavations of the Roman gymnasium provide a remarkable illustration of the
destruction wrought by the armies of Chosroes. The building was destroyed
by fire; the ruins were found covered with a layer of ashes and debris. Objects
found in this debris provide unambiguous evidence for the date of the calamity:
they included gold coins of Heraclius, a large jar dated to the same period,
and, most outstanding, an agate ring stone apparently of Sassanian manu-
facture.170There can be no doubt, therefore, that the building was destroyed
by Persians in 622. This is fur ntherconfrmed by the sequence of coins found
in the excavation. Although continuous from the third century through the
early years of Heraclius, they drop off suddenly: only one coin of the late
years of Heraclius (a bronze piece of 640), and two of Constans II (641-68),
represent the rest of the seventh century, while only two pieces were found
from the succeeding two hundred years."'7 The conclusion is inescapable that
the gymnasium m was destroyed
deePersiansby the and not reoccupied until the
Middle Byzantine period, and then only on a very small scale. The fact that
one of the greatest buildings of the late antique city, in an important location
within the city walls, was ruined and lay abandoned gives some suggestion
of local conditions. It is possible that much of the lower town was destroyed
by the Persians, who are supposed to have massacred or enslaved the popula-
tion, and that subsequently Ankara did not have the resources to reconstruct
on the old scale. Such is the pattern of development in major cities of the
Aegean region; severe devastation by the Persians, followed by marked contrac-
tion of the city or withdrawal to an acropolis.172When information is again
available, in the mid-seventh century, Ankara has made a drastic transforma-
tion from a sprawling metropolis to a heavily fortified town on a hilltop.
169Vita Theod.
Syc., cap. 49.
170 For the destruction of the gymnasium, see the report of Dolunay, op. cit. (supra, note 142),
266; and, in more detail, Arik, op. cit. (supra, note 140), 49f.; the jar and some of the coins are
illustrated, but not the ring stone. 171 For the coin sequence, see Appendix II.
172 I have discussed this
phenomenon in the article cited supra, note 163, and at much greater
length in Byzantine Cities of Western Asia Minor (Diss. Harvard University, 1972); the latter is
unpublished, but will be used as a foundation for a general work on the history of the Byzantine
city in Asia Minor. See also M. Hammond, "The Emergence of Mediaeval Towns: Independence or
Continuity?," HSCPh, 78 (1974), 1-33, esp. 28f.


The two centuries after the disastrous reign of Heraclius were marked by
the unremitting attacks of the Arabs, whose raids penetrated the fertile lands
of Anatolia year after year. This constant harassment, combined with the
loss of the rich provinces of the Near East which left the Empire confined to
Asia Minor and parts of the West, naturally produced great changes in the
military and administrative structure. It is in connection with the Arab attacks
and the reorganization of the army that Ankara appears in the meager
chronicles of the age.
Heraclius may have lived to see the first warriors of Islam who crossed
into Asia Minor in 641.173The goal of this expedition is unknown, but it was,
in any case, merely a prelude to much more serious attacs which ravaged
the lands and villages of the Empire and ensured that it could never entirely
recover from the Persian attack. Within five years the th armies of Muawiya
reached the great fortress of Amorium in Phrygia, a hundred miles southwest
of Ankara, and in 654 the same general gained the far greater distinction of
capturing Ankara, the first time it yielded to the advances of the Moslems.174
Until the middle of the eighth century the capital of the Caliphate was at
Damascus, and the majority of attacks were launched through the Cilician
Gates. This necessitated considerable strategic changes for the Empire, whose
defences had been geared to attack from the Persians through Armenia or
across the Euphrates. In earlier days, as already noted, the roads from the
frontier converged on Ankara before leading on to the capital. Now, how-
ever, Arab forces, who had Constantinople or the rich and fertile lands of
the Aegean zone as their goal, would follow the most direct route from the
Cilician Gates and avoid Ankara altogether; they would proceed through the
Lycaonian steppe to Pisidian Antioch to reach the west coast, or to Amorium
if they aimed at the capital. Numerous raids, however, departed from Armenia
or Mesopotamia and were led by the ancient road system toward Ankara.
The two greatest military centers of the plateau, therefore, were Ankara and
Amorium, cities within easy communication of each other and protecting
respectively the northern and southern approaches to the capital. Their
primacy was recognized by the Arabs, who frequently made them the goal
of their greatest expeditions. In the Byzantine period, the highway system
which had given Ankara its importance remained intact, supplemented and
occasionally overshadowed by the southern route through Amorium.l75
173 For the Arab
attacks, see E. W. Brooks, "The Arabs in Asia Minor (641-750), from Arabic
Sources," JHS, 18 (1898), 182-208, a chronological series of extracts from Arab writers; and H. Ahr-
weiler, "L'Asie Mineure et les invasions arabes," RH, 227 (1962), 1-32, a considerably more theoretical
treatment. See now the comprehensive survey of R. Lilie, Die byzantinische Reaktion auf die Aus-
breitung der Araber (Munich, 1976).
174 Capture of 654: F. Baethgen, Fragmente syrischer und arabischer Historiker, AbhKM, 8 (1884),
22 (text), 112 (translation); in the same campaign, Muawiya marched as far as Marj al Sahm in
the vicinity of Amorium.
175 The
highway system of Anatolia remained essentially unchanged through the Byzantine period.
Much confusion was typically introduced into this subject by W. M. Ramsay, who invented a Byzan-
tine military highway which crossed the peninsula south of Ankara; see Historical Geography (note 2
In Late Antiquity the commanders-in-chief of the eastern armies were
generals stationed on the frontier; the magister militum per orientem,who had
charge of a vast area from the Euphrates to Egypt, and the magister militum
per Armeniam, a new creation of Justinian who controlled the northern part
of the frontier. Both these officials apparently used Ankara as their base on
occasion, as in the revolt of Comentiolus. These frontier armies were sup-
ported in the interior by detachments of the comitatenses,commanded by the
magistri militum praesentales, and stationed in the cities and provinces of
northwest Anatolia. With the loss of the eastern provinces and with the
alterations necessitated by the Arab attacks, the headquarters of these armies
were moved to strategic points in the Anatolian plateau from which the troops
could be mobilized to meet a threat from any direction. The general of Armenia
took up his residence at Amasia, the commander of the oriental army at
Amorium, and a general of the troops of the interior, the comitatenses, at
Ankara, in a convenient central location from which communication could
easily be maintained with the other armies and with the capital. The changed
situation first appears in an imperial letter and an Arab account, both of the
late seventh century. The letter lists the commands without specifying their
headquarters, but the Arab account refers to the generals as patricians of
Amorium, Ankara, and the Armeniacs.176Since Greek had become the language
of the administration, the sources called commanders not by their old Latin
titles of magistri militum, but by their Greek equivalents: two of the three
generals of Anatolia thus became the strategoi of the Armeniac and Anatolic
armies, while the commander at Ankara kept the old Latin title of comes of
the imperial Obsequium (Hellenized to Opsikion), reflecting his origin as chief
of a body of the comitatenses.The date of these military changes is uncertain,
but since they were completed by the late seventh century and were occasioned
by the Arab attacks, it is most reasonable to associate them with the reign
of Constans II (641-68), when Arab raids regularly began to enter Asia

supra), 197-221, esp. 214f. The evidence will be discussed by David French in a forthcoming paper
on the Byzantine highway system of Asia Minor. I am grateful to Mr. French for allowing me to read
his paper in manuscript.
176 The
imperial letter, written by Justinian II to the Pope in 687, may be found in Mansi, XI,
737, or in any discussion of the Byzantine administrative system. The Arabic document is an
appendage to the list of themes, or Byzantine provinces, which Ibn Khordadbeh drew from al-Jarmi
(9th cent.). Its importance was first noted by N. Oikonomides, "Une liste arabe des strat6ges byzantins
du VIIe siecle et les origines du Theme de Sicile," RSBN, N.S. 1 (1964), 121-30, where sound
may be found for dating the document to the late seventh century. The document consists merely
of a list of the twelve "patricians," or army commanders, of the Byzantines, six at
and six in the provinces. This corresponds closely with information from other sources; the
generals are known from the letter of Justinian II and the chronicles, and the six commanders of the
capital are no doubt those which appear in later Arab and Greek writers: see H. Gelzer, Die Genesis
der byzantinischen Themenverfassung (Leipzig, 1899), 17-19; and J. B. Bury, The
Imperial Administra-
tive System in the Ninth Century (London, 1911), 47-49. The Arab list does not state the
of the Armeniac general; I presume that he resided at Amasia, as he did around 900: see the list
of Ibn al Fakih, apud E. W. Brooks, "Arabic Lists of the Byzantine Themes,"
JHS, 21 (1901), 76.
I shall discuss this date elsewhere; it is offered here as a hypothesis which accords with the
known history of Ankara. It would not be appropriate here to consider the history of the
theme system, which is extremely obscure and has become the subject of much
controversy. Two

Ankara is still dominated by the imposing towers of the medieval castle

which crown the hill above the city center. These fortifications, the greatest
work of Byzantine construction in the city, may have been a product of the
military reorganization of the seventh century. They consist of two parts: an
outer wall with mostly square towers about forty meters apart, and a striking
inner bastion whose closely spaced pentagonal towers, only about 20 meters
apart, look out over the city like prows of ships. The inner castle encloses
an area of about 350 by 150 meters, while that added by the outer wall is
considerably larger. The inner rampart is constructed of a fagade of great
blocks taken from ancient monuments up to a height of 8-10 meters, and of
courses of brick above. This encloses a core of mortared rubble. The towers
of the outer wall are similarly, though less neatly, constructed. The main
access was from the south, where heavily fortified gateways provided access
to the interior of both circuits. In addition, strong bastions were added at the
southeast corner and on the highest point of the hill at the northeast, from
which a magnificent view reveals the plains which stretch to the west and east
of the city.178
These ramparts contain no direct evidence to date their construction;
investigation has only revealed that the outer wall is later than the inner.179
Historical considerations, however, have suggested a date in the reign of
Constans II for the earlier walls, and this may be taken as reasonably certain.
From the vast number of spoils which it contains it could only have been
built at a time when much, if not most, of the city was in ruins. This would
not have been the case between the reigns of Diocletian and Heraclius, but
the Persian invasion of 622 would have provided such an occasion; excavation
of the Roman gymnasium has already shown that parts of the lower city
were then laid in ruins. If the destruction was widespread, as seems most
plausible, the necessary debris would have been available for reuse in the
castle. After Heraclius defeated the Persians in 628 and their troops withdrew
from Asia Minor, Persia became embroiled in a series of revolts and civil
wars which left it completely debilitated. The government of Heraclius, faced
with the devastated provinces and the elimination of any future threat from
the Persians, would probably have seen little reason to build heavy fortifica-
tions in the middle of Asia Minor. Only after the Arab raids became a regular

works are essential to understand the system and to avoid being seriously misled. The first, "L'origine
du regime des themes dansl'Empire byzantin," was written by Charles Diehl in 1896, and may be
found in his Etudes byzantines (Paris, 1905), 276-92. Although subject to revision in some details,
it presents the clearest picture of the continuity of late antique military administration. Subsequently,
much obfuscation was introduced into the issue; this accretion of error has been removed by
J. Karayannopulos, Die Entstehung der byzantinischen Themenordnung (Munich, 1959), where full
bibliography may be found.
178 For a convenient description of the Byzantine walls, see Mamboury, Ankara, 155-88, and,
for a detailed discussion, Jerphanion, Mdlanges, 144-219.
179 This is shown by the fact that the lower wall begins from a projection, itself a late rebuilding,
on the southeast bastion of the inner circuit: Jerphanion, Mllanges, 92. Mamboury, however, believed
that the lower wall was the older, built by Constans II, and that the upper citadel was a product
of the reign of Leo III (717-41) (see preceding note). His views have commanded little following
and those of Jerphanion are generally accepted, e.g., by Restle (see supra, note 153).

danger, necessitating secure places of refuge for the provincial populations,

would such construction have been appropriate. Ankara was captured in 654
during the first continuous onslaught of the Arabs; this may perhaps indicate
that its fortifications were not yet built or completed. Subsequently, the city
resisted attack for almost two centuries, although Anatolia was raided regu-
larly; this could suggest that it was well fortified. If the citadel was built
after 654, the period 656-61 would provide a suitable occasion. During these
years the Arabs were embroiled in civil war, and in 659 were even obliged
to pay tribute to the Emperor. The raids stopped temporarily, which gave
the Byzantines a respite during which they might have constructed fortifi-
By 661, however, the attacks began again and continued on an annual
basis for twenty years. During that time, Arab armies penetrated far into
Asia Minor and frequently spent the winter in Byzantine territory, so that
their raids the following spring could have greater success by starting from
an advanced post. In the record of these campaigns Ankara is not mentioned,
but the evidence of a major find of coins suggests that Galatia was by no
means spared. A hoard of 46 gold solidi of Constans II was buried in about
663 near the village of Ciiciik in the district of Aubuk, some 30 kilometers
northeast of Ankara; the village lies a few kilometers north of the ancient
road from Ankara to Gangra in Paphlagonia. It is probable that these coins
were hidden because of a real or threatened Arab attack on the area, and their
presence may provide a hint of the extent of Arab raids and of the fear which
they inspired.181
In a troubled age, the chronicles naturally stress wars and the changes
associated with them, but even in the darkest time of invasion and desolation
the normal functions of government had to continue. The magnificent castle
walls of Ankara are one symbol of the vitality of the Byzantine Empire which
enabled it to survive for so many centuries against attack from east and west,
but the more prosaic maintenance of an orderly central government with tight
control over the provinces was the major reason for its success. Taxes were
collected and remitted to the treasury, records were kept, and disbursements
were made to keep te provincial administration functioning. An important
part of these taxes were assessed on the importation and sale of merchandise
and collected by officers called commerciarii, who were stationed on the
frontiers and at commercial centers in the interior. In the mid-seventh century
180 This
five-year period is the longest break in the sequence of the raids between the beginning
and 681: Brooks, "Arabs" (supra, note 173), 184ff. Note that castles of a similar style were built
during the reign of Constans II at Sardis and Pergamum, and in both cases involved considerable
diminution of the area of the city: see C. Foss, "Persians" (supra, note 163), 737f., 742; and idem,
Byzantine Sardis (supra, note 83), 57-59.
181 For the Arab raids under Muawiya, see Brooks, "Arabs," 184-89; and for the
coins, see M.
Kurum, "Ciiciik Definesi," TurkArkDerg, 20 (1973), 79-90. The dating of the coins is to be revised
on the basis of P. Grierson, Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and
in the Whittemore Collection, II, 2 (Washington, D.C., 1968), 403-5: Dr. Kurum's
types I, II, III,
and IV should be respectively designated as IV (654-59), VI (ca. 661-ca. 663), V
(659-ca. 661),
and VII (ca. 663-68). As all but one of the coins belonged to the first three of these
types, a date in
the neighborhood of 663 seems the most likely for their burial.

such officers were posted to Ankara, which had at the same time the distinc-
tion of housing an apotheke, or customs depot, where goods collected as taxes
in kind were stored. The direct taxes, most of which fell on the land, were
collected by officials of the central treasury called dioiketai assigned to indivi-
dual provinces; a dioiketes of Galatia is known from the eighth century.182
The customs depot indicates that even in times of suffering from the greatest
economic dislocation Ankara remained a center of trade, as it no doubt did of
government. The civil governor of Galatia does not appear in the sources of
the period, but the provincial administration continued to exist with little
alteration through the seventh century.
During the eighth century the situation on the eastern frontier changed
considerably. The Arabs presented their greatest threat in 674-78, and again
in 717-18 when they besieged Constantinople. On the latter occasion they
were resoundingly defeated by Leo III, who later followed up his victory by
crushing the Arab forces at Acroenus (Afyon) in 740. Shortly afterward, the
Umayyad caliphate of Damascus collapsed and was replaced by that of the
Abbasids, who moved the capital to Baghdad. Although this gave the Empire
some respite, the establishment of the new dynasty meant that the Byzantines
were soon faced with a well organized and determined foe.
In the same period, important administrative changes were made which
gave the generals both civil and military power in their districts, so that
the old provinces disappeared and were replaced by military circumscriptions.
These districts, which had originally been so large that three of them encom-
passed the whole of Asia Minor, were subdivided by Leo III and Constantine V.
Under the latter, the general of the Obsequiumtook up new headquarters at
Nicaea, and Ankara became the capital of a new province, or theme, called the
Bucellarian after the buccellarii, troops who had been stationed in the region.
The new theme stretched from the salt lake to the Black Sea and included
Galatia, Paphlagonia, and eastern Bithynia. In the mid-ninth century Paphla-
gonia was separated to form an independent theme, and in the reign of Leo VI
the Bucellarian province was further diminished by the cession of the Haymana
of southern Galatia to the Cappadocian theme. In the ninth century the
general of the Bucellarians was one of the highest ranking officials of the
Empire. He received a salary of thirty pounds of gold and had eight thousand
men under his command, most of them presumably stationed at Ankara. In
addition, as the civil governor, he was in charge of a large administrative staff
which included the chartularius of the theme, an officer responsible for the pay
of the troops and at the same time subordinate to the central treasury; one
chartularius is known from the mid-ninth century.183
182 The customs officers are known from surviving lead seals which were attached to packets to
show that the tax had been paid. See the tables of H. Antoniadis-Bibicou, in Recherches sur les
Douanes d Byzance (Paris, 1963), 227; and of G. Zacos and A. Veglery, Byzantine Lead Seals (Basel,
1972), 172, cf. 136. For the operations of the customs and the functions of the commerciarius, see
Antoniadis-Bibicou, 157-224, 246-55, and Zacos and Veglery, 135-40. The dioiketes is also known
from a seal: Zacos and Veglery, no. 3189.
183 For the Bucellarian theme, see Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Thematibus, ed. A. Pertusi
(Vatican City, 1952), 71, 133-36. The transfer of southern Galatia is mentioned in Constantine
Ankara appears in the sources of this time in connection with Arab attacks.
In 776 and 797 Arab forces reached Ankara but apparently did not capture
it. On the latter occasion, however, they may have inflicted severe damage,
for in 805 the Emperor Nicephorus fortified the city-that is, he presumably
made repairs to the walls. In the following year it was approached by an
army under the Caliph Harun, who reconnoitered, presumably observing the
fortifications, and withdrew.84 Although there is no evidence that the city
fell on either of these occasions, a later legend recorded that Harun captured
Ankara and took the bronze doors of the city gate back to Baghdad with him
as a trophy; they were supposedly inscribed with cryptic verses in Greek of a
kind which could be paralleled in the Arabian Nights.185
As the Arabs became familiar with Asia Minor from their incessant raids, the
fame of the great fortress of Ankara spread, and its name appeared in Arabic
literature and legend. One story records that when the Caliph Mamun (813-33)
captured the city he found in it a statue of the great pre-Islamic Arab poet
and hero Imru'l Qays. The poet had gone to Constantinople to seek the help
of Justinian against his enemies and was returning home when he was killed
at Ankara by a poisoned cloak which the Emperor sent him. He was buried
in a tomb next to the grave of a princessness at the foott of a mountain called
Asib, and the Greeks eventually erected the statue in his honor. The whole
story, of course, is fantastic, and is based on references in the poems of
Imru'l Qays and on confusion between him and an Arab, Amorkesos, who
actually visited the capital in 473. The buildings mentioned, however, are real:
the tomb of the princess is the Column of Julian (for so it was called by the
Turks much later), and that of the poet is probably the neighboring Temple of
Rome and Augustus; the statue was no doubt some real but anonymous
statue which was standing at the time.186The legend thus explained references
in the poems, as well as the origin of large and probably ruined buildings
which the Arabs would have seen outside the city walls. It must be of late
origin, however, for Mamun, constantly preoccupied with civil war, never had
occasion to capture Ankara, but his death in the Taurus after a raid on the
Byzantines made him the subject of legend.187

Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, ed. Gy. Moravcsik (Budapest, 1949), 236. Numerous
generals of the theme are known from seals of the eighth and ninth centuries: see Zacos and Veglery,
op. cit., index, s.v. Bucellarion; seal of chartularius: ibid., no. 1768. For the officers of the theme, see
Bury, Administrative System (supra, note 176), 41-45.
184Attacks of 776 and 797: E. W. Brooks, "Byzantines and Arabs in the Time of the
Abbasids," EHR, 15 (1900), 735, 741; repairs: Theophanes, 481; Harun: Theophanes, 482.
185The story is transmitted by a Turkish writer of the seventeenth
century, Haji Kalfa; see his
Cihannuma (Constantinople, A.H. 1145 [= 1732]), 643; and cf. J. von Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte
des osmanischen Reiches (Pest, 1827), I, 160, 590.
186 For the
legend, see Le divan d'Amro'lkais, ed. Baron MacGuckin de Slane (Paris, 1837), 27f.;
and G. Olinder, The Kings of Kinda (Lund, 1927), 113ff.; and, for its interpretation, Hasluck,
Christianity and Islam (supra, note 149), 712-14. Note that the Arabic authors do not all agree
in associating the verses of Imru'l Qays with Ankara; for al-Harawi, for example, Mt. Asib was
near Kayseri: al-Harawf (t 1215), Guide des lieux de p6lerinage, ed. D. Sourdel (Damascus, 1957),
Legends of Mamun: Hasluck, Christianity and Islam, 301-3, 696-98.

The Caliph Mu'tasim (833-42) was far more successful in his wars against the
Byzantines than had been his father Harun or his brother Mamun. In the
spring of 838 he set out from Baghdad with the greatest army the Arabs had
ever equipped. Its banners bore the name of Amorium, the strongest of the
Byzantine fortresses and the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In fact,
Mu'tasim's goal was double; he divided his forces so that the main army
would march with him through the Cilician Gates, while another huge force
commanded by Afshin would approach from the east. The two armies would
meet at Ankara, which was their first goal. Mu'tasim "planned the descent
upon Anqira carefully so that if God conquered it for him he could go on to
'Amuriyya, as there was nothing in the land of the Byzantines greater than
these two cities, nor anything more worthy to be his goal."88sThe main army
proceeded across the dreary Cappadocian plain until it came within three
days' journey of Ankara. By then, the Arabs were suffering from shortages
of water and fodder, and were forced to behead their captives until only one
remained. This old man, wishing to save himself, led an Arab force up into
the mountains, where the people of Ankara had taken refuge upon hearing
of the approach of Mu'tasim. The Arabs found the refugees at some salt mines,
defeated their resistance, and gained the needed supplies.189
Meanwhile, the Emperor Theophilus had marched east to repel the attack
of Afshin, whom he met in the neighborhood of Dazimon. The Byzantine
force was crushed and the Emperor fled from the field, withdrawing to
Dorylaeum to await the outcome of the operations of the caliph against the
two greatest fortresses of Asia Minor. Theophilus, in a last effort to preserve
Ankara, sent a eunuch to guard the city and lead the resistance of the popula-
tion, but he found the place deserted and was ordered to Amorium. At Ankara,
Mu'tasim and Afshin joined forces as planned, and destroyed the city. The
walls of the citadel were demolished and the remaining population was led
into captivity.190The victorious Arabs then marched on to Amorium, burning
the villages as they went; after a siege of two weeks the famous stronghold
of the Christians was taken and razed, its population massacred or led into
captivity. The capture and destruction of these two great centers was prob-
ably the most spectacular victory for the Arabs in their long struggle with the
Empire, and it made a great impression on contemporaries.
The results of these conquests were not long lasting, and Ankara soon rose
from its ashes. The degenerate successors of Mu'tasim, involved in a struggle
with their Turkish generals and with uprisings throughout their wide domains,
were unable to follow up the advantage which the Arabs had momentarily
gained, while the Byzantines grew in strength and were soon able to
188 Quoted from al-Tabari's The Reign of al-Mu'tasim, trans. E. Marin (New Haven, 1951), 61;
the whole campaign is narrated in ibid., 60-67 (Baghdad to Ankara), 67-76 (Amorium); for
modem accounts with full discussions of historical and topographical problems and reference to the
literature, see J. B. Bury, A History of the Eastern Roman Empire (London, 1912), 263-72;
A. A. Vasiliev, Byzance les Arabes. I, La dynastie d'Amorium (Brussels, 1935), 144-74.
189 Tabari, 64-67.
190Ibid.; Vasiliev, op. cit., 159 note 3.
on the offensive. In 859 Michael III led an expedition to the east which
reached the Euphrates. In preparation for this major move, works of fortifica-
tion were carried out on major cities of the interior, and Ankara saw its walls
rebuilt two decades after their destruction.
The work was commemorated by inscriptions in verse which honored the
Emperor and the city. In the first of them, viewers of the restored city and its
gate were invited to praise the "piously working founder of cities, the despot
and faithful lord Michael, the benefactor," and to salute the city as a new
Zion, inscribed with pictures painted by God. At the beginning of Michael's
reign, while he was still a child, his mother Theodora had restored the reverence
of icons which had been forbidden since 815. Michael could justly praise his
own piety which apparently decorated the city gate with an icon of Christ.
The second poem deals more specifically with the city, which it addresses.
Ankara, ruined by suffering and forced to her knees by the bloody hands of
the Persians, was invited to cast off her cloak of mourning, to put on a bridal
dress, and to take the hand of her deliverer, the lord Michael, "charming
Ankara, the most brillant of cities, the splendor of the whole land of the
Galatians." These verses would also appear to have been associated with a
picture, perhaps a mosaic in a public building, of the Emperor raising Ankara,
who is kneeling at his feet. The same lines remark that the city was strength-
ened by stones which had been trodden by God; this would indicate that
miraculous stones or relics were built into the walls to give them magical
protection, just as the icons of Christ guarded the weakest point, the gate.
Other inscriptions reveal the date of the work, June 859, and have suggested
that the future Emperor Basil I was instrumental in carrying it out.191
The reconstruction involved the south side whero
of the inner fortress, the
huge bastion at the east corner was completely rebuilt; narrows slits for
archers were built into the wall, and stones decorated with crosses were
inserted above them to guarantee divine protection of the kind mentioned
in the poems. At the same time the whole lower circuit may have been added,
more than doubling the enclosed area of the city.192The protection was soon
needed; Michael's great campaign ended in ignominious defeat, and an Arab
force under Omar, the emir of Malatya, marched across eastern Asia Minor
and reached the Black Sea, where they sacked the port of Amisus. After this
unparalleled triumph they planned to return through Galatia and Cappadocia
to the Cilician Gates. As they passed along the great highway southeast of

inscriptions were first analyzed and their importance indicated by Gr6goire, op. cit.
(supra, note 159), 437-49. The first poem is on p. 438 and the second, from which the quotation is
taken, on p. 439; for the date, see 444ff. Gregoire does not make any association between the second
poem and a picture, but the content seems to make this a likely supposition.
Jerphanion, Mllanges, 168, 180-90, 192-97, 208-19; cf. Restle (supra, note 153), 175f.; but
note that Theophanes, 481, specifically states that Nicephorus "built" (ektise) Ankara; this would
seem to indicate that he might have been responsible for the construction of the lower rampart,
while the work of Michael III was confined to extensive restoration. The inscriptions were found in
the inner citadel and, of course, need not be taken literally to indicate that the whole castle was built
or rebuilt, any more than the "destruction" by Mu'tasim would mean that it was really razed to the

Ankara they were intercepted by a large Byzantine force under Petronas,

uncle of the Emperor, and were utterly defeated.193 This decisive victory
finally gave the Empire the upper hand in the long struggle against the Arabs
and enabled it to take the offensive.
Although the Byzantines had repelled the Arab threat, they were still not
safe from other attacks from the east. The holy Theodora, who had been
responsible for the restoration of the icons, was so moved by zeal for Orthodoxy
that she carried out a great massacre and expulsion of the followers of the
Paulician sect. These heretics, accused of Manichaeanism by the Orthodox,
had flourished in the eastern provinces of Anatolia under the iconoclastic
emperors to whom their ideology was less repugnant. The survivors of the
persecutions of Theodora fled across the frontier and established a state with
its headquarters at Tephrice on the upper Euphrates, under the protection
of the Arabs. From there they would cross the frontier like the Arabs and
ravage the provinces of the Empire. On one occasion they reached the Aegean
coast, and in 871 advanced on Ankara and captured it.194This was the last
blow the cicity would suffer for the next two hundred years. The Paulicians
were annihilated by Basil I in 872, and the Arabs fell back on the defensive.
However, they did manage to cross into Asia Minor and inflict considerable
damage. In the summer of 931 the governor of Tarsus led a far larger expedi-
tion than usual against the Byzantines. Advancing through the Cilician Gates,
his force of cavalry and infantry reached Amorium where they defeated the
imperial forces, captured great stores of supplies, and burned the city. From
there they moved on, plundering and devastating the country and massacring
or enslaving the inhabitants, until they came to Ankara. Its powerful fortifica-
tions apparently protected the city, for the Arab chronicler makes no mention
of its capture. The Arabs then returned to Tarsus without encountering any
resistance. Their expedition had been a great success; the value of the captives
alone was 136,000 dinars.195
This triumphal progress was one of the last which the Arabs would make in
Asia Minor. The Byzantine armies, under a succession of brilliant generals,
moved eastward and occupied lands where no imperial force had been seen
since the days of Heraclius. The reign of the Macedonian dynasty (867-1025)
was the heroic age of Byzantium; resounding victories were won in the East
and the West and were praised in contemporary literature. The greatest
product of this literature was the epic, Digenes Akritas, which was woven
from heroic stories often based on events of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh
centuries. The hero of the poem was the son of a Byzantine princess and an
Arab emir who had become a Christian. The emir was the son of Chrysoherpes,
who apparently represents the Paulician leader, Chrysocheir; the action of

193 For this

campaign, see Bury, Eastern Roman Empire, 283f.; and Vasiliev, op. cit., 249-56.
The geographical indications of the sources are very unclear.
194 Genesius, 122.
195See the account of Ibn al-Athir, trans. A. A. Vasiliev, Byzance et les Arabes. II, La dynastie
Mac6donienne (Brussels, 1950), 152f.

the poem takes place in the same lands around the Euphrates where the
Paulicians had been active. The poem, of course, is not historical, but contains
reminiscences of actual events. Among them appears the capture of Ankara
by the uncle of the emir, who has also been identified as one of the Paulician
leaders. In the introduction of the poem, which consists of flat verses added
by a monkish editor, Ankara appears in more prominence than the poem
would justify, and with specific praise:
TOTrEpi(plpovKai pEya Kaorpov ErI,
SvaTrov Tr Kai KaTrcoXupco0vov
rlv "AyKupav.
"The famous and great castle, the powerful and fortified Ankara."'96The city,
a distinguished heroine of the long struggle with the Arabs, thus fittingly
found a place in the epic which commemorated them.
Contact between the Byzantines and Arabs, of course, was not confined to
warfare, although that aspect is stressed by the chroniclers. Ambassadors and
other travelers crossed the frontiers, and Arabic geographic literature shows
an increasing awareness of the interior of Asia Minor. The road system was of
particular interest to the Arabs for obvious reasons and Ankara, because of its
strategic location, is mentioned in works on geography. In the tenth century
al-Muqaddasi describes the main highway from Malatya to Constantinople,
with Kayseri (Caesarea in Cappadocia), Ankara, and the Sangarius listed
among the intermediary points; that is the ancient military highway, which
was still of central importance. Similarly, al-Idrisi, writing in the early twelfth
century, lists two highways which reached Ankara: one from the Euphrates
to the Dardanelles, evidently identical for the most part with the preceding,
and another from Konya (Iconium) via Ankara to Paphlagonia and Amasya.197
These indicate, as do the courses of the campaigns of the Arabs and Byzantines,
that the road system of Anatolia, which had originally endowed Ankara with
such prominence, remained essentially intact through the Middle Ages.
The Byzantine historians, like their late antique predecessors, were interested
in the emperor and court, the Church, and wars on the frontier. When peace
was established in Asia Minor by the great victories in the east, these writers
had little occasion to mention the cities of the interior which, like Ankara,
were far removed from the center of events. Consequently, the last centuries
of Byzantine rule are obscure and the city appears only incidentally. In 907,
when Euthymius became patriarch of Constantinople, Gabriel, the bishop of
Ankara, knowing the special devotion the new patriarch felt for St. Clement,
presented him with the Saint's sacred shawl; the relic had evidently been
preserved in the city, probably in the church of St. Clement. Gabriel's gener-
196Digenes Akrites, ed. J. Mavrogordato (Oxford,
1956), lines 9-11; cf. 11.77. The historical
reminiscences of the epic were investigated in several studies by H. Gregoire, who pursued them
with his usual ingenuity and fantasy; the introduction of Mavrogordato, pp. xxx-lxxxiv, provides a
valuable summary and corrective.
Al-Muqaddasi: E. Honigmann, "Un itineraire arabe a travers le Pont," AIPHOS, 4 (1936),
270; al-Idrisi: Gdographied'Edrisi, trans. P. A. Jaubert (Paris, 1840), II, 309, 311f.

osity may have won him the favor of Euthymius, but when the latter was
deposed in 912, the bishop of Ankara was investigated by the new patriarch,
Nicholas Mysticus, for corruption and embezzlement.198 A bishop of the
following century did more substantial good works. In 1032 famine afflicted
Cappadocia and northern Asia Minor and was followed by its usual associate,
the plague. The inhabitants left their homes and fled in the direction of the
capital but were met on the way by the Emperor, who gave them money and
supplies and persuaded them to return. In this crisis Michael, the bishop of
Ankara, did everything possible to relieve the suffering of the distressed
population.199Five years later another natural disaster struck when an earth-
quake destroyed five villages in the Bucellarian theme; Ankara seems not to
have been affected.2 These casual references reveal chronic problems rarely
recorded by the historians of the day. The greater part of Asia Minor lies
in an earthquake zone and such disturbances are frequent, though not usually
severe in the region of Ankara. Similarly, as already seen in the life of Theodore
of Syceon, the agricultural basis of the economy was fragile; in a bad year
crops could fail and famine and the plague could afflict the villagers. Events of
this kind would have been incessant, and should be borne in mind as part of
the background for the whole Byzantine period.
As long as the Empire had power on the Anatolian plateau, the Bucellarian
theme with its capital at Ankara remained a major province. The provincial
administration, however, continued to adapt to changing circumstances. By
the eleventh century, when most of the Empire was at peace and the need
for a militarized administration diminished, civil magistrates again came to
take highest power in the provinces, and a krites, or judge, appeared as the
provincial governor. Such officials are known for the Bucellarian theme in
the eleventh century; one of them received a letter from Michael Psellus,
asking favor for the dioiketes of Ankara who needed assistance in collecting
the taxes.201For a brief moment, the world of Libanius almost seems to have
been resuscitated. Civil magistrates were once again in charge of rich and
peaceful provinces, and a famous writer and statesman corresponded with
high officials and asked favor from them.
The last acts of the long drama of Byzantine Ankara are veiled in obscurity.
After the battle of Manzikert in 1071 the Turks overran Anatolia with
astonishing rapidity. A few heavily fortified cities held out as the countryside
became Turkish. When the future Emperor Alexius Comnenus made an
expedition to central Anatolia in 1073, he had to fight his way wherever he
went. After his brother Isaac was captured in a skirmish in Cappadocia,
Alexius set out to find him, and came to Ankara where rumor claimed that
Isaac was safe. On his arrival Alexius found that the report was false, but he

198 Vita Euthymii, ed. P. Karlin-Hayter (Brussels, 1970), 105, 123.

199 Cedrenus, II.499f.
Ibid., II.513f.
201 Michael Psellus, Ep. 83, ed. E. Kurtz (Milan, 1941); for kritai of the period, see the lead seals
in V. Laurent, La collection C. Orghidan (Paris, 1952), nos. 199, 200.

did use the city as a base for gathering information, and determined that his
brother was being held for ransom by the Turks. On receiving this news he left
for the capital to raise the necessary money and quickly returned to Ankara.
When he appeared at the city gates, he found them shut because it was night,
and demanded that they be opened to him. The guards, however, feared to do
this because the Turks were camped somewhere in the neighborhood, and
asked Alexius to identify himself. As he answered, his voice was heard by
Isaac who had in the meanwhile been ransomed by the cities of the region,
arriving in Ankara the same day as Alexius, and who was staying in the gate
house guarding the keys to the city. Isaac opened the gates and joyfully
admitted Alexius and his party. The two brothers stayed in the city three
days to rest themselves a their horses, and then returned to Constantin-
This account of Alexius Comnenus and his brother is the last mention of
Ankara before its capture by the Seljuks. The Turkish forces, already feared
by the garrison, soon advanced and occupied the city, probably in the decade
of confusion and civil war following Manzikert. Byzantine rule, however, had
one curious and brief aftermath. In the spring of 1101 a crusading army
crossed into Anatoia, and on 23 June arrived safely in
Ankarao, which they
found in the hands of the Turks. The crusaders easily defeated the small
Turkish garrison, took the city, and duly restored it to the Emperor according
to their agreement. They then advanced into Paphlagonia, where they met
with complete disaster. A second party of crusaders followed just behind,
reaching Ankara soon after the first had left. Although the two groups had
planned to join forces, the new arrivals abandoned the effort when they saw
that their fellows had crossed into the mountains of Paphlagonia, and instead
turned southward to Iconium; they, too, were completely defeated.203These
events are the last in the history of Byzantine Ankara. The imperial forces
could not hold out long in the recaptured citadel surrounded by enemy terri-
tory, especially since the main Byzantine effort was directed not toward
central Anatolia but to the west and south. Probably within a few years,
Ankara was again taken by the Seljuks, and it has remained a Turkish city
ever since.204
The archeological record of Byzantine Ankara, like that of many other
cities in Asia Minor, is exiguous. The greatest monument, the fortifications
of the city, has already been considered. Outstanding also was the small
church of St. Clement at the foot of the southwest slope of the citadel hill.
This elegant building, only 23 by 14 meters in size, was a domed basilica with
a cruciform interior plan, galleries, a narthex, and an apse with a polygonal
exterior. The interior was decorated with geometric and floral designs, and the
Nicephorus Bryennius, 64-66.
203 For the Crusade of 1101 at Ankara, see the accounts of Albert of Aix, in Recueil des historiens
des croisades. Historiens occidentaux, V, pt. 2 (Paris, 1895), 564, 575; and Anna Comnena, XI.8;
cf. J. L. Cate, in A History of the Crusades, ed. K. Setton (Philadelphia, 1958), 354f.
204 For the Turkish
capture of Ankara and its subsequent history until the Ottoman conquest,
see Wittek, op. cit. (supra, note 1), 338-54.

outside with regular courses of brick and stone. No document has survived
to date the church; stylistic comparison has suggested the seventh, eighth,
or ninth centuries, while historical considerations might favor a date late in
that long period. Since the church was built outside the citadel walls, its con-
struction would seem more appropriate to a time when the city enjoyed some
security, perhaps in the reign of Michael III or later. If it was indeed built at
Cryptus, the site of the martyrdom of St. Clement, the church probably
occupied the site of one or more earlier shrines.205
Other archeological data suggest that Ankara recovered and prospered in
the two centuries after the defeat of the Arabs by Michael III. Finds of coins
and pottery at the Roman baths, ruined since the Persian invasion, indicate
some reoccupation from the reign of Leo VI (886-912) through that of Romanus
Diogenes (1067-71). Similarly, an inscription on the wall of the cella of the
temple of Rome and Augustus suggests that the monastery which had func-
tioned there in Late Antiquity was again in operation. This inscription, a wordy
set of verses, reveals by the initial letters of each line the name of Eustathius,
a turmarch, the highest military commander after the general.206 In it, he
prays to God for redemption from his sins. The verses have been dated to
the ninth or tenth centuries, and, taken with the other archeological evidence,
indicate that the city expanded outside the citadel walls in the final centuries
of Byzantine rule.


The late antique cities of Anatolia had their individual characters, some-
times only dimly visible through the scattered evidence. Ankara, too, had a
personality of its own: it was a prosperous and busy city, a center of the
army, administration, and trade. Its enterprising merchants traveled through-
out the eastern Empire, while its streets saw the passage of armies and
emperors-Julian held court, Jovian entered on his ill-fated consulship, and
Arcadius so liked the city that it became his summer resort. Constantinople
was rprresented by the governor of Galatia and the vicar of Pontus with

205 Detailed
description: Jerphanion, Mdlanges, 113-43; summaries: R. Krautheimer, Early
Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Baltimore, 1965), 202-4; Restle (supra, note 153), 172-75. For
an attempt to place the church in a broad stylistic development, see H. Buchwald, The Church
of the Archangels in Sige (Vienna, 1969), 36-62, passim. A late antique tombstone reused in the church
may suggest that it stood in or near a graveyard, and perhaps strengthens the identification of the
site with Cryptus. The inscription on the stone, which is unpublished,
blid, askindly communicated to
me by Prof. Sevtenko.
206 Baths: pottery: Dolunay, op. cit. (supra, note 142), fig. 81, impressed ware of perhaps the
tenth century; cf. The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors (Oxford, 1947), 41-46 and pl. 17 (my
thanks to Dr. Judith Herrin for this reference); coins: see Appendix II. Inscription of Temple:
Gr6goire, op. cit. (supra, note 154), 449-53; for a similar inscription, with further parallels, see
T. Drew-Bear and C. Foss, "The Epitaph of Thomas: A Middle Byzantine Verse Inscription from
Afyon," Byzantion, 39 (1969), 74-85. The insipid verses of Eustathius had the rare good fortune of
inspiring a modern poet, G. Seferis, who saw them in 1949 during a long stay in Ankara: see his
poem, Ankyrano Mnemeio, and his remarks on the monument, in Meres tou 1945-1951 (Athens,
1973), 140, 144; English trans. A. Anagnostopoulos, Days of 1945-1951 (Cambridge, Mass., 1974),
116-20. I am grateful to Mr. Anagnostopoulos for drawing my attention to this work.

large staffs to carry out their duties, while local administration was run by
the municipal senate of rich and cultivated men. In the time of Libanius
the network of influence in which these men and the officers of the government
were involved gives some insight into the nature of power in the city and the
whole Empire. The tranquil faCade of the pagan upper classes was only part
of the picture; Ankara was subject to riot and violence like other cities, and
the triumph of Christianity which occasioned much of the disturbance reveals
some aspect of the life of the rest of the population. Piety and its close
associate, fanaticism, were manifest in the actions of the humblest citizens
and the most exalted prelates from the great persecutions until the end of
the period. The new religion captured and transformed the upper classes of
Libanius' day, so that a century later some of them were affecting simplicity
or abandoning thehe secular
ser world. By the time of Justinian, much had changed
under the constant corrosion of imperial financial demands and the devastating
attack of the bubonic plague. The ruling classes virtually disappeared, replaced
by military officers, the Protectors, who were readily willing to call in a local
holy man to save the city by his magic.
The vivid flashes of the sources are reflected in the archeological record
where a few instances may indicate general trends. Prosperity, though not the
opulence of an earlier age, appears in the Roman baths rebuilt and maintained
after the troubles of the third century. The life of the ruling classes seems to
find its counterpart in the substantial private houses with their mosaics and
baths, while the triumph of Christianity is clearly manifested in the conversion
of the greatest temple of the city into a church or monastery. The column
"of Julian" remains annenigma-its date and purpose unknown-but certainly
a monument of the age.
Neither the army, for which Ankara was a major headquarters, nor the
Church, which flourished in it, could save the city from the fire-worshipping
armies of Chosroes in 622. Parts of the lower city were ruined forever, while
the population fled or suffered massacre or slavery. This disastrous event
marked a clear break in the life of the city. The late antique metropolis
disappeared, but Ankara remained one of the greatest cities of Asia Minor by
the reduced standards of the day. The seventh century, which brought not
only the Persians but the Arabs as sackers of cities, also produced the mag-
nificent ramparts which symbolize the will of the city to live and to resist its
most determined foes. Through the long and obscure ages of Byzantine rule
Ankara was a great fortress, and it remained an economic and administrative
center. Its location on a great highway, which had bestowed prominence in the
beginning, always kept Ankara great. "Charming Ankara, the most brilliant
of cities," kneeling at the feet of Michael the Drunkard, was raised by his
buildings and his battles to overcome her adversaries and to be remembered
in the Byzantine epic as "the famous and great castle, the powerful and
fortified Ankara." But the epic age which praised her turned its attention
farther east, leaving the city to pass obscure and prosperous centuries in which
construction expanded beyond the citadel walls. The peace was suddenly

interrupted in the mid-eleventh century by the arrival of the Turks, who soon
brought Ankara under their rule and introduced a new age destined to bring
the city greater size, wealth, and renown than it had ever known.207

New Governors of Galatia and Vicars of Pontus

The authenticity of the following names, attested in the saints' lives, cannot be guaranteed:

Curicius 305/11
Hegemonat Ankara under Galerius,failed in his effort to move St. Clement from Christianity:
Vita Clementis,PG, 114, cols. 860-64.
Lucius 311/13
Hegemon at Ankara under Maximian; ordered execution of Clement and his companions:
Vita Clementis,col. 884.
Hadrianus 305/13
Hegemon,apparently of Galatia; persecutor of Antiochus, brother of St. Plato: Synaxarium
CP, 824f.
Domitianus 305/11
-riv Toi piKcapiou &pXhv EXoVTw Kal TOis Ip?Epit 'S rCIarTiacs &vSlaTpi3ovTi; persecutor of
St. Clement: Vita Clementis, cols. 825-28.
Domitius 305/11
St. Clement was sent for judgment to Ao~tricp piKapicpTMiV'AlIOrlvcGOv
dpxQv SIwrrovnl:
Vita Clementis,cols. 864-69. Perhaps identical with the preceding.

Agrippinus 305/11
Vicar at Ankara, persecutor of St. Plato: Vita Platonis, PG, 115, passim. Responsible also
for execution of Eustathius, Gaianus, et al.: Synaxarium CP, 766. Perhaps to be identified
with Agrippinus, eparch at Nicomedia (i.e., Praetorian Prefect?) under Galerius: Vita
Clementis,cols. 852-60, or with the recipient of CJ, IV.29.15, a law of 294.

207 It is a pleasure to record the help I have received. A grant from the American Council of
Learned Societies enabled me to travel to Ankara and carry out the necessary field work. While
there, I enjoyed the hospitality of the British Institute of Archaeology and the assistance of its
director, Mr. David French. Bay Raci Temizer, director of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations,
granted me free access to the unpublished coins of the Qankinkapi excavations, and Bay Musa Kurum,
numismatist of the museum, assisted in inspecting them. The work of assembling source material
was lightened by Dr. FriedrichHild of the TabulaImperii byzantiniin Vienna, who allowed me to
consult the extensive files on Byzantine sites which his team has compiled.

Coins from the Roman Gymnasium at lanknkapl:

A summary tabulation

(All coins are bronze unless otherwise indicated)

Pre-third century . ..................... 15
Third century:
Antoniniani: Gordian III ............. 1
Quietus-Carinus . .................39
Local issues ......................... 68
Diocletian-Licinius ...................... 45
Constantine ............................ 32
Constantius II-Jovian ................... 30
Valens & colleagues . .................. 12
Theodosius, Arcadius, Honorius ..........47
Late fourth century . ....................20 (Cannot be more closely attributed)
Theodosius II ..... ................. 2
Marcian ............................... 2
Leo I ................................ 9
Zeno ................................. 1
Anastasius ............................ 4
Anastasius hoard . ..................... 32 All minimti in remarkably fine condition
Fifth century .......................... 4 Unattribu.table minimi
Justinian ............................. 6
Justin II .............................. 5
Tiberius ..................... ...... 1
Maurice .............................. 5
Sixth century .......................... 1 "E" (5-nummia) unattributable
Focas ............................. 2 Includes c)ne gold tremissis
Heraclius: Tremissis .................... 6
AE type I (610-13) ........... 4
type II (612-16) .......... 1
type IV (yr. 30 = 639/40) .. 1
Constans II: AV Solidus . .............. 1 Class IV( :654-59)
AE ..................... 1 Attributicmnuncertain
Leo IV: Class I (776-78) ................ 1
Theophilus: Class I (829-30) ............. 1
Leo VI ............................... 8
Romanus Lecapenus .................... 1
Anonymous AE: Class A (1) . ....... ... 2 (970-76?)
Class A (2) .............1 (976 ?-ca. 1030/35)
Class I ............ (ca. 1075-:80)
Constantine X ......................... 2
Romanus IV .......................... 1

queur, terminating his Paulys Realencyclopddienotice of the historian.l
He was not exaggerating. There is not one item on offer in the volumes
of L'Annee Philologique; Englemann-Preuss are equally barren for the period
1700-1850. Malchus deserves a better fate. After all, his extant fragments2
do constitute a major primary source for the reign of Zeno. Hence the present
There are two external witnesses to the existence of Malchus: Photius and
the Suda.3 Neither give a floruit for the historian, but that is not a great
impediment to knowledge. Like Olympiodorus, Priscus, Candidus the Isaurian,
and many others in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods, Malchus
wrote contemporary history. His animadversions upon Zeno make it most
unlikely that he could have published his work before the death of that
emperor. Admittedly, this is not conclusive. Eunapius, for instance, seems
to have got away with a surprising amount of abuse under Theodosius. But
he was operating in the relative obscurity of Sardis; Malchus was much closer
to imperial eyes.
To be subjoined is the statement in the Suda that Malchus wrote an account
of events from Constantine to Anastasius. As will be seen, that claim causes
problems; hence it cannot be adduced on its own to prove anything. But
taking everything together, it is utterly reasonable to assign Malchus to the
reign of Anastasius.
If the historian possessed the quality of TOvlaTIK?
onrivEos,4 which he attributed
both to Odovacar (fr. 10) and Pamprepius (fr. 20), it may be that he did not
bring out his work until after 496, when Anastasius had safely crushed the
Isaurians, for it was not a version that would have stood him in good stead
had the war turned out the other way. Against this, it might with equal
justice be supposed that Malchus produced his History during the struggle
as propaganda for Anastasius. Certainly, the work is too detailed and polished
to be a "rush job." But nothing forbids the speculation that it might have
been well under way before 491.
Both Photius and the Suda dub Malchus as sophist; a flexible label, not
one that tells us much. Photius, it should be remarked, dignifies him with the
title ovyypacpes at the end of his article. A sophist writing history evokes no
surprise. There had been many others, ever since the Antonine age.4a Priscus
of Panium is the most pertinent case.
1 RE, 14, cols. 851-57.
Text in Niebuhr ed. (Bonn, 1829), 231-78; Dindorf, HGM, I (Leipzig, 1870), 383-424; Miiller
ed., FHG, IV (Paris, 1868), 111-32; Excerpta de legationibus, ed. C. de Boor (Berlin, 1903), see Index,
3 Bibl., cod. 78; Suda, M 120 (Adler ed.).
4 See infra, p. 106, for the literary antecedents of this phrase.
4a The precise meaning of "sophist," and its relationship with "rhetor," has
always been some-
what elusive. For a full discussion of the problem as it applies to the heyday of the Second Sophistic,

Malchus is not given to autobiographical detail. Still, there are one or two
indications of a professional interest in literature and its practitioners. The
wickedness of the Emperor Leo is exemplified by his relegation of the gram-
marian Hyperechius (fr. 2a). In the same sequence5 that ruler is somewhat
redeemed by his gift of money to Eulogius the Philosopher, and by the hope
(expressed to a eunuch who objected to the largess) that he would see the day
when the military budget could be diverted to the teaching profession.6
Finally, in the detailed account of Pamprepius (fr. 20), there is the obtruded
comment that he was intrigued against by an enemy with "more knavery
than befitted a teacher."
The historian's nomenclature discloses his geographical origins, for Malchus
was a Syrian name meaning "king," which is certified by both Eunapius and
John Lydus.7 Hence, when Photius assigns him to Philadelphia, one can be
sure that the Palestinian city is meant.
The Suda, presumably following Hesychius of Miletus, regards Malchus as
Bulav-ros.The epithet must indicate provenance. Elsewhere8 in the Suda, it
denotes place of birth. The adjective is employed both of old Byzantium and
of Constantinople.9 Either Hesychius or his epigones are in error, which is of
moment, given other problems'0 in the lexicon's notice of Malchus.
However, it is a reasonable conjecture that Malchus spent a good season of
his life in Constantinople. The Suda singles out his description of the great
fire which ravaged the capital under Basiliscus as one of the finest sequences
in his history. The destruction of the library elicited a narrative "reminiscent
of a tragedy." To be sure, a conflagration sounds like an excuse for a literary
set piece. Photius was impressed by the description achieved by Candidus
the Isaurian of a similar fire in the city of Leo's time. Indeed, one historian
might well have been trying to outdo the other.

see G. W. Bowersock, Greek Sophists in te Roman Empire (Oxford, 1969), 12-14. As to the later
Roman and Early Byzantine periods, the formulation of Victorinus (Rhetores Latini Minores, ed.
Halm, 156.21) may be instructive: dicendum etiam videtur, quae distantia sit inter rhetorem,sophistam,
et oratorem. Rhetor est i docet litteras atque artes tradit eloquentiae: sophista est apucdquem dicendi
exercitium discitur: orator est qui in causis privatis ac publicis plena et perfecta utitur eloquentia. It
may also be instructive to consider the three separate definitions offered by the Suda, S 812-14
(Adler). The word ysocperfs does not commonly occur in later Greek texts: the Lexicon of E. A.
Sophocles registers only Lucian, Peregrinus, 13 (where the word is applied to Christ); Lampe's
Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford, 1961) has no examples. In the period in question, "Sophist" seems
to me to denote a teacher or professor, though, given that the term "rhetor" can mean "lawyer"
in early Byzantine Greek (cf. Alan and Averil Cameron, "The Cycle of Agathias," JHS, 86 [1966],
15-16), we should be alive to possible mutations of meaning. See further the article by K. Gerth, in
RE, Suppl. Band 8, col. 723.
5 Bearing in mind that this is awkwardly juxtaposed with the balance of fr. 2a, and might be
either deficient or misplaced; cf. Miller, loc. cit.
6 Which, of course, recalls the similar optimism of Probus claimed by the HA, Probus, 20. 3.
7 Eunapius, VS, Giangrande ed., iv. 1. 4; Lydus, De Mensibus, 4. 118.
8 There are thirteen occurrences registered in Adler's index. All are in biographical notices deriving
from Hesychius.
9 chronicle
E.g., A 3933 (Aristophanes of Byzantium); E 851 (Heliconius, sophist and author of a
from Adam to Theodosius I); M 174 (Maximus, the teacher of Julian). In this last case, note that
Maximus is said to be "either Epirote or Byzantine," which confirms the usage. The Suda is doubly
in error, for the Maximus in question hailed from Ephesus; cf. PLRE, I (Cambridge, 1971), 584.
Specifically, the scope of Malchus' work, for which see infra.

For all of that, the extant fragments do not suggest that Malchus wasted
much space on set pieces. Grief over the destruction of the library at Con-
stantinople would come naturally from a man of letters who used and appre-
ciated its facilities. He also wrote eloquently, adds the Suda, on the fate of
statues in the Augusteum. That betokens a precision of detail acquired by
He may have been widely traveled. Photius calls attention to the degree
to which both East and West feature in the historian's narrative. He never
seems handicapped, as Eunapius"1 had been, by the difficulty of obtaining
Western news in the East. The detailed accounts of Gothic peregrinations
(frs. 15-19) abound with topographical minutiae: Sondis is a great mountain,
hard to climb; the road to New Epirus is narrow; Lychidnus is full of springs;
Adamantius is the first commander to traverse an obscure and narrow road
with cavalry; and so on.
Of course, one can never be sure what comes from a man's experience and
what from his reading. Malchus never refers to exploits of his own, as do,
for example, Olympiodorus and Priscus.12 Nor does he formally credit any
information to sources oral or written. Anything is possible. Some eyewitnesses
will surely have been accessible to the historian. Literary materials were not
lacking. On geographical matters, he might follow the example of Olympio-
dorus and consult a writer such as Asinius Quadratus, invariably cited for
topographical points in later authorities.13 In Malchus' own time, there was
Capito Lycus, whose Isaurica are always adduced in later ages for geo-
graphical items.14
Men of letters tended to roam widely, in search of patrons and success.15
Malchus need not have been an exception. His obvious sympathy for Pampre-
pius may be that of a fellow professional. One also cannot help wondering if he
was ever entrusted with a diplomatic mission which enabled him to see some-
thing of the world. It is well known that Olympiodorus and Priscus were both
so employed; the phenomenon recurs with Nonnosus in the reign of Justinian.16
And the age was propitious for literary men. According to John Lydus,l7
Anastasius gave preferment to them as a matter of policy.
Embassies are a major theme in the narratives of Malchus. A good three-
quarters of the extant fragments are preserved in the De legationibus of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Of course caution must be exercised against

11 Fr. 74.
12 On Olympiodorus, see E. A. Thompson, "Olympiodorus of Thebes," CQ, 38 (1944), 43-52;
J. F. Matthews, "Olympiodorus of Thebes and the History of the West," JRS, 60 (1970), 79-97.
Fr. 18 describes his mission to the Hun king Donatus. Priscus' account (fr. 8) of his visit to Attila
is too familiar to require comment.
13 For
Quadratus, consult Jacoby, FGrHist, 97; cf. Zosimus 5. 27 for Olympiodorus and Qua-
dratus on the subject of Ravenna.
14 Text in Miiller, FHG, IV, 133-34.
15 See the brilliant article
by Alan Cameron, "Wandering Poets: A Literary Movement in Byzantine
Egypt," Historia, 14 (1965), 470-509.
16Photius, Bibl., cod. 3, is the source for Nonnosus
(whose father and grandfather had been on
similar missions).
17De mag., 3. 50.

being misled by collections of fragments. The true proportion of embassies in

Malchus' History may be distorted, or it may not; either way, there is no
overt autobiographical content.
One ingredient is conspicuous by its absence; the military one. The Gothic
narratives, not excluding the lengthy fragment 18 (the most elaborate sequence
surviving from Malchus' work), disclose not a single set piece describing battle
or siege. Which means, mercifully, that our historian does not slump to the
level of Priscus of Panium, who did not shrink from turning out a siege
narrative that owed more to Thucydidean pastiche than to reality.18
Obviously, there is again the risk of being misled by the nature of the
extant fragments and their provenance. There must have been some military
detail in a seven-book history of the years 474-80. And it is true that the
general Heraclius is commended (fr. 5) for valor, whereas Zeno is denounced
(fr. 9) for cowardice. Yet it is notable that there is no elaborate encomium
of any general on a par with the praise of the prefect Erythrius (fr. 6) for
his virtue. Moreover, Leo's aforementioned hope of diverting money from the
army to the teachers is clearly approved by the historian. One is not going
to assert that Malchus was a pacifist. And it must be remembered that a man
of letters could also be proficient in the service of Mars. The most pertinent
example of that symbiosis was P. Herennius Dexippus, a historian much
admired in the fourth and fifth centuries.19 Still, disenchantment with the
military mentality is readily understood in one who had endured the Isaurian
domination of Constantinople.
In all candor, there is virtually no real information on Malchus. The extant
fragments do not have the autobiographical indulgence of an Olympiodorus.
It has been observed that the two external sources are discrepant on the
matter of his native city. Similar trouble will soon be manifest with regard
to the scope of his work. Before grappling with that, however, one highly
personal and pertinent issue remains: the religion of Malchus.
A vexed question. There have been those20 who regarded him as a pagan;
others21 enroll him amongst the Christians. The vacillations of Bury are
instructive. In his edition of Gibbon,22he opined that Malchus was "indifferent
to religion"; in his History of the Later Roman Empire of 188923he expressed
the view: "In regard to his religion I should be inclined to suppose that he was
a Laodicean"; in the fuller version emitted in 1923, Malchus had become
"plainly Neoplatonic."24
Ably demonstrated by E. A. Thompson, "Priscus of Panium, Fragment lb," CQ, 39 (1945),
19The testimonia are assembled by Jacoby, FGrHist, 100; cf. F. Millar, "P. Herennius Dexippus:
The Greek World and the Third-Century Invasions," JRS, 59 (1969), 12-29.
1 ("sans
Laqueur, in his RE notice, col. 856; Stein, Bas-Empire, II (Paris, 1949), 708 note
Notably Averil Cameron, in her splendid book Agathias (Oxford, 1970), 83; albeit, she is slightly
misleading, as we shall see, in her statement that Photius "expressly says he was a Christian."
of the sources of the problem is the Patriarch's cryptic language.
22 Vol. IV, 512.
23 Vol. I, 328.
24 Vol. II, 418 note 2.

Malchus himself has little to offer concerning religious matters, which is

one source of the problem. It need not be supposed that he entertained
dangerously unorthodox opinions which had to be kept quiet, since both
pagans and heretics were reasonably safe under Anastasius. Rather, a genuine
indifference might be imputed.
Or honest incertitude; for there is no consistency in the comments Malchus
does venture. On the one hand, the "vengeance of God" overtakes the cruel
general Heraclius (fr. 4), whilst "the Overseer of All Things" strikes down the
debauched son of Zeno (fr. 9). The latter passage seems inescapably Christian,
very much in tune with the morality of Anastasius.25
In flagrant contrast, Malchus is well-disposed toward the notorious Pampre-
pius, who became something of a diabolical bogeyman in Christian versions.26
He is represented as the star pupil of the "great Proclus"-in itself, a significant
tribute27-and as one who was both conventionally and unconventionally wise.
Undone by schemers in Athens, after a long tenure in that city of pagan
learning, he came to Constantinople and bravely flaunted his unchristian
beliefs, a man &yaSosKcai Xpriro6s.
To some extent this is political, not religious, propaganda. In the eyes of
Malchus a fellow who threw in his lot with the rebels against Zeno could not be
all bad. It is clear from Photius that the version of Candidus the Isaurian was
very different. On the question of Pamprepius' prophetic talents, Malchus is
sensiblyagnostic:Eti -Tl Kaiio ?jv, OViTE EiECSaoi. The
Exco, OTE-rr
matter clearly exercised him, for Malchus does not often obtrude such personal
views into his narratives.28
Nothing can be ascertained from Malchus' allusions to Christianity. It is
now recognized that the objective conventions for referring to the sect consti-
tute a question of style, not belief.29As with other Early Byzantine historians,
Malchus is inconsistent. Sometimes he introduces a Christian technicality such
as presbyter with a paraphrase (fr. 18); occasionally he exhibits a formula
of the stamp of TCV AEyoPvcov povaxc6v (fr. 7); when the mood takes him, a
Christian official is brought in as &PXIEpeFS(fr. 18, bis); yet spade is sometimes
called spade, as in fragment 1, where ElrriKoxoos is employed without qualifica-
tion (coexisting, let it be noted, with IEpeRs for clergyman).
The problem is exacerbated by Photius, who rounded off his notice of the
historian with the words oK? co TOi XpialavTKou Seiaaioi. This cryptic phrase
25 Evinced by his suppression of the licentious Brytae festival.
26 In the Photian paraphrase of Candidus (Bibl., cod. 79), Pamprepius is branded as
it is immaterial here whether the epithet is the Patriarch's or the historian's. Henry is auvaep[S;
surely wrong
to translate it as "h6r6tique" in his Bud6 edition (Photius, Bibliothgque,ed. R. Henry, I [Paris,
On Pamprepius in general, see the classic article of J. R. Asmus, in BZ, 22 (1913), 320-47; also Alan
Cameron, op. cit., passim.
perhaps overrated by Bury, LRE (1923), II, 418 note 2. Neoplatonism and Christianity
were not always mutually exclusive, although Photius tends to be wary of any interest manifested in
the former; cf. Alan Cameron, op. cit., 476.
Apart from the present passage, the only other such formula is in fr. 18, where Malchus asserts
for the second time that the Gothic complaints against Zeno were justified.
29 This
topic is analyzed at length by Averil Cameron, Agathias, 83-88; cf. the Camerons' joint
article, "Christianity and Tradition in the Historiography of the Late Empire," CQ, 14 (1964),

stands in palpable contrast with the straightforward labeling of Eunapius

and Olympiodorus as pagans and Candidus as orthodox in the contiguous
notices (cods. 77, 79, 80).
What does it mean? The noun Setaoa6osis rarely employed in patristic prose.
It can, however, be applied both to paganism and Christianity.30 The word
connotes religious spirit or feeling rather than simply "religion." For the
latter, the regular term in Photius is SprloxEfa.
There is a clue. It is to be expiscated from the Patriarch's notice of Synesius
of Cyrene (cod. 26). He was detached from paganism and was advanced to a
condition of TrposTov $SEaaCov rTOUXpicnTiavi(Taiov0iaavra.31 He remained thus
until he finally overcame his reservations about the doctrine of the Resurrec-
tion, upon which decision he was admitted to the true faith.
It would appear that Photius did not regard Malchus as a committed
orthodox Christian. Nor will there have been anything rabidly pagan in the
historian's writings. It was for the Patriarch to assess the balance between
the Christian-sounding utterances about God's vengeance and the reasoned
compliments to Proclus and Pamprepius. There was clearly not very much
about religion in Malchus, certainly no extreme views for or against any side.
Had there been, the historian would have been more precisely labeled by
According to the Suda, Malchus produced a history (no title is given) of
events PaaRilias KcovcravTivou KCiiEcos'Avauticxuio. Photius states that he
had read a work entitled Byzantiaca, an account in seven books of events
from the last illness of Leo in 474 to the death of Julius Nepos in 480. The
Patriarch subjoins that the exordium to Book One mentioned other narratives
(which Photius clearly had not read); also that the conclusion to the final
book promised further work, which (it is presumed) was aborted by Malchus'
The Photian version is credible. It is probably no more than a coincidence
that seven years are covered by seven books; I shall beware of the imposition
of any pattern here. Detailed narratives covering a relatively short span of
time were popular in the fifth and sixth centuries. Olympiodorus consecrated
twenty-two books to the period 407-25; Priscus devoted his efforts to the
years 433-74; Candidus dealt with the reigns of Leo and Zeno; specialized
Lampe's Patristic Greek Lexicon gives only Evagrius, 5. 21 (applied to paganism); Theodetus,
Afect., 10, and Basil Seleucius, Vita Theclae, 2. 12 (used of Christianity).
31 I have found no other example of this formula in the Bibliotheca.
32 There was a time when I wondered if Malchus might not have been a Monophysite. It would
suit the historian's hatred of Leo, which is more pronounced than the contempt evinced for Zeno.
The sect was notoriously congenial to Anastasius, under whom it was possible to publish a monophy-
site version of events. Alternatively, the playing down of religion by Malchus could imply adherence
to the doctrine. T. F. Carney, Bureaucracy in Traditional Society (Lawrence, Kansas, 1971), 49-50,
69 note 11, has argued along these lines in the case of John Lydus. Finally, although a hazardous
argument, it should be noted that the sect was popular in Syria. In spite of all this, unless the
fragments are quite misleading, there is probably too little about religion in Malchus to suit the
view. The theory is also embarrassed by the historian's dislike of Basiliscus and his readiness to
criticize the policies of that Monophysite usurper (fr. 7). Finally, it is hard to see why Photius would
not have identified and stigmatized theological error in the case of Malchus with the precision else-
where employed in the Bibliotheca.
narratives continue in the sixth century, evidenced by Procopius, Agathias,
Menander Protector, and Theophylact.
It is not cause for alarm that the period covered by Malchus affords no
precise continuation of a predecessor and does not subsume the iformal limits
of a reign or reigns. Patterns congenial to modern habits of thinking are to be
eschewed. Olympiodorus left a gap of a good two years between the end of
Eunapius' history and the commencement of his own. Priscus does not directly
follow upon Olympiodorus, and does not use imperial death or succession as a
starting point. A specialized account of the period 474-80 is quite plausible.
The limits indicated by Photius are largely confirmed by the extant frag-
ments, all of which can be fitted into the period in question. That is, the
passages assigned and printed by Miiller. However, a number of other items
in the Suda have been tentatively given to Malchus by other scholars. One of
them, a detailed and pejorative account of the power of Zeno's brother Longi-
nus, does not easily fit the limits 474-80, although it will be seen that the
ascription is hard to resist on the criteria of content and style.33 Hence, it is
worth canvassing several possible explanations of the discrepancy between
Photius and the Suda:

1. The Suda is simply wrong. That is always a convenient and reasonable

notion; especially when, as was earlier shown, it is in error over the provenance
of Malchus.
2. The Suda is right. Such an assumption would seem to invalidate the
assertion of Photius that death prevented Malchus from continuing beyond 480.
3. Something is wrong both with the text of the Suda and modern under-
standing of it. In cause are punctuation and the word Kai.Muller has a comma
before the copulative; Adler does not. Without one, the force of Kaihas to be
intensive. However, a laborious (experto crede!) perusal of all the biographical
items in the Suda has disclosed that this would be unparalleled. The word
Ecosoccurs four times34in descriptions of titles. In all cases, it is unadorned by
KaI.Significantly, one of the authors in question is no less than Hesychius of
Miletus himself, the source of the biographical entries in the Suda. This would
imply that Ecosby itself is the regular Hesychian formula. The other authors
are a historian named Jason and the biographer Suetonius.
Given all this, Kai in the Malchus notice must be copulative.35 The text of
the Suda may be garbled or corrupted. It could conceal the existence of two
separate works by Malchus: a general account of the period between Constan-
tine and Anastasius, and the more specific narrative described by Photius.
Such a conclusion would vindicate the Patriarch's claim that other writings
by Malchus were mentioned in the historian's opening to Byzantiaca. The
abortive project to cover events after 480 will have been the continuation of

33 Suda, L 646 (Adler); see later for this and other fragments possibly belonging to Malchus.
Including the notice of Malchus; the others are: H 611 (Hesychius); I 53 (Jason); T 895
(Suetonius Tranquillus).
35 For
Kci as unarguably copulative before Ecos,see, e.g., K 1165 (Adler).

this work on the same detailed scale. It does not mean that Malchus nowhere
wrote about events down to 491.
4. One objection to the foregoing hypothesis would be that a general account
of the period between Constantine and Anastasius is an unlikely project in an
age of contemporary history written in great detail. The only impetus for
such a work would be religious, and we have seen that that was one of the
inspirations least likely to afflict Malchus of Philadelphia.
Therefore, it can still be maintained that the work described by Photius
was the only one issued by Malchus. Events prior to 474 will have been
cursorily surveyed in an introductory form, on a very much smaller scale
than that discerned in Photius and the surviving passages. One can adduce,
for easy instance, Ammianus and Eunapius for similar disproportions (Zosimus
will also be thought of). Items pertaining to events and personalities between
480 and the accession of Anastasius could have featured in the seven books
known to Photius. Just as Eunapius inserted a reference to Pulcheria and
the year 414 (fr. 87) in a work that stopped at 404 (according to Photius),
so Malchus might frequently have looked ahead in his narratives for compara-
tive materials and the ike. This would explain the aforementioned diatribe
against the brother of Zeno. A careless reading of such a work might have led
the Suda's compiler to describe the work as going down to Anastasius.
Speculations tend to be endless, unless decently restrained. Many more
might be advanced. There could have been a second edition of Malchus,
drastically reduced in temporal scope and vastly intensified in detail;36 or the
Constantine referred to was not the great emperor of that name, but Constan-
tine III: that would relate the History of Malchus to the work of Olympio-
dorus; or Constantine is not an emperor at all, but an error for Flavius
Constantine, consul in 457. That would give the accession of Leo as a starting
point, which is far from incredible.
Such notions, mercifully, need play no part in the forthcoming assessments
of the content, style, and value of Malchus' work, although the discrepancy
between Photius and the Suda must be faced, especially as it is not always
noted in standard treatments of the period.37
However, conjecture is not henceforth to be banished from this paper. It is
time to advert to the fragments themselves. Of those printed by Miiller, a
number derive from the Suda in anonymous form. The ascriptions to Malchus
are the work of modern scholars, and various efforts have been made over
the years to augment and diminish their number. This sort of business tends
to be tediously unprofitable. Yet some dividends are to be had in the present
investigation; and there is the bonus of an opportunity to consider some
aspects of Candidus the Isaurian.
Though Photius is usually informed on such things. And the last thing we need is another via
EKBoaiTproblem on the scale of the Eunapian one; cf. W. R. Chalmers, in CQ, 3 (1953),
37Bury acknowledged the issue in his edition of Gibbon (supra, note 22), but in his LRE of 1923
merely says that "Malchus continued Priscus and embraced in his work either the whole or a part
of the reign of Zeno." A. H. M. Jones in his monumental History of the Later Roman Empire (Oxford,
1964), 217, simply gives Malchus as a source for the years 474-80, with no comment at all.

In Muller's collection, the following items from the Suda are credited to
Malchus: fr. 2a (Leo); fr. 5 (Heraclius the general); fr. 6 (Erythrius the pre-
fect); fr. 7 (Basiliscus the usurper); fr. 8 (Harmatus); fr. 9 (Zeno); fr. 20
(Pamprepius); fr. 21 (entries under the words ETrrriia and X7rrpa).
One or two observations are iorder. The name of Malchus is attached to
fragments 2a and 21, but this does not certify them. False ascriptions are
hardly uncommon in the Suda. Miller appended to fragment 21 two items
from the Anabasis of Xenophon wrongly attributed to Malchus. We shall
see later, when scrutinizing the historian's style, how that particular error
might have originated.
Miller entertained some very reasonable doubts about the last two sentences
of fragment 2a. As mentioned earlier, they seem to belong somewhere else,
albeit Malchus can retain the authorship. It suits his outlook to exemplify
the villainy of Leo by the expulsion of a grammarian, as does adverse comment
on the expensiveness of the army. And the verbatim quotation of Leo is very
much in the manner of Malchus, who (details are supplied later) had some taste
for speeches and a marked fondness for quoting the utterances of Zeno.
Fragment 5 was given to Malchus by Valesius: there is nothing decisive to
be said either way. The next fragment is appropriate to Malchus with its
denunciation of the rapacity of Leo and the fatal generosity of Zeno. It is
not something Candidus could have written. One may observe from a Latin
source how the partisans of Zeno defended his openhanded behavior.38
Fragments 7 and 8 have greater import. The latter is really made up of two
(perhaps three) distinct notices of Harmatus and Harmatius; Bury was dis-
posed to accept the view of Shestakov that at least parts of fragments 7 and 8
emanate from Candidus.39A number of scholars40 have assigned the article
on Harmatus to the Isaurian on the grounds of orthography. For this unsavory
character is Harmatus in the Photian paraphrases of Candidus, but Harmatius
in fragment 11 of Malchus.4L
The reasoning is in order, but perhaps not strong. The article on Harmatius
in the Suda (E 3968, Adler) comes before the Harmatus entry, directly following
the item 'ApauTEIlos TpoX6s. The spelling of Harmatius could have been affected
by this proximity. Moreover, in the best manuscript of Photius, Harmatius
is corrected by a marginal hand to Harmatus.42
A passage not printed by Miiller must be summoned to the argument.
A notice in the Suda (L 646, Adler)43 takes the form of an assault on the
Anon. Vales., 40: in re publica omnino providentissimus, favens genti suae.
39 See his edition of Gibbon (IV, 511) and the 1923 version of his LRE, I, 392 note 1.
Shestakov's demonstration, which I know only from Bury (and could not read, anyway) is in his
Candid Isauriski (Odessa, 1894). C. D. Gordon, The Age of Attila (Ann Arbor, 1960), 146-47, prints
the Harmatus notice as fr. 8, dividing the Harmatius one into 8a and 8c (the break coming at the
introduction of Onoulph into the narrative), and renumbering Miiller's 8a as 8b. Gordon, however,
simply spells the pertinent name Harmatius throughout. 40 Registered by Miiller, loc. cit.
41 Not fr.
10, as Miiller; cf. John of Antioch, fr. 210, who has Harmatius.
According to Henry's apparatus. Incidentally, is it possible that the orthographical vagaries
are at least partly due to the Isaurica of Pamprepius and its metrical requirements?
43 Adler did not observe that one sentence from this extract recurs in the
entry P 1436, sand-
wiched between phrases from Polybius and the Emperor Julian.

rapacity and lust of Longinus and Conon, brothers of Zeno. Bernhardy credited
the sequence to Malchus; Bury thought that was probably right; and it has
more recently been adduced without any argument as a piece of Malchus.44
This is most likely so. Candidus will not have so denounced the brothers
of Zeno.45 Stylistic analysis strongly suggests that the same hand produced
fragment 8, if not fragment 7, and also fragment 9. Sexual lust is a common
theme to the three sequences. In fragment 9, the son of Zeno is the target;
in the new extract, it is the Emperor's brothers. Another common feature is
the arrogance of these sex-mad grandees.
Details of vocabulary accumulate. The adverb EKT-rcos,for instance, occurs
in erotic contexts in fragments 8 and 9. Striking hapax legomenaare on parade.
Fragment 8 exhibits wTrapo6huTos in an erotic sequence;46 the Longinus notice
offers yvvalKolipagin a similar context;47 fragment 9 boasts one unique usage
(the adverb aupapTlrKts)in an anttack on sexual excess. Carnal themes also
evoke literary parody. In fragment 8, the Harmatus section contains a chunk
of Plutarch, with slight variations including a hapax legomenon;48 the Longinus
passage discloses the proverbial treSav&yKiin the context of seduction.
Fragment 7 contains two graphic and rare epithets: SeieriTUKTOS and ppabi*vouS.
It also mingles unvarnished Christian terminology and the objective conven-
(twice) sharing a sentence with TCOV?eyoivbcov (iovaXC-v.This
tion, with Trriaoroiros
is typical of Malchus.
Linguistic statistics rarely prove anything. However, it would seem reason-
able to believe that fragments 8 and 9, and the Longinus notice, are from the
same pen. Fragment 9 is certainly by Malchus. Thus, the Harmatus and
Longinus passages may be credited to him. The recurring presence of hapax
legomena is compelling: Photius records that neologisms are a feature of
Malchus' style.
In addition to the assault on Longinus, nine other anonymous items in the
Suda have been tentatively credited to Malchus, in most cases by Bern-
hardy.49 The majority of these are brief notices of particular words; only
rarely is speculation worthwhile.50 Two, however, are fairly substantial notices
of individuals: the Patriarch Acacius and the prefect Epinicus.
The entry on Acacius is probably too elaborate for Malchus, who seems not
to have been given to theological minutiae and the fortunes of ecclesiastics.
The notice is more suited to Candidus, an orthodox Christian, who, according
to Photius, spread himself on such matters. A reference to Leo the "Butcher,"
44 Gordon, op. cit., 155.
45 Nor is it likely that Capito the Lycian would have been so scathing. Pamprepius is ruled out
by the fact that his Isaurica was in verse (on this, see Alan Cameron, op. cit., 481), a venal per-
formance in honor of Zeno's restoration. It is true that the eminence of Longinus came after 480;
but (as earlier argued) Malchus is not precluded from treating events after that date, and the follies
of Longinus will have been grist to his anti-Zeno mill.
46 The notice also contains the unparalleled epithet ipuSpoTrp6CwTcrroS.
47 Notice also the employment of TrspiK&prna in the rare sense of "bracelets," a usage certified by
Pollux, 5. 99; Gordon mistranslates as "nut-shells."
48 See infra, for details.
49 The items are (in
Adler): A 783; B 134; E 226; E 566; E 2369; E 2494; I 324; K 693; T 513.
50 B 134 is
possible, since the word in question is the hapax legomenon papurrp.rris.

however, would come more naturally from Malchus. It may be that the Suda
has conflated accounts.
By contrast, the assault on Epinicus looks very much like an extract from
Malchus.51 In content and tone, it is very similar to the diatribe against
Sebastian in fragment 9. Vignettes of erring officials are congenial to Malchus.
Two linguistic details may be suggestive. The verb KaTrrrqEico is employed of
both villains (in the present participle on both occasions), and their profits
are summed up in both notices as nKAEhisaTa.
We may now proceed to consider the History of Malchus in terms of its
content and attitudes. The details singled out by Photius should be set along-
side the surviving fragments. It may be observed that the Patriarch does not
enlighten us as to the main contents of each book, as he does in the case of
Candidus. Since Photius attempted to reproduce the flavor and style of his
authors,52it is legitimate to believe that we are close to what Malchus actually
The Byzantiaca began with the fatal illness of Leo in 474. It is probable
that the historian indulged ini a gloating account of this. The Photian phrase
is suggestive; Malchus loathed Leo; and the unpleasant details
v6aoS eTTiELe
given in fragment 9 concerning the death of Zeno's depraved son indicate
a liking for such descriptions on the part of Malchus.
Singled out next are the predictable themes of Zeno's proclamation, the
Basiliscus interlude, Zeno's return, and the liquidation of the usurper and his
family Trapavocp Kpiaeia.Is this last phrase the historian's or the Patriarch's ?
Probably the former's: Photius will have had scant sympathy for the Mono-
physite usurper. Fragment 8a and the first part of fragment 9 preserve some
of Malchus' account of these transactions. The execution of Harmatus by
Onulph is then mentioned. The latter is not named in Photius' resume of
Candidus, which would seem to guarantee the final section of fragment 8
as attributable to Malchus.
Photius then adduces the accounts of the two Theodorics, which constitute
the fullest surviving fragments. The machinations of Verina against Illus are
mentioned next. Malchus may well have taken the opportunity to tell much or
all of the story of Illus, into which narrative his account of Pamprepius could
well be fitted. The revolt and suppression of Marcian follows. Malchus brings
his seventh and last book to an end with the death of Nepos.
The resume by Photius and the fragments largely confirm each other. Only
fragment 1, the fascinating account of the visit to Constantinople by Amor-
kesos, the renegade Persian, in 473, falls outside the Patriarch's given limits
for the History. There is no cause for alarm. The episode caters to two of
Malchus' predilections: accounts of embassies and objurgation of Leo.

51 It is
generally accepted that this notice is from Malchus or Candidus. The passage contains
at least one error: Epinicus was clearly praetorian prefect, not urban, to judge by the account of
his provincial depredations. Gordon also thinks that Epinicus' tenure cannot relate to Basiliscus'
reign, and that he was followed by Sebastian, not Laurentius.
52 See the Introduction to
Henry's Bude, xxiv.

Inevitably, there is a good deal of overlap with Candidus. It should be kept

in mind that Photius does not supply the title of the latter's work. In view
of his Isaurian connections, and his efforts to derive the race from Esau
(a folly twice deprecated by Photius), Isaurica would be a fair bet. Many
details will have been common to the two historians, which complicates the
ascription of anonymous fragments. But they are clearly distinguished by
their attitudes to Leo and Zeno, and by their religion. Candidus included a
good deal of theological material; Malchus did not. The latter approved of
wherepus, as to Candidus he was suvareris. Recollection of these
differences, and the summaries of Photius, helps one to reasonable decisions
as to which fragment belongs to whom.
Malchus was not the only Eastern historian of the time to deal with Western
affairs. It is clear from Photius that Candidus dealt with these in his first and
second books. Given the history of the period, no historian worth the name
could have altogether eschewed them. Still, it is worth remarking how Pho-
tius emphasizes Malchus' treatment: auria SieTickv, siEeecri KcaiTraTi 'Pcbms.
Our historian began his seven books with the death of an Eastern emperor,
and closed them with the expiration of a Western prince, Julius Nepos. That
is surely a contrived effect, given that the Byzantiaca as described by Photius
was intended as a self-contained whole. Three of the extant fragments (3, 10,
and 13) bear upon the comings and goings of embassies to and from Con-
stantinople. In one (fr. 3), Zeno sends the excellent senator Severus to Carthage
to treat with Gaiseric; this is balanced by fragment 13, in which Huneric
despatches Alexander, the guardian of Olybrius' wife, to Zeno in 478. Between
these sequences there occurs the senatorial mission from Rome on behalf of
Writing under Anastasius, Malchus may have intended a protreptic effect.
Given his attitude to Zeno, he will almost certainly have deplored that
Emperor's actions vis-a-vis Theodoric and the West; especially as the historian
is not enamored of barbarians. They are twice attacked collectively for
perfidy and greed (frs. 8a, 19); Onulph is singled out as representative of the
former vice. The account of Severus' visit to Carthage manages (in the portion
we have) never to mention Gaiseric by name: he is always "the Vandal."53
It is refreshingly probable that Malchus did not fill his pages with noble
savages and rhetorical comparisons between primitive virtue and the vices
of civilization. Indeed, one reads in fragment 13 an attack on the soft-living
luxury of the Vandals after Gaiseric, in which there is no talk of contamina-
tion by Roman manners. However, his approach is eclectic. The epigram on
barbarian greed (fr. 19) is offset by the comment, twice repeated, that the
complaints of Theodoric against Zeno were justified (fr. 18), and the unsavory
Onulph needs to be balanced against Odovacar, who shares with Pamprepius
o ivealis.
the quality of TO?XITIKri
Leo is unsparingly vilified. He is the "Butcher," rapacious, an object of
dread to subjects and enemies alike, an unleasher of informers and cognate
53 In fr. 13 he is obliged to name Gaiseric, to distinguish him from Huneric.

evils: in short, a TrraarsKaKiasKToraycobyov(fr. 2a), whose successes were simply

the product of his being "the luckiest of all rulers."
These tirades naturally evoke suspicion, being rhetorically shrill and stuffed
with the cliches of abuse. It is clear that Malchus is less than fair. His criticism
of Leo for giving seating precedence over the patricians to the important visitor
Amorkesos (fr. 1) looks like a piece of silly snobbery. On the other hand, his
concern about Leo's lack of security-mindedness regarding what this far from
trustworthy Persian was allowed to see in the cities is quite legitimate. More-
over, as was observed earlier, the portrait of Leo is not totally black: he did
sometimes favor intellectuals and lament the need to cosset the military
(fr. 2a).
On Zeno, Malchus is hard, sometimes inconsistent, and not pitiless. The low
condition of affairs under him is described in language almost identical to that
employed of Leo,54a device intended to condition the reader. Yet Zeno is not
all bad. He was less cruel and greedy than his predecessor and not so inclined
to extortion and the use of informers (fr. 9). Some capacity for human feeling
is evinced by the pity he felt for Nepos (fr. 10).
The trouble with Zeno was that he was unsuited to his position; he lacked
the iomrrlrniappropriate to a ruler (fr. 9). He was too prodigal toward his
creatures (fr. 6), too malleable in the hands of a Sebastian (fr. 9). Worst of
all, he was a terrible coward, avntpacrroAhos (fr. 3), a man aoCVUTOUEliexas
(fr. 16).55
Malchus is not at his most impressive here. He sees the mission of Severus
to Carthage simply in terms of Zeno's cowardice. No mention is made of the
two tangible benefits which resulted: a long peace between Constantinople
and the Vandals, and a respite from persecution for the orthodox Christians
of Africa.56 Elsewhere (fr. 19), it is admitted that Zeno preferred war to a
"shameful peace." Other accusations also do not ring true. The Emperor is
accused (fr. 11) of using agents to do his dirty work for him to save his own
reputation. Ye hthaeput his own name to the embarrassing ransom offered
to the Goths for the release of the general Heraclius (fr. 4).
The son and brothers of Zeno are castigated for their debauchery, as was
earlier seen. Basiliscus is something of a compound of Leo and Zeno: success-
ful in battle (fr. 7),57 but fatally led by his creatures and so compelled to
ruthless taxation. It can be observed that Malchus, like many another ancient
historian of Rome and Byzantium, is too glib on this topic. The fiscal realities
and genuine needs of an emperor tend not to be admitted.
Imperial women play a small but discernible role in the extant narratives.
The separate influence of Verina is stressed (fr. 17), and that influence is a
54 Compare Trr&VTCOv
-rravTraX6SvTETapc)(XSal SoyorJvTcav(fr. 1) with rTroMijs
aTS (fr. 3).
55 A version clearly influencing John Lydus who (De mag., 3. 45) claims that Zeno could not even
bear to gaze upon a picture of a battle!
56 Cf. Victor Vitensis, 1. 17;
Procopius, Bell. Vand., 1. 7.
57 An
interesting judgment, in view of his performance in the great expedition against the Vandals
under Leo. One might have thought Malchus was simply referring to his overthrow of Zeno, but the
passage is a generalizing study of the career and character of Basiliscus.

great one (fr. 20: -TOT-Eiyilcrra 6uvarEvr)).58 No epigrams on female wiles occur
in these sequences. In the case of Zenonis (fr. 8), however, the historian's
language plainly condemns her affair with Harmatus.
The surviving portraits of individuals indicate that Malchus, like many
historians, found abuse more congenial than praise. Apart from the sequence
on Pamprepius, the only59 full-scale laudation is on the prefect Erythrius,
who resigned under Zeno rather than inflict suffering on the taxpayers. It has
been shown by Alan Cameron60that this encomium is part of some literary
and political infighting; Malchus is on the other side than that of the poet
Panolbius, whose distinguished targets included our good prefect.
It would be naive to take Malchus on such characters as Sebastian as
gospel. One is encouraged, however, by indications that the historian portrays
his subjects in colors other than black and white. This has already been
observed in the cases of even Leo and Zeno. Similar treatments are those
allotted to Heraclius (fr. 5), Basiliscus (fr. 7), and Harmatus (fr. 8)-this last
had been kind to his executioner Onulph.
The main features of Malchus as historian have come to light in the fore-
going accounts. Some recapitulation and supplement is in order. It will
naturally be understood that there may be built-in distortion of the true
picture, thanks to the fragmented survivals and their provenance.
Malchus treated Western, as well as Eastern, affairs in some detail. He has
a penchant for elaborate accounts of embassies and delegations. Military set
pieces are strikingly absent. Nowhere is there overt mention of personal
involvement on the historian's part.
The biographical approach is marked. Prejudice is overt. Unfairness and
inconsistency are discernible in the accounts of Leo and Zeno. Yet balance
is achieved in the accounts of these rulers, and of other villains. The relatively
rare exercises in eulogy are reasoned, as in the case of Pamprepius, or reflect
a parti-pris as in the matter of Erythrius.
Religious matters are kept to a minimum. Christian phraseologies coexist
with the commendations of Proclus and Pamprepius, but enough has been said
on this question above.
Some of Malchus' personality shows through. He is severe on sexual "excess"
(frs. 8 and 9, and the notice of Longinus). Homosexuality is particularly
abhorred and is branded as a "foreign" vice (fr. 9); which attitudes, of
course, do not confirm Malchus as a Christian. We have seen that he was
disposed to nasty generalizations about the barbarian character (frs. 8a, 19),
though this did not prevent him from taking their part in the matter of
complaints against Zeno (fr. 19) or from accepting the claims made for the
acumen of Odovacar (fr. 10). It is hardly surprising for a sophist-historian to
display partiality toward men of letters and their profession (frs. 2a, 20).
58 It
may be worth nothing that Pamprepius is p4yil-rov fjT 8uvvapi&vcp in the Suda's entry for
Salustius (S 63).
59 Apart, that is, from the good press accorded to the senator Severus in fr. 3.
60 Op. cit., 506-7.

Contempt for the mob is equally predictable (frs. 8, 20), as is the implied
scorn of banausic arts (fr. 7).
Malchus is clearly not objective, but to what extent he is factually reliable
is hard to determine, since he is the basic (frequently the only) source for
what he describes. He may be in error in saying that Pamprepius came from
Egyptian Thebes. Other sources, when they specify his origins, assign him
to Panopolis.61 Obviously, Thebes could simply be a mistake for Thebaid.
Yet Pamprepius was a well-known figure, clearly studied by Malchus with
sympathetic attention. If he is wrong, it is both surprising and disappoint-
Other possible mistakes were considered earlier.62Yet, although not a unique
compliment from the Patriarch, it is significant that Photius, who was clearly
wary of Malchus' religion (or lack of it), as opposed to the orthodox Candidus,
regarded him as a fine historian, a veritable Kavcovfor emulation.63 He is
nowhere accused of error or bias in religious or secular matters, and is lauded
for his style, to which topic I now advert, as a fitting end to this paper.
Photius asserts that Malchus was a successful sophist. Thus, we can expect
a conscious and competent stylist. From what is known of Photius' literary
criticism,64 Malchus must have avoided digressions, eschewed any excess of
poeticisms and the like, and kept bothwclear and relevant. Bury thought
him "clear and unaffected." To judge by the Photian notice, that was not
true of Candidus, which is something to bear in mind when pondering the
authorship of anonymous fragments.
It has been shown that Malchus does not appear to have indulged in ela-
borate and suspect military set pieces to the degree that Priscus did, frag-
ment lb. It seems, however, that he did not follow the apparent disdain for
speeches which has been ascribed to Olympiodorus. Verbatim extracts, both
short and substantial are present in a number of passages. Zeno predominates
in these (frs. 8a, 9, 10, 18), but we also have a short speech by Gaiseric (fr. 3),
two outbursts by Theodoric Strabo (fr. 15), another speech by the same
(fr. 18), and the actual words of the senators in a debate with Zeno (fr. 11).
Some of these will be genuine, perhaps reflecting Malchus' researches into
documents and conversations with witnesses: items such as Strabo's out-
pourings were surely literary confections.
Some simple Latinisms are employed: oivAEvTlapios (fr. 2); pa&yicrrpos (fr. 11);
-TrarpiKios(frs. 10, 18); and Trov rplpC-acov (fr. 11). On other occasions, Greek
equivalentsare preferred:we find .oOaSocp6poi OiKE0oifor bucellarii (fr. 18); &apXEiov
for praetorium (fr. 18); and (foolishly) pkbitvosfor modius (fr. 15).65
61 Panopolis is the
provenance given in John of Antioch, fr. 211. 2, and in the Suda in two notices
other than the fragment of Malchus it preserves on Pamprepius (the section of P 137 that comes from
Damascius, and S 63). It is accepted by Bury, Stein, and Alan Cameron, op. cit., 472.
62 See note 51.
63 Herodotus is the canon of Ionic dialect (Bibl., cod.
60) and Thucydides of Attic (cods. 60, 71).
64 See La Rue van Hook, "The
Literary Criticism in the Bibliotheca of Photius," CPh, 4 (1909),
178-89; G. L. Kustas, "The Literary Criticism of Photius," Hellenika, 17 (1962), 132-69.
65 Note also for exactor (fr. 1) and TrriTpo-rro
for procurator (fr. 13); cf. H. J. Mason,
Greek Terms for Roman Institutions (Toronto, 1974), 143-44.

Malchus does not go so far as Olympiodorus, whose willingness to include

such effects as vhtca-roSbloiyvaros earned him the displeasure of Photius.66 No-
table also in this context is the absence in Malchus of the word pf4i,which
Olympiodorus used to denote a leader of an individual tribe, properly dis-
tinguishing it from (puapXos,the commander of a confederacy.67Malchus has
this latter precision (fr. 1), but employs apXryo6sof a barbarian chieftain
(frs. 2, 4).
Inconsistency is manifest in the matter of both Christian and Roman
terminologies. Whilst presbyter is painstakingly glossed (fr. 18), rlioxCKTros is
employed without ado (frs. 1, 7); Lovaxoi requires apology, albeit this is some-
thing of a special case68with the late Greek historians. Occasionally, iepEusor
apX'EpEusis substituted (frs. 1, 18). Domestici and foederati are
for TriKoxoTroS
explained as Latinisms (frs. 11, 16, and 18). An irritating example of affecta-
tion is the phrase "tented Arabs, which they call Saracens" (fr. 1).
As is the case with Agathias,69 a medley of stylistic influences and effects
is manifest in Malchus. There are archaistic flourishes: avupwac is used to describe
the mob (fr. 8), although that word had been ridiculed long ago by Lucian
(Lex. 4), an author with whom Malchus may have been familiar. A lone dual
(vuoTv oaxoXacv)can be discerned (fr. 17); so can a hyper-Atticism, namely a
false use of nroi(fr. 18). This mood may have caused the anachronistic use of
"Long Walls" in the context of Constantinople of a period before their con-
struction (fr. 16).70
Various authors were drawn on. The comparison of Harmatus to Paris (fr. 8)
naturally evokes the Homeric epithet yuvawcavis.A compound verb ovvETro-rTpUvo
(fr. 10) is elsewhere known only from Sophocles (Electra 299). The sonorous
epithet TrrcaioTr6ouvros (fr. 18) seems first to have surfaced in Thucydides 8. 28.
The striking phrase TroXITIKrI orVEaIS,employed of both Odovacar and Pampre-
pius, although of Aristotelian pedigree, is probably derived from Lucian.71
Several usages were favorites of Xenophon: Trpovori(fr. 1), paorrporreuco(fr. 10),
and yi6'Sov(fr. 19) can be instanced. Indeed, an explanation of the fact that
the Suda twice72 attaches the name of Malchus to items from the Anabasis
could be that Malchus was identified in the compiler's mind as an imitator of
Let it be noted that Malchus was no more successful than any other writer
in maintaining consistency of style. The constant use of olKEios,late words
such as rapa5uvacrrE'coand KapaboKia (fr. 9), and late forms of the order of
pitXap6vcos (frs. 8, 13) are revealing. However, the fragments suggest that the
historian was no extremist in style, and it may be just to conclude that he
would not have been embarrassed by any "lapses" into the vernacular.
Bibl., cod. 80. 67 Cf.
Thompson, op. cit., 43.
68 See Averil Cameron, Agathias, 85. 69 Ibid., 65-66.
70 Theophylact, 1. 4. 8, found it necessary to refer to them as the "so-called Long Walls."
71 De Hist. Conscr., 61. G. Avenarius, Lukians Schrift zur Geschichtsschreibung(Meisenheim, 1956),
31, could not find a parallel. The phrase can be found in Aristotle, Politics, 1291a. I am writing else-
where on the expression vis-a-vis Lucian and Malchus.
72 For the
passages, see Miiller, fr. 21.
A pronounced feature of the style of Malchus is the hapax legomenon.
Some examples were earlier on parade. Worthy of note are: Eurrcp6oErToS
(fr. 9). A further
(fr. 8), acupapl-riKcs(fr. 9), TroArTiKOKdTrranos
(fr. 8), ipuSpoirpo6aco-rros
one, not registered in LSJ (or its Supplement) is the verb biaaovaco (fr. 2).
One item stands out. In fragment 8, the signs of physical passion between
Harmatus and Zenonis are described thus: piEIs Ovoiv a-TrcovE-r' &AiXqXous
EyiyvovTOKai TrapEKaTpo(pai (EraTSboEas.It
Kai iE1iStciaaTcov
oVVEXEisTrrpoo'rrwcov has not
been noticed hitherto that this is, with the exception of two words, a verbatim
reproduction of Plutarch, Sulla, 35. 5, on the dictator and Valeria. The
changes are -rrapsKa-Tpocai
for rrapErrlTopoqai, and pETa6ooelS for Bia66boEis. It is no-
table that the former change is a hapax legomenon, which helps my former
ascription of this fragment to Malchus rather than Candidus. An excellent
sense of parody is discernible. Plutarch's next words were TXAos
68, followed by
the marriage of Sulla and Valeria. Malchus went on rr6voSTrEPE-raTara
ra Epco-os,
culminating in the statement that the guilty pair were healed uiEcos iaTpeia,
a phrase which echoes Malchus' views on sex elsewhere expressed.
All in all, Malchus was a readable and effective stylist. Less florid than
Eunapius, less given to discursive and literary set pieces than Priscus, not so
jarring in Latinisms as Olympiodorus, less of a bizarre medley than Agathias,
and infinitely removed from the insane verbiage of Theophylact. The surviving
fragments make one wish for more. That cannot be said of all late Greek


M\ 'OST large collections of Byzantine lead seals contain a fairly high
percentage of specimens dating from the early period. In view of the
paucity of archival materials from the seventh and eighth centuries,
this fact is of some significance for the study of administrative and social
history of the early Empire. Recently, Zacos and Veglery have published a
catalogue of approximately 4,000 seals, of which the vast majority date before
900.1 Other publications of a substantial character may be expected; for
example, Dumbarton Oaks is preparing a catalogue of the Harvard Collec-
tions, a combined total of some 17,000 seals. In light of the importance of
seals and plans for publication of major collections, the time has come, I
believe, to observe that seals of the early centuries present to their editors
certain technical difficulties. The problems are not of a minor order, but involve
the reading and interpretation of whole categories of seals. The purpose of
this paper is to delineate some of these problems and to consider possible
solutions. At issue are seals bearing double names. Examples are mainly
drawn from the Zacos/Veglery catalogue. This essay, in certain respects, is a
review article of their volume. No doubt the general reader has only a nodding
acquaintance with Byzantine seals. To grasp the technical side of matters,
a brief description of seal types will be helpful.

Types of Early Byzantine Lead Seals

When a document was drawn up, it was common practice in the Byzantine
East for the individual responsible for the draft to affix his seal to the docu-
ment. Lead seals were regularly employed for this purpose. A cord was
threaded through the channel of a blank seal and the blank was then placed
between the two pincers of a bulloterionand pressed. In the process, cord and
seal were joined and the engravings of the bulloterion'sdies were imprinted.
Since a seal served the purpose of linking document with authorship, the one
piece of information most frequently encountered on seals is a name, quite
often accompanied by an indication of a person's dignity, title, or profession:
for example, KapEXourrTO Kcovoravrivov oi-pipcovos,and Mixa"iA
virrTrcov, voTapiou.2
Sometimes the formula is more elaborate, recording name, dignity, and title:
for example, AEovriou KouplKouAapiou,xap-rovXapiovKci CraKeAapiou.3A seal may
also bear a name, or name and title, accompanied by an expression of piety,
such as Acaiavoi, SouAouT1rSOEoTOKOU,
and rEppavoualToETrrapXcov,

1 G. Zacos and A.
Veglery, Byzantine Lead Seals (Basel, 1972) (hereafter, Byzantine Lead Seals).
Ibid., nos. 766 (= D.O. 55.1.1942 and 1943), 787 (= D.O. 55.1.1953), and 940. A number of
seals published by Zacos and Veglery belong to Dumbarton Oaks. In citing entries from their cata-
logue, notation is made, wherever appropriate, of the Dumbarton Oaks accession number. In instances
where it has been necessary to use seals which are not at Dumbarton Oaks I have been careful to
select for presentation seals which can be read from photographs with some certainty.
3 Ibid., no. 911 (= D.O. 55.1.2039).

KoV.4Name and title, appearing either in the genitive or dative case, may be
preceded by an invocative formula: for example, OETO6KE poiSE3i Y-rEqavoVOliEv-
rTiapiou KcI pacoatKovpciviropos; 0 Op9iraZEpy?icpaCathKi
OEO'O6KE oa-rsraapicp.5 In
instances where an invocative formula is not employed and only name and
title appear, as a rule they are expressed in the genitive case; typical inscrip-
tions are 'Avrt6Xou KOITi-roS,rpryopioucTparaTLov, 'lcoavvoviMaouopiov,and Napaovi
The nominative and dative cases, however, are also found: for
example, Ocltis treTlKorro(s) and iapTou.7 A likely explanation
e[i]l[v]vicy K6OhnTiTOU
of the use of the dative is that it stems from an implied expression of piety
(e.g., E0OTOKEPo?iSE1).
It often happens that a seal bears two names. Frequently, the same name
appears on both sides of the seal, usually in the genitive case. A common
feature is a Greek inscription opposite a legend in Latin characters; examples
are Thalassiu/OaXiaaadol, Asteri/'AarEpiov, and Anastasiu/'AvaaTraoiou.8Although
genitive combinations predominate, on occasion we encounter other combina-
tions, such as nominative/genitive and dative/genitive: for example, Georgius/
or Carello/Kapi7Aou.9Sometimes a seal bears two different names,
customarily in the genitive, such as OaXh7Xa=oul/?o5oa1iouor Ioannu/Theodoru.10
We have, then, two groups of seals with double names, Group 1 being seals
imprinted with the same name on each face, and Group 2 the seals bearing
a different name on each face. Among Group 1 are found, as noted, varying
case combinations. Editors have not paid much attention to these variances,
but it is a peculiar feature which merits closer scrutiny. However, editors are
by no means certain how Group 2 should be interpreted. At issue is the ques-
tion whether we are dealing with one person or two individuals. Confronted
with a seal bearing the name OEou0pou on one side and the name Aacapou on
the other, Laurent unhesitatingly read "Theodore and Lazaros," adding the
explanation "sceau collectif."'l The interpretation is arbitrary since no con-
junction is present. On the whole, Zacos and Veglery shun interpretation;
headings of their entries are based on simple translation. For example, for
entry no. 750, a seal imprinted with the name 'AVTIO6XOU on one face and the
name $ilaypiou on the other, the caption reads "Antiochos Philagrios." This
phrase is without meaning, and Zacos and Veglery leave interpretation of the
phrase to the discretion of the reader.12

4 Ibid., nos. 789 (= D.O. 58.106.868) and 837 (= D.O. 55.1.1989).

5 Ibid., nos. 1016 (= D.O. 58.106.1319) and 1000 (= D.O. 55.1.2107).
6 Ibid., nos. 746 (= D.O. 58.106.2820), 847 (= D.O. 55.1.1994), 871 (= D.O. 55.1.2007), and 948
(= D.O. 55.1.4619).
7 V. Laurent, Le corpus des sceaux de l'empire byzantin, V, pt. 1 (Paris, 1963), no. 1010; Byzantine
Lead Seals, no. 2929A.
8 V. Laurent, Les sceaux byzantins du Mddaillier Vatican (Vatican, 1962), nos. 230 and 195; Byzan-
tine Lead Seals, no. 734 (== D.O. 58.106.753).
9 Ibid., nos. 815 (= D.O. 55.1.301) and 765 (= D.O. 55.1.4420).
10 Ibid., nos. 1024
(= D.O. 58.106.2619) and 884 (= D.O. 58.106.752).
11 V. Laurent, La collection C. Orghidan (Paris, 1952), no. 606; see also nos. 623 and 626.
la Throughout Byzantine Lead Seals, the reader is referred to a general discussion of the problem
of double names under entry no. 286.
. .

a. Obverse a. Obverse
a. Obverse
a. Obverse

b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse

b. Reverse

1. D.O. 55.1.4520 2. D.O. 58.106.1098 3. D.O. 58.106.686 4. D.O. 55.1.31

a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse

b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse

5. D.O. 55.1.4392 6. D.O. 58.106.685 7. D.O. 55.1.595 8. Zacos Collection,

no. 2435A
a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse

b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse

9. D.O. 55.1.624 10. Zacos 11. D.O. 58.106.1169 12. Fogg 2380 13. Fogg 156
Collection, no. 829A

a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse a. Obverse

b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse b. Reverse

14. D.O. 55.1.272 15. D.O. 58.106.873 16. Fogg 3197 17. D.O. 55.1.6

Byzantine seals can be classified into five types according to the arrangement
of their inscriptions:

Type A: Seals with bilateral inscriptions

Name and titles frequently appear on seals in the form of a linear inscrip-
tion. Except for one, all the above examples are seals with linear inscriptions
on both faces.

Type B: Monogrammatic seals

As often as not, names and titles appear on seals in the form of a monogram.
We may distinguish two main types of monograms: box-shaped and cruciform.
The former refers to a design in which the letters of a name (or name and
title) are integrated with a central letter, such as M or N. The term cruciform
monogram refers to a design in which letters are mounted at the terminal
points of two intersecting bars. The box-shaped monogram was widely em-
ployed during the fifth century. In the following century its popularity was
challenged by the cruciform monogram, which appeared, it seems, during the
reign of Justinian I.13 In the seventh century, the cruciform monogram
became dominant.

Type C: Mixed monogrammatic seals

In many instances, a monogram appears on one side of a seal and a linear
inscription on the other. Seals of this type were in common use during the
sixth and seventh centuries. Usually the monogram resolves as a name. The
content of linear inscriptions varies: devotional formulae, dignities, or titles.

Type D: Iconographic seals

From the sixth into the eighth century, iconographic seals enjoyed high
favor. Representations of the Virgin or a saint were held in particular esteem.
If any epigraphy appears with the image it is customarily an invocative
monogram or vertical inscription identifying the saint. Most often only the
reverse will carry the imprint of the owner's name (in monogram or linear
inscription). After the Virgin and saints, representations of eagles were espe-
cially admired. In some cases the eagle appears alone on the obverse, the
opposite side being reserved for the name of the seal's owner (and any title).
Frequently the name (if not the name, then often an invocative monogram)
appears above the head of the eagle in the form of a monogram, with the
title expressed on the reverse in a linear inscription or, less commonly, as a
monogram. Dated seals of kommerkiarioicomprise a special group. They bear
the portrait of the emperor and an indiction date, and the name of the official
and title are customarily imprinted in a linear inscription.
13 Among the earliest cruciform
monograms which can be dated are those of Justinian and Theodora
on the capitals of St. Sophia. See E. Wiegand, "Zur Monogramminschrift der Theotokos- (Koimesis-)
Kirche von Nicaea," Byzantion, 6 (1931), 412-13.

Type E: Seals with invocative monograms, and cruciform invocative mono-

grams inscribed in the four quarters
I have noted that invocative monograms often appear above the heads of
eagles. In the seventh century it became the fashion to reserve the whole
of the obverse for such a design. The monograms variously read "Mother of
God/Christ/Lord, may you help...." The remainder is expressed on the reverse
in the form of a monogram or linear inscription. Sometimes the name appears
in the form of a cruciform monogram and a title is inscribed in the four
quarters of the intersecting bars. In time, the vogue for letters in the four
quarters was extended and applied to cruciform invocative monograms. The
invocation was lengthened and the inscription TLO-CO)--A-A(or T&)-A6-A&)-C6)
was set into the four angles, as "Mother of God/Christ/Lord,may you help your
servant... ."

In preparing a catalogue of seals, editors must face two problems with

regard to early seals. One involves the interpretation of double names; the
other concerns the reading of monogrammatic seals, which is often difficult.
One must contend with rare names and complex monograms. On occasion,
the letters of the name and title are integrated and set forth in one design.
The rate of incidence where no satisfactory reading seems possible runs fairly
high among monogrammatic seals. This may not be altogether evident, since
some editors have been inclined to skim collections, drawing from them what
they can read with ease and leaving the rest for others. Not all the difficulties
we have with monogrammatic seals are attributable to exotic names and com-
plex designs. There is good reason to suspect that a major reason why we
have experienced so much difficulty with monogrammatic seals is that we
have lacked proper insight concerning Byzantine onomastics. A faulty under-
standing in this regard has dimmed our perception of the information which
we expect to find on monogrammatic seals, the manner in which it is expressed,
and, most importantly, the grammatical case endings involved. It may seem
that seals with double names and seals in monogrammatic form are separate
problems. In fact, they are related. Their common ground is nomenclature.
Progress with monogrammatic seals and their reading is dependent on a solu-
tion to the riddle of double names. Hence, much of this paper will focus on
the interpretation of double names. I shall examine the question with the aid
of those seals that can be read with relative ease and certainty, i.e., Types A,
C, D, and E. In the final section, I shall consider the results of my investiga-
tion in relation to the reading of monogrammatic seals.

CollectiveSeals: the Conjunction Kai

On inscribed, metallic objects we encounter numerous instances where
individuals were associated in a common venture or activity. The dedication
on a silver paten from Syria reflects a collective donation, the spiritual offering,
perhaps, of two brothers: 'YrripEOXfis Kai acompias'AyaSayyAxouKal Oeoscbpou

eKoua-ropos("In fulfillment of a vow and for the salvation of Agathangelos

and Theodore excubitor").14 Three brothers are mentioned in an inscription
on a chalicefromHama: 'YTrEp Kal MavvouTCOV
Kai acoTrnpias'kcoavvovKai OGcopa&
OeopXAov ("In fulfillment of a vow and for the salvation of John and Thomas
and Mannos, sons of Theophilos").15Among seals, we note inscriptions which
reflect business partnerships and the exercise of office under joint names.
One seal bears the inscription of two silver-sellers, partners by the name of
George and John (fig. 1): OEeTOKE PO'[S]] rEcopyiou (Kai) 'IcoavvouapyUpoTrpacTv.1
In another example, Paul and Theodore apparently shared in the duties of
some monastic office or had joint responsibilities within a charitable founda-
tion, perhaps a service organization for the poor or a hospital: rfauXou v rpeCpu-
TEpov Kai OEo8cbpoU, iovaXcov.17The seal of Sergios and Artakios, two "servants
of the Theotokos," may well involve a similar situation-members of a reli-
gious or charitable association who jointly discharged certain duties (fig. 2):
XEpyfov Kal 'ApTraKi[o]u, 8oUicov riS EEor6oKou.18
Approximately twenty collective seals (so defined by the presence of the
conjunction kai) appear in the Zacos/Veglery catalogue. Most are dated seals
of kommerkiarioi. A typical inscription in this group (fig. 3) reads: [E]UVETOU
(Kal) NTrKira6mrrb KOwJEpKtapioVarro6iKTS Kcovo-avnTvoour6AEo[s].19
6TrrapXcov (Kai) yEVIKCOV
Although the seals of kommerkiarioi have been discussed at great length
elsewhere, it has not been pointed out that joint occupation of an office is
quite extraordinary in terms of Byzantine civil administration.20 Synetos and
14 The paten dates from the reign of Justin II. See E. Cruickshank Dodd, Byzantine Silver Treasures
(Bern, 1973), no. 6.
15 The chalice dates from the
reign of Phocas. See idem, Byzantine Silver Stamps, DOS, VII
(Washington, D.C., 1961), no. 34; and Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, eds. L. Jalabert and
R. Mouterde, V (Paris, 1959), no. 2027.
16 Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 828 (= D.O. 55.1.4520).
17 Ibid., no. 2910. Laurent has
published a similar seal. See his commentary, Le corpus des sceaux
de l'empire byzantin, V, pt. 2, no. 1433. No. 408, a monogrammatic seal (fig. 4), may well be
f<( an example of two monks sharing the duties of an office. It bears on the obverse a design
(fig. I) which assuredly reads: Koc&ci Kai. S = kai.
I. The reverse (fig. 4b) has a design (fig. II) which the editors read: 'lco&vvoucXoXapicov.
Such a resolution is acceptable, but it is also possible to read: Napo-o povaX6v. The seal is
D.O. 55.1.31.

18 Byzantine Lead Seals (= D.O. 58.106.1098). The two might have been, of course,
business partners.
19Ibid., no. 216 (= D.O. 58.106.686). Other collective seals of this type are nos. 135, 145, 152,
153, 161, 165, 176-80, 205-9, 214-19, 221, 222, and 2764 bis.
20 The fundamental studies of
general kommerkiarioi are G. Millet, "Sur les sceaux des commer-
ciaires," Mdlanges G. Schlumberger, II (Paris, 1924), 303-27; and H. Antoniadis-Bibicou, Recherches
sur les douanes d Byzance (Paris, 1963), 157-91. Millet sought to maintain that prior to the tenth
century general kommerkiarioi were not tax collectors. In his view, the duties of the kommerkiarios
were confined to the supervision of warehouses and the inspection of merchandise for contraband.
Millet characterized the kommerkiarios of the early period as a minor official, the subordinate of
another dignitary of higher rank but unknown title. Bibicou has argued against Millet, and I think
quite rightly, that based on the evidence of sigillography the kommerkiarioi collected customs from
the time of the office's inception. A feature of seals dating from the sixth and early seventh centuries
is that the reverse is blank. The obverse carries a bust of the reigning emperor. Below are the name
and titles of the kommerkiarios to whom the seal belonged. Similar seals are found dating from the
later seventh and eighth centuries. All bear on the reverse the imprint of burlap, indicating that
these seals certainly were attached to sacks of merchandise. It is difficult to believe that such seals

Nicetas jointly held the office of general kommerkiarios of the warehouse of

Constantinople in 713/14. In tandem, they superintended activities at the
warehouse and collected customs. This situation contrasts markedly with
ofs.We do not have evidenc
other offices. two men discharging the functions,
o ep
for example, of each or logothete of the drome. Zacos and Veglery have
examined the seals of general kommerkiarioiand arranged their seals chrono-
logically in tables. A number of kommerkiarioi held office over a series of
years and their seals, when so arranged, permit us to trace and analyze their
careers. What we perceive is on occasion quite peculiar and merits attention.
In 705/6, the patrikios George and Theophylaktos jointly held the office of
archon of the Blatteion,21 that is, they were codirectors of the imperial silk
workshop. In 708/9, these patrikios jointly occupied the office of general
kommerkiarios of the warehouse of Hellespontos.22 Let us now look more
closely at the careers of Synetos and Nicetas. In 710/11 and in 711/12 as well,
Synetos and Nicetas jointly held the post of general kommerkiariosof Lazike
(fig. 5).23As I have noted, they jointly administered the post of general kom-
merkiarios of the warehouse of Constantinople in 713/14. At the same time
(between 713-15), they jointly occupied the post of general kommerkiariosof
the warehouse of Koloneia, Kamacha, and Fourth Armenia: [X]UV?TOUi (Kai) NIKnTar
&To[9iS]KnsKo?ov[ia]s, Ka(Pi&X[v](Kaci)
A' 'Appevias(fig. 6).24
We have seen that in 705/6 George and Theophylaktos were codirectors of
the Blatteion. In 708/9 they jointly supervised the warehouse of Hellespontos
and collected customs there. The cursus of George and Theophylaktos involves
more than the phenomenon of joint occupation of office. They do not administer
a post together for a brief period and then part company. They move together
from one post to another. The same may be said of Synetos and Nicetas.
They move in tandem from one office, general kommerkiarios of Lazike, to
another, general kommerkiariosof Constantinople. In addition, they accumulate
charges under joint responsibility. They were at once general kommerkiarios
of Constantinople and of Koloneia, Kamacha, and Fourth Armenia. This

served merely to attest the inspection of merchandise. A more likely explanation, it seems to me, is
that their principal function was to mark the payment of imposts. Millet's view relegates kommer-
kiarioi to the position of subordinate, petty functionaries. The seals wholly contradict such a notion.
The kommerkiarioi were men of prominence, as attested by the eighth-century seal of the kommer-
kiarios Thomas, which reads: patricios, general logothete, and kommerkiarios of the warehouse of
Mesembria. See Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 232 (= D.O. 58.106.692). It is quite unthinkable that the
patricios Thomas was at once a general logotheteand a mere inspector of baggage. If a kommerkiarios
was responsible to a higher official within his bureau, one who collected customs, then who was this
official? The great weakness of the Millet argument, as Bibicou has pointed out, is the necessity to
postulate an unknown title. At present, it is possible to survey some 20,000 seals. Amidst such a
mass of evidence, it is almost impossible that we should not have a record of this mystery official
and be able to identify him.
Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 205.
Ibid., no. 206 (= D.O. 58.106.658).
23 Ibid., nos. 208 (= D.O. 55.1.4392) and 2764 bis. One must be cautious in using the tables in the
Zacos/Veglery catalogue, since not all the seals cited can be clearly attributed to any one person or
group of individuals.
Ibid., no. 219 (= D.O. 58.106.685).
latter situation points to an interesting anomaly. The simple fact is that
Constantinople and Fourth Armenia do not fit together administratively. This
same circumstance is met in the case of the imperial balnitor Anastasios. In
718/19 Anastasios was general kommerkiariosboth of Constantinople and of
Isauria and Syllaion.25 Obviously, Constantinople and Isauria are at some
distance from one another and do not form a tightly knit unit of administra-
tion. Finally, I should note that the indiction dates on seals point to one
further oddity about the office, that tenure was strictly regulated. Customarily,
a kommerkiariosoccupied a specific post for one year. Such a tightly defined
schedule is unknown with regard to other posts.
The seals suggest that the office of kommerkiariosfunctioned in a different
manner from other posts. In my opinion, the key to defining this difference
is the joint seals. There is in the activities of George and Theophylaktos and
of Synetos and Nicetas a distinctindicatitn of partnership: joint occupation
of office, joint movement from one office to another, and joint accumulation
of charges. If partnership is involved, there remains the question of the basis
for this partnership. This, I should think, relates to the main function of the
office, namely, the collection of customs. On the basis of geographical groupings
and tenure in office, I suggest that George and Theophylaktos and Synetos
and Nicetas were business partners and their business was the collection of
taxes. An accumulation of charges at geographically distant points is in
keeping with a system whereby warehouses were allocated on a basis of
auction bids, as opposed to structuring by a central authority. Within a
system of tax farming we might well expect to, and indeed do, find a strict
limitation on tenure in office and an annual shuffle of personnel. This aspect
is well attested by the dated seals of kommerkiarioi. Since the purpose of this
paper is to inquire into double names, space necessitates that this discussion
of the office of general kommerkiarioscome to a close.
I have presented a number of examples of inscriptions on silver objects
and seals, focusing on inscriptions which contain the names of two or more
persons. As a rule, expression tends to be orderly and precise. Where the
names of two or more individuals are involved, the names are regularly
separated by the conjunction kai, which is a feature of inscriptions on chalices
and patens and on the seals of business partners.26The use of the conjunction
is not a point which we need belabor, but it should be stressed. For it has
considerable bearing on the question of seals with double names. In instances
where we encounter seals which bear a different name on each side, uncon-
25Ibid., no. 223 (= D.O. 58.106.684) and Table 13. See also Laurent, Les sceaux
byzantins du
M6daillier Vatican (note 8 supra), no. 116 (with discussion of the dates of Anastasios' seals).
26 To keep discussion within bounds, I have limited the
scope of inquiry and focused on one
general category of objects. I should say that I see nothing contradictory among stone inscriptions.
J. Creaghan and A. Raubitschek comment on kai and its regular presence as a connective between
names in Christian tomb inscriptions at Athens. See their study and edition of inscriptions, "Early
Christian Epitaphs from Athens," Hesperia, 16 (1947), 6-7. Among the many silver objects on which
kai appears as a connective between two names, see Cruickshank Dodd, Byzantine Silver Treasures
(note 14 supra), nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7; idem, Byzantine Silver Stamps (note 15 supra), nos. 18, 20,
25, 27, 29, 34, and 80; and Jalabert and Mouterde, op. cit. (note 15 supra), V, nos. 2027, 2033, 2034,
2035, and 2046.

nected by kai, the conclusion that such specimens are "collective seals" is

Single Ownership:the Substantive vt6s

To resolve the question of double names, it is necessary to take a moment
and consider, as briefly as possible, the matter of Byzantine nomenclature.
In the Early Byzantine period several types of name formulae are encountered:
name, name and ethnic, name and profession, name and nickname (or sur-
name), and, finally, name and name of father.27 Of these several types only
one need concern us, i.e., the formula in which the name of a person is given
with the name of his father. The problem of double names does not arise
from failure to recognize that an individual has employed on his seal a formula
which involves the presentation of his name with the addition of his ethnic,
nickname, or surname. We are not dealing with names such as flaUios 2i*pos
and failing to recognize that the whole means "Paul the Syrian."28 Seals with
double names bear two simple Christian names. In my opinion, the problem
with seals with double names stems from failure to recognize the standard
formula, in which a person's name is presented with the addition of his
father's, a form which was widely used in inscriptions from Constantinople,
Bulgaria, Asia Minor, and Syria.29 We also find it on seals. In the group
presented here for purposes of illustration, the word "son" is directly expressed:
EOTOKOE PO'r'rj MxapTIvcA hrrapXcov ui!4 'Av8p(k)ouv;300o-rT6KpoiSeiecoiJ uvt4'ApA&-
pofSei Trc ccp 86o Xc oSd
TOv (fig. 7) ;31 OEOTO'KE &bpcp irrr&rcpuvlt OGcoa (fig. 8) ;32
and on one face, the cruciform monogram EOocbpouand in the four angles the
inscription viou, and on the other face, the cruciform monogram eo6scpou and
in the four angles the inscription rnarplKlou(fig. 9).33 The last example presents
27Christian tombstones from Athens and Corinth illustrate well the several varieties of name for-
mulae which were employed. Simple name (sepulcher of Theodosios): D. Bradeen, The Athenian
Agora. Inscriptions, the Funerary Monuments, XVII (Princeton, 1974), no. 1069. Name and ethnic
(sepulcher of Eusebios the Anatolian): J. Kent, Corinth, the Inscriptions 1926-1950, VIII, pt. 3
(Princeton, 1966), no. 522. Name and profession (Euplous the teamster): ibid., no. 530; see also
nos. 534, 541, 542, and 551. Name and nickname (Paul the victualler nicknamed "Longhand"):
ibid., no. 559; see also no. 640. Name and name of father ("The sepulcher of Paul the poultryman.
Anias, son of Paul the poultryman, engraved these words"): ibid., no. 542; also see no. 560.
28 This
example is taken from an inscription on a funerary stone at Tomis; cf. I. Barnea, "Les
rapports de la province Scythia Minor avecl'Asie Mineure, la Syrie etl'Egypte," Pontica, 5 (1972),
257 and 258.
Constantinople (fifth-century stele commemorating the passing of Amachis, apothecarios, son
of Alexander and Ammiane, most blessed): 'EvS3S(e)xEtr(a) "Apaxis drrrorSK&ptlos ?
ino-r6si6s 'AtE6cv-
Spou Kai 'Appiavvis T-rv VaKapooTA-rcov, Xco'p(fov)'Avsae1cov, 6p(cov)KoTlaicov.Cf. G. Millet, "Apoth6ca-
rios," BZ, 30 (1929-30), 431; the transcription follows Millet's corrections of Ebersolt. Bulgaria:
see V. Besevliev, Spdtgriechische und spdtlateinische Inschriften aus Bulgarien (Berlin, 1964), nos. 88,
98, 109, and 119 (all sixth-century). Asia Minor: see J. Keil and A. Wilhelm, MAMA, III, no. 236C;
also, MAMA, I, no. 224; MAMA, V, no. 116; and MAMA, VII, no. 104B. Syria: see Jalabert and
Mouterde, op. cit., IV, nos. 1579, 1617, 1627, 1709, and 1738; V, nos. 2072, 2139, and 2246. All are
dated inscriptions of the fifth, sixth, or seventh centuries.
30Laurent, La collection C. Orghidan (note 11 supra), no. 295.
Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 1666 (= D.O. 55.1.595).
Ibid., no. 2435A. A photograph of this and one other seal was kindly forwarded by Mr. George Zacos.
33 Ibid., no. 531
(= D.O. 55.1.624 and 625). See also nos. 879, 1017, and 1035 (seals with bilateral
inscriptions); 363, 370, 388, and 531 (monogrammatic seals); 599 (iconographic seal); 1460, 1827,
2198B, 2229, 2336, 2475, 3040, and 3131 (seals with invocative monograms).

an interesting problem, since the combination of two genitives places the

reading in doubt. Apparently, the seal may be read "Theodore patricios, son
of Theodore," or, alternatively, "Theodore, son of Theodore patricios." As a
rule, however, one reads first the monogram (be it an invocative monogram
or a name) and then what is inscribed in the four angles. I suggest, then,
that this example should be read in the following manner: monogram-
quadrants-monogram-quadrants, that is, "Theodore, son of Theodore patri-

Son-to-Father Relationship: Dative/Genitive Combinations

The word "son" need not be present to indicate a son-to-father relationship.
An alternative is the use of the definite article. Agathias, in a passing reference
to the future Emperor Maurice, wrote: MaupiKios 6 TTauAou (Maurice, son of
Paul).34 The relationship may also be indicated simply by case ending; such
is the indication in a sixth-century inscription from Assos: G(e)i po|$Sei 'AAE-
avS6pcpcrrpcrycp TTnpoKou.35 A comparableinscription is an example on a seal
(fig. 10): OEOTOlKEpoiSn Ta-rr'ia rEcopyiou, "Mother of God, may you help Papias,
(son of) George."36One might be tempted to view the name Papias (which is
attested on a seal in the Shaw Collection, no. 270 [at Dumbarton Oaks]) as
the title papias. This notion is ruled out by the fact that it is a standard
feature on seals that the name of the seal's owner precedes any indication of
title. Less clear is the reading of another example (fig. 11). On one side, in the
form of a monogram, the seal bears the name rcopyiou. The same name is
found on the other side, but in a linear inscription in the dative case and
mixed alphabet: GEOPGIO.37The editors of the seal read "George," declaring
the dative ending on the ononeside to be a mistake. This is possible, but we
oser that instances of the dative are by no means unknown, e.g.,
should observe
If the
Gregora patricio, Carello magistro militum, eOEOPva[K]Trca['IT]6[9]rap[)Xco]v.38
dative is retained, we may read: "George, (son of) George," or "George's"
on one side, and "(Lord/Mother of God, may you help) George" on the other.
As I have noted, I believe that a quite likely explanation for the appearance
of the dative is an implied expression of piety. Of the two readings which I
have advanced, the latter seems to me the more likely.

Son-to-Father Relationship: NominativelGenitiveCombinations

In addition to dative/genitive, we also find instances of nominative/genitive
combinations: on one side, an inscription in Latin, "Georgius," and on the
other face, a cruciform monogram formed with letters of the Greek alphabet,
34 Agathiae Myrinaei Historiarum libri quinque, ed. R. Keydell (Berlin, 1967), 161. Cf.
History of the Wars, ed. H. B. Dewing, I (London, 1914), 90 (Rufinus, son of Silvanus); II (1916),
376 (John, son of Sisiniolus); VI (1935), 64 (Sergius, son of Bacchus).
35 H.
Gr6goire, Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrdtiennesd'Asie Mineure, I (Paris, 1922), no. 43.
38 Byzantine Lead Seals, no. 829A.
37 Ibid., no. 331 (= D.O. 58.106.1169).
38 Ibid., nos. 347, 768 (= D.O. 58.106.4312), and 1105 (= D.O.
58.106.1512); also, no. 2929A and
note 7.

reading rFcopyiou.39We are dealing here simply with bilingual inscriptions;

only one person is involved. Another example (fig. 12), however, is a different
matter.40 The seal bears in linear inscription on one side the name THEO-
oORVS, and on the other side, in linear inscription, the name PAVLI. The
seal reads "Theodore, (son of) Paul."

Son-to-Father Relationship: Genitive/GenitiveCombinations

As I have pointed out, the great bulk of seals with double names are those
inscribed with two names in the genitive. For some time, editors have been
troubled over the interpretation of seals bearing two different names in the
genitive. As noted, Laurent was inclined to call such specimens collective
seals, but in my opinion this is incorrect. I believe we are dealing with a
common name formula: the name of a person joined with the name of his
father. This time-honored formula was widely employed. It was used in
inscriptions and extended to seals. On some, the son-to-father relationship
is expressed directly through the use of uio6 in the inscription; on others,
the relationship is presented grammatically. In instances where the name of
the father is given in thegenitivee case and the name of the son in the nomina-
tive or dative, it is possible to distinguish between the owner of the seal and
his father. This is rarely true on seals bearing a genitive/genitive combination.
An interesting exception is an example (fig. 13) on which the editors read on
one side ['A]Scavaciou +, and on the other side + Tra-TplKou.41One observes that
the arrangement of the crosses is most peculiar. If the reading were correct,
a cross should precede the name and terminate the title, which is, in fact,
a name, MauplKiou.The arrangement of the crosses shows how this seal is to be
read: "Maurikios, (son of) Athanasios."

In this survey of name formulae, I have touched upon several points which
bear on the reading of monogrammatic seals. One of the most important is
the matter of case endings. In attempting to resolve the reading of a mono-
grammatic seal, one should keep in mind that not only the genitive but also
the dative may terminate the name of a seal's owner. Failing to resolve a
reading in the genitive, one should give thought to the dative. Let us consider
an example (fig. 14), on which the obverse presents a beardless saint while
the reverse (fig. 14b) bears a cruciform monogram (fig. III). The name is
not difficultto resolve. One has only to recognizethat the owner pre-
J sents his name in the dative case: E*Aoyicp.42 One might object to this
reading on the basis of the OV ligature at top, arguing that the reading
III- should resolve in the genitive case. My response is that there is no

39 Ibid., no. 333 (= D.O. 55.1.4423).

40 no. 2927 (= Fogg 2380).
41 no. 756 (= Fogg 156).
Ibid., no. 1320 (= D.O. 55.1.272).

reason why 0 surmounted by V necessarily denotes the genitive. The impor-

tant point in resolving a monogram, it seems to me, is that one account for
all the letters which are present, neither adding nor subtracting any. A similar
case (fig. 15) has on one side, in the form of a cruciform monogram, the
name Napao'u.On the other side (fig. 15b) is a box-shaped monogram
(fig. iv). If the monogram contained a tau we could then read -rrrTrcp
(as have the editors of the seal). For several obvious reasons, this
IV. resolution is unacceptable. In all likelihood the reading should be
rlauvivcp. The owner of the seal was Paulinos, son of Narses.43
If a seal bears a name in linear inscription on one side and a monogram
on the other, the monogram may resolve as a title or, as is so often missed,
another name. Another seal (fig. 16) has the name Bovouon one side in linear
inscription and a block monogram on the other side (fig. v). Undoubtedly the
monogram reads Koopa&. The seal reads "Bonos, son of Kosmas," or
"Kosmas, son of Bonos."44 If two monograms are present on a seal,
one may conceal a name and the other a name and a title. This appears
V. to be the case with another example (fig. 17).45 On one face we have
in the form of a box-shaped monogram the name TT-rpou.The other side
(fig. 17b) also bears a box-shaped monogram (fig. vi) which appears to be
complex. If it were not for the pi, the monogram could be read simply
EvoraSoiou.In fact, we may legitimately read this name, employing pi
and other letters to form a title, Evrora$Siouvrr6aou. The only problem
VI. presented by the seal is recognition that the owner gives his name with
the name of his father. Of course, we cannot be sure which person is the son.
The reading of the seal may be "Peter, son of Eustathios hypatos," or "Eusta-
thios hypatos, son of Peter."
43 Ibid., no. 435 (= D.O. 58.106.873).
44 Ibid., no. 2942 (= Fogg 3197).
45 Ibid., no. 465 (= D.O. 55.1.6).



INTRODUCTION . . . . . p. 125
1. Violent Gestures ... . . p. 126
2. The Hand Raised to the Head: Sitting Figures ... . . p. 132
3. The Hand Raised to the Head: Standing Figures ... . . p. 140
4. The Hand Clasped to the Mouth . ... . . p. 151
5. The Hands Clasped Together ... . . p. 153
6. The Veiling of the Head ... . . p. 156
7. The Arms Thrown Upward. ... . . p. 158
8. The Embrace ... . . p. 160
9. Facial Expression ... . . p. 166
CONCLUSION ~... . . p. 171

IN the NaturalHistory,the Elder Pliny presentsthe developmentof ancient

painting as a series of inventions which were contributed by successive
major artists. He tells us that a painter named Aristides of Thebes, a
contemporary of Apelles, discovered how to depict the emotions: "He was
the first of all to paint the mind and express a man's feelings, what the Greeks
call |9r....'1 It was a commonplace of ancient literature to praise the artist
for his accurate portrayal of emotions. Byzantine writers, who were heirs to
the classical tradition of art criticism, continued to extol the artists of their
own day for their skill in rendering human drama and passions.2 The Byzantine
critics seldom recognized qualities of reserve in the art of their contemporaries.
In this respect, their obserations differed arkedly from those of post-
medieval writers who, until recently, have tended either to scorn Byzantine
art for its lifelessness or to admire it for its restraint. Modern scholars, how-
ever, have given increasing emphasis to the more emotive qualities in Byzan-
tine art, so that the gap between the Byzantine critics and those of our own
day appears to be narrowing.3 But if it is now accepted that the depiction of
emotion is a genuine quality of Byzantine art, this quality has never been
analyzed in detail. My first purpose in the following pages will be to provide
such an analysis by examining some of the more common techniques by
which Byzantine artists expressed emotion. These techniques, at their crudest,
were no more than the association of certain standardized gestures of the body
and casts of the facial features with particular emotional states.4 Although
this language of sentiment in Byzantine art conveyed a wide range of feelings,
from grief and fear to joy, in this paper I shall discuss only those formulae
which conveyed sorrow, as this was the emotion which Byzantine artists
portrayed most frequently and with the greatest intensity.
My second aim will be to set the depiction of sorrow in narrative art into
a chronological framework. In particular, one major question needs to be
answered: was the portrayal of human feelings an abiding concern of Byzantine
artists, or was it only characteristic of specific phases? Modern scholars have

* This study is based on my Ph.D. thesis on "Truth and Topos: The Depiction of Sorrow in
Middle Byzantine Art in the Light of Ekphrastic Literature," which was submitted to Harvard Uni-
versity in 1973.
1 Is omnium primus animum pinxit et sensus hominis expressit, quae vocant Graeci -iwT.... Naturalis
historia, XXXV, 98.
2 See my previous article, "Truth and Convention in
Byzantine Descriptions of Works of Art,"
DOP, 28 (1974), 113f., 132ff.
3 For a
general discussion of the depiction of emotion in Byzantine art, see E. Kitzinger, "The
Hellenistic Heritage in Byzantine Art," DOP, 17 (1963), 95ff., esp. 109ff.
4 Brief discussions of the role of
gestures in Byzantine art are found in K. Onasch, Die Ikonen-
malerei. Grundziigeeiner systematischen Darstellung (Leipzig, 1968), 74ff.; and in K. Wessel, "Gesten,"
RBK, II (1971), col. 766ff.

singled out two periods in the history of Byzantine art, the Macedonian of
the tenth century and the Late Comnene of the second half of the twelfth,
when Byzantine artists showed a new interest in pathos and human feelings.5
This paper will attempt to assess the relative contributions of these phases
by tracing the formulae through which artists conveyed sorrow from antiquity
to the end of the twelfth century, with particular emphasis on Middle Byzan-
tine art from 843 to 1204.
The procedures which made up the Byzantine language of sentiment were
essentially simple and easy to copy. Their stereotyped nature raises the
question of the sincerity of Byzantine artists when they used these formulae.
Byzantine writers have been accused of the mindless repetition of topoi derived
from classical antiquity. The same charge might be brought against Byzantine
artists. Thus, my third purpose will be to explore the function of emotive
imagery in narrative art, in an attempt to discover how far the constantly
recurring formulae were devoid of content and how far they were more deeply
grounded in sentiment or in doctrine.

1. Violent Gestures
The gestures which denoted sorrow in Byzantine art can be divided into
three broad categories: those which constituted a violent display of suffering;
those which conveyed an inner contemplative grief; and those gestures which
were ambivalent in their meaning, so that they could also signify emotions
other than sorrow, such as joy or fear. In this section I shall consider gestures
of the first type, through which sufferers gave full vent to their feelings.5a
Both classical and Byzantine writers frequently described actions of this
nature, so that they are, in effect, literary topoi. Already in Homer, at the
opening of book 18 of the Iliad, we hear how Achilles receives the news of
the death of Patroclus, strewing his head and face with dust and tearing
his hair, while his servant girls run around him beating their breasts with
their hands.6 We frequently come across such displays of sorrow in the Greek
Romances; thus, in the Ethiopics by Heliodorus, we read of Theagenes
mourning for his beloved Charicleia, "striking his head and tearing his hair."7
So, too, in the twelfth-century Rhodantheand Dosicles, by the Byzantine poet
Prodromus, a father grieves for his daughter, "...rending his robe, cutting
the hair of his head, sprinkling the top of his head with ashes, and tearing

5 For the Comnene period, see especially L. Hadermann-Misguich, "Tendances expressives et

recherches ornementales dans la peinture byzantine de la seconde moiti6 du XIIe si6cle," Byzantion,
35 (1965), 429ff.; 0. Demus, Byzantine Art and the West (New York, 1970), 173f., 178; T. Velmans,
"Les valeurs affectives dans la peinture murale byzantine au XIIIe siecle et la maniere de les repre-
senter," L'art byzantin du XIII siacle, Symposium de Sopo6ani (Belgrade, 1967), 47ff. For the tenth
century, see K. Weitzmann, "The Origin of the Threnos," De artibus opuscula XL, Essays in Honor
of Erwin Panofsky, ed. M. Meiss (New York, 1961), 476ff., esp. 487.
5a On this class of gestures, see M. Barasch, Gestures of Despair in Medieval and Early Renaissance
Art (New York, 1976), which reached me too late for a consideration of its conclusions here.
6 Book
XVIII, lines 22-31.
7 Book 11.1,2.
his cheek."8 Similar gestures were even recorded in homilies devoted to events
of the New Testament. For example, a twelfth-century sermon by the Greek
preacher Philagathus, who lived in Southern Italy, portrays the lamentation
of the Widow of Nain in two distinct phases. While her stricken son was yet
alive, she stood gazing at him, her head uncovered, her hair cut, and her
breasts bared, in demonstration of her impending sorrow. But when she saw
that her child was dead, she tore her hair and cheeks and struck her chest
and head with stones.9
These accounts of lamentation in the literature seem to have corresponded
to actual practice. The Byzantine princess Anna Comnena, for example,
records how mourners in the twelfth century beat themselves and pulled out
their hair.10 In parts of the Balkans elements of such ritual laments have
survived even into modern times."
Violent gestures of mourning were also depicted in works of art. They
appeared in the funerary art of ancient Egypt12 and in early Greek vase
paintings from the eighth to the fifth centuries.13 The extreme gestures of
lamentation passed into Roman art, especially into the stock of attitudes
drawn upon by the carvers of mythological sarcophagi. Thus, on the cover
of a Meleager sarcophagus in the Palazzo Sciarra, we find Althaea represented
once running toward a group carrying the dead body of her son, with her hair
loose and one of her breasts bared, and then a second time behind Meleager's
bier, pulling her hair with both hands (fig. 1).14 As late as the end of the fourth
or the beginning of the fifth century, we find these gestures dramatizing a
scene from pagan mythology in the miniature of the Death of Dido in the
Vatican Virgil (fig. 2). Dido's handmaidens stand around her pyre, with their
hair unbound and their clothes torn from their shoulders. One, on the left,
raises her fist as if she were beating her chest.15
In the ancient world these displays of grief did not pass without criticism.
Cicero, for example, abhorred "...those various and detestable types of
mourning: [the application of] filth, women lacerating their cheeks, the

8 Kai
youv 6 rraorfp
KaOiT-rt KEEqafjS. T^V K6pi1v KEKappiEOS
Kal TlV TTapElavyKCaTEcTrapa1ypvos....
Book I, line 206ff., ed. R. Hercher, Erotici scriptores graeci, II (Leipzig, 1859).
9 Homilia VI, 8 and 10, ed. G. Rossi Taibbi,
Filagato da Cerami, Omelie per i vangeli domenicali e
le feste di tutto l'anno, I (Palermo, 1969); PG, 132, cols. 224D-228A. A similar description of the
Widow is found in a sermon spuriously attributed to St. John Chrysostom, PG, 61, col. 792.
loAlexiad, XI.12,2; XV.11,17; XV.11,20.
1' M. Alexiou, The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition (Cambridge, 1974), 41; T. P. Vukanovid,
"Lamentation dans la peinture a fresque chez les Slaves du Sud au Moyen Age," Vranjski glasnik,
8 (1972), 79ff., esp. 87f.
12 H. Muller, "Darstellungen von Gebarden auf Denkmalern des Alten Reiches," MDIK, 7 (1937),
57ff., esp. lllf., figs. 49-51.
13 G. Neumann, Gesten und Gebdrdenin der
griechischen Kunst (Berlin, 1965), 86, fig. 42; H. Kenner,
Weinen und Lachen in der griechischen Kunst, SBOsterr, Phil.-hist.Kl., 234 (Vienna, 1960), 8ff., fig. 4.
14 C. Robert, Die antiken
Sarkophag-Reliefs, 111,2 (Berlin, 1904), 297f. no. 230, fig. 78; see also
the Meleager sarcophagi, nos. 281, fig. 93, and 293, fig. 97.
J. de Wit, Die Miniaturen des Vergilius Vaticanus (Amsterdam, 1959), 90, pictura 27.

beating of the breasts, the thighs, and the head."'6 Christian writers, for
whom such behavior showed not only lack of decorum but also lack of faith,
also spoke against excessive demonstrations of mourning. St. John Chrysostom
was particularly insistent in his condemnation of unrestrained lamentation.
In a sermon on the Raising of Lazarus he compared the restraint of Mary
and Martha with the abandon of the women of his own time: "But now, along
with the other evils, this female affliction also prevails. For in lamenting and
wailing they make a display, baring their arms, tearing their hair, making
gullies down their cheeks. And they do this, some from grief, others for
display, from a desire to emulate, and from prodigality. And they bare their
arms-this under the eyes of men."" But it was not only on account of
immodesty that these actions were evil. John Chrysostom asks, "Will not
the Pagans laugh? Will they not consider our beliefs to be myths? For they
will say: 'There is no resurrection."'"1 The Church Father, however, does not
condemn grief altogether, for he recommends that Christians grieve for their
misdeeds: "The Lord says: 'Blessed are those who mourn,' meaning those
who mourn their sins."19 He also recognizes that sorrow is in human nature,
which Christ Himself shared: "[Weeping] I do not forbid, but I forbid beating
oneself and immoderate weeping.... It is impossible not to mourn. Christ too
showed this; for he wept over Lazarus. You also do this. Weep, but gently,
but with decorum, but with the fear of God. If you were to weep thus, you
would not weep as one who distrusts the Resurrection, but as one who cannot
bear being separated."20
The conviction that excessive displays of grief were incompatible with a
faith in the Resurrection appears in the works of later Byzantine writers.
The eighth-century treatises on images by John of Damascus contrast the
attitudes toward death proper to the old order and the new: "In the old
[dispensation]..., the race of men was under a curse, and death was a penalty,
and was therefore mourned.... But now, since the Godhead has mingled with
our nature, as a vivifying and saving remedy, as it were, our nature has
become glorified and has been transformed into immortality."2' Elsewhere
16 Ex hac
opinione sunt illa varia et detestabilia genera lugendi: Paedores, muliebres lacerationes
genarum, pectoris, /eminum, capitis percussiones. Tusculanae disputationes, III, 62.
17 'ANN& viiv pE-rTa TCV &?.cov KxKmOV KadTrOUTrO TrCVywat(KCOV TO v6oi"ia Kpa-rdi. 'ErriSegiv yap iv -rois
9pivo= T-rroloivraiKad7075 KCKAJTO15, yVpivoCaI PpaXiovacs, a-rracprTovaacxTppX(x, XaapaSpacs 'rroio0aati Kcfl7a
TOUTOTrroloaiv, catpdv 6-rr rrkvSovS,
-r65v-rrapsi6v. Kcxai cal Si OIrn6 KaX9l1o-tlnfa(S,at S~CiTO6
kTn8eigEcOa &(aCOTrCias
Kxa-roTC pcaXiovas yvpvooiv, &v6pecri Kaci-raocrTa &vvpSpv.In Joannem homilia LXII, PG, 59, col. 346.
18 &p' oC/yF?X&aov-rai 'EXnvvs; &p'o*ipC/$Sovs -r&hpfEpa d-Tvaivopi'aovaiv;'EpoOiaiy&p*OK, la-rivw &v&c-rra-
ont. Ibid.
19 Kai 6 plyEKc'pi6s 0
(rpoiaMayKPotol TrEV,OVTE5, TOvs Ta'apap-riypa-ra -rmvSofhorocS 7EycYvvIbid., col. 347.
20 O/81 TOrTO WNX& KCA&71TC/CA KOaTrtEOat, T6 d(pfTpws)57ro.TO iTOEiPT.... 01./KEiVEwalphI ?v-
~ycb (CAo)XO, TO?
-rrEiaSai.ToOrroKCai6 XptaOr6s 8ESEVE &6gev p.pva y&p hTrri -ro0 Aaclpov. ToC/-roKacd or-roi)oaov- 5&cKpvoov,&7XV
Tijp4pa,dcAN& E*iXxioa1jiovrvS,
VIETar &X& peTra70o. 966ov -roTC)Eo0G."Av SaKp*arljsorcTo)S, Oi)XcbS-ri evao-r6caEt
6iaiTia-rCav-ro01/o TroEi5, &X?N' cbs o/ <pipcov-r6v xcopoiapov. Ibid. Similar passages condemning excessive
lamentation are to be found in sermons by St. Basil of Caesarea (PG, 31, col. 2290) and St. Gregory
of Nazianzus (PG, 35, col. 928A-B). See Alexiou, op. cit., 28ff.
21 Kai i-rrivy -1)5 rTaXat&s.... 'E-n y'ap OirboKarC6cpacv 9C,oat,Kai 6 S&vaTroSKaTcKplcrlS
? v f -rCv d&v3pc6-rrcow
?Iv, Sib Kai hTVILESETTO.... Nihi 5S, &q' oCf SE6-rrl5-rii f peipq qXlaEv avvav_EKp&3f,ol6v TriLoiTroibVKai aco-rrpiov
q&ppai'ov, Oog5o&aSij fhT*ais ftp&$v, Kai wrpb66qi$apaiav pea-rroiXet6,91$TDe imaginibus oratio II, PG, 94,
col. 1296A.

we read: "Now the remembrances of the saints are kept as festivals. The
dead body of Jacob was bewailed, but the death of Stephen is celebrated."22
These passages help us understand the distribution of gestures of grief in
Middle Byzantine art. The violent gestures of tearing the hair and clothes
and of beating the head and chest, which existed in classical art, also survived
to some extent in Christian art, but they appeared in restricted contexts.
As we are led to expect by John of Damascus, they occur primarily in Old
Testament scenes. In the New Testament we find them repeatedly in only
one episode, the Massacre of the Innocents, and here their presence will be
explicable in the light of the teaching of the writers we have quoted. Violent
gestures were also employed in depictions of penitents, a context in which
lamentation was specifically commended by St. John Chrysostom.
In Old Testament illustration we find extreme gestures of mourning both
in Early and in Middle Byzantine art. For example, an ivory on the sixth-
century chair of Maximian at Ravenna depicts the grief of Jacob when pre-
sented with Joseph's blood-stained coat (fig. 3).23The Patriarch's robe is torn
in front, exposing his chest. This directly illustrates the Biblical text (Gen.
37:34): "Jacob rent his clothes, put on sack cloth, and mourned his son for
a long time." Jacob also shows his sorrow in the ivory carving by laying
both hands on the crown of his head, a gesture which may either indicate the
action of pulling his hair or of sprinkling himself with ashes. An eleventh-
century Octateuch manuscript in the Vatican, gr. 747, clearly shows the
old man tugging at his hair (fol. 59r). Here the gesture is unambiguous, as
Jacob holds a strand in each hand and pulls them down on either side of his
face (fig. 4). In the sixth century, the action of tearing the hair also charac-
terized the grief of mourners in death-bed scenes of the Vienna Genesis. In
the miniature of the death of Deborah a woman tears at her hair, with one
hand on each side of her face (fig. 5); in addition, she has rent her garment
at her neck.24 The gesture of pulling the hair recurs in the mourning scenes
of the Vatican Octateuch such as the death of Jacob on folio 71v (fig. 6).25
In his description of the Crucifixion, St. Luke (23:48) tells us that ".. .the
crowds that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were
done, smote their breasts...." But in the iconography of the death and burial
of Christ in Early and Middle Byzantine art, we rarely, if ever, find mourners
beating themselves or tearing at their hair and garments, and this is also the
case for the death of the Virgin and for miracles involving the healing of the
Nvv 8i TCOV&Dyicov9op-rLe-rai -rT gvri6auva. 'E-rrTEVSSl6OveKp6STOU'IoKcb, &MW'6 TaEq6vov -rravryu-
pieL-raiBoavroS. Ibid. I, PG, 94, col. 1253A.
J. Natanson, Early Christian Ivories (London, 1953) (hereafter Natanson, Ivories), 31, fig. 40;
W. F. Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten der Spdtantike und des friihen Mittelalters (Mainz, 1976) (hereafter
Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten), 93, no. 140.
24 H.
Gerstinger, Die Wiener Genesis (Vienna, 1931), 96, fol. 13v; see also fols. 14r (death of Isaac)
and 24V (death of Jacob).
25 This gesture also occurs in the illustrations of the
ninth-century Job manuscripts on Patmos,
MS 171, page 43, and in the Vatican, gr. 749, fol. 21r, as well as in the early tenth-century codex
in Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, gr. 538, fol. 18r. See G. Jacobi, "Le miniature dei codici di Patmo,"
Clara Rhodos, 6-7, pt. 3 (1932-33), fig. 101; K. Weitzmann, Die byzantinische Buchmalerei des 9. und
10. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1935), figs. 531, 342.

sick and the raising of the dead. In these scenes, sorrow was shown by means
of inactive, restrained gestures, as if in accord with the precept of St. John
Chrysostom that weeping was permissible, but only in moderation. There are
few exceptions to this rule. One is the Raising of
theng Son of the Widow of
Nain, a scene in which Middle Byzantine artists occasionally went so far as
to show the women mouing with their hair unbound and falling over their
shoulders.26This indulgence corresponded to a long literary tradition of the
Widow's lament in Byzantine sermons, from which an example has been cited
above.27 A more important and more general exception to this rule of New
Testament iconography was the Massacre of the Innocents. The abandoned
gestures of the mothers in this scene were repeatedly described in the literature
and also, in a more restricted manner, depicted in works of art. Thus, a sermon
on the Massacre attributed spuriously to St. John Chrysostom declares:
"Under the impact of these and similar [occurrences] the mothers weakened,
and in the intoxication of their suffering they did not heed decorum. They
tore apart their tunics, they shook their locks in the air, they publicly exposed
their breasts which should have been concealed, they lacerated their chests
with stones, they rent their cheeks like executioners."28 This anonymous
author goes on to explain that the mothers abandoned themselves to despair
because they did not have the consoling knowledge of the death and Resurrec-
tion of Christ: "It is probable that the mothers, stung by their suffering,
cried thus, as they did not know what would profit their children. Who is
more blessed than those who are plotted against on account of the Lord Christ ?
Who is more blessed than these children, because they were not slain by them-
selves only, but also as Christ himself was killed?" 29 Philagathus portrayed
the same gestures in a description of a painting of the Massacre, which he
inserted into a sermon on the Holy Innocents. He opens his ekphrasis with
the following statement: "I saw this [scene of] suffering depicted in colors
on a panel, and I was moved to pity and tears."30 Since this opening is a topos,
which was also used by Gregory of Nyssa to introduce an ekphrasis on paintings
of the Sacrifice of Isaac, one may wonder whether Philagathus was describing
a real or an imagined picture.31 His portrayal of the lamenting mothers
certainly owes much to the literary tradition: "The painter depicted the
26 See the miniature
in the eleventh-century Gospels in Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 74, fol. 121r: H. Omont,
Evangiles avec peintures byzantines du XIe sicle (Paris [n.d.]), pi. 107,2.
27 See note 9 supra.
28 'Eirr Kai-rToISrrapa7TrAloiols at l.TipES f$a9EvoUV, Kal TC 1raTS9E1
TroiTOisofiv tEl Jovrai TfjS errrpe-rreiaS
OUK Trp &pi SlipplnTov, T-roi 6qE6iXOpiVOuS
i<pp6rvnov. To*s XiT6ovas StippIyvuov, T-roSrTXoKd&pOus

jacyroUS8ntCTooaiEuov, TT arfS0Sos Ai$oiS K pa apei&S cb Sifitoi Ka-rTgov. In Herodem et infan-
tes, PG, 61, col. 702. For a more toned-down description, see the sermon by the fifth-century writer
Basil of Seleucia, PG, 85, col. 389C.
29 'A7A KO5
,Kv TaS Troroa po@v, phEi6uias Tr6b ovppov TOIScOrr6v
uivTspa(s vrr6rTOV wrraovUS cKvopEvas
veoTToit. Ti 6BPotapirTpovv T-COV Si&cTOVAeo-Tr6mnvXpior6v TlnpovXUvopvcov; TipaKaplicbTppov -rorrcov TCOV
Traiscov, 6Tt oO Si' gaurTv ioCp&lovro i6vov, &(Aa?Kai ebSaorros 6 Xpio-r6s(povIe?TO; Ibid.
30 ElSov T6b 19Sos Xpp.aali yeypappivov kviTivaKi, Kal rrp6S olIrov 9KIV#STlV Kait6Spva.
yco TOUiTO
Homilia XXIV.9, ed. Rossi Taibbi (note 9 supra); PG, 132, col. 924A-B.
Gregory's ekphrasis is in De deitate Filii et Spiritus Sancti, PG, 46, col. 572C; cf. also Ephraem
Syrus, Sermo in Abraham et Isaac, ed. S. I. Mercati, S. Ephraem Syri opera, I (Rome, 1915), 75.
R. Stichel's review of C. Mango, The Art of the Byzantine Empire, 312-1453, in BZ, 68 (1975), 129f.

unhappy mothers given to a piteous lament and mixing tears with blood.
And one tore her hair, another scraped her cheeks with her nails, another
tore apart her robe, and baring her chest, showed her breast, deprived of the
feeding baby."32 Of these actions, the only gesture which Byzantine artists
chose to illustrate was the tearing of the hair. A pyx in the Louvre, which
probably dates to the sixth century, depicts one of the mothers with her hair
loosed and her hands clasped to the crown of her head (fig. 7).33 A fresco of
the tenth century in the Old Church at Tokali Kilise depicts the action of
pulling the hair more distinctly, for here one of the women tugs down on
a strand of hair with each hand.34The action is repeated by one of the mothers
in a miniature of the Massacre in the eleventh-century Gospel Book in Paris,
Bibl. Nat., gr. 74, folio 5r (fig. 8).35In none of these portrayals of the scene,
however, do we find the mothers scratching their cheeks or tearing open their
garments, in the manner described by Philagathus.
According to St. John Chrysostom, lamentation was permissible if it was
over one's own sins, and it is in portrayals of penitents that we find the most
violent gestures of grief in Middle Byzantine art. In the ninth-century Gregory
manuscript in Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, folio 3r, the painter of the Jonah
story showed the repentant King of Nineveh tearing his robe from his chest,
while behind him a weeping official lifts his mantle to his face (fig. 9).36 We
can find further examples of such gestures in illustrations of the Heavenly
Ladder which depict the visit of the author, John Climacus, to the prison of
the penitent monks. In an eleventh-century manuscript in the Vatican, gr. 394,
the text, "[I saw] others continually beating their breasts and restoring their
life and soul," corresponds to a miniature which shows five monks raising
their clenched fists to strike themselves (fol. 42v).37 The violent grief of sinners
is dramatized further in miniatures of the Penitential Canon. This curious
poem, ascribed to Andrew of Crete, was composed to celebrate the "Holy
Criminals," whose prison is described in the Heavenly Ladder. The finest
surviving copy of the Penitential Canon is a manuscript in the Vatican, gr. 1754,
which dates to the twelfth or early thirteenth century. In this manuscript,
each verse of the canon appears on a separate page, together with a miniature
and a descriptive legend. The pictures and the legends detail the various
trials undergone by the penitent monks. It is a catalogue of self-inflicted pain
and suffering. One of the pictures in the manuscript, folio 6r (fig. 10), shows
"EypaOev 6 IcoypqpxOSKai TOS e9Afas iil-ripas olcrKTpvcuvitcTrbocas SpTfVOVKal TOlS alaalt KipvooaaS T&a
6S?Kpva.Kal 1'hLv gTtAXET'as K6pac, i 65 TOTS5vUi TCaS &AXTsitppiT)oE TOV irrrrAov,Kai
-rrapEias TrrEp5pq>Cp6EV
Tr&ao-rpva irapayvupvovca TOV paa-r6ov -rrTE8SiK Korra1epS6vra TOV STaI&LovTros Epr1pov- Loc. cit.
33 G. Bovini and L. B. Ottolenghi,
Catalogo della mostra degli avori (Ravenna, 1956), no. 38,
fig. 59.
34 M. Restle,
Byzantine Wall Painting in Asia Minor (Shannon, 1969), I, llff.; II, fig. 85.
35 Omont, Evangiles, pl. 7,2. The same gesture occurs in a miniature of a
lectionary in the Vatican,
gr. 1156, fol. 280V (photograph in the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University).
36Idem, Miniatures des plus anciens manuscrits grecs de la Bibliothgque Nationale (Paris, 1929),
13, fig. 20.
37 [cbpOKca] fTipous Tr6ar$oS ola Sravr6sO TrrrrovTas, Kal -rTv &auracv yvx^v Kal Lcov &vaKaAXoupvovu.
PG, 88, col. 765B; J. R. Martin, The Illustration of the Heavenly Ladder of John Climacus (Princeton,
1954) (hereafter Martin, Heavenly Ladder), 61, fig. 85.

the monks tearing at their hair, under a caption which reads in part: "These,
being at a loss for tears, strike themselves."38
The active gestures of grief which I have discussed in this section appeared
rarely in Middle Byzantine art, and only in specific contexts. They did not
occur in scenes such as the Crucifixion and Burial of Christ, the Koimesis,
and the Raising of Lazarus, in which a too emphatic display of grief would
be contrary to the message of hope brought by the Resurrection. In Old
Testament illustration, however, and in scenes of penitence they were per-
The artistic tradition was more conservative than the literary tradition with
regard to the deployment of gestures of lamentation. Actions which were
acceptable in description may have been offensive when actually depicted.
Thus, we read in Byzantine texts of mourners scratching their cheeks or of
women exposing their breasts even in New Testament contexts, such as the
Raising of the Widow's son. But in Middle Byzantine art we rarely find
extremes of this kind in any context, let alone in the New Testament. If we
go beyond the Middle Byzantine period, however, into the thirteenth century,
we find artists beginning to abandon the restraint practiced by their pre-
decessors. We find in New Testament contexts not only such gestures as the
pulling of hair, but also extremes of the kind which had earlier only featured
in the homilies, such as the scratching of cheeks. In the famous Koimesis
fresco at Sopocani one mourner pulls her hair while another draws her fingers
down each side of her face, as if to scar her cheeks (fig. 11, center).39 In the
fresco of the Threnos in the Peribleptos Church at Ohrid the mourners tear
at their hair, and even the Virgin has allowed hers to fall unbound over her
shoulders.40Literary license, then, finally affected works of art. We shall find
this pattern repeated in the case of other gestures.

2. The Hand Raised to the Head: Sitting Figures

In Byzantine art there were several gestures which expressed an inner,
brooding sorrow, as opposed to the violent demonstrations discussed on the
previous pages. For sitting figures, the most common of these passive poses
was that of propping the head up on one hand while resting the elbow on one
knee. In both classical and Byzantine art, this gesture could convey pensive-
ness or concentration with no specific overtones of sorrow, as in the case of
portraits of authors. On an ivory of the fifth century in the Bibliotheque de
l'Arsenal in Paris, a poet sits listening to his muse playing the lyre, with his
chin resting in his left hand and his left elbow on his right hand, which lies
38 OiTroi 133, fig. 253.
saKpc.ov dorOpOUVtES,fav-ro*S KarcaKTrnToUatvt Ibid.,
39R. Hamann-Mac Lean and H. Hallensleben, Die Monumentalmalerei in Serbien und Makedonien
(Giessen, 1963), 25f., fig. 128.
40 Ibid., 28f., fig. 168. See also the miniature of the Lamentation in a Gospel Book on Mount Athos,

Vatopedi 735, fol. 16r, in which the Virgin pulls her hair: G. Millet, Recherches sur I'iconographie de
l'Evangile (Paris, 1916) (hereafter Millet, Recherches),507, fig. 548. Further examples of violent gestures
in thirteenth-century paintings of the Lamentation have been given by A. K. Orlandos, 'H dpXlTrsK-
TOVIK1 Kmlat pvLavrivalT-oiXoypapi{at rrfsMovfjs-roueEok6you HnTriLou (Athens, 1970), 237ff., fig. 94.

on his thigh (fig. 12).41This type of seated author portrait survived in Middle
Byzantine art in the form of depictions of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark,
and John, who were often illustrated with their chins propped on their
In its meaning, therefore, of thought and deliberation, this pose survived
from classical into Byzantine art. Often the gesture denoted a meditation on
the past which was painful or a regret for former deeds-a significance found
in antique art. A red-figured vase in the Metropolitan Museum in New York
depicts Tydeus propping his head up on his arm, as an indication not only
of the exhaustion and injury of battle but also of regret for his crime against
his opponent, Melanippus, which cost him his immortality.43 Christian artists
depicted Adam and Eve in the same pose as they lamented their Fall and
Expulsion from Paradise: the ninth-century Gregory manuscript in Paris,
folio 52v, shows Adam seated with his head supported on one hand and his
elbow resting on his thigh (fig. 13).44 Adam also appears in a similar pose on
two Byzantine ivory caskets of the eleventh or twelfth centuries in the Walters
Art Gallery in Baltimore (fig. 14).45
In New Testament illustration, the gesture served to convey the remorse
of St. Peter, when at the third crow of the cock he was reminded of his denial
of Christ. On a fifth-century ivory plaque in the Louvre, Peter sits resting
his head on the palm of his hand as the cock crows from a city wall, in illustra-
tion of the verse from St. Matthew which records that when the Apostle
heard the sound, "He went out and wept bitterly" (26:75).46 In a miniature
of the eleventh-century Gospel Book in Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 74, folio 159r,
the artist showed Peter weeping in the same pose.47
We can find further examples in Byzantine art of the gesture with the
meaning of remorse or repentance in illustrations of the Heavenly Ladder and
of the Penitential Canon. A miniature of the Penitential Canon in the Vatican,
gr. 1754, folio 7v, depicts a group of monks sitting with their heads propped
up on their arms (fig. 15). The legend describes their pensive grief: "These,
sitting deep in thought on the ground and moving their heads without ceasing,
roar from inside their hearts. 48
There are numerous instances in both classical and Byzantine art in which
the pose characterized the brooding sorrow of bereavement. On Attic grave
reliefs, both the mourners and the deceased were shown sitting with their

41 Natanson, Ivories, 26f., fig. 14; Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 59, no. 71.
42 See A. M. Friend, Jr., "The Portraits of the Evangelists in Greek and Latin Manuscripts,"
Art Studies, 5 (1927), 115ff., esp. 134ff.
43Neumann, Gesten (note 13 supra), 151 f., fig. 77.
44 Omont, Miniatures, 16,
fig. 24.
45 A. Goldschmidt and K.
Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinshulpturen (hereafter Gold-
schmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen), I (Berlin, 1930), no. 82b, pl. 52, no. 90, pi. 55.
46 Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 86, no. 121.
47 Omont, Evangiles (note 26 supra), pl. 137.
48 0i5TO
EK pIEOn KapSiaS
PpPXovlv. Martin, Heavenly Ladder, 134, fig. 256. See also Vat. gr. 394, fols. 42v, 43r: ibid., 60f.,
fig. 85f.

heads resting on their hands.49 We also find the pose in mythological scenes,
such as the carving of two figures in mourning beside the tomb of Meleager
on the end of a sarcophagus in Ostia (fig. 16).50 In Early Christian and
Byzantine art we can find direct counterparts to the many classical portrayals
of women weeping beside a tomb. On an early fifth-century ivory plaque
in the British Museum, the two Maries sit beside the sepulcher of Christ in
positions similar to those of the mourners of Meleager, the woman on the
right resting her chin on her hand (fig. 17).51Here, the two mourners illustrate
Matt. 27:61, which relates that, after the entombment, "Mary Magdalene and
the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulcher." The tomb itself,
however, with its doors standing open and its guards sleeping, refers to the
first verses of Matt. 28, which describe the opening of the tomb by an angel.
A ninth-century miniature in the Chludov Psalter in Moscow, Historical
Museum, add. gr. 129, folio 44r, shows us the two Maries again sitting beside
the tomb and touching their cheeks with their fingers.52The vigil of the Maries
beside the sepulcher was also illustrated in a miniature of a tenth-century
lectionary in Leningrad, Public Library, MS 21, folio 8v (fig. 18).53 Finally, a
thirteenth-century illumination in a Gospel Book in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek,
gr. qu. 66, folio 96r, shows one of the two women in the conventional pose of
sorrow as she grieves beside an open sarcophagus containing the body of Christ
(fig. 19).54
A graphic description of a mosaic of the Holy Women weeping beside the
sepulcher graces the ekphrasis on the church of the Holy Apostles in Constan-
tinople, which was written by Mesarites between 1198 and 1203. The orator
reports that the Maries are "... shown seated over against the tomb... .over-
come as they are by the disaster and robbed of all their intelligence by the
catastrophe, and gazing in complete absorption only at the tomb itself, unable
to be drawn from it."55 This description accords well with the brooding, still
posture of grief which we have found in the Early Christian ivory and in
Byzantine paintings of the scene. One may compare the description particularly
with the miniature in the Leningrad Lectionary, in which both women sit
gazing at the monument in front of them. However, Mesarites also says that
the women give more active expression to their grief, and that they ".. .scar
their cheeks with scratches."56 There is no evidence of this violent gesture
49 Neumann, Gesten, 130, fig. 67; C. W. Clairmont, Gravestone and Epigram (Mainz, 1970), no. 51,

pl. 24.
50 S. Reinach, Rdpertoirede reliefs grecs et romains, III (Paris, 1912), 97, no. 1.
51 Natanson, Ivories, 26, fig. 13; Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 82, no. 116.
Photograph in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. See also cod. Pantocrator. 61, fol. 112r: Millet,
Recherches,462f., fig. 484.
53 Ibid., 462f., fig. 485.
54Ibid., 465, fig. 487.
55 ... aX
KCT'vavl TOj- KaT& 8ilaIeTpov I 7TVT&cOV Ka$SflEval KaCraqaivoVraT.... vevlKrlvalt 'rij acOopv
Kca 6,ov rT6vvoOv 6rrr TOo rr&.9oV s aeovuAirlvatl Kal rrpIs arrv p6v6vovTr6vTr5pov 6AooXEpc0SdrrropTrrouvai
TEKal dvaOrr6u ItO Qa. Ed. G. Downey, "Nikolaos Mesarites: Description of the Church of the Holy
Apostles at Constantinople," TAPS, N.S. 47,6 (1957), XXVIII, 3 and 6. I am indebted to Professor
Downey for permission to quote from his translation. On the dating of the mosaics described by
Mesarites, see Maguire, "Truth and Convention" (note 2 supra), 122ff.
...Tc& Trrapeloasrals &xUvXaTi.... Kcaragaivovum.Ed. Downey, XXVIII, 5.

in the illustrations of this scene in art; it is an elaboration which, as we have

seen, may probably be ascribed to literary convention. Here, then, the literary
description incorporates both an understanding of a gesture inherited from
classical art and inaccuracy inspired by literary tradition.
The gesture of sitting with the head propped on one hand conveyed not
only suffering arising from deliberation but also pain linked with physical
tiredness. The famous statue of Hercules by Lysippus provides an example
from Antiquity of the pose signifying both exhaustion and suffering. It was
made for the town of Tarentum in the fourth century B.C. In 209 B.C. it was
taken by Fabius Maximus to Rome, and in A.D. 325 Constantine the Great
transferred the statue to Constantinople, where it remained until it was
destroyed by the Crusaders. There thehe are three surviving descriptions of
Hercules. The most complete is that written by Nicetas Choniates in his
lament on the statues of Constantinople which had been destroyed by the
Crusaders. Nicetas records that Hercules was seated on a basket, on which
was spread out his lion's skin: "He bent his left leg at the knee, and propped
his left arm on his elbow, holding his forearm upright. On the palm of his
left hand, full of despondency, he gently leant his head, and thus lamented
his ill fortune, and was vexed at his labors."57The particular labor to which
this statue referred was evidently the cleaning of the Augean stables; the
basket on which Hercules sat had been used to remove the refuse. Another,
less detailed description of the statue is given by the twelfth-century writer
Constantine Manasses, who, like Nicetas Choniates, says that the head of
Hercules "sinks down from depression," and that he is "lamenting his ill
fortune."58In the GreekAnthology there is a Hellenistic epigram on the same
statue. The author, Geminus, foreshadows the Byzantine writers, seeing in
the Hercules the expression of sorrow: "Why did Lysippus make you so
downcast, mixing in pain with the bronze?"59
It is very likely that the Hercules of Lysippus is reproduced on a tenth-
century Byzantine ivory casket which is now in Xanten (fig. 20).60 The ivory
has many points in common with the descriptions: Hercules is seated on a
basket spread with a lion's skin, his left leg is bent, he props his left forearm
on his elbow, and his head lies on his left hand. However, it is unlikely that
the carver copied the statue directly. According to the description by Nicetas
Choniates, Hercules was "...extending his right foot and right hand as far

57 TOV
86i EUcbvupov TroSa KaltrrrTov Ets TO yowvv, Kai TIrV Aaiav XETpoaiET' &yKovo S pdfScov' ETaTr6
Aonr6v -TfS XEIp6S evaTriVcOV, Kai TwC -7rrAarETTarJTS, &9vCiaS -rXfipT, KaSvrroKxivcovivp1pja TTiV Ke(paXv,
Kai Tas I8iaS ov-rco TUixas rmroK7aalo6ivoSKcal voaXepaivcoov TO-TS&SXolS. Narratio de statuis, PG, 139, col.
58 .. .TnrVKEQaX^vCirravrcov UrrO xs-v 'rtiS avr6v T&S av-ro-i -njras 68ppEocSav
papuSuvias 6Ka[Louvaavo
L. Sternbach, "Beitrage zur Kunstgeschichte," CiJh, 5 (1902), Beiblatt, col. 75, line 29f.
59 -i ao' ET7rAaaEv
c65 KaTTjq)T
Aaia-rrroS, XaNKC-r'
TyKradpjl' 686Ujvv;
Anthologia Palatina, XVI, no. 103.
60 M. Bieber, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (New York,
1961), 36; K. Weitzmann, Greek
Mythology in Byzantine Art (Princeton, 1951), 161; C. Mango, "Antique Statuary and the Byzantine
Beholder," DOP, 17 (1963), 73.

as he could.. .,"61 but in the ivory his right arm is bent. In addition, in the
ivory Hercules is beardless, whereas the original in all probability portrayed
him with a beard.62It is more likely that the carver copied his hero through
the intermediary of a small-scale model. We know that reproductions of
classical sculptures survived in manuscripts of the Middle Byzantine period,63
while the influence of manuscript painting on tenth-century ivory carvings
is well attested, both in the case of Christian and of pagan scenes.64
The attitude of the Hercules of Lysippus expresses a suffering endurance
of virtuous labors, but sometimes in Byzantine art it can show a lassitude
and depression that is vicious. In a miniature of an eleventh-century manuscript
of the Heavenly Ladder in Princeton, Garrett 16, folio 87r, a monk sitting with
his cheek resting on his left hand nd with his left elbow supported on his
thigh illustrates a text on torpor or depression (&nr8i6a).65Another miniature
in the same manuscript (fol. 112r) depicts three monks in a similar attitude
in order to illustrate a chapter discussing the tendency of monks to sleep
during prayer and psalm singing (fig. 21).66In the background of their cave
we can dimly see the lectern which they have slothfully abandoned.
The gesture of sitting with the head resting on one hand also appears in
biblical contexts which combine sleep and sorrow. In the Agony in the Garden
we can trace its occurrence from the fourth century to the twelfth. The
sculptor of a fourth-century sarcophagus from Servanne portrayed Christ in
the garden flanked by two standing apostles, and two sitting apostles resting
their cheeks on their hands with their elbows on their knees.67The sculpture
aptly illustrates the verse in St. Luke (22:45) which records that after Christ
had prayed he found the disciples "sleeping for sorrow." The pose reappears
in an early sixth-century mosaic at Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna.68
Here, all the apostles have e their eyes open, but several Middle Byzantine
versions of the scene make a distinction between St. Peter, who is awake
and to whom Christ addresses His rebuke (Matt. 26:40; Mark 14:37), and the
other apostles, who are asleep with their eyes shut. An example is the miniature
in an eleventh-century lectionary in the Dionysiu monastery on Mount Athos,
MS 587, folio 66r (fig. 22),69 where St. Peter sits listening to Christ's words
61 Xv 8elv PG, 139, col.
... T ivv 6p?QtV KiEvcOv Kal?T1V a\v
capanTEp XETipa, Eis 6aov 69nv....
62 Bieber, op. cit., 35f.
63 For
example, a miniature in an eleventh-century manuscript of Cosmas Indicopleustes in
Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. IX. 28, fol. 272r, illustrates a Hellenistic sculpture group of a horse
devoured by a lion; D. V. Ainalov, The Hellenistic Origins of Byzantine Art (New Brunswick, N.J.,
1961), 25f., figs. 9, 10.
64 Weitzmann, Greek
Mythology, 12f., 154, figs. 2, 167; and idem, The Joshua Roll (Princeton,
1948), 35.
65 Martin,
Heavenly Ladder, 31, fig. 43.
Ibid., 34, fig. 49.
J. Wilpert, I sarcofagi cristiani antichi, I (Rome, 1929), pl. 15.
68 F.W. Deichmann,Fruhchristliche Bauten undMosaiken von Ravenna (Baden-Baden, 1958), fig. 184.
69 K.
Weitzmann, "The Narrative and Liturgical Gospel Illustrations," New Testament Manuscript
Studies, ed. M. M. Parvis and A. P. Wikgren (Chicago, 1950), 159f., fig. 17; reprinted in Studies in
Classical and Byzantine Manuscript Illumination, ed. H. L. Kessler (Chicago, 1971), 255, fig. 242.
For other examples, see G. and M. Soteriou, EIK6VES TijS Movijssiv& (Athens, 1956), I, pl. 67; and
0. Demus, The Mosaics of Norman Sicily (London, 1949), fig. 69B (Monreale).
with his chin propped on one hand and his elbow resting on his thigh, while
the other apostles sleep behind him.
The gesture also occurs in an Old Testament scene which is thematically
related to Christ's Agony in the New Testament. On folio 359r of the twelfth-
century Octateuch in the Seraglio Library there is an illustration of Moses
setting up the bronze serpent, which in some respects seems to echo Byzantine
scenes of the Agony in the Garden (fig. 23)0 he right, Moses raises the
serpent as a standard, so that it forms the straight transverse bar of a cross;
at the lower left a group of Israelites suffer from the snake bites which they
have received. One, at the far left, sits resting his chin on his hand, while
others recline, propping themselves up on their elbows and supporting their
heads on their hands. We can find parallels for these figures among the apostles
in portrayals of the Agony. The Israelite sitting at the left in the Octateuch
resembles the apostle at the left of the group depicted in the
inDionysiu Lec-
tionary (fig. 22), and an apostle lying in the foreground of the New Testament
miniature echoes the reclining Israelites in the Old Testament scene.
These visual parallels may have been intentional, for the bronze serpent
which Moses set up to cure the Israelites' snake wounds was, of course, a type
of the cross, as is stated in John 3:14: "This son of Man must be lifted up as
the serpent was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness, so that everyone who
has faith in him may in him possess eternal life." A twelfth-century poem
on the Brazen Serpent by Theodorus Prodromus visualizes the appearance
of the standard as a cross in the same manner as the illuminator of the Octa-
teuch: "The bronze serpent was stretched crosswise on the erect wood, opposed
to evil living serpents."71 It is, therefore, not unlikely that the formal parallels
between the dying Israelites and the apostles who slept before the Crucifixion
were intended to be a visual reminder of the typological link between the two
The pose of the Lysippan Hercules often served to convey the suffering
of Job. The earliest recorded example occurred in a fresco adorning a catacomb
chamber near the tomb of the Scipiones in Rome. A restoration drawing by
J. Wilpert was published in 1886, showing the prophet sitting on a mound,
the fingers of his right hand touching his forehead.72 Of the many Middle
Byzantine examples, the most striking is a full-page miniature in the tenth-
century Leo Bible in the Vatican, Regin. gr. 1, folio 461v (fig. 24), which
shows an emaciated Job sitting on the dung heap with his right leg bent,
his right elbow resting on his raised knee, and his chin resting on his right
hand. An uncial inscription in the border explains the significance of his
attitude: "The painter has shown to us Job naked, covered with boils, his

70 T. Ouspensky, L'Octateuque de la Bibliotheque du Sirail d

71 Constantinople (Sofia, 1907), fig. 173.
AiXpios ?VTrT&vwo6q91gScp 6p3& pepCoTt
XAmiKEOS, LCOCov6(pfcov KaKOEpyacv.
PG, 133, col. 1130B. Mesarites, in his description of the mosaics in the Holy Apostles, also relates
the Bronze Serpent to the Crucifixion: ed. Downey (note 55
supra), XVII, 1.
72 BACr, Ser.
4,4 (1886), pl. II.

flesh wasting away; for he had no pity for his many groans, but he created
the man's sufferings even in the picture."73
Another context in which we find the gesture of sitting with the head
supported on one hand is in the depiction of captives, whom both classical
and Byzantine artists portrayed in the same attitude of sorrow. There is a
striking parallel between Judaea capta on coins of Vespasian and Titus
(fig. 25)74 and the Hebrews weeping under a tree by the Waters of Babylon
in Byzantine psalters of the monastic recension (Ps. 137:1). The classical
formula was reproduced in the miniatures of the ninth-century Chludov
Psalter, folio 135r (fig. 26),75 and of the eleventh-century Bristol Psalter in
the British Museum, add. 40731, folio 223r.76
In the course of this inquiry, we have found that the same pose could
signify sleep, meditation, and sorrow. In the examples which I have discussed
the meaning has been clear from the contexts, but in one important scene its
significance is not immediately obvious. In many Byzantine portrayals of the
Nativity, Joseph sits resting his head on his hand; we do not begin to find
him in this pose until the fifth or sixth century, but in subsequent centuries
it became the general rule.77 In the Nativity miniature of the Menologium of
Basil II in the Vatican, gr. 1613, page 271, which probably dates to the early
eleventh century, the figure of Joseph forms a mirror image of the Lysippan
Hercules on the Xanten ivory (figs. 27, 20).78Modern scholars usually interpret
Joseph's gesture as either simple meditation or an expression of sorrow.79
Byzantine observers, however, consistently saw suffering in Joseph's pose.
This can be demonstrated in the case of a Nativity fresco at Kokar Kilise
in Southern Cappadocia, in which the old man sits holding his left hand up
to his face. An inscription describes him as "Joseph grieving."80The eleventh-
century writer John Mauropous, in an ekphrasis on a painting of the Nativity,
seems to have found the attitude of Joseph at variance with the expected
Collezione Paleografica Vaticana, I (Milan, 1905), 13f., fig. 17. Job was painted in the same pose in the
manuscripts of Patmos, Monastery of St. John, MS 171 (page 42) and of the Vatican, gr. 749 (fol. 20v);
Weitzmann, Die byzantinische Buchmalerei (note 25 supra), 50f., 77f., figs. 333, 529. A related image
is the "Poor Man" of Psalm 102, as depicted in Pantocrator. 61, fol. 141v, and in the eleventh-century
"Bristol Psalter" in the British Museum, add. 40731 (fol. 165v): S. Dufrenne, L'Illustration des psau-
tiers grecs du Moyen Age, I (Paris, 1966), 33, 63, figs. 21, 57.
74 M.
Grant, Roman History from Coins (Cambridge, 1958), 50, pl. 15,2.
Photograph in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection.
76 Dufrenne, op. cit., 65,
fig. 59.
77Among the earlier examples are the ivory in Werden Abbey Church (H. Schnitzler, Rheinische
Schatzkammer[Disseldorf, 1959]) pl. 162f.), the Sancta Sanctorum reliquary in the Vatican (K. Weitz-
mann, "Loca Sancta and the Representational Arts of Palestine," DOP, 28 [1974], fig. 6), and phial
no. 2 at Monza (ibid., fig. 5).
78 II Menologio di Basilio
II, Codices e Vaticanis selecti, VIII (Turin, 1907), 73f., fig. 271. On
the date, see I. Sevcenko, "On Pantoleon the Painter," JOBG, 21 (1972), 241ff.
79For brief discussions of the problem, see Wessel, "Gesten" (note 4 supra), 780; G. Schiller,
Iconography of Christian Art, trans. J. Seligman, I (Greenwich, 1971), 62.
('Ico)a^p XvTr(o0)pevos. N. and M. Thierry, Nouvelles eglises rupestres de Cappadoce (Paris, 1963),
119, fig. 27.

gladness of the Birth of Christ. He speaks first of the joy evoked by the scene,
but then turns to "... this old man with downcast eyes, for some other hidden
emotion stings him. But having slept a little he will have a release from this,
and he will gladly join us all in applauding."81 Further confirmation of the
meaning of Joseph resting his head on his hand is provided by one portrayal
of the Nativity in which he does not make this gesture, the mosaic at Hosios
Lukas (fig. 28),82 where he sits holding his left wrist in his right hand. As
I shall demonstrate below, in Byzantine art this pose was a sign of grief.
There is ample evidence, then, that in Middle Byzantine art Joseph's
attitude at the Nativity should be seen as one of sorrow. The causes of his
suffering lay both in the past and in the future. The pose referred back to the
first and most obvious reason for Joseph's unhappiness, his initial perplexity
concerning the miraculous conception of Christ. His painful deliberations on
this subject were explicitly stated in the liturgy.83 But Joseph's pose at the
Nativity also refers forward to the forthcoming death of Christ:84Joseph sits
at the crib of Jesus in the same attitude in which the Maries will sit at his tomb
(figs. 27, 19). Several Byzantine texts specifically connect the Nativity with
the death of Christ. In an ecclesiastical history which is sometimes attributed
to Germanus, the eighth-century patriarch of Constantinople, we read: "The
altar is, and is called, the crib and tomb of the Lord."85Again, in the Byzantine
drama Christos paschon, the Virgin links the birth and death of Christ when
she laments over her son's body: "You lie wound in these robes, who were
formerly swathed in swaddling-clothes."86These texts appear to be illustrated
in the early thirteenth-century miniature of the Maries sitting by the Sepulcher
in the Gospel Book in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, gr. qu. 66, for here the corpse
lies exposed to view in an open sarcophagus (fig. 19) and the body is tightly
bound like that of the infant in Byzantine Nativity scenes. The rectangular
stone sarcophagus, with its arched decorations on the front, even echoes the
form of Christ's crib in such Nativity scenes as the late eleventh- or early
81 (&5^ TO6vETOV
Kanriql) TrpEoaprrlv'
6&KVEtyap arr6ov 6A7o -T Kpurrr6v Trr&os.
?1El86 ToroTOUp1Kp6VUTwrvcbacSMOIatV,
-E waotv iikvq6cos.
Ed. J. Bollig and P. De Lagarde, Iohannis Euchaitorum Metropolitae quae in Cod. Vat. gr. 676 super-
sunt (Gottingen, 1882), no. 2, line 30ff.
82 E. Diez and 0.
Demus, Byzantine Mosaics in Greece (Cambridge, Mass., 1931), 53, fig. 3.
83 An
example is the Akathistos hymn, in PG, 92, col. 1340A; P. Testini, "Alle origini dell'icono-
grafia di Giuseppe di Nazareth," RACr, 48 (1972), 332. Further citations from the liturgy can be
found in K. Onasch, Das Weihnachtsfest im orthodoxenKirchenjahr, Liturgie und
Ikonographie (Berlin,
1958), 197f., 226, 238. The eleventh-century cycle of ivory carvings on the Salerno Antependium
devotes a separate scene to Joseph's doubts before his reassurance by the angel
(Matt. 1:18-20).
He sits in front of Mary, gazing at her with his head propped up on his right hand: A. Goldschmidt,
Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der romanischen Zeit, IV (Berlin, 1926), no. 126, 26,
84 See R. Stichel, Studien zum Verhdltnis von Text und
pl. 45.
Bild spdt- und nachbyzantinischer Vergdng-
lichkeitsdarstellungen (Vienna, 1971), 65ff.
85 eu-viacrplt6v oTriKcd
XyeTrali(pa6rvrl Kai6 T-r&OS
ToOKupiou.Historia ecclesiastica et mystica con-
templatio, PG, 98, col. 389.
yap Cq&apaoLcO 6' ExArypvos,
?voi-rapy&vois rrpiv veo-rrapyavcoivos.
Christus patiens, 1464-65, PG, 38, col. 253. See also the text by Symeon
Metaphrastes, infra, note 221.

twelfth-century miniature in the "Phocas" Lectionary in the Skevophylakion

of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos, folio 144v (fig. 29).87 The Nativity, then,
may be another instance in which Byzantine artists referred to thematic
links between two scenes by repeating a gesture.
The many examples of the pose of the Lysippan Hercules in contexts of
grief and suffering in Byzantine art demonstrate that its association with
suffering was as strong in the Middle Ages as it had been in the classical
period. In addition, the companion meanings of pensiveness and lassitude
were also carried over into Byzantine art. It is clear, too, that the pose found
its way at a very early stage into Christian iconography, and that it survived
as a result of a process of continuous artistic transmission. Its history in
scenes such as the Agony in the Garden can be traced without interruption
century to the
from the fourth cetwelfth. However, the study of ivory carvings
shows that on some occasions medieval Byzantine artists readapted the pose
to Christian use directly from a pagan model; for it is evident that the carvers
of the two ivories of Adam weeping after the Fall, now in Baltimore, copied
their figures directly from a reproduction of the Hercules by Lysippus, such
as the portrayal of this statue on the ivory casket now in Xanten which has
iiposes the
been discussed above (figs. 14, 20). In te first place, on the ivories
of Adam and Hercules correspond in detail: both rest their cheeks on their left
palms and their left elbows on their left legs, which are bent, while their right
legs are straightened out.88In the second place, Adam sits on a circular object
with a criss-cross pattern resembling the basket, which had removed the
refuse from the Augean stables, on which the Hercules of the Xanten casket
rests. On other Byzantine caskets which show Adam and Eve seated after
the Fall the couple sit on objects which can be recognized as stones or tree
there is an example not only of
trunks.89 Here, therefore, survival of this
classical pose in Middle Byzantine art but also of its revival. The artists of
the Baltimore ivories repeated the general outlines of the gesture made by
Adam in accordance with an earlier iconographic tradition of which we are
aware throug the ninth-century Gregory manuscript in Paris (fig. 13). But
for the execution of specific details, such as the basket, they looked to a
classical model for guidance.
When, therefore, a twelfth- and a thirteenth-century writer described the
Hercules of Lysippus as a figure of lamenting and despondency, they were
not only following literary tradition but were also expressing the genuine
reaction of Byzantine viewers to a visual convention which was still current
in the art of their own time.
3. The Hand Raised to the Head: Standing Figures
The seated pose which was the subject of the preceding pages had its
counterpart in standing figures. With upright figures there were more variant
87 Weitzmann, "Gospel Illustrations" (note 69 supra), 171, fig. 30; idem, in Studies, ed. Kessler
(note 69 supra), 268, fig. 258.
88 Goldschmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen, I, 52.
Ibid., nos. 67 (pl. 48), 69 (pl. 50), 75, 78, and 79 (pl. 51).

forms of the gesture according to the precise position of the hand against
the face; some of these variants had distinct shades of meaning, but others
cannot be distinguished from each other in their significance since Byzantine
artists seem to have used them interchangeably in the same contexts. The
more important variations on the basic gesture of raising the hand to the
head can be seen in the famous ouDormition
tenth-century ivory of the of the
Virgin in the Staatsbibliothek of Munich (fig. 32).90On this ivory two of the
apostles grasp their chins between the thumbs and fingers of their right hands,
while a mourner in the right background
ofr rests his chinn the back his hand.
Another apostle, on the right, presses his robe against his cheek with one
hand, while in the far background on the left a woman raises her mantle
with both hands to cover the lower part of her face. We may also observe
that three of the mourners in the ivory make more exaggerated gestures of
grief. On the right an apostle clasps his hands over one side of his face, while
on the left another shields his eyes, at the same time turning his head away
from the main action of the scene, thus giving still greater emphasis to his
sorrow. Finally, we may note that one mourner at the far right has clapped
his hand over his mouth, as if to stifle his cries. I shall reserve my discussion
of this especially emphatic gesture until the end of this section.
These different forms of the gesture of raising the hand to the head were
described, and their significance explained, in classical and Byzantine literature.
For example, an Early Christian writer, Cyprian, refers to a youth as " . . .anx-
ious and rather sad, with a certain indignation, holding his chin in his
hand... ."91 Both antique and medieval authors described weepers lifting their
garments to their faces in order to catch their tears. So in Homer, Telemachus
wept for the absent Odysseus: "He shed tears onto the ground from his eye-
lids, when he heard tell of his father, holding up his purple mantle with both
hands against his eyes."92 And in the Byzantine romance of Digenes Akrites,
a girl abandoned by her lover "...wiped with her linen the rains from her
eyes."93 Classical and Byzantine writers also described the emphatic gesture
of shielding the face or eyes with the hands; again in Homer, the nurse
Eurycleia, when reminded of her old master Odysseus, "...covered her face
with her hands and shed warm tears, speaking words of lamentation."94
Likewise, in the twelfth century the Byzantine princess Anna Comnena reports

90 Ibid., II
(1934), no. 1. J. L. Schrader, "An Ivory Koimesis Plaque of the Macedonian Renais-
sance," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bulletin, N.S. vol. 3, no. 6 (1972), 71ff., esp. 80ff., discusses
some of the gestures on this ivory.
91 ... iuvenis anxius et cum quadam indignatione subtristis maxillam manu tenens.... Epistulae,
XI, 4.
8sKpVu ' aTTrpAEpapcov
CViXairaiS pAS T-raTposd&KocaaS,
aTrop(pvp&riv caVT'6qp9ai.oTlv devaaXcbv
Odyssey, IV, 114ff.
93 ..
.TaS T?EPpoxaS T-OV 6pSaAp5v a&paaoarij 636v1). Ed. J. Mavrogordato (Oxford, 1956), line 2215.
94 ...
yprlOs 6E KarT(X)ETOXEpai -Trpo-co7ra,
sn&apua 6' EKpaXE 6Epla', Trros8' 6Aoqpv5v6v gEVrrEV
Odyssey, XIX, 361-62.

that, at the death of her father, "I turned my head...stooping and silent
I clasped my hands to my eyes, moved back, and wept."95
In classical and Early Christian art we find that some of the variant forms
of the gesture of resting the head on the hand could indicate thought or
concentration without the connotation of sorrow. The artist of a wall painting
at Pompeii depicted Penelope's hesitant deliberation before she believed the
return of her husband by portraying her standing, holding her chin, as she
gazed at Odysseus.96 On a third-century sarcophagus in the Palazzo San-
severino in Rome, a woman stands touching her cheek, absorbed in the words
of a reading philosopher (fig. 30).97 The carver of a fifth-century ivory in the
British Museum depicted Thekla in the same pose, intent on the reading of
St. Paul (fig. 31).98 In Middle Byzantine art, however, we seldom find that
standing figures who touch their cheeks or their chins occur in contexts of
pensiveness alone; there is usually an overtone of sorrow.
In both classical and Byzantine art the gesture of raising the hand to the
head occurred with the greatest frequency in scenes of mourning for the dead.
Restrained poses of this type are often found in Greek funerary sculptures
of the fourth century. The famous Weepers Sarcophagus from Sidon presents
a gallery of standing female mourners, each in a subtly varied posture of
pensive sorrow; one rests her chin on her hand, another lays her cheek on
her palm, while another, more emphatically, presses her mantle against her
eyes (fig. 33).99 These poses also appear in funerary contexts in Roman art:
the artist of a silver vase from Berthouville decorated with scenes from the
Iliad depicts a group of Trojans mourning as Hector's body is weighed for
ransom (fig. 34). To the right of the scales stands Priam, his right fingers
touching his cheek. Two of his companions prop their chins on their hands,
while another Trojan covers the left side of his face.100
These attitudes of mourning were as frequent in the illustration of the Bible
as of pagan mythology. Christian artists were more willing to accept into
New Testament imagery these essentially passive gestures rather than more
violent acts of lamentation, such as the tearing of hair and clothes or the
beating of the head and chest. The gesture of resting the head on the hand is
found in the most sacred contexts, such as the Crucifixion, and is made by
persons of the greatest sanctity, even by angels. Only Christ himself did not
bend to this expression of human grief. This was the case even in depictions
of the Raising
as os Lazarus, thee one occasion on which the Bible says outright
that Christ himself wept (John 11:35-36). This scene is important for our
understanding of the depiction of emotion in Early Christian and Byzantine
95 EyCyE [piETa]{lpvacsarToVKEa^cV aroS Kai &CrUKOSov iV rpos yTjv dToveOC(aaa Kai mL8iv Seyyovivri
KOi T 6 TOiS 56VFaiv&rtpaXouca Kal 6rricaS6rrovSyEvovri i3pfipvovv. Alexiad, XV.11,19.
96S. Reinach, Rdpertoire de peintures grecques et romaines (Paris, 1922), 175, no. 2.
97 A. Grabar, The Beginnings of Christian Art (London, 1967), fig. 128.
98 Natanson, Ivories, 27, fig. 16; Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 83, no. 117. The gesture of placing
the hand on the cheek could also be associated with singing: see A. Hermann, "Mit der Hand
Singen. Ein Beitrag zur Erklarung der Trierer Elfenbeintafel," JbAChr, 1 (1958), 105ff.
"9 O. Hamdy Bey and T. Reinach, Une ndcropoleroyale d Sidon (Paris, 1892), 255ff., figs. 4-11.
100E. Babelon, Le trdsor d'argenterie de Berthouville (Paris, 1916), 83, fig. 6.

art, since the expression of feeling in the Raising of Lazarus was the subject
of considerable commentary by the writers of homilies. St. John Chrysostom,
in two sermons devoted to the subject, placed his emphasis on moderation.
As we have seen, he commended Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus,
for their self-control in their bereavement. He adds that Christ was indeed
moved to weep in order that he might exhibit his human nature. But his
grief was restrained: "Having rebuked his emotion...he checked his agita-
tion, and so asks: 'Where have you laid him?'"101 Philagathus, in a mid-
twelfth-century sermon, amplified John Chrysostom's remarks on the restraint
displayed by Christ in his sorrow: "As his sacred flesh is troubled and inclines
toward grief, he does not allow it to become overwhelmed by the emotion
of his grief, but he censures it by the strength of the Holy Spirit, and in a
manner reproves it."102 Another twelfth-century author, Mesarites, in his
description of the mosaic in the church of the Holy Apostles, tells us that
Mary and Martha displayed their sorrow, but on their faces, not through the
violence of their gestures: "...on bent knees they are bowed over the feet
of Jesus, washing them with the tears of their grief for their brother... .The
more vehement of the sisters holds her head high, and by the expression of
her face alone, one might say, seeks to beseech the Lord, presenting her
request to the Savior chiefly by means of her eyes and by the expression of
suffering and grief on her whole face."103Although he saw suffering in the
expressions of the sisters, Mesarites agreed with Philagathus and St. John
Chrysostom that Christ himself checked his grief: "But the Savior is depicted
with a moderately gloomy expression on his face, but his whole bearing is
very kingly and censorious."'04
These written statements correspond with the iconography of the Raising
of Lazarus in art. First, as I have noted, in Early Christian and in Middle
Byzantine art Christ was never shown making a gesture of grief in this scene,
but it was usual to depict him raising his arm in a pose of command as he
ordered Lazarus to leave the tomb. Secondly, although the Gospel also refers
to the weeping of Mary (John 11:33), Byzantine artists were more mindful
of the self-discipline of the two sisters. Usually the women make no gestures
of suffering, but on those rare occasions when Mary shows her grief her action
is restrained. Thus, on a fifth-century ivory pyx in the Hessisches Landes-
museum, Mary holds her left hand against her chin,105and in the fresco of
ETra TrlnTcrjaaS T,C wtSEt.. . TrroXETv'V 0OyXvicv, Kal OrcoTS EpcorT, nTo TrESeiKaTE
aCOrv; In Joan-
nem homilia LXIII, PG, 59, col. 350; Millet, Recherches, 244f.
102 T jS&yiaS aUTroUaapK6s, OiK &q)irjotvT-r TrSXirrTr
Tapaoaaopovi;S S8 oiv Kal veuoicrrs wrp6SXu-nrrnv
Tr&CE1yevcrS3al KaTaqopov, Xa. T TOV ayiou nvE1JiparoS SUVapEtl
dA irrTH - Ta'Trr1, Kalt iTrlTrrrXTTelTp6-rrov T-tvc-
Homilia XXV, PG, 132, col. 532A.
103.. .yOVVKXiTOUcC TOTS rTO 'tIc0roi TrpocErmKVAivSoOvTai wrooi, wT^ivouCalT T'roTOVS K TTrS iepi Tr6v
d6&SEp6v avruarraSias TroS 8&Kpucnv.... ij 8e SEppoT?pa T&V &(St6EApovKai UOo0 (ppE?T"r'V KEqpaA)v Kal au"ro-
rpoaTcorrcoS cb v -riS TO eKUpOAEl
KTSErrol -rv v -rrapaKaAeXTv,Trr;keirrTv ooTi K K
'TOU 6q)S9aXphc K&KTrod rrepi
Trrav TO TCr ocTrfipl rrpocryovaoa T-rV
Trp6orov Kai
TeplTraSopKaUS O6uvvipou rrapacpvXrlov. Ed. Downey (note
55 supra), XXVI, 2-3.
104 6 S8
CATOTIPT6OPv TOV wpoocrTrOU e6Ios ?rrITO pETpicoSo-rvyvov, TO 56 cIiprav dv&CTtr)Jra TrirTO paoli-
AlKCbTEp6vT? Kali bTriT-riiiKcrbTepOVX^1aXTI&raTaIv Ibid., XXVI, 4.
Schiller, Iconography (note 79 supra), I, 183, fig. 563.

1106 at Asinou on Cyprus she supports her cheek (fig. 35).106In both cases her
pose conveys inner sorrow, and can be distinguished from the gesture of the
man opening the tomb in the fresco: as in many other Byzantine portrayals
of the scene, he holds his sleeve up against his nostrils on account of the
corpse's stench (John 11:39). In addition, Middle Byzantine artists expressed
the grief of the sisters through their facial expressions, just as Mesarites
would have us believe. In the painting at Asinou short streaks run down their
cheeks, a convention which, as we shall see below, portrays their tears. But,
on the other hand, Christ's features betray little sign of emotion, as Mesarites
also observed at the Holy Apostles.107
The reserved quality of the gesture of raising one or both hands to the
head made it especially suitable for the depiction of grief in the Crucifixion,
and from the sixth century onward it was an essential element in the icono-
graphy of this scene. The earliest portrayal of the Crucifixion in which the
pose occurs is the miniature in the Rabbula Gospels, written in Syria in 586
(fig. 36).108 The painting is thus somewhat later than the early sixth-century
kontakion, Mary at the Cross, by the Syrian poet Romanos, which contains
one of the earliest descriptions of the Virgin's lament in Greek literature.109
The artist has shown the Virgin, on the left of the three crosses, raising her
draped hands toward her face, in order to dry her tears. Her gesture is com-
pleted by the foremost of the Holy Women standing on the right. St. John
is shown resting his chin on his fingers, in an attitude of pensive sorrow.
In the Crucifixion scenes which have survived from the years immediately
after the end of Iconoclasm we find fewer bystanders in attitudes of mourning,
but in later centuries there was a tendency for the number of subsidiary
weepers to increase, so that by the end of the twelfth century the Crucifixion
was often accompanied by a chorus of repeated gestures reiterating the theme
of solemn sorrow. Thus, in the ninth-century miniatures of the Chludov and
Pantocrator Psalters, the Virgin and St. John stand beneath the cross in
isolated grief,"0 while in the Paris Gregory three women stand to the left of
the cross, but only the Virgin lifts her mantle toward her face (fig. 37).11
By contrast, in an eleventh-century lectionary in the Vatican, gr. 1156,
folio 194v, the painter added two women in the background who weep into
their garments, while the Virgin and St. John rest their cheeks on their
palms (fig. 38).112 Likewise, in eleventh-century mosaics and wall paintings

106D. C. Winfield and E. J. W. Hawkins, "The Church of Our Lady at Asinou, Cyprus," DOP,
21 (1967), 260ff., fig. 2. Mary also makes a gesture of mourning in the eleventh-century fresco at
S. Angelo in Formis (O. Demus and M. Hirmer, Romanesque Mural Painting [London, 1970], 294f.,
pl. 26) and in a twelfth-century icon at Sinai (Soteriou, EIK6vES [note 69 supra], II, 90f., I, pl. 76).
107The sisters' grief is most strikingly conveyed through facial distortion in the fresco at Kurbi-
novo: L. Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo (Brussels, 1975), fig. 181.
108C. Cecchelli, G. Furlani, and M. Salmi, The Rabbula Gospels (Lausanne, 1959), 9f., fol. 13a.
109Alexiou, The Ritual Lament (note 11 supra), 62f.
110J. R. Martin, "The Dead Christ on the Cross in Byzantine Art," Late Classical and Mediaeval
Studies in Honor of Albert Mathias Friend, Jr. (Princeton, 1955), pl. xxIII, 4 (Pantocrator. 61, fol. 98r).
111 Omont, Miniatures (note 36 supra), 13, fig. 21 (Paris. gr. 510, fol. 30V).
112Millet, Recherches, 402ff., fig. 426.
we find the Holy Women echoing the sorrow of the principal mourners.l3
Sometimes the meanings of the gestures were specified in an inscription, as
in the cave church of Elmall Kilise at Goreme, where we are told that the
mother is lamenting and the Disciple weeping.14 Even the angels may come
to show human feelings and, like the mortals, dry their tears. Though lamenting
angels may appear as early as the eleventh century, they more frequently
attend later Crucifixion scenes, such as the fresco of ca. 1200 in the Hermitage
of St. Neophytos near Paphos (fig. 39).115
Thus, Byzantine artists from the tenth to the twelfth centuries introduced
a widening refrain of mourning gestures to the Crucifixion scene. This develop-
ment was noted by contemporaries who wrote on works of art. Constantine
the Rhodian, describing the mosaic of the Holy Apostles in the tenth century,
observes only the sorrow of St. John and the lamenting of the Virgin.16 But
the twelfth-century Greek poet Eugenius of Palermo, in a description of a
Crucifixion scene, draws attention to the sorrow displayed by the Virgin and
her attendant as well as by angels: "The pair of Virgins here stand with
downcast eyes, bearing with pain the Passion, and the rank of angels laments
with them.""' Although the title of the poem does not specifically state it,
the composition was in all probability inspired by a work of art, since the
author declares at the beginning of the poem that he sees the Crucifixion
before him.
By the eleventh century, Byzantine artists had also added a chorus of
attendant weepers to depictions of the Entombment in order to bring extra
pathos to the burial of Christ. Professor Weitzmann has traced the introduc-
tion of subsidiary mourners into the iconography of this scene. In the surviving
ninth-century versions of the Entombment, such as the miniature in the Paris
113See the
mid-eleventh-century mosaic of the Nea Moni on Chios, and the fresco at Karabau
Kilise in Cappadocia, which was painted before 1061: G. Matthiae, I mosaici della Nea Moni a Chios
(Rome, 1964), pls. 21, 23; Restle, Wall Painting (note 34 supra), I, 47ff., III, fig. 463.
114Restle, ibid., II, fig. 183; G. de Jerphanion, Les dglises rupestres de Cappadoce, 1,2 (Paris,
1932), 445f. The date has been placed around the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries by
several recent writers, including Restle, op. cit., I, 57ff.; but de Jerphanion's old dating to the middle
of the eleventh century still has many arguments in its favor: op. cit., 11,2 (1942), 421f. See also
N. Thierry, "Les peintures de Cappadoce de la fin de l'Iconoclasme a l'invasion turque (843-1082),"
Revue de Universit de Bruxelles, N.S. 19,1-2 (1966-67), 137ff., esp. 160ff.; and the new evidence
presented by A. W. Epstein, "Rock-Cut Chapels in the Goreme Valley, Cappadocia: the Yllanh
Group and the Column Churches," CahArch, 24 (1975), 115ff.
115C. Mango and E. J. W. Hawkins, "The Hermitage of St. Neophytos and its Wall Paintings,"
DOP, 20 (1966), 119ff., fig. 32. Weeping angels also attend the Crucifixion on two icons of the eleventh
and twelfth centuries at Mount Sinai (Soteriou, EIK6VES [note 69 supra], I, pls. 40, 77) and in a lost fresco
of 1199 in the north transept of Nereditsa (V. Lazarev, Old Russian Murals and Mosaics [London,
1966], fig. 103).
116Ed. E. Legrand, "Description des ceuvres d'art et de l'6glise des Saints ApBtres de Constan-
tinople: po6me en vers iambiques par Constantin le Rhodien," REG, 9 (1896), 32ff., line 941 ff. The
date of the mosaic is uncertain; it is possible that it dated from the restoration of the building by
Basil I. See C. Mango, The Art of the Byzantine Empire, 312-1453 (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1972), 192, 199f.
117 K&V
fi Svvcopls -rrapSvcov -rCV VS&5se
arrMKxomTlrt, Svucpopoiaa-cTCRrd39E1,
KaOCaVoTEV&1nT<&5IS ^ TO-Vd&yyk^cv.
Ed. M. Gigante, Eugenii Panormitani versus iambici (Palermo, 1964), no. 13. John Mauropous also
described the grief of the angels in a painting of the Crucifixion: ed. Bollig and De Lagarde (note 81
supra), no. 7, line 8ff.

Gregory, folio 30v (fig. 37), the burial of Christ by Joseph and Nicodemus
takes place without onlookers.118But in the eleventh-century miniature of
the Theodore Psalter of 1066 in the British Museum, add. 19352, folio 116r,
the Virgin and two women, all in poses of weeping, follow behind the men
carrying the body (fig. 40).119One is struck by the exaggeration of the women's
actions when they are compared with contemporary Crucifixion scenes. The
Virgin covers the left half of her face with her upraised mantle, the woman
behind her buries her face in her hands, and the third woman clasps her right
hand over her mouth. The gestures of the women standing by the cross in
the lectionary in the Vatican, gr. 1156, appear reserved by contrast (fig. 38).
Already in the ninth century, George of Nicomedia foreshadowed this distinc-
tion between the Virgin's restraint at the Crucifixion and Deposition of Christ
and her more vehement Lamentation over the dead body which followed:
"But consider again the Mother, standing by and enduring, and exposed to
everything. For she was associated with the Passion in a decorous and noble
manner.... But when the most holy body had been taken down and had been
laid upon the ground, she fell upon it and bathed it with the warmest tears."'20
Occasionally, Byzantine artists depicted Mary supporting her head on
her hand in paintings of the Presentation, such as a miniature of an eleventh-
century Gospel Book in Vienna, National Library, theol. gr. 154, folio 143r
(fig. 41).121 Her pose in this scene anticipates her suffering at Christ's death.
St. Luke (2:35) records that when Symeon had taken the Child in his arms
he prophesied to Mary: "A sword will pierce your own soul also." Byzantine
writers imagined that Mary referred to this forecast when she delivered her
lament at her son's burial.122Mary's gesture, then, is a sign of grief, even
though the Presentation might in other respects be considered a scene of joy.
The gesture of resting the head on the hand occurred in many other contexts
besides that of mourners weeping for the dead. It could, for example, convey
the idea of Metanoia, or regret for the past. To convey this meaning, artists
often employed two specific variants of the gesture, those of holding the chin
and of touching the cheek with the bare hand. These variants, as we have
seen above, were associated with pensiveness as well as with sorrow in classical
art, and thus were well suited to conveying the brooding quality of remorse
(figs. 30, 31). On certain antique sculptures, Metanoia appears in person as
the companion of Kairos, the personification of Opportunity. A third- or
Weitzmann, "Threnos" (note 5 supra), 476ff., figs. 1 (Pantocrator Psalter, fol. 122r), 2 (Chludov
Psalter, fol. 87r), and 4 (Paris Gregory, fol. 30v).
119Two mourning women also accompany the Entombment in the contemporary Paris. gr. 74,
fol. 208v: ibid., fig. 6f.
120 'Air& rKo6e lI,o ,rTiv -T^VMiTrrpawrrplioTraIvlvKCaiSoaKapT-epoaav, KaXIwrp6s&aravTa rpoKE1IpivTlv'
TCtTEy&pwr39Et KxoaCic Ka oCn<vvios
dye W[rPOOacofhI.... 'Emrd6 KOTTCIIVXSn, r6
KtalTrp6S Tj yj TrCav&yov
d(vKXAiSr TrcEp treouCaa, aOrT6Ipv SeplJo-TroiS Kot-rOVE865<puCi.Homilia VIII, PG, 100, cols.
oaoa, TroiTcp
1485D-1488A; the passage has been cited by Millet, Recherches, 398f.
121 H.
Gerstinger, Die Griechische Buchmalerei (Vienna, 1926), 33f., fig. 13d.
122 Cosmas of
Jerusalem, Hymni, VIII, Pro magno sabbato, PG, 98, col. 488C-D; Germanus,
In Dominici corporis sepulturam, PG, 98, col. 272C; Acta Pilati, B.11,5, ed. C. Tischendorf, Evan-
gelia Apocrypha (Leipzig, 1876). See also the kontakion on the Presentation by Romanos: P. Maas
and C. A. Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi Cantica Genuina (Oxford, 1963), IV, strophe 13.

fourth-century Coptic limestone relief from Thebes portrays Kairos as a

winged youth holding a wheel (fig. 42). In the lower left corner of the carving
is a kneeling woman supporting her head on the palm of her left hand. This is
probably Metanoia, whom the fourth-century poet Ausonius, in a description
of a work of art which he attributes to Phidias, refers to as the companion of
Opportunity. In the poem, Metanoia declares that she is the Goddess who
exacts penalties for what is done and what is not done.123The personification
of Remorse was incorporated into Biblical iconography in the scene of David's
penitence before Nathan. In a miniature of the tenth-century Paris Psalter,
Bibl. Nat., gr. 139, folio 136v, Metanoia, identified by an inscription, stands
above the King as he kneels in proskynesis, the finger tips of her left hand
almost touching her chin (fig. 43).124
When Metanoia was not visible in person the gesture of touching the chin
could convey hidden regret for past deeds. In the Old Testament it could
signify the remorse of Adam and Eve after the Fall. We find Adam or Eve
in this pose in a fourth-century fresco in the Roman catacomb on the Via
Latina,l25 as well as in the miniatures of the Expulsion from Paradise in the
Vienna Genesis, folio lv, and in a twelfth-century Octateuch in the Vatican,
gr. 746, folio 44r .126
A parallel scene in the New Testament was Peter's remorse for his denials
of Christ; here, again, we can trace the gesture from the fourth to the twelfth
centuries. One of the earliest surviving depictions of Peter's grief is on the
lid of the fourth-century ivory casket in Brescia. In front of Peter stands the
maid who has challenged him, and behind the Apostle the cock crows on a
pedestal. Peter stands between them, stooping his shoulders slightly and
pensively bringing his hand to his cheek (fig. 44).127 A sixth-century kontakion
by Romanos imagines that Peter, with less reserve, "placed his hands on
his head, and cried out."128 The artistic counterpart to this is a most expressive
miniature in the ninth-century Pantocrator Psalter (fol. 48) which isolates
St. Peter and the crowing bird (fig. 45). He appears to cringe before the sound,
with his left hand pressed under his chin and his right hand shielding the side
of his head. A legend reads: "The tears of Peter."'29
123 A.
Muiioz, "Rappresentazioni allegoriche della 'Vita' nell'arte bizantina," L'arte, 9 (1906),
212ff., esp. 214; 0. M. Dalton, Byzantine Art and Archaeology (Oxford, 1911), 158, fig. 65. Another
late antique relief of Kairos, from Thasos and now in Istanbul, shows Metanoia standing with her
hand touching her chin: Munoz, op. cit., 213, fig. 1. The same personification, standing with her left
hand pressed against her cheek, again accompanies Kairos on a twelfth-century marble relief at
Torcello: Dalton, op. cit., 159, fig. 91; A. Grabar, Sculptures byzantines du Moyen Age, II (Paris,
1976), 115, fig. 91.
124 H.
Buchthal, The Miniatures of the Paris Psalter (London, 1938), 29, fig. 8.
Grabar, Beginnings of Christian Art (note 97 supra), fig. 24.
126 Gerstinger, Die Wiener Genesis (note 24 supra), fol. lv and
fig. 47.
J. Kollwitz, Die Lipsanothek von Brescia (Berlin, 1933), 15f., fig. 2.
TTSnKE Xpas rriTiS Ke?a1S^ acrrou

Ed. Maas and Trypanis, Sancti Romani, XVIII, strophe 19.

129 AoKpv(a) TOo TTfrpoU.Dufrenne, Psautiers (note 73 supra), 25, fig. 7. For eleventh- and twelfth-
century examples, see Omont, Evangiles (note 26 supra), pls. 47, 85, 134, 136, 174 (Paris. gr. 74,
fols. 56r, 97V, 157V, 159r, 204r); and T. Velmans, Le tdtradvangilede la Laurentienne (Paris, 1971),
fig. 115 (Laur. VI.23, fol. 56v).

In both classical and Byzantine times, the gesture of raising the hand to
the face could indicate the grief of separation.l30 This is clearly the meaning
of the pose in one of the Byzantine mosaics in the cathedral of Monreale,
which was built and decorated by William II, King of Sicily, in the late
twelfth century. Here we see the two disciples at table in a room at Emmaus,
immediately after the risen Christ has vanished from their sight (fig. 46).
The inscription above the scene quotes their words, recorded by St. Luke
(24: 32): "Did not our hearts burn within us on account of Jesus ?" This mosaic
is the third of a series of four at Monreale which depict the journey to
Emmaus, the supper at the vilag, the disciples alone after Christ's departure,
and the disciples informing the apostles. The ird scene, showing the disciples
alone, has no parallel in other cycles, and it has been suggested that it was
inserted for compositional reasons in order to fill up the available wall space.131
In the mosaic, one of the two disciples at the table sits holding his cheek
with his left hand. We find an explanation for his sorrowful gesture, and
perhaps for the inclusion of the scene as a whole among the mosaics at
Monreale, in a sermon by Philagathus, who during his career had preached
in the Royal Palace at Palermo. In his homily he describes at length the bitter
feelings which overtook the disciples at Emmaus following the sudden depar-
ture of Christ, whom they had only just recognized: "And having been seen
he again concealed himself, and a new emotion took hold of the disciples,
divided between joy and tears. Whom they sought, they had, and whom
they had they did not recognize, and whom they found they lost. For having
seen him they rejoiced, for having been deprived of him they wept. They were
distressed not to have known him, they repented their rash discussion."'32
The episode, however, in which we most frequently find the expression of
grief at separation is the Ascension. This emotion is probably portrayed in
one of the earliest versions of the scene, the fifth-century wood panel from
the doors of S. Sabina in Rome (fig. 47). In this carving, one of the four
apostles who witness the Ascension sits in an attitude of complete repose,
resting his head on his hand. His stillness contrasts with the more violent
movements of his three companions. Commentators have variously seen this
apostle as blinded by light,133 as engaged in indifferent meditation,l34 or as
feeling dejected.l35 The proponents of the first interpretation have supported
130 A
Pompeiian painting of the parting of Briseis and Achilles provides a classical example of
the gesture used with this meaning: Reinach, Peintures (note 96 supra), 167, no. 2. See also the
Homeric passages quoted supra, notes 92 and 94.
131 Demus, Mosaics of Norman
Sicily (note 69 supra), 163, 289, fig. 73B.
132 Kal 9avelSCais Kal T&rSoS-ro*S paS-rIT&SKKTaermi1Et 8KcpvoCIppL6iVov.
Kaivov, xap$ KacIl
"Ov yap LfTrovv,EIXov, Kal 8v EIXOV fyv6ovv, Kal 8v ESpov&=rbXaava?xaipov I86vTsE,KxAaiovoaepT?i$rES,
nVIlCOVTOPIhyvcopiaavres, 1ETaiWeoUVTrolip' oTSrTrpOTTETos
s1EtXyovTo. Homilia XXXII, In quintum Matu-
tinum, PG, 132, col. 656B.
133 J.
Wiegand, Das altchristliche Hauptportal an der Kirche der hi. Sabina (Trier, 1900), 66, fig. 14;
S. H. Gutberlet, Die Himmelfahrt Christi in der bildenden Kunst (Strasbourg, 1935), 85; G. Schiller,
Ikonographie der christlichen Kunst, III (Giitersloh, 1971), 147, fig. 457.
134 S.
Tsuji, "Les portes de Sainte-Sabine. Particularites de l'iconographie del'Ascension," CahArch,
13 (1962), 13ff., esp. 25ff.
135 H. Schrade, "Zur
Ikonographie der Himmelfahrt Christi," Vortrdge der Bibliothek Warburg,
1928-29 (Leipzig, 1930), 66ff., esp. 134.

their view with the observation that the apostle's eyes are narrowed or closed,
as if against the brightness of the light. But this could also be a sign of sorrow,
as we shall see below. The gesture made by the apostle is not one of shielding
his eyes; his right hand supports his cheek and his elbow touches his knee,
a pose frequently associated with sorrow in classical and Early Christian art.
In addition, there was in the homilies a strong tradition drawing attention
to the grief felt by the witnesses of the Ascension of Christ. John Chrysostom,
for example, says of the apostles: "They grieved ever at the departure of
Christ.... For if having friends and relatives we cannot bear to be separated
from them, how would the disciples not grieve, seeing separated from them
their Savior, their teacher, their guardian, who was humane, gentle, and
good? How would they not feel pain? Therefore the angel stood by assuaging
the pain arising from the Ascension by referring to the return.' 36 The seated
pose of the apostle on the S. Sabina doors does not recur in Ascension icono-
graphy. But on three sixth-century phials at Monza we find standing apostles
who, as they witness the Ascension, raise their right hands to their chins.
On phial number 11 two apostles, one of whom may be identified as St. Andrew
on account of his wild hair, adopt this pose. On phials 14 and 16 we may
distinguish one apostle on the left of the composition in the same attitude
(fig. 48). His back is turned to the central axis so that, like the seated apostle
on the S. Sabina door, he appears to be completely absorbed in his own
A mid-ninth-century painting in the lower basilica of S. Clemente in Rome
depicts one apostle at the left of the scene making the stronger gesture of
covering the side of his face with both his hands (fig. 49).138 Since he does
not cover his eyes, his pose probably expresses his grief rather than his blind-
ness at the heavenly light. In the famous late ninth-century mosaic of the dome
of St. Sophia in Salonika, one apostle clasps the lower part of his face between
the thumb and fingers of his right hand, while another rests his cheek on his
right palm (fig. 50).139 It is very likely that the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI
saw a figure holding his hand to his face in the Ascension mosaic in the church
founded at the end of the ninth century by the official Stylianus. He describes
the attitudes of the apostles: "One produces the impression of accompanying
with his whole gaze Him who ascends. Another... appears to have opened his
whole hearing and to be straining to draw in the sense of the words that
resound above. And another, from amazement, is completely given to deep

AXyovv &dI rr\i-iT dvaX)(opflce TOi XpioroO.... Et y&p piAovs XoTrESKai auyyevETS XcPIL6tPEVOI
Orv o po?EV,-rrCosofl IaSTal T6v XCoTpa,T6v 6i56KoaXov, r6v 11SE6va, T6v 9iA5v3pcowTrov,
r6v ^PEpov,
r6v dya36v 6pCovrs XcopitL66VOvaTrcov, rrCosOUK&SVAhAyqav; 1TCOS Ala TOiTO gOrlKEV
oCiK&v obSvvAiSTlaoav;
6 &yyeAoSTrv d(rr6TiS &v68ovyivopiv A'rrl v61i TTS -Trrav68ou Trr&IVv
rrapaCUVSo*UEvos. In Ascensionem
Domini nostri Jesu Christi, PG, 50, col. 449. See also the description of the
apostles' grief in the
kontakion by Romanos: ed. Maas and Trypanis, Sancti Romani, XXXII, strophes 4-7.
137 A. Grabar,
Ampoules de Terre Sainte (Paris, 1958), pls. 19-21 (no. 11), 27 (no. 14), 29
(no. 16).
138 E. W. Anthony,
139Ch. Diehl, M. le
Romanesque Frescoes (Princeton, 1951), 66, fig. 47.
Tourneau, and H. Saladin, Les monuments chretiens de Salonique, Monuments
de l'art byzantin, IV (Paris, 1918), 141 ff., fig. 45f.

thought...."'140 If we compare this description with the mosaic in St. Sophia

in Salonika, we find one apostle who is represented in an impossible contortion
with his head twisted to one side (fig. 51). It is easy to see how such a figure
could have given the impression of "straining" to hear the angels above, and
how his pointing companion could have appeared to follow the ascending Christ
with his "whole gaze" (fig. 52). Presumably, there was also an apostle
in the mosaic described by Leo VI similar to the two apostles at Salonika
with their heads resting on their hands, and it was this gesture which he inter-
preted as one of "deep thought" (fig. 50).140aThat the meditation was sorrowful
may be inferred from another sermon by Leo VI which is devoted to the
Ascension, but not specifically to a work of art. He describes the scene as
"a most joyful spectacle, because of the promise of the Paraclete, but also
bringing some gloom, I think, to the disciples, because the sweet presence
and company of the Master was no longer to be with them in the flesh. For
even if they had dissociated themselves to the furthest extent from all human
feelings, I would not maintain that they did not experience a sharp grief
thrusting through their insides... "141
After the ninth century, we find that the gesture appears only sporadically
in Ascension scenes. A prominent example occurs on the lid of an ivory casket
in the Schlossmuseum at Stuttgart (fig. 53).142 Here one apostle appears to
turn his back to his excited colleagues, burying his face in his right hand.
Although the pose of this figure is in striking contrast to those of his com-
panions, there is nothing in his attitude which cannot be accounted for by
earlier depictions of the Ascension. We have seen that there are parallels in
ninth-century and pre-iconoclastic art for the withdrawn attitude of the
apostle (St. Sophia in Salonika, Monza phial 16, the doors of S. Sabina in
Rome: cf. figs. 50, 48, 47). The ninth century also provided precedents for the
turning pose (St. Sophia in Salonika: cf. fig. 52) and for the concealing of
the face (S. Clemente in Rome: cf. fig. 49).143 The gesture of resting the head
140'0 pEV yap TlS p ET&ToO aV16vTroSVVEKTripjTcov-r6ov6Q3a?6i6v' 6 5 TS rrp6S
86~av rapTXETai, bS 6oAov
Ta &vo$oSvuTrXo*upva' ... .6Xrv dvuitli&oaS 6paTai 8cKOfV, Kal crVTrEivovEiSTr6ol iual TCV XacouVpivoov
T'V 0evecnyv Kal &SXXosTrr' kKTrXgiEos y?1ei ovvvofas.... Ed. Akakios, Aovrros ToU Xopou wavvJylpiKol A6yol
[sic] (Athens, 1868), no. 34, p. 278; trans. A. Frolow, "Deux 6glises byzantines," EtByz, 3 (1945), 53.
140a In a
paper published while this article was in press, R. Cormack has also associated Leo's
description with the mosaic in St. Sophia: "Painting after Iconoclasm," in Iconoclasm, ed. A. Bryer
and J. Herrin (Birmingham, 1977), 162f.
141'W SEaIpOcrrOS
qioru pv l Si& T-rv TOUnapaKATOVu -rrayyEXiav, q>ppovTroS 8 TI Kal oaruyv6v, cbsEy
oliJtai, TOIs pa$9rTalS, Sil& TlV OUIKTI aUTCrV oopevr)v aapKl yXUKETaV wrapovaiav Kal
TOO A16aoK&AouV
&vao-rpo4iv. Et yap Kal TrvTco)v dvSpcolTivcov &TrCOT&TCO
SeaTl(KE?Ca,AAV a TOUT6yE OUK &V (pcarv aTiroo
, In Dominicam Assumptionem, PG,
pInaSEtv, T6 pi'sppilieav 68vi8v 8S& TCOV iyKirrov ?a Cala acrrTv....
107, col. 117A-B.
142 K.
Weitzmann, "The Survival of Mythological Representations in Early Christian and Byzan-
tine Art and Their Impact on Christian Iconography," DOP, 14 (1960), 43ff., esp. 62f., fig. 34. Weitz-
mann and others have dated this ivory to the tenth century, but the thirteenth has recently been
proposed by K. Wessel, "Himmelfahrt," RBK, II (1971), col. 1248. Wessel has also presented a more
detailed discussion of the iconography and style, in "Das byzantinische Elfenbeinkistchen in Stutt-
gart," Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Wiirttemberg, 11 (1974), 7ff.
Weitzmann, loc. cit., has suggested that the pose was derived by the carver directly from a
representation of Agamemnon in the Sacrifice of Iphigeneia of the type preserved on the Ara of
Cleomenes in Florence. If so, this would be a case of revival on the basis of survival similar to that
of Adam and the Lysippan Hercules, discussed above.
on the hand also appears in a few eleventh- and twelfth-century paintings of
the Ascension. We find apostles depicted in this attitude in the Ascension
frescoes of the Churches with Columns at G6reme144and in the fresco of St.
George at Staraya Ladoga.145Thus, in the Ascension, as in many other scenes,
the depiction jof grief through the gesture of supporting the head on the
hand was a continuous tradition from the Early Christian period to the
twelfth century.

4. The Hand Clasped to the Mouth

In some of the scenes discussed in the previous section, a very emphatic
gesture occasionally appears, that of clasping one or both hands over the
mouth. We have seen this action in a tenth-century ivory of the Koimesis
(fig. 32)146and in an eleventh-century miniature of the Entombment (fig. 40).
In the context of mourning, the gesture seldom occurred in Hellenistic art or
in Christian art before Iconoclasm, but it became relatively frequent after the
ninth century.147Mourners in the sixth-century Vienna Genesis, such as those
lamenting Deborah or Jacob, may wipe their tears from their faces, but they
do not make the specific gesture of clapping their bare hands over their mouths
(figs. 5, 54).148On the other hand, the latter gesture is frequent in the death-
bed miniatures of the eleventh- and twelfth-century Octateuchs, such as the
death of Jacob in Vat. gr. 747, folio 71v (fig. 6).149
In Middle Byzantine art the gesture had two related meanings. The rarer
meaning was simple silence or speechlessness, a subject which was illustrated
in eleventh- and twelfth-century manuscripts of the Heavenly Ladder by
John Climacus. For example, in a miniature at Princeton, Garrett 16, folio 85r,
we find silence personified by a monk putting his right hand to his mouth
and holding up his left hand with the palm outward to quiet his garrulous
companion.150The gesture also probably signifies speechlessness in depictions
of the Ascension. In the mid-ninth-century fresco of the Ascension in S. Cle-
mente in Rome, one of the apostles standing on the right of the scene claps
one hand over his mouth, while in his other he holds a scroll (fig. 49). An
explanation of his actions may be found in a poem by the seventh-century
Pope Honorius I, which describes "The Apostles in Amazement at the Ascen-
144 Restle, Wall Painting (note 34 supra), II, figs. 189, 213, 214, 241.
145Lazarev, Old Russian Murals (note 115 supra), fig. 88.
146 For other
examples of this gesture in Koimesis, see J. Beckwith, Early Christian and Byzantine
Art (Harmondsworth, 1970), fig. 197 (late tenth- or eleventh-century steatite in the Kunsthistorisches
Museum, Vienna); Hamann-Mac Lean and Hallensleben, Die Monumentalmalerei (note 39 supra),
fig. 26 (eleventh-century fresco in St. Sophia, Ohrid); I. Tolstoi and N. P. Kondakov, Russkija drev-
nosti, VI (St. Petersburg, 1899), fig. 228 (fresco in the Miroz monastery, Pskov).
147 For one of the rare Greek
examples, a fourth-century tomb relief on which a mourner presses
her tightly draped hand against her lips, see Bieber, Sculpture (note 60 supra), 64, fig. 206.
Gerstinger, Die Wiener Genesis (note 24 supra), 96, 110, fols. 13v, 24v.
149 See also
Ouspensky, L'Octateuquede la Bibliotheque du Sdrail (note 70 supra), fig. 84 (fol. 140v,
Death of Jacob), fig. 288 (fol. 245v, Entombment of Gideon); D. C. Hesseling, Miniatures de l'Octa-
teuque grec de Smyrne (Leyden, 1909), fig. 146 (fol. 59v, Death of Jacob).
Martin, Heavenly Ladder, 31, fig. 41. See also the manuscript on Sinai, gr. 418: ibid., 92, fig. 191.
On the gesture of silence, see A. Grabar, "Une fresque visigothique et l'iconographie du silence,"
CahArch, 1 (1945), 124-28.

sion of Christ to the Heavens." Honorius characterizes the fear of each

disciple in turn, saying of Matthew that he "...spoke through writing, like
a mute, for fear assailed the old man so that he kept silent what he knew."'151
The apostles also cover their mouths with their hands in the tenth-century
Ascension painting at Ayvall Kilise in Cappadocia.152
The second and more common meaning of the gesture in Byzantine art was
that of stifling cries of suffering, to which several surviving inscriptions
attest. For example, a miniature on folio 6v of the Penitential Canon in the
Vatican, gr. 1754, shows a group of standing monks, three of whom cover
their mouths with their hands, beneath a legend which reads: "These... cry
aloud and beat themselves, unable to bear the affliction of their hearts"
(fig. 55).153 The caption to the following picture, which shows one of a group
of monks putting his hand to his lips, gives a still more explicit explanation
of the gesture: "These, stifling the noise of lamentation in the mouth, bellow
in the heart only. But sometimes, when they cannot bear the force of their
grief, they suddenly shriek out loud."'14 In the frescoes of the church at
Asinou there is another inscription which implies that this gesture signifies
the curbing of cries of pain. The inscription takes the form of a short poem
painted above the early twelfth-century fresco of the Forty Martyrs freezing
to death by the lake at Sebaste (fig. 56). In the painting, several of the half-
naked martyrs show the tortures which they are undergoing by hugging
themselves for warmth'55 or by the mild gesture of supporting their cheeks
or their chins on their hands. One, however, in the second row from the top,
covers his mouth, and his silent action may be referred to in the legend:
"Winter it is that causes pain, flesh it is that suffers here. If you give your
attention, you will hear even the groans of the martyrs. But if you do not
hear them, they are steadfastly enduring the violence [of the cold]. They look
on their crowns, and not on their toils."'56
151 Matthaeus, muto similis, per scripta locutus:
Nam timor invasit nota silere senem.
De Apostolis in Christi ad coelos Ascensione obstupescentibus, PL, 80, col. 483B.
152 N. and M.
Thierry, "Ayvalh Kilise ou pigeonnier de Giilli Dere," CahArch, 15 (1965), 97ff.,
figs. 3, 4.
153OijTol.. .6XoA[Louv Ko6rrr6EVOlr -rv ovvoxv T'rS cavrr&v Kap8fsis ph 9povrms. Martin, Heavenly
Ladder, 133, fig. 254.
154OihroiT-r or6pcrntr TV TO. 6b6uppou /69pov KcXovwr(Es), ri KapSif p6vn pp10XOVcn(V)'a-r Si6 6e 'r v
piav -Tfi 660vi!s It TpPpovrs,alqvi68cosKp&Iovuav.Ibid., 133, fig. 255.
155For a discussion of this gesture of physical suffering, which appears in several other contexts,
including the Last Judgment and the Penitential Canon, see 0. Demus, "Two Palaeologan Mosaic
Icons in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection," DOP, 14 (1960), 87ff., esp. 106f.
156 XEi&cbvr6XATrrovV,
ai&p r6 7r&xoCCOV
Kodo'vayiosoO aplrOpcov'
Ei 5' o01K&<oOcr, KcapTpoom
-r?v 1piv
rrp6s-Tr crrfqfl)pr3oVTo rrp6sTro'rr6vovs.
The text of the inscription was incorrectly restored by W. H. Buckler, "The Church of Asinou,
Cyprus, and its Frescoes," Archaeologia, 83 (1933), 327f., esp. 340. A more recent reading of
inscription by I. Sev6enko shows that its words correspond to those of an epigram preserved in
manuscript in Florence which contains a collection of pieces attributed to Manuel Philes: ed. E. Miller,
Manuelis Philae carmina, I (Paris, 1855), 438, no. 241. The groaning of the martyrs also survived
as a convention in Palaeologan art, for in a mosaic icon at Dumbarton Oaks one of the victims covers
his mouth with his left hand: Demus, "Mosaic Icons," fig. 3.
These inscriptions help to explain why the gesture of covering the mouth
was more common in Middle Byzantine art than it had been beforehand.
Classical artists, and to a lesser extent Early Christian artists, had added
drama to their scenes of suffering by opening the mouths of victims to express
their utterances of pain (figs. 82, 71). Indeed, this device was deemed by clas-
sical critics to have been one of the great discoveries of ancient art.157But
the actors in Middle Byzantine art only rarely part their lips;158 instead, they
suppress their cries with their hands. This gesture, then, was a substitution,
an act of drastic restraint, which was depicted by Middle Byzantine artists
when the context called for the voicing of grief. Such a context was the
lamenting of Job's three friends, as shown in a miniature of the ninth-century
Job manuscript in the Vatican, gr. 749, folio 29v. The text (Job 2:12) says
that the friends, when they first saw Job, "...wept aloud, rent their cloaks,
and tossed dust into the air over their heads." Accordingly, the miniature
depicts one pouring dust onto himself, another tearing his tunic from his chest,
and the third clasping his left hand over his mouth (fig. 57). The gesture also
depicts the wailing of sinners in Hell (Matt. 25:30) in the Pantocrator Psalter,
folio 23r, and in the mosaic at Torcello.l59
The virtual substitution of this gesture for the open-mouthed figures of
classical art shows that the Byzantines came to rely more on gestures than on
facial expressions for the depiction of emotion in their art. This important
departure from the classical tradition will be examined in more detail below.

5. The Hands Clasped Together

The least conspicuous of the gestures through which Byzantine artists
expressed sorrow was that of clasping the hands together.160Both sitting
and standing figures were shown in this pose. In the case of standing figures,
the arms generally fall in front of the body and the hands are either cupped,
with the fingers intertwined, or crossed, with one hand clasping the other
wrist. The former variant of the pose was more common in classical art, the
latter in medieval. In both periods the gesture was employed in the context of
mourning. In an illustration from Homeric mythology on the silver vase from
Berthouville, old Nestor stands in mourning at the head of the corpse of
Patroclus with his head bowed, his hands lowered, and his fingers inter-
twined (fig. 34).161In Christian art we can trace the gesture in the Crucifixion
from the sixth century to the Palaeologan period. Its reserved statement
of grief was particularly suitable for this scene. We find it first on two phials
at Monza, where we see the Virgin standing on the left of the cross, her hands

According to Pliny, the discovery was made by Polygnotus: Naturalis historia, XXXV, 58.
158 See infra, note 257.
Dufrenne, Psautiers (note 73 supra), I, fig. 3; A. Grabar, Byzantine Painting (Geneva, 1953),
plate on p. 120.
160For this gesture in classical art, see Kenner, Weinen und Lachen
11l Babelon, Berthouville (note 13 supra), 49f.
(note 100 supra), 82f., fig. 6. Further examples in D. C. Shorr, "The
Mourning Virgin and St. John," ArtB, 22 (1940), 61ff.

crossed in front of her and her arms held out slightly from her body (fig. 58).162
The meaning of the pose was certainly appreciated by Byzantines at this
period, as we may judge from a sixth-century description by Christodorus of a
statue in the Zeuxippus Gymnasium at Constantinople: "Clytius stood at a
loss; he had his two hands twined together, messengers of hidden sorrow."'63
In ninth- and tenth-century versions of the Crucifixion the gesture was
still used to express the sorrow of the bystanders. The artist of the Paris
Gregory, folio 30v, depicted St. John holding his left wrist with his right hand
(fig. 37),164and the Apostle was shown in the same attitude with the positions
of the hands reversed on a tenth-century ivory of the Crucifixion in the
Louvre.'6 In the eleventh-century fresco at S. Angelo in Formis, which was
painted under strong Byzantine influence, the gesture again portrayed the
grief of Mary.16 It survived in the iconography of the Crucifixion until the late
thirteenth century, when we once more find St. John crossing his hands in
the fine mosaic icon of the Crucifixion at Berlin.l67
In the twelfth century we discover the gesture for the first time in a number
of other scenes of mourning, and it is very possible that the pose was transferred
into these new subjects from the iconography of the Crucifixion. The painter
of the church of St. George at Kurbinovo, for example, made use of the
gesture twice, once for St. John in the Deposition, and a second time in the
Koimesis for an apostle whose hunched shoulders intensify the effect of the
pose (fig. 59).168
The gesture also served to convey the grief of captives, both in classical
and in Christian art. On a Roman battle sarcophagus in the Museo Nazionale
in Rome, a male prisoner stands to one side of the composition holding his
left wrist in his right hand, while a woman on the other side stands with her
hands lowered and her fingers intertwined (fig. 60).169On several fourth-century
Christian sarcophagi showing the arrest of St. Peter, of which the best known
is that of Junius Bassus in the Vatican,170we find the captive Apostle standing
between two soldiers with his hands lowered and joined before him. On another
sarcophagus in the Museo Pio Cristiano (formerly Lateran Museum, no. 171)
we find Christ himself making this gesture in a scene which appears to represent
the crowning with thorns (fig. 61). Christ stands with his arms lowered and
his right hand clasping his left wrist; in his left hand he holds a scroll. A
162 Grabar, Ampoules
(note 137 supra), 25f., figs. 16 (no. 10), 18 (no. 11).
163 ElarnKlI KAvrtos XVv&ajXCaVOs'ElXE 6 80oias

XETpaS6volTrA6Kas, KPVTiqsKX1pKcasd5virns.
Anthologia Palataina, II, line 254f.; Kenner, Weinen und Lachen, 50.
164 Omont, Miniatures
(note 36 supra), 13, fig. 21.
165 Goldschmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen, II, no. 99, pl. 38. See also the later ivory

of the Crucifixion in Leningrad: ibid., no. 201, pl. 66.

166A. Moppert-Schmidt, Die Fresken von S. Angelo in Formis (Zurich, 1967), 85, fig. 19.
167 V. Lazarev, Storia della pittura bizantina
(Turin, 1967), fig. 427.
Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 436, figs. 178a-b.
169 G.
Hamberg, Studies in Roman Imperial Art (Copenhagen, 1945), pl. 40; see also the battle
sarcophagus in the Museo Nazionale at Palermo: ibid., pl. 39.
Wilpert, Sarcofagi (note 67 supra), I, pl. 13. See also pls. 137,2 (fragment in the Museo di
S. Sebastiano), 142,2 (tree sarcophagus in the Museo di S. Sebastiano), 142,3 (Museo del Laterano,
no. 164).
soldier beside him holds a wreath over his head. Wilpert commented that the
sculptor transformed the soldier's mockery into an act of homage, and that
the crown of thorns has become triumph.71m
the laurel wreath of divine The
gesture of crossed hands, however, may still refer to Christ's suffering as a
mortal captive. Christ stands in the same pose, holding his left wrist with his
right hand, in a miniature of the Mocking in the
iiearly twelfth-century Gospel
Book in the Biblioteca Laurenziana, VI. 23, folio 58r (fig. 62). Here, however,
he is not being crowned, but is meekly watching a derisive dance.172This is
one of the few surviving instances in Middle Byzantine art in which Christ
himself makes a gesture of grief.173
Remorse, also, was occasionally indicated by this pose. A scene on a sarco-
phagus in the Museo Pio Cristiano (formerly in the Lateran, no. 183), which
portrays Peter's final denial of Christ, shows the Apostle standing with his
head bowed and holding his right wrist in his left hand.174The gesture does
not appear to have had a further history in this scene. But it recurs with the
connotation of remorse in the illustrations of the penitent monks in manuscripts
of the Heavenly Ladder and of the Penitential Canon. On folio 15r of the Peni-
tential Canon in the Vatican, gr. 1754, for example, one of a group of monks
stands with his hands lowered in front of him and his wrists crossed. The
legend attached to the miniature stresses the passivity of the monks' poses:
"These, subdued by despondency, stand voiceless and motionless, gazing
fixedly on the ground."'75
In the classical period artists often portrayed seated figures with their
hands joined in grief. Pausanias, in his account of the painting of Odysseus
in Hades by Polygnotus, describes the form which the seated pose usually
took: "Hector, sitting, holds both hands around his left knee, in an attitude
of distress.' 176 On the silver vase from Berthouville a mourner seated in this
position watches over the body of Patroclus (fig. 34). Both St. Basil and St.
Gregory of Nyssa refer to this pose as a sign of sorrow, and it occurs as
such in Christian art of the sixth century.177For example, the mother of

171Ibid., I, pl. 146,3; II (1932), 320.

Velmans, Le ttradvangile de la Laurentienne (note 129 supra), 33, fig. 118; Millet, Recherches,
640, fig. 636. Christ assumes the same pose at his trial before Pilate in the Gospels of the Athens
National Library, MS 93, fol. 83v.
173 The icon of the "Christ of Pity," in which the dead Christ is shown with his arms bent and his
wrists crossed in front of his stomach, does not borrow from scenes of the condemnation and mocking
of Christ, but from portrayals of corpses. In the twelfth-century Octateuchs, Jacob is depicted
on his deathbed with his hands in the same position as those of the "Christ of Pity":
L'Octateuquegrec de Smyrne (note 149 supra), fig. 147 (fol. 62v); Ouspensky, L'Octateuquede la Bib-
liotheque du Sdrail (note 70 supra), fig. 87 (fol. 153v).
Wilpert, Sarcofagi, text vol. I, 128; plate vol. I, pl. 8,4.
175 OCrroiJVTrb
Tr1S &ujicas KaTacrTov1-9SvTES, aq>C)voi Kal dKiVlrTt lorravTrat ES ynv TO OPIa
6 pEioaavrEs.
Martin, Heavenly Ladder, 140, fig. 269. See also fol. 7' in the same manuscript (ibid., 133, fig. 255),
and Vat. gr. 394, fol. 412V (ibid., 60, fig. 83). The gesture also occasionally conveyed the
grief of
separation; see, for example, the apostle standing at the right end of the upper row in the Ascen-
sion scene on the ivory casket at Stuttgart (fig. 53).
iLvKaSEL6CEVOSapOTrpacS XEt rSs XEipaSTreplTO dpIorEpOv y6vu, (VIcoiwvovcXpa
"EKTCOp i(paivcov.
Graeciae descriptio, X.31,5.
177 St. Basil, Homilia dicta
tempore famis et siccitatis, PG, 31, col. 308A-B; St. Gregory of Nyssa,
Oratio contra usurarios, PG, 46, col. 441A.

Joseph sits clasping her hands around her right knee in the ivory panel on
the Throne of Maximian which depicts Joseph's brothers presenting his blood-
stained coat to Jacob (fig. 3).178 After the sixth century the seated pose seems
to have been employed very rarely in Byzantine art, but it was not altogether
forgotten; this is demonstrated by the twelfth-century fresco of the Lamenta-
tion in the Miroz monastery at Pskov, in which a woman sits among a crowd
of mourners with her hands joined together around her knee (fig. 63).179
To sum up, the gesture of clasping the hands together, like that of sup-
porting the head, was indicative of inner sorrow. Its reserved character made
it particularly suitable for sacred figures and scenes, so that even Christ himself
appeared in this pose. The gesture had a classical origin, and in the case of
standing figures it survived into Middle Byzantine art as a result of a continual
process of transmission.
6. The Veiling of the Head
One of the stock tales of ancient art history, which was related by several
writers, concerns the ingenuity of the painter Timanthes when he wished to
convey a sorrow so extreme as to be inexpressible. Here is Quintilian's version
of the anecdote: "When, in the sacrifice of Iphigeneia, he had painted a sad
Calchas, and a sadder Ulysses, and had added to Menelaus the greatest grief
that art could convey, having exhausted the emotions, since he could not
find a worthy means of expressing the face of her father, he veiled his
head.... "180 This trick can be seen in surviving versions of the Sacrifice of
Iphigeneia, such as the well-known painting from Pompeii in which Agamem-
non's mantle is drawn over his head and he covers his face with his right hand.181
Timanthes, however, did not invent the device of veiling the features.
Already in Homer we read of Priam mourning Hector, sitting in his palace
"close-wrapped in his mantle."'82 Odysseus, too, hearing a minstrel sing of
his quarrel with Achilles, "...took his great purple cloak with his strong
hands, and drew it over his head, and covered his handsome face; for he was
ashamed before the Phaeacians as he shed tears from beneath his eye-
brows."183The motif of veiling the head was particularly common in Greek
178 On a
sixth-century ivory pyx in the Louvre, one of the mothers of the murdered Innocents
sits in a similar pose (fig. 7); see supra, note 33. See also the painting of the suffering prophet Jeremiah
in the Rabbula Gospels: Cecchelli et al., The Rabbula Gospels (note 108 supra), 59, fol. 8r.
179 Tolstoi and Kondakov,
Russkija drevnosti (note 146 supra), VI, fig. 222. In the Nativity mosaic
at Hosios Lukas the grieving Joseph sits holding his left wrist in his right hand (fig. 28).
180 Nam cum in
Iphigeniae immolatione pinxisset tristem Calchantem, tristiorem Ulixen, addidisset
Menelao, quem summum poterat ars eficere, maerorem, consumptis adfectibus, non reperiens, quo digne
modo patris vultum posset exprimere, velavit eius caput et suo cuique animo dedit aestimandum. Quin-
tilian, Institutio oratoria, 11.13,13. The same story was quoted by Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac
dictorum memorabilium liber, VIII.11,6; and by Pliny, Naturalis historia, XXXV, 73.
Reinach, Peintures (note 96 supra), 169, no. 4. Agamemnon's head is also veiled in the relief
on the circular altar at Florence: idem, Reliefs (note 50 supra), III, 31, no. 2.
182 VTCBV XvXaivnlKicauvpi^vos- Iliad, XXIV, 163.
cOtl'&p '06UvaaES
ueya 9&pos cwv XEpol o-rT1apfcla
K&KKEqCM1isEtpuraE, K6awe8i KOm. 'rrp6acToyra'
aTSeToyap cfairKas rrr'
6qppirol &K6puaEipcov.
Odyssey, VIII, 83ff.
and Roman funerary art. Sculptors of the fourth century often showed the
beginning of the action rather than its accomplishment: the mourners or the
deceased pull tentatively at their mantles, as if they are about to draw them
across their faces, though their features remain uncovered. Thus, on the stele
of Kalliarista from Rhodes, the dead woman sits with her mantle drawn up
over the back of her head. She raises her right hand to her shoulder, and pulls
at the drapery.184Several of the women represented on the Weepers Sarco-
phagus from Sidon also hold their mantles at their shoulders (fig. 33).185
This tentative gesture of veiling survived in Early Christian and Byzantine
art. We find it on the early fifth-century ivory plaque in the British Museum
which shows the two Maries sitting by the tomb. The women have their
mantles drawn over the tops of their heads, and the one on the left clasps
the edge of her garment with her left hand, as if to pull it across her face
(fig. 17). A particularly suggestive Early Christian example is found on a sarco-
phagus from the church of St.-Orens in Auch, now in the Musee des Augustins
at Toulouse.186In the scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac, the
hsculptor has depicted
Sarah, standing behind her son, with the top and back of her head covered
by her robe (fig. 64).187She raises her left hand and holds the cloth by her
neck, as if she were about to hide her face. This may be interpreted as a sign
of Sarah's grief, for a contemporary writer, St. Gregory of Nyssa, imagined
her lament on the impending sacrifice of her son.'88 The use of the veiling
motif here evokes the parallels between this Biblical episode and the myth of
Agamemnon and his daughter Iphigeneia. A Byzantine writer of the sixth cen-
tury, Christodorus of Thebes, still appreciated the significance of the action,
for he describes it twice. He says of a statue of Hecuba: "Your cloak over-
hanging your face indicates your miseries.... 189 And of another statue, of
Creusa, he explains: "She drew her veil over both her cheeks, and covered
her whole body with a long gown, as if she were weeping."90
184 Clairmont, Gravestone and Epigram (note 49 supra), no. 32, pl. 16. See also the
gravestone of
Polyxena in the National Museum at Athens: ibid., no. 50, pi. 23.
185Hamdy Bey and Reinach, Sidon (note 99 supra), 255ff., figs. 4-11. This gesture could take
one of two forms. In the first variant the left hand holds the left edge of the mantle, or the right
hand the right edge, so that the elbow is sharply bent. In the second variant, the arm crosses the body,
so that the left hand holds the right side of the cloth, or vice versa. The first variant was more common
in classical art, and can be seen on the Weepers Sarcophagus (fig. 33), while the second was more
frequent in Byzantine art, e.g., Mary in the Crucifixion mosaic at Hosios Lukas (fig. 65). However,
the second version was known in Antiquity (e.g., on an Attic grave relief, no. 1156 in the Athens
National Museum) and the first also survived into the Middle Ages (fig. 66).
Wilpert, Sarcofagi (note 67 supra), text vol. II, 234, plate vol. II, pl. 182,1.
187 The
appearance of Sarah in this scene is rare but not unique; she was included in a painting of
the Sacrifice of Isaac in Chapel 80 at El-Bagawat, and identified there by an inscription: A. Fakhry,
The Necropolis of El-Bagawdt in Kharga Oasis (Cairo, 1951), 72, fig. 63.
188 Oratio de deitate Filii et
Spiritus Sancti, PG, 46, col. 569.
&(poS yap irrlKpePS&p9li-TTpoacbTrrc
riarocTa PJ&v8eiK1aiv....
Anthologia palatina, II, line 183f.
&9pl yap auTrats
a irapEIat,I
&IpIOTipals KpfE6PVOV ^ EXKioCaaao
Tr&vTa 1Tkpi &K&AuVYE xp6a TirAcp,
old TE PtUpopVTy
Ibid., line 149ff.

In Middle Byzantine art the gesture of pulling at the robe in order to veil
the face survived in the iconography of the Crucifixion. On a late tenth-
century ivory at Quedlinburg, the Virgin stands by the cross holding her
maphorion at the right side of her neck with her left hand.l19 In the eleventh-
century mosaic at Hosios Lukas, Mary subtly alludes to her grief by grasping
her mantle in her fingers, just below her neck, as a prelude to covering her
head (fig. 65).192 We find the gesture repeated in the mosaic of St. Mark's
in Venice.193But the most expressive example of the gesture in a Byzantine
Crucifixion scene is undoubtedly a fourteenth-century icon in the Byzantine
Museum at Athens.l94 Here the Virgin, wrapped in a deep blue maphorion,
draws it taut across her face, a quiet signal of her intense sorrow (fig. 66).
The passive gesture of pulling at the mantle in order to cover the head was,
therefore, also inherited by Byzantine artists from antique art. Furthermore,
its classical source and literary associations seem to have been understood
in the
by the Byzantines Ages, or at least by their scholars. This is
confirmed by the twelfth-century writer Eustathius, commenting on the
passage of the Iliad in which Priam sits wrapped in his mantle, mourning
his son: "The poet, not being able to confer on the old man the appropriate
extremity of grief, covers him, and not only makes him silent, but not even
visible. Hence, they say, the painter Timanthes of Sicyon, painting the sacrifice
of Iphigeneia in Aulis, covered Agamemnon.... 8l95

7. The Arms Thrown Upward

Some of the gestures in Byzantine art were ambivalent, in that they could
convey opposing emotions, such as grief and joy, according to their context.196
A dramatic example is the action of throwing up the arms, with the palms
outspread, which occurs in scenes widely differing as to mood and content.
Like the other gestures examined above, this pose had classical precedents.
The earliest literary reference, in Homer's Odyssey, associates it with mirth.
The poet tells us how the suitors of Penelope, when they saw the combat
of the two beggars Ulysses and Irus, ".. .held up their hands and died with
laughter."'97 In the Hellenistic period, Apollonius Rhodius describes how a
mother "...held her hands aloft through joy" on being reunited with her
sons.198Other classical writers linked the action with surprise or alarm.199
191Goldschmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen, II, no. 25, pl. 8.
192Diez and Demus, Byzantine Mosaics in Greece (note 82 supra), 68, fig. 13.
193 S. Bettini, Mosaici antichi di San Marco a Venezia (Bergamo, 1944), pl. 24.
194K. Weitzmann, M. Chatzidakis, K. Miatev, and S. RadojCi6, Friihe Ikonen (Vienna, 1965), 33,
fig. 55.
19E5Yreppoxiv yap, (paoi -rrEivvSsaticav oux EOpiaoKov -T yEpOVTI TrEpISEiVal, KaCAOTrrEt
Kal oU p6OOVaiycOvra iroidT,dtA?&Kal rlF pAerr6evov. 'EvrEvSSv,qpaaiv, 6 uKumvlosypacp6ds itAvSris T-r^V
iv AuAi6iyppcov o9ayav TriS 'IqnyeveisaS (K&AVYEr6v 'Aya,ivova.... Commentarii ad Homeri Iliadem,
XXIV, 163.
196See Kitzinger, "Hellenistic Heritage" (note 3 supra), 113.
yAcP gKSavov. Odyssey, 18, line 100.
198 ... Ov X&cpTrI
xrpa's &lV7aXESEv'Argonautica, III, line 257.
199See, for example, the description of Alcmene frightened by the struggle between the infant
Hercules and the snakes, in Philostratus the Younger, Imagines, V, 2.
The gesture seems to combine the two meanings of joy and surprise in a
paiting of the ballot for the arms of Achilles on a red-figured bowl in the
Kunsthistorisches Museum at Vienna. Here the victor, Odysseus, raises his
hands in exultation on seeing the votes cast in his favor. The loser, Ajax,
stands to the side, sulking and propping his head up on his hand (fig. 67).200
Byzantine artists, like their classical predecessors, used the gesture of raising
the arms to signify joy. A striking example is the depiction of jubilation
in the heavens which accompanies the Annunciation in two twelfth-century
manuscripts of the Homilies of James of Kokkinobaphos. the miniature
of the manuscript in Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 1208, folio 173v, we see Gabriel
approaching Mary, who turns to address her visitor, while in the sky there are
eight angels holding up their arms and turning around at different angles to
us (fig. 68).201The explanation for these gyrating angels can be found in the
text of the homily, which describes how, when Mary acquiesced to the will
of God, "all the intellectual powers exulted..." and "heaven on high rejoiced
exceedingly.... 202 The Byzantines, like the ancients, saw not only joy but
also surprise in the action of raising the arms. The scholar Eustathius, in his
commentary on the Homeric passage cited above, tells us that the laughing
suitors "...held up their hands, in the usual posture of amazement."203
Astonishment, as well as delight, may be illustrated in a thirteenth-century
wall painting in the church of St. Sophia at Trebizond, which shows a man
throwing up his arms as he witnesses the iracle of the Feeding of the Five
Thousand (fig. 69).204
The same action, however, could also portray grief, both in classical and
in medieval art. In the miniature of Dido's death in the Vatican Virgil, to
cite only one of many examples, a disheveled handmaiden standing behind
the pyre lifts her hands in lamentation (fig. 2). Her gesture was retained to
illustrate the grief of Old Testament mourners in the Vienna Genesis. In the
miniatures of the death of Deborah, folio 13v (fig. 5), and of the burial of
Jacob, folio 24V (fig. 54), the women throw their arms up with a vehemence
that equals, if not exceeds, that of their mythical forerunners in the Virgil
manuscript. Although these emphatic actions do not recur in the deathbed
scenes of the Octateuchs, Jacob's sons express their grief by raising their
arms in the fresco of the Patriarch's death at Sopocani (fig. 70).205
200 Neumann, Gesten (note 13 supra), 99, 141 f., fig. 44; Kenner, Weinen und Lachen (note 13 supra),
201 See also the miniature of the
copy in the Vatican, gr. 1162, fol. 127V: C. Stornajolo, Miniature
delle omilie di Giacomo Monaco (Rome, 1910), 15, pl. 56.
'EoKipTriav iraral voEpal Avv&IEIS.... ryadaa-rcaTo &avSEv 6 oupavoS.... PG, 127, col. 653A.
203 a
... pV-rTipES 8^ XElpavsdvaX6pEEvoi, KaTrr&afjPa K1rrAECOS
E VTJSEs.... Commentarii ad Homeri
Odysseam, XVIII, 100.
204 D. Talbot Rice, The Church of
Haghia Sophia at Trebizond (Edinburgh, 1968), 129f., fig. 6.
The gesture also conveys the astonishment, or even alarm, of the witnesses of miracles and
in the Octateuchs. See, for example, the miniatures of Moses changing the waters to blood
L'Octateuque de la Bibliotheque du Sdrail [note 70 supra], fol. 176v, fig. 106; Hesseling, L'Octateuque
grec de Smyrne [note 149 supra], fol. 72v, fig. 164), of the Israelites following the pillar of fire (Ous-
pensky, op. cit., fol. 195V,fig. 120; Hesseling, op. cit., fol. 80s, fig. 178), and of the fire and earthquake
on Sinai (Ouspensky, op. cit., fol. 217r, fig. 133; Hesseling, op. cit., fol. 90r, fig. 188).
Kitzinger, "The Hellenistic Heritage" (note 3 supra), 112, fig. 29.

The gesture also occasionally conveyed the grief of the mothers of the
Innocents. The earliest and most convincing example is to be found on a
fifth-century ivory plaque in Berlin (fig. 71).206Here the mother stands, looking
up with an agonized expression at her child which a soldier is about to dash
to the ground; by holding up her empty hands she stresses her inability to
intervene. In an eleventh-century miniature of a Gospel Book in Paris, gr. 74,
folio 5r, we find that the gesture conveys the lamentation of a mother whose
child has already been murdered, so that now she looks down at the infant
lying dead on her lap (fig. 8).207
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Byzantine artists introduced the
gesture into two other scenes of mourning, the Threnos and the Koimesis.
Presumably they borrowed it from episodes such as the Massacre of the
Innocents and the deathbed scenes of the Old Testament, in which the gesture
already had a longer history. We find that in the mid-eleventh-century Koi-
mesis in the church of St. Sophia at Ohrid an apostle standing on the left of
the Virgin's bed raises his hands above his shoulders.28 The same gesture is
made by an apostle standing behind the Virgin's couch in a miniature of a
Gospel Book in the British Museum, Harley 1810, folio 174r.209 However, it
was less frequent in the Koimesis than in the Threnos, in which, by the twelfth
century, a mourner throwing up her arms often appeared in the background
of the scene, for instance, in the frescoes at Pskov (fig. 63) and at Kurbinovo
(fig. 72).210In each of these paintings this figure contrasts with one of her
more passive companions, at Pskov with a mourner who sits clasping her
hands around her knee, and at Kurbinovo with a seated weeper who dries her
tears. Miniaturists also portrayed these opposing styles of grief among the
mourners in order to heighten the drama of the Threnos.21
Thus, the same gesture could portray an abandon of joy, surprise, or sorrow,
depending on the context. Both the pose itself and its flexibility of meaning
had been inherited by the Byzantines from the traditions of classical art.

8. The Embrace
A significant innovation of Middle Byzantine artists was to expand the
cycle of Christ's Passion with the addition of the Deposition and the Lamenta-
tion. In both these scenes the focus of the composition came to be Mary's
action of clasping her son's body, often so that their faces were pressed together

206 Natanson, Ivories, 26, fig. 12; Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 80, no. 112. See also the late fifth-
century ivory book cover in Milan Cathedral, where one of the mothers incorporates the gesture
a dance of grief: Kitzinger, op. cit., 113, fig. 32.
207 The restored mosaic of the Massacre at Monreale also preserves this gesture. Originally there
was an inscription reading Rachel plorat filios suos: Demus, Mosaics of Norman Sicily (note 69 supra),
273f., fig. 66A. See also the miniature in the Karahissar Gospels in Leningrad, Public Library, gr. 105,
fol. 13r: Millet, Recherches, 160f., fig. 114.
208 Hamann-Mac Lean and Hallensleben, Die Monumentalmalerei (note 39 supra), 15ff., fig. 26.
Dalton, Byzantine Art and Archaeology (note 123 supra), 265, fig. 161.
210 Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 155, figs. 74-75.
See, for example, the miniatures of the lectionary in the Vatican, gr. 1156, fol. 194V (fig. 38),
and of the gospels in Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, 5, fol. 90v (Millet, Recherches,fig. 531).
1. Rome, Palazzo Sciarra. Sarcophagus, The Death of Meleager

2. Bibl. Vat., lat. 3225, fol. 41r, The Death of Dido




.0 I


I^v. ".
EJ;'sE l~i

3. Ravenna. The Chair of Maximianus, detail

4. Bibl. Vat., gr. 747, fol. 59r

Jacob Receives Joseph's Coat

:.., '"M"L
n~Fa~ ?k9a,~~:~~i~epl -. . I
5. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol. gr. 31, fol. 13v, detail, The Death of Deborah
and The Entombment of Rachel

6. Bibl. Vat., gr. 747, fol. 71v, The Burial of Jacob

7. Paris, Louvre. Pyx

. 4


Lt r1krT0V t CI - I C r fl T

8. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 74, fol. 5r

The Massacre of the Innocents

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9. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, fol. 3r, The Annunciation, The Visitation, and The Story of Jonah
" a-
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10. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 6r, Penitents

11. Sopocani, Church of the Trinity. Fresco, The Koimesis, detail

12. Paris, Bibliotheque de 1'Arsenal.Ivory, Poets and Muse

13. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, fol. 52v, detail, The Expulsion from Paradise
and Adam's Remorse

14. Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery. Ivory Casket, detail,

Adam's Remorse
r --
yc-Z^-b.yr^ ^-wr -^<r?f*?. <*^'' . -*.

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16. Ostia. Sarcophagus, detail,
The Tomb of Meleager

15. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 7v, Penitents

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. C?''- .~ ?. ~BC-
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18. Leningrad, Public Library, MS 21, fol. 8v, detail

19. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, gr. qu. 66, fol. 96r

The Marys at the Tomb

20. Xanten. Ivory Casket, detail, The Hercules of Lysippus

iV , ;?

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21. Princeton, Garrett 16, fol. 112r,

22. Mt. Athos, Dionysiu, MS 587, fol. 66r, The Agony in the Garden

23. Istanbul, Seraglio, Octateuch, fol. 359r, The Brazen Serpent

24. Bibl. Vat., Regin. gr. 1, fol. 461v, Job

25. Coin of Vespasian, Judaea capta

26. Moscow, Historical Museum, add. gr. 129, fol. 135r,

The Hebrews Weeping by the Waters of Babylon
27. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1613, page 271

28. Phocis, Hosios Lukas. Mosaic

H) XY %, r' 4 C1C
- -


29. Mt. Athos, Great Lavra, Skevophylakion, Lectionary,

fol. 144v, The Nativity

31. London, British Museum. Ivory,

St. Paul and Thekla

30. Rome, Palazzo Sanseverino. Sarcophagus,

detail, Philosopher Reading
.. . 1,<.R.t \e


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-^;..i ' ;. t ^;f1 ti-S-i2sW>lf

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32. Munich, Staatsbibliothek. Ivory, The Koimesis

< ,* I . v tt * . -. -, * * , 4?i t t s. .I tI.t*
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Istanbul, Archaeological Musu. W ers Sarcopus, detai
33. Istanbul, Archaeological Museum. The Weepers Sarcophagus, detail

34. Paris, Cabinet des M6dailles. Silver Vase, detail, The Death of Patroclus
and The Weighing of Hector's Body
35. Asinou, Church of Our Lady. Fresco, The Raising of Lazarus

r. .
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rr y?S% L
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r."CAL?''i?T'.,_B ISJY r-TI--?I- I rZIL-oe .,, :..;? ..(-i?-??-, ? r;

36. Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. 1.56, fol. 13r, The Crucifixion

~ ~.:, ; 1 _i_ A-'r _ i:'

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37. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 510, fol. 30v, The Crucifixion, The Deposition, and The Entombment

38. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1156, fol. 194v, The Passion and The Anastasis

39. Paphos, Monastery of St. Neophytos, Enkleistra. Fresco, The Crucifixion

a < c'? 4rq aiZLlrc lU


40. London, British Library, add. 19352, fol. 116r, The Entombment



~~~~~~0 1.
a. b.
42. Cairo. Relief of Kairos

43. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 139, fol. 136v, David's Penitence

44. Brescia, Museo Civico. Ivory Casket, detail 45. Mt. Athos, Pantocrator, gr. 61, fol. 48r

Peter's Denial

' :"~' ~ ? ' -

6 ._,#, "
. ..Mora ,t-: ?a Te Diciles a Emm -us

46. Monreale. Mosaic, The Disciples at Emmaus

; J S :?.?
.?- i

47. Rome, S. Sabina. Wooden Door, detail,

MzCh al
mr48%.-T? A,
48. Monza, Cathedral. Ampulla

49. Rome, S. Clemente. Fresco

The Ascension
sIIeXap 'uoisuaosVaqL '3esoJBI 'eiqdoS ' S 'eaIUmopIS
. Stuttgart,
53. C ?

M3. &a tAscenst
53. Stuttgart, Schlossmuseum. Ivory Casket, detail, The Ascension

-.t."a a

54. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol. gr. 31, fol. 24v, The Death and Burial of Jacob
54. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, theol. gr. 31, fol. 24v, The Death and Burial of Jacob
-INL f<f*

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55. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 6v, Penitents

56. Asinou, Church of Our Lady. Fresco,
The Forty Martyrs

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58. Monza, Cathedral. Ampulla, The Crucifixion

59. Kurbinovo, St. Fresco, The Koimesis, detail

60. Rome, Museo Nazionale. Battle Sarcophagus

--. ---- -..-.---- W.- AN .01-M. r-

--- - mrk!


62. Florence, Bibl. Laur., MS VI.23, fol. 58r,

The Mocking of Christ

61. Rome, Museo Pio Cristiano.

Sarcophagus, detail,
Christ Crowned with Thorns
63. Pskov, Miroz Monastery. Fresco, The Lamentation

64. Toulouse, Musdedes Augustins.

Sarcophagus, detail,
The Sacrifice of Isaac
65. Phocis, Hosios Lukas. Mosaic

?. . '..~ . ..

A' M.I

66. Athens, Byzantine Museum. Icon

67. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum. Red-Figured Bowl, The Ballot for the Arms of Achilles

68. Paris, Bibl. Nat., gr. 1208, fol. 173v, The Annunciation
69. Trebizond, St. Sophia. Fresco, The Feeding of the Five Thousand

70. Sopocani, Church of the Trinity. Fresco, The Death of Jacob



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71. Berlin, Staatliche Museen. Ivory, detail, The Massacreof the Innocents
72. Kurbinovo, St. George. Fresco, The Lamentation
74. Ravenna. The Chair of Maximianus, detail, Joseph and Jacob
Reunited at Goshen

73. Kurbinovo, St. George. Fresco,

The Visitation

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V " " '
1 9. I t
:, .1 . f 3 -i' I-

75. Bib. Vat., gr. 746, fol. 139v, The Death of Jacob
75. Bibl. Vat., gr. 746, fol. 139v, The Death of Jacob
76. Tokall Kilise, Old Church. Fresco

77. New York, Morgan Library, MS 639, fol. 280r

The Deposition
78. Nerezi, St. Pantaleimon. Fresco, The Deposition
78. Nerezi, St. Pantaleimon. Fresco, The Deposition



79. Paris, Louvre. Ivory, detail, The Entombment

80. Nerezi, St. Pantaleimon. Fresco, The Lamentation

81. Palermo, Martorana. Mosaic, The Nativity
and The Koimesis
'... . I
.j ' 5 '

.A&w- a .1

83. Naples, Museo Nazionale. Fresco, Hercules

Finding Telephos, detail
82. Berlin, Staatliche Museen. Pergamon Altar,
84. Florence, Bibl. Laur., Plut. 1.56, fol. 4v, The Nativity

"'' ' ?'Sti


85. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1613, page 281,

The Massacre of the Innocents, detail
*1 e. * .
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86. Bibl. Vat., gr. 1754, fol. 17r, Joyful Penitents


in an intimate embrace which effectively expressed the depth of her sorrow

(figs. 72, 78). For the Byzantines, however, the gesture had a more than
merely sentimental significance, for it could be a way of demonstrating the
reality of Christ's incarnation.
In other contexts in Middle Byzantine art an embrace could dramatize joy
or fear. Already in the Early Byzantine period the embrace of Mary and
Elizabeth conveyed the joy of the Visitation,212 while in post-iconoclastic
art it became a standard element in this scene. A spirited example is the late
twelfth-century fresco at Kurbinovo, in which the women run together and hug
each other with such impetuosity that their feet leave the ground, causing the
pair to be suspended in midair in a flying greeting (fig. 73).213
In Byzantine iconography, the embrace first expressed pathos in illustra-
tions of the Old Testament, where the biblical text sometimes specifically
calls for this gesture. One of the ivory panels on the sixth-century throne of
Maximian shows Joseph and his old father hugging each other on being
reunited at Goshen (fig. 74), in illustration of the Genesis text (46:30), which
reads: "When they met he [Joseph] threw his arms round him and wept,
and embraced him for a long time, weeping."214This scene was reproduced
again on Byzantine ivories of the tenth and twelfth centuries.215The Bible
also records that when Jacob had "...breathed his last.... Then Joseph
threw himself upon his father, weeping and kissing his face" (Gen. 50:1).
The sixth-century miniaturist of the Vienna Genesis, folio 24v, portrayed these
actions literally (fig. 54), as did the later painters of the Octateuchs, such as
the artist of a manuscript in the Vatican, gr. 746, folio 139v (fig. 75).216 In
all these illuminations Joseph stands on the far side of the couch and clasps
the upper part of his father's body in his arms, as he bends down to kiss
Jacob on the face.
It was only in the Middle Byzantine period that the embrace helped to
convey the grief of Christ's Passion. The gesture apparently entered the
iconography of the Deposition and Entombment by the tenth century, partly
because of a new climate of opinion which had arisen during the final victory
over the Iconoclasts. Professor Martin has pointed out, in an article on the
Dead Christ on the Cross, that this image corresponds with one of the chief
arguments against Iconoclasm which was forcefully stated by the Patriarch

212 See
Grabar, Ampoules (note 137 supra), pl. 47 (Bobbio, no. 18); R. Forrer, R6mische und byzan-
tinische Seiden-textilien aus dem Grdber-felde von Achmim-Panopolis (Strasbourg, 1891), pl. 14,5;
A. F. Kendrick, Victoria and Albert Museum. Catalogue of Textiles from Burying-Grounds in
III (London, 1922), 57, no. 777, pl. 18. The embrace of the cousins was also observed by Choricius
in the mosaic of St. Sergius at Gaza: Laudatio Marciani, I, 50.
213 Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 103ff.,
fig. 42. At Kurbinovo an embrace also conveys the
fear of the Maries at the empty tomb: ibid, fig. 78.
Natanson, Ivories, 31, fig. 42.
215 Goldschmidt and
Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen, I, no. 6A, pl. 2 (rosette casket at La Cava,
Badia della S. Trinita), and no. 95, pl. 56 (casket in Berlin).
Gerstinger, Die Wiener Genesis (note 24 supra), 116, pl. 20, fig. 108. See also Hesseling, L'Octa-
teuque grec de Smyrne (note 149 supra), fig. 147, fol. 62v; Ouspensky, L'Octateuquede la bibliothgque
du Sirail (note 70 supra), figs. 86-87, fol. 153v.

Nicephorus in the early ninth century.217According to the Patriarch's rea-

soning, toclasts
the Icon were guilty of denying Christ's human nature, for if
Christ could not be rpresented in images he would not be fully a man. In
his arguments, Nicephorus repeatedly returns to the Crucifixion as proof of
Christ's physical humanity, from which it followed that he could be portrayed
in art.218The Lamentation, of course, was another image which emphasized
Christ's physical death. This was clearly brought out in a sermon by George
of Nicomedia, who wrote not long after the restoration of images and was a
friend of the Orthodox Patriarch Photius. Through Mary's lament, the writer
repeatedly made one point: although Christ is divine, his mother's gestures of
affection show him also to be human: "Behold, [Lord,] your benign dispensa-
tion [of the incarnation] has taken its end.... For now you, the bestower of all
breath, recline in bodily form, without breath. I am now holding and embracing
the body without breath of the maker of the life of the universe, the controller
of my own breath.... I am now kissing the motionless and wounded limbs of
him who cures the incurable wounds of nature... I am now embracing the
voiceless mouth and silent lips of the maker of every natural power of
speech.... I am kissing the closed eyes of him who invented the operation
of sight."219In her speech Mary also recalls how she caressed Christ as a babe,
likewise a demonstration of his human frailty: "I am now holding him without
breath whom lately I took in my arms as my own dearest one."220 A highly
embroidered treatment of the same theme, the link between Christ's birth
and death, is found in the Lament of the Virgin written in the tenth century
by Symeon Metaphrastes: "Nicodemus alone... placed you painfully in my
arms, which even lately lifted you joyfully as an infant.... And once I took
care of your swaddling-clothes, and now I am troubled with your funerary
apparel. I washed you in lukewarm water, now I bathe you in hotter tears.
I raised you in a mother's arms, but leaping and jumping as children do.
Now I raise you up in the same arms, but without breath, and lying as the
dead. Then I dipped my lips in your honey-sweet and dewy lips.... Many
times you slept on my breast as an infant, and now you have fallen asleep

217Martin, "The Dead Christ on the Cross" (note 110 supra), 189ff., esp. 194. The earliest extant
portrayal of the dead Christ on the cross now seems to be the eighth-century icon at Sinai, which
can be connected with the arguments of Anastasios Sinaites against the Monophysites: H. Belting
and C. Belting-Ihm, "Das Kreuzbild im 'Hodegos' des Anastasios Sinaites," Tortulae. Studien zu
altchristlichen und byzantitnischenMonumenten, ed. W. N. Schumacher (Rome, 1966), 30ff.
218 See especially Antirrheticus III adversus Constantinum Copronymum, PG, 100, cols. 425C,
428A, 432B-C.
219'18ovT^Ti S tAoy&ySovu otKovopias.... 'Arrvovsy&p vuv acofarriKsW,6 irrtns
vov -rrpas &rreiAoqpKv
rvofis Xopry6S dvanAivi. "Airvouv KoiKX)caKal eptrrnnaacrovaiacoia TroUTljS lcois TrV 6Acov STinovpyoYO
fv TrrepKporTovTOSTTVO V.... 'AKiVLTa vov TOOTo& dvlrpurTa
TOVT-r1V lyKaT 6TporpCavrlpva KCoraTCpIo
T-rfs9paecos 4licOlvOV Tponricrra.... "Apcovov vGv or6pa xal XeArjl TnauvX(ELovra mptlrprfraopc1a , TOO Tn5o'xav
AoylKiKv 8qiptovpyiaaviros q*aiv .... MOVTOra 6pSa^oS Kaiao &tLoptiai, TOU T?^v 6T,IKviv 6vipyrlav nti-
vooaavTros' Oratio VIII, PG, 100, col. 1488A-B; Millet, Recherches, 490. Here olKovogia (dispensation)
is used with reference to the Incarnation. See A. Heisenberg, Grabeskirche und Apostelkirche, II (Leip-
zig, 1908), 47 note 1; Theodoret, Dialogus II, PG, 83, col. 129C, rn\v1vav3pc6wnaiv v 86 TOr9Seo A6you
Ka?oOiev oIKovoiLav.
220 "A-rvovv vGvKCTXCO,Ov cbSOiKEiOVV1yKaWil6ntvipV
-rrpcbTlv (piTarov' Loc. cit.

there as a dead man."221 In this passage, too, the juxtaposition of maternal

embraces at infancy and at burial stresses the humanity of Christ.
The intimate embraces described by George of Nicomedia were not imme-
diately accepted into the iconography of Christ's burial in art. The ninth-
century Chludov and Pantocrator Psalters each have two separate miniatures,
one with Joseph and Nicodemus alone carrying Christ into the Sepulcher
and the other with the women sitting passively in mourning beside the closed
tomb.222In the late ninth-century Paris Gregory, folio 30v, Mary appears as
a weeping bystander while Joseph and Nicodemus take Christ down from
the cross, but she does not hold the body (fig. 37).223 However, by the tenth
century, Byzantine artists had introduced the embrace into both the Deposi-
tion and the Entombment. At first they employed the motif tentatively,
but by the twelfth century they exploited it for its full emotive effect. Among
the Deposition scenes, one of the earliest surviving examples is the fresco in
the Old Church at Tokall in Cappadocia, which dates to the first half of the
tenth century (fig. 76).224 In this painting Mary helps Joseph take the body
down from the cross and embraces both arms of Christ, whose head slumps
down to rest on top of her own. The painting could be a direct illustration
of George of Nicomedia's description of the Deposition from the sermon quoted
above: "Thus she took the drawn nails into her bosom, and clasping the freed
limbs, she kissed them. And taking the limbs on her arms she wished by her-
self to perform the deposition from the cross."225 The Virgin also assists
directly in the deposition in the ivory carving of the Provinzialmuseum at
Hannover.226Here she holds the upper part of Christ's torso in her arms and
rests her face against the top of his head. A miniature of the second half of
the eleventh century in a lectionary in the Morgan Library, MS 639, folio 280r,
shows Mary holding up her son's body in a similar position, except that here
she places her head in the angle between his shoulder and his neck (fig. 77).227 In
twelfth- and thirteenth-century Deposition scenes we find the Virgin embracing
her son in such a way that their cheeks are pressed together. The earliest

M6vos NiK6o8Ios ... .aT ts yK&XalS -Wrrco86vcoS
'VTrSEiKe, a! Co?KaCTrpcb&v6vTa 3p(p9os XapPoCaOvcos
iaoav.... Kal wi6aCAaa0E&dpl Tr&ppEqIK& SiaKovlaraa OTcrYpyava, KCalirpl T-r vKpiKa aOU TvupPloioal.
XXmapois1Aouva&JTrv l
0e v6&llacnv,KcalSepo'0Tpois pTi KaTraVTXACo VEKOO-
aE -'iros Kpuoviv.'lOX)ValSI1rTpilKaOis
Ka Karr vrl7iouS &dU6pV.ov. 'AvoaKouvpi[co o
qpt[ov, dAAad OaK1pTCovrTaKc Kal vUv -rTao a-TaTS, d&A' a&vouv, Kal
Kcrr&VEKpOIS 'Evipa-Trr6v pov T6-rE
d&vaKcEiHEvov. i
TOr XEiAtI)roTS iXpols aOo Kal SpooCbSEoiOOUXEiEoi.....
Iol OAAxoKis
BpEpoTrnpeTrrcs ?v 'roTS Kal vOVVeKpo'TpeCrrCos
o-rPpvoisd&TrVvcooas, VTroUTOtS Oratio in
lugubrem lamentationem sanctissimae Deiparae pretiosum corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi amplexantis,
PG, 114, col. 216B-C; Millet, Recherches, 490.
222 See supra, notes 52 and 118.
223 Weitzmann, "Threnos"
(note 5 supra), 479f., fig. 4.
224Millet, Recherches, 474,
fig. 497.
225 OOrTCO T& 86 &rroAvo61iva I ril TrEptrnTU'COILEvrl
AE' Kal ayKCAaiS iTrlTIErISCa,p16vrTfi dnTr6TOUoravpoU KaTaptCaE1 SiaKOvetv 1TrpOESUIEITO.Oratio VIII, PG,
100, col. 1488A; Millet, Recherches, 467.
226 Goldschmidt and Weitzmann,
Elfenbeinskulpturen, II, no. 40, pl. 17. A very similar composition
was found in the New Church at Tokah Kilise, which can be dated between ca. 920 and 969: Jer-
phanion, Les dglises rupestres (note 114 supra), I, pt. 2, p. 348, pl. 85,3. On the date, see R. Cormack,
"Byzantine Cappadocia: The Archaic Group of Wall-Paintings," JBAA, 30 (1967), 24.
227 K. Weitzmann, "The
Constantinopolitan Lectionary Morgan 639," Studies in Art and Literature
for Belle da Costa Greene, ed. D. Miner (Princeton, 1954), 358ff., fig. 318.

securely dated example is the fresco of 1164 at Nerezi (fig. 78).228In this
painting Mary helps support Christ's body with her right arm, and putting
her left arm around his neck, draws his face to her own.
The embrace was to become an even more prominent element in the
iconography of the Entombment and Lamentation, where, too, the motif was
probably introduced by the tenth century. This can be deduced from a Western
ivory book cover, now in the Louvre, which was produced by the Metz school
around the year 1000.229The ivory incorporates a strip of three scenes, the
Deposition, the Entombment, and the Women at the Tomb, which, as Weitz-
mann has shown, derive from a Middle Byzantine model.230In the Entomb-
ment, Joseph and Nicodemus carry Christ feet first into the Sepulcher while
Mary follows, holding Christ's body in such a way that their heads are drawn
close together (fig. 79). This last motif echoes the entombment of Rachel in
the Vienna Genesis (fig. 5). The embrace of mother and son receives more
emphasis in the Lamentation scenes of the eleventh and twelfth centuries,
such as the famous wall painting of 1164 at Nerezi and the somewhat later
version at Kurbinovo, in which the Virgin kneels or crouches nearest the
tomb, clasping Christ's head and shoulders in her arms and pressing her cheek
against his (figs. 72, 80). St. John holds and sometimes kisses Christ's left
hand, while Joseph and Nicodemus move to the subordinate role of carrying
the feet.231 At Nerezi, as in some other portrayals of the scene, the body
appears stretched out horizontally with a cloth suspended underneath it, as
if both body and cloth were resting on an invisible couch (fig. 80).232 Weitz-
mann has shown that this arrangement, as well as certain other features of
the scene, suggest that the Koimesis could have served as a model.233 It is
also possible that the odd suspension of Christ's body, and in particular the
Virgin's position in relation to Christ as she leans down to kiss him, could
have been derived from the miniatures of Joseph embracing his father Jacob
on his deathbed in the Vienna Genesis and the Octateuchs (figs. 54, 75),
a source suggested by Velmans.234It is not unlikely that the Old Testament
illustration, which has a textual basis in the Bible, had some influence on
the creation of the Lamentation.
We have seen that the post-iconoclastic writers linked the embraces of
mother and Child at birth and death as common indicators of Christ's human-
ity. From the tenth century onward, Byzantine Nativity scenes began with
increasing frequency to show Mary turning toward her infant to hold him as
228 Hamann-Mac Lean and Hallensleben, Die Monumentalmalerei (note 39 supra), 17f., fig. 38.

See also the frescoes in the crypt of Aquileia Cathedral (L. Magnani, Gli affreschi della Basilica di
Aquileia [Turin, 1960], pl. 3) and at MileSevo (Hamann-Mac Lean and Hallensleben, op. cit., 22f.,
fig. 85).
229 A. Goldschmidt, Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der Karolingischen und Sdchsischen Kaiser,
I (Berlin, 1914), no. 80, pl. 33.
230 Weitzmann, "Threnos"
(note 5 supra), 482f., fig. 9. On the development of the Entombment
and the Threnos, see also M. Soteriou, in AAET.XPior.'Apx.'ET., Ser. 4,7 (1973-74), 139-48.
Weitzmann, "Threnos," 483 ff., fig. 10ff.
232 Hamann-Mac Lean and Hallensleben, Die Monumentalmalerei, 17f., fig. 39.
233 "Threnos," 484f.
Velmans, "Les valeurs affectives" (note 5 supra), 49.
he lay in his crib. In the well-known mosaic at Hosios Lukas, for example,
the Virgin places her left hand on the Child's shoulder and her other hand under
his head, while she nods gently toward her baby (fig. 28).235 This gesture was
very rare in pre-iconoclastic illustrations of the Birth of Christ, and, like the
embrace which Mary gives her son at his death, it is to be read as evidence
of Christ's mortal nature. Millet interpreted Mary's gesture as part of her
preparations to receive the Magi. He saw her as lifting the Child out of the
manger so that she could hold him on her lap for the adoration of the three
kings, who are sseen approaching on the left.236 However, it can be shown
that for the Byzantine observer Mary's action also had a deeper significance.
In the twelfth-century mosaic in the Martorana at Palermo, Mary is shown
clasping her Child, as at Hosios Lukas, but the approaching Magi are nowhere
to be seen. Instead, on the facing side of the same barrel vault, there is a
mosaic of the Koimesis (fig. 81).237 Two texts help to explain this pairing of
scenes and, at the same time, the meaning of the Virgin's gesture. In a sermon
on the Assumption, Leo VI declares of Mary: "Because you held God when
he was invested with flesh, you are held in the hands of God when you are
divested of flesh."238 And a poet of the tenth century, John Kyriotes, writes:
"Formerly, Virgin, you embraced me in your arms; I sucked the mother's
milk from your breast. Now I myself, having embraced your spirit, send your
body to the place of delight."239 Thus, in the Nativity the holding of the
Christ Child is a reference to his incarnation. To stress this point, the artist
at the Martorana made the very confrontation which had been proposed by
Leo VI and John Kyriotes. In the mosaic Mary holds her Child as he lies
in his crib, just as Christ carries his mother's soul, which is tightly bound
like a baby. The two events are attended by juxtaposed pairs of angels. Thus,
the image makes a play of mortal body and immortal soul, a visual pun.
The same confrontation of gestures at the Nativity and at the Koimesis was
made by Middle Byzantine wall painters and ivory carvers.240In a similar
manner, Byzantine artists linked together images of Christ's Nativity and his
Passion. In the late twelfth-century paintings of the church of the Hagioi

235 See also the tenth-century ivory in Quedlinburg: Goldschmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbein-
skulpturen, II, no. 25, pi. 8.
236 Recherches, 146ff.
237 Demus, Mosaics of Norman
Sicily (note 69 supra), 80f., figs. 55, 56.
238 OT1 paiu
icuaas Se6v dcpKxa fjI4EaLVOV , paao-r&Li SEoG -raX&aiaiswtap1iaoaaptvl -rv a&pKa. Oratio
XIV, In BeataeMariae assumptionem,PG, 107, col. 164A.
EaTs AiyKafiCou rrpiv (IEXEpoi, napSivE,
STAfijS6Uafjs &uouu-a 11tTpiK6V y&Aa.
T6 -rrveiL&aovu vvairr6shfyKal?avos,
T6 a&pa Trrio 1Tp6s Tp1JppfVs r6 Xwcpiov.
PG, 106, col. 907.
240 For
example, in Sakh Kilise at G6reme the Nativity fresco, with Mary holding her child, was
placed next to the Koimesis (respectively at the west end of the south wall, and the south end of the
west wall); Restle, Wall Painting (note 34 supra), II, figs. 26, 27. See also the evident juxtaposition
of the Koimesis and the Hodegetria on two Byzantine ivory triptychs, now incorporated into an
eleventh-century portable altar in the treasury of the Liebfrauenkirche at Trier. The Hodegetria is
even flanked by flying angels similar to those which on the Koimesis plaque wait to receive the soul:
Goldschmidt and Weitzmann, Elfenbeinskulpturen, II, 58f., no. 116, pl. 43.

Anargyroi at Kastoria, the Lamentation is prominently placed in the center

of the north wall of the nave directly opposite the Birth of Christ in the center
of the south wall. In the Nativity scene Mary puts out her right hand as if
to hold the Child, anticipating her embrace in the Lamentation, while the
traditional motif of the Child's first bath recalls the rhetorical conceit of
Symeon Metaphrastes: "I washed you in lukewarm water, now I bathe you
in hotter tears."240a
In the iconography of Christ's birth and death, therefore, the image of
Mary holding her son had both a sentimental and a doctrinal value. The
embrace is the gesture which, more than any other, reveals the theological
basis for the depiction of emotion in Byzantine Church art.

9. Facial Expression
The preceding pages have stressed the importance of bodily gestures for
the portrayal of emotion in both classical and Byzantine art. In this last
section I shall consider the extent to which Byzantine artists were able to
convey feeling by means of facial expression. In the introduction to his
Imagines, the classical critic Philostratus the Younger explained how the
painter should be able to read the features of the face, so as " discern
the signs of people's dispositions, even when they are silent, and what is
revealed in the condition of the cheeks, in the expression of the eyes, in the
disposition of the eyebrows, and, in short, whatever concerns the mind."
Thus the painter should be able to characterize a man who is "...mad, or
angry, or thoughtful, or glad, or impetuous, or in love, and, in a word, will
paint for each the appropriate characteristics."241 This passage reflects the
achievements of Hellenistic artists, who were able to convey a full range of
emotions through facial expression, from the agony of Laocon to the laughter
of small children. The classical ekphraseis abounded with references to the
depiction of emotion on the face, and they were no less frequent in Byzantine
descriptions of works of art. Medieval writers continued to use the classical
topoi, particularly that which described the mingling of contrary feelings on
one countenance.242 In the Byzantine ekphraseis we find described the full
range of emotions that we associate with Hellenistic art. In the sixth century
Choricius, in his ekphrasis on the mosaics in the church of St. Sergius at

240a S. Pelekanidis,
Kaarropia,I, Bvlavsrval
rotXoypa.9iat (Salonika, 1953), pls. 15b, 17b; on the date
of the paintings, see Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 563ff. The juxtapositions made by Symeon
Metaphrastes (see supra, note 221) suggest that those icons of the Eleousa in which the Virgin tenderly
holds her child and touches her cheek against his may have expressed an ambivalence between joy
at the birth of her son and sadness foreshadowing her last embraces after his death. In either case,
the sentiment in the image would strengthen the Virgin's role as intercessor on behalf of humanity:
see A. Grabar, "L'Hodigitria et 1'El6ousa," Zbornik za likovne umetnosti, 10 (1974), 3ff., esp. 10.
241 T?
..X. p yapT6V 6pS3&s rrpoorarEacrovra TXXvilSSp<aiv dvSpcowrrEav,ei StlEaKd9SalKal fKav6v
ElvaXyvcotaTCrecai W
AtS3v gr*ppoAaKalalcorrcbv-rcovKal?Xpv Ti iv irapsEtovKaru t&u6t,-ri8i V 6v5pSa1ckv KpccaE1,
Ti Si gv
6q6ptcov f$EO KEtTat Kal lveA16vTn
eltrrTv, 6rr6aa yvcb&rv Teivat. 66 tKavcos Xcov Suvapfaeit
f1Tr&-ra KaCI
^ dpiara *troKpivETTal Tr6 oIKEToV
A XElP &KtaOV 1pi6rv6Ta
Sp&pa^a, ^
ElTr1IXo A 6pytiL6pievov gvvouv
^ &
Xaipovra 6p|trTv gp$v-ra Kal Ka$<5rra
7T6 &pp68tov ip' 5rrcp yp5c6t. Imagines, prooemium, 3.
242 For a discussion of this topos, see Maguire, "Truth and Convention" (note 2 supra), 132ff.
Gaza, tells us of the sorrow of the centurion whose servant has fallen ill:
"But who is this man with a sad countenance? What suffering brings him in
supplication ?"243While in the mosaic of the Miracle at the Marriage of Cana,
Choricius finds the expression of good humor: "It seems that the wine has
a very fine bouquet. The man who has just drunk proves his pleasure by the
redness of his face."244Twelfth-century art critics also visualized the expres-
sion of a wide variety of feelings by means of facial features. Mesarites, in a
passage quoted above, vividly depicted Mary's look of suffering in the mosaic
of the Raising of Lazarus in the Holy Apostles.245 Elsewhere he described
the frightened appearance of the Maries when confronted by the angel at the
opened tomb: ".. .a great pallor descended on the aspect of their faces, the
redness of their blood having run away to the heart...."246 Another twelfth-
century writer, John Phocas, was able to see joy in the features of the Virgin
in a mosaic of the Nativity at Bethlehem. He observed that the mother was
"...looking toward the Babe, and displaying her inner discretion in her
smiling form, and in the color in her cheeks."247
These statements in the ekphraseis may cause us to wonder how far they
reflected the true abilities of Byzantine artists to portray differing emotions
on the face. David Winfield has studied this problem, showing that in Middle
Byzantine wall paintings artists were able to produce only two generalized
effects, one of tranquility and the other of emotional disturbance.248Here
I shall try to demonstrate, first, that Winfield's observations hold true for
other media besides wall painting, and second, that Middle Byzantine artists
owed much of their limited skill in depicting facial expressions to the lingering
traditions of classical art. The topoi which survived in literature were, to a
lesser extent, accompanied by the continuation of appropriate formulae in art.
An examination of the famous portrayals of suffering in Hellenistic sculpture
clearly shows the classical origins of many of the devices later used, in a less
subtle and more schematic fashion, by Byzantine painters. Taking a famous
example, we may distinguish some of these techniques on the head of Alcyoneus
from the Pergamene altar (fig. 82). The curves of the eyebrows are distorted
and drawn up into an inverted V, and the forehead is deeply lined.249 In
addition, the victim opens his mouth, as if imploring for release from his

243 'AXXi& Ti
ri 6 Kcu$porr6s oOTroi; 6 rErrovScbS IKErTEEii;Laudatio Marciani, I, 61.
244 ?OlKE6S Afav &vSoafJaS
OrrIpXE1tv 6 y&p
dpT-ri iri&bv y)eyXtiT^v f6ovi1vTrc Trfs 69yecos lpuvSpanr
Ibid., I, 58. See also Procopius, De aedificiis, I, 10, 17-19, where we read of a smiling Roman Senate
in a mosaic of Justinian's triumph over the Vandals and the Goths.
245 See
supra, note 103.
246 .
.c&Xpi Te arroMafi-mpi Tiv tCOVWrrpoabTrcvaTrEK&SitEv MtnTpcdvEiaV ,
T2rS alIarripas 6pv3p6TrTiroS
-TrvBiproerraSovaav &wrropaorvois KapSiav.. Ed. Downey (note 55 supra), XXVIII, 16.
247 ... Kal rrp6s Pp os 6pGoaa, Kal Tt'v r
vr6s por1\,vr(vIv TrC TOr oaCTlaO S Kol T1VTO-r
EUXpof^(Pqafvovua. Descriptio terrae sanctae, PG, 133, col. 957D. This is one of the few obser-
vations in his ekphrasis that John Phocas did not copy verbatim from Choricius, Laudatio Marciani,
I, 51ff.; Maguire, op. cit., 116. Mesarites had a very different perception of the Nativity mosaic in the
Holy Apostles, for he said that the Virgin's face showed pain: ed. Downey, XXIII, 1. See Kitzinger,
"Hellenistic Heritage" (note 3 supra), 104.
248 "Middle and Later
Byzantine Wall Painting Methods," DOP, 22 (1968), 61ff., esp. 128.
Sculpture (note 60 supra), 113ff., fig. 462.

captor. The same features are found on the Laocoon sculpture in the Vatican.25
Ancient writers often referred to these facial characteristics as indicators of
emotion, particularly of suffering. For example, the second-century novelist
Achilles Tatius, in an ekphrasis on a painting by the artist Euanthes, gives
the following description of the bound Prometheus: "Yet other features show
his suffering. His eyebrows are bent, his lips are contracted, he shows his
teeth. You have pity as if the painting itself were in pain."251
Roman frescoes provide us with further illustrations of these classical
techniques for conveying facial expressions. In Pompeiian paintings the most
frequent indicator of sorrow is the contraction of the brows. Two striking
examples are the paintings of Iphigeneia carried to her sacrifice from the
Casa del Poeta Tragico, and of Dirce trampled under the bull from the Casa
dei Vettii.252 Occasionally in Roman painting we find mourners with their
eyes entirely closed from weeping. In a fresco from the Casa del Sacerdos
Amandus at Pompeii tthe third tr of three Hesperides shuts her eyes, holding
her garment over her face and turning her head away from Hercules as he
leaves with his prize.253But figures with their eyes closed from grief were
rare in classical art, just as they were in the Byzantine period.
The Campanian painters could also portray laughing figures, such as the
young Pan in the fresco of Hercules finding Telephos from the Basilica at
Herculaneum (fig. 83).254 Here the opened lips, the upturned sides of the
mouth, the rounded cheeks, and the half-closed eyes all contribute to the
effect of gaiety. This was an aspect of classical art which did not continue
into the Byzantine tradition.
The classical techniques for the depiction of sorrow, however, survived in
Early Christian and Early Byzantine art. Our best examples from this period
are in small-scale works of art, in miniatures and ivories. In spite of the
physical limitations imposed by these media, Early Christian artists managed
to convey a surprising degree of emotional intensity through facial expression.
This is demonstrated by the two early fifth-century ivory plaques from a
diptych, now in Paris and Berlin. In the panel of the Massacre of the Innocents
the mother's eyebrows contract and their mouths open wide in lamentation
(fig. 71). A similar expression characterizes the lunatic in the panel showing
the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine.255
Manuscript painters also exploited these classical devices for showing sorrow.
Some of the most striking illustrations occur in the sixth-century miniatures
of the Vienna Genesis. In the deathbed scenes the faces of the mourners
assume a mask-like appearance, with chalky complexions contrasting with

Ibid., 134f., fig. 531.
T6 61 67o acXflia BeKvucnr6v rTr6vov. T&S 6<ppiS, auvorarTari r6 XETAoS,
KEKfp-rTCOra pafvE TOSro
686vraS. 'H&aacrts&vcbsdAyoviaavAnvypacpIv.Leucippe and Clitophon, III, 8.
252 P. Herrmann, Denkmaler der Malerei des Altertums, I (Munich, 1904), pls. 15, 43.
253 A. Maiuri, Monumenti della pittura antica scoperti in Italia, sezione terza, Pompei, fasc. II

(Rome, 1938), 7, pl. A.

254M. M. Gabriel, Masters of Campanian Painting (New York, 1952), 27ff., fig. 2.
255 Natanson, Ivories,
fig. 12; Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten, 81, no. 113.
black rimmed eyes and accentuating the sharp angle of the brows (figs. 5,
54). In the miniature of the death of Deborah one of the mourners closes
her eyes like the weeping Hesperid in the Pompeiian fresco. In the depictions
of the death and burial of Jacob some of the weepers have their cheeks
disfigured by dark streaks, especially noticeable on Joseph in the burial
scene, which became a frequent sign of grief in Middle Byzantine art (fig. 54).
Sixth-century miniaturists also conveyed grief through facial expression in
New Testament scenes. In the Crucifixion painting of the Rabbula Gospels
the artist clearly showed the narrowing of Mary's eyes from weeping (fig. 36).
The distortion of Mary's face through sorrow is evident if one contrasts the
miniature of the Crucfixion with those of the Ascension and the Nativity,
in which her features are more rounded and regular (fig. 84).256
In the Middle Byzantine period the expansion of the Passion cycle gave
artists new opportunities to portray sorrow, which had not existed in pre-
iconoclastic art. We find that there was a continuing interest in the manipula-
tion of the eyebrow line as an indication of grief. In addition, Middle Byzantine
artists portrayed weeping by means of streaks of shadow on the cheeks, and
occasionally by closed eyes. However, post-iconoclastic artists rarely showed
the actors in Biblical scenes opening their mouths; generally they only depicted
penitents and the inmates of Hell voicing their pain in this manner.257As we
have seen, in Middle Byzantine art sufferers usually stifle their cries with
their hands.
In the ninth-century miniatures of the Paris Gregory there is a clear
differentiation in the drawing of faces between sorrow and tranquility. This
can be demonstrated by comparing the features of Mary in the Visitation on
folio 3r (fig. 9) and in the Crucifixion on folio 30 (fig. 37). In the former scene
her eyebrows form gentle curves, whereas in the latter they slope together in
a shallow inverted "V." Similar distortions of the eyebrow line convey the
remorse of the officials of Nineveh on folio 3r (fig. 9), and of Adam expelled
from Paradise on folio 52V (fig. 13). A later imperial manuscript, the Meno-
logium of Basil II, which probably dates to the beginning of the eleventh
century, provides more emphatic contrasts between expressions of calm and
of pain. In the miniature of the Nativity the illuminator Symeon of Blachernae
gave the Virgin's face even outlines and a bland complexion (fig. 27); but in
the Massacre of the Innocents the artist Pantoleon portrayed a bereaved
mother with strongly distorted brows (fig. 85). In addition, he painted narrow

Cecchelli et al., The Rabbula Gospels (note 108 supra), folios 13r, 13v, 4V. Early Christian
mosaicists, no less than miniaturists, could vividly portray suffering, particularly through the contrac-
tion of the brows. See, for example, L. Budde, Antike Mosaiken in Kilikien. I, Friihchristliche Mosaiken
in Misis-Mopsuhestia (Recklinghausen, 1969), figs. 155, 157 (Samson pulls down the temple on the
Philistines); K. Weitzmann, "The Classical in Byzantine Art as a Mode of Individual Expression,"
Byzantine Art an European Art (Athens, 1966), 172, fig. 132; repr. in idem, Studies, ed. Kessler (note 69
supra), 172, fig. 153 (medallion bust of John the Baptist at Sinai).
Among the few examples are an illustration of penitent monks in the manuscript of the Heavenly
Ladder in the Vatican, gr. 394, fol. 42V(Martin, Heavenly Ladder, 61, fig. 85), and the fresco of the Last
Judgment in the Panagia Mavriotissa at Castoria (N. K. Moutsopoulos, The Monastery of the Virgin
Mary Mavriotissa at Castoria [Athens, 1967], pl. 48).

streaks descending from the corners of her eyes and disfiguringher cheeks,
a device which we have observed in the Vienna Genesis.25
In the course of the twelfth century these techniques of facial expression
tended to be exaggeratedfurtherby Byzantine artists, though they were not
essentially changed. A similar elaboration affected drapery patterns at this
time. The results of this developmentcan be seen, for example, in the early
thirteenth-centuryminiature of the Maries by the tomb in the Gospels in
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek,gr. qu. 66, folio 96r (fig. 19). Instead of the narrow
lines on the cheeks which expressedweeping in the miniature of the Menolo-
gium, here there are deep triangular stains under the eyes of the two women.
Looking at this miniature, we are ready to believe that Mesaritesdid not
overstate the expressiveness of the mosaic in the Holy Apostles when he
described the Maries watching the grave of Christ: "...the tears gush from
their eyes like springs, and... their faces are downcast and dejected and gloomy
and full of grief."259Another manuscript in which we find faces intensely
dramatized is the Penitential Canon in the Vatican. On folio 6r, for example,
the monks are describedin the caption as feeling despair, an emotion which
they express not only in their gestures but also in their tightly compressed
brows and deeply furrowed foreheads (fig. 10).26 One of the monks, standing
on the right, appears to have closed his eyes completely, an expression of
weeping which MiddleByzantine artists employed sparingly.261
But if this manuscript illustrates how effectively Byzantine artists could
portray faces striken with grief, it also shows up their inability to convey
good cheer. For although most of the PenitentialCanoncalls for illustrations
which express suffering, the last four verses of the poem speak of gladness as
the monks reach the end of their trials. According to the verse written at the
top of folio 17r, the Virgin Mary, appearingin Heaven, instructs the monks
to "...throw your dejection far aside, and all take up joy and gladness"
(fig. 86).262The caption at the bottom of the poem describesthe supposed
reaction of the monks: "These, cheerfullygazing at the Motherof God, joy-
258 I
Menologio di Basilio II (note 78 supra), 73f., 77, figs. 271, 281. Sorrow was also expressed
through thin streaks descending from the eyes in the mid-eleventh-century mosaics at Nea Moni:
Matthiae, I mosaici delta Nea Moni (note 113 supra), pls. 21 (a woman at the Crucifixion), 12 (a sister
of Lazarus).
259 ... Kpouv686V TId 8&Kpva TCOV6Sa3cXiov KaT)(fovaiv... a.trEnTcoK6Kra TonhTali T& Trrp6acorraKai
KaCTWfi Kal a-ruyv& Kal mwpiAuTra. Ed. Downey (note 55 supra), XXVIII, 5.
260See supra, note 38. These exaggerated facial distortions can be matched in late twelfth-century
wall paintings. See, for example, Mary and John in the well-known fresco of the Threnos at Nerezi
(fig. 80), and their still more intensely dramatized portraits at Kurbinovo (fig. 72): P. Miljkovi6-
Pepek, Nerezi (Belgrade, 1966), pls. 36, 37; A. Nikolovski, The Frescoes of Kurbinovo (Belgrade,
1961), pls. 45, 47. In the fresco of the Koimesis at Kurbinovo even the countenance of Christ is
sharply distorted to show his grief, a dramatization which must be considered an extreme rarity in
this context: Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 182, fig. 179.
261 Another striking example is an apostle in the wall painting of the Koimesis at Lagoudera:
D. C. Winfield, "Reports on Work at Monagri, Lagoudera, and Hagios Neophytos, Cyprus, 1969-70,"
DOP, 25 (1971), 259ff., fig. 16.
262 ...r
Kvtorrq iav
rmopao6vrSq n'6ppcoOpOv,
Xapv TEKia T-ip[tv &vAcxtpeE TrrVTes'
Martin, Heavenly Ladder, 142f., fig. 273.

fully receive the good tidings from her."263But in the painting the faces of
the brethren are contracted and furrowed; indeed, they can barely be distin-
guished from those of the suffering penitents on the preceding pages (figs. 10,
86). The Byzantine artist might almost be illustrating the observation of the
Renaissance theorist Alberti: "Who would ever believe, if he is not trying it,
that it is so difficult for anyone wishing to paint a laughing face to avoid
making it more weeping than joyful."264 It is, indeed, hard to find any
laughing or even smiling faces in Middle Byzantine art, but this does not
mean that there was no depiction of joy.265As we have seen, it was not through
facial expression that this emotion was conveyed, but through gestures, such
as the embrace of Mary and Elizabeth in the Visitation or the gyrations of
the angels in the Annunciation (figs. 73, 68).
To sum up, Hellenistic artitistshad been capable of distinguishing many
nuances of facial expression, from sadness to joy, but Byzantine artists
retained only the ability to portray emotion in general and misery in particular.
The wider scope of Hellenistic art was preserved, however, in the conventions
of the ekphraseis, which credited Byzantine artists with all the skills of their
ancient forerunners. The comparative poverty of Byzantine art with respect
to facial expression increased the importance of gesture as a means of com-
municating emotion.


We have seen in the course of this study that Middle Byzantine artists
depicted sorrow both through gestures and through facial expression. But
whereas there were few variations in facial expression,
thereiont e was a broader
range of gestures, each with a different shade of meaning. The meanings
ranged from the pensive resignation of resting the head on the hand to the
violent despair of tearing the hair and clothes. It is true that, compared to
post-medieval artists, the Byzantines had restricted means at their disposal
for conveying emotion. But it could be argued that precisely because the
Byzantines knew of a narrower range of techniques than we do each formula
carried a proportionately greater meaning for them.266We should not expect
a Byzantine to share a twentieth-century perspective of art history.
For the most part, the gestures and techniques of facial expression found
in Byzantine art survived from Antiquity into the Middle Ages as the result
of a continual process of transmission. Genuine instances of revivals are rare.
wrp6sTriV e(E0T6)KOViXapos 5rroPprrov(TEs), Epq>pocr*vcos -rrap' aTrrfs T& E*ayyWia 8OVTari.
264"Et chi mai credesse, se non
provando, tanto essere difficile volendo dipigniere uno viso che rida,
schifare di non lo fare piu tosto piangioso che lieto?" Della pittura, II, ed. H. Janitschek (Vienna,
1877), 121. Even at Kurbinovo it is hard to claim that the artist could do more than achieve a general
effect of emotional intensity. Similar distortions of the eyes and cheeks served to express the grief
of the Virgin and St. John in the Threnos, the fear of the Maries at the Sepulcher, and the expectant
age of Adam and Eve in the Anastasis: Hadermann-Misguich, Kurbinovo, 350, 353, figs. 75, 78, 170.
265 See the observations
by Kitzinger, "Hellenistic Heritage" (note 3 supra), 110.
266See E. H. Gombrich,
"Expression and Communication," in Meditations on a Hobby Horse
(London, 1965), 56ff., esp. 62ff.

The most striking examples of the reintroduction of a classical motif are

two eleventh- or twelfth-century ivory caskets in the Walters Art Gallery
which portray Adam grieving after the Fall (fig. 14). Here, Adam's posture is
based on that of the Hercules by Lysippus (fig. 20), and the basket on which
he sits makes a specific reference to the classical statue. But since we find Adam
in a similar pose of despondency, only without the basket, in earlier Byzantine
portrayals of the scene, this is a clear instance of a revival on the basis of
survival (fig. 13).
Middle Byzantine artists did not employ their techniques for depicting
sorrow at random. There was a rationale which governed the contexts in which
each gesture could appear. Until the thirteenth century, Byzantine artists
made a distinction between scenes of the Old and New Testaments, reserving
violent gestures of grief for the former and preferring more passive poses
for the latter. They distinguished also between specific phases of the New
Testament story; thus, the Crucifixionwas more reserved than the Lamentation.
The sanctity of the individual figures also controlled the degree of emotion
that they displayed. Byzantine artists would have agreed with the dictum
of Reynolds: "The joy, or the grief of a character of dignity, is not to be
expressed in the same manner as a similar passion in a vulgar face."267We
find no signs of grief in the features or pose of Christ in Middle Byzantine
portrayals of the Raising of Lazarus, even though the Bible records that he
wept (fig. 35). Byzantine artists inherited this respect for the dignity of
sacred characters from Greek art, in which, even in the Hellenistic era, the
Gods were not depicted in such extremes of emotion as mortals.268
Although Byzantine artists always tended to treat Gospel subjects with a
greater reserve than those drawn from the Old Testament, there was from
the end of Iconoclasm an increasing emphasis on the depiction of sorrow
in New Testament illustration which manifested itself in several ways. First,
additional subjects were developed which stressed the theme of Christ's human
death-especially the Deposition and the Lamentation. The introduction of
these scenes gave Byzantine artists new opportunities to use traditional
techniques for expressing emotion. Second, in the course of the eleventh and
twelfth centuries, emphasis was brought to existing scenes, such as the Cruci-
fixion, by the addition of subsidiary mourners. Finally, in the course of the
twelfth century, facial expressions became more emphatic. Thus, between the
ninth and the twelfth centuries, the gestures and facial distortions which
conveyed sorrow in Byzantine art became more visible through repetition
and exaggeration, although the basic methods of portraying suffering remained
the same throughout the middle period. These techniques constituted a
language of sentiment which was shared by all Byzantine artists, even though
individual painters may have used it with more or less emphasis or subtlety.

267 Discourse IV
(London, 1771). The Byzantines also expected their dignitaries in real life to curb
their expression of emotion; see, for example, Anna Comnena's descriptions of Alexius and Irene
in the Alexiad, XIII.1,1, and XV.2,2.
268 W.
Deonna, L'expression des sentiments dans l'art grec (Paris, 1914), 184f., 196.
The interchange of gestures between different scenes was not always just
a matter of artistic convenience, nor of poverty of invention. Sometimes
Byzantine artists intentionally used the same pose in two different contexts
in order to create a visual link which would correspond with one in theme or
subject matter. Thus, the afflicted Israelites in the scene of the Brazen Serpent
reflect in their poses the sleeping apostles of the Agony in the Garden (figs.23,
22), and in the Nativity the holding of the Child by Mary refers forward to
the Dormition and he holding of her soul by Christ (fig. 81). The pose of
Joseph in the Nativity echoes the attitude of a mourner, and suggests a
reference to Christ's death and burial (figs. 29, 19). In the Presentation, the
Virgin may already be weeping in anticipation of the Crucifixion (figs. 41,
38). And, as I have shown elsewhere, in scenes of the Incredulity of Thomas
Christ's posture may refer back to his suffering on the cross.269In certain
instances artists underlined these parallels by juxtaposing the appropriate
In making such visual and thematic links, Byzantine artists demonstrated
that they were purposeful in their use of gestures of suffering, even if these
were stereotyped. The depiction of sorrow in Byzantine art was more than a
fossilized remnant of antique culture; it was also a living expression of Byzan-
tine theology. The showing of human feeling in scenes of Christ's life and
death was a vivid reminder of his incarnation, a point often made in Byzantine
Church literature.270The embrace was the gesture which most emphatically
conveyed Christ's physical humanity, but other expressions of emotion could
make the same point.271
Throughout this study I have shown that the Byzantine traditions of
homilies and church poetry can illuminate the depiction of sentiment in art.
Often the artists seem to have followed the writers' lead when they introduced
emotive imagery into the Gospel story. In the case of the Threnos, the theme
of the mother's embrace was elaborated in a ninth-century sermon before it
appeared in works of art, and the introduction of violent gestures into New
Testament paintings in the thirteenth century was a license which had also
been anticipated in the literature. However, in one genre of composition, the
ekphrasis, the Byzantine artist was supposed to have provided the cues for
the writer. In fact, these descriptions have been shown to be a mixture of
accurate observation and elaboration inspired by the literary tradition. In
some places, the ekphraseis have been demonstrated to be strikingly apt when
they describe the depiction of emotion in Byzantine art, but in other places
they plainly distort and exaggerate for the sake of rhetorical effect.
Maguire, "Truth and Convention" (note 2 supra), 125ff.
270 St. John Chrysostom and Philagathus, for example, said that Christ wept at the death of Lazarus
only sufficiently to display his human nature: see supra, notes 101 and 102. See also Romanos' konta-
kion, On the Raising of Lazarus II, ed. Maas and Trypanis (note 122 supra), XV, strophe 2. Germanus
stated that Mary wept over her son's tomb because she was really the mother of Christ: In Dominici
corporis sepulturam, PG, 98, col. 277C.
271 Weitzmann has
suggested that in the apse mosaic at Sinai the expressions of pathos on the
faces of Elijah and St. John the Baptist were intended to express pictorially the difference between
the human and the divine: "The Classical in Byzantine Art" (note 256 supra), 172.

Finally, it should be pointed out that it was in the depiction of emotion,

and especially of sorrow, that Byzantine artists made some of their most
influential and lasting contributions to the history of art. Byzantine techniques
for expressing suffering, such as they were, were extensively copied in the
West, particularly in the thirteenth century in Germany and Italy.272 A
concern for the expression of emotion was one of the most important of the
antique legacies which Byzantine artists passed on to the West.
Henry Maguire
Dumbarton Oaks
272See Demus, Byzantine Art and the West (note 5 supra), 173ff.; and K. Weitzmann, "Byzantium
and the West Around the Year 1200," in The Year 1200: A Symposium (New York, 1975), 53-73,
esp. 66f.


This paper was completed and sent to Dumbarton Oaks in
April 1974, but was supplemented in April 1977. It will be
clear that we owe a considerable debt to Paul Underwood,
to whose papers kept at Dumbarton Oaks we were allowed
access. This publication would not have been possible without
the use of his record. We are also grateful for essential help
from Professor Cyril Mango, Mr.A. H. S. Megaw,and Mr. R. L.
Van Nice. In addition, acknowledgment is due to the Central
Research Fund of the University of London for the loan of a

It is well known that fragmentary mosaics, never concealed by Islamic

plaster or whitewash, still decorate the suite of rooms which lies behind the
door at the south end of the west gallery of St. Sophia.' These mosaics were
the subject of two brief accounts by the late Paul A. Underwood, published on
behalf of the Byzantine Institute, Inc. The first report appeared after a
preliminary season of investigation (1950) in the rooms,la and the second
after conservation, cleaning, and photography was completed in 1954.2 Under-
wood also relied on observations made in these rooms when he came to discuss
mosaic practices in Constantinople in his final publication of the Kariye Camii.3
These short presentations by Underwood immediately stimulated art-historical
interest. The non-figurative mosaics attributed to the pre-iconoclastic period
were used by Professor Ernst Kitzinger as a confirmation that the artists
employed by Abd al-Malik to decorate the Dome of the Rock in 691-92 came
from Constantinople.4 The figurative cycle attributed to a date after 843 was
used by Professor Andre Grabar as evidence for a topical concern with theo-
phanies in the ninth century in monumental art as well as in manuscript
illustration.5 Meanwhile, a concise description of the mosaics became available
in 1962 with the publication of the corpus of mosaics of St. Sophia put
together by Professor Cyril Mango.6 Since he had in an earlier study already
proposed an identification orof the function of thMe rooms,' Mango was able to
propose on this basis a dating for the various periods of alteration to be
observed.8 The aim of the present report is to assist the study of this area
of the church by putting on record for the first time a full description of the
mosaics. Our account is arranged according to an interpretation of the history
1 For an overall plan of the gallery of St. Sophia, see R. L. Van Nice, Saint Sophia in Istanbul.
An Architectural Survey (Washington, D.C., 1966), pi. 2.
la P. A. Underwood, "A
Preliminary Report on Some Unpublished Mosaics in Hagia Sophia,"
AJA, 55 (1951) (hereafter Underwood, "Preliminary Report"), 367-70.
Idem, "Notes on the Work of the Byzantine Institute in Istanbul: 1954," DOP, 9-10 (1955-56)
(hereafter Underwood, "Notes"), 291-300, esp. 291-94.
3 Idem, The Kariye Djami, I (New York,
1966), 172-83.
4 E. Kitzinger, "Byzantine Art in the Period between
Justinian and Iconoclasm," Berichte zum
XI. Internationalen Byzantinisten-Kongress (Munich, 1958), esp. 11, and fig. 10. Reprinted in idem,
The Art of Byzantium and the Medieval West: Selected Studies, ed. W. E. Kleinbauer (Bloomington,
1976), 157ff. For a recent acceptance of this affiliation, see H. Stern, "Notes sur les mosaiques du
Dome du Rocher et de la Mosqu6e de Damas a propos d'une livre de Mme. M. G. van Berchem,"
CahArch, 22 (1972), 201-32.
5 A. Grabar, L'iconoclasme byzantin (Paris, 1957), esp. 193-94, 213-14, 234, and 247.
6 C.
Mango, Materials for the Study of the Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul, DOS, VIII (Washing-
ton, D.C., 1962) (hereafter Mango, Materials), esp. 44-46, 98, and figs. 47-48.
7 Idem, The Brazen House (Copenhagen,
1959) (hereafter Mango, Brazen House), esp. 51-54.
8 Idem, The Art of the
Byzantine Empire 312-1453 (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1972) (hereafter Mango,
Art), esp. 153; H. Kahler and C. Mango, Hagia Sophia (New York, 1967), esp. 47, 54; C. Mango
and E. J. W. Hawkins, "The Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul: The Church Fathers in the North
Tympanum," DOP, 26 (1972) (hereafter Mango and Hawkins, "Church Fathers"), 3-41, esp. 33 and
note 86, 36, and figs. 44, 53.
of this part of the church, and an analysis of the structure to which they are
attached precedes the discussion of the mosaics. This analysis of the indica-
tions of the masonry is necessarily detailed, though only those elements which
affect the chronology are treated. We believe that such a chronology based on
the material evidence is confirmed and refined by the identification of the rooms
as a part of the Patriarchate of the Great Church.
The investigation in this area of St. Sophia was one of the first operations
carried out by Underwood when he took over the direction of fieldwork by
the Byzantine Institute on the death of its founder, Thomas Whittemore,
in 1950. We were able to observe the mosaics and retake photographs in
August 1973, and the present report incorporates the record made by Ernest
Hawkins during conservation work between 1950 and 1952, as well as the
uncompleted draft text which Underwood began in the 1950's. Since the work
undertaken in the 1950's was limited to a consolidation of the mosaics and
was not a full structural survey accompanied by a stripping of recent plaster
overlays, our interpretations of the masonry evidence must be tentative and
incomplete until such an investigation is carried out. In his Draft Report,
Underwood recorded the friendly collaboration of the Department of Anti-
quities and the Museums of the Republic of Turkey and of two Directors of
the Aya Sofya Muzesi during his work. In our turn, we can thank the present
Director Bay a Hadidand
Altay, Bay Sinasi Baemez for their help.


The suite of rooms decorated with mosaics can today be entered only
through the doorway at the south end of the west gallery of St. Sophia
a ndii). This door opens directly into a long and relatively low room
(figs. ieon
(fig. 26), which is the largest room of the suite and lies immediately above
the entrance vestibule to the inner narthex at the southwest corner of the
church, the present means of access for the public. The dimensions of the room
above the southwest vestibule nearly coincide with it in length and breadth.
In this report we shall refer to it as the Room Over the Vestibule.9 Smaller
rooms lie to the east and west of it, but the three to the west lack decoration
and their structure was disturbed when Sinan raised the southwest minaret
(around 1573), not to mention alterations undertaken during the Fossati
restorations.10 Present access to these rooms is through a marble doorway at
the south end of the Room Over the Vestibule. Facing this Byzantine door-
9 This is designated "salle des pretres" by F. Dirimtekin, in "Le local du Patriarcat a Sainte
Sophie," IstMitt, 13-14 (1963-64), 113-27, and fig. 1; in the description of A. Pasadaios, 'O TTarpiap-
OP6vo (Thessaloniki, 1976) (hereafter Pasadaios, 'O TTaTpiapX1K6S 54
and fig. 2, this room is j, and the Room Over the Ramp is v.
10W. Emerson and R. L. Van Nice, "Hagia Sophia and the First Minaret Erected after the Con-
quest of Constantinople," AJA, 54 (1950), 28-40. The restoration work of Gaspare and Guisseppe
Fossati in St. Sophia in 1847-49 is described in Mango, Materials; he publishes their drawings, water-
colors, and other records which are now kept in boxes or bound in the Album in the Archivio Can-
tonale at Bellinzona.

way, in the east wall of the Room Over the Vestibule, is a crude rectangular
opening, which has become the only entrance to a high room, nearly square
in plan, and surmounting the southwest ramp that climbs from ground level
to the gallery of St. Sophia. We shall call this the Room Over the Ramp.
A small square room is now reached only through an archway at the north-
west corner of the Room Over the Ramp. Since we must distinguish this space
as a separate architectural unit, we shall refer to it as the Alcove." These
three units are important because in them mosaic decoration has survived
in a fragmentary state.
It is difficult for the viewer of these mosaics to recreate their original
setting, not the least because of the deterioration in the conditions of lighting.
The two large rooms are each lit today only by a pair of small rectangular
windows in their south walls. These clumsy windows are visible on the exterior
to the visitor who approaches St. Sophia from the south, and our illustrations
of this view were photographed in the winter of 1936-37 when parts of the
wall of the church were being stripped of plaster (figs. 2 and 3). These small
windows were made up of the marble plaques of the former Byzantine windows,
and were already in position by 1786, when a view of St. Sophia was made
for Sir Richard Worseley.12The various changes to the structure of the rooms
are the result of remodeling and maintenance work during the Byzantine period
and of later consolidation during the Ottoman period. Due to settlement or
other movement the structure of the southwest ramp tower seems to have
caused continual trouble. At the time of the Fossati restoration of the mosque
the rooms were in use for storage and were inaccessible to visitors (a circum-
stance which has not changed).l3 Antoniades, for instance, had to derive his
11 It is our conclusion that a Byzantine writer (for example, Constantine
Porphyrogenitos in the
tenth century) would describe the Room Over the Vestibule as the Large Sekreton of the Patriarchate,
and t the Room Over the Ramp as the Small Sekreton. The identification of the Alcove is uncertain.
Reproduced in Mango, Brazen House, fig. 27; see pp. 159-63.
Idem, Materials, 44-46, 139, for a translation of the relevant section from a letter by A. N.
Murav'ev dated 6 July 1849. On pp. 45-46 and 132-33, Mango presents the information of Otto
Vestiaris, derived from a visit in 1847 to a room off the South
ot sRoomthe
Gallery, possibly Over the
Vestibule. If these are the mosaics he describes, which is open to doubt, the only real information
would be that tthe fure
figure of
otoSt. John the Baptist was at this time visible in the Deesis. Mango (ibid.,
45, 132) records the information of a former chaplain to the Levant Company at Istanbul, James
Dallaway (Constantinople Ancient and Modern [London, 1797], 53), that ca. 1795 the vault of a chapel,
probably the Room Over the Vestibule, was the source of small fragments of mosaics sold to visitors.
A visit to the Rooms not described in Mateials
iaters recorded in the unpublished notes of Rev. Joseph
Dacre Carlyle, Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University, who visited a magazine in St. Sophia in
search of manuscripts on 29 December 1799; cf. W. St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles (London,
1967), esp. 9-10, 63-78, on Carlyle and the circumstances
stafft of his appointment to the
heLord of Elgin's
embassy as the scholar responsible for discovering classical manuscripts. In his account (British Library,
MS Add. 27604, fols. 123-129), Carlyle locates the room behind twoo largere doors at the end of the right-
hand gallery from the stairs (his guides told him the story of the priest, celebrating here at the time
of the fall of Constantinople, who was sealed in by an earthquake which blocked the door;
was entirely skeptical since only a rusty hinge slowed his entrance). The room he describes cannot
be that in the southwest buttress, for it is too large. He claims that the room, formerly a
had chambers of almost equal size on either side of it, and that the three preserved the remnants of
a mosaic decoration of fine workmanship. He was told that the mosaics showed the effects of heat
and smoke through damage from lightning. He says the figures were about life-size, and consisted of
emperors (but no saints) wearing sacerdotal paraphernalia. He wondered if Constantine the Great
was among them. His account, like that of all the early visitors to the Rooms, offers little information
and not a few anomalies.

description and plan from Salzenberg (hence their agreements in error con-
cerning the form of the vaulting of the Room Over the Vestibule and on the
placing of doors).14 Salzenberg gained his information during his observations
of the Fossati operations while he was on the spot between January and
May 1848. If his record is reliable, marble revetment was then still in position,
at least on the walls of the Room Over the Vestibule. Undoubtedly the vertical
walls of the rooms were originally faced with marble revetment, for the
attachments remain visible. Perhaps the squalid appearance of the rooms at
that time (graphically described by Murav'ev in 1849) had induced the Fossati
to ransack the marble; this may partly explain their success in replacing
missing slabs in the lateral aisles and galleries of St. Sophia without the
supply of any new marble.15This suggestion seems to be supported by their
drawing of the south wall of the Room Over the Ramp (Fossati Album,
p. 38).16On the left of this sheet is a careful watercolor copy of part of the vault
mosaic which can be seen to have been more fully preserved at that time
than it is now. On the right side of the sheet the drawing of the south wall
is admittedly a less careful rendering of the evidence. However, since a record
could at that time be made of the capital and column shaft between the central
and western pointed arches and since both column and shaft were entirely
submerged in a rubble fill by 1950 (fig. 18), the obvious deduction is that it
was the Fossati who reinforced this opening. Moreover, in this fill, at a height
heast corner, we found the
of 2.25 m. in the southeast tdate 1849 incised with a
trowel point into the mortar (fig. 4). Similar untidy pink mortar is visible
in the extensive areas of repointing in the rooms, and can therefore be
attributed to a campaign of consolidation undertaken after the removal of
the marble revetment and carried out in the last months of the Fossati
restoration, which was substantially completed by 13 July 1849.
This removal of the revetment no doubt revealed alarming cracks and
deterioration in the brickwork. One area of particular concern, to judge from
the quantity of pink mortar, was the south section of the party wall which
divides the Room Over the Ramp from the Room Over the Vestibule. The
trouble here was caused by the movement outward of the south wall of the
Room Over the Ramp. Remedial repairs were carried out in the brickwork
of the party wall in the area of the present rectangular door opening between
the two rooms. The brick lintel of this doorway, bound in position by metal
struts, may be attributed to Fossati activity. To judge from the lines of
cracking in the brickwork above this opening (on both the east and west
faces of the wall), the Fossati replaced a brick arch here over the doorway;
this would have had an extrados at the same height as that above the
Byzantine door opposite in the west wall of the Room Over the Vestibule.
We suggest that there was a doorway in the south section of the party wall
14 E. M. Antoniades, "EKqpaoit (Leipzig-Athens, 1907-9), esp. II, 292ff.; W. Sal-
T-iS 'Ayias 2Xo<piaS
zenberg, Alt-christliche Baudenkmale von Constantinopel vom V. bis XII. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1855),
esp. 18, 32, and pl. xxxi,7 and 8.
15 Mango, Materials, 13.
16Ibid., fig. 48 reproduces the Fossati watercolor.

between the rooms from the time of their original construction. The existence
of a door here from the beginning is supported by another observation: we
found a broken piece of marble revetment low down on the south reveal
of the doorway (on the east side). For these reasons we feel bound to postulate
the existence during the Byzantine period of a grander doorway in this posi-
tion, possibly with a socle or a molded marble enframement and with its
supporting archway concealed under a marble revetment. An assumption that
this access into the Room Over the Ramp was punched through in modern
times is unjustified, and our understanding of the structural sequence of
the rooms depends on its having been there from the begninig of their history.
The drawings made in these rooms in the mid-nineteenth century by the
Fossati and Salzenberg demonstrate that although the mosaics were even
then considerably mutilated, deterioration has since gone much further. The
earthquake of 10 July 1894 no doubt took its toll. In 1937 the floor of the
Room Over the Vestibule was, we have been told, littered with tesserae, and
the truth of this report is easily recognized.


The obvious starting point for an investigation of the structural history of

the gallery-level rooms in the southwest area of St. Sophia is the ramp
(figs. II and III). Since this formed one of the principal means of access into
the gallery of the church, it must belong to the original Justinianic construc-
tion. The rampway runs at right angles to the church, and is carried in a
tower which is joined to the church at its short north side (the interior
measurements are 9.25 m. x 4.65 m.). The ramp tower today forms the east
side of thesouthe
ouwest vestibule. The length of the tower is divided along its
center by a pier, about six meters long, that rises the full height of the ramp-
way to give internal support to the series of superimposed, inclined, vaulted
galleries in each of the two sides. These inclined galleries, which are the flights
of the ramp, are vaulted by segmental barrel vaults; at the angles, the transi-
tional element is a domical vault. These flights measure about 1.85 m. in
width, and they have an average height, from floor to floor, of 3.20 m. The
spiral formed by these flights around the central dividing pier ascends in a
counterclockwise direction (as do the spirals in the other ramps of St. Sophia
and the stairways in the piers). This ramp tower, as does its counterpart
at the northwest corner, fits against the church so that its central pier more
or less aligns with the massive wall which on the ground floor divides the
naos from the inner narthex and which, above, divides the lateral galleries
from the west gallery (fig. I). Because of this alignment, it was easiest for the
builders to make the transition from the rampway into the gallery through
the eastern side of both of these towers. This fact accounts for the differences
in the treatment of the head of each of the ramps.
The Byzantine who made the ascent to the gallery by way of the southwest
I. Plan of Room Over the Vestibule and Room Over the Ramp

II. Head of Southwest Ramp, Section

II I -

5 10o

III. Heads of Southwest and Northwest Ramps, Plans and Sections (after Underwood)

ramp could enter its tower by one of two available doors (in this respect the
northwest ramp was different, for it seems to have had only one entrance,
at the north end of its western face). The main doorway into the southwest
ramp was in its western face; this still exists and its enframement is visible
from within the ramp, although on the side now seen in the southwest vestibule
the space has been filled to form a niche.7 To enter this door from the original
ground level it must have been necessary to mount a few steps or a short
sloping ramp, which gave access to what is strictly the second n flight of the
ramp. The first flight of the ramp, which is scarcely inclined, lay in the eastern
half of the tower and was entered by the door in its south side.18
The northwest ramp has lost its Justinianic paving slabs, but it preserves
its original ascent and its climb follows a regular turning pattern. The south-
west ramp has preserved some of its Justinianic paving slabs, but in its upper
parts the climb is no longer regular and it is clear that alterations have been
made here to its original pattern. Starting the climb from the side door at
ground level, the first six flights are regular (from the main west entrance
door, there would be five regular flights): the first, third, and fifth run one
above the other in a northerly direction on the east side of the tower, and the
second, fourth, and sixth run in a southerly direction on the west side. The
regularity of the ascent ends at the completion of these three circuits of the
spiral. From the end of the sixth flight at its southern turn there begins a long
flight of stairs, broken at three short landings (fig. III). Except for the first
four risers, which occur within the turning of the ramp, the stairs run steeply
upward without turning within the east side of the tower. The flight consists
of twenty-five risers, which arrive at gallery level in a awkward manner
about three meters beyond the entrance doorway.
This final ascent by means of a long flight of stairs was not the original
Justinianic system, but represents an alteration carried out in the Byzantine
period. This can be proved from a number of observations, which show that
the original scheme on this side of the church was as regular as that on the
northwest side, and that the original southwest ramp was composed of nine
runs. The original final ninth run finished at the summit of the ramp in a short
flight of steps of not more than seven risers which terminated at the threshold
of the entrance door into the gallery. The present long flight is a Byzantine
replacement for the seventh and ninth runs of the ramp, which lay on the
east side of the tower. When the alterations were made, the eighth run, on
the west side, became redundant; it was not, however, eliminated, but simply
left isolated and disused. This eighth run still remains, with its vaults retaining
the original Justinianic fresco decoration of the ramp. It is accessible today
through a door from one of the landings in the long flight of stairs.
17Van Nice, Saint Sophia in Istanbul (note 1 supra), pl. 13, cf. pls. 16, 20; see also the discussion
by C. Strube, Die westliche Eingangsseite der Kirchen von Konstantinopel in Justinianischer Zeit
(Wiesbaden, 1973) (hereafter Strube, Die westliche Eingangsseite), esp. 53. In our opinion the south-
west ramp had two entrance doors from the beginning.
18 It is suggested below (p. 200 and note 42) that this south door was regarded as a side door in
the Byzantine period.
The evidence for the original form of the southwest ramp must be given
in detail, for it indicates that the alterations occurred at a time early in the
history of St. Sophia. We believe that the first mosaics in this area of the
building date from this structural alteration. The indications that there once
existed a final short flight of steps leading up to the threshold of the entrance
door and thattt his flight was earlier than the present stairway are no longer
visible, but were fortunately photographed in 1954 (fig. 5) and are recorded
in the survey of Van Nice. The stumps of three ancient stair treads projected
slightly through the plaster. These stumps must have remained embedded
when an earlier flight was cut out to introduce the new long flight of stairs
(the top of the lowest of these treads was 1.30 m. below the level of the gallery
and 1.85 m. short of the line of the exterior wall of the church where the ramp
tower adjoins it). If there were five or six treads in this original flight, it can
be estimated that the top step reached gallery level precisely at the wall of
the church. The head of this staircase was marked by the monumental marble
doorway built in the thickness of this south wall of St. Sophia. The termination
of the ascent by thee southwest ramp to the gallery of the church by a short
steep climb up to the threshold of the door must, through the lack of a landing
in front of this door, have felt a little awkward; it certainly contrasts with the
well-lit final landing of the northwest ramp. When the original system of the
southwest ramp was altered, the new stairway and the door were narrowed.
The threshold of the door had to be cut away, as the new stairway was lower,
to provide passage under the Room Over the Ramp. To give this headroom,
the new stairs had to encroach into the south gallery of the church.
In addition to the evidence of the stairs and the doorway, further informa-
tion about the alterations to the ramp is available through investigation of the
masonry of the Room Over the Ramp. The clue to a dating of this work is
offered by this masonry. In order to reestablish the original course of the
final ninth run of the ramp, Underwood prepared a measured drawing and
duly connected the (estimated) bottom of the original (destroyed) stairway
with the still existent floor at the southern turning of the eighth run (fig. III).
The angle of inclination for the floor so obtained is similar to that of other
runs in this ramp. Furthermore, if the ninth run was vaulted along the same
height as the others, then its vault would have been higher than the present
floor level of the Room Over the Ramp. One can be more precise than this,
for since the average vertical dimension of the other runs was, from floor to
floor, approximately 3.20 m., it follows that one would expect the springing
of the vault of the ninth run to have lain at a height of about 1.30 m. above
the present floor of the Room Over the Ramp at its northeast corner. An
examination of the surviving sections of Byzantine masonry of the east wall
of the Room Over the Ramp confirms that the ninth run of the ramp did
once exist, but that its vault was sliced away when the Room Over the
was built. The walls of the Room Over the Ramp are a vertical continuation
of the original exterior walls of the ramp tower. All that now remains of the
east side of the upper parts of the ninth run of the ramp is the indistinct scar

of an inclined vault at the anticipated height on the east wall of the Room
Over the Ramp and, in addition, the indication of the skewback of its domical
vault when the run turned at the southeast comer of the ramp tower.
The implications of this evidence are quite unambiguous, and the conclusion
that at some time the original superstructure of the southwest ramp was taken
off in order to accommodate the present Room Over the Ramp as a kind of
penthouse can be stated with certainty. It is relevant to note the other informa-
tion to be derived from an examination of the walls of this Room, for it helps
in reconstructing the Justinianic appearance of the ramp and in reaching
a decision about the date of the remodeling. Such an examination is simplified
by the present bare state of the walls-for the lost marble revetment was the
sole Byzantine covering of the masonry-but is complicated by the extensive
(and essential) Turkish repairs.
The sloping scar on the east wall of the Room Over the Ramp has already
been mentioned, but the indications on its west wall are considerably more
distinctive (figs. III and 10). Along this wall a clearly visible scar slopes down-
ward from north to south. It is interrupted only by the rectangular door
(leading into the Room Over the Vestibule) which cuts off the north side of
the scar of a domical vault whose skewback can be discerned at the southwest
corner of the room (fig. 6). As is the case on the east side of the room, this scar
must represent the remains of the vaulting of a run in the ramp. The scar is
90 cm. in thickness; its lower edge would represent the internal springing of a
segmental barrel vault whose apex would have lain roughly midway between
the two edges. The highest level at which the upper edge can be seen, in the
northwest corner of the room, is at about 2.65 m. (fig. III). This scar on the
west wall (possibly a little higher than that on the east wall-the exact point
is not certain) shows that there existed a barrel-vaulted passage on the west
half of the ramp tower which ran above the eighth (penultimate) run. In other
words, there was a tenth section in the ramp tower, with its vault running
parallel to that of the ninth run which gave the final ascent to the gallery.
The central pier on which both of these vaults rested in common was removed
when the floor of the Room Over the Ramp was laid. The function of this
tenth run needs some explanation. One purpose must have been to facilitate
the roofing of the ramp tower by equalizing the levels of the vaults over the
passages. It probably also had some value as a tunnel between a window in
the south wall of the ramp tower and the structures at the head of the ramp,
which have at least partially survived. The small room, which now opens off
the northwest corner of the Room Over the Ramp and which we have termed
the Alcove, seems, unlike the Room Over the Ramp, to be a part of the original
Justinianic structure of the ramp tower. It is with this Alcove that the vault
of the tenth run of the ramp communicated. Since the Alcove is decorated
with mosaics, it is at least feasible to consider them as belonging to the original
decoration of the church, although it must be noted that the decoration of
the ramp runs which survives (in the eighth and tenth runs) was executed
in fresco.
It will be impossible to understand the architectural changes in this area
of St. Sophia without attempting to visualize the appearance of the southwest
ramp tower in its original state (before the Room Over the Ramp and the other
rooms were added). We visualize the exterior faCade of the ramp, as viewed
from the south to have en roofed over aawestern
pair of arches, of which the
certainly, and the eastern probably, enframed a window. The roofing would
have sloped upward from above these two arches toward the main south wall
of the church. This roof is unlikely to have been a simple lean-to affair. Some
assistance in reconstructing this superstructure is gained by moving around the
church to observe the roof of the northwest ramp, for this has survived in
somewhat nearer its original form (fig. 1). The northwest ramp was never
surmounted by rooms at gallery level. There are, of course, certain differences
between these two ramps which exted from the beginning (figs. I and iv).
The northwest ramp tower is equal in width to ours, and is attached to the
church in an equivalent, but reversed, position. However, the two towers are
of different lengths, with the consequence that the pattern of the ascent has
some differences. Whereas the southwest ramp tower extends to a length of
9.25 m. beyond the wall of the church and originally made the ascent in nine
runs (cunting from the sie door) with a small flight of steps at its summit,
the northwest ramp tower is longer and extends about one meter farther out
from the wall. The ascent on this side of the church is achieved in only seven
runs of ramp with four steps at the summit. The essential differences between
the ramps occur at the final stage before entrance is made into the gallery
of the church. The ultimate run of the northwest ramp rises on the west side
of the tower, but for structural reasons (as noted above) the door into the
gallery had to be on the east side. This problem was solved by making a
landing in front of the entrance so that the visitor could make the transition
from the west to the east side of the ramp tower. This landing was well lighted
by means of a large triple window, facing north, which was presumably
contained within a semicircular tympanum, for its lights were divided by
two mullions discernible under plaster from inside and clearly visible from
the exterior (fig. 1).
The roofing of the northwest ramp tower was carried out in two levels.
The outer (northern) section covers the sixth and seventh runs of the ramp,
and it slopes upward toward the church. In making this section the builders
had to resolve one difficulty; the vault of the final seventh run sloped as a
matter of course upward toward the church, but the floor of the penultimate
sixth run rose upward in the contrary direction (toward the north). The solu-
tion was to raise the vault of the sixth run so that it too rose toward the
church and parallel to the seventh run. This treatment, which allowed the
roofing to be laid regularly across the outer section of the tower, differs from
the solution of the problem of the southwest ramp (where the supernumerary
vault was built), but it would have resulted in the same effect externally.
The outer section of the roof of the northwest ramp ran upward until it met
the transverse window wall through which the landing in front of the gallery
:saA uupi[ooI'uo!po3s 'dumi q4 a190 uooa 'AI
door was lit. This transverse wall supported a high barrel vault which spanned
the complete width of the ramp over the landing. This vault was roofed and
so completed at a higher level the roofing of the northwest ramp with a second
inner section.
Applying to the southwest ramp this information about Justinianic building
practice acquired from consideration of the superstructure of the northwest
ramp, it seems clear that here also the roofing was arranged in two sections.
The lower outer roof was similar in appearance to that on the northwest
tower, but at the higher roof level in front of the gallery door the clerestory
system was handled differently. As on the northwest tower, the lower section
was terminated at a transverse wall, for this still survives as the lower part
of the north wall of the Room Over the Ramp. The pair of roofed barrel
vaults of the ninth and tenth runs of the ramp met and pierced this transverse
wall (as is the case in the northwest ramp), and this rose vertically above their
roof level. In our interpretation of the masonry, this transverse wall enclosed
clerestory windows facing south, and so this member had the same function
as its equivalent on the other side of the church. The windows do not seem,
however, to have been of the same style-with mullions-as those in the
northwest ramp. If it is correct to interpret the vertical grooves in the east
and west walls of the Room Over the Ramp which align with the south face
of this transverse wall as fittings for window frames, then it would mean
that the Justinianic transverse wall contained two separate arched windows
in these positions (figs. 13 and 19). Whether or not the transverse wall continued
vertically upward beyond these windows is now impossible to observe, for any
such extension would have been taken down when the present north tympanum
of the Room Over the Ramp was built. To determine how the final section of
the ramp tower in front of the church was roofed is therefore a matter of
The fact that the circumstances at the head of the northwest ramp in front
of the gallery door differ from those in our ramp best explains the apparent
divergences in treatment of the final stage. The space between the transverse
wall and the south wall of the church did not require the landing and transverse
barrel vault of the northwest ramp because the final ninth run of the ramp
was on the east side of the tower and so led directly to the gallery door
(fig. II). The final area of the ramp was divided into two nearly equal squares;
the one at the west being the space covered by the square domical vault,
which we have termed the Alcove. Probably this vault belongs to the original
ramp superstructure. The space it covers would not have been traversed in
the course of the ascent to the gallery. It lay to the left of the final, short
stairway, and as there is no landing on this stairway, the space must have
been difficult of access, and perhaps divided by a balustrade. Unless a porter
was stationed in it,19 its only function would have been as a lantern tower
19 For reference to the
doorkeepers of St. Sophia, see T. F. Mathews, The Early Churches of
Constantinople. Architecture and Liturgy (University Park, Pa., 1971) (hereafter Mathews, Early
Churches), 154, note 110.

at the head of the ramp. As we suggested above, it had an opening on its

south side which communicated with the tunnel vault of the tenth run of the
ramp, and quite likely it had also a window on the west side. It certainly
contained a high window on its east side (now filled with rubble). We suppose
this east window to be an exterior window looking out above a lower roof over
the eastern square in front of the gallery door. Underwood, on the other hand,
supposed that this eastern square too was vaulted by a similar tower (fig. iv).
The question could be settled by probing the Turkish fill over the eastern
square. The original form of the final inner section of our ramp tower must
therefore remain conjectural, but one conclusion is sufficiently clear; good
lighting and ventilation must have been the main considerations of the builders,
but the achievement of these aims led to different solutions on each side of the

Some surfaces of the parts of this ramp which we have attributed to the
Justinianic period have retained their Byzantine decoration. There are mosaics
in the vault of the Alcove, and frescoes in the eighth (disused) run and on the
west vertical wall of the tenth (extra) run (now the west wall of the Room
Over the Ramp below the scar of the springing of its vault).
The mosaic scheme of rinceaux and crosses in medallions (figs. 22-25) was
dated to the original Justinianic decoration by Underwood on the parallel of
the soffits of the smaller arches inside the church.20 Recent studies invite
caution in dating the ornamental mosaics of St. Sophia, for the unity of its
interior decoration was maintained over the Byzantine period by the imitation
of Justinianic designs in successive periods of restoration. These periods are
best distinguished by their differences of technique and of materials rather
than by the indications of style.21 Such considerations lead us to attribute
the mosaics of the Alcove to one such later period of restoration in which
the forms used were traditional (see infra, pp. 309-10).
The wall paintings can only have been designed to decorate the ramp at
the beginning of its history (532-37). Their iconographic function was to help
the transit of a spectator moving between the church and the world outside.
Across the vault of the eighth run was a large floral cross within a medallion
(figs. 7 and 8). On each side of the medallion, growing out of a double leaf orna-
ment, a line of similar flowers runs along the apex of the segmental barrel vault.
A border lies along the inclined springing of this vault, and consists of indented
lines, like a running chevron. On the vertical wall below this border, at least
in one fragment on the east wall, was a small plain cross with flared arms.
Other patches on the vertical walls are indistinct (for example, on the west
wall of the tenth run, fig. 6), but seem mostly to have floral motifs.
20 Underwood, "Notes," 294.
21Progress in the distinction of techniques and materials is made by C. Mango and E. J. W. Haw-
kins, "The Apse Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul," DOP, 19 (1965) (hereafter Mango and Hawkins,
"Apse Mosaics"), 115-51, esp. 148; and idem, "Church Fathers," esp. 32-35.
These wall paintings have not been cleaned. The background of the medal-
lion was probably in the natural white of lime plaster. The lines of the concentric
circles and radiating beams are drawn in dark earth red, as are also the semi-
circles in its border. The rest of the outlines are drawn in black (flowers,
rosette at center, jewels in segments at the end of the arms of the cross, and
the [twenty] trefoil border motifs). The flowers in the cross seem to have
been alternatively red with yellow spots, and yellow with red spots. The
concentric circles around the cross were in three colors, yellow, white, and
blue-grey. In all, a limited palette was used, and a linear style.22 It is a routine
decoration, yet shows that attention was given to details of finish in even
the ramps of St. Sophia.



The completion of the wall paintings in the runs of the ramp seems con-
clusive evidence that the structure was in use in its original form before the
alterations were made to this tower. The failure to finish off some details of
the fittings (such as the groove for a ramming rod on the church side of the
gallery door), is better explained as an anomaly rather than taken as support
for the idea that the alterations happened during one virtually continuous
and pragmatic campaign of building. On our interpretation, the construction
of the Room Over the Ramp was part of a substantial new enterprise in the
southwest corner of St. Sophia in the later sixth century. The belief that
changes were made to this ramp tower, which had until this time been an
isolated structure, and that these changes occurred quite soon after the church
had been completed, depend on a number of structural features which must
now be described.23
The Room Over the Ramp fills the east-west width of the ramp tower
(4.65 m.), and lies in the southern two-thirds of the tower (6 m.). It is covered

22 A similar type of wallpainting is found in the chapel in the south wall of the Sinai
see G. A. Soteriou, ToiXoypaqfiai T-rlScaKriv TOU Map-tplov Eis napEKK1aQi(a TOi TreiXouSTriisMovrs Eiva,
Studi Bizantini, 9 (1957), 389-91; and G. H. Forsyth and K. Weitzmann, The Monastery of Saint
Catherine at Mount Sinai. The Church and Fortress of Justinian (Ann Arbor [1973]), plate vol.,
pls. cxxxiv-cxxxv, cxciv-cxcvIIi.
23 Our interpretation differs from the conclusion of Underwood in his Draft Report, in which he
decided that the south wall of the Room Over the Ramp belongs to a later phase than the other
three walls. He therefore made suggestions about its possible appearance when the Room was built.
He also concluded that this original Room, as reconstructed by him, had a mosaic decoration which
was entirely removed to make way for our phase one scheme. Our opposition to this
theory and our
contention that the present south wall is original to the Room derives from an examination of the
antae: they are bonded to the side walls but not to the Turkish fill (see figs. 2, 14). The
needs to be mentioned, since our dating of phase one in this paper has received criticism from D. H.
Wright in a letter dated 25 August 1974, and in "The Shape of the Seventh Century in Byzantine
Art," First Annual Byzantine Studies Conference. Abstracts of Papers (Cleveland, 1975), 9ff. Wright
is prepared to ascribe the original construction of the Room Over the
Ramp to the reign of Justin II,
but proposes that our phase one is later, belonging to the period of Justinian II. We
reject Wright's
suggestion, which is also in line with the second thoughts of Underwood.

by a groin vault (to a height of 7.60 m.) (figs. I and iv for plan and section;
and figs. 11, 12, and 13). Each wall is surmounted by a semicircular tympanum
with a central window (about 2.70 m. in height), though none of these windows
is now open to the light. The northern wall is pierced by two arches, whose
common pier is a vertical continuation of the central supporting and dividing
wall of the ramp beneath. In the original ramp tower the upper parts of these
two arches had enclosed the clerestory windows in front of the gallery door,
but they were adapted to new functions. The Room Over the Ramp was
originally floored with marble slabs, for we found traces of these in the south-
west corner about 10 cm. below the present floor level (fig. 6). The original
floor therefore lay at roughly the level of that of the west gallery of the
church. Since we believe that the Room Over the Vestibule, which communi-
cates directly into the west gallery, was built at the same time as the Room
Over the Ramp, we infer that the levels of these rooms were determined by
the floor of the west gallery. (Before the present wooden flooring of the Room
Over the Vestibule was laid, outlines of former floor slabs could be seen in
the mortar.)
The decision to convert the top of the southwest ramp into rooms at gallery
level initiated a number of operations. To understand these, it is again best
to refer to the evidence on the west wall of the Room Over the Ramp (figs. iv
and 10). Reading from the floor upward, the diagonal scar and the wall below
it is all that survives of the previous summit of the tower (the tenth run).
The sharpest feature is the inclined line of bricks on which the springing of
the barrel vault lay. The upper level of the scar marks the roof line, but now
appears somewhat irregular. The new west wall of the room was built upward
on this preexisting base, and so became the upward continuation of the wall
which at ground level forms the eastern partition of the present southwest
vestibule. At the upper level, however, this wall is thinner on its western side
by the breadth of one brick.24
Since the brickwork on this wall belongs to two separate operations, a
comparison should help to decide their difference, if any, in date. We measured
bricks in this wall, measured, where possible, ten courses (from top of brick
to top of course), and observed the technique of pointing. Other surfaces were
examined where accessible. This information can be tabulated as follows:


a. In the eighth (disused) run

measurements of bricks length 0.34 to 0.38 m.
height 0.04 to 0.06
measurements of ten courses west wall 0.96 to 0.97
east wall 0.96 to 0.96
north wall (i.e., south
wall of the church) 1.07
24This information was communicated by R. L. Van Nice (10 October 1973).

The pointing was done with shallow concave curves; in the mortar at the
end of some bricks there occur random oblique slashes, slanting to left
or right.
b. Below the scar on the west wall in the Room Overthe Ramp
measurements of bricks average 0.37 by 0.05 m.
notional measurements 0.90 m. (i.e., 0.36 m. for four courses)
of ten courses and
1.00 m. (i.e., 0.80 m. for eight courses)
The pointing is identical with that in the eighth run.


measurements of bricks length 0.36 to 0.37 m.

height 0.045 to 0.05
measurements of ten courses west wall above scar 0.97
east wall above scar 1.07
(at about 4 m. from the floor)
The pointing technique was similar to that in areas (a) and (b), and the
random oblique slashes occurred here also.

It is quite clear from this sample that there is no conspicuous change in

bricklaying between the two operations. On the other hand, the observed
similarities between the two phases are not an indication of contemporaneity
in view of the notorious conservatism of masons. Since both phases use a
technique which was denoted by Ward Perkins as characteristic of the
Justinianic work in St. Sophia,25 it seems unlikely that the construction of
the Room Over the Ramp could be much later than the sixth century.
The nature of the conversion work must be described further before a
decision as to its date can be made. The work was of two kinds; adaptations of
the preexisting structure, and the construction of new spaces. The adaptations
will be taken first. Requiring only brief mention are the conspicuous, long,
vertical slots in the west and east walls (figs. 10 and 19), made flush with the
wall surfaces by a fill of broken pieces of brick. These cut through the scars
of the ramp vaults. Their purpose and relative history in the Room can be
deduced from their position below the arch of the vaults; their use was as
constructional elements for the shuttering of the vaults.
In the eastern recess of the north wall, in a space originally occupied by the
vault of the ninth run of the ramp and the transverse window above it, is
J. P. Ward Perkins, "Notes on the Structure and Building Methods of Early Byzantine Archi-
tecture," in The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors, Second Report, ed. D. Talbot Rice (Edin-
burgh, 1958), esp. 71-72. We have some measurements from the Room Over the Vestibule, although
its walls are smeared with Fossati, and more recent, pointing: e.g.,
brick sizes: average 0.36 by 0.05 m. in the east wall
average 0.36 by 0.04 m. in the west wall
ten courses: 0.96 m., 0.99 m., and 1.01 m. in the east wall
0.87 and 0.88 m. in the west wall.
now found a large square cupboard (fig. 13, on the right, and fig. 19, on the
left). The back was presumably closed at the time of the conversion, but
its present covering of planks must be more recent. The thick wooden beams
across the top, inserted
ofer into the voussoirs the arch and supporting a brick
fill, are apparently of the Byzantine period, for inside the cupboard at the top
of the left side a fragment of painted plaster overlays the beams and, where
the design can be made out, the motifs look Byzantine rather than Ottoman.
There is a border (0.25 m. in width) outlined in red which enclosed a four-
stepped pyramid design, painted alternately in black and white. The body of
the pyramid (or lozenge) is yellow ochre, ornamentd with red or green spots.
Below the border there was simulated marble veining; much of the painted
plaster has fallen since 1954. The fitting of the cupboard filled in the slot
belonging to the previous window grid (fig. 19).
The arch on the west side of the north wall now opens into the Alcove
(figs. 13 and 23). The slot into which the original window grid (above the
tenth run of the ramp) had been inserted is not filled, unlike its equivalent
in the east arch. Unless the brick fill has simply fallen out, its absence raises
the supposition that a partition remained here, a possibility supported by
other clues: the surfaces of the arch on the Alcove side of the slot are rendered
with plaster and so lacked a revetment of marble such as covered the walls
of the Room Over the Ramp; set across this entrance to the Alcove, at the
northwest corner and dipping slightly to the east, we observed a socle of white
marble. Since other remnants in the Room show that it was originally skirted
by such a socle-one fragment on the west wall covered the painted plaster
of the Justinianic period-the probable conclusion is that the Alcove was
treated separately from the Room Over the Ramp and that there was a
partition, not necessarily opaque, between them. It follows that the Alcove
was designed to communicate with the Room Over the Vestibule, which it did
through a wide archway (1.95 m. high) in its west wall, now blocked by a
Turkish masonry fill, which was probably inserted sometime after Salzen-
berg's visit.
The existence of a partition between the Alcove and the Room Over the
Ramp supports the suggestion already made that access to the Room was
through a previous grander doorway at the south end of the party wall between
it and the Room Over the Vestibule. There is still another possible access door
to the Room. The direction of cracks in the east wall of the Room (though
in a section extensively rebuilt in Turkish times) suggests that on this side
also, opposite the west doorway, there was an opening. This might have led
to an elevated walkway to the chapel in the southwest buttress.26The implica-
tion of the relation between the Rooms is that the appointments of the Room

Texier, who planned St. Sophia between 1833 and 1835 (cf. C. Mango, "Constantinopolitana,"
JdI, 80 [1965], 305-36), gained access to the Room Over the Ramp. In his drawings, now in the
Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, he marked an opening at this point
on the east wall. He, too, may have been guessing, unless at that time there was a revetment which
offered clues now lost.

Over the Ramp depended from the beginning on the existence beside it of
the Room Over the Vestibule. The point must be pursued later.
To return to the Alcove, it underwent another adjustment-caused by the
construction of the Room Over the Ramp-which rendered its function as a
lantern tower at the head of the ramp obsolete. It was probably at this stage
that its Justinianic floor was removed, but evidence of this change can be
observed now only from below. In the eighth run of the ramp, which lies
underneath the Alcove and the west side of the Room Overthe Ramp, we
observed a narrow inserted staircase (fig. 7).27 To accommodate this, the
previous flooring of the Alcove must have been removed and the domical
vault below it cut away to the skewback,, the remnants of which can be
discerned. The new stairway rose in the northwest corner of the eighth ramp
with a flight of ten treads and turned to the right when it met the exterior
wall of the church; the eleventh tread is observed in the jog here. It therefore
formed a small spiral staircase, turning within the space of the Alcove and lit
by its high east window. The squae doorway from the eighth run onto the
long flight of stairs of the converted ramp was presumably knocked through
when this new spiral staircase was built. These arrangements gave access
from the Room Over the Vestibule through the Alcove down into the eighth
run of the ramp, and, if desired, to the exterior of the church without passing
through the gallery. This private stairway offered a use for the eighth run of
the ramp. Possibly the Alcove could also have acted in the nature of a dia-
conicon for the small oratory beside its entrance archway from the Room
Over the Vestibule. It should be mentioned that at some later date the Alcove
was refloored, rendering the stairway unusable, and that this new floor was
supported by a brick packing which rests on the stair treads. Whether the
new floor was Byzantine or Turkish could be investigated by removal of the
packing. Perhaps it belonged to the ninth-century redecoration of the rooms,
as is suggested later.
The elements mentioned so far witness the kind of adjustments made to the
existing structure of the ramp tower. We can now turn to the positive new
features of the architecture. That there are indeed two phases of construction
can be confirmed once more by looking at the vaulting. For example, in the
northeast corner of the Room, in the zone between the springing of the arch
of the cupboard and its apex, the north and east walls are not bonded together,
generally a clue in vertical members to a difference in time of construction
(figs. 13 and 19). Let us now look at the south wall (fig. 12). As it now exists,
this wall is a jumble of repairs. Two anta piers, bonded to their lateral walls,
form the southeast and southwest corners.28The rubble masonry between these
two antae is a late fill, belonging in its present state to Fossati work in 1849.
The antae rise to a height of about 4.15 m. and have thin marble cappings
that return into the thickness of the fill. Above this level is a zone of brick
masonry, about 1.20 m. in height, in which three pointed arches open. Their
27 Planned by Van Nice, Saint Sophia in Istanbul, pl. 16.
28 On this point, see supra, note 23.

shape is indisputable, since their soffits are carefully revetted with sheets of
marble, in the same manner as in the nave arcades of the mid-fifth-century
church of St. Demetrios in Thessaloniki. The use of pointed arches might have
been an esthetic device to increasenthe impression of height in the Room,
but it seems more likely that the demands of swift and sound workmanship
were predominant. The two free arches rest on impost capitals and columns.
The partially visible capital on the east column (fig. 18) is decorated on its
north face with a crossin relief, its arms flare at the ends. The columns were
joined by tie-beams. Probably the columns were seated on a base of heavy
stone slabs; such a course penetrates the thickness of the wall at about 0.85 m.
above floor level, and its molded projection on the exterior is still visible
(fig. 2).
The zone of the pointed arches continues upward, without any change in
materials or technique, to form the south tympanum. Remnants of an applied
marble molding mask the line of division between these two upper zones-it
is not a cornice embedded in the wall, but is held in place by metal clamps.
The window in the center of the tympanum is filled with rubble. This south
tympanum, along with the other three and, indeed, with all comparable
tympana in St. Sophia, is not bonded to the walls or arch, but is conceived
as a thick curtain wall. In all, the south wall was composed of four zones:
a base of solid masonry, a zone with three openings, a zone of pointed arches,
and a semicircular tympanum.
Underwood's conclusion that the south wall was different in date from the
other walls depended partly on his observation that this one is exceptional
in being devoid of pointing. We interpret all the walls as coeval, and would
explain this particular difference as due to the different function of this window
wall and to later maintenance work. We visualize from the beginning a high
triple window looking out to the south of the church, producing a kind of
high-level portico through which spectators in the Augustaion could see into
the room or its occupants could display themselves. Perhaps there is some
parallel in the Loggia of Old St. Peter's in the Vatican. This south window,
together with the high windows of the three other tympana, would have
ensured the good lighting of the Room and especially of its vault mosaics.
The Room Over the Ramp was a construction of some architectural merit,
though its chief quality is its decoration. It is clear, as shown above, that it
was only one part of a larger scheme of work, though the structural relation-
ships of the set of rooms now needs further clarification. If the doorway at
the southern end of the west wall of the Room Over the Ramp is an original
element, it follows that the Room Over the Vestibule was either earlier than
or coeval with the Room Over the Ramp. Our conclusion is that all the gallery-
level rooms and other upper apartments attached to the southwest corner of
St. Sophia are later additions to the Justinianic church and were built in a
single operation. Mathews and Strube have discussed the evidence for sup-
posing that on the northwest side of the church the entrance to the ramp
lay in an open area outside the inner narthex, and they reached the natural
conclusion that on the southwest, too, the vestibule was not original.29 The
consequence is that any structures supported by this vestibule must be later
than the original church, though not later, in our opinion, than the building
of the Room Over the Ramp. Before the erection of the vestibule, the south-
west ramp tower would have been an isolated feature at this corner of the
The only buildings at ground level in this area which might be of Justinianic
construction are the Baptistery and the Horologion.30This Baptistery is tradi-
tionally ascribed to Justinian.31 It could perhaps be ascertained that the
Horologion was the foundation of Justinian in 536 only if it were demonstrated
that the ground-level structure usually identified with it is bonded into the
narthex wall, for its "characteristic" masonry of brick and greenstone is found
also in the northwest corner of the Room Over the Vestibule.32 In reality,
the dating of the Horologion is not crucial to the issue, since the west wall
of the vestibule is not integral with it. The east wall of the Horologion is
aligned roughly with the partition between the inner and outer narthex of
St. Sophia, and its eastern door is set back about three meters behind the
present west wall of the vestibule. There is no structural difficulty in dating
the vestibule later than the Horologion. In the Byzantine period there must
have been a bay opening beneath the stucco comice the ecenter of the west
side and giving access to the Horologion. If the area at the southwest corner
of St. Sophia was at first open to the sky, and entrance to the ramp or the
inner narthex were made from outside, obviously neither the stucco cornices
nor the ornamental mosaics of the vestibule can be Justinianic.
We date the vestibule and its upper storeys to the same building campaign
as the Room Over the Ramp, with thee corollary that the work is unlikely to be
later than the sixth century. The vestibule is, like the Room Over the Ramp,

Mathews, Early Churches, 91-93, 129; and Strube, Die westliche Eingangsseite, esp. 34, 40ff.,
87ff., and pi. 1, facing p. 32. Mathews argues that the primary use of the galleries was to house cate-
chumens, who needed to enter their places from outside the church, and who had to make their exit
after the first part of the liturgy without disturbin
thsartee faithful. In her review of Early Churches
(see BZ, 67 [1974], 408-13), Strube discusses the problems and doubts whether the galleries were
ever conceived in terms of one single function. Apart from the indecisiveness of the written sources,
she points out that the procedures of St. Sophia are a special case, and that on special Festivals
there must have been more variety to the congregation than at other services. If women were present
in the galleries and wished to take communion, was provision made in the gallery, or did they go
downstairs? If so, where did they go afterward? Strube thinks it possible that both women and
catechumens were housed in the galleries in the sixth century; by the ninth century the latter group
was insignificant. This discussion is relevant to the use of the southwest ramp tower in its original
form, but it is a possibility that after its conversion it was closed to public use.
30 A. M. Schneider, Die
Grabung im Westhof der Sophienkirche zu Istanbul, IstForsch, XII (Berlin,
1941), and Dirimtekin, "Le local du Patriarcat a Sainte Sophie" (note 9 supra), give the archeological
evidence. Sinan's minaret obscures some of the evidence. The Survey of Van Nice (note 1 supra)
is more accurate and less certain than predecessors in this area (see pl. 13, location S 40, W 50).
Mathews, Early Churches, 93, discusses this area.
31 The textual tradition is not the most
reliable; see Aifyiiais rEpit riS 'Ayias Xoqpias,ed. T. Preger,
Scriptores Originum Constantinopolitanarum, I (Leipzig, 1901), 82, lines 2-12, 87, lines 5-6; and
F. Dirimtekin, "Ayasofya Baptisteri," TurkArkDerg, 12,2 (1963-65), 54-87.
32 The date is from
Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor (Leipzig, 1883-85), I, 216, which
refers to the Horologion of the Milion. Mango, Brazen House, 75 note 13, documents the use of the
Milion to refer loosely to the area around it.
vaulted with groins (fig. 9). Its division into three unequal bays does, at
first sight, seem irregular, but it bears a relation to the space which it covers.
The width of the central bay correlates with the width of the entrance into
the Horologion, which is evidence in favor of the earlier dating of the Horolo-
gion. Another feature which seems to predate the vestibule is the deep semi-
circular archway sheltering the door into the inner narthex and the window
above it. To the right of this door a low molded opening leads into a closet,
which now has bench seats hacked into its brickwork, as if adapted for use as
a porter's lodge. This corner space is a shaft which continues vertically upward
through the corner of the Room Over e the Vestibule, and was adapted for an
important function there.33 The shaft existed not so much as a planned ele-
ment of the architecture of the church but as a space which resulted at the
southwest corner between the south wall of the inner narthex and the ramp
tower (the similar space at the northwest corner is now filled with masonry).
When he examined the stucco cornices, Hawkins saw evidence in the north-
west corner of the vestibule that on this side it was built up on a constructional
shelf of bricks; he could not investigate this point on the east wall, where we
expect the indications to differ.34This suggests that the cornice was planned
with the building of this wall of the vestibule.
The height of the vault of the vestibule was determined, if we are correct,
by the decision to lay the marble paving slabs of the Room Over the Vestibule
at about the same level as the floor of the west gallery. The position of the
entrance doorway of the vestibule was determined by the decision to align
this, and the south wall of the Room Over the Vestibule, with the south wall
of the ramp tower and the Room Over the Ramp.35 The Room Over the
Vestibule was made the largest of the suite, and from it entrance was made
into the church. The opening to accommodate the monumental marble door-
way at the south end of the west gallery would have been punched through
during this building program (a layer of greenstone had to be cut through)
(fig. 27). Immediately inside this Room, to the east, is a recess (fig. II); it
represents the vertical extension of the present closet space beside the narthex
door below. This recess was adapted to form a square chapel, with niches in
its entrance archway, by hacking into the depth of the brick wall of the church
33The ground-floor space was identified by Antoniades as the metatorium of the "Beautiful Door";
Trii 'AyiaS lopiaS (note 14 supra), I, 151-52. No examination has been made of the higher
see 'EiKppaaCRS
levels of the masonry of this "chimney" in the vestibule, in particular at the points where the archway
over the narthex door meets the northeast corner of the vestibule. If, for example, it were discovered
that the archway was in fact constructed as a bridge between rooms above the Horologion and the
ramp tower, then perhaps an additional phase in the history of the conversion of this area from open
space to enclosed vestibule would need consideration.
34 E. J. W. Hawkins, "Plaster and Stucco Cornices in Haghia Sophia, Istanbul," Actes du XII6

Congrks International des Etudes Byzantines, III (Belgrade, 1964), 131-35. The cornice predates the
lunette mosaic.
35 The present bronze doors had to be enlarged to fit the opening. Their original decoration suggests
a date before the Justinianic St. Sophia, and they could have belonged to an earlier phase of the
church; cf. E. H. Swift, Hagia Sophia (New York, 1940), esp. 55-60. For the date of the enlargement
and addition of new bronze ornaments, and the engraving of the inscriptions on the bronze plates
inlaid with silver by Theophilos in 838/39, with the addition of the name of Michael III in 840/41,
see, most recently, C. Mango, "When Was Michael III Born?", DOP, 21 (1967), 253-58.

to enlarge the space to about twice its previous size. A window in its apse,
now blocked, looked out eastward directly into the south gallery of St. Sophia,
over the final stairs of the ramp. This recess was still recognizable as an oratory
in 1849.36Oratories in the galleries of St. Sophia figure in several texts.37 To
the right of the recess was the entrance to the Alcove, which possibly had the
function of a diaconicon.
The ceiling of the Room Over the Vestibule is now divided longitudinally
into three bays (shown incorrectly in previous literature) (fig. v). Only the
north bay appears to belong to the original construction. The south window,
now blocked up with Turldsh rubble, is also an alteration, belonging with
the two southern vault bays (fig. 26). The evidence is that when the Room Over
the Vestibule was constructed, its window system was similar to that of the
Room Over the Ramp. It too had antae; in the brickwork rising from the anta
in the southwest corner of the Room Over the Vestibule are hints of the
springing of an arch, now truncated. The natural reconstruction of the original
south window is therefore with three lights between arches whose columns
would rest on a low zone of masonry. This reconstruction of the original
window is supported by the existence on the exterior of this Room of a molded
projection, though at a slightly lower level than that of the Room Over the
Ramp (fig. 2). The alteration to this window dates to the Middle Byzantine
period (see infra, pp. 212-13). As for the original vaulting, most likely the method
of the present north bay was applied to the whole Room. This vault is seen
on its eastern side to be not a simple barrel vault but two arches of different
widths with a concave fill between them (fig. 27). The bay is therefore tri-
partite, and for clarity we denote each member, starting from the north wall,
as A, B, and C. Our measurements suggest the original division of the ceiling
into four repeats of this vaulting: the pattern A B C B C B C B A would
bring the vaulting up to the face of the antae. A final point to be made about
the appearance of the Rooms is that the marble door frames, as, for example,
in the south end of the west wall of the Room Over the Vestibule and in the
entrance to the gallery, were presumably made at the time of the conversion.


The building of the southwest vestibule and the suite of rooms above it was
a major alteration to this corner of St. Sophia. It probably caused the change
in function of the Augustaion from that of an agora in the time of Justinian
Mango, Materials, 139.
37 Mathews, Early Churches, 129 (and references), documents the existence of Ei*KTritpio in the
galleries of St. Sophia as well as in other churches in the capital, but his account needs correction:
Patriarch Nikephoros faced exile, not death, in 815; the adduced passage of TH6rpiaKcova-ravTvovTw6-
AEcos,III, in Scriptores Originum Constantinopolitanarum, ed. Preger, II (Leipzig, 1907), 280 (chap.
208), does not refer to oratories at St. George at Chalcedon. The key sentence (lines 13-16) tells us
that Patriarch Sergios, whose correct dates are 610-38, also founded all the oratories of St. Sophia
which are in the galleries and gave them the specified donations. The text confirms the existence of
these oratories, but its historical accuracy is debatable.

to a courtyard of St. Sophia by the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitos.38

The material evidence of the structure of the rooms suggests that this major
conversion took place not long after the completion of St. Sophia and probably
in the sixth century, but it does not provide a decisive solution to the problem
of their date and function. The most probable answer is given by a con-
sideration of the written sources for the history of the Great Church, and,
finally, by the nature of the mosaic decoration itself. The documentary evi-
dence can now be outlined.
The unambiguous evidence of a number of primary sources is that the area
between St. Sophia and the Augustaion was occupied by the Palace of the
Patriarch of the Great Church.39This palace, like the Great Palace of the
Emperors, sprawled out over a considerable area; additions and alterations
are recorded from the seventh century, starting with the Thomaites of 607-10,
to the thirteenth century. The major apartments of this palace are said to
have been not at ground level but in the safety of an upper storey, a practice
which seems general for medieval episcopal palaces.40 In the accounts of the
Russian pilgrims to St. Sophia in the Palaeologan period, the door of the
southwest ramp in the vestibule is mentioned as the entrance to the Patriarchal
Palace.41The second door to the ramp, that in its south side, may be suggested
as the side door inside which St. Theodore of Sykeon was induced to bless
the childless daughter of a deacon Sergios and her husband when he came
down from an audience with Patriarch
P rir Kyriakos, sometime between 596 and
In view of the location ofthe Patriarchate and the function of the ramp
as its staircase (according to post-Justinianic texts), we have no hesitation in
identifying the gallery-level rooms as one part of this Patriarchate. More
specifically, we accept the suggestion, made by Cyril Mango, that from their
position directly off the gallery of the church and from the nature of their
mosaic decoration the rooms can be identified: the Room Over the Vestibule

38Mango, Brazen House, 42-47.

39The best summary remains that of ibid., 52-56. The studies of the literary material made by
R. Janin, "Le palais patriarcal de Constantinople byzantine," REB, 20 (1962), 131-55, and R. Guil-
land, "Le Thomaites et le Patriarcat," in Etudes de Topographie de Constantinople Byzantine (Berlin,
1969), II, 14-27, are partly superseded by the survey of Pasadaios, 'O norrpapX1K6s OIKOS.
40 Before 532 the patriarchal apartments were also at an upper level; cf. Mathews, Early Churches,
41 Collated by G. P. Majeska, "St. Sophia in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: The Russian
Travelers on the Relics," DOP, 27 (1973), 71-87, esp. 73-75. Majeska inclines against identifying
the southwest vestibule as the narthex of St. Michael mentioned in Greek and Russian sources.
42A.-J. Festugiere, Vie de Thiodore de Sykd6n, SubsHag, LXVIII (Brussels, 1970), 76-77 (chap. 73);
Mango, Brazen House, 54, had translated f- TraprSvposas "window" by analogy with modern Greek
usage, but we prefer to construe the passagease referring to the south door and the first run of the
ramp. Another opinion is given by Strube, Die westliche Eingangsseite, 52-54, who uses the edition
of Ioannou (1884); but her reference to J. Gouillard, "Le Synodikon de l'Orthodoxie: edition et
commentaire," TM, 2 (1967), 1-316, seems beside the point, for while Gouillard does speak loosely
of the windows of the Patriarch John the Grammarian, the Greek word in question is not used in
the text on which he is commenting; see "Acta graeca SS. Davidis, Symeonis et Georgii," AnalBoll,
18 (1899), 209-59, esp. 249-50. Another possible interpretation of this passage, though less likely in
our opinion, is a reference to the small staircase in the Alcove which leads down to the eighth run
of the ramp.


.L- f

/1 -/
_ ~~~\i

. ..-13


,_l -
_I r II

V. Room Over the Vestibule, Mosaic Fragme



-E B\
I-.' .. l-
S- Pn! D A

i i- .

Room Over the Vestibule, Mosaic Fragments

is the Large Sekreton, and the Room Over the Ramp is the Small Sekreton.43
Mango likewise suggested that the nucleus of the Patriarchate and the Sekreta
were built by Patriarch John III Scholasticus (565-77): in a "magnificent
manner," according to the contemporary Syriac historian, John of Ephesus.44
There is no reason to doubt the reliability of this sixth-century witness,
but the text does raise a difficulty. It reports that the palace was rebuilt after
it had been destroyed by fire. Mango presumed this to be the fire during the
Nika Riot of 532, and, in this, he is followed by Pasadaios,45but they fail to
account for the place where patriarchal business was carried out in the interim
period.46 Where, in particular, did the Second Council of Constantinople
convene for its sessions in May 553? According to a recent commentary, the
168 bishops met on 5 May 553 in the Large Sekreton.47If this were the case,
then our identification would be ruled out for two reasons: dating and size.
The source of information about this Council happens to be not the Greek
Acts, which are lost, but two Latin versions, of which the longer specifies
the meeting-place.48 The delegates sat in secretario venerabilibus Episcopis
huius regiae civitatis.49 It is therefore unwarranted to specify the use on this
occasion of the Large Sekreton; it is equally clear that the patriarch at this
time did not lack official apartments. One solution for the location of these
offices would be to accept the hypothesis that the site of the Patriarchate
in the period before Justinian was more closely attached to the church of
St. Eirene and lay to the north of St. Sophia,50and to suggest its rebuilding
on the same site soon after 532. In this case there would be little doubt that
the fire mentioned by John of Ephesus was the serious one of December 563
which completely destroyed the Xenon of Sampson (as already rebuilt after

43 The identification made in Mango, Brazen House, 53, derives from the Book of Ceremonies and
the chroniclers, and will be discussed below.
Mango, Brazen House, 52; John of Ephesus, 11.26, 27, and 34, trans. R. Payne Smith, The
Third Part of the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus (Oxford, 1860), 145.
Gregoras commends the high quality of the architecture of the Patriarchate, though its fabric was
deteriorating by the fourteenth century; for an account with references, see R. Janin, Constantinople
byzantine (Paris, 1964), 177-80.
Mango, Brazen House, 52; Pasadaios, 'O nHarplapXiK6S OKOS,chaps. 2 and 3.
46 One text states that the church of St.
Agathonikos was used as the cathedral by seven patriarchs,
but this is probably an unacceptable solution since the text is the unreliable
eighth-century UTapao-r-
cass oi,vropot XpoviKai,in Scriptores Originum Constantinopolitanarum, ed. Preger, I, 20 (chap. 2).
This states that the church was restored by Justinian (confirmed
by Procopius, De Aedificiis, 1.4)
and was used by seven patriarchs for fifty years. These figures are not
strictly compatible with the
interim between 532 and the new Patriarchate. The reference to
emperors is ambiguous; the verb
could mean emperors "were crowned there" or "wore crowns there." A
palace near this church is
described as in ruins in the reign of Tiberius (578-82), if the emendation to the text
by Lambeck is
accepted. According to R. Janin, La gdographie eccldsiastique de l'Empire byzantin: les dglises et les
monastWres,2nd ed. (Paris, 1969), 7-8, the church is at Kainoupolis, the quarter on the hill sloping
down toward the Propontis between the Forum Tauri and the Forum of Constantine. Cf.
'O rTarrpiapXtK6SOIKOS,43.
Murphy and P. Sherwood, Constantinople II et Constantinople III (Paris, 1974), 86.
Published and its authenticity discussed by E. Baluze, Nova collectio conciliorum (Paris, 1683),
49Mansi, IX, 173. The emendation venerabilis
seems desirable.
50 Pasadaios, '0 OKOS, chap. 1.
Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. de Boor, 240; Cedrenus, Bonn ed. (1838-39), I, 679; and A. M.
Schneider, "Brinde in Konstantinopel," BZ, 41 (1941), 382-403, esp. 385.

532 by Justinian), houses in front of it, the atrium (i.EaiauAov)near the Great
Church known as the rapaovooTr&aov, the two monasteries near St. Eirene, and
the atrium (PecaiauXov)of St. Eirene and part of its narthex.51The main objec-
tion to this hypothesis is the silence in these sources about patriarchal
buildings, which could be explained if they were indeed very limited in extent
or, alternatively, simply omitted. Perhaps it is simpler to suppose the Patri-
archate was elsewhere. In either case, the large fire of 563, shortly before the
election of John III Scholasticus, was the most likely justification for the
aggrandizement of the Patriarchate.
Financial support for an architectural addition to St. Sophia from the
Emperor to the Patriarch seems likely, and the adornment of St. Sophia by
Justin II (565-78), recorded by Theophanes, may refer to the building of the
new Patriarchate.52 This text gives Justin's motive as piety, and if by this
is meant filial piety, or the need for Justin to legitimize his succession, by
means of the maintenance of Justinian's foundations, then a date early in
his reign is indicated.53A relatively early time in the period of office of John III
Scholasticus could be entertained on different grounds. According to Payne
Smith, the patriarchal court used by John Scholasticus during the persecu-
tion of Monophysite bishops was described by John of Ephesus as the Sekre-
ton.54This persecution began about three years before the Patriarch's death
on 31 August 577, and so the Palace was in use at least by 574. In summary,
the archeological evidence of a substantial alteration at the southwest corner
of St. Sophia at some period in the sixth century may be correlated with
documentary records of the erection of the Patriarchal Palace between 565
and 577.


The mosaics of this Room will now be described, and then we shall reach a
conclusion on their dating and on the identification of the Small Sekreton.
Mosaics occurred above the level of the marble cornice, which no doubt
originally skirted the four walls of the Room. Above the cornice lay the
ornamental border which framed the four tympana and their central windows,
and served to separate the mosaics of the vault from those in the tympana.
Each of the four groins of the vault was designed as a unit (figs. 11 and 16)
in which two rinceaux, originating from a cusp in the corner of the Room,
52 Theophanes, Chronographia, I, 241-42, trans. Mango, Art, 124. Some scholars since Heisenberg
have connected this statement with a passage of Corippus and have postulated the addition by
Justin II of a festival cycle of mosaics to the decoration of St. Sophia. This suggestion is decisively
In Laudem
rejected in a new edition of the poem by A. Cameron, in Flavius Cresconius Corippus,
Iustini Augusti minoris (London, 1976). The controversial passage is IV.264-325; see commentary,
pp. 206-7; the phrase internis oculis (line 292) indicates that the poet is not referring to decree
representations. Cameron judges the purpose of the passage to be a complement to Justin's
on the creed of 566/67 which proclaimed his Chalcedonian orthodoxy: his edict ordered the Creed of
Constantinople to be recited in all churches.
53 Pius is one of the most common words in Corippus' poem, and the range of its meanings is
discussed by Cameron, e.g., pp. 125, 130, 177-78.
54Ecclesiastical History (note 44 supra), 36, and footnote n.

coil their way upward and branch out to fill the two faces of the groin. The
vault has two axes of symmetry, but it is treated as if it had four. The same
design is repeated eight times, but it had to be reduced in size on the east-
west vault. The rinceaux did not meet at the apex of the vault but encircled
a large central medallion. Its outer rim is now discernible only in one fragment
near the top of the southeast groin (fig. 16). Perhaps more was visible at the
time of the Fossati restoration, to judge from their watercolor of (presumably)
the southwest groin.55
In the soffit of the vault that frames the south window is a band of ornament
about 40 cm. wide, which has the function of filling the elongated space at
this end of the Room.
The windows separate the tympana into two triangular areas, each of which
contained a large medallion. Though only the south tympanum is now in a
reasonably complete form (fig. 12), it can confidently be deduced that this
was the regular scheme for each tympanum. The fragment of mosaic on the
right side of the north tympanum shows that there was an unbroken transition
from medallion to vault mosaic, and this may be taken as proof that the
mosaics of the tympana and the vault were all executed in a single campaign
of work (fig. 13). The distinctive decorative border running along the angles
between the walls and the vault can be picked out at a few other points,
but in general it has fallen off. In the north and south tympana parts of the
mosaic medallions are still in position; their original existence on the east
and west tympana is indicated by circular "ghosts" on the masonry (fig. 17).
The border (fig. 15) which framed all the major areas of mosaic was about
18 cm. wide, and had a ground of dark blue glass tesserae, outlined at each
sideseby a single row of black glass. It contained a set of alternating diamond
and rosette motifs.56The diamonds are made of light green glass with a smaller
central diamond core of white stone; at the sides are two rows of gold tesserae
with a square gold attachment at the center of each. The simplified rosettes
consist of four petals in Proconnesian grey marble around a circle of white
stone, which usually has a central spot of red glass or pink marble. The
rosette is outlined in white stone tesserae.
The band in the soffit of the arch around the south tympanum (fig. 15)
contained a vertical series of lotus-shaped plants out of which grow pairs of
flowers. The motif is probably to be regarded as a variation of the winged
palmette found elsewhere in St. Sophia.57 Except for the lowest, which is
lighter in color (only that in the southwest corner survives), each motif is in
dark green glass, with its internal rib structure in gold outlined by black or
dark blue.
Between the ornamental border and the background of the vault mosaics
is a single trim of Proconnesian grey marble. The same stone, in a single row,

55Mango, Materials, pl. 48 (Fossati Album, p. 38).

56 Mango and Hawkins, "Church Fathers," 33, illustrate the variations on these
basic forms to be
found in the sixth-century decoration of St. Sophia and in later phases.
57 Ibid., 7, 34.

follows the contours of all the decorative forms in this Room, so that a contrast
in color defines the forms, yet blends with the background. The background
material is white limestone, not gold. This is not immediately apparent
because in the course of time the tesserae have deepened irregularly in color.
The dominant color of the acanthus rinceaux is green. The scrolls rise from
green foliate cusps in the four corners of the Room in two stems which develop
into three whorls. The first element of each stem, surviving most completely in
the southwest groin, is a trumpet-like sheath out of which the three scrolls
spring. This sheath, or cornucopia, is gold, shaded with brown and green along
the right side. It is outlined in black glass at the top and along the right side,
and in blue glass along the left. The clusters of leaves which now develop upward
are alternately green or gold. The green clusters are highlighted with white
limestone and shaded with black glass, ribbed with blue and dark green glass,
and their inner faces, when turned over, are in reds. The gold clusters are
highlighted with silver outlined in black glass, and shaded in brown and green;
when their leaves are turned over, these are also in red. The final cluster in
each of the three scrolls becomes more blue than green by the greater use of
blue and blue-green glass. At the center of each of the scrolls is a flower or a
leaf. In the lowest scroll is a flower with four petals, each divided by a black
line into a green and a red half. The next scroll has a sprig of pointed green
leaves outlined in black and highlighted with Proconnesian grey marble. The
third scroll has a trefoil blossom, also green and red like the quatrefoil.
The south tympanum (fig. 14) still contains its two medallions, about one
meter in diameter. The background of each triangular field is in the same
discolored white limestone as the vault. The medallions contain large gold
crosses with widely flared tips to their arms, which terminate in pairs of
tear-drop serifs. The medallions are colored so that the center of the cross
is set off against a bright light which turns progressively darker. The medallion
encloses five or six eccentric zones, with the center of each shifting upward
so that the innermost radiates from the center of the cross at 11 cm. above
the center of the medallion. The central zone is yellow-green glass; the other
zones progress through several tones of blue. The rim is formed of two rows
of red glass.
In his preliminary report, Underwood remarked on the fact that the mosaic
area within the red rim belongs to an alteration to the decoration, for it is
encompassed by a circular suture.58The bare surfaces of the brickwork in the
other tympana have visible tool marks where the original contents of the medal-
lions were also hacked out. Another indication of a remodeling of the original
decoration is the area of disturbance below the surviving medallions of the
south tympanum. It is clear that the letters of an inscription have been taken
out. These letters were removed in two different ways; some were cut out in
patches, others were chipped out letter by letter. Afterward, the area formerly
occupied by the inscription was reset in the same color as the rest of the
ground. Where the tesserae were replaced one by one and the trim was not
58 Underwood, "Notes," 292-93.
removed it is possible to make out a few of the original letters. In the name
below the left medallion (fig. 21) two tesserae of one letter were left in place,
and these show that black glass had been used for the inscriptions. Examina-
tion of this area, and also that below the right medallion (fig. 20), reveals
the nature of the inscriptions. They consisted of a small cross followed by two
words, obviously the names of saints. The last three letters of the name of the
saint on the left were: iota, omicron, and sigma. According to Underwood,
the previous letter was either kappa or chi. To judge from their size, the
medallions would have originally held bust representations of the saints named
in the inscriptions below them.
The fact of two periods of mosaic work in the Room Over the Ramp is the
key to an understanding of this area of St. Sophia. For clarity, we shall define
the work in two phases. Phase one consisted of eight medallions in pairs on the
walls, surmounted by a ninth medallion at the apex of the vault set in the midst
of luxuriant acanthus rinceaux. Thpepurpose of the medallions was to enclose
figurative representations. Phase two was an adjustment to this program, and
is characterized by the substitution of crosses for figures in the medallions.
The mosaics of phase one were attributed by Underwood to the reign of
Justin II,59 and by Mango and Hawkins to the sponsorship of Patriarch
John III Scholasticus during this same reign.60In support of the sixth-century
date, Mango and Hawkins noted that the ornamental mosaics of phase one
fell into a pattern which could be characterized as the combination of more
traditional "Hellenistic" forms, like the acanthus rinceau, with more pre-
dominant "Near Eastern" motifs, like the diamond, rosette, and winged
palmette. This pattern may be a distinctive development in sixth-century
art. As for phase two, Mango recognized in this work the activity of the
iconoclastic Patriarch Nicetas in St. Sophia in 768/69.61 This substitution of
crosses for figures is quite certainly to be dated to Iconoclasm, and this supplies
us with a terminus ante quem for phase one.
Phase One
Since we concluded on architectural grounds that the Room Over the Ramp
was part of the Patriarchal Palace and was built between 565 and
en577, the
question is whether the iconography and style of the mosaics of phase one
59 Ibid., 293. He supposed that our phase one mosaics confirmed the deductions of Heisenberg
from literary sources; but see supra, note 52, for a rebuttal of Heisenberg's use of Corippus. Kitzinger
was reluctant to accept a precise dating, and instead saw the mosaics as "probably from the latter
half of the sixth or the seventh century"; cf. "Byzantine Art" (note 4 supra), esp. 11, 43. Wright,
"The Shape of the Seventh Century" (note 23 supra), 9-28, esp. 25, dates our phase one to the reign
of Justinian II. His statement that the images in medallions are made dea separate and prominent
feature at a lower height, as at S. Maria Antiqua, is not acceptable as fact. The bases of the medallions
are at a level of about six meters from the floor.
60 Mango and Hawkins, "Church Fathers," 33-35 and notes 85-86.
They compare our phase one
ornament with the borders of the Samson mosaic at Mopsuestia, of the apse mosaic of the Koimesis
church at Nicaea, and of the apse mosaic at Kiti. The closest parallel is with Nicaea, which they
attribute to the sixth or seventh century. The most recent investigation of this church does not
reconsider the evidence for the date of its foundation; see U. Peschlow, "Neue Beobachtungen zur
Architektur und Ausstattung der Koimesiskirche in Iznik," IstMitt, 22 (1972), 145-87.
61Implicitly in Brazen House, 53, and
explicitly in Materials, 94.

is acceptable for this period. This is a reasonable attribution on the grounds

that the Room appears to have been designed to receive a covering of marble
revetment and mosaic from the beginning.
An initial difficulty in ascribing the work to the original campaign of
John Scholasticus comes from the eyewitness account of this period by
John of Ephesus, whose history discloses the events of a "war of images"
between two patriarchs.62 Upon his appointment, John Scholasticus took
down and erased portraits of Monophysite saints which had been put up
by his predecessor Eutychius, then in exile. In 577, when Eutychius was
recalled for a second term of office, he proceeded to remove pictures from the
Patriarchal Palace, as well as frescoes and icons in churches in towns and
villages. In view of these events, it may be arguable that phase one cannot
belong to the period of John Scholasticus, since there are no signs of alteration
to the portraits before the insertion of crosses. This view might seem to receive
support from the evidence as reported by Underwood, who stated that the
name of the saint in the left medallion of the south tympanum ended with the
letters KLosor Xios (fig. 21). If this saint is to be identified as one of the half-
dozen possible whose names end with these letters, then, since all the candidates
are relatively minor, he is likely to be a special choice. Such a choice made by
John Scholasticus is liable to have been offensive to Eutychius and the Mono-
physite party. Such an argument against the attribution of this medallion
to the original scheme of the Room is probably too ingenious. It could be
countered by interpreting the text to mean that Eutychius, under imperial
pressure from Tiberius, limited his iconoclasm to portraits of John Scholasticus
alone, whom he consided a heretic.63
In any case, the indications of the deleted inscription merit reexamination
of the tesserae. The awkward letter survives only in the two black tesserae
of its downstroke. Its angle is equally compatible with an alpha as with the
two suggestions of Underwood. A name well accommodated in the available
space is MATEAIOZ.64 If this identification of the original saint of the left
medallion of the south tympanum as the Evangelist Matthew is accepted,
we could very tentatively conjecture a whole cycle which could easily be
paralleled in the sixth century and which would not have offended Eutychius,
namely, in pairs: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul, the Virgin and
John the Baptist, while the central medallion could only represent Christ.65
62 Cf. translation by Payne Smith, Ecclesiastical History (note 44 supra), esp. 9, 135.
63For evidence of a pictorial record of orthodox and heretical patriarchs in St. Sophia, see infra,
notes 107-8.
64The nature of the disturbance below the right medallion suggests that the name of the saint
commenced from a point roughly under the vertical arm of the cross. If the same is true under the
left medallion (and the ground does seem to be undisturbed in the area just before where the name
would in this case begin), an estimate of the length of the name can be made. It would have been
spelled "correctly." That the name was spelled with all its vowels in a mosaic in the Patriarchate
is perhaps supported by an anecdote told of the Iconoclast Patriarch Nicetas by the twelfth-century
author Michael Glykas (Bonn ed. [1836], 527). Nicetas resented his pronunciation of MaorS&ios being
corrected to MarrSaTosby a member of his suite.
65A convenient catalog of the comparative iconographic material has been drawn up by D. G.
Shepherd, "An Icon of the Virgin. A Sixth-Century Tapestry Panel from Egypt," Bulletin of the
Cleveland Museum of Art, 56 (1969), 90-120.
Since the size of the medallions on the walls suggests a bust format for the
representation of the saints, the next question is whether Christ could also
have been shown in bust format in the center of a vault in this period. It is
this position which is significant, for the representation of Christ in the form
of an imago clipeata in the sixth century can be easily paralleled, as, for
example, in the north inner aisle mosaics of St. Demetrios at Thessaloniki
in a variety of types.66 In the groin vault above the sanctuary of S. Vitale
at Ravenna Christ appears in the central medallion in the form of a lamb,
but this does not require the restoration of a lamb at the apex of the Room
Over the Ramp, nor any speculation about iconographic developments, since
the use of a lamb in Archbishop Maximian's anti-Arian scheme is only one
component of a unified Orthodox sanctuary decoration in which the divinity
is shown in three forms-in the apse, the summit of the vault, and the summit
of the entrance arch. There seems, therefore, to be no serious objection to the
representation of Christ in bst form in the mosaics of phase one. One implica-
tion of such a scheme is that even the vault of the chapel of S. Zeno in
S. Prassede in Rome (817-24), which may be formally descended from Justin-
ianic precedents such as S. Vitale or the Archiepiscopal Chapel in Ravenna,
may derive its central portrayal of Christ as a bust from a Byzantine prece-
After Iconoclasm, a bust of Christ was portrayed in mosaic in the east vault
of the central bay of the south gallery of St. Sophia, which Mango attributed
to the late ninth or early tenth century. In the discussion of this Pantokrator
bust, Mango interprets a sermon of Emperor Leo VI to mean that the type
was an innovation of the ninth century, for Leo includes an explanation for
the spectator why the artist omitted the lower half of Christ. Based on this
interpretation, the S. Zeno chapel, the church of Zautzas (ca. 890), and the
south gallery would be the earliest examples of a bust of Christ in a vault.
Mango derived the new type from the pre-ico clasticiconoicgraphy of the seated
Christ in Majesty.68The evidence of the Room Over the Ramp indicates that,

66For illustrations, see R. S. Cormack, "The Mosaic Decoration of S. Demetrios, Thessaloniki.

A Re-examination in the Light of the Drawings of W. S. George," BSA, 64 (1969), 17-52. The
to the late fifth century proposed in this paper needs review in the light off recent rsearch, in particular
the attribution by M. Vickers of the mosaics of the Rotunda nd and the construction of St. Demetrios
to the mid-fifth century; see, for example, M. Vickers, "Sirmium or Thessaloniki? A Critical Examina-
tion of the St. Demetrius Legend," BZ, 67 (1974), 337-50. W. E. Kleinbauer, "Some Observations
on the Dating of S. Demetrios in Thessaloniki," Byzantion, 40 (1970), 36-44, has attributed the north
inner aisle mosaics to the third quarter of the fifth century, but his arguments lack
cogency. In a
study under preparation, R. Cormack gives a full description of the newly found comparative mosaics
in the amphitheater at Durres in Albania, which are close in date to the north inner aisle mosaics;
it is argued that the latter mosaics are not part of the original decoration of the Basilica, and that
the two Albanian panels are datable after 522.
67 For illustrations, see W. Oakeshott, The Mosaics
of Rome (London, 1967), pls. 127-82. The
mosaics of San Zeno cover architectural members of similar shapes to the tympana in the Room Over
the Ramp. For the relation to Byzantium, cf. B. Brenk, "Zum Bildprogramm der
Zenokapelle in
Rom," AEA rq, 45-47 (1972-74), 213-21; and on the use of a lamb or bust of Christ, see P. J. Nordhagen,
"Un Problema di carattere iconografico e tecnico a S. Prassede," in Roma e l'Etd Carolingia (Rome,
1976), 159-66.
68 Mango, Materials, 29-35; for a translation of the relevant
sections of the sermon, see idem,
Art, 203. The ninth-century dating for the mosaic has since been confirmed on grounds of style by

contrary to this suggested development, Christ was represented in bust form

in pre-iconoclastic vaults; while Leo VI may have been inaugurating one of
the first busts of Christ in a Middle Byzantine dome, the type is no more than
another of those revivals of pre-iconoclastic schemes which are typical of the
early Macedonian period. It remains possible that a specific type of the
Pantokrator only evolved in domes after Iconoclasm. Grierson recently pro-
posed only to use the term under certain conditions,69 e.g., if Christ is repre-
sented in bust form, if one hand (the left) clasps the book as Christ leans for-
ward to look down into the church, and if the free hand (the right) is to the
side in the sling of the garment (the hand must not be in front of the body to
qualify). Such a formal definition seems too rigid, and it would exclude not
only the Sinai icon of Christ but also the S. Zeno bust.70 Even if the form
became standardized in Middle Byzantine churches, the theology of the image
is not post-iconoclastic.71
Whether or not a bust of Christ in the Room Over the Ramp could be
called a Pantokrator seems partly a question of semantics, but the artistic
situation before Iconoclasm would seem to allow the possibility of considerable
variety in the representation of Christ. The remote possibility ought to be
mentioned that our medallion might be relevant to the search for a model
for the coin of Justinian II with an image of Christ as Rex Regnantium.
The title is applied to Christ in the Cherubicon Hymn, which was added to
the liturgy of Constantinople by John Scholasticus in 573-74; an interest in
an icon of this appellation might be considered under his patronage.72

the discovery from under plaster of a part of the ornamental mosaics of the eastern bay; the "umbrella"
motif is directly comparable to a similar form in phase three of the mosaics around the Alexander
portrait, to be dated between ca. 895 and 913; see Mango and Hawkins, "Church Fathers," 36.
A derivation of the type of the Christ Pantokrator from the portrayal of the visions of Prophets is
proposed by M. Restle, Kunst und byzantinische Miinzprdgung von Justinian I. bis zum Bilderstreit
(Athens, 1964), esp. 118ff.
69 P. Grierson,
Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whitte-
more Collection, III (Washington, D.C., 1973), esp. 164-68.
70 See K. Weitzmann, The
Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai. The Icons, I (Princeton,
1976), esp. 13-15, for a publication of the Christ icon with brief comments on its iconography. Weitz-
mann mentions, but indecisively, the hypothesis that this icon is a copy of the pre-iconoclastic icon
of Christ on the Chalke Gate. If this is accepted, the date in the first half of the sixth century proposed
by Weitzmann poses new difficulties, for Mango (Brazen House, esp. 108ff.) dates the icon not earlier
than the late sixth century and perhaps into the seventh. The hypothetical relation between the Sinai
icon and the Chalke image was proposed by M. Chatzidakis, "An Encaustic Icon of Christ at Sinai,"
ArtB, 49 (1967), 197-208, but without taking into account the study of Mango.
71 For New Testament references, see J. D. Breckenridge, The Numismatic Iconography of Justin-

ian II (New York, 1959), esp. 51. The concept, with its implications for artistic and imperial theory,
is stated in Corippus, 11.248: ille est omnipotens, hic omnipotentis imago; see Corippus, ed. Cameron
(note 52 supra).
72 Cf.
H.-J. Schulz, Die byzantinische Liturgie (Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1964), 69-70; Cedrenus,
Bonn ed., 684-85; and Breckenridge, op. cit., esp. 51ff. Grierson, op. cit., 164ff., rejects the identifi-
cation made by Breckenridge for the model of his Christ-type A as the apse of the pre-iconoclastic
Chrysotriklinos. Instead, Grierson says that the Book is held in such a way that its model must be
of a standing Christ, not a seated figure. His argument would presumably also exclude a vault model
(cf. p. 148 for his discussion about the position of the Book). It is a principle of Grierson's approach
that changes in coin types represent influences from newly executed icons, and so it is justified to
look for such influential models. Chatzidakis, op. cit., decided in favor of the Chalke icon as the model
for Christ-type A on the coins of Justinian II, as well as for the Sinai icon, and also rejected Brecken-
ridge's suggestion (pp. 98-100) that the model for Christ-type B was the Camuliana icon. Chatzidakis
The iconography of phase one does not exclude a date during the third quarter
of the sixth century, nor does it offer any very precise hints. The style ought to
give more decisive information, even allowing for the scarcity of dated sur-
vivals.73 The analogy with the mosaics of the Dome of the Rock (691-92),
suggested by Kitzinger, is valid with respect to certain forms, such as fruits
and flowers, the spikiness of the leaves, and the modeling techniques, but all
these similarities are of a general nature. Stern follows Kitzinger's sugges-
tion that these analogies are proof of a Constantinopolitan provenance for the
mosaicists, but he nonetheless finds the work at Jerusalem stereotyped in
comparison, and is prepared to accept a gap of a century between the monu-
ments, an unpromising interval when deciding the place of traininig of the
later workshop.
The characteristic features of the rinceaux of the Room Over the Ramp are
their vigorous and luxuriant growth and the subtlety
s ley of the ir coloring. The
closest parallel is to be found in Constantinople itself, in the acanthus border
of the Great Palace
P mosaics.74 This border is also a positive analogy for the
rinceaux of the stucco cornices of the southwest vestibule, if allowance is made
for the change in medium (fig. 9). Both the Great Palace border and the two
cornices (14 m. long) develop horizontally and enclose a rich variety of forms.
The analogy with the Great Palace floor does not tempt us to date our
phase one mosaics and the stucco cornices as late as the reign of Justinian II,
despite recent support for this view.75Even the one study to take full account
of the historical circumstances and published archeological material, which
decided on the late sixth century, probably in the reign of Tiberius II (578-82),76
would now seem to put the floor too late, although the dating would be
appropriate for our comparison. A new basis for dating the Great Palace
mosaics is offered by the findings of Hayes, who examined the pottery frag-
ments in the building fills under the floor mosaics and checked their find
records in the excavation notebooks.77 His conclusion that the sherds are of
late fifth- and early sixth-century types, with a probable terminal date of

reckoned that by the reign of Justinian II this particular Acheiropoietos image had lost its earlier fame,
but he thought it may have been an influence on a representation of Christ on the Cross of Justin II,
for the image came to Constantinople (to St. Sophia?) in 574. The Sinai icon may be very close in
date to our phase one mosaics.
73 For the
problems, see Kitzinger, "Byzantine Art" (note 4 supra); and for some proposed solu-
tions on the basis of a too rigid use of stylistic criticism, see Wright, "The Shape of the Seventh
Century" (note 23 supra), 9-28. See also Stern, "Notes sur les mosaiques" (note 4 supra), 201-32.
74 The Great
Palace, Second Report, ed. Talbot Rice (note 25 supra), pls. 48-50.
75 P. J. Nordhagen, "The Mosaics of the Great Palace of the
Byzantine Emperors," BZ, 56 (1963),
53-68. This attribution has convinced Wright (op. cit., 24-25), who refers also to a consideration of
this date not used by us: see E. A. Defouloy (M.A. thesis, Berkeley, Calif., 1966).
76 Cf. C. Mango and I. Lavin,
reviewing the Second Report, ed. Talbot Rice, in ArtB, 42 (1960),
77 J. W. Hayes, Late Roman Pottery (London,
1972), esp. 418. Still unresolved is the date and
relation to the Great Palace floor of the hunting floor at Apamea, modern Qal'at-el-Mudiq in Syria.
J. Balty, La Grande mosaique de chasse du Triclinos (Brussels, 1969), refers the inscription of 539
to a restoration of the room it decorates and uses it as a terminus ante quem. Kitzinger, "Author's
Postscripts," in The Art of Byzantium and the Medieval West (note 4 supra), 390, records his mis-
givings against a dating in the late fourth century. Kitzinger, in a paper read in 1963, had accepted
539 as the date of this floor; see ibid., 69.
about 520-40, points to a time for the laying of the Great Palace floor in the
first half of the sixth century. This is perhaps as reasonablea comparative
date as their stylistic relation permits. Another work of the period, the silver
cross in the Vatican attributed to Justin II, has on one face rinceaux in
repoussework.78The scrolls on the horizontalarms spring out of the familiar
trumpet-like sheath, but in the case of this work, which may be very close
in date to our phase one, a stringent stylistic comparisonis excluded by the
differencesin scale.
Though such sixth-century parallelsneed to be treated with caution, their
indications seem to vindicate the dating of phase one to the period of the
construction of the Room Over the Ramp.79These mosaics belong to the
"magnificentdecoration" of the new Patriarchal Palace of John III Scho-
lasticus, erected between 565 and 577. The scheme of saints in medallions is
also appropriate to this period, in which the religious dependence of Justin II
and Sophia on the intermediary of icons is documented in the description by
Corippus of their prayers on the morning of the coronation in 565.80
Phase Two
The original mosaics of the Room Over the Ramp remained intact until
Iconoclasm. The only report of iconoclastic destruction of pictures in the
Great Churchis of the activities of PatriarchNicetas in 768/69.81The event
is described in three chronicles, in slightly different terms.82Nicetas is recorded
in this year to have restored certain structures of St. Sophia which had been
damaged by the passage of time; presumablythe earthquakeof 740, which
devastated St. Eirene, had left its mark on St. Sophia.83 In the "reception

78 Illustrated in W. F. Volbach and

J. Lafontaine-Dosogne, Byzanz und der Christliche Osten
(Frankfurt-Berlin, 1968), 69; see also C. Belting-Ihm, "Das Justinuskreuz in der Schatzkammer
der Peterskirche zu Rom," JbZMusMainz, 12 (1965), 142-66; and E. Cruiksbank Dodd, Byzantine
Silver Treasures (Bern, 1973), esp. 54. We accept an attribution to Constantinople in the reign of
Justin II.
79 The dating of the vault mosaics of the southwest vestibule cannot yet be resolved, though
they cannot be earlier than our phase one and may be part of the work of John Scholasticus. An
attempt was made to observe them from a ladder, but still from some distance away and at an acute
angle. The surfaces are concealed with Fossati overpaint, and there are substantial areas of loss. On
the vertical wall are rayed crosses in medallions, as in the Alcove; parallels from Kartmin (probably
ca. 512), and later are noted by E. J. W. Hawkins and M. C. Mundell, "The Mosaics of the Monastery
of Mar Samuel, Mar Simeon, and MiarGabriel near Kartmin," DOP, 27 (1973), 279-96. The possibility
should be mentioned that the vestibule mosaics might belong to a redecoration during the period
of Patriarch Nicetas or at the time of the decoration of the bronze doors by Theophilos, or even later.
80 Corippus, ed. Cameron, II.1-83, and Commentary, esp. pp. 149-55. Cameron notes that the con-

cept of the emperor as the servus Christi is already developed in the reign of Justin II, as in this
section of Corippus and elsewhere; the place of Justinian II's coinage tends to be exaggerated. For
an interpretation of the distinctive stage of art in this reign, see also idem, "Corippus's Poem on
Justin II: A Terminus of Antique Art?", AnnPisa, ser. 3, 1 (1975), 129-65.
81 No traces of iconoclastic activity were found in the apse semidome, despite the ninth-century
verses around it; see Mango and Hawkins, "Apse Mosaics," 125, 147-48.
82 Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. de Boor, I, 443; Nikephoros, Historia syntomos (Breviarium),
ed. C. de Boor (Leipzig, 1880), 76, trans. Mango, Art, 153; Cedrenus, Bonn ed., II, 16, derives from
83 The extensive restoration of St. Eirene would seem to date from the reign of Constantine V,
to judge from the monogram on the plaque lying below columns of the north aisle; see T. Ulbert,
"Untersuchungen zu den byzantinischen Reliefplattern des 6 bis 8 Jahrhunderts," IstMitt, 19-20

rooms which are there," according to Nikephoros, or, in other words, "in the
Patriarchate," according to Theophanes, Nicetas removed all the figurative
pictures. The primary texts describe his act in a slightly differing way, though
they seem compatible and precise. Nikephoros says that in the Sekreta, both
in the small building and in the large one, he scraped off the representations
of Christ and the saints made of golden mosaic and, literally, "wax-molded
wood." Theophanes says that Nicetas took out the icons of the Small Sekreton
made of mosaic; and he took down from the Large Sekretonthe icons made of
painted wood and smeared the faces of the rest of the icons (and he did like-
wise in the Abramiaion)84Combini this information, the reter-
reasonable in
pretation is that the Small Sekreton was decorated with mosaics of Christ
and the saints, but that the Large Sekretonwas less preciously adorned, having
a figurative decoration probably consisting of encaustic icons and frescoes.
This prominent act of Iconoclasm in the Patriarchate indicates a date of
768/69 for the phase two non-figurative mosaics of the Room Over the Ramp.
Scarcely less certain is the conclusion that the Small Sekreton with its mosaic
decoration of Christ and the saints is none other than the Room Over the
Ramp. Since its scheme was offensive to the Iconoclasts, the interpretation
that all nine medallions, including the central image of Christ, previously
contained figurative representations is vindicated.
The inserted plain gold crosses with large teardrop serifs, which have survived
in the south tympanum (fig. 14) and which no doubt appeared in the other
tympana (the large central medallion may have received a more complicated
design), may easily be paralleled, as in the apse of St. Eirene in the reign of
Constantine V (740-75) or in the sanctuary mosaics of St. Sophia in Thessa-
loniki, erected and decorated with a non-figurative decoration by Constan-
tine VI and Eirene (780-97).
The historical context of this act of Iconoclasm in the Patriarchate was
one of the most violent persecutions of the period: the martyrdom of Stephen
the Younger and Petert the Stylite,
ti and the murder of the previous Patriarch,
Constantine II. In 768 several important monasteries in the capital were
either secularized or destroyed; the secular clergy hardly put up a resistance.85
These acts of violence and the official proscription of images made at the

(1969-70), 339-57. R. J. Mainstone, "The Reconstruction of the Tympana of St. Sophia at Istanbul,"
DOP, 23-24 (1969-70), 355-68, esp. 366-67, decided against the possibility that the tympana were
rebuilt after this earthquake of 740.
84 Mango, Materials, 94, interprets the
procedure of Nicetas in the Large Sekreton as taking down
the icons in paint (eI uioypaifaS) from the vault (-rTijTpoirKijS),and smearing the faces of the other
icons; this interpretation follows the passage of Theophanes. Nikephoros is more precise in referring
to the icons in the Large Sekreton as KIlPOXi5TOU 0AlS. It does not seem legitimate to conclude from
these two parallel passages that i75oypapieSmust in other cases mean encaustic; this is the deduction
of S. Vryonis, Jr., "The Will of a Provincial Magnate, Eustathius Boilas (1059)," DOP, 11 (1957),
263-77, esp. 268 note 30. However, the suggestion of Vryonis that the encaustic medium for panels
was abandoned during Iconoclasm conforms with the findings of Weitzmann in the Sinai Collection
(The Icons [note 70 supra], esp. 8-9). We would like to suggest the possibility that in the Large
Sekreton encaustic panels were taken down from the apse (TriS-Tpo-TTKfis) of the oratory, and that
frescoes in the Room Over the Vestibule were whitewashed.
85 Cf. C. Mango, "Historical Introduction," in Iconoclasm, ed. A. Bryer and J. Herrin (Birmingham,
1977), 1-6.
Council of 754 would hardly encourage the new Patriarch Nicetas (766-80)
to tolerate the continued existence of figurative icons in the Patriarchate.
He must, of course, have supported iconoclastic thinking, but his motivation
to overt action may have been the need to ensure his position.8 Another
development of this time was the "prohibition" of prayers to the Virgin or
saints, proclaimed in the first year of office of Nicetas.87
The pictorial decoration of phase one of the Room Over the Ramp initiated
a period of religious art which was stimulated by the personal piety of Justin II
and Sophia, as evinced most aptly by Corippus in his account of their prayers
in front of icons on the morning of the coronation in 565. The Room Over
the Ramp was reserved from the beginning for special mosaic treatment. Its
decoration must have been planned by John III Scholasticus at the time of
his campaign to use all means to convert the Monophysites to Orthodoxy.
The phase two substitution of crosses for figures terminates this period in the
history of religious art, but reflects an identical concept of the role of art
in the war against heresy.


The Room Over the Vestibule has lost all traces of its original decoration.
Its present mosaics, which survive only in a few fragmentary areas, are the
product of a single campaign (fig.v). A description of their architectural
setting was published by Underwood,88but needs a brief comment. The two
south bays have rebuilt vaults. While these give the same effect of a barrel
vault as in the original north bay, they are slightly domed along their ridge,
and the bricks are laid in the manner of groin vaults with the groins flattened
out. Where these vaults meet the walls a concave lunette is formed on each
side of the bay, and the mosaicists took account of these four lunettes in
planning the cycle.
The south window was remodeled at the same time as the vaults, but the
structural antae of the earlier opening were left in position (fig. 26). The new
window was apparently modeled on the type found in the west gallery, but
the details are now obscured by the Turkish fill of rubble. Probably it consisted
of a screen of two orders of superimposed mullions, the spaces in between
being filled by glazed grilles and marble balustrades. The two mullions of the
upper zone are visible (the right one is rough and cracked), and in the left
window a fragment of an oak grille was found with mortices for horizontal
and vertical struts. The new window was not aligned with the faces of the
antae, but was set back, and the side windows are not of the same size and
shape. No continuous horizontal element between the two zones can at present
be observed, but perhaps tie beams were used. From the lower zones the marble
86 On the motivations of iconoclastic acts in the
army, see W. E. Kaegi, "The Byzantine Armies
and Iconoclasm," Byzantinoslavica, 27 (1966), 48-70.
Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. de Boor, 439.
88 Underwood, "Preliminary Report."

plaques are preserved as the frames of the rectangular Turkish windows,

and a part of the capital of the right mullion can be seen in the fill. The plaques
match those in the Room Over the Ramp (both sets, for example, have a
similar decoration of a cross in relief); presumably those here were taken
from the original south opening, set aside, and reused. The capital in the fill,
about 64 cm. in width, below an abacus of 75 cm., appears to be of a fifth-
century Corinthian type. It, too, must be a reused element, though because
it differs from the capital in the Room Over the Ramp it is difficult to say
where it was first used. It must be said that the remodeling of the south window
lacks finesse.
All the vaults received mosaic decoration, but none of it remains in the
north bay, where only the traces of the spud work of the frst layer of plaster
confirm the previous existence of mosaic work here also. The scheme of the
other two vault bays can be recognized; on each side of a border running
along the axis of the Room two superimposed registers of figures were set
out-full-length standing figures above, and bust figures below. The eastern
and western sides of the vaults are therefore decorated in two symmetrical
halves. On the north tympanum, over the door which is the entrance from
the Room inwest
into the gallery of St. Sophia, is a semicircular lunette panel.
The composition here was the "Deesis," with the Virgin and John the Baptist
on either side of an enthroned Christ. The mosaics are described below in
hierarchical order of their iconography, southward from the door, to conform
with the preliminary account of Underwood, but we shall not use his lettering
for the various patches of mosaic.

NORTH TYMPANUM (figs. 27-37)

The panel above the door was semicircular, and about two-thirds of the
mosaic surface or painted setting-bed remains. Only the first layer of rendering
remains in the third at the right and in a smaller triangle at the extreme left.
Those tesserae which have been scraped off were mainly in the areas of gold.
Despite these losses, it was possible during conservation to reconstruct the
mosaic field from the traces of the painting of the setting-bed (figs. 29 and 31).
It was normal practice in Constantinople for mosaicists to paint this third
layer of plaster with a fully developed design in various colors.89 What is
apparently unusual in this Room, but which is found in all the fragments, is
the mixture of short lengths of hay or straw in the setting-bed as well as in
other layers. A vertical line can be traced in the plaster between the figures,
which indicates that each of the three figures in the panel was set separately.
In the center, Christ sits enthroned on a lyre-shaped throne with the left
thigh supporting a closed Gospel Book, or Book of Life, clasped in the left
hand. His right hand is held vertically in a gesture of blessing, rather than
speech. The suppliant Virgin stands to the spectator's left, while to the right
the third figure of the group, of whom only the tips of the fingers remain beside
Idem, The Kariye Djami (note 3 supra), I, 172-83.

the red cushion against which Christ sits, may be presumed to have been
John the Baptist. The panel was enclosed by a semicircular border containing
a liturgical inscription. There was no cornice between the panel and the marble
lintel of the door below it.

Background (fig. 30)

Greatest width of panel 5.53 m.
Height of panel at center 2.29
The setting-bed for the gold ground was painted in yellow-ochre, the less
usual choice of color. In the apse of St. Sophia yellow-ochre was used in the
setting-bed of the ground, but only immediately surrounding the Virgin;
the greater area of under-painting was in red. Yellow-ochre was chosen for
the setting-bed of the gold ground of the narthex panel, and in both phase
one and phase two of the north tympanum of St. Sophia.90
A horizontal strip along the bottom of the panel, some 20 cm. high, had
a setting-bed prepared for gold tesserae but painted in red. We found that
this strip represented a later Byzantine repair.
The imprints in the setting-bed show that the tesserae were laid horizontally,
but there is no means of discovering whether there was an admixture of silver
tesserae in the gold ground. There were no inscriptions in the ground iden-
tifying the figures, an omission shared with the apse and narthex panels of
St. Sophia.91
The semicircular border was gold with a lower outline of two rows of red
glass. It contained a long inscription in black glass letters, of which the only
legible word lies above the head of the Virgin (OYPANIOC).At one point
on the right the plaster layer continues from the border onto the vault before it
breaks off.
Christ (fig. 30)
Height from tip of left foot to top of head 1.80 m.
Height of head, including beard 0.32
Horizontal diameter of nimbus, including rim 0.44
Width of wrist of right hand 0.09
Height from base of thumb to tip of fingers 0.22
Greatest width of throne 1.37
Height of front edge of seat of throne 0.12
Width of Book 0.24
Height of Book 0.30
90Mango and Hawkins, "Apse Mosaics," 124-25; E. J. W. Hawkins, "Further Observations on
the Narthex Mosaic in St. Sophia at Istanbul," DOP, 22 (1968), 153-66, esp. 155; Mango and Haw-
kins, "Church Fathers," 8, 22.
91 Hawkins, "Further Observations," 164, records that the inscription of Christ in the narthex
panel is a later addition, possibly of the eleventh century.
The Nimbus: No tesserae survive, but their imprints and traces of paint
establish that the rim was plain and in two rows of green, outside of which
a trim of two rows of gold made the transition to the horizontal rows of the
gold ground. The field of the nimbus was painted yellow-ochre to receive gold
cubes, which had been set in concentric rows. The gold cubes of the arms of
the cross within the nimbus were laid in horizontal rows. The arms were
bordered on each side by a row of green.
The Head (fig. 32): The present contours of the hair against the ground
are rather ragged, but the losses are never more than four rows deep, and at
the top the tesserae come to the original limits at two points. Within the
head the losses are quite small, principally at the eyes, the tip of the nose,
the mouth, and in the beard.
The hair of the head and beard is rendered in three tones of brown glass,
the darkest being purple-brown, which is the color used for the two strands
which fall forward over Christ's forehead. The beard becomes progressively
darker as it falls.
The flesh of the face is treated in white and three tones of pink marble.
The tesserae are small and there are no violent contrasts in color. White is
used for highlights, notably in a double curve over the eyes, in the ridge of
the nose, and at the highest parts of the cheeks. The outline of the face is
modeled in olive glass.
The method of building up the flesh of the cheeks is different on each side.
On the spectator's left, the white area of highlight below the eye forms the
center around which three rows of light pink and darker pink marble are laid
in oval curves. Beneath them, three rows of the dark pink cut in diagonally
from the outer edge of the face toward the base of the nose. On the spectator's
right, the light pink marble tesserae are laid in rows vertically following the
curve of the shading of the nose and horizontally following the curve of the
lower lid of the eye. Below and to the right, as the rows become progres-
sively shorter, dark pink is used. Through this technique the rows of tesserae
of the flesh parallel the contours of the chief features, i.e., the nose, eyes,
and cheek bones. In the forehead, also, the rows parallel the upward curves
of the eyebrows and sloping lines of the hair to fill the area in ever decreasing
triangles toward the center.
The pupils of the eyes are represented by one round, black glass tessera,
the irises by a single row of brown glass, surviving only in the left, and the
whites are done in white marble with a pink tear duct. The eyelashes are a
single row of black glass. The upper eyelids are a single row of dark pink
marble, the lower a single row of light brown. The heavy eyebrows, shaped as
simple arcs that taper to points at the outer ends, are in three rows, the upper
in purple-brown and the lower two in brown. The shadows around the eyes
are yellow-green.
The ridge of the nose is a vertical row of white limestone tesserae. Following
the line of the ridge, there are on the right a row of the darker pink marble

cubes and then a row of mat brown glass casting this side of the nose into
shadow. On the left the row beside the ridge is light pink; then follows a row
of clear brown. The rows of brown on each side of the nose sweep out to form
the curves of the outer edges of the nostrils, which were indicated by a single
black tessera. Between the nose and cheeks the shading is achieved by two
rows of yellow-green. The ears are indicated by single curved rows of pink
marble. The lips are lost. The contours of the neck are in yellow-green, the
flesh in pink with a few whites. The neck is particularly broad and short.
The Hand: His right hand is large and heavy; the index and middle
fingers and thumb are raised, and the little and ring fingers bend to cross the
end of the thumb. The fingers are outlined in red glass, but the outlines of
wrist and thumb are in purple-brown. The flesh tones are in two shades of
pink, and the shadows in two tones of yellow-green.
The Book: This must be reconstructed mainly from the setting-bed clues.
It was a closed book, with the pages to the left held closed by clasps. The
setting-bed colors are yellow-ochre, reddish brown, and green, and, despite
the disturbances, it is clear that the cover was decorated with a series of
rectangles. This cover must have appeared to be gold decorated with green
and red gems. Some tesserae survive on the right and one red cube on the
left, which suggest an outer border around the cover made of deep red glass
tesserae, in which round white limestone tesserae portrayed pearls.
The Garments: Christ wears the normal two garments, a chiton below a
himation, and both are blue. They are modeled in three tones of dark blue,
with folds and outlines in black glass; there are no light blues. Certain tesserae
are rather large. The line of loss over the right shoulder would correspond
with the path of a clavus. A few cubes from it adhere about the wrist of the
right hand, which indicate it was a mixture of gold and red glass.
The Feet: His left foot is nearly intact (fig. 34), but only the ankle of
the right remains. The thongs of the sandals are in black glass. The toes are
outlined in red and shaded in yellow-green. Marble cubes are used for the flesh,
in various sizes.
The Throne: The reconstruction (figs. 29 and 31) depends on observation
during conservation by Underwood and Hawkins. The type of throne recurs
in the narthex panel, but this version has some elaborations and is even more
massive. This throne is seen from the right and slightly from above, like that
of Christ in the narthex and of the Virgin in the apse, whereas the footstool
contradicts this viewpoint: it is seen from the left, from above, and is in
reversed perspective. The seat is supported on a pair of square legs; above
the front legs was a large knob, visible only at the left (the other knob would
have been covered by the garments). The finial at each side of the back is of
similar shape. The lyre-shaped frame is ornamented like the legs with pairs
of rectangles. The back is surmounted with a rounded cross piece.
The outline of the throne is similar to that of the Book: there are two or
three rows of red glass and, in the wider parts, round white limestone tesserae
representing pearls are inserted, in two rows or one. This border may be seen
at the bottom of the right-hand frame on the outer edge (fig. 33) and at the
top and bottom of the left frame on the inner edges.
The two finials have the same red and white outline and internally are set
with jewels in a gold ground. At their points there seems to be only one
teardrop pearl, rather than a cluster of three as in the narthex throne.
The horizontal rail ends in round knobs. It has a single row of red glass
for its outline and is made of gold regularly studded with small rectangular
green gems. A fringe rises above the rail, only visible now as small spots of
green paint in the setting-bed.
The curved sides are subdivided into three gold panels: on the left, each
is decorated with six rectangular cabochon stones alternately in green and
red; on the right there are only four cabochons in each panel and they were
therefore more elongated.
The stuff of the back, predominantly green, has a diaper pattern created
by a network of gold lines two cubes wide. From the top of each diamond
shape a round white limestone pearl hangs from a thin gold strand (the
narthex throne has a green trefoil leaf). Tesserae adhere in very small numbers
in this area. The reconstruction of the upper parts of the throne is assisted
by an assumption of symmetry.
The seat is surfaced with gold, and its front edges are set with pairs of
rectangular cabochons in panels of gold. It is outlined like the upper frame.
The knob on the left has a red and white outline and into its gold surface
are inserted two white gems, one semicircular and the other triangular. The
end of the seat to the right is subdued in color to indicate shadow. The
vertical and horizontal edges are set in gold tesserae laid on their sides to
give clear brown, and they also have a single row of white limestone pearls.
Below the seat to the right is an area filled with reversed gold cubes to give
mat brown; this is either the inside face of the back leg or a panel across
the end.92The area is bordered by a double row of gold tesserae. On the right
side of the seat are two rectangular cabochons, one in turquoise tesserae and
the other indicated in green paint.
The cushion is set entirely in stone tesserae, except for a few rows of red
glass in its border. The visible areas of the cushion are divided into vertical
bands. The outer bands, rounded at the ends, are white limestone shaded
with Proconnesian grey marble. The inner bands are made of stone cubes
dipped in vermilion paint-the same device for producing a red cushion as in
the narthex panel. Mixed in with these stone cubes are random green and gold
Mango and Hawkins, "Apse Mosaics," 133, comment on these effects. We have not considered
it of value to include color charts for the mosaics published in this report, because no panel contains
entirely its original range. We have not been able to check in the Rooms the color of every tessera
described in the original notes, and this must result in some lack of precision in our descriptions of
some colors and materials, e.g., in the browns and in the presence of olive- or
yellow-green, colors
which we distinguish although Underwood did not.

cubes, also dipped in vermilion paint. The paint has today deteriorated to a
dirty brown.
The inner band is darkened to the right of Christ to indicate shadow. The
surface of the footstool is in plain gold with the familiar border. In its upper
left part are cabochon stones for ornament.
Byzantine Repair (figs. 34 and 35; cf. figs. 29 and 31): The lower part of
the footstool was repaired in the Byzantine period. A horizontal suture runs
at the level of the underside of Christ's left foot, clearly visible in the plaster
at about 20 cm. above the lintel. This lintel is cracked in the center, necessitat-
ing repair work to prevent the masonry of the tympanum from slipping down.
In this remedial work the bricks around the door were hacked out and the
door was shored up with oak beams around its frame. The workmanship was
poor, and there was apparently a shortage of good lengths of wood.
The mosaic which had to be cut out was reset. The setting-bed was prepared
for gold tesserae with red paint, not yellow-ochre. The sides of the footstool
were again ornamented with precious stones, but not in a matching design.
Instead of using white limestone for pearls the repair has round marble
The east side of the dome of St. Sophia has a rather crude repair using
marble tesserae. This dates to the fourteenth century.

The Virgin (figs. A [color], 36, and 37)

She turns in three-quarter view toward Christ with her hands extended.
Her face is nearly frontal. The areas of loss are in the edges of the garments,
in the lower parts, and in the head at the left eye, tip of the nose, mouth,
and chin.
The Nimbus: The paint of the setting-bed is green for the rim.
The Head: The flesh is modeled in white limestone and three tones of
pink marble. The cheekbones are made prominent by ovoid areas of strong
pink surrounded by one complete row of lighter pink. The point of the chin
is shaded by dark pink; in the neck, shading lines are yellow-green. The face
is outlined above the ears in brown and below them in olive, with some brown
in the chin.
The pupils of the eyes are black, the irises brown, and the whites limestone.
The upper eyelashes are single rows of black and the lower grey. The upper
lids are single rows of pink marble, and the right lid is shaded by a row of
yellow-green. The eyebrows are in three tones of brown.
The ridge of the nose is treated, like that of Christ, with a ridge row of white
limestone. To the spectator's right the shading is by a row of brown and
yellow-green; to the left it is by two rows of yellow-green. The nostrils are
in brown and black. At the tip of the nose are three vermilion glass tesserae.
The vertical ridge of the upper lip is brown. The left of the upper lip, which
survives, has three vermilion glass cubes, shaded by a single row of purple-

brown. The lower lip is lost, but it must have been short and thick, as a single
cube of yellow-green for shading occurs far down. The use of vermilion glass
in the lips is paralleled by the Virgin in the apse. Christ in the narthex panel
has some vermilion glass in his lips. In the north tympanum, John Chrysostom
also has vermilion glass here, but Ignatios the Younger has vermilion paint
on white marble, while Ignatios Theophoros orhas pink marble. The mosaicists
of the Room Over the Vestibule also used these variant techniques.
The Hands: The flesh is in three tones of pink marble with olive and light
olive for shading. Small red glass tesserae are used for outlines.
The Garments: The Virgin wears the maphorion over a stola, and, as in
the case of Christ, both are in dark blue modeled in three tones with black
glass folds. The cuff of the stola is decorated with a lozenge with some gold
tesserae between pairs of gold lines. In the maphorion, lozenges set with four
small gold cubes at each point form the ruciform segmeta in the center
of the hood and on each shoulder. The kerchief over the head is white, but
brightly lit by a crenellation of turquoise and grey marble. The knotted white
kerchief at the waist is executed in white limestone with Proconnesian grey
marble. At the knot and two ends are small crosses (or lozenges) formed by
four red tesserae. At the base of the Virgin's neck is a short row of red tesserae,
possibly belonging to the garments.
The hem of the maphorion has two parallel bands of white limestone, with
grey stone for shadows. It has a fringe of white threads knotted together
in threes to make tassels. This hem with its fringe hangs behind the Virgin
in a cascade of zigzag folds.

St. John the Baptist

Only the barest traces remain, and the identification is, of course, con-
jectural. Despite Underwood's hesitation,93 the identification would not seri-
ously affect the dating, for the group is documented before and after Icono-
The Nimbus: One leaf-green tessera of the rim survives.
The Fingers: The tips of three fingers from his right hand are visible
at the bottom of the right frame of Christ's throne (fig. 33).

St. Peter (fig. 38)
Location: In the center of the east spandrel between the north and
central bays. Only a fraction can be deciphered. Like all figures in the lower
zone this is in bust format.

93 Underwood, "Preliminary Report," 368.

Height of lower zone of mosaic 1.20 m.
Height of border above 0.34
Height of letters of inscription 0.09 to 0.10
The Background: The setting-bed is painted in yellow-ochre to receive
gold, of which five tesserae remain.
The Inscription: In vertical columns using black glass tesserae. The heavy
strokes are in two rows, the lighter in one: // Ilt
The Nimbus: Of the upper right quadrant visible in the setting-bed, it is
seen that the rim is in two rows, indicated by dark brown paint (red tesserae ?).
The gold is set in concentric zones, and the rim trimmed by two rows of gold
before meeting the background.
The Head: A patch of the right side of the hair remains in the setting-bed,
painted in dark brown.
The Stag: To the right of the nimbus are traces of the arms of a small
cross of which four red glass cubes survive. It must have been the head of a
staff carried over the left shoulder; a convenient comparison is the figure
identifiable as St. Peter in the cupola mosaics of St. Sophia in Thessaloniki.

St. Andrew (fig. 39)

Location: In the east lunette of the central bay, he was at the left of a
group of three. This figure is in a fragmentary and headless state.
The Inscription: The vertical row on the left curves in with the semicircle
of the border. [O A]IOC // [ANAPEA]C
The Nimbus: The rim is in two rows, painted in blue-grey on the setting-
bed but actually set in turquoise, since a fragment of glass remains.
The Head: Three brown cubes of the beard'survive, and in the neck a
fragment of flesh is modeled in pink marble with yellow-green glass shading.
The Hand: The right hand is held vertically, with the bent little finger
crossing the thumb. The flesh is in white limestone and tones of pink marble.
with shading in yellow-green.
The Garments: The figure wears two garments. The outer garment, a
himation, is outlined on each side against the gold ground with clear brown
metallic tesserae, one row on the left, two on the right. The himation was grey
and modeled with Proconnesian grey marble cubes and Proconnesian white
marble folds. The shadows are in purple-grey granite. The neckline of the
himation is bordered by two rows of metallic cubes, some clear brown and
some mat brown.

The undergarment, a chiton, is brilliant in color, made of turquoise glass with

dark blue shadows and silver glass highlights. On the left side ran a red clavus
with black shadows.
The Staff: The staff across his left shoulder is in two rows of red, and
presumably it was originally capped with a cross.
Identification: The attribute of a staff identifies the figure as Andrew,
the only apostle apart from Peter to carry one; again we may compare the
cupola of St. Sophia in Thessaloniki, where he is identifiable from his facial
characteristics and hair.

Unidentified Apostle (St. Luke?) (fig. 39)

Location: In the east lunette of the central bay, he is the central figure of
the trio.
The Inscription: [O Ar]OC //
The Nimbus: Only a segment about 12 cm. long remains, to the left of the
beard. The paint in the setting-bed is blue-grey, suggesting that it was turquoise
like that of St. Andrew.
The Head: The neck is preserved. Its outline is red, and the flesh is
treated in white and pink stones shaded with tones of yellow-green. A height
of about 12 cm. of beard remains. It is rendered in white limestone and grey
marble with the strands outlined in light turquoise glass. The tufts end in
straight points, not curls.
The Garments: He wears two garments, but the himation is slung over the
chiton only on his left side, where it is bunched up into loops. The himation
is in grey marble with white limestone for highlights and two tones of purple
stone for shadows. The outline of the chiton on his right shoulder is traceable
in the setting-bed in blue-grey paint, and the supposition that it was turquoise
is confirmed by a few cubes of that color remaining. A clavus, of which the red
paint and a red glass splinter are preserved, runs to the edge of the shoulder.
Identification: The figure had a short grey beard. Looking at the hierarchy
of saints so far, we have, on the east wall, Peter followed by Andrew. The
west wall must therefore have begun with Paul. The next four figures in the
sequence must be the Evangelists, two on each side of the Room. Of these,
Matthew, John, and Luke generally have grey hair, and Matthew and John
have long beards, though this is far from an invariable rule. The possibility
of this figure beside Andrew being Luke is, however, especially appropriate
in Constantinople, if the placing of their relics in the church of the Holy
Apostles is recalled.94
94 See F. Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity in
Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew,
DOS, IV (Washington, D.C., 1958), esp. 138ff., and for apostolic ideas in the ninth century, 238ff.,
267 ff.
St. Simon Zelotes (figs. D [color], 41, 42, and 43)
Location: In the east lunette of the south bay, he is at the left of a group
of three. There are losses in the right arm, the chiton, and around the eyes
and mouth. To the left of the figure, in the herringbone tooling of the second
layer of plaster, is a nail, which affixed the bed to the vault.
Height of figure to top of nimbus 1.05 m.
Greatest surviving width 0.82
Height of head from tip of beard to top of head 0.33
Diameter of nimbus 0.43
Distance from right edge of this nimbus to left of next figure's 0.30
Height of letters of inscription about 0.06
Width of border 0.35
The Background: A semicircular border encloses the group of bust figures.
The horizontal lower border is traceable at waist level. The gold ground was
laid in horizontal rows over a yellow-ochre bed. The enframing border is out-
lined in two rows of red glass, within which is the same repeated diamond
pattern as for all the divisions of the vaults. The setting-bed paint of the out-
line of the lower border, as well as five red cubes, survives below the right
figure in this lunette. Since pegs for revetment are only 18 cm. below, this
border cannot have been more than the upper half of the pattern. A cornice,
if one ever existed, must have been very narrow.
The Inscription: Visible in black paint on the setting-bed: there were
no accents or breathings, but a ligature was used for tau eta. The abbreviation
of an alpha within a circle was used. (O ArIOC)CIMON // 0 ZHACATHC
The Nimbus: The rim is devoid of tesserae, but the terre-verte paint on
the setting-bed no doubt indicates that the two rows were green. The gold
was set concentrically.
The Head: The hair is portrayed with four tones of brown, and is delin-
eated in a series of upward, slightly curving lines, similar to the drawing of
the hair of St. Ignatios Theophoros in the north tympanum of St. Sophia.
The same materials are used in the beard, but with a preponderance of darker
tesserae, and also for the hair of the eyebrows.
The transition from the hairline to the flesh areas is by a single row of
olive glass.
The flesh areas use two shades of cream and pink marble, brightened by
single rows of white limestone. These white strokes are found as a curved
line across the brow, a single curve over each eyebrow, a single line under the
right eye, and as vertical lines on each side of the nose to define the cheeks.
The pupils of the eyes are a single piece of black glass, the irises are brown,
and the whites are in Proconnesian white marble. The upper eyelashes are
black, the upper lids olive, and the lower lids dark brown.

The left side of the mouth is damaged,but those tesserae of the upper and
lower lips which survive are of white limestone dipped into vermilionpaint.
The upper lip has small cubes, shadowed at the parting of the lips by black
glass. The shorter lower lip is entirely preserved and was only three large
The flesh of the short, massive neck is treated in the same materials as
the face.
The Hands: The gesture of his right hand is similar to that of Christ.
The fingers are outlined by small red glass cubes, and the flesh is modeled in
pink marble with yellow-green shading. What remains of the left hand is
treated in the same materials.
The Scroll: The tightly-rolledscroll in the left hand is of white limestone
with Proconnesiangrey marble and yellow-greenshading. It is outlined in
The Garments:The figure wears two garments, and weight and panache
are given to the himationby the heavy treatment of its folds. Its material,
like those of the apostles in the previouslunette, is understoodto be a heavy
white cloth representedby white limestone cubes. Shading is with Procon-
nesian grey marble, and shadow lines are in purple-greygranite.
The chiton,like that of St. Andrew and his neighbor, is turquoise with a
red clavus.Pale turquoisetesseraesurvive to indicate the method of modeling
lighter areas; silver cubes form the highlights, and the folds, neckline, and
shadows are in dark blue. Of the clavus,only the red paint in the setting-bed
Identification: Since St. Peter was in the spandrelbetween the first two
bays, followed by three figures in the lunette of the central bay, and then
another spandrelfigure, now lost, this was the sixth and last apostle on the
east side of the Room. St. Simon Zelotes is portrayed as a middle-agedman
with a short dark beard. His figureis forceful,with the heavy draperyechoing
the curve of the lunette. This may be a conscious formal means of bringing
the series of apostles to a full stop. However,he carriesthe apostolictradition
to his companionsin the lunette by turning his large staring eyes toward
the central figureof the trio.

The Patriarch Germanos (fig. 41)

Location: In the east lunette of the south bay. He is the central figure,
almost totally eroded,but with a fragmentof mosaic of his left shoulderstill
in position.
Diameter of nimbus 0.43 m.
Width of omophorion 0.18
The Inscription: 0 AFIOC// rEPMANOC
The Nimbus: Paint in the setting-bed indicates a rim of two rows of leaf-
green, with gold set concentrically.
The Garments: The fragments can be reconstructed, by comparison with
his companion to the right, as belonging to three vestments. The same gar-
ments are worn by the Church Fathers of the north tympanum of St. Sophia,95
namely, a tunic (sticharion) with vertical clavi, a chasuble (phelonion), and
an omophoriondecorated with crosses. A Gospel Book is held in the left arm,
which is covered by the phelonion.
The Omophorion: The base color is white limestone, with Proconnesian
grey marble set in rows to make the transition to the purple-grey stone of
the border and the contour of the shoulder. The ends of two arms of the cross
survive; they consist of four rows of tesserae, the two to the left of the vertical
and of the upper side of the horizontal being of black glass. The other two
are of red glass. One of the red cubes of the horizontal arm is not glass, but
stone painted red.
The Phelonion: Modeled in the same stones: white limestone, Procon-
nesian grey marble, and purple-grey.
The Gospel Book: A few cubes of red glass and white limestone are visible
against the phelonion.
Identification: The inscription, confirmed by the garments, identifies Ger-
manos during his office as patriarch (715-30).6

The Patriarch Nikephoros (figs. B [color], 41, 44, and 45)

Location: In the east lunette of the south bay, he is placed on the right.
There are losses at the two elbows and at the top of the head.
The Inscription: 0 AFIOC//
The Nimbus: The rim is in two rows of leaf-green glass. The gold is set
The Head: The Patriarch is shown as an elderly man with white hair
and beard; the beard is moderately long and pointed.
The flesh areas are modeled in white limestone and cream marble, with
tones of pink marble; it is the same technique as in the face of St. Simon.
The curving line to shade the lower lid of the right eye, modeled like Simon's
but of more natural proportions, is a feature found also in the face of Christ.
He looks toward the center of the lunette.
The beard is colored with Proconnesian grey marble, lit with single rows
of white limestone and shaded in two tones of grey stone. The division between
95Mango and Hawkins, "Church Fathers," 8-9.
96Cf. O. Meinardus, "The Beardless Patriarch: St. Germanos," MaKE8oviK&,
13 (1973), 178-86.

the drooping mustaches and beard is a line of purple-brown glass. The same
color divides the lips.
The lips are made of single rows of white limestone colored with vermilion
paint. One tessera which was examined retained the vermilion paint on its
sides and back, beneath the surface of the plaster. It can therefore be stated
that the cubes were dipped in paint before setting.
The Hand: The right hand is held in a blessing position. It is outlined
around the fingers with red glass and at the palm and wrist with purple-
brown. The shading on the palm is dark brown.
The Gospel Book: The front cover of the Book has a central decoration
of a large circular emerald, bordered in red; four more emeralds, square in
shape and bordered with red, are placed in each corner. The cover itself is
gold, enclosed by a margin of a double row of white limestone cubes repre-
senting pearls set in a red band. This Gospel Book closely resembled that held
by Christ.
The front edges of the covers, to the spectator's left, are fastened by two
clasps, distinguishable as dark blue-grey paint on the setting-bed.
The Garments: The sticharion, phelonion, and omophorion are modeled
in stone tesserae, as in the case of Germanos. The crosses of the omophorion
alternate the two red and two black rows of cubes in each arm, with a black
X across the intersection. The cuffs of the phelonion lend color to the figure
by a series of folds using gold, leaf-green, and red glass tesserae. The figure
is cut across the waist by the horizontal line of red cubes marking the upper
outline of the border.

Identification: As we shall show, this figure is one of a group of four

patriarchs concerned with Iconoclasm who face each other in pairs in the
lunettes of the south bay. He is to the hierarchically later side of Germanos,
and therefore should be the Patriarch in office when the second period of
Iconoclasm began. The identification with Nikephoros, in office 806-15, is
confirmed by his similarity with portraits in the ninth-century Chludov Psalter
(e.g., folios 23Vand 51v).97There is clearly some attempt at a portrait likeness,
and it may be supposed that his