ARTH 362

Art, Religion, and Power in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

This course explores the artistic traditions of the Late Antique and Byzantine periods from the earliest surviving monuments of Christian art of the mid-3rd century to the monuments of the Late Byzantine Empire up to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The course examines how the interactions between the Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian traditions produced the art of Late Antiquity and Byzantium, and accentuates the visual, social, and religious continuities and ruptures between these traditions. Works of art are examined with particular attention to their original function, context, and intended audience, and are presented from a range of methodological perspectives. Topics of special interest include: the formation of Christian art; images of power and authority; representations of gender; the function and decoration of liturgical spaces; icons, image theory, and the Iconoclastic controversy; depictions of the secular world.