Texts and Objects. Inscription and Description in Byzantine Literature
In Byzantium, texts interacted in numerous ways with buildings and objects. Together, they formed a multimedial message with ideological, theological, or political purposes. This course investigates this relationship between text and object. Epigrams (on icons, frescoes, graves, walls, books, etc.) are a primary focus, whether “really” inscribed or not. Ekphrasis (of churches, cities, statues, etc.) is another genre of which the literary background will be explored. Eventually, this course will create awareness about the interactions between text, architecture and image, and will bring us to insights about religious experiences, political ideologies and patronage in Byzantium. The course will be based on specific case studies taken from various time periods.
have a perspective on literary history of Byzantium
have insights in the ways texts interacted with images and architecture in Byzantium
have knowledge about the literary features of the genres of epigram and ekphrasis
have insights in the workings and ideas of patronage in Byzantium
paper and presentation about specific case studies (80%)
participation in class discussions (20%)