Meaning of Byzantine

Meaning of Byzantine

The adjective Byzantine alludes to that or that linked to Byzantium, a city of Ancient Greece that was the capital of Thrace. This town was located at the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, occupying a sector that today is part of the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The Byzantine Empire was a state that inherited territories and structures from the Roman Empire. Throughout the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Renaissance, the Byzantine Empire spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean and was very important in defending Christianity and rejecting the spread of Islam towards Western Europe.

With Byzantium as the capital of the Byzantine Empire was power commercial, military and cultural whose legacy can be seen even today. Although it is very difficult to mention reliable statistics, there are historians who maintain that the Byzantine Empire had some 25 million inhabitants.

The agriculture and textiles were the main economic resources of the Byzantine Empire. Its currency was the solid Byzantine, established by Constantine I the Great.

According to DigoPaul, the Byzantine army, for its part, was the historical evolution of the Roman army. Organized in thematas, it was the most powerful force on the European continent. It had infantry (heavy and light), cavalry, artillery and other bodies.

The Byzantine art, finally, is a concept that refers to artistic manifestations developed in the area of Byzantium. One of its most recognized expressions is Byzantine architecture, which gave rise to the Church of the Holy Apostles, the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus and the Church of Santa Irene, among other buildings of importance.

We can say that the origins of Byzantine art can be found in the 5th century. From then on, it was strongly rooted in the East and in the Hellenistic world, continuing the legacy of early Christian art and as the result of the fusion between Roman and Roman styles. Greeks.

Since then, Byzantine art acquired more and more definition, a character more unique that can be appreciated especially from the year 527, together with the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian I, at which time the First Golden Age began. This stage lasted until the year 726 and represented the birth of the formal aspects of Byzantine art.

This first stage came to an end when the iconoclastic complaint appeared. The term iconoclast refers to people who practice iconoclasm, that is, the destruction of works of art of a sacred nature. Precisely, the Byzantine emperor Leo III, who ruled from 717 to 741, gave the order to eliminate all the representations of the saints, the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

The main focus of the crisis unleashed by the iconoclastic lawsuit was figurative art. From 726 to 843, a marked confrontation took place between iconoclasts and iconodules, those who venerated the images that the former destroyed.

Half a century later, in the year 913, the Second Golden Age of Byzantine art began. This stage lasted for three centuries, until in 1204 the Crusaders destroyed Constantinople. The name crusaders was used to identify a group of soldiers belonging to the Christian religion who intervened in various crusades during the Middle Ages. The last stage, called the Third Golden Age, lasted from 1261 to 1453, the year the Turks took Constantinople.

In Byzantine culture, painting had a function of great importance, which also involved religion, since it was considered the very materialization of the divine, sometimes by “non-human hands.” In the West, this used to be thought of relics.


Comments are closed.