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HARC 0060 Art & Architecture of Late Antiquity

This course explores the art and architecture of the late Roman world, with a particular focus on the eastern Mediterranean, from the second to the eighth centuries. The changing needs and aspirations of the Roman state had a major impact on artistic change, as did Christianity, especially after its adoption by the Emperor Constantine I (died 337). The magnificent Hagia Sophia, built under the Emperor Justinian I (527-565), encapsulates many of the themes of this course.

Sample Topics

  • The Classical tradition and Early Christian Art
  • Empire, art patronage and the new Christian Rome under Constantine
  • Church architecture, ceremony and propaganda in the time of Justinian
  • Byzantium in the West: Ravenna and the Byzantine colonies
  • Religious imagery and debate: Iconoclasm and the triumph of orthodoxy
Sample Reading
  • Cormack, R. Byzantine Art. Oxford, 2000.
  • Kitzinger, E. Byzantine Art in the Making: Main Lines of Stylistic Development in Mediterranean Art, 3rd-7th Century. Cambridge (Mass.), 1995.
  • Rice, D. T. Art of the Byzantine Era. London, 1963 (1986).
Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College