iconoclasm

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Byzantine Iconoclasm and Iconodules: History of Christianity

By | 2018-05-17T00:21:35+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Icon of St. Nicholas (Russia) Byzantine iconoclasm By the early 700s AD, the Roman Empire had seen four hundred years of religious arguments about what or who Jesus Christ was. The Arians believed that Christ was all god. The Catholics believed that Christ was entirely and inseparably both god and man. (More about Arianism) And people had fought over every [...]

Theodora and Bardas – Byzantine History

By | 2018-04-21T13:19:57+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Empress Theodora on a gold coin, with her son and daughter on the other side. With Theophilus dead, in 842 AD the Empire again had a woman in charge. The empress Theodora, at 27, became regent for her two-year-old son, Michael. Theodora was an iconodule. She allowed artists to make icons again. But she was smarter than Irene, and [...]

Nicephorus and Leo – Byzantine history

By | 2018-04-15T16:50:55+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Maybe the skull cup was something like this? Nicephorus deposed the Empress Irene in 802 AD and made himself emperor. He refused to pay tribute to the Islamic caliph, and therefore lost still more Roman territory to the Abbasids. On the other hand, he fought successfully for Greece against the Slavs and Bulgars, and negotiated with Charlemagne to recognize his claim to the [...]

Leo to Empress Irene – Byzantine History

By | 2017-08-02T09:17:48+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Leo the Isaurian (ca. 720 AD, Louvre museum, Paris) When Justinian's assassin Philippicus turned out to be a worthless party animal, other Roman officials killed him. In 713 AD the people of Constantinople chose a court official named Anastasius II to be the next emperor. Anastasius (ann-ah-STAYS-yus) was a practical guy, with good ideas - but [...]

Medieval Russian art

By | 2018-04-10T22:49:24+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

Russian Icon of Saint Nicolas, 13th - early 14th century, tempera on wood. Our knowledge of Russian art begins with the Scythians and other Central Asian art. But what most people think of as Russian art begins when the Russians convert to Christianity around 400 AD. At this time Russian artists begin painting in a more Roman style (that is, the [...]

Medieval art history – Europe

By | 2017-08-01T07:56:10+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

A Late Antique ivory carving Roman art, German art, and Islamic art mixed together in Europe in the Early Middle Ages to create a new form, which we call medieval art. Art historians divide medieval art into Early Medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic art. But these types of art looked different in different places, and in the hands of [...]

Byzantine art history: Iconoclasm

By | 2018-04-10T22:49:22+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

Artemis, carved in ivory in Constantinople (now in the Cluny museum, Paris) The art of Rome continued in an unbroken tradition from the days of the Republic down to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 AD, for more than a thousand years after the fall of the western part of the Roman Empire in the early 400s AD. But we [...]

History of Islam – Religion

By | 2018-04-09T23:10:26+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Tomb of Ali, the first Imam and the fourth caliph, in Iraq (it was rebuilt about 1500 AD by the Safavids) Medieval Islam was closely related to Judaism and Christianity. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believed that there was only one God. They called this God 'Allah'. Muslims believed that Moses and Jesus had both existed. They believed that Moses [...]

Ghaznavid Dynasty – Medieval Islam

By | 2017-07-23T23:47:02+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|History, India, Islam, West Asia|

A minaret in Ghazni (Afghanistan), from about 1000 AD Beginning in the 850s AD, the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire were looking for soldiers they would be able to trust, who were not other Arabs who would be trying to get into power. The Abbasids thought that the Turks would be trustworthy soldiers. So they captured a [...]

Medieval Islamic art history

By | 2017-07-23T15:13:04+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|Art, Islam|

Mosaic from the Great Mosque in Damascus (about 710 AD) As soon as the Islamic Empire formed, under the Umayyad dynasty, artists began exploring the new ideas of Islam and what they meant for art. The first big difference between Roman art and Islamic art was that the followers of Islam, like the Jews, took seriously the commandment that you should not [...]