Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium: Image as Exegesis in the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus

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This book centers on the copy of the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus produced in Constantinople around 880 for the emperor Basil I as a gift from the patriarch Photios. The manuscript includes forty-six full page miniatures, most of which do not directly illustrate the text they accompany, but instead provide a visual commentary. Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium deals with how such communication worked, and examines the types of messages that pictures could convey in ninth-century Byzantium.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this first-rate study has far-reaching implications for anyone interested in religious language of images." Georgia Frank, Religious Studies Review

"Brubaker (Univ. of Birmingham, UK) has produced by far the most penetrating study of this key work." Choice

"Leslie Brubaker has written an important and illuminating book that will be required reading by all students of Byzantine art and culture. It will also be valuable for students of medieval manuscripts in general, who are interested in the ways that paintings in books can be used to construct meanings independent of their accompanying texts." Henry Maguire, Slavic Review

"No other book in the field of Byzantine art history has been as long and eagerly awaited as Leslie Brubaker's study of the Paris Gregory. She provides the perfect answer to the sometimes unfortunate trend of quickly publishing one's dissertation, the sine qua non of academic advancement. Nuanced, sophisticated, compelling, the book which resulted in this case makes dispatch in publishing the labours of a graduate career unseemly. Brubaker has provided a necessary study for any art historian concernec with the relationship between image and text in a work of art, and, especially for those freshly vindicated partisans, with the ascendancy of the visual over the textual. This book should not be distant from the desk of any medieval art historian; for this reviewer, it will be a touchstone." Word & Image

"...Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium will be essential for any library serving Byzantine, medieval, or art-historical studies." The Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations;
1. Sitting the miniatures: imagery in the ninth century;
2. The miniatures: internal evidence;
3. The biographical miniatures: toward image as exegesis;
4. Basil I and visual panegyric;
5. The patriarch Photios and visual exegesis;
6. Mission, martyrdom and visual polemic;
7. Perceptions of divinity;
8. Iconography;
9. Conclusions;
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