Marble head of Constantine
The eastern half of the Roman Empire, which became known as the Byzantine Empire, survived for a thousand years after the western half had crumbled into various feudal kingdoms. A key feature of its visual culture was its orientation toward religious themes as shaped by Orthodox Christianity. These were explored in a remarkable variety of media, from wall frescoes to miniature mosaics and exquisitely carved ivories. Though this empire came to an end with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it left a lasting cultural imprint, both in areas that were under its political control, and in those adjacent to it, from Italy to Russia.
Join the art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine of the University of Maryland, College Park, as she explores some of the most important aspects of the visual arts of this empire at the cultural crossroads of west and east.
September 28 From the Birth of the New Rome to its Metamorphosis into Istanbul
An overview of the history of the empire and some of the defining political and religious developments that shaped the visual arts, with a focus on Constantinople.
October 5 Monuments of Byzantine Art in Greece and the Balkan Peninsula
A closer look at some of the most important churches in Greece from the Byzantine era, as well as those built by various rulers along the boundaries of Byzantium in North Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo.
October 12 Beyond the Borders of Byzantium
The transmission of Byzantine culture throughout Italy, from Ravenna to Sicily, as well as in Ukraine and Russia.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.