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Title: Processing Constantinople : understanding the role of lite in creating the sacred character of the landscape
Authors: Manolopoulou, Vasiliki
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The main aim of this thesis is to examine the spatial dimension of religious movement and to understand its role in creating a sacred landscape. It takes an inter-disciplinary approach towards the archaeology of religion and practice in the Byzantine capital that suggests that sacred landscapes are not static amalgams but that they exist and are transformed through experience. In medieval minds Constantinople was the queen of cities, a world-famous jewel under the protection of God and His mother the Theotokos. The city's sacred landscape hosted the relics of saints and was perceived as being like a church; it was a landscape characterised as a guide of faith and Orthodoxy. The city was the location of religious processions, historic and commemorative, whose echoes are found in various primary sources. These processions are recorded as having salvific and protective properties and as a link to the divine. During these processions churches, but also civic sites like the Forum or even open spaces outside the city walls, were within a sacred sphere. Time, landscape and text are active agents that shape but are also shaped by religious practice. The thesis presents an analysis of the spatiotemporal relationships of text, material culture, religious practice and is aiming to approach an understanding of the litanic character of the sacred landscape. To do so, the argument is based on discussions of the way the Byzantines perceived processions and the way they engaged with practice itself, including the role of emotion and memory and affect. Furthermore the thesis explores the processions of the two liturgical cycles of the 10th century cathedral rite and discusses where possible the origins of these processions. With the use of GIS, it analyses the meaning of their spatiotemporal relationships, proposing at the same time new ways for their visualisation.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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