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Title: Competition or admiration? : Byzantine visual culture in Western Imperial Courts, 497-1002
Author: Blake, Stacey A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 2337
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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The following dissertation reassess previous explanations for the transmission of Byzantine iconography to western material culture that have been classified by the classical canon as being manifestations of a ‘barbarian’ ruler attempting to legitimize their fledgling culture. The tumultuous relationship between the east and the west during the Late Antique period to the middle Byzantine period and the subsequent visual culture that demonstrates cross-cultural exchange comprises the majority of my analysis. I approach the topic in a case study fashion focusing on five rulers: Theodoric, Charlemagne, and the three Ottos. The source material chosen for this dissertation varies as it has been selected based on claims by previous scholarship of demonstrating some level of Byzantine influence. My re-examination of these works includes the application of an interdisciplinary theoretical framework first postulated by Robert Hayden: Competitive Sharing. This theory suggests that material culture displaying syncretism was not a reflection of admiration, but of competition. An implication of this study is that art was an active participant in the relationship between the east and the west, serving as a communicative device, rather than as the more frequently cited passive role of a conduit for iconographical transmission or cultural legitimization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D111 Medieval History ; D901 Europe (General) ; NA Architecture ; NX Arts in general