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Title: Saint cults and the politics of power in the Dalmatian commune of Zadar (1000-1468)
Author: Willis, Zoë F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 0734
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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The city of Zadar lies upon the Dalmatian coast of modern Croatia. Zadar’s position during the medieval period was that of an affluent port, poised between the markets of East and West, the Balkan hinterland and maritime Adriatic. Such a location made it a strategic colonial target for both Venice and the Kingdom of Hungary. This thesis examines the influence of these political, economic and cultural forces upon the commune’s powerful markers of local identity: its saints’ cults. Zadar’s past wealth created a significant cache of associated metalwork and ecclesiastical architecture that has received little attention beyond the Balkans. Beginning with a grand historical narrative - drawn together from the scholarship of Zaratine, Venetian and Hungarian histories - the complex rivalries and ambitions of the various regional protagonists are highlighted. Zadar’s role within these relations, be it peripheral or central, had an impact upon the commune’s social structures and networks. A study of archival sources indicates a blurring of boundaries between identities, both local and foreign, rather than the stark contrasts that often define the city’s histories. Patronage is also an important aspect of this study, showing how sacral works of art and monumental ecclesiastical structures were important tools in strengthening position and power. The results of such largesse were developments in the cults of Saints Chrysogonus, Simeon the Prophet and Mark the Evangelist. These reveal the flow of cultic practices and artistic trends through Europe, with Zaratine audiences aware of and demanding the most current in their local commissions. Each case study considers ritual, iconography and architectural space, thus contributing additional facets to the understanding of Medieval Zaratine identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain) (AHRC) ; Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DR Balkan Peninsula ; N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR