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Title: The cult of Flavia Iulia Helena in Byzantium : an analysis of authority and perception through the study of textual and visual sources from the fourth to the fifteenth century
Author: Georgiou, Andriani
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 1665
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2013
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The symbolic role of Helena throughout the Byzantine period has never been considered in any detail. Many of the literary sources, particularly historiographical and hagiological texts, are not easily accessible and have not been translated. The visual sources referring to Helena, such as works of late Roman and Byzantine art, coinage, illustrated manuscripts, reliquaries, and wall paintings, have never been collected. My thesis collects and re-evaluates the textual and visual evidence from the fourth to the fifteenth century in order to explore the origins and development of Helena's cult; the emergence of a Helena-legend with symbolic and metaphorical functions; and the ways that the Byzantines reconstructed, judged, and appreciated her role. Special attention is given to the relationship between word and image, as well as the influence exerted on them by contemporary political and social developments. This thesis demonstrates that memories of Helena as an empress and as a saint were manufactured in several distinct stages over several centuries; and that her role differed in the eastern and western halves of the former Roman empire. The evidence is analysed thematically and in chronological order.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BR Christianity ; C Auxiliary sciences of history (General) ; D051 Ancient History ; D111 Medieval History ; DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World ; N Visual arts (General) For photography ; see TR