Arms and Armour of the Warrior Saints: Tradition and Innovation in Byzantine Iconography (843-1261) by Piotr L. Grotowski (The Medieval Mediterranean: Peoples, Economies and Cultures, 400-1500, v. 87)
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Overview: The question of the independence of Byzantine iconography continues to draw attention. Following extensive research on the persistence of Classical motifs in Byzantine art, interest has recently turned to the originality of the latter and its reliability as a historical source. This study examines whether military equipment (armour, weapons, insignia and costume) shown in images of the warrior saints reflects items actually used in the mid-Byzantine Army or merely repeats Classical forms. Such representations are compared with documentary evidence gathered chiefly from Byzantine military manuals. The author demonstrates that military equipment, being a vital branch of material culture subject to constant evolution, provides a good indicator of iconographic innovation in the art of Byzantium.
Genre: Non-Fiction > General