Situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Byzantium was the face of power in the medieval world. As a melting pot of cultures ancient and contemporary, the empire connected the past to the present, and the near with the far. Byzantium was the first major Christian empire in the world, and as such, it spread Christian theology, narratives, and images across its empire. This spread ultimately led to the integration and conflict of Christianity with other world religions and the vast diversity of Christian cultures, worship, and art we see today.
This virtual exhibition explores the art of Byzantium as an expression of this interconnectedness. By viewing Byzantine art and objects through the lens of five different themes -- art making and materials, liturgy and ritual, luxury, power, and textiles -- we are able to examine the ways in which Byzantines manifested their values, statuses, traditions, and global connections through visual culture.
This is the first digital exhibition on the Digital Commons Exhibits platform curated by students at Utah State University. And much like the diverse and collaborative qualities that make Byzantine art was it is, this exhibition combines the ideas and intellectual insights of many students into a comprehensive, yet diverse, whole.