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maro danielle san diego

on 23 September 2012

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Transcript of BYZANTINE!

On the death of the Emperor Theodosius I (395 A.D.) the Empire was finally divided, and Byzantium continued to be the capital of the Eastern Empire, and throughout the Middle Ages was the bulwark of Christianity against the attacks of the Huns and Goths on the west, and of Saracens on the east Honorius (395—423 A.D.), the first Western Emperor of the newly divided Empire, removed his residence from Rome to Ravenna on the east coast of Italy (403 A.D.), and consequently there was great building activity in that city, which, from its position, was peculiarly susceptible to Byzantine influence. The history of the Byzantine Empire from the fifth to the eleventh century is one of fluctuating and gradually declining fortunes. It first lost its western provinces in the fifth century, some of which, including Italy and Sicily, were regained in the sixth century under Justinian. but in the eighth century the Empire somewhat recovered itself, till in the ninth century it was again strong enough to carry on fierce contests against the Saracens. In the eleventh century the decline was accelerated because, besides enemies on the east and north, it was now attacked by Normans and Venetians, till the " Latin occupation " of Byzantium was accomplished in A.D. 1204 and lasted to A.D. 1261. The old Empire still staggered on for another two hundred and fifty years, but its vitality had been sapped by internal dissensions and continuous warfare against the Persians and Turks, and it was finally captured by Ottoman turks in a.d. 1453 HISTORICAL

The exteriors of Byzantine buildings were generally bare and lacking in beauty. The interiors, on the contrary, were richly decorated, color playing a much larger part than carving in the designs. Painting was resorted to only in the smaller buildings, the more durable and splendid medium of mosaic being usually preferred. This was, as a rule, confined to the vaults and to those portions of the wall-surfaces embraced by the vaults above their springing. The colors were brilliant, the background being usually of gold, though sometimes of blue or a delicate green. Biblical scenes, symbolic and allegorical figures and groups of saints adorned the larger areas.

The walls throughout were sheathed with slabs of rare marble in panels so disposed that the veining should produce symmetrical figures. The panels were framed in billet-mouldings, derived perhaps from classic dentils. The projections on one side the moulding coming opposite the spaces on the other. This seems to have been a purely Byzantine feature. Decorations Construction
materials BYZANTINE
ARCHITECTURE Byzantine architecture is noted for its rich use of ornamental domes, colorful mosaics, and lavish decorations, the Byzantine style of architecture has found new life on American soil due to its structural integrity and cultural associations. Byzantium, said to have been founded about 750 B.C., is known to have been a Greek colony some three hundred years later, and in 324 A.D. became the capital of the Roman Empire. Constantine possessed no good building stone, and local Materials such as clay for bricks and rubble for concrete were employed. marble was brought from the quarries in the islands and along the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean to Constantinople, which was the chief marble-working centre and supplied all parts of the Roman Empire. Byzantine architecture was further considerably influenced by the multitude of monolithic columns of such sizes as were obtainable from the different quarries. These were even introduced into the underground cisterns for the water storage of this Imperial city Methods of
Construction DOMES Domes became the primary characteristic feature of Byzantine architecture; and especially the dome on pendentives. At the crown of the four arches on which they rest, these courses meet and form a complete circle, perfectly stable and capable of sustaining any superstructure that does not by excessive weight disrupt the whole fabric by overthrowing the four arches which support it. Upon these pendentives, then, a new dome may be started of any desired curvature, or even a cylindrical drum to support a still loftier dome, as in the later churches.
The earlier domes were commonly pierced with windows at the base, this apparent weakening of the vault being compensated for by strongly buttressing the piers between the windows, as in Hagia Sophia. Here forty windows form a crown of light at the spring of the dome, producing an effect almost as striking as that of the simple oculus of the Pantheon, and celebrated by ancient writers in the most extravagant terms. W lls The walls were usually constructed of brick and internally encrusted with rich coloured marbles and shining glass mosaics, which swept from wall to arch and arch to vault almost to the exclusion of mouldings and sculptured ornament.Externally the walls were comparatively plain and depended largely for effect on the brilliant oriental sunshine which clothed them with a garment of glowing colour. The facades were often thrown into prominence by alternate layers or bands of brick and stone. penings Arcades of semicircular arches on monolithic columns with convex capitals were largely employed in churches, especially to support the galleries. Doors are usually spanned by semi-circular arches but flat, segmental, and horse-shoe arches were also used. Windows, similarly spanned, are small and grouped together while sometimes they are arranged in tiers within the semicircular arch beneath the dome. The encircling ring of windows at the base of the dome or in the " drum " upon which the dome was raised was often the chief source of light in the church. Windows were also occasionally formed of a thin frame, 3 ins. thick, of translucent marble, filled in with glass and creamy, golden-hued alabaster which the brilliant sunshine wrought into colour like stained glass. ro f The method of roofing was by domes of brick, stone, or concrete, often with no further covering In S. Sophia the vaults are covered with sheets of lead, a quarter of an inch thick, fastened to timber laths resting on the vaults. The Byzantines practised the system of placing the dome over a square or octagon by means of pendentives which had only been employed tentatively by the Romans. Columns Columns were used constructively, but were always subordinate features and generally introduced to support galleries, as massive piers and walls supported the superstructure. columns were taken from ancient buildings, but these were not so numerous in the East as in the neighborhood of Rome, and therefore the supply was sooner exhausted. This provided an opportunity for designing monolithic shafts. For capitals, the Roman Ionic and Corinthian and Composite types were sometimes used, but from these were derived a new cubiform type with convex sides suited to carry a rising arch, which took the place of the horizontal entablature, and this resulted in the gradual disuse of the Roman " Orders " of architecture. MOULDINGS Mouldings were little used because the marble and mosaic wall linings ran continuously over the surface of walls and arches. Internally, decorative panels of marble and mosaic were sometimes framed in billet mouldings, probably derived from the Classic dentil course, and flat splayed mouldings, with incised ornament were also used. Externally the simple treatment of walls in flat expanses of brickwork, with occasional stone banded courses, did not leave the same scope for mouldings as in other styles. Flat stone bandings flush with the wall surface were used instead of string courses and cornices. ORNAMENTS The scheme of ornamentation was elaborate in the extreme, for internal walls were lined with costly marbles with veining carefully arranged to form patterns, while vaults and upper walls were sheathed with glass mosaic pictures of symbolic figures, groups of saints, the peacock as the emblem of immortal life, the endless knot as the emblem of eternity, and the sacred monogram of Christ-all forming a striking contrast to the less permanent painted frescoes of Romanesque churches. Byzantine pavements of many-coloured marbles and mosaics were carried out in great variety of patterns, such as " opus sectile " and " opus Alexandrinum," and thus the general colour-scheme was carried throughout the church over floor, walls, arches, and vaults. Mosaic in small cubes was used broadly as a complete lining to brick structures, and mouldings were replaced by decorative bands in the mosaic. PLANS The domical method of construction governs the plan of Byzantine churches, which are all distinguished by a central space, covered with a dome on pendentives Short arms on each side form a Greek cross, and the filling in of the angles brings the plan nearly to a square. Opposite. the entrance was the apse for the altar in the sanctuary, which was screened off by the characteristic "Iconostasis" with its three doors, and there were also lateral ritual chapels. The narthex formed an entrance vestibule and was frequently crowned with domes. The essential difference in plan between a Byzantine and an Early Christian church may be summed up as follows :
-Byzantine churches, unlike Early Christian churches with their campanili, had no bell-towers. The Byzantine church, because of the grouping of subsidiary domes round a central dome,- gives a vertical impression; for the eye is gradually drawn upwards towards the central culminating dome.
-The Early Christian church, because of the vista of columns, entablatures, and simple timber roof, gives a horizontal impression ; for the eye is led along these horizontal lines to the apsidal sanctuary which is the important feature. THANKS TO:




CYNEL DOMINGO - UHhHhHhhh???...... :3
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