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Cyprus and the Balance of Empires
Art and Archaeology from Justinian I to the Coeur de Lion

Edited by Charles Anthony Stewart, Thomas W. Davis and Annemarie Weyl Carr

Cyprus and the Balance of Empires
Hardback, 288 pages £15.00
Published: 2014
ISBN: 9780897570732
Format: 285mm x 220mm
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Subjects: American Schools of Oriental Research, Archaeology, Medieval Studies
Series: ASOR Archaeological Reports

Between 491 and 1191 AD, Cyprus was influenced by various political and cultural centres that vied for dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean. This collection of essays primarily focuses on the island's archaeology when it was governed by the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Greek and Orthodox Christian identity was cultivated during this period, which provided a sense of unity among the various provinces; and yet, the surviving historical and archaeological data concerning Cyprus is unique in that it expresses both local and regional characteristics. By investigating the various threads, whether textual, numismatic, architectural, or artistic, narrative has emerged that challenges our past assumptions. 

The themes covered in this volume developed from a conference held in Nicosia, organized by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute celebrating the 50th year anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus. An international group of experts explored several themes such as: the impact of recent archaeological discoveries; the shift from studying Late Antique urbanism to rural development; indicators of Cypriot identity; shifts in population settlement, production and trade; cultural interaction between Islam and Christianity; the significance of ceramic and numismatic evidence; monumental figural arts and their iconographical interpretation. The resulting chapters provide new and previously unpublished data, and should be considered a major contribution to Late Antique and Medieval studies.

151 colour and black & white illustrations included.

List of Illustrations

List of Tables



Chapter 1 – The Significance of the Basilica at Agioi Pente of Yeroskipou   Demetrios Michaelides

Chapter 2A Brief History of Byzantine Archaeological Research on Cyprus   Thomas W. David & Charles Anthony Stewart

Chapter 3 – Christianity in Cyprus in the Fourth to Seventh Centuries   Claudia Rapp

Chapter 4 – The Troodos in Twilight: A Provincial Landscape in the Time of Justinians   Marcus Rautman

Chapter 5 – The North-South Divide in Byzantine Cyprus: Some Evidence form Lead Seals and Coins   D.M. Metcalf

Chapter 6 – The Katalymata ton Plakoton: New Light from the Recent Archaeological Research in Byzantine Cyprus   Eleni Procopiou

Chapter 7 – Chypre et les Arabes avant les croisades a la lumiere des sources arabes   M. Tahar Mansouri (English Abstract)

Chapter 8 – The Development of Byzantine Architecture on Cyprus   Charles Anthony Stewart

Chapter 9 – Cypriot Icons before the Twelfth Century   Sophocles Sophocleous

Chapter 10 – The Stuff of Life: the Material Culture of Everyday Living on Middle Byzantine Cyprus (11th-12th Centuries)   Maria Parani

                 Appendix: Compositional Analysis of a Copper-Alloy Dish of the Middle Byzantine Period in the A. Pitsillides Collection   Vasiliki Kassianidou

Chapter 11 – The Program of the Panagia Pergaminiotissa: A Narrative in Perspective   Annemarie Carr Weyl

Chapter 12 – Decoding Cyprus from Late Antiquity to Renaissance: Discordant Visions, Saints, and Sacred Topography   Tassos Papacostas


   Primary Sources

   Secondary Sources



   Historic Persons and Places

   Subjects, Monuments, and Events


...In this volume, each essay offers some valuable perspective or suggestion that contributes to our broader understanding of the art, history, and archaeology of late antique, Byzantine, and medieval Cyprus.
Review of Biblical Literature, 8.18.16

Beautifully and extensively illustrated throughout, the strengths of this collection lie in the impressively long periods covered and the inclusion of binary approaches such as urban/rural life (Rautman), interior/exterior view of the islands (Papacostas) and religious/secular life (Parani). Much recommended.
Medieval Archaeology, Vol 59 (2015)

Charles Anthony Stewart is Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at the University of St. Thomas, Houston.

Thomas W. Davis is an archaeologist with more than two decades of field experience in Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States, from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Annemarie Weyl Carr was member of the department of Art History at the Southern Methodist University.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 288 pages
 285mm x 220mm

BIC Code:
  HIS002000, HIS037010, SOC003000
 American Schools of Oriental Research


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