Login with Facebook

Characteristics of the byzantine architecture

The term Byzantine architecture derives from its being the result of civilization belonging to the ancient city of Byzantium, later re-founded by Constantine in 330 AD and called Constantinople. With the transfer of the capital from Rome to Byzantium and, then, with the subdivision of the Roman empire into the Empire of the East and Empire of the West -395 AD, the Byzantine Empire was developed which lasted until 1453, when Constantinople will fall due to the work of the Turks. Various cultural aspects came together, first of all, that deriving from the Hellenistic tradition to determine the characteristics of this architecture.

 

 In addition to the Hellenistic influences, the Byzantine architectural language will include Syrian, Persian, and Egyptian characters, with the vast areas where this civilization spread. Despite the obvious differences arising from the contacts in the various geographical areas, the Byzantine architecture maintained over time common basic distinctive characteristics. It had a primarily religious nature, intended to ensure the salvation of the spirit for man.

 

 When referring to the production of Byzantine art, one should not think only of the forms expressed in Constantinople and its imperial court, but also of all the widespread work done by monks and hermits scattered throughout the vast empire. Perhaps, also, for this reason, these architectural expressions still maintain a particular charm, which reminds us and makes us feel that man's tension towards God, which is expressed in sacred buildings.

 

 Byzantine architecture is generally divided into several periods. The Paleo-Byzantine period from the 4th to 5th century it was the first period, the so-called "training" period, in which the transition from late ancient culture to the more typical forms took place. Being the Byzantine architecture, essentially, the bearer of religious values ​​will manifest itself primarily in the construction of places of worship, which will be both basilica and central plan. For the latter, the domed structures belonging to the late ancient period will be inspired, deepening, and developing the concepts of spatial unity and emphasizing their centrality.


Compared to the Roman dome roof, which required a continuous circular wall for support, the Byzantine dome will be set on a square base. Circular domes will be built on square plants through the use of four spherical triangles, called "plumes.", generally decorated with naturalistic or anthropomorphic motifs. When the emperor Constantine made Byzantium the new capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, giving it the name of Constantinople, a new architectural style also began to spread.

 

Initially, the Byzantine architecture did not differ much from the Roman one then, over time, it was influenced by oriental tendencies; for the churches. The Greek cross plan was used, the bricks replaced the stones, the mosaics took over the sculptural decorations, and complex domes were raised.

 

Byzantine art was therefore born from the fusion of different elements from Greek culture and taste, from Roman power and from the love of the Orientals for ornamentation. While on the one hand, the Romans worked to make the exterior of the architecture pleasing to the eye, the Byzantines undertook to embellish the interior.

 

Two of the most important structural features of Byzantine architecture are the Greek cross plan and the domes; Santa Sofia in Constantinople and San Marco in Venice, are a characteristic example. On the contrary, the Byzantine churches of Ravenna have preserved the traditional forms of the first paleochristian Roman churches of the 4th and 5th centuries, while the typically Byzantine innovative elements are found only in the structures and decorations.


Other structural elements characteristic of Byzantine sacred architecture are:

the polygonal apse on the outside and semicircular on the inside, the lantern which appears on the outside like a tower and which hides a dome inside and the external decoration with pilasters, hanging arches, and blind arches.

As for the domes, the Romans knew how to build them only as of the roof of a circular space, while the Byzantines found a way to make them on square environments, filling the brick corners that continued the curve of the vault; this happened due to four spherical triangles called plumes.

 

These domes are characterized by a very accurate building art; the curves support a great weight and strongly resist the pressure towards the outside. The Romans preferred to cover the interior of their buildings with marble or frescoes. The Byzantines otherwise employed rich mosaics, which combined the beauty of marble surfaces with spatial illusions. Due to the golden reverberation, an illusion of continuity was created between the internal space and its mural limits.

 

The mosaics in the sacred architecture were arranged with particular rigor; it could not have been imagined for Christ a more suitable place than the center of the dome, compared to the celestial vault, nor for the Virgin a more sacred place than the apse basin. The figures of the four Evangelists were often arranged on the four pendentives of the dome because they had to be placed very close to the figure of Christ whose life they had narrated.


At the bottom, on the walls, where they could easily be observed by the faithful, the scenes of Christ's life were represented and, at an even lower level, the more earthly images: the Saints occupied the wall space closest to the ground and consequently more closely linked to everyday life.

In the Iconoclastic era (726-787 and 814-843), sacred images disappeared and were replaced by simple symbols (crosses), animals, birds, or vegetation.

Some causes of Iconoclasm were: the spread of superstitious practices that used images as idols, the desire by the military oligarchies from which the emperors came to limit the preponderant power of the Church. In particular of its monastic component, a supporter of the images, and the contact of large sections of the population with the new occupants of the Middle Eastern area, the Arabs, averse to the anthropomorphic images of the deities.


While the West was always against Iconoclasm, in the East, it had a significant first moment in 726, when Emperor Leo III decided to remove the icon of Christ, which was located above the main door of the imperial palace.

This was followed in 730, the edict prohibiting the worship of sacred images, instead of granting the possibility of producing profane images, such as imperial portraits, battle scenes, and circus scenes.


Thus began the first phase of the iconoclastic struggle, which reached its peak during the reign of Constantine V (741-775). The illuminated icons and codes were destroyed and burned, the figured decorations of the churches erased and replaced with profane motifs such as flowers, animals, architectural scenes, but above all symbols, including that of the cross.


The veneration of the images was reintroduced with the Ecumenical Council convened in Nicea in 787 by the Byzantine empress Irene and her minor son Constantine VI, perhaps also in order to pursue a policy of reconciliation with the West, where the hegemony of Charlemagne.


In the year 815 Emperor Leo V, the Armenian again introduced the ban on venerating sacred images, which will last until 843; this time, however, the actions taken were much less radical, the images were not destroyed, but only covered with white paint, and the private veneration of the icons remained somewhat tolerated.

The definitive re-establishment of the cult of images took place in 843 by the empress Theodora.


Art and artists, often monks, however, were subjected to the strict control of the Church which established once and for all which images could be represented, in what way and in which part of the building of worship they had to be found, in obedience to a rigid hierarchy, from then on always substantially respected. This arrangement saw Christ depicted in the center of the dome, the Virgin in the apsidal basin, flanked by the Archangels and then apostles, prophets, patriarchs and saints who could cover every part of the church. From the stylistic point of view, there was a radical estrangement of the figuration from reality, which had the aim of revealing not the human aspect of the person depictedbyzantine architecture, but rather his spiritual qualities.

Author: Vicki Lezama


Comments

Need a custom
essay?

We will write it for you.
Order now

Free Essay Examples

Free essays:

All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know Technical Writing?
Basics the Game Theory in Cryptoeconomics
Business innovation ideas for making money
Biosensors for cancer diagnosis
Business Analysis: Pricing strategies and Demand Curve
Consciousness: characteristics and peculiarities
Conservation Economics
Cybersecurity in business: challenges, risks, and practices
Corporate Behavior
Dance as an art form and entertainment
Discrimination Economics
Determinants of Wages
Deontology Vs. Utilitarianism
Ethics: an essay on the understanding of evil
Emotions: what are they? Theories explained
Economy and Air Pollution
Economic Externalities and How to Deal with Them
Factors Affecting Purchasing Behavior
Financial Statement Analysis
Factors Influencing Interest and Exchange Rates
Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Response to 2008/2009
Government's Intervention in The Labor Market
Guide on the Pathways of the nervous system
Game theory in microeconomics
Globalization: definition, causes, social impact and risks
How women can manage sexual harassment
How to conduct economic research?
How to define the Enterprise Value
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
Imperfect Information and Asymmetric Information
Imperfect Information in Insurance
Introduction to Labor Markets
Investment in Human Capital
Journalism: What is News?
Journalism: Broadcast media and Television Presenters
Journalism: Sources of News
Journalism and Law
Key Determinants of National Income
Key Factors That Affect Pricing Decisions
Kinetic models in biology and Related fields
Know about the different forms of traditional African dances
Latest technology trends
Latest dance trends
Microeconomic Analysis to the Demand for Labor
Modern journalism
Neuromuscular disorders
National Economies, Fluctuation, and Responses to Fluctuations
Neurotransmitters: what they are and different types
Nanomedicines to target tumors
Organizational motivation and its effects
Overcoming Hiring Challenges for Nonprofit Organization
Parkinson's disease
Perspectives on Television: Analysis
Russian School of Mathematics
Research and Development
Risk Sharing in Insurance and Asset Markets
Risk and the value of information
Structure of the nervous system
Structure of a Corporation
Schizoaffective disorder: how to live better with it
Segregation in the US.
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Game Theory in Social Media
Unions
Unemployment
Utilitarianism Vs. Kantianism
Understanding Auctions and Auction Theory: Part 2
Various theoretical perspectives of sociology
Virtual reality, what it is and how it works
What is Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?
What are the different genres of films?
4 Facts about Origin of Mathematics!
5 techniques to create an animation
10 emerging technologies according to World Economic Forum
10 strategies to maximize corporate profits
3d Model Of Building
6 Medical Technologies that revolutionized the healthcare in 2020
All you need to know about the ACA Code of ethics
Architecture and Democracy: An Introduction
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Values
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Procedures
All You Need to Know About a Synthesis Essay
An essential guide to understanding Film Theory
Application of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security
Applications of electrical engineering
Augmented reality: what it is, how it works, examples
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Networking
All you need to know about Cryptography
Applications of astrophysical science
All you need to know about architecture engineering
Applications of geological engineering
Artificial intelligence and medicine: an increasingly close relationship
An insight into Computational Biology
ACA code of conduct
A Rose for Emily
Applications of Mathematics in daily life
Architecture mistakes to avoid
All you need to know about Toxicology
All you need to know about Holistic Medicine
All you need to know about linguistics
An introduction to Linguistics and its subfields
All you need to know about Anxiety disorder
All you need to know about Drones
A Brief Insight into Political Science
Assumptions related to feminism
All you need to know about Byzantine emperors
All you need to know about labour economics
An insight into xenobots -the first-ever robots
An ultimate guide about Biomaterials
A Comprehensive Introduction to the Mona Lisa
Analysis methods of Transport through biological membranes
An ultimate guide about biochemical reactions
Analysis of brain signals
Artificial Gene Synthesis
Application to synthetic biology of CAD methods
All you need to know about metabolic pathways
Applications of BIOMEMS
All you need to know about the epidemiology
Asian vs. western leadership styles
All you need to know about Smart prosthesis
Analysis of Economy: Output of Goods and Services (GNP), and GDP on Economic success
A Guide to Pricing Strategies
An Overview Of Economic Studies
Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policies
Analysis of Business Cycles
Analysis of Consumption and Investment
A Look into Regression Analysis
Analysis of Household's Consumption and Savings Behavior
All you need to know about Capital Budgeting
All you need to know about risk management
Art looted in wartime.
Appropriate use of Data in Economics
All you need to know about reaction kinetics?
A historical overview of Financial Crises
All you need to know about management discipline?
An insight into the error-correction models
All you need to know about Data visualization
All you need to know about Work-family balance
All you need to know Technical Writing?
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
How to Write a Personal Essay
Housing Needs in America
How to Write a Description Essay
How to Create an Excellent Scholarship Essay?
How to write a cause and effect essay
How to Hire the Best Essay Writing Service Provider?
How to Write a College Application Essay?
How to get the most out of your English lectures
How to write Expository Essay
How to succeed in your psychology class?
How to Write an Academic Essay in the Shortest Time?
History of Journalism
How Different Sectors are Using Artificial intelligence (AI)
How to write an informative essay
How to deliver persuasive essays?
How to Give a Convincing Presentation
How to write an essay on leadership?
Historical Art Still Around Today
Humanoid robot: what it is, how it works and price
History of Chemistry
Healthcare Advanced Computer Power: Robotics, Medical Imaging, and More
Healthcare AI: Game Changers for Medical Decision-Making and Remote Patient Monitoring
How to understand different types of English
How to Cope with Chronic Pain
How African American choreographers and dancers have influenced American dance
How mobile robot can do in logistics or in production
How To Become a Successful Entrepreneur
History of the Philosophy of Feminism
How is the climate changing?
How to Track Your Content Marketing ROI
How to Gun control In the USA?
Historical and contemporary role of labour in the modern world
How breast cancers are classified?
How the cells of our body communicate?
How the Lymphatic System Works?
How Digestive System Works
How to complete your capstone projects effectively?
How to write a research project
Healthcare technologies that help patients with better self-management
How to choose the topic of the senior capstone project
How to make your business survive at economic crisis
How can immigrants blend in the American society?
How does the economics of war affect society?
Hate speech on social media.
How to Build an Economic Model
How to start a healthcare startup?
How can financial illiteracy harm you?
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
How to define the Enterprise Value
How to conduct economic research?
How women can manage sexual harassment
Introduction to Urban Studies
Importance of dance in education
InMoov: how to build an open source humanoid robot
Importance of KYC verification to making the Blockchain secure
Importance of Rhythm
Importance of dance student evaluation
I/O control methods -types and explanations
Identity theft: what to do?
Introduction to Utilitarianism
Importance of 3d Modelling in Architecture
Importance of online journalism
Image processing in medical diagnosis
Introduction to USA Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Relations as a Major in Political Science
Importance of modern trade policy
Introduction to Journalism
Introduction to Writing a TV Script
Introduction of Microfabrication techniques
Introduction to Microeconomics
Interaction of Consumer and Firm Choices in Markets
Importance of corporate sustainability
Issues in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Introduction to Statistics and Data for Economics
Introduction to Data and Probability for Economics
Introduction to the Game Theory
Introduction to Econometrics
Introduction to Economic Information
Introduction to Market Equilibrium
Introduction to Economic Models and Application
Introduction to Empirical Research
Introduction to Econometric Data
Importance of Critical Thinking, Principles, and Goals
Introduction to Identification and Causal inferences
Introduction to Econometric Application
Intermediaries and Government in Financial Crisis
Importance and seven principles of quality management
Illiteracy in the USA
Introduction to Economics of Law
Introduction to Coase Theorem
Introduction to Social Choice and Incarceration
Intellectual Property and Product Liability
Investment in Human Capital
Introduction to Labor Markets
Imperfect Information in Insurance
Imperfect Information and Asymmetric Information
The Looming Energy Crisis in America
Top benefits of performance-based engineering
The More Languages You Know, The More Times You Are a Man
Things to consider while writing an Argumentative Essay
Top Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills
Tips to Excel in Creative Writing
The origins of films in the early 19th century
Top career options in Architecture
The Elevator Pitch
Top finance trends 2020
The basic Structure and functionality of robots
The Way to Success
The election system of the President in the United States of America
Two-party System in United States of America
Top trends in urban design
The history and theory of African American filmmaking
Top benefits of creative writing
Tinnitus Guide: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options
The language of dance
The digital image processing management
Top famous politicians of the World
Top methods of political science!
The history of the feminist movement
The blood flow in cardiovascular system - Biofluid Mechanics
The best of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Structure and Function of Macromolecules
The structure of cell: a research on the bricks of the human body!
Tissue and organ construction: Adhesion and recognition between cells
The kinetics of the transformation processes
The Modeling of Biological Systems
Tips for writing a great thesis statement
The Defense mechanisms against infections
The impact of the technological innovations in medicine
Top journalism trends to know about
The relation between mass media & politics
Theranostics: Diagnosis and Care through Nanoparticles
The practical Applications of X-rays
The applications of Ultrasound in medicine
Transfer mechanisms of genetic information in Bacteria
The regulation of cellular metabolism in the diagnosis
The Principles of MRI Contrast agents
The technical basis of optical coherence imaging
The New Media: Emerging Trends
The Structure of Interest Rates and the Yield Curve
Technological perspectives and reflections of neural engineering
Types of bioreactors and their applications
The Role of Government Policy in Improving Economic Outcomes
Types of corporate responsibility
The Role of IMF in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Tools for investment decision making
The concept of Organizational Culture and its applications
The Conduct of Monetary and Fiscal Policy
The Basics of Financial Accelerator Models
Tips for labeling medical devices- Medical Entrepreneurship
The different medical imaging techniques
The Economics of Uncertainty – Introduction
Theories of Public Policy
The Game Theory in Social Media
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
What is a Definition Essay?
What are diagnostic essays?
What is the relation between art structural engineering?
What is a Narrative Essay
What are robotics and intelligence systems?
What are the benefits of studying health sciences?
What is artificial intelligence and why it matters?
What is comparative Literature?
Why study neuroscience
What is Wi-Fi and how does it works
What is French history famous for?
What are Humanistic Studies?
What is covered in Biophysics?
What is modern journalism?
What is Virtualization? Benefits & Applications
What are modern public relations?
What is plasma physics?
What is teacher preparation?
What is rapid prototyping for 3D printing?
What is contemporary European Politics?
Why should you learn American Ballet?
What is engineering physics?
What is the purpose of African American Literature?
Ways to learn the Rhythm
What is digital art used for?
What are Enzymes and how do they work
Who is the father of political science?
Why Study Political Science - Job?
What is the Philosophy of Feminism?
What is a quantum computer?
Ways B2B Startups Streamline Their Conversion Strategies
Why do biomedical signals need processing?
What are the long term effects of climate change?
Why study labour relations
What is Holoprosencephaly?
What is antisocial disorder?
What are the important principles of evolution?
What is the cytoplasm and its function?
What is biopolymers?
What Makes a Good Leader
Women empowerment in modern generation
What is the history of political thought?
What is Gene recombination
What is synthetic biology
What is business cost analysis?
What is Inflation
What are the consequences of unemployment?
What is lithotripsy and its types?
What is transition elastography?
What is the purpose of deep brain stimulation?
What is a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)
What is neuroethics?
What is Market and Supply and Demand
What is optogenetics?
What are the techniques to record brain activity?
What happens if the interest rate increases?
What is immunotherapy?
What is the economic role of the financial market?
What are the factors behind illegal immigration?
What is the lymphocyte activation?
What is financial market and its types?
What is the structure of financial markets?
What are the methods of measuring business performance?
What is the Credit market?
What is business ethics and code of ethics
What are the Causes of financial instability?
What is MBA with Concentrations
What is regenerative medicine?
What is Population ecology?
What is Microfinance: evolution, and practices?
What is biotechnology and its applications?
What are Workplace diversity and its benefits?
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
What Is Branding and best branding Business strategies?
Why are microelectronics important?
What are biologic drugs.
What is the Foreign Exchange market?
What is the role of scientific research in times of crisis?
What are the risks of international trade?
What is financial management?
What is gene therapy?
What is education economics?
What is regression analysis, and why should you use it?
What Is Technology Marketing And How Should It Work?
What is Management Accounting
What are the methods of valuation of companies?
What is Immune System and Immunotherapy?
What is big data analytics?
What is the 7 layers of OSI model?
What is Neuroplasticity?
What are Sculpture art and its types?
What are the different genres of films?
What is Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?