IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 502: Markers of Identity in Medieval Georgia and Armenia

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Beata Możejko, Zakład Historii Średniowiecza Polski i Nauk Pomocniczych Historii, Uniwersytet Gdański
Paper 502-aThe Cross Emblem in Georgian Art: Echoes of Historical Events and Memories of Jerusalem
(Language: English)
Erga Shneurson, Independent Scholar, Petach Tikva, Israel
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Sculpture, Byzantine Studies, Liturgy
Paper 502-b'God save the Emperor': Utilisation of the Book of Letters (Girk‘ T‘łt‘ocʻ) in Uxtanes' History of Armenians
(Language: English)
Kosuke Nakada, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Local History

Paper -a:
Numerous reliefs of crosses adorning church façades, icons, stelas, stone pillars, and more, can be seen on surviving monuments in Georgia, indicating that the veneration of the cross became a widespread practice in Georgia from the 4th century. The Georgian chronicles hold written evidence regarding the cross and related rituals. The focus of this talk will be the cross in a clypeus borne by two angels featuring on the tympanum of Djvari Church (597) and on one of the stone pillars widespread throughout the country. Church façades adorned with crosses presented theological and philosophical meanings, potentially shaping the practice of rites and social behaviour, as well as the religious perception that evolved in the early stages of Eastern Christianity. The use of the cross symbol as an artistic emblem should be analysed through the prism of the events that had occurred in Jerusalem during the 4th century.

Paper -b:
Memories of the past are often utilised in historiographical works for projecting the present. A notable example can be found in The History of Armenians, composed by Uxtanes of Sebasteia, a 10th-century Armenian bishop. In book two of the History, Uxtanes describes the separation between Georgia and Armenia in the early 7th century, citing the relevant correspondence from the Book of Letters (Girk‘ T‘łt‘ocʻ). However, it cannot be overlooked that there are also modifications and alterations by Uxtanes himself. This paper argues that Uxtanes intentionally changed them in order to reflect political and social upheaval in his own time as Byzantium expanded eastwards once more.