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Byzantine Art and Diplomacy in an Age of Decline


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Table of Contents

Introduction: the Imperial image as gift; Part I. Adventus: the Emperor and the City: 1. The imperial image and the end of exile; 2. Imperial thanksgiving: the commemoration of the Byzantine restoration of Constantinople; 3. Imperial instrumentality: the serially struck Palaiologan image; Part II. 'Atoms of Epicurus': the Imperial Image as a Gift in an Age of Decline: 4. Rhetoric as diplomacy: imperial word, image and presence; 5. Wearing allegiances and the construction of a visual oikoumene; Conclusion: the ends of empire.

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This book questions how political decline refigures the visual culture of empire, examining the imperial image and the gift in later Byzantium.

About the Author

Cecily J. Hilsdale is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University, Montreal. Her research concerns cultural exchange in the medieval Mediterranean, in particular the circulation of Byzantine luxury objects as diplomatic gifts as well as the related dissemination of eastern styles, techniques, and iconographies and ideologies of imperium.


'Cecily J. Hilsdale's important volume ... is a major contribution to the field. She asks essential questions and provides a rich and deep context for consideration of later Byzantine art ... Her discussion of objects leads to questions not otherwise asked and thus to new insights about the function of images. Almost every scholar interested in this period of Mediterranean history will come away with something for his or her own work.' The Medieval Review

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