Synopses & Reviews
This groundbreaking volume explores the epochal transformations and unexpected continuities in the Byzantine Empire from the seventh to the ninth century. As the period opened, the Empire's southern provincesand#8212;the vibrant, diverse areas of North Africa and the eastern Mediterraneanand#8212;were at the crossroads of trade routes reaching from Spain to China. These regions experienced historic upheavals when their Christian and Jewish communities encountered the emerging Islamic world, and by the ninth century, an unprecedented cross-fertilization of cultures had taken place.
This extraordinary age is brought vividly to life byand#160;leading international scholars, their writings accompanied by sumptuous illustrations of the period's most notable arts and artifacts. Resplendent images of authority, religion, and tradeand#8212;embodied in precious metals, brilliant textiles, fine ivories, elaborate mosaics, manuscripts, and icons, many of them never before publishedand#8212;highlight the dynamic dialogue between the rich array of Byzantine styles and the evolving Islamic aesthetic. With its masterful exploration of two centuries that would shape the emerging medieval world, Byzantium and Islam provides aand#160;revelatory interpretation of a period with profound ramifications for the modern era.
and#8220;Groundbreaking scholarship. . . has gone into the catalog. . . [it is] an outstanding introduction to the transition from late Antiquity to Islam.and#8221;and#8212;Peter Brown, New York Review of Books
and#8220;[An] important exhibition book.and#8221;and#8212;The New York Times
and#8220;[The catalog is] a beautiful and quite sumptuous work of original scholarship.and#8221;and#8212;The New Criterion
Winner of the 2014 World Book Award in the field of Islamic Studies, given by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A groundbreaking investigation of the extraordinary art and material culture of the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire during the momentous 7th to 9th century
This compilation of eleven papers by internationally distinguished scholars demonstrates the importance of Byzantine culture during the early years of Islamic rule in the eastern Mediterranean and across North Africa.
In 2012 the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, a groundbreaking exhibition that explored the transformations and continuities in the Byzantine Empire from the 7th to the 9th century. During this time of historic upheaval, Christian and Jewish communities encountered the world of Islam, resulting in unprecedented cross-cultural exchange. The catalogue for Byzantium and Islam received the 2014 World Book Award as the best new book on Islamic studies, presented by the Islamic Republic of Iranandrsquo;s Ministry of Culture and Religious Guidance. This new volume expands upon the subject, bringing together eleven papers by internationally distinguished scholars delivered in symposia and Scholarsand#39; Days during the exhibition, with a new introduction by Helen C. Evans. These writings provide new information about the impact of Byzantine culture, both Christian and Jewish, during the development and early years of Islamic rule in the eastern Mediterranean and across North Africa, and reconsider traditional concepts about the origin of Islamic art.
About the Author
Helen C. Evans
is the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.