Our Virtual Bookshelf displays books written and edited by former IIAS fellows that were initiated or completed during their stay at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, and which acknowledge the IIAS in print. The books are the natural outcome of our visiting Research Group members’ stay at the IIAS – reading, studying, interacting with colleagues – and we are pleased to present them to you.

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“A Prolegomenon to Byzantine Diagrams," in The Visualization of Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

“A Prolegomenon to Byzantine Diagrams," in The Visualization of Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

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This paper is, quite literally, a first word about the subject of Byzantine diagrams as a whole. Neither the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, nor Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, nor the Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst has an entry on diagrams, and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Byzantium contains not a single mention of the term. Thus far, diagrams in the Byzantine tradition have only been approached in narrow disciplinary terms. In this paper, I survey the various types of diagrams included in Byzantine manuscripts from the eighth to the sixteenth century. I classify them by subject and consider selected examples in detail, then conclude with observations about the differences between Byzantine and Western medieval diagrams and why these differences exist.

See also: Humanities, 2020