Lorenzo Riccardi
(The “Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy)


Observations on Basil II as Patron of the Arts1


Among Byzantine emperors, Basil II was one of the most eccentric: he never got married and so he did not have any direct heirs. He spent long time in battles and, according to the scholar Psellus, he was not an educated man. In fact, he is known most of all for his military merits as he won not only over his enemies, but also over the generals who got off on a long and difficult period of civil wars. During his reign, the Byzantine Empire witnessed the greatest territorial expansion1 and the latest sources tell us how he had blinded thousands of Bulgar enemies and beaten them definitively, thus deserving the epithet of “Bulgar-slayer” 2.

Despite this fierce portrayal, we know that Basil commissioned two important manuscripts that are considered among the most beautiful and notable of the whole Byzantine art: the Menologium of Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vat. gr. 1613)3 and the Psalter of Biblioteca Marciana in Venice (gr. 17)4. The Psalter presents a portrait5, in which the emperor, like in an icon, is shown to prevail, triumphantly, over what the text defines as “enemies”6. The Menologium is preceded by an introductory proem, that recounts how Basil II had created “a book truly like unto another Heaven”7: the “Heaven” of Basil is “stretched out from sheets of leather provided by Nature” and “contains beautiful images like stars” of all who are called to be for the emperor himself “sustainers of the State, allies in battles, deliverers from sufferings, healers in sickness”. Like the Psalter, most probably the Menologium used to have a full-page miniature, in which Basil would be represented in courtly attire8, while he was receiving his power from Pantokrator who was “above” and of whom the emperor, who was “below”, is “the one who mirrors Him in his character”.

Thus, if in the Psalter the figure of Basil is exalted as emperor who triumphs over the enemies, in the Menologium his work is celebrated as it is, in all respects, comparable to God’s. In fact, Basil, as it is told in the Menologium introductory proem, is excellent “both in victories and in learning”.

Nevertheless, Basil II is well known as one of the most uncultivated sovereigns in Byzantine history9. How is it possible? And then why are these two wonderful manuscripts linked to his name? 10

What promoted the idea of an uncultivated sovereign is a number of Byzantine sources, among them Iohannes Zonaras11, although all of them are founded on the writings of Michael Psellus. The great philosopher was not a contemporary of the Emperor and that is why his work provides a very complicated portrayal of Basil II, one that was reduced and distorted by subsequent authors who reopened and re-elaborated it, beginning indeed with Zonaras. The syntheses of the other Byzantine and modern historians have not understood how Psellus’s negative judgment actually was not referred to Basil II, but to the people that surrounded the Emperor. The philosopher writes in fact: “He surrounded himself with favourites who were neither remarkable for brilliance of intellect, nor of noble lineage, nor too learned”12. Men in Basil’s court are indeed the opposite of Psellus, who comes after them and surpasses them: M. Lauxtermann writes, “he felt the urge to portray [them] as grimly as possible, so that his own contribution to rhetoric and philosophy would stand out in the brightest of colours”13. Moreover, Psellus commends Basil for his military merits, but does not see in him “an emperor whom he found… easy to praise”14: The “Consul of the Philosophers” is favorable to the power of the aristocracy, his and that of his high officers, but certainly not in favor of the unlimited power of a monarch15.

What other sources do we have, however, which would shed further light on Basil II’s cultural activity and, most importantly, on him as patron of the arts? Schlumberger, Basil’s greatest biographer16, complained, over a century ago, about “pauvreté des sources, des lacunes sans fin, des ténèbres. Aucune expression ne saurait donner une juste idée d une pareille disette de documents”17. There is also a lack of pièces de circonstance, which usually celebrate the artistic achievements of great people, like emperors. Actually, the Byzantine and foreign sources on Basil have often a chronicle character and are connected and related to single territories. Yet they must be taken into careful consideration, because in certain cases they contain interesting information. Moreover, it is important to remember that in some epigraphs the contextual mention of Basil and Constantine has allowed the identification of Basil II as sovereign and of his brother, Constantine VIII, as co-emperor, although it seems that the latter did not have any active role in the administration of power18. On the bases of these historical sources and on the epigraphs, I have tried to reconstruct the cultural and artistic activities of this Emperor and have been able to collect a summary of the works I will present only briefly here, referring to the Italian text for the complete version19.

I will illustrate the identified works through thematic groups, as the sources often leave entire decades unexplored20. Most of the works are gift the Emperor gives to personalities or institutions: they constitute 44,4% of the data, i.e. 28 out 63. Only in fifteen cases, the nature of the gift is explicitly indicated. The sovereign lauded in this way a foreigner (or in some cases, one of his subjects) who had demonstrated to him fidelity or with whom he wanted to do business. The gift, in fact, used to accompany a request of political relations or it would show gratitude for the support already granted: thus, it was part of a diplomatic ceremonial. Let us look at these gifts more in detail. Money, horses, but also silk fabrics and clothes, which the sources define as “precious” “decorated” or “of honour”21: in other words, the “Silken Diplomacy”, following Anna Muthesius’s expression22. In other cases, sacred or miraculous objects: like a small casket, «in which there was» — writes an Arabic source — “a medium-sized stone of dusty colour and triangular shape, which was useful for the disease of dropsy”23 and that was given to a Sicilian emir. To the Great Lavra Monastery, Basil donated — as the documents of the monastery testify — a kibotion, i.e. a casket embroidered in golden threads containing precious stones. The decoration was perhaps obtained with the filigree technique and the object contained sacred relics24. In addition, the emperor offered a reliquary to an Armenian noble, “on which was a drop of life-giving blood, mounted with gold and pearls”25. On other occasions, Basil donated a number of relics, but we do not know anything about the object that used to contain them. A sculpture, still existing and very similar to a relic, was destined to Milan: the bronze snake donated to the Bishop Arnolfo, who had been sent to Constantinople by Otto III in order to arrange an imperial marriage. This was, as a Milanese chronicler informs us, no less than the serpent of Moses26. Indeed during these years, a big icon of Christ’s face may have arrived in Naples to be donated to Sergio, the city’s Archbishop. Nowadays, the work is no longer extant, but perhaps a replica of it is the one we can see set in the apse of St. Restituta27. As part of the offerings, it is important to reconstruct what we know about the journey Basil made to Athens in 1018, after he defeated the Bulgarians. In fact, the Byzantine sources recall a gift donated by basileus to the Church of the Theotokos in the Parthenon. It is not sure that it corresponded to the flying dove above the altar and to the miraculous lamp suggested in later sources, but when those gifts are mentioned, the texts use the Greek verb kosmeo and this invites us to assume that they were made to embellish and adorn the church28.

This first list, although incomplete, suggests an initial observation: Basil II does not elude the ancient practice of using imperial diplomatic gifts or of making monetary donations. In particular, the second kind of gift, which is very frequent, encourages us to reconsider the idea of an emperor avaricious and greedy, which is how Psellus describes Basil29. Basil is a typical emperor, who must handle attacks from enemies as well as natural catastrophes: he restores fortifications and towers both in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Nevertheless, he does not forget Constantinople, from which he was often far because of the many wars in which he was involved. In this area, as far as we know, he does not commit himself to new public works, but prefers to meet the real citizens’ and city’s necessities, constructing or restoring public buildings (aqueducts, or towers collapsed after earthquakes and seaquakes), or establishing new charities (transforming churches into monasteries, or building hospitals for the poor, etc.).

From the various testimonies collected about the patronage of Basil II a question emerges: was Basil susceptible to culture and art? Although the most documented cases are not always easy to interpret, we will try to answer the question by examining some elements.

Some Byzantine and Russian sources suggest that the Russian prince Vladimir, when faced with a religious choice for himself and his people, sent his ambassadors to Constantinople. Here, the envoys were greeted with big honor and led to Hagia Sophia: “The Emperor”, or more probably a deputy of his “accompanied the Russes to the Church, and placed them in a wide space, calling their attention to the beauty of the edifice, the chanting, and the pontifical services and the ministry of the deacons, while he explained to them the worship of his God”30. We are not absolutely certain that the meeting took place this way, but it is interesting to note how Basil had used the “beauty of the edifice” to bewitch the ambassadors. The art as means of persuasion seems to be a recurrent strategy in Byzantine culture. The meeting in Hagia Sophia took place a few years before a catastrophic event: the earthquake of 989, which caused the most death and destruction in Thrace. An eyewitness, Leo the Deacon, tells us a dramatic day-after: “a terrible earthquake occurred, the likes of which had not happened in this generation, and demolished to the ground the fortifications of Byzantium and destroyed most of the houses, turning them into tombs for their inhabitants”. “Furthermore, it brought down and knocked to the ground the half-dome of the upper part of the Great Church, together with the west apse”31. The Great Church is Hagia Sophia. The earthquake did not discourage Basil, who restored the church in just four years32: as a contemporary source suggests, he had entrusted the rebuilding to an Armenian architect, a certain Trdat, who succeeded where the Byzantines had failed. In fact, Trdat had presented to the patron two preliminary studies: a “restoration plan” — i.e. drawings and graphic reconstruction — and a three-dimensional “model”33, which must not be very different from a group of Armenian lithic sketches that are still preserved and date from to the seventh to the fourteenth century and represent the elevation of the buildings34. Skylitzes, a Byzantine writer, refers that in this operation the cost of the sole scaffoldings was ten gold kentènaria35. The restoration was certainly very demanding and concerned not only the wall construction but also the redecoration of the Western arch and of the dome that had collapsed during the earthquake. On the Western arch Trdat rebuilt, the Byzantine mosaic makers reproduced the sacred figures destroyed in 989. They can be dated back to a century earlier, to the time of Basil I, the founder of the Macedonian dynasty. These figures are those of the Virgin and Child in an iridescent medallion and the princes of the Apostles Peter and Paul, by their side36. Since there were no other renovations on the Western arch, it is likely that the fragmentary mosaics, discovered in situ by the Fossati brothers in mid XIX century and documented accurately by Salzenberg, were in fact the ones made during the work carried out by Basil II. The earthquake of 1894 damaged them irreparably and today they are no longer extant37.
During Basil II’s reign, the mosaic technique may have been utilized again: during the rebuilding of the agion louma, the bathroom, of the Blachernae38. It had been built next to the church of Theotokos between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 7th century and was linked to the imperial ceremonial: throughout the year, a Friday — the date was not scheduled by the etiquette — the sovereign used to go to the Blachernae in order to “bathe”39. The building used to have great importance both for the Byzantine court and for the Blachernae neighborhood, where the palace, the church and the bathroom, stood around an enclosed but publicly accessible courtyard, which constituted the buildings core identity40. Between 980 and 992, Basil II had the bathroom built and decorated with gold and silver, i.e. likely with mosaics, while the Patriarch Nicholas II donated a new image of the Virgin to replace the older one41.

Before talking about Hagia Sophia, it is worth remembering that Basil II financed other important  nterventions in religious monuments, like when he had the domes of the church of All Saints and the church of the Forty Martyrs in Constantinople, that had collapsed because of the earthquake in 1010, rebuilt42. Finally, he oversaw the partial restoration of St. Eugenios in Trebizond43 and the works in St. John the Baptist of Oљki, in Eastern Anatolia, a monastic building in Georgian territory that became Byzantine area in the year immediately prior to the emperor’s intervention (1021–1022). As mentions an ealier documented inscription that today is illegible , it is thanks to Basil II that the roof, including maybe the tambour and the dome, were rebuilt. One of the capitals on the tambour of the church, according to some scholars, should represent the creator, the stone-master Jesse, who was responsible for the works44. However, Basil’s religious building par excellence remains Hagia Sophia: here we can find more evidence of the Macedonian sovereign’s sensitivity for art.

Summarizing what was said earlier, Basil II chose to leave the restoration works in the hands of a very experienced Armenian architect, who presented to the emperor not only drawings, but also a three dimensional model of the building, according to a procedure certified in Armenia, but uncommon in Constantinople. The artists responsible for the redecoration of the dome and for the building of the Western arch did so on Basil’s patronage. On the dome, they created mosaics in order to connect visually the restored part to the original Justinian’s one. On the arch, they repeated the subjects that more than a century before Basil I had wanted. Basil I was praised in the apse inscription as “restorer of the images” after the iconoclastic destruction45. In 989, Basil II, heir to the founder of the Macedonian dynasty, displayed an attitude similar to the one of his illustrious ancestor and restored the building in its architectural and decorative integrity. Both these factors led us to the following hypothesis. In order to commemorate the restoration — as I recently tried to demonstrate — Basil II commissioned another mosaic, the one in the lunette of the Southern-Western vestibule of Hagia Sophia46. The famous panel represents the emperors Constantine and Justinian in the act of offering respectively the model of the city and a model of the Great Church to Theotokos, thus celebrating one of the most imperial prerogatives, the ktetoreia47, i.e. the act of founding. Who commissioned this “memorial” image48 wanted to compare, or place in competition, his non-declared ktetoreia with that of the two former sovereigns’ one. Even if effectively he did not proceed towards a reconstruction of the Hagia Sophia and of the city of Constantinople,Basil II commissioned important works for the re-establishment of their ancient splendor. He reopened the damaged church and, as the numerous repairs in the towers of the Theodosian and sea walls testify, he maintained the integrity of the city walls and hence that of the entire city49. The mosaic of the Southern-Western vestibule widely exalts these operations, which are full part of an emperor’s prerogatives as his right and as his duty, and which are this compared to real foundations. In homage to what Jan Assmann defines “cultural memory”50, Basil II legitimated the origin and the provenance of his own power by commissioning a mosaic in which the present dialogues with the past and its tradition. At the same time, Basil worked to repossess the past and define the future by “putting monuments to himself with his own actions”51.These monuments are primarily military, but also artistic, like the Menologium and the Psalter, the reconstruction of agion louma of the Blachernae with “gold and silver” and, finally, the restoration of Hagia Sophia, as his mosaics testify.

Риккарди Лоренцо
(Римский университет «Сапиенца», Италия)

Византийский император Василий II как покровитель искусств.

Данное сообщение посвящено роли императора Василия II как покровителя искусств. Несмотря на то, что он известен как один из наименее заинтересованных в культурной жизни правителей в византийской истории, две замечательные рукописи связаны с его именем: Менологий из Ватиканской библиотеки и Псалтирь из библиотеки Марчиана в Венеции. Как это возможно? Для того, чтобы ответить на этот вопрос, я попытался реконструировать картину культурной и художественной деятельности при Василии II, и результаты этих исследований в кратком виде представляю в данной статье.

1 In this essay I will present an abridged version of my research on Basil II as patron of the Arts. For a more complete discussion and bibliography, I refer to L. Riccardi, «Un altro cielo»: l’imperatore Basilio II e le arti, in Rivista dell’Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte 60 (III serie, XXVIII, 2005 [printed 2011]), pp. 257-300.


1 C. Holmes, Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025), Oxford 2005.
2 P. Stephenson, The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer, Cambridge 2003 and P.M. Strässle, Krieg und Kriegführung in Byzanz: die Kriege Kaiser Basileios‘ II. gegen die Bulgaren (976-1019), Köln — Weimar — Wien 2006.
3 El «Menologio de Basilio II», Libro de estudios con ocasión de la edición facsímil, dirigido por F. D’Aiuto, edición española a cargo de I. Pérez Martín, Città del Vaticano — Atenas — Madrid 2008.
4 A. Cutler, The Psalter of Basil II, in Arte Veneta 30 (1976), pp. 9-19; Id., A Psalter of Basil II (Part II), in Arte Veneta 31 (1977), pp. 9-15 [both reprinted in Id., Imagery and Ideology in Byzantine Art, London 1992, N VI]; Id., The Aristocratic Psalters in Byzantium, Paris 1984, pp. 115-120; Stephenson, The Legend cit., pp. 51-62.
5 V. Lazarev, Storia della pittura bizantina, Torino 1967, fig. 130.
6 For the “icon” see: Cutler, The Psalter (Part I) cit., pp. 14, 16. For the translation of the poem of the Psalter see: I. Ševčenko, The Illuminators of the Menologium of Basil II, in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 16 (1962), pp. 245-276: 272.
7 See the editio princeps of the poem of Menologium now available in A. Acconcia Longo, El poema introductorio en dodecasílabos bizantinos, in El «Menologio de Basilio II» cit., pp. 77-90. For the translation of the poem of the Menologium see: Ševčenko, The Illuminators cit., pp. 272-273.
8 About the existence of the illuminated page at the beginning of the Menologium, see what it is said with new codicological argumentation in A. Iacobini, De Basilio I a Basilio II: marcas e imágenes de comitentes en la producción libraria constantinopolitana de época macedonia, in El «Menologio de Basilio II» cit., pp. 197-229: 221-223.
9 See, for instance, G. Ostrogorsky, Geschichte des byzantinischen Staates, München 1963 (Italian edition: Id., Storia dell’impero bizantino, Torino 1968, repr. 1993, p. 265) e S. Runciman, Byzantine Style and Civilization, Harmondsworth 1975, p. 108.
10 See R. Cormack, Patronage and New Programs of Byzantine Iconography, in The 17th International Byzantine Congress, Major Papers (Washington, D.C., August 1986), New Rochelle1986, pp. 609-638:[repr. in Id., The Byzantine Eye: Studies in Art and Patronage, London 1989, X] and Iacobini, De Basilio I a Basilio II cit., p. 213.
11 Ioannis Zonarae Epitomae historiarum libri XVIII, III, ed. M. Pinder, Bonnae 1897, p. 561.
12 The Chronographia of Michael Psellus, translated from the Greek by E.R.A. Sewte, New Haven 1953, p. 24. See the fundamental study by B. Crostini, The Emperor Basil II’s Cultural Life, in Byzantion 64 (1996), pp. 53-80.
13 M. Lauxtermann, Byzantine Poetry and the Paradox of Basil II’s Reign, in Byzantium in the Year 1000, ed. P. Magdalino, Leiden — Boston 2003, pp. 199-216: 205.
14 L. Garland, Basil II as Humorist, in Byzantion 69 (1999), pp. 323-343: 342.
15 A. Pertusi, Il pensiero politico bizantino, Bologna 1990, pp. 130-139.
16 P. Stephenson, Pioneers of Popular Byzantine History. Freeman, Gregorovius, Schlumberger, in The Byzantine World, ed. P. Stephenson, London 2010, pp. 462-480: 470-476.
17 G. Schlumberger, L’épopée byzantine à la fin du dixième siècle, 1, Guerres contre les Russes, les Arabes, les Allemands, les Bulgares, luttes civiles contre les deux Bardas. Jean Tzimiscès ö Les jeunes années de Basile II ö Le tueur de Bulgares (969-989), Paris 1896 (nouvelle éd., Paris 1925), p. IX.
18 C. Holmes, Constantinople in the Reign of Basil II, in Byzantine Style, Religion and Civilization. In Honour of Sir Steven Runciman, ed. E. Jeffreys, Cambridge 2006, pp. 326-339.
19 See nt. 1.
20 Crostini, The Emperor Basil II’s Cultural Life cit.
21 For instance: Regesten der Kaiserurkunden des oströmischen Reiches von 565-1453, I, 1.2., bearbeitet von Franz Dölger. Auflage neu bearbeitet von A.E. Müller unter verantwortlicher Mitarbeit von A. Beihammen, München 2003, pp. 188 n.780, 203 n.791.
22 A. Muthesius, Silken Diplomacy, in Byzantine Diplomacy, Papers from the Twenty-fourth Symposium of Byzantine Studies (Cambridge, March 1990), ed. J. Shepard, S. Franklin, Aldershot 1992, pp. 237- 248.
23 Book of gifts and rarities = Kitab al-hadā yā wa al-tuhöaf: Selections Compiled in the Fifteenth Century from an Eleventh-Century Manuscript on Gifts and Treasures, Translated from the Arabic, with Introduction, Annotations, Glossary, Appendices, and Indices by G. al-H ijjāwī al-Qaddūmī, Cambridge MA 1996, p. 218.
24 Actes de Lavra, I, Des origines à 1204, édition diplomatique par P. Lemerle, A. Guillou, N. Svoronos; avec la collaboration de D. Papachryssanthou, Paris 1970, p. 114.
25 J.-P. Mahé, Basile II et Byzance vus par Grigor Narekac’i, in Travaux et Mémoires 11 (1991), pp. 555- 572 and History of the House of Artsruik’, translated by R.W. Thomson, Detroit 1985, pp. 373-374.
26 Landulfi Historia Mediolanensis, ed. L. C. Bethmann et W. Wattenbach, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, SS 8, Chronica et gesta aevi Salici, ed. G. H. Pertz, Hannoverae 1846, pp. 32-110: 55. See Il Millennio ambrosiano, III, La città del vescovo dai Carolingi al Barbarossa, a cura di C. Bertelli, Milano 1988, fig. 8.
27 P. Leone de Castris, Un laborioso restauro e un raro affresco bizantino a Napoli: il palinsesto dell’abside di Santa Restituta, in Il Duomo di Napoli dal paleocristiano all’età angioina, Atti della I Giornata di Studi 40 su Napoli (Losanna, 23 novembre 2000), a cura di S. Romano e N. Bock, Napoli 2002, pp. 107-118 and fig. 44; M.R. Marchionibus, Due tavolette erratiche di Capodimonte, in Arte medievale n.s. 4 (2005), 2, pp. 115-126: 123-124 n. 12.
28 Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum, ed. I. Thurn, Berlin — New York 1973, p. 364 and R. Janin, Les église et les monastères des grands centres byzantins, Paris 1975, pp. 316-320.
29 Michele Psello, Imperatori di Bisanzio (Cronografia), introduzione di D. Del Corno, testo critico a cura di S. Impellizzeri, commento di U. Criscuolo, traduzione di S. Ronchey, Milano 1984, pp. 44-47.
30 Russian Primary Chronicle Laurentian Text, translated and edited by S. H. Cross and O. P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor, Cambridge MA 1953 (The Mediaeval Academy of America, 60), p. 110 and also A. Banduri, Animadversiones in Constantini Porhyrogeniti libros de thematibus et de administrando impero, in Imperium Orientale sive Antiquitates Constantinopolitanae, Parisiis 1711, p. 112-116; Analecta byzantinorussica, ed. W. Regel, Petropoli 1891, pp. 44-51.
31 The History of Leo the Deacon: Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century, introduction, translation, and annotations by A.-M. Talbot and D.F. Sullivan with the assistance of G. T. Dennis and S. McGrath, Washington D.C. 2005, pp. 217-218.
32 C. Mango, The Collapse of St. Sophia, Psellus and the Etymologicum Genuinum, in Gonimos. Neoplatonic and Byzantine Studies presented to Leendert G. Westerink at 75, Buffalo N.Y. 1988, pp. 167-174.
33 Histoire universelle par Étienne Asołik de Tarón: deuxième partie, traduite de l’arménien et annotée par F. Macler, Paris 1917, pp. 132-133.
34 P. Cuneo, Les modèles en pierre de l’architecture arménienne, in Revue des études arméniennes 6 (1969), pp. 201-232.
35 Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum cit., pp. 331-332.
36 Theophanes Continuatus, Ioannes Cameniata, Symeon Magister, Georgius Monachus, ed. I. Bekker, Bonnae 1838, p. 322.
37 About the mosaics, see: C. Mango, Materials for the Study of the Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul, Washinghton 1962, pp. 76-80 and figs. 100-102.
38 Scriptores originum Constantinopolitanarum, ed. Th. Preger, Leipzig 1901-1907 (= Leipzig 1989), p. 283.
39 A. Berger, Das Bad in der Byzantinischen Zeit, München 1982, pp. 81-82.
40 F.K. Yegül, The Baths of Constantinople in Context. The Neighborhood Trilogy, in Common Ground. Archaeology, Art, Science and Humanities. Proceeding of the 16th International Congress of Classical Archaeology (Boston, 23-26 August 2003), Oxford 2006, pp. 200-204.
41 Like an anonymous poet: G. Sola, Giambografi sconosciuti del secolo XI, in Roma e l’Oriente 11 (1916), pp. 18-27, 149-153: 26-27.
42 Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum cit., pp. 347-348.
43 The Hagiographic Dossier of St Eugenios of Trebizond in Codex Athous Dionysiou 154. A Critical Edition with Introduction, Translation, Commentary and Indexes by J.O. Rosenqvist, Uppsala 1996, p. 256.
44 W. Djobadze, Early Medieval Georgian Monasteries in historic Tao, Klarjet i, and Šavšet i, Stuttgart 1992, pp. 92-141; D. Piguet-Panayotova, The Church of Oљki. Architectonics and Ornaments (Part 1), in Oriens Christianus 86 (2002), pp. 103-144 and Ead., The Church of Oљki. Architectonics and Ornaments (Part 2), in Oriens Christianus 87 (2003), pp. 175-219, fig. 66.
45 A. Guiglia Guidobaldi, La decorazione musiva della prima età macedone: questioni aperte, in Bisanzio nell’età dei Macedoni. Forme della produzione letteraria e artistica, VIII Giornata di Studi Bizantini (Milano, 15-16 marzo 2005), a cura di F. Conca e G. Fiaccadori, Milano 2007, pp. 119-149: 132 e n. 38.
46 For the detailed position of such hypothesis see the forthcoming essay: L. Riccardi, Alcune riflessioni sul mosaico del vestibolo sud-ovest della Santa Sofia di Costantinopoli, in Vie per Bisanzio, VII Congresso Nazionale dell’Associazione italiana di Studi Bizantini (Venezia, 25-28 novembre 2009), in press. Cfr. Lazarev, Storia cit., fig. 157.
47 A. Iacobini, L’epitalamio di Andronico II. Una cronaca di nozze dalla Costantinopoli paleologa, in Arte profana e arte sacra a Bisanzio, a cura di A. Iacobini, E. Zanini, Roma 1995 (Milion. Studi e ricerche di arte bizantina, 3), pp. 361-410: 374-375.
48 G. Prinzing, Das Bild Justinians I. in der Überlieferung der Byzantiner vom 7. Bis 15. Jahrhundert, in Fontes Minores 7 (1986), pp. 1-98: 6-13.
49 For instance, Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, IV, ed. A. Boeckhius, Berlin 1877, n. 8687, n. 8700; B. Meyer-Plath, A.M. Schneider, Die Landmauer von Konstantinopel, II, Berlin 1943 (= Berlin 1978), pp. 123 n. 1, 129 n. 23.
50 J. Assmann, Das kulturelle Gedächtnis. Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen, München 1992 [Italian edition: Id., La memoria culturale. Scrittura, ricordo e identità politica nelle grandi civiltà antiche, Torino 1997 (Biblioteca Einaudi, 2), pp. 43-44].
51 Assmann, La memoria culturale cit., p. 44.А.Л.