Publication – Elena N. Boeck, « The Bronze Horseman of Justinian in Constantinople. The Cross-Cultural Biography of a Mediterranean Monument »

Justinian’s triumphal column was the tallest free-standing column of the pre-modern world and was crowned with arguably the largest metal equestrian sculpture created anywhere in the world before 1699. The Byzantine empire’s bronze horseman towered over the heart of Constantinople, assumed new identities, spawned conflicting narratives, and acquired widespread international acclaim. Because all traces of Justinian’s column were erased from the urban fabric of Istanbul in the sixteenth century, scholars have undervalued its astonishing agency and remarkable longevity. Its impact in visual and verbal culture was arguably among the most extensive of any Mediterranean monument. This book analyzes Byzantine, Islamic, Slavic, Crusader, and Renaissance historical accounts, medieval pilgrimages, geographic, apocalyptic and apocryphal narratives, vernacular poetry, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Italian, French, Latin, and Ottoman illustrated manuscripts, Florentine wedding chests, Venetian paintings, and Russian icons to provide an engrossing and pioneering biography of a contested medieval monument during the millennium of its life.

Elena N. Boeck is Professor of History of Art and Architecture at DePaul University. Her publications explore intellectual exchange in the Mediterranean and unconventional, fascinating forms of engagement with Byzantium’s legacy. She is the author of Imagining the Byzantine Past: The Perception of History in the Illustrated Manuscripts of Skylitzes and Manasses (Cambridge 2015). She held appointments as the Excellence Initiative Professor at Radboud University, and Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.

Table des matières :


  1. Justinian’s Entry into Constantinople: He Came, He Saw, He Conquered
  2. The Making of Justinian’s Forum
  3. Defying a Defining Witness: The Bronze Horseman and the Buildings (De Aedificiis) of Prokopios
  4. The Horseman of Baghdad Responds to the Horseman of Constantinople
  5. Soothing Imperial Anxieties: Theophilos and the Restoration of Justinian’s Crown
  6. Debating Justinian’s Merits in the Tenth Century
  7. The Bronze Horseman and a Dark Hour for Humanity
  8. The Horseman Becomes Heraclius: Crusading Narratives of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
  9. From Exile in Nicaea to Restoration of Constantinople
  10. A Learned Dialogue Across the Ages: Pachymeres Confronts Prokopios
  11. Orb-session: Constantinople’s Future in the Bronze Horseman’s Hand
  12. Justinian’s Column and the Antiquarian Gaze: A Centuries-Old ‘Secret’ Exposed
  13. A Timeless Ideal: Constantinople in Slavonic Imagination of the Fourteenth to Fifteenth Centuries
  14. The Horseman Meets its End
  15. Horse as Historia, Byzantium as Allegory
  16. Shadowy Past and Menacing Future
  17. After the Fall: The Bronze Horseman and Eternal Tsar’grad
    Postscript: The Horseman’s Debut in Print.

Informations pratiques :

Elena N. Boeck, The Bronze Horseman of Justinian in Constantinople. The Cross-Cultural Biography of a Mediterranean Monument, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021. 244 x 170 mm. ISBN : 9781107197275. Prix : £ 90.

Source : Cambridge University Press

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