What reasons cause people or even entire civilizations to self-destruct? Is it inevitable in some cases?

Tachahashi Matavreka shortly answers the questions: Continue reading “What reasons cause people or even entire civilizations to self-destruct? Is it inevitable in some cases?”

Advertisements

Popular And Aristocratic Cultural Trends in Byzance – Part 2

by Ann Wharton Epstein 

© University of California Press

Within the elite, however, clothing did not greatly vary. Ιn this, Byzantium contrasts with late antiquity, when dress reflected class and professional affiliation quite explicitly. Sailors, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, besides senators, each had their particular costume. Such differentiation among the largest sectors of society probably disappeared during the general collapse of urban life in the seventh and eighth centuries. Dress remained a mirror of rank only at a court. There dignitaries were assigned their different colors, special embroideries, and distinct embellishments. The city prefect (eparch), for example, wore a black and white tunic (chiton); its colors symbolized “the judicial axe,” the illegal black being separated from the lawful white (Chr. Mytil. nο. 30). The sebastokrator wore blue shoes and the protovestiarios was entitled to green shoes. Red sandals and purple garments were the prerogative of the emperor, although by the end of the twelfth century a few high officials of the court had the right not οnly to wear purple themselves, but also to adorn their horses with it.(16) Continue reading “Popular And Aristocratic Cultural Trends in Byzance – Part 2”

Popular And Aristocratic Cultural Trends in Byzance – Part 1

by Ann Wharton Epstein 

© University of California Press

Byzantine tendencies toward urbanization and feudalization and the concomitant economic development in the provinces in the eleventh and twelfth centuries certainly affected contemporary culture, although different sectors of society reacted in distinct ways. Ιn Byzantium the peasantry and craft-working classes have left few traces. Even aristocrats and intellectuals can be οnly partially envisioned from their documents and monuments. The subject of this chapter is thus primarily the elite of the society. Twο seemingly contradictory inclinations may be identified within that stratum: first, a popular one, through a consideration of the religion and the mundane habits of the Rhomaioi; and second, an aristocratic one, as apparent from an analysis of family structure and ideal types. Further evidence of both trends is found in Byzantine art and literature. Continue reading “Popular And Aristocratic Cultural Trends in Byzance – Part 1”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑