Title Displaying the Past in Byzantium. Figural Spolia on the City Gates of Nicaea (13th Century)
Author email liviabevilacqua@gmail.com
About author Bevilacqua L. Displaying the Past in Byzantium. Figural Spolia on the City Gates of Nicaea (13th Century). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles. Vol. 3. Svetlana V. Maltseva (ed.), Ekaterina. Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova (ed.) St. Petersburg, NP-Print Pabl., 2013, pp. 145–150. ISSN 2312-2129.
In the section Eastern Christian Art
Year 2013 Volume 3 Pages 145150
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.033.2 Index BBK 85.03

In Anatolia during the Byzantine era, a number of cases are attested in which figural ‘spolia’ (i.e. pieces of ancient sculpture, stone carvings or reliefs) were reused in the building or restoration of the city walls and fortresses. Especially striking is the display of such ‘spolia’ as a part of the decoration of the main gates. In this paper, I will focus on the gates of the outer walls of the city of Nicaea (today Iznik), built during the reign of emperor John III Vatatzes (1222‒1254). This case is particularly interesting, since it is one of the richest examples surviving, in terms of the variety and size of the materials displayed. The gates must have created the strongest visual impact, at the time when Nicaea was regarded as the ‘temporary capital’ of the Byzantine Empire. A comparison will be carried out between the surviving works and the testimony of the written sources, both Byzantine and Western ones.

Reference Bevilacqua L. Displaying the Past in Byzantium. Figural Spolia on the City Gates of Nicaea (13th Century). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 3. Eds: Svetlana V. Maltseva, Ekaterina Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2013, pp. 145–150. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language english
  • Ahrweiler H. L’histoire et la géographie de la région de Smyrne entre les deux occupations turques (1081‒1317) particulièrement au XIIIe siècle // Travaux et Mémoires. 1965. Vol. 1, pp. 2‒202.
  • Ahrweiler H. L’expérience nicéenne // Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 1925. Vol. 29, pp. 21‒39.
  • Alpatov M. Les fresques de Sainte-Sophie de Nicée // Echos d’Orient. 1926. T. 25, pp. 42‒45.
  • Angold M. A Byzantine Government in Exile. Government and Society under the Laskarids of Nicaea (1204‒1261). London, 1975.
  • Asutay-Effenberger N. Die Landmauer von Konstantinopel-Istanbul. Historisch-topographische und baugeschichtliche Untersuchungen. Berlin; New York, 2007.
  • Barbier F. Le rêve grec de Monsieur de Choiseul. Le voyage d’un européen des lumières. Paris, 2010.
  • Barsanti C. The İznik-Nicaea’s Archaeological Museum: In Search of a Catalogue // İznik throughout history. Proceedings from the 1st International İznik/Nicaea Symposium (1‒4 November, 2000) / ed. by I. Akbaygil, H. İnalcık, O. Aslanapa. Istanbul, 2003, pp. 265‒301.
  • Bevilacqua L. Recycling Myths in Byzantine Art: Spolia on the Gate of Persecution in Ephesus // Recycling Myths. Proceedings of the International Colloquium (Lisbon, 2‒5 May 2012) (in press).
  • Bittel K. Das Alamannia-Relief in Nicaea (Bithyniae) // Festschrift für Peter Goessler. Stuttgart, 1959, SS. 11‒22.
  • Bittel K. Das Alamannia-Relief in Nicaea // Istanbuler Mitteilungen. 1989. Bd. 39, SS. 85‒88.
  • Buchthal H. Studies in Byzantine Illumination of the Thirteenth Century // Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen. 1983. Bd. 25, SS. 27‒102.
  • Buchwald H. Lascarid Architecture // Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik. 1979. Bd. 28, SS. 265‒299.
  • Choiseul-Gouffier M.G.A. Voyage pittoresque dans l’empire ottoman, en Grèce, dans la Troade, les îles de l’archipel et sur les côtes de l’Asie Mineure. 2e éd. Paris, 1842. T. 1, PP. 318‒319.
  • Dernschwam H. Tagebuch einer Reise nach Konstantinopel und Kleinasien (1553‒1555) / ed. F. Babinger. München; Leipzig, 1923.
  • Eyice S. Die byzantinische Kirche in der Nahe des Yenişehir-Tores zu Iznik (= Nikaia) (Kirche C) // Byzantino-Altaica. Festschrift H.W. Haussig. Bochum, 1983, SS. 152‒167.
  • Foss C. Nicaea. A Byzantine Capital and its Praises. Brookline, 1996.
  • Foss C., Winfield D. Byzantine Fortifications. An Introduction. Pretoria, 1986.
  • Gardner A. The Lascarids of Nicaea. London, 1912.
  • Guilland R. La politique intérieure de l’empire de Byzance de 1204 à 1341. Paris, 1959.
  • The Geography of Strabo / ed. by H.L. Jones. Cambridge (MA); London, 1988. Vol. 5.
  • Hetherington P. A Well-Head in Iznik: An Example of Laskarid Taste? // Byzantinische Zeitschrift . 1993‒1994. Bd. 86‒87, pp. 471‒ 476.
  • De Laborde L. Voyage de l’Asie Mineure. Paris, 1838.
  • Laubscher H.P. Ein tetrarchisches Siegesdenkmal in Iznik (Nikaia) // Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. 1993. Bd. 108, SS. 375‒389.
  • Macridy T., Casson S. Excavations at the Golden Gate, Constantinople // Archaeologia. 1931. No. 81, pp. 63‒84.
  • Möllers S. Nikaia // Reallexikon zur Byzantinischen Kunst. Stuttgart, 2005. Bd. 6, SS. 976‒1013.
  • Mango C. The Triumphal Way of Constantinople and the Golden Gate // Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 2000. Vol. 54, pp. 173‒188.
  • Meyer-Plath B., Schneider A.M. Die Landmauer von Konstantinopel. Berlin, 1943. Bd. 2.
  • Van Millingen A. Byzantine Constantinople. The Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites. London, 1899.
  • Pedone S. A Critical Approach to the Byzantine Art in the First Half of 19th Century. The Case of C.M. Texier // Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles. St. Petersburg, 2011. Vol. 1, pp. 92‒100.
  • Peschlow U. Die Kirche am Yenişehir kapı in İznik/Nikaia // Bizans ve çevre kültürler. Prof. Dr. S. Yıldız Ötüken’e armağan / ed. by S. Doğan, M. Kadiroğlu. Istanbul, 2010, pp. 267‒291.
  • Redford S. The Seljuqs of Rum and the Antique // Muqarnas. 1993. No. 10, pp. 148‒156.
  • Restle M. Die byzantinische Wandmalerei in Kleinasien. Recklinghausen. 1967. Bd. 1.
  • Şahin S. Alama[?]nia, nicht „Alamannia“. Zum epigraphischen Verständnis eines stets mißverstandenen historischen Reliefblockes von İznik (Nikaia) // Epigraphica Anatolica. 1994. Bd. 23, SS. 125‒136.
  • Schneider A.M., Karnapp W. Die Stadtmauer von Iznik (Nicaea). Berlin, 1938.
  • Von Schönebeck H. Alamannia // Forschungen und Fortschritte. 1937. Bd. 13, SS. 159‒161.
  • Texier C. Description de l’Asie Mineure. Paris, 1839.
  • Vryonis S. The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century. Berkeley, 1971.
  • Weyl Carr A. Byzantine Illumination 1150‒1250. The Study of a Provincial Tradition. Chicago; London, 1987.
  • Yalçın A.-B. Nicea // Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale. Roma, 1997. Vol. 8, pp. 675‒679.