Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th-9th Century
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012 - Art, Byzantine - 332 pages
This magnificent volume explores the epochal transformations and unexpected continuities in the Byzantine Empire from the 7th to the 9th century. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Empire's southern provinces, the vibrant, diverse areas of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, were at the crossroads of exchanges reaching from Spain to China. These regions experienced historic upheavals when their Christian and Jewish communities encountered the emerging Islamic world, and by the 9th century, an unprecedented cross- fertilization of cultures had taken place. This extraordinary age is brought vividly to life in insightful contributions by leading international scholars, accompanied by sumptuous illustrations of the period's most notable arts and artifacts. Resplendent images of authority, religion, and trade—embodied in precious metals, brilliant textiles, fine ivories, elaborate mosaics, manuscripts, and icons, many of them never before published— highlight the dynamic dialogue between the rich array of Byzantine styles and the newly forming Islamic aesthetic. With its masterful exploration of two centuries that would shape the emerging medieval world, this illuminating publication provides a unique interpretation of a period that still resonates today.
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