A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms, often with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints. Until the emergence of the book of hours, psalters were the books most widely owned by wealthy lay persons and were commonly used for learning to read. Many Psalters were richly illuminated and they include some of the most spectacular surviving examples of book art. The English term is from Church Latin psalterium, which is simply the name of the Book of Psalms, the Book of Psalms contains the bulk of the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church. The other books associated with it were the Lectionary, the Antiphonary, and Responsoriale, in Late Modern English, psalter has mostly ceased to refer to the Book of Psalms and mostly refers to the dedicated physical volumes containing this text. The extensively illustrated Utrecht Psalter is one of the most important surviving Carolingian manuscripts, various different schemes existed for the arrangement of the Psalms into groups.
As well as the 150 Psalms, medieval psalters often included a calendar, a litany of saints, canticles from the Old and New Testaments, many psalters were lavishly illuminated with full-page miniatures as well as decorated initials. Of the initials the most important is normally the so-called Beatus initial and this was usually given the most elaborate decoration in an illuminated psalter, often taking a whole page for the initial letter or first two words. Such images helped to enhance the status, and served as aids to contemplation in the practice of personal devotions. The psalter is a part of either the Horologion or the breviary, non-illuminated psalters written in Coptic include some of the earliest surviving codices altogether, the earliest Coptic psalter predates the earliest Western one by more than a century. The Mudil Psalter, the oldest complete Coptic psalter, dates to the 5th century and it was found in the Al-Mudil Coptic cemetery in a small town near Beni Suef, Egypt. The codex was in the grave of a girl, open.
Scholar John Gee has argued that this represents a continuation of the ancient Egyptian tradition of placing the Book of the Dead in tombs. The Pahlavi Psalter is a fragment of a Middle Persian translation of a Syriac version of the Book of Psalms, in Eastern Christianity, the Book of Psalms for liturgical purposes is divided into 20 kathismata or sittings, for reading at Vespers and Matins. Kathisma means sitting, since the people normally sit during the reading of the psalms, each kathisma is divided into three stases, from stasis, to stand, because each stasis ends with Glory to the Father…, at which everyone stands. The reading of the kathismata are so arranged that the psalter is read through in the course of a week. During Bright Week there is no reading from the Psalms, Orthodox psalters usually contain the Biblical canticles, which are read at the canon of Matins during Great Lent. The established Orthodox tradition of Christian burial has included reading the Psalms in the church throughout the vigil, some Orthodox psalters contain special prayers for the departed for this purpose
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus, known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age, as a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek- and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the Trinitarian Theologian, much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity. Along with the brothers Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory is a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Gregory was born of Greek parentage in the estate of Karbala outside the village of Arianzus, near Nazianzus. His parents and Nonna, were wealthy land-owners, in AD325 Nonna converted her husband, a Hypsistarian, to Christianity, he was subsequently ordained as bishop of Nazianzus in 328 or 329.
The young Gregory and his brother, first studied at home with their uncle Amphylokhios, Gregory went on to study advanced rhetoric and philosophy in Nazianzus, Caesarea and Athens. On the way to Athens his ship encountered a violent storm, in Athens, Gregory studied under the famous rhetoricians Himerius and Proaeresius. Upon finishing his education, he taught rhetoric in Athens for a short time, in 361 Gregory returned to Nazianzus and was ordained a presbyter by his father, who wanted him to assist with caring for local Christians. Leaving home after a few days, he met his friend Basil at Annesoi, Basil urged him to return home to assist his father, which he did for the next year. Arriving at Nazianzus, Gregory found the local Christian community split by theological differences, Gregory helped to heal the division through a combination of personal diplomacy and oratory. By this time Emperor Julian had publicly declared himself in opposition to Christianity, in response to the emperors rejection of the Christian faith, Gregory composed his Invectives Against Julian between 362 and 363.
Invectives asserts that Christianity will overcome imperfect rulers such as Julian through love and this process as described by Gregory is the public manifestation of the process of deification, which leads to a spiritual elevation and mystical union with God. Julian resolved, in late 362, to vigorously prosecute Gregory and his other Christian critics, the emperor perished the following year during a campaign against the Persians. With the death of the emperor and the Eastern churches were no longer under the threat of persecution, as the new emperor Jovian was an avowed Christian, Gregory spent the next few years combating Arianism, which threatened to divide the region of Cappadocia. In this tense environment, Gregory interceded on behalf of his friend Basil with Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, in the subsequent public debates, presided over by agents of the Emperor Valens and Basil emerged triumphant. This success confirmed for both Gregory and Basil that their futures lay in administration of the Church, who had long displayed inclinations to the episcopacy, was elected bishop of the see of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 370.
Gregory was ordained Bishop of Sasima in 372 by Basil, Basil created this see in order to strengthen his position in his dispute with Anthimus, bishop of Tyana
Great Canterbury Psalter
It was made in two different locations and moments in time, at Canterbury around 1200 and in Catalonia around 1340. It is the last of a series of copies of the Utrecht Psalter made in Canterbury, following the Harley Psalter, following his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, his dominions encompass part of France. They copied virtually the whole text in impeccable script, there being no sign of any mistakes or corrections, the English masters decided to begin the psalter with daring paintings intended for an erudite audience. They created four full-page, illuminated folios giving a dazzling prologue providing a summary of the history of humanity according to the scriptures in fabulous images. Another candidate of noble birth could be Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony, the first section follows the iconographic cycle of the Utrecht Psalter. The English artists created a universe brimming with unusual scenes whose singularity, the almost dreamlike portrayal of nature, with unreal, imaginary forms, is stunning.
The painters endowed the animals with a personality of their own, the wealth of colours and lavish use of gold make this manuscript a veritable gem. However, the English miniaturists painstaking task was mysteriously interrupted, something happened to the workshop or the codex that prevented the Canterbury masters from completing the meticulous illumination work they had undertaken. The pages from 185 on are characterised by great iconographic freedom and they are the work of painter Ferrer Bassa. The unfinished manuscript was transferred to Catalonia shortly after being made, peter IV of Aragon was crowned king of Aragón in 1336. Bassa had already returned from his journey acquiring knowledge in Tuscany where he had been in contact with the most fertile, Bassa produced several works commissioned by the king in his Barcelona workshop. A splendid psalter of English origin came into his hands, for unknown reason. The English masters had, left sketches for seven miniatures and it is highly likely that Pedro the Ceremonious insisted on Ferrer Bassa completing this spectacular psalter for him whilst respecting its sumptuous lavishness.
Modern-day researchers have found many clues linking its completion to the king himself and they constitute a remarkable fusion of cultures, a hybrid art in which no boundaries of space, time or culture exist. Bassas images convey new ways of structuring space along with more naturalist landscapes, a painter making a delicate and refined use of colour. Most of them were portraits, now missing. Two periods, two places, two styles and two workshops for a single manuscript, the Great Canterbury Psalter. This rich, artistic amalgam was to merge, more than a later, with the finest
Basil I, called the Macedonian was a Byzantine Emperor who reigned from 867 to 886. Born a simple peasant in the Byzantine theme of Macedonia, he rose in the Imperial court, despite his humble origins, he showed great ability in running the affairs of state, leading to a revival of Imperial power and a renaissance of Byzantine art. Basil was born to peasant parents in late 811 at Charioupolis in the Byzantine theme of Macedonia, the name of his father is unknown, but the name of his grandfather was Maïktes, his mother was named Pankalo, and her father was called Leo. His ethnic origin is unknown, and has been a subject of debate, the Armenian historians Samuel of Ani and Stephen of Taron record that he hailed from the village of Thil in Taron. Claims have therefore been made for an Armenian, Slavic, or indeed Armeno-Slavonic origin for Basil I, the name of his mother, points to a Greek origin on the maternal side. The general scholarly consensus is that Basils father was probably of Armenian origin, one story asserts that he had spent a part of his childhood in captivity in Bulgaria, where his family had, been carried off as captives of the Khan Krum in 813.
Basil lived there until 836, when he and several others escaped to Byzantine-held territory in Thrace, Basil was ultimately lucky enough to enter the service of Theophilitzes, a relative of the Caesar Bardas, as a groom. While serving Theophilitzes, he visited the city of Patras, where he gained the favour of Danielis, on Emperor Michaels orders, Basil divorced his wife Maria and married Eudokia Ingerina, Michaels favourite mistress, in around 865. During an expedition against the Arabs, Basil convinced Michael III that his uncle Bardas coveted the Byzantine throne, Basil became the leading personality at court and was invested in the now vacant dignity of kaisar, before being crowned co-emperor on May 26,866. This promotion may have included Basils adoption by Michael III, himself a younger man. It was commonly believed that Leo VI, Basils successor and reputed son, was really the son of Michael. It is notable that when Leo was born, Michael III celebrated the event with public chariot races, when Michael III started to favour another courtier, Basil decided that his position was being undermined.
Michael threatened to invest Basiliskianos with the Imperial title and this induced Basil to pre-empt events by organizing the assassination of Michael on the night of September 23/24,867. Michael and Basiliskianos were insensibly drunk following a banquet at the palace of Anthimos when Basil, with a group of companions. The locks to the doors had been tampered with and the chamberlain had not posted guards. On Michael IIIs death, Basil, as an already acclaimed co-emperor, Basil I inaugurated a new age in the history of the Byzantine Empire, associated with the dynasty which he founded, the so-called Macedonian dynasty. This dynasty oversaw a period of expansion, during which Byzantium was the strongest power in Europe. It is remarkable that Basil I became an effective and respected monarch, ruling for 19 years, despite being a man with no formal education, moreover, he had been the boon companion of a debauched monarch and had achieved power through a series of calculated murders
Romanos II was a Byzantine Emperor. He succeeded his father Constantine VII in 959 at the age of twenty-one, Romanos II was a son of Emperor Constantine VII and Helena Lekapene, the daughter of Emperor Romanos I and his wife Theodora. Named after his grandfather, Romanos was married, as a child, to Bertha. She had changed her name to Eudokia after their marriage, but died a death in 949 before producing an heir, thus never becoming a real marriage. On January 27,945, Constantine VII succeeded in removing his brothers-in-law, on April 6,945, Constantine crowned his son Romanos co-emperor. With Hugh out of power in Italy and dead by 947, Romanos chose an innkeepers daughter named Anastaso, whom he married in 956 and renamed Theophano. In November 959, Romanos II succeeded his father on the throne amidst rumors that he or his wife had poisoned him, Romanos purged his fathers courtiers of his enemies and replaced them with friends. To appease his wife, he excused his mother, Empress Helena, from court.
Nevertheless, many of Romanos appointees were able men, including his chief adviser, the pleasure-loving sovereign could leave military matters in the adept hands of his generals, in particular the brothers Leo and Nikephoros Phokas. In 960 Nikephoros Phokas was sent with a fleet of 1,000 dromons,2,000 chelandia, after a difficult campaign and nine-month siege of Chandax, Nikephoros successfully re-established Byzantine control over the entire island in 961. Following a triumph celebrated at Constantinople, Nikephoros was sent to the eastern frontier, Nikephoros liberated Cilicia and even Aleppo in 962, sacking the palace of the Emir and taking possession of 390,000 silver dinars,2,000 camels, and 1,400 mules. In the meantime Leo Phokas and Marianos Argyros had countered Magyar incursions into the Byzantine Balkans, after a lengthy hunting expedition Romanos II took ill and died on March 15,963. The rights of her sons were safeguarded and eventually, Romanos married firstly on September 944 with Bertha, illegitimate daughter of Hugh of Arles, King of Italy, who changed her name to Eudokia after her marriage.
She died in 949, her marriage unconsummated, george Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State,1969. John Julius Norwich, The Apogee,1991, attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Romanus. Media related to Romanus II at Wikimedia Commons
Mount Sinai, known as Mount Horeb or Gabal Musa, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai. The latter is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and other books of the Bible, according to Jewish and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Mount Sinai is a 2, 285-metre moderately high mountain near the city of Saint Catherine in the Sinai region and it is next to Mount Catherine. It is surrounded on all sides by higher peaks of the mountain range, Mount Sinais rocks were formed in the late stage of the Arabian-Nubian Shields evolution. Mount Sinai displays a complex that consists of alkaline granites intruded into diverse rock types. The granites range in composition from syenogranite to alkali feldspar granite, the volcanic rocks are alkaline to peralkaline and they are represented by subaerial flows and eruptions and subvolcanic porphyry. Generally, the nature of the rocks in Mount Sinai indicates that they originated from differing depths.
The biblical Mount Sinai is one of the most important sacred places in the Jewish, according to Bedouin tradition, it was the mountain where God gave laws to the Israelites. Christians settled upon this mountain in the third century AD, georgians from the Caucasus moved to the Sinai Peninsula in the Fifth Century, and a Georgian colony was formed there in the Ninth Century. Georgians erected their own churches in the area of the modern Mount Sinai, the construction of one such church was connected with the name of David The Builder, who contributed to the erecting of churches in Georgia and abroad as well. There were political and religious motives for locating the church on Mount Sinai, Georgian monks living there were deeply connected with their motherland. The church had its own plots in Kartli, some of the Georgian manuscripts of Sinai remain there, but others are kept in Tbilisi, St. Petersburg, New York, Paris, or in private collections. According to some scholars, the Song of Deborah suggests that God dwelt at Mount Seir, Saint Catherines Monastery lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of an inaccessible gorge at the foot of modern Mount Sinai in Saint Catherine at an elevation of 1550 meters.
The monastery is Greek Orthodox and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are two principal routes to the summit. The longer and shallower route, Siket El Bashait, takes about 2.5 hours on foot, the steeper, more direct route is up the 3,750 steps of penitence in the ravine behind the monastery. The summit of the mountain has a mosque that is used by Muslims. It has a Greek Orthodox chapel, constructed in 1934 on the ruins of a 16th-century church, the chapel encloses the rock which is considered to be the source for the biblical Tablets of Stone. At the summit is Moses cave, where Moses was said to have waited to receive the Ten Commandments
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East. The development of the periodization has generally been accredited to historian Peter Brown, precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empires Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Islamic period, following the Muslim conquests in the mid–7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Medieval period typically placed in the 6th century, beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, and a new capital was founded at Constantinople. The resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe, the term Spätantike, literally late antiquity, has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century.
Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the Roman tradition, Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in Late Antiquity, notable in this regard is the topic of the Fifty Bibles of Constantine. Within the recently legitimized Christian community of the 4th century, a division could be distinctly seen between the laity and an increasingly celibate male leadership. Celibate and detached, the clergy became an elite equal in prestige to urban notables. The Late Antique period saw a transformation of the political and social basis of life in. The Roman Empire was in a sense a network of cities, archaeology now supplements literary sources to document the transformation followed by collapse of cities in the Mediterranean basin. Burials within the urban precincts mark another stage in dissolution of traditional urbanistic discipline, overpowered by the attraction of saintly shrines, in Roman Britain, the typical 4th- and 5th-century layer of black earth within cities seems to be a result of increased gardening in formerly urban spaces.
A similar though less marked decline in population occurred in Constantinople. In Europe there was a decline in urban populations. As a whole, the period of antiquity was accompanied by an overall population decline in almost all Europe. Long-distance markets disappeared, and there was a reversion to a degree of local production and consumption, rather than webs of commerce. The degree and extent of discontinuity in the cities of the Greek East is a moot subject among historians. In the western Mediterranean, the new cities known to be founded in Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries were the four or five Visigothic victory cities
David was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, reigning in c. He is described as a man after Gods own heart in 1 Samuel 13,14 and Acts 13,22. The Hebrew prophets regarded him as the ancestor of the future messiah, the New Testament says he was an ancestor of Jesus. God is angered when Saul, Israels king, unlawfully offers a sacrifice and disobeys a divine instruction to not only all of the Amalekites. Consequently, he sends the prophet Samuel to anoint David, the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem, God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul. Sauls courtiers recommend that he send for David, a man skillful on the lyre, wise in speech, and brave in battle. So David enters Sauls service as one of the royal armour-bearers, and plays the lyre to soothe the king, war comes between Israel and the Philistines, and the giant Goliath challenges the Israelites to send out a champion to face him in single combat. David, sent by his father to bring provisions to his brothers serving in Sauls army, refusing the kings offer of the royal armour, he kills Goliath with his sling.
Saul inquires the name of the heros father. Saul sets David over his army, all Israel loves David, but his popularity causes Saul to fear him. Saul plots his death, but Sauls son Jonathan, one of those who loves David, warns him of his fathers schemes and David flees. He becomes a vassal of the Philistine king Achish of Gath, but Achishs nobles question his loyalty and Saul are killed, and David is anointed king over Judah. In the north, Sauls son Ish-Bosheth is anointed king of Israel, with the death of Sauls son, the elders of Israel come to Hebron and David is anointed king over all Israel. He conquers Jerusalem, previously a Jebusite stronghold, and makes it his capital. He brings the Ark of the Covenant to the city, intending to build a temple for God, Nathan prophesies that God has made a covenant with the house of David, Your throne shall be established forever. David wins more victories over the Philistines, while the Moabites, Amalekites, during a battle to conquer the Ammonite capital of Rabbah, David seduces Bathsheba and causes the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite.
In response, Nathan prophesies the punishment that shall fall upon him, in fulfillment of these words Davids son Absalom rebels. The rebellion ends at the battle of the Wood of Ephraim, Absaloms forces are routed, and Absalom is caught by his long hair in the branches of a tree, and killed by Joab, contrary to Davids order. Joab was the commander of Davids army, David laments the death of his favourite son, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials and miniature illustrations. Comparable Far Eastern and Mesoamerican works are described as painted, islamic manuscripts may be referred to as illuminated, illustrated or painted, though using essentially the same techniques as Western works. This article covers the technical and economic history of the subject, for an art-historical account, the earliest surviving substantive illuminated manuscripts are from the period 400 to 600, produced in the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths and the Eastern Roman Empire. The significance of these works lies not only in their inherent artistic and historical value, had it not been for the monastic scribes of Late Antiquity, most literature of Greece and Rome would have perished in Europe. As it was, the patterns of textual survivals were shaped by their usefulness to the severely constricted literate group of Christians, the majority of surviving manuscripts are from the Middle Ages, although many survive from the Renaissance, along with a very limited number from Late Antiquity.
The majority of manuscripts are of a religious nature. However, especially from the 13th century onward, a number of secular texts were illuminated. Most illuminated manuscripts were created as codices, which had superseded scrolls, a very few illuminated manuscript fragments survive on papyrus, which does not last nearly as long as vellum or parchment. Most medieval manuscripts, illuminated or not, were written on parchment, beginning in the late Middle Ages manuscripts began to be produced on paper. Illuminated manuscripts continued to be produced in the early 16th century, Manuscripts are among the most common items to survive from the Middle Ages, many thousands survive. They are the best surviving specimens of medieval painting, for many areas and time periods, they are the only surviving examples of painting. There are a few examples from periods, the type of book that was most often heavily and richly illuminated, sometimes known as a display book, varied between periods. In the first millennium, these were most likely to be Gospel Books, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Romanesque period saw the creation of many huge illuminated complete Bibles – one in Sweden requires three librarians to lift it.
Many Psalters were illuminated in both this and the Gothic period. Finally, the Book of Hours, very commonly the personal book of a wealthy layperson, was often richly illuminated in the Gothic period. Other books, both liturgical and not, continued to be illuminated at all periods, the Byzantine world continued to produce manuscripts in its own style, versions of which spread to other Orthodox and Eastern Christian areas. See Medieval art for other regions and types, reusing parchments by scraping the surface and reusing them was a common practice, the traces often left behind of the original text are known as palimpsests. The Gothic period, which saw an increase in the production of these beautiful artifacts, saw more secular works such as chronicles
Because of problems with the term, scholars have employed alternative names to describe this period, including renaissance, Middle Byzantine Renaissance or First Byzantine Renaissance. Macedonian art refers to the art of this period, the term Macedonian Renaissance was first used by Kurt Weitzmann in his The Joshua Roll, A Work of the Macedonian Renaissance. It describes the architecture of Macedonia, at the same time, the manuscripts of Paris Psalter were indicated as the best examples of Macedonian Renaissance by scholars. The term “Byzantine” arose from Byzantium, a city founded in the eighth century BC on the site that would become Constantinople and is now Istanbul, being on the easternmost territory of the Roman Empire allowed the groundwork for the Macedonian Renaissance to come about. Latin was the language of law and government while Ancient Greek was the language of its literature. While the West Roman Empire had collapsed at the outset of the Middle Ages, its Eastern half and this was due mainly to its strategic location for commerce but to the way it was able to hold back its enemies.
Basil I, the founder of the Macedonian Dynasty of Byzantine rulers, was born in Thrace to a peasant family said to be of Armenian descent and he was employed in the influential circles of Constantinople and was rapidly promoted by the emperor Michael III eventually becoming co-emperor. By means of political maneuvering he was able to secure his future as emperor and began military and he was able to regain control over Crete and Cyprus at the same time he was able to hold back Bulgarian advances into his territory. His dynasty was able to maintain a period of peace under which economics, art. This period produced a shift from the ban on the painting of figures to icons being painted to reflect the more classical. Mosaics such as the Virgin and Child in Hagia Sophia can still be seen today, the new style of art may have inspired Italian artists such as Cimabue and Giotto before the Italian Renaissance. The period saw a proliferation of literature, such as De Ceremoniis, which focused on governance, diplomatic interactions with neighboring nations, and other customs of the time.
Education had become a priority again and the University of Constantinople boasted scholars such as Michael Psellus, who wrote the Chronographia. Meanwhile, reforms in law sought to limit the power and growth of land owners by the formation of trade guilds that allowed the state to control growth as described in the Book of the Eparch. The building Magnaura in Constantinople had already become a school in 849 and was headed by the philosopher Leo the Mathematician, most of his works are lost. Macedonian art Paris Psalter Leo Bible