Repatriation (cultural heritage)
Repatriation is the return of art or cultural heritage, usually referring to ancient or looted art, to their country of origin or former owners. The contested objects range widely from sculptures and paintings to monuments and the subsequent looting of defeated peoples has been common practice since ancient times. The stele of King Naram-Sin of Akkad, which is now displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, is one of the earliest works of art known to have been looted in war, there, it was uncovered in 1898 by French archaeologists. The Palladion was the earliest and perhaps the most important stolen statue in western literature. The small carved wooden statue of an armed Athena served as Troys protective talisman and it was widely believed in antiquity that the conquest of Troy was only possible because the city had lost its protective talisman. This myth illustrates the significance of statuary in Ancient Greece as divine manifestations of the gods that symbolized power and were often believed to possess supernatural abilities.
The sacred nature of the statues is further illustrated in the suffering of the victorious Greeks afterward, including Odysseus. According to Roman myth, Rome was founded by Romulus, the first victor to dedicate spoils taken from a ruler to the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius. In Romes many subsequent wars, blood-stained armor and weaponry were gathered and placed in temples as a symbol of respect toward the enemies deities and as a way to win their patronage. According to Pliny the Elder, the Emperor Augustus was sufficiently embarrassed by the history of Roman plunder of Greek art to some pieces to their original homes. One of the most infamous cases of esurient art plundering in wartime was the Nazi appropriation of art from both public and private holdings throughout Europe and Russia. The looting began before World War II with illegal seizures as part of a persecution of Jews. During World War II, Germany plundered 427 museums in the Soviet Union, a well-known recent case of wartime looting was the plundering of ancient artifacts from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad at the outbreak of the war in 2003.
Between April 8, when the museum was vacated and April 12, when some of the staff returned, an estimated 15,000 items and an additional 5,000 cylinder seals were stolen. In addition to the vulnerability of art and historical institutions during the Iraq war, Iraqs rich archaeological sites, hordes of looters disinterred enormous craters around Iraqs archaeological sites, sometimes using bulldozers. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 archaeological sites in Iraq have been despoiled, the scale of plundering that took place under Napoleons French Empire was unprecedented in modern history with the only comparable looting expeditions taking place in ancient Roman history. They supported their actions with the opinion that their artistic taste would allow them to appreciate the plundered art. Napoleons soldiers crudely dismantled the art by tearing out of their frames hung in churches and sometimes causing damage during the shipping process
A hoard or wealth deposit is an archaeological term for a collection of valuable objects or artifacts, sometimes purposely buried in the ground, in which case it is sometimes known as a cache. Forgetfulness and physical displacement from the location of the hoard may contribute to failing to retrieve it, hoards provide a useful method of providing dates for artifacts through association as they can usually be assumed to be contemporary and therefore used in creating chronologies. Hoards can be considered an indicator of the degree of unrest in ancient societies. Prudence Harper of the Metropolitan Museum of Art voiced some reservations about hoards at the time of the Soviet exhibition of Scythian gold in New York City in 1975. Hoards may be of precious metals, tools or less commonly, there are various classifications depending on the nature of the hoard. A founders hoard contains broken or unfit metal objects, casting waste and these were probably buried with the intention to be recovered at a time. A merchants hoard is a collection of various functional items which, it is conjectured, were buried by a merchant for safety. A personal hoard is a collection of personal objects buried for safety in times of unrest, a hoard of loot is a buried collection of spoils from raiding and is more in keeping with the popular idea of buried treasure.
Furthermore, votive hoards need not be manufactured goods, but can include organic amulets, votive hoards are often distinguished from more functional deposits by the nature of the goods themselves, the places buried, and the treatment of the deposit. However, it should be noted that valuables dedicated to the use of a deity were not always permanently abandoned, valuable objects given to a temple or church become the property of that institution, and may be used to its benefit
Sarkel was a large limestone-and-brick fortress built by the Khazars with Byzantine assistance in the 830s. It was named Sarkel, or white-house, because of the white limestone used in its construction. Sarkel was located on the bank of the lower Don River. Sarkel was built to protect the border of the Khazar state in 833. The Khazars asked their ally, Byzantine emperor Theophilus, for engineers to build a fortified capital, in recompense for these services, the Khazar khagan ceded Chersonesos and some other Crimean dependencies to Byzantium. Historians have been unable to determine why such a fortress was built on the Don. They generally assert that the construction must have been due to the rise of a strong regional power that posed a threat to the Khazars. Alexander Vasiliev and George Vernadsky, among others, argue that Sarkel was built to defend a vital portage between the Don and the Volga from the Rus Khaganate, other historians believe this polity was situated many hundred miles to the north.
Another nascent power, the Hungarians, was not particularly threatening to the Khazars as long as they paid tribute to the khagan, constantine Porphyrogenitus records in his work De Administrando Imperio that the Khazars asked the Emperor Teophilos to have the fortress of Sarkel built for them. In the 10th century, a Persian explorer and geographer Ahmad ibn Rustah mentioned that the Khazars entrenched themselves against the attacks of the Hungarians, a garrison fortified at Sarkel included Oghuz and Pecheneg mercenaries. Sarkels fortress and city were captured by Kievan Rus under prince Sviatoslav I in 965, the city was renamed Bila Vezha and settled by Slavs. It remained Slavic until the 12th century, when the district was taken over by the Kipchaks, mikhail Artamonov excavated the site in the 1930s. It was the most ambitious excavation of a Khazar site ever undertaken, among many Khazar and Rus items, Artamonov discovered Byzantine columns used in the construction of Sarkel. The site is now submerged by the Tsimlyansk Reservoir, so no further excavations may be conducted, the Empire of the Steppes, A History of Central Asia.
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, the History of the Jewish Khazars. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
The Avar Khaganate was a khanate established in the Pannonian Basin region in 567 by the Avars, a nomadic people of uncertain origins and ethno-linguistic affiliation. As the Göktürk Empire expanded westwards, the Khagan Bayan I led a group of Avars and Bulgars out of their reach, in 557 the Avars sent an embassy to Constantinople, marking their first contact with the Byzantine Empire—presumably from the northern Caucasus. In exchange for gold, they agreed to subjugate the unruly gentes on behalf of the Byzantines and they conquered and incorporated various nomadic tribes—Kutrigurs and Sabirs—and defeated the Antes. By 562 the Avars controlled the lower Danube basin and the north of the Black Sea. By the time they arrived in the Balkans, the Avars formed a group of about 20,000 horsemen. After the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I bought them off, they pushed northwestwards into Germania, Frankish opposition halted the Avars expansion in that direction. The Avars turned their attention to the Carpathian Plain and to the natural defenses it afforded, the Carpathian basin was occupied by the Gepids.
In 567 the Avars formed an alliance with the Lombards—enemies of the Gepids—and together they destroyed much of the Gepid Kingdom, the Avars persuaded the Lombards to move into northern Italy, an invasion that marked the last Germanic mass-movement in the Migration Period. After devastating much of the Sclavenes land, the Avars returned to Pannonia after many of the Khagans subjects deserted to the Byzantine Emperor. By 600 the Avars had established a nomadic empire ruling over a multitude of peoples, by about 580, the Avar Khagan Bayan I had established supremacy over most of Slavic, Bulgar and Germanic tribes living in Pannonia and the Carpathian Basin. When the Byzantine Empire was unable to pay subsidies or hire Avar mercenaries, according to Menander, Bayan commanded an army of 10,000 Kutrigur Bulgars and sacked Dalmatia in 568, effectively cutting the Byzantine terrestrial link with North Italy and Western Europe. By 582, the Avars had captured Sirmium, an important fort in Pannonia, when the Byzantines refused to increase the stipend amount as requested by Bayans son and successor Bayan II, the Avars proceeded to capture Singidunum and Viminacium.
They suffered setbacks, during Maurices Balkan campaigns in the 590s, after being defeated in their homeland, some Avars defected to the Byzantines in 602, but Emperor Maurice decided not to return home as was customary. He maintained his army camp beyond the Danube throughout the winter and this gave the Avars a desperately needed respite. They attempted an invasion of northern Italy in 610, the ongoing Byzantine civil war prompted a Persian invasion and after 615, the Avars enjoyed a free hand in the undefended Balkans. When now the Wendish army went against the Huns, the merchant Samo accompanied the same, and so the Samo’s bravery proved itself in wonderful ways and a huge mass of Huns fell to the sword of the Wends. While negotiating with Emperor Heraclius beneath the walls of Constantinople in 617, while they were unable to capture the city centre they pillaged the suburbs of the city and took 270,000 captives. Payments in gold and goods to the Avars reached the sum of 200,000 solidi shortly before 626
Novi Pazar, Shumen Province
Novi Pazar is a town in Shumen Province, northeastern Bulgaria, located in a hollow between the Shumen and Provadiya plateaus, on the banks of the Kriva Reka. It is the centre of the homonymous Novi Pazar Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 12,673 inhabitants, the town may have been first mentioned in 1444 in a document by the German writer Michael Beheim before the Battle of Varna, although this is disputed. As part of the Ottoman Empire, Novi pazar belonged to the Silistra sanjak and it became a kaza centre in the 17th century and grew to become a rich and lively town in the 17th and 18th century. A new mosque was built in 1763, a Turkish bath in 1774, during the Russo-Turkish Wars many Bulgarians from the region fled to Bessarabia and established the community of the Bessarabian Bulgarians. A monastery school was founded in 1840 on the idea of Iliya Valchev, the town was liberated from Ottoman rule in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, not being a site of significant fighting.
It became part of the Principality of Bulgaria and many Turks fled to be replaced with Bulgarians from the ethnic Bulgarian lands that were left outside the borders of the time. Novi Pazar became a town in 1883, Novi Pazar is twinned with, İnegöl, Turkey Official municipal website
Gesta Hungarorum may refer to Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum, written by Simon of Kéza. Gesta Hungarorum, or The Deeds of the Hungarians, is the first extant Hungarian chronicle and it was written by an unidentified author who has traditionally been called Anonymus in scholarly works. According to most historians, the work was completed between around 1200 and 1230, the Gesta exists in a sole manuscript from the second part of the 13th century, which was for centuries held in Vienna. It is part of the collection of Széchényi National Library in Budapest, Anonymus did not mention the opponents of the conquering Hungarians known from sources written around 900, but he wrote of the Hungarians fight against rulers unknown from other sources. According to a theory, he used place names when naming the opponents of the Hungarians. Among the Hungarians, oral tradition—songs and ballads—preserved the memory of the most important historical events, the Gesta Hungarorum, or The Deeds of the Hungarians, is the first extant Hungarian chronicle.
Its principal subject is the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, but it narrates the background and they say that the first Hungarian Chronicle was completed in the second half of the 11th century or in the early 12th century. The existence of this ancient chronicle is proven by sources, the Illuminated Chronicle from 1358 refers to the ancient books about the deeds of the Hungarians in connection with the pagan uprisings of the 11th century. The earliest Hungarian Chronicle was expanded and rewritten several times in the 12th–14th centuries, the work exists in a sole manuscript. The codex is 17 by 24 centimetres in size and contains 24 folios, the first page of the codex originally contained the beginning of the Gesta. It was blanked because the scribe had made mistakes when writing the text, the work was written in a Gothic minuscule. The style of the letters and decorations, including the initial on its first page. Scribal errors suggest that the extant manuscript is a copy of the original work, the history of the manuscript up until the early 17th century is unknown.
It became part of the collection of the Imperial Library in Vienna between 1601 and 1636, in this period, the court librarian Sebastian Tengnagel registered it under the title Historia Hungarica de VII primis ducibus Hungariae auctore Belae regis notario. Tengnagel added numbers to both the folios and the chapters, the codex was bound with a leather book cover, impressed with a double-headed eagle, in the late 18th century. The manuscript, which was transferred to Hungary in 1933 or 1934, is held in the Széchényi National Library in Budapest, the author of the Gesta Hungarorum has been known as Anonymus ever since the publication of the first Hungarian translation of his work in 1790. The author described himself as P who is called magister, and sometime notary of the most glorious Béla, the identification of this King Béla is subject to scholarly debate, because four Hungarian monarchs bore this name. Most historians identify the king with Béla III of Hungary who died in 1196, Anonymus dedicated his work to the most venerable man N who had been his schoolmate in an unspecified school
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is the most populous city in the country, legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister, Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
It is the ancestor of the Latin and Cyrillic scripts. In its classical and modern forms, the alphabet has 24 letters and Ancient Greek use different diacritics. In standard Modern Greek spelling, orthography has been simplified to the monotonic system, examples In both Ancient and Modern Greek, the letters of the Greek alphabet have fairly stable and consistent symbol-to-sound mappings, making pronunciation of words largely predictable. Ancient Greek spelling was generally near-phonemic, among consonant letters, all letters that denoted voiced plosive consonants and aspirated plosives in Ancient Greek stand for corresponding fricative sounds in Modern Greek. This leads to groups of vowel letters denoting identical sounds today. Modern Greek orthography remains true to the spellings in most of these cases. The following vowel letters and digraphs are involved in the mergers, Modern Greek speakers typically use the same, modern, in other countries, students of Ancient Greek may use a variety of conventional approximations of the historical sound system in pronouncing Ancient Greek.
Several letter combinations have special conventional sound values different from those of their single components, among them are several digraphs of vowel letters that formerly represented diphthongs but are now monophthongized. In addition to the three mentioned above, there is ⟨ου⟩, pronounced /u/, the Ancient Greek diphthongs ⟨αυ⟩, ⟨ευ⟩ and ⟨ηυ⟩ are pronounced, and respectively in voicing environments in Modern Greek. The Modern Greek consonant combinations ⟨μπ⟩ and ⟨ντ⟩ stand for and respectively, ⟨τζ⟩ stands for, in addition, both in Ancient and Modern Greek, the letter ⟨γ⟩, before another velar consonant, stands for the velar nasal, thus ⟨γγ⟩ and ⟨γκ⟩ are pronounced like English ⟨ng⟩. There are the combinations ⟨γχ⟩ and ⟨γξ⟩ and these signs were originally designed to mark different forms of the phonological pitch accent in Ancient Greek. The letter rho, although not a vowel, carries a rough breathing in word-initial position, if a rho was geminated within a word, the first ρ always had the smooth breathing and the second the rough breathing leading to the transiliteration rrh.
The vowel letters ⟨α, η, ω⟩ carry an additional diacritic in certain words, the iota subscript. This iota represents the former offglide of what were originally long diphthongs, ⟨ᾱι, ηι, ωι⟩, another diacritic used in Greek is the diaeresis, indicating a hiatus. In 1982, a new, simplified orthography, known as monotonic, was adopted for use in Modern Greek by the Greek state. Although it is not a diacritic, the comma has a function as a silent letter in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing ό. There are many different methods of rendering Greek text or Greek names in the Latin script, the form in which classical Greek names are conventionally rendered in English goes back to the way Greek loanwords were incorporated into Latin in antiquity. In this system, ⟨κ⟩ is replaced with ⟨c⟩, the diphthongs ⟨αι⟩ and ⟨οι⟩ are rendered as ⟨ae⟩ and ⟨oe⟩ respectively, and ⟨ει⟩ and ⟨ου⟩ are simplified to ⟨i⟩ and ⟨u⟩ respectively
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal through filing, sawing, casting, the trade has very often included jewellery-making skills, as well as the very similar skills of the silversmith. Many universities and junior colleges offer goldsmithing, compared to other metals, gold is malleable, rare, and it is the only solid metallic element with a yellow color. It may easily be melted and cast without the problems of oxides and gas that are problematic with other such as bronzes. It is fairly easy to weld, wherein similarly to clay two small pieces may be pounded together to make one larger piece. Gold is classified as a noble metal—because it does not react with most elements and it usually is found in its native form, lasting indefinitely without oxidization and tarnishing. Gold has been worked by humans in all cultures where the metal is available, either indigenously or imported, and the history of these activities is extensive.
Superbly made objects from the ancient cultures of Africa, Europe, North America, some pieces date back thousands of years and were made using many techniques that still are used by modern goldsmiths. Techniques developed by some of those goldsmiths achieved a level that was lost and remained beyond the skills of those who followed. In medieval Europe goldsmiths were organized into guilds and usually were one of the most important, the guild kept records of members and the marks they used on their products. These records, when they survive, are useful to historians. Goldsmiths often acted as bankers, since they dealt in gold and had sufficient security for the storage of valuable items. The Sunar caste is one of the oldest communities in goldsmithing in India, in India, Vishwakarma are the goldsmith caste. The printmaking technique of engraving developed among goldsmiths in Germany around 1430, the notable engravers of the fifteenth century were either goldsmiths, such as Master E. S. or the sons of goldsmiths, such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer. A goldsmith might have an array of skills and knowledge at their disposal.
Gold, being the most malleable metal of all, offers opportunities for the worker. In todays world a variety of other metals, especially platinum alloys. 24 Carat is pure gold and historically, was known as fine gold, because it is so soft, however,24 Carat gold is rarely used
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
Byzantine art is the name for the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire, as well as the nations and states that inherited culturally from the empire. A number of states contemporary with the Byzantine Empire were culturally influenced by it, after the fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453, art produced by Eastern Orthodox Christians living in the Ottoman Empire was often called post-Byzantine. Byzantine art never lost sight of this classical heritage, the Byzantine capital, was adorned with a large number of classical sculptures, although they eventually became an object of some puzzlement for its inhabitants. And indeed, the art produced during the Byzantine Empire, although marked by periodic revivals of an aesthetic, was above all marked by the development of a new aesthetic. The most salient feature of new aesthetic was its abstract. The nature and causes of this transformation, which took place during late antiquity, have been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries.
Giorgio Vasari attributed it to a decline in skills and standards. Although this point of view has been revived, most notably by Bernard Berenson. Alois Riegl and Josef Strzygowski, writing in the early 20th century, were all responsible for the revaluation of late antique art. Riegl saw it as a development of pre-existing tendencies in Roman art. In any case, the debate is purely modern, it is clear that most Byzantine viewers did not consider their art to be abstract or unnaturalistic, religious art was not, limited to the monumental decoration of church interiors. One of the most important genres of Byzantine art was the icon, an image of Christ, the illumination of manuscripts was another major genre of Byzantine art. The most commonly illustrated texts were religious, both scripture itself and devotional or theological texts, secular texts were illuminated, important examples include the Alexander Romance and the history of John Skylitzes. Small ivories were mostly in relief, Byzantine ceramics were relatively crude, as pottery was never used at the tables of the rich, who ate off silver.
Two events were of importance to the development of a unique. First, the Edict of Milan, issued by the emperors Constantine I and Licinius in 313, allowed for public Christian worship, the dedication of Constantinople in 330 created a great new artistic centre for the eastern half of the Empire, and a specifically Christian one. Major Constantinopolitan churches built under Constantine and his son, Constantius II, included the foundations of Hagia Sophia. The next major building campaign in Constantinople was sponsored by Theodosius I, the most important surviving monument of this period is the obelisk and base erected by Theodosius in the Hippodrome