Byzantium and the West: Jewelry in the First Millennium by Jeffrey Spier and Sandra Hindman.
aperback. Publisher: Paul Holberton (2012). Pages: 200. Size: 9 x 6½ inches; 1½ pounds. "Byzantium and the West: Jewelry in the First Millennium" assembles approximately 40 previously unpublished objects made of precious metals and including primarily rings, but also pendants, earrings, and brooches from the third to the seventh centuries. The scholarly text examines the development of jewelry in Rome and Byzantium during this period, focusing on clusters of examples of similar date and origin and exploring the interrelationships between East and West during these five centuries of the Christian era.
This was the time when the Roman Empire was gradually replaced by smaller social units led by barbarian invaders, rulers who spread through Europe and developed new styles of jewelry; it was also when the imperial capital shifted eastward to the newly founded city of Constantinople. Among the themes treated are the transition from late Roman types to Byzantine ones, including the design of new shapes; an interest in exotic stones, and changes in fashion; the function of rings (marriage, personal monograms, official status, and religious iconography), and the Western imitation and transformation of Byzantine prototypes.
208 pages, many color illustrations. Issued in conjunction with a 2012 exhibition. This book is the second in an ongoing occasional series published by Les Enluminures about medieval rings and jewlery, of which "Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings" was the first in the series.
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