Late Antique Basilicas on Cyprus sources, contexts, histories

Maguire, Richard (2012) Late Antique Basilicas on Cyprus sources, contexts, histories. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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It is commonly accepted that Late Antiquity Cyprus emerged from relative isolation to greater engagement with Constantinople. This thesis reverses the paradigm and offers a contextual account of the island’s basilicas in support of the proposition. Located between New Rome and New Jerusalem, fourth-­‐century Cyprus occupied a nodal position in the Eastern Mediterranean. Under Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis (r.367-­‐403) it was at the forefront of Nicene-­‐ Constantinopolitan faith-­‐forging. In the late fourth and fifth centuries it was also the site of an ambitious building programme which instantiated its affiliations and produced buildings which, in scale and treatment, represented an engagement with Christendom’s major monuments. This, arguably, was the period of greatest affiliation between Cyprus and Constantinople, not as centre and satellite, but in a shared recognition that Jerusalem was their new Christian capital. By the late-­‐fifth century post-­‐Cyrilline Jerusalem had lost some of its hold on the Cypriot imagination and other issues -­‐ autocephaly, liturgical changes and the rise to prominence of its bishops -­‐ coalesced in a greater engagement with the wider Eastern Mediterranean. At about the same time healing the Orthodox-­‐Monophysite schism became an imperial obsession. Monophysites were sponsored by the Sassanids intent on dividing the Empire before invading it. Reacting to threats from north as well as the east, Justinian reorganised the Empire relegating Cyprus to the eastern outpost of five provinces and transferring its administration from Constantinople to the Black Sea. The schism unresolved, in the seventh century Heraclius developed doctrinal ‘innovations’ designed to heal the breach with the Monophysites, insisting that Cyprus serve as his laboratory. For Orthodox believers doctrinal innovation was anathema to the extent that, on the eve of the Arab invasion, Cyprus found Old rather than New Rome a more congenial ally, a reorientation that the archaeology too, might support.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art History and World Art Studies (former - to 2014)
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 13:12
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 00:38

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