Book Series Byzantioς. Studies in Byzantine History and Civilization, vol. 21

Ideology and Patronage in Byzantium

Dedicatory Inscriptions and Patron Images from Middle Byzantine Macedonia and Thrace

Nektarios Zarras

  • Pages: 177 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:55 b/w
  • Language(s):English, Greek
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60532-6
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60533-3
  • E-book
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This book contributes to the ongoing scholarly dialogue on the identity of patrons and the ideology surrounding Byzantine patronage


“Nektarios Zarras has written a fine study of thirty-nine middle-Byzantine inscriptions.” (Georgi Parpulov, in the Byzantine Review, 06.2024.009)


Nektarios Zarras is a member of the teaching staff at the University of the Aegean, Department of Mediterranean Studies, where he teaches Byzantine Art and Archaeology. His research interests focus on Byzantine painting and iconography (monumental painting, icons, illustrated manuscripts), epigraphic material (dedicatory inscriptions), and patronage.


Based on the evidence of epigraphic material in combination with monumental painting, this book explores important dedicatory inscriptions (9th-beginning of the 13th c.) from Macedonia and Thrace, which have so far been investigated mainly from a philological-historical standpoint, thus neglecting the major issue of Middle Byzantine patronage. Through patron inscriptions and textual sources, the role and the motives of military officials in the patronage of defensive and fortification works, and the manner of publicizing them, are examined systematically. Patronage is looked at through the ideological messages that the donors endeavor to promote in a local society or monastic community, and which echo their relationship with the state and their views on education and faith. The new interpretations presented in this book result from the collation of historical, prosopographical, archaeological and visual data, which offer valuable evidence about military patronage, the relation of the donation to the personal life of the donor and his family, the spiritual life of monasticism and the building complex of the monastery, and the relationship between inscriptions, space and iconography. Interesting methodologically is the co-examination of the various categories of inscriptions in combination with historical texts and donor portraits, which opens up new avenues of research for the study of the interdisciplinary material in question.


List of Illustrations

Part Ι. Dedicatory Inscriptions in Defensive Works
1. Military Patronage of Defensive Works
2. Church Officials as ktetors of Defensive Works

Part ΙΙ. Religious Patronage: Inscriptions and Patrons’ Portraits
1. Patronage under the Komnenoi. Military Aristocracy and Members of the Family
2. Local Elites
3. Monastic Patronage and Bishops

Part ΙΙΙ. Patronage under Angeloi
The Inscription from the Monastery of Christ at Korylovos, Drama


List of Abbreviations        
Prosopographical Index
Geographical Index
Index of Monuments
Iconographic Index