Our Favourite Byzantine Objects

Here is something that I hope you will enjoy. Inspired by the BBC radio programme and podcast, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Laura Diaz-Arnesto suggested that we could conduct our own poll on the blog to find our readers’ favourite Byzantine objects.

I have put together some of the objects she suggested for you to review. You are invited to vote for your favourite via the poll at the end. You can also suggest your own favourite by making a comment and adding a link if possible. I will then create a post of readers’ favourites at a later date.

Laura and I hope that you like this bit of summer fun and also enjoy looking at these beautiful and rare objects – click the pictures to get a bigger image.

Early Christian Period

Title: The Projecta Casket

Description: Late Roman, around AD 380. From Rome. A silver-gilt toilet casket from the Esquiline treasure.

The Projecta Casket

Justinian Period

Title: Barberini diptych

Description: Late Roman Theodosian style early 6th century. The Barberini ivory is one fifth of a Byzantine ivory imperial diptych dating from Late Antiquity, now in the Louvre, Paris, France. It is carved in the classical style known as late Theodosian, representing the emperor as triumphant victor.

Barberini Diptych

Justinian Period

Title: Gold solidus of Justinian I

Description: Minted at Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), AD 527-65. The reconquest of Rome also meant that coins of Justinian were issued in Italy, as well as from Eastern mints such as Constantinople.

Gold solidus of Justinian I

Iconoclast Period

Title: Astronomical tables of Ptolemy

Description: Reign of Constantine V (828 – 35). Zodiac and months from Tetrabiblos of Ptolemaios. Manuscript from the 8th century AD. Geographia of Ptolemy. Helios in the centre, identified as the Christ by the cross, twelve naked female figures represent the hours, twelve clothed apostles represent the twelve months, and surrounding that the twelve zodiac signs.

Astronomical tables of Ptolemy

Macedonian dynasty

Title: Cover of Otto III Gospels (983-1002)

Description: Gold, jewel encrusted, ivory panel showing the Dormiton of the Virgin (10th century).

Cover of Otto III Gospels

Commene dynasty

Title: Pendant Brooch with Cameo of Enthroned Virgin and Child

Description: Cameo 11th–12th century; Byzantine (Constantinople)

Pendant Brooch with Cameo of Enthroned Virgin and Child


Palaiologan Period

Title: Two-Sided Icon with the Virgin Psychosostria and the Annunciation

Description: Tempera and gold on wood, with silver-gilt and enamel revetment. Byzantine .Icon Gallery, Ohrid, FYR–Macedonia

Two-Sided Icon with the Virgin Psychosostria and the Annunciation


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About proverbs6to10

Interested in Byzantium and Patrick Leigh Fermor
This entry was posted in Blog News & Updates, Radio & TV Programmes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Our Favourite Byzantine Objects

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