A few photographs of our Byzantine life and experiences. I hope you like them.
Mosaic Hunting in Aquileia
Mosaic Hunting in Venice and Torcello
Medieval and Renaissance Galleries of the V&A
How have these survived troughout the ages? Not only against age and weather, but even more – against the muslims, especially after the greeks were taken away?
The age and weather is a big factor but they should last our lifetimes and much beyond. The point about the Muslims is very interesting. I think it is important to understand that the Ottoman Empire was in its own way, and the way of many other empires, quite tolerant. Christians were allowed to keep their religion as long as they paid a tax, which also exempted them from military service. Many could not afford the tax and did convert. There is a lot of speculation about the defacement of such frescoes. It is thought that many were actually defaced by the Byzantines themselves during the periods of iconoclasm. Often just the eyes were removed to fit with the need to remove iconic images. Some say that Muslims did the work. It is probably both. If you look at Hagia Sophia, many Christian religious mosaics and paintings remain. There was no state policy to remove these images on the whole, but obviously from time to time there would have been periods of defacement.
It is an interesting point you raise but I think more credit need to be given the Ottomans and Muslims as a whole. The monastery of St Catherine at Sinai has survived untouched throughout the ages as it has a written letter of protection from Mohammed himself.
Also, the eyes were often ‘scratched out’ by the pious, who mixed the bits of plaster with water and drank the concoction as a remedy for sickness.
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