Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World


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Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Nadine Schibille. Antony Eastmond, ed. ISBN As the title indicates, Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World is about the nonverbal visual characteristics of late antique and medieval inscriptions. Unlike previous studies that typically concentrate on reading and the semantic content of writing, this volume focuses on the materiality of inscriptions and their formal, artistic and spatial strategies of communication.

The broad chronological and geographical scope, from Achaemenid Persia to fourteenth- century Italy, challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries and engages in a cross-cultural comparison on the role of inscriptions in forging and conveying distinct social, cultural and religious identities. By bringing together a multitude of approaches, this collection of articles not only raises awareness of the commonalities in the usage of writing as art across time and space, but it offers an inspiring array of methods in its quest to elucidate the extraordinary variety of media and contexts in which inscriptions occur and the motivations underlying their production, modification and use.

This is an important contribution to the exploration of the multidimensional quality of inscriptions in the ancient and medieval world, pertinent above all in light of the widespread popularity of the use of writing, monumental or other. Central to all discussions is the issue of legibility and readability, which is closely allied with its formal qualities and the typeset of the script as well as with the type of language and the question of literacy.

Second, as material entities, inscriptions interact with and fundamentally shape their immediate physical environment. Due to their intrinsically performative nature, inscriptions thus affect how an object or monument is perceived and experienced. Finally, the functionality and performativity of inscriptions are deeply embedded in tradition and rely on the expectations and imaginations of the communities which they serve.

Inscriptions react to what came before and create a new and distinctive use of writing through adaptation. The eleven articles explore an extraordinary diversity of contexts and types of writing.

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Others examine the use and modifications of inscriptions to invent, corroborate or erase history as in the case of the monumental inscriptions of ninth- and tenth-century North Africa or early fourteenth-century Genoa. It outlines the broad chronological and cultural trends of appropriation, integration, departure and creative re-invention, by tracing Sasanian and early Islamic epigraphic practices back to Achaemenid and Hellenistic inscriptional conventions.

The Bisotun inscription of Darius I r. The structure and themes of late antique Sasanian inscriptions correspond remarkably close to those of their Achaemenid predecessors even though language and script had since changed. Sasanian Persia is a typical example of how inscriptions engage with earlier epigraphic practices and how they conveyed meaning by association. To communicate meaning through formal qualities is particularly relevant in relation to multilingual inscriptions.

AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Late Antique and Early Medieval Inscriptions

The systematic use of bilingual and trilingual texts by the Norman kings of Sicily is a case in point. As Jeremy Johns argues in chapter six, the Arabic inscriptions in the Cappella Palatina are hardly legible and operate not as texts per se but rather as an index to the Norman monarchy and the ideology of kingship. Here, the multitude of languages does not so much reflect the cosmopolitan character of thirteenth-century Castile as it is an expression of royal power and wisdom.

The choice of language and script is evidently important. Hendrik W. Xi, ; 4 Black-and-White Figures and 11 Tables. Richard C. Xvii, ; 29 Black-and-White Figures and 14 Maps. Nicholas Perkins, Ed.


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  • Cambridge, UK: D. Brewer, Clare A. Lees, Ed. Xv, ; 16 Black-and-White Figures and 1 Map. Christie - - Speculum 90 1 Xiv, ; 13 Black-and-White Figures and 5 Maps. Tanis Guest. Added to PP index Total views 2 1,, of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 1 , of 2,, How can I increase my downloads? Sign in to use this feature. This article has no associated abstract.

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    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World
    Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World

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