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Παρασκευή, 18 Μαΐου 2007

BYZANTINE CYPRUS - ΒΥΖΑΝΤΙΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΟΣ

In the division of the Roman Empire into East and West in 395 AD Cyprus was included in the Eastern part and became part of the Byzantine Empire. The Christian church in Cyprus was fully established by the end of the fourth century. The Byzantines were not really innovators, but had an outstanding knack of developing innovative ideas into something significant and important. They were responsible for the domed church, for a certain style of icon, which came to be characteristic in the Orthodox world and they established opulent mosaics, both as wall decorations and floors. A most significant instance of borrowing was their adaptation of the funerary painted portraits of Egypt (Fayoum Portraits) from which the icon was developed.
Roughly speaking, there are in Cyprus three periods of Byzantine art that from before the Arab invasions which started in 647 AD and continues off and on for the next three centuries; then the post – invasion period which runs approximately to the beginning of the feudal era; and then the feudal into Turkish period when Cyprus had lost its direct relationship with Byzantium and only the tradition remained. As can be seen, Cyprus followed closely the religious and art trends of the capital Constantinople,and today it is in this tiny former province of the Byzantine Empire that many of the most precious surviving relics of Byzantine art are to be found.

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