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Landscape, Nature and the Sacred in Byzantium

  • Offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of Byzantine perceptions of nature and the environment
  • Develops a new conceptual framework to explore the principles that underpin Byzantine perceptions
  • Numerous illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography make this a useful resource and reference work

By: Veronica della Dora(Author)

306 pages, 13 colour & 47 b/w illustrations, 3 maps

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Feb 2016 | #226723 | ISBN-13: 9781107139091
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $85/€73 approx

About this book

Nature is as much an idea as a physical reality. By 'placing' nature within Byzantine culture and within the discourse of Orthodox Christian thought and practice, Landscape, Nature and the Sacred in Byzantium explores attitudes towards creation that are utterly and fascinatingly different from the modern. Drawing on Patristic writing and on Byzantine literature and art, the book develops a fresh conceptual framework for approaching Byzantine perceptions of space and the environment. It takes readers on an imaginary flight over the Earth and its varied topographies of gardens and wilderness, mountains and caves, rivers and seas, and invites them to shift from the linear time of history to the cyclical time and spaces of the sacred – the time and spaces of eternal returns and revelations.


Introduction: placing topographies

Part I. Topos and Cosmos:
1. Sacred topographies
2. Sacred cosmographies

Part II. Land:
3. Gardens
4. Wilderness

Part III. Rock:
5. Mountains
6. Caves

Part IV. Water:
7. Rivers
8. Seas


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Veronica della Dora is Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research interests and publications span historical and cultural geography, the history of cartography and Byzantine studies, with a specific focus on sacred space and landscape. She is the author of Imagining Mount Athos: Visions of a Holy Place from Homer to World War II (2011, shortlisted for the 2012 Criticos Prize) and Mountain (forthcoming).

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