Sacred and Secular Geography

Friday, 5 October 2012, 4:30pm - 6:00pm, IWM library
Byzantine iconography of the 14th century explored the question of representation of sacred space, especially in the new type of the icon of the Transfiguration, which was influenced by hesychastic theology. This new type tries to represent space according to theological principles, Biblical doxology, and also the cartographic principles of the time. This last aspect is quite interesting, because although very little of the 14th century scientific information from Constantinople and the Christian East is extant, we find in iconography an expression of the same directions in which the secular representation of space followed in the West as well as in the Arab East in subsequent centuries.

This talk will explore the secular background of this sacred map, which presents a much more advanced understanding of space than the medieval mappamundi, and yet does so by serving a complex theological idea.


Andreas Andreopolous is Reader in Orthodox Christianity and Programme Leader of the MTh in Orthodox Studies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Winchester

With the kind support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)