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Domes in the Urban Skyline: The case of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus and its transformations through time

Karydis, Nikolaos (2024) Domes in the Urban Skyline: The case of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus and its transformations through time. In: Zavagno, Luca, ed. Routledge Handbook to the Byzantine City. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. ISBN 978-0-367-19679-0. E-ISBN 978-0-429-20392-3. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:101329)

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This paper reconsiders the use Byzantine domes as components of the urban skyline, through a detailed study of the transformations of Justinian’s church of Sts. Sergius and Baccus. This domed church has long been considered as one of the earliest additions of the period of Justinian to the cityscape of Constantinople. Recent scholarship, however, has questioned the attribution of its dome to the sixth century, inviting us to view this building as a palimpsest of different historic layers rather than as landmark of a single era. The church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus lends itself ideally to such an approach. The Ottoman reuse of the church as a mosque is just one of several fascinating transformations of the church in the last fifteen hundred years. Despite the existence of several architectural surveys of the building, our understanding of the form of the original building and its later transformation is limited. This paper tries to fill this lacuna through a re-examination of the church’s fabric, with an emphasis on its dome. This is largely based on the reinterpretation of evidence provided in previous studies, especially those of Jonathan Bardill, as well as on the author’s observation of the building in 2006. Providing a new model for visualizing Justinian’s church and analyzing its transformations through time, this paper redefines the form of this church and its role alongside other Justinianic monuments in transforming the urban skyline of Constantinople.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, Constantinople, Byzantine Architecture
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Nikolaos Karydis
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 20:06 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 15:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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