Piroska and the Pantokrator

Marianne Sághy, Robert Ousterhout

Piroska and the Pantokrator

Dynastic Memory, Healing and Salvation in Komnenian Constantinople (Budapest & New York, 2019).
This book is about the Christ Pantokrator, an imposing monumental complex serving monastic, dynastic, medical and social purposes in Constantinople, founded by Emperor John II Komnenos and Empress Piroska-Eirene in 1118. Now called the Zeyrek Mosque, the second largest Byzantine religious edifice after Hagia Sophia still standing in Istanbul represents the most remarkable architectural and the most ambitious social project of the Komnenian dynasty.
This volume approaches the Pantokrator from a special perspective, focusing on its co-founder, Empress Piroska-Eirene, the daughter of the Hungarian king Ladislaus I. This particular vantage point enables its authors to explore not only the architecture, the monastic and medical functions of the complex, but also Hungarian-Byzantine relations, the cultural and religious history of early medieval Hungary, imperial representation, personal faith and dynastic holiness. Piroska’s wedding with John Komnenos came to be perceived as a union of East and West. The life of the Empress, a “sainted ruler,” and her memory in early Árpádian Hungary and Komnenian Byzantium are discussed in the context of women and power, monastic foundations, architectural innovations, and spiritual models.
Table of contents:
List of Illustrations
Marianne Saghy, Preface
Marianne Saghy, Greek Monasteries in Early Arpadian Hungary
Bela Zsolt Szakacs, What did Piroska see at Home? New Trends in Art and
Architecture in the Kingdom of Hungary around 1100
Attila Barany, Diplomatic Relations between Hungary and Byzantium in the
Eleventh-Twelfth Centuries
Michael Jeffreys, Piroska-Eirene and the Komnenian Dynasty
Roberta Franchi, Komnenian Empresses: From Powerful Mothers to Pious Wives
Maximilian Lau, Piroska-Eirene, First Western Empress of Byzantium: Power and Perception
Christopher Mielke, The Many Faces of Piroska-Eirene in Visual and Material Culture
Elif Demirtiken, Imperial Women and Religious Foundations in Constantinople
Tyler Wolford, To Each According to their Need: Medical and Charitable Institutions in the Pantokrator Monastery
Robert Ousterhout, Piroska and the Pantokrator: Reassessing the Architectural Evidence
Etele Kiss, Piroska-Eirene and the Holy Theotokos
Roman Shlyakhtin, “A New Mixture of Two Powers:” Nicholas Kallikles and Theodore Prodromos on Empress Eirene
Foteini Spingou, Ritual and Politics in the Pantokrator: A Lament in Two Acts for Eirene’s Son
Robert Ousterhout, Postface
Appendix 1 Synaxarion
Appendix 2 Theodoros Prodromos, Epitaph of Empress Eirene
Appendix 3 Nicholas Kallikles, On the tomb of the Despina

Author: Max

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