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Greek Laughter and TearsAntiquity and After$
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Margaret Alexiou and Douglas Cairns

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403795

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403795.001.0001

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The Power of Amusement and the Amusement of Power: The Princely Frescoes of St Sophia, Kiev, and their Connections to the Byzantine World

The Power of Amusement and the Amusement of Power: The Princely Frescoes of St Sophia, Kiev, and their Connections to the Byzantine World

Chapter:
(p.243) 15 The Power of Amusement and the Amusement of Power: The Princely Frescoes of St Sophia, Kiev, and their Connections to the Byzantine World
Source:
Greek Laughter and Tears
Author(s):

Elena Boeck

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403795.003.0015

The largest Orthodox church of the eleventh century, St. Sophia of Kiev, challenges the boundaries between the sacred and profane spheres. It unites under one roof carefully constructed representations of the sounds, movements, amusements and merriments of the Byzantine court and invocations of the stillness, silence and tears of Orthodox piety. These two irreconcilable realms were brought into dialogue for prince Jaroslav the ‘Wise’ (died 1054), a second-generation Christian who prevailed over his rivals after decades of fratricidal conflict. While in Byzantium these two spheres had long ago established a clear modus vivendi, in Iaroslav’s Rus’ their relationship was just being formulated. St. Sophia of Kiev had to adapt to its prince and Christian decorum had to accommodate to the princely patron.

Keywords:   Byzantium, Rus’, Secular art, Music, Court performance, St. Sophia of Kiev, Hippodrome of Constantinople, St. Nicholas in Curtea de Argeș, Mocking of Christ, Prince Iaroslav the Wise

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