1.In your opinion, did the use of iconography appropriated from Roman pagan images facilitate or slow the progress of Christianity?Do you think it is possible that Roman authorities did not recognize the pagan images appropriated for Christian iconography? How did this shift within the Byzantine period?
2.Scholars used to address the stylized appearance of early Christian and Byzantine art as the result of a loss of artistic skill, as if the artists forgot how the Romans made their art. Based on what you have learned about the art of the era, does this explanation sound reasonable to you? Why or why not?
3.Compare and contrast a work of art or architecture from late Antiquity with one from the Byzantine period.
4.Light was highly symbolic in the Byzantine era. Is this still true today? How do we use light symbolically in the modern world and what does the light symbolize now? Compare and contrast your example briefly to a Byzantine artwork that utilizes light
5.How does Hagia Sofiaâ€™s design reflects its function as a religious building. Which element do you feel is the most successful? If we think of Justinian as the head of the church as well as the state, the building takes on a political implication. What aspects of the building do you think would emphasize the emperorâ€™s position in society? Is Byzantine Architecture more about the ruler or God?
6.How does viewing Byzantine representational art as Icons/Windows change the interpretations we give them? Does that adequately account for the change in style to more simplified and non-natural forms? Or do you think that there was a loss in artistic skill after the fall of the Roman Empire? Is the Byzantine understanding of Icon helpful in understanding our obsession with art in museums, where we place singular objects against a blank white wall within temple like complexes to be revered and honored?
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