The art of wall and floor mosaics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Course Information
TitleΗ τέχνη των εντοίχιων και επιδαπέδιων ψηφιδωτών κατά την Ύστερη Αρχαιότητα και το Βυζάντιο / The art of wall and floor mosaics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorEleni Chrysafi
Course ID600018270

Programme of Study: UPS of School of Pastoral and Social Theology (2013-today)

Registered students: 11
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreElective CoursesWinter-4

Class Information
Academic Year2020 – 2021
Class PeriodWinter
Instructors from Other Categories
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2011-2015
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
  • Italian (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Upon the successful completion of the course the students will be able: (1) to recognize, describe, analyze and compare the mosaics in relation to the theological, social and cultural context within which they were created. (2) το be familiar with the technical issues of costruction and conservation of mosaics. (3) to make use of their knowledge in theology ​​and engage themselves in a dialogue with the history of art and civilization upon the aesthetic analysis and the visual expression of the art of mosaics.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in an international context
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The lesson is an approach to the art of mosaic that was spread by the ancient in the Byzantine world and used for centuries without interruption to decorate floors and walls of both private homes and church and secular buildings. The course discusses basic aspects and issues of mosaic art and technique and presents the main stages in their evolution over the centuries with emphasis on Late Antiquity and Byzantium. In addition, major Christian monuments with floor and wall mosaic decoration are being studied. 1. Introduction to Ancient Mosaic Art: Definition, Terminology, Technique and Manufacturing Process (Materials, Design and Voting) - Maintenance and restoration of mosaics. 2. Origin and evolution of mosaic floor art. 3. Mosaic flooring centers and voter workshop-workshops in Late Antiquity and early Byzantium: testimonies of written sources, mosaic inscriptions, and excavations. 4. Sponsors, commissioners and agenda of Late Antiquity and Early Christian mosaics. 5. Wall-mosaics of the Early Christian period in the West: Ravenna, Rome, Milan. 6. Wall-like mosaics of the Early Christian period in the East: Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Sinai, Cyprus. 7. Visit of the Early Christian Monuments of Thessaloniki with mosaic decoration: Rotontas, Saint David, Acheiropitheos, Agios Dimitrios. 8. Wall mosaics between 7th and 10th c. 9. Wall-like mosaics of the 11th and 12th centuries. 10. Wall mosaics of the Paleolithic period. 11. Visit of Agia Sophia and Agioi Apostoloi temples (Thessaloniki). 12. Visit to the Mosaic Conservation Laboratories at the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Byzantine Culture (Thessaloniki). 13. Course overview - Presentation of assignments.
Byzantine mosaics, Floor mosaics, Wall mosaics, Mosaicists, Mosaic conservation
Educational Material Types
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment401.6
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities110.4
Student Assessment
Students are assessed by oral exams at the end of the semester (100% summative assessment).
Student Assessment methods
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1) Π. ΑΣΗΜΑΚΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ-ΑΤΖΑΚΑ, Ψηφιδωτά δάπεδα. Προσέγγιση στην τέχνη του αρχαίου ψηφιδωτού: έξι & ένα κείμενα (β΄ έκδοση), εκδ. University Studio Press, Θεσσαλονίκη 2019. 2) Ε. ΚΟΥΡΚΟΥΤΙΔΟΥ-ΝΙΚΟΛΑΪΔΟΥ/Χ. ΜΑΥΡΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ-ΤΣΙΟΥΜΗ/Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Ψηφιδωτά της Θεσσαλονίκης 4ος-14ος αιώνας, εκδ. Καπόν, Αθήνα 2010.
Additional bibliography for study
Γ. ΑΤΖΑΚΑ, Το επάγγελμα του ψηφοθέτη (4ος αι. π.Χ. - 8ος αι. μ.Χ.), Αθήνα 2011. Π. ΑΣΗΜΑΚΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ-ΑΤΖΑΚΑ με τη συνεργασία ΕΛΛΗΣ ΠΕΛΕΚΑΝΙΔΟΥ, Σύνταγμα των παλαιοχριστιανικών ψηφιδωτών δαπέδων της Ελλάδος. τόμος ΙΙ. Πελοπόννησος-Στερεά Ελλάδα, Θεσσαλονίκη 1987. Π. ΑΣΗΜΑΚΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ-ΑΤΖΑΚΑ, Σύνταγμα των παλαιοχριστιανικών ψηφιδωτών δαπέδων της Ελλάδος, τόμος ΙΙΙ: Μακεδονία-Θράκη, 1: Τα ψηφιδωτά δάπεδα της Θεσσαλονίκης (συνέκδοση του Οργανισμού "Θεσσαλονίκη-Πολιτιστική Πρωτεύουσα της Ευρώπης" και του Κέντρου Βυζαντινών Ερευνών), Θεσσαλονίκη 1998. Π. ΑΣΗΜΑΚΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ-ΑΤΖΑΚΑ, Σύνταγμα των παλαιοχριστιανικών ψηφιδωτών δαπέδων της Ελλάδος: Τα ψηφιδωτά δάπεδα της Μακεδονίας και της Θράκης (εκτός Θεσσαλονίκης), 2 τόμοι (Μέρος Α-Β), Μορφωτικό Ίδρυμα Εθνικής Τραπέζης/Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης-Κέντρο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών, Θεσσαλονίκη 2018. Α. ΜΕΝΤΖΟΣ, Τα ψηφιδωτά της ανοικοδόμησης του ναού του Αγίου Δημητρίου στον 7ο αιώνα μ.Χ. (Κέντρο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών Α.Π.Θ., Βυζαντινά Κείμενα και Μελέτες 54), Θεσσαλονίκη 2010. ΣΤ. ΠΕΛΕΚΑΝΙΔΗΣ με τη συνεργασία Π.Ι.ΑΤΖΑΚΑ, Σύνταγμα των παλαιοχριστιανικών ψηφιδωτών δαπέδων της Ελλάδος. τόμος Ι. Νησιωτική Ελλάς, Θεσσαλονίκη 1974, φωτομηχανική ανατύπωση, Θεσσαλονίκη 1988. Ν. ΧΑΤΖΗΔΑΚΗ, Βυζαντινά Ψηφιδωτά, εκδ. Εκδοτική Αθηνών, Αθήνα 1994. Κ.Μ.D. DUNBABIN, Mosaics of the Greek and Roman World, Cambridge 1999. L. JAMES, Mosaics in the Medieval World: From Late Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 2017. R. LING, Ancient Mosaics, London 1998.
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