Course Information
TitleΠολυτελή υφάσματα και ενδύματα της βυζαντινής και μεταβυζαντινής περιόδου / Luxurious Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Textiles and Garmens
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodSpring
CoordinatorEleni Chrysafi
Course ID600018276

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

Registered students: 16
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreElective CoursesSpring-4

Class Information
Academic Year2019 – 2020
Class PeriodSpring
Instructors from Other Categories
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Category
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
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 describe, analyze and evaluate the luxurious silk textiles and garments (profane and liturgical)of the byzantine and post-byzantine period in relation to the eclesiastical, social and cultural context within which they were created and used. (2) το be familiar with the technical issues of manifacturing and conservation of the luxurious silk textiles. (3) to make use of their knowledge in theology ​​and engage themselves in a dialogue with the history of art and civilization of Byzantium in order to analyze the complex and highly symbolic role of the luxurious textiles and garments in their profane and ecclesiastical/liturgical context.
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
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course focuses on the study of luxurious fabrics and precious garments -profane and ecclesiastical- during the byzantine and post-byzantine period through the testimony of written sources, the preserved archaeological material and their depictions in Byzantine and post-Byzantine art. The course discusses key aspects and issues of typology, art and technique of luxury fabrics and clothing as they evolved from Antiquity to the byzantine and post-byzantine period: the production and/or import of materials, their processing laboratories, their mobility and diffusion networks, their typology and decorative themes, their various uses, their complex social and highly symbolic roles in both the cosmic and ecclesiastical/liturgical contexts. COURSE SYLLABUS 1. Overview of the research area and literature - The place of luxurious fabrics and clothing in the Byzantine material culture. 2. Introduction to Fabric: ways of making and decorating textile articles, fiber processing and weaving, dyes, colors. 3. The history of silk in Byzantium: materials, production and processing, trade and networks of silk fabrics, laboratories and legislation, secular and functional uses. 4. Silk luxury fabrics as elements of court and imperial garments, attributes and emblems, as political and diplomatic gifts, as pious tributes to Byzantium. 5. The precious vestments of the Byzantine emperor and his court: chlamys and loros, typology and decoration, written sources and depictions in art. 6. Themes - Relations of decorative themes and designs with other types of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine art and Byzantine material culture. 7. Ecclesiastical fabrics: typology, materials, manufacturing technology, ways of decorating. 8. Ecclesiastical vestments - The bishop's garment. 9. Liturgical covers and vestments - Decorative veils. 10. The art of embroidery. 11. Conservation and restoration issues of excavated and ecclesiastical fabrics: techniques and methods, preventive conservation and maintenance. 12. Visit to collections and/or museums where Byzantine/post-Byzantine fabrics are exhibited and in fabric conservation workshops (Thessaloniki: Museum of Byzantine Culture, Ecclesiastical Museum of Holy Metropolis, etc.). 13. Course overview - Presentation of students' projects.
Material culture of Byzantium, silk fabrics, imperial and courtly garments, ecclesiastical vestments, liturgical covers, fabric conservation
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
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 Assigment301.2
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities200.8
Student Assessment
Students are assessed by oral exams at the end of the semester (100% summative assessment).
Student Assessment methods
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Μ. ΘΕΟΧΑΡΗ, Πολυτελή Υφάσματα στο Βυζάντιο: κοσμικά και εκκλησιαστικά, Αθήνα 1994. A. ΜΠΑΛΛΙΑΝ (επιμ.), Άμφια, Το ένδυμα της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας, Κατάλογος Έκθεσης, Ναύπλιο 1999. J. L. BALL, Byzantine Dress. Representations of Secular Dress in Eight- to Twelfth- Century Painting, New York 2005. P. KALAMARA, Le système vestimentaire à Byzance du IVe jusqu’à la fin du XIe siècle, Lille 1995. Ε. PILTZ, Le costume officiel des dignitaires byzantins à l’èpoque Paléologue, Uppsala 1994. E. PILTZ, Loros and Sakkos. Studies in Byzantine imperial garment and ecclesiastical vestment, Oxford 2013. W. T. WOODFIN, The Embodied Icon: Liturgical Vestments and Sacramental Power in Byzantium, Oxford 2012. W. T. WOODFIN, Liturgical Textiles." In: Byzantium. Faith and Power (1261–1557), edited by Helen C. Evans, 295–99. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004.
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