Material Text Cultures

Fabian Stroth

 Fabian Stroth

Byzantine Archaeology and History of Art
Department of Byzantine Archaeology and History of Art

Telephone:  (0)6221-54 36 80


Die Monogramm-Kapitelle der Hagia Sophia. Das frühbyzantinische Kapitell als Textträger


Hagia Sophia, the impressive main church of Constantinople founded by Justinian lacks a monumental dedicatory epigram. Instead, capital monograms function to represent the donors. The monograms can be found on almost every capital of the building and have been deciphered as names and title of the emperor and empress IOVCTINIANOV// BACILEωC and ΘEOΔωPAC//AVΓOVCTAC. Despite the outstanding importance of the building for the field of Byzantine Archaeology the 68 monogrammed capitals never have been taken serious as an in situ ensemble.

The omnipresence of the monogrammed capitals all over the building as well as focusing the text to only four words and inflecting them to genitive cases, evokes a culmination of contextual meaning. Aim of the project is to re-evaluate the monogramed capitals as text carrier that generate a stable link of discourse and medium, so that both levels actively reinforce each other.


Byzantinische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte
Marstallhof 4
69117 Heidelberg
Büro: Marstallstraße 6, Raum 109

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