The meanings of Byzantium : the church of Abu-Ghosh (Emmaus) and the meanings of Byzantine pictorial language in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Variant title
Významy Byzance : kostel v Abú Ghoš (Emauzy) a významy byzantského vizuálního jazyka v Jeruzalémském království
Author: Fishhof, Gil
Source document: Convivium. 2020, vol. 7, iss. 2, pp. 14-35
Extent
14-35
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Rights access
fulltext is not accessible
Abstract(s)
The mural cycle of the church at Abu-Ghosh (Emmaus) is the most extensive to have survived from the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and scholars have recognized its Byzantine style and iconography. But what did this Byzantine pictorial language mean to the western, Hospitaller patrons of the church? This study aims to shed light on the complexities of cross-cultural borrowings in the context of the Latin Kingdom. Several conclusions emerge from comparative iconographic and stylistic analysis. First and foremost, the choice to use Byzantine iconography in Abu-Ghosh emerges as deliberate, not only reflecting the cultural, imperial, and religious significance of Byzantium, but also serving the patrons of the church to enhance its aura of sanctity and prestige. Abu-Ghosh's mural was executed in a specific context of competition with the rival pilgrimage site of Emmaus Nicopolis, as well as in competition with the military Order of the Templars. Second, the cycle demonstrates the adaptability of its imagery to different interpretations by diverse groups of viewers, which included western patrons alongside local Eastern Christians.
Summary language