Churches and Monasteries

Robert Ousterhout

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Churches and Monasteries

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Churches and related buildings constitute the most significant surviving remains of Byzantine architecture. Numerous sources deal with the subject, including handbooks by Krautheimer (1986) and Mango (1976a), as well as monographs, regional surveys, and thematic studies. Kleinbauer's annotated bibliography (1991) includes an indispensable historiographic introduction, while Mathews addresses the role of liturgy in church design (1962, 1971, 1982). More recently, Ousterhout has attempted to interpret church architecture from the perspective of the builders (1999). Nevertheless, researchers tend to investigate church architecture out of context, without consideration for either its setting or its interior decoration. This article outlines the architectural history of churches and monasteries during the Byzantine Era, focusing on the pre-Constantinian (c.200-312), Constantinian (312-37), Early Christian (mid-fourth to fifth centuries), sixth century, transitional period (seventh to ninth centuries), Middle Byzantine (c.843-1204), and Late Byzantine (c.1204-1453) periods.

Keywords: churches; monasteries; Byzantium; Byzantine architecture; church architecture; architectural history; Byzantine Era

Article.  5816 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies

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