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Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposia and Colloquia
Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls
Sense Perceptions in Byzantium
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Margaret Mullett

How does sense perception contribute to human cognition? How did the Byzantines understand that contribution? Byzantine culture in all its domains showed deep appreciation for sensory awareness and sensory experience. The senses were reckoned as modes of knowledge—intersecting realms both human and divine, bodily and spiritual, physical and intellectual.

Scholars have attended to aspects of sight and sound in Byzantine culture, but have generally left smell, taste, and touch undervalued and understudied. Through collected essays that redress the imbalance, the contributors explore how the Byzantines viewed the senses; how they envisaged sensory interactions within their world; and how they described, narrated, and represented the senses at work. The result is a fresh charting of the Byzantine sensorium as a whole.


Ch. 4, Antonopoulos

Chrysaphes, Kalophonic sticheron, Magi Kings of Persia

Ch. 5, Haines-Eitzen

fig. 5.1, Fresh water spring at En Aqev

fig. 5.2, En Shabbib birds and wind

n. 20, Night winds


Intro, Harvey and Mullett

n. 15, Sound and Scent in the Garden symposium

n. 15, A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe

n. 17, Whittemore’s monastic film

n. 18, Hugh Livingston’s installation

n. 19, Alison Noble’s exhibition of the scent-world of Symeon Seth

n. 20, Dede Ruggles’s scent laboratory

n. 22, Byzantine Things in the World

Ch. 2, Bagnoli

n. 4, Language of Perception study

n. 19, 14th-century English illustrated lay encyclopedia

n. 23, Aberdeen bestiary

n. 55, Le chevalier de la charrette

n. 59, Temperance miniature

n. 66, Loftie hours

n. 70, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Ch. 3, Papalexandrou

n. 24, The Acoustical History of Hagia Sophia revived through Computer Simulation

n. 55, modern semantron performances

Ch. 4, Antonopoulos

n. 1, Aural Architecture: Music, Acoustics, and Ritual

n. 2, Icons of Sound

n. 5, translations of liturgical texts by Fr. Ephrem Lash

n. 58, Οι αποκείμενοι στη βιβλιοθήκη της ιεράς μονής του Σινά αυτόγραφοι κώδικες του Ιωάννου ιερέως του Πλουσιαδηνού

Ch. 5, Haines-Eitzen

n. 5, Susan Sontag’s Aesthetics of Silence

n. 21,

Ch. 6, Ruggles

n. 15, Respiratory Physiology: Mechanics of Respiration

n. 19, Translation of Sahih Bukhari

Ch. 7, Rojas and Sergueenkova

n. 42, Evliya Visits the Acropolis

n. 47, Linda Theodorou’s blog

Ch. 8, Harvey

n. 30, myrrh-streaming icon from Hawaii

n. 30, Why Do Icons Weep?

n. 34, Rojas’s review of Archaeology and the Senses

Ch. 10, Brooks Hedstrom

n. 96, Before Byzantium: The Early Activities of Thomas Whittemore (1871–1931); Red Sea Monasteries, Egypt

Ch. 11, Caseau

n. 30, Gabriel of Qatar’s Commentary on the Liturgy

Ch. 15, Lieber

Apps. A and B, Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language

About the Authors

Rojas, Notion Archaeological Survey