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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54895
Doc. No:TL24849
Call number:‭3401689‬
Main Entry:Cristina Stancioiu
Title & Author:Objects and identity: An analysis of some material remains of the Latin and Orthodox residents of late medieval Rhodes, Cyprus, and CreteCristina Stancioiu
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:475
Abstract:This study focuses on aspects of material life, documenting cross-cultural relationships between the Greek and Latin inhabitants of Venetian Crete, Hospitaller Rhodes, and Frankish Cyprus during the late Middle Ages. I propose that the written evidence from these locations must be corroborated with the visual sources in order to gain a nuanced understanding of the actual character of cohabitation and the relations between indigenous and ruling groups on each island. Decorated ceramics, textiles, dress, and effigy tombstones rest at the border between art and material culture. Visually stimulating, they were also functional and readily available to a large segment of population. They served as signs of their patrons' status, and commemorated the liminal moments of birth, marriage and death. Layers of social, ethnic, and religious affiliation combined to create complex individual and group identities. I first consider how the histories of these islands were built upon the evidence of written sources from the elite urban environment, with little regard to the material remains surviving throughout the islands. Chapter 3 reveals how ceramics were not markers of cultural identity, but served the multiethnic local culture. Chapter 4 shows that rather than the luxurious imported silks, or the silks produced on these islands as trade goods, the lesser woolens and cottons appear to be the common fabrics for the islanders' daily clothing. In Chapters 5 and 6 I demonstrate how dress (as recorded in commemorative portraiture) remained a distinguishing feature of urban versus rural communities. Lastly, I reveal that once adopted into the local funerary art and traditions, Latin effigy tombstones and the painted portraits from the Orthodox churches echoed each other in a dialogue of self-expression and identity. This investigation crosses many presumed historical and geographical boundaries between Europe and Byzantium and leads to a better understanding of the active cultural dialogue across the Eastern Mediterranean. Ultimately, I emphasize cultural tension rather than colonial authority, and show how the material culture of these islands was transformed by the establishment of Western settlements, thereby broadening the understanding of cultural communication between colonized and colonizers.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Ceramics; Funerary art; Latin; Orthodox; Rhodes; Cyprus; Crete; Archaeology; Art history; Medieval history; 0324:Archaeology; 0581:Medieval history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:S. Gerstel
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles