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Byzantine Siver Footed Bowl
Found on the Crimean Peninsula
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Close to the epic world outlook is also the subject depicted on the cup found near Beryozovo, beyond the Urals (?g. 104-162); a performance given in the emperor’s palace.
The motives on the bottom of the bowl may be linked with the cycle of the autumn-and-winter celebrations of‘ the Byzantine calendar, which are traceable to the Roman celebrations in honour of Dionysus (Bacchus).
This subject - which ?ts the purpose of the bowl, designed for banquets - inspired the figures of all the seven bands on the body of the bowl and. the compositions on its rim and bottom.
The upper row shows a Yuletide feast, with the empress taking part.
There is an orchestra of Oriental musicians, with two groups of acrobats and dancers performing to the music.
In spite of certain survivals of the of?cial ceremonial (specifically of the “Gothic games“) this banquet scene is not identifiable with any of the official holidays of the “Book of Ceremonies".
Referenced as figure 119 in Arms and armour of the crusading era, 1050-1350 by Nicolle, David. 1988 edition
119 Ceramic fragment from Athens Agora, Byzantine, 12 Cent.
(Byzantine Museum, Athens, Greece)
A remarkably fine piece of Byzantine pottery showing a spear-armed horseman
apparently using a saddle with a high western European style of pommel.
He has a conventional lamellar cuirass, probably worn over a short-sleeved
hauberk. Such armour would be feasible in twelfth-century Byzantium.
[This was not found on Agora Excavations. The source may have been confused with the similar source for figure 120: Digenis Akritas fights the Dragon]
See similar armour on Digenis Akritas Slays a Wild Animal. Byzantine Bowl Fragment, 11th-12th century. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
See also Slate Icon of Saints George and Demetrius, Byzantine, Late 11th - early 12th century. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, X-103
Warrior Saints, Serpent (Yilanli) Church, Göreme, Byzantine, 11th-12th centuries
Other Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers