pontıfıcal ınstıtute of medıeval studıes, toronto
Linda Safran is a Research Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. She holds a Ph.D in History of Art from Yale University. Her research interests are Byzantine and Mediterranean art and architecture, medieval studies, cultural history, material culture studies, archaeology of Southern Italy, Art History, and Jewish Art History.
Recent and forthcoming publications include: “La mise-en-page dei testi pubblici nel Salento medievale,” in “Gli uomini e le lettere: personaggi, testi e contesti della Terra d'Otranto di cultura bizantina,” ed. Alessandro Capone, special issue, Rudiae: Ricerche sul mondo classico, n.s. 3 (2017), 271–90; “Two Classrooms in China” (with Adam S. Cohen), Common Knowledge 24, no. 3 [“Symposium: In the Humanities Classroom, Part 2,” ed. Caroline Walker Bynum] (2018): 375–88; “Remembering the Jewish Dead in Medieval Apulia and Basilicata,” in Letters in the Dust, Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Culture and Religion, ed. Leonard Rutgers and Ortal-Paz Saar (Leuven: Peeters, 2020); “Four Inscriptions from Salento,” in Medieval Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics, vol. 3, From Alexios I Komnenos to the Rise of Hesychasm (1081–ca. 1330), ed. Charles Barber and Foteini Spingou (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020); and “A Prolegomenon to Byzantine Diagrams,” in Visualization of Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages, ed. Marcia Kupfer, Adam S. Cohen, and J. H. Chajes (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020).
beyond books: the dıagrammatıc mode ın byzantıum
Diagrams in manuscripts are easy to recognize, if not necessarily easy to describe. This talk considers diagrams outside of manuscripts and unaccompanied by lengthy texts. Such diagrams, as well as abstract ways of thinking diagrammatically—that is, in linear and geometrical terms, in three dimensions and not just two—were more widespread in the Byzantine visual landscape than has previously been noticed. I propose that this “diagrammatic mode” played a role in public life, helping to structure the Byzantines’ understanding of time and space, demonstrate harmonious relationships, and reify τάξις.