Africa and Byzantium

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By Andrea Myers Achi

Medieval art history has long emphasized the glories of the Byzantine Empire, but less known are the profound artistic contributions of Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, and other powerful African kingdoms whose pivotal interactions with Byzantium had an indelible impact on the Mediterranean world. Bringing together masterworks in a range of mediums and techniques—from mosaic, sculpture, pottery, and metalwork to luxury objects, panel paintings, and religious manuscripts—this publication recounts Africa’s centrality in far-flung transcontinental networks of trade and cultural exchange. With incisive scholarship and new photography of works rarely or never before seen in public, Africa and Byzantium sheds new light on the staggering artistic achievements of medieval Africa. This long-overdue publication reconsiders the continent’s contributions to the development of the premodern world and offers a more complete history of Africa as a vibrant, multiethnic society of diverse languages and faiths that played a key role in the artistic, economic, and cultural life of Byzantium and beyond.

352 pages, Hardcover

Published November 2023