Everyday life is an especially important area in the study of Byzantine culture, but one which has not been sufficiently pursued since scholars’ interest is so often drawn to the glittering works of Byzantine religious art. The objects that served routine needs are by and large made of “humble” materials such as clay, glass or bronze, but represent, nonetheless, significant evidence for everyday life in Byzantium. Indeed, many aspects of this everyday life continued in one form or another into modern Greek society.
The overwhelming majority of the empire’s population lived in the countryside, which served as the basis for economic and social organization. An urbanized economy grew up in cities, some of which were distinguished as administrative, military, commercial centers, or hubs for transport and communication. Trade by both land and sea also developed, as well as industry and crafts, such as the production of textiles and pottery, sculpture, carving, and metallurgy.
Clay vessel, Chafing dish (Saltsario)
Ceramics Glazed fireproof clay vessel in the shape of an inverted cone, with two handles. Used for preparing and serving sauces. At th...
Pectoral Reliquary Cross
Minor Arts The Reliquary Cross is made from copper alloy with relief presentations of the Nativity and the Baptism. Reliquary crosses we...
Minor Arts The comb is made of ivory and decorated with relief ornamentation on its sides. Its decoration and its material, the precious...
Marble plaque with a centaur and a dancer
Sculpture The marble slab has a depiction of a centaur and a dancer. The centaur has long hair and a hair cover and is playing a musica...