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Hagia Sophia: Architecture, Structure and Liturgy of Justinian's Great Church [Paperback]

Rowland J. Mainstone


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Book Description

2 Jun 1997
Justinian's Great Church in Constantinople was the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first great masterpiece of the Byzantine world. For over 900 years it was Christendom's grandest place of worship, and, for most of this time, the seat of the Orthodox patriarch and a principal setting for imperial ceremonies. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, for almost 500 years more it was one of the most important mosques of Istanbul. Its influence was widespread and lasting, both architecturally and liturgically. Rowland Mainstone draws on 30 years of study, detailed observations and critical reading of the historic source material, to present this authoritative account of the genesis and development of the designs of the church's building, and of the principal subsequent changes. His descriptions are geared towards bringing alive the achievement of an unprecedentedly ambitious project for which there were no drawings, building accounts or similar historic records. Dr Mainstone's plans, drawings and photographs complement the text.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent text, fine illustrations, but bad binding 12 Mar 2001
By Max A. Wickert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Exaustively researched, excruciatingly detailed, and competently illustrated, this is still the best book I know on the subject, although an update to include color illustrations would much improve it. However, the paperback binding is sadly inadequate--my copy fell apart when I opened it...
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for ecclesial, historical and architectural buffs. 23 Oct 1998
By Fr. Dennis Brickle (db23@webtv.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A bit technical at times but very interesting overall. Excellent photos and elevations. Plus shows how the Church was originally appointed for Orthodox/Catholic Christian sacred use. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost a top-notch book 24 Oct 2004
By Mayor of Tateville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most thorough books about the Hagia Sophia church ever printed. However, it lacked a few important things. First, it would be better as a hardcover. Second, it could have used some 3d renderings of what Justinian's church looked like before the Ottoman conquest. Finally, ALL the pictures are in BLACK AND WHITE! Still a good buy, but do your best to get it at a deal.
3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am writing about this, and this book was helpful 15 Mar 2000
By Alak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am writing about the Hagia Sophia, and this book is very helpful for information.
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