The Middle Byzantine period witnessed a striking ritualization of the act of preparing bread and wine for the Divine Liturgy. Known as the Prothesis, this ritual both reflects and caused significant developments in the interpretation of the liturgy, liturgical objects, and visual representations decorating church spaces. This talk brings together manuscripts in several languages in order to trace the shifts and expansions of the Prothesis over time. It also nuances previous scholarly narratives by pointing to early Byzantine antecedents to this ritual and highlighting the diversity in local practices that characterized this rite prior to the emergence of its definitive form in Late Byzantium.
Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and Harvard University Standing Committee on Medieval Studies. Register using the URL.