The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the next lecture in our 2023–2024 lecture series.
Monday, November 6, 2023 | 12:00 PM EST | Zoom
Measuring Weather: The Windvane and the Nilometer in Byzantine Art and Texts
Paroma Chatterjee, University of Michigan
This lecture draws attention to the monumental scientific devices that appear in the Byzantine literary and pictorial tradition. Specifically, it focuses on the windvane (anemodoulion) that stood for centuries in Constantinople before its destruction during the Fourth Crusade (1204 CE), and the Nilometer used for measuring the rising levels of the Nile, and which is depicted in textiles, mosaics, and other media. In considering these objects, the lecture makes the case that bucolic imagery (which we find associated with the windvane and the Nilometer in its visual representations) was deemed most suitable for devices linked to measuring and signaling weather patterns. Finally, the lecture proposes that the bucolic mode was linked to these objects as its conventions articulated the contingency of the relations between humans, non-humans, and nature.
Paroma Chatterjee is Professor of Byzantine and medieval Mediterranean art history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/lecture-by-measuring-weather
Contact Brandie Ratliff (email@example.com), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.