Byzantine art, as traditionally defined, refers to the arts originating within the boundaries of the so-called Byzantine Empire, from the date of the foundation of Constantinople in 324 to the date of its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. In truth, Byzantine art is not so easily encapsulated. Its distribution, artistic influence, and sources of inspiration extend well beyond the territorial boundaries of the Empire. Its roots can be traced in the pagan arts of Greco-Roman antiquity, and its legacy is clearly visible in the arts of the Italian and Northern Renaissance, medieval and modern Russia, and even of places far more remote in time and place, such as we see in the Byzantine revival architecture of London's Westminster Cathedral.

Yet, this research guide is intended only as a starting point for the undergraduate student, the librarian, and the interested amateur who would like to compile bibliographies and pursue topics focusing on Byzantine art and architecture. Therefore, it highlights resources that are most useful for the study of Byzantine art and culture within the traditional chronological and geographical parameters. It also represents a traditional approach that treats objects as art, not artifacts, and buildings as monuments, not archaeological sites. A truly comprehensive guide to resources for the study of Byzantine art and architecture would include resources for the study of Greco-Roman antiquity, medieval Islamic art and architecture, and western medieval cultures as well as titles and resources for textual sources, liturgical studies, and related disciplines. For obvious reasons, this guide does not include a comprehensive list of resources for these areas of study. Instead, the researcher, especially one who is interested in intercultural exchanges, is encouraged to consult the general resources for Byzantine studies included in section II of this guide, the selection of titles in section IV at the end of this guide, and items in the other bibliographies that were prepared by my colleagues.

Section II on Reference Materials highlights reference tools for ancient and medieval studies that offer adequate or better coverage of topics related to Byzantine history, culture, and/or arts. It assumes that the researcher already has a familiarity with more general resources for the arts and humanities such as the invaluable Bibliography of the History of Art, Art Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, etc. It is hoped that the non-specialist will be well-served by the less familiar resources selected for this list because of their focus on specific historical periods and materials, while the specialist will find it a useful overview.

Section III on Online Resources for Information is not a comprehensive list of all Web-based resources available. A proliferation of Web sites of varying quality makes such a comprehensive list nearly impossible to compile and maintain. For researchers who prefer to browse the Web from an ordered selection of links, I would recommend the Web sites created by the Byzantine Studies scholar, Paul Halsall (, and student of theology and history, Rev. Steven Armstrong ( The other sites named in this list will permit interested parties to explore the field of Byzantine Studies by directing them to information about specific collections, exhibitions, projects, recent and forthcoming publications, discussion lists, and centers of study.

Section IV on Selected Surveys, Monographs, and Digital Resources on Specific Topics is specifically aimed at the non-specialist who wishes to learn more about Byzantine art or particular topics within the study of Byzantine art. Nevertheless, the specialist may find hidden gems within the list, especially information about valuable digital resources.



1. General Bibliographies and Periodical Indexes for Byzantine Studies:

While there are numerous bibliographies and periodical indexes for the humanities and the arts, this list highlights resources that are specifically focused on topics in ancient and medieval studies. Of these, the Byzantinische Zeitschrift – Supplementum Bibliographicum and related works provide the most comprehensive coverage of topics in Byzantine Studies.

L’Année philologique: bibliographie critique et analytique de l'antiquité gréco-latine.  (Paris: Société d’edition “les Belles lettres,” 1928-) and L’Année philologique on the Internet:

Aims at comprehensive coverage of monographs, journal articles, conference papers, and articles in collected volumes that are concerned with classical philology, ancient literature, ancient history, archaeology, religion, or other various sub-specialties in the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. Most entries are annotated. Its chronological parameters extend through late antiquity to the early middle ages, but the coverage of Byzantine subjects is somewhat spotty, notably strongest for Byzantine literature and early Byzantine history. The online database replaces the CD-Rom version of the Database of Classical Bibliography (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995-1997) and is developed as a joint project of the Société internationale de bibliographie classique and the American Philological Association (formerly responsible for the DCB). Available through subscription only, it permits researchers to search all bibliographic entries of the print L’Année philologique by modern author, ancient author, and keywords in the title and annotations (“Full Text”) as well as limit by subjects and disciplines, date, etc.

Byzantinische Zeitschrift. Supplementum bibliographicum.

Each issue of this semiannual publication has three sections: scholarly essays, book reviews, and bibliography, along with obituaries and other notices. The bibliography, which aims at comprehensive coverage of all publications in Byzantine Studies, is organized by subjects such as Archaeology and Art History. Currently distributed by K.G. Saur-Verlag, annual subscription approx. 218 Euros.

Byzantinische Zeitschrift - Bibliographie on CD-Rom.

The 2nd edition (released Dec. 2004) provides coverage for BZ vols. 83 (1990) – 94 (2001) and is built on a Filemaker database. Currently produced by K.G. Saur-Verlag, approx. 259 Euros (205 Euros for subscribers to the journal).

Author Index of Byzantine Studies (1892-1990):

Created from the annotated bibliographic entries in the periodical BZ and from Krumbacher’s Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur. Available in microfiche form from IDC Microform Publishers (

Allen, J.S., ed. Literature on Byzantine Art, 1892-1967 (London, 1973-1976).

Created from the BZ bibliographies. Part I, in two physical volumes, is organized

topographically, Part II by media and subjects. Also available through IDC Microform Publishers.

Byzantinoslavica (Prague: 1929-)

Includes an annual bibliography with good coverage of Slavic material.

Cahiers de civilisation medievale Xe – XIIe siecles.

Bibliography with some coverage of Byzantine, Slavic, and Islamic material.

DYABOLA: Sachkataloge des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts:

This difficult-to-use but invaluable database, which is also distributed on CD-Rom to subscribers, supplants the Archäologische Bibliographie, a supplement to the Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. It indexes monographs, journal articles, and collected papers on ancient art and Old World archaeology. It provides fairly good coverage of early Christian, Byzantine, and early Medieval material as well as classical and prehistoric. Subject categories are based on the classification schemes in use at the German Archaeological Institute in Rome, the German Archaeological Institute in Madrid, and the RGK Frankfurt.

Gnomon bibliographische Datenbank on CD and Gnomon Online:

Electronic access to the reviews, notes, obituaries, and quarterly bibliographic appendix of the

German periodical, Gnomon. Kritische Zeitschrift für die gesamte klassische Altertumswissenschaft. The emphasis is on classical studies (philology, ancient history, and archaeology), but there is some coverage of Byzantine topics. Although less ambitious than DYABOLA or other similar bibliographic databases, Gnomon uniquely covers unpublished German and British dissertations.

International Medieval Bibliography (Leeds: University of Leeds, 1967 - ).

The IMB indexes articles in journals, conference proceedings, Festschriften, and other collections. Coverage of Byzantine subjects is fairly good but not as comprehensive as the BZ bibliographies. The online version of the IMB is now complemented by the Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale – Online which indexes books (1957-2004) on medieval subjects. Online versions are available with a subscription through Brepols Publishers Online.

TOCS-IN: Tables of Contents of Journals of Interest to Classicists:

A free resource that allows searching and browsing of the tables of contents of more than 180 European and American journals that are focused on classical studies.

Weiss, G. Byzanz: kritischer Forschungs- und Literarurbericht 1968-1985 (Munich:

Oldenbourg, 1986).

2. Bibliographies of Topics in Byzantine Art and Architecture

L'art byzantin chez les Slaves: les Balkans (Paris: Geuthner, 1930) and L'art byzantin chez les Slaves: l'ancienne Russie, les Slaves catholiques (Paris: Geuthner, 1932).

Appendices with extensive bibliography compiled by notable early scholars, such as G. Millet.

Bibliographie de l’art byzantin et post-byzantin (Athens: Comité national hellénique de

l'association internationale d'études du sud-est européen, 1966).

Bibliographie de l’art byzantin et post-byzantin, 1945-1969 (Athens: Comité national

hellénique de l'association internationale d'études du sud-est européen, 1970).

Bitha, I, A. Katsioti, and E. Katsa. Bibliographie de l'art byzantin et postbyzantin: la

contribution grecque,1991-1996 (Athens: Centre de recherches de l'art byzantin et postbyzantin,1996).

Bitha, I., V. Phoskolou, and M. Nella. Bibliographie de l'art byzantin et postbyzantin: la

contribution grecque,1996-2000 (Athens: Centre de recherches de l'art byzantin et postbyzantin, 2001).

Curcic, S. Art and architecture in the Balkans: an annotated bibliography (Boston: G.K.

Hall, 1984).

Duomato, L. The Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia: selected references (Monticello:

Vance Bibliographies, 1980).

. Early Christian architecture of Syria (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies, 1980).

François, V. Bibliographie analytique sur la céramique byzantine a glaçure (Paris: de

Boccard, 1997).

Kleinbauer, W. Early Christian and Byzantine architecture: annotated bibliography and

historiography (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1992).

MacDonald, W. A selected bibliography of architecture in the age of Justinian

(Charlottesville: American Association of Architectural Bibliographers, 1960).

Nees, L. From Justinian to Charlemagne: European art, 565-787 (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985).

Phillips, J. Constantinian architecture: the lesser sites (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies,


. Early Christian and Byzantine Constantinople (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies,


. Early Christian and early Byzantine architecture in Palestine (Monticello:

Vance Bibliographies, 1982).

. Early Christian architecture in the city of Rome (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies,


and T. Roe. Byzantine Constantinople: the churches (Monticello: Vance

Bibliographies, 1982).

Vance, M. Byzantine architecture: a bibliography of English language references

(Monticello: Vance Bibliographies, 1982).

. Catacombs: monographs (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies, 1984).


1. General reference works for Byzantine Studies

Bertolini, O. Reallexikon der Byzantinistik (Amsterdam: A.M. Hakkert, 1968).

Ceased publication with T.1, Hft. 6.

Ferguson, E. et al., eds. Encyclopedia of early Christianity. 2nd ed. (New York: Garland,


Hornblower, S. and A. Spawforth. Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd ed. (New York:

Oxford University Press, 1996).

Hussey, J.M., ed. The Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 4: The Byzantine Empire

(Cambridge: The University Press, 1966-1967).

Irmscher, J. Lexikon der Byzantinistik (Amsterdam: A.M. Hakkert, 1998-).

Kazhdan, A.P. et al., eds. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. (Oxford: Oxford, 1991).

Articles on topics such as Architecture, Islamic Influence of Byzantine Art, specific media, cities, and individuals usually provide good, short introductions on the subjects along with select bibliography.

Klauser, T. et al., eds. Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum: Sachwörterbuch zur Auseinandersetzung des Christentums mit der antiken Welt (Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 1950-).

Work on this title continues at the F.J. Dölger-Institut in Bonn.

Lawler, J. Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2004).

Very basic and perhaps suited for school-age researchers. Gives only some general bibliography in the rear of the volume.

Pauly, A., G. Wissowa, et al., eds. Paulys Real Encyclopädie der classischen

Altertumswissenschaft (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 1894-1963).

The original Pauly-Wissowa remains the fundamental encyclopedic work on all aspects of classical

studies, but coverage of Byzantine topics is not as complete as one might wish. Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike (Munich: Druckenmüller, 1964-1975), Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 1996-), and the English version, Brill's New Pauly : encyclopaedia of the ancient world (Leiden: Brill, 2002-) have shorter articles that are usually good introductions to topics and provide up-to-date bibliography.

Rosser, J. Historical Dictionary of Byzantium (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2001).

Strayer, J., ed. Dictionary of the Middle Ages (New York: Scribner’s, 1982-1989).

2. Byzantine art, architecture, and archaeology

Apostolos-Cappadona, D. Dictionary of Christian art (New York: Continuum, 1994).

Baudrillart, A. et al., eds. Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris: Letouzey and Ané, 1912-).

Cabrol, F. and H. Leclercq, eds. Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1907-1953).

Enciclopedia dell’arte antica, classica e orientale (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia

italiana, 1958-).

Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 1991-2002).

Turner, J., ed. Dictionary of art (New York: Grove’s Dictionaries, 1996-).

Now also available as the Grove Dictionary of Art Online through Oxford University Press. The entry entitled “Early Christian and Byzantine Art” is actually comprised of several articles, written by notable scholars, on topics such as patronage, ecclesiastical architecture, monumental paintings and mosaics, etc. It is strongly recommended for anyone seeking an overview of Byzantine art and architecture. The Dictionary also has articles on post-Byzantine art and specific cities of the Empire that will be of interest to students.

Wessel, K. and M. Restle, eds. Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst (Stuttgart: A.

Hiersemann, 1966-).

Strongly recommended for its informative articles on specific cities, architectural elements, and media. Each completed Band has an Ikonographisches Register and Topographisches Register. As of 2004, only complete through “Nubien.”

3. Iconography

Kirschbaum, E., ed. Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie (Rome: Herder, 1968-1976).

Réau, L. Iconographie de l’art chrétien (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1955-


Schiller, G. Ikonographie der christlichen Kunst (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus G.

Mohn, 1966-1991).

The two-volume 2nd edition was translated into English by J. Seligman and published as Iconography of Christian art (Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1971).

Spitzing, G. Lexikon byzantinisch-christlicher Symbole: die Bilderwelt Griechenlands

und Kleinasiens (Munich: Diederichs, 1989).

Index of Christian Art:

4. Topography of Constantinople and the Byzantine empire

Janin, R. Constantinople byzantine: développement urbain et répertoire topographique.

2nd ed. (Paris: Institut français d'études byzantines, 1974).

La Géographie ecclésiastique de l’Empire byzantin (Paris: Institut français d'études

byzantines, 1953-1981).

Consists of 3 parts: R. Janin was responsible for T. 3, Les églises et les monastères (1953), and T. 2, Les églises et les monastères des grandes centres byzantins : Bithynie, Hellespont, Latros, Galèsios, Trébizonde, Athènes, Thessalonique (1975). T. 1, Le siège Constantinople et le patriarcat oecuménique. t. 1. Notitiae episcopatuum ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae,was completed by J. Darrouzès and published in 1981.

Müller-Wiener, W. Bildlexikon zur Topographie Istanbuls (Tübingen: Wasmuth,1977).

Prinzing, G. Ortsnamenindex zu stadtgeschichtlichen Arbeiten aus der Byzantinistik

(Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1994).

Tabula Imperii Byzantini (Vienna: Verlag de Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1976-).

For information on the project:

5. Prosopography

De Imperatoribus Romanis: Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors:

This “on-line encyclopedia” offers information on Roman emperors from Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) until Romulus Augustulus (AD 475-476) in the “Western Empire” and to Constantine XI Palaeologus (1449-1453) in the “Eastern Empire.” It also provides timelines, outlines of major battles, maps, and images of coins.

Jones, A.H.M., J.R. Martindale, and J. Morris. The proposopography of the later Roman

Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1971-1992).

Multi-volume work covers A.D. 260-641. This British project was in cooperation with the French project, Prosopographie chrétienne.

Marrou, H. et al., eds. Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire (Paris: CNRS, 1982-).

Martindale, J.R., ed. The prosopography of the Byzantine Empire I (641 – 867) on

CD-Rom (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001-).

Relational database on C-D-Rom covers years A.D. 641-867 and is a project of the British Academy in cooperation with the German project, Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit.

Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1998-).

Provides coverage of years A.D. 641-867. Under auspices of the Berlin-Brandenburgische

Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Nicol, D. A biographical dictionary of the Byzantine Empire (London: Seaby, 1991).

Trapp, E. Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit (Vienna: Österreichische

Akademie der Wissenschaft, 1976-).

Covers years A.D. 1259-1453. PLP vols. 1-12 available in .pdf format on CD-Rom (Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaft, 2001).

For more information on the prosopographical projects:

Cameron, A. Fifty years of prosopography: the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, and

beyond. Proceedings of the British Academy 118 (Oxford: Oxford, 2003).

Prosopography of the Byzantine World:

Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit:


Hennephof, H. Textus byzantinos ad iconomachiam pertinentes in usum academicum

(Leiden: Brill, 1969). For the iconoclastic controversy.

Koukoules, P. Vyzantinon vios kai politismos, (Athens: - , 1948-1955).

Mango, C. The art of the Byzantine Empire, 312-1453: sources and documents (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,1972).

Richter, J.P. Quellen der byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte (Vienna: C. Graeser, 1897).

Unger, F.W. and E. Chmelarz, Quellen der byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte (Vienna: W. Braumüller, 1878).