Δείγματα βυζαντινής γλυπτικής από το Μποβέρκο Λυκαίου
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The small, mountainous plain of Boverko lies northwest of Megalopolis, near the summit of Mount Lykaion. The area preserves some remarkable examples of Byzantine architectural sculpture, either left or reused at small chapels and, especially, at the cathedral of the village Kastanochorion (former Krambovos). Firstly, two imposts can be seen at the chapel of Hagios Georgios, on the top of the summit Psilos Ai-Giorgis. Their undecorated and roughly carved surfaces may date them to the Byzantine Dark Ages (7th-8th centuries A.D.). Two other pieces are preserved at the chapel of Panagitsa at Kapeli, in the plain below. One white marble fragment decorated by simple floral patterns (Fig. 1), can be ascribed to the early Middle Byzantine period, maybe to the 10th century. The capital, which lies outside of the chapel (Fig. 2), can possibly be dated to the 6th century, according to the shape of the crosses and the leaves which fill the gaps between their arms, and the presence of an abacus on the top, which is decorated by a floral ornament in the centre of each side. Numerous pieces have been reused in the cathedral of Kastanochorion, erected in 1894 and dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin (Κοίμησις της Θεοτόκου). They are all dated to the lith and 12th centuries. Looking first at those which belong to the lith century, there is a door-frame reused at the small external door of the bema. Although undecorated, it has a shape common in simple door-frames of this period. The part of an architrave stands at the same place, decorated by a clearly designed plochmos, similar to dated examples from Asia Minor. Two pieces of a cornice have been placed over the main door of the church (Fig. 3), decorated with linear and floral patterns, executed in a way similar to the architrave mentioned above. A closure slab exists near them (Fig. 3); its decoration, with komvia and various inscribed floral patterns, is typical for the 11th century. The pieces of another door-frame and an epistyle belong to the 12th century. The parts of the door-frame are reused at the main entrance of the church. Their inner surface is covered by a rich, stylized floral ornament (Fig. 4), common during this period. The templon epistyle located over the same door (Fig. 3) is the most important of all these pieces. Its main surface is totally covered by sculptured patterns executed in the so-called 'two-level technique' (a complex of high and low relief elements), which flourished in the architectural sculpture of Greece during the 12th century. The centre is occupied by a cross inscribed in a high-relief templon element, which is symmetrically framed by stylized acantus leaves, rounded bosses, crosses and zodia complexes. The one zodia complex which is still preserved, showing a lion grasping a smaller animal, has a rather high plasticity- it tends to be almost sculptured. (Fig. S) The use of different techniques, the various stylized themes and their fine execution by skilled workers, give to the epistyle an extremely decorative impression. It can undoubtedly be attributed to the Samarina workshop, which created the templon of the Samarin a church (ca. 1200), near Androussa, another templon now reused at two churches of Mystras and an epistyle at Nomia, in the region of Mani. The existence of all this sculpture in such a small area is impressive; the pieces dated to the 11th and 12th centuries especially, lead to the hypothesis that they can be connected either to prosperous monasteries of the region, or to local governors and land owners who could call the best workshops in order to decorate their buildings. This is exactly the period when the central government collapses and powerful local families take the control over the provinces.
Papers from the third international seminar on Ancient Arcadia, held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens, 7-10 May 2002
PublisherThe Norwegian Institute at Athens
SeriesPapers of the Norwegian Institute at Athens