The full text of this item is not available at this time because the student has placed this item under an embargo for a period of time. The Libraries are not authorized to provide a copy of this work during the embargo period, even for Texas A&M users with NetID.
A Study of the Nautical Imagery in the Skylitzes Matritensis Codex
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines the existing studies of the miniatures in the Skylitzes Matritensis codex, a 12th-century Byzantine illuminated manuscript, and adds to them by undertaking an analysis of its nautical imagery. Out of the 574 miniatures in this manuscript, 51 include renditions of nautical vessels in a variety of settings. Among these images are some of the only surviving representations of certain devices, such as the mechanism for deploying Greek fire. While earlier studies have examined the entire corpus of imagery in this unique manuscript, assessments of the valuable nautical imagery that this manuscript offers are lacking. This thesis attempts to examine the information Skylitzes Matritensis provides about Byzantine vessels and their representation in illuminated manuscripts. Chapter I provides a summary of Byzantine illuminated manuscript study, the history of this particular codex, a brief overview of Byzantine naval construction, and a synopsis of the challenges in the research of illuminated manuscripts and their nautical imagery. Chapter II examines each miniature with a nautical theme, providing relevant context and characteristics for each vessel. Chapter III synthesizes these observations into general trends that reflect traditions in maritime representation in illuminated manuscripts, as well as traditions specific to western or Byzantine trained illustrators. Finally, Chapter IV concludes with a summary of a comprehensive examination and synthesis of how nautical miniatures can expand our understanding of Byzantine ships and their manner of stylized representations in illuminated manuscripts.
Brill, Olivia (2021). A Study of the Nautical Imagery in the Skylitzes Matritensis Codex. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from