The Making of Byzantine Chorography

The Anthropology of the Choir of Dance in Byzantium


This book is of great value as regards originality and innovation. Isar demonstrates the thesis that sacred space in Byzantium was a performative choral space. She offers with her Chorography, for the first time in Byzantine studies, an important paradigm, χορός, a paradigm which has its roots deep in ancient practices and which, when unearthed, could explain the sacred space in Byzantium. This book reads χορός from an interdisciplinary perspective, incorporating anthropological, theological, and performative aspects. Byzantine chorography is the inscription of sacred space by the mystical dance, χορός. Chorography is intimately associated with hierotopy in spirit and vocation, for both aim to contribute to the work of unveiling the mechanism by which sacred space was made in Byzantium.


Contents: 1. Xορός: A paradigm of Ritual Performance in Antiquity and Early Christianity. 2. The Dance of Adam: The Anthropology of the Byzantine Image of the Choir of Dance. 3. Byzantine Chorography: A space for Choreographical Inscription. 4. Comparative Chorography: Celica Iherusalem Carolina, Imperial Apocalyptic Light in the Palatine Chapel of Aachen. Epilogue: “That Adam may Dance” – That All Earth may exult. Bibliography. Index. List of Illustrations. Illustrations 1-286.


Bound, 24x17 cm. 448 pp. (304 pp. text and 286 illustrations, mostly in colour)

2011   ISBN: 978-94-90387-04-4                                                                    Price: EUR 250


Hand on wrist, detail from the Anastasis with Christ grasping Adam by the wrist, Chora Parekklesion, Istanbul, c. 1320 A.D.