This first study of the late medieval Greek churches in Cyprus investigates over 300 buildings. It addresses the historical and artistic context of these churches, the first part containing more traditional methodological approaches such as the analysis of stylistic developments – the exchange between Western, Gothic and Eastern, Levantine architectural idioms and their formal impact on local Byzantine traditions. The second part discusses individual and collective identities and their negotiation through architectural works within the multicultural Cypriot society. The study contributes to the apprehension of dynamics of cultural exchange in late medieval eastern Mediterranean.
In Cyprus, over 300 Greek churches built or altered between 1300 and 1571 are preserved or known through documents. This material legacy was now for a first time systematically recorded and documented in photographs and drawings. This documentation, forming the catalogue volume, is art-historically evaluated and interpreted in the text volume. In addition to more traditional methodological approaches such as building archaeology and the analysis of stylistic developments, the study follows the guiding key words indicated in the title: “tradition” and “identity”. Of interest was, among others, the question of how individual and collective identities were negotiated with the help of architectural works within the multicultural and multiconfessional Cypriot society of the high and late medieval period. Thus, the study constitutes an important contribution to the apprehension of dynamics of cultural exchange in late medieval eastern Mediterranean.