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Dead medium: Byzantine Exultent Scroll
From: (Stefan Jones))
Source(s): Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit, "Glories of Byzantium," June 1997

Spotted this in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the wonderful "Glories of Byzantium" exhibit. The brief description on the label seemed to indicate that these were a class of items, rather than one sample. Sorry I don't have any supporting material. == Stefan Jones


Southern Italy, 981-987 A.D.

A long, parchment scroll designed for use during the Easter Vigil. The scroll contained passages describing the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, interspersed with colorful, icon-like illustrations.

The scroll was fed over the front of the priest's lectern as it was read. The illustrations appeared "upside down" to someone reading the text, and the passages and illustrations were arranged so that the passage on the top of the lectern corresponded to the illustration currently visible to the audience.

(((bruces remarks == what we seem to have here is a medieval, spoken-word accompaniment, lectern-mounted, mass-audience, sacred comic book. This Byzantine graphic narrative even pre-dates the Bayeux Tapestry!)))

Stefan Jones (