By M. Hatzaki
A missed point of Byzantium, actual attractiveness looks as a top quality with an unmistakable darkish facet, pertaining to ambiguously to notions of energy, goodness, evil, masculinity, effeminacy, existence and loss of life. tested as an characteristic of the human and, particularly, of the male physique, this learn of good looks refines our realizing of the Byzantine global.
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Extra resources for Beauty and the Male Body in Byzantium: Perceptions and Representations in Art and Text
More importantly, perhaps, Velthandros’s account also indicates that to the standard, repetitive ideal of beauty, ugliness proposes varied alternatives. Whereas ideal teeth look simply like a row of pearls, Velthandros describes how ugly ones protrude and recede at will, some sticking out, others coming still forward. 2 Whereas the beautiful body in Byzantium is easily summed up by the dictates of the ideal and made up of standard, often repeated, beautiful features from blond hair and white skin to gleaming eyes, the ugly body seems defined mostly by its diversity.
Bryaxis proposes to sacrifice Dosiklis and Kratandros as thank offerings to the gods and justifies his position in the face of opposition by noting that the gods, who find beauty pleasing and despise what is ugly, are only satisfied when receiving the best of offerings. ’3 To the ideal, if stereotyped, blond, white-skinned and rosy-cheeked beauty of Dosiklis, Bryaxis juxtaposes a varied image of ugliness: the old; the balding; the hairy; the smelly; the generally revolting ‘other’. Whether in the twelfth or the fourteenth century, the face of ugliness presents the potential for endless elaboration.
37 With her help, Tzimiskes and his fellow conspirators entered the emperor’s bedchamber and proceeded to torture and finally murder Nikephoros before desecrating his dead body. Zonaras’s story of Theophano and Tzimiskes underlines that physical beauty can coexist with a far from flawless moral character. In fact, contrary to Petrakova’s suggestion, beauty in Byzantium can be the attribute of a villainous, adulterous woman and a murderer alike. This is also the case in other Byzantine historical writing.
Beauty and the Male Body in Byzantium: Perceptions and Representations in Art and Text by M. Hatzaki