Byzantine Metal Crosses in Kırklareli MuseumSelda Uygun Yazıcı
The subject of the study is seventeen metal crosses registered in the inventory of Kırklareli Museum. All of the artifacts were brought to the museum through purchasing from Kırklareli and the surrounding districts. Eleven of these artifacts are pendant crosses, and the six of them are reliquary cross. Four of the reliquary crosses are one-sided. Metal crosses, which are unique in Byzantine art, are very rich with examples from different museums, digging areas and collections. The numerous examples obtained from different parts of the empire attest not only to the richness of Byzantine art, but also to the fact that Christianity has always preferred metal crosses as liturgical or personal religious objects. What makes this study different is that there are examples among the crosses of the Kırklareli Museum that are thought to be of Balkan design.
Kırklareli Müzesi Bizans Dönemi Madeni HaçlarıSelda Uygun Yazıcı
Bizans sanatı içerisinde kendine has bir yeri olan madeni haçlar, farklı müze, kazı ve koleksiyon örnekleriyle oldukça zengindir. İmparatorluğun değişik coğrafyalarından ele geçirilen sayısız haç örneği, Bizans sanatının varsıllığını, dinî yaşam kültürünü ve bu kültürün çeşitliliğini kanıtlayan somut objelerdir. Madeni haç eserlerin sayısal fazlalığı, haçların hem
litürjik hem de kişisel kullanımda her dönem tercih edildiğini de göstermektedir. Kırklareli Müzesi envanterine kayıtlı olan on yedi madeni haç bu çalışmanın konusunu oluşturmaktadır. Eserlerin tamamı Kırklareli ve çevre ilçelerden satın alma yoluyla müzeye kazandırılmıştır. Kırklareli Müzesinden alınan izinle incelenen haçların on biri pandantif haç, altısı röliker haçtır. Röliker haçların dördü tek taraflıdır. Bronz ve bakırdan, döküm tekniğiyle üretilen eserlerin bezemelerinde kazıma ve kabartma tekniği kullanılmış, eserlerin bazıları değerli taş ya da cam malzemeyle süslenmiştir. Röliker haçlarda bir örnekdışında İsa, Meryem ve kutsal kişi tasvirlerine rastlanmıştır. Pandantif haçlar yassı kesitli, bitkisel ve geometrik desenlidir. Çalışmaya konu olan örnekler Yunan ve Latin Haçı formundadır. Üslup özelliklerine göre değerlendirilip benzer öneklerle karşılaştırılan Kırklareli Müzesi örneklerinin içerisinde Balkan üretimi olduğu düşünülen eserlerin bulunması bu çalışmayı farklı kılmaktadır. Yapılan değerlendirmeler ışığında madeni haçlar Orta Bizans Dönemi’ne tarihlendirilmiştir.
With the most general expression, the cross can be defined as the shape that is identified with the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion as well as one of the most important symbols of Christianity. It is also known that the cross, an important element of belief, responds to different needs in life. The respect and trust for the cross, which people carried due to its protective features, and socially which was not only in religious buildings but also on city walls, in houses, on roads and passageways, and in common areas, is important in understanding its significance in the Byzantine world. The value and symbolic meaning of the cross has made its uses diverse and dynamic. The cross, which is chosen for military and imperial ceremonies in the administrative sense, can be used in different areas as well due to its savior, healer and protector attributes in the religious sense. This determines the reasons why the cross is used for different purposes and its formal characteristics accordingly. Pendant crosses has flat (Cat. No. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11) and circular (Cat.
No. 4 and 5) sections. The arms of the cross end in a straight, circle, teardrop or halfround/ semi-circle. According to Pitarakis typology, the reliquary crosses is divided into Type I (Cat. No. 12), Type IV (Cat. No. 14, 15, 16 and 17) and Type VIII (Cat. No.13).
Considering the material and technical characteristics of the artifacts, two of the crosses are made of copper (Cat. No. 15 and 16), while the others are made of bronze. The decoration is made through engraving (Cat. No. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 17) and relief (Cat. No. 3, 7, 11, 13, 15 and 16) techniques. In one example, it was observed that (Cat. No. 17) slots were opened for colored stones or glass, but the stone or glass material that may have been inside has not survived.
The crosses has geometric (Cat. No. 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 17) and floral (Cat. No.10) motifs. Figurative depictions include Crucified Jesus (Cat. No. 3, 12, 13, 16), Mary in orans position Bible writers or saints (Cat. No. 15 and 16). One example is undecorated (Cat. No. 6).
The stylistic features of the crosses are the most important element in identifying the artifacts and revealing the differences/similarities between them. Except for one example (Cat. No. 3 figural), both geometric and floral decorations are used on the pendant crosses. Figural decorations are seen on the reliquary crosses except for one example (Cat. No. 17 geometric). Geometric decoration is characterized by intertwined circular motifs or circles, while floral decoration is characterized by curling twigs.
Since the Byzantine cross of the Kırklareli Museum were included in the museum inventory through purchase, museum, collection and archaeological diggings have a great importance in the analysis of the material. The crosses obtained from Kırklareli and their surroundings were first compared with similar examples in the nearby geography. It is very important that the examples of Balkan origin are not only museum material but also diggings .
While most of the crosses date to the Middle Byzantine period (10th-12th century) (Cat. No. 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17), common examples from different parts of the empire date to the Early and Middle Byzantine periods (6th-13th century) (Cat. No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13).
As a result, the metal cross artifacts belonging to the Kırklareli Museum are important examples in terms of contributing to the existing inventory of Byzantium and examining its place in the Balkan geography when evaluated regionally. All seventeen metal artifacts were brought to the museum through purchasing. As it is a portable object the exact location of the find is unknown. These artifacts are nevertheless partof a whole as the inventory of the Kırklareli Museum and are concrete examples of Byzantine Christian culture. The abundance of portable crosses, which we know were used by believers during praying or in daily life to protect against all that is evil, suggests that Constantinople cannot be the only center of production. These artifacts may include locally made crosses.
The Balkan geography, with its miscellaneous ethnic structures and multiplist internal dynamics, is at a different level within the empire. The proximity of this geography, which is located on the borderline of the capital, to Constantinople brought along many factors. Spread of Christianity in the Balkans took place at different times. Occupation, migration, warfare, trade and cultural relations between Southeastern Europe and Anatolia through the ages must have influenced the Christian heritage of the region. It has been observed that some of the artifacts belonging to Kırklareli and its surroundings, which are located in the Thrace Region today, are not only of Constantinople or Anatolian origin but also of Balkan origin. Reliquary 11 is based on the Heraklia-Perinthos digging in Tekirdağ; Reliquary 14 is based on the Varna National Museum in Bulgaria, Reliquary 15 is based on the Athos/Vatopedi Monastery find, the Pernik Bulgarian Medieval Castle digging find, the Sofia National Museum, the Belgrade National Museum and the Budapest National Museum. Reliquary 16 is similar to the digging finds from Prosek Castle in Macedonia, the Benaki Museum in Athens and the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest and Reliquary 17 is similar to the Anatolian examples, as well as the Ukrainian and Athens-Canellopoulos Museum examples.
No. 10 pendant/encolpion is the only one among the metal crosses of the Kırklareli Museum with its four-leaf clover form. Encolpions are dated mainly to the late 10th and early 11th centuries, with examples appearing in the neighboring lands of the empire (Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece, Ukraine). They are thought to have been sent as gifts from the capital or made by local producers in lands outside the empire in response to popular demand. The pendant/encolpion in the Kırklareli Museum may have originated in Constantinople or it may be made in the Balkan region.