In many ways, we continue to teach the same propagandistic view of Hagia Sophia provided to us by Prokopios. Culling from Prokopios’s meticulous account of the construction, art historical surveys detail with narrative intrigue the various struggles faced by the builders and the marvels of Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos’s design and engineering. Yet, we all too easily forget the thirty thousand citizens of Constantinople violently assassinated by Justinian’s army in the Hippodrome. And, we all too easily overlook the ways in which Hagia Sophia is not simply a byproduct of the Nika Riots’ rampage, but rather, a reassertion of imperial dominance over the city’s populace during a period in which Justinian’s rule faced much criticism for its brutal policies and practices. We are left to wonder how many people in attendance at the new church’s consecration, just a mere six years after the riot, had lost a loved one at the Hippodrome that day. Now, the skyline of Constantinople would be dominated by a poignant reminder of the riot and the lives lost, a fact that is easy to forget when we look at the building today.
|Subjects||History of Social Sciences, History|
|Publication Date||December 30, 2021|
|Submission Date||September 10, 2021|
|Published in Issue||Year 2021, Volume 3|