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dc.creatorSteiner, Shannon P.
dc.date.accessioned2011-07-12T17:08:57Z
dc.date.available2011-07-12T17:08:57Z
dc.date.created2011-05
dc.date.issued2011-07-12
dc.date.submittedMay 2011
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2011-05-3459
dc.descriptiontext
dc.description.abstractWhen considering early Byzantine pilgrimage tokens, questions of touch and tactility arise almost instantly. Tokens lack cords or mountings, and so touch is implicit in such objects. Even gazing at them was a form of touching for the pilgrim. Hagiographies tell of pilgrims crowding to holy sites with the express intent to access sanctity through touch. Touch then, whether visual or manual, mediated the desire for connection between a pilgrim, a site, and a body. This requires an examination of a token’s touch as well as a pilgrim’s. In my thesis, I focus on a surviving token of the stylite saint Symeon the Younger, housed in the Menil Collection. This particular token bears iconography associated with physically and spiritually transformative events. Images of veneration, baptism, and healing appear together on the token’s obverse, while a human handprint on its reverse demands a multifaceted discussion of the implications of touching this object. I propose that in a pilgrim’s interaction with this token both object and viewer had agency. The token encapsulates a comprehensive pilgrimage experience. As a contact relic, the token makes present the saint’s body. Representation of baptism and the token’s backwards inscription enact sphragis – a figurative and literal stamping that pilgrims frequently described. I call attention to the experiential, memorial, and physical impressions made on the lives of early Byzantine pilgrims through the simultaneous touching of both viewer and object.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoeng
dc.subjectPilgrimage
dc.subjectStylite saints
dc.subjectByzantium
dc.subjectSyria
dc.subjectPilgrimage arts
dc.subjectLate antiquity
dc.subjectSymeon stylites
dc.subjectStamping
dc.subjectBaptism
dc.subjectPhenomenology
dc.titleAgent of touch and transformation : a pilgrimage token of Saint Symeon the Younger in the Menil collection
dc.date.updated2011-07-12T17:09:09Z
dc.identifier.slug2152/ETD-UT-2011-05-3459
dc.description.departmentArt History
dc.type.genrethesis*
thesis.degree.departmentArt History
thesis.degree.disciplineArt History
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts


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