Adjunct Professor Brings History to Life with Hands-On Assignment

We love seeing the artistic sides of our students! During the Spring 2023 semester, Adjunct professor Joshua Mayes brought history to the present with his Byzantine mosaic assignment. His HIST 115 students really knocked it out of the park, creating beautiful artwork & tying the symbolism featured in their images to Byzantine culture. Read on for all the details:
The students formed groups and worked on a 12×12 ceramic tile to create Byzantine-style mosaics. The parameters of the assignment consisted of Byzantine themes that would have been found in private residences or houses of worship such as basilicas like the great church, Hagia Sophia, or Church of Holy Wisdom in modern-day Istanbul, previously Constantinople.
They created mosaics of Justinian who codified the Roman Law code (his image is in the House of Representatives) and built the 2nd Hagia Sophia after the first one burnt down. A simple cross mosaic that replaced many icons during the Iconoclasm in Byzantine society and several mosaics of a fish representing Christianity. One group made a mosaic of Jesus.
All mosaics were beautifully done and the students did an excellent job explaining the symbolism of the images and how they framed Byzantine culture. The pieces of glass, shell, and gold/copper/silver leaf really made the mosaics pop! As the students worked on the projects, I had Greek Orthodox music playing to inspire their Byzantine creations!”

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