Dr. Lynn Jones specializes in the medieval East: the Empire of Byzantium, the kingdoms of Armenia and Georgia and the Islamic Caliphates. Issues of medieval identity have informed much of her work. Her first book, Between Islam and Byzantium: Aght`amar and the Visual Construction of Medieval Armenian Rulership (2007), covers a period (885-1100 CE) when Armenia was a vassal state of the Abbasid Caliphate and a buffer zone between the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate. In it she demonstrates that the Armenian visual expression of power was modeled on the Abbasid paradigm, while the visual expression of Armenian piety reflected a specifically Armenian Orthodox view, eschewing all links with Byzantium and Greek Orthdoxy.
She is currently focusing on other aspects of identity. One project centers on Byzantine relics of the True Cross and their role as conveyors of eastern medieval identity. Her research explores how the Byzantine identity of these relics was perceived once they left the Empire and travelled to the West. Textual analysis paired with the examination of existing comparanda reveals patterns that add to our understanding of how non-Byzantine, non-Orthodox Christian cultures viewed Byzantium, how objects travelled and how Byzantine luxury works influenced production of similar objects in other lands and countries, in both style and form. Her published work on relics of the True Cross examines their reception in Merovingian Gaul, Anglo-Saxon England, tenth- and twelfth- century Armenia and the Latin Kingdoms of Jerusalem.
She is editor of, and contributed to, a festschrift, Byzantine Images and Their Afterlives: Essays in Honor of Annmarie Weyl Carr (Ashgate Publishing, 2014). The concepts linking the 12 papers written for the volume include the examination of form and meaning, the relationship between original and copy and reception and cultural identity in medieval art and architecture.
Dr. Jones is currently working on a monograph, The Cult of the Emperor in Middle Byzantine Art, 867-1056 (contracted with Routledge Press). The unique sanctity, and resultant cult, of Constantine I is a key focus of this work. The first half of the book focuses on Constantine and the ways in which his cult was shaped and promoted by the needs, desires, and circumstances of the Macedonian court, the Church, and the faithful. Particular focus is given to the ways in which he was venerated–the visual expression in art of his many ‘roles,’ in both Constantinople and Cappadocia. Attention then shifts to a suggested cult of Nikephoros II Phokas, examining the decorative programs of rock-cut churches in Cappadocia as well as contemporary texts, and luxury items produced by or for the imperial court in Constantinople. This also forces a re-evaluation of the relationship between Cappadocia and Constantinople, and thus the relationship between the perceived center and periphery in the Middle Byzantine period.
She is also co-editor, with Brad Hostetler, Assistant Professor, Kenyon College (FSU PhD 2016) of A Handbook of Byzantine Material Culture, a forthcoming volume in Routledge’s Material Culture Series.
Deirdre Carter: “Art, History, and the Creation of Monastic Identity at Late Medieval St. Albans Abbey” (Co-chair).
Brad Hostetler: “The Function of Text: Byzantine Reliquaries with Epigrams, 843-1204.”
List of FSU Art History dissertations
University Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2014
College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, 2015