In this exceedingly rich and wide-ranging study, Elena Boeck projects brilliant shafts of light onto a famous but obscure monument. A colossal equestrian statue that stood for a millennium on a towering column, The Bronze Horseman of Justinian was an urban icon for a remade Constantinople. Far taller than Constantine’s column, or any other freestanding pillar or statue of New Rome, it dominated the city’s skyline alongside the dome of Hagia Sophia. As Boeck shows, it was the centerpiece of a new imperial forum, which Justinian was able to create because of the destruction that attended to his near downfall in 532. In this area devastated by the Nika riot, just north of the Hippodrome and imperial palace, where once stood the Baths of Zeuxippus and the Theodosian “Great Church,” the emperor remade the city center. Countless studies have considered Justinian’s greatest erection (here at pp. 47–53), his cathedral church...

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