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Isidoros and Anthemios

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Works Hagia Sophia, at Istanbul, Turkey, 532 to 537.

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Biography Isidoros and Anthemios

(First half of sixth century)

Anthemios and Isidoros lived in the first half of the sixth century. Anthemios was born in the ancient city of Tralles in Asia Minor (in the area encompassed by modern Turkey) and probably studied in Alexandria, speaking Greek. An experimental scientist and theoretician, he easily assumed mastery over the technical aspects of architecture. Although a splendid artist, Anthemios gained most recognition for his design of the Hagia Sophia on which he worked with Isidoros.

An architect, engineer, and scholar, Isidoros was born in Miletus (in the area encompassed by modern Turkey) and presumably received his education in Constantinople. Although historians often consider him Anthemios's engineer, he probably worked as an architect-engineer with Anthemios assuming the role of senior partner. Although the two probably worked on several projects together, their only certain conglomeration occurred with the Hagia Sophia.

Some authorities avoid calling Anthemios and Isidoros architects in the traditional sense of the word, but their innovative work on the Hagia Sophia marks them as more than engineers. Borrowing from Roman Imperial, late antique, and early Christian concepts, they designed and built the major monument of Byzantine architecture. All the traditional churches of the Byzantine, Slavic, Orthodox worlds, built over the past 1400 years descend in some form or other from their original design.

References
Adolf K Placzek. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. Vol. 1. London: The Free Press, 1982. ISBN 0-02-925000-5. NA40.M25. p84-87.

Adolf K Placzek. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. Vol. 2. London: The Free Press, 1982. ISBN 0-02-925000-5. NA40.M25. p467-468.

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