Franz Joseph Dölger-Institut

zur Erforschung der Spätantike

Das Holzrelief mit der »Befreiung einer belagerten Stadt« im Museum für Byzantinische Kunst in Berlin. Eine neue Deutung

JbAC 61 (2018) Seiten: 71-83

mit Taf. 3-4. - A wood relief in the »Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst« in Berlin (Inv. 4782), generally dated to the fifth century, shows the liberation of a besieged city. This article proposes an interpretation of this relief as showing the liberation of the city of Orléans from the hunnic siege in 451, which is mentioned in contemporary and later sources. Attila’s failure to conquer this strategically important city, one of the few that managed to withstand, foreshadowed the negative result of the battle on the Catalaunian Plains and was an important event in the Hunnic wars. The iconographic elements correspond to the information from the written sources. If this interpretation is correct, the relief was probably produced before the death of Aetius, visible in the center of the relief, who was murdered in 454. It may have been part of a series of historic reliefs and indicates that this genre of Roman art still existed in fifth-century-art in the West.

Jutta Dresken-Weiland