3D SCHOLARLY EDITIONS FOR BYZANTINE STUDIES: MULTIMEDIA VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS FOR HISTORY, ART HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY
Keywords: Byzantine Empire, 3D modelling, Scholarly edition, Multimedia visual representation
Abstract. The Byzantine Empire has bequeathed to us a rich legacy of Christian churches, many of which possess historical and cultural significance. Unfortunately, the majority of these structures are currently undergoing a process of decay, having not received adequate preservation efforts. Moreover, the absence of collaboration between researchers in the various fields, each with their own focus on the study of Byzantine churches, presents a pressing need for dialogue and a collective response from these researchers. The region of Laconia, located in the south of Greece, is particularly in need of immediate attention, given the abundance of churches located therein. To address these challenges, the authors propose a novel approach involving the documentation of these churches in a digital format through the presentation of 3D models as scholarly editions that incorporate all available data sets in a multimedia format. This paper delineates several requisite specifications for 3D scholarly editions, which hold the key to solving the twin problems faced by Byzantine churches, namely, their protection and the scarcity of interdisciplinary collaboration amongst researchers. With 3D scholarly editions based on multimedia resources and adequate information management, it will be possible to facilitate collaboration and research between various fields of Byzantine studies, and beyond. Such efforts will serve to ensure that cultural heritage passed down from previous generations will be transmitted to future ones.