For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-cyprus
The island of Cyprus was for centuries part of the Byzantine Empire, the successor to the Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean.
“The Troödos mountain region of Cyprus contains one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The ten monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provide an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus and bear testimony to the variety of artistic influences affecting Cyprus over a period of 500 years. The structures display elements that were specific to Cyprus and were determined by its geography, history and climate, including steep-pitched wooden roofs with flat hooked tiles, in some cases providing a second roof over Byzantine masonry domes and vaulted forms, while exhibiting Byzantine metropolitan art of the highest quality. The architecture of these churches is unique, confined to the Troödos range and almost certainly of indigenous origin. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis. They also contain a wealth of dated inscriptions, an uncommon feature in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, which makes them particularly important for recording the chronology of Byzantine painting.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #351)
For a beautifully illustrated overview of the Byzantine Empire and its history, turn to pages 198–199 in your recommended homeschool history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books).
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we post one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (riverhouses.org/2019-wh-map), available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures have you been exploring in your homeschool this Cygnus Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s one-paragraph description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇨🇾
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historic sites of international importance. Download your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍