Urban and Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Urban and Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium

1st Edition

By Jean-Michel Spieser


358 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788515
pub: 2001-07-27
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Professor Spieser deals here with a number of the transformations that took place in the world of Late Antiquity - and early Christianity - focusing upon notions of space. The first set of articles, opening with a newly-written introductory essay, addresses the development of urban landscapes from the Roman period up to the iconoclast era in Byzantium. In particular, he looks at the consequences of christianisation, and argues that the changing fortunes of the town cannot be attributed to a few causes, such as war or natural disaster, but resulted from a complex interplay between the economy and ideology, religion and politics. A second group, concerned with the relationship of 'late antique' man with his surroundings, and therefore his perception of space, sets out to explain how the decoration of churches - on apses, for example, or on doors - reflects new senses of how religious spaces should be organised. Six of these studies have been translated into English for this volume, and it ends with an important section of additional notes and comment.


'… the characteristics of Spieser's scholarship are manifest: assiduous study of art and archaeology, generally set in a wide context of theology and urbanism, close familiarity with Patristic and later religious sources as well as with the vast relevant bibliography…' Revue des Études Byzantines 'Spieser's insights into how space shapes religious experience and theological reflection are the hallmark of this superb collection, which belongs in theological and university libraries.' Religious Studies Review '… his essays include some extremely insightful and helpful observations about the symbolism of space in the early Christian period…' The Heythrop Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The city in late antiquity: a re-evaluation; La ville en Grèce du IIIe au VIIe siècle; The Christianisation of the city in late antiquity; L’evolution de la ville byzantine de l’époque paléochrétienne à l’iconoclasme; Caricin Grad et les routes; The Christianisation of pagan sanctuaries in Greece; Ambrose’s foundations at Milan and the question of Martyria; Les remparts de Thessalonique: à propos d'un livre récent; Note sur le rempart maritime de Thessalonique; Philon de Byzance et les fortifications paléochrétiennes; Remarques sur Saint-Démétrius de Thessalonique; Further remarks on the mosaic of Hosios David; The iconographic programme of the Doors of Santa Sabina; A propos du linteau d'Al-Moallaqa; Doors, boundaries and the use of space in early Christian churches; The representation of Christ in the apses of early Christian churches; Le développement du templon et les images des Douze Fêtes; Comparatisme et diachronie: à propos de l’histoire de l’iconographie dans le monde paléochrétien et byzantin; Addenda; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General