God and Gold in Late Antiquity

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Overview

This study explains the rise of the Christian grandeur of great churches from late antiquity and the middle ages. From the fourth century churches were paid for in gold--and were often decorated with it--in apparent contradiction to Christ's message of poverty and simplicity. Previous books have focussed either upon art historical imagery or upon theological disputes. This pioneering study employs modern theories concerning imagery and allegory to enable us to understand the ancient and medieval world view and the textual and artistic legacy of that age.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"His eclectic and combined methodology effectively aligns language and art to address fundemental questions of symbolic communication and interpretation in late antiquity." Church History

"...the readership for this book will not be limited to specialists, for Jane's graceful, jargon-free style will certainly appeal to a wider circle." John Charles Arnold, Religious Studies Review

"There is much valuable information here, and I recommend this book to students of late antiquity..." The Catholic Historical Review

"...Janes's painstaking analysis of the theme results in an interesting and illuminating book...[which] provides important new insights into the perceptions and attitudes of those who lived through that complex period of history when the classical world was transforming itself into the early-medieval one. It should be widely read and will inspire further debate and research." Speculum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521594035
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Pages: 225
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of illustrations
Note on conventions
List of abbreviations
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Roman Splendour 18
The triumph of the Christians 42
Ch. 3 The Riches of Scripture 61
Literary symbolism: Latin exegesis 63
Treasures in heaven 84
Ch. 4 The Art of Persuasion 94
Visual symbolism: Christian wall mosaics 105
The taste for brilliance 139
Ch. 5 The Christian Display of Wealth 153
Epilogue 165
Bibliography 170
Index 207
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