Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyads

Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyad, by Garth Fowden and Elizabeth Key Fowden

From the stony desolation of Jordan’s desert, it is but a step through a doorway into the bath house of the Qusayr ‘Amra hunting lodge. Inside, multicolored frescoes depict scenes from courtly life and the hunt, along with musicians, dancing girls, and naked bathing women. The traveler is transported to the luxurious and erotic world of a mid-eighth-century Muslim Arab prince. For scholars, though, Qusayr ‘Amra, probably painted in the 730s or 740s, has proved a mirage, its concreteness dissolved by doubts about date, patron, and meaning. This is the first book-length contextualization of the mysterious monument through a compelling analysis of its iconography and of the literary sources for the Umayyad period. It illuminates not only the way of life of the early Muslim elite but also the long afterglow of late antique Syria.

Garth Fowden and Elizabeth Key Fowden, Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyads (Μελετήματα 34)

Revue des études byzantines 2006










Churches in Medieval Hungary

Cathedrals and parish churches surviving from the Middle Ages are among the greatest achievements of architecture attracting a lot of tourists today, but not many visitors are aware of their origin, rank, and function. When studying about English arts foreign students need to be aware of fundamental ecclesiastical concepts, have a thorough knowledge of the historical background and art terminology not only in connection with England, but, in my experience, with their native country as well. Though the structure of the Church was basically similar in the two countries, there were fundamental differences in the size and number of (arch)dioceses and parishes. In this paper I will concentrate mainly on the territorial formation of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the eleventh century, which was a decisive period in both England and Hungary, and will conclude with a short description of the present situation.
2 – The Early Period of Lawmaking in Medieval Hungary



4 – Between Rome and Constantinople: The Religious Structure of Medieval Hungary (13th-14th Centuries)




Byzantine Church in Medieval Hungary

1 – The Role of the Byzantine Church in Medieval Hungary
Gyula Moravcsik
The American Slavic and East European Review
Vol. 6, No. 3/4 (Dec., 1947), pp. 134-151
ACCORDING TO the evidence found in historical records, the first influences of the Byzantine Christian mission had reached the Magyars prior to the conquest of present Hungary while they were still on the shores of the Black Sea. As I have proved in detail in an earlier treatise, we must surmise that, when they took possession of their present land, the Magyar people had brought with them a knowledge of Christianity.
2 – Churches since the Establishment of the Hungarian Kingdom up to Modern Times
The first Hungarian Christian ruler, King Stephen I (997–1038) issued several charters that have survived to this day. One of them is the charter issued on behalf of the nuns from the Monastery of the Holy Theotokos in Veszprémvölgy. The charter was written in the Greek language, and has been the subject of many studies. The original has not been preserved; what remains is a copy from the time of King Coloman, dated to 1109. The charter has not been published in a critical edition in any language other than Hungarian and even though it has been examined by numerous Hungarian scholars, many questions remain open. The aim of the author is to provide a critical edition and an English translation of the charter, but also to clarify some remaining doubts about the charter and its contents. Furthermore, some comparisons will be made with the Byzantine charters issued at the beginning of the 11th and during the 12th century.

A Concise History of the Armenian People

Source: Book: A History of the Armenian People_Ancient times to AD 1500

1492063759«The early edition of the much praised A History of the Armenian People in 2 volumes was the first comprehensive and objective history of the Armenians from ancient times to the early 1990s in English. It was adopted as a required text and used as a basis for lectures by instructors of Armenian history. Ten thousand copies later, the dwindling supplies, continuing demand, as well as the current political importance of the region have necessitated a revised and updated edition. The book examines the history of the Armenians in relation to that of the rest of the world. Its main purpose is to familiarize Armenians and non-Armenians with a people and culture that is absent from most history courses and texts.
The first part of the study discusses the origins of the Armenians, the Urartian Kingdom, Armenia and the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman, Sasanid and Byzantine periods. It also examines Christinaity in Armenia and the development of an alphabet and literature. The work then continues with the history of Armenia during the Arab, Turkish and Mongol periods. A separate chapter deals with the history of Cilician Armenia and the Crusades». Source

The Church’s involvement in the economic life of Early Christian Greek towns

Zisimou-Tryfonidi, Eirini (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.


Inscription-ICG-746_editiontopoiThis thesis wishes to draw attention to the economic, social and political implications of the rise and establishment of the institutional Church in Early Christian Greece, particularly by exploring the pilgrimage, philanthropic and industrial function of the churches’ annexes. The diverse functions of churches annexes, besides reflecting a social dimension, they also reflect economic and political realities that require the development of an interdisciplinary approach, based on civil and ecclesiastical legislation, archaeology, epigraphy, history and theology, in order to explore the extent and the effects of the institutional Church’s activity in Greece. Interpreting Christian archaeology in key excavated sites of Greece by interweaving literary and material evidence both of ecclesiastical and secular origin, will help not only to ascertain how churches stood in relation to adjoining buildings combining religious and economic purposes, but also to restore to the most possible extent the Early Christian Greek urban and rural topographies.


The Role and Status of the Catholic Church in the Church-State Relationship Within the Roman Empire from A.D. 306 to 814

Jean Carlos Zukowski, Andrews University



This study analyzes and compares information from historical documents on the role and status of the church in the development of church-state relationships within the Roman Empire from A.D. 306 to 814 (from Constantine’s ascendancy to the throne, to Charlemagne’s death).

After the introductory chapter, chapter 2 analyzes church-state relationships at the time of Constantine. The chapter presents the Christian and Roman ways of understanding religion before Constantine, the changes that occurred because of Constantine’s conversion to Catholicism, and his religious policies.

Chapter 3 analyzes the church-state relationships that existed form the time of Constantine’s sons to the reign of Justinian. During this time, Catholicism replaced paganism and the Roman senate in the religious and political life of the empire. Also, it examines the development of the papacy and Justinian’s religious policies.

Chapter 4 analyzes the church-state relationship during the reign of Clovis. It analyzes the significance of Clovis’s conversion to Catholicism and to the political life of Gaul and the empire, as well as his model of church-state relations.

Chapter 5 analyzes the church-state relationship from Pope Gregory the great to the time of Charlemagne. It discusses Charlemagne’s religious policies and the importance of the Catholic Church and the papacy to the Frankish empire and the legitimacy of the Carolingian dynasty. It presents the papacy’s struggle for political power and its independence from the eastern empire after its alliance with the Frankish kings.

Chapter 6 analyzes and compares the church-state relationships that existed during the reigns of the four political leaders covered in the previous chapters- Constantine, Justinian, Clovis, and Charlemagne. The chapter suggests that the church-state model adopted by Justinian was similar to that of Constantine and the one adopted by Charlemagne was similar to that of Clovis.


This study proposes that just as Constantine’s conversion and Charlemagne’s coronation are considered turning points in history, Clovis’s conversion and the reigns of Justinian and Vigilius can be considered tipping points for the beginning of the new European model of church-state relations and the fight for political supremacy by the papacy.

Subject Area

Church and state–Catholic Church–History, Church and state–History, Church and state–Rome–History, Catholic Church–History, Church history–Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600


The Black Death, Plague, and Mass Mortality

Andree Beauchamp
University of Manitoba
black-death-mass-graves1Abstract: Cultural funerary practices typically entail a set of common rituals, ceremonies, and treatments that are common to the cultural group. These practices are adhered to unless there is a significant culture change or the community experiences a catastrophe such as war, natural disaster, or epidemic. When such periods of disaster spread over a large territory and are experienced for a long period of time, such as during the epidemic of Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages, it could be argued that the mass burials become a funerary practice in itself. There is value in identifying these catastrophic samples. By identifying the pattern of these mass burials researchers can identify such catastrophic examples with greater ease and place this distinct funerary situation within the larger context of funerary practices. The goal of this research is to distinguish the burial practices employed in Europe during the epidemic of Black Death from standard funerary practices at that time period and define the shift in burial practice as a funerary practice in itself. The pattern of mass burial observed during the Black Death epidemic will then be compared to other instances of mass burial to determine whether different causes for mass death and burial can be distinguished in the funerary practice.

004_The Black Death, Plague, and Mass Mortality







Understanding Early Christian Art integrates the motifs and subjects of early Christian art with the symbols and themes of early Christian literature and liturgy. The book begins with an analysis of the non-narrative subjects of early Christian art, for example the Good Shepherd, the praying figure, and fish and birds. The book then explores the narrative images, portraits, and dogmatically orientated figures found in Roman catacomb painting, sarcophagus relief sculpture, and early mosaics, ivories and manuscript illumination. The parallels between biblical exegesis as found in early homilies and catechetical documents and images portraying particular biblical figures are also discussed. Finally, the book examines iconographic themes such as Jonah, Daniel, Abraham offering Isaac, and Adam and Eve. Understanding Early Christian Art offers an insightful, erudite, and lavishly illustrated analysis of the meaning and message of early Christianity as revealed in the texts and images of the early Christians.

The Beauty of the Cross

A book: vilades1 (see:

The Beauty of the Cross
The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts, from the Catacombs to theEve of the Renaissance by Richard Viladesau
1. The Beauty and the Scandal of the Cross, 3
2. The Cross in the New Testament and the Patristic Paradigm, 19
3. The Monastic Paradigm and the Romanesque Style, 57
4. The Theology of High Scholasticism and Gothic Art, 87
5. Nominalism, Naturalism, and the Intensification of Passion
Piety, 137
Appendix: Web Sites for Viewing Artworks, 174
Notes, 175
Index, 211


by Richard Viladesau

C7ycfJ5XwAAk6hTThis volume represents the first part of a study of the concept and the symbol of the cross in Christian theology and imagination. Eachof the chapters will examine the theology of the cross in both its conceptual and aesthetic mediations within a specific historical context, from the early church to the eve of the Renaissance.
The first chapter is methodological. After explaining the notion of aesthetic theology and its relationship to theoretical, conceptual theology, it sets forth the specific problem to be examined here: the Christian perception of “the cross”—that is, the suffering and death of Jesus—as a salvific event. Finally, it deals with the ideas of paradigms, styles, and classics that will guide the progress of the book’sexposition.
The following chapters attempt to correlate theological paradigms of interpretation of the cross—that is, a particular aspect of Christian soteriology—with artistic styles that were more or lesscontemporaneous with the theological ideas of each paradigm, or that illustrate a parallel theological attitude.
Each chapter begins with a representation of the crucifix that in some way exemplifies the focus of the chapter. There follows an examination of themes from representative theological writings on soteriology and a consideration of artistic developments that are to some extent parallel, or that can be seen to embody similar themes and reactions to the cross. The general method, then, is one of correlation between two kinds of interpretation of the Christian tradition and of human experience: between theology as explicit systematic
thought and as affective and communicative images. The justification and general principles of a method that takes the aesthetic realm as a theological locus have been expressed in my previous works, and here willonly be briefly summarized.
Within the aesthetic realm, this volume will emphasize especially visual and poetic art, both liturgical and nonliturgical. Poetry (including especially the texts of hymns) often provides a clear but also imaginative and affective expression of theological ideas. Visual images of the passion can also be correlated to general theological themes; but, as we shall see, their connection to more particular theories of salvation is often ambiguous. The illustrations will allow us to look closely at several classical works that are representative of larger movements in art. Other visual artworks referred to in the text unfortunately
cannot be reproduced here; but in an appendix I refer the reader to various
Web sites where they may be viewed.
This book is intended for a general audience: educated lay people, students, artists who wonder about theology, theologians who have little knowledge of the arts. But I hope it may also to be of use to scholars who wish to pursue the topic further. Hence I have included footnotes not only to indicate my sources and occasionally to suggest further lines of thought but also to provide a number of significant theological quotations in their original language.
Finally, it should be noted that my ultimate project is one of systematic theology. This book is not intended as a text in historical theology, per se, nor, a fortiori, as art history. It is rather an exploration of historical themes, ideas, and images that are the necessary background to a contemporary theology of the cross. I have therefore not pursued in detail many questions of dating, influence, and context that would be important to the historian. On such topics, this book needs the complement of more detailed studies by specialists. On
the other hand, this volume remains within the realm of exposition of historical data, and within a limited period. A projected future volume will extend this study from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, and will undertake the further task of correlation of these historical data with contemporary intepretations of Christian experience.