Offerenteninschriften auf den frühchristlichen Mosaikfussböden Venetiens und Istriens

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W. de Gruyter, Jan 1, 2001 - Architecture - 306 pages

From the 4th century, following the imperial edicts of toleration and the conversion of Emperor Constantine, Christianity could take on a more public form, building and decorating its places of worship and assembly in line with its own needs.

The marvellous mosaic floors of churches from the late antique period on the Northern Adriatic are impressive monuments to early Christian archaeology and culture. The author examines these pavements with their inscriptions, known as offertory inscriptions. They give details of the names of the sponsors and their contributions to the relevant mosaic floor. The first part of the volume provides a historical overview, in which the author demonstrates how the distinctive yet enigmatic tradition of using floors as a medium for text and illustration can be traced back to ancient pagan times. In the region studied, of Histria and Venetia, the custom of inlaid mosaic floor decoration was already widespread before it came to be used in church buildings around the Mediterranean. The second part of the study examines the historical architectural and religious characteristics of the Adriatic offertory inscriptions, which reveal information both about contemporary church organisation and about liturgical customs and views of salvation. "

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