- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- The Archaeology of Early Christianity: The History, Methods, and State of a Field
- Archaeology of the Gospels
- New Testament Archaeology Beyond the Gospels
- The Catacombs
- Burials and Human Remains of the Eastern Mediterranean in Early Christian Context
- The Archaeology of Early Monastic Communities
- Baptisteries in Ancient Sites and Rites
- Baths, Christianity, and Bathing Culture in Late Antiquity
- The Art of the Catacombs
- Visual Rhetoric of Early Christian Reliquaries
- An <i>Anarchéologie</i> of Icons
- Spolia and the “Victory of Christianity”
- Early Christian Mosaics in Context
- Amulets and the Ritual Efficacy of Christian Symbols
- Christian Archaeology in Palestine: The Roman and Byzantine Periods
- The Church of the East Until the Eighth Century
- The Holy Island: An Archaeology of Early Christian Cyprus
- Asia Minor
- Community, Church, and Conversion in the Prefecture of Illyricum and the Cyclades
- The Early Christian Archaeology of the Balkans
- The Archaeology of Early Italian Churches in Context, 313–569 CE
- The Christianization of Gaul: Buildings and Territories
- Britain and Ireland, 100–700 CE
- Christian Landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula: The Archaeological Evidence (Fourth–Sixth Centuries)
- Incorporating Christian Communities in North Africa: Churches as Bodies of Communal History
- Archaeology of Early Christianity in Egypt
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter focuses on the visual language of early Christian reliquaries produced to contain fragments of sacred saints, sites, and events. It aims to describe and contextualize the representative as well as exceptional cases produced in various places, made of assorted materials, and decorated with diverse and elaborated decorative programs. The chapter illustrates nuances and approaches that were in use throughout the period. Moreover, it shows that the visual rhetoric—that is, the frame, composition, and selection of motifs and scenes—is capable of implying something about the dynamics of the inanimate object and the type of memory it contains. This allows us to discover clues about the visual preferences of the faithful, whether they were exalted bishops or simple pilgrims seeking heaven on earth.
Galit Noga-Banai, Associate Professor in Late Antique and Medieval Art at the Department of the History of Art, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
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