- 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
Lamps with Christian imagery are among the earliest and most easily identifiable material witnesses to early Christian communities in the Roman Empire, but lamps employed by Christians were not confined to those adorned with religious images and symbols. This chapter presents an overview of the types of clay, metal, and glass lamps owned and used by Christians and discusses their functions in daily, funerary, ecclesiastical, and other ritual contexts. Continuities with and departures from earlier Roman practices are highlighted, while the emergence of a specifically Christian decorative repertory is associated both with the wish of early Christians to express their distinct religious identity in material terms and with the gradual elaboration of a Christian symbolism of light. The need for more focused, contextualized studies of lamps within the framework of Christian archaeology remains a desideratum for future research.
Maria Parani is Lecturer in Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art and Archaeology, University of Cyprus.
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