Sean V. Leatherbury
August 1, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 472 Pages
ISBN 9781472459183 - CAT# Y256614
Series: Image, Text, and Culture in Classical Antiquity
Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity considers the Greek and Latin texts inscribed in churches and chapels in the late antique Mediterranean (c. 300-800 CE), compares them to similar texts from pagan, Jewish, and Muslim spaces of worship, and explores how they functioned both textually and visually.
These texts not only recorded the names and prayers of the faithful, but were powerful verbal and visual statements of cultural values and religious beliefs, conveying meaning through their words as well as through their appearances. In fact, the two were intimately connected. All of these texts—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and pagan—acted visually, embracing their own materiality as mosaic, paint, or carved stone. Colourful and artfully arranged, the inscriptions framed human relationships with the divine, encouraged responses from readers, and made prayers material. In the first in-depth examination of the inscriptions as words and as images, the author reimagines the range of aesthetic, cultural, and religious experiences that were possible in spaces of worship.
Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity is essential reading for those interested in Roman, late antique, and Byzantine material and visual culture, inscriptions and other texts, and religious life in the ancient Mediterranean.
List of figures
Chapter One: Introduction
Writing and reading in the temple
Literacy as red herring?
Chapter Two: Material texts
The colors and surfaces of texts
Colorful texts and their contexts
Textual materiality and immateriality
Texts in (and of) pieces
Colored texts, colored forms
For the love of materials
Chapter Three: Framing texts, framing belief
Framing the late antique frame
Framing texts in the Roman world: The tabula ansata
Tabulae from sculpture to mosaic
Framing in circles
Object frames and Christian innovation
Framing religious experience
Chapter Four: Ekphrasis and experience
Ekphrasis on the move
Reading in motion
Responding to interiors
Reading and voicing voice
Chapter Five: Embedding texts into images
The origins and functions of Christian "titles"
Tituli on and off the page
Tituli in the east
From wall to floor: Reading texts underfoot
Viewing sacred speech: The unfurled scroll
From scroll to book
Titles for images?
Chapter Six: Embedded prayers
Prayer in the late antique world
Praying in motion
Motives and modes of prayer
Sanctifying the interior, part by part
Writing, reading, seeing, praying
Prayers for the faithful
Conclusion: Reading and seeing faith