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Refiguring the Post-Classical City

Refiguring the Post-Classical City
Dura Europos, Jerash, Jerusalem and Ravenna

  • Date Published: March 1996
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 2009
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521481854

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  • Refiguring the Post-Classical City examines the 'Christianisation' of four important Mediterranean centers at critical moments in a cultural paradigm shift, from classical to post-classical, that occurred from the third to sixth century. Tracing the partial displacement of traditional Greco-Roman cultural codes by an alternative set of Christian practices and signs, it presents a critical assessment of specific sites, including the Synagogue at Dura, the Temple of Artemis at Jerash, and the Baptistry in Ravenna. Through an analysis of the actions and audiences that occupied these spaces, Annabel Jane Wharton assesses the performative characteristics of architectural and pictorial space in late antiquity, arguing that changes in form both reveal and inform social meaning. Her study makes clear that art works and monuments were powerful protagonists in the violent ideological struggles that marked the rise of Christianity. Wharton also examines the historiography of her subject to demonstrate how post-classical works have been exploited at various historical moments in the construction of nationalism, fascism, and western civilisation.

    • Application of contemporary theory to the history of pre-modern cultural production
    • Critical assessment of the politics of the historiography of ancient Jewish and Christian art
    • Revised understanding of familiar monuments by considering them as an active part of the ceremonies staged within them
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1996
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521481854
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 262 x 209 x 21 mm
    • weight: 1.026kg
    • contains: 58 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 2009
  • Table of Contents

    1. The scholarly frame: Orientalism and the construction of late ancient art history
    2. Dura Europos
    3. Jerash and Jerusalem
    4. Ravenna
    5. The popular frame: the use and reuse of monuments.

  • Author

    Annabel Jane Wharton, Duke University, North Carolina

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