Late Antique Rome as a Christian Memorial Landscape
LATE ANTIQUE ROME AS A CHRISTIAN MEMORIAL LANDSCAPE
Extra-canonical Texts, Liturgy, and Material Culture
The city of Rome does not feature prominently in the Bible; nevertheless, it developed a differentiated memorial landscape in Christian Late Antiquity. The Eternal City derived its lasting importance for the new and increasingly dominant religion not only from its political role as capital of the Roman empire, but also from the ideological significance of the martyrdom of the princes of the Apostles. While, however, the narrative about Paul in the canonical Acts of the Apostles ends in the Roman capital, only extra-ca- nonical traditions tell us about the later life and final fate of Peter. All the more prolific was speculation “Beyond the Canon”. Legends, memorial traditions, and cult developed in a circle, producing a rich apocryphal literature of various genres, a wealth of monuments that stand out to this day, and a stational liturgy which eventually was to shape the worship of the whole Latin West.
The envisaged Summer School will explore the stupendous importance of extra-canonical traditions and the complex interplay between texts, rituals, and material culture in the formation and development of the Christian memorial landscape in late antique Rome. It shall investigate the literary heritage of extra-canonical writings, trace their influence in archaeology, iconography, and art, and explore how they reverberate even in the Roman liturgy which on its surface appears ex-tremely Biblicist. Although the primary focus will be on Late Antiquity, the long-term reception history in later periods with their magnificent rituals, art and architecture will not be neglected.
We shall spend ca. half of the time in the classroom and half of the time on-site visiting the monuments. Lectures by the supervisors, common rea- ding of extracts from key sources, and contributions by the participants will alternate and be indented with autopsy of outstanding monuments, some of which are not regularly open to the wider public. Instruction language will be English.
More information can be found here.