The Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art

Age_of_Spirituality_Late_Antique_and_Early_Christian_Art_Third_to_Seventh_Century

1977 was not only the year of Star Wars, it also heralded the Age of Spirituality!  As a follow up to the recent post on Byzantium and Islam, a special exhibit from 2012 with a permanent web presence, I note here that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made available for download a true monument of scholarship on early Christianity and Late Antiquity, produced in conjunction with one of the most important special exhibits ever (“hailed as one of the most important didactic exhibitions ever assembled by an art museum”), The Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century (Nov. 19, 1977-Feb. 12 1978). Continue reading

Byzantium and Islam: A Special/Web Exhibit at the Met

Museums large and small are not only digitizing their inventories; many now also create permanent websites for special exhibitions.  An excellent example of the latter is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition,” at the Met between March 14 and July 8 2012, one of the best presentations of the material culture of later Late Antiquity, which brought the now widespread academic trend of viewing early Islam within its historical context to a wider audience; Continue reading

Late Antique Inscriptions from Aphrodisias

Aphrodisias, a major site in Turkey where NYU has undertaken substantial excavations since 1961, now also has extensive online documentation for the period of Late Antiquity.  In 2004, Charlotte Roueché published the website “Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity,” an early example of the growing number of internet corpora of Greek and Latin inscriptions; this indeed represented a new stage in digital epigraphy, as it was the (exclusively online) second edition of her print book, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity: The Late Roman and Byzantine Inscriptions (SPRS, 1989).  While still available on the web, this site has been superseded by “Inscriptions of Aphrodisias” since 2007, an edition of all inscriptions discovered between 1961 and 1994, including a substantial number which were previously unpublished. Continue reading

Apocryphicity by Tony Burke

This important blog on Christian apocrypha was established about six years ago by Tony Burke of York University.  The author posts updates and commentary on recent scholarship about apocryphal literature, as reflected in publications, conferences, and on the web.  Burke, along with Brent Laundau of the University of Oklahoma, is co-editing the two-volume More Christian Apocrypha (forthcoming with Eerdmans, beginning 2013); his site also contains a useful breakdown of many apocryphal texts that will appear in this work, almost all of them highly interesting, but with no English translation and limited bibliography, which is duly provided.

http://www.tonyburke.ca/apocryphicity/

“The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and Codex Tchacos Fragments: Digital Images

The Coptic conference in Rome is off to a fast start!  Among the many interesting communications today at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, two concerned fascinating and unpublished apocryphal texts (fragments, unfortunately), digital images of which have graciously been made available online before their print publication, allowing scholars and the interested public to study them immediately.  Professor Karen King of Harvard presented a tiny, poorly-written portion of a manuscript page, owned by a private collector, which features a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which he mentions “my wife.” Continue reading

Christian Arabic on the Web

The growing field of Christian Arabic studies, which has been especially invigorated by the work of Sidney Griffith, especially The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam (Princeton, 2008), now enjoys an expanding web presence as well.  Given the restricted size of this discipline, The North American Society for Christian Arabic Studies is a professional organization which seems to be based entirely on its website, without membership dues.  Still, it has many of the same benefits as dues-based organizations (there are notices of upcoming conferences and events), as well as additional resources, including a large, member-generated bibliography of recent publications, arranged by year and dating back to 2000. Continue reading

Hmmlorientalia by Adam McCollum

This rich blog by Adam McCollum features posts connected to his work as lead cataloguer of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, Minnesota.  There are a number of interesting entries about manuscripts which he has examined, including observations about the field of Eastern Christian studies more generally (especially Armenian, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac), which is literally centuries behind Classics with respect to cataloguing and editing. Continue reading

A Bibliography on Christianity in Palestine/Eretz-Israel

This large bibliographical database covers all periods from the Roman Empire to the present.  Late Antiquity, with the development of the Christian Holy Land, is well represented.  Like the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity, it is hosted at Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity.  The bibliography can be browsed alphabetically by author, year, era (Roman Palestine, Byzantine Palestine, Islamic Period, Crusaders, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period, and Modernity), or according to a very large number of keywords based on tags for each entry, a feature that offers significant searching power. Continue reading

Virtual Reconstruction of Late Antique and Medieval Constantinople (Byzantium 1200)

This site offers a set of 3-d reconstructions with a CAD program of the major monuments of Constantantinople, as they appeared around 1200 (a few years before the city was sacked during the Fourth Crusade).  According to its introduction, Byzantium 1200 is the creation of an independent researcher (for whom no name is given), in collaboration with Albrecht Berger, then of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Istanbul, now Professor of Byzantine Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.

Each building was reconstructed using a combination of earlier sketches, ancient and medieval reports, and, in some cases, original on-site surveying in Constantinople. Continue reading

Islamic Stories and Tombs of Biblical Prophets

The personal website of Brannon Wheeler includes a number of interesting resources for early and medieval Islam.  There is a collection of pages on the biblical prophets, with a resume of Islamic traditions concerning them, abridged from his study of the Qisas al-anbiya, Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis (Continuum, 2002).  Manuscript illuminations are provided for each prophet, though they are not cited – my guess is that they are Persian and Ottoman.  An additional section contains pages on the tombs and shrines of prophets, accompanied by photographs of the contemporary site.  There is a growing field (though one with an extended and highly contested pedigree) on interconnections between early Islamic, Jewish, and Christian tradition, as evidenced, for example, by the recently announced Society for Qur’anic Studies, the organization of which is to be coordinated initially by the SBL. Continue reading