Monday, 1 August 2011

Péter Csigi - Early Christian Funerary Art in Sopianae/Pécs

Sopianae, part of the Roman province of Pannonia has an important early Christian cemetery. There is a great number of Christian graves in the city’s cemetery, but the most interesting buildings are the so called Early Christian Mausoleum, the Burial Chamber with the Jar, and particularly the Peter-Paul Burial chamber, all with wall paintings from the last third of the 4th century.
As a student member of the British Academy (BARDA) research group ‘Early Christian Iconography and Epigraphy – after Dölger’ (King's College London), my plan is to prove the iconographic programme of the painted burial vaults in Sopianae. I intend to use the fresh archaeological data from the excavations of the last decade, and reconstruct the theological, socio-cultural and artistic background of the place. This will be connected to the general development of early Christian imageries.
In accordance with the common aim of our team, my main focus will be on the early Christian use of 'pagan' images and the process of the mutual transformation of both 'paganism' and 'Christianity' in the interactive dialogue between early Christianity and Greco-Roman culture.

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