CL209 – Late Antiquity: Imperial Rome, Mystery Religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam
A study of imagery during Late Antiquity—200-750 CE--through art, architecture, archaeological sites and texts. The course covers the visual arts in imperial Rome and Sassanid Persia, the mystery religions of Mithras, Isis and Dionysus as well as Judaism, Christianity and early Islam. We will study how the power of images was harnessed to convey religious meaning and convert adherents; how the imagery of pagan antiquity influenced the eventual formation of a Christian visual language; how the first monuments of Islamic art drew on pre-existing traditions. Monuments to be studied include the Arch of Constantine, sanctuaries of Mithras and Isis, catacomb paintings, synagogues and their mosaic floors, the religious buildings of Dura Europos, Christian basilicas and their decoration, the Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock. 1 unit
Prerequisite: Art History 111, 112 or consent of instructor.