Slumber under divine protection: from vague pagan hopes to Christian belief
Reason for embargo
This paper focusses on the most popular Christian and non-Christian images from the funerary realm in order to explore the relationship between Christian and non-Christian Roman art, and to discuss methodological issues related to modern attempts at establishing their meaninng. At a methodological level, it argues for an approach that cautions against giving primacy to texts, and that takes the images and their language seriously as a source for a better understanding of ancient thought in a range of contexts and across a range of lay people. At a thematic level, it argues that Christians and non-Christians shared key ideas about what may come after death. They hoped for peaceful rest, for delivery from the toil and pain of earthly existence, and for divine presence and protection. This state was often illustrated by sleeping figures, who constituted the single most popular narrative subject in both Christian and non-Christian funerary art.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from de Gruyter via the link in this record.
Slumber under divine protection: from vague pagan hopes to Christian belief, in Hömke N, Chiai GF, Jenik A (eds) Bilder von dem Einen Gott. Die Rhetorik des Bildes in monotheistischen Gottesdarstellungen der römischen Spätantike, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016
Place of publication