Archive for the ‘antiquities’ Category

6th Century Christian Artifact

November 8, 2011

This news fromWaPo:

“A tiny, exquisitely made box found on an excavated street in Jerusalem is a token of Christian faith from 1,400 years ago, Israeli archaeologists said Sunday.

An Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) restorer displays a Byzantine 0.8 by 0.6-inch (2 by 1.5cm) Christian icon box made of bone with a cross carved on the lid in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. The was likely carried by a Christian believer who lost it on one of Jerusalem' s streets around the end of the 6th century A.D. Archaeologist Yana Tchekhanovets of the Israel Antiquities Authority says the box is unique and offers the first archaeological evidence that the use of icons in the Byzantine period was not limited to church ceremonies.

The box, carved from the bone of a cow, horse or camel, decorated with a cross on the lid and measuring only 0.8 inches by 0.6 inches (2 centimeter by 1.5 centimeter), was likely carried by a Christian believer around the end of the 6th century A.D, according to Yana Tchekhanovets of the Israel Antiquities Authority, one of the directors of the dig where the box was found.

When the lid is removed, the remains of two portraits are still visible in paint and gold leaf. The figures, a man and a woman, are probably Christian saints and possibly Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

The box was found in an excavation outside the walls of Jerusalem’ s Old City in the remains of a Byzantine-era thoroughfare, she said. Uncovered two years ago, it was treated by preservation experts and extensively researched before it was unveiled at an archaeological conference last week.

The box is important in part because it offers the first archaeological evidence that the use of icons in the Byzantine period was not limited to church ceremonies, she said.

Part of a similar box was found three decades ago in Jordan, but this is the only well-preserved example to be found so far, she said. Similar icons are still carried today by some Christian believers, especially from the eastern Orthodox churches.

The relic was found in the City of David excavation, a Jerusalem dig named for the biblical monarch believed to have ruled a Jewish kingdom from the site.

The politically sensitive dig is located in what is today the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, just outside the Old City walls in east Jerusalem, the section of the holy city captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and claimed by the Palestinians as their capital.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Anatomical Reliquaries

May 1, 2010

This may have been one of the reasons old Martin Luther blew a gasket in his day. Any Protestants out there (peace be to you) reading this should know: we don’t worship our saints. Although the meaning of the word “worship” is a sort of portmanteau of “worth-ship”, to declare the worth of something or someone–in that sense we worship anyone when we attribute a value to them. But I digress, precious anatomical reliquaries are a beautiful Catholic tradition dating back at least 12oo years.

Can you guess which body part each of these reliquaries contains?:

Fine Print

February 26, 2010

Nice finds from BibliOdyssey:

‘New Testament’
Silver metal on black leather
Binder unknown, 1710

‘The Bible’
Sharkskin and silver metal-ware
Binder unknown, 1775

‘Book of Hours of Catherine de Medici’
Black morocco leather and plated enamel locks
Binder unknown, 1565

Christian Treasure Hoards of Europe:

January 31, 2010

From the Treasure of Gourdon; lost around 524, recovered in 1845. The hoard features a chalice and paten in Merovingian style:

The Chalice of Ardagh; lost between 8th and 9th centuries, discovered in 1868. Beaten silver, gold, copper and semiprecious crystal:

From the Treasure of Guarrazar; Date lost unknown, discovered 1858. The votive-crown of King Reccesuinth, by which he offered the Church a token of his orthodoxy:

San Pietro in Vincoli

January 11, 2010

“And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird yourself and put on your sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast your garment about you and follow me, and going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. 10 And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him.” –Acts 12.

St. Peter in Chains is unremarkable on the outside. On the inside, however, it contains a great treasure. The chains from two of St. Peter’s imprisonments. They fused together miraculously when Leo the Great held them together. Oh, and Michelangelo’s masterpiece (he was a sculptor, not a painter) the tomb of Julius II.

3227969322_b7b8769cb4_b

It was originally designed to be about 2/3 bigger. Still it is one heck of a tomb.

This is the guy who build St. Peter’s basilica more or less. You can thank him in the hereafter.

3516930998_115800e103_b

2738049215_2b84a1f6aa_b

3073656945_b225440022_b

Closer Look: Medieval Embroidered Mitres

January 4, 2010

See a previous post on the origins and meaning of the Mitre in the West here:

4177145738_955e3fd2b6_b

Mitrefr

New Papal Ferula

November 28, 2009

Brought to our attention by the NLM, Pope Benedict will now be using a new staff, the so-called ferula (seen below), which was given to him by the Circolo San Pietro.

The new staff:

 The old staff (and the old pallium too!):

An older papal tradition to note, the tri-beam cross:

Update: Fr G. has posted a great pic of the new cross in action today at the Holy Father’s celebration of First Vespers of Advent today in Rome:

 

Closer Look: Medieval and Renaissance Sarcophagi

October 28, 2009

Welcome Home!

October 25, 2009

To all of those in the Traditional Anglican Communion who will soon be joining us in full unity with the Church of Rome: welcome home!

A few images from TAC churches:

“As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am 7 they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

–Jn 17:21

Closer Look: Ecclesiastical Rings

October 2, 2009

Cameo of the face of Christ:

Inverse Signets:

My favorite: A Gospel Book