Danijela Tešić Radovanović deposited Representing Light. Symbolism of Early Christian Lamp Decorations from Central Balkan Region (4th till 7th Centuries)/ Представљање светлости. Симболика украса ранохришћанских светиљки са простора централног Балкана (IV-VII век) in the group Byzantine Studies on Humanities Commons 3 years, 6 months ago
The aim of this research, focusing on representations of light and the symbolism of early Christian lamp decorations, has been to examine and summarise the existing knowledge of the symbolism of light in the Mediterranean region and the models by which this symbolism was manifested in the early Christian visual culture. Lamps with Early Christian representations, whose cult significance and decoration are in direct relation with the symbolic aspects of light, are considered in the context of transculturality of Late Antiquity, as well as political and religious changes that marked the period. Thus, the research focus has been transferred from iconographic analysis to interdisciplinary iconological research, which, apart from the meaning of the image, examines the role of objects in certain cultural and religious contexts, as well as the observer’s attitude towards the lamp as the vessel of light. In order to identify the aspects of light symbolism it was necessary to observe the beginnings of the interaction of man with fire, the first source of artificial light, presumed to instigate the earliest cult actions. The cult role of light and fire as archetypal symbols, as well as of the lamps perceived as mediators through which light symbolism is manifested, was subsequently analysed within the various religious practices of the Mediterranean. Particular attention is dedicated to the meaning of light, fire and lamps in the Old and New Testaments, being the direct source of Christian symbolism of light.