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Mosaics of Faith : Floors of Pagans, Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land - Rina Talgam

Mosaics of Faith

Floors of Pagans, Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land


Published: 15th February 2014
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This monumental work provides a comprehensive analytical history of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, and Early Abbasid mosaics in the Holy Land, spanning the second century b.c.e. to the eighth century c.e. Previous general studies of the Holy Land mosaics have focused on specific collections; in Mosaics of Faith, Rina Talgam sets out to demonstrate how mosaic art constructed cultural, religious, and ethnic identities in eras that shaped the visual expressions of three monotheistic religions. Her examination of the mosaics in a pivotal area of the eastern Mediterranean sharpens and refines our understanding of the region's societies and their ideologies, institutions, and liturgies. Covering almost one thousand years of mosaic production, Mosaics of Faith offers an unprecedented view of the evolution of floor decorations from the Hellenistic to the Roman periods, in the transition from Roman to Early Byzantine art, and in the persistence of Byzantine traditions under Umayyad rule. More than other corpora of ancient mosaics, those from the Holy Land have generated greater awareness of the intricate visual exchanges between paganism, Judaism, Samaritanism, Christianity, and Islam. Talgam examines the mosaics' formal qualities in conjunction with the religious and cultural contexts within which they were produced and with which they had a profound, multidimensional dialogue.

"The mosaic floors excavated in Palestine in the last century or so--pagan polytheist, Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, Muslim--represent one of the most vibrant groups of historical documents in archaeology for understanding the multicultural development of religious identities (some discrete and separate, some syncretistic, all in different ways in dialogue with one another) in late antiquity. Rina Talgam's book--comprehensive, detailed in discussion, wide-ranging, superbly illustrated--offers a transformative account of this material, by far the best to date. She takes the reader through a deep and enlightening historical survey of the excavated materials, offering insight and up-to-date information on a vast and wonderful corpus, and not eschewing controversial topics such as iconoclasm and the destruction of figurative images in the eighth century."--Ja? Elsner, University of Oxford

ISBN: 9780271060842
ISBN-10: 0271060840
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 600
Published: 15th February 2014
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 28.7 x 23.6  x 4.1
Weight (kg): 2.52