Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

The continuity of worship in the Golan

The Haaretz website has a report of the discovery of a major Byzantine church which had been built on top of the site of a temple dedicated to the classical deity Pan in the northern Golan in the Banias region - a name which derived from that of Pan. In New Testament times this was a popular area for devotees of Pan and for settlers in such towns as Caesarea Philippi created by the Herodians. Then as now it was a holiday area.

The temple dedicated to Pan was replaced by the church circa 400, and another church has been excavated nearby. Damaged in the seventh century by an earthquake the site survived and was still important in the Crusading-Mameluke era.

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