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.

Monday, 21 November 2022

Sixth century church life in Galilee

The online website of Haaretz has an article about the continuing excavations at the site of the abandoned Roman and Byzantine city of Hippos in the Decapolis above the eastern shore of Lake Galilee.

The site has already yielded a rich collection of seven early churches and the recent excavations in one of them, the Martyrion of Theodoros, have now revealed mosaics with memorial inscriptions which offer something of the personal history of those being commemorated. In some instances they give the year, according to the local calendar, of the 
construction of the churches which clearly adds further information about the history of the community.

These discoveries provide a fascinating and stimulating glimpse of church life in the sixth century, one that was lively and which we can comprehend. There are as well indications of links to mainstream Byzantine culture and the place within it of a provincial artistic style and also the emergence of a local patois, displacing to some extent the Greek of more formal usage.

The illustrated online post, which has links to other related articles about the excavations at the site of Hippos, can be seen at new-inscriptions-in-roman-city-in-israel-shed-personal-light-on-early-christians

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