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Rome, Italy

From Constantine to Mohammed: Art and Architecture from the 4th to 8th century AD

Global Temple Conference

Course Number: 
Art History
Semester(s) Offered: 
Spring 2021
Spring 2020
Credit Hours: 

Weekly class lectures and on-site visits examine the period from the time of Constantine (312-337 AD) until the time of Mohammed and the early Islamic period. Through a survey of architecture forms, sculpture (portraiture, historical relief, sarcophagi) and decorative systems (wall paintings, mosaics), students explore fundamental political, religious and cultural changes in the Mediterranean world and their implications on art and architecture up to the 8th century AD. Special attention is drawn to the changing formal and stylistic language of late Roman art, the rise of Christianity and the origins of its art, the influence of the Byzantine world (Constantinople) on the art of the West and on the early Islamic art.

The course includes an academic excursion to northeastern Italy centered around Ravenna, residence of Roman emperors, Germanic kings and Byzantine representatives in the 5th and 6th century AD.