The Department of History and Art History congratulates Hannah Matangos for presenting an award-winning poster. Matangos did the research for the poster, titled "The Christianization of Pagan Ritual Space in Byzantine Athens," for an Honors in Art History class taught by Professor Lawrence Butler. She presented the poster at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences undergrad research symposium this spring. She received a $250 prize, one of six prize winners from the entire College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Here is an abstract of her poster:
The establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine and his successors (with the exception of Julian the Apostate) meant a confrontation between the new religion and the traditional paganism of Greece as Christian places of worship began to be constructed. Christianity brought numerous changes to the urban and rural societies of the Greek world, including the prioritization of restructuring and/or redecorating of pagan places of worship in an effort to make a suitable landscape for worship by Christians. How did Athens, the capital of classical Greece, fare during this period of religious change? This study analyzes how pagan ritual spaces in Athens were Christianized through a process of appropriation in terms of architecture and decoration. Delving into the processes of Christianization within the empire and major Greek cities and using these cases as a point of comparison, specific sites within Athens, notably the Acropolis temples, including the Parthenon, and the Little Metropolis Church, are examined, utilizing appropriation theory to explain visual evidence of Christianization as found in the archaeological record.
May 03, 2017