Architecture and Asceticism: Cultural interaction between Syria and Georgia in Late Antiquity


In Architecture and Asceticism Loosley Leeming presents the first interdisciplinary exploration of Late Antique Syrian-Georgian relations available in English. The author takes an inter-disciplinary approach and examines the question from archaeological, art historical, historical, literary and theological viewpoints to try and explore the relationship as thoroughly as possible. Taking the Georgian belief that ‘Thirteen Syrian Fathers’ introduced monasticism to the country in the sixth century as a starting point, this volume explores the evidence for trade, cultural and religious relations between Syria and the Kingdom of Kartli (what is now eastern Georgia) between the fourth and seventh centuries CE. It considers whether there is any evidence to support the medieval texts and tries to place this posited relationship within a wider regional context.
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Emma Loosley Leeming PhD (2001) is Associate Professor in Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, UK. She works in the fields of the Theology, Art History and Archaeology of Oriental and Eastern Christianity, with particular attention to Syrian material culture.
Note on Transliteration
List of Maps
List of Figures
Introduction: Defining the Geographical and Historical Parameters of this Study
Chapter 1: Syrians, Assyrians, Orthodox, Chalcedonians and Monophysites: The Problems of Identifying the Thirteen Fathers
Chapter 2: A Parallel Evolution? Issues in Vernacular Architecture and the Development of Church Building in Syria and Georgia
Chapter 3: The mystery of the missing objects: Do archaeological artefacts and liturgical objects support the story of (As)Syrians in Kartli?
Chapter 4: Symeon and his followers: Stylitism as a cultural trend between Syria and Georgia
Chapter 5: The Evidence Written in Stone: An Evaluation of the Relationship (or not) of Syrian and Georgian Ecclesiastical Architecture
Chapter 6: The Syrian bema and the Georgian Pre-Altar Cross: A Comparison of the Liturgical Furnishings of the Nave in the two Traditions
Chapter 7: An Argument from Silence: The Differing Evidence in the Syriac and Georgian Language Sources
Chapter 8: The Unknown Factors: Evidence from the Cave Monasteries and the Significance of Georgian Vernacular Religion as a Relic of Earlier Ritual Practices
This work is aimed at specialists in Oriental and Eastern Christianity, Late Antique material culture, Syrian (and Syriac) Studies, Kartvelology, Byzantine Studies, Sassanian Studies and Late Antique Levantine and Caucasian issues.
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