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Document Details :

Title: Christianisation of Attica
Subtitle: The Topography of Early Christian Churches
Author(s): TZAVELLA, Elli
Journal: Pharos
Volume: 20    Issue: 2   Date: 2014   
Pages: 121-158
DOI: 10.2143/PHA.20.2.3117845

Abstract :
Early Christian churches of the Attic countryside have been studied thoroughly regarding their architecture, sculptural elements and liturgy. However, these studies often did not take into consideration their setting in the natural landscape and settlement pattern. The present paper examines these monuments in combination with evidence about habitation, road networks, pagan and Christian religion, and defence. A number of these churches was erected in urban and semi-urban centres, which functioned as hubs of regional commerce, while a further group was founded in rural areas. Some of these churches stand near regional roads, while others may be connected to sites with strategic significance. Replacement of pagan sanctuaries appears to have been the exclusive raison d’être only for a small number among the Attic churches; this provides us with a different picture than the one encountered within the city of Athens, where the majority of known Early Christian churches are converted temples. The present study aims to compare the evidence from Attica with other regions of the Early Byzantine Empire. To this end, regional studies which combine architectural research on churches and settlement history are of major significance.

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