Author Topic: ancient remains as evidence for various practices  (Read 1492 times)

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Offline Jason.Wike

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ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« on: May 23, 2012, 12:06:27 AM »
I was thinking about ancient remains that are used as evidence for different practices, such as the ancient synagogues and the Dura-Europos church and iconography, and realized there is a bit of a problem that I've never seen addressed.

How much do we actually know of the people that built them and that worshiped in them? How do we know they actually orthodox/following normative practices or are we just assuming so? Especially since most of them have not been in continuous use and were completely forgotten for almost two thousand years.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 12:07:44 AM by Jason.Wike »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 12:46:24 AM »
I was thinking about ancient remains that are used as evidence for different practices, such as the ancient synagogues and the Dura-Europos church and iconography, and realized there is a bit of a problem that I've never seen addressed.

How much do we actually know of the people that built them and that worshiped in them? How do we know they actually orthodox/following normative practices or are we just assuming so? Especially since most of them have not been in continuous use and were completely forgotten for almost two thousand years.
Actually, there not being in continuous use makes them evidence: if they were in continuous use and "updated" with Orthodoxy, they could be dismissed.  In the case of Dura Europos, the Church was filled in during preparations for a seize, sealing the evidence.  So too the catacombs: after legalization, the Church came out of the catacombs, which had to be rediscovered in 1578.

The fact that these forgotten icons match the iconography of the Churches in continuous use show that iconography has been a constant in Christian worship, and not something we have projected back by decorating Churches.
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Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 12:52:24 AM »
I was thinking about ancient remains that are used as evidence for different practices, such as the ancient synagogues and the Dura-Europos church and iconography, and realized there is a bit of a problem that I've never seen addressed.

How much do we actually know of the people that built them and that worshiped in them? How do we know they actually orthodox/following normative practices or are we just assuming so? Especially since most of them have not been in continuous use and were completely forgotten for almost two thousand years.
Actually, there not being in continuous use makes them evidence: if they were in continuous use and "updated" with Orthodoxy, they could be dismissed.  In the case of Dura Europos, the Church was filled in during preparations for a seize, sealing the evidence.  So too the catacombs: after legalization, the Church came out of the catacombs, which had to be rediscovered in 1578.

The fact that these forgotten icons match the iconography of the Churches in continuous use show that iconography has been a constant in Christian worship, and not something we have projected back by decorating Churches.

Which doesn't answer "Who were they?" And they don't seem to match up very well, they're very crude compared to icons of later centuries and don't follow the "rules" icons are supposed to today.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 02:18:25 AM »
Is it for some reason a problem that the rules for icons have developed since 235 AD? Many things in the church have developed and become more elaborate since then, without changing their essential identity as icons, liturgies, or whatever it is we're talking about.

Offline Byzantine2008

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 08:17:40 PM »
Did the Dura-Europos have an alter?
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Offline Byzantine2008

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 10:22:36 PM »
bump
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: ancient remains as evidence for various practices
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 10:23:12 AM »
Is it for some reason a problem that the rules for icons have developed since 235 AD? Many things in the church have developed and become more elaborate since then, without changing their essential identity as icons, liturgies, or whatever it is we're talking about.

Who said the Orthodox Orientals are not scholastics?