Study Guide 7 Late Antiquity

Synagogue mural, Dura Europos ca. 245-256.

Sarcophagus with Philosopher, Orant and Old and New Testament Scenes, ca. 270 marble.

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassius, 359

Detail of Vault Mosaic in Santa Costanza ca. 321

Christ as Sol Invictus ca. 275 in the Mausoleum of the Julii.

Christ Enthroned ca. 350 marble 2.5 feet.

Christ as the Good Shepherd in Mausoleum of Galla Placidia ca. 425.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, 425

Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes c. 504 in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna

Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, 504 in Ravenna

Old St. Peter’s, 319-324 CE

Santa Sabina, c. 422, Rome

Mausoleum of Costanza, c 351-2

“Rossano Gospels” Christ before Pilate 500s. Tempera on purple vellum (calfskin)

Suicide of Judas and Crucifixion of Jesus ca. 420 ivory plaque from a casket.

Priestess Celebrating the rites of Bacchus ca. 400 Ivory Diptych of the Nicomachi and the Symmachi.






Aisle, transept, nave, apse

Galla Placidia






Central plan, Ambulatory



Essay Questions

Compare the mosaics of Santa Costanza with the Roman Imperial floor mosaic of Neptune and the sea creatures. How are they similar, how are they different and how do they reflect their respective periods?

What features did Early Christian architects take from Roman builders and what new techniques did they develop? Discuss specific features from at least three buildings.

What were the implications that the recognition of Christianity as the state religion had for Christian art? Support your essay with examples.

Discuss the effect the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus had as a visual document representing Christianity. How did Roman Imperial motifs merge with Christian themes? Use examples to support your argument.

Discuss the development of the form and content of manuscripts during the late antique period. Use examples.