The Traditio Legis: Anatomy of an Image [Paperback]

Robert Couzin(Author)

ISBN: 9781784910815 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2015 | 146p, H11.75 x W8.25, Extensively illustrated with 56 plates, 3 in color
Status: Print on demand, available in one week

The Traditio Legis: Anatomy of an Image


The bearded and mature figure of Christ stands majestically raising his right hand, open palm facing the viewer. In his left he holds an unfurled scroll. Saints Peter and Paul appear on either side, Peter approaching to catch or protect the dangling bookroll. This image, the so-called traditio legis, first appeared in late fourthcentury Rome in a variety of media, from the monumental to the miniature, including mosaic, catacomb painting, gold-glass and, the most numerous group, marble relief carving on sarcophagi. This monograph engages in a close reading of the traditio legis, highlighting its novelty and complexity to early Christian viewers. The image is analyzed as a conflation of two distinct forms of representation, each constructed of unusual and potentially multivalent elements. Iconographical details like the hirsute Christ, his gesture, Peter’s covered hands and the unorthodox positioning of the two saints are examined in isolation and as elements of the whole. The synthetic composition invited alternative and over-determined meanings.

Table of Contents

Preface Part I. An introduction to the image Chapter 1: The invention of the traditio legis 1.1 Nomenclature 1.2 Definition Chapter 2: The corpus of monuments 2.1 Sarcophagi 2.2 Other media 2.3 Summary Chapter 3: Dating Chapter 4: Visibility Part II. Meaning and reception Chapter 5: The three men Chapter 6: The Lord’s right side 6.1 Paul 6.2 Christ 6.3 The Lord omnipotent Chapter 7: The Lord’s left side 7.1 Christ 7.2 Peter 7.3 The book Chapter 8: Framing and context 8.1 Structures and cities 8.2 Other figures and scenes 8.3 Symbolic forms 8.4 Family representations Chapter 9: Synthesis 9.1 Left and right 9.2 This world and the next 9.3 Eschatological, Apocalyptic or apocalyptic 9.4 Epilogue Abbreviations Sources Bibliography Figures Index of Objects and Monuments

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.