Christianity

An arcane topic to most people, Syriac sources help shed a more complex light on the history of the Middle East from late antiquity to the Middle Ages. They reveal a non-imperial epoch and its rich contributions to the cultural and religious...

To outsiders, the contentiousness, divisiveness, and downright un-neighborliness evident in the small Spanish town of Deza by the autumn of 1607 might well have seemed a tempest in a teapot. Those living in the newer Upper Neighborhood had been...

Religious art of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe was marked by the creeping presence of the prosaic, the concrete, the familiar, the everyday. Vivid descriptions of furniture and clothes, local flora and landscapes, hometown...

“Who are you?” A simple question sometimes requires a complex answer. When a Homeric hero is asked who he is (e.g. Iliad 7.123 ff.), his answer consists of more than just his name; he provides a list of his ancestors. The history of his...

Reliquaries were designed as receptacles for tiny bundles of sacred stuff such as handfuls of dust, pebbles from Biblical sites in the Holy Land, tiny fragments of the hair, clothing, and even bone of those deemed to be saints and martyrs by the...