Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Do you know what the best-selling book of all time is? No. It isn’t Don Quixote or Harry Potter. It’s the Bible, the collection of writings which formed the bedrock of Christianity. This fact alone tells us how crucial Christianity has been in shaping the foundations of modern culture. Christianity’s impact isn’t limited to just religion or worship but extends to many of the rhythms of life and cultural expressions of Western societies. Churches are still to this day landmarks in our cityscapes, even if large parts of the population are no longer Christian.
Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds Because of Christianity, many countries now follow a seven day week with a Sunday rest and celebrate Christmas and Easter holidays and even the very calendar used worldwide today is based on the alleged date of Christ’s birth.
Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds But how did this happen? How did the expression of Christianity evolve from small symbols to the grand churches and pilgrimage centers of the world? The study of early Christianity is also essential to enlightening one of the darkest periods in history and to understanding its role and meaning within the different social and political systems that co-existed in the Mediterranean until the end of the sixth century.
Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds In this course, we will discover, through the study of material culture, how the beliefs of a tiny group in one corner of the mighty Roman Empire came to dominate the Mediterranean and eventually to shape our world today.
Skip to 2 minutes and 22 seconds We will learn how to decipher the meaning of Christian imagery in all kinds of objects, meeting places and burials, and explore how the development of archaeological methods is helping us to understand early Christianity in a completely new way.
Skip to 2 minutes and 44 seconds I’m Alexandra Chavarria, Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Padova, and with me as your guide we will discover the emergence of the Christian world and why its study is exciting, worthwhile and even important to understanding our world today. Join me in discovering the origins of our era through the lends of archaeology.