Early Christian Lamps

Early Christian Lamps
Early Christian Lamps
    Early Christian Lamps
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Early Christian Lamps
    Of the various classes of remains from Christian antiquity there is probably none so numerously represented as that of small clay lamps adorned with Christian symbols. Lamps of this character have been found in all the ancient centres of Christianity, but the Roman catacombs are especially remarkable for the large numbers of these fragile utensils they contain, many of which, however, bear no intrinsic mark of their Christian origin. These clay lamps belong to two categories; the more ancient manufactured in the early imperial period, and the type of the Constantinian epoch. Even in this not very conspicuous department of arts and crafts there was a notable decline between the first and the fourth or fifth century; the clay lamps of the former period are of far superior workmanship to those of the latter. In form also there is a difference between the two species; lamps of the classic period are round with an ascending perforated handle, whereas the lamps typical of the Christian period somewhat resemble a boat or a shoe with an unperforated handle running to a point. In lamps of Egyptian origin the handles were soldered on after the lamp itself was molded. The favorite symbol, though by no means the only one adorning lamps of Christian origin, was the monogram of Constantine. In some instances they were adorned with the figure of a saint, occasionally accompanied by an inscription.
    Bronze lamps of Christian origin have also been found, and, though far rarer than the clay lamps described, they are of much greater interest. One of the most remarkable is a bronze lamp of the fifth century, now in St. Petersburg, which takes the form of an early Christian basilica. Of equal interest is a bronze lamp in the Uffizi gallery at Florence, it has the form of a ship, with inflated sails and two statuettes of bronze, supposed to represent St. Peter and St. Paul, at the prow. Bronze lamps also exist in the forms of a dove, a duck, a peacock, a crow, etc. The museum of Algiers contains a specimen of a lamp mounted on a pedestal, of excellent workmanship ornamented with the apocalyptic Greek letters A and D, and a dolphin. Many of the gold and silver lamps presented by Constantine the Great to the Lateran Basilica were also in the form of dolphins, as the "Liber Pontificalis" informs us; lamps in the form of the symbolic fish were probably common, though only one of terra cotta is known. The lamps presented by Constantine to the Lateran—a truly imperial gift—comprised altogether 174 chandeliers and candlesticks, which furnished, it is calculated, 8730 separate lights. The most precious of these is the chandelier "of purest gold", weighing fifty pounds and ornamented with fifty dolphins, which hung from the Ciborium; the chains in addition weighed twenty-five pounds. Before the principal altar stood a silver chandelier, weighing fifty pounds, adorned with twenty dolphins. The nave was lighted by forty five silver standards (fara canthara), the right aisle by forty and the left by forty-five. Besides these chandeliers for lamps, the nave contained fifty silver standards for candles, while before each of the seven altars of the basilica stood a candelabrum ten feet high, made of copper inlaid with reliefs in silver representing the Prophets. Gifts of precious candelabra, though fewer in number, were also made by Constantine to the basilicas of St. Peter, St. Paul, Santa Croce, St. Agnes, and St. Laurence ("Liber Pontificalis", ed. Duchesne, I, 172 sqq.).
    BABINGTON in SMITH AND CHEETHAM, Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (London, 1875-80), s. v. Lamps; LOWRIE, Monuments of the Early Church (NEW YORK, 1901): LECLERCQ, Manuel d'Archeologie Chretienne (Paris, 1907); DE WAAL in KRAUS, Real-Encyklopadie der christlichen Alterthumer (Freiburg, 1882-86), s.v. Lampen.
    Transcribed by Joseph E. O'Connor

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Early Christian Lamps — In early Christianity lamps, fire and light are conceived as symbols, if not as visible manifestations, of the divine nature and the divine presence. Christ is the true Light [John i. 9.] , and at his transfiguration the fashion Christian of his… …   Wikipedia

  • Lamps, Early Christian — • Of the various classes of remains from Christian antiquity there is probably none so numerously represented as that of small clay lamps adorned with Christian symbols Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Christian symbolism — Christian cross Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Christian Names —     Christian Names     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Christian Names      Christian names , says the Elizabethan antiquary, Camden, were imposed for the distinction of persons, surnames for the difference of families. It would seem from this that,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Christian cross — A reliquary in the form of an ornate Christian Cross The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best known religious symbol of Christianity.[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Christian headcovering — The Christian headcovering is a veiling worn by various Christian women from a variety of traditions. Some cover only in church or while praying; most never cover their heads all the time. They refer to 1 Corinthians 11, or to custom, as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Early Pandyan Society — The Early Pandyas were one of the dynasties that ruled the ancient Tamil country from the pre Christian era to about 200 AD. The Sangam works such as Mathuraikkanci, Netunalvatai and the Purananuru collection give a lot of information about the… …   Wikipedia

  • Western use of the Swastika in the early 20th century — adopted the symbol in the 1920s, it continued in use in Western countries with its original meaning until the Nazi association became dominant in the 1930s. The term swastika is first attested in English in 1871, and first refers to the Nazi… …   Wikipedia

  • Ceremonial use of lights — Religious services often make use of a combination of light and darkness. The ceremonial use of lights is found in the practice of many religions. Candles are extremely common and other forms of light, whether fire or other, are also used.… …   Wikipedia

  • Campo Santo de' Tedeschi — • A cemetery, church, and hospice for Germans on the south side of St. Peter s, Rome Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Campo Santo De Tedeschi     Campo Santo de Tedeschi …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”