The approach taken mediante constructing Chart 2 was puro reallocate the sarcophagi catalogued as Christian but lacking Christian iconography

The approach taken mediante constructing Chart 2 was puro reallocate the sarcophagi catalogued as Christian but lacking Christian iconography

addirittura., following the proportions established before this incremental expansion. The process (more fully explained in the Appendix) is generous puro the pagans. Instead of the twelve late pagan sarcophagi cited by Dresken-Weiland, the Chart 2 datazione include 120. The segnatura of this exercise was not esatto resolve but rather onesto circumvent the thorny and ultimately insoluble problem of classification.

The evolution of populations and sarcophagi as represented durante Charts 1 and 2 are directionally similar but the curves fall more steeply con Chart 2. Footnote 5 The sharper plunge of its upper line reflects and illustrates the decline of the Roman sarcophagus habit and its ultimate disappearance early sopra the fifth century. The collapse of the bottom line, asymptotically approaching niente, points sicuro verso more rapid and totalizing Christianization of the monuments than of their potential occupants. Chart 3 represents this discrepancy more directly, recasting the data per the first two charts sicuro compare pagan deaths with pagan sarcophagi.

They were first placed within the half-century date ranges and then allocated between pagan and Christian applying the respective percentages otherwise determined, i

These percentages should not be taken literally; the purpose here is not onesto measure the disparity between demography and the material record but merely to support its existence. Even at this coarse level of granularity, the dissonance is apparent, corroborating the sense in the literature that there are ‘not enough’ late pagan sarcophagi.

The bars durante Chart 3 could be levelled either by lowering the percentage of pagan deaths or by raising the percentage of pagan sarcophagi. The demographic assumptions are certainly open puro challenge; there is, sopra particular, per niente consensus regarding the rate of Christianization. The range of options, however, provides insufficient leeway preciso resolve the discrepancy. MacMullen ( Reference MacMullen 1984: 81) thought Rome still ‘more pagan than Christian until the 390s’; such an estimate would considerably widen the sarcophagus gap. Stark ( Reference Stark 1996: 7) put the tipping point for the Completare as per whole numero di telefono smore closer sicuro 350, which might slightly narrow it. Christian conversion sopra the upper income strata might have been verso bit slower than assumed, but not likely much faster.

Thus, the balance of this article addresses the other bars on the chart, those representing the pagan sarcophagus percentage. Three categories of explanation will be considered. The first attempts puro eliminate the disequilibrium by fermo-tuning the archaeological supremazia: searching for more pagan sarcophagi outside the catalogues or, following a conjecture proposed by Paul Veyne (on which, see below), revising the canone chronology. A second option is sicuro accept the material superiorita as accurately reflecting a precipitous decline durante fourth-century production, presumably resulting from per shift sopra pagan mentalities. Neither erroneous interpretation of the supremazia nor insufficient pagan production, however, provides an adequate explanation for the sarcophagus passivo. Instead, the imbalance between Christian and non-Christian monuments will be ascribed onesto a difference per survival rates, the result of per bias over the longue duree favouring the preservation of Christian imagery.


Neither the accuracy nor the completeness of the archaeological primato is entirely satisfactory. One way puro close the fourth-century pagan sarcophagus gap would be preciso find more pagan sarcophagi. The most obvious source is within the large number dubiously classified as Christian, but that group has already been scoured con the construction of the giorno. Another place preciso aspetto is outside the catalogues. Not all surviving sarcophagi and fragments have been published in accessible and convenient form, or at all; however, the lacunae are mostly irrelevant. Proposed or delayed additions onesto the ASR series, con particular, would mainly include sarcophagi that are either too early or supplementare-metropolitan. Footnote 6 Of potentially greater concern are motifs that can escape publication, notably portraits and strigils.

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