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The legacies of the ancient world, especially those of the Greek and Roman civilizations of Classical Antiquity, stretched all the way through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance (and arguably through to the present day!). The cultural ideals, values, structures, and especially the artistic styles, preferences, and architectural achievements of the Classical past lingered into the developments of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages all across Europe, the Mediterranean region, and into the Middle East and Central Asia.

With this long legacy in mind, we will explore the ways in which features of the ancient world persisted into Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, paying close attention to the ways that certain visual and physical elements were borrowed and repurposed for new religious, political, and cultural contexts over time.

This week we will be focusing on

describing and analyzing the influence of one thing upon another by looking at the ways in which certain elements are appropriated in contexts outside of their original creation and use

. The term ”


” refers to the intentional use of something that is not original but is rather borrowed and reused. For example, many musicians may appropriate melodies or lyrics from other artists or composers, but they reuse the original material in ways that are not strictly mirror copies. In art history, many visual artists have borrowed and repurposed stylistic, thematic, or other technical aspects from contemporaneous or earlier artforms all the time, but the difference between simply copying something and


something involves using the material in a way that is different from its original appearance, use, and/or meaning.

Your Discussion Assignment:

Select one (1) artwork or monument from this week’s textbook reading assignments and/or lectures and describe how it demonstrates the appropriation and use of ancient Greek or Roman artistic features in a Christian or Islamic context in Late Antiquity or the Middle Ages


Provide a visual analysis of this artwork or monument, making sure to mention the style, design, materials, techniques, subject matter, content, purposes, uses, and meanings of the work in specific description so your reader can clearly picture this work in their mind.

Explain how this work displays the appropriation of Greek or Roman features, styles, or techniques for a new religious context


Perhaps the work borrows the same kind of naturalism in style from Roman freestanding or relief sculpture, or the same kinds of techniques in fresco or mosaic, or the same kinds of design in architectural structures and public spaces, for example, but the work from Late Antiquity repurposes those traditional Roman features to be used in the worship of Christian beliefs, or the practice of Christian religious activities, or in the depictions of Christian figures, etc..

Explain to your reader how the Roman aspects of this work were used and understood by a new Christian audience in as much detail as possible.

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