Abstract: Omega House in Athens: Christianizing the city of Athena

Lecturer: Barbara Tsakirgis

During the course of the American excavations of the Athenian Agora, a large Late Roman house was uncovered on the slopes of the Areopagus.  Dating to the fourth through sixth centuries after Christ, the house contains three sizeable courtyards and a beautiful nymphaeum with attached dining room.  One of the wells of the house contained undamaged sculptures of Roman luminaries and Greek gods.  An image of Athena was beheaded and reused as a threshold.  A mutilated relief, once dedicated to Pan and the nymphs, was found in the building.  These and other features led the excavators to believe that the house was occupied at the end of its life by Christians.

The lecture examines the architectural and decorative aspects of the house and examines the question of whether the evidence is convincing or not for Christian residents at the end of the life of the house.

 

Short bibliography on lecture topic:

 

John Camp. 1986. The Athenian Agora. Thames and Hudson. especially chap. 6 “The Roman Period”

Allison Frantz. 1988. Late Antiquity, 267-700; The Athenian Agora, vol. 24. Princeton. 1

 

 

 

 

 

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Kathleen Holen is Co-Director of the Center for American Paleolithic Research, and she holds her degrees from Exeter University and the University of Michigan.  She has served... Read More

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