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

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

ancora., 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 data include 120. The marcatura of this exercise was not esatto resolve but rather puro 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 durante 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 in the fifth century. The collapse of the bottom line, asymptotically approaching zero, points sicuro a more rapid and totalizing Christianization of the monuments than pink cupid of their potential occupants. Chart 3 represents this discrepancy more directly, recasting the scadenza con the first two charts preciso amico 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 esatto measure the disparity between demography and the material primato but merely preciso support its existence. Even at this coarse level of granularity, the dissonance is apparent, corroborating the sense per the literature that there are ‘not enough’ late pagan sarcophagi.

The bars con 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, mediante particular, mai consensus regarding the rate of Christianization. The range of options, however, provides insufficient leeway esatto 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 Pigiare as verso whole closer to 350, which might slightly narrow it. Christian conversion per the upper income strata might have been per 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 onesto eliminate the disequilibrium by fine-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 norma chronology. Verso second option is puro accept the material primato as accurately reflecting a precipitous decline sopra fourth-century production, presumably resulting from verso shift sopra pagan mentalities. Neither erroneous interpretation of the record 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 sicuro a difference mediante survival rates, the result of verso 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 mediante the construction of the scadenza. Another place onesto aspetto is outside the catalogues. Not all surviving sarcophagi and fragments have been published durante accessible and convenient form, or at all; however, the lacunae are mostly irrelevant. Proposed or delayed additions sicuro the ASR series, sopra particular, would mainly include sarcophagi that are either too early or straordinario-metropolitan. Footnote 6 Of potentially greater concern are motifs that can escape publication, notably portraits and strigils.

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