Searching Proxies for the Earliest Christian Spreading



Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The lack of direct archaeological evidence strictly limits the study of early Christian spreading in its formative phases (30–150 CE). While the previous research has focused on detailed analyses of rare written sources or – alternatively – on general deductive reconstructions, the proposed project uses geospatial modeling and network analysis methods to overbridge this gap in evidence with a formalized quantitative approach. It conceptualizes the spread of early Christianity as a transmission on a network in which people carry religious ideas, practices, and artifacts and transmit them successfully to a new spatial-populational milieu. The provided modeling presupposes a global network of Mediterranean cities shared by ancient populations. The project will test suitable proxies, such as the Jewish networks of that time or the distribution of red slip tableware / Eastern sigillata pottery. Based on these databases, different models of the diffusivity of ancient cities can be examined and assessed against the preserved written evidence of earliest Christianity.
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