Author

Ashley A. Lee

Publication Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Dijk, Ann Karin van, 1966-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Art and Design

LCSH

Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint--Art||Amulets||Art, Byzantine||Art history||Medieval history||Byzantine Empire--Religious life and customs

Abstract

It has been suggested by scholars that small portable objects from the early Byzantine period with the image of the Annunciation may have been used as fertility amulets, but none have examined this in detail. This thesis is the first detailed investigation of the possibility that six sardonyx cameos from sixth-seventh century Constantinople functioned as Christian fertility amulets. I propose that the cameos developed from the late antique tradition of gynecological amulets and could have been used as fertility amulets by women. The cameos emphasize Mary's position as a role model for women and encourage an act of mimesis. This study shows the contrast between the condemnation of amulets and magic by Church authorities and the approved use of gemstones as well as the survival of Pre-Christian beliefs concerning them.

Comments

Advisors: Ann van Dijk.||Committee members: Sinclair Bell; Jeff Kowalski.

Extent

102 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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