Constructing liminal space? : curtains in Late Antique and early medieval churches

Title: Constructing liminal space? : curtains in Late Antique and early medieval churches
Variant title:
  • Konstrukce liminálního prostoru? : látkové závěsy v pozdně antických a raně středověkých kostelech
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. Supplementum, pp. [46]-67
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
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The textile furnishings of Late Antique and early medieval basilicas are now-lost parts of churches' internal arrangements that can hardly be more than inferred today; they must have served a crucial function in believers' perception and experience of sacred spaces. Despite the almost total lack of material evidence, this article attempts to explore the various purposes of textile decorations while considering their capacity to define different zones of accessibility and visibility within the church space as well as their potential of emphasizing the idea of the sacred. It attempts to assess the problem from two perspectives: on the one hand, by analyzing textual sources, namely the entries of the Roman Liber Pontificalis; on the other hand, by examining evidence in scattered artistic depictions and specific archaeological situations. Taken together, these sources may help to reconstruct the original presence, context and function of curtains within sacred spaces.
This article was carried out as part of the ERC CZ project "Radikální konverze? Vizuální umění, rituály, performance a konverze v raně křesťanské iniciaci (LL1904)".