Bowes, Kimberly

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • Publication
    Review of Peter A.J. Attema and Günter Schörner, Comparative Issues in the Archaeology of the Roman Rural Landscape: Site Classification Between Survey, Excavation and Historical Categories
    (2014-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    This fine volume is a natural successor to the two fundamental Mediterranean field survey collections: Extracting Meaning from Ploughsoil Assemblages (R. Francovich, H. Patterson, and G. Barker, eds. [Oxford 2000]) and Side by Side Survey (S. Alcock and J. Cherry, eds. [Oxford 2004]). Its best essays illustrate the advances in both methodology and theory that have characterized landscape archaeology over the decade since those fundamental volumes were published. The volume takes up the problem of classification, that is, the interpretative and evidentiary basis by which surface survey material is functionally classified. Both intentionally and tacitly, the volume also illustrates the assumptions underlying all classificatory systems and thus the challenges surface survey faces as a stand-alone tool for historical interpretation.
  • Publication
    Christian Worship
    (2011-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    When in 313 the emperor Constantine declared his support for the Christian religion, he was taking a risk. An earlier generation of church scholars had supposed that in the three hundred years since the death of Christ, his followers had manage to expand to the point that Constantine's declaration of support was simply a recognition of the inevitable--Christian triumph by sheer force of numbers. Recent work suggests a more complex reality. Christianity was very slow to get going: by about 200, perhaps as many as 200000 Christians existed on the earth. Even by maximum estimates of expansion, Christian populations in the early years of the 4th century probably totaled only about 6 million, perhaps as much as 10 percent of the Roman population. That 10 percent was unequally distributed: in cities, particularly in Rome and the big cities of the eastern empire, and among the poorer and, above all, more middling classes--merchants, lower-level bureaucrats, soldiers, and their wives-- who aspired to rank and prosperity. Christianity had more limited progress among the senatorial elite and in vast expanses of the countryside where about 90 percent of Romans lived out their lives as poor farmers. By 313, in other words, Christianity had a notable presence among urbanites climbing the social ladder, but among both old aristocratic elite and the rural majority the new religion was a vague form on a distant horizon. Constantine's support of Christianity in 313 was no capitulation to an inevitable surge of Christians, but rather a gamble, not only on a faith but also on a class of people on the move.
  • Publication
    The Main Chapel of the Durres Amphitheater: Decoration and Chronology
    (2009-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly; Mitchell, John
    The amphitheater at Durres in central Albania is one of the larger and better preserved amphitheaters of the Roman world, as well as one of the eastern-most examples of the amphitheater form. Nonetheless, it is not for its Roman architecture that the building is best known, but its later Christian decoration, specifically, a series of mosaics which adorn the walls of a small chapel inserted into the amphitheater's Roman fabric. First published by Vangel Toçi in 1971, these mosaics were introduced to a wider scholarly audience through their inclusion in Robin Cormack's groundbreaking 1985 volume Writing in Gold. Despite the mosaics general renowned, however, they have been studied largely as membra disjecta, cut off from their surrounding context, both architectural and decorative.
  • Publication
    Christians in the Amphitheater? The «Christianization» of Spectacle Buildings and Martyrial Memory
    (2014-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    In order to place the site of Sant’Agnese in Agone in its broader late antique and early medieval context, this article presents an overview of the archaeological evidence for Christian spaces inside spectacle buildings – stadia, hippodromes, theaters and amphitheaters. It suggests that the «Christianization» of such buildings was very rare, and in only a few cases linked to martyrial commemoration. The paper concludes by suggesting some reasons why spectacle buildings should have been so infrequently associated with martyrial memory.
  • Publication
    Review of L. Lavan, L. Özgenel, A. Sarantis, Housing in Late Antiquity. From Palaces to Shops
    (2008-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    Like other volumes in its series, Housing in Late Antiquity owes its origins to two conferences, the Society for Architectural Historians and Late Antique Archaeology, Padua, both in 2003, as well as non-conference contributions. The result is a volume of seventeen chapters, translated into generally very good English, plus two lengthy bibliographic essays and an extensive, useful index. The three editors, aided by Simon Ellis and Yuri Murano, have produced a readable, one-stop-shop for anyone interested in late antique housing. The book’s organization, beginning with broader thematic pieces, continuing with regional surveys, and concluding with individual house studies, allows the reader to sink comfortably from overview into detail, while its methodologies and authorship accurately reflect the state of the field—both in its advances and shortcomings.
  • Publication
    Reimagining Ancient Italy: New Directions in Italian Archaeology
    (2011-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    In the modern imagination, Italy is a land of rolling vineyards, dramatic coastal vistas, and of course, extraordinary food— infinite varieties of pasta, delicate pastries, rich cheeses, and earthy wines. Italian archaeology does not perhaps conjure up quite such an image of richness and diversity. The great monuments of Rome—the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, and the catacombs—have dominated foreigners’ experience of Italian archaeology since the era of the Grand Tour. The practice of archaeology was, until the 1960s, similarly limited: the search for Greco-Roman antiquities— sculpture, vases, temples, and rich houses—preoccupied Italian and foreign archaeologists alike, and modern archaeological technique was slow to take hold.
  • Publication
    “...Nec Sedere in Villam.” Villa-Churches, Rural Piety, and the Priscillianist Controversy
    (2001-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    What was the relationship between Priscillianism and Villas? Did Priscillianists meet and worship in villas? Archaeologists and historians have both made this suggestion more than once, although never in a rigorous manner, and perhaps now is the time for a real appraisal of the evidence.
  • Publication
    “Christianization” and the Rural Home
    (2007-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    The "Christianization" of the home is taken up here by examining the specific problem of Christian ritual and ritual spaces on the rural estate. It is argued that most worship in rural villas took place outside ecclesiastical supervision or intervention, and instead was shaped by older seigniorial hierarchies. It was this particular sociology of worship that brought domestic worship under episcopal scrutiny. The dissonance between seigniorial and ecclesiastical social structures might leave Christian estates outside episcopally-centered communities, suggesting that the "Christianization" of the rural home might be an ambiguous, fissiparous process rather than a seamless cultural transformation.
  • Publication
    Personal Devotions and Private Chapels
    (2005-01-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    The phenomena of private chapels and private ritual during the late antique period remain as cloaked in shadow as Melania's private midnight vigil. Indeed, the Christianity of the fourth through sixth centuries is typically characterized as rejecting the private for the public, as the church emerged from the homes that had sheltered it during the persecutions to assume the mantel of state-sponsored religion of empire. And yet, by defining the "triumph of the church" as the triumphal procession away from privately based cult to public religion, we have almost wholly overlooked one of late antique Christianity's most important substrands, the continuation and flourishing of private cult and the significant challenge it posed to a nascent institutional church.
  • Publication
    Introduction to Private Worship, Public Values and Religious Change in Late Antiquity
    (2008-07-01) Bowes, Kimberly
    In Constantinople sometime in the 440s, the empress Pulcheria stood at the edge of an excavation trench. She was there under orders from none other than Saint Thyrsus, who had appeared to her in a dream and instructed her to find the relics of forty Christian soldiers who had perished on the ice of an Armeman Lake. Aided by clergy and palace officials she began a massive excavation, complete with its own public relations director, local church historian Sozomen, who recorded the event for prosperity. The excavation eventually uncovered a casket which, when opened, emitted the sweet odor of myrrh: the martyrs had been found. The day was proclaimed a public festival, the martyrs' relics were processed through the city streets, and, with the empress and bishop standing by, the Forty were laid to rest alongside the relics of Thyrsus himself. Thus were the Fort Martyrs of Sebaste enrolled among the capital's saintly citizens.