Islands and resilience: Christianization processes in the Cyclades

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Abstract

Commonly perceived as pawns in wider imperial machinations, the Cyclades have often been side-lined as peripheral due to their assumed seclusion. Conversely, even a brief analysis of the archaeological evidence indicates that these islands had groups of resident Christian communities, and experienced the monumentalized manifestation of Christianity, much earlier than their mainland counterparts to the west. To establish why this is the case, it is necessary to shed the bias of preconceived notions of insularity. In so doing, this allows identification of the significant variety of communication networks that the islands had. Evidence of Christianization is seen in the spread of churches throughout the islands. The earliest churches were founded through strategic or organic processes; that is to say as a consequence of, for example, imperial or ecclesiastical intentionality, or as indirect results of contact through movement of people for purposes such as trade or craft. As such, it represents processes of complexity. Furthermore, it is suggested that a natural resilience of the islands meant that the impact of Christianity was minimal on daily life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChange and Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationThe Occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity
EditorsMiguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros, Catalina Mas Florit
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia
PublisherOxbow
Chapter8
Pages193-216
ISBN (Electronic)9781789251814, 9781789251838
ISBN (Print)9781789251807
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameJoukowsky Institute Publication
PublisherOxbow
Volume9

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