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Objects In Churches: The Testimony Of Inventories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the objects found within churches, using the testimony of inventories. These describe items such as church plate, lighting apparatus, textiles, and censers, not often found in archaeological excavations of churches. Comparison of inventories reveals churches of different status, and also something of their atmosphere. The differing style of these texts includes terms that are far from easy to interpret. It can also be difficult to correlate the items in inventories with real objects in museums, as is shown in a case study of censers. Inventories are a key source in investigating the objects kept and used inside churches during Late Antiquity. The titulus Equitius list gives us an idea of what the precious objects were in a standard church. Textiles were used to give warmth and to mute the acoustics of churches. Incense is a neglected aspect in many studies of late antique churches.

Keywords: censers; church plate; churches; inventories; Late Antiquity; textiles; titulus Equitius

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