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Jonas Of Aquileia A Gesture To Constantine The Great

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Chapter Summary

A floor mosaic depicting a Jonas cycle surrounded by a marine genre scene was excavated in eastern section of the south hall of patriarchal Church of Aquileia. Although both Jonas and marine genre scenes were popular subjects in Roman and early Christian art, this is the only known example of such a combination. The chapter discusses the historical context in which this mosaic was executed and suggests that it was conceived from the beginning as one unit. Relying on historical evidence, as well as on compositional and iconographic analyses, author argues that mosaic is a homogeneous work, created under the supervision of bishop of Aquileia, Theodore, as a gesture to Constantine the Great. Moreover, taken as a homogeneous whole, the mosaic had a theological-political significance, since its content reflects Donatist controversy that developed in North Africa following the end of Diocletian?s persecution of Christians at the beginning of fourth century.

Keywords: Christian art; church of Aquileia; Constantine the Great; Donatist controversy; floor mosaic; Jonas cycle; marine genre scenes; Theodore



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