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V Synagogue Art, Significance and Impact

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Chapter Summary

During the Late Antique period the Jews developed their own figurative and imagery art, acquired customs and decorative elements from the surrounding cultures, and also adopted pagan motifs - figures, birds, and animals - in synagogue and funerary art. The Galilean and Golan synagogues, as well as a few others, are extensively adorned with ornate exterior fa?ade, in addition to impressive ornamentation and other architectural decorations within the prayer hall itself. Two Galilean synagogues, Capernaum and Korazim, are distinguished by their outer and inner d?cor and merit a detailed discussion. Mosaic floors were the principal ornament of many synagogues, mainly in those lacking architectural embellishment. The iconoclasm at Capernaum was executed distinctively on the exterior, where almost all the damage to the lintels and the gable reliefs was carefully carried out, indicating that it was probably done by Jews. Several synagogue mosaic pavements suffered from iconoclasm, probably in the mid-or late 6th century.

Keywords:Capernaum; Golan synagogues; iconoclasm; Korazim; mosaic floors; synagogue art



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