The approach taken per constructing Chart 2 was esatto reallocate the sarcophagi catalogued as Christian but lacking Christian iconography

The approach taken per constructing Chart 2 was esatto reallocate the sarcophagi catalogued as Christian but lacking Christian iconography

e., following the proportions established before this incremental expansion. The process (more fully explained durante the Appendix) is generous onesto the pagans. Instead of the twelve late pagan sarcophagi cited by Dresken-Weiland, the Chart 2 tempo include 120. The meta of this exercise was not esatto resolve but rather preciso circumvent the thorny and ultimately insoluble problem of classification.

The evolution of populations and sarcophagi as represented mediante Charts 1 and 2 are directionally similar but the curves fall more steeply per Chart 2. Footnote 5 The sharper plunge of its upper line reflects and illustrates the decline of the Roman sarcophagus habit and its ultimate disappearance early sopra the fifth century. The collapse of the bottom line, asymptotically approaching nulla, points puro per more rapid and totalizing Christianization of the monuments than of their potential occupants. Chart 3 represents this discrepancy more directly, recasting the scadenza durante the first two charts onesto compagno pagan deaths with pagan sarcophagi.

They were first placed within the half-century date ranges and then allocated between pagan and Christian applying the respective percentages otherwise determined, i

These percentages should not be taken literally; the purpose here is not esatto measure the disparity between demography and the material record but merely to support its existence. Even at this coarse level of granularity, the dissonance is apparent, corroborating the sense durante the literature that there are ‘not enough’ late pagan sarcophagi.

The bars con Chart 3 could be levelled either by lowering the percentage of pagan deaths or by raising the percentage of pagan sarcophagi. The demographic assumptions are certainly open preciso challenge; there is, per particular, giammai consensus regarding the rate of Christianization. The range of options, however, provides insufficient leeway puro resolve the discrepancy. MacMullen ( Reference MacMullen 1984: 81) thought Rome still ‘more pagan than Christian until the 390s’; such an estimate would considerably widen the sarcophagus gap. Stark ( Reference Stark 1996: 7) put the tipping point for the Pigiare as verso whole closer to 350, which might slightly narrow it. Christian conversion con the upper income strata might have been verso bit slower than assumed, but not likely much faster.

Thus, the balance of this article addresses the other bars on the chart, those representing the pagan sarcophagus percentage. Three categories of explanation will be considered. The first attempts puro eliminate the disequilibrium by alt-tuning the archaeological record: searching for more pagan sarcophagi outside the catalogues or, following a conjecture proposed by Paul Veyne (on which, see below), revising the norma chronology. Verso second option is onesto accept the material primato as accurately reflecting a precipitous decline durante fourth-century production, presumably resulting from verso shift durante pagan mentalities. Neither erroneous interpretation of the record nor insufficient pagan production, however, provides an adequate explanation for the sarcophagus deficit. Instead, the imbalance between Christian and non-Christian monuments will be ascribed sicuro a difference mediante survival rates, the result of a bias over the longue duree favouring the preservation of Christian imagery.


Neither the accuracy nor the completeness of the archaeological primato is entirely satisfactory. One way sicuro close the fourth-century pagan sarcophagus gap would be puro find more pagan sarcophagi. The most obvious source is within the large number dubiously classified as Christian, but that group has already been scoured per the construction of the momento. Another place to aspetto is outside the catalogues. Not all surviving sarcophagi and fragments have been published sopra accessible and convenient form, or at all; however, the lacunae are mostly irrelevant. Proposed or delayed additions sicuro the ASR series, con particular, would mainly include sarcophagi that are either too early or extra-metropolitan. Footnote 6 Of potentially greater concern are motifs that can escape publication, notably portraits and strigils.

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