Early Christianity (see Gustav Dore images)


In Roman times, Bethlehem was a small fortress town




In the New Testament, 3 Wise Men (Magi) came from far lands guided by the Star of Bethlehem




Christmas Day- Jesus' birth in the nativity outside Bethlehem





The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built on the traditional site of the manger in which Jesus was born




The city of Nazareth in Roman Judea, city where Jesus grew up, becoming a carpenter




Jesus' first public ministry, where at the request of his mother, he turned water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana




The most famous teaching of Christ: The Sermon on the Mount at Jerusalem, 'Seek the Kingdom of God'




The Last Supper, where tradition holds Jesus gave bread and wine to the apostles




Israel- the Garden of Gethsemane- where Jesus was arrested by the Roman after being betrayed by Judas, one of the apostles




Christ brought to trial before the Roman governor Pilate, who will wash his hands of the situation




Passion of the Christ: Jesus carrying the cross on the 'Via Dolorosa' in Jerusalem to Mt. Golgotha (Calvary)




Good Friday. When Jesus was crucified




Jerusalem after the Crusifixion





The Church of the Holy Sepulchure in modern Jerusalem- built on the traditional site of the old cave in which Jesus was buried





Fresco from inside the church, with Jesus enthroned- and example of early Christian art




When Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire, Christians gathered and prayed in the catacombs underneath 

the city. They also painted images on the ceilings and walls of the catacombs




Christians gather in Rome for mass, indentifying themselves by drawing the 'fish' sign in the ground




Rome's oldest church: the Basilica of Constantine from the 300's- We see use of the Roman Arch

Constantine filled Rome with churches to celebrate the Empire's conversion to Christianity




The basilica of St. John Lateran (320) in Rome built during the reign of Constantine




As part of an anti-Christian action in 64, Peter was martyred in Rome, crucified upsidown according to Origen because he

felt himself unworthy of dying in the same way as Jesus, in 64. His tomb on the Mons Vaticanus next to the Circus Maximus became the site of

St. Peter's basilica, raised in 325 after Christianity was made legal. The old basilica was torn down a thousand years later in favor of today's

monumental construction: New St. Peter's- also known as The Vatican (see Renaissance churches later on)




The Basilica of San Lorenzo in Milan (325)- Constantine had churches built in the large cities of the Empire




Emperor Constantine built this church for Costanza (350) his daughter who died young

It is said he went here every day to seek comfort for her death




San Clemente in Rome (392) one of the masterpieces of early Christian church building




Inside of San Clemente, notice the floor pattern and the columns typical of early churches




Rome- Santa Maria Maggiore built in 432 in Rome




The church of St. John at Ephesus built in 450, now a ruin









Churches built (mostly in Orthodox style) after the Fall of Rome in the West


In 532 Justinian built in Constantinople the greatest building in the world, The Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia)



Like all Constantinople and Byzantium, this church has been converted to Islam, here is what it looks like today



The church of St. Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, built in Orthodox style, 546



Masterpiece inside San Vitale: Mosaic of Emperor Justinian



Another mosiac with Justinian's beloved wife Isadora



Angels in Heaven from another Ravenna Mosaic



St. Catherine's Monestary, built at the foot of Mt. Sinai (550) and still there today






Most medieval art in painting was 2 dimensionial, and of course, had Christian themes.

This is the Annunciation (when an angel told Mary that she was pregnant by a divine hand)



The icon of Mary with Jesus inside her



The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, as an infant



Most famous of all Russian icons, Our Lady of Vladimir, Mary with Jesus



The famous icon of Jesus with a Bible (showing its holiness and its addition of the New Testament)



The Crucifixion icon



Icon of the Transfiguration



The icon of the death of Mary in the later decades, being welcomed into heaven by Jesus




St. Peter and Paul spread Christianity throughout the Roman world,

and Mary (right) interceding with God on peoples' behalf



The angel Gabriel (left) and St. Michael the Archangel, a Christian would

pray to St. Michael to help them battle the forces of evil



Another powerful angel, St. George fighting the dragon (serpent, a symbol of Satan)



The icon of St. Nicholas, who loved children



Icon of the Divine Fatherhood, appearing with the white dove a symbol of God



The icon of the Trinity, after which Trinity, Florida was named




Next: Byzantium People



 Site Design: David Tamm