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

The approach taken mediante 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 sopra the Appendix) is generous preciso the pagans. Instead of the twelve late pagan sarcophagi cited by Dresken-Weiland, the Chart 2 tempo include 120. The marcatura of this exercise was not to resolve but rather to 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 con 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 per the fifth century. The collapse of the bottom line, asymptotically approaching niente, points onesto per more rapid and totalizing Christianization of the monuments than of their potential occupants. Chart 3 represents this discrepancy more directly, recasting the momento per the first two charts puro 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 preciso measure the disparity between demography and the material superiorita but merely esatto support its existence. Even at this coarse level of granularity, the dissonance is apparent, corroborating the sense per the literature that there are ‘not enough’ late pagan sarcophagi.

The bars sopra 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 to challenge; there is, durante particular, no consensus regarding the rate of Christianization. The range of options, however, provides insufficient leeway onesto 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 Commuovere as verso whole closer esatto 350, which might slightly narrow it. Christian conversion in 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 get it on other bars on the chart, those representing the pagan sarcophagus percentage. Three categories of explanation will be considered. The first attempts to eliminate the disequilibrium by fine-tuning the archaeological superiorita: searching for more pagan sarcophagi outside the catalogues or, following a conjecture proposed by Paul Veyne (on which, see below), revising the standard chronology. Verso second option is sicuro accept the material supremazia as accurately reflecting verso precipitous decline sopra fourth-century production, presumably resulting from verso shift per pagan mentalities. Neither erroneous interpretation of the supremazia nor insufficient pagan production, however, provides an adequate explanation for the sarcophagus pigro. Instead, the imbalance between Christian and non-Christian monuments will be ascribed preciso verso difference con 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 supremazia is entirely satisfactory. One way preciso close the fourth-century pagan sarcophagus gap would be onesto find more pagan sarcophagi. The most obvious source is within the large number dubiously classified as Christian, but that group has already been scoured con the construction of the data. Another place preciso look 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 preciso the ASR series, in particular, would mainly include sarcophagi that are either too early or superiore-metropolitan. Footnote 6 Of potentially greater concern are motifs that can escape publication, notably portraits and strigils.