#351 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conversion of Georgia

As with the Church in Egypt, the Syriac Church in the East will develop its own monastic traditions – following the examples of Julianus Saba, Jacob of Nisibis and Aphrahat. This period also witnesses the conversion of the Kingdom of Iberia to Christianity under the influence of Saint Nino – Equal to the Apostles.

Links:

Image of the Saint Nino.

Selections from Aphrahat’s “Demonstrations”

Pope Benedict XVI’s words on Aphrahat

Traditional accounts of the conversion of Iberia

Map of the region between the Roman and Sassanid Empires – showing location of Armenia and Iberia

Alexander Angelov, “Bishop over ‘Those Outside’: Imperial Diplomacy and the Boundaries of Constantine’s Christianity, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 54 2014 274-292.

Sidney H. Griffith, “Julian Saba, ‘Father of the Monks’ of Syria,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994) 185-216.

Cornelia B. Horn, “St. Nino and the Christianization of Pagan Georgia”, Medieval Encounters 4 (3) 1998, pp. 242-264.

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#350 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conversion of Georgia

#349 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cenobites

One cannot overestimate the importance of Pachomius and Pachomian monasticism upon the development of religious life in the Catholic Church. His emphasis on the importance of living together in community as the means for obtaining holiness will not only influence monasticism throughout the East and West, it will set the foundation for all religious communities up to the present day.

Links:

Image of the prayer rope.

Information on Pachomian monasticism including links to description of Pachomian monasteries

James E Goehring, “Withdrawing from the Desert: Pachomius and the Development of Village Monasticism in Upper Egypt”, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 89, No. 3 (July 1996), pp. 267-285.

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#349 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cenobites

#348 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Anchorites

Alongside the rise of Christianity under the reign of Constantine also comes the rise of semi-eremetical monasticism under the examples of Amun/Ammon, founder of the communities of Nitria and Kellia, and Macarius the Great, founder of the community of Scetis. The Desert Fathers provide examples of Christian living and play important roles in Roman society.

Links:

Image of the monastic community of Kellia as it looks today by Geo24

Photographs and maps of hermitages in Egypt and Sudan

Maps and information on Nitria, Kellia and Scetis

More information on Nitria, Kellia, and Scetis – including images of monastic cells

Lucian Regnault, “The Day to Day Life of the Desert Fathers in Fourth Century Egypt”

Hugh G. Evelyn White, “The Monasteries of Wadi ‘N Natrun”

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#348 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Anchorites

#347 – A History of the Catholic Church -The Mysteries

Increasing numbers of Christians and the legalization of Christianity under Constantine motivate changes in the religious practice of the Christians – especially in the rites of Baptism, Chrismation and the Eucharist. We also look at changes in the practice of Penance and other practices that will later become known as Sacraments.

Links:

Image of the baptistry in Milan where Ambrose baptized Augustine – by Fr. Gaurav Shroff

Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem – the Mystagogical Lectures on Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist begin with #19.

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#347 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Mysteries

#346 – A History of the Catholic Church – Saint Peter’s and the Holy Sepulchre

Constantine’s devotion to Christ and the Saints will inspire him to build churches at important sites of Christian pilgrimage most significantly at the reputed site of the tomb of Saint Peter in Rome and the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. In turn, these pilgrimage site will play a powerful role in influencing the faith throughout the Roman Empire.

Links:

Image of the Constantinian Saint Peter’s Basilica

CONSTANTINIAN SAINT PETER’S BASILICA

Plans showing overlap of Nero’s Circus, Old Saint Peter’s and the Present Saint Peter’s Basilica
Images of architectural work under Saint Peter’s Basilica

Images of the exterior of the basilica can be found here
Interior of Old Saint Peter’s Basilica and here.

Video tour through 3-D reconstruction of Old Saint Peter’s Basilica
Rutika Parulkar and Shreyas Gavande, “The Making of Saint Peter’s Basilica” – pp. 4-8 have nice diagrams on the transformation of Vatican from cemetery to basilica and the relationship of basilica to important tombs underneath.
Several good images of Old Saint Peter’s Basilica

OTHER CONSTANTINIAN CHURCHES IN ROME
Isometric Reconstruction of Saint Laurence Outside the Walls in 330 AD

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

Exterior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Interior Plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and here and here.

Church of the Nativity and here.

Anonymous Pilgrim of Bordeaux
The Pilgrim Egeria

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#346 – A History of the Catholic Church – Saint Peter’s and the Holy Sepulchre

#345 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Christian Basilica

The promotion of Christianity under Constantine brought with it a rapidly growing Christian population and a need for new places of worship. Christians will look to the model of the imperial basilica for their new churches, but not without modifying them to meet their needs. In turn the new basilicas, beginning with Saint John Lateran, will influence the way the Christians lived and experienced their faith.

Links:

Image of Saint John Lateran as it is today by Livioandronico2013

BACKGROUND
Map of Rome’s Titular Churches
Catacomb church of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls

IMPERIAL BASILICAS

Plan and images of the Basilica Ulpia of Emperor Trajan
Plan and images of Constantine’s Basilica at Trier can be found here, here, and here

SAINT JOHN LATERAN
Plan of Saint John Lateran
Comparison of old and new Saint John Lateran
Isometric reconstruction of Old Saint John Lateran

David Tyler Thayer, “The Lateran Baptistery: Memory, Space, and Baptism” includes many images and diagrams of the Lateran Baptistery.

GENERAL
Bernard Dick has a good article with nice images of Constantine’s churches

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#345 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Christian Basilica

Catholic: Under The Hood Classics – Episodes 314-318

classics

Presenting more of the back episodes of the History of the Catholic Church series no longer on the main podcast feed.

Episodes in this volume:
#314 – Whoever Denies Me Before Others
#315 – One Must Have The Church For His Mother
#316 – The Bishop of Bishops
#317 – The True Treasures of the Church
#318 – The Church of the East

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Catholic: Under The Hood Episodes 314 to 318

#344 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Illustres

In response to the problems of Arius, Meletius, and Paul of Samosata; the bishops enact new canonical legislation. The Council of Nicaea comes to an end and the bishops find themselves having gone from persecuted to powerful in the Roman Empire.

Links:

Image of fresco of Council of Nicaea in the Sistine Chapel

Canons of the Council of Nicaea

Map of diocesan division of the Roman Empire under Constantine

Herbert Norris’ “Church Vestments: Their Origin and Development” – contains many images of early church vestments and shows their relationship to Roman dress of the same time.

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#344 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Illustres

#343 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Nicene Creed

The Christian bishops at Nicaea strive to resolve the Arian Controversy as well as other conflicts within the Church in order to fulfill Constantine’s desires for unity and peace.

Links:

Image of Constantine and Bishops holding Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Creed of Eusebius of Caesarea

The Nicene Creed

Letter of Eusebius of Caeasarea regarding the Nicene Creed

Letter of Council of Nicaea to Alexandria regarding Meletians and dating of Easter

Letter of Constantine regarding dating of Easter

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#343 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Nicene Creed

#342 – A History Catholic of the Catholic Church – The First Ecumenical Council

As the conflict between Arius and Alexander grows larger, bishops throughout the Eastern Empire choose sides. Constantine decides to summon bishops from throughout the Roman Empire in the hopes of establishing peace.

Links:

Image of Icon of the First Council of Nicaea. This icon shows Arius in brown, without the halo. The figure facing him is possibly Alexander of Alexandria. Constantine is shown wearing a crown.

Constantine’s letter to Arius and Alexander seeking peace

Constantine’s letter summoning the bishops to Nicaea

Documents relating to the 325 Synod of Antioch

Icons of Saint Nicholas slapping Arius

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#342 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Ecumenical Council

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