« Archeology, Biblical Archeology, Christian Arches, Court of »

Archeology, Christian

ARCHEOLOGY, CHRISTIAN: The science which investigates and exhibits the ecclesiastical and religious forms of life and conditions of the Christian community for the period terminating with the Middle Ages. It may be divided into: (1) Law and government, including such topics as constitution, the clergy, monasticism, discipline, church law, synods, relations to the State, etc.; (2) worship—the various forms of divine service, festivals, such acts as baptism, confirmation, the marriage ceremony, burial, consecrations (of churches, altars, bells, holy water, etc.), benedictions and maledictions, exorcism, etc.; (3) art—architecture, painting, sculpture, church furniture, burial arrangements, etc.; (4) private and public life—the giving of names, marriage, position of women, prayer, education, slavery, occupations, corporations and societies, amusements, pilgrimages, superstitions, benevolent institutions, etc. Church music and books are better treated, it would seem, under the head of worship than of art. The sources of Christian archeology are the same as for church history. One of the most important and the last to receive the attention it deserves is furnished by monumental remains.

The history of the science begins with the first work of Protestantism on church history, the “Magdeburg Centuries” (1559-74; see Magdeburg Centuries), which, however, makes no distinction between archeology and history; the same is true of the work of the Roman Catholic scholar, Cæsar Baronius (cf. the epitome of Baronius’s Annales by C. Schulting, Cologne, 1601). As an independent science Christian archeology may be said to have originated with Joseph Bingham’s massive work, Origines ecclesiasticæ, or the Antiquities of the Christian Church (10 vols., London, 1708-22; see 263 Bingham, Joseph). A number of monographs followed during the eighteenth century, and during the nineteenth the study was pursued with new vigor. C. W. Augusti’s Denkwürdigkeiten aus der christlichen Archäologie (12 vols., Leipsic, 1817-31), Lehrbuch der christlichen Alterthümer für akademische Vorlesungen (1819), and Handbuch der christlichen Archäologie (3 vols., 1836-37; cf. J. E. Riddle, A Manual of Christian Antiquities, Compiled from the Works of Augusti and Other Sources, London, 1839, 1843; L. Coleman, The Antiquities of the Christian Church, Translated and Compiled from the Works of Augusti, with Numerous Additions from Rheinwald, Siegel, and Others, Andover, 1841), were works of value. A. J. Binterim in his Vorzüglichste Denkwürdigkeiten der kristkatholischen Kirche (7 vols., Mainz, 1825-37) purposely ignored Protestant researches and contributed little to the subject. Other works worthy of mention are G. F. H. Rheinwald, Kirchliche Archaeologie (Berlin, 1830); H. E. F. Guericke, Lehrbuch der christlich-kirchlichen Alterthümer (Leipsic, 1847, Berlin, 1859; Eng. transl., London, 1851); V. Schultze, Archäologie der christlichen Kirche, in Zöckler’s Handbuch der theologischen Wissenschaften, ii. (Munich, 1889). Lexical works are: W. Smith and S. Cheetham, Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (2 vols., London, 1875-80); F. X. Kraus, Real-Encyklopädie der christlichen Alterthümer (2 vols., Freiburg, 1880-86); Orazio Marnecchi, Elements d’Archéaeologie chrétienne (3 vols., Rome and Paris, 1890); F. Cabrol, Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (Paris, 1903 sqq.). A useful and readable book is Walter Lowrie’s Monuments of the Early Church (New York, 1901). For works on Christian art, see Art and Church.

Victor Schultze.

Bibliography: F. Piper, Einleitung in die monumentale Theologie, Gotha, 1867; F. X. Kraus, Ueber Begriff, Umfang, Geschichte der christlichen Archäologie, Freiburg, 1879.

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