Allegorical Animals: The Connection Between Paganism and Early Christian Art (Part Three)

Edwin Roman

PART THREE: FANTASTIC CREATURES INSCRIBED AND ILLUSTRATED

The third and final part of my detailed (well, detailed for a blog) look at the connection between paganism and early art.  If you haven’t read the first two parts, here are the links:

Part One: http://theartistworks.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/allegorical-animals-the-connection-between-paganism-and-early-christian-art-part-one/

Part Two: http://theartistworks.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/allegorical-animals-the-connection-between-paganism-and-early-christian-art-part-two/

Saint Augustine writes that what is important is not whether the animals existed, but what they meant: the focus is clearly on doctrine. The Bible is filled with an assortment of stories involving animals, fantastic and real. In Joel 2, an army of locusts resembling horses appears, they shake the earth, darken the sky, and shoot out flames that burn everything in their path. In Revelation 5, a dead lamb with seven horns and seven eyes comes back to life. In Revelation 9:17, fire-breathing horses with the heads of lions appear wearing breastplates of jacinth and brimstone. In Revelation 13:1-3, a seven headed…

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