In Late Antiquity Sicily became a privileged place of religious changes in the Ancient Mediterranean: the south eastern part of the island is the last frontier of the Byzantine Empire, place of last resistance to Islamic domination. The dimension of the sacred is reflected in a specific socio-political organization of the space and is often configured as a "landscape of power": in this way, some examples of rocky churches in the middle of the Island dedicated to the cult of saints, can be explained. Many of which were of greek heritage. The North area of central Sicily (EN) has considerable archaeological potential, mainly linked to the impressive scenery rocky habitat, known since ancient times. If the cave represents an important place marker in the settlement dynamics, the cult destination of some rocky units becomes a fundamental element connoting the identity of this territory in the process of Christianization between the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The impact of the cult of Saints, who are named after rocky churches and oratories, is particularly important because it determines the profound transformations in the organization of sacred spaces and in the religious practice of local communities in the Byzantine world. A great connection is evident between these sacred places and the network of roads connected to the main traffic routes known by the ancient sources, later to be linked to the “italian greek monasteries. Many of which are just on the the Nebrodi mountain, where -it’s no coincidence- the Byzantine army reorganizes him against the Islamic advance, in a land marked by the presence of several toponymies of Greek-speaking saints, further sign of the Byzantine presence on this territory.

SACRED SPACES AND LANDSCAPE IN CENTRAL SICILY BETWEEN LATE ANTIQUITY AND EARLY MIDDLE AGE

PATTI, DANIELA
2017

Abstract

In Late Antiquity Sicily became a privileged place of religious changes in the Ancient Mediterranean: the south eastern part of the island is the last frontier of the Byzantine Empire, place of last resistance to Islamic domination. The dimension of the sacred is reflected in a specific socio-political organization of the space and is often configured as a "landscape of power": in this way, some examples of rocky churches in the middle of the Island dedicated to the cult of saints, can be explained. Many of which were of greek heritage. The North area of central Sicily (EN) has considerable archaeological potential, mainly linked to the impressive scenery rocky habitat, known since ancient times. If the cave represents an important place marker in the settlement dynamics, the cult destination of some rocky units becomes a fundamental element connoting the identity of this territory in the process of Christianization between the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The impact of the cult of Saints, who are named after rocky churches and oratories, is particularly important because it determines the profound transformations in the organization of sacred spaces and in the religious practice of local communities in the Byzantine world. A great connection is evident between these sacred places and the network of roads connected to the main traffic routes known by the ancient sources, later to be linked to the “italian greek monasteries. Many of which are just on the the Nebrodi mountain, where -it’s no coincidence- the Byzantine army reorganizes him against the Islamic advance, in a land marked by the presence of several toponymies of Greek-speaking saints, further sign of the Byzantine presence on this territory.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/123538
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