The project set out to examine how ancient Christianities located beyond the frontiers of Rome in late antique Western and Central Asia were shaped by the dual promises of empire and salvation.
A striking characteristic of many ancient Near Eastern buildings is their vastly oversized dimensions. Based on examples of early monumental buildings in Uruk (Southern Iraq, late 4th to late 3rd millennium BC) and on the Roman Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek (Lebanon), the project involved the quantification of expenditures for building materials and organization, as well as the translation of the results to terms of economy. These examples contributed to the discussions of research group (B-2-) XXL – Monumentalized Knowledge on the definition of monumentality at various times and in diverse parts of the world, the addressees, and the implicit conceptions of space.
Within the Excellence Cluster Topoi, the researchers in this project developed an exhibition on Ctesiphon to show that the existing culture did not “simply come to an end” and that the new culture emerged from nothing. Cooperating partners were the Museum für Islamische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the German Archaeology Institute (DAI), the University of Applied Sciences (HTW), the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) and the Institute for Museum Research – Staatliche Museen.