AT ITS July meeting the Shipston Arts and Crafts Society heard Linda Farrar speak on ‘Late Roman Mosaics’ with a focus on early Christian mosaics. The images used on early Christian mosaics had much on common with those used in the long tradition of mosaic production throughout the Roman Empire in centuries before Constantine proclaimed the empire to be a Christian one in 323, such as vines, fruit and sheep, all of which easily adapt to new meanings in Christianity. There are also new, specifically Christian symbols such as the Chi-Rho, the first letters of Christ’s name in Greek. This is present in the mosaic from Hinton St Mary, Devon. After 427, when the Emperor Theodosius forbad letting people walk on sacred images, wall and ceiling mosaics were used to tell Christian stories. They were the bible of the poor. An apse would be highly decorated with a scene showing Christ in glory. Among the mosaics shown were ones from Rome, Ravenna, Constantinople, and Antioch.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 15 at 7.30 pm when Roger Butler will speak on ‘The Silk Road’. Shipston Arts and Crafts Society meets at the Catholic Church Parish Centre, Darlingscote Road, Shipston-on-Stour on the third Tuesday of each month. All are welcome.