Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Burial and Resurrection: The Sculpted Sarcophagi of Ravenna and Visions of Perpetuity in an Age of Flux

The rich artistic remains in the city of Ravenna on Italy's northeastern coast are invaluable to scholars interested in the dynamic years between antiquity and medievalism. Famous for its mosaics, Ravenna is also home to dozens of late antique/early medieval sculpted tombs. These sarcophagi have received less scholarly attention. This dissertation examines the funerary objects alongside the wealth of additional material at Ravenna, demonstrating that the sarcophagi represent a vital facet of the city's aesthetic heritage. Further, it explores the sculpture as a means to better understand the contemporary cultural landscape. The imagery reflects a regional pictorial tradition that can be connected to the broader socio-political atmosphere of this urban center, it celebrates the prestige of local, ecclesiastical leaders, and it visually manifests multivalent theological concepts and concerns. The tombs of Ravenna are, therefore, a useful lens by which to view a key urban center at a pivotal crossroads in European history.