Home Forums Syncretism Syncretism Reply To: Syncretism

Raven Shaw

The Beit Alpha synagogue incorporated a Mesopotamian zodiac themed mosaic floor, with the sun god Helios in the center. The accompanying inscription is in Greek.

Herod’s temple makes me think of 11th century C.E. castles built for European rulers. Did both of these things happen around the same time?

The Royal Complex at Herodium had a courtyard and garden that were surrounded by Corinthian columns, in the style of Greek architecture. He also had a bath house built in Roman style.

Some of the decorative elements in the Arc of the Covenant and Menorahs looks like art from the Roman city of Pompeii. The catacombs were decorated with symbols and motifs that were generic to Roman culture.

During the 19th century building boom, Jews built synagogues in various styles, such as Art Deco or Egyptian. I believe having no nation made it possible for them to experiment with many different styles, and contribute to recognition of the cultures the styles came from.

Jewish coins were actually Roman coins on which Jewish images were stamped. This reminds me of how Islamic temples are built over the destroyed temples of other religions, but much less bloodshed involved. Jews got their system of weights and coins from the Babylonians.

In the Cubiculum of Leonis, Christian art borrowed the halo from Roman art, and Christ’s dress style from the Greeks. There are letters of the Greek alphabet, and a motif that mimics Roman architecture. Old Saint Peter’s Basilica also mimicked Roman architecture in structure.

Purely Christian art was forbidden by the Romans, so the image of a man carrying a sheep as used to represent Christ. This would go unnoticed because this was a common symbol representing sacrifice to the gods.