Written Art Appreciation/General Essay

The Christian Community House from Dura Europos and Santa Sabina in Rome are two different buildings that have quite different interior although they are united by the common theme Christianity. In spite of the fact that two buildings were constructed in different time and in different places, they still are dedicated to Christian religion. The interior of Santa Sabina depicts Jesus Christ and a good and a bad thief on his sides. The framed whole in the floor of the temple reveals the origin of the building which dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, while Santa Sabina was likely to be constructed on the ground of the ancient Roman temple dedicated to Juno. The Christian Church in Dura Europos was one of several religious buildings in Dura Europos. The interior of the church served to meetings of Christians. At the same time, in its essence, the Christian Church was a typical upper-class Roman house. Instead, Santa Sabina was originally constructed on the ground of the Roman temple. Hence, the interior of the Christian church in Dura Europos was like the interior of a house, while the interior of Santa Sabina was more like the interior of a temple.

The function of each building and its interior changed in the course of time. Santa Sabina used to be a Roman temple dedicated to Juno that evolved into a Christian temple and now become a part of heritage. The Christian church in Dura Europos was initially the church, where Christians met, later it became the fortification used for the defense of Dura Europos in the struggle of Romans against Sassanians. Now, only the foundation of the church is preserved, while the interior of the church can be reconstructed only.

Thus, the two buildings differ in design but they both served to Christian communities.


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