“WhatsIt!” Definitions

Unit I

Apostle: A chief disciple of Jesus, see also Missionary.

Gnostic: Ancient religious ideals of both Christian and Jewish sects that rely on Spiritual Knowledge.
Codex Sinaiticus & Vaticanus: Bishop Eusebius’ specialist scriptorium in Caesarea. “An extraordinary expenditure on creating de luxe written texts.” (McCulloch, pg. 191) Each was named after their respective places, yet the codes were similar in understandings of Christianity.

Basilica: A long oblong hall used in ancient Rome for public assemblies. An “audience hall of a secular ruler, called from its royal associations… conventionally it was a rectangular chamber big enough to hold large numbers.” (McCulloch, 197)

Prosopon: A theatrical mask to showcase the emotional range. In the Bible, it “expresses the aspect of God turned toward the world—his Face.” (Prosopon School of Iconology.com)

Council of Nicea: The first consensus of a church assembly in order to represent all of Christendom. This one, in particular, was responsible for the assumption that Jesus was an embodiment of the Trinity (see Trinity)

Missionary: a person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country.

Christology: Literally translated from Greek as “the study of Christ.”

Trinity: The accepted ideology that states that Jesus is, in fact, God, the Son, and The Holy Spirit.

Unit II

Charlemagne: Charles the Great became “King of the Romans” in 800 and united the empire under the blanket of Christianity. He implemented many commonplace aspects of society, including Carolingian minuscule. (McCulloch, 355)

Donation of Constantine: A fake document that provided the absolute rule of Rome to the popes. “One of the most significant forgeries in history… The forged Donation much fired the imagination of later popes and clerical supporters of their power.” (McCulloch, 351)

Asceticism: A severe form of self-discipline that includes shutting oneself off from society including its indecent formalities and the institutionalization of Christianity.

Virgin Mary: The human bearer and mother of Jesus Christ and a largely significant agent in Christian theology

Painting by: Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato
© The National Gallery, London

Original Sin: (Also known as the ancestral sin) Related to Adam and Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden. The ideological concept implies an inherited folly of all humans in a collective sin.

Pilgrimage: A journey to an unknown or foreign land in order to find out the nature of others as well as oneself.

Aristotle: Greek philosopher whose logical ideals influenced the philosophy of Christianity during the Middle Ages.

Annunciation: The announcement made by Archangel Gabriel to Mary revealing to her that she as a virgin will bear a savior child by the Holy Spirit. (McCulloch, 80)

Painting by: Luca Giordana

Schism: The formal split of a church into factions of the church; often referenced as the split of Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic ideologies.

Constantinople: Named in honor of Constantine, the city was the capital of the Roman Empire and subsequently the Byzantine Empire until it fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. Today, under the Turkish government, it is known as Istanbul.

Painting by James Webb

Unit III


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