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EMMA VITALE

I.2 L’area Nord-Occidentale, in Carra et alii, Le aree funerarie fra isola e terraferma: esempi dalla Sicilia e dalla Sardegna, pp. 135-179

Abstract

Christian funerary evidence of Sicily and Sardinia are among the 3rd-4th century and 7th-8th. They were defined “useful fossils” to determine the incidence of the new religion in urban areas and the importance of the settlement spread over vast areas. The burial areas recognized in Sardinia are about one hundred; in Sicily they are more and more numerous; they are distributed along the route of the ancient roads and fall within the areas of competence of the diocese known by some letters of Pope Gregory the Great. They were divided into three categories: burial areas sub divo, rural and urban; burial underground areas, urban and rural; burial areas connected with a rural church or with a martyr’s church. The south-central Sicily has major innovations derived from assiduous studies, supported by archaeological prospecting aimed at the recovery of funerary evidence. After the results of the excavations of the last 30 years, you can define Agrigento a model for the funerary urban organization and for the presence of a “way of the tombs “that connected, already at the beginning of the fourth century, the catacombs and the cemetery sub divo with private ipogea, in a location that was the center of attraction in the Basilica Apostolorum, commissioned by Bishop Gregory in the most prestigious pagan temple of Agrigento. The decorative painting, the devices for the ritual, the choice of the exclusive areas of the cubicles in Villagrazia di Carini, in Syracuse and Lilybaeum as in Cagliari, the architecture of the tombs, kits used for refrigerium, denote a demanding clientele of high rank.