The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology

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  • Splendid, monumental reference work, authoritative and lavishly illustrated
  • Booklist 2018 Top Ten Reference Books

Product Details

The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology (EEECAA) is the first comprehensive reference work of its kind.

More than 400 distinguished scholars, including archaeologists, art historians, historians, epigraphers, and theologians, have written the 1,455 entries in this monumental encyclopedia.

From Aachen to Zurzach, Paul Corby Finney's masterwork draws on archaeological and epigraphic evidence to offer readers a basic orientation to early Christian architecture, sculpture, painting, mosaic, and portable artifacts created roughly between AD 200 and 600 in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Clear, Concise, and Accessible

You don't need to have specialized training in archaeology and the history of art to enjoy this volume. Early Christian art has had a long-lasting influence on the history of art, and the "visual world that early Christians invented was bristling with spiritual intents and purposes." (From the Preface.)

A Powerful Research Tool in Wordsearch

Even more powerful than in print, a quick search in Wordsearch will take you right to the information you need. Other terms that have entries are linked so you can go straight to them if interested, and the Bible verses mentioned are also linked (or you can read them in the pop up without leaving where you are). This is especially helpful considering that the EEECAA is 1,750 pages in print.

Along with the 1,455 encyclopedia entries (some that also have images included), this volume also includes plates and maps (with a map index). The plates are images of different artifacts and artwork from more than 25 countries and cover the the entire timeframe of the EEECAA.

Clear, comprehensive, and richly illustrated, this work will be an essential resource for all those interested in late antique and early Christian art, archaeology, and history.

About the General Editor:

Paul Corby Finney is professor emeritus of ancient history at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. His previous books include The Invisible God: The Earliest Christians on Art and Seeing beyond the Word: Visual Arts and the Calvinist Tradition.


This is a reference work that has broad appeal; although it is ‘designed as an entry-level research tool’ and thus is not as comprehensive as specialists in any one particular area might desire, there is much to be learned here and it should be consulted often.
Religious Studies Review
[The encyclopedia] is a guide to a new world; indeed, so broad is its range of reference that it is almost a guide to late antiquity as a whole. . . . A triumph of intellectual generosity.
Peter Brown in the New York Review of Books