Paul Fouracre
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Beginnings
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Here the origins of the use of light in worship are traced back to the Mosaic books of the Old Testament. How the injunction to keep a light burning at all times was adopted into Christianity despite opposition. The gifts the Emperor Constantine made to churches for lights are discussed against the background of declining oil production in the later Roman period. Early evidence from Italy, Spain, England and France is discussed and comparative analysis of the spread of the lights is made. There is emphasis on the economic background and discussion of the emergence of localized production of olive oil, alongside a switch to wax as an acceptable substitute fuel for the lights.

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Eternal light and earthly concerns

Belief and the shaping of medieval society

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