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Transcript of Crypt
The crypt used in Gothic Cathedrals displays the Divine Order of God through the use of
while the Infinite Power of God is displayed through the
lack of light
Mithraeums were ancient caverns that were used for religious worship. They later served as early versions of crypts when christian churches had been build upon them. (Poole)
Crypts and Orthodox Christianity
The crypt can be summarized by the symbol of a sempiternal circle, or otherise known as the "Flower of Life" as shown below
Amy Kohler Period 4
The word Crypt originated from the Latin word
which meant "vault or cavern" crypt has also been thought to have been derived from the Greek word
which meant "hidden" (McCormack)
The location of the first crypt is unknown, but most early cathedrals included crypts and used them as both infirmaries and the burial sites for the saints. (Favier 31)
Crypts were designed to keep the souls of the saints at peace as they progressed towards heaven. This peace would require the buried saints to be removed from disturbances, thus the crypts were "hidden" underground to remove major disturbances.
Change in Purpose
As the structure of the crypts changed, the purpose of the crypt changed over time. Crypts were first used to store ancient holy relics, but soon became similar to Egyptian tombs in regards that they focused more on providing sanction for "christian heroes" who were buried with their relics to get closer to God. (Favier)
The Mithraeum concept was adopted by early orthodox christians and was also included in a few basilicas. (Poole)
The Crypt prominently shows reason and logic through its multiplicity which the crypt is composed of and therefore the very structure is heavenly.
The word sempiternal means something is endless and without bound. The crypt accomplishes a sempiternal feel by using precise mathematics to create a feeling of eternity and infinite power that is commonly associated with God. Sempiternal expresses the legacy and endless power that the church was trying to create though the construction of cathedrals and crypts specifically
Favier, Jean. The World of Chartres. New York:
Henry N. Abrams, 1990. p.31 8 Dec. 2016
McCormack, Dan. Online Etymology Dictionary.
Douglas Harper, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2016
Poole, Thomas. "Crypt."
The Catholic Encyclopedia.
New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1908.
8 Dec. 2016
The Crypt of each cathedral was where the dead priests and saints were buried and where the public would have access to relics owned by the church.
The Relics specifically allowed for saints to connect to God by getting close to the relics which symbolized the saints getting closer to God. (Favier 31)
Crypts display faith through the lack of light that immerses the chamber which therefore represents the transition period between life and heaven in the christian belief.
Ultimately the crypt was created to hold the items the church wished to remain "hidden"
Early Christian Period
Although the first is unknown, crypts were first common at North Africa at Chlef and Djemila in Algeria, and Byzantium at Saint John Studio in Constantinople
Crypts were first created in the
Early Christian art and architecture or Paleochristian art is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between 260 and 525. In practice identifiably Christian art only survives from the 2nd century onwards.
It was natural, therefore, for the early Christians to call their catacombs crypts; and, when churches came to be erected over the tombs of saints and martyrs, subterranean chapels, known as crypts or confessiones, were built around the actual tomb. The most famous of these was St. Peter’s, built over the circus of Nero, the site of St. Peter’s martyrdom. ("Crypt")
Later the size of the crypt was increased to include the entire space under the floor of the church choir or chancel, as in the 10th-century crypt of S. Ambrogio at Milan. With the increased desire for richness in all parts of the church, the general plan became more complex. The choir floor, for example, was raised, thereby opening the front of the crypt to the nave ("Crypt")
"Crypt." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 Mar. 2002. Web. 11 Dec. 2016
Where Byzantine influence was strong, crypts were less common and, when built, were of a totally different type, frequently as cellars under the entire church area. ("Crypt)
North African crypt
Compare the following...
The following video introduces an example of belief of a transition from life to the afterword
"Christianity and science are opposed...but only in the same sense as that which my thumb and forefinger are opposed- and between them I can grasp everything."
-Sir William Bragg
The crypt is composed of many groin vaults that appear endless in nature and provide support for the entirety of the cathedral above it
Here is another example of a groin vault
Since light was seen as the presence of God, the lack of light was therefore seen as a lack of God. Which shows significance because the higher authorities of the church that were buried there would no longer need the light of God because they were believed to be in his company.
Groin vault of which crypts are made
is shown through the repetition of the groin vaults
Multiplicity in crypts increases the power, mystery, and sanctity of God through continuity of the same structures.
Watch from 0:00-1:33