Together these three divided the region and conquered in order to spread the word of Christ. Mary-Magdalene was principally responsible for converting citizens of Aix-en-Provence (Roman Aquae Sextiae and her legacy throughout the city has survived. Centuries later, the Count of Provence claimed that he had discovered the skull and some skeletal remains of Mary-Magdalene in a cave eastward Aix, at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. And thus, began one of the most important pilgrimages in France to worship these relics.
Our interactive conservation will lead us into this Early Christian period in Southern France, where legends meet history and art. Starting with the figure of Mary-Magdalene, formerly considered the repent prostitute, we will understand who was this prominent figure of the Early Church and how Provence claims to have its relics. This will be the occasion then to turn towards history and art to discover some of the significant sites and artworks of the dawn of Christianity in Provence: the 4th-century Christian sarcophagi of Arles, the most extensive collection of this category outside Italy; the 5th-century baptistery of Fréjus and Aix-en-Provence; the crypt of Saint-Victor of Marseilles where we can see the sarcophagi attributed to Lazarus.
Led by Guillaume Durand, Ph.D., an archaeologist and professor of Archaeology and Ancient Art History, our discussion will explore and study how Christianity developed in Southern France. We'll also come away with a foundational understanding of how vital Mary-Magdalene's legacy is for modern-day Christianity. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge of the Ancient Roman civilization through the scope of one of its most important regions.
About Your Expert
Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand, Ph.D. has long-standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide and lecturer in this country for French citizens.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
Another scholarly presentation by Dr. Durand. Glad that he covered the issue of Mary Magdalene's probable actual life (a wealthy woman who helped sustain Jesus's mission) vs. prostitute. Inaccuracies explored (e.g., was not the wife of Jesus as in "DaVinci Code"), her possible travels to Provence described, and the problem of relics (real or not). The caves, basilicas, the sarcophagi, crypts. Fascinating expose, held my interest for sure.
Dr. Durand conveys a reverence for place -- his beloved Provence, but is completely scientific about its most famous citizen. This is a well-organized lecture delivered in a light-hearted manner. Thoroughly enjoyable. Absolutely informative.
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Dr. Durand gave a fascinating lecture. I will be looking for more lectures from him.
I was happy to hear the ancient and current understandings about Mary Magdalene. Truly a fascinating and controversial apostle due to her sex and her relationship with Jesus. I lived in Provence for a year back in 1994 in Gordes and was surprised to see so many churches dedicated to her. Now I understand why. Thanks!