Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2012 Alejandro Sills. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert Weinberg

Second Advisor

Marjorie Murphy


The subject of this inquiry is Saint John of Damascus, an eighth-century Syrian monk who wrote against Byzantine Iconoclasm. Through a study of his writings and the works that he cited, together with an investigation into modern scholarship, this thesis argues that his claim for the custom of image veneration as a legitimate part of Christian worship from its earliest days is sound. In the process, the paper looks into the evolution of historiography surrounding the subject, with implications for how to approach ancient sources.


Co-recipient of the Robert S. DuPlessis Prize, awarded in 2013.

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