Master of Arts (MA)
Historians have held the Carolingian rule of Western Europe as a brief strike of light against the dark backdrop of the Medieval period. In this period two structures emerged for the first time in church architecture: the westwork and the exterior crypt. These two structures did not follow models found in Early Christian architecture: they accommodated functions specific to developments and needs that emerged in the context of the Carolingian Empire. Although both hold many opportunities for scholarship, the exterior crypt offers significant insights into developments at the heart of Carolingian liturgy, society, and architectural design. Two of these exterior crypts—those at the abbeys of Saint-Denis in Paris and Saint-Germain in Auxerre—provide the framework for the examination of other exterior crypts that emerged during this period. This thesis will explore these two crypt forms and the functions and references they express.
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Reed, Matthew Ryan, "Into the vault of the saints: the exterior crypts of Saint-Denis in Paris and Saint-Germain in Auxerre" (2011). LSU Master's Theses. 3036.