Mark Preuss Home
"Edict of Milan"
64" x 41" oil on panel
OCCIDENT- The countries of the West, especially Europe and the Americas.
The first time I saw the word Occident I was reading Iris Murdoch or maybe Camille Paglia.
I came to understand the word 'Occident' not as geographic but as 'the cultures of the world
that have their roots in the Greco-Roman world, better yet just, cultures descended from Rome.
I spent ten days in Rome and like many tourist I felt connected to the ancient city.
In the 2000 year old Colosseum I felt Yankee stadium and understood the drama and
spectacle that must have played out there. Clearly ancient Rome was a carnal passionate
place no different from NY, Paris or Berlin. The western world is built on the Roman blueprint.
Rome is also the birth place of Christianity. A religion born out of conflict with civil
authority. As the military power of the empire reached it limits and began to break
apart, a new kind of moral authority was used to help hold the empire together,
the Occident is Christian as a result