Chapter 7: jewish, early christian and byzantine art. An underground cemetery consisting of tunnels on different levels, having rich niches for burials, urns, and sarcophagi and often incorporating norms. Halo: a circle of light that surrounds and frames the heads of emperors and christian saints to signify power/sanity, (also known as a nimbus) Two major directions of art: narrative image: a picture that recounts an event drawn from a story either factual or fictional. 3 religions that arose in the near east and flourished across the mediterranean roman world. Judaism: christianism, all three are monostatic: followers believe that the same god of abraham created and. Jewish people trace their ancestry to semitic people called the hebrews. In 10th century king solomon built a temple in the. Niches can be of varying size and shape, and may be intended for many different uses, from display of objects to housing of a tomb: narthex: the vestibule or entrance porch of a church.