Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Rome: Conflict, Competition, and Coexistence in the Fourth Century

Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Rome: Conflict, Competition, and Coexistence in the Fourth Century


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This book sheds new light on the religious and consequently social changes taking place in late antique Rome. The essays in this volume argue that the once-dominant notion of pagan-Christian religious conflict cannot fully explain the texts and artifacts, as well as the social, religious, and political realities of late antique Rome. Together, the essays demonstrate that the fourth-century city was a more fluid, vibrant, and complex place than was previously thought. Competition between diverse groups in Roman society - be it pagans with Christians, Christians with Christians, or pagans with pagans - did create tensions and hostility, but it also allowed for coexistence and reduced the likelihood of overt violent, physical conflict. Competition and coexistence, along with conflict, emerge as still central paradigms for those who seek to understand the transformations of Rome from the age of Constantine through the early fifth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107110304
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/12/2015
Series: The Wiles Lectures
Pages: 436
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Michele Renee Salzman is Professor of Ancient History at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of numerous articles and books on late antiquity, and recently published The Letters of Symmachus. Book 1 (including a translation with Michael Roberts, 2012).

Marianne Sághy is Associate Professor in the Medieval Studies Department at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She is the author of several books in Hungarian on Damasus of Rome and on late antique hagiography.

Rita Lizzi Testa is Professor of Roman History at the University of Perugia, Italy, and is a member of the International Advisory Board for 'CUA Studies in Early Christianity' and for the NAPS-Christianity in Late Antiquity book series. She is author of several books, and editor or coeditor of many volumes.

Table of Contents

Part I. Senatorial Politics and Religious Conflict in Rome: 1. Constantine and the Roman senate: conflict, cooperation, and concealed resistance Michele R. Salzman; 2. Beyond pagans and Christians: politics and intra-Christian conflict in the controversy over the Altar of Victory Robert Chenault; 3. Were pagans afraid to speak their mind in a Christian world? The correspondence of Symmachus Alan Cameron; Part II. The Construction of New Religious Identities: 4. Christians and the invention of paganism in late antique Rome Thomas Jürgasch; 5. Late antique divi and imperial priests of the late fourth and early fifth centuries Douglas Boin; 6. Artis heu magicis: the label of magic in the fourth-century conflicts and disputes Maijastina Kahlos; 7. Crowd behavior in late antique Rome Daniëlle Slootjes; Part III. Pagans and Christians: Coexistence and Competition: 8. Re-interpreting the cult of Mithras Jonas Bjørnebye; 9. Making difference: the Carmina contra Paganos and the invention of late Roman paganism Dennis E. Trout; 10. Poetry and pagans in late antique Rome: the case of the senator 'converted from the Christian religion to servitude to the idols' Neil McLynn; 11. Professiones gentiliciae: the collegia of Rome between paganism and Christianity Francesca Diosono; 12. Reinterpreting pagans and Christians from Rome's late antique mortuary evidence Nicola Denzey Lewis; 13. On the form and function of Constantine's circiform funerary basilicas in Rome Monica Hellström; 14. Romanae Gloria plebis: Bishop Damasus and the traditions of Rome Marianne Sághy; 15. Storytelling and cultural memory in the making: celebrating pagan and Christian founders of Rome Gitte Lønstrup Dal Santo; 16. Rome and imagery in late antiquity: perception and use of statues Caroline Michel d'Annoville; 17. What to do with Sacra Antiqua? A reinterpretation of the sculptures from S. Martino ai Monti in Rome Silviu Anghel; 18. Hercules representations in fourth-century Christian context Levente Nagy; Concluding remarks: VRBS ROMA between pagans and Christians Rita Lizzi Testa.

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