Pagans and Christians in the Late Roman Empire

New Evidence, New Approaches (4th–8th centuries)
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382 pages

Do the terms ‘pagan’ and ‘Christian,’ ‘transition from paganism to Christianity’ still hold as explanatory devices to apply to the political, religious and cultural transformation experienced Empire-wise? Revisiting ‘pagans’ and ‘Christians’ in Late Antiquity has been a fertile site of scholarship in recent years: the paradigm shift in the interpretation of the relations between ‘pagans’ and ‘Christians’ replaced the old ‘conflict model’ with a subtler, complex approach and triggered the upsurge of new explanatory models such as multiculturalism, cohabitation, cooperation, identity, or group cohesion.

This collection of essays, inscribes itself into the revisionist discussion of pagan-Christian relations over a broad territory and time-span, the Roman Empire from the fourth to the eighth century. A set of papers argues that if ‘paganism’ had never been fully extirpated or denied by the multiethnic educated elite that managed the Roman Empire, ‘Christianity’ came to be presented by the same elite as providing a way for a wider group of people to combine true philosophy and right religion. The speed with which this happened is just as remarkable as the long persistence of paganism after the sea-change of the fourth century that made Christianity the official religion of the State. For a long time afterwards, ‘pagans’ and ‘Christians’ lived ‘in between’ polytheistic and monotheist traditions and disputed Classical and non-Classical legacies.

Marianne Sághy and Edward M. Schoolman, Introduction

Maël Goarzin, The Importance of the Practical Life for Pagan and Christian Philosophers
Linda Honey, Religious Profiling in the Miracles of Saint Thecla
Margarita Vallejo-Girvés, Empress Verina among the Pagans
Anna Judit Tóth, John Lydus, Pagan and Christian
Juana Torres, Marcus of Arethusa, Heretic and Martyr

Monika Pesthy Simon, Imitatio Christi? Classical and Scriptural Literary Models of Martyrdom in Early Christianity
Levente Nagy, Ascetic Christianity in Pannonian Martyr Stories?
Jérôme Lagouanère, Uses and Meanings of 'Paganus' in the works of Saint Augustine
Ecaterina Lung, Religious Identity as seen by Historians and Chroniclers in the Sixth Century

Branka Migotti, The cult of Sol Invictus and early Christianity in Aquae Iasae
Miriam Adan Jones, Conversion as Convergence: Gregory the Great confronting Pagan and Jewish Influences in Anglo-Saxon Christianity
Edward M. Schoolman, Religious Images and Contexts: "Christian" and "Pagan" Terracotta Lamps

Hristo Preshlenov, Believers in Transition: from Paganism to Christianity along the Southwestern Black Sea Coast (4th_6th centuries)
Jozef Grzywaczewski and Daniel K. Knox, Glory, Decay and Hope: Goddess Roma in Sidonius Apollinaris' Panegyrics
Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete, Tracing the Connections between "Mainstream" Platonism and "Marginal" Platonism with Digital Tools

Ivan Basić, Pagan Tomb to Christian Church: The Case of Diocletian's Mausoleum in Spalatum
Zsolt Visy, Christian Topography in Sopianae's Late Antique Cemeteries
Olivér Gábor and Zsuzsa Katona Győr, Sopianae Revisited: Pagan or Christian Burials?
Elizabeth O'Brien, Impact beyond the Empire: Burial practices in Ireland (4th – 8th centuries)

"Inhaltlich ist der Sammelband kaum zu beanstanden, da sich sämtliche Beiträge auf der Grundlage neuester Forschungsergebnisse unterschiedlichen Aspekten des Zusammenlebens zwischen verschiedenen religiösen Gruppen in Spätantike und Frühmittelalter widmen. Er fügt sich somit ein in die eingangs genannte Reihe von Darstellungen, die die religiöse Pluralität am Übergang von der Antike ins Mittelalter betonen. Es sind insbesondere Arbeiten osteuropäischer ForscherInnen, die hier in englischer Sprache einem größeren wissenschaftlichen Publikum präsentiert werden."