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Roman Festivals in the Greek East
From the Early Empire to the Middle Byzantine Era

$38.99 (C)

Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: November 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107465053

$ 38.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This study explores the development of ancient festival culture in the Greek East of the Roman Empire, paying particular attention to the fundamental religious changes that occurred. After analysing how Greek city festivals developed in the first two Imperial centuries, it concentrates on the major Roman festivals that were adopted in the Eastern cities and traces their history up to the time of Justinian and beyond. It addresses several key questions for the religious history of later antiquity: who were the actors behind these adoptions? How did the closed religious communities, Jews and pre-Constantinian Christians, articulate their resistance? How did these festivals change when the empire converted to Christianity? Why did emperors not yield to the long-standing pressure of the Church to abolish them? And finally, how did these very popular festivals - despite their pagan tradition - influence the form of the newly developed Christian liturgy?

    • Provides a new approach to the spread of Roman culture in the Greek East
    • Presents a fresh view of the Christianisation of the Roman Empire
    • Shows how developments of the late Roman festival calendar shaped the Christian festival calendar
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this engaging book serves a wide range of historical interests. Graf has produced a detailed and heavily researched guidebook that breaks new ground on Roman festivals and their practice in the eastern empire during the Christian and pre-Christian eras, raising and answering important questions about the miscibility of Christian and pagan practices during this period.' W. Andrew Smith, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107465053
    • length: 379 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.551kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Festivals in the Greek East Before Constantine:
    1. Greek city festivals in the Imperial age
    2. Roman festivals in Eastern cities
    Part II. Roman Festivals in the Greek East After Constantine:
    3. Theodosius' reform of the legal calendar
    4. Contested festivals in the fourth century
    5. The Lupercalia from Augustus to Constantine Porphyrogennetos
    6. John Malalas and ritual aetiology
    7. The Brumalia
    8. Kalendae Ianuariae again, and again
    9. Christian liturgy and the Imperial festival tradition
    Part III. Christianity and Private Ritual:
    10. Christian incubation
    11. Magic in a Christian Empire
    Epilogue. The persistence of festivals and the end of sacrifices.

  • Author

    Fritz Graf, Ohio State University
    Fritz Graf is Distinguished University Professor and Director of Epigraphy at Ohio State University. He has published widely on Greek mythology, local cults in ancient Asia Minor, eschatological texts from Greek graves, and ancient magic.

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