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Hellenism, comprising the language, thought, mythology and images of the Greeks, contributed fundamentally to the evolution of early Christianity. But it served no less to disseminate and strengthen paganism - a role that has hitherto been little appreciated or studied. The local traditions of Asia Minor, Egypt and the Near East survived in most cases by sharing common forms of expression with the Christians. Hellenism clearly allowed late pagans of widely differing traditions to communicate with each other. At the same time it gave to both Christianity and Islam a pagan context that enjoyed much greater public recognition then than now. Professor Bowersock, in his 1989 Jerome Lectures, which was delivered in Michigan and Rome shows how Hellenism illuminated the wholeness of the late antique world in the East by exploring the interaction of paganism and Christianity where Dionysus and Christ flourished together.
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- Date Published: September 1990
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521392761
- length: 121 pages
- dimensions: 244 x 164 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- availability: Unavailable - out of print January 1996
Table of Contents
1. Paganism and Greek culture
2. The idolatry of Holiness
3. The Syrian tradition
4. Dionysus and his world
5. Greek literature in Egypt
6. Hellenism and Islam
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