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Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance (Mythos)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This exploration of cultural resilience examines the complex fate of classical Egyptian religion during the centuries from the period when Christianity first made its appearance in Egypt to when it became the region's dominant religion (roughly 100 to 600 C.E. Taking into account the full range of witnesses to continuing native piety--from papyri and saints' lives to archaeology and terracotta figurines--and drawing on anthropological studies of folk religion, David Frankfurter argues that the religion of Pharonic Egypt did not die out as early as has been supposed but was instead relegated from political centers to village and home, where it continued a vigorous existence for centuries.

In analyzing the fate of the Egyptian oracle and of the priesthoods, the function of magical texts, and the dynamics of domestic cults, Frankfurter describes how an ancient culture maintained itself while also being transformed through influences such as Hellenism, Roman government, and Christian dominance. Recognizing the special characteristics of Egypt, which differentiated it from the other Mediterranean cultures that were undergoing simultaneous social and political changes, he departs from the traditional "decline of paganism/triumph of Christianity" model most often used to describe the Roman period. By revealing late Egyptian religion in its Egyptian historical context, he moves us away from scenarios of Christian triumph and shows us how long and how energetically pagan worship survived.

Synopsis:

"Popular religion is at the center of this excellent study. Frankfurter places Christianity in a multifaceted, often unexpected context in the countryside of Egypt. He shows that despite the state's new religion, Egyptian gods, goddesses, and cultic practices persisted. The result is a thoroughly stimulating book---an unusual mix of erudition and interpretation--and one which I read with great pleasure."--Dorothy J. Thompson, Girton College, Cambridge

"Clearly written and well-researched, [Frankfurter's] book is accessible to a wide audience of scholars and lay people alike."--J. G. Manning, Stanford University

Synopsis:

This exploration of cultural resilience examines the complex fate of classical Egyptian religion during the centuries from the period when Christianity first made its appearance in Egypt to when it became the region's dominant religion (roughly 100 to 600 C.E. Taking into account the full range of witnesses to continuing native piety--from papyri and saints' lives to archaeology and terracotta figurines--and drawing on anthropological studies of folk religion, David Frankfurter argues that the religion of Pharonic Egypt did not die out as early as has been supposed but was instead relegated from political centers to village and home, where it continued a vigorous existence for centuries.

In analyzing the fate of the Egyptian oracle and of the priesthoods, the function of magical texts, and the dynamics of domestic cults, Frankfurter describes how an ancient culture maintained itself while also being transformed through influences such as Hellenism, Roman government, and Christian dominance. Recognizing the special characteristics of Egypt, which differentiated it from the other Mediterranean cultures that were undergoing simultaneous social and political changes, he departs from the traditional "decline of paganism/triumph of Christianity" model most often used to describe the Roman period. By revealing late Egyptian religion in its Egyptian historical context, he moves us away from scenarios of Christian triumph and shows us how long and how energetically pagan worship survived.

About the Author

David Frankfurter is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of Elijah in Upper Egypt: The Apocalypse of Elijah and Early Egyptian Christianity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Overture: The Armor of Horus3
1Scope and Method5
2Religion and Temples37
3The Local Scope of Religious Belief97
4Mutations of the Egyptian Oracle145
5Priest to Magician: Evolving Modes of Religious Authority198
6The Scriptorium as Crucible of Religious Change238
7Idiom, Ideology, and Iconoclasm: A Prolegomenon to the Conversion of Egypt265
Select Bibliography285
Index307

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691070544
Author:
Frankfurter, David
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Christianity and other religions
Subject:
Ancient - Rome
Subject:
Ancient - Egypt
Subject:
Archaeology and Ancient History
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Middle Eastern Studies
Subject:
World History-Ancient Near East
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology
Publication Date:
October 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map, 1 line illus., 23 halftones
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 17 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient History
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance (Mythos) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$45.25 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691070544 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Popular religion is at the center of this excellent study. Frankfurter places Christianity in a multifaceted, often unexpected context in the countryside of Egypt. He shows that despite the state's new religion, Egyptian gods, goddesses, and cultic practices persisted. The result is a thoroughly stimulating book---an unusual mix of erudition and interpretation--and one which I read with great pleasure."--Dorothy J. Thompson, Girton College, Cambridge

"Clearly written and well-researched, [Frankfurter's] book is accessible to a wide audience of scholars and lay people alike."--J. G. Manning, Stanford University

"Synopsis" by , This exploration of cultural resilience examines the complex fate of classical Egyptian religion during the centuries from the period when Christianity first made its appearance in Egypt to when it became the region's dominant religion (roughly 100 to 600 C.E. Taking into account the full range of witnesses to continuing native piety--from papyri and saints' lives to archaeology and terracotta figurines--and drawing on anthropological studies of folk religion, David Frankfurter argues that the religion of Pharonic Egypt did not die out as early as has been supposed but was instead relegated from political centers to village and home, where it continued a vigorous existence for centuries.

In analyzing the fate of the Egyptian oracle and of the priesthoods, the function of magical texts, and the dynamics of domestic cults, Frankfurter describes how an ancient culture maintained itself while also being transformed through influences such as Hellenism, Roman government, and Christian dominance. Recognizing the special characteristics of Egypt, which differentiated it from the other Mediterranean cultures that were undergoing simultaneous social and political changes, he departs from the traditional "decline of paganism/triumph of Christianity" model most often used to describe the Roman period. By revealing late Egyptian religion in its Egyptian historical context, he moves us away from scenarios of Christian triumph and shows us how long and how energetically pagan worship survived.

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