Religion & City Life in the LaterRoman EmpireCLAH266 – lecture 6/ seminar 32nd November 2012Dr Jamie Wood
Aims• To help you to start preparing  essay over reading week• To provide you with an overview  of religion in the later R...
Structure• Essay writing workshop• Religion in the later Roman Empire ▫ Religion to Constantine’s conversion ▫ Impact of t...
Essay-writing workshop• For homework, you should have chosen an  essay question and done some thinking  about it  ▫ (see h...
Last week: Rise of monotheism andhenotheism in 2nd and 3rd Cs• Increasing congruence between Christian beliefs  and practi...
Conversion of Constantine                • Christian God as a successful                  god of war                 ▫ Pro...
Church-state relations after Constantine• Note: both ‘church’ and ‘state’  anachronistic terms in this period• But: religi...
Defining the relationship• Patronage from emperor to a new cult = Christianity  (among others)  ▫ But C continues to conne...
Heretics as emperors• 4th century: an Arian century?  ▫ Arian emperors after Constantine    (Arian?)     Constantius II (...
Powerful pagans• Julian, emperor 361-363 (week 8)  ▫ Attempted revival of paganism (termed Hellenism), but along    highly...
Imperial attitudes to pagans• Overall: dwindling support during 4th C• Reign of Julian a turning point ▫ Christians recogn...
‘Superstition shall cease’(Codex Theodosianus, 16.10.2) • “Superstition shall cease; the madness of   sacrifices shall be ...
Christians and Jews• Tension during the age of ‘persecutions’  ▫ Jewish crowds often cited as instigating    persecution o...
The rise of the                                  bishop• A sought after office  ▫ Conduit for imperial investment in the l...
Christianity and the Fall of the RomanEmpire• Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the  Roman Empire: ▫ Movement of elite males int...
Conclusion on Religion• Religion and politics still inextricably linked  ▫ Christian God as a god of war and the god of th...
So, what happened?•   Revolution?•   Evolution?•   A change in management?•   A change in name?• Gradual christianisation ...
Seminar on City Living in the LaterRoman Empire
Homework: more on the essay• Prepare 2-sides of A4 plan for your essay, including: 1. An outline of the structure of your ...
Religion and City Life in the Later Roman Empire
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Religion and City Life in the Later Roman Empire

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Lecture 6 on the Later Roman Empire module at the University of Livepool

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Religion and City Life in the Later Roman Empire

  1. 1. Religion & City Life in the LaterRoman EmpireCLAH266 – lecture 6/ seminar 32nd November 2012Dr Jamie Wood
  2. 2. Aims• To help you to start preparing essay over reading week• To provide you with an overview of religion in the later Roman Empire, especially in relation to social and political history• To introduce you to some key themes and sources related to urban life in the later Roman Empire City
  3. 3. Structure• Essay writing workshop• Religion in the later Roman Empire ▫ Religion to Constantine’s conversion ▫ Impact of the conversion  Christian triumph: church and state or a state church  Christians and pagans/ polytheists  Christians and Jews  Rise of the bishop• Seminar on city life in the later Roman Empire
  4. 4. Essay-writing workshop• For homework, you should have chosen an essay question and done some thinking about it ▫ (see handout for questions and ideas for breaking them down)• Task: ▫ If you have not done the above, spend some time on your own thinking about the questions ▫ If you have thought about a question, find someone who has done a different question and…  Explain your thoughts to one another, offering feedback and suggestions  Take notes and think about their suggestions ▫ Then - repeat
  5. 5. Last week: Rise of monotheism andhenotheism in 2nd and 3rd Cs• Increasing congruence between Christian beliefs and practices and Roman elite ▫ Theology – philosophy – monotheism (Neo- Platonism and ‘the One’) ▫ Religion – politics – henotheism (political implications, esp. for emperors)• Emperors start to promote one dominant god within the pantheon ▫ Elagabalus (Sol Invictus); Diocletian (Jupiter)• Punishment of deviance from traditional cult ▫ Use of bureaucracy (e.g. Decian ‘Persecution’)
  6. 6. Conversion of Constantine • Christian God as a successful god of war ▫ Proves his (sorry girls) superiority on the battlefield • Problems with our sources ▫ Eusebius may have put a theological ‘spin’ on his account(s) of Constantine’s conversion (see Price) ▫ He also presents earlier attempts to enforce conformity as targeted persecutions of Christians when they may not have been
  7. 7. Church-state relations after Constantine• Note: both ‘church’ and ‘state’ anachronistic terms in this period• But: religion does continue to be a state matter from Constantine onwards (seminar last week) ▫ Investment of resources into the Christian communities ▫ Local conflicts within cities over who is bishop ▫ Theological disputes  Patronage of cult and resolution of disputes are both part of traditional role of Roman emperors
  8. 8. Defining the relationship• Patronage from emperor to a new cult = Christianity (among others) ▫ But C continues to connect himself to other cults (e.g. coins)• Caesaropapism? ▫ Not yet – this is very early stages ▫ State does not control the church (or vice versa)  Some Christians are not keen on increasingly close connection to the emperor  Donatists in Africa – hardliners who don’t want to compromise; schism with those who have done so  Others think that to engage with the ‘world’ too much undermines the purity of the church (imperial government is essence of worldly affairs)• Still trying to figure out how the relationship works
  9. 9. Heretics as emperors• 4th century: an Arian century? ▫ Arian emperors after Constantine (Arian?)  Constantius II (337-361)  Valens (364-378)• Not until end of 4th century do we see triumph of ‘orthodoxy’ with Theodosius I (week 9) ▫ Creation of a back story by later ‘orthodox’ historians Missorium of Kerch depicting Constantius II on horseback with a ▫ Various theological disagreements spear. He is preceded by victory and accompanied by a in East and between East and West guardsman. Notice also the Chi- Rho symbol. lead to questioning of ‘orthodoxy’ of nearly every emperor
  10. 10. Powerful pagans• Julian, emperor 361-363 (week 8) ▫ Attempted revival of paganism (termed Hellenism), but along highly ‘Christian’ lines• Eugenius, usurper in West 394-396 ▫ Christian, but had pagan supporters and offered renewed patronage to traditional cults (e.g. Altar of Victory restored to Senate House) ▫ Divine intervention at Battle of Fridigus leads to his defeat by Theodosius I• Aristocracy ▫ Pleas for tolerance, e.g. Symmachus vs. Ambrose on Altar of Victory ▫ Bloch, H. (1963), ‘The Pagan Revival in the West at the End of the Fourth Century’, in: A. Momigliano, ed., The Conflict Between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century (Oxford), pp. 193–218.• Army ▫ Possibly more conservative in religious terms than other groups ▫ Esp. important to them that god(s) bring victory
  11. 11. Imperial attitudes to pagans• Overall: dwindling support during 4th C• Reign of Julian a turning point ▫ Christians recognise how precarious their position was/ their dependence on imperial patronage• Theodosian Dynasty (from late 4th C): triumph of Christian orthodoxy ▫ Imperial support for militant monks Juliam, depicted on bronze coin from Antioch, minted (Hypatia: week 10) 360-363; note the philosopher’s pose ▫ Destruction of pagan temples and shrines ▫ Legal actions
  12. 12. ‘Superstition shall cease’(Codex Theodosianus, 16.10.2) • “Superstition shall cease; the madness of sacrifices shall be abolished. For if any man in violation of the law of the sainted Emperor, Our father, and in violation of this command of Our Clemency, should dare to perform sacrifices, he shall suffer the infliction of a suitable punishment and the effect of an immediate sentence.” ▫ (date of law is 341; but the code was promulgated under Theodosius II in 438)
  13. 13. Christians and Jews• Tension during the age of ‘persecutions’ ▫ Jewish crowds often cited as instigating persecution of Christians by Roman authorities• Tension continued ▫ Mob violence in cities  E.g. Alexandria; the synagogue at Callinicum ▫ Imperial matter  Jews as another deviant group that needed to be policed  Keeping peace in the cities (Codex Theodosianus 16.8.1, 9) ▫ Theology and polemic  Jews as murderers of Jesus  Converting the Jews and the Second Coming  The Jews and Christian history
  14. 14. The rise of the bishop• A sought after office ▫ Conduit for imperial investment in the local church/ city ▫ Legal roles as judges (see week 4) ▫ Represent and protect cities to outside authorities  E.g. Pope Leo I (440-61) and Attila the Hun in 452 ▫ Bishops together in council bring forth Holy Spirit)• Attracts highly trained individuals away from traditional career paths ▫ E.g. Ambrose of Milan (week 4) and Augustine of Hippo
  15. 15. Christianity and the Fall of the RomanEmpire• Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: ▫ Movement of elite males into monasteries and office as bishop is a primary reason for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West ▫ Formerly they would have joined (or led) the legions ▫ Decline of Roman masculinity and take-over by German barbarians
  16. 16. Conclusion on Religion• Religion and politics still inextricably linked ▫ Christian God as a god of war and the god of the emperors ▫ Fear about subversives/ non-conforming groups now focussed on non-Christians• Relations between emperor and church in many ways traditional ▫ Sponsorship and resolving disputes; policing deviance• Relations between Church and Empire being worked out during 4th century ▫ ‘Victory of orthodoxy’ a projection backwards, like ‘victory of Christianity’
  17. 17. So, what happened?• Revolution?• Evolution?• A change in management?• A change in name?• Gradual christianisation of imperial household, aristocracy and religious leadership• But basic functioning of society-politics and role of religion within them remains the same
  18. 18. Seminar on City Living in the LaterRoman Empire
  19. 19. Homework: more on the essay• Prepare 2-sides of A4 plan for your essay, including: 1. An outline of the structure of your essay 2. Details of 1 relevant primary source, with some relevant quotations picked out 3. Details of 1 relevant journal article or book chapter, with some relevant points picked out 4. An idea for an argument [= a direct answer to the question set, key point(s), no fence sitting]  If you send this to me by 5pm on Wednesday of week 8 (14th November), then I will read through and provide you with feedback  If you print this off and bring it to the class on 16th November, I will bring it back the following week

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