Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance

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Princeton University Press, 1998 - 314 páginas
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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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Índice

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ix
ABBREVIATIONS
xi
The Armor of Horus
3
Scope and Method
5
12 The Problem of Egypt in Its Mediterranean Context
11
13 Tracing the Continuity of Egyptian Religion in Late Antiquity
15
14 Pressures and Traumas of the Late Empire
23
From the PanMediterranean to the Local
33
37 Localization and Continuity in Egyptian Religion
143
Mutations of the Egyptian Oracle
145
42 The Persistence of the Temple Oracle in the Roman Period
153
43 New Egyptian Oracles of the Roman Period
161
44 Mutations of the Oracle in the Late Roman Period
179
45 Egyptian Oracles in the Roman Period
196
Priest to Magician Evolving Modes of Religious Authority
198
52 Resilient Social Roles
204

Religion and Temples
37
22 The Cult of the Nile as a Popular and an Institutional Phenomenon
42
23 Healing Cults as a Nexus of Temple and Popular Piety
46
24 Temple Festivals in Egyptian Life
52
25 The Evolution of Religious Festivals
58
26 Local Support of Temples
65
27 Religious Patronage and Its Challenges in FifthCentury Atripe
77
The Local Scope of Religious Belief
97
32 The Places of Isis and the Names of Sobek
98
33 The Persistence of Local Deities
106
34 Cults of Protection
111
35 Gods of Safe Fertility
121
36 Domestic Religion
131
53 Roman Hellenism and the Revaluation of Priestly Service
217
The Scriptorium as Crucible of Religious Change
238
62 Preservation and Syncretism
241
63 The Holiness of Languages and the Evolution of Coptic Script
248
64 From House of Life to Coptic Scriptorium
257
Idiom Ideology and Iconoclasm A Prolegomenon
265
71 Real Power
267
72 Demons
273
73 Rites of Demolition
277
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
285
INDEX
305
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Sobre el autor (1998)

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.

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