The Between Roman And Roman Empire Between The Reigns Of Augustus And Constantine Porphyrogennetos

1956 Words Nov 8th, 2016 8 Pages
This book by Fritz Graf, Distinguished University Professor and Director of Epigraphy at Ohio State University, represents an ambitious exploration of pan-Mediterranean festivals in the eastern half of the Roman Empire between the reigns of Augustus and Constantine Porphyrogennetos. During the earliest period of this study Graf makes abundant use of epigraphic and other often-overlooked evidence to build a cogent explanation of how Roman city festivals became incorporated into the culture of the Greek East and what forms required adaptation. For the subsequent post-Constantinian era, when the evidence is more plentiful, Graf then turns to the question of how these pagan festivals continued to survive in the Holy Roman Empire despite ardent opposition from the Christian bishops. In both periods, Graf meets the daunting challenge of connecting the dots in a very lacunose picture. Where the dots are few and he ventures a bit far he confesses that some will be skeptical or that not all scholars will agree with the foundational material he uses to build his case. Regardless, Graf’s constructions remain imaginative and compelling, rooted in expansive knowledge of imperial festival practices.

In the first part of this three-part volume, Graf examines festivals in the Greek East during the imperial age prior to Constantine. While much has been written on the polis-centered religious festivals of Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greece, the evidence is sparse for festival life in…

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