Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage from Augustus to Constantine (Hardback)
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Short Description for Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage from Augustus to Constantine This volume examines the organization of religion - Christian, pagan, and Jewish - in the Roman Empire at the time of Constantine and Augustine. The author argues that because official pagan religion was inextricably tied to the structure of individual cities, Christianity alone was able to unite the inhabitants of the Empire as a whole.
- Published: 01 April 1997
- Format: Hardback 348 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780198140832 ISBN 10: 0198140835
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Full description for Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage from Augustus to Constantine
This book examines the organization of religion in the Roman empire from Augustus to Constantine. Although there have been illuminating particular studies of the relationship between religious activity and socio-political authority in the empire, there has been no large-scale attempt to assess it as a whole. Taking as his focus the situation in Carthage, the greatest city of the western provinces, J.B. Rives argues that the traditional religion, predicated on the structure of a city-state, could not serve to integrate individuals into an empire. In upholding traditional religion, the government abandoned the sort of political control of religious behaviour characteristic of the Roman Republic, and allowed people to determine their own religious identities. The importance of Christianity was thus suited to the needs of the increasingly homogeneous Roman empire.