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Hellenism in Late Antiquity by Glen W. Bowersock

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By Glen W. Bowersock

The intense adaptability and sturdiness of Greek tradition in occasions of momentous swap is published during this ebook, as G. W. Bowersock seeks to interpret Hellenism in a predominantly Christian global. during this attempt he sheds new mild on a past due paganism that has usually been obvious as moribund and indicates it to were abruptly vigorous.Hellenism, comprising the language, inspiration, mythology, and pictures of the Greeks, contributed essentially to the evolution of early Christianity. It had unfold around the lands of the jap Mediterranean for lots of centuries ahead of Constantine proven Christianity because the authentic faith of the Byzantine executive. yet Hellenism served no much less to disseminate and increase paganism--a position that has hitherto been little preferred or studied. The neighborhood traditions of Asia Minor, Egypt, and the close to East survived commonly by way of sharing universal varieties of expression with the Christians. Hellenism truly allowed overdue pagans of greatly differing traditions to speak with one another. even as it gave to either Christianity and Islam a pagan context that liked a lot better public attractiveness then than now. And so the writer indicates that Hellenism illuminates the wholeness of the past due vintage global within the East, the interplay of its paganism and its Christianity. Dionysus and Christ flourished together.". . . Bowersock has given us a brand new unifying viewpoint for the turbulent non secular background of 4 centuries--the thought of a typical cultural medium inside (and opposed to) which differing spiritual traditions advanced and inter-penetrated." --New York occasions e-book Review". . . a powerful success . . . [an] stylish and powerfully unique book." --Times Literary SupplementG. W. Bowersock is Professor of historic background within the tuition of historic reports, Institute for complex research, Princeton, New Jersey.

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217. 32. 9-11. 33. F. , The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis (Leiden, 1987), 1:xiii. 34. ilnou llLaXQUoov xai tni "taiç txm:ÉQaLç XEQOLV cillaç 6uo 'tOLQU'taç ocpQayi6aç xai tn' m'l'toiç 'tOLç buoi yova'tOLç allaç Mo ... The ldolatry of Holiness 23 cavern. In wbat seems to be a kind of liturgica! "J5 Now Aiòn is not altogetbe~ unfamiliar to students of ancient Alexandria. The name of tbis ratber abstract and pbilosopbical personification appears on Alexandrian coinage of tbe Antonine period togetber witb a representation of the pboenix, and botb bave been reasonably associated witb annua!

H. J. s lt is not only Bardai~an's understanding of the Greek transmission of Chaldaean and Egyptian astrology that shows bis debt to Syrian Hellenism. l t is the very form of the work in which be appears. "The Book of the Laws of Countries" is a dialogue that is structured quite clearly on a Platonic model, according to which Bardai~an plays the role of Socrates. " Plato's great work begins in a celebratedly offhand manner: "l went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon, the son of Ariston, to pray to the goddess and at the same time wanting to see in what way they would celebrate the festival there now for the first time.

Cf. F. Millar, "The Problem of Hellenistic Syria," in Hellenism in the East, ed. A. Kuhrt and S. Sherwin-White (London, 1987), pp. 110-33. 2. E. Littmann, Princeton Arch. Exp. B, p. 24. See also H. Kennedy andj. H. W. G. : Trends and Problems," Nottingham Medieval Studies 32 (1988): 65-90. 'IO 30 Hellenism in Late Antiquity connecting Greek with the cities arises from the unfortunate habit of concentrating exclusively on Christian culture, in which Hellenophone bishops can be contrasted with Syriac-speaking monks.

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