Religion in Late Roman Britain: Forces of Change

By Dorothy Watts | Go to book overview

2

THE PAGAN REVIVAL OF THE LATE FOURTH CENTURY AD 360-90

For the central part of the Roman Empire in the second half of the fourth century, paganism 1 had two major parallel and at times seemingly coalescing strands: a revived interest in and devotion to the ancient cults, as promoted by the Emperor Julian, and a continuing resistance to Christianity by certain elements of the old aristocratic society at Rome. Yet the two never really melded; and with the death of Julian and the effective end of his 'outreach' programme, and because of political events from 363 to 394, paganism in the central Mediterranean area did not survive in any major form to the close of the fourth century. It was weakened by increasingly severe legislation, and brought to its knees by the sword. 2 Any significant revival of Graeco-Roman paganism in distant parts of the empire originating from Julian's religious policies was precluded by the very nature of paganism at Rome, although local cults continued to attract allegiance. Generally, successive emperors followed a policy of appointing Christians to positions whereby such paganism might be contained (see Appendix 1). In Britain there was also a revival, but in character it was mostly far removed from the paganism of Julian and the Roman aristocracy.

It is easy, in hindsight, to conclude that with the conversion of Constantine and the adoption of the religion by subsequent emperors the victory of Christianity over paganism was assured. But this was not necessarily so. Had Julian lived to implement his proposed religious reforms, the victory of Christianity might not have been so soon won. In fact, it may not have been won at all, when the barbarian invasions were beginning to have such an effect on the stability of the empire; and Julian's immediate successors, though Christian, usually followed a policy of religious toleration. On the other hand, the pagan element in the Senate at Rome was

-24-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Religion in Late Roman Britain: Forces of Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • Preface x
  • 1 - Historical Background Ad 294-360 1
  • 2 - The Pagan Revival of the Late Fourth Century Ad 360-90 24
  • 3 - Closure of the Temples and Beyond 52
  • 4 - Further Evidence for the Revival of Paganism 74
  • 5 - The Economy and Religion in the Late Period 96
  • 6 - The Question of Syncretism 115
  • 7 - Change and Continuity 132
  • Appendix 1 139
  • Appendix 2 147
  • Notes 154
  • Names and Places Index 190
  • General Index 201
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 211

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.