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Religious Space In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Literary sources, though providing some compelling details on changes in religious practice, are not wholly reliable: pagans, after the late 4th c. had little reason to publicise their ceremonies and much of what the author knows about some cults is based on the résumés of Christian commentators, who inevitably look at temples with a Christian agenda. Nevertheless, the author possesses some pagan descriptions of ceremonies, and accounts of specific events, which provide details of rituals or cult objects found in shrines. Some Christian literary sources provide brief descriptions of the caches of ritual objects uncovered during Late Antiquity, mainly relating to Mithraea. Sources for the interior space of churches are many, from architectural fixtures, depictions, liturgies, textual anecdotes, inventories, hoards of church treasures, and very occasionally, the objects found in situ, in church destruction deposits.

Keywords: churches; Late Antiquity; Mediterranean; monasteries; pagan ceremonies; religious space; Romuliana; sanctuaries



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