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‘Paganism’ In Late Antiquity: Regional Studies And Material Culture

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Chapter Summary

Within the study of late antique paganism most work has focused on its evolution throughout the Mediterranean world, while the situation in western Europe has attracted much less attention. As the cities in Late Antiquity were going through significant cultural changes, their religious buildings were also undergoing change. The problems Christianity faced in the western empire might be partly due to the fact that Christianitys ethical and universalist dogma was far removed from the religions already existing within the populations of the West as discussed in Russell (1993). Despite the movement of the western capital to Milan in the 4th c., and the ever-growing importance of Constantinople, Rome retained a special position in the religious discourse of Late Antiquity. Christianisation in the rest of Italy seems to have occurred at two different paces.

Keywords: Christianity; Constantinople; Italy; Late Antiquity; paganism; Rome; western empire



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