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The ‘End’ Of Roman Senatorial Paganism

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Chapter Summary

The last decades of the 20th c. witnessed a seismic shift in how scholars approached the study of paganism in the increasingly Christian Roman Empire of the 4th and early 5th centuries. Older models which emphasised decline and conflict were challenged by a new awareness of the vitality and diversity of Late Roman paganism and its religious and social interaction with Christianity. This chapter purposes to reassess the impact of this new scholarly approach, particularly upon our understanding of the paganism of the western senatorial elite, and the role that material culture has played and will continue to play in revealing the complex religious world of late antique Rome. Virius Nicomachus Flavianus is the least well-known of the three men traditionally regarded as the leaders of Late Roman senatorial paganism.

Keywords: Christian Roman Empire; Christianity; late antique Rome; Roman senatorial paganism; Virius Nicomachus Flavianus



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