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The Temple Of Flora Or Venus By The Circus Maximus And The New Christian Topography: The ‘Pagan Revival’ In Action?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that we can perceive a continuing and persistent pagan tradition in Rome throughout the 4th c., rather than a revival, through the archaeological, literary and calendrical evidence. Repairs of pagan structures continue to take place in the city in the mid- to late 4th c., notably of a Temple of Flora or Venus next to the Circus Maximus. Such temples were the foci for cultic festivals that were still taking place in the 4th c., and thereby represent the continued vibrancy of pagan traditions in the centre of Rome. This area of the city was home to other notably persistent pagan festivals, and so a newly built Christian church in the area does not seem to have affected matters. Is this an indication of a conciliatory and harmonious topography that saw pagan and Christian buildings working peacefully alongside each other in the Latin West?.

Keywords: Christian church; Circus Maximus; pagan tradition; Rome; Temple of Flora or Venus



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