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The Fate Of Temples In Late Antique Anatolia

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Chapter Summary

When Christianity rose to prominence during the 4th c. temples were no longer the vibrant centres of ritual activity they had once been. A precise chronology for the last phases of temples in Asia Minor cannot be established with the limited evidence we possess. This chapter presents examples that allow an approximate pattern to be laid down. It demonstrates the fate of temples in Late Antiquity comprised more than just destruction or conversion to churches. That said, the preservation of the sacred landscape through in situ conversion of temples did play a crucial role in the Christianisation of late antique Asia Minor. The sanctuary of the deified Hadrian and Antoninus Pius at Sagalassos began to be dismantled by the early 5th c. The Christians who rose to prominence in the 4th c. did not find the temples to be the vibrant centres of ritual activity that they had once been.

Keywords: Antoninus Pius; Asia Minor; Christianity; fate of temples; Hadrian; Late Antiquity



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