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Paganism in Pales tine

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Chapter Summary

In the first century, there were three elements to be reckoned with: the paganism of the Hellenized Cannaanite population, that of the Macedonian and Greek settlers and an influence from Roman paganism. There had been a two-way movement in ancient times. Greek paganism was influenced by the oriental religions, and the local gods were then identified with Greek gods, very often with the same gods as had influenced the Greek ones. To show how the process worked, one may instance the city of Beth Shean, which was then called Scythopolis in Greek. In Palestine and the neighbouring countries gods could often simply be called 'Lord' in antiquity, without mentioning their names. The God of Israel was also called Adonai. The great god of the city of Gaza was called Marna, which really means 'our Lord', who was worshipped there in the famous temple of the Marneion.

Keywords: Gaza city; Greek settlers; Hellenized Cannaanite population; Israel God; Macedonian settlers; Marneion temple; Palestine paganism; Roman paganism



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