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Chapter Summary

The biography of Porphyriusj bishop of Gaza, composed by Mark the Deacon, provides the fullest extant account of the forcible demolition of urban temples and lapse of the Hellenic cults. Raymond Van Dam has analysed the administrative side in a recent article, which defines the issue largely in terms of shifting allegiances inside the urban community and the pursuit of prestige by status groups ("paradigms of prestige and authority"), which evolved into the "new Christian consensus". This chapter has a two-fold aspect: first, a delineation of the pagan cults of Gaza, and the social, economic, and political structures which supported them; and thereafter the means employed by Porphyrius, with the help of the imperial administration, to bring those structures down.

Keywords: Gaza; Hellenic cults; Mark the Deacon; pagan cults; Porphyriusj bishop of Gaza; Raymond Van Dam; urban temples



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    Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529, Volume I — Recommend this title to your library
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