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Athens and Attica

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Chapter Summary

The origins of the religious transformation in Athens have few credible witnesses. The earliest testimonia are Christian inscriptions which hardly suggest a die-hard ecclesiastical structure that brooked no compromise with the prevailing Hellenic social and religious ethos. The typical criteria for assessing the extent and pace of the Christianization of Athens are lacking, as there exists no hagiographic life of a bishop who closed the temples, nor have the Christian inscriptions been published in large numbers. This chapter discusses the religious transformation of Attica, and the continuity of cull made in Marinus Life of Proclus. The judgments will be of a less quantitative nature than those made about Gaza in First Palestine. The prevalent Athenian cult, to judge from the extent of the notices that survive in fifth-century sources, remained that of the physician God Asklepios, whose shrine the Asklepieion occupied a site on the south slope of the Akropolis.

Keywords: Akropolis; Asklepieion; Athens; Attica; Christian inscriptions; First Palestine; Hellenic religious ethos; Hellenic social ethos; Marinus Life of Proclus; religious transformation



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