Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century

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The critical century between the arrival of Constantine and the advance of Alaric witnessed dramatic changes in the city of Rome. In this book Dr. Curran focuses on a number of new approaches to the Christianization of Rome. He surveys the political considerations which governed the building policy of Constantine and his successors, the effect of papal building and commemorative constructions on Roman topography, the continuing ambivalence of the Roman festal calendar, and the conflict between Christians over asceticism and 'real' Christianity. Thus using archaeological, literary, and legal evidence Dr. Curran explains the way in which the landscape, civic life, and moral values of Rome were transformed by complex and sometimes paradoxical forces, laying the foundation for the capital of western medieval Christendom. Through a study of Rome as a city Dr. Curran explores the rise of Christianity and the decline of paganism in the later Roman empire.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The author has new insights to offer in every chapter.... An impressive achievement, a work of great learning and meticulous documentation yet never dull and always readable."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"The story of Rome's transformation from capital city of a pagan empire to the center of Christian religious authority has been largely neglected.... The appearance of this Oxford dissertation is indeed welcome."—History: Reviews of New Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199254200
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2002
  • Series: Oxford Classical Monographs Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 389
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Curran is Lecturer in the School of Classics and Ancient History, Queen's University, Belfast

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Topography
1. Emperors, Gods, and Violence in Third-Century Rome
2. Conservator Urbis: Maxentius in Rome
3. Constantine and Rome: The Context of Innovation
4. The Christianization of the Topography of Rome, AD 337-384
Part 2: Society
5. The Legal Standing of the Ancient Cults of Rome
6. Paganism, Christianity, and the Imperial Celebrations in the Circus Maximus during the Fourth Century
7. Jerome, Asceticism, and the Roman Aristocracy, AD 340-410
Towards an understanding of 'Christianization' in Rome

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