Religion in the Roman Empire / Edition 1

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This book provides an engaging, systematic introduction to religion in the Roman empire.

  • Covers both mainstream Graeco-Roman religion and regional religious traditions, from Egypt to Western Europe
  • Examines the shared assumptions and underlying dynamics that characterized religious life as a whole
  • Draws on a wide range of primary material, both textual and visual, from literary works, inscriptions and monuments
  • Offers insight into the religious world in which contemporary rabbinic Judaism and Christianity both had their origin
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is just what Rives's volume does best: to show us where we stand in a thought-provoking manner that invites further questions about "religion" in the Roman empire." (Phoenix, 2011)

"The section openings are often carefully and helpfully linked to preceding arguments, within and across chapters." (Journal of Religion, 2009)"…the book is important as an attempt to create a textbook in an area normally…left to an appendix because the problems are all too forbidding…" (Greece and Rome, Vol 55 No. 2 2008)

"This is the best available introduction to religion in the Roman world, and will be indispensable for classroom use and in library collections." (Choice — A Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2007)

"A dense and stimulating overview of Roman religion." (Bryn Mawr Reviews)

"A concise, readable, stimulating, and adroitly organised introduction to a vast cumbersome topic." (Scholia Reviews)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405106566
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Series: Blackwell Ancient Religions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,256,631
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

James B. Rives is Kenan Eminent Professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage (1995), Tacitus: Germania (1999), and has co-edited Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome (2005). He has written a number of important articles on Roman religion in the Journal of Roman Studies and Journal of Early Christian Studies, and has taught courses on Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, religions of the Roman Empire, and ruler cult in the Graeco-Roman world.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

List of Maps.

List of Text Boxes.




1. Identifying ‘Religion’ in the Graeco-Roman Tradition.

2. Regional Religious Traditions of the Empire.

3. The Presence of the Gods.

4. Religion and Community.

5. Religion and Empire.

6. Religious Options.

7. Roman Religious Policy.

Epilogue: Religious Change in the Roman Empire.

Glossary of Major Deities.

Glossary of Authors and Texts.



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