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Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450$
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Maijastina Kahlos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190067250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190067250.001.0001

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Sacred places and spaces

Sacred places and spaces

Chapter:
(p.168) 12 Sacred places and spaces
Source:
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450
Author(s):

Maijastina Kahlos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190067250.003.0013

This chapter discusses not only the rivalry between Christians, pagans, and Jews in regard to sacred places and spaces, but also how these were shared. Even though many groups maintained the separateness and uniqueness of their sacred sites, they could easily move into locations held by other groups. Late antique people commuted between spaces or between different interpretations of the same space. Attention is also drawn to the contradictions between the triumphalist declarations made by church leaders about the destruction of cult places in some regions and the archaeological evidence, which reveals a less dramatic picture, such as the continuity of cult practices or the natural abandonment and decay of shrines. Furthermore, emperors issued laws to protect temples from attacks and plundering. They were regarded not only as cult places, but also as civic monuments, and they were valued as aesthetic objects.

Keywords:   sacred places, sacred spaces, rivalry, Christians, pagans, Jews, destruction, abandonment, temple, monument

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