Pagan Inscriptions, Christian Viewers
The Afterlives of Temples and Their Texts in the Late Antique Eastern Mediterranean
- ISBN: 9780197666432
- Published By: Oxford University Press
- Published: March 2023
What did people in the early Christian period think about the pagan inscriptions filling their late antique cities? Like public advertisements lining our streets today, these inscriptions were everywhere and communicated specific messages to literate late Roman viewers, often providing a very different view of the classical past than that being preached from early Christian church pulpits. In Pagan Inscriptions, Christian Viewers, Anna M. Sitz provides a fresh perspective on the Christianization of the Roman empire from the fourth to the seventh century CE by analyzing a previously overlooked body of evidence: the many ancient, pagan inscriptions, written in Greek or other languages, which were reused, preserved, or even partially erased in this period.
This volume brings together for the first time the literary and archaeological evidence for attitudes towards these ancient inscriptions in the eastern Mediterranean, from Greece to Asia Minor, Syria to Egypt. Pagan Inscriptions, Christian Viewers illustrates how early Christians, late pagans, and Jews in the eastern Mediterranean interpreted older inscriptions in Greek and other languages through their own worldviews in order to build the late antique present.