Graeco-Roman religion in its classic form was polytheistic; on the other hand, monotheistic ideas enjoyed wide currency in ancient philosophy. This contradiction provides a challenge for our understanding of ancient pagan religion. Certain forms of cult activity, including acclamations of 'one god' and the worship of theos hypsistos, the highest god, have sometimes been interpreted as evidence for pagan monotheism. This book discusses pagan monotheism in its philosophical and intellectual context, traces the evolution of new religious ideas in the time of the Roman empire, and evaluates the usefulness of the term 'monotheism' as a way of understanding these developments in later antiquity outside the context of Judaism and Christianity. In doing so, it establishes a framework for understanding the relationship between polytheistic and monotheistic religious cultures between the first and fourth centuries AD.
Author: Stephen Mitchell Publisher: Cambridge University Press Published: 06/07/2010 Pages: 250 Binding Type: Hardcover Weight: 1.20lbs Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.80d ISBN: 9780521194167
About the Author Van Nuffelen, Peter: - Peter Van Nuffelen is Research Professor of Ancient History at the University of Ghent. He has published numerous articles on aspects of the ancient and medieval worlds, and has recently edited Faces of Hellenism (2009), and co-edited (with Stephen Mitchell) Monotheism Between Christians and Pagans in Late Antiquity (2009).Mitchell, Stephen: - Stephen Mitchell is Leverhulme Professor of Hellenistic Culture at the University of Exeter. Previous books include A History of the Later Roman Empire AD 284-641 (2007) and, more recently, The Imperial Temple at Ankara and the Res Gestae of the Emperor Augustus. A Historical Guide (2008).