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Religion in Roman Egypt Paperback – December 15, 2000
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"Frankfurter presents a new and convincing analysis of the history of religious change in Roman and early Byzantine Egypt. . . . This new synthesis of the available evidence constitutes a real breakthrough in our understanding of the religious changes in late ancient Egypt attending its Christianization."--Birger A. Pearson, Religious Studies Review
"An exemplary work, engagingly written, which will be of interest not only to students of late antiquity, early Christianity, and Egypt but to anyone concerned with issues of religious change and practice."--Jonathan P. Berkey, American Historical Review
"Where it has been usual to focus on the decay of grand temple religion, Frankfurter argues that this is only one side of the matter. There remained a lively practice of popular and local religion. . . . The book overflows with ideas and insights."--Richard Gordon, Times Literary Supplement
"Stimulating in the very best sense of that word: its thickly packed details and formulations reward readers not only with the insights of its author, but with material that often prompts them to travel down new paths of though themselves."--Sarah Iles Johnston, Journal of Biblical Literature
"This ambitious book rewards the specialist and nonspecialist alike with a rich overview of Egyptian religion in late antiquity within a comparative religion framework. . . . Frankfurter's refreshing synthesis of religion and magic both rewards and illumines the reader. His dexterity with such a diversity of visual, material, and textual evidence is a hallmark of this erudite book. . . . Generously illustrated and clearly organized, this thought provoking study has set a benchmark for future work on religion in the ancient Mediterranean."--Georgia Frank, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"This ambitious book rewards the specialist and nonspecialist alike with a rich overview of Egyptian religion in late antiquity within a comparative religion framework. . . . Frankfurter's refreshing synthesis of religion and magic both rewards and illumines the reader. His dexterity with such a diversity of visual, material, and textual evidence is a hallmark of this erudite book. . . . Generously illustrated and clearly organized, this thought-provoking study has set a benchmark for future work on religion in the ancient Mediterranean."--Georgia Frank, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
From the Inside Flap
"Clearly written and well-researched, [Frankfurter's] book is accessible to a wide audience of scholars and lay people alike." (J. G. Manning, Stanford University) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a little dry, but it's worth it, especially when Frankfurter starts evaluating the sources that have come down to us. Many of the popular sources from this time are Christian or otherwise non-Egyptian in nature, so the bias surrounding Egypt at this time period becomes clear.
I love everything about ancient Egypt, from the time of Menes until the Christian conversion, and anyone who feels the same way will want to have this book on their shelf.
Obviously a book for those with a specific topical interest, not casual reading.
Frankfurter focuses on local society in villages and midsize towns rather than large institutions. Because he barely discusses the more Hellenized and Christianized populace in major cities like Alexandria, one scholarly reviewer suggested the book would better have been called Traditional Local Religion in Roman Egypt. Frankfurter emphasizes how durable popular religious traditions were in the face of Hellenistic influence and Christian attack. He also argues that in order to succeed, Christianity had to adapt to meet the same popular needs that native religion had done. It generally wasn't a conscious decision; there was only so much that Christianity could change about the local culture. Temple priests became community magicians before being supplanted by Christian holy men who offered a similar range of services. Ancient gods were gradually and haphazardly replaced in spells by Jesus and the angels.Read more ›