Ancient History

Download At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in by Heidi Wendt PDF

By Heidi Wendt

In his 6th satire, Juvenal speculates approximately how Roman other halves busy themselves whereas their husbands are away, particularly, via unique a revolving door of unique viewers who comprise a eunuch of the japanese goddess Bellona, an impersonator of Egyptian Anubis, a Judean priestess, and Chaldean astrologers. From those self-proclaimed non secular experts girls solicit companies starting from dream interpretation to the coercion of fanatics. Juvenal's catalogue indicates the recognition of such "freelance" specialists on the flip of the second one century and their familiarity to his viewers, whom he may anticipate to get the joke.

Heidi Wendt investigates the backdrop of this enthusiasm for the faith of freelance specialists by way of reading their upward thrust in the course of the first centuries of the Roman Empire. not like civic clergymen and temple team of workers, freelance specialists needed to generate their very own authority and legitimacy, usually via demonstrations of ability and studying within the streets, in marketplaces, and on the temple gates, between different destinations within the Roman international. Wendt argues that those pros participated in a hugely aggressive type of spiritual task that intersected with a number of parts of distinctiveness, really philosophy and drugs. Over the process the imperial interval freelance specialists grew more and more influential, extra different with recognize to their abilities and techniques, and extra diversified within the ethnic coding in their practices. Wendt argues that this context engendered a few of the cutting edge kinds of faith that flourished within the moment and 3rd centuries, together with phenomena associated with Persian Mithras, the Egyptian gods, and the Judean Christ.

The facts for freelance specialists in faith is considerable, yet students of historic Mediterranean faith have only in the near past started to understand their influence at the empire's altering non secular panorama. on the Temple Gates integrates reviews of Judaism, Christianity, secret cults, astrology, magic, and philosophy to color a colourful portrait of spiritual services in early Rome.

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