The Final Pagan Generation
The Final Pagan Generation recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century’s dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of religious violence were almost exclusively young men whose attitudes and actions contrasted markedly with those of the earlier generation, who shared neither their juniors’ interest in creating sharply defined religious identities nor their propensity for violent conflict. Watts examines why the "final pagan generation"—born to the old ways and the old world in which it seemed to everyone that religious practices would continue as they had for the past two thousand years—proved both unable to anticipate the changes that imperially sponsored Christianity produced and unwilling to resist them. A compelling and provocative read, suitable for the general reader as well as students and scholars of the ancient world.
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It is with Libanius, Themistius, Ausonius and Praetextatus' letters and orations's that Eward J Watts, takes us thru that pivotal century. Very well explained and thorouhgly argued (more then a ... Read full review
administrative Alexandria Ambrose Ammianus anti-pagan Antioch Antiochene Antony ascetic Athanasius Athens Ausonius Ausonius’s Barnes Basil began Berkeley bishop Cambridge career chapter Christian Chrysostom church coins Constan Constantine Constantinople court Cribiore death Diocletian discussion early elite emperor Eunapius Eusebius example father festivals figures final pagan fourth century friends Gaul gods governor Gratian Gregory Gregory Nazianzen Heather and Moncur Himerius honor imperial system Jovian Julian Last Pagans Late Antiquity Later Roman Lenski letters Libanius Libanius claims Libanius’s lived Magnentius Maximus Miccalus military offered oration Oxford Parentalia pedagogue philosopher PLRE policies political position Praetextatus praetorian prefect Prohaeresius reign relationship religious rhetorical Roman Empire Roman world Rome sacrifices Salzman School senate senatorial Serapeum served social Sogno Sozomen statues Symmachus Symmachus’s teachers teaching temples Themistius Themistius’s Theodosius Theodosius’s tion traditional religion trans Valens Valentinian and Valens Valentinian II Vanderspoel Watts young Zosimus