By Jason Moralee
This booklet breaks new floor within the examine of cultural team spirit within the close to East from pre-Roman to early Islamic occasions (first century BC - 8th century AD). in response to an intensive research of approximately four hundred Greek and Latin inscriptions from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, this e-book exhibits how the formulation 'for salvation's sake' (hyper soterias/pro salute) used to be primary to the political, social and non secular lives of enormous quantities of civic and army elites within the close to East. first and foremost an expression of old indigenous faith, this formulation expressed loyalty to the significant authority at Rome, whereas profiling social prestige and piety. With the coming of Christianity and Islam, the formulation misplaced its political value, yet persevered in its social and non secular functions between Christian and Jewish groups in overdue Antiquity. offering a brand new physique of proof, Jason Moralee presents a clean examine how Romans used the inscriptions to safe the loyalty in their matters for hundreds of years. This research of fabric tradition via numerous classes redefines notions of political loyalty within the heart East from antiquity during the heart a long time, elevating new questions about existence within the Roman provinces.
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Extra resources for For Salvation's Sake: Provincial Loyalty, Personal Religion, and Epigraphic Production in the Roman and Late Antique Near East (Studies in Classics, Outstanding Dissertations, 3)
Rather, they asked for prayer (orare), which others, such as Tertullian and Dionysius, had repeatedly advocated as an acceptable way for Christians to display their loyalty to the state. If Galerius had intended all the empire’s inhabitants to continue making dedications for the salvation of the emperors, he was fighting against the tide. Note the tone of the edict. A person “ought” (debebunt) to pray for the salvation of the emperors, implying that there was a lack of this activity. This was, in fact, the case.
The acta show, for example, that the imperial governor, the presiding official at the trial, perceived loyalty to the emperor, proper religious observance, and dedications for the salvation of the emperor as interrelated and nonnegotiable obligations on the part of the provinciales. A certain Speratus and a number of others were summoned to the proconsul’s office (secretarium) in Carthage. The proconsul, Saturninus, conducted the questioning. Why not renounce your beliefs and ask for a pardon from the emperor, he asked.
Whatever its called, this ideology, as detected in the variety of sources mentioned above, created the basis for a symbolic exchange that underpinned the practice—widespread throughout the Mediterranean world—of commissioning Greek and Latin dedications for the salvation of the emperor. What has been lacking in the discussion, however, is an indication of why, besides some vague sense of patriotism or compulsion, people affirmed this ideology by paying for inscriptions, permanently and publicly monumentalizing their loyalty to the state.