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  • Author or Editor: Béatrice Caseau x

Béatrice Caseau

This paper examines the ways in which worshippers of the old gods adapted to the new world order of the 4th c. Roman empire, where emperors, through various pronouncements, consistently attacked elements of their religious infrastructure and rituals. This included forbidding divination sacrifices, temple funding, and eventually led to the temples’ definitive closure. This led to a privatisation of pagan worship and then to secrecy, a process difficult to detect in the archaeological record.

Béatrice Caseau

A number of surviving statues, both divine and imperial, have come down to us because they were intentionally buried during Late Antiquity. These have included well-preserved examples, as well as others which were mutilated. Some of the statues were damaged by their collapse during earthquakes and were subsequently buried under rubble; others were deliberately mutilated before their intentional burial; others still were intact because they had been carefully hidden. From the manner in which ancient statues were buried, a wide range of motivations can be inferred.

Béatrice Caseau

Throughout the Roman period the countryside was a landscape of sacred sites both monumental and natural. Rural temples were numerous and essential to the religious life of peasants and landowners. The fate of rural temples reveals something of the conflicting religious beliefs that were present in the rural landscape until the 6th c. Rural temples were among the first temples to be destroyed on some Christian estates, but in other places their power of attraction remained strong until the Early Middle Ages, even when they were in ruins. In the Early Byzantine period, however, temples were too visible, causing some Christians to lead expeditions against them. Convinced pagans searched for other, more remote, cult places to where they could maintain some form of pagan practice. These included inner sanctuaries inside their homes, or remote natural sites. Temple traditions were lost as a result.

Series:

Richard G. Newhauser

Translator Béatrice Caseau

Résumé

De vitiis quae opposita sunt virtutibus d’Evagre le Pontique († 399) se trouve au tout début d’une tradition de composition de séries parallèles d’entités morales positives et négatives précisément cataloguées. Ce phénomène n’est pas limité au Moyen Age : une analyse de certaines feuilles volantes de la Renaissance en Angleterre pourrait montrer que la période de la première modernité s’est inspirée des séries parallèles de la tradition morale médiévale. Le De vitiis présente une liste pratique de mauvaises pensées et de « vertus contraires » qui fonctionne comme une référence en nommant et en fournissant des données présentes dans le monde réel et en les cataloguant selon un principe qui leur est imposé de l’extérieur comme une série finie. Les séries de vertus contraires sont dépendantes de la série des péchés et chaque couple de vice et de vertu contraire peut être utilisé comme un guide pour comprendre la qualité précisément visée dans l’ensemble des significations possibles de ce à quoi elle s’oppose. Le recours aux sept péchés capitaux et aux vertus contraires se poursuit dans le catholicisme du début de l’époque moderne, et a aussi une place, modeste, dans plusieurs types de protestantisme, en aidant à définir une éthique sociale. Dans le dialogue ultérieur entre le bien et le mal que ces séries rendent possible dans l’éthique sociale du christianisme, il faut voir un héritage de la série parallèle lancée par Evagre.