Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor

Hardcover | December 1, 2002

byBeate Dignas

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This original study challenges the idea that sanctuaries in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor were fully institutionalized within the poleis that hosted them. Examining the forms of interaction between rulers, cities, and sanctuaries, the book proposes a triangular relationship in which therulers often acted as mediators between differing interests of city and cult. A close analysis of the epigraphical evidence illustrates that neither the Hellenistic kings nor the representatives of Roman rule appropriated the property of the gods but actively supported the functioning of thesanctuaries and their revenues. The powerful role of the sanctuaries was to a large extent based on economic features, which the sanctuaries possessed precisely because of their religious character. Nevertheless, a study of the finances of the cults reveals frequent problems concerning the upkeep ofcults and a particular need to guard the privileges and property of the gods. Their situation oscillated between glut and dearth. When the harmonious identity between city and cult was disturbed, those closely attached to the cult acted on behalf of their domain.

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This original study challenges the idea that sanctuaries in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor were fully institutionalized within the poleis that hosted them. Examining the forms of interaction between rulers, cities, and sanctuaries, the book proposes a triangular relationship in which therulers often acted as mediators between differ...

Beate Dignas is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

other books by Beate Dignas

Format:HardcoverDimensions:378 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.01 inPublished:December 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199254087

ISBN - 13:9780199254088

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sanctuaries and Cities1. Assessing Sacred Wealth: Finances, Land, Administration2. The Cults under Hellenistic Rule3. The Cults under Roman Rule4. Sanctuaries in Asia Minor between Continuity and Change

Editorial Reviews

`...offers important challenges to long-established ways of thinking about ancient religion, both Greek and non-Greek.'Andrew Erskine