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 better halves busy themselves whereas their husbands are away, particularly, by way of pleasing a revolving door of unique viewers who comprise a eunuch of the jap goddess Bellona, an impersonator of Egyptian Anubis, a Judean priestess, and Chaldean astrologers. From those self-proclaimed spiritual experts ladies solicit providers starting from dream interpretation to the coercion of fans. 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 might anticipate to get the joke.

Heidi Wendt investigates the backdrop of this enthusiasm for the faith of freelance specialists by way of interpreting their upward push through the first centuries of the Roman Empire. not like civic monks and temple team of workers, freelance specialists needed to generate their very own authority and legitimacy, frequently 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 kind of spiritual task that intersected with a number of components of distinctiveness, quite philosophy and drugs. Over the process the imperial interval freelance specialists grew more and more influential, extra different with recognize to their abilities and strategies, and extra varied within the ethnic coding in their practices. Wendt argues that this context engendered a number of the leading edge varieties 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 plentiful, yet students of historic Mediterranean faith have just recently began to understand their impression at the empire's altering non secular panorama. on the Temple Gates integrates stories of Judaism, Christianity, secret cults, astrology, magic, and philosophy to color a colourful portrait of non secular services in early Rome.

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