On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of by Michele Renee Salzman

By Michele Renee Salzman

Because they record the entire public vacations and pagan fairs of the age, calendars supply precise insights into the tradition and daily life of old Rome. The Codex-Calendar of 354 miraculously survived the autumn of Rome. even though it was once for that reason misplaced, the copies made within the Renaissance stay worthwhile files of Roman society and faith within the years among Constantine's conversion and the autumn of the Western Empire.

In this richly illustrated ebook, Michele Renee Salzman establishes that the traditions of Roman paintings and literature have been nonetheless a great deal alive within the mid-fourth century. Going past this research of precedents and style, Salzman additionally experiences the Calendar of 354 as a mirrored image of the area that produced and used it. Her paintings unearths the ongoing significance of pagan fairs and cults within the Christian period and highlights the increase of a decent aristocratic Christianity that mixed pagan and Christian practices. Salzman stresses the major position of the Christian emperors and imperial associations in helping pagan rituals. Such guidelines of accomodation and assimilation led to a steady and comparatively peaceable transformation of Rome from a pagan to a Christian capital.

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Additional info for On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (Transformation of the Classical Heritage)

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Roberts and T. C. Skeat, The Birth of the Codex (Oxford, 1983), pp. 2437, 6776. 32. The connection between illustrated papyrus rolls and the illustrated codex remains the essence of the theory advanced by K. Weitzmann; see his Illustrations in Roll and Codex: A Study of the Origin and Method of Text Illustration, 2d ed. (Princeton, 1970), passim, (footnote continued on the next page) < previous page page_10 next page > < previous page page_11 next page > Page 11 calendar was a fourth-century innovation receives further support from the illustrations found in the CodexCalendar of 354.

In addition, new calendars must be taken into account, the number of calendar inscriptions having almost doubled since 1892 when Mommsen published all then known Roman calendars. 69 And new inscriptions of calendars have come to light since Degrassi's publication as well,70 perhaps the most spectacular of these being the painted calendar from S. 71 With all this new material and new scholarly tools, the time seemed right to undertake a new study of the Codex-Calendar of 354. The second consideration is methodological.

Third, I hold that a close reading of the text in conjunction with in-depth historical research allows for a determination of the dominant cults in the fourth-century city and a deeper understanding of the particular appeal and vitality of Roman paganism in late antiquity. In short, I have extended my discussion beyond analysis of the particulars of pagan cultic rites and practices to include a synthetic analysis of the nature of paganism as practiced in Rome in the mid fourth century. Fourth, I believe that by decoding the information contained in the Calendar, we can bring the world that produced it into sharper focus.

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