Religio illicita? Roman legal interactions with early Christianity in context
The legal treatment of Christianity in the Roman world continues to be a source of seemingly endless cultural and historical fascination. At least partially due to numerous well-known stories about persecution and martyrdom, the idea has persisted that the marginalised position of early Christians was unusual, or even unique, within the otherwise almost proverbially religiously tolerant Roman world. This study aims provide a more nuanced understanding by systematically analysing how early Christians were embedded in, and interacted with, the Roman legal system of the imperial period. It does so in two ways. Firstly, this project is not just concerned with the contents of Roman legal measures, but also with their origins and enforcement. By taking all stages of the legal process into account, it becomes possible to investigate the mechanisms and underlying principles that shaped these measures, and to firmly embed them in their historical context. Secondly, the legal position of Christians is compared to two contemporary religious movements, namely Jewish communities and practitioners of divination. This serves to paint a more comprehensive picture of the legal treatment of religious groups in the Roman world in general, and to more precisely locate early Christianity within the wider religious landscape
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||Religio illicita? Roman legal interactions with early Christianity in context Doctoral Thesis
||Leiden University Scholarly Publications|
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