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The barbarian plain [electronic resource] : Saint Sergius between Rome and Iran /
Elizabeth Key Fowden.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
xix, 227 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
0520216857 (alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
0520216857 (alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-217) and index.
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"Fowden brings the studies of many earlier scholars to a welcome fruition in the synthetic portrait she paints of an important cult and its local expression in one of the most volatile areas of late antiquity. Fowden has written an excellent book, and all of us will be its beneficiaries."--Sidney H. Griffith, The Catholic University of America
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text examines the rise of the cult of Sergius in late antiquity, drawing on literary accounts, inscriptions, archaeology, images, and the landscape itself to construct a picture of the role of religion in this frontier society.
Long Description
During the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. there arose on the Euphrates frontier, between the empires of Rome and Iran, a city girded with glittering gypsum walls. Within these walls stood a great church, a shrine for the relics of Saint Sergius, who was martyred there, at Rusafa, in the early fourth century. Around Rusafa stretched the "Barbarian Plain," inhabited by Rome's Arab allies, many of whom revered the saint. Elizabeth Key Fowden examines the rise of the cult of Sergius in late antiquity, drawing on literary accounts, inscriptions, archaeology, images, and the landscape itself to construct a many-faceted picture of the role of religion in this frontier society. Focusing on the socio-cultural as well as the political dimensions of the Sergius cult, her study sheds light on the lives of the ordinary faithful, as well as on religion's place in the strategic calculations of hostile empires. Beginning with a detailed analysis of the surviving accounts of the martyrdom of Sergius, Fowden provides a discussion of Syrian Rusafa-Sergiopolis, traces the spread of the Sergius cult in Syria and Mesopotamia, and provides a provocative interpretation of the relation between the saint's presence at Rusafa and his role in frontier defense. She also discusses Arab Christianity in the context of late Roman culture in the East, as well as the continuation of the Sergius tradition after the Muslim conquest, emphasizing the changes and continuities brought by the rise of Islam.
Main Description
Focussing on the cult of the martyr-saint Sergius, Fowden studies frontier society and the overlapping of cultural traditions between the late antique Roman empire, Sasanian Iran, and their Arab allies; her story concentrates on the fifth to seventh centuries A. D.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
Introductionp. 1
Portraits of a Martyrp. 7
The Passio of SS. Sergius and Bacchusp. 8
History in the Passio: The Emperorp. 11
The Hagiographic Milieup. 17
Alexander of Hierapolis and the Early Cult of S. Sergiusp. 26
Images of S. Sergiusp. 29
Martyr Cult on the Frontier: The Case of Mayperqatp. 45
Relics and Defensep. 45
At the World's Centerp. 48
The Ecumenical City of Martyrsp. 52
The Iranian Viewpointp. 56
Rusafap. 60
The Frontier Zonep. 60
A Place of Convergencep. 67
The Fortress-Shrinep. 77
Pilgrimage to Rusafap. 92
The Spread of the Sergius Cult in Syria and Mesopotamiap. 101
The Hawranp. 105
West of the Steppep. 112
Northern Syria and Mesopotamiap. 117
The Iranian Empirep. 120
Frontier Shrine and Frontier Saintp. 130
Justinian, Theodora, and S. Sergiusp. 130
Iranian Interest in S. Sergiusp. 133
The Ghassanid Confederationp. 141
al-Mundhirp. 149
The Cult of S. Sergius after the Islamic Conquestp. 174
Umayyad Rusafap. 174
Rusafa after Hishamp. 183
Between East and Westp. 185
Between Christianity and Islamp. 189
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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