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Rome in Late AntiquityEveryday Life and Urban Change, AD 312-609$
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Bertrand Lancon

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780748612390

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612390.001.0001

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Festivals and entertainments

Festivals and entertainments

(p.141) Chapter 11 Festivals and entertainments
Rome in Late Antiquity

Menno Fenger

Paul Henman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shows that the rites and festivals of Roman religion were still very much alive during the fourth century. Contrary to a widespread misconception, festivals of Christianity did not replace pagan ones, but were interspersed among them, adding their dates to those of the old festivals. The Calendar of 354 clearly shows the juxtaposition of the ancient festivals with those of Christianity. Imperial celebrations alone thus represented a little over sixty days of games in the calendar. Games, presented by magistrates taking up office or by benefactors as an entertainment greatly appreciated by the populace, were nevertheless a political lever for the Roman élite. The chapter also states the opposition to circus games by the Fathers of the Church, Theodosius and Honorius.

Keywords:   festivals, religion, Christianity, Calendar of 354, games, calendar, circus, adventus, Theodosius, Honorius

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