Twice Neokoros

Twice Neokoros : Ephesus, Asia and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial Family

By (author) Steven J. Friesen


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A case study of the cult of the Sebastoi that was established in the city of Ephesus by the province of Asia during the late first century CE. Epigraphic and numismatic data indicate that this cult was dedicated in 89/90 to the Flavian imperial family. The architecture, sculpture, municipal titles and urban setting of the cult all reflect Asian religious traditions. The image of Ephesus was significantly altered by the use of these traditions in the institutions related to the cult of the Sebastoi. Within the context of the history of provincial cults in the Roman Empire, the cult of the Sebastoi became a turning point in the rhetoric of social order. Thus, the cult served as a prototypical manifestation of socio-religious developments during the late first and early second centuries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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  • Hardback | 238 pages
  • 160 x 241.3 x 22.9mm | 589.68g
  • 01 May 1993
  • Brill
  • Leiden
  • English
  • 27 illustrations, 2 text-maps
  • 9004096892
  • 9789004096899
  • 2,133,604

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Author Information

Steven J. Friesen, Ph.D. 1990 (Harvard) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the East-West Center, Institute of Culture and Communication/Program on Cultural Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii. He has published widely in the field of Early Christianity, Greco-Roman Religion and New Testament Introduction.

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Review quote

'...a very valuable contribution to...' Guy MacLean Rogers, Journal for Rom. Studies, 1994. '...a very informative, carefully argued and well written book that makes significant advances in our understanding of the function of the early imperial cult in Asia Minor.' P. W. van der Horst, Mnemosyne, 1995. '...this important study is the first monograph-length treatment of the provincial cult of the emperors in Ephesus. Highly recommended.' John T. Fitzgerald, Religious Studies Review, 1995. '...Friesens's book has much to offer as a provocative exploration of the distinctive features of the imperial cult in Ephesus.' R.A. Kearsley, The Classical Review, 1995. '...Friesen's work makes an important contribution to our understanding of the imperial cult in first-century Ephesus.' Philip A. Harland, Toronto Journal of Theology, 1997.

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