"MacMullen...has published several books in recent years which establish him, rightfully, as a leading social historian of the Roman Empire. The current volume exhibits many of the characteristics of its predecessors: the presentation of novel, revisionist points of view...; discrete set pieces of trenchant argument which do not necessarily conform to the boundaries of traditional history; and an impressive, authoritative, and up-to-date documentation, especially rich in primary sources...A stimulating and provocative discourse on Roman paganism as a phenomenon worthy of synthetic investigation in its own right and as the fundamental context for the rise of Christianity."--Richard Brilliant, History "MacMullen's latest work represents many features of paganism in its social context more vividly and clearly than ever before."--Fergus Millar, American Historical Review "The major cults...are examined from a social and cultural perspective and with the aid of many recently published specialized studies...Students of the Roman Empire...should read this book."--Robert J, Penella, Classical World "A distinguished book with much exact observation...An indispensable mine of erudition on a grand theme.
" Henry Chadwick, Times Literary Supplement Ramsay MacMullen is Dunham Professor of History and Classics at Yale University and the author of Roman Government's Response to Crisis, A.D. 235-337 and Roman Social Relations, 50 B.C. to A.D. 284show more