History | Late Antique Paganism
J400 | 6354 | Watts


J400:  P-  HIST J300
Above section open to majors only
Above section open to undergraduates only

The decline of Greco-Roman paganism in the centuries following the
conversion of the emperor Constantine was a process every bit as
stunning and complicated as that which led to the rise of
Christianity.  This course will examine later Roman paganism and how
it was described by both pagans and Christians.  This course has
three goals:

1)	To establish how paganism functioned in Roman and late Roman
periods
2)	To examine Christianization and its rise to power in the
Roman world.
3)	To describe how pagans adapted to the political dominance of
Christianity

The course is divided into four sections.  The first explains
traditional Roman paganism with a special emphasis being placed upon
the features that made it attractive to its adherents.  The second
section explains the rise of Christianity and the features that made
the faith attractive to its converts.  Next, we explore the measures
Christian emperors of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries took to
assist the growth of the Christian church and those they took to
suppress paganism.  The final section concentrates upon the pagans
who remained in the empire and the ways in which their religious
practices changed in response to Christian pressures.

The course work will consist of reading and class discussion of
ancient primary sources.  Students will be expected to complete 4
short essays in the course of the semester as well as a final
research paper.