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Also in the Variorum Collected Studies Series:

ERIC REBILLARD Transformations of Religious Practices in Late Antiquity RICHARD SORABJI Perception, Conscience and Will in Ancient Philosophy MARK EDWARDS Christians, Gnostics and Philosophers in Late Antiquity JOHN DILLON The Platonic Heritage Further Studies in the History of Platonism and Early Christianity ANDREW SMITH Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus Philosophy and Religion in Neoplatonism GILLIAN CLARK Body and Gender, Soul and Reason in Late Antiquity HAROLD TARRANT From the Old Academy to Later Neo-Platonism Studies in the History of Platonic Thought CLAIRE SOTINEL Church and Society in Late Antique Italy and Beyond NEILMCLYNN Christian Politics and Religious Culture in Late Antiquity J.H.W.G. LIEBESCHUETZ Decline and Change in Late Antiquity Religion, Barbarians and their Historiography MARK VESSEY Latin Christian Writers in Late Antiquity and their Texts W.H.C. FREND Orthodoxy, Paganism and Dissent in the Early Christian Centuries


Mutations of Hellenism in Late Antiquity

Polymnia Athanassiadi

Mutations of Hellenism in Late Antiquity


Routledge Taylor& FrancisGroup


First published 2015 by Ashgate Publishing Published 2016 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an iriforma business This edition copyright © 2015 Polymnia Athanassiadi Polymnia Athanassiadi has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the printed edition as follows: 2014950745 ISBN 9781472443663 (hbk)



Introduction Acknowledgements

IX XVlll



Antiquite tardive : construction et deconstruction d'un modele historiographique


Antiquite Tardive 14, 2006, 311-324


The oecumenism of Iamblichus: latent knowledge and its awakening


The Journal of Roman Studies 85, 1995


Hellenism: a theological !wine


The Greeks beyond the Aegean: fi-om Marseilles to Bactria, papers presented at an International Symposium held at the Onassis Cultural Cente,: New York, 12 October 2002, ed. V.Karageorghis. New York: Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), 2003


The gods are God: polytheistic cult and monotheistic theology in the world oflate antiquity


Gott oder gotter? - God or gods?, eds T Schabert and M Riedl (Eranos, n.s. 15). Wiirzburg: Verlag Konigshausen & Neumann, 2009


Apamea and the Chaldaean Oracles: a holy city and a holy book


The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honour of Peter Brown, ed. A. Smith. Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 2005


Canonizing Platonism: the fetters of Iamblichus Canon and Canonicity: the Formation and Use of Scripture, ed. E. Thomassen. Copenhagen: Museum Tuscu/anum Press, 201()






The creation of orthodoxy in Neoplatonism Philosophy and Pmver in the Graeco-Roman World, Essays in Honour of Miriam Gr[ffin, eds G. Clark and T Rajak. Ox;ford: Oxford University Press, 2002

VIII A contribution to Mithraic theology: the Emperor Julian's Hymn to King Helios


The Journal of Theological Studies, n.s. 28, 1977


Le traitement du mythe : de l 'empereur Julien



Pensee grecque et sagesse d'Orienr, Hommage a Michel Tardieu. eds M-A. Amir-Moezzi, J-D. Dubois, C. Jullien and F Jullien (Bibliotheque de 1'Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Sciences Religieuses 142). Titrnhout: Brepols, 2009


Philosophers and oracles: shifts of authority in late pagamsm


Byzantion 62 (Hommage c1la memoire de Charles Delvoye). 1992


The fate of oracles in late antiquity: Didyma and Delphi

271 278

Deltion of the Christian Archaeological Society 15 ( 1989-90), 1991


Dreams, theurgy and freelance divination: the testimony of Iamblichus


The Journal of Roman Studies 83, 1993


The Chaldaean Oracles: theology and theurgy


Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity, eds P Athanassiadi and M. Frede. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999

XIV Byzantine commentators on the Chaldaean Oracles: Psellos and Plethon


Byzantine Philosophy and its Ancient Sources, ed. K. Ierodiakonou. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002


Ascent to heroic or divine status in late antiquity: continuities and transformations Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum (Thescra), vol. 2, Los Angeles: Getty Museum. 2004 .. 212-214




The divine man of late Hellenism: a sociable and popular figure



Divine Men and Women in the History and Society of Late Hellenism, eds lvf. Dzielska and K. Twardowska. Krakow: Jagielfonian University Press, 2013

XVII Julian the Theurgist: man or myth?


Die Chaldaeischen Orakel: Kontext - Interpretation - Rezeption, eds H. Seng and M Tardieu. Heidelberg: Universitatsverlag Winte,~2011

DISSIDENCE AND PERSECUTION XVIII Persecution and response in late paganism: the evidence of Damascius


The Journal of Hellenic Studies 113, 199 3


Who was Count Zosimus?


Damascius, The Philosophical History: Text with Translation and Notes, ed. P Athanassiadi. Athens: Apamea Cultural Association, 1999


Christians and others: the conversion ethos in late antiquity


Also appearing in Conversion in Late Antiquity: Christianity, Islam, and Beyond. eds A. Papaconstantinou. N. McLynn and D.L. Schwartz. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015


From polis to Theoupolis: school syllabuses and teaching methods in late antiquity


Thymiama. in memory of Laskarina Bouras, vol. 1. Athens: Benaki Museum, 1994

I 8


This volume contains xviii + 374 pages

Publisher's Note The articles in this volume, as in all others in the Variorum Collected Studies Series, have not been given a new, continuous pagination. In order to avoid confusion, and to facilitate their use where these same studies have been referred to elsewhere, the original page numbers have been maintained wherever possible. Articles I and XV have necessarily been reset with a new pagination. Each article has been given a Roman number in order of appearance, as listed in the Contents. This number is repeated on each page and is quoted in the index entries.

Author's Note As is to be expected in a body of work on related subjects by the same author, repetitions occur, and in the few places where this was possible I have excised them. I have also brought up to date certain footnotes where practical, but otherwise the volume reproduces the original publications with only the odd typographical correction. To avoid contradictions, I have taken particular care to exclude from the volume any papers on subjects about which I have had a change of mind. The index of personal names, toponyms and concepts at the end aims to assist the reader to navigate through the volume, while also indicating connections between its various units.


The twenty-one articles in this volume explore a specific theme within a general context: how the changing ethos of Hellenism reflects the overall transition oflate antique society from an anthropocentric to a theocentric mentality. Emerging from a number of independent archives created over a period of more than thirty years, these papers seemed effortlessly to arrange themselves into the thematic groups which are epitomized in the headings of the table of contents. It was as if the pieces of an unintended jigsaw puzzle were falling into place to allow a meaningful whole to appear. Seeking a name for the picture that had so unexpectedly emerged, I came up with the title of the volume, each of whose elements however is in need of further clarification. Let me begin with the most controversial of the three concepts, that of Late Antiquity, a new historiographical paradigm which has recently become a celebrity issue. Defining Late Antiquity

Extending further and further into the Middle Ages, the boundaries of 'late antiquity' have come to reach the year 1000. 1 This construct of the postmodem mind is 'the long late antiquity' ,2 whose imperialistic forays into new chronological, geographical and epistemological fields are traced in the article which introduces this collection, 'Anti quite tardive : construction et deconstruction d'un modele historiographique' (I). But whereas the tenninal date oflate antiquity is ever being moved forward, no attempt has as yet been made to push back its genesis. Quite the contrary! In an obvious effort to keep classicists and their methodologies out of the consecrated space, the starting post of late antiquity has been advancing with remarkable celerity. While in his seminal book The World of Late Antiquity ( 1971), Peter Brown uses the reign of Marcus Aurelius ( 161-180) as the starting line for the period, in the volume which attempts to codify the discipline and the approaches to it (1999), he and his co-authors finnly set its beginnings in the year 250 A.D. 3 Even more daringly, the title page of the international review Antiquite Tardive 1

See G. Fowden, Before and After Muhammad: The First Millennium Refocused, Princeton

2014. Formula established by Averil Cameron: 'The "long" late antiquity: a late twentieth-century model' in T.P. Wiseman (ed.), Classics in Progress, Oxford 2002 (British Academy Centenary Series), 165-91. 1 G.W. Bowersock, P. Brown, 0. Grabar (eds), Late Antiquizv: A Guide to the Postclassical World, Cambridge MA 1999.



provides the year 400 as a birthdate for the period. Yet, to the mind of the present writer, it is not possible to detach late antiquity from its He11enistic roots without rendering unintelligible precisely those developments which were decisive in its making. If pushed to produce a label, I would therefore postulate, instead of a 'long late antiquity', a 'long He11enistic age', with varying beginnings and ends according to the themes treated. 4 As I was trying to understand the logic of this arbitrary moving away from origins, I was struck by the realization that the concept of late antiquity is a Western invention - a henneneutical model for the study of the 'Late(r) Roman Empire' devised by Western historians with reference to the West. Its architects conceived it with the intention of freeing a period which coincides with the birth of Europe from the bad press with which the Enlightenment had loaded it. The verdict of Gibbon, who memorably viewed the Christianization of Rome as 'the triumph of barbarism and religion', had to be refuted and reversed, or at least, qualified. For this purpose, as well as changing the title of its object of research from 'late Roman' or 'Bas e1npire'to 'late antique' - the new paradigm introduced a whole arsenal of terms and concepts: 'decline and fall' gave way to 'change and continuity', the politically incorrect 'age of barbarism' was replaced by the positive 'birth of Europe' or even 'ethnogenesis', while the study of 'Religion'with a capital 'R', understood as being coterminous with Christianity, was overtaken by that of 'religious change' and/or 'religions' in the plural, which implies the detached observation of the religious phenomenon in its varied expressions within and without the Empire. 5 In this new perspective the rise of the religious is seen as a purely social phenomenon, and analyzed as such with the aid of the anthropologist's tools; the emphasis is nowadays on the triumph of emotions, on ritual and theatricality and on social networking, while the universal passion for theological debate which animated the life of late antique men and women is attributed to the era's taste for rhetoric, as shaped by an archaizing educational ethos. 6 What the essays in this volume attempt to show with reference to Hellenism is that late antiquity was indeed an age of intense spiritual searching, when all " See in this connection P. Athanassiadi, 'From Man to God or the mutation of a culture (300 B.C. - A.D. 762)' in A. Drandaki et al., Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Cnflectinns, Exh. Cat., Athens 2013, 28----43. For 'religious change' see Averil Cameron, The Mediterranean vVorldin Late Antiquity AD 395-600, 2nd edition, London 2012, 11. Religions of Rome is the title of an influential textbook by M. Beard, J. North and S. Price, Cambridge 1998. r, Cameron, op.cit. (n. 5), 9: 'the recognition of the great importance of rhetoric in all forms in the interpretation of late antique writing' is praised in the context of the setting out of the guidelines for the reading of a variety of sources as 'one of the major advances' in late antique scholarship during the last twenty years; elsewhere, the same author comments with reference to K. Weitzmann (ed.), Age of Spirituality. A Symposium (New York 1980), 'Late antiquity used to be seen unproblematically as a time of increased spirituality', (n. 5), 128.



aspects of the religious phenomenon, from ritual to theology and from a turning inwards to a vocation for the ascetic life were passionately pursued by people of all social strata and intellectual levels. Both Henri-Irenee Marrou and Peter Brown - the two gurus of late antique studies - have constructed their narrative of late antique change around the spread of Christianity, with St Augustine as their edifice's foundation stone. 7 An emblematic figure for Western life and thought, the Bishop of Hippo has (mercifully) exercised remarkably little influence on the society and culture of the East. Yet once launched, the hermeneutical model of a late late antiquity, emancipated from the cultural influence of the Hellenistic East and centred on Augustine, was extended to explain developments in the Pars Orientalis of the Roman Empire. 8 The spontaneous reaction of Byzantinists was to ignore the new construct and the methodologies it carried, and dete1minately stick to their traditional periodisation into an early, middle and late Empire. Relying on the evidence of their sources, they continued to view the Hellenistic heritage as the allimportant force in the shaping of Byzantium, seeing that, in its linguistic, intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic hypostasis, the Hellenistic past was dynamically present in every manifestation of life in the Christian Empire, though not infrequently as the condemned party and the reproved interlocutor in the official discourse. 9

The long Hellenistic Age In introducing the collection of essays Pagan Monotheism in late Antiquity ( 1999), Michael Frede and the present author argued for a periodisation beginning In his first collection of articles with the telling title Religion and Society in the Age of Saint Augustine, London 1972, Peter Brown explains why he sees Augustine as such a representative figure for the era (esp. 9-11). It is only fair to note that in his Retractatio to Saint Augustin et la fin de la culture antique ( 1938), published in 1949, Marrou shows himselffully conscious of the fact that his model of fin de culture is applicable only to the West, by contrast with developments in the Eastern Empire which benefited from a long ete presque millenaire, 011 s 'epanouit cette civilisation he/lenistique, puis romaine, 685. His final remarks (Retractatio XIX, XX, 690-702), concerning the cultural 'pseudomorphosis' of the Bas Empire - a period on which he confers historiographical autonomy under the name of Theopolis - are particularly perceptive. In a series of books and articles, whose subjects range from Procopius to Psellos, Anthony Kaldellis has shown how vibrant- ifofl:en underground- was the Hellenistic presence in Byzantium. With reference to Theodoret of Cyrrhus (Plato and Theodoret: the Christian Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy and the Hellenic Intellectual Resistance, Cambridge 2008) and Pletho (Radical Platonism in Byzantium: 1/luminatfon and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon, Cambridge 2011 ), Niketas Siniossoglou has analysed the Byzantine strategies of appropriation vis-a-vis the cultural values of Hellenism. For a reasoned response to the eccentric claim by Dame Averil Cameron (Byzantine matters (Princeton 2014), 55) that the views of Kaldellis, Siniossoglou and the present writer illustrate 'the dilemmas faced by Greek historians in writing about Byzantium', see Kaldellis' review in Journal of late Antiquity 7.2 (2014 Fall), 376-8.



around the year 125 B.C., justifying this choice in the following tenns: 'To the historian of religion and philosophy in the eastern Mediterranean, the end of the second century BC stands out as a natural watershed: the demise of the traditional Hellenistic schools, the Pythagorean revival, and the impetus which animated the 'oriental cults', shaping them into systematic oecumenical messages, are all phenomena which indicate a break with the Hellenistic past and point to new beginnings' (p. 3). At stake in that volume was the issue of monotheism, and accordingly we took as a notional beginning of late antiquity that point in time when its principal features seemed to us to coalesce. A different emphasis would naturally entail a different starting point, since periodisation does not constitute an absolute, but is entirely dependent on the phenomenon studied. It is essential to remember in this connection that there are many late antiquities with mutually asynchronous beginnings and ends. Most of the trends with which the present volume deals have their origin in the creation of the He1lenistic oecumene, and we may therefore postulate a date around 300 B.C. as the logical starting point for their discussion. In this context I would emphasise four factors: ( 1) the metamorphosis of the Attic dialect into a global linguistic instrument, through which a koine would eventually emerge to articulate the theological discourse of the period; (2) the confluence of the spiritual traditions of East and West, whose significance in the making of late antiquity can hardly be overemphasized, despite strenuous recent efforts to the contrary; 10 (3) the transition from orality to literacy, which was to bring about the creation of textual communities with their culture of holy scriptures and exegesis; and (4) the formation of literary and artistic canons and the scholastic ethos to which they gave birth. All these trends (with their various modalities), which shaped the late antique cultural milieu, originated in the Hellenistic oecumene. Some were methodically prepared in its great cosmopolitan centres, such as Pergamon and Alexandria, but, for the most part, they were spontaneous creations of its global climate. Hellen isms

With Hellenism's migration to the East, Greek replaced Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Greater Eastern Mediterranean. As a result a consensus regarding correct linguistic usage was needed, and in this context the tern1 'EAA11Vl tout court, en ayant toutefois recours a des subdiYisions du type « protobyzantin », « mediobyzantin » et « byzantin tardif » pour rendre lcs differentcs periodes de la civilisation byzantine. lnutile de signalcr le caractcre fortcment ideolugique de cet ernplui, qui, en se referant a une culture rnajuritairernent ,Stt1diSt01ici40 (1999), 157-80.

I Constrmtion et deconstructiond'11nmode!ehistoriographiq11e


la modernite » et l'imperialisme linguistique de l'anglais dans le monde contemporain, les promoteurs du modele d'une Antiquite tardive expansive appartenant dans leur ecrasante majorite au « club anglo-saxon »' 11• Ensuite Andrea Giardina nomme les precurseurs qui ont prepare, a leur insu, le terrain ,1la demarche de Peter Brown - sa «guerilla», d'apres sa propre expression, contre les champs traditionnellement tenus par les historiens des institutions politiques et sociales, par les medievistes et les orientalistes 31 • Parmi les devanciers, la premiere place est assignee a l'inventeur de la Spatantike, l'Autrichien Alois Riegl et son concept de K11ns!Jpo/!en (1901)' 2 ; suit Santo Mazzarino avec sa theorie de la democratisation de la culture ; en6n vient Andre Piganiol et son refus d'associer toute notion de decadence avec la societe du bas-empire. Pourtant, si ces hommes ont indique a Peter Brown de nouvelles pistes pour y exercer son ingeniosite, tout en lui fournissant des outils methodologiques pour la construction d'une Antiquite tardive plus lumineuse, l'idee de la prolongation de cette ere historique au-dela ) (ihid,, p. 233-8). 1 • [Note ajoutee a !'original] : La discussion est loin de prendre fin. En 2008, l'Universite americaine de Johns Hopkins a lance une nouvelle revue internationale, intitulee Jo!frnal of Late -1ntiqllity.Deux arrjcles, aux titres parlants, inaugurent son premier numero, faisant l'histoire du concept de l'Antiquite rnrdiw et guestionnant Jes presupposes sur lesguels ii se fonde. Au ton ironique de Edward James (« The rise and function of the concept of 'late antiquity' », p. 20-30, titre calque sur l'intitulc du fameux article de Peter Brown sur le « holy man », voir mpra,n. 8.) fait pendant le discours discret de Arnaldo l\Iarcone (« A long late antiquity? Considerations on a controversial periodization )), p. 4-19), qui opte pour une equivoque qui n'offense personne. 2



I 14

Constrmtion et deconstructiond'1111 mode!ehistoriographiqm

mettre en epreuve dans les divers domaines de l'histoire politique, sociale et culturelle, le paradigme de la democratisation de la culture lance clans les annees 1950 par Santo Mazzarino et canonise en 1960 lors du Xle Congres international des Sciences historiques te11Ua Stockholm-. 5 • Ayant d'abord tente de saisir et de definir ce concept par rapport aux courants historiographiques auxquels il devait sa genese, les intervenants ont considere, separement et lors des discussions concluant les c-Efferents cycles thematiques du Collogue, l'utilite d'un tel model interpretatif, tant pour l'etude des langues et des productions artistiques et litteraires du monde tardoantique que pour l'appreciation de l'identite socio-culturelle de ses participants, traditionnels ou nouveaux venus. De meme, grace a la double direction (ascendante et descendante) de son mouvement dans la societe, cette force unificatrice qu'est en derniere analyse « la democratisation de la culture » a pu servir, comme le signale a ce propos Jean-11ichel Carrie4>,

I Construrtionet deconstmctiond'm1morMehist01iographique


nous repandre en declarations programmatiques, essayons de comprendre con1ment est nee, clans le champs de l'Antiquite tardive, cette polysemie interpretative qui deroute le chercheur.

IV Miroirs identitaires Depuis Giambattista Vico, on sait le caractere relatif, et meme autobiographique, de toute tentative dans le domaine de l'historiographie. Personne ne peut s'evader de son present - personne ne peut devenir un ermite dans le temps. V erite de La Palice, mais qui merite d'etre repetee : nous sommes tous conditionnes par notre epoque, et, ce qui est encore plus poignant, nous sommes les prisonniers de notre propre micro-milieu historique, social et ideologique. Au lieu de nous vider de nos prejuges personnels pour nous laisser envahir par l'Autre, au lieu d'abdiquer nos categories mentales pour nous laisser penetrer par celles d'une autre societe, nous transportons dans le passe le bagage de nos propres soucis. Les meilleurs parmi nous n'arrivent pas a echapper a cette retroprojection. Qui ne connait les celebres aphorismes qui concluent /'Histoire socia/eet economiqmde /'E111pireromain de Rostovtzeff, qui contemple la chute de l'empire romain a travers le prisme de sa propre experience de la Revolution de 1917 r? Plus pres de nous, Andre Piganiol a enferme dans le fameux adage« la civilisation romaine n'est pas morte de sa belle mort. Elle a ete assassinee 48 » toute l'amertume et le ressentiment gue lui avait legues l'experience de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale : Jes hordes germaniques auraient assassine un organisme en pleine vigueur ! Les historiens d'Averil Cameron ont transpose a l'Antiquite tardive les soucis, les priorites et les habitudes mentales de notre propre societe : habitat, feminisme, sexualite, minorites et demographie, integrismes religieux et nationaux et construction d'identites de toute sorte dans un climat social a la fois permissif et fluide. Et moi ? Echapperais-je au sort du subjectivisme historique ? Bien sur que non! Ayant ete elevee dans le systeme educatif grec, un systeme d'un hellenocentrisme outrancier, je salue avec enthousiasme toute violation des orthodoxies nationales et religieuses, sous le signe desguelles je fus introduite a cet autre univers - le royaume des morts - le passe. Pour l' ecolier grec, l'Histoire commence avec l' Antiquite grecque qui, pour des raisons pratiques, se termine avec les conquetes d'}\.lexandre, puisque Rostovtzeff, Jhe socialand economichistory o/ the Roman empire,Oxford 1957 (2e ed., ren1e par P. Fraser), p. 541 « Is it possible to extend a higher civilization to the lower classes without debasing its standard and diluting its quality to vanishing point ? ls not every civilization bound to decay as soon as it begins to penetrate the masses ? », propus qui ne sont pas sans renvoyer a la fameuse boutade lJUi conclut le livre de Gibbon, pour qui tout son effort se resumait a la minutieuse analyse du« triomphe de la barbarie et de la religion » : « in the preceding volumes of this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.» (Declineandfa/1, ed. J.B.Bury, Londres 1909, vol. VII, p. 308.) 4 Piganiol, L'empircchretien(325-395), Paris 1947, p. 422. " 47

I 16

Constrmtion et deconstructiond'1mmodi:!ehistoriographique

l'univers hellenistique est trop bariole pour les besoins d'un enseignement scolaire et meme universitaire. D' Alexandre le Grand on saute a Constantin le Grand, qui, avec sa conversion au christianisme, inaugure la periode byzantine dont la gloire s'etend jusqu'a 1453, lorsque le Turc vint fouler aux pieds une brillante civilisation. La troisieme periode de l'histoire nationale grecque commence en 1821 lorsque, tel un phenix, l'hellenisme renait de ses cendres. La grossierete - le trauma meme - de cette periodisation qui, avec d'infimes variations, domine a ce jour meme nos programmes scolaires et, partant, notre horizon conceptuel, m'a inspire de bonne heure une profonde incredulite envers toute tentative de classification du temps historique. Et des annees passees a Oxford j'ai garde une certaine loyaute envers quelques aspects du modele anglo-saxon de l'Antiquite tardive. Adepte de la longue duree braudelienne, je m'efforce de suivre clans les societes d'antan les imperceptibles transformations dont l'effet cumulatif aboutit a la creation d'un nouveau visage collectif - d'une societe nouvelle. Couloir obscur dans lequel s'affrontent les forces de la conservation avec celles du progres, vase dos dans lequel se prepare une reaction chirnique, l'Antiquite tardive est un intervalle entre deux etants, un 111eta."":Y au sens aristotelicien du terme, le lieu ou s'effectue le passage d'une societe organisee a la mesure de l'homme a une autre batie pour la plus grande gloire de Dieu 49 •

V L'imaginaire de !'invisible

Kai mxvrn£1GW Plotin III 8 [30]. 6.40 Ce glissement d'un univers anthropocentrique a un monde theocentrique est illustre de maniere on ne peut plus frappante par la metamorphose du paysage urbain : a la multiplicite de petites et grandes cites, ou l'amenagement de l'espace vital trahit le culte du corps et de l'esprit humains, succede la cite unique, que ce soit Constantinople ou Damas, avec ses magnifiques monuments, symboles de la majeste d'un Dieu unique et de son representant terrestre, le basileus ou calife. Bibliotheques et odeons, parlements et portiques, oi:1l'on se promene nonchalamment en discutant, theatres et stades, bains et autres edifices consacres a la joie de vivre sont desormais decries comme tant de lieux malefiques et - meme avant de tomber en ruines - comme

Cf. Paul, Phil. 3.19-20, qui oppose lcs communautcs chrcticnncs (« notrc cummunautc est au ciel )) ~µwv yap ro rroMn:uµa £V oupavo'ic;)a tous ceux qui sont cloues ii la terre (oi ra i:rrfyna q,povouvr£c;).De meme, Plotin donnera un sens nom'eau au vers homerique « partons pour notre chere patrie », lorsqu'il exhortera ses disciples de se tourner \"ers leur patrie celeste Emz. I (>.8.1C>:..arwviKwv oonLarwv avyKHpa>..a{wair:;, ed. C. Alexandre, in Traite des Lois (Paris, 1858), 262-9. George Scholarios Gennadios, CEuvres completes, ed. L. Petit, M. Jugie, and X. A. Siderides, iv (Paris, 1935). Michael Psellos, Chronographie, ed. E.Renauld, i (Paris, 1926). --Philosophica minora Led. J. M. Duffy (Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1992). --Philosophica minora II, ed. D. J. O'Meara (Leipzig, 1989).



Athanassiadi, P. (1999), 'The Chaldaean Oracles: Theology and Theurgy', in P. Athanassiadi and M. Frede (eds.), Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity (Oxford), 149-83. Bidez, J., and Cumont, F. (1938), Les Mages he//enises, i-ii (Paris). Johnston, S. I. (1990), Hekate Soteira (Atlanta). Legrand, E. (1903), Bibliographie hellenique XVe-XVle siecles, iii (Paris). Lewy, H. (1978), Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy, 2nd edn. (Paris). Masai, F. (1956), Plethon et le platonisme de Mistra (Paris). Saffrey, H. D. (1969), 'Nouveaux oracles chaldaiques dans Jes scholies du Paris. gr. 1853', Revue de Philologie, 43: 59-70. Tardieu, M. (1987), 'Plethon lecteur des Oracles', Metis, 2: 141-64. West, M. L. (1968), 'A Pseudo-Fragment of Heraclitus', Classical Review, NS 18: 257-8. Westerink, L. G. (1940), 'Proclus, Procopius, Psellus', Mnemosyne, 10: 275-80.


Ascent to Heroic or Divine Status in Late Antiquity: Continuities and Transformations *

The veneration of saints is a salient feature of late antique piety. This was only to be expected at a time \vhen the ever-widening gulf between Man and a transcendent God had to be :6lled by heroic and divine intermediaries. Ancient or modern, pagan or Christian, the men who during their passage on earth had impressed humanity with acts of physical or moral heroism were honoured by their posterity with a cult whose form, function and emphasis necessarily changed with the passage of time. Christianity above all, at once imitating and transforming received attitudes towards what constituted heroism, had enriched the traditional pattern of hero worship with a new cult - that of the martyrs. Indeed the link between this new type of hero worship and older forms of the same phenomenon was explicitly made by Bishop Pegasius of Ilion in A.D. 354: as he guided the future Emperor Julian around the antiquities of Troy the bishop ventured a comparison between the cult of Hector and Achilles on the one hand and that of the Christian martvrs on the other. 1 Combining this text with epigraphic and other literary evidence, D.D. Hughes argues that late antique citizen bodies and other social groups continued to worship their national heroes as a means of legitimising territorial claims or bolstering their received religious traditions against the rising tide of a new universal faith. 2 It is along the lines of the latter hypothesis that I would interpret the growing popularity of Achilles in late antiquity. Indicative of this is the considerable number of dishes, domestic utensils and private objects in marble, silver, bronze, terracotta and other materials which present scenes from the hero's life cycle' or refer to speci:hc events in his career. 4 To these can now be added a superb series of ivory plaques with an

* Originally published in Thwwrm Ct1!tus cl Ri/1111111 ,"-J.11tiq11ort1m (Thesrrtt), vol. 2, Los Angeles 2004, 212-14. Julian, ep. 79 (Bidez). "Hero cult, heroic honors, heroic dead: some developments in the Hellenistic and Roman periods", in R. Hagg, Ancimt Greek Fiero Ct!lt, Stockholm 1