2nd Edition

Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity
A Sourcebook

ISBN 9781138020320
Published September 4, 2015 by Routledge
372 Pages

USD $56.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity, A.D. Lee documents the transformation of the religious landscape of the Roman world from one of enormous diversity of religious practices and creeds in the 3rd century to a situation where, by the 6th century, Christianity had become the dominant religious force. Using translated extracts from contemporary sources he examines the fortunes of pagans and Christians from the upheavals of the 3rd Century, through the dramatic events associated with the emperors Constantine, Julian and Theodosius in the 4th, to the increasingly tumultuous times of the 5th and 6th centuries, while also illustrating important themes in late antique Christianity such as the growth of monasticism, the emerging power of bishops and the development of pilgrimage, as well as the fate of other significant religious groups including Jews and Manichaeans.

This new edition has been updated to include:

  • additional documentary material, including newly published papyri
  • an expanded chapter on the emperor Constantine
  • greater attention to church controversies in the fourth and fifth centuries
  • thoroughly updated references and further reading, taking into account developments in modern scholarship during the past fifteen years.

Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity is an invaluable resource for students of the late antique world, and of early Christianity and the early Church.

Table of Contents


Part I: Pagans and Christians through time

1 Pagans in the third century

2 Christians in the third century

3 Pagans and Christians during the Tetrarchy

4 Constantine

5 Pagans and Christians in the mid-fourth century

6 Pagans and Christians in the late fourth century

7 Christianisation and its limits in the fifth and sixth centuries

Part II: Other religious groups

8 Jews

9 Zoroastrians

10 Manichaeans

Part III: Themes in late antique Christianity

11 Ascetics

12 Bishops

13 Material resources

14 Church life

15 Women

16 Pilgrims and holy places

View More



Doug Lee is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Nottingham. He has published widely on many aspects of Late Antiquity, including his most recent book, From Rome to Byzantium, AD 363 to 565: The Transformation of Ancient Rome (2013).


"This is an invaluable collection for students and teachers alike, offering clear insight into the complexities of the different sources for the study of religion in late antiquity and the ways that historians have interpreted them."

Neville Morley, Bristol, UK

"the author's contributions are clear and helpful, the primary materials well chosen and quite interesting. This second edition (replacing the first, published in 2000) can be recommended for academic libraries supporting undergraduate studies in religion, as well as public and specialized libraries. Summing Up: Recommended."

R. Goldenberg, Stony Brook University (SUNY) in CHOICE