Roman Imperial Identities in the Early Christian Era (Paperback) book cover

Roman Imperial Identities in the Early Christian Era

By Judith Perkins

© 2008 – Routledge

210 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415594882
pub: 2010-08-18
Hardback: 9780415397445
pub: 2008-08-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203892367
pub: 2008-08-22
from $54.95

FREE Standard Shipping!

About the Book

Through the close study of texts, Roman Imperial Identities in the Early Christian Era examines the overlapping emphases and themes of two cosmopolitan and multiethnic cultural identities emerging in the early centuries CE – a trans-empire alliance of the Elite and the "Christians." Exploring the cultural representations of these social identities, Judith Perkins shows that they converge around an array of shared themes: violence, the body, prisons, courts, and time.


Locating Christian representations within their historical context and in dialogue with other contemporary representations, it asks why do Christian representations share certain emphases? To what do they respond, and to whom might they appeal? For example, does the increasing Christian emphasis on a fully material human resurrection in the early centuries, respond to the evolution of a harsher and more status based judicial system?


Judith Perkins argues that Christians were so successful in suppressing their social identity as inhabitants of the Roman Empire, that historical documents and testimony have been sequestered as "Christian" rather than recognized as evidence for the social dynamics enacted during the period, Her discussion offers a stimulating survey of interest to students of ancient narrative, cultural studies and gender.


[T]his is an inspiring monograph that never fails to make its points clear . . . Perkins’ book is essential reading for scholars interested in Greek novels and early Christianity. - Alberto Quiroga, Ancient Narrative

This is a valuable and stimulating contribution to the understanding of the complex interplay between early Christianity and the Roman imperial society and judicial system. It also casts much light onto the backdrop of crucial theological and anthropological Christian conceptions such as the incarnation of Christ and the resurrection of all human beings. - Ilaria L.E. Ramelli,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Review of Biblical Literature, April 2009

Table of Contents

1. Cosmopolitan Identities 2. False Deaths and new Bodies 3. Constructing a Patriarchal Elite 4. Resurrection and Judicial Bodies 5. Place, Space and Voice 6. Trimalchio: Transformations and Possibilities 7. Reurrection and Social Perspectives 8. The Rhetoric of the Mternal Body 9. Competing Chronologies

About the Author

Judith Perkins is professor of Classics and Humanities at Saint Joseph College, Connecticut. Her research focuses on the social and cultural dynamics of early Christian representation in its historical matrix. She is the author of The Suffering Self (Routledge 1995).

About the Series

Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies

Forthcoming titles:

Juvenal's Global Awareness: Circulation, Connectivity, and Empire by Osman Umurhan

Thinking the Greeks: A Volume in Honour of James M. Redfield edited by Lillian Doherty and Bruce King

Pushing the Boundaries of Historia edited by Mary English and Lee Fratantuono

The Greek and Roman Trophy: From Battlefield Marker to Icon of Power by Lauren Kinnee

The Getae: Changing Landscapes of Colonization, Imperialism, and Memory edited by Ioana Oltean, Ligia Ruscu, and Dan Ruscu

Un-Roman Sex: Gender, Sexuality, and Lovemaking in the Roman Provinces and Frontiers edited by Rob Collins and Tatiana Ivleva

Divinations and Systems of Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity edited by Crystal Addey and Victoria Leonard

Villas and Values: The Cultural and Competitive Lives of Rome's Elites by Hannah Platts

The Doctor in Roman Law and Society by Molly Jones-Lewis



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General