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By Mark Humphries

This e-book offers a brand new appraisal of spiritual swap within the Roman Empire, concentrating on the increase of Christianity in Northern Italy. Drawing on either archaeological facts and conventional literary assets, Mark Humphries examines Christiain origins and exhibits how competing pursuits of bishops, emperors, and laity impacted the political, cultural, and theological improvement of the church.

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Additional resources for Communities of the Blessed: Social Environment and Religious Change in Northern Italy, AD 200-400 (Oxford Early Christian Studies)

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85 In addition to such cults from the city of Rome, others of a less official nature began to make their appearence in the imperial period. Although devotion to such gods, among whom are numbered the deities of foreign cities and the mystery cults, was entirely compatible with the worship of other deities,86 the dissemination of such cults depended on private initiative, not state sponsorship. As such, the means by which they spread through northern Italy can provide a framework within which some attempt can be made to understand the dissemination of Christianity.

This route was, however, never secure, and was regularly under attack from the neighbouring Lombard duchy of Spoleto: Noble, Republic of St Peter, 5, 156–7. This emphasizes the continued strategic importance of the Umbrian Apennines, which the Romans knew only too well: cf. Tabacco, Struggle for Power, 75. 8 Pallottino, History of Earliest Italy, 104. COTC01 08/10/1999 12:13 PM Page 25 The north Italian human environment 25 founded at the estuary of the Marecchia in 268 bc and a road, the Via Flaminia, was constructed nearby along the route of the river Metaurus in 232 bc.

Aquil. 182 (dating to ad 256). Malaise, Inventaire préliminaire, 4–13, 23–32. Malaise, Conditions de pénétration, 321–32, 335–51. Cf. nn. 54–5 above. Brunt, Italian Manpower, 180. 92 With the embellishment of Milan as an imperial capital in the 290s, the transformation neared completion. 93 The presence in northern Italy of the emperor and his court for extended periods made new demands on the cities. 95 Aquileia too grew in size, with new walled districts to the south and south-west. This seems particularly linked to the increased economic and strategic importance of the city as a supply base for the troops garrisoning the passes of the north-eastern Alps.

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