This book contributes to the small but growing literature on the interaction between religion and power in antiquity. Edwards focuses on the eastern 'Greek' provinces in the first and second centuries A.D. - the period during which Christianity, Judaism, and numerous other religions and cults exploded across the Roman Empire. His purpose is to show how the local elite classes appropriated and manipulated mythic and religious images and practices to establish and consolidate their social, political, and economic power.

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