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Reconsidering Roman power : Roman, Greek, Jewish and Christian perceptions and reactions

Ouvrage sous la direction de :
juin 2020
Rome, Collection de l’École française de Rome
530 p.

Résumé de l’éditeur, EFR

"Among the imperial states of the ancient world, the Roman empire stands out for its geographical extent, its longevity and its might. This collective volume investigates how the many peoples inhabiting Rome’s vast empire perceived, experienced, and reacted to both the concrete and the ideological aspects of Roman power. More precisely, it explores how they dealt with Roman might through their religious and political rituals ; what they regarded as the empire’s distinctive features, as well as its particular limitations and weaknesses ; what forms of criticism they developed towards the way Romans exercised power ; and what kind of impact the encounter with Roman power had upon the ways they defined themselves and reflected about power in general.
This volume is unusual in bringing Jewish, and especially rabbinic, sources and perspectives together with Roman, Greek or Christian ones. This is the result of its being part of the research program “Judaism and Rome” (ERC Grant Agreement no. 614 424), dedicated to the study of the impact of the Roman empire upon ancient Judaism."


Katell Berthelot est historienne, spécialisée dans l’étude du judaïsme à l’époque hellénistique et romaine. Directrice de recherche au CNRS elle est rattachée au laboratoire TDMAM depuis 2002.

Katell Berthelot is a CNRS Professor working on the history of Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world, and a member of the TDMAM research center at Aix-Marseille University (UMR 7297). In 2014-2019 she was the Principal Investigator of the ERC project “Judaism and Rome”.

Plus d’infos, CV en ligne

- L’ouvrage est en accès libre sur OpenEdition Books



Note de l’éditeur

Katell Berthelot


Rome and previous empires : Translatio Imperii and comparative perspectives

Federico Russo
Rome as the last universal empire in the ideological discourse of the 2nd century BCE

Nadav Sharon
Rome and the four-empires scheme in Pre-Rabbinic Jewish literature

Hervé Inglebert
Comparer Rome, Alexandre et Babylone : la question de l’exceptionnalité de l’empire de Rome aux IVe-VIe siècles


The dynamics of power

Greg Woolf
The rulers ruled

Onno M. van Nijf et Sam van Dijk
Experiencing Roman power at Greek contests : Romaia in the Greek festival network

Emmanuelle Rosso Caponio
Personnifications de Rome et du pouvoir romain en Asie Mineure : quelques exemples

Caroline Barron
The (lost) Arch of Titus : the visibility and prominence of victory in Flavian Rome

Myles Lavan
Devastation : the destruction of populations and human landscapes and the Roman imperial project

Elizabeth DePalma Digeser
Apollo, Christ, and Mithras : Constantine in Gallia Belgica


Reflections on the limitations of Roman power and its weaknesses

Julien Dubouloz
Gouverner l’empire, se gouverner soi-même : réflexions sur la notion de maiestas dans la littérature de la République et du Principat

Jonathan J. Price
Structural weaknesses in Rome’s power ?
Greek historians’ views on Roman stasis

Katell Berthelot
Power and piety : Roman and Jewish perspectives

Sébastien Morlet
Ce que peut l’Empire : les caractéristiques et les limites du pouvoir romain d’après l’Histoire ecclésiastique d’Eusèbe de Césarée


Criticism of Roman power

Marie Roux
Animalizing the Romans : the use of animal metaphors by ancient authors to criticize Roman power or its agents

Yael Wilfand
Alexander the Great in the Jerusalem Talmud and Genesis Rabbah : a critique of Roman power, greed and cruelty

Nathanael Andrade
Romans and Iranians : experiences of imperial governance in Roman Mesopotamia
The impact of Roman power upon Judaism

Seth Schwartz
The Mishnah and the limits of Roman power

Natalie B. Dohrmann
Jewish books and Roman readers : censorship, authorship, and the rabbinic library

Christine Hayes
Roman power through Rabbinic eyes : tragedy or comedy ?

Markus Vinzent
"Christianity" : a response to Roman-Jewish conflict

- L’ouvrage est en accès libre sur OpenEdition Books