Antonia Tripolitis examines the rise of the Hellenistic-Roman world and presents a comprehensive overview of its beliefs and practices, their sociopsychological and historical development, general patterns of thought, and the reasons for their success or failure. Her work examines Mithraism, Hellenistic Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism as well as the philosophies of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Middle Platonism. It also includes a review of the principal mystery cults, Demeter at Eleusis, Dionysus, Isis, and Cybele or Magna Mater.
The book opens with a survey of Alexander's cosmopolitan vision, how it altered the cultural and sociopolitical systems of the time, and society's religious response to the changes brought about by Alexander's universalism. Tripolitis outlines the origins of Mithraism, its mystery rites, and its migration throughout the Mediterranean world.
A significant perspective is the book's unified view of Hellenistic (Diaspora) Judaism and its contribution to the larger Jewish community and to the development of early Christianity. Tripolitis focuses on the dialogue between the early Christians and their opponents and its influence on Christianity's evolution as an organization with its own philosophy and tradition. She also investigates the social and political factors for Gnosticism's origin and development, its psychological appeal, and the reasons for its disappearance at the end of the third century.
Based on the most reliable, up-to-date research on the ancient world, Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age is ideally suited for classes in early Christianity, late antiquity, and related topics taught in departments of history, religion, and classics....Continua