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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses several aspects of Roman imperial culture that offer resonances with the study of the New Testament. Herein several gendered and sexualized tropes of Roman imperial ideology, which serve to discursively naturalize power relationships and differences in hierarchy, are considered. These include the impenetrable manliness of the Roman emperor, the link between military conquest and sexual violence and feminization of conquered barbarian “others,” and the characterization of the Roman Empire as an endlessly fertile family. Special attention is given to the rhetorical and representational dimensions of Roman imperial culture, and particular emphasis is afforded to visual representation. Finally, the article considers several areas wherein the intersection of gender, sexuality, Roman imperial culture, and the study of the New Testament might further be explored.

Keywords: Roman imperial ideology, Roman imperial cult, Roman mythology, Roman imperial art, ancient barbarians, ideological criticism, rhetorical criticism

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