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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses upon the literary representations of the importance of rituals, religious offices, and cult traditions in the time of the Second Sophistic. The “real-life” sophists’ involvement in cult organization, their euergetism in favor of sanctuaries and festivals, and their holding of priesthoods of the imperial cult and of other gods and deities is examined, as well as the imperial measures concerning cult and religion. Both the more “sophistic” matters of the role of cult and religion in the sophists’ texts addressing epiphanies, mystery cults, oracles, and spiritual experiences and the role sophists attribute to themselves in the cultic and religious life of the cities of the eastern provinces are treated.

Keywords: epiphanies, euergetism, festivals, imperial cult, mystery cults, priesthoods, oracles, sanctuaries, spiritual experience

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