This paper aims to assess narratives of temple destruction by raising the issue of their etiology. It reexamines the famous destructions of the temple of Zeus Belos at Apamea (trad. circa 386) and that of Zeus Marnas at Gaza (trad. circa 402), both of which, though well known, have been neglected in recent interpretative studies on religious violence. Both accounts are first analyzed according to the different contexts in which they were written, then considered in terms of the development of episcopal hagiography. This approach opens questions regarding how such stories were actually elaborated in practice. Comparison of various similar discourses on ancient stones sheds new light on issues that extend beyond narratives of temple destruction to touch upon the construction of Late Antique civic identities.


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pp. 325-346
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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