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“Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach, in meiner Brust”: Reconciling Pagan Identity with Christian Norms

Philipp Niewöhner, University of Oxford, Fellow 2014–2015

According to the surviving written sources, the encounter of paganism and Christianity was typically characterized by violent antagonism. New archaeological evidence from Miletus suggests otherwise. Christian violation was minimal, the pagans were able to bury their gods and deconsecrate their shrines in an orderly fashion, and the city retained its ancient character well into the Byzantine period. At Dumbarton Oaks, I worked on the publication of the new discoveries at Miletus, and on a reevaluation of the archaeological evidence found elsewhere in Anatolia. I finalized the publication of the Southern Baths at Miletus, which appear to have been converted into a double bath with separate wings for men and women in the early Byzantine period, around AD 500. The publication of the Bishop’s Palace, which was converted from a late Roman peristyle house and seems to have indeed served the bishop, is nearing completion. Also nearly complete is the publication of a pagan cave sanctuary that was carefully and ceremoniously buried in the Theodosian period, around AD 400. In addition, I wrote a paper on “The End of the Byzantine City in Anatolia: The Case of Miletus,” and, as editor, worked on compiling a volume on the Byzantine archaeology of Anatolia. Unrelated to Miletus, I also worked at ICFA on a new project, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Entablature and the Rise of Byzantine Ornament: The Collection of the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.”