Samaritans in the Roman Empire in 2nd half of 5th century Cover Image

Samarytanie w Cesarstwie Rzymskim w drugiej połowie V wieku
Samaritans in the Roman Empire in 2nd half of 5th century

Author(s): Rafał Kosiński
Subject(s): History
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Samaritans; Roman Empire; .successive emperors; Emperor Justinian; Christianity

Summary/Abstract: The following paper is devoted to social unrest which stirred up in Samaria in the second half of the 5th century under the reign of successive emperors – Marcian, Zeno and Anastasius. The article is an attempt at explaining why after centuries of peaceful existence within the Roman Empire, Samaritans decided to take to arms – what were the reasons and the course of these armed riots. The author analysed both Samaritan and Christian sources. The results of the analysis go against the current views – it appears that until the reign of Emperor Justinian there had not been any large-scale rebellions among Samaritan population. There had been no armed confl ict that would engulf a large part of Samaria – only local riots which were of a religious not political character. There had been no rebellion against the ruler or the existing political system – the riots were directed against the Church which was expanding, mostly in spatial terms, its area of infl uence. Pilgrimage movement of foreign Christianity which posed a serious threat to Samarian places of cult stirred up resistance among the local population which manifested in the form of violent incidents directed against pilgrims headed towards the Holy Land. Sometimes these acts of violence escalated to larger-scale levels of confl ict as it happened during the reign of Emperor Marcian. Assessing the level of such incidents under the reign of Zeno, whose rule is traditionally considered in historiography a period of great rebellion against the Roman rule, is a separate issue. Yet careful analysis of the sources indicates that these riots were nothing more than local religious confl icts and they defi nitely were not an attempt at becoming independent from Rome. What is more the date, 484 A.D., which is universally assigned to this event is inaccurate – the incident took place a few years earlier

  • Issue Year: 138/2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 25-39
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish