Book Series Cursor Mundi, vol. 10

The Faces of the Other

Religious Rivalry and Ethnic Encounters in the Later Roman World

Maijastina Kahlos (ed)

  • Pages: viii + 324 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English, Italian, Latin
  • Publication Year:2012

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53999-7
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56047-2
  • E-book
  • Available


The Faces of the Other studies the perception of otherness, whether other peoples or religions, the Later Roman Empire, from the first until the fifth century CE.


"Overall, this volume brings together a range of different material but nonetheless remains focused on its overarching concerns. (...) Although the theme of 'the Other' has already been discussed extensively, its potential for classicists and ancient historians is clearly not yet exhausted." (Richard Flower, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2013.07.32)

"Kahlos og de øvrige forfattere har leveret en bog, der på trods af geografisk og kronologisk spændvidde har så stor sammenhaengskraft, at bogens "værdi" er større end summen af "værdierne" af de enkelte bidrag." (Jakob Engberg, in: Patristica Nordica Annuaria, 29, 2014, p. 142-146)

“All in all, this is an interesting collection of articles on a much-debated topic. Most are quite detailed treatments of particular aspects, but the editor’s own contributions in particular help to draw the threads together. It is worth noting that the book is well served by a full bibliography, an index locorum, and a good index.” (Geoffrey Greatrex, in Mouseion, 13, 2016, p. 191)


The foundations of European civilization as we know it today were laid in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The Faces of the Other: Religious Rivalry and Ethnic Encounters in the Later Roman World traces the roots of the attitudes and argumentation about religious or ethnic otherness in modern western culture. It aims at deepening the historical understanding of attitudes towards otherness as well as cultural and religious conflicts in world history. The Faces of the Other discusses the conceptions, depictions, and attitudes towards the other in Graeco-Roman antiquity. The book focuses on the perception of otherness, whether other peoples or religions, in the Later Roman Empire as understood broadly, from the first until the fifth century CE. These others are ethnic others such as the Persians, Huns, and the Germanic peoples were to Romans, or religious others such as Jews were to Christians or Christians to Jews, Christians to pagans or pagans to Christians, or different cults to the ‘mainstream’ Romans, or different Christian sects to each other.

Dr Maijastina Kahlos teaches at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies. Her main areas of expertise are:  Roman history, the religions in the Roman Empire, cultures, ideas and religions in Late Antiquity.





Part I: Other Religions

Othering in Paul: A Case Study of II Corinthians - ANDERS KLOSTERGAARD PETERSEN

Devotion and Deviance: The Cult of Cybele and the Others Within - MARIKA RAUHALA

‘That Ill-formed Little Fox’: Valentinians as the Enemy in Irenaeus’s Against Heresies - PÄIVI VÄHÄKANGAS

Images of the Others in Tertullian - ANDERS-CHRISTIAN JACOBSEN

From Superstitio to Religio Christiana: Christians as Others from the Third to the Fifth Century - MARKUS MERTANIEMI

The Shadow of the Shadow: Examining Fourth- and Fifth-Century Christian Depictions of Pagans - MAIJASTINA KAHLOS

Part II: Other Peoples

Migrating Motifs of Northern Barbarism: Depicting Gauls and Germans in Imperial Literature - ANTTI LAMPINEN

Ammianus on Foreigners - BENJAMIN ISAAC

Who Is a Good Roman? Setting and Resetting Boundaries for Romans, Christians, Pagans, and Barbarians in the Late Roman Empire - MAIJASTINA KAHLOS

Modern Bibliography

General Index

Index Locorum