Paperback, in colour, pp. 351
“The Religious World of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus” examines the religious life of one of the last pagan senators of Rome, dates c. 340-402, who lived in a tumultuous time during the Late Antique period of the Roman Empire, dying just a few years before the Western Empire began to break up. Symmachus could not have imagined the political reality developing so soon after his death, so he is important as a late example of the old Roman Western aristocracy, as well as one of the last pagans of Rome. He was regarded as the foremost orator of his time and was a prolific letter-writer who had correspondents in high places and throughout the Empire. He also filled the posts of Urban Prefect of Rome and Consul - and was the opponent of Bishop Ambrose of Milan during the so-called 384 CE “Altar of Victory Dispute,” which was one episode of many leading to the “ triumph” of Christianity over traditional Roman polytheism. Symmachus’ cache of 900 private letters and his official despatches while Urban Prefect have provided the raw material for this book.