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Changing NamesTradition and Innovation in Ancient Greek Onomastics$
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Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266540

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266540.001.0001

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Christianisation and Local Names in Asia Minor: Fall and Rise in Late Antiquity

Christianisation and Local Names in Asia Minor: Fall and Rise in Late Antiquity

(p.258) 12 Christianisation and Local Names in Asia Minor: Fall and Rise in Late Antiquity
Changing Names

Sylvain Destephen

British Academy

This article analyses processes in detail based on the evidence now provided by the relevant volumes of Prosopographie chr�tienne du Bas-Empire, Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Lexicon of Greek Personal Names and the rich cemetery at Korykos. It is argued that the onomastic patrimony of late antique Asia Minor underwent a twofold process of transformation and simplification but did not vanish. The complete hegemony that the Romans achieved in Asia Minor in the 1st century BC induced a Latinisation of the region that was only superficial. This development had two contrasting effects. Firstly, Hellenistic and Roman influences reduced ethnic and cultural diversity in Asia Minor to the point where indigenous languages were more or less extinct when Christianity arose. Secondly, Hellenisation and Romanisation allowed a general enrichment of the onomastic patrimony in Asia Minor. The study of names therefore provides a balanced response since Asia Minor possesses a rich, varied onomastic patrimony. It also relates to how the conversion of the Roman Empire in general, and of Asia Minor in particular, brought about an overall transformation of the names people bore, even though modifications occurred more rapidly within ecclesiastical and monastic milieus than among ordinary laymen.

Keywords:   Christianisation, Christian naming, Domna, Kyrilla, Bishops, Korykos, Konon, Menas

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