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Curés and vestals [Extrait] / [Smirnova, O. P.]

Publication : 2003 In : Vestnik Drevnej Istorii, 245 fasc. 2, ISSN 0321-0391Description : p. 127-143Langue : Russe. Auteur principal: Smirnova, O. P Résumé : The author analyses how theological grounds affected the interpretation of one of the most important Roman cults of Vesta and of her priestesses, i.e. in what way Christian ecclesiastical tradition, dating back to late antiquity, influenced the scholarly interpretation and cultural ideas connected with the cult. The object of the study are some works dedicated to the Vestals by French Catholic priests of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their attitude to Vesta and the Vestals is compared with scholarly interpretations of this cult in France and then with the treatment of the same problem in the German classical scholarship of the 19th and early 20th century, underlying the study of Roman cults in the modem time. As it is shown here, the first scholarly works dedicated to Vesta and her cult in the 16th and early 17th centuries were stimulated not only by 15th and 16th c. excavations of the Roman Forum and research interests of their authors, but also by their religious background, chiefly by the Counter-Reformation. Thus, the argument between the Catholic Church and the Protestants about celibacy of clergymen, made the former look for historical precedents in deep (even if pagan) antiquity. The analogy drawn then between the Vestals and Christian nuns became one of commonplace metaphors in the culture of the 18th and 19th cc. This very metaphor is used in quite scholarly works of French Catholic priests, who, one the one side, criticize the Vestals as inferior in sanctity to Christian virgins, but on the other side, defending the rights of the Catholic Church in the 19th century, appeal to the state with the examples of the Vestals' high status in Ancient Rome. As for the historical interpretation of this cult in Catholic countries, it was directly affected by this cultural and theological context. At the same time, we can see no such interest for the institute of the Vestals in Protestant Church in Germany, where there were no celibacy and, consequently, no need to look for a historical analogy ; the Vestals, therefore, were studied only by scholars. Unlike their French colleagues, they tend to underline the "earthly" status of Roman religion and of the cult of Vesta. However, such interpretation could have also been caused by theological reasons, i.e. by the negative attitude of Protestantism to celibacy of clergymen. Thus, different theological traditions seem to account for different scholarly approaches to a pagan cult..Sujets:religion romaine -- paganisme -- catholicisme -- historiographie -- vestale -- virginité -- prêtre -- divinités -- sources littéraires -- célibat -- christianisme Chrono: Antiquité romaine Lieux: Monde romain occidental Anthroponymes: Vesta Mots libres: vierge .
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Cr-Per 027-245 (Browse shelf) Available ISTA32276

résumé anglais

The author analyses how theological grounds affected the interpretation of one of the most important Roman cults of Vesta and of her priestesses, i.e. in what way Christian ecclesiastical tradition, dating back to late antiquity, influenced the scholarly interpretation and cultural ideas connected with the cult. The object of the study are some works dedicated to the Vestals by French Catholic priests of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their attitude to Vesta and the Vestals is compared with scholarly interpretations of this cult in France and then with the treatment of the same problem in the German classical scholarship of the 19th and early 20th century, underlying the study of Roman cults in the modem time. As it is shown here, the first scholarly works dedicated to Vesta and her cult in the 16th and early 17th centuries were stimulated not only by 15th and 16th c. excavations of the Roman Forum and research interests of their authors, but also by their religious background, chiefly by the Counter-Reformation. Thus, the argument between the Catholic Church and the Protestants about celibacy of clergymen, made the former look for historical precedents in deep (even if pagan) antiquity. The analogy drawn then between the Vestals and Christian nuns became one of commonplace metaphors in the culture of the 18th and 19th cc. This very metaphor is used in quite scholarly works of French Catholic priests, who, one the one side, criticize the Vestals as inferior in sanctity to Christian virgins, but on the other side, defending the rights of the Catholic Church in the 19th century, appeal to the state with the examples of the Vestals' high status in Ancient Rome. As for the historical interpretation of this cult in Catholic countries, it was directly affected by this cultural and theological context. At the same time, we can see no such interest for the institute of the Vestals in Protestant Church in Germany, where there were no celibacy and, consequently, no need to look for a historical analogy ; the Vestals, therefore, were studied only by scholars. Unlike their French colleagues, they tend to underline the "earthly" status of Roman religion and of the cult of Vesta. However, such interpretation could have also been caused by theological reasons, i.e. by the negative attitude of Protestantism to celibacy of clergymen. Thus, different theological traditions seem to account for different scholarly approaches to a pagan cult.

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