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Paul the Martyr: The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West
David L. Eastman
Publication Date
March 2011


Ancient iconography of Paul is dominated by one image: Paul as martyr. Whether he is carrying a sword—the traditional instrument of his execution—or receiving a martyr's crown from Christ, the apostle was remembered and honored for his faithfulness to the point of death. As a result, Christians created a cult of Paul, centered on particular holy sites and characterized by practices such as the telling of stories, pilgrimage, and the veneration of relics. This study integrates literary, archaeological, artistic, and liturgical evidence to describe the development of the Pauline cult within the cultural context of the late antique West.

“This fascinating book is an excellent introduction to the cults of the saints and martyrs as well as a valuable study of the cult of the apostle Paul in the Latin West of the Roman empire. It is both accessible to advanced undergraduates and to masters-level students and important reading for doctoral students and scholars. The drawings and photographs assist the reader in visualizing the material remains discussed.”
— Adela Yarbro Collins, Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School

“David Eastman's Paul the Martyr represents nothing less than the first coherent narrative of the cult of the apostle Paul in the Latin West. Drawing upon archaeological, literary and liturgical materials, Eastman traces the history of Pauline veneration from the Ostian Road in Rome to Gaul, Spain, and North Africa. Eastman skillfully integrates a vast array of evidence derived from critical analysis of places, stories, objects, and rituals. Eastman's study is so masterful in its grasp of complex data, so judicious in its methodology, and so lucid in its presentation that it is bound to serve as a model for future work on the cult of the saints.”
— Laurence L. Welborn, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Fordham University

David L. Eastman is Lecturer in New Testament Greek and Christian History at Yale Divinity School. He is a contributing author to Cities of Paul: Images and Interpretations from the Harvard New Testament and Archaeology Project (Fortress) and has worked with the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia, Greece.

Click here for the volume front matter, including the table of contents and introduction.

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