chapter  7
Paganism and cultural identity
Pages 32

Phoenician, Greek, and Roman names are ascribed to the gods and goddesses of Berytus. Of course, logic would suggest that first there was Phoenician religion, then Greek, then Roman in a chronology tied to political ascendancy. However, a close inspection of paganism in Berytus suggests a blend that is not just syncretism (a Phoenician god = a Greek god = a Roman god) but a system of co-existence instead.1 That is, at any given time, individual gods from the three cultures may predominate without necessarily being equated to a god from another culture.2 Also, it appears that gods from the three cultures can be understood in their own pantheons without being renamed in another belief system.