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By Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

In A danger to Public Piety, Elizabeth DePalma Digeser reexamines the origins of the nice Persecution (AD 303–313), the final eruption of pagan violence opposed to Christians ahead of Constantine enforced the toleration of Christianity in the Empire. hard the generally authorized view that the persecution enacted via Emperor Diocletian was once mostly inevitable, she issues out that during the 40 years top as much as the good Persecution Christians lived mostly in peace with their fellow Roman voters. Why, Digeser asks, did pagans and Christians, who had intermingled cordially and productively for many years, turn into so sharply divided by way of the flip of the century?

Making use of proof that has only in the near past been dated to this era, Digeser indicates falling out among Neo-Platonist philosophers, in particular Iamblichus and Porphyry, lit the spark that fueled the good Persecution. within the aftermath of this falling out, a bunch of influential pagan monks and philosophers begun writing and conversing opposed to Christians, urging them to forsake Jesus-worship and to rejoin conventional cults whereas Porphyry used his entry to Diocletian to recommend persecution of Christians considering the fact that they have been a resource of impurity and impiety in the empire.

The first e-book to discover extensive the highbrow social milieu of the overdue 3rd century, A danger to Public Piety revises our knowing of the interval by means of revealing the level to which Platonist philosophers (Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus) and Christian theologians (Origen, Eusebius) got here from a standard academic culture, frequently learning and instructing aspect via facet in heterogeneous groups.

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Additional resources for A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution

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And why assume that the library, founded by Origen and utilized by Eusebius, held this obscure Egyptian’s works and not those of the “holy and excellent” Ammonius whom Severus mentions? The latter Ammonius was not only filled with “divine wisdom,” but he also knew enough about Christianity to argue against Origen. He is, of course, Ammonius the Alexandrian philosopher, whose written refutations survived for Severus’s source to read. Moreover, since Porphyry indicates that Ammonius was a Christian before (if not after) turning to philosophy, nothing prevents him from having authored treatises comparing Moses and Jesus or the Gospels in that period.

R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951), 55, 58. 48. , “Pagan Philosophers in Late Antique Society: With Special Reference to Iamblichus and His Followers” (D. Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1979), the implications of which, however, Fowden did not pursue further. I n t r o d u c t i o n 13 For example, although the conflict between Porphyry and Iamblichus has long been acknowledged,49 no one considered what its broader ramifications might have been for the empire in which they played such prominent roles.

Kannengiesser (Paris: Beauchesne, 1972), 334; Schroeder, “Ammonius Saccas,” 507; E. Elorduy, Ammonio Sakkas, I: La doctrina de la creación y del mal en Proclo y el Ps. Areopagita (Oña [Burgos]: Fac.  H. Kettler, “Origenes, Ammonius Sakkas und Porphyrius,” in Kerygma und Logos: Beiträge zu den geistesgeschichtlichen Beziehungen zwischen Antike und Christentum; Festschrift für Carl Andresen zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. A. M. Ritter (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1979), 323. 23. Trans. Armstrong.

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