Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Allen Brent - Cyprian and Popular Culture in the Third Century

Cyprian condemns those who obeyed Decius’  Decree to participate in the state religion in language that suggested total incomprehension. Yet his own response will be shown to bear the impress of a Christianized Stoic eschatology that makes the positive response of many Christians comprehensible. The paper explores contemporary pagan historiography and the coinage of Decius and his rivals and exposes a shared ‘form of life’ held in common by pagans and Christians in the context of which their disagreements in opinion are able to be explored and understood. The paper gives an opportunity to present one theme of my recent book, Cyprian and Roman Carthage in the Third Century (Cambridge: University Press 2010) for further discussion.

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