By Geoffrey de Ste. Croix, Michael Whitby, Joseph Streeter
This quantity brings jointly seven seminal papers by means of the nice radical historian Geoffrey de Ste. Croix, who died in 2000, on early Christian themes, with a distinct specialize in persecution and martyrdom. Christian martyrdom is a subject which evokes prepared photographs of inhumane persecutors faced through Christian heroes who perish for the immediate yet win the long term conflict for attractiveness. In 5 of those essays Ste. Croix scrutinizes the proof to bare the numerous position of Christians themselves, first as volunteer martyrs and later, after the triumph of Christianity within the early fourth century, as organizers of even more potent persecutions. A 6th essay pursues the query of the keep an eye on of Christianity via a entire learn of the context for one of many Church's most crucial and divisive doctrinal judgements, on the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451); the major function of the emperor and his senior secular officers is printed, opposite to the present interpretation of Church historians. ultimately the attitudes of the early Church in the direction of estate and slavery are reviewed, to teach the divide among the Gospel message and real perform.
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Extra resources for Christian Persecution, Martyrdom, and Orthodoxy
Both were incorporated into conceptual and administrative structures by people with no particular interest in the Wner points of doctrinal dispute. It is here that we can see perhaps the most important inXuence of Ste. Croix’s work on persecution on subsequent scholarship. Although he was no historian of mentalities, his emphasis on the potentially dynamic force of Christianity contrasts markedly with the focus of Roman historians from the late nineteenth century, on persecution as a problem primarily of Roman administration, one conWned very largely to the high Empire.
In Rome, the Greek World, and the East, ii. 298–312, at 312. See also his chapter on the relationship between emperor and church in The Emperor in the Roman World, 551–607, esp. 555–7. 79 My focus here is the Anglophone, and speciWcally English scholarly world, but it is worth noting brieXy that ‘late antiquity’, while an expression now common to all major European scholarly languages, has a complex history, emerging at diVerent times in diVerent language areas and in diVerent disciplines; see J.
Although the change from locally initiated to centrally directed persecution was signiWcant, one that Ste. Croix considered indicative of changing popular as well as elite attitudes to the Church, many aspects of his work on the earlier persecutions remain relevant. ‘Aspects’ demonstrates well the importance of persecution for Roman administrative history, providing exemplary evidence for the workings of the tetrarchy,56 showing its transformation from a loosely organized division of rule founded on the auctoritas of Diocletian, to a more fragmented and fractious state of aVairs following his abdication in ad 305.