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Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire

Robert Sider

Publication Year: 2012

In this volume, Robert D. Sider undertakes a judicious pruning of the original texts and brings a fresh accessibility to the important writings of Tertullian.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: Selections from the Fathers of the Church


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-x

I wish to acknowledge with thanks the careful and critical reading given to this book in its preparatory stages by Prof. Thomas Halton and Prof. David Efroymson. Their suggestions added much to its final form. The solicitous and imperturbable guidance of Dr. David McGonagle, Director of the Press, contributed much to...

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General Introduction

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pp. xi-xvii

Of the life of Tertullian little can be said with certainty. He was an African, obviously educated—he wrote both Latin and Greek and had studied rhetoric, philosophy, and medicine. During the years of his known literary productivity, he appears to have lived in Roman Carthage. One gathers from his writings that he grew up a...

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1. Apology

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pp. 1-70

Very few documents from early Christianity reveal more vividly than Tertullian’s Apology the perspectives from which Christians might look upon the pagan world that surrounded them, and the presuppositions they brought to the justification of their own role in society. Indeed, the modern reader is forced into the hurly...

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2. Testimony of the Soul

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pp. 71-79

This little treatise—one of Tertullian’s shortest1—may in several respects be considered a companion piece to the Apology, which it appears to have followed within a year. In this treatise, as in the Apology, it is the image of the trial that provides the framework within which the argument proceeds. An ill-defined paganism that ridicules...

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3. Spectacles

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pp. 80-106

The ruins of ancient cities offer an impressive witness to the passion that the citizens of Rome and the empire felt for four kinds of entertainment: races in the circus; stage plays, mimes, pantomimes, and farces in the theater; athletic and other contests in the stadium; and gladiatorial...

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4. To the Martyrs

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pp. 107-114

For several reasons this little treatise deserves a place in a collection that attempts to elucidate the Christian response to a pagan world. First, the treatise introduces us, if a little obliquely, to some of the circumstances concomitant with the confession of the Name before the pagans. If we may judge from the account of the martyrdom of...

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5. The Crown

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pp. 115-136

The preceding treatises are all among the earliest of Tertullian’s work, possibly written shortly after his conversion. The Crown belongs decisively to Tertullian’s “Montanist” phase, and it invites, therefore, a brief comparison with the earlier writings. On the one hand, certain features of the treatise show a firm line of continuity with Tertullian’s...

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6. Flight in Time of Persecution

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pp. 137-152

Tertullian’s conviction, expressed in this treatise, that a Christian must not run away from persecution did not in general receive the support of Christian leaders who either preceded or followed him. Indeed, even he in his earlier years had accepted the traditional wisdom of the Church that one might follow the command given to the...


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pp. 153-156

Select Bibliography

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pp. 157-158

General Index

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pp. 159-170

Index of References to Scripture

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pp. 171-173

Index of References to Classical and Early Christian Literature

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pp. 174-178

Production Notes, Back Cover

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pp. 179-201

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220901
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813210216

Page Count: 199
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Selections from the Fathers of the Church
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 815970835
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire

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Subject Headings

  • Christianity and other religions -- Roman -- Early works to 1800.
  • Rome -- Religion -- Early works to 1800.
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