Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

What is the relationship between philosophical or religious thought and violence? In attempting to understand religious violence, sociologists and other social scientists often assume that material conditions and economic interests are the real motivations for violence directed against particular religious groups. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Introduction: From Permeable Circles to Hardened Boundaries

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pp. 1-22

In 299 CE a priest, striving to read the auspices before the emperor Diocletian’s Antioch court, claimed that the animal’s entrails bore no signs of any kind. For centuries, Roman leadership, to discern a venture’s promise, depended on haruspicy, the Etruscan art of divining from marks on sacrificial organs. ...

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1. Ammonius Saccas and the Philosophy without Conflicts

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pp. 23-48

Ammonius (fl. 232–43), Porphyry averred, “made the greatest advance (έπíδοσιν) in philosophy of our time” (ap. Eus. HE 6.19.6). Identifying him as the philosophical inspiration for both Origen, the Christian theologian (6.19.6), and the great Platonist Plotinus (Porph. Plot. 3.10), ...

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2. Origen as a Student of Ammonius

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pp. 49-71

A liminal, hybrid figure whose shadow looms over the third and fourth centuries, Origen of Alexandria is key to understanding both the wide-ranging influence of Ammonius’s “philosophy without conflicts” and the new pressures that contributed to the Great Persecution two generations later. ...

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3. Plotinus, Porphyry, and Philosophy in the Public Realm

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pp. 72-97

Porphyry and Hierocles lauded Ammonius as the founder of their philosophical community, but Plotinus brought Ammonius’s teaching into wider renown: Plotinus took Ammonius’s ideas to Rome and, by teaching them openly there, gave them a heightened prominence and a more political context. ...

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4. Schism in the Ammonian Community: Porphyry v. Iamblichus

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pp. 98-127

The split that developed among third-century Hellenes who could trace their lineage to Ammonius concerned the value of rituals. As far as the sources indicate, this disagreement, centered around Porphyry and Iamblichus, first focused on the role that rituals played for members of the philosophical community. ...

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5. Schism in the Ammonian Community: Porphyry v. Methodius of Olympus

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pp. 128-163

Iamblichus was a revolutionary Hellene. Not only did his theology address the salvific needs of ordinary people by asserting the efficacy of rituals involving matter. But it also insisted that all human souls—even those closest to the divine—ought to participate in them. ...

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Conclusion: The Ammonian Community and the Great Persecution

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pp. 164-192

Although the tensions between Porphyry and Origenists, apparent in Methodius’s writings were intramural disagreements, the Hellene’s criticisms helped fan the hostility toward Christians that culminated in the emperor Diocletian’s persecution of 303. Christians had been tolerated for the last four decades of the third century, ...

Bibliography

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pp. 193-214

Index

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pp. 215-218