Abstract

summary:

The letters exchanged by Pliny and Trajan concerning Christians have occasioned abundant commentary. But scholarship remains confused over two questions—first, Pliny's procedure and motivation in writing, and second, the extent of the emperor's response. I argue that the letters are evidence only of an overexposed governor's effort to shut down an escalating situation, and that they elicited a tailored, local and limited imperial response. This reading not only prompts a more nuanced understanding of the role of the governor and of his correspondence, but also prevents erroneous use of the letters in discussions of the "persecution" of the Christians.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 371-411
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-03
Open Access
No
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