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Religious Competition in the Third Century CE : Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World
 9783525550687

Table of contents :
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
I: Assessing Religious Competition in the Third Century :
Methods and Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Daniel C. Ullucci
What Did He Say?
The Ideas of Religious Experts and the 99 % . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Heidi Marx-Wolf
Pythagoras the Theurgist
Porphyry and Iamblichus on the Role of Ritual in the Philosophical
Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Arthur P. Urbano
Narratives of Decline and Renewal in the Writing of Philosophical
History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Steven J. Larson
The Trouble with Religious Tolerance in Roman Antiquity . . . . . . . 50
Kevin M. McGinnis
Sanctifying Interpretation
The Christian Interpreter as Priest in Origen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Andrew B. McGowan
Rehashing the Leftovers of Idols
Cyprian and Early Christian Constructions of Sacrifice . . . . . . . . . 69
II: Ritual Space and Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Gregg E. Gardner
Competitive Giving in the Third Century CE
Early Rabbinic Approaches to Greco-Roman Civic Benefaction . . . . 81
Nathaniel P. DesRosiers
Oath and Anti-Oath
Alternating Forms of Community Building in the Third Century . . . . 93
Jordan D. Rosenblum and Daniel C. Ullucci
Qualifying Rabbinic Ritual Agents
Cognitive Science and the Early Rabbinic Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Lily C. Vuong
The Temple Persists
Collective Memories of the Jewish Temple in Christian Narrative
Imagination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Jacob A. Latham
Battling Bishops, the Roman Aristocracy, and the Contestation of Civic
Space in Late Antique Rome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
III: Modes of Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Karen B. Stern
Inscription as Religious Competition in Third-Century Syria . . . . . . 141
Gil P. Klein
Spatial Struggle
Intercity Relations and the Topography of Intra-Rabbinic Competition 153
Ari Finkelstein
The Use of Jews in Julian’s Program
“Dying for the Law” in the Letter to Theodorus – A Case Study . . . . 168
Todd S. Berzon
Heresiology as Ethnography
Theorising Christian Difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Todd C. Krulak
The Damascian Dichotomy
Contention and Concord in the History of Late Platonism . . . . . . . 192
Ross S. Kraemer
Gendering (the) Competition
Religious Competition in the Third Century : Jews, Christians, and the
Greco-Roman World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Collected Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252

Citation preview

Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements

Edited by Armin Lange, Bernard M. Levinson and Vered Noam

Advisory Board Katell Berthelot (University of Aix-Marseille), George Brooke (University of Manchester), Jonathan Ben Dov (University of Haifa), Beate Ego (University of Osnabrück), Ester Eshel (Bar-Ilan University), Heinz-Josef Fabry (University of Bonn), Steven Fraade (Yale University), Maxine L. Grossman (University of Maryland), Christine Hayes (Yale University), Catherine Hezser (University of London), Alex Jassen (University of Minnesota), James L. Kugel (Bar-Ilan University), Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Carol Meyers, (Duke University), Eric Meyers (Duke University), Hillel Newman (University of Haifa), Christophe Nihan (University of Lausanne), Lawrence H. Schiffman (New York University), Konrad Schmid (University of Zurich), Adiel Schremer (Bar-Ilan University), Michael Segal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Aharon Shemesh (Bar-Ilan University), Günter Stemberger (University of Vienna), Kristin De Troyer (University of St. Andrews), Azzan Yadin (Rutgers University) Volume 15

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Religious Competition in the Third Century CE: Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World edited by Jordan D. Rosenblum, Lily C. Vuong and Nathaniel P. DesRosiers

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data available online: http://dnb.d-nb.de. ISBN 978-3-525-55068-7 You can find alternative editions of this book and additional material on our Website: www.v-r.de Cover image: An ancient ball game, National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Ó Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports /Archaeological Receipts Fund. Ó 2014, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, Göttingen/ Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht LLC, Bristol, CT, U.S.A. www.v-r.de All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publisher. Typesetting by Konrad Triltsch, Ochsenfurt Printed and bound in Germany by Hubert & Co, Göttingen Printed on non-aging paper.

Content

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9 10

I: Assessing Religious Competition in the Third Century : Methods and Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Daniel C. Ullucci What Did He Say? The Ideas of Religious Experts and the 99 % . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21

Heidi Marx-Wolf Pythagoras the Theurgist Porphyry and Iamblichus on the Role of Ritual in the Philosophical Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

32

Arthur P. Urbano Narratives of Decline and Renewal in the Writing of Philosophical History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

Steven J. Larson The Trouble with Religious Tolerance in Roman Antiquity . . . . . . .

50

Kevin M. McGinnis Sanctifying Interpretation The Christian Interpreter as Priest in Origen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

Andrew B. McGowan Rehashing the Leftovers of Idols Cyprian and Early Christian Constructions of Sacrifice . . . . . . . . .

69

6

Content

II: Ritual Space and Practice

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Gregg E. Gardner Competitive Giving in the Third Century CE Early Rabbinic Approaches to Greco-Roman Civic Benefaction

. . . .

81

Nathaniel P. DesRosiers Oath and Anti-Oath Alternating Forms of Community Building in the Third Century . . . .

93

Jordan D. Rosenblum and Daniel C. Ullucci Qualifying Rabbinic Ritual Agents Cognitive Science and the Early Rabbinic Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Lily C. Vuong The Temple Persists Collective Memories of the Jewish Temple in Christian Narrative Imagination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Jacob A. Latham Battling Bishops, the Roman Aristocracy, and the Contestation of Civic Space in Late Antique Rome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

III: Modes of Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Karen B. Stern Inscription as Religious Competition in Third-Century Syria . . . . . . 141 Gil P. Klein Spatial Struggle Intercity Relations and the Topography of Intra-Rabbinic Competition Ari Finkelstein The Use of Jews in Julian’s Program “Dying for the Law” in the Letter to Theodorus – A Case Study

153

. . . . 168

Todd S. Berzon Heresiology as Ethnography Theorising Christian Difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Todd C. Krulak The Damascian Dichotomy Contention and Concord in the History of Late Platonism

. . . . . . . 192

Content

7

Ross S. Kraemer Gendering (the) Competition Religious Competition in the Third Century : Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 Collected Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 List of Contributors Index

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252

Acknowledgements

The editors would like to thank the contributors, whose hard work and excellent essays made our work enjoyable. Their collegiality made competition an area of study rather than an actual description of our job. We would also like to thank Bernard Levinson, who helped us craft this project in its nascent stages and shepherded us through the process. Christoph Spill has made all of our interactions with Vandenhoek & Ruprecht pleasant and efficient. Our thanks to research assistant Sean Scanlon for his tireless editorial work during the early stages of this project. Deserving of special mention is our graduate research assistant, Catherine Bonesho, who in addition to general editing, helped assure consistency, style, and that we were all looking at the most recent files throughout the long editing process. We thank the Stonehill College Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) for helping to fund work on this project. Finally, we thank our families for putting up with us as we emailed, video-conferenced, and ruminated on this project. Now that it is done, they will no longer need to compete with this volume for our attention.

Introduction

This volume developed out of a series of conversations among colleagues interested in the intersections of the diverse intellectual and religious traditions of the third century CE. Through our individual research on this topic, the contributors have discovered that this period largely is ignored within academic circles. In fact, while many scholars tend to begin with the third century, they typically only address it superficially before springing forward into the fourth century and beyond. For example, scholars may discuss the Mishnah or the third century Church Fathers, but these texts are usually read in light of later textual and historical events such as the compilation of the Talmud (sometimes even conflating the two Talmuds, which conceal differences in both time and place) or post-Constantinian Christianity respectively. As a result, these texts from the third century are often read through a distorted lens. Motivated by these observations, this group of scholars began to meet formally in 2009 in New Orleans at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). This volume contains the papers presented during the first three years of this SBL unit, representing the participants’ attempts to theorise the third century on its own terms. Thus, the overall goal of this volume is to analyse the competition between diverse social groups of the Mediterranean basin in the third century CE through the development of broadly comparative methodologies that delineate the ways in which this competitive interaction reshaped the Roman cultural and religious landscapes. The essays in the current volume examine issues related to authority, continuity, and/or change in religious and philosophical traditions of the third century, and the ways that these dialogues influenced religious discourses in later centuries. This century is of particular interest because of the unprecedented cultural developments and conflicts that occurred during this period, which in turn drastically changed the social and religious landscape of the Roman world. Furthermore, this era is of particular importance because of the continuing influence that these events had on major religious events and thinkers in the centuries that followed. The first unit of this volume, “Assessing Religious Competition in the Third Century : Methods and Approaches”, showcases a variety of theoretical frameworks for the examination of both inter-religious and intra-religious competition. In each of these essays the authors’ aim is to reassess standard

Introduction

11

assumptions and categories within the third century through the lenses of ritual, cognitive, power, and political theories. Primarily, this unit features theoretical issues that are at the heart of this study and the novel methodological approaches that were developed in this volume’s essays as a means of resolving these issues. In the opening essay, “What Did He Say?: The Ideas of Religious Experts and the 99 %”, Daniel Ullucci examines the limits of our written sources when one attempts to reconstruct the real religious experiences of everyday individuals in the ancient world. Since the vast majority of our sources come from religious elites, it is difficult to separate the complex theologies of such elites from the practices and beliefs of non-specialists. This essay explores the interaction between these poles by focusing on discursive elements (speech) in religious ritual. Ullucci argues that such discursive elements aimed to spread the cognitively complex religious concepts from the elite to the general public. Using the evidence of Porphyry and Origen, Ullucci tests the hypothesis of Harvey Whitehouse that repetitive discursive rituals are necessary to prevent religious ideas among the general public from defaulting to cognitively optimal (easy to remember and transmit) forms. Through this comparison, the relationship between the elite religious cultural producer and the (largely silent) majority of ancient people is greatly illuminated. In “Pythagoras the Theurgist: Porphyry and Iamblichus on the Role of Ritual in the Philosophical Life”, Heidi Marx-Wolf explores intramural competition played out in the writings of the Neoplatonist philosophers Iamblichus and Porphyry. In On the Mysteries, Iamblichus of Chalcis famously criticised his former teacher Porphyry for his stance on ritual and blood sacrifice in particular. While Porphyry held that sacrifice was an abomination, Iamblichus saw it as an indispensible ritual ordained by the gods. Marx-Wolf then demonstrates how this most famous divergence between the two thinkers only scratches the surface of the deeply rooted criticisms that Iamblichus leveled against Porphyry. The debate between them continued in their respective biographies of Pythagoras, with each using the sage as a vehicle for claiming personal authority and elucidating his own philosophical viewpoints on issues including politics and the proper practice and meaning of traditional religious rituals. In sum, the essay demonstrates Iamblichus’ opposition to Porphyry who disagreed with the view that theurgy is more important than theology for union with divinity. Arthur Urbano continues the discussion of the struggle for philosophical “orthodoxy” in his essay “Narratives of Decline and Renewal in the Writing of Philosophical History.” By the third century CE, the Academics largely had been denounced as Plato’s successors. Critics characterised their term as a period of decline and corruption, a departure from the intent and “original” meaning of Plato’s teaching. Calls for the renewal of philosophy and a return to pure origins resulted in the production of a number of narratives of “philosophical history”, often, but not exclusively, in the form of biographical

12

Introduction

literature, which situated the preservation of unadulterated Platonic teaching outside the Athenian institution, and in the circles of Greek-speaking intellectuals originating from the eastern empire, especially Syria and Egypt. In this essay, three narratives of philosophical decline and renewal from Porphyry, Eusebius of Caesarea, and the early Augustine are discussed. Urbano argues that the formation of narratives of the decline and renewal (or, rediscovery) of philosophy was a strategy employed by competing parties of intellectuals to assert and define philosophical orthodoxy. “The Trouble with Religious Tolerance in Roman Antiquity” by Steven Larson interrogates the validity of this concept within the study of ancient religions. Many scholars of ancient religion employ the term “religious tolerance” when discussing the religious transformations of the Late Roman Empire. This is because modern interpreters commonly assume that expressions of religious toleration are found in certain imperial edicts or apologetic arguments (Christian and Pagan) from this period. However, Larson argues that this perspective often seems to rest on larger claims about the violent or tolerant nature of certain religions. In this essay, Larson identifies some of the problems with the use of this modern liberal conception in our representations of the religious dynamics of the third century (and the Roman Empire generally), especially in light of the workings of imperial policy. In addition, he offers deeper theoretical speculation on the subject with an eye towards reframing unproductive debates on levels of violence within certain religious populations in Late Antiquity. In “Sanctifying Interpretation: The Christian Interpreter as Priest in Origen”, Kevin McGinnis posits that Origen’s use of “hieratic imagery” was a discursive strategy for asserting and maintaining the authority of philosophers within Christian circles. Guided by Pierre Bourdieu’s theories on symbolic capital, McGinnis argues that Origen creates a framework that allows for the transformation of the religious field of cultural production into one in which philosophers dominate. Through the use of metaphorical language and imagery associated with priests and sacrifice, Origen linked the authoritative position of priest in scripture with the role of philosopher. By privileging the role of philosophers against Christian officials who supervised the sacraments in this way, Origen actually ascribes powers to intellectual practices that were traditionally reserved for ritual practices. In short, Origen shaped Christianity as a component of the larger philosophical field, where textual practices take precedence over ritual practices. In the final essay of this unit, “Rehashing the Leftovers of Idols: Cyprian and Early Christian Constructions of Sacrifice”, Andrew McGowan reexamines the ancient and modern interpretations of early Christian cultic practices. He suggests that Christianity did not simply reject or spiritualise sacrifice, but leading figures in the movement changed the meaning of the sacrifice even while contesting it. In particular, this essay highlights the works of Cyprian of Carthage, who uniquely identified Christian liturgical and organisational

Introduction

13

categories in cultic terms. McGowan examines how Cyprian’s use of cultic discourse functioned as a way of solidifying his Episcopal power over a community that was recently disrupted by the Decian Persecution. Furthermore, while Cyprian does depict the Christian sacrifice as a direct successor to the Levitical cultus, other elements of his sacrificial theorisation are drawn from contemporary Roman religion. Thus, Cyprian also contests with imperial Roman practices as he sought to alter sacrifice on both a practical and theoretical level, transforming it from classical animal slaughter to Christian sacramental liturgy. The five essays in the second group continue to explore inter- and intrareligious competition, but this concern becomes more localised around ritual spaces and practices. Commonly expressed in these studies are the ways in which different religious groups (Jews, Christians, and Greco-Romans) intersect by adopting, adapting, borrowing, or appropriating ritual space and practice. In his study, “Competitive Giving in the Third Century : Early Rabbinic Approaches to Greco-Roman Civic Benefaction”, Gregg Gardner examines acts of euergetism in tannaitic and early rabbinic texts and the way these early writings altered and adapted Greco-Roman practices of gift-giving to address specifically rabbinic interests and sensibilities. Gardner notes that writers such as Philo and Josephus understood competitive gift-giving for the pursuit of earthly honours and public recognition as incompatible with Jewish ideals. However, he looks to two tannaitic passages on benefaction that demonstrate acts of euergetism that reflect Greco-Roman norms, but are adapted to reflect Jewish concerns. Specifically, Gardner examines chapter three of m. Yoma and t. Peah 4:18 and concludes that the benefactors are rewarded for their actions not by material gifts and the broadcasting of one’s social status, but rather through memorialisation and the promise of intangible and heavenly rewards. In this way, aspects of the Greco-Roman culture of euergetism antithetical to Jewish concerns are circumvented to reflect rabbinic ideals, including piety, obedience to God, righteousness, and divine justice. Nathaniel DesRosiers continues to explore competition in ritual practices by focusing on oath-taking in his essay, “Oath and Anti-Oath: Alternating Forms of Community Building in the Third Century”. DesRosiers examines how this ubiquitous practice in the ancient Mediterranean helped to shape and change cultural identity in the Roman Empire. He argues that, just as swearing oaths contributed to the development and replication of Roman polytheistic society, avoiding oaths became the mark of a Christian in the same way sacrifice became understood as a test for determining Christian identity and membership. DesRosiers looks to the Roman military oath, sacramentum, and to Christian cultural producers (e. g., Tertullian, Hippolytus, etc.) who recognised the natural conflict that would arise for a Christian in the military (i. e., allegiance to the emperor or Jesus Christ) to demonstrate competition of ritual practice. He argues that, while sacramentum was a Roman oath

14

Introduction

declaring allegiance to the emperor, Christians adapted, redefined, and theologised the term to suit Christian practices and beliefs, including the Eucharist and Baptism. Drawing from the concern for theoretical issues on religious competition from our earlier unit, Jordan Rosenblum and Daniel Ullucci employ cognitive theories of agency and agency detection in their essay to help elucidate ideas on rabbinic laws governing the ritual practice of preparing food. In “Qualifying Rabbinic Ritual Agents: Cognitive Science and the Early Rabbinic Kitchen”, Rosenblum and Ullucci offer discussions on intra-religious competition by focusing on the food laws found in the Mishnah and the way in which religious experts (i. e., early rabbis) and more specifically, “literate culture producers” (i. e., rabbis as creators of texts) theorised and codified food preparation practices in daily Jewish life as a way to compete and define “true Judaism” in the post-Temple period. Employing Stanley Stowers’ theories on religious authority and Catherine Bell’s theoretical model on ritualisation, Rosenblum and Ullucci focus on two texts, m. Hullin 1:1 and m. Shevi’it 8:10, to demonstrate that the complex ritual categories outlined by the rabbis were not randomly created but rather present systematic rules dependent upon their evaluation of proper agency, representing both real and imagined ritual. In her essay, “The Temple Persists: Collective Memories of the Jewish Temple in Christian Narrative Imagination”, Lily Vuong moves the discussion on competition from ritual practice to ritual space by focusing on Templecentred literature not only among Mishnaic and other Jewish sources, but also among Roman and various Christian writings at least a century after its destruction in 70 CE. Vuong contends that such competing discourses on the Temple served as a way for Jews and Christians to express and legitimise their own identities, practices, and authority, regardless of how differently the Temple’s sacred space was interpreted. She demonstrates this appropriation of the Temple by examining the Protevangelium of James, a second-century apocryphal narrative that features the Jerusalem Temple prominently, questioning why the Jewish Temple still remained relevant for a Maryfocused and Christ-believing narrative written long after the Temple’s destruction. Vuong concludes that this text used collective memories of the Temple for its own identity-making and self-defining purposes in its remembrance, recalling, presentation, and representation of the Jerusalem Temple. In our final essay of the section, Jacob Latham continues exploring ritual space in the context of religious competition in his paper, “Battling Bishops, the Roman Aristocracy, and the Contestation of Civic Space in late Antique Rome”. Unlike the previous four essays in this unit, which fit squarely within the third century, Latham’s examination extends the conversation to discuss Christian intra-competition in the fourth and fifth centuries when public ceremonies and spectacles like processions were used in Constantinople,

Introduction

15

Carthage, and throughout the Roman world by Christian communities who wished to symbolically assert their claim over urban space and to re-invent or “Christianize” civic identities. Latham argues that, while Rome also witnessed its share of intra-Christian competition, the Roman public sphere continued to be dominated by the aristocracy loyal to Roman classical traditions and, because of their unmatched economical capital and growing resources, moved intra-Christian competition in terms of symbolic capital by means of public ceremony to the margins of the city. Instead, such competition took the form of siege, occupation, and war as demonstrated by the violence enacted between bishops and differing Christian communities. The third section, entitled “Modes of Competition”, builds on the previous two sections by focusing on the struggle to construct, define, and control physical and imagined spaces. The essays theorise the many ways that groups utilised various places and locations to compete for legitimacy and authority. From considerations of graffiti on a wall, to urban architecture, to mapping heresy and heretics in spatial and philosophical bounds, to (rather unsuccessfully) locating women, these essays explore and push the boundaries of religious competition in the ancient Mediterranean. Further, especially in the later essays, we begin to move beyond the third century CE, which allows our readers to see how the competition continues. In the first essay, entitled “Inscription as Religious Competition in ThirdCentury Syria”, Karen Stern demonstrates how graffiti served as a mode of religious competition in the Roman Syrian town of Dura Europos. Like a modern gang tag spray-painted on a building, Stern reminds us that graffiti marks territory. To illustrate her point, Stern examines graffiti at four religious locations in Dura: (1) the Temple of the Aphlad; (2) the Mithraeum; (3) the synagogue; and (4) the Christian building. Stern shows how inscribing graffiti was a practice in which individuals vied with their peers for a god’s attention. This competition allowed both elites and non-elites to mark their territory. Further, the reduplication of graffiti and their prominent location and letter sizes indicate that this practice was an acceptable mode of religious competition. Building on notions of place and space, Gil Klein’s essay, entitled “Spatial Struggle: Intercity Relations and the Topography of Intra-Rabbinic Competition”, focuses on what he labels the “Duopolis” of Sepphoris and Tiberias (including the territory in between these cities). Arguing for the spatial nature of rabbinic competition in general, Klein notes in particular that the Duopolis “operated as an arena for the political and legal negotiations of Jewish identity in Roman Palestine”. The third century was a time when rabbinic centres moved to central Palestinian cities, so competition between sages and their circles played itself out in these spatial dimensions. Klein buttresses this argument by carefully analysing narratives about two competing rabbis, each associated with one of the competing cities of the Duopolis. From the Duopolis, we turn back east to Antioch in Ari Finkelstein’s essay,

16

Introduction

entitled, “The Use of Jews in Julian’s Program: ‘Dying for the Law’ in the Letters of Theodorus – A Case Study”. Finkelstein argues that Emperor Julian utilised earlier discourse about the presumed Jewish proclivity to choose death rather than violate their ancestral laws, in particular in regard to dietary regulations, as a tool to delegitimise Christian identity. In doing so, Julian redefined martyrdom: the only legitimate practice was to die in order to preserve ancestral law, which – according to Julian – meant that Christians were neither venerating nor practising true martyrdom. To construct this argument, Julian drew on earlier traditions, especially the third century work of Porphyry, and then added his own twist. Thus, Finkelstein’s essay shows us the legacy of a model of competition developed in the third century. Julian’s project is put into interesting relief when viewed through the lens provided in Todd Berzon’s essay, entitled “Heresiology as Ethnography : Theorising Christian Difference”. Berzon suggests that the ancient heresiologist is an ethnographer, as he describes the Other and orients the Self amidst an ever-changing world. While Julian used his hermeneutical construction of Jews to critique Christian practice, Berzon shows how Jewish adherence to the Letter and not the Spirit of the Law was used to account for the Jewish loss (and the Christian inheritance) of divinely sanctioned status. Berzon’s focus on the writings of Irenaeus and, especially, Epiphanius, who both bookend the third century, shows how his model of heresiologist as ethnographer helps to understand competing ideologies and practices in the third century and beyond. The observation that heresiology is about orientation in the world connects well with Todd Krulak’s essay, entitled “The Damascian Dichotomy : Contention and Concord in the History of Late Platonism”. Exploring the so-called Damascian Dichotomy, in which philosophy and hieratic practices are viewed as competing poles, Krulak argues that this dichotomy is simplistic; one pole is not necessarily favoured to the neglect of the other. In doing so, Krulak follows a debate born in the third century through to the sixth century, where novel and interesting developments appear. In tracing the evolution of this debate, Krulak shows how Damascius uses ideas by earlier philosophers, like the third century Porphyry and Iamblichus, and develops a model in which “the perfect blend of the philosophical and the hieratic was found”. It is this mixture to which all good Platonists must strive. Ross Kraemer’s essay, entitled “Gendering (the) Competition”, provides a fitting end to this section, and indeed to the entire volume. Proceeding from the question “where are the women in ancient competition?”, Kraemer reminds us of the importance of considering gender when theorising the past. Ancient competition was gendered as masculine, from the gendered virtues over which they competed (often in public, a male-gendered sphere), to accusing their opponents of being or acting feminine (obviously, viewing themselves and their practices as masculine). Given that “[a]ncient competition (religious and otherwise) was not a gender-neutral site, … analyses and

Introduction

17

theories of competition need to take both women and gender into account”. While Kraemer considers some third century evidence, her main examples come from the fourth and fifth centuries. While she apologises for her lack of third century sources, this dearth of stronger third century evidence buttresses her argument that women were rarely competing but often competed for. Her essay reminds us that our theorisation of religious competition in the third century (and beyond) has only just begun. As evident in the concerns addressed above, our volume seeks to analyse and/or construct the religious and philosophical intersections between parallel communities of the third century and beyond in order to uncover the force of competition and influence among them. These particular religious and philosophical dialogues are not only of great interest and import in their own right, but also help us better understand how later cultural and religious developments unfolded. Primarily these essays help elucidate how contact and competition were critical to the construction of orthodoxies within these diverse groups throughout the third century and in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. Equally important and representative of the work included in this volume is the development of general methodological frameworks for the study of these ancient dialogues of competition. Analysis of textual and material data that explore and illuminate socio-cultural competition allowed for the utilisation of a range of theoretical approaches, including cognitive science, ritual theory, and social-scientific criticism. Finally, the editors of this volume hope that the exploration of competitive inter-religious influences across a broad spectrum of traditions reinforces for the reader the comparative nature of our study, thus highlighting the agonistic nature of Late Antique society and the myriad ways that competition and cooperation were manifested.

I: Assessing Religious Competition in the Third Century : Methods and Approaches

Daniel C. Ullucci

What Did He Say? The Ideas of Religious Experts and the 99 %1

In addressing religious competition in the third century, it is worth pausing for a moment to consider who, sociologically speaking, the participants in this competition were. Several of the papers here, including this one, employ the concept of the religious expert.2 The use of this term is a recognition that the people whose written texts form the bulk of our evidence were not normal people. They were highly educated, literate elites, representing a very small percentage of the ancient population. Specially trained and almost exclusively male, their authority and social status were tied to their intellectual production. The written artifacts of this production form the main body of our extant evidence for religious competition, which by no means reflect the religious realities of the majority of ancient peoples. The ongoing debate over economic inequality in the United States, posed by some as the 99 % versus the wealthy 1 %, provides a useful reality check for scholarly views of ancient religion. The Roman world was, if anything, even more economically and socially divided than our own.3 Understanding the work of religious experts, and how this work relates to non-experts (the 99 %) is thus critical for understanding the full picture of religious competition in the ancient Mediterranean. This paper attempts to use new insights from cognitive theory of religion to elucidate religious competition in the third century. The main theoretical model invoked is Harvey Whitehouse’s “modes of religiosity” hypothesis.4 1 In developing the ideas for this paper I am thankful for the help of Nathaniel DesRosiers, Kevin McGinnis, and Jordan Rosenblum. Particular thanks go to my cognitive theory students at Rhodes College for the opportunity to test and clarify my examples. 2 For background on the use of the term religious expert, see S. Stowers, “The Religion of Plant and Animal Offerings Versus the Religion of Meanings, Essences, and Textual Mysteries” in J.W. Knust/Z. V‚rhelyi (ed.), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) 35 – 56. 3 For a thorough discussion, see S. von Reden, Money in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). For an example of the impact of this disparity in the spread of Christianity, see R. MacMullen, The Second Church: Popular Christianity A.D. 200 – 400 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), 98 – 114. MacMullan also employs the idea of experts as a percent of population, thought he sets the number at 95 %. 4 Harvey Whitehouse’s modes hypothesis was first proposed in his early works Inside the Cult: Religious Innovation and Transmission in Papua New Guinea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) and Arguments and Icons: Divergent Modes of Religiosity (Oxford: Oxford University Press,

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Whitehouse’s Modes Hypothesis and Religious Experts Whitehouse develops his hypothesis on religious experts as part of his larger exploration into the ways in which religious ideas are retained and reproduced. He begins with an issue to which Religious Studies scholars have traditionally not paid much attention. Historically, scholars of religion have tended to focus on the beliefs of religious groups, their doctrines, and their texts. More recently the field has focused on social aspects of religious groups, their social formations, and mythmaking. Whitehouse begins at the more fundamental level of memory. If a religion is going to endure, and especially if it is going to spread, people must remember its core myths, doctrines, and rituals.5 Religious competition is not simply a battle for hearts and minds; it is not simply a competition to get more people to “believe” (whatever we mean by this) a specific version of truth over and against some other version. It is a competition to get people to remember the specific version and be able to pass it on with some degree of fidelity. Religions compete for room in the memory spaces of their devotees. A key revelation of the growing field of cognitive science is that there exist certain optimal pathways for the retention and recall of ideas, religious ideas included. These distinct patterns are dependent on the deep functioning of the human brain and are related to the way memories are stored in the brain. It is not my aim to summarise all of the current findings on memory, but I do want to discuss enough of the main points to situate Whitehouse’s analysis of religious experts.6 Whitehouse argues that the activity and authority of religious experts has everything to do with a balance between religious ideas that are easy to remember and religious ideas that are difficult to remember. Whitehouse, along with other cognitive scientists such as Pascal Boyer and Justin Barrett, notes that certain religious ideas are present in many cultures, across the globe, and throughout history.7 Specifically, certain ideas about superhuman beings or gods seem to be pervasive in human cultures. Because of the way the brain stores and processes information, some ideas are simply 2000). For a full explication of the hypothesis and its advantages over competing theories, see Whitehouse, Modes of Religiosity: A Cognitive Theory of Religious Transmission (New York: AltaMira, 2004). The hypothesis is further tested and discussed in several volumes of the Cognitive Science of Religion Series, edited by H. Whitehouse/L.H. Martin, published by AltaMira. See, in particular, Whitehouse/Martin, Theorizing Religions Past: Archeology, History, and Cognition (New York: AltaMira, 2004) for discussion of the modes hypothesis in relation to ancient Mediterranean data. 5 Whitehouse, Modes, 64 – 65. 6 For a full discussion see Whitehouse, Modes; J.L. Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe in God? (New York: AltaMira, 2004). 7 See P. Boyer, Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 78 – 90; Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 21 – 30.

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easier to remember and pass on than others. Whitehouse refers to these concepts as cognitively optimal.8 They play into our brains’ natural inference systems and therefore are very easy to acquire, remember, and pass on. For example, one of the things the human brain is extraordinarily adept at doing is detecting agency, even when no agency is present. Cognitive scientists refer to this as HADD, for hyper-active agency detection device.9 It is easy to see why HADD is beneficial for relatively small, clawless, fangless, uprightwalking primates such as ourselves. If you are alone in the jungle, it is far better to project agency onto every cracking twig or rustling branch. The penalties for a false positive are slight; the penalties for a missed positive may be death. These cognitive patterns are part of the evolutionary history of our species and are a permanent feature of the organ in our heads; they cannot be “turned off”. As a result of our evolutionary history, ideas that project agency, particularly human-like agency, are extremely robust. It is therefore not an accident that religions across the globe and throughout time contain the concept of superhuman agents, or gods. Religion, like all other human creations, bares the imprint of our cognitive patterns. Gods are essentially human-like agents presumed to exist out there. Gods have certain characteristics that make them superhuman (they have special powers, they never die, they can read minds, etc.), but in the main, they are human-like. This goes beyond the famous quip of Xenophanes that if horses could sculpt they would sculpt horse-shaped gods.10 Scholars of religion often speak of anthropomorphic gods versus non-anthropomorphic gods, but this is only an iconographic dichotomy that glosses over a far more important similarity. Whatever the gods look like, they are cognitively human-like. Anubis might have the head of a jackal, but he does not have the mind of a jackal. Allah may have no body at all, but he still has a human-like mind. We could refer to all gods as anthroponoetic – human-minded. They know things, they feel things, they want things, one must ask them for help, one must thank them for benefits, one must praise their power. In short, one cultivates a relationship with them using the same cognitive tools you would use to cultivate a relationship with another human.11 Even when a particular religion’s theology asserts otherwise, 8 Whitehouse, Modes, 29 – 46. 9 This cognitive phenomenon is sometimes referred to as simply ADD (agency detection device). The observation that humans over-detect agency, particularly human-like agency, was famously theorised by S. Guthrie in Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). The terms HADD and ADD are not used by Guthrie. They were introduced by J.L. Barrett in “Exploring the Natural Foundations of Religion”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (2000) 29 – 34. For a discussion of HADD in action, see Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 31 – 44. 10 Xenophanes of Colophon’s quote is preserved in Clement of Alexandria Stromates 5.4. 11 These social tools include: communication; projection of Theory of Mind; social exchange; morality ; identification of status; and many more. See Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 46 – 47; Boyer, Religion, 120 – 9; S. Atran, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 10 – 12.

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participants often stray from “theologically correct” models towards anthroponoetic defaults.12 Anthroponoetic conceptions of the divine are pervasive in human cultures because of the evolutionary history of our cognitive systems, not because they are the only conceptions possible. One could imagine the divine as an energy emitting rock that had no thoughts or intentionality but which produced results through its sheer power. This idea sounds silly, but it is no more or less plausible than standard ideas about gods. The difference is that a divine rock is not cognitively optimal; it does not fit or play well with our cognitive hardware that seeks human-like agency and attributes goals, feelings, and intentions only to objects that are perceived as animate. As a result, a story about a divine rock-agent is not as likely to be remembered and passed on. One might think of the Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which agency is ascribed to a power-emanating monolith. One of the things that makes this movie so odd, and at times confusing, is that this idea of agency does not fit well with our cognitive hardware. Rocks do not normally cue inferences about agency and intentionality. Boyer and Barrett have shown conclusively that ideas like rocks with intentions, which are such radical mismatches with our cognitive systems, are hard to remember and pass on.13 This accounts for the paucity of divine rock-agents in the historical record. It also explains why 2001 is remembered more for its stunning visual effects and the HAL 9000 (a computer system with rampant artificial intelligence) than for the monolith-driven plot. From these observations, one might expect that the major religious traditions of the world would be mostly made up of cognitively optimal concepts. These ideas would have massive advantages in dissemination because they are so easy to remember and pass on. Oddly, this is not quite the case. Something more complicated and much more interesting is going on, and it involves religious experts. Most religious traditions worldwide and throughout time contain a mix of cognitively optimal ideas and other ideas that are very far from the cognitively optimal. These non-optimal theologies are often very complex. For example, the idea that Jesus is the logos, coeternal with the father, fully human yet homoousious (“of the same essence”) with God, and the second person of a Trinity, is a very complex idea. More importantly, these ideas about Jesus do not fit any of our intuitive cognitive patterns – one could call them massively counterintuitive. In contrast, cognitively optimal ideas are mini12 The term “theological correctness” comes from Barrett. See Whitehouse, Modes, 128 – 30; Atran, In Gods We Trust, 93 – 4. 13 Boyer, Religion, 51 – 90; Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 21 – 8; Barrett and M.A. Nyhof, “Spreading Non-Natural Concepts: The Role of Intuitive Conceptual Structures in Memory and Transmission of Cultural Materials”, JCC 1 (2001) 69 – 100; P. Boyer/C. Ramble, “Cognitive Templates for Religious Concepts: Cross-Cultural Evidence for Recall of Counter-Intuitive Representations”, CS 25 (2001) 535 – 64.

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mally counterintuitive; they are comparatively small variations on concepts we all understand.14 For example, we understand death so we can imagine beings that do not die. We understand our own bodily limitations, so we can easily imagine beings that have no limits to their power. We understand the difficultly and danger of not knowing other people’s true thoughts or intentions, so we can imagine beings that know the secret thoughts of all. Contrast these with the complex, non-optimal Christian theologies just mentioned. The idea of a being that is homoousious with two other beings is not a variation of any particular natural category. The concept of homoousious itself, or the idea of a being that is one but also somehow three, does not seem to be one that is easily or intuitively grasped. Once again, this is not because these ideas are any less or more plausible or believable. Rather, it is because these ideas about the Trinity do not fit our evolutionarily shaped cognitive systems. Projecting agents and making inferences about those agents had evolutionary benefits for our species. Humans were never in an evolutionary setting where it was advantageous to understand beings who were three but also one. If complex theological ideas are so cognitively disadvantaged, why do they pervade religions worldwide? Where do they come from, and how do they manage to compete with, and often supplant, much simpler models? Enter the religious expert. Religious experts are not merely well educated arguers; they are people who have learned to reject simple, cognitively optimal, religious ideas and supplant them with far more complex, counterintuitive models.15 The subordination of cognitively optimal ideas to the complex ideas of the religious expert is often quite overt. In cultures worldwide, gods are not the only supernatural things around. In fact, the world is populated by a host of superhuman agents towards which people direct practices. These include witches, spirits, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, etc. One might rightly object that these beings are significantly different from gods, but why? Cognitively they are no different: a witch is a superhuman agent just like Jesus. In most Western cultures, however, the two figures are treated very differently. It is because most modern western religions are dominated by religious experts who downplay the significance of simple superhuman agents in relation to their own complex theological constructions. So, for example, even if some Christians might allow that witches exist, their theological significance is marginalized. Experts prefer complex concepts like Jesus or the Holy Spirit over simple concepts like witches.

14 Cognitive theorists refer to such concepts as MCI (minimally counter intuitive). For a discussion of MCI concepts vs. extremely counterintuitive concepts, see Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 21 – 30. For cross-cultural examples, see: Barrett/Nyhof, “Spreading Non-Natural Concepts”, and Boyer/Ramble, “Cognitive Templates,” 535–64. See note 12 above. 15 Whitehouse, Modes, 79 – 82.

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This is because their own positions of power are tied to the complexity of their theological concepts.

Cognitively Costly Concepts Cognitively optimal concepts of the divine do not require a significant investment of time and mental energy in order to be learned, maintained, and passed on. On the other hand, the massively complex theologies of religious experts do require a serious investment of time and effort. Religious experts are experts precisely because they have invested the effort necessary to master complex, counterintuitive theological systems. There is, thus, a symbiosis between particular types of religious ideas and the religious experts who maintain those ideas. Experts try to convince others to learn, maintain, and pass on some portion of their own complex theological concepts. This requires serious effort, but the expert is willing to make that investment, because of the payoff in cultural capital it can bring. To give an example of this kind of disparity, many Americans are familiar with the concept “ghost,” yet very little societal energy is put into teaching people about ghosts. People acquire, maintain, and pass on the concept of ghost almost effortlessly. Contrast this with the massive temporal, intellectual, and economic resources expended in the effort to teach people religious doctrines. Despite the discrepancy, the religious experts win. Thus, even though some American Christians might believe that ghosts really exist (and, perhaps, that they are powerful and important), for most, ghosts do not have the same level of importance or significance as Jesus or God. The cognitively optimal has been subordinated to the cognitively complex through the authority of the religious expert, who is then acknowledged as the go-to person for questions about the divine. This disparity is best seen in the degree of motivation the two concepts command. People rarely kill or die for ghosts.

Religious Experts in the Third Century I would like to provide a concrete example of what I see as the workings of religious experts in the third century and the ways in which Whitehouse’s hypothesis can be useful in theorising the work of the religious expert. One of the areas where we can most clearly see the religious expert at work is in ritual practice. Rituals by their very nature do not and cannot encode their own meaning or interpretation. The meaning of any ritual practice is always open to debate.16 The practice of animal sacrifice provides an illustrative example.17 16 On this critical point, see N. Jay, Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and

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Sacrifice is a valuable test case because: (1) it is a socially significant and omnipresent ritual in the ancient Mediterranean, and (2) we have a large body of evidence, both for the practice itself and the interpretation of the practice. Whitehouse’s hypothesis suggests that religious experts will tend to produce a complex, massively counterintuitive, parsing of a ritual like animal sacrifice. These complex and difficult to remember ideas will have to compete with more cognitively optimal ideas. They can do so only through the efforts of the experts themselves. Porphyry and Origen provide examples of this phenomenon in action. Each discusses the ritual of animal sacrifice and provides an interpretation of the practice. These interpretations are highly complex and rely on noncognitively-optimal conceptions of superhuman agents. Porphyry’s discussion comes mostly from his treatise On Abstinence from Ensouled Food, book two. Origen’s discussion is spread throughout his vast production; I will focus on Homilies on Leviticus. To make sense of their positions, it is helpful to first discuss what a cognitively optimal interpretation of sacrifice might look like. Such an interpretation would go back to my earlier discussion of the naturalness of anthroponoetic superhuman agents. Atran, Barret, and Whitehouse argue, on the basis of extensive data from psychological analysis, that anthroponoetic superhuman agents cue a number of spontaneous assumptions about how one can interact with these agents.18 For example, systems of reciprocal exchange are a common facet of human social interaction.19 It is therefore only natural that when humans imagine superhuman agents, they also image that one can interact with these agents according to the same logic of reciprocity that governs relationships between humans. Once again, gods are simply the projection of human cognitive patterns. Animal sacrifice is one key practice deriving from such assumptions. One sacrifices not because the gods need sacrifice, but because sacrifice pleases them, and happy gods make for happy humans. A cognitively optimal interpretation of the practice of sacrifice, therefore, is simply one that sees sacrifice as reciprocity. More specifically, it is a ritualized form of normal human reciprocal practices (giving gifts, giving honour, making amends when things go wrong, etc.) that is carried on with superhuman agents who are affirmed to exist somewhere in the universe.20

17 18 19 20

Paternity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 8; D.C. Ullucci, The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 20 – 3; Whitehouse, Modes, 94 – 7. For a full discussion of the competition to define the meaning and purpose of sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean, see Ullucci, Christian Rejection. Atran, In Gods We Trust, 83 – 112; Barrett, Why Would Anyone Believe, 75 – 106; Boyer, Religion Explained, 229 – 62. Atran, In Gods We Trust, 11 – 12. Ullucci, Christian Rejection, 23 – 30.

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Religious Experts and Their Complicated Ideas It is precisely the type of cognitively optimal interpretations just mentioned that experts resist. Porphyry argues that people perform sacrifice for three reasons: (1) to honour the gods, (2) to give thanks, and (3) to ask for benefits (i. e. sacrifice is reciprocity). However, he rejects each of these as incorrect motivations and evidence of flawed theology. Because sacrifice requires the unjust murder of an animal: (1) it actually dishonours the gods, (2) it is not proper thanks, and (3) the gods will not give rewards for such unjust acts.21 He recounts an argument from Theophrastus that humans originally made only non-animal offerings. Animal sacrifice came about because of famine and human greed.22 The story of religion is therefore a story of decline from original pure worship to unjust and degrading animal sacrifice.23 Porphyry admits that animal sacrifices may at times be necessary, not to evoke reciprocity with good gods but to placate evil ones. He divides superhuman agents into a complex hierarchy of divine powers, each of which has distinct natures, temperaments, and relations with humans. Human offerings, he argues, must correspond to the level of deity being propitiated. To the most important, high gods, material offerings are not appropriate at all. One honours these beings only through pure thoughts.24 Slightly below these beings are another class of deities to whom a range of offerings is appropriate, including songs and prayers.25 Animal sacrifices are at the lowest level of Porphyry’s schema, appropriate only to the lowest superhuman beings, the daimones. Not only are the daimones on the lowest rung of Porphyry’s superhuman ladder, they are not altogether good. Many daimones are evil and malicious; they are attracted to the smoke of animal sacrifices, and are responsible for all the evils of the world. A wise man, Porphyry suggests, will steer clear of such beings by not participating in animal sacrifices that attract them.26 Porphyry’s overall program in de Abstentia is to reject the practice of meat eating. (It is particularly eating meat sacrificed to daimones that is so dangerous.) He does this by developing a complex interpretation of sacrifice. This interpretation builds on cognitively optimal ideas but modifies them in significantly non-cognitively-optimal ways. For Porphyry, animal sacrifice is 21 Porph. Abst. 2.24. 22 Porph. Abst. 2.4 – 22; 27 – 9. 23 For a discussion of narratives of decline pertaining to sacrifice, see Ullucci, “Before Animal Sacrifice: A Myth of Innocence”, R&T 15 (2008) 357 – 74. Interestingly, Porphyry’s model of decline is the exact inverse of Origen’s model in which humans go from impure animal sacrifice to pure Christian worship. 24 Porph. Abst. 2.34.2. 25 Porph. Abst. 2.34.3 – 5. 26 Porph. Abst. 2.37 – 42.

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still a kind of reciprocity, but it is a reciprocity with exactly the kind of superhuman beings with whom you do not want to have a reciprocal relationship. It cannot affect reciprocity with the high gods who actually matter. Simple beings like the daimones, who are the gods of the polloi in Porphyry’s scheme, are subordinated to his philosophical high god. This, of course, has the effect of subordinating the practitioners of animal sacrifice to the ideas and interpretive practices of the religious expert. For Porphyry, priests and priestesses of traditional sacrificial cults are ignorant of the truth about god and are thus employing incorrect practices and unwittingly worshiping the wrong entities. Origen’s interpretation of animal sacrifice is significantly different, but just as complicated.27 Origen, like the majority (presumably) of Christians by the third century, rejects the practice of animal sacrifice, but has the significant problem of explaining the presence of sacrificial regulations in the Christian Old Testament. As a member of what Burton Mack calls the Centrist Christians28 (i. e., the group that won), Origen’s Bible contains the Hebrew Bible, which mandates a sacrificial cult to Yahweh in Jerusalem and contains voluminous instructions for how to run said cult. If God wants animal sacrifice, as the Centrist Christian’s own scriptures clearly indicate he does, why do the Christians not do it? The New Testament as a whole provides no clear solution to this problem.29 As I have argued elsewhere, it was left to Christian religious experts of the second, third, and fourth centuries to develop a rationale for Christian non-participation in sacrifice.30 Origen’s solution is part allegorical interpretation and part supersessionist history. He deploys these two strategies simultaneously, and sometimes incongruously, in his Homiles on Leviticus in order to explain Christian nonparticipation in sacrifice. First, he asserts that God did not intend for all the laws in Leviticus to be taken literally. Some are literal, but some are allegorical: For example… a lamb is commanded to be killed at Passover; certainly not as if God was requiring the offering of a lamb every year, but rather he designated that ‘that lamb’ ought to be killed ‘who takes away the sins of the world [Jesus].’ Therefore, he wanted the latter done, not the former.31 27 Discussion of Origen’s views on sacrifice is complicated by his unsystematic approach and the questionable Latin translation by Rufinus. See R. Daly, “Sacrifice in Origen and Augustine: Comparisons and Contrasts,” StPatr 19 (Leuven: Peeters, 1989), 125 – 6. The argument below depends only on the broad outlines of Origen’s approach. 28 B. Mack, Who Wrote the New Testament: The Making of the Christian Myth (New York: HarperOne, 1995), 6. 29 The Letter to the Hebrews contains the beginnings of a solution, namely that Jesus replaces animal sacrifice. However, how is one to square Hebrews’ positions with those of the other New Testament texts that do not share this view? For a discussion of sacrifice in Hebrews, see Ullucci, Christian Rejection of Sacrifice, 90 – 5. 30 See Ullucci, Christian Rejection, 65 – 136. 31 Origen Hom. Lev. 2.5.4. All translations of Origen are from Barkley.

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Tellingly, Origen never offers a clear rule for determining which laws were intended to be literal. It is thus up to the religious expert to divine God’s meaning and to say what God meant to say. Origen’s second strategy is to claim that even those laws that were intended to be taken literally are now defunct. With the advent of Jesus, “temporary institutions ceased”, most notably animal sacrifice.32 But Origen is not willing to relegate simply sacrifice to a bygone age. Like many other Christian authors before him, he reinterprets the meaning and purpose of sacrifice in order to claim that Christian practices are true sacrifices. He does this through extremely complex allegorical exegeses. It is worth quoting an example at length to illustrate how bewildering Origen’s formulations become: For indeed every sacrifice is recapitulated in him [Jesus]; inasmuch as all sacrifices which preceded him in type and ‘shadow’ were given up after ‘he himself was sacrificed.’ Concerning these things, as best we are able, we showed in the preceding how the calf offered by the high priest either in the offering or ‘for sin’ had his [Jesus’] form. But the ‘fatty parts,’ which were offered in the offering and were ‘hidden inwardly’ and held together with the kidneys, can be understood as the holy soul of him which indeed is ‘inward.’ That is, it was covering the secrets of his divinity. But he was held together ‘with the kidneys,’ that is, with the bodily matter which he has assumed in purity for us.33

Origen is quite aware that the average person listening would have a hard time keeping all of this straight. He urges people to try to remember as much as they can from what they hear in church. Whatever parts they are unable to understand or remember they should leave to the teachers.34 This is a perfect illustration of the work of the religious expert: create extremely complex ideas and urge people to remember them if they can, but if they cannot, they must at minimum recognise the authority of the expert who does.

Strategies for the Maintenance of Complex Ideas Religious experts facilitate the spread of their complex ideas by fostering social structures that help people learn and maintain these complex ideas. The ancient philosophical tradition, for example, created a school system, which facilitated the training of philosophical experts and guaranteed that complex conceptions of the divine would be maintained with a high degree of fidelity. Although the schools developed and changed over time, there was a remarkable degree of consistency in their main theological tenets over a 32 Origen Hom. Lev. 10.1.3. 33 Origen Hom. Lev. 3.5.1. 34 Origen Hom. Lev. 4.9.3.

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long period. Philosophers even enjoyed a modicum of success in spreading their ideas broadly through society. The bits and pieces of philosophical thought which made their way into general circulation, such as drama and comedy, are proof of small scale success.35 Christian experts created their own social structures that were much more effective. Christian experts created rituals that included repetitive reading of texts accompanied by sermons from religious experts who continually reinforced and reiterated complex theological concepts. Origen’s homilies on Leviticus are an excellent example of this in action. Throughout the homilies he repeats, ad nauseum, his basic interpretations of animal sacrifice (that it is defunct after the coming of Jesus, and that the Hebrew Bible laws are allegories for Jesus and Christianity). The constant repetition in ecclesiastical settings meant that Christian experts had a much better chance to get people to remember and retain their complex doctrines. The real stroke of completive genius among Christian experts was the merging of ritual practice like the Eucharist with ritualised recitation of theological dogma. This strategy never developed in Greek and Roman religion. There is no period of formalised explanation and indoctrination in a traditional ritual such as animal sacrifice. The meaning of the ritual is left to the doer to contemplate. Christian experts do not leave this to chance; they give the ritual and a dose of expert exegesis with it.

Conclusions This paper has attempted to elucidate what, precisely, religious experts do and how it relates to the 99 % of ancient people who were not experts. Our written texts are evidence of complex theological formulations created by religious experts and the competition to disseminate these ideas both to other experts and to the 99 %. It provides a warning that the ideas of our written sources do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the majority of ancient people. More important than this, it illustrates one social dynamic whereby experts gained their authority. Getting the 99 % to remember your version of the truth was the goal. However, getting them to acknowledge you as the unique holder of truth, even if that truth was too complicated and convoluted for the average person to remember, was almost as good. Simple, easily remembered, cognitively optimal ideas were bad. Divine truth was complicated and mysterious; one needed a guide – an expert. 35 Lucian of Samosata provides a good example of philosophical ideas in wider circulation. For a discussion of his positions on sacrifice, see F. Graf, “A Satirist’s Sacrifices: Lucian’s On Sacrifices and the Contestation of Religious Traditions”, in J. Knust/Z. Varhelyi (ed.), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) 203 – 13.

Heidi Marx-Wolf

Pythagoras the Theurgist Porphyry and Iamblichus on the Role of Ritual in the Philosophical Life

In his work, On the Mysteries, the philosopher and theurgist, Iamblichus of Chalcis famously criticised his former teacher, Porphyry, for his views on ritual and, in particular, blood sacrifice. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that this is not the only text in which Iamblichus registered criticisms of Porphyry. The debate between these two thinkers continued in the context of their respective biographical sketches of the pre-Socratic sage, Pythagoras, a figure shrouded in mystery and the subject of a good deal of myth-making in later antiquity.1 The context for each philosopher’s sketch is importantly different. Porphyry wrote his Life of Pythagoras as part of a larger historical work devoted to describing the lives of a number of key philosophical figures starting with Homer (whom Porphyry considered a philosopher, but one who wrote primarily in a figural mode) and ending with Plato.2 Iamblichus’ biography of Pythagoras, on the other hand, serves as an introduction to a tenbook work on Pythagoreanism as the true philosophical path, a work whose function was to lead the student into the study of philosophy in general, and then for the more diligent, into the study of Pythagorean thought and life more specifically.3 If we consider the other main biographical account which Porphyry wrote, namely his Life of Plotinus with which he prefaced the Enneads, it may not be too great a stretch to suppose that Iamblichus wrote his On the Pythagorean Way of Life and his Pythagorean program as an alternative to (and competitor with) the philosophical program of the Enneads. The choice of Pythagoras is telling in this regard. Many middle and late Roman Platonists saw Pythagoras as Plato’s most important predecessor. Hence, 1 As Mark Edwards notes, many scholars have assumed that Iamblichus was not aware of or did not use his teacher’s account of Pythagoras’ life. However, Edwards contends that this was not the case, that Iamblichus was in fact familiar with the work and made use of it. Although Edwards notes some of the episodes discussed in this paper, he does not comment on the significance of the connections. See M. Edwards, “Two Images of Pythagoras: Iamblichus and Porphyry”, in J. Blumenthal/G. Clark (ed.), The Divine Iamblichus: Philosopher and Man of Gods (Bristol: Bristol Classical Press: 1993) 159 – 72. 2 References to Porphyry’s Life of Pythagoras (Porph. VP) make use of Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie’s translation: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, edited by David Fideler (Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1987). 3 References to Iamblichus’ On the Pythagorean Way of Life (Iambl. VPyth.) refer to the edition and translation by J. Dillon/J. Hershbell (Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1991).

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where Porphyry presents Plotinus as the true heir of Platonic philosophy in part through his association with Ammonius Saccas, Iamblichus chooses the more ancient sage, one who was supposed to have influenced Plato. Before turning directly to the debate on ritual that takes place in the Pythagorean works of Porphyry and Iamblichus, it is important to review briefly the main points of difference between the two philosophers on this topic.4 In the course of making an impassioned plea for vegetarianism as a facet of the philosophical life, Porphyry, in his work On Abstinence from Animal Food, argued that blood sacrifice was part of a conspiracy on the part of fallen, evil daemons to secure the vapors and moisture that fed their pneumatic vessels, weighing them down and keeping them in cosmic realms that were not their true domain.5 In turn, these malign spirits were responsible for all manner of human and natural misfortune as well as various misconceptions about the true and highest gods.6 Iamblichus disagreed with Porphyry on the issue of blood sacrifice. He held the view that it was a god-given ritual effective in activating certain cosmic connections between humans and greater spirits that would aid souls in one part of their journey toward union with the highest gods. The debate over blood sacrifice was one moment in a larger disagreement between Porphyry and Iamblichus on the place of ritual in the life of the philosopher seeking union with his or her divine origins. It was this larger debate that served as the starting point for Iamblichus’ writing of his On the Mysteries. Porphyry seems to have held the view that ritual (or theurgy as it was called by some sages) could only get one so far on the path to reunion with the highest gods and was in fact optional for philosophers.7 Iamblichus, on the other hand, held that every stage of the path toward union was attended by god-given, efficacious rituals without which even the most devoted philosopher could not advance. It is this argument which, I contend, Iamblichus continued in his portrait of the Pythagorean way of life. In order to understand both the aforementioned debate over ritual and the intellectual milieu in which Porphyry and Iamblichus wrote their biographical sketches and philosophical programs, we must keep a few points regarding ancient philosophy in mind as we proceed. In The Inner Citadel, Pierre Hadot clearly demonstrates that philosophy in antiquity involved a good deal more than the mere subscription to a particular school or system of thought or 4 The best overview of this debate can be found in Chapter 4, “Schism in the Ammonian Community : Porphyry v. Iamblichus”, of E.D. Digeser, AThreat to Public Piety : Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), 98 – 127. See also recent work by Daniel Ullucci in which he discusses this debate as a kind of competition between cultural producers over how to define proper or ideal sacrifice; The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 5 – 6; 58 – 9. 5 Porph. Abst. 2.40; 2.42. 6 Porph. Abst. 2.40. 7 Digeser, A Threat to Public Piety, 119 – 27.

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training in certain rational principles.8 Rather philosophy’s true value lay in its practical dimensions, its prescriptions for how to live, and its ability to supply its adherents with a comprehensive approach to life. This understanding of philosophy did not end in the second century. Indeed, philosophy as a guide to right thought, action, and passion continued into the third century and also expanded to include previously de-emphasised spheres of action. For instance, in the worldview of late Platonist thinkers such as Porphyry and Iamblichus, we find an increasing focus on the philosopher’s involvement in civic affairs or politics, and on the proper practice and meaning of traditional religious ritual – the subject of the debate between the two philosophers under discussion here.9 As we shall see, these two aspects of the philosophical life in late Roman Platonism are not unrelated. Both are part of the larger discussion between Porphyry and Iamblichus on the role of the philosopher and theurge in the salvation of other souls. Although Iamblichus does not address Porphyry’s portrait of Pythagoras in any explicit manner, there are a number of junctures in the text where he appears to correct Porphyry on matters of both detail and significance. Indeed, even their approach to their subject matter reveals important differences. Porphyry’s approach is more diverse. He records multiple accounts of the same events, especially with reference to Pythagoras’ parentage, place of origin, and childhood, and he does not resolve the contradictions he notes among diverse accounts. As Dominic O’Meara notes, Porphyry writes more as a historian and compiler.10 He pays homage by giving as complete an account as possible of the varying reports concerning his subject. Porphyry’s account, as mentioned earlier, “was once part of the first book of a philosophical history in four books, beginning with Homer and ending with Plato.”11 Apart from the sections on Pythagoras and some short extracts, this work is no longer extant. When placed side by side with some of Porphyry’s other writings, his approach to Pythagoras is consistent with what emerges from a more general survey of his works as a search for a universal religious philosophy reflected in the teachings of the ancient Greek sages and poets, the Egyptian and Chaldean priesthoods, Indian Brahmans, and even Hebrew wise men and prophets. Thus Porphyry is not a “Pythagoreanising Platonist.” According to O’Meara, however, Iamblichus is. 8 P. Hadot, The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998). 9 Both Dominic J. O’Meara and Jeremy Schott have brought this political facet of late Platonism to the attention of scholars in recent years. See D.J. O’Meara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) and J. Schott, “Founding Platonopolis: The Platonic ‘Politeia’ in Eusebius, Porphyry, and Iamblichus”, JECS 11 (2003) 501 – 31. 10 D.J. O’Meara, Pythagoras Revived: Mathematics and Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 26. 11 O’Meara, Pythagoras Revived, 25.

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Unlike Porphyry’s more ad hoc approach, Iamblichus weaves a harmonised and for the most part internally consistent portrait of Pythagoras and his way of life. For instance, he resolves a number of key differences that Porphyry lets stand. Some of these resolutions are accomplished by ordering the diversity we find in Porphyry’s life within hierarchical frameworks. In general, Iamblichus very consciously sets forth the definitive view of Pythagoras. This may be because he has judged Porphyry’s to be deficient in some way. One example of Iamblichus’ efforts to set the record straight on Pythagoras occurs at VPyth. 5.21 – 25. Iamblichus tells the story of how Pythagoras, when he returned to Samos and found a less than enthusiastic reception, chose a poor athletic youth as a pupil and offered to keep him well-provisioned if the youth would agree to accept lessons from Pythagoras. In this way the philosopher hoped to “give his fellow countrymen a taste of the fineness of his teachings”, perhaps by showing them through this Pygmalionesque scenario that his teachings could transform such an ignorant creature into a true adherent.12 Pythagoras managed very well in this regard. The youth, who also happened to be named Pythagoras, grew so addicted to his master’s teachings that not only did he continue when Pythagoras begged poverty and could no longer pay him to learn, but in the end, the youth was paying Pythagoras for his lessons, as any good pupil of philosophy should do. After describing the scene of the young athlete’s conversion to philosophy, Iamblichus notes that “treatises on the art of athletic training are ascribed to this one [namely Pythagoras the younger], including the decree that athletes have a meat diet instead of dried figs.” “These treatises”, writes Iamblichus, “are not correctly attributed to Pythagoras, son of Mnemarchus.”13 In Porphyry’s account, upon returning to Samos, Pythagoras trained the Samian athlete Eurymenes, who “though he was of small stature, conquered at Olympia through his surpassing knowledge of Pythagoras’ wisdom.”14 How did he accomplish this feat, and what part of Pythagoras’ great store of knowledge did he find particularly helpful in this regard? The athlete achieved his victory by following the sage’s advice “to feed daily on flesh rather than on the usual athlete’s diet of cheese and figs.”15 It is not a stretch to see Iamblichus as setting Porphyry straight on this episode. For Porphyry, who in On Abstinence from Animals remarks that eating meat binds the soul more closely to the body, it makes good sense that if Pythagoras were to undertake the training of an athlete that he would enjoin practices that strengthen this connection and nourish the body. Furthermore, the young man was an athlete and not a philosopher, hence, he was not on the path toward union with the highest gods. Therefore, it was acceptable to engage in polluting practices such as eating meat. But Iamblichus, by 12 13 14 15

Iambl. VPyth. 5.21 – 5. Iambl. VPyth. 5.25. Porph. VP. 15. Porph. VP. 15.

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attributing knowledge of these matters to a different Pythagoras, divorces the sage from involvement in anything so base as the training of athletes for competition and the injunction that one ought to eat meat in order to win in physical contests. Although Iamblichus’ Pythagoras knew everything there was to know about medicine and diet as it pertained to the purification and healing of the body, he was not involved in anything so contrary to the philosophical life as preparing an athlete for competition. Indeed, Iamblichus’ Pythagoras would have seen the participation in athletic contests as anathema to the virtue of friendship which ought to govern human beings’ relations with each other and indeed the entire cosmos, a point which he makes in Chapter 33.16 On the contrary, through Pythagoras’ friendship, the athlete is turned into a philosopher and thus is saved. Additionally, at VPorph. 18.84, we find Iamblichus interpreting some of Pythagoras’ acusmata in ways that differ from Porphyry’s. These acusmata, or “things heard,” are supposedly the authentic teachings of Pythagoras passed down over the course of centuries. They tend to be brief, pithy, and at times cryptic or at least opaque philosophical principles and behavioural prescriptions. For instance, both Porphyry and Iamblichus address the injunction “Do not wear a god’s image as a signet on a ring.” In explanation, Porphyry writes that this saying indicates that one should not reveal to the vulgar one’s opinions about the gods or discourse about them with the ignorant.17 Iamblichus corrects this interpretation by arguing that to wear an image in this way pollutes it, “for it is an image which ought to be set up in the house.”18 In other words, where for Porphyry the concern is about ensuring that the vulgar are not privy to the philosopher’s knowledge about the gods, for Iamblichus, Pythagoras is indicating which kind of divine images ought to be where, which is one aspect of the way in which they ought to be used in a ritual context. Misuse, in this case wearing a sacred image on one’s finger, is a source of pollution and is contrary to right practice. Again, Porphyry seems to distinguish between different orders of human existence, outlining what is appropriate for philosophers as opposed to what ordinary people may do. Iamblichus, on the other hand, reads this saying as a universal principle concerning ritual as it pertains to everyone. Even more telling is the way in which Iamblichus harmonises conflicting opinions on Pythagoras’ position on animal sacrifice and eating meat. Famous for enjoining a vegetarian diet, some reports also describe Pythagoras or his adherents as participating in animal sacrifices. Porphyry, despite his strong arguments for the necessity of a vegetarian diet among true philosophers, records accounts of Pythagoras that assert he ate meat on occasion, as well as other reports that he kept to a very strict vegetarian regimen and found the 16 Iambl. VPyth. 33.230 – 1. 17 Porph. VP. 42. 18 Iambl. VPyth. 18.84.

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slaughter of animals abhorrent. In other words, he presents a number of conflicting reports on this subject without providing an explanation for the diversity.19 Iamblichus does two things in the VPyth. with regard to this question. First, he marks a distinction between those animals which can be eaten and those which should not be: one can eat animals that are lawful to sacrifice, the reason being that they are not the ones into which human souls enter when reincarnated.20 However, according to Iamblichus, certain orders within the Pythagorean community were completely abstemious, avoiding meat altogether.21 Here Iamblichus mirrors his stance found in On the Mysteries where he argues that animal sacrifices were necessary for the worship of the material gods, but they were not appropriate for the worship of higher cosmic divinities, namely the ones with whom true theurgists have the most involvement. Hence, we can see that, in a number of places in Iamblichus’ biography, he subtly but resolutely corrects Porphyry’s portrait of Pythagoras. Indeed, Iamblichus is at great pains to portray the ideal philosopher, in this case Pythagoras, as someone universally concerned about and capable of brokering the salvation of other souls. For instance, Iamblichus spends a good portion of the work describing Pythagoras’ and his followers’ involvement in civic affairs. They admonish tyrannical and unjust rulers, often imperiling their own lives. They also advise cities on proper governance and justice.22 It is easy to see this emphasis in the text as part and parcel of Iamblichus’ soteriological program, as the ideal philosopher must work to establish a society in which it is possible for others to pursue virtues such as piety, justice, wisdom, and the ultimate Iamblichaean virtue, namely friendship.23 Additionally, Pythagoras teaches others the arts of prayer and sacrifice based on his extensive sacerdotal knowledge. In this regard, Iamblichus’ definition of piety in the VPyth. comes curiously close to that of the young theologian with whom Socrates tangles in the Euthyphro. Pythagoras’ knowledge in these matters is detailed and comprehensive. He even knows what bedclothes one ought to use to commune with the gods. This signals Iamblichus’ firmly held view that theurgy (god-work) is more important than theology (philosophical discourse about the gods) for union with divinity – the main bone of contention between Porphyry and himself. 19 20 21 22

See Porph. VP. 7, 16, 34, and 36. Iambl. VPyth. 18.85. Iambl. VPyth. 24.106 – 8. In general, Iamblichus portrays the Pythagoreans as active participants in civic affairs. This portrait accords well with the argument O’Meara makes in Platonopolis about the political philosophy of the late Roman Platonists. Not only has he convincingly argued that they had a political philosophy, but he notes that in this period, philosophers in the Platonic tradition tended to favour the model found in the Laws, where the philosopher serves as the advisor to rulers, rather than that of the Republic, where the philosopher himself rules. 23 Like Porphyry, Iamblichus orders key ancient virtues into a hierarchy, friendship being the highest virtue for him. Porphyry’s hierarchy of virtues can be found in Sent. 32.

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Iamblichus’ Pythagoras is also involved in ministering to the physical bodies of his charges, healing them with his knowledge of both music and medicine. Presumably by doing so he makes it possible for their souls to become increasingly free from attachment to the body, a process he indicates is aided by good daemons in On the Mysteries.24 Iamblichus’ emphasis on the salvific work of the ideal philosopher is further demonstrated in two rather delightful episodes in the VPyth. where Pythagoras contends with the problematic eating habits of animals. At one juncture he successfully admonishes an ox with a penchant for beans to give up this particular victual.25 On another occasion he convinces a bear to stop eating humans.26 These episodes demonstrate Iamblichus’ view that the true sage participates in salvific work that affects all creatures, all aspects and realms of the cosmic hierarchy. This attention to animals should not be surprising given the widely held view among late ancient Platonists and Pythagoreans that human souls can be reincarnated in animal form.27 This focus in the VPyth. also serves as a corrective to Porphyry’s view of the philosophical life as a path quite separate from the lives of ordinary people. Iamblichus was deeply critical of Porphyry’s interpretation of blood sacrifice because it consigned large portions of humanity to a deceived and polluted existence. Instead, Iamblichus saw these sacrifices as the starting point on a path of ordered ritual actions, the end of which was union with the highest gods. Philosophers such as Pythagoras could serve as guides for others along this via universalis. Iamblichus’ Pythagoras both teaches and models an ideal way of life in which all creatures and persons can participate to some measure. But despite the universality of the path, Iamblichus makes it clear that a select few are suited to guide others to their salvation, their suitability being dependent on their vast wisdom, impeccable virtue, and most important, their close association and even identity with divinity.

24 25 26 27

Iambl. Myst. 5.16. Iambl. VPyth. 13.61. Iambl. VPyth. 13.60. For example, see Porphyry’s On What is in Our Power, a work entirely devoted to questions of (re-)incarnation.

Arthur P. Urbano

Narratives of Decline and Renewal in the Writing of Philosophical History

Mythological narratives of decline contrast a current state of affairs with an imagined past ideal.1 Hesiod’s mythological account of the degeneration and debasement of the human race is perhaps one of the earliest narratives of decline in the ancient Mediterranean literary tradition. In Works and Days (WD), Hesiod describes five races of human beings, evaluating them on the degrees of concord, violence and labour by which each lived. Four of the races are described as metals, each progressively inferior (weiqºteqom) to the one that precedes it.2 A divine race of demi-gods (Bl¸heoi) intervenes between the bronze and iron race, marking an epoch of regeneration, before another period of debasement (WD 160).3 Hesiod’s commentary on the harsh and difficult realities of human life and its moral decadence define human society over and against an imagined original state of bliss, concord and moral rectitude figured in the golden age. The iron race, on the other hand, saw an intergenerational rupture between fathers and sons, no longer of like mind (blo¸ior) (WD 182). Forgetting fear of the gods, they also roused the anger of Zeus (WD 180). Narratives of decline were not limited to accounts of the whole mass of humanity, but could also be adapted to discussions of empires, households and other social organisations, such as philosophical schools. In this paper, I discuss the development of narratives of decline and renewal that emerged from intellectual circles from the late second to the third centuries. This includes Christians who were sympathetic to and invested in the conceptual world and practices of philosophical education. I argue that three conveyors of these narratives of decline and renewal – Numenius of Apamea, Porphyry of Tyre and Eusebius of Caesarea – presented schemas of crisis and resolution that resembled the Hesiodic narrative. I maintain that these mythic narratives 1 S. Stowers, A Rereading of Romans: Justice, Jews, and Gentiles (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 85. 2 Hesiod Works and Days 127. The myth is found in Works and Days 106 – 201. In sum, the golden race lived in perfect harmony with itself and the gods. The silver race began to commit injustices against one another and lived shorter lives. The Bronze Age was characterised by war and violence. The Iron Age represented the current state of affairs. 3 Scholars have debated whether the intervention of the race of demi-gods is an addition or the original ending to Hesiod’s source. See, for example, C. Querbach, “Hesiod’s Myth of the Four Races”, CJ 81.1 (1985) 1 – 12.

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were responding to major shifts in the philosophical field and comprised a strategic competitive practice among parties of intellectuals vying to define and assert new philosophical orthodoxies and loci of authority. Their narratives were all highly critical of the ideologies and fragmentation that characterised the succession of the Athenian Academy. In various ways, they reconceptualised the relation between Platonic teaching and non-Greek strands of wisdom and religious practice that positioned new intellectual and religious communities in line as continuators of an “original” wisdom in the third century.

The End of the Academy and New Beginnings Following Plato’s death, his students continued their activities on the grounds of the public area of Athens known as the Academy. Because Plato had neither designated anyone to continue his role nor provided any specific direction, different strands of this philosophical community engaged in a process of defining its character through the crafting of Plato’s personal and intellectual legacy.4 The development of biographical and doxagraphical traditions that shaped Plato’s legacy also elevated the authority of those individuals, whose competing claims to Platonic authority shaped the Academy’s post-Plato legacy.5 The beginning of the end of this institution came some two and a half centuries later. A split between Philo of Larissa – the last officially elected head of the Academy (c. 110 BCE) – and his student Antiochus of Ascalon severely disrupted the functioning and the authority of the Academy as an educational institution in Athens. Antiochus opposed Philo’s skeptical interpretation of Plato and challenged his legitimacy as successor. He proposed a dogmatic interpretation of Plato and established a rival school in Athens called the “Old Academy”.6 The name linked the new school to the early period, implying a direct philosophical kinship with the founder. Meanwhile, Philo’s school was called the “New Academy”, or “Fourth Academy” by its critics.7 Though 4 E. Watts, “Creating the Academy : Historical Discourse and the Shape of Community in the Old Academy”, JHS 127 (2007) 106 – 22, esp. pp. 112 – 14. 5 Watts, “Creating the Academy”, 114. See also A. Urbano, The Philosophical Life: Biography and the Crafting of Intellectual Identity in Late Antiquity (NAPSPMS 21; Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2013), for a discussion of the role of biography in the competitive atmosphere of late ancient intellectual communities. 6 Plutarch argued for the unity of the Academy with Plato, Antiochus representing a break. See Adv. Col. 1121F–1122E. On the Academy of Antiochus, see Cicero Acad. 1.13. For a fuller treatment of the Old Academy-New Academy nomenclature, see J. Glucker, Antiochus and the Late Academy (Hypo 56; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1978), 103 – 20. 7 Sextus Empiricus Pyr. 1.220.

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spatially and institutionally rooted in Plato’s school, the appellation served to distance the institution from Plato. Nevertheless, Athens remained a centre for philosophical and rhetorical education through late antiquity as attested by the accounts of later pagan and Christian authors, such as Eunapius and Gregory of Nazianzus. The demise of the Athenian Academy as an authoritative, institutional centre of philosophical study paved the way for new Platonist traditions and structures to emerge. Philosophical centres arose around the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, particularly in Syria and Palestine. Thus, “Platonists” were not tied geographically to Athens or the Academy, but rather functioned in decentralised philosophical circles throughout the empire. Many of these new teachers embraced Plato and his writings, but adamantly rejected the skeptical tendencies of the Academy, preferring an interpretation of Plato that privileged Pythagorean and non-Hellenic traditions of wisdom and religious practice.8 Neopythagoreans such as Apollonius of Tyana, Nichomachus of Gerasa and Numenius of Apamea attempted to reconcile Greek and “barbarian” streams of thought in search of a unitary system.9 These new approaches and structures in the philosophical field required new narratives of philosophical history, narratives in which the Academy was styled a rebellious heir that waged intellectual warfare against its founding father. New reconceptualisations of philosophical history also surfaced among Jews living in Hellenised regions. Responding to the intellectual colonisation of their texts and practices and to the increasing influence of Hellenism in their communities, the “barbarian” Jews of Alexandria constructed a myth of philosophical origins in which Platonism was born through plagiarism.10 Aristobulus of Alexandria (second century BCE) suggested that both Pythagoras and Plato borrowed from a Greek translation of the Torah.11 Such a claim could seemingly be supported by the Greeks’ own writings.12 The Jewish historian Eupolemus proposed a similar narrative in which the writings of Moses, the “first wise man” (pq_tor sovºr), came to the Greeks through the Phoenicians.13 Philo of Alexandria likewise thought of Moses as the first to bring philosophical reasoning to the world.14 Other Jewish assessments of 8 The classic study is J. Dillon, The Middle Platonists: 80 B.C. to A.D. 220 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977). See also G.R. Boys-Stones, Post-Hellenistic Philosophy : A Study of Its Development from the Stoics to Origen (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 102 – 4. 9 See C.H. Kahn, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001). 10 See D. Ridings, The Attic Moses: The Dependency Theme in Some Early Christian Writers (SGLG 59; Göteborg, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1995). 11 See Eusebius Praep. ev. 9.6.6 – 8 for fragments of Aristobulus’ To Philometor. 12 Later biographical tradition attributed to Pythagoras’ journeys among the “barbarians”, including the Hebrews. See Porph. Vit. Pyth. 11 and J.A. Philip, “The Biographical Tradition— Pythagoras”, TPAPA 90 (1959) 185 – 94 for discussion of the source tradition of Pythagorean biography. 13 See Eusebius Praep. ev. 9.25 – 6 and Clement of Alexandria Strom. 1.23.153. 14 Philo Mut. 223.

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Greek philosophy and culture contended that idolatry had corrupted the natural reason instilled in the Greeks by the creator God of Israel, resulting in depravity of mind and immorality.15 These Jewish narratives of philosophical origins and decline influenced the shape of early Christian conceptions of the relationship among Greek, Jewish, and Christian modes of knowledge. The Apostle Paul drew upon the Book of Wisdom in his own account of the Gentiles’ imprisonment under the power sin,16 warning both Gentiles and Jews that the failure to embrace Christ Jesus deprived them of the greatest manifestation of “the wisdom of God”.17 Justin Martyr reconceptualised the origins of Greek philosophy in light of the Alexandrian Jewish narrative of plagiarism while retaining a reserved admiration for Socrates and Plato. However, his parallel criticisms of Jewish exegesis and practice required an alternative historiography of philosophy that positioned contemporary Jewish and Greek traditions in relation to a nascent Christian intellectual tradition, what Arthur Droge characterised as “Justin’s imperialistic view of history”.18 In his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin presents a narrative of decline, corruption, and renewal that draws upon preexisting Greek decline narratives about the failures of the Athenian Academy and Jewish plagiarism narratives.19 According to Justin, Christianity introduced a new beginning to philosophy that was also a renewal of the original revelation, now in need of purgation after its corruption in the hands of both Jews and Greeks.

Starting Over : Numenius of Apamea on the Academy Numenius, a Neopythagorean from Apamea in Syria and younger contemporary of Justin, published a treatise entitled On the Disagreement of the Academics against Plato in which he issued a harsh assessment of the successors of Plato in the Academy down to the break between Philo and Antiochus.20 This mythic account of Platonic history incorporates elements of a Hesiodic decline narrative and a Homeric tale of strife and battle. It was intended to delegitimise the philosophical trends of the late Academy and to reposition philosophical authority in Pythagorean circles outside of Athens. The treatise establishes that a distortion of Socrates and Plato occurred almost immediately. Of Socrates’ followers, Plato alone uniquely understood 15 16 17 18 19 20

See, for example, Wis 10 – 13. Rom 1:18 – 32. See Stowers, Rereading of Romans, 92. See 1 Cor 1:30. A. Droge, “Justin Martyr and the Restoration of Philosophy”, CH 56.3 (1987) 303 – 19. See, for example, Dial. 2.2 and 1 Apol. 44. The work is preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Praeparatio evangelica 14.5 – 9.

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the Pythagorean nature of his wisdom.21 However, Numenius even gently chastises Plato, not for distortion, but for imprecision, thus setting the stage for future discord. In Numenius’ mythic history of the Academy, its leaders fall from the ideals of its founders and commit intellectual violence against them and each other. The image of Plato as Pentheus, the king of Thebes, whose tale Euripides tells in The Bacchae, is one of several allusions to Greek myth that Numenius incorporated. While Pentheus was torn apart by Cadmus’ daughters in a Bacchic frenzy, Plato suffered even more as his successors rent his members. Nevertheless, his teaching remained uncompromised and recoverable (frag. 24.71 – 3). Numenius aimed to save the honour of Plato and to identify new loci of Platonist authority. In undermining the legacy of the Academy, both in its skeptic and dogmatic phases, he proposed an authoritative Pythagorean interpretation of Plato that also validated non-Greek traditions. He advanced a program of reform that required a return to the sources and the separation (wyq¸feim) of Plato from any Aristotelian, Stoic or skeptic interpretations – in his own words, a separation of Plato from the Academy (frag. 24.57).22 He argued that Plato was properly understood through a pre-Academic hermeneutic. This meant a hybridisation of Pythagorean, Socratic, and nonGreek traditions into a Platonic framework. According to Numenius, the teachings and religious practices of the “esteemed nations” – the Brahmans, Judeans, Magi, and Egyptians – contained seeds of the truth that were perfected by Pythagoras and Plato. He praises Plato not for his originality, but for his skill in synthesising and developing this wisdom – an interestingly positive variation on the Jewish plagiarism account. Numenius introduces Hesiodic elements by accusing the Academics of entering into a state of rebellion with their founding father and of being unwilling to maintain a Platonic “homodoxy”: Although [all the successors] began from [Plato], they diverged, some more quickly and others more slowly, by choice or by ignorance, and sometimes for another reason not devoid of ambition.23

He orders the narrative (at least as Eusebius preserves it) in a schema of five periods: the ideal foundational era of Socrates and Plato is followed by a period of imperfect fidelity to Plato that continues through the term of Polemo, Plato’s third successor (frag. 24.5 – 14). The third period sees severe rupture: Arcesilaus and Zeno, the pupils of Polemo, forget their origins and place themselves in opposition to Polemo and each other. The legacy of the 21 Numenius frag. 24.47 – 66. The edition of Numenius used here is Ê. des Places, Numenius: Fragments, Collection des universite´s de France S¦rie Grecque (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1982). 22 On the “return to sources” as a strategy of insurgent cultural producers, see P. Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 84. 23 Numenius frag. 24.

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founding father is betrayed and fraternal strife is born as Pyrrhonian skepticism enters the Academy and Zeno introduces the Cynic way. Numenius describes the philosophical rivalry in terms of war and battle, and likens the ensuing philosophical competition among the various Hellenistic schools to the epic clash between Greeks and Trojans (frag. 25.88 – 94).24 The fourth period sees the foundation of a “third Academy” by Carneades (frag. 26.103 – 4). Neglecting his duty as scholarch to preserve the original teaching of Plato, he renewed the skepticism of Arcesilaus with an even more sinister and deceptive doctrine of incomprehensibility. Carneades “was using lies as curtains” concealing the truth (frag. 27.71). Philo of Larissa moderated the extreme skepticism of Carneades, yet persisted in it. The final period mentioned in the Eusebian citation sees another dramatic rupture – the foundation of “another Academy” by Antiochus of Ascalon. Though Antiochus rejected Philo’s skepticism, his introduction of “foreign” (n´ma), Stoic ideas adulterated philosophy even further (frag. 28.14). Numenius’ account of the Academy traces the corruption and steady decline of an original iteration of philosophy. By framing the story as one of scandalous discord and contentious rivalries, Numenius sought to compromise the moral legitimacy of the Athenian institution. But why would Numenius labour to debunk a defunct institution? On the one hand, Numenius’ mythic historiography advocates for a Pythagorean Platonism independent of the skeptics. On the other hand, the account deracinates Plato from Athens, challenging the privilege of teachers there who might claim Platonic heritage. In short, Numenius’ decline narrative called for the establishment and authorising of new philosophical centres and a new Platonic hermeneutic. He argued for a pedagogical authority based on fidelity to a recoverable, “original” Plato, rather than on institutional or genealogical succession. If the Academics “stood apart” from Plato in their dissension, Numenius positioned himself as the herald of “rediscovery”: Having learned about [the discord among the interpreters of Plato], we must return to the original point of issue, and just as it was our task from the beginning to separate him from Aristotle and Zeno, thus, even now, if God helps, we should separate him from the Academy, by himself, to be in the present time a Pythagorean.25

Numenius’ vision of the origins, decline, and renewal of philosophy deconstructed previous philosophical historiographies that privileged the Academy by characterising the Academics and other Hellenistic schools as heterodox. His vision laid the groundwork for a continuing debate about philosophy’s past and present and may have unwittingly opened the doors to Christian intellectuals putting forth alternative models of philosophical history. 24 Numenius cites Il. 4.447 – 9; 13.131; and 4.472, 450 – 1. 25 Numenius frag. 24.57.

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Defining Renewal in the Third Century : Porphyry of Tyre and Eusebius of Caesarea Narratives of the decline and renewal of philosophy impacted the formation and interaction of intellectuals who competed to establish normative orthodoxies in the third and early fourth centuries. Porphyry of Tyre, a student of Plotinus, may be credited with inventing and systematising the tradition we term “Neoplatonism”. Eusebius of Caesarea was an admirer of Origen and heir to the Christian intellectual’s library. Philosophical kin themselves (both Origen and Plotinus studied with the Alexandrian teacher Ammonius), they engaged in composing narratives of decline and renewal that construed their respective masters as critical moments in philosophical history, like Hesiod’s demi-gods, agents of resurgence after a period of decline and corruption.26 In the third century neither Neoplatonism nor Christianity was an established philosophical orthodoxy. Both were vying for this position.27 The influence of Numenius upon Porphyry and Eusebius is detectable and both knew Numenius’ works.28 Porphyry’s Philosophical History and Life of Plotinus contain elements of an oblique narrative of decline and renewal that advocates for the succession of a Pythagorean-Platonism to the philosophical heritage of Plato and, more broadly, to the ancient sources of pre-Greek wisdom. In so doing, the work of Porphyry appears as a creative philosophical historiography that takes up the call of Numenius to “separate” Plato from the Academy. The Philosophical History is an account of the origins and trajectory of Greek philosophy and culture told through a series of biographical accounts of sages, poets, and philosophers.29 A biography of Pythagoras is the only extant portion of the work. Fourth and fifth century testimonies indicate that the

26 On Ammonius, see P. Beatrice, “Porphyry’s Judgment on Origen”, in R. Daly (ed.), Origeniana Quinta: Historica, Text and Method, Biblica, Philosophica, Theologica, Origenism, and Later Developments. Papers of the 5th International Origen Congress, Boston College, 15 – 18 August 1989 (Leuven: University Press, 1992) 351 – 67, esp. pp. 360 – 2; M. Edwards, “Ammonius, Teacher of Origen”, JEH 44 (1993) 168 – 81; and A. Urbano, Philosophical Life, 70 – 9. 27 See Vit. Plot. 20.73 – 4 where Porphyry apologetically cites his teacher Longinus’ positive evaluation of Plotinus’ philosophical expertise – something that was evidently not yet generally accepted. 28 See Porph. Vit. Plot. 14. Porphyry’s colleague Amelius composed the treatise How Plotinus Differs from Numenius in his Doctrine (Vit. Plot. 17). 29 On dating see G.Wolff, Porphyrii de philosophia ex oraculis haurienda librorum reliquiae (Berlin: Springer, 1856), 15 – 16; J. Bidez, Vie de Porphyre, le philosophe n¦o-platonicien (Ghent: Goethem, 1913), 34; and Ê. des Places (ed.), Porphyre: Vie de Pythagore; Lettre — Marcella (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1982).

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work concluded with a biography of Plato.30 Thus, it presented a coherent, contained, and continuous narrative of the origins of philosophy from Pythagoras to Plato. Porphyry recounts Pythagoras’ travels among the Egyptians, Arabs, Chaldeans, and Hebrews (Vit. Pyth. 11). The colonising and ordering of these ancient traditions produces the superior Greek philosophy, which Plato inherits. Culminating with Plato, this narrative effectively wrote the Academics out of philosophical history. That this was intentional is confirmed by the later Life of Plotinus. Thirty years after Plotinus’ death, Porphyry produced an edition of the Enneads with an accompanying biography. Published in the twilight of Porphyry’s philosophical career, the Life of Plotinus made a perfect epilogue to the narrative of decline and renewal in the Philosophical History. Porphyry sought to establish Plotinus as the rightful successor of Pythagoras and Plato and as a semi-divine herald of an era of philosophical renewal. Porphyry included two pieces of confirmation. A letter of Longinus extols Plotinus as the clearest contemporary expounder of Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy (Vit. Plot. 20.73 – 4). Divine confirmation came from an oracle.31 Apollo, who had declared Socrates the wisest of men, now ranked Plotinus “among the assembly of daemons” in the Elysian Fields. His soul ascended into the impressive company of the progeny of Zeus, where he joined his predecessors – Plato, “a holy force”, and “good Pythagoras” (Vit. Plot. 22.54 – 5). Together they “have obtained a common descent (ceme¶m) with the blessed daemons” (Vit. Plot. 22.55 – 7). The description of the three philosophers as a “golden race” (wquse¸gr ceme/r) echoes Hesiod’s first generation, the wq¼seom c´mor. Ranking Plotinus a daemon-man evokes the demi-gods of Hesiod’s myth. Both intervened to restore some nobility to humanity. Porphyry’s writings contain an implicit narrative of decline and renewal that resolves Numenius’ Hesiodic narrative. He erased the Academics from philosophical history and elevated Plotinus to the ranks of Pythagoras and Plato. Recommending his teacher as the restorer, perfect expositor, and practitioner of ancient knowledge previously obscured, Porphyry advanced Plotinian Platonism as a return to origins in an era of philosophical diversity. Eusebius represents a competing voice working in direct opposition to Porphyry in generating a narrative of decline and renewal from Greek, Jewish, and Christian sources. His tracing of the “successions (diadow²r) of the holy 30 See Eunapius Vit. Phil. 2.1; and A. Nauck (ed.), Porphyrii philosophi platonici opuscula selecta (Leipzig: Teubner, 1886), 13. Citations of Vit. Pyth. are taken from Nauck’s edition. 31 See L. Brisson and J.M. Flamand, “Structure, contenu et intentions de L’Oracle d’Apollon (Porphyre, VP 22)”, in L. Brisson (ed.), La vie de Plotin (2 vol.; Paris: J. Vrin, 1982) 2.565 – 602; R. Goulet, “Sur quelques interpr¦tations r¦cents de l’Oracle d’Apollon”, in Brisson (ed.), Vie de Plotin, 2.604; J. Igal, “El enigma del or‚culo de Apolo sobre Plotino”, Emerita 52 (1984) 83 – 115; and A. Busine, Paroles d’Apollon: Pratiques et traditions oraculaires dans l’Antiquit¦ tardive (IIe – VIe siÀcles) (RGRW 156; Boston: Brill, 2005), 307 – 13. Citations of the Vit. Plot. are taken from Brisson’s edition.

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apostles” in the Ecclesiastical History relates a scheme of potential decline.32 While external and internal pressures are ever-threatening and ever-present – in Jewish and Roman repression and violence, on the one hand, and “heresies” and “schisms”, on the other – these powers seeking to disrupt and dismantle the dissemination of the gospel ultimately fail. Eusebius maintains that a clear line of transmission, uncompromised and uninterrupted, has been traceable from the Hebrews to “the Church”, from the patriarchs and prophets through Christ and his apostles to Christian bishops and teachers. Eusebius honours his intellectual hero Origen with a lengthy biographical account in Book Six. In direct response to Porphyry’s criticisms of Origen and, perhaps, as a challenge to Porphyry’s strategy of mapping philosophical history onto the person of Plotinus, Eusebius positions Origen at the convergence of divine revelation and human wisdom.33 He constructs Origen as heir and reformer of Hebrew and Greek wisdom and founder of an Alexandrian-Caesarean Christian intellectual tradition. Origen’s expertise in the exegesis of the Hebrew scriptures and adroitness in Greek philosophy attracted Greek intellectuals to his school, affording him a pedagogical authority independent of, but in competition with, other Greek schools in Alexandria.34 In Preparation for the Gospel, Eusebius constructs a complex Christian account of the transmission of divine truth through an intertextual presentation of Greek, Jewish, and Christian writings held in his Caesarean library.35 In the vein of previous Christian narratives, he combined the Jewish narrative of theft with the Greek narrative of decline. With more precision, however, he aimed to give an account of the different locations of Jews, Greeks, and Christians in this history. His strategy was twofold: to emphasise the discontinuity between Plato and the Academics; and to highlight the agreement between Plato and Moses. Eusebius seizes upon Numenius’ call for reform and uses it in the service of Christianity. Book Fourteen includes an extensive (and the only extant) citation of On the Disagreement. With critical approbation of Plato’s teaching, Eusebius indeed tries “separating” Plato from the Academy. However, he attaches him to Moses and the Hebrew prophets, not to Pythagoras, and charges, as Justin had done, that Plato plagiarised. Thus, Plato could serve as a legitimisation of Hebrew and Christian intellectual trends. Eusebius outlines points of agreement (sulvym¸a) and disagreement (diavym¸a) between Plato and the Hebrews as an introduction to a history of Greek philosophy. In 32 Hist. eccl. 1.1.4. Citations taken from G. Bardy (ed.), EusÀbe de C¦sar¦e. Histoire eccl¦siastique, Sources chr¦tiennes (3 vols.; Paris: Cerf, 1952). 33 On the dating of Porphyry’s anti-Christian writings see A. Cameron, “The Date of Porphyry’s . jat± Wqistiam£m” CQ 17.2 (1967) 382 – 4, and T. Barnes, “Scholarship or Propaganda? Porphyry Against the Christians and Its Historical Setting”, BICS 39 (1994) 53 – 65. 34 See Hist. eccl. 6.3.13, 6.16.1 and 6.19.8 (quoting Porphyry). 35 The critical edition is J. Sirinelli (ed.), La preparation evangelique, Sources chr¦tiennes (9 vols.; Paris: Cerf, 1974).

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describing the “first foundation” (!(p¹ t/r pq¾tgr jatabok/r) of Greek philosophy, Eusebius emphasises the divergence and discord among the Greek schools.36 He judges all philosophical trends before and after Plato in terms of their degree of “agreement” with him. Highlighting the dissent and fragmentation of the Academics, Eusebius follows Numenius’ characterisation of the course of Greek philosophical history as a “sliding (ekishor) from the truth”: almost immediately, they began to “unravel” (paqak¼eim) Plato’s teaching (Praep. ev. 14.4). In the language of battle and sport, he exposes a “schism” among the Greeks, a revolt against Plato that persisted into his own time. Eusebius cites the “illustrious” Numenius both on the failure of the Academy and on the authority of Moses: “for what is Plato than Moses atticizing?”37 Though the context of this logion attributed to Numenius is unknown, Eusebius and other Christian authors regarded it as a Greek admission of Plato’s debt to Moses. While Numenius seems to have regarded the Hebrews as one of the pre-Greek peoples who contributed to an integral, Greek system of philosophy, Eusebius takes the saying as confirmation that the Greeks corrupted the integral, divine teaching of the Hebrews.38 Thus, Eusebius expresses his preference for this “barbarian” wisdom over “our [i.e., Greek] ancestral and noble philosophy” (Praep. ev. 14.1). Eusebius’ praise of the Hebrews did not translate, however, into solidarity with his Jewish contemporaries. He distinguished the ancient Hebrews who received God’s revelation in the Scriptures from contemporary Jews whom he charged with distorting Hebrew teaching.39 He further contrasted Jews who followed a literal understanding of the Torah with those, like Philo and the “Jewish philosophers” (such as the Essenes and Therapeutae), who promulgated an allegorical sense of the Torah. He regarded this latter tradition as the one from which Christianity emerged.40 Thus distancing Greeks and Jews from the teaching of Moses on charges of corruption and mismanagement, Eusebius situated the proper course of transmission exclusively in the hands of Christians who received the fullness of revelation from Jesus Christ and the apostles, who in turn handed it on to their successors, the bishops.

36 See Praep. ev. 14.2. 37 Numenius frag. 8 in Praep. ev. 11.10.14, also cited by Clement of Alexandria Strom. 1.22.150.4. On Numenius’ knowledge of the Hebrew tradition, see M. Edwards, “Atticizing Moses? Numenius, the Fathers and the Jews”, VC 44 (1990) 64 – 75. 38 On the similarities between Justin’s and Numenius’ accounts of philosophical history, see Droge, “Justin Martyr”, 310 – 12, 318 – 19. 39 See Praep. ev. 8.10.18, and S. Inowlocki, “Eusebius’ Appropriation of Moses in an Apologetic Context”, in A. Graupner/M. Wolter (ed.), Moses in Biblical and Extra-Biblical Traditions (BZAW 372; New York: De Gruyter, 2007), 241 – 56. 40 See Praep. ev. 8.11 – 12.

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Conclusion Significant shifts in pedagogical and institutional authority affected the philosophical field beginning in the first century BCE and continued through the fourth century CE (and beyond). New intellectual developments – particularly the interest in non-Greek traditions – in tandem with repositioning of philosophical expertise, overlapped with the reconfiguration of “Greekness” during the period known as the Second Sophistic.41 The composition of histories and biographies in intellectual circles constituted a competitive practice whereby philosophical authority was established and institutional boundaries drawn. The incorporation of narratives of decline and renewal adapted the well-known literary trope and moral commentary of Hesiod and applied it to circles of experts deemed responsible for the intellectual and moral well-being of humanity – philosophers. Initially appearing as Greek critiques of dissent and competition in Greek schools of philosophy, these narratives entered into the discourse of Christian intellectuals – who had inherited them in their education – as the struggle to define the intellectual and religious orthodoxy of the Roman Empire became the domain of Christians and Neoplatonists in the third and fourth centuries.

41 See S. Goldhill, Being Greek Under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Steven J. Larson

The Trouble with Religious Tolerance in Roman Antiquity

Scholars of religious competition in the ancient Mediterranean often employ, either implicitly or explicitly, a conception of “religious tolerance” in their historical reconstructions. It is commonly assumed that expressions of religious toleration can be found in certain Roman imperial edicts, Christian or Pagan apologetic arguments, or even in the very “nature” of Greco-Roman polytheism or ancient Christianity. Here, however, I wish to problematise the use of religious tolerance in our representations of the religious dynamics of Roman antiquity. Specifically, by contrasting modern formulations of religious tolerance with some of the most salient characteristics of Roman imperial society, I hope to show that such an ideal is anachronistic in the study of religious competition during this period. The following is a preliminary sketch, a set of broad considerations and leading questions about the applicability of the modern value of tolerance in our redescriptions of Romanperiod religious difference. I should note up front that I am not suggesting here that in the necessary process of cultural-historical translation such terms as “religious (in) tolerance” should not be used, since they may not have had stable equivalents in antiquity. I am pointing out, however, that the conception of religious tolerance that we (scholars from the modern liberal West) bring to the table cannot be mapped adequately onto the conditions of this period. In order to help establish this point it will be necessary first to account briefly for the development of such an idea during the European Enlightenment. “Toleration” means to “allow to exist or to be done or practised without authoritative interference or molestation”.1 More importantly, following an oft-quoted formulation, it “implies disapproval or disagreement coupled with an unwillingness to take action against those who are viewed with disfavour in the interest of some moral or political principle. It is an active concept, not to be confused with indifference, apathy or passive acquiescence”.2 This means that it is not necessarily tied to a belief in religious pluralism. One party may disapprove of or be unconvinced by another’s ways but still maintain an active, principled reason for not interfering. 1 OED. s.v. “tolerate.” 2 B. Crick’s definition, quoted in P. Garnsey, “Religious Toleration in Classical Antiquity”, in W. J. Shiels (ed.), Persecution and Tolerance (SCH 21; Oxford: Blackwell, 1984), 1.

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The ideal of religious tolerance is most commonly associated with the early modern rationalist writings of such figures as Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, and Pierre Bayle.3 Its importance arose in 17th-century Europe in the wake of the devastating and intractable religious conflicts of the Hundred Years War and the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, among other events. And while scholars have recently challenged the standard account that a concept of religious tolerance was an invention of the Enlightenment with earlier evidence from the Medieval period, our formulation is connected with the early modern ideal of the separation of church and state.4 Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) is a particularly important figure here, since he is perhaps the first prominent intellectual in Europe to have attempted to deliberately pursue a life free from religious affiliation.5 His ideas, particularly his argument for political and religious tolerance and the necessity for the separation of church (or religions generally) and state, had a profound effect on John Locke and his writings on the defense of religious liberty. Locke writes, in his Letter Concerning Toleration (1689): I esteem it above all things necessary to distinguish exactly the business of civil government from that of religion, and to settle the just bounds that lie between the one and the other. If this be not done, there can be no end put to the controversies that will be always arising between those that have, or at least pretend to have, on the one side, a concernment for the interest of men’s souls, and on the other side, a care of the commonwealth.6

Locke’s work, of course, would in turn heavily influence the men who drafted the Constitution of the United States.7 Referring to Spinoza’s defense of 3 See, in particular, B. Spinoza, The Theological-Political Treatise (ed. J. Israel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); J. Locke, Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration (ed. I. Shapiro. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003); and P. Bayle, Historical and Critical Dictionary – Selections (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1991). “Spinoza, Bayle, and Locke are undoubtedly the three pre-eminent philosophical champions of toleration of the Early Enlightenment era” (Israel, ed., Theological-Political Treatise, xxi – xxii). 4 On earlier forms of religious tolerance, see J.C. Lawson/C.J. Nederman (ed.), Beyond the Persecuting Society: Religious Toleration before the Enlightenment (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998). 5 See R.N. Goldstein’s excellent account of his struggles in Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (New York: Schocken, 2006). “[H]is determination to think through his community’s tragedy [the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam and its experience of the Portuguese-Spanish Inquisition] in the most universal of terms possible compelled him to devise a unique life for himself, insisting on secularism at a time when the concept of it had not yet been conceived” (pp. 262 – 3). On the impact of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise (1670), see S. Nadler, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011). 6 In Schapiro, Treatises, 218. 7 Goldstein, Spinoza, 260 – 1: The Constitution of the United States of America “made Spinoza’s principles of tolerance the law of the land.”

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religious toleration and the autonomy of a newly-defined secular sphere, Steven Nadler concludes, To the extent that we are committed to the ideal of a secular society free of ecclesiastic influence and governed by toleration, liberty, and a conception of civic virtue; and insofar as we think of true religious piety as consisting in treating other human beings with dignity and respect… we are the heirs of Spinoza’s scandalous treatise.8

The major issue for us here is the conception of a secular realm. This was imagined to be a neutral arena within which people are free to pursue a plurality of ways of life. The state is tasked with providing and maintaining this arena but would be restricted in its ability to either prescribe or proscribe moral or religious values for its citizens.9 Religious tolerance, thus, is an ethical stance that is linked (in its Enlightenment formulations) with concepts of modern liberalism that are not applicable to the Roman imperial period, such as state neutrality in matters of religion and respect for individual autonomy.10 The ancient Roman Empire, in contrast, was not a political system based on a “social contract,” that is, a legal agreement, the terms of which were binding for both the ruler and the ruled. There was instead a very different socio-political logic at play ; one that did not promote a belief in religious tolerance. At the top of a sharply inclined pyramidal structure there was an autocratic ruler claiming divine ancestry, whose power, while decidedly limited in actual application, could be wielded with as much capriciousness as that of the gods whose favour he sought to maintain.11 Roman society was conceived of and structured hierarchically, with peace and stability being seen as contingent upon a clearly maintained hierarchy. Ideals of social equality and personal liberty, in contrast to our postEnlightenment beliefs, held little value. It was understood that it was the prerogative of the emperor (and his functionaries) to control the religious (or, more generally, the social) practices of his subjects. Mary Beard et al. put it thusly,

8 Nadler, Book Forged in Hell, 240. 9 C. Taylor makes the important point that everyone in the West today is aware of the option of a secular realm. Naivet¦ of it is gone (The Secular Age [Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2007], 19 – 21). This cannot be said of the Roman imperial period. 10 Enlightenment ideas of religious tolerance were also intimately linked with Deism, the belief that God created the universe but then left it to its own devices. An obvious ancient antecedent of and acknowledged influence on this belief was Epicureanism. On the reintroduction of Epicurean ideas into Europe in the 15th c., see S. Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (New York: Norton, 2011). For a helpful summary of the literature on religious toleration from early Christianity until the 16th c., see E.G. Wallace, “Justifying Religious Freedom: The Western Tradition”, Penn State Law Review 114 (2009) 486 – 570. 11 The fact that the head of the Roman state was also its high priest should adequately alert us to the vastly different religio-political logic at play here from modern liberal democracies.

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What was at stake for emperors, governors and members of civic ¦lites was the whole web of social, political and hierarchical assumptions that bound imperial society together. Sacrifices and other religious rituals were concerned with defining and establishing relationships of power. Not to place oneself within the set of relationships between emperor, gods, ¦lite and people was effectively to place oneself outside the mainstream of the whole world and the shared Roman understanding of humanity’s place within that world. Maintenance of the social order was seen by the Romans to be dependent on maintenance of this agreed set of symbolic structures, which assigned a role to people at all levels.12

Ancient Mediterranean religion was a social, not a private, matter (as it came to be conceived of in Protestant Europe). It was a concern of the community and was inextricably linked with the political group. Ritual communications with the gods were effected communally, and consensus was of critical importance. Those who rejected the common rites “put the efficacy of those rites in danger, and hence pose[d] a menace to everyone”.13 Charles Taylor has made the point for me: This is something we constantly tend to forget when we look back condescendingly on the intolerance of earlier ages. As long as the common weal was bound up in collective rites, devotion, allegiances, it couldn’t be seen just as an individual’s own business that he break ranks, even less that he blaspheme or try to desecrate the rite. There was an immense common motivation to bring him back into line.14

Such social conditions, I wish to also point out here, were as much in play in the first, second, or third centuries CE as they were after Constantine redirected imperial patronage to Christian communities in the fourth. The habit of employing a vision of religious tolerance as a lens for the study of ancient Mediterranean religions seems to have arisen not only from the values of our own day, but also from a dubious schema that has long informed our accounts of the fortunes and misfortunes of different religious groups in antiquity : namely, that polytheism promotes tolerance, and monotheism promotes intolerance. This form of theological determinism was famously articulated in the early modern era by David Hume in his 1757 essay The Natural History of Religion: The tolerating spirit of idolaters, both in ancient and modern times, is very obvious to anyone, who is the least conversant in the writings of historians or travelers…. The 12 M. Beard, J. North, and S. Price, Religions of Rome: Vol. 1: A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 361. 13 Taylor, Secular Age, 42. 14 Ibid., 42. Or to put it another way, the ancient world was socio-centric not individualistic. The latter conception of personhood, and the concomitant idea of a social and moral order built around the protection of individual freedoms, only became ascendant during the Enlightenment. On these distinctions, see J. Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (New York: Pantheon, 2012), 14 – 17.

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Romans commonly adopted the gods of the conquered people; and never disputed the attributes of those local and national deities, in whose territories they resided…. The intolerance of almost all religions, which have maintained the unity of God, is as remarkable as the contrary principle of polytheists.15

And while this perspective no doubt arose from modern reflection upon the history of monotheistic groups within polytheistic Greco-Roman culture (as well as, of course, knowledge of subsequent Christian history), this was not how the issue was framed in antiquity. Instead, ancient apologists and polemicists of all stripes expressed a concern for, among other things, the antiquity of tradition, recognising and maintaining divine approval, corporate displays of civic and imperial loyalty, and accusations of idolatry or anthropolatry, but not whether a religious orientation was accommodating of difference and dissent. Hume’s argument begins with the false premise that in the religious realm a lack of accommodation, even coercion and violence, is determined by a belief in one god; that a position of theological exclusivity generates intolerance. This argument, however, makes another unwarranted assumption in the face of contradicting evidence from the empire: that theological inclusiveness (relatively speaking) is synonymous with religious tolerance. The many gods of ancient polytheism did not mean any gods were welcomed. Such a perspective does not take into account the conservative and punctilious nature of Roman religion, nor does it acknowledge, as Peter Garnsey has pointed out, that foreign gods were subject gods, as were the communities to which they were attached; and that additions to the cult were primarily made in response to crisis, when prodigies revealed that the existing cult was inadequate.16 Both Garnsey and John North have gone a long way in reassessing the assumption that ancient Greco-Roman polytheism was inherently tolerant and inclusive.17 15 D. Hume, The Natural History of Religion (ed. J.C.A. Gaskin; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 161 – 2. Edward Gibbon, man of the Enlightenment that he was, would soon popularise this perspective in his study of the Late Roman Empire. For example: “According to the maxims of universal toleration [!], the Romans protected a superstition [Judaism] which they despised” (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [London: Penguin, 1994] Ch. XV, 448). 16 “Roman-style polytheism was disposed to expand and absorb or at least neutralize other gods, not to tolerate them” (Garnsey, “Religious Toleration in Classical Antiquity”, 8 – 9). 17 J.A. North, “Religious Toleration in Republican Rome”, PCPS 25 (1979), 85 – 103. There are a great many taxonomical issues raised by this line of thought that are too extensive to address in this brief paper. In order to better assess these arguments, for instance, it would be necessary to better theorise the categories “religion,” “Christianity,” and “Paganism.” To what cluster of practices are we referring? What level of social formation? And is it productive to even engage in what is essentially a pro/anti-Christian debate? Apologetic, however, remains the most common approach taken in more popularised accounts of religious competition in Late Antiquity. J. Kirsch’s version (God against the Gods: The History of the War between Monotheism and Polytheism [New York: Penguin, 2004]), to take one example, is described as “the epic story of how classical paganism, with its tolerance for many deities and beliefs, lost a centuries-long struggle with monotheism and its chauvinistic insistence on belief in one God” (back cover).

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A tremendous amount of work has been done in the fields of Religious Studies and History, of course, to reassess Gibbon’s, “decline and fall of the Roman Empire” model and its Classicist apologetics, partially by asserting the integrity of the period now called “Late Antiquity.” Scholars who wish to tip the scales have rightly pointed out the elephant in the room of the cheerful image of Pagan tolerance18 : namely, the persecutions of Jews, Christians, Druids, Manichees, etc., by Pagans. The work of Harold Drake, among others, has helped redirect this conversation away from the realm of these broad (and often abstract) theological and apologetic claims to the social and political processes at work in the empire.19 I am following in his footsteps here by suggesting that a more helpful approach would be to examine the realities of Roman imperial policy and the socio-political organisation of the empire and how it might have either fostered or constrained the actions of religious groups. Such redescriptions help level the playing field by highlighting the fact that Roman culture remained an imperial culture regardless of the changing fortunes of particular religious communities. There was an ever-present potential for religious exclusivity and domination within the Roman Empire. I would add too that our habit of privileging religious affiliation as the primary marker of identity in this period (Pagan, Christian, Jew, Manichee, etc.) – a practice which we, of course, inherit from our sources – also reinforces a tendency to consider theological perspectives to be determinative of all public behaviour. Instead, we might also consider the social position of the agents under examination. I would argue that it is more relevant that Diocletian and Constantine, for example, were emperors and victorious generals (imperatores), than it is that they were Pagan and Christian, respectively. The same should hold true at any level of Roman society. The daily obligations and expectations that come with any social position or occupation were often more revealing of a person’s behaviour than was their religious affiliation. In addition, re-focusing on the socio-political dynamics of the empire helps to undermine the idea that there was a fundamental difference in the way religious activity was regulated in the empire once Christianity began to gain imperial favour (claims that Pagan emperors were tolerant, Christian emperors intolerant, or vice versa). The actions of Constantine in particular are too often portrayed as marking a change in climate rather than a 18 E.g., “Toleration marked the religious thought of the Romans from the earliest centuries … [an] openness to other people’s beliefs” (R. MacMullen, “Review of Martin Henig, Anthony King (eds.), Pagan Gods and Shrines of the Roman Empire”, AJA 92 [1988], 455); “Everyone was free to choose his own credo” (idem, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eight Centuries [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997], 32); “The downturned mouth, the sorrowing, gabled eyebrows of Byzantine or medieval piety should replace the smiles of paganism” (ibid., 154). 19 H. Drake, “Constantine and Consensus”, CH 64 (1995) 1 – 15; idem, “Lambs into Lions: Explaining Early Christian Intolerance”, P&P 153 (1996) 3 – 36; idem, Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000).

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continuation of imperial weather patterns, so to speak.20 Claims of “climate change” can only be sustained from a perspective internal to certain Christian communities, and do not reflect the broader historical situation and political realities. I would argue, however, that much of this necessary revisionist work has largely attempted to push the pendulum in the other direction. Christian (post-Constantinian) intolerance has been counterbalanced with examples of Pagan (pre-Constantinian) intolerance. The extent of Christian violence against Pagan groups has been shown to have been exaggerated by our sources and focused only on cultic property and practices, rather than on people (as opposed to earlier Pagan examples which were sometimes directed against human bodies as well). And political, not theological, factors have been shown to have allowed Christian militant types to assert themselves.21 All these are valuable contributions. Yet, there has been a tendency in this Late Antique scholarship to explain away religious intolerance, as if it were an aberration or anomaly ; that if these people were living up to their own ideals (namely, of religious tolerance) forms of domination and religious violence would not have happened. It has been taken for granted, in other words, that religious toleration is a relevant measuring stick for assessing what is commonly referred to in scholarship as the “problem” of religious violence.22 But why should the ancient Roman Empire necessarily be a culture that we recognize, identify with, or are comfortable with? How then are we to account for the fact that Late Antique piety is often depicted in agonistic and combative terms?23 Religiosity was not necessarily 20 Drake has argued that Constantine sought to create a “neutral public space in which Christians and pagans could both function” (“Constantine and Consensus”, 7). This to me smacks too much of modern secularism. In addition, I do not agree with Drake that politics under the Roman imperial system was an autonomous field of operation, particularly in relation to religion. Even today it is difficult to realise Locke’s goal of “settling the just bounds that lie between civic government and religion.” For more on what I consider to be anachronisms in Drake’s work, see the introduction to my “What Temples Stood For: Constantine, Eusebius, and Roman Imperial Practice” (Ph.D. diss., . Brown University, 2008). 21 See, for example, Drake, ed., Violence in Late Antiquity: Perceptions and Practices (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006), esp. M.R. Salzman, “Rethinking Pagan-Christian Violence”, 265 – 86; and M. Zimmermann, “Conclusion: Violence in Late Antiquity Reconsidered”, 343 – 58. 22 E.g., “Recent research concerning the problem of inter-communal intolerance in the late antique world … many recent studies have found much to lament concerning the prevalence of intolerance and factional violence among late antique religious communities” (T. Sizgorich, Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity : Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009], 21); “The Problem of Late Antique Religious Violence” (ibid., 81). Sizgorich helpfully suggests that we examine the communal narratives in order to better understand the “problem of militant piety in the Roman world” (ibid., 50). I suspect that the more troubling part of the “problem” for ancient Romans would have been less the religious aspect of these violent actions (i. e., the combination of violence and religion) than the fact that these were often disruptive corporate or group acts. 23 Eusebius of Caesarea’s cosmology, for example, is a model of militancy : “Heavenly armies encircle him [God], an infinite number of supernatural troops” (In Praise of Constantine 3.6);

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understood to be a peaceful, cooperative stance (and only those on the defensive – such as Christians in the second and third centuries and Pagans in the late fourth – might have presented it that way).24 The prevalence of militaristic language in religious discourse should caution us against the assumption that aggression between religious groups distorted their true bearing. The application of such an ethical standard of religious tolerance also raises the question if ancient philosophers (let alone emperors) ever argued for the value of tolerating religious difference, that is, whether religious tolerance was even theorised in antiquity. In fact, the notion of toleration in the religious sphere is conspicuously absent among the concerns of the ancient schools of moral philosophy, primarily (we might assume) because until the rise of Christianity the kind of religious differences that were discussed all still fell under the dominant sacrificial model. Philosophising about the gods, instead, tended to be limited to their nature and relationship to humanity. Aenesidemus, the founder of the School of Pyrrhonist Skepticism, however, did develop a weaker definition of something like tolerance.25 The telos of this philosophy was epoch¦ or the suspension of judgment, not because of disapproval or disagreement but because of recognition of the inarbitrability of differing perspectives. One simply could not judge between them all. But this is quite different from the situation that arises between two (or more) parties, each of whom believes their position to be correct. A good Pyrrhonist simply could not say who is correct. In the face of opposing claims of certainty, however, an active compromise was the most accommodating solution. The literature on toleration tends, instead, to begin with the Christian apologist Tertullian. In his Apology (c. 197 CE), he writes: Let one man worship God, another Jupiter ; let one lift supplicant hands to the heavens, another to the altar of Fides; let one… count in prayer the clouds, and another the ceiling panels; let one consecrate his own life to his God, and another that of a goat. For see that you do not give a further ground for the charge of irreligion, by taking away religious liberty, and forbidding free choice of deity, so that I may no longer worship according to my inclination, but am compelled to worship against it.26

He goes on further in a letter to Scapula to insist that a forced form of worship does the gods no good. “His celestial armies encircle and supernatural powers attend, acknowledging him their master, lord, and sovereign” (ibid., 1.2); “[God is] the destroyer of the impious, the slayer of tyrants” (Ecclesiastical History 10.4). 24 C. Taylor describes ancient religion as a higher good than human flourishing, warranting at times intolerance, and even violence (Secular Age, 1 – 20). 25 See A. A. Long/D.N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers: Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary (vol. 1; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) 468 – 88. 26 Tertullian Apology XXIV. Tertullian. Apology and De Spectaculis. Loeb no. 250 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931).

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Roughly a century later in about 306 CE, Lactantius would expand upon Tertullian’s ideas, arguing in his Divine Institutes that only persuasion, not force, is effective in religious matters.27 But, of course, both Tertullian and Lactantius were arguing from a besieged position; as would be the case of the Pagan arguments for toleration that arose after the death of the last Pagan emperor Julian.28 The fact that some Christians too became persecutors once in power should alert us to the socio-political structure that fostered that stance. Tertullian’s stress on free choice of worship still begs the question: how could this work under the conditions of the Roman Empire? The early fourth century pronouncements of the emperors Galerius, Maximinus, Licinius, and Constantine are generally referred to as “edicts of toleration”.29 I would like to suggest, however, that these represented instead instances when the imperial prerogative to control religious practices was temporarily lessened for various reasons: frustration, political maneuvering, crowd control, or in order to propitiate a fuller range of gods for the welfare of the empire, but not in order to institute an ethical ideal or to establish a set of active rights for the citizenry.30 Instead, the emperors repeatedly stress the clementia (“mildness,” “mercy,” “clemency”) that they show their wayward subjects. Such language suggests a relationship of magistrate to criminal, which is precisely how dissenting religious practices were viewed in the empire, where impiety corresponded with treason.31 These “edicts of clemency,” as they might be better called, reinforce the potential for imperial domination. The emperors here were commuting sentences – and for generally practical reasons. An emperor had the power to either apply or remove constraints on his subjects. The removal of such restraints did not amount to a policy of religious toleration. Constantine, for his part, was simply showing favour to one religious community over others. Continuing in the same attitude of his predecessors, he assumed that honouring his patron god ensured blessings upon the entire empire and that laws good for, in this case, Christians were laws that would benefit all Romans. These communities, however, were not in a position to know if such favouritism would last. Instead, they could only rely on the fact that each emperor would pursue a course based upon his own 27 Lactantius: Divine Institutes (ed. and trans. Anthony Bowen and Peter Garnsey ; TTH 40; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003). 28 E.g., Symmachus Relatio 3 (384 CE). 29 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 8.17; 9.7; 10.5, respectively. 30 In the words of Taylor, “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” (Secular Age, 19). 31 Cassius Dio has Maecenas address Octavian as follows: “Those who attempt to distort our religion with strange rites, you should abhor and punish… because such men, by bringing new divinities in place of old, persuade many to adopt foreign practices from which spring up conspiracies, factions, and cabals” (Dio Cassius 52.36.1 – 3, as quoted in J.G. Cook, Roman Attitudes Toward the Christians: From Claudius to Hadrian [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010], 86).

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relationship with the divine, whether it was Decius or Diocletian and their interests in upholding traditional Roman piety or Constantine and his adoption of the Christian god.32 Religiously tolerant legislation could not be established under an ancient imperial cosmology, that is, as long as loyalty in the empire was predicated on adherence to (and at times even public demonstration of) a common ritual practice, which was in turn dictated by the emperor’s own practice. Isolating religiously tolerant language from the socio-political context ignores the fact that there are a constellation of conditions that is necessary for religious toleration to be realized. The Roman imperial context and its potential for corporate domination and governance by fear should call us to question whether our use of “religious toleration” in the study of ancient religion does not fit too easily into our sense of society and its ideals.33 I am not suggesting that people of the Roman imperial world were incapable of tolerating practical differences among their neighbours.34 We should of course imagine a wide range of responses to religious difference. I am arguing, however, that there was little political, legal, and even philosophical, support for the practice of religious tolerance, and that is largely due to the imperial context. Historians of religion in the Roman Empire should at least qualify their use of religious tolerance to distinguish it from its appearance in the early modern period, and consider the extent to which it may have been realized in the ancient world. Intolerance is the deliberate attempt to eliminate disapproved conduct by coercive means. Despite the limited reach of the imperial coercive or punitive arm, we might even go so far as to say that this tendency was the norm in antiquity – at least coercion, rather than active allowance, had the momentum in the empire. It was the expected (albeit feared) response. So much so that moments of tolerance functioned as little more than applying the brakes to this tendency, rather than opening up a whole new potential. This, I think, is the real question: did any of these moments of toleration open up a new potential for how differing religious groups could coexist in the empire; or did they function as little more than truces in an on-going cosmic struggle? 32 Constantine most frequently characterized his own rule as h¦meros (“gentle,” “civilized”). In contrast, he characterised the reigns of his immediate predecessors (apart from that of his father) as aposkl¦ros (“harsh”) (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 2.49.1). The new emperor prided himself in the gentleness of his controlling hand. His panegyrist, Eusebius of Caesarea, did not make any claims (as we might today) that Constantine put forth a tolerant religious policy. Instead, he trumpeted him as the only emperor to champion the one true religion – all others remained fair game for suppression (idem, Life of Constantine, passim; idem, Ecclesiastical History X). 33 “Experience teaches us that fear is the most effective regulator and guide for the performance of duty.” Excerpt from Diocletian’s Edict on Maximum Prices. Quoted in K.R. Bradley, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 114. 34 Nor am I suggesting that the modern West has succeeded in its secular ideals.

Kevin M. McGinnis

Sanctifying Interpretation The Christian Interpreter as Priest in Origen

The facts that Christianity is a religion and that there are priests in this religion are commonly assumed to apply to its entire history.1 Yet recent critiques of the notion of religion as a universal category applicable across times and cultures should caution us against the simple application of these terms to ancient Christianity.2 Even if we were to use religion as a category for the ancient world, it would be difficult to define Christianity as a religion comparable to any that existed at the time. Christians gathered together to pray and engage in ritual activity, no doubt, but they did not engage in the most pervasive religious ritual of the ancient world, sacrifice, and without sacrifices there was no need for experts of sacrifice, i. e. priests.3 Instead, Christian leaders took on the roles of messenger (apostolos), prophet (prophetes), teacher (didaskalos), overseer (episkopos), elder (presbyteros), and servant (diakonos). While there are several Greek terms that get translated as “priest”, none of the aforementioned roles taken on by Christians fit the traditional role of priest and were probably not at all thought of in such terms until the middle of the third century.4 The priest was a familiar figure in antiquity, however, and of course played an important role in Jewish 1 This unquestioned assumption is evident even in works focused on the priesthood such as J.A. Mohler, The Origin and Evolution of the Priesthood (Staten Island, N.Y.: Alba House, 1969); and K.J. Torjesen, When Women Were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of Their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995). 2 For example, see T. Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993); J.Z. Smith, “Religion, Religions, Religious”, in M.C. Taylor (ed.), Critical Terms for Religious Studies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) 269 – 84; and T. Fitzgerald, The Ideology of Religious Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 3 Before the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, it is quite likely that some members of the incipient Jesus movement would have continued to offer sacrifice in the Jerusalem temple, which suggests that they were members of the Jewish religion, but they did not have a religion of their own per se, nor did they establish a priestly class within Judaism. 4 For a discussion of the problems involved in translating Greek words as priest see the contributions in B. Dignas/K. Trampedach, Practitioners of the Divine: Greek Priests and Religious Officials from Homer to Heliodorus (Washington, D.C.: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2008). J.D. Laurance presents the best discussion thus far about Cyprian’s use of priestly terminology for Christian overseers and elders in ‘Priest’ as Type of Christ: The Leader of the Eucharist in Salvation History according to Cyprian of Carthage (AUSS VII: TR 5; New York: Peter Lang, 1984).

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scriptures, so it was not surprising that Christians would play off hieratic imagery and discourse when writing about themselves. In this paper, I argue that Origen used the priesthood as a metaphor (one of many) for asserting the importance of Christian philosophers.5 Though a presbyter, Origen did not seem to see himself as a priest in a literal sense, but only in a metaphorical sense, and he used this metaphor to associate the symbolic capital of priests with philosophers within the Christian community. The resurgence in the study of Origen over the last century or so has focused to a large extent on appreciating his important and positive contributions to theology after roughly 1500 years of criticism and neglect due to his post mortem excommunication, and also on debates over the appropriateness of his hermeneutical method.6 Assessments of Origen’s standing as an orthodox theologian or as an appropriately Christian exegete have their place in certain circles of discourse, but they do not help us to understand Origen and his work from a socio-historical point of view. This analysis of Origen’s use of hieratic imagery is part of a larger project analysing the various ways in which his interpretations of scripture can be seen as discursive strategies for asserting and maintaining the authority of philosophers within the Christian community. My approach here is based largely on the work of Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu’s focus in his various ethnographic studies was, to quote David Swartz, to show “how stratified social systems of hierarchy and domination persist and reproduce intergenerationally without powerful resistance and without the conscious recognition of their members.”7 Bourdieu sought to explain how, through engaging in shared practices, individuals developed a habitus, “systems of durable, transposable dispositions” that generate action in a prereflexive manner.8 Habitus aids in the replication of social hierarchies by predisposing individuals to continue acting within a set frame of practices – the very practices that produce those hierarchies. These hierarchies go unchallenged largely because the nature of habitus blinds people from the interested nature of practices. This “misrecognition” of power relations is thus an intrinsic aspect of social existence and is what makes the replication of systems of domination possible. For Origen, the set of practices he privileged 5 The present focus on Origen is not meant to imply that he was the first Christian to use sacrificial and hieratic rhetoric in such a symbolic fashion. See, for example, the contributions in Christian A. Eberhart, Ritual and Metaphor: Sacrifice in the Bible (RBS 68; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011). 6 For recent critical reviews of this scholarship see: E.A. Dively Lauro, The Soul and Spirit of Scripture within Origen’s Exegesis (BAC 3; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 15 – 36; P.W. Martens, Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life (OECS; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 6 – 11. 7 D. Swartz, Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 6. 8 P. Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), 53.

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as especially important for salvation were practices shared with Greek and Roman philosophers, so the habitus and practices he was engaged in related to philosophers, not to priests. Although Bourdieu describes the modes of domination in economic terms, he extends the notion of capital to symbolic forms. Each form of symbolic capital has its own field of cultural production, defined as an arena of struggle over that specific form of capital.9 Membership within a field requires that one accept the value of that form of symbolic capital and buy into the rules of that particular game in which individuals and groups compete for said capital. The field shapes the ways in which people struggle within the field and situates people into “structured spaces of dominant and subordinate positions based on types and amounts of capital.”10 According to Bourdieu, all cultural practices can be viewed as strategic insofar as they contribute to struggles for material and symbolic forms of capital. Cultural producers, such as Origen, are those individuals who produce symbolic capital through symbolic labour, which masks the interested and dominating nature of symbolic practices. Symbolic labour thus presents “arbitrary relations of power as the natural order of things.”11 In framing Origen’s exegesis as symbolic labour, we draw attention to the ways in which his hierarchical vision of the church, which is homologous to the philosophical field in terms of its symbolic capital and practices, is made to seem not only natural but divinely designed. By privileging technologies of the self and textual expertise over and against ritual practices Origen was attempting to shape Christianity as a component of the larger philosophical field, sometimes by using language and imagery associated with priests and sacrifice in a metaphorical way. Drawing on these notions from Bourdieu we might conceptualise ancient religion and philosophy as two different fields, each with its own practices, symbolic capital, and habitus. Here, I am using “religion” to designate practices that connect people to the divine through rituals such as animal sacrifice, ritual purification, processions, and forms of divination; by “philosophy,” I mean intellectual practices such as studying texts, lecturing, debating, and ascetic practices of self-examination and self-control.12 The transformation in Late Antiquity, as Guy Stroumsa has recently described it, was indeed one in which animal sacrifice disappears, but it was not one in which we see simply the replacement of ritual-centred religion with a religious 9 See Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature (EU; New York: Columbia University Press, 1993); P. Bourdieu/L.J.D. Wacquant, An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 10 Swartz, Culture and Power, 123. 11 Swartz, Culture and Power, 93. 12 An adequate social history of Greek philosophy is also, unfortunately, lacking. Perhaps the best such discussion of what philosophy was in practice is Pierre Hadot’s What is Ancient Philosophy? (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap, 2002). See also R. Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap, 1998).

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philosophy.13 Instead, the tension between “religion” and “philosophy” might be described as follows: on the one hand, there was the religious field in which religious capital was related to practices connecting the human and divine realms. One might improve his or her position within this field by such things as correctly performing rituals; financially supporting rituals, priests, or sacred sites; or by habitually performing certain practices such as prayer, sacrifice, and fasting. On the other hand, there was the philosophical field in which philosophical capital was related to the management of the self through various intellectual and psychological practices. Within the philosophical field, one might improve his or her position by displaying control of one’s emotions; by studying the works of other philosophers; or by lecturing and writing. The shift in religions in Late Antiquity should not be understood as one field being replaced with another, but as a complex and ever-contested blending of the two fields. Following this line of thinking, we can see Origen as a Christian philosopher who argued for a form of Christianity in which philosophical practices were of primary importance and ritual practices were secondary. Usually, Origen is compared to Greek philosophers because of the ideas he had, but to categorise him as a philosopher we must consider the practices in which he engaged that would lead an outside observer to lump him together with other intellectuals as a philosopher. Pierre Hadot described ancient philosophy as living a certain way of life and engaging in discursive practices that rationally justified that way of life.14 Origen was just such a figure. He adopted a way of life that included intense ascetic exercises meant to bring his passions under control, he studied various topics considered necessary for advancing in wisdom, and he became a master interpreter of a closed set of texts that made up the canon of his chosen school of thought – the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Advancing in this way of life at a young age, Origen quickly became a teacher, first of recent converts and later of more advanced students. As the leading Christian intellectual of his time, he was invited to lecture in other cities, to debate other Christian intellectuals, and to produce scholarly texts. Given his social formation as an intellectual, it is not surprising that Origen’s cosmology would reflect, in narrative form, the values of this philosophical field of cultural production. As a devout Christian philosopher, Origen was likely to misrecognise not only the interested nature of certain intellectual practices, but also the interested nature of the narratives (i. e., myths) that consecrated those practices.15 13 G.G. Stroumsa, The End of Sacrifice: Religious Transformation in Late Antiquity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009). 14 Hadot, What is Ancient Philosophy? 15 By ‘myths’ I mean a narrative with social and ideological implications as described in B. Lincoln, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); R.T. McCutcheon, “Myth”, in W. Braun/R.T. McCutcheon (ed.), Guide to the Study of

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In order to understand the strategic nature of Origen’s theory of scripture, it is necessary to contextualise it in Origen’s overall understanding of what was at stake in his field. If we are to place Origen in the field of philosophy, we might say that his primary goal was to achieve self-mastery by cultivating the ability to think rationally about the natural order of things. In the more circumscribed Christian version of this, the goal might be construed as gaining salvation, though still through self-mastery and rational contemplation of the natural order of things, understood primarily as the nature of God’s relationship to creation as described in scripture. The Christian philosophical field can be considered to be simultaneously a subset of the broader philosophical field and also as distinct and homologous to it. As with the philosophical schools, within the field of Christian philosophy we find ascetic or spiritual practices coupled with the study of texts in the service of quieting the passions and putting an end to what they considered to be sin. Symbolic capital thus accrues to those individuals who exhibit a sustained and extreme form of self-mastery and who can claim an in-depth knowledge of scripture since scripture represented the divine teachings which made self-mastery, and thus salvation, possible.16 The social hierarchies of this field pervade Origen’s cosmology and soteriology, which is exactly what we would expect in a mythic system. According to Origen’s mythology, all rational beings – humans, angels, and demons – share the basic attribute of having an eternal soul. These were originally created in such a way that they were not essentially good but were constantly choosing the good. Origen held that all rational beings had free will, so the fall from this original state of being at one with God was the result of a choice to fall away. Angels, people, and demons form a single hierarchy in terms of how far they have turned from God. The embodied nature of humanity provides them with the opportunity for learning and regaining their original state of being, that is, their salvation. While on this path of redemption, humans are aided by angels and hindered by demons. The goal was to bring one’s soul into alignment with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit connected God to the rest of creation and was necessary for salvation. The Holy Spirit was a gift from God, but a gift that was reserved for members of the church. Only through engaging in asceticism and textual study within the context of the church could one improve his/her relationship to the Holy Spirit and to God and thus achieve salvation. So far, we can see that Origen’s cosmology is a sort of mythological justification for the existence of a Christian philosophical field that is distinct from the homologous Greek and Religion (London: Cassell, 2000) 190 – 208; and B.L. Mack, Myth and the Christian Nation: A Social Theory of Religion (RCSSCC; London: Equinox, 2008). 16 For the role of scripture in Origen’s soteriology, see K.J. Torjesen, Hermeneutical Procedure and Theological Method in Origen’s Exegesis (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1986); Dively Lauro, The Soul and Spirit of Scripture.

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Jewish fields. Certainly, Origen did not make up this theology from scratch, nor was he self-consciously trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. However, as a philosopher, the fact that he would accept such a cosmology as compelling and as “True” is hardly surprising, and it is in this context that we must analyse his theory of scripture. First, Origen saw the scriptures as set apart from other texts. Although Origen studied and taught Greek literature and philosophy, he understood the texts of the Old and New Testaments, which represented the teachings of Moses and Jesus respectively, to be unique in their appeal outside of their communities of origin.17 Origen also argued that the fulfillment of prophecies in both Testaments was proof of their divine nature. While some texts, such as the Shepherd of Hermas, might also be seen as somehow authoritative, Origen deferred to the common tradition of using only certain texts in the church. If a text was in general use, it was considered to be scripture; if not, it might be important, but it could not be scripture. The first part of Origen’s theory of scripture is that there exists a closed set of texts that should be studied in a special way and that should be incorporated into the liturgy. Again, this is not new with Origen, but we can see Origen’s arguments for the special nature of scriptural texts as a defense of, and justification for, the distinctly Christian philosophical field. The creation of a list of texts specific to the Christian community sets them apart from other philosophical schools. It also gave Christians a reason to view their position within the broader philosophical field as superior since (in their eyes) they alone studied texts of such great authority. Thus, what distinguished them as different also distinguished them as superior, at least in Origen’s eyes. One of the most distinctive features of Origen’s theory of scripture is that scripture signifies in three ways. There is the somatic level of meaning, the psychic level, and the pneumatic level.18 As has often been pointed out, these three levels correspond to three levels of advancement in human understanding. Just as with scripture, people can also be divided into somatic, psychic, and pneumatic categories based on their level of intellectual and spiritual advancement. Generally speaking, all non-Christians, and a great number of less educated Christians would fall within the category of the somatic or simple. Simple people can be edified even by the most literal reading of the scriptures, its somatic meaning. The psychic people are those Christians who have advanced somewhat in their understanding, but still are not ready to be introduced to the mysteries of scripture, its deepest layer of meaning. This last layer is reserved for the pneumatics, the most advanced, most educated, most devout Christians. It is the role of the teacher, as exegete, to know the level of his or her students and to present them with an

17 See for example Cels. 1.16 – 18. 18 For more on this, see Dively Lauro, The Soul and Spirit of Scripture.

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interpretation that meets their ability to understand.19 Origen’s theory of scriptural meaning is thus another structuring factor in the field of Christian philosophy. Fields are hierarchical by definition and Origen’s anthropology divides that field into three categories with each member striving for salvation, i. e., striving for a higher place in the hierarchy, by engaging in spiritual exercises and textual study. Origen would thus be in the most dominant position within this Christian philosophical field as he was the most learned, prolific, and famous teacher of his day. While there is a certain democratic aspect to this mythology in that anyone can theoretically achieve what Origen had achieved, the reality of access to education in the ancient world was such that only the elite would be likely to study scripture on their own and just a fraction of them would do so to a degree that Origen might consider necessary for achieving salvation. In bringing together Origen’s cosmology with his theory of scriptural interpretation, we can see a parallel function of the scriptural exegete with the Logos itself. Within the Trinity, God is completely separate and cannot be known except through the Logos.20 Origen’s didaskalos Christology attributes educational activity to the Logos in all of its various forms. The Logos takes away irrationality and makes people reasonable.21 It is the Holy Spirit that is required for understanding, but it is the teachings of the Logos that is the object of understanding. We thus have a sort of didaskalos Trinity in which God is the object of knowledge, the Logos teaches about God, and the Holy Spirit allows one to understand those teachings. Within the setting of the church or school, the teacher thus takes on the role of the Logos in teaching and s/he nurtures the development of the individual as one growing in the Holy Spirit. One gains knowledge of God through the presence of the Logos in scripture. As the incarnation of the Logos, Christ’s life and teachings are direct representations of the Logos. Since, according to Origen, Hebrew scriptures prefigure Christ, they also contribute to understanding God through the Logos. By engaging scriptures with understanding, one comes to participate in the Christian mysteries. Here we see the sacramental nature of Origen’s theory of scripture. He claims that one can come into contact with divinity through 19 For the importance of the pedagogical and rhetorical concept of accommodation to Origen’s own practices see D. Satran, “Pedagogy and Deceit in the Alexandrian Theological Tradition”, in R.J. Daly (ed.), Origeniana Quinta: Historica, Text and Method, Biblica, Philosophica, Theologica, Origenism and Later Developments: Papers of the 5th International Origen Congress, Boston College, 14 – 18 August 1989 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1992) 119 – 24; S. Hong, “Origen’s Rhetoric as a Means to the Formation of the Christian Self” (Ph.D. diss., Claremont Graduate University, 2004); and M.S.M. Scott, “Guarding the Mysteries of Salvation: The Pastoral Pedagogy of Origen’s Universalism”, JECS 18.3 (2010) 347 – 68. 20 K.J. Torjesen, “The Logos Incarnate and Origen’s Exegesis of the Gospel”, in R. Hanson/H. Crouzel (ed.), Origeniana Tertia: The Third International Colloquium for Origen Studies: University of Manchester September 7th-11th, 1985 (Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo, 1985) 28 – 41. 21 Comm. Jo. 1.42

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studying texts. Knowledge is acquired through stages, and only parts of the true meaning of God’s teachings are revealed to the uninitiated. This interaction between the Logos and the reader or auditor of scripture is, of course, transformative and brings one closer to salvation. One cannot experience the Logos outside of scriptures – only the written word bears the Word. Even Christian rituals do not present such an opportunity. One begins a relationship with the Holy Spirit at baptism, but neither in baptism nor in the Eucharist does Origen see people as engaging with the Logos. In fact, Origen textualises the Eucharist by suggesting that the bread and wine point to the virtues taught in the scripture; he interprets the ritual allegorically.22 Origen rhetorically constructs sacred texts as sacred objects and interpretation as an efficacious ritual that transforms the listener. In so doing, Origen also argues for a hieratic role for the teacher. Origen is thus both in a position that is analogous to that of the Logos and in a position that is analogous to a priest. In both instances he is clearly positioning himself above the other members of his community. This is exemplified well in Origen’s Fourth Homily on Numbers. Here Origen is commenting on Num 3:39 – 4:49 in which the Kohathites are designated to be the bearers of the most sacred objects of the tabernacle, but only after those objects have been covered by the priest. Translating this to the context of the church, Origen says: If someone is truly a priest, to whom the sacred vessels, that is, the mysteries of wisdom, have been entrusted, let him learn from these things and take heed to guard these things inside the veil of his conscience. He should not be too ready to show them in public. But if circumstances demand that he show these things to the inferior, that is, to transmit them to the ignorant, he should not show them uncovered. Let him not display them in an open and completely exposed way ; otherwise he commits murder and ‘destroys the clan.’ For everyone is cut off who touches the secret things and the ineffable sacraments.23

In Origen’s interpretation, the teachings of the scriptures become the sacred vessels and the teacher becomes the priest, mediating the relationship between God and the community. Origen does not mean that the teacher is literally a priest, but metaphorically. He applies the language of sacraments, rituals, and priests to acts of scriptural interpretation, practices that were the purview not of priests but of philosophers. This appropriation of ritualistic discourse for textual practices has implications for how Christianity relates to other philosophical systems, but also for how Christian philosophers, such as Origen, relate to the bishops, who were in charge of rituals within the community. While it is true that bishops 22 See L. Lies, Wort und Eucharistie bei Origenes: zur Spiritualisierungstendenz des Euchartistieverständnisses (Vienna: Innsbruck, 1978). 23 Hom. Num. 4.3

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were also in charge of teaching, it is clear that Origen does not consider their understanding of scripture as equivalent to that enjoyed by philosophers with his level of virtuosity, unless they themselves also happen to be philosophers. Origen, though committed to the church, was also a provocateur, who situated the Christian philosopher above those holding positions of authority within the church. Origen’s privileging of the philosopher over church officials is nicely captured in his 20th Homily on Luke in which Origen describes the relationship between Jesus and his father, Joseph: If Jesus, the son of God, is subject to Joseph and Mary, shall I not be subject to the bishop? God appointed him father to me. Shall I not be subject to the presbyter, whom the Lord’s choice set over me? I think Joseph understood that Jesus, who was subject to him, was greater than he. He knew that the one subject to him was greater than he and, out of reverence, restrained his authority. So each one should realize that often a lesser man is put in charge of better men. Sometimes it happens that he who is subject is better than he who appears to be in authority. Once someone who enjoys a higher position understands this, he will not be lifted up in pride by the fact that he is greater. He will know that a better one is subject to himself, just as Jesus was subject to Joseph.24

Here, Origen makes it explicit that true authority does not come with office, but with virtuosity as a Christian philosopher. Philosophers, who allegorically mimicked priests through their interpretive practices, offered a path to salvation that could not come through engaging in actual rituals. Origen was a man of the church, was subject to the bishops, and was even made a presbyter, but he clearly saw his philosophical work as of greater significance for the salvation of others. By claiming a power for intellectual practices that was traditionally reserved for ritual practices, Origen is making a claim not just for the power of scripture but for the power of the Christian philosopher vis-—-vis religious officials presiding over the sacraments. None of these figures were priests in any traditional sense (i. e., none of them actually presided over sacrifices). In the struggle for authority within the Christian community, Origen drew on the authoritative position of priests in scripture to buttress the position of philosophers by linking the two allegorically. Through his exegesis (or eisegesis depending on how you look at it) Origen produces a mythological framework that allows for the transformation of the religious field of cultural production into one in which philosophers dominate and textual practices take precedence over ritual practices. Origen’s theology of scripture and his description of textual practices in terms borrowed from the religious field can thus be seen as a dramatically powerful form of symbolic labour with grave implications for the transformation of religion in Late Antiquity. 24 Hom. Luc. 20.5

Andrew B. McGowan

Rehashing the Leftovers of Idols Cyprian and Early Christian Constructions of Sacrifice

Stories of Sacrifice It was quite possible for Christians of the earliest centuries to be regarded by others as “non-sacrificers”, as Stanley Stowers put it not very long ago.1 The fact that Christians did not participate in sacrifice, at least as generally understood by their Greco-Roman contemporaries, was a key factor in the struggle between Christianity and Roman society before Constantine; a different resolution of this cultic tension was a necessary condition of the emergence of the Church as imperial religion in the fourth century. An alternative but related view, ancient and modern, interprets the early Christian approach to sacrificial cultus as more positive, but “spiritual” in focus rather than material. Scholars such as Frances Young and Robert Daly have suggested that despite not practising it, Christians found sacrifice “good to think with”, drawing in particular on the cultic traditions of the Jerusalem Temple and the Jewish scriptures to reflect on various aspects of their own belief and practice, while rejecting literal cultic offerings.2 There have however been recent proposals both for dispensing with “spiritualisation” and for appropriate caution around supposed Christian rejection of sacrifice. Jonathan Klawans has argued that Christianity “sacrificialises” its spiritual realities rather than the reverse.3 Daniel Ullucci’s suggestion that sacrifice is a subject of cultural competition also offers a significant clue for the on-going task of re-describing sacrificial controversies in late antiquity.4 If sacrifice was indeed contested in the late ancient world, it has also become 1 S. Stowers, “Greeks Who Sacrifice and Those Who Do Not: Toward an Anthropology of Greek Religion”, in L.M. White/O.L. Yarbrough (ed.), The Social World of the First Christians: Essays in Honor of Wayne A. Meeks (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1995) 293 – 333. 2 F.M. Young, The Use of Sacrificial Ideas in Greek Christian Writers from the New Testament to John Chrysostom (PMS 5; Cambridge, Mass.: Philadelphia Patristic Foundation, 1979); R.J. Daly, Christian Sacrifice: The Judaeo-Christian Background before Origen (CUASCA 18; Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1978). 3 J. Klawans, “Interpreting the Last Supper: Sacrifice, Spiritualization, and Anti-Sacrifice”, NTS 48 (2002) 1 – 17. 4 D.C. Ullucci, The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

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increasingly contested in contemporary historical, sociological, and theological discourse. One key challenge is the relationship between ancient and modern interpretive frameworks, as Klawans in particular points out in separating contemporary supersessionist interpretation from ancient theory and practice. The theological connection is also the subject of Marcel Detienne’s suggestion that the sociological tradition from Robertson Smith through Emile Durkheim is captive to a crypto-Christian mythology, wherein themes of abnegation and communion with the divine are “found” across various periods and cultures even when not really present in evidence for ancient cultus.5 To re-describe sacrifice is then arguably to re-theorise it also; and one of the conditions necessary for more adequate description and theory is recognition that the categories themselves, ancient and modern, are not only contested but constructed and fluid. Early Christianity does not merely appropriate or reject or spiritualise sacrifice (or not), but changes the meaning of the sacrifice even in contesting it. This process of change is exemplified in the thoughts of Cyprian of Carthage and his use of both biblical and traditional Roman sacrificial ideas and motifs in addressing the crises of his own situation, where food and drink, the “cuisine of sacrifice,” often played a significant part.

Sacrifice and the NT Writings Cultic language is of course used in relation to various forms of Christian practice from the earliest accessible times; early Christian writers (notably but not exclusively Paul) refer to the ritual of the Day of Atonement, the whole burnt offering, and Passover in interpreting the significance of Jesus’ death. Elsewhere Paul makes use of images related to various cultic offerings relevant to his readers’ experience of Greco-Roman religion, such as libations (Phil 2:17; cf. 2 Tim 4:6) or the fragrance of incense or of a burnt offering (Phil 4:18; cf. Eph 5:2), to refer to his own or their experience. These instances however all involve the juxtaposition of historic, literal cultus with other referents – it is this metaphorical interaction that has often been problematically called “spiritualisation”. A different sort of connection appears even in these same very early documents in reference to the sacred meals of the early Christians. Were these “sacrifices”? Paul’s discussion of the communal meal at Corinth (1 Cor 8 – 11) ultimately does not answer the question, but draws on a characteristically

5 M. Detienne, “Culinary Practices and the Spirit of Sacrifice”, in J.P. Vernant/M. Detienne (ed.), The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989) 1 – 20.

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broad set of images and associations from both the Jewish Temple cultus and practices more familiar to gentile Corinthians from local temples.6 Paul argues that the meal is a sort of communion in the offering of a unique victim: “The cup of blessing that we bless [is] a sharing in the blood of Christ … The bread that we break … a sharing in the body of Christ … ” (1 Cor 10:16). An analogy is drawn with the Jerusalem cultus, not in relation to victims or offerings as such but with regard to the effect of sharing among participants: “Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?” (10:18). The Christians’ sharing in the cup and bread of their meal is a “participation” in the body and blood of Christ, in the same sense that worshippers at the Jerusalem temple are participants in the “altar”, a sort of metonymy for all the cultus involves. This is not “spiritualisation” – nor arguably “sacrificialisation” – since the meal that is the central practice around which this interpretation forms is already part of the same world of signification that includes sacrifice. Paul does not use one thing as metaphor to interpret another, different or unlike thing; the two are already in a kind of organic relationship. So just as “sacrifice” is not one single reality but a construct we produce by interpreting and theorising as well as describing ancient material, so too the early Christian engagement with or use of cultic traditions was not a single or simple process; the possibilities of using Jewish and “pagan” ideas and practices were not identical, nor was every aspect of Christian thought and practice that invited theorising identically amenable to such connections; a death, a life, a meal, each attracted or clashed with different elements of the comparison. In the case of the Eucharist there is arguably a distinct trajectory, or set of trajectories, that cannot be reduced to being part of a single Christian history of cultic reflection or theorisation. There are many Christians of the second and third centuries whose anxiety about Greco-Roman cultus and its “cuisine of sacrifice” was manifest in wineless Eucharists.7 While writers such as Justin and Irenaeus continue to make more positive use of sacrificial connections in considering the Eucharist, they do so in terms at least as strongly tied to Jewish tradition and the Jerusalem cult as those used by Paul.8 Greco-Roman religion was generally viewed as the preserve of demons, parallels with Eucharistic meals, a matter of theft and imitation rather than of analogy. 6 We should read Paul’s discussion of Christian meals in a context going back at least to ch. 8, where he answers the Corinthians’ question about eating eido¯lothuta; there he seeks to affirm the object unreality of the pagan deities while mandating avoidance of pagan sacrificial foods for the sake of those who do not have the “knowledge” of this truth. 7 A.B. McGowan, Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals (OECS; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999). 8 McGowan, “Eucharist And Sacrifice: Cultic Tradition And Transformation In Early Christian Ritual Meals”, in M. Klinghardt/H. Taussig (ed.), Mahl und religiöse Identität im frühen Christentum (TANZ 56; Tübingen: Francke, 2012) 191 – 206.

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Cyprian and Sacrifice There is no single more important Christian theorist of sacrifice in the first few centuries than Cyprian of Carthage. Cyprian became a Christian c. 245, was a presbyter in the Church in 247, and bishop in 248.9 His status as a wealthy member of the local Roman elite influenced this rapid rise, but also equipped him with a knowledge of civic and cultic practices that contributed to his own significant re-theorising both of sacrifice and of aspects of Christian practice in terms of each other. Cyprian has been recognised as identifying Christian liturgical and organisational categories in cultic terms, in what is up to this point a uniquely strong way. This is all the more remarkable given that the universal sacrifice required under the regime of Decius (248 – 51) was a mechanism of persecuting Christians. In his recent study Cyprian and Roman Carthage, Allen Brent makes a strong case for seeing Cyprian’s construction of his authority over and against rival factions in the Church as having a cultic and civic character, with space as the key medium. Brent compares the “space” of Cyprian’s Church – still the community or organisation, not any particular building – with the area of a city bounded by a pomerium, the bishop’s cathedra at the centre functioning as a magistrate’s sella.10 The Eucharist however also has a place in Cyprian’s civic and cultic schema. Ullucci has pointed to the way Cyprian’s Eucharistic theorising helps to undergird his claims to episcopal authority.11 Writers prior to Cyprian had regarded the Eucharistic meal as a sacrifice, perhaps even literally, but in all cases extant make explicit sense of Christian practice as a successor to Jewish cultus, and interpret it as a bloodless grain offering like those of Leviticus 2.12 Cyprian’s uniqueness as a sacrificial theoriser therefore lies not only in the extent of and the literal character of his cultic identifications, but the ready use of Roman civic and cultic assumptions, as well as of biblical traditions, in this process. In what follows I will discuss two key texts that exemplify Cyprian’s sacrificial agenda: the first, De Lapsis (251), emphasises the solid food of sacrifices, both imperial and Christian; the second, his Letter 63 to Caecilius from 253, is provoked by a controversy about appropriate Eucharistic and cultic drink. 9 J.P. Burns, Jr., Cyprian the Bishop (RECM; New York: Routledge, 2002). 10 See A. Brent, Cyprian and Roman Carthage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 59 – 63; J.B. Rives, Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage: from Augustus to Constantine (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 46 – 52. 11 Ullucci, The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice, 113 – 8. 12 See further on this McGowan, “Eucharist And Sacrifice”.

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De Lapsis and the Leftovers of Idols In De Lapsis, written shortly after the end of the Decian persecution in 251, Cyprian hails the martyrs as heroes of a Christian res publica, depicting them in particular as victorious soldiers engaging in a triumphal sacrifice. We happily watch confessors, distinguished by the heralding of their reputation and glorified by the praise of virtue and of faith; clinging to them with holy kisses, we embrace them, long awaited as they are, with insatiable passion. Here is the whiterobed cohort of Christ’s soldiers, who by firm resistance held out in the fierce battle of an energetic persecution, equipped for enduring prison, and armed for dealing with death. You have repelled the present age bravely, you have provided a glorious spectacle for God, you have been an example for brothers to follow (De Lapsis 2).

Each element of this imagined procession juxtaposes imperial ritual spurned with Christian ritual embraced; white robes of baptism or martyrdom imply soldiers’ garb; their voices have hailed Christ as true leader. Instead of the veils of Roman sacrifice, they are crowned with the sign of God, the baptismal consignation. Hands have resisted performing sacrificia sacrilega and lips have spurned the leftovers of idols, but instead they have been sanctified by the body and blood of the Lord. These are welcomed by mother Church, personified as a city who opens her gates; this Church is a not a building but a personification, comparable to the Ceres or Tanit figure on Carthage’s own Ara Pacis at that Capitol where the sacrifices had taken place.13 Although two systems of polity or religion are here compared, one imperial and one Christian, the character of the comparison is itself profoundly Roman. Each comparison of the elements of a literal Christian ritual practice with features of the metaphorical triumph is determined by the equivalent in the civic or imperial system, which thus appears twice: first implicitly and neutrally, as the framework for the rhetorical comparison, and then explicitly but malevolently as the demonic opponent of Christian practice.14 Cyprian’s point about Roman religion is thus ambivalent, for all its venom: on the one hand, its content is the enemy triumphed over, but its structure is an ally hosting the victory celebration. Both animal sacrifice and offerings of incense seem to have been involved in the Decian sacrificial program. In Cyprian’s own account, the culinary aspect is emphasised, not least because it provides implicit or explicit contrasts 13 Brent, Cyprian and Roman Carthage, 31 – 4; B.S. Spaeth, “The Goddess Ceres in the Ara Pacis Augustae and the Carthage Relief”, AJA 94 (1994) 65 – 100. 14 On the changing relationship between these systems and symbols in Carthage at the time, see Rives, Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage, 248 – 51; Brent, Cyprian and Roman Carthage, 145 – 6.

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between good sacrificial food, the Eucharist, and bad sacrificial food, the “leftovers of idols”. So he contrasts “the Lord’s bread and cup” (cibum et poculum domini) from which the faithless rushed to consume the profana contagia (De Lapsis 9) and then also refers to “dangerous food” (feralibus cibis) (10). Foods continue to feature as Cyprian goes on to describe, in terms which expose further the link between sacrifice and meal, the treacherous Christian participants in Roman cultus who have returned to the Church: Returning from the altars of the devil (a diaboli aris), they draw near to the holy place of the Lord (sanctum Domini), with hands filthy and reeking with smell, still almost breathing of the plague-bearing idol-meats (idolorum cibos); and even with jaws still exhaling their crime, and reeking with the fatal contact, they intrude on the body of the Lord, although the sacred Scripture stands in their way, and cries, saying, “Every one that is clean shall eat of the flesh; and whatever soul eats of the flesh of the saving sacrifice, which is the Lord’s, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from his people” (15).

Cyprian here narrates a dietary and religious story, juxtaposing cultic elements as in the triumphant correlation of chapter 2, of which the characters themselves are unaware. Gluttonous traitors who had rushed to the Capitol literally to sacrifice feature now as sacrificial victims rather than feasting participants: “Why bring with you, wretched man, a sacrifice? Why immolate a victim? You yourself have come to the altar as an offering; you yourself have come as a victim: there you have immolated your salvation, your hope … ” (8).15 The lapsed thus become not merely spiritual casualties but, continuing the culinary element already established, praeda et cibus for the serpent, the devil (11).16 These references make clear that sacrifice was not, despite some theoretical constructs to the contrary, solely about slaughter, but about eating. The power of Cyprian’s counter-point of the Eucharistic meal depends on how each of these competing ritual structures is literally visceral. Although Roman religion is both alien opponent and influential model here, Ullucci is right to suggest the significance of Cyprian’s sacrificial contestation in De Lapsis is at least in part to do with inner-Christian issues; having himself hidden during the persecution, Cyprian seeks to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation by claiming for himself the role of sacrificial theorist, revealing the true meaning of the martyrs’ return and the lapsed failure by episcopal authority. The word-picture of De Lapsis assumes however a real conflict over food and eating; the Decian measures required actual sacrificial performance, often 15 quid hostiam tecum, miser, quid uictimam supplicaturus inportas? ipse ad aram hostia, victima ipse uenisti, immolasti illic salutem tuam, spem tuam … . 16 24 – idol food is sceleratus cibus – 24 – 26 have horror stories about the encounter between those who had eaten such food and the eucharist.

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including the ingestion of the sacred food. Cyprian regards the “body of the Lord” as an alternative and heavenly (but concrete) alternative to the flesh of animal victims.

Letter 63: Turning Wine in Water Cyprian’s Letter 63 is a more extended discussion of the Eucharistic meal itself, and in fact the first lengthy discussion of the Eucharist that survives from antiquity altogether ; its focus on the character of the Eucharist centres on the problem of Christians in Numidia who are using only water in the cup of the sacred meal. Arguing for the necessity of certain features of the celebration and notably the use of wine, Cyprian appeals to the character of the meal as a sacrifice as the basis for fidelity to a tradition that comes through continuity of cultic practice from the Jerusalem Temple via the Last Supper. There are no fewer than eighteen references to the Eucharist – or to the Last Supper as its model – as “sacrifice” in this brief document. Jesus is for Cyprian the historical “founder and teacher (auctor et doctor) of this sacrifice” which is the Eucharist. Fidelity to Jesus’ historic example is sought not only because of the dominical command to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19), but because such stability and fidelity is the inherent logic of Greco-Roman (and Jewish) cultus, where founders and sacrifices must correspond; to perform sacrifice is to perpetuate a tradition whose continuity assures the reality and stability of the city itself.17 Concern for proper ritual practice is common to Jewish and Roman cultic traditions, but the implicit claim to the right to prescribe might again be missed – this of course Cyprian makes for himself. Here more explicitly than in De Lapsis an inner-Christian context is involved, and Cyprian’s authority as hierophant is the sub-text. It is intriguing and important that the presenting ritual issue for Letter 63 is the use of water rather than of wine in the Eucharistic cup. Along with meat, wine formed what Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant have called “the cuisine of sacrifice”, and was fundamental to the proper observance of sacrificial ritual.18 The use of wine in libations was regarded as universal; questions about whether something was actually “wine”, and whether it could be libated, were interdependent.19 This logic is structurally present in Cyprian’s argument, and inferred by his 17 Thus the suggestive study of N.B. Jay, Throughout Your Generations Forever : Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 18 M. Detienne/J.P. Vernant, The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989). 19 See Philostratus, Vita Apollonii 2.6 – 7.

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regular references in the letter to the Eucharist as a sacrifice (which should, by implication, involve wine). However the struggle over participation in Roman cultus that was the background of De Lapsis prevents Cyprian from drawing from such wider cultural practice, except implicitly. Explicitly however Cyprian resorts to biblical precedent for his discourse about the appropriate content of the cup. He uses the familiar logic of typology in seeking various biblical exempla for use of wine, including Noah (Letter 63.3), Abraham, and Melchisedek (63.4) who actually precede the “founding” act of the Last Supper historically, but are seen through typological reasoning as dependent on the action of Christ which would ultimately reveal their meaning. In the process, Cyprian’s logic suggests that the use of wine in the cup has a place in the structure of reality more fundamental than one single historical act, to the point of being naturalised. Implicitly, wine is to be used not only because of the specific command at the Last Supper, but because this is just how sacrifice works. Cyprian’s strategy, then, is to make specific and literal sacrificial identifications of the concrete elements of the Eucharistic celebration. What may be less apparent, but is just as crucial, is the likelihood that his wide array of sacrificial images and ideas is implicitly drawn from the Roman milieu as much as from Jewish and biblical tradition. The casting of Jesus in the role of founder of a cult, the use of what was generally accepted as appropriate sacrificial drink and libation, and the role of presider as sacerdos, are all more comprehensible with Roman civic religion in general, and the imperial cult in particular. This serves as an implicit backdrop that looms just as large as the explicit typological reflections in which Cyprian looks to Jerusalem and its textual precursors.20 While this is cultural baggage that Cyprian brings with him as an adult convert from among the Carthaginian honestiores, it reflects the civic significance of Roman sacrifice in establishing power relations in society. Just as the imperial cult undergirds the structure and unity of Roman society and the status of its priests, the Christian cult now presents and creates the structure and unity of the Church and the power of the bishop, themes dear to Cyprian.

Conclusion These fulsome “sacrificialisations” of the sacral meals of the Christians, complete with the priestly authority and interpretation of their bishop Cyprian himself, involve cultic discourse as a means of solidifying power 20 See however the cautionary dialogue about the imperial cult and its coherence (or lack thereof) in J. Brodd/J.L. Reed, (ed.), Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (SBLWGRWSup 5; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011).

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within the Christian community reeling after the Decian persecution, but also compete conceptually with imperial attempts at what was literally termed “sacrificialising” the Christians. The process of establishing conformity to the practice of civic and imperial religion was yet another way of overcoming the anomaly of the apparent nonsacrificers, either by the ordered and expected processes of making offerings – after which the compliant apostates were referred to as actually “sacrificati” – or through the more drastic means of making them into actual offerings, in processes of literal violence. While Cyprian does depict the Christian sacrifice as a direct and concrete historical successor to the Levitical cultus, aspects of his cultic understanding are drawn from contemporary Roman religion. In De Lapsis his juxtaposition of the sacrifice and triumph of the returning martyrs depends on the civic ritual of the Roman colonia; in Letter 63 he uses a sort of cultic common sense about the use of wine and the necessity of ritual fidelity for any sacrifice. These formulations are certainly the most thorough and positive engagement with Roman religion evinced by any Christian theorist up to this time. As always however the process of describing and theorising sacrifice is in play with the changing character of the rituals themselves. Cyprian is making a remarkable contribution to the development of Eucharistic theology ; but more remarkable may be that Cyprian is contributing to the transformation of sacrifice itself, in practice as well as in theory, from classical animal slaughter to Christian sacramental liturgy. This theoretical achievement was therefore something new, and not just the refreshment or appropriation of the old; but while lauding those who had spurned the leftovers of idols, Cyprian had in his own way done quite an effective job of cleaning the plates himself.

II: Ritual Space and Practice

Gregg E. Gardner

Competitive Giving in the Third Century CE Early Rabbinic Approaches to Greco-Roman Civic Benefaction

Introduction1 The importance of religion and competition to life in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean is exemplified by acts of euergetism, whereby benefactors gave gifts to a city and were rewarded with counter-gifts that marked honour and status. In light of programmatic statements by ancient Jewish writers denouncing Greco-Roman urban culture’s emphasis on wealth, status, and social competition, scholars have explored whether (and if so, how) Jews engaged with euergetism. They have examined the topic among sources for the late-antique Jewish Diaspora, in Palestinian texts from the Hellenistic and early Roman eras (i. e., the late Second Temple era, up to 70 CE), and in later Amoraic rabbinic texts (late fourth–fifth century CE).2 While scholarly discourse has rightly moved beyond the simplistic bifurcation of Judaism and 1 This paper draws upon and revises a portion of my dissertation, G.E. Gardner, “Giving to the Poor in Early Rabbinic Judaism”, (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 2009). I thank my dissertation adviser, Peter Schäfer, and committee members, Martha Himmelfarb and Ann Marie Luijendijk, for their many helpful comments on the original dissertation. Earlier versions of this paper were delivered at the Religious Competition in the Third Century CE session of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2010 and at the Center for Jewish Studies of Harvard University where I was a Starr Fellow in 2009 – 10. I would like to thank the editors of this volume, the anonymous referees, Carey A. Brown, Shaye J.D. Cohen, and Eric Nelson for their helpful comments. I alone am responsible for any remaining errors. Unless otherwise noted, all translations of rabbinic texts are my own. 2 On the Diaspora, see T. Rajak, “Jews as Benefactors”, in A. Oppenheimer/B.H. Isaac (ed.), Te’uda 12: Studies on the Jewish Diaspora in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods (Tel Aviv : Tel Aviv University Press, 1996) 17 – 37; I cite from the version reprinted as “Benefactors in the GrecoJewish Diaspora”, in T. Rajak (ed.), The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Leiden: Brill, 2001) 373 – 89. For euergetism in Hellenistic and early Roman Palestinian texts (i. e. late Second Temple era), see Gardner, “Jewish Leadership and Hellenistic Civic Benefaction in the Second Century B.C.E.”, JBL 126 (2007) 327 – 43; M. Goodman, The Ruling Class of Judaea: The Origins of the Jewish Revolt against Rome, A.D. 66 – 70 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 64 – 5, 101, 125 – 9; S. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 284 – 7; idem, “Euergetism in Josephus and the Epigraphic Culture of First-Century Jerusalem”, in H.M. Cotton/ et al. (ed.), From Hellenism to Islam: Cultural and Linguistic Change in the Roman Near East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) 75 – 92; idem, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient Judaism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010) – which also examines euergetism in Amoraic texts.

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Hellenism, and how one “influenced” another, these studies have shown that euergetism remains an area in which traditions of Hellenic and Israelite origin required creative tinkering in order to coalesce.3 This paper seeks to fill a lacuna in scholarship by examining euergetism in Tannaitic or early rabbinic texts – the earliest works of rabbinic Judaism, which were redacted in Roman Palestine in the third century CE. How did Tannaitic texts engage with euergetism and how do they compare with other Jewish sources from the Greco-Roman world? I find that these texts engage with forms of euergetism that were altered and adapted to address interests and suit sensibilities that were characteristically rabbinic. In particular, the Tannaim removed euergetism from its Greco-Roman moorings in competition for the honour and public recognition that is projected by visible, material objects. They relocated it into a matrix of ideas and values that were central to rabbinic thought – such as piety and observance of biblical commandments, rewarding the righteous, divine justice, and care for the poor.

Euergetism, Competition, and Jewish Ideals Euergetism is a neologism created from the wording of Greek honorific decrees that recognised a benefactor (euergete¯s) of a city.4 Euergetism was ubiquitous from the fifth century BCE onwards throughout the Greekspeaking world and was defined by a remarkably consistent set of features. An individual would personally finance construction projects, public games, fortifications or other forms of defence, the maintenance of local cults, or other items central to civic life. In return, the benefactor would be recognised for his/her contribution with a counter-gift, the most characteristic of which was an honorary decree passed by the local body politic that recounted the benefactor’s contribution and bestowed honours on him/her. The decree would then be inscribed on a stele and placed in a central location. The honours set forth in the decree were often accompanied by other counter-gifts such as a statue in his or her image, objects made of gold or silver (e. g., a crown), or a seat of honour at games and festivals. All of this was intended to aggrandise the benefactor, elevate his/her social standing, and encourage 3 On breaking down the false bifurcation of Judaism and Hellenism, see among others Gardner, “Jewish Leadership”, 327 – 43; E.S. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1998); M. Himmelfarb, “Judaism and Hellenism in 2 Maccabees”, PT 19 (1998) 19 – 40; K.L. Osterloh, “The Reinvention of Judean Collective Identity in a Hellenistic World Contending with Rome” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 2007). On the problems with “influence,” see P. Schäfer, Mirror of His Beauty: Feminine Images of God from the Bible to the Early Kabbalah (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 229 – 35. 4 P. Veyne, Bread and Circuses: Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism (London: Penguin, 1992), 10.

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others to give. Euergetism was a means to gain or maintain authority and influence in Greco-Roman cities; kings, for example, were benefactors par excellence.5 An important aspect of euergetism was social competition. Paul Veyne writes that Hellenistic decrees ascribe benefaction “… to emulation or competition (philotimia) among good citizens who want to distinguish themselves and be honoured for having rendered some service to the city.”6 Similarly, Guy Rogers writes that benefactions were seen as part of a competition for institutionally rewarded titles and privileges.7 There were two types of competition, one between rival cities (and their respective elites) and another between individuals within a single locale. The latter would establish one’s local identity and place within the city’s social hierarchy. Competition was “unremitting” as elites sought to outdo the benefactions of one another and capture the status that came with it. Jill Harries writes that public acknowledgement was “… an essential part of the confirmation of status in the highly pressurised environment of aristocratic competition for honours and office”.8 Martin Goodman calls it a “rivalry for honours”.9 Indeed, social competition served as a powerful motivation for would-bebenefactors to invest in a particular type of contribution. We see this, for example, in public building activities, where benefactors were motivated by competition for local and regional status to fund certain construction projects. Similarly, in funding games, Romans tried to outdo each other with the content of the games that they staged as well as the venues that they created.10 The role of competition for public honours posed significant problems to Jewish ideals. Writers such as Philo and Josephus stake out ideological positions that abhorred the pursuit of earthly, material honours, including those gained through competitive giving.11 I will return to their views later, though for now I note that these writers understood euergetism as incompatible with the pursuit of piety and obedience to God. Instead, leaders 5 Veyne, Bread and Circuses, 102 – 8, 122 – 9. On kings as civic benefactors, see K. Bringmann, “The King as Benefactor : Some Remarks on Ideal Kingship in the Age of Hellenism”, in A. Bulloch/et al. (ed.), Images and Ideologies: Self-Definition in the Hellenistic World (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1993) 7 – 24. 6 Veyne, Bread and Circuses, 108. 7 G.M. Rogers, “Demosthenes of Oenoanda and Models of Euergetism”, JRS 81 (1991) 91 – 100, on p. 98. 8 J. Harries, “Favor populi: Pagans, Christians and Public Entertainment in Late Antique Italy”, in K. Lomas/T. Cornell (ed.), Bread and Circuses: Euergetism and Municipal Patronage in Roman Italy (London: Routledge, 2003) 125 – 41, on p. 128. 9 Goodman, Ruling Class of Judaea, 101. 10 C. Holleran, “The Development of Public Entertainment Venues in Rome and Italy”, in Lomas/ Cornell, Bread and Circuses 46 – 60, on p. 52. 11 Josephus Ag. Ap. 2.73 – 4, 205, 217 – 18; Philo Decal. 1.4 – 7, in which he denounces the pursuit of “empty appearances of distinction” in Greco-Roman civic life; see the discussion in Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 373.

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of society ought to be chosen by their commitment to piety (e. g., the priesthood), as opposed to their material resources. As such, Goodman writes that Judeans did not – ideally, at least – see a direct link between wealth and social prestige, as the highest status in Jewish society belonged to the priests, whose standing was not based on wealth.12 Moreover, euergetism retained some elements of pagan religiosity and rewards such as giving the benefactor statues in his/her image, which clashed with the Second Commandment prohibiting idolatry.13 Thus, Tessa Rajak, Goodman, and Seth Schwartz have illuminated how Diaspora and Second Temple-era Palestinian Jews, and the Amoraim, adapted euergetism in ways that circumvented aspects of GrecoRoman urban culture that were antithetical to Jewish ideals.

Euergetism in Early Rabbinic Literature Early rabbinic literature contains no programmatic or abstract denunciations of euergetism like those by Philo and Josephus.14 Tannaitic attitudes, however, can be gleaned by examining key texts on benefaction. Two in particular stand out as engagements with euergetism: chapter three of m. Yoma, which discusses contributions to the Jerusalem Temple, and t. Peah 4:18, a narrative on King Munbaz’s relief of a famine. Mishnah Yoma 3 discusses a number of contributions made to the Temple, such as the Parvah chamber, which was used for purification and named for its Persian benefactor (m. Yoma 3:3, 3:6).15 A certain Ben Gamla donated gold lots to be used on Yom Kippur that replaced those made of boxwood. In return, “they remembered him with praise (m. Yoma 3:9).”16 Likewise, in m. Yoma 3:10: 12 Goodman, Ruling Class of Judaea, 126. 13 In addition, it was common for the local council to grant the title of “saviour” to the benefactor, which would have been inconsistent with Jewish notions of Messianism. This wording was altered for Jewish idiosyncrasies in the honorific decree for Simon the Hasmonean; see Gardner, “Jewish Leadership”, 336. On the Second Commandment in the Second Temple era, see L.I. Levine, Visual Judaism in Late Antiquity : Historical Contexts of Jewish Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 31 – 65. 14 This is likewise true for the Yerushalmi; see Schwartz, Were the Jews, 129. 15 While N.S. Cohn, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) does not address these passages in particular, his broader conclusions (esp. pp. 55 – 6, 119 – 22) that mishnaic depictions of the Temple and its rituals are largely fictitious (as they were constructed in ways that supported rabbinic claims to authority) cast doubt on the reliability of m. Yoma 3 as a source for the Second Temple era. I follow Cohn in examining these passages as products of their third-century CE rabbinic redactors. Cf. N. Greenfield/S. Fine, “‘Remembered for Praise’: Some Ancient Sources on Benefaction to Herod’s Temple”, Images 2 (2008) 166 – 71. 16 Similar formulations, such as “remembered for good” are found in T. Naph. 8:5 and Byzantineera synagogue inscriptions; see M.L. Satlow, “Giving for a Return: Jewish Votive Offerings in

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Ben Qatin made twelve spigots for the laver,17 which previously had only two; and he also made a machine for the laver,18 so that its waters would not become unfit [by remaining] overnight. Munbaz the king made all the handles of the vessels for the Day of Atonement out of gold. His mother Heleni made a candlestick of gold, [which was placed] over the doorway of the Holy ;19 and she also made a tablet of gold, on which the portion of The Suspected Adulteress20 was written. Miracles befell the doors of Nicanor ; and they remembered him with praise (m. Yoma 3:10).21

This pericope reflects Greco-Roman norms, whereby it was common for benefactors to contribute towards the local cult and receive recognition in return. As I discussed above, rewards given to a benefactor broadcasted his or her honour to the public at large through material media. Similar goals are pursued in m. Yoma 3:9 – 10, albeit by very different means. In particular, there are no material counter-gifts, no visible rewards that project status and promote social competition. Rather, in the Mishnah, the benefactors are rewarded by having their names remembered with praise (m. Yoma 3:9 – 10).

King Munbaz and Euergetism The second key text on Tannaitic approaches to euergetism is t. Peah 4:18: An event in which Munbaz the king went and squandered (:5:=5)22 his treasures during years of distress. His brothers sent [a letter] to him, “Your ancestors saved treasures and added to those of their ancestors. But you went and gave away all of your treasures – [both] yours and those of your ancestors!” He [Munbaz] said to them: “My ancestors saved treasures below, but I saved [treasures] above, as it is said: Faithfulness will spring up from the ground23 (Ps 85:12).”

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Late Antiquity”, in D. Brakke (ed.), Religion and the Self in Antiquity (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2005) 91 – 108. The basin used by priests in the Temple court to wash their hands and feet; see Exod 30:18 – 21. Notably, while the Temple had long been destroyed, the priest’s purification rituals remained a topic of interest not only to the rabbis, but also to early Christians; see Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 109 – 11. A wooden wheel used to sink the basin into a well; see M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (London: Luzac, 1903), 741. The hall of the Temple that contains the golden altar. Num 5:12 – 31. My translation is based on the Hebrew text of Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 2.231 – 2. MS Erfurt adds that he squandered “all” of his treasures “to his poor people.” MS Erfurt adds the continuation of the verse: … and righteousness will look down from the sky.

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“My ancestors saved treasures in a place in which a [human] hand rules, but I saved [treasures] in a place in which a [human] hand does not rule, as it is said: Righteousness (K7J) and justice are the base of Your throne; [steadfast love and faithfulness stand before You] (Ps 89:15).” “My ancestors saved treasures that do not yield interest (N9L=H), but I saved treasures that yield interest (N9L=H), as it is said: Hail the just man (K=7J), for he shall fare well; [He shall eat the fruit (=LH) of his works] (Isa 3:10).” “My ancestors saved treasures of money, but I saved treasures of lives/souls (N9MHD), as it is said: The fruit of the righteous (K=7J =LH) is a tree of life; a [wise man] captivates people (’MHD) (Prov 11:30).” “My ancestors saved treasures for others, but I saved treasures for myself, as it is said: … and it will be to your credit (8K7J) [before the Lord your God] (Deut 24:13).” “My ancestors saved treasures in this world, but I saved treasures for myself in the world-to-come, as it is said: Your Vindicator (ý=K7J) shall march before you (Isa 58:8)”24 (t. Peah 4:18).25

In this pericope, King Munbaz relieves a famine by giving away his treasures to those in need. Appalled that Munbaz would deplete the family fortune, his brothers write to him, contrasting his behaviour with that of their ancestors, who preserved the family fortune. Munbaz counters that the brothers misunderstand his actions – he is not squandering the family fortune, but rather saving it and adding to it. He distinguishes and elevates his actions from those of his ancestors in six ways, each of which is backed by a biblical proof text. Scholars have long noted that Munbaz in this and other classical rabbinic texts refers, however loosely, to the historical figure of Monobazus II. From Greek and Latin writings (e. g., Josephus, Dio Cassius, Tacitus), we learn that Monobazus II was part of a family that ruled the small kingdom of Adiabene in Babylonia during the first century CE.26 Notably, Josephus narrates how 24 MS Erfurt adds the continuation of the verse: the Presence of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 25 My translation is based on the Hebrew text of S. Lieberman, The Tosefta: According to Codex Vienna, with Variants from Codex Erfurt, Genizah Mss. and Editio Princeps (Venice 1521) (in Hebrew) (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1955 – 1988), 1.60. 26 N. Brüll, “Adiabene,” Jahrbücher für Jüdische Geschichte und Literatur 1 (1874) 58 – 86, on p. 76; J. Derenbourg, Essai sur l’histoire et la g¦ographie de la Palestine d’aprÀs les Thalmuds et les autres sources rabbiniques (Paris: Imprimerie Imperiale, 1867), 226 – 7; I.M. Gafni, “Giyyur malkhei hadyav (Adiabene) le’or hasifrut hatalmudit ”, Niv Hamidrashiah Spring – Summer (1971) 204 – 12, on pp. 209 – 11; idem, The Jews of Babylonia in the Talmudic Era: A Social and Cultural History (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center, 1990), 67 – 8; R. Kalmin, “The Adiabenian Royal Family in Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity”, in J. Roth (ed.), Tiferet leYisrael: Jubilee Volume in Honor of Israel Francus (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 2010) 61 – 77, on pp. 61 – 2; L.H. Schiffman, “The Conversion of the Royal House of Adiabene in

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Monobazus, together with his mother Helena and brother Izatus, converted to Judaism and made an offering at the Temple in Jerusalem. Moreover, Josephus relates how the family re-shaped Jerusalem’s landscape by financing construction projects (a palace, massive family tomb, etc.), and providing military support.27 The family’s munificence peaked in 46/47 CE when it arranged for and financed famine relief in Jerusalem following a drought – the “classic act of a Greek or Roman evergete.”28 This text, however, has yet to be examined within the context of euergetism.29 It draws upon a received tradition of Munbaz as a Hellenistic civic benefactor in order to model ideal behaviour for the local Palestinian economic elite. Whereas benefactions would normally be encouraged by the promise of material rewards that broadcast one’s social status, our text promises intangible and heavenly rewards that are only accessible in otherworldly realms. These counter-gifts are drawn from rabbinic notions of divine justice, particularly the rewards for the righteous.30 These otherworldly rewards, moreover, are identical in kind to the earthly benefactions that Munbaz bestows. We see this most prominently in the concept of “treasures,” which in rabbinic Hebrew often indicates common foodstuffs, such as grain. Some

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Josephus and Rabbinic Sources”, in L.H. Feldman/G. Hata (ed.), Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987) 293 – 312, on pp. 299 – 300; E. Urbach, “Treasures Above”, in G. Nahon/C. Touati (ed.), Hommage — Georges Vajda: Êtudes d’histoire et de pens¦e juives (Louvain: Peeters, 1980) 117 – 24, on pp. 117 – 19. It is notable that the version in b. Bava Batra 11a follows t. Peah 4:18 closely, while the parallel in y. Peah 1:1, 15b differs; see G.A. Anderson, Sin: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 229 – 30 n. 30; A. Gray, “Redemptive Almsgiving and the Rabbis of Late Antiquity”, JSQ 18 (2011) 144 – 84, on pp. 151 – 2. To be sure, there are a number of important discrepancies between the historiographers (especially Josephus) and rabbinic texts. For example, Josephus emphasises the role played by Monobazus’ mother Helena in the famine relief. The Tosefta, on the other hand, credits Munbaz, who stands in for his whole family. While additional discrepancies make it unlikely that the Tosefta drew directly on Josephus’ account, the Tannaitic redactors surely drew upon received traditions of the Adiabene dynasty. I also note the phonetic similarities between Munbaz/Monobazus and Musonius Rufus (30 – 100 CE), who showed benevolence by devoting his own resources to the needy and denounced excessive acquisition of material possessions; see C.E. Lutz, “Musonius Rufus ‘The Roman Socrates’”, YCS 10 (1947) 3 – 147. Ant. 20:17 – 48, 54 – 96; Schiffman, “Conversion of the Royal House”, 294 – 8. These narratives are omitted from Josephus’ earlier work (cf. War 2:520, 5:252 – 3), perhaps indicating an evolution in how Josephus chose to depict Jewish engagements with euergetism; see Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 79, 85; idem, Were the Jews, 96. The principle account is Ant. 20:49 – 53. The event may be reflected in Acts 11:28 – 30; see David J. Downs, The Offering of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem in its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 37 – 8. The quote is from Goodman, Ruling Class of Judaea, 127. For example, Urbach, “Treasures Above”, 117 – 24, takes a positivist approach to the sources, assuming their historical value for the first century. Gray, “Redemptive Almsgiving”, 150 – 4 rightly reads the story at the level of redaction, though does not address euergetism. SifreDeut 306; see also Deut 28:12, 32:34; Job 38:22.

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rabbinic texts associate the word with the storage of intangible and otherworldly items, such as souls and grace.31 The term is likewise used in otherworldly contexts in Hellenistic-era texts and Jewish works on mysticism, which discuss treasures of snow and hail, and treasures of punishments for the wicked.32 Thus, while the ancestors store tangible and material treasures in the lowly human domain, Munbaz stores immaterial treasures in an immaterial place – above, in the world to come, which is beyond human control. Similarly, the concepts of interest/profit/fruit (=LH) and soul/life (MHD) operate in both this worldly and otherworldly contexts, appearing in discussions of earthly economic and legal matters as well as discourses on punishments, rewards, and divine justice.33 That the rewards include interest or profits touches upon what Gary Anderson identifies in the Yerushalmi and early Christian texts as “a unique set of ‘economic’ properties” whereby treasures invested in otherworldly contexts have a particularly high rate of return.34 While Greek inscriptions point to social competition in the pursuit of honour and status as motivations to give, t. Peah 4:18 removes euergetism from these contexts. Instead of offering material counter-gifts that promote the benefactor’s earthly standing, t. Peah 4:18 offers intangible and otherworldly rewards drawn from rabbinic discourses on divine justice – an idiosyncratically rabbinic approach to euergetism. Moreover, euergetism is not only encouraged by rewards, but also by the underlying argument of the passage, made through the choice of proof texts – namely, that it is a form of righteousness (8K7J). Ephraim Urbach observed that otherworldly treasures exist independently of human actions in the Hebrew Bible, while in t. Peah 4:18 these rewards are created by Munbaz’s benefaction.35 Urbach explains this anomaly as a product of Munbaz’s status as a proselyte, as his ability to store treasures for himself in the world to come is indicative of the “religious propaganda and missionary activities” that converts must adopt if they are to be accepted by their new coreligionists.36 Thus, Urbach’s comments are typical of how scholars reading rabbinic texts on the Adiabene dynasty tend to focus on the issue of conversion.37 To be sure, no text from a Tannaitic compilation indicates direct 31 SifreNum 139, SifreDeut 344. 32 See the examples and discussions in D.J.A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993 – 2011), s.v. LJ4; Urbach, “Treasures Above”, 119; Schäfer, “In Heaven as it is in Hell: The Cosmology of Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit”, in R.S. Boustan/A.Y. Reed (ed.), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) 233 – 74, on pp. 264 – 6. 33 See the discussion in Gardner, “Giving to the Poor”, 174 – 6. 34 Anderson, Sin, 187 – 8. 35 Urbach, “Treasures Above”, 119. In this respect, t. Peah 4:18 finds close parallels in Matt 6:19 – 20; Luke 12:33; T. Levi 13:5; Tob 4:9. 36 Urbach, “Treasures Above”, 121. Notably, Urbach does not cite any sources for his generalisations on converts. 37 The preoccupation with conversion is noted by Kalmin, “Adiabenian Royal Family”, 61 – 2.

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knowledge of the family’s conversion to Judaism.38 Reading t. Peah 4:18 within the context of Tannaitic attitudes on conversion, therefore, seems forced. In view of the context of euergetism, however, Munbaz’s extraordinary individual, human agency seems entirely expected, as euergetism itself was driven by the agency of individual benefactors. The decision of what, where, to whom, when, and how much to give was a function of a benefactor’s personal discretion and generosity.

Euergetism and Judaism How do the early rabbinic engagements with euergetism compare with Jewish sources of other periods and regions? In her study of inscriptions from lateantique synagogues in the Diaspora, Rajak demonstrates how Jews adapted euergetism to suit their idiosyncrasies. Whereas typical euergetic custom was to promote a donor’s personal generosity, the synagogue inscriptions cast contributions as fulfilments of religious obligations or as votive offerings. There was an emphasis on donations by groups, instead of individuals, and some contributions were attributed as gifts from God. In an extreme case, the synagogue in Beth Shean (Scythopolis) kept benefactors’ names anonymous, noting that God knew their identities. Thus, Diaspora Jews strove to minimise the prominence of any individual benefactor, abstaining from the typical visible and material honours that would otherwise promote social competition.39 We see similar concerns in Palestinian sources, especially in Josephus, who writes that there is no room in the Jewish constitution for Greco-Roman civic norms.40 As I touched upon earlier, Josephus disparages Greeks for allowing personal wealth to determine one’s social and political standing. Jews, by contrast, grant leadership to priests, who – at least in Josephus’ idealised

38 As noted by Schiffman, “Conversion of the Royal House”, 300; Cf. Kalmin, “Adiabenian Royal Family”, 63, 68, who argues that knowledge of the conversion is implied by certain texts. It remains, however, that no text from a Tannaitic compilation directly identifies Munbaz or Helena (the only two Adiabenes mentioned in Tannaitic sources) as converts. In Amoraic compilations, by contrast, these figures are portrayed as converts; see e. g. Gen. Rab. 46:10, which is likely dependent upon Josephus (Gardner, “Giving to the Poor”, 188 – 90; Schiffman, “Conversion of the Royal House”, 301 – 2). I note that Josephus’ Antiquities remains the only independent source on Adiabene’s conversion. 39 This was also a way for Diaspora Jews to distinguish themselves from their neighbours; see Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 373 – 89. Satlow, “Giving for a Return”, 102, adds that votive inscriptions focused on individuals, their piety, and relationships with God, instead of social relations. 40 Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 79. Schwartz notes that these attitudes are more pronounced in Josephus’ later writings, particularly Ant. 4 and Ag. Ap. 2.

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depiction – are characterised by their obedience to God and piety.41 Josephus belittles the pursuit of silver, gold, crowns, statues, and public recognition, writing that Jews abstain from such materiality, status symbols, and earthly honours.42 For Josephus, euergetism could be acceptable if it was performed in the service of piety and obedience to God by fulfilling commandments; this included the provision of sacrifices, votive gifts to the Temple, and food distribution to the needy.43 These gifts could be seen as the fulfilment of certain biblical imperatives such as those related to the Temple cult and care for the poor. When describing these acts, Josephus avoids the language of euergetism, choosing to portray these benefactions as acts of piety (eusebeia). For example, Josephus depicts Adiabene’s famine relief as an act of piety that can be assimilated to biblical commandments to support the poor. Similarly, in his account of the numerous sacrifices offered by Herod (e. g. 300 oxen) and other local notables to commemorate the refurbishments of the Temple in Jerusalem, Josephus describes the event in ways that avoid the language of competition among human benefactors. Rather, God alone is the true benefactor.44 Moreover, Schwartz finds that for Josephus rewards for benefactors could not take material form. Rather, only oral memorialisation was considered legitimate, as Josephus did not fully reject but rather adapted the Greco-Roman culture of display and reciprocity.45 Moving ahead to Amoraic rabbinic texts of the late fourth century, Schwartz finds that Amoraic views on euergetism and memorialisation show “unmistakeable continuity” with the countercultural and adaptionist approach of Josephus. Like Josephus, the Yerushalmi rejects the aspects of euergetism that 41 Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 81; idem, Were the Jews, 105, who notes that Josephus conveniently downplays the hereditary nature of the priesthood. 42 Ag. Ap. 2.73 – 4, 205, 217 – 18; see the discussion in Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 373 – 4; Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 82 – 3, 86; idem, Were the Jews, 99 – 100. By contrast, note the episode of Simon the Hasmonean in the second century BCE in 1 Macc 14:25 – 49. His benefactions are consistent with what is also acceptable to Josephus – maintenance of the Temple cult and defence of the Law (i. e. Torah). He was, however, ready to accept some of the rewards that Josephus claimed the Jews eschewed, such as a honourary decree inscribed on bronze tablets. There is no mention, however, of gold crowns or statues, and the decree itself exhibits Jewish idiosyncrasies, see Gardner, “Jewish Leadership”, 327 – 43. 43 Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 83, 87 – 8; idem, Were the Jews, 101, 106. The dearth of honourary inscriptions from Jerusalem suggests at least some reality behind Josephus’ claims about Jewish aversions to euergetism. At the very least, Jerusalem did not have a typical euergetic culture. 44 See the discussion and sources in Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 79, 84, 86; idem, Were the Jews, 96, 101, 103. Similarly, in her study of synagogue inscriptions in Diaspora Jewish communities, Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 388 – 9, notes the absence of virtually all language that is typical of euergetism. 45 Schwartz, “Euergetism”, 82, 88; idem, Were the Jews, 99, 103 – 4. Compare the oral memorial for the famine relief with Izatus’ acceptance of the objects and honours that are typically given to a benefactor (here, a bed of gold and a seat of honour at a banquet), from the Parthian Artabanus in Ant. 20:54 – 68.

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memorialise benefactors in plastic form and accepts forms that can be assimilated to biblical piety and the performance of commandments.46 The acts of euergetism portrayed in m. Yoma 3 fit into the patterns that Schwartz finds in Josephus and the Yerushalmi. First, the acceptable benefactions are consistent with the performance of commandments related to the Temple cult. Second, the counter-gift is atypical of Greco-Roman counter-gifts, but typical of what we see in other Jewish texts, as the benefactor is simply memorialised without any reference to visible or material honours. Indeed, this memory would be further perpetuated in oral form by the rabbis when they transmitted these traditions. The second text, on Munbaz’s famine relief in t. Peah 4:18, bears some similarities to earlier Jewish engagements with euergetism, but also breaks new ground. First, the benefaction is typical of those acceptable to Jewish sensibilities, which have allowed for gifts that support the needy. Second, the Tannaim frame the narrative as an act of religious devotion, or more specifically 8K7J – a term that here denotes both “righteousness” (as in biblical Hebrew) and “charity.”47 The difference between this text and earlier engagements is that while rewards are immaterial, t. Peah 4:18 makes no mention of “memory” or a “memorial” to the benefactor or his benefaction. Rather, the counter-gifts are items drawn from a trove of rabbinic concepts related to rewards for the righteous and divine justice.48 In this respect, t. Peah 4:18 is rather innovative. Gaining rewards for 46 To be sure, there are differences in the approaches of Josephus and the Yerushalmi. Unlike Josephus, the Yerushalmi includes no programmatic or abstract denunciations of euergetism. Moreover, their contexts differ, as Amoraic texts were authored and redacted in an age in which euergetism was more readily embraced by Jewish society than it was in Josephus’ day ; see Schwartz, Were the Jews, 129 – 30, 135. 47 It is in rabbinic literature, beginning perhaps with our text (t. Peah 4:18), where 8K7J becomes primarily “charity,” as opposed to a general act of righteousness; see A. Ho, Sedeq and Sedaqah in the Hebrew Bible (New York: P. Lang, 1991); A. Hurvitz, “The Biblical Roots of a Talmudic Term: The Early History of the Concept of tsedaqah [= charity, alms] ”, LangSt II – III (1987) 155 – 60; F. Rosenthal, “Sedaka, Charity”, HUCA 23 (1950/51) 411 – 30. The very next pericope, t. Peah 4:19, defines 8K7J as almsgiving or charity. In light of the close connection between almsgiving and euergetism in t. Peah 4:18 – 19, it would be worthwhile to re-evaluate the longheld view (e. g. Veyne, Bread and Circuses, 19) of discontinuity between euergetism and charity in late antiquity. On charity in early rabbinic literature, see Gardner, “Giving to the Poor”; idem, “Cornering Poverty : Mishnah Peah, Tosefta Peah, and the Reimagination of Society in Late Antiquity”, in Boustan/et al. (ed.), Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013) 1.205 – 16; idem, “Charity Wounds: Gifts to the Poor in Early Rabbinic Judaism”, in Satlow (ed.), The Gift in Antiquity (Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) 173 – 88; idem, “Let Them Eat Fish: Food for the Poor in Early Rabbinic Judaism”, JSJ (forthcoming). 48 Heavenly treasures also appear in Hellenistic Jewish and early Christian writings, though the topic is too vast to address in the present paper; see Tob 4:5 – 11, 12:8 – 10; Sir 29:12; T. Levi 13:5; T. Naph. 8:5; Matt 6:19 – 20. See the discussions in Anderson, Sin, 164 – 88; Satlow, “‘Fruit and the Fruit of Fruit’: Charity and Piety in Late Antique Judaism”, JQR 100 (2010) 244 – 77; Urbach, “Treasures Above”, 120 – 1.

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righteousness is surely a received tradition from the Hebrew Bible and there are indications in a handful of Second Temple era texts that such rewards would be earned by giving alms.49 Thus, the redactors of t. Peah 4:18 bring together received biblical and Hellenistic Jewish traditions on rewards for righteousness and charity, and blend them with acceptable forms of GrecoRoman euergetism. That is, the Tannaim equate an acceptable form of euergetism – support for the needy – with acts of righteousness and almsgiving that warrant otherworldly rewards for the benefactors.

Conclusion There were a number of aspects of euergetism that ran counter to Jewish ideals, particularly social competition for material rewards that projected and defined one’s honour and standing in society.50 Scholars have asked if and how Jews engaged in euergetism, and in this paper I have sought to fill a lacuna in scholarship by exploring engagements in Tannaitic texts of the third century. I find that these texts mostly accord with Second Temple era sources and Amoraic texts.51 Certain benefactions, namely those that could be assimilated into modes of piety and the performance of biblical commandments were viewed as acceptable. Likewise, the rewards provided to the benefactor were immaterial. In m. Yoma 3, the reward is memorialisation, which is precisely what we find in Josephus. In t. Peah 4:18, the rewards are likewise immaterial, but instead of memorialisation, Munbaz pursues financial or economic rewards in the world to come that mirror the material contributions that he makes in this world. They are identical in kind to his benefactions, but differ in location – a typical euergetic move, as Rajak writes that honours were often selected to be commensurated in quantity and quality with the benefactions.52 By eliminating material rewards, the Tosefta removes euergetism from the context of competition for earthly honours that are marked and projected by certain material objects and re-contextualises it within rabbinic discourse.

49 See Deut 28:12, 32:34; Job 38:22; 1 Sam 26:23; on rewards for almsgiving, see Tob 4:5 – 11, 12:8 – 10; Sir 29:12. 50 Goodman, Ruling Class of Judaea, 65. 51 To be sure, euergetism was altered only when both benefactors and beneficiaries were Jewish. By contrast, when either the benefactor or beneficiary was not Jewish, the engagements with euergetism were more typical of Greco-Roman norms, as in Ant. 14.149 – 55 and an inscription from Berenice; see respectively the discussions in Gardner, “Jewish Leadership”, 337 – 9, and Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 382. 52 Rajak, Jewish Dialogue, 376 – 7.

Nathaniel P. DesRosiers

Oath and Anti-Oath Alternating Forms of Community Building in the Third Century

The third century is often viewed as a time of crisis in the Roman Empire when a number of political and cultural developments and conflicts drastically changed the social and religious landscape of the Roman world. One area that marked a significant divergence both between and among these groups was the practice of oath-taking, as each maintained its own traditions on swearing oaths that governed their application, form, and purpose. This article will discuss how oath-taking represents an important point of variance for practitioners of traditional Greco-Roman religions and Christianity, by demonstrating how the religious and political developments of the third century resulted in new understandings of the practice of oath-taking.

Setting the Stage: The Oath in the Ancient Mediterranean To begin, the oath may be defined as a practice where a divinity or higher power is invoked as the witness and guarantor of a certain statement or a promise.1 What separates the oath from a regular promise or vow is the selfcurse that the swearer invokes as a part of the ritual. This feature adds extra seriousness to the ritual and it acts as a safeguard against perjury.2 From a practical perspective the oath is an affirmation by the swearer that is intended to bind an individual’s “conscience before the civil authority, other people, or even before oneself.”3 It also is important to emphasise how ubiquitous oathtaking was in the ancient Mediterranean. Oaths were used to seal virtually any kind of contract and were easily adaptable so that they could be employed to conclude everything from business transactions to international treaties. Furthermore, oaths were required as an accompaniment to many major events in a person’s life. Taking up an office, serving as a judge, juror, or a litigant in a 1 Aristotle presents his own definition of the oath: “An oath is an unproved statement supported by an appeal to the gods.” Aristotle Rhet. Ad Alex. 17.34. 2 T. Cartledge, Vows in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (Sheffield: JSOT, 1992), 14 – 17; N.K. Rauh, The Sacred Bonds of Commerce: Religion, Economy, and Trade Society at Hellenistic Roman Delos, 16–87 B.C. (Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben, 1993), 153. 3 J. Plescia, The Oath and Perjury in Ancient Greece (Tallahassee, FL: University of Florida Press, 1970), 3.

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court, entering the military, joining an association, or even participating in a census usually meant that an oath must be sworn.4 It is also critical to imagine how closely linked oaths were to one’s identity. Accordingly, most Mediterranean groups held that keeping one’s oaths was a sign of piety and trustworthiness, whereas breaking them was blasphemous and a social breach that in some cases could even result in criminal penalties.5 In a microcosmic way the weighty amalgam of the oath-taker’s cultural identity is imprinted on the swearing of an oath since the swearer was performing a remarkably complex ritual that replicated the individual’s entire social and political makeup. That is, in the institution of the oath the swearer simultaneously delineated and reinforced his or her prescribed social structures, including religious mores, political forces, social rank and obligations, and ethnic identity. Understanding these intricate cultural interconnections not only makes it possible to understand the value and effect of oath-taking more fully, it also demonstrates why not taking an oath or even refusing to do so would be unusual and profoundly at odds with established social conventions of the age. However, there were individuals and groups whose philosophical or religious goals ran counter to the socio-religious obligations that required the swearing of oaths. For example, the writings of many philosophers and Jewish sectarians advocated for the avoidance of oaths as much as possible, citing that excessive swearing could disrupt philosophical progress and potentially damage one’s relationship with God in the event of perjury.6 The most noteworthy of these “anti-oath” groups were the Christians, whose “official” policy dictated to “swear no oath at all” (Matt 5:33). While it is likely that most Christians continued to take oaths as a matter of everyday necessity,7 many

4 For discussion see N. DesRosiers, Swear or Swear Not: Divergent Views on the Oath and the Structured Community in the Greco-Roman World. (Forthcoming), pp. 47 – 142; R. Hirzel, Der Eid. (New York: Arno Press, 1979); W. Burkert, Greek Religion (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985), 250 – 4; Plescia, Oath and Perjury. 5 Andocides Myst. 4.39; Diodorus Siculus 14.3.6; Lev 19:12; Deut 23:22; Cicero De Off. 3.43. For discussion and further examples see J. Fitzgerald, “The Problem of Perjury in Greek Context”, in L.M. White/O.L. Yarbrough (ed.), The Social World of the First Christians (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995) 156 – 87, 173 – 7; Burkert, Greek Religion, 252 – 3; K.J. Dover, Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle (Indianapolis: Blackwell, 1994), 248 – 50; J.D. Mikalson, Athenian Popular Religion (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1983), 31 – 8; Hirzel, Der Eid, 75 – 9; K. Latte, “Meineid”, in G. Wissowa (ed.), Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumwissenschaft 15.1 (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 1931) 246 – 7; Plescia, Oath and Perjury, 83 – 91. 6 For philosophers see Plato Leg. 917, 948D; Aristotle, Rhet. 1.15.1; Diogenes Laertius 4.7, 8.22, 8.33; Plutarch Mor. 275C-D; Epictetus Ench. 33.5, 52.1; Marcus Aurelius Med. 3.5. Philo represents a middle ground between Judaism and philosophy (Decal. 92; Spec. leg. 2.24 – 8). For a discussion of Essene views on oaths see Josephus Bell. 2.6.81. For Qumran see QS 4.13 – 15; CD 15.1 – 15. 7 Chrysostom Hom. in Act. Apost. 9; Hom. Ad. Jud. 1.3. Basil Letter 85. Numerous examples of oaths among Christians participating in business survive from the Egyptian papyri. See K.A.

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early Christian authors emphasised the need to observe the prohibition as part of the Christian faith.8 While several Christian authors cited Jesus’ prohibition as the primary reason why no oaths should be sworn at all, none offer any further clarifications that explain why Jesus and his followers should maintain such a stance. However, one can reconstruct several clear reasons why such a hard line on oaths was necessary to early Christianity using our extant sources. 1) Like other contemporary philosophical and sectarian groups Christians believed that one should not risk damaging one’s relationship with God by committing the blasphemy of perjury should a sworn oath not be fulfilled. Even death did not absolve the swearer of the need to fulfill an oath and the transgressor was subject to the divine punishment that was invoked through the oath-curse. 2) The Matthean prohibition calls for simple honesty and the avoidance of unembellished speech when Jesus states “let your no be no and yes be yes” (Matt 5:37).9 Such calls for simple honesty are common in the earliest Christian literature including the Canonical Gospels, New Testament Epistles, and the Didache just to name a few.10 Likewise, philosophers such as Seneca, Epictetus, and Plutarch emphasised plain and honest speech as the mark of a good man.11 3) Oaths connected to government, the military, or the legal system would mean swearing by traditional Greco-Roman gods or the emperor in most cases. Being forced to swear an oath and especially swearing by any deity besides the Christian God suggested a forced oath.12 Christians believed that it was better to refuse an oath than to swear falsely or to openly blaspheme by swearing by other gods. 4) Many such institutional oaths were necessarily accompanied by a sacrifice, which also was avoided by Christians from an early period.13 From these general observations a few guiding points should be made. First, it is critical to note that the ancient literary works that discuss swearing represent the viewpoints of cultural producers14 who were debating the proper

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Worp, “Byzantine Imperial Titulature in the Greek Documentary Papyri: The Oath Formulas”, ZPE 45 (1982) 199 – 226. Jas 5:12; Justin Apol. 1.16.5; Irenaeus Adv. haer. 2.32; Origen De princ. 4.3.4; Basil Ep 199; Chrysostom Hom. Mt. 17.5; Augustine De Serm. Mont, 17.51 – 3. Cf. Jas 5:12; Justin Apol 1.16.5. Matt 12:34 – 7; Mark 7:20 – 3; Matt 13:19; Thess 2:1 – 6; 2 Cor 1:17 – 20, 23; 6:7; Eph 4:25 – 30; 1 Tim. 2:1 – 4; Titus. 2:7 – 8; 1 Pet 2:1; Did. 2.4 – 5. See Seneca, Letter 37.1, 40.13; Epictetus Ench 33.1 – 5; Plutarch Mor 46 A. At least as early as Thucydides it was understood that a compelled oath was no oath at all. Thucydides 3.82 – 3. Also see Euripides, IA. 391 – 7; Livy 10.38; Caesar Bel. Civ. 1.86. See Pliny Letter 10.96.5. For a full discussion of Christian views on sacrifice see D. Ullucci, The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (New York: Oxford, 2012). For discussion of cultural producers see P. Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993). Stanley K. Stowers defines cultural producers as individuals who did not represent the lay practitioners of a religion. Instead they “were specialists by virtue of the skills, prestige, and legitimacy derived from their

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use of oaths. Since these cultural producers were elites, their very place in society depended on how oaths were sworn and maintained. Therefore, the opinions of these authors did not necessarily reflect the ways that oaths were sworn or understood by everyday practitioners. Instead these works reveal competition in action between cultural producers of differing traditions who disagreed over the value and effectiveness of swearing. Second, while it is clear that oaths were rituals of central importance in the ancient Mediterranean, the ways that oaths were adapted or evolved over time usually is overlooked by scholars. In discussing rituals in general Pierre Bourdieu argued that practices are not static, and they are often improvised so that they can fit ever-changing situations.15 Likewise, Theodore Schatzki suggests that practices necessarily transform “because of changing circumstances … and shifts in the orders and practices.”16 Schatzki also postulates that meaning and identity are conveyed and even created by social practices; and how closely one is connected to, or removed from a given set of practices relates to how an individual’s identity is constructed.17 Using this lens, the current work will examine the circumstances that led to the evolution of the oath and the ways that its force and meanings changed over time among Christian cultural producers who were competing for followers and the survival of the movement. While the sources indicate that Christian cultural producers stressed oath abstention as a positive practice that had its own benefits, what is most remarkable is the way that the use or avoidance of oaths helped to delineate social groups in the Roman Empire. Therefore, in this essay I will demonstrate how a change in ritual practice may be linked to a change in cultural identity. Just as swearing requisite oaths helped to replicate larger Roman polytheistic society, avoiding them became the mark of a Christian. As early as Pliny the Younger, Romans understood that the clearest test for determining whether or not someone was Christian was sacrifice. Similarly I would argue that like sacrifice, avoiding the ritual of swearing oaths became a definitive marker of Christian identity and membership.

belonging to the perhaps 2 percent or less of people who were literate enough to produce and authoritatively interpret complex written texts; “The Religion of Plant and Animal Offerings Versus the Religion of Meanings, Essences, and Textual Mysteries”, in J. W. Knust/Z. V‚rhelyi (ed.), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 41. 15 Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), 3 – 9. 16 T. Schatzki, The Site of the Social: A Philosophical Account of the Constitution of Social Life and Change: (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002), 242. 17 Schatzki, The Site of the Social, 58.

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The General Christian View of Oaths in the Early Third Century While oaths remained an indispensible ritual among other groups during the third century, swearing became a major point of contention for an evergrowing Christianity. Christians living in the Roman world had to choose between obeying Jesus’ prohibition against swearing and taking the oaths required for full participation in Roman society. Several third century Christian cultural producers weigh in on this issue, highlighting the inherent dangers of swearing. As one might expect, several authors argue that compelled oaths were a significant problem since they could restrict individuals from living morally. For example, in his Refutation of all Heresies Hippolytus speaks of Justinian the Heretic who bound his followers by “horrible oaths”, insisting that they not publish the secrets of the sect, nor abjure their oaths.18 Hippolytus repeatedly emphasises the problems connected to such forced oaths, adding that these heretics are in double jeopardy since leaving the group after realising the truth would also force them into the sin of perjury, further estranging them from God.19 In his works Tertullian also grapples with the problem of idolatry in the everyday world. The groups of actions that must be avoided are quite instructive, since even seemingly innocuous practices invariably involved implicit idolatry. For Tertullian, speech acts are important since “even in words also the inroad of idolatry must be guarded against”. Therefore, swearing oaths in contracts are prohibited, since far too many are sealed with an oath by Hercules.20 Likewise, while it was possible for a Christian to hold office, it could be allowed only so long as there were no sacrifices, sentencing of criminals, or swearing of oaths, all of which are idolatrous.21 In summarising these cursory passages it seems clear that Christian writers were advocating for an avoidance of oaths. They also apologetically suggested that they should be permitted to circumvent the oath based on their lifestyle, just as other conscientious objectors such as philosophers, priests, and Jews were often allowed to do. Above all, these writers recognised that oaths were not going to go away completely, but they did hope to find acceptable substitutes for swearing. If one could not avoid oaths altogether, one needed to be careful about the types of oaths sworn and what they could represent. For example Tertullian famously remarked that Christians do not swear by the Genius of the Emperor, but by his health, thus circumventing idolatry and the 18 Hippolytus Haer. 18. 19 In Against Celsus 2.13; 8.44 Origen points out that one who is compelled to swear under torture swears by the tongue but not the mind, making the swearing of an oath of abjuration before authorities meaningless. Thus, he posits that Christians should not be required to swear oaths since it proves nothing about their loyalty to Rome or Jesus. 20 Tertullian Idol. 20. 21 Tertullian Idol. 21, 23.

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risk of swearing by something other than the Christian God’s name. What is interesting about this kind of oath is that it did not include calling a direct curse on the swearer. Instead the threat was actually on the emperor, and for this reason many found such an oath to be unbinding. However, Tertullian would have disagreed, arguing that it is in the Christian’s best interest to have the Emperor in charge since it is God’s will.22 Here Tertullian cleverly makes the Christians look like obedient subjects while also providing some signs of compromise. Although one should avoid swearing altogether, it is clear that there are situations where oaths are required, and Christians could swear substitute oaths if absolutely necessary.

Redefining the Oath: The Problem of Sacramentum The most notable of all oaths among the Romans was the military oath known as the sacramentum,23 which Dionysius of Halicarnassus stated was “the most strictly observed of all Roman oaths”.24 Naturally Christians in the Roman army faced the problem of both taking and upholding such an oath since many of the soldier’s oaths conflicted with Christian life. For example, the late third century martyr account of Marcellus describes a Christian soldier’s refusal to participate in the emperor’s birthday celebration. According to this account, his specific offense was the violation of the sacramentum, demonstrated through his lack of commitment to the emperor in favor of an inappropriate allegiance to Jesus Christ.25 As early as the Apology Tertullian addressed such issues, stressing the loyalty of Christians in the military ; proclaiming that they are more willing to “yield to the sword” than to rebel, “to be slain” rather than slay.26 However, in his later work On the Crown Tertullian appears to be less open to the idea of 22 Tertullian Apol. 32. R. Beare, “The Meaning of the Oath by the Safety of the Roman Emperor”, AJP 99 (1978) 106 – 7; J. Helgeland/R. Daly/J. P. Burns, Christians and the Military: The Early Experience (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1985), 21. Cf. Herodotus 4.68. 23 The root sacrare means to declare separate or to devote to a divinity. Futhermore, anything designated as sacrare indicated that the action can only be performed by public authority. Lewis and Short, Latin Dictionary (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), 1613. 24 Dionysius of Halicarnassus Ant. Rom. 11.43. This oath of initiation bound the soldier to the state and his leaders. See W. van Roo, The Christian Sacrament (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1992), 36; Aulius AN. 16.4.2; Philostratus Ap. 5.35. 25 H.A. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 251. For discussion of oaths in the Roman army, see J. Helgeland, “Roman Army Religion”, in W. Haase (ed.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung, Part 2, Principat, 16.2 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1978) 1470 – 1505. The problem was not limited to Christian soldiers alone. Solemn oaths were also required for Christian civic leaders. For example Eusebius HE 6.5 preserves the account of the official Basilides who refused to swear an oath because he was Christian. 26 Tertullian Apol. 37.3.

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Christians in the army. Likewise, he seems to have changed his views on swearing, emphasising that all oaths are inappropriate for a Christian. He believes that the army could only be corrupting, listing the violence, torture, and inherent idolatry as irreconcilable with Christian values. Above all else, he wonders if it is appropriate and possible for a soldier to have a sacramentum that supersedes his devotion to Christ and the Church.27 A similar view on Christians in the army is found in Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition. In this work the author excluded brothel-owners, idolaters, and gladiators from Christian fellowship, followed by a description of the incompatibility of Christianity and military service: The soldier who is of inferior rank shall not kill anyone. If ordered to, he shall not carry out the order, nor shall he take the sacramentum. If he does not accept this, let him be dismissed (from the Christian community). The believers who wish to become soldiers shall be dismissed, because they have despised God.28

According to both authors there is the obvious divergence between the violence of the army and the pacifism of Christianity. However, the larger issues revolve around social integration and perception as both authors are worried about the influence of surrounding culture on the community. As a member of the military one will be drawn into idolatrous actions, or at least one will be complicit in their performance. More important, one simply cannot divide loyalties between Christ and the emperor. The swearing of the sacramentum meant that the soldier was always bound to Rome first. Moreover, this concern for the clear boundaries of the Christian community demonstrates an ever increasing estrangement between two cultures, which becomes more and more pronounced in Christian social rules. Whether or not paranoia over Christian social separation and infidelity in the military ranks led to an increase in persecution is a rather open question. However, it does appear that Christian oath practices, and particularly the refusal to swear standard oaths did create some unease.

Rehabilitating the Sacramentum: A Christian Oath? Although the Roman sacramentum was problematic to Christians, some authors were very comfortable with using the term and redefining it to suit the central rituals and beliefs of the faith. Tertullian for example, ascribed a tremendous range of meaning to sacramentum, using it to refer to the mystery surrounding the Persons of God, the Incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the rules of faith, and the teachings of the Church. Tertullian also is 27 Tertullian Cor. 11 – 12. 28 Hippolytus Trad Ap. 16.

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among the first authors to link the term to Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, and especially baptism, positing that the Christian sacramentum was the essential pledge of faith taken on the occasion of baptism.29 On this last point Tertullian argued that the pledge paralleled the soldier’s oath to the emperor, as it carried with it the same irrevocable permanence and solemnity.30 While this link between the “sacraments” and sacramentum is hardly a new revelation, there is one very important point that should be clarified. The sacramentum of baptism is usually translated as the “oath of baptism” in most works.31 While sacramentum does mean oath in its original context, I believe that such a translation is incorrect within this Christian framework. Given the Christian ordinance against oaths of any kind and the clear opposition to oathtaking displayed in the works of Christian writers, it would be rather inconsistent for an oath to become the central bond for the Christian faith. Also from a semantic perspective, pledging and swearing are not the same things, and there is no evidence that a proper oath formula existed in early Christian baptismal ceremonies.32 In fact, early authors such as Hippolytus and Tertullian refer to the baptismal sacramentum not as an oath but as a renunciation of Satan.33 To this Tertullian adds that the baptismal sacramentum is a rejection of idolatry, listing a series of other related hazards that Christians should avoid.34 He also asserted that Christians who had fallen into idolatry after baptism must be permanently excluded from the communion of the Church. Here Tertullian connects all of the issues together, carefully linking oaths with idolatry and stating that swearing is among the many pomps of the devil. He qualifies this statement by relating that avoiding such things actually serves as the mark of a Christian,35 further suggesting that the baptismal sacramentum is not an actual oath. Although Tertullian is critical of oaths, he did recognise their importance and binding power. Perhaps this is why he deliberately played on the term sacramentum, rehabilitating it to suit Christianity more appropriately. In his 29 For discussion see D.G. van Slyke, “The Changing Meanings of Sacramentum: Historical Sketches”, Antiphon 11 (2007) 245 – 79; C. Mohrmann, “Sacramentum dans les plus anciens texts chr¦tiens”, HTR 47 (1954) 141 – 52; G. Bornkamm, “lust^qiom”, in G.W. Bromley (ed.), TDNT (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1969) 4.802 – 27. 30 Tertullian Idol. 19.2. 31 Tertullian Bapt.1. In saying “sacramentum aquae nostrae” Tertullian means the sacrament of baptism. Cf. Adv. Marc. 4.35. 32 The earliest reference to the pledge is 1 Pet 3.21, the pledge of a good conscious towards God. Evidence from the third century and beyond indicates that the pledge connected to the baptismal rite consists of more of a negative confession than an actual oath. 33 Hippolytus Trad. Ap. 21.9; Tertullian Cor. 3, Idol. 6, Spect. 4. In chapter 6 of De Spectaculis Tertullian remarks that upon entering the water Christians profess their faith, renouncing “the devil, his pomps, and his angels.” 34 The inroads towards idolatry included marriage to non-Christians, spectacles presented in honour of the Roman state gods, occupations that produced idols, and any office requiring active participation in the state’s religious rituals. Tertullian De Spect. 24; Cf. Ad Mart 3. 35 Tertullian De Spect. 24.

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Scorpiace, Tertullian goes so far as to deliberately blur the line between the Roman military sacramentum and the Christian version. In speaking of Christ Tertullian states: May I die for him. Serving as a soldier under his sacramentum I am challenged by the enemy. If I surrender to them, I am as they are. In maintaining this sacramentum, I fight furiously in battle, I am wounded, cut to pieces, killed. Who wished this fatal lot to this soldier, (none but) he who sealed him by the sacramentum.36

By using the military metaphor he demonstrates to the reader that the Christian obligations to Jesus are just as strong as a soldier to his commander. Moreover, failure to live up to one’s pledge is never acceptable no matter what the circumstances since Christ demands steadfastness. In sum, although the Christian sacramentum in no way resembles the formula or ritual actions contained in a true military oath, the Christian sacramentum does have all of the force of the traditional oath without the inappropriate components that Christians must avoid.

The Decian Persecution and Cyprian By the middle of the third century attacks on Christianity were becoming more widespread, with the impact on North Africa being most profound. As a result of this persecution, as well as growing sectarianism and heresy, several Christian leaders expressed serious concerns about the boundaries and definition of the true Church. In light of these religious and social challenges, Christian authors continued to reinterpret the value and effectiveness of oathtaking as a means of defining borders. The Decian persecution in particular provides some interesting evidence for the role that oaths played in the harassment of Christians. Decius’ decree issued in late 249 CE required all inhabitants of the empire to sacrifice to the gods, taste the meat of the sacrifice, and swear an oath attesting that they had always sacrificed.37 Although the required sacrifice is clearly the centrepiece of this decree, one should not overlook the critical component of swearing the oath, and its links to social control. Annual loyalty oaths to the emperor were 36 Scorp. 4.5. Huic sacramento militans ab hostibus prouocor. Par sum illis, nisi illis manus dedero. Hoc defendendo depugno in acie, uulneror, concidor, occidor. Quis hunc militi suo exitum uoluit, nisi qui tali sacramento eum consignauit. 37 All inhabitants were required to perform these actions before local magistrates and after completing them successfully, they were offered official certificates (libelli). Interestingly, Jews were exempt from performing these duties since the antiquity of Jewish Law and religion were respected by the Romans, even if they were not well understood. For a comprehensive list of libelli from the Decian period see J.R. Knipfing, “The Libelli of the Decian Persecution”, HTR 16 (1923) 345 – 90.

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known since the time of Augustus.38 Therefore, it is clear that the inclusion of the oath within the Decian mandate not only provided proof that the individual had always sacrificed, the sworn statement guaranteed current and even future allegiance to Rome, its religion, social institutions, and political powers. Also, while the Decian decree is unprecedented and marks an innovation, in many ways it fits perfectly within standard contexts of imperial bureaucracy, which often relied on magistrates to carry out imperial directives that reinforced boundaries.39 Although Decius’ edict was probably intended to restore traditional religion, it is undeniable that Christianity also suffered significant collateral damage.40 Eusebius describes the beatings, tortures, and executions of Christians who did not fulfill the requirements. Many Christians also renounced their faith and sacrificed out of fear with Christian public officials leading the way.41 Several of Cyprian’s letters also describe the fallout of the Decian Persecution, relating tales of lapsed Christians who both purchased false certificates of sacrifice and swore compelled oaths that resulted in idolatry and perjury.42 Cyprian’s solution to this crisis was to define the true Church more rigidly by emphasising exclusive fidelity to Jesus and a rejection of all other forms of religious practice. He insisted on unity within the Church and the delineation of boundaries effectively dividing insiders from outsiders, including non-Christians, heretics, and the lapsed. At this time Cyprian’s views on the value of the Christian sacramentum versus traditional oaths became even more urgent and entrenched as well. In his work On the Lapsed he boldly proclaimed that swearing oaths is a sign that an individual is not a good Christian.43 Cyprian also had a zero-tolerance policy for those who did not uphold the baptismal sacramentum. This is because he viewed baptism as a means of cleansing the Church of idolatry and other sins emanating from the Roman world.44 Cyprian also plays on the soldier of Christ image, emphasising the need for glorification of Jesus through martyrdom. On this point he stated, “[N]oble indeed and magnificent was the spectacle of the Lord made truly welcome to the eyes of God through

38 Tacitus Agr. 21; Hist. 1.76; Pliny Letter 10.35 – 6, 101 – 2. 39 For example, Egyptian census records from the first to third centuries demonstrate that individuals were required to declare their possessions to the magistrates under oath. Cf. P. Oxy. 46 3295; 3565. 40 J. Rives, “The Decree of Decius and the Religion of Empire”, JRS 89 (1999) 135 – 54, see pp. 137 and 142. 41 Eusebius HE 6.41 – 2, 44. 42 Cyprian Letter 5 – 43 64.4, 63.13 – 14 on persecution under Decius. For the securing of false certificates see Cyprian Letter 20.2.8, 30.3.1, 31.7.1, 55.14.1; Laps. 2, 27, 28. 43 Cyprian Laps. 6. 44 J.P. Burns, Jr., Cyprian the Bishop (New York: Routledge, 2002), 67 – 8. See Cyprian Laps. 17 – 20; Letter 59.16.3.

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the sacramentum and dedication of his soldier.”45 Not only is the Christian sacramentum represented as metaphorically comparable to the military oath as in Tertullian, it is also more starkly combined with martyrdom, demonstrating the irrevocability of this pledge. Alternatively, Cyprian castigates those who broke their baptismal sacramentum when faced with persecution, warning that such a failure was grounds for excommunication.46 Cyprian’s views on swearing represent the climax of the Christian polemic against oaths. Cyprian believes that all oaths are unbecoming of a Christian, and that they should always be avoided since inevitably an oath will conflict with the Christian lifestyle. In the wake of the Decian Persecution Cyprian argued that the very survival of the Church depended on unquestioned unity and total commitment. Within such an atmosphere, the Christian sacramentum of baptism took on even greater significance and importance, representing the weighty amalgam of beliefs, attitudes, and practices required for membership in the community.

Conclusion During the third century Christian cultural producers staged a lively debate on the appropriateness of swearing within their respective communities. While Romans largely advocated for the continued use and proper application of oaths, Christian polemics against the practice became increasingly stronger and more developed. Although the negative attitudes towards swearing largely would change only a century later,47 the trials that faced Christianity during the third century made a hard line on the avoidance of oaths necessary. According to Christians such as Tertullian and Cyprian, abstinence from oaths protected the faithful from idolatry and blasphemy while simultaneously marking the true Christian. Lastly, it is interesting that the sacramentum became such a loaded term within the Church, acting as a binding agent to the very core of Christian teaching and belief. The redescription of the term demonstrates a brilliant ingenuity on the part of the Christians who were able to take a term and practice that was abhorrent and banned to them, and theologise it to make it their own. While the Christian sacramentum was not a true oath, it was a powerful symbolic promise in the form of a negative 45 Cyprian, Letter 10.2.3; G.W. Clarke, The Letters of St. Cyprian of Carthage (New York: Newman Press, 1984), 1.232 n. 16. 46 Cyprian Laps. 6, 13. Cyprian frequently emphasises that there can be no forgiveness outside of the Church, so careful maintenance of the sacramentum was absolutely required. See Cyprian Letter 73.16.1 – 17.2, esp. 73.18.1. Cf. Burns, Cyprian the Bishop, 118. 47 Even Augustine, who had previously opposed oaths in his earlier writings, later realised that oaths were necessary in everyday life. For discussion see K. Uhalde, Expectations of Justice in the Age of Augustine (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 78 – 104.

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confession designed to confirm and defend the faith. By imbuing it with so much meaning, the Christian sacramentum became as binding as any oath, but without any actual swearing.

Jordan D. Rosenblum and Daniel C. Ullucci

Qualifying Rabbinic Ritual Agents Cognitive Science and the Early Rabbinic Kitchen

Food laws exist and have existed in numerous cultures worldwide, and it is perhaps not surprising that this crucial aspect of human survival is imprinted with culturally specific norms, rules, and taboos. Food laws may take many forms, regulating all aspects of food preparation and consumption, from what one can eat to with whom one can eat.1 This paper focuses on one particular variety of food laws – laws that govern who can prepare suitable food. Our argument is that cognitive theories of agency and agency detection can help elucidate such rules. Specifically, we argue that the cultural producers who create these written laws do so by employing normal cognitive models for understanding ritual actions, playing these models out in mental, and subsequently written form. These texts do not represent real rituals. They are, rather, the written artifacts of thinking about ritual. They are ritual fantasies, but, and this is our contribution, they are fantasies that follow specific, predictable, cognitive models.2 Our subjects of analysis are the rabbinic food laws found in the Mishnah. These texts reach their final form in the hands of the early rabbis, or Tannaim, in the early third century CE. The Tannaim represent a group of religious experts attempting to theorise and codify various aspects of what they see as ideal Jewish life. They explicate how one must live as a member of this idealised group. As such, these texts are examples of the kind of religious competition this volume focuses on. In this case, we are not dealing with an interreligious competition to dominate the field of religion, but an intra-religious competition to define true Judaism in the post-Temple period. The food laws we examine are part of this larger debate among Jewish religious experts to delineate what they deem to be true Judaism. The Mishnah gives a number of very detailed and specific rules for the preparation of food. The particular set of rules we focus on are those that consider who can rightfully prepare food and who cannot. These texts probably do not reflect real Jewish practices in the third century. Rather, as Shaye 1 See J.D. Rosenblum, Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), which offers a specific case study but provides numerous cross-cultural examples. 2 On the concept of rabbinic fantasies, see M.B. Peskowitz, Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender, and History (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1997). On ritual fantasies, see below, n. 8.

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Cohen concludes, “[t]he Mishnah’s voice is prescriptive not descriptive.”3 Some elements in the Mishnah certainly reflect real practices, but many do not, and without explicit corroborating evidence it is impossible to determine what is real and what is prescriptive.

Texts, Rituals, or Chaos? The issues discussed above lead to two methodological problems. First, how do we approach these texts, as literature or as descriptions of ritual? Data from real ritual and data from texts that discuss ritual are not interchangeable in analysis. This is true because of the nature of the data and their source. The authors of most texts that discuss rituals are not ritual experts within their own cultural context. Rather, they represent a different type of religious authority, what Stanley Stowers has termed a different mode of religiosity.4 Stowers theorises two main modes of religiosity. One, “the religion of everyday social exchange” is based on the logic of reciprocity and the idea of the gods as interested parties in human affairs; its main practice is ritual. This contrasts with the “religion of the literate cultural producer”. This mode is parasitic on the religion of everyday social exchange. Experts within this mode often lay claim to the true meaning of rituals and universal knowledge about the gods superior to that found in the religion of everyday social exchange. The main practice of this second mode is literate cultural production, mainly the creation of texts. As Stowers points out, scholars have historically been guilty of privileging the second mode to the point of ignoring the first, despite the fact that, in most historical contexts, literate cultural producers were not numerous and did not even represent a majority of religious experts.5 This bias is due in part to the nature of our evidence, which consists primarily of written texts, but also to a homology between the practices of ancient cultural producers and those of modern scholars.6

3 S.J.D. Cohen, “The Judean Legal Tradition and the Halakhah of the Mishnah”, in C.E. Fonrobert/ M.S. Jaffee (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 127. 4 S. Stowers, “The Religion of Plant and Animal Offerings Versus the Religion of Meanings, Essences, and Textual Mysteries”, in J.W. Knust/Z. V‚rhelyi (ed.), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) 35 – 56. 5 For example, the various Greek and Roman priests and priestesses and the priests of the Jerusalem Temple were religious experts but not, generally, literate cultural producers. Their authority did not derive from textual practices. 6 For examples of this see Stowers, “Religion”, 36 – 46. For a discussion based on archeological evidence see R. MacMullen, The Second Church: Popular Christianity A.D. 200 – 400 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2009). This trend is also evidenced in scholarship on ancient Judaism. For a brief and incisive criticism of such scholarship, see S. Schwartz, Imperialism and

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Stowers’ modes are critical for approaching the rabbinic evidence and indeed the whole rabbinic phenomenon. The sudden destruction of the Temple in 70 CE caused a radical rebalancing of power among ancient Jewish religious experts. When the ritual system of the Temple, with its priestly hierarchy, was disrupted, an unprecedented opening was created for literate cultural producers.7 The rabbis, for example, present themselves as experts in rituals involving the Jerusalem Temple, but there is no evidence that the rabbis have any direct connection with the ritual experts who once ran the Temple. The rabbis’ claim to ritual authority would be much more suspect if the Temple, with its ritual experts, were still standing. The rabbis are doing what experts in the religion of literate cultural production always do, but they are now doing it in the absence of competition from a strong priestly class, which only exacerbates the scholarly tendency to privilege their voice and treat their texts as evidence of real rituals.8 But one cannot analyse a textual description of a ritual as if it were a ritual. Even if we could be absolutely sure that the description is accurate, the text would still represent one author’s interpretation of the ritual. Given that our texts are a product of people whose authority comes from creating texts, not performing rituals, is ritual theory even useful in approaching these texts? We will argue that it is, but only in specific ways. The second problem is one Cohen addresses as well. If these texts do not represent real ritual actions, where do the rules and prohibitions come from? Cohen concludes they come from the rabbis themselves. He argues, “[t]he Mishnah constructs legal categories, which often appear to be theoretical and abstruse, and then discusses, usually in great detail, the precise definitions and limits of those categories.”9 He terms this approach “scholastic”.10 We agree with this position completely, particularly with the stress on the rabbis as a class of elite literary producers. However, the question of where the rabbis get their categories remains. They do, as Cohen suggests, appear “theoretical and abstruse”, but are they completely random? Are the rabbis simply making up rules ex nihilo which, because they are essentially random, defy useful analysis? This essay attempts to clarify the rabbis’ categories and make their laws appear less impenetrable, and thus more useful for the historian of religion. Our starting point is cognitive theory of ritual.

7 8 9 10

Jewish Society 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 5 – 8, and passim. In general, see Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society. For a recent, theoretically sophisticated reevaluation of the evidence, see N.S. Cohn, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). Cohen, “Judean Legal Tradition”, 134. Cohen, “Judean Legal Tradition”, 135.

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Ritualisation, Agency, and Qualified Agents Rabbinic texts show a clear tendency to remove food preparation from the realm of the everyday and mundane and to set it apart as particularly momentous and consequential for a person’s relationship with God. In other words, to use Catherine Bell’s term, the texts show ritualisation.11 Part of Bell’s major contribution to ritual studies is the realisation that the actual actions of ritual are not unique; rather, it is the specific context and combination of actions that makes, for example, a ritual washing different from a bath: one involves a miqveh and recitation of specific rabbinic liturgical formulae; the other involves soap-on-a-rope and a rubber duck.12 This means that ritualisation is not simply a process, it is a strategy, and we must ask who is creating this ritualisation and for what purpose. More recently, cognitive theorists of religion have built on Bell’s foundation and argued that ritual actions differ from mundane actions in one very specific way. Ritual actions often involve, either directly or indirectly, a class of empirically unverifiable agents that are usually not admitted in mundane action.13 We believe that these two theoretical models can help address the two problems noted above. We begin with the concept of agency in ritual analysis. Religious rituals are actions; as such, they have agents and (sometimes) patients. One of the most elementary but crucial findings of the emerging field of cognitive science of religion is that the cognitive machinery involved in processing religious actions (like rituals) is no different from the cognitive machinery that processes everyday action. Humans do not have a separate cognitive apparatus for processing mundane everyday actions versus ritual actions. Rather, the same cognitive systems that allow one to understand a statement like “the woman helped the child” are used to understand “the god helped the child”. Each of these statements produces assumptions about agency, passivity, intentions, and perhaps instruments. For example, “the god or woman wanted to help the child/was able to detect the child needed help/ was capable of delivering such help”, etc. In our everyday lives we are constantly making such assumptions about the thoughts, desires, motivations, 11 C. Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 73 – 4; ideam, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 81 – 2. 12 This point is dramatically demonstrated by the use of ritualisation by simple organisms such as eusocial insects. For a discussion of ritualisation in insects see B. Hölldobler/E.O. Wilson, The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008), 221 – 2; and E.O. Wilson, Sociobiology : The New Synthesis, 25th Anniversary ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), 128 – 9, 224 – 31. 13 On non-empirical agents in ritual see R.N. McCauley/E.T. Lawson, Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 13 – 26. On gods as supernatural agents in general, see I. Pyysiäinen, Supernatural Agents: Why We Believe in Souls, Gods, and Buddhas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

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knowledge, and actions of the people around us. Such assumptions make human social life possible, and are the evolutionary heritage of our development as social animals. Cognitive scientists refer to this phenomenon as Theory of Mind (ToM). Theory of Mind, simply put, is the ability to constantly form and act on inferences about the beliefs, intentions, and motivations of other beings.14 It is not basic cognitive patterns that make religious ritual actions different from mundane actions, rather, it is the types of agents involved. Religious actions routinely assume the existence of empirically unverifiable agents (gods). Persons engaged in religious practices assume not only that such beings exist, but that they act in specific ways in the ordinary world; thus, such beings are often called Culturally Postulated Superhuman agents (CPSagents).15 Ordinary representations of action do not admit the existence of such non-empirical beings. What makes religious practices distinct from everyday practices is that religious practices allow any number of non-empirical beings into the mix of agents and objects. These extra agents are not part of our normal everyday views of action. For example, if you were to walk into an otherwise empty room to find a broken glass on the floor, you would normally attribute the glass’ destruction to some ordinary cause, a gust of wind, a shaky table, miscreants, etc. In such circumstances (generally speaking) it is highly unlikely that you would attribute the glass’ destruction to some other agent in the room who can be neither seen nor heard nor touched. In ordinary circumstances, our cognitive representations of action do not allow for the existence of such beings.16 Imagine how inexplicable the world would become if our brains did not impose a basic parsimony of cause and effect. However, within the proper context, this parsimony can be relaxed. Thus, if a large statue (or even the above mentioned glass) were to suddenly come loose from the wall and smash to the floor during a religious ritual it is highly likely that some of those present would attribute the action to an unseen divine agent.17 The key point is that context is critical in determining whether the existence of non-empirical agents will be admitted to any explanation of ac14 Pyysiäinen, Supernatural Agents, 1 – 43. 15 McCauley/Lawson, Ritual, 8. 16 For example, the invention of the microscope led to the development of germ theory. Prior to that, it would have seemed ludicrous (at least to some) to suggest that invisible creatures made people sick. Yet, even after the microscope rendered the invisible visible, it took time to persuade the majority of people about the existence of such organisms. People’s reticence shows how difficult it is convince people that their simple sense perceptions are inadequate. 17 This scenario is reminiscent of the famous story in Genesis Rabbah 38:13, in which Abraham smashes the idols in his father’s idol shop and then blames the damage on the largest remaining idol. When Abraham’s father accuses his son of lying about what happened, the irony is not lost on the reader : Abraham’s contemporaries, including his own father, worship idols, though they recognise that they do not have the agency to actually smash one another to pieces. Only a human, in this case Abraham, does.

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tion. A person who might see “god” as a likely agent in the situation just mentioned would not admit god as a likely agent in every situation. Religious rituals rely on the assumption that non-empirical beings exist and that they can act and be acted upon. In their simplest forms, actions have two parts: the active doer and the passive receiver. In religious rituals gods can play either part. As McCauley and Lawson show, this simple schema of subject and object can be greatly complicated by another common feature of ritual: the belief that some actions can only be performed by certain specifically qualified agents.18 It is not simply the actions of the ritual that matter, the agent matters too, and in many cases the agents matter more. If the agents are wrong, the ritual will be ineffective, even if the actions are correct. Persons or things may become qualified agents for specific rituals through various means. They may be qualified agents because of who they are (gods, for example are almost always qualified agents), or they may receive this power through previous rituals, what McCauley and Lawson call “enabling rituals”.19 For example, a priest may be the object of an ordination ritual, a ritual that enables the priest to be a valid agent for a host of other rituals. McCauley and Lawson argue that in all cases the “buck stops with god”.20 Gods are ultimately behind religious rituals either directly, or indirectly through a series of enabling rituals. McCauley and Lawson develop this observation in a complex theory of ritual forms in which they argue that the structure of a ritual (its particular arrangement of actions, patients, and enabling actions) is determinative of several important aspects of the ritual, including its repeatability, reversibility, and centrality to the tradition.21 In ritual, if the right actions are accomplished, but by the wrong agent, the ritual will be deemed ineffective. These evaluations of the effectiveness of ritual are in stark contrast to the evaluations we make about everyday life. For example, in the everyday activity of food preparation, we constantly evaluate the qualities of our food preparers. We might conclude that a certain cook was not a very good cook (a bad agent of food preparation), we might even conclude that his or her food was terrible and not fit to eat, but we would be very unlikely to conclude that the food he or she made does not count as food. We might jokingly say that a terrible meal is not fit for human consumption, but this joke does not imply an actual assertion about the ontological status of the food. Conversely, these kinds of radical evaluations are exactly what we see in ritual, and in the rabbinic texts specifically. Unlike our evaluation of a bad chef, the distinctions made in ritual have nothing to do with the skill of the ritual agent, or the things he or she actually does. Rather, they hinge on the 18 19 20 21

McCauley/Lawson, Ritual, 18 – 23. McCauley/Lawson, Ritual, 18. McCauley/Lawson, Ritual, 22. See McCauley/Lawson, Ritual; and E.T. Lawson/R.N. McCauley, Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

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ritual status of the agent. It is this concern with qualified agents that can illuminate the rabbinic material. What the rabbis are doing is a kind of mental and textual ritualisation; once they start down this road, the specific agents of action become important, and a whole host of complex situations need to be parsed. The Mishnaic texts have the particular character they do because the authors are involved in a kind of ritual fantasy in which they imagine all the possible permutations and aberrations of ritual action (they often dwell on worst case scenarios) and then try to decide whether the ritual would or would not be valid given the imagined complications. What drives their decision in many cases, especially the food laws, is their evaluation of proper agency in ritual. They are not simply making up esoteric rules at random; they are parsing their imagined rituals in terms of qualified agents. In real rituals, evaluation of agency is often implicit and intuitive. In the rabbis’ ritual fantasies, evaluation of agency is made explicit almost to the point of absurdity. Indeed, the interest (we might say the fun or the skill) these texts hold lies in the rabbis’ abilities to think up the most convoluted and difficult ritual problems to be solved. They then solve these ritual chestnuts in a dazzling display of wisdom and expertise.

In the Test Kitchen: The Evidence of the Mishnah Space constraints prevent us from completely mapping the contours of the early rabbinic, or tannaitic, kitchen.22 Therefore, we will focus on two texts, chosen both for their clarity and their brevity : m. Hullin 1:1 and m. Shevi’it 8:10. m. Hullin 1:1 regulates rabbinically-proper animal slaughter. This is significant because meat is the single most cross-culturally tabooed food item.23 Therefore, the fact that Hebrew Bible texts never regulate who may or may not participate in non-cultic animal slaughter must have marked this culinary practice as a key site for early rabbinic ritual fantasy. According to m. Hullin 1:1: All may slaughter, and their slaughter is valid, except for a deaf-mute, a mentallydisabled person, or a minor, lest they ruin [the meat] in their act of slaughtering. But all of these [i.e., the deaf-mute, the mentally-disabled person, and the minor] who slaughter while others observe them, their slaughter is valid. An animal slaughtered by a Gentile is carrion, and it imparts impurity through carrying [it]. One who slaughters at night, and so too a blind person who slaughters, his slaughter is valid. 22 In general, see Rosenblum, Food and Identity. 23 See D.M.T. Fessler/C.D. Navarrete, “Meat is Good to Taboo: Dietary Proscriptions as a Product of the Interaction of Psychological Mechanisms and Social Processes”, JCC 3.1 (2003) 1 – 40.

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One who slaughters on the Sabbath or on Yom Kippur, even though he becomes liable for death [for performing an act forbidden on these days], his slaughter is valid. (emphasis added)24

Amongst a list of potentially problematic butchers, a tannaitic innovation appears: an animal slaughtered by a non-Jew is not fit for Jewish consumption simply because it is slaughtered by a non-Jew. This novel ritual food regulation is introduced without justification and, so it would seem, without controversy. According to the Tannaim, non-Jews lack the agency to act as qualified rabbinic ritual agents and, as such, their animal slaughter is not considered valid. Notice how concern for a valid agent plays out in this text. Another important innovation found in this text is that slaughter by a Gentile is considered carrion. Carrion (Hebrew: nevelah) is a technical term for an animal that has died a natural death.25 Therefore, not only is the slaughter by a Gentile forbidden for Jewish consumption, it is in the legal status of non-human slaughter. To use the language of L¦vi-Strauss, it is a natural, not a culture action.26 For the Tannaim, only rabbinic Jews were qualified ritual agents; non-Jews, like animals, are incapable of effecting animal slaughter that is both literally and figuratively “kosher”. For the rabbis, Gentiles are not valid agents of butchery ; they simply do not compute in the rabbis’ imagined ritualisation of food preparation. What do you call a dead animal whose death does not have a specific agent? Carrion. Because a Gentile cannot be a valid agent of slaughter, an animal that a Gentile kills does not have an agent of slaughter. Thus, it is as though it died of natural causes. In our second text, bread is classified according to its agent of production. m. Shevi’it 8:10 states: “R. Eliezer used to say : ‘One who eats bread [baked by] Samaritans [cutim] is like one who eats pig-meat.’”27 In Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion, Samaritan bread is equal to pork – the metonymic food of the “culinary Other”.28 While the Hebrew word “cutim” can either be a specific term, referring to Samaritans, or a general term, simply referring to all non-Jews, either way, the bread of the cutim is prohibited based upon its baker, not its ingredients. A non-Jew is unqualified to serve as a ritual agent. Much like a non-priest attempting to perform a Eucharist ceremony, these actions do not “count” as efficacious ritual, since, according to Catholic dogma, only a 24 Discussion of this text draws on Rosenblum, Food and Identity, 76 – 81. 25 This is the biblical definition for nevelah. The rabbis’ definition of the term is an animal that could have been valid, but something went wrong in the act of slaughter (see m. Hullin 2:4). In this case, the something that went wrong is the fact that a gentile was the ritual agent. We argue that this concept plays on both the biblical definition (natural death) and the rabbinic one (something went awry in its slaughter, namely regarding its slaughterer). 26 In general, see C. L¦vi-Strauss, The Raw and the Cooked: Introduction to a Science of Mythology (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1975). 27 Discussion of this text draws on Rosenblum, Food and Identity, 160. 28 On this term, see A. Appadurai, “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India”, CSSH 30.1 (1988) 3 – 24, 16.

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properly authorised Catholic priest has the agency to serve as a ritual agent in this instance.

Conclusion Returning to the two problems outlined above: (1) how to approach rabbinic texts, as ritual or as literature; and (2) how to explain the categories in these texts. We believe the theoretical approach outlined here can help overcome these issues. First, these texts are not ritual, but they do reflect some of the cognitive concepts that are part of ritual thought. The rabbis imagine a ritualised world where a whole range of everyday activities become rituals. In doing so, they project their own ideas of how rituals work; particularly, they project their ideas of who counts as a valid agent in ritual. We suggest that since these patterns are cognitive, they should be present both in real ritual and in imagined ritual. In other words, when textual experts imagine or fantasise ideal rituals, they are constrained by the same cognitive patterns McCauley and Lawson observe in real ritual. This is played out in rabbinic texts where only Jews count as valid ritual agents. This fact tells us something important about the rabbis’ view of Jewish identity. The texts we analyse do not contain or mention enabling rituals which made Jews valid agents, but they are clearly assumed a priori by the logic of these texts. If McCauley and Lawson are right that the buck always stops with god in rituals, then the rabbis assume that Jews, simply by virtue of being Jews, have a relationship with God that no other people have.29 This, in itself, is not surprising, as many Jewish texts say this explicitly. What is important is how the rabbis use this. By imagining a world in which everything is ritualised, and then assuming that only Jews are valid agents in such ritualised actions, the rabbis use ritualisation as a strategy in identity formation. They exploit the cognitive concept of ritual agency to create an idealised world where everything from animal slaughter to bread-making is dependent on the concept of Jewishness as they construct it. Finally, the theoretical approach outlined above helps to explain the texts themselves. Rather than arbitrary prohibitions, xenophobic taboos, or abstruse legal categories, these texts are systematic attempts to determine the agent responsible for food production in complex situations. What makes rabbinic texts so interesting and at times exhausting is their authors’ willingness to imagine and evaluate every conceivable ritual circumstance. This scholastic enterprise leads the rabbis to establish complex rules for detecting agency in a variety of contexts, from the synagogue (who can and cannot lead prayers, count in prayer quorums, etc.) to the wedding canopy (who can and cannot marry, serve as witnesses to a marriage, seek or grant divorce, etc.). 29 In general, see S. Stern, Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings (New York: Brill, 1994).

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That these endeavours sometimes lead to completely hypothetical discussions is of no concern to their authors. Perhaps the ultimate example of this is the discussion in early modern rabbinic sources over whether a golem, an artificial anthropoid made from inanimate material, can count in a prayer quorum or effect rabbinically-valid animal slaughter. The fact that the golem is a mythical creature does not bother these later rabbis. They are concerned with whether the golem has the agency to act in these capacities. That the golem belongs to the realm of folklore is irrelevant; what is relevant is the question of the golem’s agency. The rabbis seek to translate the priestly rituals of the Jerusalem Temple into the rabbinic texts of the post-Temple world. In doing so, the rabbinic kitchen is but one domain in which agency plays a vital cognitive role.

Lily C. Vuong

The Temple Persists Collective Memories of the Jewish Temple in Christian Narrative Imagination

In the year 70 CE, Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans and its Temple destroyed. Undeniably, the Temple functioned as the centre of religious life and worship not only for Jews living in the land of Israel but also for Diasporic Jews who regularly made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to participate in the Temple’s rituals and sacrificial cult. Given that no Third Temple was ever built after the Second Temple was destroyed, one would expect that Temple-related literature would cease to be relevant and thus simply disappear. However, unexpectedly we find continued Temple-centred literature in the late second and third centuries, at least a century after its destruction, among the rabbinic Mishnah1 and other Jewish writings,2 but perhaps even more surprising is its prominent presence among Roman3 and various Christian discourses.4 What makes these Jewish, Roman, and Christian writings on the Temple especially fascinating is that they involve descriptions and understandings of the Temple as collective memory5 since none of the authors lived during a time that 1 Temple ritual is given significant attention in the Mishnaic orders of Kodashim (“Holy Things”), Moed (“Appointed Times”), Zeraim (“Seeds”). Sections in the orders of Nashim (“Women”), Nezikin (“Damages”), and Tohorot (“Purities”) also address Temple rituals by discussing how proper rituals should be conducted in the Temple. On the importance of the Temple in the writings of the rabbis, see N.S. Cohn, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 2 E.g., Josephus’ Jewish War and Against Apion both address the fallen Temple, but continue to place its importance in the middle of Jewish traditions, practices, and identity decades after its destruction; 4 Ezra and 4 Baruch and even 2 Baruch are also post-Second Temple texts that place the Temple as the main theme of their work, but the concern is with the destruction of the First, not the Second Temple. Unlike their rabbinic counterparts who used Temple-related material because it was useful for them in their contemporary world, the authors of these writings wrote about the Temple as a way to help understand the theological implications of a Temple-less world and to encourage hope that a new Temple would be built. 3 E.g., Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, etc., seem to rely on the continued absence of the Temple to legitimatise their power and rule; see Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 111 – 15 who also employs material culture (e. g., minted coins) and Jewish taxes imposed on the Jews after the destruction to support this argument. 4 E.g., All four canonical gospels, Hebrews, Revelation, and Acts (New Testament); James tradition literature; Pseudo-Clementine’s Recognitions (Apocrypha); Justin Martyr (Apologists); to name a few. 5 The term “collective memory” refers to the idea that the recollections of the past can be shared, shaped, and determined by a group of people. In this way, collective memory presumes activities of sharing, discussing, negotiating, and often contestation in order to create meaning for the life

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allowed them to directly experience the effects of the destruction and its aftermath. In his important study on the memory of the Temple in Rabbinic literature, Naftali Cohn argues that the rhetoric and extensive narratives and laws about the Temple found in the Mishnah functioned as a way for the rabbis to claim ritual and legal authority over other Jews6 after the collapse of centralising institutions of the Second Temple period (i. e., Temple, sacrificial cult, priesthood, etc.). Moreover, he contends that it was a time when other Jews were in conflict and competing over who authentically preserved Jewish legal traditions and practices, and thus authentic Jewishness.7 Since this active production of competing Temple discourse was not limited to the rabbis but also proved useful among Christians to express and legitimatise their own identities and practices, any claims made regarding the Temple were among many competing declarations no matter how differently they were interpreted. While the rabbis invented unique narratives for constructing the Temple’s sacred space in order to assert their authority, the claims to the Temple by the authors of the Gospels, Hebrews, and Revelation helped them construct a group identity that connected the Temple to Jesus’ life, ministry, and purpose (Gospels), but also to understanding Jesus as new Temple; that is, a replacement for the physical temple of old (Acts 7, Rev 21 – 22, and Heb 6 – 10).8 Interestingly, this fascination with the Temple continued to be popular among apocryphal literature of the second and third centuries (e. g., Protevanglium of James, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Acts of Thomas, etc.). of the community. Important to the development of this theory for my understanding and use of the term are the works of M. Halbwachs, The Collective Memory (New York: Harper and Row, 1980); idem, On Collective Memory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992); J. Assmann, Religion and Cultural Memory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006); and J.K. Olick, “From Collective Memory to the Sociology of Mnemonic Practices and Products”, in A. Erll/A. Nünning (ed.), A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010) 151 – 61. 6 Cohn prefers the terms “Judaeans,” “Judaean,” and “Judaeanness,” over “Jews,” “Jewish,” and “Jewishness”. On his choice of terminology, see Memory of the Temple, 131 n. 1. 7 Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 3. 8 The literature on the Temple in the New Testament is massive, but a good starting point for such scholarship, especially on the spiritualisation of sacrifice and Temple, can be found in J. Klawans’, Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 213 – 45. See also E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 61 – 90 and P. Fredriksen, “Gospel Chronologies, the Scene in the Temple, and the Crucifixion of Jesus”, in F.E. Udoh (ed.), Redefining First Century Jewish and Christian Identities: Essays in Honor of Ed Parish Sanders (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008) 246 – 82. On the Temple theme, especially in relation to the Last Supper in the gospels of Matthew (26:26 – 9), Mark (14:22 – 5), Luke (22:17 – 20), and John (13 – 17), consult the following works: B. Repschinski, “Re-Imagining the Presence of God: The Temple and the Messiah in the Gospel of Matthew”, ABR 54 (2006) 37 – 49; T.C. Gray, The Temple in the Gospel of Mark: A Study in Its Narrative Role (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); J.A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke X – XXIV (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985), 1385 – 1406; A.R. Kerr, The Temple of Jesus’ Body: The Temple Theme in the Gospel of John (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). See also T. Wardle’s study on the Christian community as a new eschatological temple; The Jerusalem Temple and Early Christian Identity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010).

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Yaron Eliav notes in particular that traditions surrounding James9 (e. g., Apocryphon of James, First Apocalypse of James, Second Apocalypse of James, Ascent of James [found in Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, etc.]) developed detailed ideologies and interpretations for the Temple and the Temple Mount that encouraged the idea that Temple ritual be abrogated and replaced.10 Much like the apostolic and patristic writings of Barnabas and Justin Martyr, respectively, who devoted time in their polemical work to promote the invalidity of the Temple sacrificial system,11 Christian and “Jewish Christian”12 apocryphal literature also generally limited their interest to denigrating the Temple and supporting its supersession as a way to help them mark their own identity. In the second century apocryphal narrative the Protevangelium of James (Prot. Jas. hereafter), the Jerusalem Temple features prominently, but unlike the various types of early Christian writings that saw no value in its sacrificial rituals, the Temple is presented in a surprisingly positive manner. In the same 9 Y.Z. Eliav contends that the various writings attributed to James or connected to the James tradition share a common trait: “they emphasize the centrality of Jerusalem and the Temple”. The Prot. Jas. does not break this trend; God’s Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time and Place, and Memory (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins University Press, 2005), 61. 10 Eliav, God’s Mountain, 60 – 82 and Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 107– 8. 11 E.g., Barnabas 7:3 – 5 argues strongly against participation in the Yom Kippur fast since the ultimate sacrifice accomplished by Jesus and the Christian ritual of the Eucharist and baptism render all Temple rituals and sacrifices (even the Day of Atonement) nulled. On the abolition of Yom Kippur by first and second century Christians, see D. Stökl Ben Ezra, The Impact of Yom Kippur on Early Christianity: The Day of Atonement from Second Temple Judaism to the Fifth Century (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 219 – 23. See also D.C. Ullucci’s work on Christian understandings and redescriptions of animal sacrifice; The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). 12 I am aware of the problems associated with the term “Jewish Christianity” and its derivatives; namely that it is anachronistic, inaccurate, imprecise, misleading and is a scholarly construct with which neither the authors nor the writings discussed in this paper or elsewhere identify themselves. On these problems, see J.E. Taylor, “The Phenomenon of Early Jewish-Christianity : Reality or Scholarly Invention?”, VC 44 (1990) 313 – 34 and D. Frankfurter, “Beyond ‘Jewish Christianity’: Continuing Religious and Sub-Cultures of the Second and Third Centuries and Their Documents”, in A.H. Becker/A.Y. Reed (ed.), The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003; repr., Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007) 131 – 43. A number of recent studies have focused on the history of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity and their so-called “parting of the ways,” and have offered alternative suggestions for terminology. While new terms including, “Christian” or “Christ-believing Judaism” have provided a new and important lens through which to examine early Christian data, these terms too also bring with them new sorts of issues and problems (see J.L. Sumney’s and J.W. Marshall’s contributions in M. Jackson-McCabe [ed.], Jewish Christianity Reconsidered: Rethinking Ancient Groups and Texts [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007] and JacksonMcCabe’s discussion on the various suggestions put forth for alternative terminology). For this reason, I have chosen to continue using the term “Jewish Christianity” and suggest that if we keep in mind that the purpose of scholarly constructed categories is to help us understand better complex relationships, this term may still be a useful category for examining a period in which the boundaries between Judaism and Christianity were still very much blurred.

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way the rabbis and other Jews, as well as Christians, used and appropriated the Temple in their literature to help define their own group identity and to offer legitimacy for their respective traditions and practices, the remainder of this paper will explore in what ways the Prot. Jas. too used the Temple for its own identity-making purposes over and against other texts who were using the Temple for the same reasons but in very different ways. I argue that the Jerusalem Temple is an overarching theme in the narrative and may provide insight into the identity formation of a Christ-believing community that made the Temple and Jewish ritual practices intrinsic to their self-understanding. Moreover, I suggest that this Christ-believing community laid claims to the Temple for their own self-defining purposes, through narratives of their shared history and in competition with other groups. In doing so, I focus on the presentation and representation (both physically and metaphorically) of the Jewish Temple and ask why it is still relevant to a Mary-focused and Jesusbelieving narrative written at least a century after its destruction. Additionally, I explore how and in what ways the Temple is being remembered, recalled, presented, and represented.

The Jerusalem Temple Remembered as the Centre of Religious Activity13 The importance of the Temple and its sacrificial cult is established as the heart of all religious activity in the Prot. Jas. All of the characters and the plot development take their cues either directly from the Temple and its sacrificial system or indirectly through the priests and the priesthood who function as caretakers and representatives of the Temple. Its frequent appearance, particularly at significant plot points, establishes the Temple as the sacred locale from which atonement of sin can be achieved by means of proper sacrifice and interaction with Temple rituals. Characters are presented as righteous when participating and interacting properly with the Temple (e. g., Anna and Joachim [Mary’s parents]; Prot. Jas.1:2 – 3; 4:5 – 7; 5:1 – 4)14 and the sins of individuals and Israel are atoned when the Temple is properly cared for (proper sacrifices are offered under the guidance and authority of the priesthood) (Prot. Jas. 1:2 – 3; 4:6 – 7). Interactions and encounters with the Temple, either through its sacrificial 13 The arguments put forth concerning Mary’s ritual purity and her role as Temple Sacrifice and Sacred Temple in this section draw upon arguments made from my book, Gender and Purity in the Protevangelium of James (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013). 14 All citations of the Prot. Jas., unless otherwise indicated, reflect the chapter and verse divisions in R.F. Hock, The Infancy Gospels of James and Thomas (TSB 2; Santa Rosa, Calif.: Polebridge, 1995), 32 – 77.

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system or those who represent it (i. e., the priests), consistently play an important role in both the development of the characters and the progress of the plot in the narrative. For instance, the Temple features prominently in Anna’s most poignant lament over the status of her infertility as she describes herself as being “banished from the Temple of the Lord” (Prot. Jas. 3:3), but also during her most celebratory moment when she is informed by a messenger of the Lord of her pregnancy. Anna’s instinctive response of vowing to offer her child as a gift (d_qom) to the Lord (Prot. Jas. 4:2) only reinforces the intimate connection she holds with the Temple. All of Joachim’s actions also intersect meaningfully with the Temple. In fact, the first conflict and resolution of the narrative centres on the scene when Joachim’s gifts are turned away as first offerings to the Temple because he has not produced an Israelite child. Significantly, upon learning that Anna is indeed pregnant, he responds not by returning from the wilderness to his wife, but by first partaking in the proper Temple sacrifices both to the Lord and for the priests, elders, and people (Prot. Jas. 4:5 – 7, 5:1). Unlike the authors of Hebrews, Revelation, Barnabas, and possibly even the Gospel writers15 who saw little value in the Temple’s actual practices, thus denigrating the role of the priest and the priesthood, the Prot. Jas. surprisingly presents them in a positive light. Responsible for performing rituals and for acting as mediators between God and his people (Prot. Jas. 8:3ff), the priests play an important role in the narrative and are respected and praised for their continual support of the Temple.16 This positive acknowledgement is 15 The negative portrayal of the Temple in the Gospels is heavily dependent upon the emphasis placed on Jesus’ interaction and confrontation with the Jewish religious leaders in the last week of his life since many suggest it is these confrontations that lead to his subsequent crucifixion. Moreover, it is in Jesus’ last week that he predicts the imminent destruction of the Temple and reveals his belief that the chief priests are unworthy (cf. Mark 13:1 – 4 and Matt 24:1 – 2). Conversely, the chief priests make known their animosity towards Jesus before the Passover and the need to have him put to death; Wardle, Jerusalem Temple, 169 – 71. Up until the Passion narrative, however, the view of the Temple can be interpreted quite positively since all the gospels note in their account that on several occasions, Jesus’ interaction with the Jerusalem Temple and its presiding priesthood (e. g., Jesus celebrates the Passover meal, urges a leper to offer sacrifices after he is healed [Mark 1:40 – 1], teaches reconciliation is needed before offering gifts at the Temple [Matt 5:23 – 4], etc.) are presented in a positive light; on this, see Sanders, “Jerusalem and its Temple in Early Christian Thought and Practice”, in L.I. Levine (ed.), Jerusalem: Its Sanctity and Centrality to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (New York: Continuum, 1999) 90 – 103; D.R. Schwartz, “Priesthood, Temple, Sacrifices: Opposition and Spiritualization in the Late Second Temple Period” (Ph.D. diss., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1979), 56 – 9, 117 – 19, 124 – 5; J.D.G. Dunn, The Parting of Ways between Christianity and Judaism and their Significance for the Character of Christianity (London: SCM Press, 1991), 37 – 8; and Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity (New York: Knopf, 1999), 203 – 6. 16 W.S. Vorster argues in his reading of the narrative that unlike the depiction of the priests often given in the NT gospels, the priests in the Prot. Jas., by contrast, are presented in favourable terms, since the religious leaders “perform religious rites (cf. 6:2, 8:2, 3, 24:1 et al.), bless (17:3 et al.), pray (8:3 et al.), take care of the temple and determine the norms (cf. 10:1, 15:3 et al.) …

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illustrated in the special role they play in confirming Mary’s special status (Prot. Jas. 6:6). Significantly, the Temple priests serve as her protectors and caretakers when she arrives to live at the Temple; they give Mary multiple blessings, and predict her role in salvation-history (Prot. Jas. 7:7 – 9). Most importantly, it is in the care of the Temple priests to whom Anna and Joachim leave their daughter, their most valued possession.

Mary as Symbolic Temple Sacrifice In the Letter to the Hebrews, the physical Jerusalem Temple (more specifically, the Tabernacle) is superseded by Jesus who functions both as the high priest officiating the sacrifice on Yom Kippur and as the actual sacrifice for the Day of Atonement itself.17 In this scene, Jesus supersedes the high priest because his priesthood is eternal and the ultimate sacrifice of his own body atones for all, thus replacing the annual Temple ritual (Hebrews 6 – 10).18 In his reading of this passage, Cohn observes that while the author of the Letter to the Hebrews wants to encourage the idea that Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice supplants all Temple practices and worship, he “nevertheless goes into great detail describing (inaccurately) the superseded sanctuary and some of its sacrifices (9:2 – 22; also 5:23, 7:27, 10:1, and 10:11)”.19 Thus suggesting, “that even in denying the physical Temple’s function, the Temple still has meaning for the [author of Hebrews] which he metaphorically transfers to the practices of his own community”.20 Reinforcing the prominent role the Temple plays throughout the narrative, I argue (as I have elsewhere in length)21 that the Prot. Jas. also attempts to present Mary as a symbolic Temple sacrifice but with an important difference – Mary as sacrificial gift does not supersede the Temple, but rather acts in accordance with the ideas and purpose of Temple sacrifice. When attempting

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They seek the will of God in prayer and reveal it (8:3ff)”; “The Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus in the Protevangelium of James”, in J. Petzer/P. Hartin (ed.), A South American Perspective in the New Testament (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1986), 41. Stökl ben Ezra offers an important study on the ritual of Yom Kippur in Hebrews, arguing that the heavenly Temple depicted in the letter draws heavily on the geographical aspects of Yom Kippur in its typology ; Impact of Yom Kippur, 180 – 97. Stökl ben Ezra also addresses the supersessionist writings of Tertullian and Hippolytus, as well as Barnabas and Justin Martyr at 147 – 51. See also H.W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989) for a commentary on the theme of Jesus’ sacrifice as replacing not only Yom Kippur but also all other forms of sacrifice. Esp. Heb 9 – 10, where the author makes clear that Jesus’ sacrificed blood once and for all makes the sacrificed blood of bulls and goats no longer capable of expiating sin. Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 107. Cohn, Memory of the Temple, 107. See note 13 above.

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to evoke this imagery, I argue that the Prot. Jas. presents Mary’s parents as keenly observant of their daughter’s ritual purity in a manner akin to animals being prepared for sacrifice: Mary is perfect, unblemished, and ritually pure according to Levitical legislation.22 In this way, Anna’s and Joachim’s symbolic sacrifice is evoked by conjuring images of acceptable and proper sacrifices for a still valid Temple and sacrificial system. Additionally, I suggest that Anna and Joachim often employ language to describe their daughter that evokes Temple sacrifice. Specifically, Mary’s parents each refer to her as a gift which they have offered to the Lord (i. e., Prot. Jas 4:2; 7:1); the word used in both cases is d_qom, recalling Joachim’s two offerings of sacrifices in the beginning of the narrative (Prot. Jas. 1:2; 5:1) whereby the same term is used.23 Finally, Mary is compared to a dove at Prot. Jas. 8:2, which also evokes the image of a symbolic sacrificial gift since only doves/turtledoves were allowed to be offered in sacrifice according to Pentateuchal law. Again, by drawing on these three ways to encourage the interpretation of Mary as a symbolic Temple sacrifice, the Prot. Jas. does not denigrate the image of the Temple and its cult but rather supports and highlights its observance of the special conditions that render a sacrifice appropriate. Mary as symbolic Temple sacrifice is not presented as a replacement for the Temple nor does the text suggest she functions as an alternative for the expiation of sin or atonement. The idea that animal sacrifice is made void because of the ritual of baptism (as suggested by the “Jewish Christian” Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27 – 71),24 or that the ritual of Eucharist now replaces the ritual of sacrifice (as suggested by Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 41)25 is simply not present in the Prot. 22 The careful considerations made for Mary’s ritual purity first by her parents and then by the Temple priests include: 1. Anna’s decision to delay breast-feeding Mary [Prot. Jas. 5:9] until the purification days are complete [cf. Lev 12:5]; 2. Mary’s bedroom is turned into a home sanctuary ("c¸asla) so that nothing profane/common (joimºr) or impure/unclean (!j²haqtor) makes contact with her (Prot. Jas. 6:4); 3. Only the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews (hucat´qar t_m gEbqa¸ym t²r !liamtour) are allowed to interact with Mary [Prot. Jas. 6:5]; and 4. Mary is granted permission to live in the Temple and play at the altar [Prot. Jas. 7:9]). 23 The term d_qom appears 81 times in the context of offering proper sacrifices in LXX Leviticus and Numbers. This language choice is consistent with the ways in which the term d_qom is used in the LXX. 24 A.Y. Reed argues that while the Pseudo-Clementine’s Homilies and Recognitions allow for the continual importance of Jewish traditions including Torah, halakhic observance (e. g. ritual purity and dietary laws), the chosenness of the Jews, and even the equal value of the Mosaic Torah and teachings of Jesus. She also contends that in Recognitions 1.27 – 71, animal sacrifice in particular was a ritual practice vehemently opposed by the community as evident of the extra space devoted to addressing this specific concern. On this argument, see “‘Jewish Christianity’ after the ‘Parting of the Ways’: Approaches to Historiography and Self-Definition in the PseudoClementines”, in A.H. Becker/A.Y. Reed (ed.), The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003; Repr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), 208 – 13. 25 Stökl ben Ezra examines Justin Martyr’s typological explanation for why Jesus is Passover sacrifice comparable to the sacrificial goats on Yom Kippur (40) as well as typologies of the shewbread as Eucharist (41) and the twelve bells on the high priest vestment as the apostles (42);

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Jas. Rather, Mary embodies the perfect symbolic sacrifice to the Lord for a community that still valued the purpose and function of the Jerusalem Temple and its cult.

Mary’s Sacred Body as Symbolic Temple As the Prot. Jas. focuses on Mary’s ritual purity in the first half of the narrative and encourages a reading that evokes a symbolic Temple sacrifice, I suggest that the narrative’s shift in focus from Mary’s ritual to sexual purity in the second half of the text allows Mary to be read as a symbolic or metaphysical Temple. While much early Christian and “Jewish Christian” literature interpreted Jesus as the new Temple and his ultimate sacrifice as replacing all sacrifices and rituals, Mary’s new role as symbolic Temple in the Prot. Jas. does not suggest an analogous interpretation. Specifically, I contend that when Mary is designated as the Virgin of the Lord (Prot. Jas. 9:7) upon having to leave the Temple precinct,26 the focus shifts from the physical Jerusalem Temple to a metaphysical Temple found in the body of Mary herself. In other words, Mary’s body is likened to the Temple and her womb to the Holy of Holies in order to house the son of God.27 I suggest that this shift and transformation is accomplished when Mary and her purity are no longer safe guarded by the sacred walls created by her mother and the holy sanctuary itself, but rather by her single designation as the Virgin of the Lord.28 Functioning in the same manner as the physical boundaries of the sacred walls that once served to protect Mary’s purity, the title bestowed upon her by the priests serves to define a protective barrier as evident by the actions and events that occur immediately after she is given this new status. Namely, in the new care of her selected protector and husband, Joseph, who informs her that he needs to leave immediately to build houses, Mary is left alone with nothing except Joseph’s promise that “the Lord will protect you” (j¼qiºr se diavuImpact of Yom Kippur, 155 – 6. On Justin Martyr and Judaism, see O. Skarsaune, The Proof From Prophesy : A Study in Justin Martyr’s Proof-Text Tradition: Text-Type, Provenance, Theological Profile (Leiden: Brill, 1987). For the Christian supersession of animal sacrifice by the Eucharist, consult Ullucci, Christian Rejection, 65 – 118. 26 The majority of scholars read Mary’s potential pollution to which the priests refer at Prot. Jas. 8:4, as the result of menstruation. Whether Mary actually menstruates is not clear in the narrative. What is made clear in the text, however, is that at the age of twelve, the priests fear she will pollute the Temple if she continues to live there. For an argument that Mary does not experience menstruation and proceeds from pubescent child to pregnancy without bleeding, see J.A. Glancy, Corporal Knowledge: Early Christian Bodies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 111 – 12. 27 Glancy, Corporal Knowledge, 106 – 9. 28 On the various ways Mary’s virginity is used to characterise her, consult M.F. Foskett, AVirgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002), 141 – 64.

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k²nei; Prot. Jas. 9:12). Joseph’s transferring of responsibility of Mary to the Lord reinforces the obsolete nature of the past physical walls that served to protect her (i. e., bedroom-turned-sanctuary, the sacred walls of the Temple, and Joseph’s humble home), but also that Mary’s protection is vouchsafed in the Lord’s claim over her body. Mary’s new status as the Lord’s Virgin may explain why Mary, despite being protected physically all her life, may now be found fetching water in the foreign space of the outside world (Prot. Jas. 11:1), travelling to her kin Elizabeth’s house without the help of escorts (i. e., undefiled Hebrew daughters) (Prot. Jas. 12:3; cf. 7:4 – 5), and even giving birth in a cave (Prot. Jas. 19:15 – 16). In all such settings, divinity not only follows her wherever she goes, but rather transforms her into the divine.29 In the same way that the Jerusalem Temple functioned as God’s holy residence on earth and served as a place through which the sacred could be accessed if purity regulations were followed, Mary’s designation as the Lord’s Virgin sets her aside for God and her body, which is not only pure, but also holy, transforms into a sacred Temple suitable for the son of God. While the imagery of a symbolic Temple in some early Christian and “Jewish Christian” literature may suggest the supersession of the physical Temple, I contend that something different is being proposed by the Prot. Jas.’s presentation of Mary’s body as a symbolic or metaphysical Temple. Instead, the imagery evoked by Mary’s temple body encourages not a replacement of the Jerusalem Temple but rather functions as a metaphor for the kind of sacred space needed to accommodate the prenatal dwelling of the divine.30 If the Holy of Holies is the ultimate and supreme locale for the sacred, Mary’s body must replicate these physical conditions in order to house her most holy child. Admittedly, while Mary’s temple body does not seek to replace the Temple and its sacrificial cult, per se, the physical Jerusalem Temple is also noticeably replaced in the spotlight by a focus on Mary’s virgin body in the second half of the narrative. A possible reading for its seemingly diminished presence is that Mary’s temple body is meant to supersede the physical Jerusalem Temple since it is her body and not the Jerusalem Temple that now features prominently in the narrative. Most important for this possible interpretation is a final Temple scene that appears at the end of the narrative at chapters 23 – 24, when John’s 29 In ancient literature, the public space of the outside world is most threatening for virgins because they have something to lose. The major threats at hand are, of course, rape, seduction, and the loss of one’s virginity. For this reason, they are often protected by the enclosed walls of their private space at home. Keeping virgins indoors and thus out of view of sexually dangerous men is a novelistic convention in Jewish, Christian, and Roman narrative. Virgins who are harassed and threatened often experience these threats specifically when they leave the protected space of their home (e. g., Susanna 15 – 17, Leucippe and Clitophon, and Daphnis and Chloe; 2 Macc 3:19, and 3 Macc 1:18 attest to the uncontrollable sexual desire of men; Virg. 2, Tertullian insists that virgins should be veiled precisely for this reason); Foskett, Virgin Conceived, 152 – 3. 30 On Mary’s extraordinary sacred body and its wholeness, consult Glancy, Corporal Knowledge, 106 – 9.

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father Zechariah is depicted serving at the altar when Herod’s henchmen come to ask him about his son’s whereabouts. The confrontation results in the shedding of Zechariah’s blood at the entrance of the Lord’s Temple and the defilement of the sacred Jerusalem Temple. Indeed, upon discovering Zechariah’s blood now turned to stone, the priests “ripped their robes from top to bottom” as “the panels of the temple cried out…” (Prot. Jas. 24:8).31 The contamination of the altar may suggest the Temple as no longer a viable means for offering sacrifices, achieving atonement, and expressing devotion to God32 as the narrative’s redirected focus on Mary’s holy body encourages Mary as the new locale for proper worship.33 Problematic with this interpretation, however, is the reappearance of the physical Temple at the end of the narrative and Zechariah’s claim that “I am a minister of God, attending to his Temple” (Prot. Jas. 23:3) when Herod’s henchmen question him about his son’s location. Before Zechariah is slain, he makes it quite clear that the Temple still functions as the centre of religious life and that his duties and obligations as minister of God are to the Temple. Despite the Temple’s absence, the priests still make an appearance, albeit as testers and witnesses to Mary’s sustained virginity (Prot. Jas. 15:1 – 16:8). While the pouring of Zechariah’s blood may cause the Temple to be temporarily defiled, its use is still made apparent by the subsequent deliberations not to shut down the Temple, but rather to select a new high priest. Simeon is chosen by priestly deliberations, but as demonstrated by the interactions between the priests and God throughout the narrative, their deliberations are guided and approved by God’s will, thus suggesting a still valid Temple and ritual cult. Mary’s temple body may be more important than the physical Jerusalem Temple, but its centrality to the narrative in the second half of the Prot. Jas. does not entirely negate the continued importance of the Temple.

31 Cf. Amos 8:3 where this imagery is also used. 32 Innocent bloodshed and the consequent contamination of the Temple was considered the primary pollutant of the land and the most severe sin in early Judaism precisely because it was the earthly locale for God’s presence when kept holy – the consequence of an unholy temple is the departure of God. For a discussion on the consequences of a defiled Temple, see Klawans, Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple, esp. chapter seven, “The Last Supper, the Temple Incident, and the ‘Spiritualization’ of Sacrifice in the New Testament”; T. Frymer-Kensky, “Pollution, Purification, and Purgation in Biblical Israel”, in C.L. Meyers/M. O’Connor (ed.), The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1983), 401. 33 Cf. Stephen’s discourse on the proper place to worship in Acts 7, a first-century debate over the exclusivity of worshipping God in the Jerusalem Temple and a critique of his accusers’ claim that God can only be worshiped within the confines of the Jerusalem Temple.

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Conclusion In the second and third centuries, the Second Temple (along with its sacrifices, festivals, cult, laws of purity, and the like) continued to be an important symbol and image for various post-destruction religious groups, including Jews, Christians, and Romans, despite the fact that it no longer physically existed. For these different groups, weaving collective memories of the Temple and its sacrificial cult into their worldview and in their own terms helped form and carve out new identities as distinguishable from, and at times contrasting to, other religious groups. Engaging the same religious space of the Temple, the apocryphal narrative of the Prot. Jas. relates the story of Mary’s early life against the backdrop of the Jerusalem Temple. However, unlike many of its Christian counterparts or even other “Jewish Christian” literature that feature a continued interest in the Temple, the Prot. Jas. does not seem to articulate its concern in terms of supersession (i. e., Jesus as new Temple, Christ-believing community as new Temple, old temple replaced by “heavenly temple”, ritual of Eucharist and Baptism as replacement for the ritual of sacrifice, etc.). In fact, the positive and prominent role the Temple and its priesthood have in the narrative, particularly the first half, coupled with the presentation of Mary and her body as a symbolic Temple sacrifice and symbolic Temple respectively, are akin to the ideas surrounding Temple sacrifice and purity. In this way, the Prot. Jas.’s attempt to present the practices and rituals of the Jerusalem Temple and all for which it stood as being compatible with the importance of Mary and her son help not only justify the traditions, rituals, and practices of the community that gave rise to the text, but also serve as an important distinguishing marker of their identity.

Jacob A. Latham

Battling Bishops, the Roman Aristocracy, and the Contestation of Civic Space in Late Antique Rome

You cannot, indeed, share the table of the Lord and the table of demons at the same time, or drink from the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of demons; you cannot be a temple of God and a temple of the devil; light and shadow cannot come together at the same time in you.1 (cf. 1 Cor. 10:21 – 22)

In an epistle to the Christian senator Andromachus and the aristocracy of Rome written c. 495, bishop Gelasius (492 – 6) condemned the Lupercalia, perhaps the last traditional cult public ritual performed at Rome, in an attempt to force the Roman elite, largely if not entirely Christian by this point, to choose between his episcopal version of Christianity or its enduring commitment to Roman tradition. To drive this wedge between the aristocracy and its heritage and to defend his right to define proper Christianity, Gelasius drew upon a Latin episcopal discourse seemingly inaugurated in the mid-third century by Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage (248 – 58), who invoked 1 Corinthians in his own intra-Christian competition. In 250, Cyprian wrote an angry epistle to the presbyters and deacons who had supposedly usurped his authority by offering reconciliation to those who had sacrificed or obtained a libellus, even if forged, in response to emperor Decius’ demand for universal sacrifice. Cyprian employed the words of the “blessed Apostle” to emphasise the gravity of the offense and to assert his authority over penance.2 After the conversion of the emperor Constantine (305 – 37), Christians were no longer forced to sacrifice, but episcopal authority was still contested and bishops continued to lean on the rhetoric of Paul to assert their prerogative to adjudicate Christian behaviour – both inside the church and out in the streets. 1 I would like to thank audiences at the SBL and the Sewanee Medieval Conference as well as the members of the Late Antiquity Faculty Research Seminar at UTK and the editors of this volume for comments and suggestions to improve this essay. Any errors, omissions, and oversights remain, of course, my responsibility. Gelasius I, Adversum Andromachum 9 G. PomarÀs (ed.), Lettre contre les Lupercales et dix-huit messes du Sacramentaire L¦onien (SC 65; Paris: Cerf, 1959). 2 Cyprian Letter 16.2. On Decius’ universal sacrifice, see J. Rives, “The Decree of Decius and the Religion of Empire”, JRS 89 (1999) 135 – 54. J. Kovacs, 1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Medieval Commentators (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2005), xxii–xxv and 169 – 71, does not discuss Cyprian, but the bishop of Carthage does stand at the head of a Latin episcopal discourse.

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At the end of his letter, Gelasius reluctantly admitted that his efforts to polarise a fluid situation had failed “as now not even you yourselves [the aristocracy] want to desist from mad, wild undertakings.”3 Even if Gelasius lost this particular contest, by the late-fifth century the tide had begun to turn as the bishops of Rome ever more forcefully asserted their claim on the civic spaces of Rome. Prior to this point, however, traditional public ceremonies controlled the public sphere and monumental centre of a still classical city. To process through a space defines that very space. Public ceremonies and spectacles, like processions, forged symbolic and imaginative topographies by which an ancient Roman could understand and interpret the city. As nearly naked young men ran through the civic centre striking spectators during the Lupercalia, a vision of Roman history stretching back to the hoary days of archaic Rome could emerge. The full slate of such ceremonies, which occupied Rome’s festal calendar, defined the city and what meant it to be Roman.4 To process through a space also claims that space – at least during the actual performance – for which reason urban rivalries often resulted in contentious and competing ritual processions. Consequently, during the century after Constantine, Christian communities increasingly turned to processions and public ceremonies as a means to assert a claim on the city and to re-invent or “Christianize” civic identities. In addition to Constantinople and Carthage, Christian processions emerged all over the Roman world – from the deserts of Egypt to the small towns of northern Gaul.5 In many cases, intra-Christian competition spurred these symbolic contests for urban control. Occasionally public spectacle could displace violent conflict, even if such spectacles were also at times the occasion for violence. As elsewhere, Rome in the fourth and fifth centuries witnessed its share of intra-Christian competition. However, some of the richest families in the Roman world publicly demonstrated their adherence to classical tradition by patronising a lavish calendar of civic ceremonies, which saturated the Roman public sphere, its streets and squares. For which reason, the institutional church, whose growing resources did not yet match that of an average elite family, could not convert its more limited economic capital into symbolic capital by means of public ceremony.6 Thwarted by enduring aristocratic 3 Gelasius Adv. Andromachum 32. 4 M. Beard/J. North/S.R.F. Price, Religions of Rome: A History (vol. 1; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 75. On the fourth-century calendar see M.R. Salzman, On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1990). 5 J. Timbie, “A Liturgical Procession in the Desert of Apa Shenoute”, in D. Frankfurter (ed.), Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt (Leiden: Brill, 1998) 415 – 41 and G. Nathan, “The Rogation Ceremonies of Late Antique Gaul: Creation, Transmission and the Role of the Bishop”, ClassicaMed 49 (1998) 275 – 303. 6 P. Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), 112 – 21.

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habits of public display, an ecclesiastical public presence first emerged mainly on the margins of the city, where disorganised crowds gathered at martyr churches – which were often financed by Christian aristocrats, notably women, whose devotions did not always coincide with that of the bishop.7 Faced with the aristocratic domination of the public sphere and internal divisions within the church, intra-Christian competition at Rome in the fourth and fifth centuries took the form, at least rhetorically, of siege, occupation, and war. The institutional church could not contest the spaces of Rome symbolically or ritually, that is through its own processions or other public ceremonies, and so instead resorted to violence and bloodshed – until 556 when the gradual Christianization of the aristocracy and the erosion of its wealth allowed the first Christian procession at Rome.

Christian Competition at Constantinople and Carthage After the conversion of Constantine, Christian communities throughout the empire began to stake their claims to the urban public sphere through processions, which at times provoked counter-processions by competing Christian communities. As bishop of Constantinople (379 – 81), Gregory Nazianzus proudly recounted leading a procession to reclaim a church from the “Arians,” who had lined the itinerary to harass Gregory’s “Nicene” congregation: The market places were full, the colonnades, streets, every place, two and three storey houses were full of people leaning out, men, women, children, the very aged. There were scuffles, sobbing, tears, and cries, all giving the impression of a town taken by force. I, the hero and the commander … moved on, supported by hope, until I entered the church, I don’t know how.8

During the episcopate of John Chrysostom (398 – 404), Constantinople even witnessed dueling processions. Each weekend night, “Arians” gathered in the public squares of Constantinople to chant antiphonal hymns whose refrains supposedly featured their dogma. At dawn, while still chanting they would “parade through the midst of the city” to their places of assembly outside the walls. With imperial support, Chrysostom instituted more elaborate proces7 On the tensions between elites and bishops, see P.R.L. Brown, The Cults of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), esp. 23 – 49. On female patrons and divergent worship, see N. Denzey, The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007), esp. 125 – 47. 8 G. Nazianzus, Concerning his own life 1331 – 41 in Gregory of Nazianzus, Autobiographical Poems (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), on which see L. Brubaker, “Topography and the Creation of Public Space in Early Medieval Constantinople”, in M. de Jong/F. Theuws/C. van Rhijn (ed.), Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2001) 31 – 43, esp. 37 – 8.

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sions by which the “orthodox became more distinguished, for they had silver crosses and lighted tapers borne before them, and in a short time surpassed the opposing heretics in number and processions.”9 In 411, Donatist and catholic church leaders gathered at Carthage for a council which aimed to repair their rift. As they arrived at the city, each group staged a spectacular entrance by which, it would seem, they asserted a claim to Carthage and so also to orthodoxy. According to Augustine, bishop of Hippo (395 – 430), when the catholic clergy entered the city, So many bishops assembled from the whole of Africa and they enter[ed] Carthage with such a procession of splendid retinue that they caused the eyes and attention of so great a city to turn towards themselves.10

Similarly, the arrival of the Donatists was also supposedly witnessed by not just the entire city, but by the entirety of North Africa.11 Seemingly the ritual contest for Carthage was a draw. Just three years earlier, Augustine and other North African bishops also had to contend with traditional cult public ceremonies. In 408, Augustine protested to Nectarius, a civic official of Calama, that the church at Calama had been stoned when Christian clerics attempted to stop a traditional ritual procession during which “a most arrogant mob of [“pagan”] dancers passed on the same street in front of the doors of the church.”12 In the end, Augustine and the other bishops solicited and received imperial intervention to resolve this clash, while Gelasius, by contrast, had to endure the continued “mad, wild undertakings” of Rome’s elite.

Aristocratic Spectacle at Rome In the fourth and fifth centuries, the late antique aristocracy of Rome, both “pagan” and Christian, competed for honour and prestige through a litany of traditional spectacles – a public arena in which to contest symbolic civic 9 Socrates Scholasticus HE 6.8 (trans. NPNF 22) and Sozomen, HE 8.8 (trans. adapted NPNF 22), on which see J.F. Baldovin, The Urban Character of Christian Worship: The Origins, Development, and Meaning of Stational Liturgy (Rome: Pont. Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1987), 181 – 5; and N. Andrade, “The Processions of John Chrysostom and the Contested Spaces of Constantinople”, JECS 18 (2010) 161 – 89. 10 Augustine Ad Donatistas post collationem 25.43. 11 Gesta collationis Carthaginiensis 1.14.7 – 11 and 1.29.1 – 4, on which see S. Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284 – 641 (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2007), 280 – 2. 12 Augustine Letter 91.8 (trans. R.J. Teske), on which see E. Hermanowicz, “Catholic Bishops and Appeals to the Imperial Court: A Legal Study of the Calama Riots in 408”, JECS 12 (2004) 481 – 521; and D. Riggs, “Christianizing the Rural Communities of Late Roman Africa: A Process of Coercion of Persuasion”, in H.A. Drake (ed.), Violence in Late Antiquity : Perceptions and Practices (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006) 297 – 308, esp. 300.

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authority that was not yet available to the institutional church. Chariot races in the Circus Maximus continued to attract enormous crowds, offering an unparalleled opportunity for public munificence. On race day, the festivities opened with a glittering procession, which probably still followed its traditional itinerary from the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter through the Forum to the Circus, led by the sponsor of the games, who then presided over the wildly popular races. Symmachus, a “pagan” aristocrat, supposedly shelled out nearly 2,000 pounds of gold on the praetorian games of his son in 401. A short while later the Christian senator Maximus apparently doubled that on his son’s games. By contrast, the bishop of Rome seems to have had a comparatively meager annual income of approximately 400 pounds of gold. No mean sum, but equivalent only to a lower-level aristocratic household.13 Even the Colosseum witnessed shows and spectacles, though no longer gladiatorial combat, until the mid-sixth century. No wonder bishop Leo I (440 – 61) could complain that “more effort is spent on demons than on the apostles, and the wild entertainments draw greater crowds than the shrines of martyrs.”14 At the beginning of the third century, Tertullian voiced similar concerns about the allure of the games, insisting that Christian worship offered “things more deserving of thanks than the circus or whichever theater or amphitheater, or any stadium.”15 That is, much as Gelasius seems to have followed Cyprian, so too did Leo echo another thirdcentury North African Christian author. In some ways, the contest to define Christianity remained remarkably consistent from the third to the fifth century. Other public ceremonies also remained important to Rome’s elite, notably the processus consularis, an inauguration procession that led the consul-elect from his home to the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter where he would conduct his first session of the Senate. Although Praetextatus seems to have died before

13 Given the dubious nature of all ancient statistics, these figures offer only a relative perspective on aristocratic and episcopal wealth, on which see A.H.M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 284 – 602 (2 vol.: Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1964, repr. 1986), 1.554 – 7 and 2.894 – 910; J. Matthews, Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court AD 364 – 425 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 277 – 8 and 384; C. Pietri, Roma Christiana: Recherches sur l’Eglise de Rome, son organization, sa politique, son id¦ologie de Miltiade ‚ Sixte III (311–440) (2 vol.: Rome: Êcole franÅaise de Rome, 1976), 1.77 – 96; and C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400 – 800 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), esp. 155 – 68. On the games, see R. Lim, “People as Power : Games, Munificence and Contested Topography”, in W.V. Harris (ed.), The Transformation of the Urbs Roma in Late Antiquity (Portsmouth, R.I.: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1999), 265 – 81 and J. Harries, “Favor populi: Pagans, Christians and Public Entertainment in Late Antique Italy”, in K. Lomas/T. Cornell (ed.), Bread and Circuses: Euergetism and Municipal Patronage in Roman Italy (New York: Routledge, 2003) 125 – 41. 14 Leo I Sermons 84.1 (trans. J.P. Freeland and A.J. Conway). 15 Tertullian Spect. 30.

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having taken office in 384, Jerome still imagined what appears to have been the consular procession of the “arch-pagan”: Before whom a few days ago the highest of all dignitaries walked as he ascended the peaks of the Capitol, almost as if he had triumphed over defeated enemies, [and] whom the Roman people received with applause and celebration.16

Just before his execution in 524, the Christian Boethius fondly and eloquently consoled himself with the memory of the last known consular procession at Rome two years earlier which honoured his sons: If genuine happiness ever comes from the affairs of mortals, could the weight of any crowding ills, however great, obliterate the memory of that glory you experienced when you saw your two sons borne from your house together as consuls, in the crowd of senators and the throng of the rejoicing populace?17

Whether pagan or Christian, the Roman aristocracy continued to deploy some of its extravagant wealth in support of traditional civic spectacles, maintaining the heritage industry upon which elite identity was in part based.18 Nascent Christian public ceremonies could not yet compete with such prestigious traditions.

Imagining Christian Public Ceremonial In the fourth and fifth centuries, the increasingly wealthy institutional church began to encroach upon Rome’s public sphere. Beginning in the early fourth century, the church of Rome slowly but steadily accrued a number of monumental churches, especially extra-mural martyr shrines, many of which pope Damasus (366 – 84) graced with inscribed poems honouring Roman Christian martyrs in a classical idiom as a way to re-imagine Rome’s illustrious history.19 During this same period, unorganised groups of Christians moved unsystematically through the city often en masse to the newly monumentalised tombs of the martyrs. These surprisingly modest Christian claims on the city were largely static, immobile, or unstructured and 16 Jerome Letter 23.3. 17 Boethius Consolations 2.3.25 – 30 (trans. S.J. Tester), on which see M. Beard, The Roman Triumph (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), 277 – 80. 18 On the Roman heritage industry, see N. McLynn, “Crying Wolf: The Pope and the Lupercalia”, JRS 98 (2008) 161 – 75. 19 K. Bowes, Private Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late Antiquity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 61 – 3 on the slow pace of fourth-century church building. See M. S‚ghy, “Scinditur in partes populus: Pope Damasus and the Martyrs of Rome”, EME 9 (2000) 273 – 87 and D. Trout, “Damasus and the Invention of Early Christian Rome”, JMEMS 33 (2003) 517 – 36.

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often peripheral, situated near or beyond the walls in contrast to the fleeting spectacles that occupied Rome’s still vibrant monumental core. Even though classical ceremonies crowded out any competition for the public sphere, Christian authors could still conjure Christian attempts to claim it ritually. Ensconced in Bethlehem, whose geographical and social distance may have encouraged his fertile imagination, Jerome (c. 347 – 420) envisioned an otherwise very traditional aristocratic funeral procession during which “Psalms re-echoed loudly and cries of ‘Alleluia’ shook the gilded roofs of the temples” in place of traditional prayers.20 A few years later, Jerome, still in the Holy Land, formulated a starker vision of the “Christianization” of Rome: “The gilded Capitol today looks dingy, all the temples in Rome are covered with soot and cobwebs, the city is shaken to its foundations, and the people hurry past the ruined shrines and pour out to visit the martyrs’ graves.”21 Jerome’s contemporary, Prudentius (348 – p. 405), a poet originally from Spain, offered a similar but more elaborate scene: The majestic city disgorges her Romans in a stream; with equal ardor patricians and plebeian host are jumbled together shoulder to shoulder … equally from Alba’s gates the white-robed troops deploy and pass on in long lines. Loud sounds of rejoicing rise from diverse roads leading from different places … Scarcely can the broad plains hold the joyous multitudes.22

Rhetorical exaggeration aside, the crowds of Jerome and Prudentius are just that, crowds, lacking the organisation and spectacularity that define the ritual of procession: the people pouring out of Rome knew where to go, but not how to go. Even the movements of the bishop of Rome seem to have lacked ritualisation. Prudentius also described the dual feast of Peter and Paul on June 29, during which a harried bishop first performed services at St Peter’s north of Rome’s wall and then at St Paul’s outside the southernmost walls: See, the people of Romulus goes pouring through the streets two separate ways, for the same day is busy with two festivals… The sleepless bishop performs the sacred ceremonies first across the Tiber, then hurries back to this side and repeats his offerings.23 20 Jerome Letter 77.11 (trans. F.A. Wright), on which see A.M. Yasin, Saints and Church Spaces in the Late Antique Mediterranean: Architecture, Cult, and Community (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 62 – 3. 21 Jerome Letter 107.1 (trans. Wright). 22 Prudentius Peristephanon 11.199 – 211 (trans. H.J. Thomson). 23 Prudentius Peristephanon 12.57 – 63 (trans. Thomson), on which see D. Trout, “Saints, Identity, and the City”, in V. Burrus (ed.), Late Ancient Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005) 165 – 87. On ritualisation, see C. Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

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A few years later (c. 417), Orosius in North Africa fabricated a startling scene from the sack of Rome in 410 in which an aged virgin offered silver and gold liturgical vessels to a plundering Goth, who reported the offer to Alaric. Alaric then ordered the treasure to be escorted to St Peter’s: And so, to the great wonder of all, the gold and silver vessels, distributed one to each individual and raised above their heads, were carried openly ; the pious procession was guarded on all sides for their protection by drawn swords; a hymn to God was sung publicly with Romans and barbarians joining in.24

Plainly, this story appears “suspiciously hagiographic.”25 Only an author who had never been to Rome could imagine a Christian procession there. In short, in the fourth and fifth centuries, the civic elite as impresario of spectacle and custodian of tradition patronised ceremonies that still dominated and defined the public sphere. This same elite buttressed its claim on the ancient heart of Rome, the Forum in particular, by restoring buildings and erecting statues.26 During this same period, disorganised Christian crowds flocked to extramural martyr-shrines as a humble Christian civic presence first developed.

Battling Bishops Limited by the aristocratic domination of the public sphere, rival claimants to the See of Peter could not contest civic space, and so also Rome, through public ceremonial. Elsewhere, Christians could symbolically vie for civic domination, while intra-Christian competition at Rome apparently turned violent.27 In 355, the archdeacon Felix was appointed to replace bishop Liberius (352 – 24 Orosius The Seven Books of History against the Pagans 7.39.6 –10 (trans. R.J. Deferrari). 25 H. Sivan, “Alaricus Rex: Legitimizing a Gothic King”, in R. Corradini/M. Diesenberger/H. Reimitz (ed.), The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 110. 26 See C. Machado, “Building the Past”, in W. Bowden/A. Gutteridge/C. Machado (ed.), Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 2006) 157 – 92; idem, “Religion as Antiquarianism: Pagan Dedications in Late Antique Rome”, in J. Bodel/M. Kajava (ed.), Dediche sacre nel mondo greco-romano (Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, 2009) 331 – 54; and G. Kalas, “Writing and Restoration in Rome: Inscriptions, Statues and the Late Antique Preservation of Buildings”, in C. Goodson/A.E. Lester/C. Symes (ed.), Cities, Texts, and Social Networks, 400 – 1500 (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2010) 21 – 43. 27 Cf. “The distinctively Christian character of public life at Milan,” described by N. McLynn, Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1994), 220 – 51 (quote p. 220). See E. Wirbelauer, “Die Nachfolger Bestimmung im römischen Bistum (3.–6. Jh.): Doppelwahlen und Absetzungen in ihrer herrschaftssoziologischen Bedeutung”, Klio 76 (1994) 388 – 437, esp. 407 – 21, for the contested elections considered below; and J. Latham, “From Literal to Spiritual Soldiers of Christ: Disputed Episcopal Elections and the Advent of Christian Processions in Late Antique Rome”, CH 81 (2012) 298 – 327.

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66) whom emperor Constantius (337 – 61) had exiled. To placate Liberius’ supporters and to stake a legitimate claim on the city, Felix attempted to hold a procession or to make a public appearance (processio) which an angry populace halted.28 Despite a rough start, Felix remained bishop until eventually Constantius re-instated Liberius. Felix then temporarily retired to an estate outside the walls. “Shortly thereafter, at the instigation of the clergy, Felix invaded the city” and seized the Julian Basilica in Trastevere (modern Santa Maria in Trastevere), where “he dared to offer a station (statio)” – the first attested use of statio to mean a liturgical gathering – before he was once again expelled from Rome.29 In classical Latin, statio was a staging post, an anchorage, or an armed fort, though in early Christian Latin it was also a fast. In this context, statio as both a military outpost and a liturgical synaxis seems appropriate, as if Felix had besieged the city, breached its walls, and then occupied the basilica in order to perform the Eucharist. After Felix’s failed coup, Liberius continued as bishop until his death, at which point one of his successors, Damasus, seemingly engaged in outright warfare to eliminate his rival, Ursinus, who had also been elected. According to a pro-Ursinian epistle, when Damasus, who had always canvassed for the episcopacy, found out [about the election of Ursinus], he roused all the charioteers and ignorant rabble by bribery. Armed with cudgels, he forced his way into the Julian Basilica and raged without control for three days with a great slaughter of the faithful.30

During the massacre, Damasus occupied the Lateran basilica, where he was ordained one week later. Ursinus was exiled from Rome, while his supporters occupied the newly constructed Liberian basilica as a means to associate themselves and their candidate with the popular deceased bishop. Then Damasus with the perfidious summoned the gladiators, charioteers, gravediggers, and all the clergy. With axes, swords, and cudgels, he besieged the basilica and roused grievous battle… Breaking down the doors and setting a fire, having assailed, he invaded… Then, as they forced their way into the basilica, all the Damasiani slaughtered a hundred and sixty of the people, as many men as women. They wounded even more, many of whom died.31

According to Ammianus Marcellinus, likely describing the same slaughter : “in the basilica of Sicininus, where the assembly of the Christian sect is held, in a single day a hundred and thirty-seven corpses of the slain were found.”32 The 28 Coll. Avell. 1.2 = Collectio Avellana: Epistulae imperatorum pontificum aliorum inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque ad a. DLIII datae Avellana quae dicitur collectio (CSEL 35; Vindobonae: F. Tempsky, 1895 – 98). 29 Coll. Avell. 1.3, on which see C. Mohrmann, “Statio”, VC 7 (1953) 221 – 45. 30 Coll. Avell. 1.5. 31 Coll. Avell. 1.7. 32 Ammianus Marcellinus 27.3.13 (trans. J.C. Rolfe).

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Ursinians then gathered at the martyrium of St Agnese until Damasus “armed with his accomplices attacked and destroyed many in a massacre of his ravaging.”33 This last bloodbath effectively ended the Ursinian opposition. Approximately a half-century later in 418, the archdeacon Eulalius and the presbyter Boniface (418 – 22) competed for the episcopal throne. According to a proponent of Eulalius, the urban prefect, the archdeacon simply “tarried [at the Lateran] with great multitudes and the majority of the priests,” while a partisan of Boniface insisted that “blockading every entrance entirely, the archdeacon Eulalius … occupied the Lateran church with deacons, a very few presbyters, and uproarious hordes of plebs.”34 In response, after his consecration Boniface and his supporters “advanced upon the basilica of the holy apostle Peter.” The urban prefect used the verb procedo to describe the Boniface’s march on St Peter’s, a verb that usually meant to go forward or advance, often with a military overtone, though in later Latin it was also used for processions.35 Like statio, procedo seemingly had a double significance, both ritual and especially martial. In fact, shortly after having been expelled from the city, Boniface was ordered to appear before the prefect without any further public display. “With contempt for the charge, Boniface marched upon [or processed to (processit)] the city, turning the prefect’s agent over to his followers to be roughed up.”36 Boniface then, unsuccessfully, attacked the walls. After a violent struggle, he was stopped at the gates and then put under surveillance by the urban prefect. Eventually Boniface convinced the emperor Honorius to call a synod to settle matters, during which time the bishop of Spoleto was to assume liturgical duties in Rome. Eulalius, seemingly unable to await judgment, returned to Rome supposedly at the behest of his flock and forcibly reoccupied the Lateran. After Eulalius was driven out by the urban prefect, his one-time advocate, the emperor unsurprisingly made Boniface bishop. At the very end of the fifth and into the early-sixth century, another conflict between two episcopal candidates, the deacon Symmachus (498 – 514) and the presbyter Laurence, roiled Rome. Initially Theodoric the Ostrogoth, then king of Italy, decided in favour of Symmachus, while Laurence was shuffled out of the city. The dispute remained quiet for a few years, until Laurence leveled serious charges against Symmachus, including consorting with a woman named “Spicy”. Symmachus was then summoned to Ravenna. However, when he saw the women with whom he was accused of sinning at a coastal town near 33 Coll. Avell. 1.12. 34 Coll. Avell. 14.4 and 17.2. 35 Coll. Avell. 14.6. In the Vulgate, Jerome used procedo with reference to war (along with the more general meaning to go forward): see e. g. 1 Chron. 5:18, Deut. 24:5, Jeremiah 46:3 in addition to Jerome Letter 127.4. In the late fourth century, procedo could also be used for processions, for example Egeria, Itinerarium peregrinatio 25 (CSEL 39; Vindobonae: F. Tempsky, 1898). 36 Coll. Avell. 16.3. For an outline of the schism, see S. Cristo, “Some Notes on the BonifacianEulalian Schism”, Aevum 51 (1977) 163 – 7.

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Ravenna, Symmachus “fled back to Rome and barricaded himself inside the precinct of St Peter the apostle.”37 A new synod was convened in Rome, which Symmachus refused to attend because, it seems, “those who were rightly in communion with blessed Symmachus and chanced to be at large in the city were killed by the sword.” Laurence’s supporters supposedly killed many sacerdotes, including Dignissimus and Gordian the priests of St Peter ad vincula and Saints John and Paul; these they killed with clubs and sword. They killed many Christians, so that it was unsafe for any clergy to travel in the city by day or night.38

Without Symmachus, the synod could not perform its job and so it disbanded leaving “the city in total chaos” – Symmachus barricaded in St Peter’s and Laurence acting as bishop while “civil wars … were fought and … terrible murders perpetrated.”39 Eventually, Symmachus again prevailed as Theodoric ordered Laurence to return control of the churches of Rome and their attached properties to Symmachus.

Conclusion Regardless of religious affiliation, the elite of late antique Rome, tremendously wealthy landowners with far-flung properties throughout the empire, unstintingly backed Roman public ceremonial and traditional festivals as a means to generate symbolic capital. By contrast, from the fourth into the midfifth century the institutional church, though nicely endowed, could not match the resources of middling aristocratic families and so could not assert its symbolic claim on the saturated public sphere. In addition, Christianity in Rome was riven by divergent conventions and practices. The bishop could not even claim to control the countless customs of Christian worship scattered throughout the city. Without an outlet for ritual contestation, rival claimants for the See of Peter could only resort to warfare. After Liberius’ return from exile, Felix, whose inaugural public presentation was halted by the people, invaded Rome and occupied a church before being ejected again. Damasus waged war against his rival Ursinus, assaulting the Julian Basilica where Damasus and his thugs rampaged for three days. Later, Damasus’ ruffians murdered over 100 Ursinians in the Liberian Basilica. At the end of the conflict, Damasus attacked and massacred most of the remaining Ursinians who had fled to St Agnese. 37 According to the fragmentary Laurentian version (52.3 – 4 and 52.14) of the Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne/C. Vogel (3 vol.; Paris: E. de Boccard, 1955), 1.44 and 1.46 (trans. adapted R. Davis). 38 Liber Pontificalis 53.5, the “official” pro-Symmachan vita (trans. Davis). 39 Liber Pontificalis Laurentian frg. 52.12 (trans. Davis).

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With reason then, the Ursinians contended that “Damasus waged war” repeatedly.40 Other intra-Christian disputes at Rome may not have tallied such a high body count, but they too witnessed violence and murder. Boniface first advanced upon and occupied St Peter’s. Then, once he had been expelled from the city, he again marched upon the city after having abused a member of the urban prefect’s staff. The Laurentian fragment of the Liber Pontificalis characterised the conflicts between Symmachus and Laurence as civil wars (bella civilia), while the “official” Symmachan version of the Liber Pontificalis insisted that no supporter of Symmachus could walk about the city for fear of Laurentian violence. By the end of the fifth century, the situation at Rome began to change. As sub-Roman successor kingdoms gradually came to dominate much of the western empire, most importantly the Vandal occupation of the most fertile North African provinces, the massive wealth of the Late Roman aristocracy gradually constricted. At the same time, this same aristocracy slowly converted to Christianity. Conversion did not necessarily entail the abandonment of traditional forms of public display, but Christianity did offer alternative forms of benefaction – for example, charitable donations for the poor, the patronage of ascetic communities, and the construction of Christian churches or chapels. As classical Roman traditions of public ceremonial lost their hold on the public sphere, the symbolic appropriation of the city by Christian public display developed. In 556, nearly 200 years later than elsewhere, the embattled bishop Pelagius I (556 – 61), who was suspected in the death of his predecessor Vigilius (537 – 55), staged a humble procession by which he hoped to prove his innocence. Starting from the church of a martyr who killed perjurers, St Pancras, Pelagius proclaimed his innocence and then paraded down the Janiculum hill to St Peter’s accompanied by hymns and spiritual chants. At St Peter’s, Pelagius held a gospel book and a cross above his head as he ascended the ambo, which proved to everyone that he had caused Vigilius no harm.41 After this procession, symbolic as well as violent means were available in subsequent intra-Christian contests for the city of Rome.

40 Coll. Avell. 1.9. 41 Liber Pontificalis 62.2. On the emergence of Christian processions at Rome, see Baldovin, Urban Character of Christian Worship, esp. 143 – 66; V. Saxer, “L’utilisation par la liturgie de l’espace urbain et suburbain: L’exemple de Rome dans l’Antiquit¦ et le Haut Moyen ffge”, in N. Duval/F. Baritel/P. Pergola (ed.), Actes du XIe Congre`s international d’arch¦ologie chr¦tienne: Lyon, Vienne, Grenoble, Gen¦ve et Aoste (21 – 28 septembre 1986) (3 vol.; Rome: Êcole franÅaise de Rome, 1989) 2:917 – 1033; and Latham, “Literal to Spiritual Soldiers”.

III: Modes of Competition

Karen B. Stern

Inscription as Religious Competition in Third-Century Syria*

Literary sources describe the ancient Mediterranean as rife with competition between devotees of discrepant cults and deities, as third-century pagan, Christian, and Jewish writers simultaneously proclaimed their exclusive rights to divine favour.1 Countless scholars have noted, however, that the notions of religious competition, which such texts express, reinforce, and perhaps create, need not represent the actual feelings and opinions of the vast majorities who populated the third-century Mediterranean. Rather, they reflect sentiments of erudite authors skilled in polemical composition.2 These texts often present slanted views of relationships between populations and mask more complex dynamics among their constituents.3 In this paper, I argue that neglected features of the archaeological record supply distinct insights about quotidian modes of religious competition among, rather than between, ancient pagans, Jews, and Christians. Hundreds * I acknowledge the generosity of the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation at Brooklyn College of City University of New York and of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, whose fellowships facilitated this research. Additionally, I thank Gregg Gardner and Molly Swetnam-Burland for their valuable comments on drafts of this paper. Any and all errors are, of course, my own. 1 Related discussions abound in the third-century works of Porphyry (Christ.), Cyprian (e. g., Test. I.1 – 6), and rabbinic editors of the Mishnah (e. g., m. Abot 3:14). Treatments also in R. Wilken, “Pagan Criticism of Christianity : Greek Religion and Christian Faith”, in W. Schoedel/R. Wilken (ed.), Early Christian Literature and Classical Intellectual Tradition: In Honorem Robert M. Grant (Paris: Beauchesne, 1979), 117 – 34; E.D. Digeser, “Lactantius, Porphyry, and the Debate Over Religious Toleration”, JRS 88 (1998) 129 – 46. Please note that all subsequent dates refer to those of the Common Era. 2 Scholars continue to debate whether comments of Christian writers reflect contemporaneous relationships between Jewish and Christian populations in the third century, or whether they are “hermeneutical” and interpret the acts of Jews at the time of Jesus and the apostles. Scholarly literature that addresses this point remains too extensive to summarise here, but treatments include J. Lieu, Image and Reality: The Jews in the World of the Christians in the Second Century (2nd ed., Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2003); and P. Fredriksen/O. Irshai, “Christian Anti-Judaism: Polemics and Policies”, in S. Katz (ed.), The Cambridge History of Judaism. Vol. 4: The Late Roman/Rabbinic Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) 977 – 1035. For additional overview and bibliography, M. Taylor, Anti-Judaism and Early Christianity : A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Leiden: Brill, 1995), 95 – 105. 3 Nuanced treatment of related points in D. Frankfurter, “Beyond ‘Jewish Christianity,’ Continuing Religious Subcultures in the Second and Third Centuries and their Documents”, in A.H. Becker/ A.Y. Reed (ed.), The Ways that Never Parted (TSAJ 95; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) 131 – 44.

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of examples of graffiti (incised writings) and dipinti (painted writings) discovered in cultic buildings in the Roman Syrian town of Dura Europos, for example, offer an unexpected trove of information about how local populations used common and socially acceptable media to compete with one another for divine attention in religious and sacred settings.4 Comparative evaluation of related texts from Durene buildings, moreover, reveals how devotees modified locally conventional graffiti-writing practices to communicate more effectively with the divine. Graffiti from Dura, traditionally overlooked as unexceptional,5 thus offer renewed perspectives on how thirdcentury devotees in one Syrian town competed with each other in cultic and religious contexts. When viewed in isolation, neither ancient nor modern graffiti appear to have much to do with competition, defined as a contest between rivals; they might seem, rather, to signify a writer’s self-indulgence or self-promotion. But in antiquity, as well as modernity, the physical placement of a graffito remains as critical for its interpretation as its content. In modern south central Los Angeles, a spray-painted tag on a building rarely serves as a random advertisement for a specific gang. It signifies, rather, that gang’s territorial appropriation of an associated building, adjacent street, or geographic area.6 Likewise, interpretations of ancient markings require close review of their placements, as well as their semantic contents. And while graffiti drawn on walls of shops, markets, and city gates in Dura all begged for the consideration of passersby, graffiti in religious settings, I argue, served an intensified function – to vie for the notice of gods and humans alike.7 The Durene temples of the Aphlad and Mithras, as well as the synagogue, and Christian building, were not simply places where privileged activities occurred, such as sacrifice and/or recitations of liturgy. These spaces, rather, served as interactive landscapes in which individuals used various means, such as writing on walls,

4 I differently designate cultic and religious activities based on the precise devotional practices conducted in the associated space. Cultic practices included libation, vegetable and animal sacrifices, while religious practices encompass acts of liturgy and prayer. These practices often overlapped throughout Dura and are therefore not absolute or exclusive. Consideration of activities associated with Durene temples can be found in S. Downey, Mesopotamian Religious Architecture: Alexander through the Parthians (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). 5 A recent exception to this rule is evident in the research of J.A. Baird, “The Graffiti of Dura Europos: A Contextual Approach”, in J.A. Baird/C. Taylor (ed.), Ancient Graffiti in Context (New York/London: Routledge, 2011) 49 – 68. 6 For related discussions of/on modern graffiti, see J. Ferrell, Crimes of Style: Urban Graffiti and the Politics of Criminality (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996). 7 Discussions of this point in A. Chaniotis, “Acclamations as a Form of Religious Communication”, in H. Cancik/J. Rüpke (ed.), Die Religion des Imperium Romanum: Koine und Konfrontationen (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999) 199 – 218; C. Rouech¦, “Acclamations in the Later Roman Empire: New Evidence from Aphrodisias”, JRS 74 (1984) 181 – 99; K. Stern, “Tagging Sacred Space in the Dura-Europos Synagogue”, JRA 25 (2012) 171 – 94.

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sculptural and architectural features, to express their piety and to compete for attention. Graffiti from Dura constitute rare data for the comparative discussion of intra-religious competition in the third century. Positioned beside the Euphrates along the modern Iraqi and Syrian borders, Dura had sustained a politically and culturally varied history ; regional Syrian and Greek, Arab, Parthian, and Roman populations venerated local, Palmyrene, and Hellenistic deities, Mithras, as well as Jewish and Christian gods. To prepare for the Persian/Sassanian assault on the town sometime between 255 and 257, Roman soldiers filled with earth the buildings abutting Dura’s mud-brick defense walls to fortify them against attack. The Sassanians eventually vanquished Dura, but structures adjacent to the city walls, such as the synagogue and the Christian building, remained.8 Supported portions of the buildings were preserved up to their ceilings,9 and thus graffiti on building walls, columns, and other architectural features unusually survive the destruction of the town. Graffiti provide an unparalleled window into the interactions of a far wider swath of society than do literary sources with a decided elite bias, partly because their writings preserve the work of the sufficiently literate hoi polloi. While formal dedicatory inscriptions installed in local temples were originally painted or carved by professional artisans, graffiti were often scratched directly by building visitors; their markings were mostly preserved in situ. Unlike most extant ancient writing, moreover, these markings are unedited; individuals applied them to surfaces, often spontaneously, with a stylus, nail, or paintbrush. Literary polemics, such as those of Cyprian, Porphyry, and the rabbis, necessarily reflect the views of rigorously trained elites, but scratched texts discovered in Durene buildings offer rare windows into the everyday religious practices and modes of competition among otherwise anonymous individuals and populations.

Temple of the Aphlad Abundant examples of graffiti were uncovered in the fifth season of excavations in Dura inside the so-called Temple of the Aphlad in the southwest corner of the town.10 Dedicatory inscriptions identify the Aphlad as 8 S. James, “Stratagems, Combat, and ‘Chemical Warfare’ in the Siege Mines of Dura-Europos”, AJA 115 (2011) 69 – 101. 9 Discussion of Durene ceiling decoration in K.B. Stern, “Mapping devotion in Roman Dura Europos: A reconsideration of the synagogue ceiling”, AJA 114 (2010) 473 – 504. 10 C. Hopkins, “The Temple of the Aphlad”, in M.I. Rostovtzeff (ed.), Excavations at Dura Europos conducted by Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters: Preliminary Report of the Fifth Season of Work (1931 – 1932) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934) 98 – 132; 103, Pl. X, 1.

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a Semitic deity from “Anath of the Euphrates.”11 His temple precinct encompassed an assorted collection of shrines, rubble and mudbrick walls, and a larger cultic building.12 Scattered altars and statue bases were also uncovered in a larger open courtyard in the centre of the complex. Several features of the temple remain obscure, but discoveries of multiple altars with dedicatory inscriptions, cultic niches, statues, and paintings attested to its use as a locus of devotional activity. Several shrines in the precinct included wall niches that contained cultic reliefs. One such space, which excavators named the Aphlad shrine, consisted of a room with a niche beside built-in benches, situated behind the naos and adjacent to the city wall.13 Inside the shrine, a four-pointed gypsum altar surrounded an incense dish beside a shelf, possibly used for offerings, which abutted a plastered cultic niche containing a bas-relief statue of the god. A stone dedicatory inscription on the relief commemorated its donor, identified the portrayed deity as the Aphlad, and dated the original emplacement of the cult statue in the temple.14 Nearly 30 textual graffiti were discovered inside this shrine. All graffiti are in Greek and follow two common patterns. Some consist of signatures – they include only names and patronymics – while others request the remembrance (lmgsh0) of named individuals before the god. One graffito, for example, etched directly onto the front of the stand that supported the cult-statue, reads: “Remember (lmgsh0) Apollonios, son of Dexionikos and Barad(as) … .”15 Several other graffiti follow similar formulae; they include names and patronymics, which are often preceded by the letter “l” – the abbreviation for lmgsh0. Writers carved the graffiti directly around and inside the cultic niche. Thirteen other graffiti appeared on the face of the same niche and blanketed the western wall of the shrine. Several personal names recur in these graffiti, which might suggest that identical individuals applied their names multiple times around the same feature.16 Content, as well as paleography, distinguish these graffiti from neighbouring dedicatory inscriptions. Graffiti identify individuals’ names or requests for remembrance before other devotees and, perhaps, before the deity himself. Inscribers of these graffiti had little compunction about scratching over images, such as wall paintings that depicted divinities or sacrificial activities, or in other spaces of cultic import.17 Patterns in the placement of the Aphlad 11 P. Edwell, Between Rome and Persia: The Middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra under Roman Control (Oxon: Routledge, 2007), 72, 107; Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 107. 12 Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 98. 13 Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 103. 14 Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 102 – 4. 15 Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 120 – 1: insc. No. 419. See also numbers 420 – 3. 16 Repetition of personal names in different graffiti might, alternatively, indicate the names’ disproportionate local popularity among devotees to the Aphlad; note 19 below. 17 Hopkins, “Aphlad”, 104, Pl. XXXVII.

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graffiti, then, ultimately suggest something unexpected: that writers competed most for space and visibility around cultic imagery, architecture, and altars throughout the precinct.

Mithraeum Similar genres of graffiti appear in other buildings dedicated to different deities, in which cultic activities also took place, such as the Mithraeum. Zodiac images and scenes from the life of Mithras adorned paintings and carved reliefs on walls and niches of the temple interior. Several formal dedicatory inscriptions from the building credited donors for its renovations and resulting decorations. Hundreds of examples of graffiti were also scratched around its walls.18 Examination of several coats of plaster during excavation, moreover, revealed countless additional examples of graffiti and dipinti once applied to its surfaces during different phases of the building’s use.19 These graffiti, like those in the Aphlad complex, mostly clustered around the structure’s cultic niche, over the painted cultic scene, on two standing columns that supported the niche vault, and on the walls that partioned the niche from the nave.20 While the placement of the Mithraic graffiti largely mirrors the locations of graffiti in the Aphlad precinct, their contents differ in certain respects. Graffiti fall into four, rather than two, distinct categories, which include: (1) texts that relate to cultic ceremonies performed in the Mithraeum, (2) lists of names, subscription, and donation lists, (3) graffiti that list donated foods and corresponding prices, and finally (4) acclamation graffiti that request remembrance or, most frequently, M\la – an untranslatable cultic term – which may request blessings, or, alternatively, might express an exclamation, such as ‘hail!’ before (or for, or from) the god in question.21 The last category of graffiti is most common.22 These M\la graffiti broadly appear to fulfill the

18 M.I. Rostovtzeff/et al., Excavations at Dura Europos Conducted By Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters: Preliminary Report of the Seventh and Eighth Season (1933 – 1934; 1934 – 1935) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1936), 116. 19 Baird, “Graffiti”, 64; E.D. Francis, “Mithraic Graffiti from Dura Europos”, in J. Hinnells (ed.), Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies (vol II.; Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1975) 424 – 45. 20 Rostovtzeff/et al., Report Seventh and Eighth Seasons, 116. 21 This fourth category includes graffiti with lmgsh0 formulae, but, as excavators note, “inscriptions with the formula lmgsh0, so popular at Dura are not lacking, but are comparatively rare in the Mithraeum”; Rostovtzeff/et al., Report Seventh and Eighth Seasons, 118. Baird and others speculate that the word M\la is of Iranian origin; Baird translates it as ‘hail!’ in “Graffiti”, 64. 22 Francis, “Mithraic Graffiti”, 438.

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same function as the lmgsh0 texts elsewhere; they follow similar syntax and appear around spaces of cultic significance.23 Graffiti sometimes solicit M\la for Mithras, but, at other times, they request it for their writers. One text in small black letters appears in the lower left corner of a painted scene of Mithras above the niche. It reads: ‘nama (M\la) to Mareus painter [of this]’.24 Like many other texts in the Mithraeum, this sentiment is painted, rather than scratched. Hundreds of other M\la and lmgsh0 graffiti and dipinti appear on adjacent columns around the cultic niche of the building. Most of these texts are in Greek, though some are in Latin; the latter examples reflect the demography of the Mithras cult, which typically included Latin-speaking and writing soldiers stationed along Rome’s eastern frontier. As in the Aphlad shrine, graffiti and dipinti from the Mithraeum frequently nominate identically named individuals. Scholars who have examined these graffiti suggest that they do not attest to the presence of multiple devotees, who possessed identical names. Rather, as E.D. Francis suggests, they show that individuals often applied multiple graffiti of comparable content to adjacent architectural surfaces.25 Reduplicated requests for blessings and remembrance, according to this view, are inscribed by individuals, who wished to draw additional attention to their own names among the many others also scratched nearby. Graffiti could have appeared in the outer precinct of the Mithraeum. But Mithraic graffiti, much like those in the Aphlad shrine, do not cluster on spaces, such as outer walls. Instead, they particularly encircle painted images of Mithras and proliferate in places where cultic activities, such as incense burning and sacrifice, took place – the precise locations where devotees considered divinity to be most physically present. The appearance of graffiti in loci of heightened cultic imagery, intensified cultic activity, and of divine presence suggests that writers specifically sought the notice of the resident divinity, not just the attentions of other worshippers. By reduplicating their names in graffiti, inscribers perhaps manifested their desires to compete with others for divine recognition.26

23 M²la texts also precede the use of the dative; cf. Chaniotis, “Acclamations”, 216. 24 Rostovtzeff/et al., Report Seventh and Eighth Season, 104; insc. no. 853: M²la Laq´\ fucq²v\; Pl. XVII, 2. Excavators interpret this graffito to mean “blessing to Mareus the painter,” because they assume that he is the individual who painted the adjacent cultic images. Still this graffito may simply modify the common acclamation of “remember the writer [of this graffito].” 25 Francis, “Mithraic Graffiti”, 432. 26 Francis, “Mithraic Graffiti”, 438.

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Synagogue Graffiti Comparable graffiti also appear in the Dura synagogue. At least 72 graffiti and dipinti were discovered throughout the space of the building. The majority of these consist of texts in Aramaic, Greek, and even Persian. Some of these, painted on the walls of the synagogue assembly hall, neatly label images and narrative scenes from the Hebrew Bible.27 Other types of Aramaic and Greek graffiti, however, more closely resemble those in the Aphlad temple and the Mithraeum; they record names of visitors to the building and request that those individuals be “remembered for good”. Nearly one third of the graffiti discovered throughout the building include such name and remembrance requests. Most are terse and include simple declarations in Aramaic, such as, “this is the inscription which Matthenai wrote” (Syr83a);28 and “I am H. ananı¯ son of Samuel” (Syr94b). Other expanded texts request that named individuals and family members “be remembered,” as in one Greek text, which requests: “May Amathbel (?) be remembered, and his brother … and …” (Syr90). Still other graffiti include more elaborate formulae for remembrance and epithets that direct the sentiment to the deity worshipped inside the building. One reads: “Ah. iyah son of … of the sons of Levi. May he be remembered for good before the Lord of Heaven. Amen. This is a memorial for good” (Syr91). The latter text incorporates elements explicitly associated with Jewish prayer (‘amen’) and directly addresses the “Lord in Heaven.” Texts, such as these, appear around plastered doorways and walls.29 Some individuals, moreover, recorded their names more frequently than did others. A certain H. iya, for example, appears particularly well represented in the synagogue graffiti. At least three graffiti from doorjambs of the synagogue read in various iterations: “I am H. iya son of …” (Syr93a-b). These sentiments appear twice on one doorjamb from the assembly hall and once on a doorjamb fragment discovered in the embankment above the synagogue (Syr94). Perhaps, this H. iya enjoyed boasting of his writing skills through repetition. Reduplication of his graffiti, much like examples from other 27 C. Kraeling, ed., Excavations at Dura-Europos: Final Report 8. Pt. 1. The Synagogue (2nd ed.; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 261 – 320. For recent interpretations of Persian dipinti, which are painted and follow distinct formats, see discussion in S. Fine, “Jewish Identity at the Limus: The Earliest Reception of the Dura Europos Synagogue Paintings”, in E. Gruen (ed.), Cultural Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean. Issues and Debates (Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2011) 289 – 306. Graffiti are distinguished from other types of texts in the synagogue in Stern, “Tagging”, 180 – 1. 28 Catalogue numbers and translations of the synagogue inscriptions follow those in the recent edition of Jewish inscriptions edited by D. Noy/H. Bloedhorn, Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis Vol 3: Syria and Cyprus (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004); inscriptions follow enumeration after Syr prefix. 29 For additional discussion of this point see Stern, “Tagging”, 190 – 4.

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buildings, might suggest, alternatively, that the author (H. iya) wanted his name to stand out among several others written nearby inside the synagogue assembly hall. The synagogue building encompassed different ranges of activities than did temples in Dura, in which cultic practices of libation, burning of incense, and performances of sacrifice, took place. No archaeological evidence attests to sacrificial activities in the synagogue and theories about the space necessarily rely on available archaeological data. The presence of narrative biblical murals around the walls of the assembly hall suggests that devotional practices included recitations and interpretations of biblical texts.30 Prayers preserved in Hebrew-Aramaic on a fragmentary parchment discovered near the synagogue, moreover, may also attest to the conduct of liturgical practices inside the building.31 Differences in the activities conducted inside the synagogue might explain the distinct patterns of graffiti content and placement throughout the structure.32 Graffiti in local temples were clustered around cult statues, altars, and libation bowls – places designated for sacrificial activity. In the synagogue, where sacrificial practices and cult statues were absent, graffiti and dipinti necessarily adorned other architectural features, such as doorways and walls. While examples of graffiti from the synagogue are markedly fewer than those discovered inside the Mithraeum and the Aphlad temple, moreover, their visibility around highly-trafficked doorways and on narrative wall paintings of biblical scenes suggests that their application was commensurately acceptable inside the space.

Christian Building The fewest graffiti are preserved in the Christian building in Dura. Only twenty textual and pictorial graffiti were discovered on its surfaces and some may have been applied during the earliest phases of the building’s use.33 Altars and cultic niches are equally absent from the Christian building, but several of its graffiti appear around wall paintings, doorways, and other architectural focal points – in places similar to graffiti from the synagogue. Some graffiti from the Christian building, just as in the synagogue, included labels for wall paintings. Dipinti, for example, label the painted murals of 30 A. Wharton, Refiguring the Post Classical City : Dura Europos, Jerash, Jerusalem and Ravenna (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 46. 31 S. Fine, Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 174 – 82. 32 More extensive discussion of this point in Stern, “Tagging”, 188 – 91. 33 C.B. Welles, “Graffiti and dipinti”, in C. Kraeling (ed.), The Excavations at Dura-Europos. Final Report 8. Pt. 2, fasc. 1. The Christian Building (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967), 89 – 100.

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David and Goliath inside the baptistery.34 Five graffiti of alphabet lists (abecedaries) were also preserved in the building. Most of these list letters in Greek, while one alphabet series is in a Syriac script.35 Additional Greek graffiti from the structure include lists of names and remembrance requests, which resemble those found in buildings nearby. One signature graffito, which may request remembrance, was discovered in room four, but higher concentrations of remembrance graffiti are present in room six, which served as the baptistery. The deeply engraved graffito, found to the left of the niche, acclaims Christ and reads, according to local orthography, “may you remember (Lm^sjeste) Siseos the humble one.”36 Another graffito is scratched in larger letters (4 – 5 cm) on the south wall of the baptistery to the lower right of the previous text (and above the scene of David and Goliath). It declares: “Jesus Christ is with you/in Jesus Christ … May you remember (Lm^sjeste) … .”37 These graffiti from the Christian building directly acclaim Christ. In doing so, they resemble examples discovered in other buildings, which similarly nominate the specific deities to whom graffiti are directed. Several of the M\la texts from the Mithraeum begin by addressing Mithras, while one remembrance dipinto from the synagogue comparably requests the attention of the ‘Lord of Heaven.’38 These types of graffiti thus announce that their intended audiences include the divinities themselves.

Conclusion That there were graffiti in religious buildings in the town of Dura might confound common assumptions about the sacrosanct nature of cultic space. It might seem particularly strange that individuals had the audacity to scratch the equivalent of “Kilroy was here” just centimeters away from a sculpture of a god’s face (in the case of the Aphlad shrine), beside images of a Mithraic tauroctony (in the case of the Mithraeum), or just meters away from murals depicting Moses’ parting of the Red Sea beneath the outstretched hands of God or of an angel (in the case of the synagogue). But letter sizes of graffiti and their precise locations ensured that they were easily visible to other worshippers. Review of these features therefore reveals how many Durenes boldly scrawled 34 Welles, “Graffiti”, 97; nos. 19, 20. 35 Welles, “Graffiti”, nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 8; discussion of abecedaries in A.J. Bij de Vaate, “AlphabetInscriptions from Jewish Graves”, in J.W. van Henten/P.W. van der Horst (ed.), Studies in Early Jewish Epigraphy (Leiden: Brill, 1994) 148 – 61. 36 Welles, “Graffiti”, no. 17, fig. h. 37 Welles, “Graffiti”, no. 18. 38 See discussion of Syr91, n. 29 above.

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messages in the most sacred parts of cultic and religious buildings. To many devotees, such activities were both desirable and conventional. Such graffiti patterns, I have argued, illuminate unrecognised features of religious competition in Roman Dura. First, the proliferation of graffiti in several Durene buildings suggests that their inscriptions constituted acceptable devotional acts unto themselves; applications of graffiti may have served as one among several cultic or liturgical activities conducted inside the buildings.39 The abundance of graffiti in locations where cultic activities took place and specifically on features associated with sacrifice or prayer reinforces this point. Additionally, the appearance of graffiti in areas of intensified sanctity directs a second conclusion – that graffiti offered a significant and locally conventional means for individuals to compete with their peers for divine attention. This assertion responds both to ancient understandings of divine power and to disproportionate concentrations of graffiti around spaces where gods were considered to be most present, such as, altars and shrines. In the zero-sum world of antiquity, in which goods and resources were understood to be finite, so too were conceptions of divine power. In his discussion of Greek acclamations, Angelos Chaniotis persuasively argues that pagan deities of all stripes were often viewed as without superpowers – that is – they could only be in one place at one time, because their attentions were necessarily limited and finite. Mortals, therefore, needed to compete with one another for a god’s recognition.40 Such notions of divinity, which prevailed in Greece and Asia Minor, were likely sustained in eastern regions of Roman Syria. And while Jewish and Christian authors might have understood divine power to be more limitless by comparison, the beliefs and actions of local Jewish and Christian populations may have mirrored those of their neighbours. Some Durenes might have made formal dedications to gods merely to express their piety, but, in most cases, they used votive gifts, inscriptions, or other methods of persuasion, to clamour for a god’s singular attention.41 Graffiti, however, offered an additional means for individuals to solicit a deity through divine praise and self-advocacy. Successfully vying for a god’s attention – whether through the burning of fragrant incense or writing one’s name in a space where the divine met the worldly – was necessarily at the expense of other devotees. Conceptions of divine power, its limitations, or lack thereof, presumably varied among pagan, Jewish, and Christian populations in Dura. Still, common features of graffiti in several Durene buildings suggest that competition for divine attention was not limited to pagan contexts alone; 39 Stern, “Tagging”, 191; J. Naveh, “Graffiti and dedications”, BASOR 235 (1979) 27 – 30. 40 Chaniotis, “Acclamations”, 199 – 200. 41 M. Satlow, “Giving for a Return: Jewish Votive Offerings in Late Antiquity”, in D. Brakke/M. Satlow/S. Weitzman (ed.), Religion and the Self in Antiquity (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1995) 91 – 108.

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some members of local Jewish and Christian populations subscribed to comparable understandings. Incision of one’s name in the Aphlad shrine, or on a synagogue wall, then, did not constitute an act of defacement. Writing one’s name or requesting remembrance in such places, rather, offered a means of soliciting recognition by the divine – necessarily at the expense of one’s neighbour. Of course, one might argue for entirely different interpretations of these graffiti, as individuals’ motivations for applying them ultimately remain elusive. Acts of emulation might have prompted some graffiti writers: the presence of one graffito in a space might have impelled other individuals to copy their markings beside it. Other devotees might have scratched their names multiple times around a shrine to ‘hedge their bets’ – to ensure that their memory would be assured despite the proliferation of other names nearby. Such graffiti, then, need not relate specifically to religious competition. But while diverse genres of graffiti proliferated in marketplaces, homes, and military barracks in Dura, their precise syntax and clustering inside sanctuaries suggests something distinctive: that inscribers wanted their names to be seen, among all others, in powerful places where the human met the divine. Comparisons of graffiti from each of these four buildings additionally illustrate this point, by highlighting nuances of writing practices in different religious contexts. All graffiti from the Aphlad temple are in Greek, the bestattested epigraphic language in Dura, and follow common formulae for name graffiti and acclamations throughout the region. Graffiti from the Mithraeum also employ Greek scripts, but often replace lmgsh0 with M\la formulae to conform to the liturgical vocabulary of that cult. Graffiti from the synagogue include similar sentiments as those from the Aphlad, but are more frequently rendered in Hebrew-inflected Aramaic than in Greek, a pattern which may reflect the liturgical language preferred by Durene Jews.42 Name and remembrance graffiti are less common in the Christian building; these appear with modified contents that acclaim Christ and occasionally emphasise the “humbleness” of the devotee. These collective variations in graffiti throughout Dura reflect efforts to write to gods in specific liturgical languages and terminologies that facilitated the most effective communication with them. Attention to graffiti thus offers otherwise unrecognised insights into the dynamics of local cultic and religious practices – whether competitive or not. While scholars frequently focus on antagonisms between pagans, Christians, and Jews, such perspectives often deflect attention from more subtle modes of intra-religious competition in antiquity. In the religious marketplace of the third century, adherents to various cults and religious practices necessarily flourished at others’ expenses. In sacred spaces in Dura, people 42 Graffiti in Aramaic dialects are common throughout the Levant, but do not appear commonly elsewhere in Dura; see discussion of Semitic texts in Naveh, “Graffiti”, 27 – 8.

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could be particularly ruthless. They used graffiti as a means to attract exclusive attention, from a deity, for themselves, and for their families. Followers of Mithras necessarily competed with other followers of Mithras and Jews with other Jews. Graffiti document these otherwise elusive dynamics of intra-religious competition in Syria, which may have been replicated elsewhere in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Gil P. Klein

Spatial Struggle Intercity Relations and the Topography of Intra-Rabbinic Competition

The Greek and Roman notion of agon (contest, struggle), often personified as a young male athlete, was profoundly urban in its nature. The residents of the Greco-Roman city, from classical times to the late Empire, competed in every possible field, be it sports, music, theatre, rhetoric, or philosophy.1 Winning an intercity competition was prestigious, bringing the victor and the urban community instant fame and recognition. The scope of agon stretched, therefore, from the farthest extents of the urban territory and intercity roads, through the city squares and the porticoes of the courts, via the gymnasium and theatre and all the way to the academy. In third century CE Palestine, this all-permeating notion of agon was no less profound, playing a role also in the life of Jews who lived in its highly Romanised cities. Through the consideration of urban agon and its spatial dimension, I explore in this article the late antique rabbinic understanding of internal conflict, focusing on the two main centres of rabbinic activity in Roman Galilee – the cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias. Much has been written about rabbinic pluralism, polysemy, and indeterminacy in the context of the sages’ disagreement and consensus.2 In recent years, scholars studying this question have begun turning their attention to the urban dimension of rabbinic conflict, following the identification of a rapid urbanisation process in third century CE Palestine and its impact on the 1 See J.P. Ýrnason/P. Murphy, “Introduction”, in Ýrnason and Murphy Agon, Logos, Polis: The Greek Achievement and Its Aftermath (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2001) 10 – 11. See P. Carl, “Architecture, Justice, Conflict, Measure”, in J. Simon/et al. (ed.), Architecture and Justice: Judicial Meanings in the Public Realm (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013) 215 – 30; See W.J. Ong, Orality and Literacy : The Technologizing of the Word (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), 43 – 5, 108 – 9. 2 See, for example, S.J.D. Cohen, “The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis, and the End of Jewish Sectarianism”, HUCA 55 (1984) 27 – 53; D. Stern, Midrash and Theory: Ancient Jewish Exegesis and Contemporary Literary Studies (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1996), 15 – 38; D. Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 157 – 65; idem, Socrates & the Fat Rabbis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 133 – 92; Y. Elman, “Orality and the Redaction of the Babylonian Talmud”, OralTrad 14 (1999) 52 – 99; J.L. Rubenstein, The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 54 – 66; C. Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997), 240 – 254; R. Hidary, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven: Legal Pluralism in the Talmud (Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2010), esp. 13 – 31.

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rabbinic movement.3 Insights concerning the rabbis have emerged through this enterprise, such as the processes of rabbinic institutionalisation, the establishment of religious authority, the relations between the rabbis and the broader Jewish community, as well as their engagement with various Roman civic practices, which were marked by the negotiation of agon.4 The study of the sages’ urban locations and the way in which these locations determined the set of academic and jurisdictional relations between competing rabbinic authorities has also been informative. After looking at the historical, social, and halakhic implications of the sages’ places of residence, a geographical and temporal map has emerged.5 Although such a map should be taken as tentative due to the complexity of our evidence (particularly in regard to the “generations” of sages and their historical dating), rabbinic text suggests that the third century CE marked the move of rabbis to central Palestinian cities such as Caesarea, Lod, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The consequent urban bias of the sages, evident in both Palestinian and Babylonian sources, was also expressed in the realm of textual speculation, in which cities became mythical embodiments of the rabbinic movement’s past.6 In this respect, rabbinic urban space provided the sages, and particularly the editors of their corpora, a kind of topographical scaffold for historiography. Richard Hidary has recently reexamined the question of rabbinic conflict in regard to legal pluralism, focusing in particular on halakhic practice.7 As part of this reevaluation, he explores the problem of rabbinic jurisdiction as it is formulated in the context of the sages’ geographical locations in the various urban centres of late antique Palestine and Sasanian Babylonia. He concludes that, while the Babylonian Talmud tolerates diversity of practice, allowing the leading rabbis in different cities to maintain their halakhic prerogatives and 3 For the exploration of this move to the cities see H. Lapin, “Rabbis and Cities in Later Roman Palestine: The Literary Evidence”, JJS 50 (1999) 187 – 207. And see S. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 123 – 4. 4 See Hezser, Rabbinic Movement, 157 – 251, 307 – 28. See also S. Freyne, “Urban-Rural Relations in the First Century Galilee: Some Suggestions from the Literary Sources”, in L.I. Levine (ed.), The Galilee in Late Antiquity (New York and Cambridge: Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Harvard University Press, 1992) 75 – 91; Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 126 – 76; H. Sivan, Palestine in Late Antiquity (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 302 – 47. For works focusing on urban architecture see C.M. Baker, Rebuilding the House of Israel: Architectures of Gender in Jewish Antiquity (Divinations; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 77 – 112; C.E. Fonrobert, “The Political Symbolism of the Eruv”, JSocSt 11.3 (2005) 9 – 35; G.P. Klein, “Torah in Triclinia: The Rabbinic Banquet and the Significance of Architecture,” JQR 102.3 (2012) 334 – 60. 5 For a summary of this research see Lapin, “Rabbis and Cities”, 187 – 207 and idem, Rabbis as Romans: The Rabbinic Movement in Palestine, 100 – 400 C.E. (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 26 – 33. 6 S.S. Miller, Sages and Commoners in Late Antique ’Erez Israel (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006), 448 – 9. And see my conclusion below. 7 Hidary, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven, 1 – 41.

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thus defuse conflict, Palestinian sources, and especially the Palestinian Talmud, do not.8 The latter appears to accept differences of opinions, but tends to reject multiple legal practices. For Hidary, this difference has to do with the fact that in Babylonia of the Amoraic and post-Amoraic periods, the rabbi had significant halakhic authority over the community, living great distances from other established rabbis and operating within a well-defined administrative boundary. Conversely, in Palestine, a much smaller territory, the geographical proximity of urban centres where rabbis lived and the less rigid administrative boundaries between them generated more competition, especially in a Jewish society wherein rabbis had comparatively less influence.9 Notwithstanding the scholarly disagreement regarding the level of centralisation and institutionalisation of the rabbinic movement in Palestine, Hidary’s argument that the Palestinian Talmud as a distinct work deals with this competitive reality by attempting to harmonise the various practices, is convincing.10 Hidary points to the cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias as central sites of rabbinic activity, whose geographical proximity and substantial Jewish communities make them exemplary of the tight physical and social spaces that had to be shared by Palestinian sages. Catherine Hezser has already noted that the two cities were associated in Palestinian sources with more than one rabbi in both tannaitic and amoraic times and that there were no particular rabbis who were seen as the highest local authorities in Galilean towns or, for that matter, in other urban centres in Palestine.11 Stuart Miller also points to the rabbis’ lay interlocutors in these two Galilean cities, often referred to as ‘Sepphoreans’ (Zippora’ei) and ‘Tiberians’ (Tibera’ei). He identifies these groups (as they appear in most instances) as followers of the rabbis, who preserved and represented their rabbi’s traditions in discussions with other sages or groups, thus adding even more players to the rabbinic urban arena.12 As part of this scholarship, the role of space in the dynamics of intercity relations as they were perceived by the rabbis has, however, received relatively little attention.13 In what follows, I propose that the spatial dimension is particularly relevant for the consideration of the somewhat fluid boundaries between cities. Due to the geographical proximity of Sepphoris and Tiberias and their importance in the Palestinian context, the area between these cities 8 Ibid., 153 – 61. 9 Ibid. And see Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 123 – 4. 10 For the question of centralisation and institutionalisation see Hezser, Rabbinic Movement, 185 – 239 and R.L. Kalmin, The Sage in Jewish Society of Late Antiquity (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), 13. 11 Hezser, Rabbinic Movement, 181 – 3. 12 Miller, Sages and Commoners, 100 – 6, 114 – 7. 13 For some of the thorough studies on the topic see H. Lapin, Economy, Geography and Provincial History in Later Roman Palestine (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), esp. 126 – 30; Z. Safrai, The Economy of Roman Palestine (London: Routledge, 1993), 9 – 60. For rabbinic travel see Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 441 – 62.

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and the territory they constituted provides a unique opportunity for such a spatial examination. Stuart Miller has offered a thorough and convincing evaluation of the relations between the two cities, bracketing, however, many of the rabbinic accounts pertaining to the Sepphoris/Tiberias intercity space as mere literary loci.14 As I will argue below, these spatial accounts are, in fact, highly revealing, shedding light on intra-rabbinic competition. By focusing on the rabbinic framing of the area of Sepphoris and Tiberias I will suggest that it constituted for the rabbis a legal as well as symbolic territory through which the Palestinian Talmud, in particular, grappled with geographical proximity and rabbinic conflict.

The Administrative Boundaries of Roman Galilee and The Duopolis of Sepphoris and Tiberias In order to understand the complex and somewhat fluid urban territorial relations that formed the background for rabbinic negotiations of authority and power in Palestine according to Hidary, it is necessary, first, to briefly review the administrative reality of Roman Galilee in the third century CE. Zeev Safrai and others have shown that second and third centuries CE SyriaPalestina was organised into several regions (rendered in rabbinic literature hegemoniot) including Galilee, Samaria, and Judea, which were sub-divided into toparchies (medinot).15 Tiberias seems to have had its own toparchy, as did Sepphoris.16 Nevertheless, as noted by Hayim Lapin, the evidence pertaining to the exact structure and governance of such toparchies is “far from full”.17 The Hebrew term most commonly used in rabbinic literature to denote these cities’ area of influence is teh. um, which had a variety of meanings ranging from a boundary to an area, or to an entire dominion.18 The parallel 14 S.S. Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine: The Case of Sepphoris and Tiberias”, AJS Review 12 (1987) 1 – 24. 15 Z. Safrai, Boundaries and Administration in the Eretz-Israel in the Mishnah and the Talmud Periods [Hebrew] (Tel-Aviv: Ha-Kibuts Ha-Meuhad, 1980), 26 – 8; Lapin, Economy Geography and Provincial History, 155 – 62. The Galilee became part of Palestina Secunda at the end of the forth or beginning of the fifth century CE. 16 M. Avi-Yonah/S. Safrai, Carta’s Atlas of the Periods of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud [Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Carta, 1966), 136. 17 Lapin, Economy Geography and Provincial History, 160. 18 For teh. um as toparchy in rabbinic literature see Safrai, Boundaries and Administration, 139. For the mention of the teh. um of Sepphoris see y. Git.. 1, 43c; Gen. Rab. 90:38. See also t. Git.. 1:3 and b. Git.. 6b. For the term “the towns of Sepphoris,” which pertains to the rural settlements in the city’s vicinity, see Lev. Rab. 16:2; y. Kil. 9, 32b; y. Ketub. 12, 35a. And see U. Leibner, Settlement and History in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Galilee: An Archaeological Survey of the Eastern Galilee (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 1 – 17.

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term in Greek is cho¯ra, which means place, enclosure, position, land, or territory ; this was also the term applied to regions in Palestine by Eusebius in his fourth century CE Onomasticon.19 Eusebius mentions the region of Sepphoris (under its pagan name Diocaesarea) as a cho¯ra, oftentimes referring to the city’s distance from other notable locations and indicating its position in relation to major roads according to milestones.20 This form of marking a city’s region is important in that it points to the understanding of boundaries in terms of pathways and landmarks rather than as products of linear demarcation.21 In this sense, a cho¯ra was not the land enclosed by an abstract geometrical outline, but rather a rich set of spatial situations that was capable of being recognised by its residents on the ground. This is best exemplified in the famous sixth century CE mosaic inscription from Rehov, a satellite settlement of Scythopolis. In order to determine the area which is subject to the laws of tithe and fallow years, the authors of the inscription, following rabbinic traditions, defined the boundary of the land and in particular the boundary of their immediate surroundings by using identifiable places such as city gates, specific fields, villages, and tomb structures.22 The inscription points to the complex perception of territory and to the existence of alternative means of demarcation, which do not necessarily follow the Imperial division of land. To go back to Sepphoris and Tiberias, although the area between these two cities may have been administratively divided into two separate territories with distinct urban scopes of influence, the reality on the ground appears to have been much more fluid. The relative density of rural settlements, agricultural land, and roads traversing the continuous area between the two cities, would have made it difficult for residents to discern any administrative boundary lines. As I suggest below, this is precisely the background for the 19 J.E. Taylor (ed.), Palestine in the Fourth Century : The Onomasticon by Eusebius of Caesarea with Jerome’s Latin Translation (Jerusalem: Carta, 2003), 18, 25, 44. And see Safrai, Boundaries and Administration, 217; M. Goodman, State and Society in Roman Galilee, A.D. 132 – 212 (Totowa: Rowman & Allanheld, 1983), 130 – 5. 20 For the cho¯ra of Tiberias see Josephus, J.W. 2.13, 2, 252. For the Roman milestones and roads in the Onomasticon see Safrai, Boundaries and Administration, 217 – 18. For the milestones mentioning Sepphoris on the Roman road from Ptolemais to Tiberias see Y. Ne’eman, Sepphoris in the Period of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud [Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Shem, 1993), 78 – 82, and see pp. 55 – 70 for a survey of the settlements that may have belonged to the teh. um of Sepphoris. 21 See Klein, “Squaring the City : Between Roman and Rabbinic Urban Geometry”, in H. Steiner/M. Sternberg (ed.), Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture (Farnham, UK and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, forthcoming). 22 For the barayta of the Land of Israel in rabbinic literature see t. Sˇ eb. 4:5; y. Sˇ eb 1, 36c; y. Demai 1, 22c–d. See Y. Sussmann, “A Halakhic Inscription from the Bet She’an Valley : A Preliminary Survey”, [Hebrew] Tarbiz 43 (1974) 88 – 158; C. Ben-David, “The Rehov Inscription: A Galilean Halakhic Text Formula?”, in A.I. Baumgarten (ed.), Halakhah in Light of Epigraphy (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), 231 – 40.

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rabbinic definition, articulation, and regulation of the area between the two cities.23 When reviewing the wealth of rabbinic materials in which Sepphoris and Tiberias are mentioned side by side, Miller argues that the rabbis simply “referred to these two cities because they were, particularly in the amoraic period, the two leading centres of Jewish life in Galilee, in which many of them also happened to live or study.”24 While he may be right about the lack of specific political and civic tension between these cities, I would like to suggest that the sages’ engagement with this urban pair is more than a mere outcome of their geographical location. In revisiting some of the rabbinic sources pertaining to Sepphoris and Tiberias, I hope to show that the rabbis had a more profound concern with the civic and religious meanings of these cities and the area between them. This concern, I propose, has further implications for the question of rabbinic competition over authority and jurisdiction in the third century.25 On the economic and civic levels, rabbinic literature indicates that the area of Sepphoris and Tiberias was understood as a distinct trade zone. The Palestinian Talmud, for instance, describes a hypothetical situation in which “someone gave his fellow eight Dinars to buy him wheat in Tiberias, and he bought wheat from Sepphoris.”26 The ensuing discussion, which elaborates on the differences between the economies of the two cities, illuminates an attempt to create a form of ‘exchange table’ that would regulate intercity trade. This attempt is evident, for example, in texts comparing Sepphoris and Tiberias’ measurements (y. B. Qam. 9, 6d – 7a), coins (b. Ber. 53b), and weights (b. Sot.ah 10b), as well as other agricultural issues (m. Sˇ eb. 5:1). As part of a midrashic reflection, the rabbis comment on the limited extent of agricultural production in the teh. um of both Sepphoris and Tiberias (Gen. Rab. 90:48). The rabbis also compare certain guilds in Tiberias and Sepphoris, attesting to their 23 As the two major Jewish cities of the Galilee, Sepphoris and Tiberias shared many common features. See their association with Herod Antipas; their control over the Galilean archive and bank at various times (Josephus Life 38); their Hellenistic civic institutions (such as city councils and mints); their connection to the Roman road leading to the city of Akko/Ptolemais, and their link to a particular priestly order. Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine”, 1 – 2. In addition, the architecture of these two cities is fundamentally Roman. See Y. Hirschfeld, A Guide to Antiquity Sites in Tiberias (Jerusalem: Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, 1992), 11 – 24; Z. Weiss, “Tiberias and Sepphoris in the First Century CE: Urban Topography and the Building Projects of Herod Antipas in the Galilee”, [Hebrew] Cathedra 120 (2006) 11 – 32. Josephus describes an urban competition over supremacy (pro¯teion), following the rise of Sepphoris to the status of the Galilean capital at the time of Nero on account of Tiberias, in part due to the former’s loyalty to Rome during the Great Revolt (Josephus Life 37 – 8). Miller shows that such rivalry over supremacy was common in the Roman East, however, he concludes that there is no clear historical evidence for rivalry between Sepphoris and Tiberias after the first century CE. Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine”, 20 – 4. 24 Ibid., 13. 25 See, however, Miller, Sages and Commoners, 449. 26 y. B. Qam. 9, 6d–7a.

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observance of Jewish holidays and their specific customs of abstaining from work at such times (y. Mo’ed Qat.. 2, 81b and y. Pesah. . 4, 30d). These literary traditions of a common economy, of which there are more, have their parallel in rabbinic legal discussions of the area between Sepphoris and Tiberias, which define it as a political and religious domain of its own. In the Palestinian Talmud, for instance, we find a discussion about the probable identity of a corpse found between the two cities. Rabbi Yoh. anan rules that the dead person found there must have been a Jew due to the nature of the populations in both Sepphoris and Tiberias. Other rulings throughout rabbinic literature convey similar ideas in the context of food found between the two cities, which is automatically rendered kosher because of the assumed Jewish origin of the food’s original owners. In this regard, the SepphorisTiberias area, with its substantial Jewish population and significant rabbinic presence, was not merely a fact of life in late antique Galilee. By giving it the status of a Jewish territorial ‘corridor’ in Roman Palestine, the rabbis consciously instituted it as a legal entity. In other words, rabbinic literature does not only reflect a demographic situation, but also takes an active part in culturally constituting it. I would like to call this extended urban territory between Sepphoris and Tiberias, as experienced and constituted by the rabbis, a ‘Duopolis,’ as a play on the term Decapolis – the network of ten Greco-Roman cities in the Syria, trans-Jordan, and the northeastern parts of Palestine (among which were Scythopolis, Gerasa, Philadelphia, and Damascus).27 These ten cities made up an administrative region at times, but were mostly linked by their common Hellenistic cultural affinity.28 Hence, in view of the cultural, economic and ethnic bonds between Sepphoris and Tiberias, such a unifying term may be useful in discussing the unique zone they constituted. As in the case of the Decapolis, this term emphasises the cities’ entanglement rather than their existence as separate urban nodal points. One of the unique aspects of this Duopolis in regard to its religious understanding is its rabbinic formulation as a spatial paradigm. The fact that the topography of this distinct area stretched between two urban locations seems to have made it a common topos of distance and proximity in rabbinic literature.29 In a discussion regarding the prohibition against writing during

27 S.T. Parker, “The Decapolis”, in E.M. Meyers (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) 127 – 30. The other cities of the Decapolis, as noted by Pliny, Nat., 5.14, were Gadara, Hippos, Raphana, Dion, Pella, and Canatha. See also other such coalitions of cities such as the Syrian Tetrapolis of Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, Laodicae. 28 T. Parker, “The Decapolis”, 129. 29 Miller, Sages and Commoners, 448 notes the important fact that the references to Sepphoris and Tiberias as halakhic and aggadic loci are preserved in the Babylonian Talmud more than in other traditions pertaining to the two cities. He correctly attributes this phenomenon to the para-

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the Sabbath, for example, Rabbi ‘Ami says: “If one wrote a single letter in Tiberias and another in Sepphoris [during the Sabbath], one is liable, since it is an act of writing, which lacks only being brought into proximity.”30 Ami’s view is that writing two letters, which are part of the same word, constitutes an act of writing even if the letters are physically distant from one another.31 His choice of Sepphoris and Tiberias as the locations of such two letters demonstrates the understanding of this dual urban area as a single yet broad spatial framework.32 The topos of the distance between Sepphoris and Tiberias appears also in aggadic contexts. For example, as part of a discussion in the Palestinian Talmud regarding the importance of dedicating oneself to the study of Torah every single hour of the day, Reish Lakish quotes Megillat Hasidim: “Should you abandon Me for one day, I will abandon you for [many] days.”33 This verse is explained through a story about two individuals, one of whom left Sepphoris and the other Tiberias, who eventually met in Maskhana, located approximately halfway between these cities.34 The two finally take leave of one another, and Reish Lakish seems to understand them as being truly separate only when they are two miles apart, or when each of them has walked a single mile in opposite directions, showing that one does not have to travel far to distance himself from the divine. Hence, the area between Sepphoris and Tiberias, which is represented by the intercity road, is here a space through which to explain the relationship of a Torah scholar with the divine.35 Another religious dimension on which this double-centred area operates in rabbinic literature has to do with the sacred space of the Sabbath. In the Tosefta Rabbi Shim‘on b. Yoh. ai discusses the notion of the Sabbath Boundary (teh. um shabbat) of the two cities, saying: “I can make it possible for people to go up from Tiberias to Sepphoris and from Tyre to Sidon [during the Sabbath], on

30 31 32 33 34 35

digmatic status that these cities gained through the years. The sources I discuss below, however, indicate that this paradigmatic status is already apparent in Palestinian texts. b. Sˇ abb. 104b. For writing on the Sabbath see, for example, m. Sˇ abb. 12:3. For other similar references in the Bavli to the distance between the two cities as part of halakhic discussion see b. Sanh. 31b; b. Sukkah 27a; b. Git.. 77b. y. Ber. 9, 14d. Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine”, 19, n. 95, cites the work on the identification of this place. It is accepted today that Maskhana is identical with Khirbat Meskene, which is located between Sepphoris and Tiberias, slightly closer to the latter. See also the rabbinic reference to the vineyard of the Emperor Hadrian, which was surrounded, according to the Palestinian Talmud, with the corpses of the Bar Kokhba revolt. y. Ta‘an. 4, 69a. The Talmud describes this vineyard as equal in measure to the area between Sepphoris and Tiberias. Thus, its articulation as a paradigmatic distance, also serves to infuse this area with the religious meaning of martyrdom. For the mention of Hadrian on a Sepphorean milestone standing on the road between Legio (where the Roman sixth legion was stationed) and Sepphoris see Ne’eman, Sepphoris, 80.

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account of the caves and towers which are between those cities.”36 Although Shim‘on does not refer solely to Sepphoris and Tiberias, he is clearly concerned in this passage with the relationship between neighbouring cities in which there are significant Jewish communities. Shim‘on claims that he can demonstrate how the towers and caves connecting Sepphoris and Tiberias extend their respective Sabbath boundaries so as to overlap and thus allow people to walk back and forth between the cities without violating the laws of the Sabbath. By imagining the area between Sepphoris and Tiberias as a semiurban collection of architectural and topographical enclosures, this halakhic maneuver effectively merges the two cities within one single sacred boundary.37 It may be said, therefore, that, for rabbinic literature, the Duopolis of Sepphoris and Tiberias, with the intercity road as its main axis, operated as an arena for the political and legal negotiations of Jewish identity in Roman Palestine, as a distinct economic zone, as a literary and religious paradigm of spatial relations, and, finally, as a topographical embodiment of sacred time. Being residents of Sepphoris and Tiberias, the sages’ initial concern was on the level of daily life; they attempted to account for and regulate this political and economic territory, whose bifurcated structure is nevertheless continuous and highly homogenous. On the level of religious thought and practice, the Duopolis provided the rabbis with a dialectical framework through which to think about work and travel on the Sabbath and about their relationships with God. It is against the multi-faceted background of this area that we can now examine its articulation as a locus of internal rabbinic competition, with its protagonists and antagonists.

A Tale of Two Cities and Their Jurisdiction The Palestinian Talmud contains an illuminating account that explicitly confronts the problem of jurisdiction in the area of Sepphoris and Tiberias. This account explores a theoretical situation in which two litigants disagree on which of the two cities’ rabbinic courts they should turn to in order to decide their case:

36 t. ‘Erub. 4:11. 37 The idea of merging the Shabbat boundaries of adjacent cities is discussed in rabbinic literature also in relation to other cities. See for instance y. ‘Erub. 5, 22c–22d. And see the statement of Rabbi Yose, (who is traditionally associated with Sepphoris) from b. Sˇ abb. 118b: “May it be my lot to be among those who welcome the Sabbath in Tiberias and among those who dismiss the Sabbath in Sepphoris.”

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Rabbi Eli‘ezer [b. Pedat] said: “[If] one [litigant] says [that the case be decided in] Tiberias, and the other says [that it be decided in] Sepphoris, they listen to the one who says Tiberias.” Rabbi La [Ila] said: “And that which Rabbi Eli‘ezer said ‘one says Tiberias and the other says Sepphoris’ concerns those [litigants] who were sitting in Maskanah; from here [Maskanah] to there [Tiberias] is seven miles, from here [Maskanah] to there [Sepphoris] is nine miles.”38 Rabbi Yose said: “And you derive from it that if two people are involved in a case in Tiberias, and one says [that the case should be decided] in the lesser court [bet din haqatan], they listen to the one who says [that it should be decided] in the greater court [bet din ha-gadol].” (y. Sanh. 3, 21a)

The discussion of this disagreement about jurisdiction begins with a statement by Rabbi Eli‘ezer, who appears to prefer the Tiberian court to its Sepphorean counterpart. As noted by Miller, debates between cities regarding legal supremacy were common in the Roman world.39 Rabbi Ila’s response to Eli‘ezer reveals dissatisfaction with his unexplained statement. For Ila, the Tiberian court is preferred not necessarily because of its inherent supremacy, but rather because the litigants who are debating the proper court to choose are supposedly located in Maskanah, which is apparently closer to Tiberias than to Sepphoris (at least as Ila’s view is transmitted in the Leiden manuscript).40 Jurisdiction according to Ila is, therefore, decided on the basis of geographical proximity and not judicial hierarchy. In offering his own interpretation of Eli‘ezer’s statement, Yose explicitly turns to the notion of hierarchy. He derives from the former’s statement the principle that the higher court is to be preferred in cases when there is jurisdictional disagreement, even in the context of the same city. As a resident of Tiberias, he too seems to understand the Tiberian court as superior to the Sepphorean one. In his analysis of this sugya, Miller acknowledges a “Tiberian Tendenz”, but claims that it does not reveal a clear jurisdictional rivalry between Sepphoris and Tiberias and that this debate “is purely of academic interest, with the two cities serving as loci.”41 I would like to suggest, however, that the concern with these particular cities is not merely theoretical. As I have argued above, the relationship between Sepphoris and Tiberias is unique and their articulation as a literary, legal, and religious locus of an urban pair in not coincidental; it emerges out of an explicit attempt to account for and regulate the broader and 38 MS Leiden. 39 Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine”, 18 – 19. 40 Maskanah is most probably Khirbat Meskene, which is mentioned above in the story of the two who separated from one another for a day (y. Ber. 9, 14d). For the evaluation of the distance between Maskanah and the two cities, see Miller, “Intercity Relations in Roman Palestine”, 19, n. 95. 41 Ibid., 20.

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somewhat ambiguous area they constitute. This sugya indicates a serious concern with jurisdictional boundaries in an area that cannot easily be divided. Ila points to the difficulty in determining the exact line where one urban territory ends and the other begins. The parallel that Yose draws between the courts of the two cities and the courts of a single city further implies that the Duopolis is perceived as belonging to the same urban framework. Hence, this discussion may be seen in the context of the Palestinian Talmud’s attempt to harmonise conflicting rabbinic claims for authority and establish the conditions under which law is decided in the complex spatial and administrative reality of Roman Palestine.

H. anina and Yoh. anan on the Road In what follows, I would like to examine this tendency of the Yerushalmi in a set of stories pertaining to rabbinic travel in and between Sepphoris and Tiberias. The two major players in the drama of the two cities, as it unfolds in this set of stories, are the early Palestinian amora’im Rabbi H. anina bar H. ama and Rabbi Yoh. anan bar Napah. a. The first amoraic generations of the third century CE, as they are described in the literature, enjoyed the growth and stability achieved by Rabbi Yehudah the Patriarch, whose circle of students and colleagues studying Torah in Sepphoris would soon expand to other locations. As part of this process, Tiberias would gain the academic prominence that would make it, by the end of this century, the leading rabbinic centre in Galilee. H. anina, who, according to the Palestinian Talmud, became a prominent Sepphorean authority after the death of Rabbi Yehudah the Patriarch, belonged to the generation of Yoh. anan’s teachers, which also included figures such as Rabbi Yannai. Yoh. anan himself would eventually become the principal rabbinic authority in Tiberias. The stories involving H. anina and Yoh. anan, found throughout the Palestinian Talmud and a few Midrashim, are characterised by an engagement with questions of hierarchy, student-teacher relations, and academic status.42 Some traces of tension between H. anina and Yoh. anan are apparent in an account from the Palestinian Talmud regarding a rabbinic session in Sepphoris:43 Rabbi H. anina was living in Sepphoris. Cases came before him and he made decisions twice. And Rabbi Yoh. anan and Rabbi Shim‘on b. Lakish were living there, but he 42 For H. anina’s conflict with his own teacher, Yehudah the Patriarch, see y. Ta’an. 4, 68a. For the Yerushalmi’s discussion of teacher-student relations in the context of jurisdiction see y. Sˇ eb. 6, 36c. And see Miller, Sages and Commoners, 417. 43 y. Nid. 2, 50b. For the analysis of this passage see Miller, Sages and Commoners, 419 – 20; Hidary, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven, 147 – 8.

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would still not invite them to join him [in ruling]. They said: “This elder is wise and his tools are sharp.” Once, he invited them to join him. They said: “Why did the master see fit to consider us today?” He said to them: “May [affliction] befall me, if it is not so that every single case I sent forth I have [already] heard from Rabbi [Yehudah the Patriarch] theoretically applied [as many times] as the [number of] hairs on my head, and in actual practice – three times. And this particular case came before Rabbi only twice. This is why I invited you to join me.” (y. Nid. 2, 50b)

H. anina appears to consistently exclude Yoh. anan and his associate Reish Lakish from participating in court sessions. The two consequently complain that he rarely consults with them on legal matters, commenting, perhaps sardonically, that he is still sharp in spite of his old age. When H. anina finally invites them to join him at court and is asked why he had not done so earlier, he claims that all cases he dealt with so far were based on at least three of his teacher Yehuda’s precedents, while this case was only based on two. The master, therefore, excludes his disciples from a position of authority as long as his own master’s traditions make him, in his view, self-sufficient. A more explicit description of the conflict between H. anina and Yoh. anan is found in the Palestinian Talmud, where the former is described as instructing the Sepphoreans in halakhic matters on the basis of Yehuda’s traditions. Rabbi H. anina instructed the Sepphoreans with regard to the [purchase of] aftergrowth of mustard [seeds in the Seventh Year] and the egg in accordance with [the view of] Rabbi Yehudah. Rabbi Yoh. anan entered and expounded to them in accordance with the sages [ke-rabbanan] here [in the case of the mustard seeds] and in accordance with the sages there [in the case of the egg]. Rabbi Abba bar Zamina [said] in the name of Rabbi Yos. edek: “Because of these two things Rabbi Yoh. anan went down from Sepphoris to Tiberias.” He [Yoh. anan] said: “Why do you bring me this elder [i.e., H . anina]? For [what] I permit he prohibits, and [what] I prohibit he permits.” (y. Bes. ah 1, 60a)

H. anina continues his adherence to the traditions of Yehudah when ruling for the Sepphoreans. Yoh. anan, who later enters a place of gathering, perhaps a synagogue or beit midrash, expounds to the Sepphoreans differently on the basis of the sages’ ruling. As we are told, this clash of halakhic views brings Yoh. anan to express his discontent with H . anina. The loyalty of Sepphoris’ residents to the teachings of his teacher clarifies to Yoh. anan that there is no room in town for both of them and he consequently leaves the city on the hill for the city by the sea.44 Competition could no longer be contained in a single urban centre, and the two opposing traditions now align with the two focal points of the Duopolis, whose continuous space, however, may not have allowed for a complete elimination of this conflict. In addition to the accounts of Yoh. anan’s tension with H. anina and his angry 44 See Miller, Sages and Commoners, 81 – 6, 266 – 71.

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move to Tiberias, which was arguably the turning point for the Tiberian academy wherein the Palestinian Talmud itself would later be edited, we find very different portrayals of the relations between the two sages. Tractate Horayot contains a story, which, although potentially imagined as taking place before the sages’ fall out, puts the two on more favourable grounds:45 Rabbi H . anina was leaning upon Rabbi H . iyya bar Abba in Sepphoris. He saw all the people running. He said to him [H. anina to H. iyya]: “Why are all the people running?” He said to him: “Rabbi Yoh. anan is sitting and expounding in the Study House of Rabbi Benaiah and all the people are running to hear him.” He said: “Blessed is the All-Merciful who showed me the fruits [of my labour] during my lifetime! And I taught him all matters of aggadah except for Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.” (y. Hor. 3, 38b)

H. anina is walking in the streets of Sepphoris, where he becomes aware of a great commotion. When he asks the colleague who supports him for the cause of the people’s excitement, he is told that the cause is Yoh. anan, who is expounding in the Sepphorean academy of Rabbi Benaiah. H. anina blesses God for showing him the fruits of his labour and notes with appreciation all the things he has taught his successful student, Yoh. anan. The positive, if hierarchical, bond between the two is reinforced by a mirror account in the Palestinian Talmud, told from the perspective of Yoh. anan on the main road of the Duopolis. Here, Yoh. anan is portrayed as traveling from his new place of residence, Tiberias, to Sepphoris, when he learns about a different kind of commotion in the city : Rabbi Yoh. anan was going up from Tiberias to Sepphoris. He saw someone coming down from there. He said to him: “What is the news [lit. voice] in town?” He said to him: “A certain Rabbi has died and all the people are running to tend to him [i.e., his funeral].” Rabbi Yoh. anan knew that it was Rabbi H. anina. He sent and brought his best Sabbath cloths and tore them [as a sign of mourning]. But has it not been taught: an act of tearing that is not done at the moment of shock is not a valid act of tearing? Rabbi Yoh. anan wanted to do it because he had been his master and he honoured him. [However], we do not know whether [he did it] because he had been his master or because of the sad news. [We know it from] the account of Rabbi H . iyya bar Aba in Sepphoris: He saw all the people running. He said to him: “Why are all the people running?” He said to him: “Rabbi Yoh. anan is sitting and expounding in the Study House of Rabbi Benaiah and all the people are running to hear him.” He said: “Blessed is the All-Merciful who showed me the fruits [of my labour] during my lifetime! And I taught him all matters of aggadah except for Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.” (y. B. Mes. i‘a 2, 8d) 45 See below for the parallel in y. B. Mes.i‘a 2, 8d. And see Miller, Sages and Commoners, 243 – 4.

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When Yoh. anan hears that an important rabbi has died in the city towards which he is walking, Sepphoris, he realises that the dead rabbi is H . anina. Through the guise of halakhic inquiry, the Talmud discusses the sincerity of Yoh. anan’s mourning; however, it reaffirms the ties between the two sages by citing from y. Bava Mes.i‘a 2, 8d, in which H. anina expresses his pride in Yoh. anan following the excitement generated by the latter’s expounding in Sepphoris. Why then, would the Palestinian Talmud portray a harmonious picture of master and disciple in spite of their contentious history, which is evident throughout rabbinic literature? Why would it bring to an end H. anina’s famously long life in a scene on the road between Sepphoris and Tiberias, and through the eyes of Yoh. anan? I would like to suggest that this harmonisation is an expression of the Palestinian Talmud’s tendency, described by Hidary, to harmonise the conflicting practices of competing rabbinic authorities in Palestine. As noted above, Hidary argues that the physical proximity of Palestinian rabbis, and the lack of clear administrative boundaries between the cities they inhabited, created conflict and competition and contributed to the Yerushalmi’s limited tolerance of halakhic autonomy for individual rabbis.46 In addition, Miller shows that the various competing traditions circulating in Palestine, such as the traditions of H. anina and Yoh. anan as they are transmitted by the Sepphoreans and Tiberians, are constantly negotiated in Palestinian sources.47 Hence, what is at stake in the story of H. anina’s death is the ultimate resolution of the two sages’ agonic relations and competing heritage. While Yoh. anan’s descent to Tiberias may have been seen as an alleviation of the tension, the two sages were perceived as operating within a continuous territory.48 Through the repetition of H. anina’s pride in Yoh. anan’s success and popularity, the Yerushalmi achieves a significant goal: the final re-grafting of Yoh. anan onto the tree of H. anina’s tradition. How fitting it is, therefore, that this moment occurs on the road between Sepphoris and Tiberias. Yoh. anan is reconciled with his teacher at the instance of his death, on his way back to where it all started, somewhere in the intermediary space between the two ends of the Duopolis they have shared. Yoh. anan’s position marks a spatiotemporal point of convergence between two cities, two traditions, and two rabbinic generations.49

46 Hidary, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven, 158. 47 Miller, Sages and Commoners, 78 – 84. 48 The Talmudic account I reviewed regarding the superiority of the Tiberian court is one example of the Yerushalmi’s ongoing concern with jurisdiction and authority in this area. y. Sanh. 3, 21a. 49 According to Lev. Rab. 30:1, Yoh. anan sold property between Sepphoris and Tiberias to fund his studies.

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Conclusion As I have shown, the area stretching between Sepphoris and Tiberias, with its urban and intercity roads, constituted a unique bifocal urban territory. This distinct space provided the framework through which the sages articulated and reflected on the dialectical tension between two ends of a rabbinic academic commonwealth. For the Palestinian Talmud in particular, this tension was a source of explicit concern, revealing the problem of negotiating competing traditions and regulating conflicting rabbinic claims for authority within a relatively small and spatially continuous area. The stories about the relations of H. anina and Yoh. anan added to this intra-rabbinic agonic discourse the dimension of inter-generational struggle. By way of concluding, I would like to propose that this inter-generational dimension positions the competition of the Sepphorean teacher H. anina and the Tiberian student Yoh. anan in the broader context of rabbinic historiography. Rabbinic literature often thinks of the Oral Torah’s chain of tradition in urban terms, describing for example, the move of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem, to Yavneh, and then to Usha, Shefar’am, Beit She’arim, Sepphoris, and finally Tiberias.50 The stories of H. anina and Yoh. anan may be understood, therefore, as representing a similar process of transition between the two final stages in this rabbinic urban chain, placing the succession of Sepphoris by Tiberias quite literally on the path between the two cities.

50 Gen. Rab. 97:13; b. Rosˇ. Hasˇ. 31a–b.

Ari Finkelstein

The Use of Jews in Julian’s Program “Dying for the Law” in the Letter to Theodorus – A Case Study

The process of Christianization of the Roman Empire was arrested for a brief period in the middle of the fourth century. Emperor Julian (361 – 363) replaced it with a Hellenising program, consisting of an assortment of institutions adopted and transformed from Christianity and on the adherence of all GrecoRoman peoples to their ancestral customs, conceived in accordance with theurgic Neoplatonic philosophy.1 He called these people Hellenes and created an imperial discourse both to define them and to delegitimise Christian identity. This was no small task. Julian’s Hellenes consisted of many ethnicities2 that did not identify themselves as sharing common beliefs and practices.3 The Jews were an effective tool in this project. Imagined Jews and Hebrew/ Jewish practices were used by Christian apologists and pagan polemicists in the game of identity politics.4 This essay will examine one instance of Julian’s use of Jews in his discourse: in his Letter to Theodorus, his chief priest of Asia, Julian stated that Jews would rather die than violate their dietary laws and contrasted Jewish adherence to their ancestral laws with the Hellenes’ neglect of theirs.5 Julian took part in ethno-cultural discourse about Jews employed by pagan6 polemicists and Christian apologists but subtly manipulated this 1 V. Limberis, “Religion as the Cipher for Identity : The Cases of Emperor Julian, Libanius and Gregory Nazianzus”, HTR 93:4 (2000) 373 – 400 on p. 378. 2 The term “ethnicity” or “ethnic group” is used in place of the Greek ethnos even though no single English word could possibly serve as a proper translation. 3 E.D. Digeser, “Christian or Hellene? The Great Persecution and the Problem of Identity”, in R. Frakes/E.D. Digeser (ed.), Religious Identity in Late Antiquity (Toronto: Edgar Kent, 2006) 36 – 57. 4 A. Jacobs, Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), 12. 5 The role of the Jews in Julian’s program has only been discussed in relation to his aborted attempt to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. See M. Adler, “The Emperor Julian and the Jews”, JQR 5 (1893) 615 – 51; Y. Lewy, “Julian the Apostate and the Building of the Temple”, in L.I. Levine (ed.), The Jerusalem Cathedra, Studies in the History, Archaeology, Geography and Ethnography of the Land of Israel (3 vol.; Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 1983) 3.70 – 96. David Rokeach examined the role of the Jews in Julian’s anti-Christian polemic, Contra Galileos (see D. Rokeah, Jews, Pagans and Christians in Conflict [Leiden: Brill, 1982]. There Jews are attacked as the fountainhead of Christianity, but favoured because Jews kept their ancestral traditions.) 6 Notwithstanding its derogatory meaning, “pagan” is used in this essay rather than “polytheist”

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discourse to undermine the cult of the Christian martyrs which had given Julian problems in Antioch. The passage is nestled within an epistle appointing Theodorus to be High Priest over Asia, an appointment designed to implement Julian’s grand program to transform his realm into a Hellenic empire. Julian borrowed this priestly administrative model from the Christian episcopate.7 Each geographic region had a high priest who was empowered to appoint a network of worthy local priests to promote Julian’s main agenda: the adherence of local peoples to their ancestral laws (Letter to Theodorus 452C). In the course of lamenting over the Hellenes’ neglect of ancestral customs, Julian pointed to an instructive contrast: Therefore, when I saw that there is among us great indifference about the gods and that all reverence for the heavenly powers has been driven out by impure and vulgar luxury, I always secretly lamented this state of things. For I saw that those whose minds were attuned to the doctrines8 of the Jews are so ardent in their belief that they would choose to die for it, and to endure utter want and starvation rather than taste pork or any animal that has been strangled or had the life squeezed out of it; whereas we are in such a state of apathy about religious matters that we have forgotten the customs of our forefathers, and therefore we actually do not know whether any such rule has ever been prescribed. But these Jews…but in this one thing they err in that, while reserving their deepest devotion for their own god, they do not conciliate the other gods also…But those who belong to the impious sect of the Galileans as if some disease … .9

Julian highlighted the Jews’ preference to starve rather than violate their dietary laws as an example of his general observation that Jews observed their ancestral laws above all else. Certainly Julian knew about Jewish dietary laws which included abstaining from pork, blood, and meat sacrificed to idols. He could have gleaned this knowledge from personal contact with Jews10, from indirect knowledge about Jews11, or from his considerable familiarity with the Old Testament. However, the likelihood that he knew of Jews who died rather than violate their dietary

7 8 9 10 11

because the latter is contrasted with strict monotheism, which makes it impossible to distinguish between non-Christians and Christians. Limberis, “Religion as the Cipher”, 382; Oliver Nicholson takes issue with the Christian content of the function of priests in Julian’s program. See O. Nicholson, “The ‘Pagan Churches’ of Maximinus Daia and Julian the Apostate”, JEH 45 (1994) 1 – 10. Julian may have conceived of the Jewish religion as a philosophy, a position not uncommon among classical Hellenists. Julian Letter to Theodorus 453 C – D . There was a large population of Jews in Antioch. See also Chrysostom Adversus Iudaeos 5.11 (PG 48: 900); Socrates Church History 3.20; Sozomen Church History 5.22. Julian’s mentor, Libanius, a native of Antioch, employed Jews on his lands and maintained correspondence with the Jewish Patriarch of Palestine.

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laws is remote at best. There is simply no reliable evidence that attests to Jews dying for any of their laws in the fourth century.12 However, Julian would have been familiar with at least some of the considerable discourse about Jews’ preference for death over the violation of their food laws.13 This theme begins with the stories of Eleazar the Priest (2 Macc 6; 4 Macc 5 – 7) and Hannah and her seven sons (2 Macc 7; 4 Macc 8 – 12), who heroically suffered torture and death at the hands of Antiochus IV rather than eat non-kosher food. This same theme is found in the works of Philo, a first century BCE/CE Alexandrian Jewish philosopher and leader, and Josephus, a first century CE Judean Jewish historian.14 In the second century CE, some pagan thinkers admired the Jews for their willingness to die for their dietary laws.15 In the late third/early fourth century CE, Porphyry, a Neoplatonist philosopher, looked to Jewish texts as repositories of ancient wisdom and drew on Jewish dietary laws as an example for Hellenes whose philosophy had been corrupted after Plato.16 One example of this practice is found in On Abstinence 2.61. Porphyry wrote: It would be a terrible thing if, when the Syrians would not eat fish and the Hebrews pigs and most of the Phoenicians and the Egyptians would not eat cows, and when many kings tried hard to make them change they would endure death rather than break the law, we choose to break the laws of nature and the precepts of the gods … .17

This passage represents a novel use of Hebrew practice: Hebrew practice is offered as a model to Hellenes who failed to observe their ancestral customs.18 12 Scholars have defined the Jewish “revolt” against Gallus in Palestine of the 350s as a local skirmish. Quintessential rabbinic martyrdom stories centre on the Ten Martyrs – rabbis who died under the Hadrianic persecutions from 132 – 5 CE – and to the Mother and Her Seven sons – stories about the Maccabean martyrs of 2 and 4 Maccabees usually placed during the destruction of the Second Temple. None of the stories about the Ten Martyrs involve dying rather than violating the dietary laws. See R. Kalmin, “Rabbinic Tradition about Roman Persecutions of the Jews: A Reconsideration”, JJS 54 (2003) 21 – 50. Only a story in y. Sheviit 4:2, 35a–b (= y. Sanh. 3:6 21b) claims a rabbi was willing to die rather than eat carcass meat. 13 See T. Rajak, “Dying for the Law: the Martyr’s Portrait in Jewish-Greek Literature”, in T. Rajak (ed.), The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome (Leiden: Brill, 2002) 99 – 133. 14 Philo described mobs that captured Jewish women and forced them to eat swine’s flesh during the Alexandrian riot of 38 CE. Those that resisted were tortured (In Flacc. 95 – 96). Later that century Josephus wrote that the Essenes endured tortures rather than blaspheme God or eat some forbidden thing (Josephus BJ 2.152). 15 Sextus Empiricus Hypotyposes 3, 223. 16 Neoplatonists looked to the texts of ancient peoples, which when properly interpreted using Neoplatonic philosophy, revealed ancient philosophical truths. These were collected in order to prove the authenticity and superiority of Hellenic philosophy and culture. 17 P. Schäfer, Judeophobia: Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ancient World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 75 – 6. In On Abstinence (4.11) Porphyry specifically remembered how Jews chose to die rather than transgress their dietary laws in the days of Antiochus IV and in Roman times. 18 This use is a logical outgrowth of the Neoplatonic philosophers’ mining of barbarian sources to

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Julian borrowed this new usage of Jewish dietary practices in his Letter to Theodorus19 in order to explain in language any Neoplatonist would understand that all Hellenes were required to follow their ancestral laws.20 However, Julian’s presentation is significantly different than Porphyry’s: for instance, immediately after this passage Julian lambasted Jews for their belief in one god. Julian also added a prohibition on any animal that had been strangled or had the life squeezed out of it on top of Jews refusal to eat pig. Moreover, “Hebrew” dietary laws become “Jewish” dietary laws in the Letter to Theodorus. How can we account for these changes? A clear difference between the two men was their different realities. Porphyry was a Neoplatonist philosopher whose musings were largely relegated to students of Neoplatonism. On the other hand, as emperor, Julian used his political power to translate Neoplatonic philosophical principles into political reality, a reality that required all ethnic groups to follow their ancestral laws.21

Julian’s Program and His Use of Ethno-Cultural Imperial Discourse Julian called the Greco-Roman peoples of his empire “Hellenes”. The ethnonym, ‘Hellene’, had been in use for many centuries and its meaning had evolved over time. Where once it had defined a people who shared common blood, common language, common cult places, sacrifices, and similar customs, the essence of Hellenic identity broadened to include people who shared only a common culture and a common language. Thus the term ‘Hellene’ or ‘Greek’ could refer to the people of Greece but could also stretch trace true ancient wisdom. It did not mean Porphyry believed Jewish culture was superior to Hellenic culture. See Jeremy Schott for Porphyry’s comparison of Hebrew and Hellenic practice. J.M. Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 382 – 5, 685 – 6. 19 J. Bouffartigue, L’Empereur Julien et la culture de son temps (Paris: Institut d’Êtudes Augustiniennes, 1992), 382 – 5 and Appendix III on p. 685 – 6. 20 Theodorus would have understood that Jewish custom contained ancient wisdom and accepted the premise that Jews’ faithful observance of their ancestral laws was a positive example for Hellenes. In our passage, Julian even entertained the idea that the gods may have prescribed dietary laws to Hellenes. 21 Julian adopted Iamblichus’ conception of a complex cosmological order in which the gods of the ethnic groups were linked in a hierarchy with Mithras/Zeus at its apex. However in CG, Julian’s vision of empire is mainly Platonic. He believed that the Demiurge directly allocated sectional gods to each ethnic group. These gods were subordinate to the Greek gods. When the various ethnic groups followed their ancestral customs they created a harmonious cosmological order that redounded to the benefit of the political order on earth. See D.J. O’Meara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 121; P. Athanassiadi-Fowden, Julian: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 162.

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beyond ethnic and political boundaries to all peoples who shared Hellenic culture.22 Being a ‘Hellene’ meant adopting a way of life in which many different peoples could participate.23 Under the Greek and Roman empires, “Hellenic” culture was a tool used to integrate different ethnicities into their realms. In the early fourth century, Neoplatonists such as Iamblichus of Chalcis infused t¹ :kkgmijºm with religious meaning, and read Homer and Hesiod as sacred texts.24 By Late Antiquity, Julian and others began to use the term ‘Hellenism’ to define paganism in its cultural and especially its religious aspects.25 This religious system was polytheistic but also syncretistic and believed in one Supreme Being. Julian was determined to impose a Hellenic vision on his empire that was heavily influenced by Neoplatonism. This meant that he recognised the different ethnic groups in his empire but subjected them not only to a common culture and but also to common religious practices. In reality, Julian’s Hellenes did not self-identify as having a common set of beliefs and practices. These had to be created and imperial discourse was the site of their construction. Polemical discourse provided a system of knowledge that structured relations between Christians and Hellenes and ultimately tried to shape how Hellenes thought of themselves. The anti-Christian polemic, Contra Galileos (CG), offers perhaps the clearest window into how Julian deployed imperial discourse to define his Hellenes. Polemic and apologetic discourse were grounded in ethnic difference.26 Julian’s imperial discourse of ethnicity functioned strategically within his attempt to create a Hellenic empire.27 This project had political consequences. 22 J.M. Hall, Hellenicity, Between Ethnicity and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000) Chapter 6. 23 G.W. Bowersock, Hellenism in Late Antiquity, Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 7. 24 Athanassiadi-Fowden, Julian: An Intellectual Biography, 8. 25 Although Julian understood ‘Hellenism’ as a religion as well as a cultural phenomenon, he only used the word þkkgmislor (See Julian Letter to Arsacius 429C and to þkkgmijom [Julian Letter 58 to Libanius 400C], once each). 26 See D.L. Buell, Why This New Race?: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity (NY: Columbia University Press, 2005), and A.P. Johnson, Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 27 Julian often emphasised the religious aspects of Hellenism and other times its cultural aspects. See the debate in: J. Bouffartigue, “Julien ou L’Hellenisme D¦compos¦”, in S. Said (ed.), Hellenismos. Queleques Jalons pour une Histoire de L’Identit¦ Grecque. Actes du Colloque de Strasbourg 11 Octobre 25 – 27, 1989 (New York: Brill, 1991) 251 – 66, on pp. 257 – 61; F. Curta, “Language Ethne and National Gods: A Note on Julian’s Concept of Hellenism”, in V. Spinei (ed.), Florin Curta, Text, Context, History and Archaeology : Studies in Late Antiquity and Middle Ages (Bocuresti Editura Academiei Romane, 2009) 41 – 57 on pp. 46 – 52; P. van Neuffelen, “Deux Fausses Lettres De Julien l’Apostat (La Lettre aux Juifs, Letter 51 [Wright], et Lettre — Arsacius, Letter 84 [Bidez])”, VC 55 (2001) 131 – 50, on pp. 138 – 9; J. Bouffartigue, “L’authenticit¦ de la Lettre 84 de l’empereur Julien”, RevPhil de litt¦rature et d’histoire anciennes 79.2 (2005) 231 – 42. What ought to be added to this debate is Julian’s strategic use of the term “Hellene” in his production of a Hellenic empire.

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It functioned to validate each ethnic group he labeled ‘Hellene’ and ensured it a place on his imperial ethnically-ordered map. By virtue of this discourse, Julian set about defining Hellenic beliefs and practices against ‘Christian’ beliefs and practices and thus set borders between each group. The result was essentialising ethnic terms that were incongruous with the porous identities of peoples in the empire and with the variety of practices on the ground.

Role of the Jews in Julian’s Imperial Discourse This project was bolstered by ethnic models and Julian employed the Jews to this end. He was not alone in this endeavour ; fourth century Christian Church Fathers had also used Jews as a tool to create a Christian empire.28 Edward Said explains that empires create hegemony by establishing mastery over their subjects who are then used as tools with which they define their own identity.29 What is unusual in the case of Julian is his use of Jewish practice mainly as a model for his Hellenes. Usually anti-Christian polemicists attacked Jews and Judaism as the parent religion from which Christianity sprang, only tolerating it because of its antiquity. Indeed, Julian operated no differently in CG, attacking Jews as belonging to an inferior culture, for their belief in one god, and a sectional one at best,30 and for their poor interpretation of its Scriptures. Yet more than any other anti-Christian polemicist, Julian highlighted the similarities between Jewish and Hellenic practice.31 Jews shared common modes of religious worship including temples, sacrifices, purification, and priests (CG 306B). Most importantly, they observed their ancestral laws. Julian even tried to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem to bolster his imperial ethnocultural rhetoric with facts on the ground. This imperial rhetoric served to validate Jews as an ethnic group which worshipped the local god of their land – Judea – around their local shrine and thus gave Jews a place on Julian’s imperial map. Christians, on the other hand, had abandoned their ancestral laws (Jewish and Hellenic) and thus had no place on Julian’s imperial map. To emphasise this point, Julian called them “Galileans,” after a region which contained no central shrine. Not only is this imperial ethno-cultural discourse found in CG where Julian contrasted Hellenic culture and religion with Jewish and Christian cultures 28 C. Shepardson, Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy : Ephrem’s Hymns in Fourth Century Syria (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2008). 29 E. Said, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (New York: Vintage Press, 1979). 30 Julian CG 100C. 31 Jews and Hellenes share many practices including: private and public sacrifice, prayer with sacrifice, tithing, and charity (Letter to Arsacius). See my doctoral dissertation, “Julian among Jews, Christians and ‘Hellenes’ in Antioch: Jewish Practice as a Guide to ‘Hellenes’ and a Goad to Christians” (Harvard University, 2011), which lays out this argument.

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and religion, but also in his letters to his Neoplatonic high priests, Arsacius and Theodorus, where one would think there would have been no need to mention Jews at all. However, the repetition of these same cultural and religious comparisons demonstrates that Julian’s imperial ethno-cultural discourse was political.32 Julian hoped that his repeated and consistent discourse would change how Hellenes understood themselves.

Letter to Theodorus Julian’s Letter to Theodorus is a case in point. The chief goal of the letter was to appoint Theodorus as High Priest over Asia and to instruct him in his task – appointing a network of local priests to ensure that ethnic groups kept their ancestral customs in accordance with Julian’s Neoplatonic interpretation. Coupled with Julian’s Fragment of a Letter to a Priest, this letter likely functioned as a manual to guide all Hellenic priests in their education of Hellenes. Thus this letter was key to establishing his Hellenic empire; the definition of Hellenes lies at the heart of Julian’s instructions to Theodorus. It is therefore not surprising to find Julian’s imperial rhetoric of ethno-cultural difference employed here as well. Jews were simply a tool by which Julian defined his Hellenes. This explains how in one breath Julian could offer Jewish practice as a positive example to Hellenes (453D), and then could proceed to criticise Jews for worshipping one god (454). Jews may have been an example to mimic, but they were not superior and they importantly differed from Hellenes because they recognised only one sectional god. Julian’s Letter to Theodorus can be dated to January 363.33 This places Julian in Antioch, only one month before he published CG. It was about this time in Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, which Julian visited, that we first hear of the Christian cult of the Maccabean martyrs. The Maccabean cult was first mentioned in Gregory Nazianzen’s Homily 15 now dated to 362 CE, while the cult was still in its infancy.34 These martyrs were Jews mentioned in 2 and 4 Maccabees who were tortured and died rather than transgress their dietary laws and eat pig as Antiochus IV had insisted. The cult of the Maccabean martyrs is among the earliest of the Christian martyr cults, which became 32 See Jeremy Schott’s discussion of the repetitiveness of Constantine’s imperial discourse in Oration to the Saints, in his edicts and in his imperial letters. Schott, Christianity, Empire, and Religion in Late Antiquity, 122. 33 See Finkelstein, “Julian among Jews, Christians and ‘Hellenes’ in Antioch”, 14. 34 M. Vinson, “Gregory Nazianzen’s Homily 15 and the Genesis of the Christian Cult of the Maccabean Martyrs”, Byzantion 64 (1994) 166 – 92, on p. 169. G. Rouwhorst dated the cult to 360 CE. See G. Rouwhorst, “The Cult of the Seven Maccabean Brothers and their Mother in Christian Tradition”, in M. Poorthuis/J. Schwartz (ed.), Saints and Role Models in Judaism and Christianity (Leiden: Brill, 2004) 183 – 207.

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prevalent in the late fourth century. As Peter Brown has explained, in the late fourth century Christians considered martyrs to be intercessors to the divine, access points which enabled them to relate to their persecuted past.35 Although Julian’s Letter to Theodorus makes no clear reference to the Christian cult of the martyrs, a perusal of Julian’s numerous works and letters illustrates his deep antipathy and focus on this practice. He delegitimised it in CG 335C and poked fun at it in Misopogon 344, both written in Antioch and composed within a couple of months of the Letter to Theodorus. Only a few months prior to his arrival in Antioch in July 362, Julian had instructed his uncle to restore the shrine of Apollo in Daphne. The observance of pagan local ancestral customs required a restoration of pagan temples, which had been left to rot under Constantine and stripped bare by Constantius II. Julian ran into a particular problem at the site of Apollo’s shrine. Only a decade earlier his brother Gallus had built a shrine to St Babylas that encroached upon the temenos of the temple of Apollo. To pagans the dead were impure. Julian did what any good pagan would have done – he had Babylas’ bones removed.36 Naturally, this met with resistance from Christians. When the temple was destroyed by fire on October 22, 362, Julian blamed the Christians37 and shut down their main church in Antioch. It seems that the events in the autumn of 362 precipitated a reevaluation by Julian of the threats against him. In the months following this event Julian wrote prolifically and with greater vitriol against Christians. Among other things Julian identified the Christian cult of the martyrs as problematic in these works.38 Interestingly, Julian never deigned to call Christian martyrdom by its name. Rather he characterised the worship of martyr relics in CG and in Misopogon as acts of “groveling among tombs”, reflecting his disdain for the practice.39 Jews dying for their laws was a well-known theme among Jews, Christians, and pagans. Certainly Christians knew that the Maccabean martyrs in particular were Jews who had died rather than eat unsanctioned foods. Therefore, Julian was able to take texts on Jewish martyrdom – 2 and 4 Maccabees – and use them within his imperial discourse of ethnic differ35 Although Julian lived in the eastern empire in the mid-fourth century, Gregory Nazianzen’s testimony demonstrates that the cult of the Maccabean martyrs had at least begun to take root by 362 CE. See P. Brown, The Cult of the Saints, Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981). 36 Wendy Mayer argues that Julian was more interested in claiming sacred space and power. See W. Mayer, “Antioch and the Intersection between Religious Factionalism, Place and Power in Late Antiquity”, in A. Cain/N. Lenski (ed.), The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity (Surrey : Ashgate, 2009) 357 – 63. 37 Ammianus Marcellinus Res Gestae 22.13. 38 Julian’s attacks in the Letter to Theodorus and in his Edict banning daytime Funerals were more oblique. 39 Peter Brown describes the strange weeping and howling noises that accompanied the worship of these martyrs. Brown, The Cult of the Saints, 106 – 9.

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entiation both as an example to Hellenes and to delegitimise the Christian cult of the martyrs. Julian tried to recast true martyrdom within the context of this imperial discourse which casted valid ethnic groups as ones that adhered to their ancestral laws. Christians’ failure to follow their ancestral laws – in this case Jewish laws – meant that they failed the test of ethnic authenticity and thus had no place in Julian’s empire. Christian and Hellenic familiarity with their Antiochene Jewish neighbours who kept their dietary laws made Julian’s argument plausible and convincing.40 CG and the Letter to Theodorus were completed within one month of each other. Given Julian’s prolixity it is reasonable to assume that Julian also compared Jewish and Christian martyrdom in CG, probably in conjunction with Jewish dietary laws. Certainly Julian’s imperial discourse of ethnic differentiation comparing Jewish and Hellenic practice against Christian practice appeared in both works although the argument against Christianity, which begins at the end of the Letter to Theodorus, was cut off abruptly, almost certainly by Christian hands.41 It seems Julian was about to compare Christ unfavourably to the Jewish God and, no doubt would have discussed Christianity’s failure to follow its ancestral laws, including the dietary laws of the Old Testament. Thus the structure of Julian’s Letter to Theodorus suggests that this was part of Julian’s stock imperial arguments against Christianity. For Christians, Julian’s focus on Jews who had died for their dietary laws recalled the heroic deeds of the Maccabean martyrs. Julian used this memory to remind Christians that these were Jews who had died for Jewish dietary laws, which Christians no longer practised and drove this point home by naming them “Jews” rather than Porphyry’s “Hebrews”. By making this argument Julian highlighted the absurdity of Christian worship of Jewish relics and legitimised Jews as a valid ethnic group in his empire. No doubt he intended to exacerbate pre-existing Christian opposition to the Maccabean martyr cult, which existed precisely because these martyrs had died for Jewish law. In fact, Julian sought to reclaim the Maccabean martyrs as Jews from the Christians.42 By doing so, Julian engaged the Christians in a debate about the identity of the Maccabean martyrs and, more importantly, about the nature of martyrdom in general. True martyrdom, he argued, was to die for one’s ancestral laws and not for belief in a man, whom Julian likely went on to 40 By the fourth century, Jewish, Christian, and pagan communities had existed in Antioch for hundreds of years. 41 W.C. Wright, Julian (LCL 157: Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1923), 61 n.2. 42 Some scholars speculate that a Jewish cult of martyrs preceded the Christian Maccabean martyr cult and that Christians eventually appropriated the site from the Jews. See Vinson, “Gregory Nazianen’s Homily 15”. For a persuasive counterargument see L.V. Rutgers, “The Importance of Scripture in the Conflict between Jews and Christians: The Example of Antioch”, in L.V. Rutgers/ P.W. van der Horst (ed.), The Use of Sacred Books in the Ancient World (Leuven: Peeters, 1998) 287 – 303.

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castigate in the part missing from his Letter to Theodorus. By re-characterising martyrdom as death for the laws, Julian sought to change the rhetorical discourse about martyrdom in order to subvert Christian self-understanding.43 Thus Julian’s failure to mention martyrdom per se throughout his works may be attributable to his redefinition of that term to dying for one’s laws. By speaking about dying for the law, Julian took a stand in one of Christianity’s most sacred understandings of itself. Eusebius’ The Martyrs of Palestine, appended to his Hist. Eccl., gives examples of martyrs who died confessing their faith in Jesus. The Christian Church of the fourth century was built on the blood of the martyrs. Julian was very much aware of Christianity’s development and use of its martyrologies in the propagation of its faith44 and joined the argument on his own terms. He combined his rhetoric, which undermined Christian identification of the Maccabees as Christian martyrs, with action by refusing to make martyrs of Christians in his day.45 As Thomas Sizgorich has argued, Julian’s unwillingness to persecute Christians made it difficult for them to make sense out of the events of his reign.46 Now he took away their past heroes as well and further loosened their connection to the Old Testament and to Israelite heroes. If Christians were no longer tied to the biblical heroes of yesteryear and no longer a persecuted group, who were they?

Conclusion The Letter to Theodorus offers a typical example of Julian’s use of Jews in the construction of his Hellenic Empire. Jews were a tool in this project, objects within his imperial ethno-cultural discourse summoned by Julian to provide Hellenes with an example of proper devotion to one’s ancestral laws. Here Julian drew from a long tradition of pagan polemics in which Jews were significant identity makers in this system of knowledge. When Julian wrote to Theodorus, his fellow Neoplatonist and chief priest of Asia, he borrowed an image of the Jew from Porphyry to explain the task they faced in successfully turning pagans into Hellenes. But Julian’s Hellenic identity also required careful differentiation from Jews and Christians. This is why Julian also attacked the Jewish belief in one god even as he presented Jews as a model to Hellenes and it is also why this appears in a letter to a Hellenic priest. The more 43 B. Lincoln, Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 5. 44 T. Sizgorich, Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), 24. 45 Gregory of Nazianus Or. 4.84. 46 Sizgorich, Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity, 71.

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his imperial ethno-cultural discourse was repeated the greater the chances for success. Events at Antioch in the autumn of 362 shaped his agenda in the Letter to Theodorus as it did in CG. He subtly changed inherited discourse to undermine Christianity in Antioch and throughout the empire. Thus his focus on the Jews’ preference to die for their dietary laws was meant to remind Christians that true martyrdom was to die for one’s ancestral laws at a time when the Christian cult of the Maccabean martyrs was in its infancy and the subject of dissension among Christians precisely because of its connection to its Jewish past. This image of the Jews was bolstered by real Jewish neighbours of Christians, who faithfully kept their dietary laws.

Todd S. Berzon

Heresiology as Ethnography Theorising Christian Difference

In the preface to his five-book refutation of heresies, Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (c.130 – 202), enumerates the principal hazard of the heretics.1 Their scheming argumentation, delusory interpretation, elaborate cosmologies, and falsification of scriptural proof texts induce the addled-minded to abandon their training in the true faith and instead embrace the speculative opinions of duplicitous men.2 Precisely because they “think differently about the same things at different times, they never attain a steadfast knowledge, desiring more to be sophists of words than disciples of truth”.3 In holding themselves as exponents of (an alternative) system of truth, the heretics craftily “speak a similar [language]” as (orthodox) Christians, though they “mean dissimilar things”.4 Their treachery, however, as Irenaeus diagnoses it, attests an underlying and more perilous condition: they persist and metastasise “under the pretense of knowledge.”5 Their so-called knowledge – while revealing detailed cosmologies, alternative scriptures, a multiplicity of deities, the impetus of creation, the divisions within the soul, the process of redemption, and the metaphysical principles of the universe, all of which, according to their adherents, govern the experiential and cognitive bond between humanity and the divine – imports a grandiose claim of privileged authority into their schematisation of a cosmic narrative. In supplanting the primacy of the God of 1 On Irenaeus generally see R.M. Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons (New York: Routledge, 1997) and E. Osborn, Irenaeus of Lyons (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001). On heresiology more broadly see, A. Cameron, “How to Read Heresiology”, JMEMS 33:3 (2003) 471 – 92; E. Iricinschi/ H.M. Zellentin (ed.), Heresy and Identity in Late Antiquity (Tu¨ bingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); A. Pourkier, L’h¦r¦siologie chez Êpiphane de Salamine (Paris: Beauchesne, 1992), 17 – 75; and C. Scholten, “Die Funktion der Häresienabwehr in der Alten Kirche”, VC 66 (2012) 229 – 68. 2 Both the Latin and Greek texts of Ireaneus’ opening sentence, in which he introduces his task at hand, identify the heretics as men (quidam and timer). One of the curious elements of Irenaeus’ treatise is his persistent usage of the third-person plural pronoun to name, rather anonymously, his heretical opponents. Indeed, the first phrase of the text, “certain persons,” references those sectarian groups Irenaeus has in his sights. This tension between exposition, on the one hand, and adherence to “orthodoxy,” on the other (exposing the foulest secrets of the heretics), emerges in heresiological texts as a rhetorical problem, in which knowledge of the heretics becomes simultaneously necessary and perilous. 3 Irenaeus Adversus Haereses III.24.2. 4 Irenaeus Adv. Haer. I. Pr. 2.33 – 4; similia quidem nobis loquentes, dissimilia vero sentientes/floia l³m kakoOmtar, !m|loia d³ vqomoOmtar. 5 Irenaeus Adv. Haer. I. Pr. 1.8 – 9; sub occasione agnitionis/pqov\sei cm~seyr.

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the Bible and his Word, the creative and enlightening powers behind the creation of the universe and thus the human race, the heretics embark upon a massive restructuring of revealed truth. They assert the supremacy of their own enlightenment over against the incomplete teachings of the apostles of Christ, and more importantly, the incomplete accounts of scripture.6 Reorienting the salvific truths of the apostolic age suggests an entirely distinct worldview, one marked by an insistence on comprehending the profound cosmological and metaphysical mysteries of humanity’s creation. Though frequently referenced by its shorter title, Adversus Haereses,7 the fuller and more precise heading of Irenaeus’ work is reported by Eusebius of Caesarea: “Refutation/Expos¦ and Overthrow of What is Falsely Called Knowledge”.8 Knowledge (gnosis), sadly absent from the abridged title, is not simply the corrective target of Irenaeus’ treatise – and the gravest offenders, the “Gnostics” are far from his only target;9 rather, it guides and structures the intellectual trajectory of the entire heresiological project: to map theologically and polemically the oikoume¯ne that is Christian. In elaborating even the most minute of heretical customs and doctrines – from baptismal rituals and elaborate cosmologies to dietary habits and alternative scriptural interpretations – the heresiologists exhibit not only their own ethnographic knowledge of the formidable bastion that is the world of Christian heresy, they confront how the procession, production, and ordering of knowledge itself underscores and alters the very foundations of Christianity and the Christian world.10 Theorising knowledge, both as an end in itself and as an investigative 6 After having surveyed the Valentinian’s cosmological system, Irenaeus summarises their claims in the context of knowledge and scripture. “Such is their design/plan which neither the prophets preached, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles transmitted, which they boast rather excessively that they know more about than others, reading [it] from unwritten works (i. e. non-scriptural); and, as it is said, they aim to braid ropes from sand. They try to adapt either the Lord’s parables, or the prophets’ sayings, or the apostles’ words to their sayings in trustworthy manner, so that their forgeries might not seem to be without witness. They transgress the order and the sequence of the Scriptures and, as much as in them lies, they destroy the members of the Truth” (Irenaeus Adv. Haer. I.8.1 – 11). 7 Even in antiquity the text was known by its shortened title. Eusebius Historia Ecclesiastica 2.13.5, 3.28.6; Basil Liber de Spiritu santco 29.72; Jerome De viris illustribus 35; Maximus Scholia in Pseduo-Dionysius Areopagita, De ecclesiastica hierarchia 7, and Photius Bibliothecae 120. See D. Unger, trans., St. Irenaeus of Lyons: Against the Heresies (vol. 1; ACW 55; Mahwah, NJ: Newman Press, 1992), 116 n. 8. 8 9k]cwou ja· "matqop/r t/r xeudym}lou; Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 5.7.2. 9 Though often described as an anti-Gnostic text Irenaeus (and his fellow heresiologists) traces and ventures far more deeply into the world of sectarian Christianity ; that is to say, Irenaeus contests a wide swath of “heretical” opinions, some of which are not categorised as so-called Gnostics. The world of heresy is occupied by an abundance of distinct opinions, cosmologies, habits, and theological doctrines. Marcion, for instance, is a prime target as well. Later iterations of heresiology – those furnished by Epiphanius, Philastrius, Augustine, and Theodoret – enumerate a far larger and more diverse world of heresy. In later heresiology, the Gnostics are but the tip of the iceberg. 10 N. Denzey Lewis, “Apolytrosis as Ritual and Sacrament: Determining a Ritual Context for Death

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process, shapes the formation of Christian pedagogical and scholastic tradition in which the barriers to, limits of, and utility for information, genuine and so-called, human and divine, totalising and parochial, are meticulously enumerated, constructed, contested, and reconfigured.11 If ancient ethnography primarily functioned descriptively (however polemical said description may have been), stylising and chronicling the customs of so-called foreigners, it similarly moved to study the world as it undergoes change, to orient the self and the community of the self within the surrounding world. The interactions of peoples across geographical boundaries and the process of trans-cultural or ethnic exchange likewise govern the ethnographic investigation. As Emma Dench has argued, ethnography encompasses a way of seeing the world, of enumerating and negotiating the cultural, social, political, and intellectual space occupied by a people and its traditions.12 Greg Woolf has similarly attempted to trace how “barbarian tales” functioned via a middle ground, namely army camps, trading bases, settlements, and mining communities, “to connect and coordinate worldviews”.13 My analysis of ethnographic paradigms and techniques embedded in ancient heresiological discourse aims to demonstrate how seemingly banal structures – lists of heretical rituals, cosmologies, clothing, dietary practices – nourish much larger debates about the utility and validity of Christian study and how texts ambivalently capture these negotiations. Much recent scholarship has sought to trace how Greek and Roman writers appropriated, embellished, produced, and modified historical, geographical, and mythical in Second-Century Marcosian Valentinianism”, JECS 17.4 (2009) 525 – 61, inaugurates her discussion of Marcosian death rites in Irenaeus’ Adversus haereses text with a gloss, that bespeaks the larger ethnographic aim of heresiology : “In an ethnographic excursus in Book One of his heresiological tractate Adversus haereses (ca. 180 C.E.), Irenaeus of Lyons discusses the Marcosians, a Christian group in second-century Gaul (525).” In correlating heretical rites with ethnography, Denzey Lewis has, in fact, stumbled upon an analytical framework far-more entrenched and far more complicated than a passing qualification can indicate. Denzey Lewis’ analysis, however, does coordinate sacramental conduct (in this case apolytrosis) with epistemological awakening and cosmological ascent. As an outgrowth of theological rationalisation and exegetical processes, heretical customs and habits likewise illustrate Epiphanius’ continual struggle to define knowledge and isolate human hubris. 11 On the relationship between Epiphanius and the ordering of knowledge – in the context of the Roman imperial world – see now, R. Flower, “Genealogies of Unbelief: Epiphanius of Salamis and Heresiological Authority”, in C. Kelly/R. Flower/M. Stuart Williams (ed.), Unclassical Traditions: Perspectives from East and West in Late Antiquity (CCJSup 35; 2 vol.: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) 2: 70 – 87. See also A. Jacobs, “Epiphanius of Salamis and the Antiquarian’s Bible”, JECS 21.3 (2013) 437 – 64; and Y. Kim, “Reading the Panarion as Collective Biography : The Heresiarch as Unholy Man”, VC 64 (2010) 382 – 413. 12 E. Dench, Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 37 – 92. See also idem, “Ethnography and History”, in J. Marincola (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2007) 493 – 503. 13 G. Woolf, Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West (Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 19.

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narratives and knowledge to organise their ethnographic data.14 In its capacity to enumerate cultural particulars, ancient ethnography was focused on the microscopic, while the development of grander theorisations in order to “rationalise” human diversity signaled a simultaneously macroscopic inclination. Macroscopic paradigms, such as genealogies, theological typologies, and astrological determinism, were cultivated or dismissed in order to explicate the habits, customs, and phenotypes of peoples throughout the known world.15 The ordering of ethnographic knowledge, often following genealogical or geographical patterns – arranging peoples by mythic descent or affixing them to a precise location – attempted to explain human diversity and to impose order upon an otherwise disorganised world. Drawing upon the traditional appeal to genealogies, dating back to Homer, Woolf posits, for example, that it was possible to coalesce a line of descendants around a lone figure’s individual eponym, “situating particular individuals or families at the centre of an ethnic history”.16 In the context of the multiplicity of ethnographic paradigms, including the astrological theories of Manilius’ Astronomica, the geographical reflections of Aelius Aristides’ To Rome, the environmental determinism of Herodotus’ Histories, and the mythological framework of Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris, among others, Christian ethnography functioned not only to explain human diversity, but also to elaborate an underlying human unity.17 Through heresiological literature, Christianity was written into the history of the world as the organising principle of humanity. To partition the problem of sectarian plurality and heretical deviance into 14 See, for example, J. Skinner, The Invention of Greek Ethnography : From Homer to Herodotus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); J.B. Rives, Cornelius Tacitus. Germania: Translated with Introduction and Commentary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999), 1 – 74; R. Thomas, Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000); R.F. Thomas, Lands and Peoples in Roman Poetry: The Ethnographical Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society, 1982); C. Dougherty, The Raft of Odysseus: The Ethnographic Imagination of Homer’s Odyssey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); F. Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1988); H. Inglebert, Interpretatio Christiana: Les mutations des savoirs (cosmographie, g¦ographie, ethnographie, histoire) dans l’Antiquit¦ chr¦tienne (Paris:Institut d’Êtudes Augustiniennes, 2001); and J. Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). 15 Woolf, Tales of the Barbarians, 32 – 58. For geography, 44 – 51; climatology, 44 – 8; astrology, 48 – 51. As Woolf explains, “genealogy and geography each offered general explanatory frameworks within which ethnographic data might be made to make sense. ‘Might’ is, in fact, too weak. All ethnographers need paradigms to enable them to interpret their harvest of oral testimony and observations … Paradigms also contribute to the structuring of knowledge when it is encoded in text. Ethnography, after all, literally means ‘writing people.’ As a discipline of recording it always involves the translation of people into texts. Paradigms operate in some way like master narratives, and in other rather like sets of generic conventions” (36). 16 Woolf, Tales of the Barbarians, 41. 17 On Christian unity see Irenaeus Adv. Haer. I.10.

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their respective classes of knowledge – a paradigm of sorts – Epiphanius devised a sweeping history of sectarianism. In the second Proem of the Panarion, the bishop uses genealogical, geographical, and ethnogenic reasoning within the same narrative of sectarianism’s birth and growth. The text frames its study of sectarianism with a sweeping history of the world, proposing four successive “generations” (cemea·, which Williams translates as “breeds”) or ages of heresy.18 By beginning in the pre-Christian past (or the past that was not yet manifestly Christian), Epiphanius traces the history of heresy from Adam down into his own day with the Massalians, subsuming the history of the world under a history of religion. Following Gal 3:28 and Col 3:11, Epiphanius correlates the Barbarian, Scythian, Hellene, and Jew of Paul’s epistles (or deutero-epistle, in the case of Colossians) with the four foundational or mother heresies, which serve to organise the pre-Christian ages of human history : the age of Barbarism (from Adam until Noah); Scythianism (from Noah until the tower at Babylon and Serug); Hellenism (from Serug to Abraham); and Judaism (from Abraham onward).19 As ages of human development, each of the four eras introduced and inscribed particular religious beliefs and/or conduct, which over time (after the age of Scythianism) ossified into cultural ethics and ethnic sensibilities. Under the first two ages of humanity, the world was inhabited only by “men” of a single language and speech, who comported themselves either with godliness or ungodliness.20 In affirming or rejecting natural law, the lone correlative of godliness, men did not, according to Epiphanius, foment sectarian divisions; they were simply behaving obediently or disobediently.21 During the age of humanity’s division into seventy-two distinct peoples (and the allotment of land and bestowal of languages), Reu, of Noah’s stock, bore Serug, who introduced idolatry into human consciousness with paintings and portraits.22 Serug’s grandson, Terah, went further still, making “images with clay and pottery”.23 The age of idolatry is marked by the bishop as the era of Hellenism, though, in fact, “Hellenism began with the Egyptians, Babylonians and Phrygians,” who exported their errors throughout the world. The rites and mysteries of the Greeks, he reports, “were brought to [them] by Cadmus, and by Inachus himself,” which then flourished into distinct heresies “during

18 Epiphanius Pan. 8.3.1. 19 Epiphanius Pan. 8.3.2. On the sources, structure, and argument of Epiphanius’ theorisation of the nature of sectarianism see the excellent analysis of W. Adler, “The Origins of the ProtoHeresies: Fragments from a Chronicle in the First Book of Epiphanius’ Panarion”, JTS 41.2 (1990) 472 – 501. 20 Epiphanius Pan. 2.3. 21 Epiphanius Pan. 2.3. 22 Epiphanius Pan. 3.4. According to Epiphanius, autocracy, astrology, and magic – debasements ascribed to Nimrod – also spread throughout the world at this time. 23 Epiphanius Pan. 3.5.

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the lifetime of Epicurus, Zeno the Stoic, Pythagoras and Plato”.24 The process of transporting error occupies much of Epiphanius’ attention in his discussion of the fourth and final of the mother heresies, Judaism. Originally known as Abramians, these ancestral worshippers of God were defined by the piety of their namesake. Their lineal descendents ultimately became the Jews (though they were not called Jews until the time of David) and were held by God’s choice as “the true religion and circumcision”.25 The age of Judaism, however, as it progressed further away from its Abrahamic ideal, was vitiated by the Jews’ misinterpretation of divine legislation. The pedagogical import of biblical Law, though “giving its precepts physically,” held a spiritual hope, a hope the Jews had perilously failed to grasp.26 For Christians the Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate pedagogue, illuminated the truth of God’s Law, replacing its types and symbols with spiritual truths.27 The Jews’ continued adherence to the “legal” obligation of circumcision upended their divinely sanctioned status. This periodised narrative, framed in Euhemeristic terms, as Jeremy Schott has sharply observed, wherein mythological figures are accorded historical agency as human inventors of progressive or regressive tendencies and technologies, articulates the etiology of sectarianism as a history of culture.28 24 25 26 27 28

Epiphanius Pan. 3.11; 4.2.6; 4.2.7. Epiphanius Pan. 8.5.1. Epiphanius Pan. 8.5.4. Epiphanius Pan. 8.6.5 – 7.4. J. Schott, “Heresiology as Universal History in Epiphanius’ Panarion”, ZAC 10.3 (2006) 546 – 63. See also W. Ameling, “Ethnography and Universal History in Agatharchides”, in T.C. Brennan/ H.I. Flower (ed.), East & West: Papers in Ancient History Presented to Glen W. Bowersock (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008) 13 – 59; J.M. Hall, “Land and Peoplehood: The Ethnogenesis of the Hellenes”, in Hellenicity : Between Ethnicity and Culture (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002) 125 – 71. Schott outlines the two prevailing (and opposing) models of human development in antiquity, primitivists and anti-primitivists. The former, epitomised by Hesiod, the Stoics, and Ovid, located humanity’s apex in its earliest stages. For the primitivists, humanity’s golden age was interrupted and ultimately disrupted by technological and artistic advancement. The anti-primitivists, represented by Lucretius, Diodorus, and Protagoras, argued that primitive humans lived in a state of rampant anarchy ; they inhabited a lawless, cultureless swirl of disorder. Cultural and technological developments, borne out of philosophy, religion, political necessity, etc., engendered a civilising process that lifted human beings out of their natural state of discord. Schott argues that Epiphanius represents a modified third position: “Like the anti-primitivists, Epiphanius felt that most ancient humans lived in a state of anarchy, without the rule of law. On the other hand, he does not join the anti-primitivists in their progressive attitude toward the civilising process. Rather, his view of civilisation is resoundingly negative (554).” While it is quite explicit in the Panarion that as the ages unfold, the state of humanity declines insofar as it drifts further afield from its Christian faith, Epiphanius never explicitly registers dislike or disapproval of the age of Barbarism or Scythianism. He praise Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah and Eber, and Abraham as emblems of a pre-Christian piety. If a dichotomy between ancient theories of primitivism and anti-primitivism can be said to exist, Epiphanius operates within a somewhat different paradigm. For him, it is neither about reviving a golden age nor is it about overcoming the barrenness of the earliest age through technological and artistic advancements. It is about re-

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Each mother heresy functioned, in Epiphanius’ schema, as a cultural or devotional unit, which marked ethical, ethnic, and religious geneses, progressions, and deviations. Barbarism and Scythianism, on the one hand, had precise beginnings and ends – they were historically closed – while Hellenism and Judaism, on the other, remained ambiguously open, as the Greek philosophical schools and the Jews endured into the era of Christianity.29 The former, while introducing certain base human errors, affixed errancy to the disobedience of natural law, while the divided world of Hellenism and Judaism marked the introduction of an ethnic, or in Schott’s parlance, ethnogenic linkage between cultural (d)evolution and human religiosity.30 Although both Judaism and Hellenism proliferated during the post-Babylon reign of nations, the former, defined by the practice of circumcision, oriented only the nation of Israel, while the latter broadly signified the practice of idolatry. In the case of Hellenism, moreover, Epiphanius intimates that the making of gods facilitated, reinforced, and perhaps even engendered the process of human division that comprised the post-Babylon world. He argues: And after [Scythianism] people made gods of wretched despots, or sorcerers who had deceived the world, by honouring their tombs. And much later they made Cronus, and Zeus, Rhea, Hera and the rest of them into gods, and then they made gods by worshipping Acinaces – and the Scythian Sauromatians made gods by worshipping Odrysus and the ancestor of the Thracians, from whom the Phrygian people are derived. This is why Thracians are named for the person called Thera, who was born during the building of the tower.31

Tracking the genesis of heresy exposes the historical-theological correlation between peoplehood and ancestral worship (or religious errancy) and the formation of and/or perpetuation of communal identities. The causative conditions of sectarianism quite clearly rest on the production of individualised deviant opinions, which continually germinate via pedagogical transmission. It is the transmission of error that propels this narrative of heresy’s emergence, and Epiphanius aims to expose its agents. As the bishop succinctly kindling or revitalising the faith of the generations borne by a particular line of successors, who themselves, he admits, are not free from moral or religious culpability. Though his periodised history of heresy is told as a universal history, it fundamentally serves to chart the thread of piety, which has been eclipsed by the repeated introduction of religious deviance. 29 Barbarism began with Adam and ended with the great deluge, and Scythianism began after the flood and ended with the construction and destruction of the tower at Babylon. And while in his discussion of Abraham, Epiphanius recapitulates his narrative thus far, declaring that the age of Hellenism lasted from Serug until Abraham, the sects of Hellenism (the philosophical schools of Stoics, Platonists, Pythagoreans, and Epicureans) have survived. The implication seems to be that mother heresies may pass, while their descendants endure. 30 Schott, “Heresiology as Universal History”, 555 – 62. 31 Epiphanius Pan. 3.9 – 10.

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distills the problem: “We are dealing with variance of opinions and kinds of knowledge, with faith in God and unbelief, with sects, and with heretical human opinion which misguided persons have been sowing in the world from man’s formation on earth till our own day … .”32 Teaching and craft underlie and perpetuate the production of errant epistemological conceptualisations. It was the “historians and chroniclers,” whose importation and dissemination of Egyptian imposture – heathen mythology – gave rise to the magical rites.33 The philosophical schools, which were born of the Greeks’ mysteries and rites, “devise[d] a concordant science (bl|stoiwom cm_sim) of idolatry, impiety and godlessness”.34 Idolatry, having set in motion a progression of fallacies, wherein the creation of false deities invited the theistic speculations of the philosophical schools, introduced new practices of devotion and further waylaid the path of the godly. The Stoics with their “promise of knowledge”, emphasising fate as the driving force within the universe, exasperated Epiphanius.35 “If it is fate,” he reasoned, “that equips the educated and intelligent, no one should learn from a teacher”.36 Reaffirming his distaste for the scholastic frauds of the Hellenic era, Epiphanius chastises the “poets, prose authors, historians, astronomers” and all the others who “made men’s opinion giddy and confused” by planting fallacious arguments and introducing errant doctrines.37 Even in later generations, the keenness of the Jews and Samaritans to reject idolatry and their desire “to know the one God,” despite their having received the wisdom of the law was displaced by a lack of “interest in more precise information”.38 In contrast stands the pre-sectarian religiosity of men, which was “not learned from teaching or writings,” but operated by faith apart from any institutional, national, philosophical, or pedagogical instruction.39 The professionalism of knowledge not only stymies the unfolding of religious truth, it actively indoctrinates generations into systems of competing falsehoods. During his presentation of the age of Hellenism, Epiphanius ascribes the introduction of idolatry, the point at which sectarianism emerges, to the excessive freedom of human intellect. Peleg was the father of Reu, and Reu was the father of Serug, which means ‘provocation’; and, as I have been taught, idolatry and Hellenism began among men with him. It was not with carved images yet or with reliefs in stone, wood or silverplated substances, or made of gold or any other material, that the human reason 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Epiphanius Pan. Pro. II.2.3. Emphasis mine. Epiphanius Pan. 3.11. Epiphanius Pan. 4.2.8. Epiphanius Pan. 5.2.4. Epiphanius Pan. 5.3.2. Epiphanius Pan. 8.2.2. Epiphanius Pan. 9.2.3. Epiphanius Pan. 2.3.

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invented evil for itself and, with its freedom, reason and intellect, invented transgression instead of goodness, but only with paintings and portraits.40

Unbridled reason and intellectual speculation engendered the very notion of evil and in so doing fomented alternative systems of worship. The introduction of idols not only signifies an end to the exclusive relationship between humanity and the singular divinity, but it marks the emergence of a sustained history, with its soon-to-be myriad divisions, of religious deviation. While ungodliness had existed from the beginning among the peoples of Barbarianism and Scythianism, the idolatry of the Hellenistic era ruptured in an unprecedented manner the religious history and lineage of humanity. Human reason had moved beyond the rejection of natural law to the active production, by its excessive curiosity and rationality, of ethnogenicallyaligned traditions of sectarian adherence. Though Epiphanius’ account of the rise of idolatry concerns only pre-Christian intellectual hubris (and the process by which reason engenders humanity’s separation from the goodness of natural law), the intellectual corruption of religious truth is the driving force of his world history – it clouds the Jewish sects, the Hellenistic schools, and the Christian heresies as well. The history of the world in the Panarion traces the struggle to reclaim the untarnished Adamic legacy, to free humanity from the excesses of the idolaters, philosophers, Jews, and Christian heretics.41 Though the human creation of deities (idols) aptly foreshadows the reproductive propensity of the Christian heresies, it exposes how error produces a schematised narrative both of the past and the present, in which uncovering and ordering its contents becomes the prevailing occupation of the heresiologist. In combining the tradition of apostolic succession and the Hellenic and Jewish heresies with the genealogy of the nations in Gen 10, Epiphanius organises the “entire” history of the world as a history of religious exploits, governed by a knowledge truth and threatened by the altogether natural perpetuation of ignorance and falsity. The generation of culturally specific idols (and their corresponding deities) and the failure to comprehend the true meaning of divine (or even natural) law disrupt the lineal, though periodised, progression of godliness evidenced by Adam, Abraham, and other biblical luminaries; the rise of heresy obscures the orthodox line of Christianity.42 The rise of Christian sectarianism follows a historical pattern, 40 Epiphanius Pan. 3.4. 41 Epiphanius’ censure of heretical invention, articulated earlier by Hippolytus and Irenaeus, their introduction of novel interpretations, full books of alternative scripture, and misguided rituals, reflects the same underlying concern: unrestrained curiosity, intellectual and reasoned pursuits, produce transgression, chaos, and error. 42 Although the thrust of Epiphanius’ argument throughout his narrative of the four ages of heresy demonstrates the processes by which human error or disobedience produced multiple types of false worship and behaviour, he concurrently tracks the epitomes of piety, juxtaposing godliness and ungodliness as mutually operative categories (from the very beginning of human history until the present age). The kernel of faith begins with Adam who, notwithstanding his trans-

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conditioned by the errors of human intellect. When Epiphanius characterises the Melchizedekians as “inflated by a more excessive arrogance of thought” (peqissot]qô !kafome_ô 1mmo_ar !qh]mter), he has, in fact, provided an encapsulation of the heresiologists’ most basic charge against the totality of the sectarian world.43 Having just explained the rise of divisive opinions within Israel during the exilic and post-exilic periods,44 Epiphanius finally offers to enumerate the underlying causes of sectarianism via the metaphor of ethnogenesis and individuality : Here I can begin my treatment of the subject of sectarianism (1mteOhem !qw^ loi c_metai t/r toO 1pacc]klator jat± aRq]seym pqaclate_ar), and I shall briefly explain how it arose. How else but in the same way in which tribes arose from the proliferation of the different languages, various nations emerged to correspond with each tribe and clan, every nation chose its own king to head it, and the result was the outbreak of wars, and conflicts between clashing nations…So too at this time we have been discussing. Since there had been a change in Israel’s one religion, and the scripture of the Law had been transferred to other nations – I mean to Assyrians, the ancestors of the colonist Samaritans – the division of Israel’s opinion also resulted. And then error arose, and discord began to sow seed from the one true religion in many counterfeit beliefs, as each individual thought best, and thought that he was proficient in the letter (of scripture) and could expound it to suit himself.45

Even if Epiphanius’ aim with his historicised schema was to mark off ethical or religious deviation as ethnically or culturally particularist, while simultaneously asserting that the principles of Christianity existed apart from, though alongside, these other errant preoccupations, the narrative history of sectarianism inculcates an ethnographic ordering not only of the world but of the Christian tradition itself. In the context of heresiology, the appeal to study heresy’s roots and describe them in expressly generative language reveals not simply a kinship with the language of ethnography, but a persistent frame of reference for the totality of his undertaking.46 For Epiphanius,

43 44 45 46

gression against God, symbolises the apex of human piety. Adam and his entire generation are elevated before God to “royal rank and status” (“a generation in Christ is called a ‘queen,’”) on account of Adam’s knowledge of the divine (De Fide 4.1). Epiphanius Pan. 55.9.11. Epiphanius Pan. 8.8.5 – 11. Epiphanius Pan. 8.1 – 9.4. Cf. Tertullian De Praescriptione Haereticorum 4, which conceptualises heresies as a divinely ordained test for the resolve of the true followers of Christ. For Tertullian, the mere existence of heresies serves a precise divine function. Epiphanius, by contrast, maintains that heresy is a natural human phenomenon, insofar as it shapes and guides the contours of history. The current state of the world – the proliferation of heresy – is not altogether unparalleled. The relative stakes, however, have changed precisely because the opportunity has arisen for humanity to return to its Adamic state of being. Since the world has now undergone the transformative

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geographical, genealogical, and ethnogenic narratives are all expressions within the equation of sectarianism’s birth and growth, which concludes that history is in fact dominated by the unceasing ascent of self-fashioned (heterodox) innovation. Thus even as he mimics his predecessors’ genealogy of Christian heresy – it always begins with Simon Magus – and parrots specific details they possess, he simultaneously expands the genre’s capacity to comprehend the world of religious opinion by constructing a religious history of the world alongside its historical twin, the birth of sectarianism. Christian heresies produce or sow the same ethnic particularities and epistemological claims as Hellenic and Jewish sects. They are defined by deviant conduct and fallacious opinions, all of which hearken back to the emergence of divisive opinions among nations, philosophers, Samaritans, and Jews. Although the history of the world, having just entered the era of (manifest) Christianity, has been recalibrated, the Christian heresies graft onto this previously articulated ethnogenic and ethnographic schematisation because its sectarian proponents continue to occupy the same historical and theological space as the heresies of yore: “for all the sects have gathered imposture for themselves from the Greek mythology, and altered it by making it mean something else which is worse.”47 The ethnogenic mapping of the preChristian world has been supplanted by the rise of Christianity, wherein the Christian heresies function, in some sense, as the new nations of the world. Because the history of the world is an iterative cycle of orthodox and sectarian contestation, surveying and classifying the Christian sects by their ritualistic customs, cosmologies, modes of biblical interpretation, Trinitarian formulations evince the Christian interpretation and exposition of ethnographic investigation.48 The great historian of the later Roman Empire, A.H.M Jones famously asked, “Were the Ancient Heresies National or Social Movements in Disguise?”49 Although Jones answered firmly in the negative, it is clear from

experience of Christ’s gospel, humanity possesses the opportunity to forge anew its unity and univocality. 47 Epiphanius Pan. 26.16.7. 48 Y. Kim, “Epiphanius of Cyprus and the Geography of Heresy”, in H.A. Drake (ed.), Violence in Late Antiquity : Perceptions and Practices (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006) 235 – 52, studies the geographical distribution of the heresies of the Panarion. Like most of the scholarship on the geography of heresy, he takes a decidedly literal view of the matter (i. e. locating each of the heresies within a fixed geographical location). Cameron, “How to Read Heresiology”, 475 – 7, explores the conceptual possibilities and limitations of heresiological literature. She suggests that the scholarly neglect of the genre owes much to Epiphanius, whose Panarion was judged to be inarticulate, solipsistic, and altogether unsophisticated. In addition to mounting a spirited defense of Epiphanius, Cameron indicates that a more capacious study of the geography of heresy (one less interested in the facts of geographical dispersal) would be extremely valuable. 49 A.H.M. Jones, “Were the Ancient Heresies National or Social Movements in Disguise?”, JTS 10.2 (1959) 280 – 98. Also, W.H.C. Frend, “Heresy and Schism as Social and National Movements”, in

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the extant evidence that the heresiologists explicitly invoked the language of ethnic reasoning in their delineation of the nature, origin, and identity of the heretics. But beyond that limited vernacular, the facets of ethnographic writing incorporate more, much more, than a rote delineation of the qualities or criteria of nationhood. There is a far more complicated negotiation surrounding the authorial capacity to represent peoplehood or even moments of social experience. The ethnographic quality of heresiology turns as much on the descriptions of peoples as it does on the author’s realisations about that very endeavour and the implications of it looking inward and outward, within the text and beyond it. How, in essence, did the heresiologists articulate their authorial selves and engage in their authorial capacity and ability? Even the seemingly flat-footed writings of our heresiologists, which intertwine investigation and self-defensive postulations, are writing a world, inhabited by people, however far-fetched, contrived, or purely imaginative this world was.50 And it is not simply or even that Christian authors were borrowing or imitating ethnographic and geographic techniques and tropes from earlier Greek and Roman authors, many of whom they likely had never read; instead, I have suggested that Christian authors wrote about Christianity as if it were itself a world, an expansive intellectual topography in need of exploration, classification, and investigation, which, in turn, feeds a loop of ethnographic discovery and exchange.51 The way in which Christian diversity is cast in the shadow of human diversity – Epiphanius’ intertwining of the history of sectarianism and the history of the world – evidences one of the facets of the D. Baker (ed.), Schism, Heresy and Religious Protest (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972) 37 – 56. 50 A. Cameron’s deft argument in Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire: The Development of Christian Discourse (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1992), that Christian writers were, in essence, fashioning a world for themselves throughout late antiquity undergirds much of my own thinking. It may be unnecessary to insist that reality was in fact made via texts, but it is certainly true that the heresiological writers constructed a textual world of heretics that was built upon and negotiated ethnographic knowledge and tradition. As Cameron notes, “Out of the framework of Judaism, and living as they did in the Roman Empire and in the context of Greek philosophy, pagan practice, and contemporary social ideas, Christians built themselves a new world. They did so partly through practice – the evolution of a mode of living and a communal discipline that carefully distinguished them from their Jewish and pagan neighbors – and partly through a discourse that was itself constantly brought under control and disciplined” (21). 51 This is, in fact, precisely how Epiphanius commences his epilogue to the Panarion, De Fide. Imagining the classification of the heretics as an act of prolonged and treacherous discovery, De Fide solidifies the ethnographic perspective of heresiology by casting the text’s production in the symbolic language of travel and return (De Fide 1.1 – 3). The taxonomic endeavour of the heresiologist, explicitly articulated as a system of natural classification ordered by genus and species, is conceived as an ethnographic excursion of theological exigency and immense toil. Travel, as the metaphor of textual production, begets an intellectual and spiritual exhaustion that is the expected consequence of an ethnographic effort to stabilise the structure and content of the Christian world.

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Christian application, deployment, and adaptation of ancient ethnographic discourse.

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The Damascian Dichotomy Contention and Concord in the History of Late Platonism

The subject of this essay is a matter in which a philosophical difference, or more accurately, a philosophical-ritual difference, was understood by one tradent to have bifurcated a late antique philosophical institution. Although this division was born of a third-century CE debate, it is not until the early sixth century that evidence of a form of historical perspective on the everdeveloping Platonic tradition can be found. It comes to us in the form of a synthesis of which Hegel would be proud, blending two poles into an ideal unity. In his commentary on Plato’s Phaedo, Damascius, the last scholarch of the Athenian Academy, reflects on the present state of philosophy : To some philosophy is primary, as for Porphyry and Plotinus and many other philosophers; to others hieratic practice, as it is to Iamblichus, Syrianus, Proclus, and the hieratic school in general. Plato, however, recognizing that strong arguments can be advanced from both sides, has united the two into one single truth by calling the philosopher a “Bacchus.” For by using the notion of a man who has separated himself from the generated realm as an intermediate term, he will lead one to the other.1

With this statement, Damascius delineates a Dichotomy with two different emphases that had been intrinsic to Late Platonism for centuries. The first, associated with two heavyweights of the tradition, Plotinus (204 – 270 CE) and Porphyry (c. 234–c. 305 CE), stressed the centrality of “philosophy.” Damascius does not define “philosophy” in this instance, but it might be understood to refer to the theoretical philosophy that emphasised dialectical reasoning and ethical lifestyle that had been associated with the Academy since its founding. In his Life of Isidore, Damascius describes philosophy as an all-encompassing discipline “descend[ed] from the one cause of all things to the lowest level of existence”2 and capable of elevating the soul to the highest ontological levels. The second pole of the Dichotomy, the hieratic impulse, Damascius characterises as the domain of Iamblichus (c. 245–c. 325 CE) and two previous scholarchs of the Athenian Academy, Syrianus (d. 437 CE) and 1 In Phdo. 1.172 Westerink; nti l³m tµm vikosov_am pqotil_sim, ¢r Poqv}qior ja· Pkyt?mor ja· %kkoi pokko· vik|sovoi. oR d³ tµm Reqatij^m, ¢r Y\lbkiwor ja· Suqiam¹r ja· Pq|jkor ja· oR Reqatijo· p\mter. b d³ Pk\tym t±r 2jat]qyhem sumgcoq_ar 1mmo^sar pokk±r ousar eQr l_am aqt±r sum^cacem !k^heiam, t¹m vik|sovom ‘B\jwom’ amol\fym· ja· c±q b wyq_sar 2aut¹m t/r cem]seyr eQ tehe_g l]sor eQr taqt¹m %nei t` 2t]q\ t¹m 6teqom. 2 Vit. Is. frg. 4 A Athanassiadi = F3 Zintzen.

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Proclus (412 – 485 CE). Zeqatij^, a term associated with “priestly” acts and roles, often has been viewed by scholars to be synonymous with a term made famous by Iamblichus, “theurgy” (heouqc_a). This complex of rites was rooted in the Chaldean Oracles, a collection of hexametrical oracles composed in the second century CE, and was understood to contribute in some fashion to the salvation of the soul. Such scholarly identification misses the broader semantic range invested into Reqatij^ by Damascius, who labels it the “worship of the gods” (heqape_a he_m). The emphasis of Reqatij^ was the liberation and purification of the soul enmeshed in the world of generation, but there is no indication that Damascius limited the term to acts that were “theurgic,” that is, based in Chaldean praxis. Rather, hieratic rites involved an array of priestly functions that, at least in an ideal world in which Christian authorities had not limited traditional practices, would include ablutions, sacrifice, the observance of feast days, and the maintenance of the altars.3 In sum, the Dichotomy presents a picture of Late Platonist history defined by competition between those who favoured philosophy and those who preferred hieratic ritual. The present essay will examine the evidence for this claim and will suggest that the Dichotomy is simplistic, though not without some basis in fact. Damascius likely was cognisant of the nuanced positions of his predecessors, for he speaks of these figures as preferring (pqotil_sim) the one to the other, intimating that one was not favoured to the neglect of the other ; indeed, it seems likely that he purposely chose to delimit these categories starkly in order that he might utilise their extreme positions to describe the ideal Bacchic philosopher. Nevertheless, a juncture is clearly described by the Dichotomy, and deeper investigation of the history to which Damascius refers can provide insight into his statement and the purpose behind it. The relationship between philosophy and ritual always had been characterised by a degree of tension. Figures like Pythagoras and Heraclitus set the tone with their disdain for traditional aspects of cult such as sacrifice and prayer to images, and subsequent philosophers such as Plato,4 Zeno of Citium,5 and Apollonius of Tyana6 adopted or modified their positions, at least in part. Others like Cleanthes,7 Posidonius,8 and Cornutus9 made room for 3 Some of these acts are found in Marinus’ biography of Proclus in the context of a demonstration of the latter’s cathartic virtue, but there is interest in purification found in Damascius’ In Phaed. 119 – 24, 165 – 72. Also, Damascius describes philosophers as a “sacred race” who “lit holy fire on the altars” (PH 73 A Athanassiadi); see also H. Marx-Wolf, “High Priests of the Highest God: Third-Century Platonists as Ritual Experts”, JECS 18.4 (2010) 481 – 513. 4 Leg. 930e–931a, d–e, in which Plato describes statues as “lifeless images” (%xuwoi !c\klata); on the other hand, Plato’s interest in and apparent acknowledgement of the feasibility of forms of divination represents an aspect of ritual to which he was more amenable. 5 SVF 1.264; Plut. St. rep. 1034B. 6 De sac. = Eus. Praep. evang. 4.12 – 13. 7 Although ultimately a philosophical piece, the Hymn to Zeus adapted a traditional aspect of worship for the purpose of praising the divine with philosophical exactitude. 8 Like Plato, Posidonius took an interest in divination and is credited with providing a three-fold

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ritual elements such as hymns, divination, and statues, respectively, albeit in a fashion conformable to their philosophical matrices. Similarly, praxes associated with the Chaldean Oracles (second century CE) and the Hermetic Corpus (c. late first century BCE to third century CE), texts that betray affinities with contemporary Platonism, also had connections with forms of ritual.10 When in the third century CE the question of ritual was raised once more by Porphyry in his Letter to Anebo, it is, on the one hand, in keeping with previous philosophical inquiry on such matters, but on the other, it indicates that, with his claims about the anagogic efficacy of theurgic rites, Iamblichus had raised the stakes of the debate. In essence, Iamblichus argued for a complex of rituals, affiliated with “Chaldean” and “Egyptian” traditions, that facilitated divine visions and epiphanies and enabled the theurgist to ascend to the One.11 Porphyry had no truck with the Oracles, for he is credited in several different sources with penning a commentary on the texts, but the extant fragments outline one who mainly was invested in examining aspects of theology and metaphysics, and betray no interest in theurgic ritual.12 Scholars commonly observe that Porphyry allowed that theurgy could purify the anima spiritalis, the pneumatic vehicle of the soul,13 but as Johnson notes, even this may have been only a hypothetical statement made for the sake of argument rather than an affirmation of this position.14 Whether the assertion was hypothetical or a true reflection of his assessment of theurgy, it is clear that Porphyry believed the rites lacked the necessary potency to elevate the soul beyond the encosmic regions.15 In the Letter to Anebo, Porphyry presses his addressee, an Egyptian priest, on issues of theology and cultic practice, which are portrayed as not conforming to philosophical norms.16 This challenge provokes a strong response from Iamblichus who claims that theurgic union and purification actually exceed the limits of philosophical knowledge.17 There

9 10 11

12 13 14 15 16 17

explication of divine dreams (frg. 108 Kidd = Cic. De div. 1.64); compare with one like Cicero who is far less sympathetic to the reality of divination. In his Compendium, Cornutus provides figural readings of divine images (Comp. 23.11 – 22; 50.18 – 51.11). Chald. Orac. frg. 149 des Places; CH XVII; Asc. 24, 37. DM 230.12 – 231.2; the degree to which Iamblichean theurgy reflects the praxes of the Oracles (to say nothing of “Egyptian” and Greek rites) is not easily ascertained, but for a recent treatment, see I. Tanaseanu-Döbler, Theurgy in Late Antiquity (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 21 – 39, 95 – 111. De Chald. Orac. frg. 365 Smith; frg. 368 Smith; test. 362 Smith; for discussion, see A. Johnson, Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre: The Limits of Hellenism in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 266 – 70. Frg. 287F Smith = Aug. civ, Dei X 27. Johnson, Religion and Identity, 142 – 3. Frg. 284F Smith = Aug. civ, Dei X 23. Recent discussions of the letter are found in Johnson, Religion and Identity, 42 – 5, 78 – 80; Tanaseanu-Döbler, Theurgy in Late Antiquity : The Invention of a Ritual Tradition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 74 – 83. DM 98.7 – 10.

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is in these two works evidence of legitimate contention between the two on this point of the efficacy of theurgic ritual. In this way, Damascius’ appraisal of the divide between philosophy and hieratic practice, rooted in the disagreement between Porphyry and Iamblichus, was accurate, but it also must be viewed as reductionistic. It already has been observed that Porphyry allowed that theurgy might have a role, albeit a small one, in the cathartic project central to Late Platonist philosophy ; in her study of theurgy, I. Tanaseanu-Döbler calls attention to the emphasis Iamblichus and the rest of the “hieratics” placed on dialectical philosophy.18 Both he and Proclus were fully committed to philosophical inquiry and, for the latter, philosophy had, at the very least, the same anagogic and salvific value as ritual acts. The details of the debate found in the pages of the Letter and Iamblichus’ response, On the Mysteries, have been examined extensively,19 so we will turn our attention to individuals and contexts that further complicate the Dichotomy. Identifying the qualities of Platonist philosophy in the generations subsequent to Iamblichus would prove elusive without the witness of Eunapius of Sardis (c. 349–after 414 CE), whose Lives of Sophists and Philosophers chronicles the first century of Late Platonism. Although he does write briefly of Plotinus, and of Porphyry at greater length, the focus of the work is on Iamblichus and his spiritual offspring, of whom Eunapius counts himself a descendent through his own teacher, Chrysanthius. All of them have some facility with ritual and are deemed heiasl|r, a word that often is translated as “inspired,” but in the Lives also refers to ritual actions;20 however, “theurgy,” as a term, makes few appearances in the Lives. When it does, it is referring to a general expertise in ritual and to a proximity to the gods rather than to a complex of praxes vital to the elevation of the soul. Besides an interest and personal pride in his own intellectual ancestry, Eunapius cherishes this line of philosophers for their influence on one of his heroes, Julian. A brief account of the future emperor’s educational journey is given and it is in this context that an incident is described that hints at a snag in the Platonist fabric. According to Eunapius, Julian was granted permission by his cousin, Constantius, to seek out philosophical instruction as a means of distracting the young man from considering his claim to the purple. Julian eventually ended up in Pergamon, where he studied first with Aedesius, an aged pupil of Iamblichus, and then with Aedesius’ own students, Eusebius of Myndus and Chrysanthius. The latter figure is described as one zealous for heiasl|r, here used to describe inspired ritual activities like divination;21 elsewhere in the 18 Tanaseanu-Döbler, Theurgy in Late Antiquity, 112 – 30, 215 – 22. 19 For example, see G. Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus (University Park, Pa.: Penn State Press, 1995); J. Dillon, “Iamblichus’ Defence of Theurgy : Some Reflections”, IJPT 1 (2007) 30 – 41; Johnson, Religion and Identity, 42 – 5; Tanaseanu-Döbler, Theurgy in Late Antiquity, 74 – 135. 20 Ibid., 160 – 1. 21 VS 475.

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Lives, Chrysanthius’ moderate, but discerning, approach to sacrificial ceremony also is emphasised.22 Chrysanthius is precisely the sort of student one might expect to find in the “hieratic” line of Iamblichus; so, too, Aedesius’ star pupil, and Julian’s eventual mentor, Maximus of Ephesus, fearlessly engaged in ritual acts23 and even struggled with the gods to bend them to his will.24 The ritual orientation of the On the Mysteries, if not the stress placed on the inability of humans to manipulate the gods found within, remains vibrant in these sons of Iamblichus. It is this context that makes Eusebius such an interesting figure within the school. It would seem that Maximus’ big personality intimidated Eusebius, for when together, the latter avoided engaging in logic and dialectical argumentation; however, when Maximus was not present, Eusebius allowed the full flower of his intellect to blossom. At the close of every lecture, Eusebius asserted that logic and dialectic were that which gave true insight into reality ; the foolishness associated with lace_a and cogte_a was the work of conjurers who led people astray into the exercise of material powers. The crux of the story for Eunapius is that Julian rejects this perspective and seeks after Maximus so that he might learn from one with great thaumaturgical knowledge, but for the purposes of this paper, it is Eusebius who commands attention. Two aspects of the story are noteworthy ; the first is the obvious one, that is, that even in a school that so heavily favoured ritual acts, one who valued and championed dialectical philosophy could find a place. As was indicated earlier, the Damascian association of Iamblichus with the “hieratics” practice simplifies a figure whose holistic philosophy was complex and incorporated Aristotelian, Platonic, and Pythagorean elements. The presence of one like Eusebius in a group of those who inherited the Iamblichean tradition is consistent with Iamblichus’ own approach to the Platonic tradition, in which he integrated philosophy and ritual into a symbiotic unity. The second point to be noted, however, puts a damper on the allusion of collegiality in the circle and signals the existence of significant discord among certain members of the group. Eusebius’ reticence to speak in the presence of Maximus likely hints at the latter’s influence and status in Aedesius’ school, but it also indicates that the dialectical approach was not appreciated by some and, at times, even was something to downplay. At the same time, Eusebius seems to have resented Maximus’ influence and to have denounced the theiasmic approach outside of his hearing with great opprobrium. In between these two was Chrysanthius who, in spite of his own theiasmic sympathies, appears to have had no evident disdain for dialectical philosophy ; nevertheless, he did not wish to be drawn into discussions about Eusebius’ declarations. When Julian approached Chrysanthius to inquire about their 22 VS 476 – 8. 23 VS 475. 24 VS 477.

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meaning, the philosopher responded, “The wise thing for you to do will be to inquire this not of me but of himself.”25 This is depicted by Eunapius as a sagacious answer, but it may also reveal just how touchy a subject this was for Chrysanthius. Eunapius evidences that the essentials of the Dichotomy were intact in the generations subsequent to Iamblichus. According to Eunapius, the circle surrounding Aedesius was characterised primarily by an appreciation for theiasmic ritual, but even in this setting, more traditional forms of philosophy were present. It is intriguing, however, to observe that there was a degree of discomfort surrounding a philosophical lifestyle characterised only by a dialectical emphasis without the incorporation of any ritual elements; this seems to have caused contention, or at least irritation, amongst some in the school. Damascius, it will be recalled, formulated the Dichotomy in the first place with the aim of describing how Plato had synthesised the philosophical and hieratic poles in the Bacchic philosopher. In the Life of Isidore, he describes one such Bacchic, Heraiscus, whose thaumaturgical and intellectual gifts were innate. Damascius describes a man who could determine with a mere glance whether or not a statue contained the presence of divinity and whose sensitivity to ritual impurity was especially keen. At the same time, Heraiscus possessed such great intelligence that he was recognised by no less than Proclus as one who “knew all that Proclus knew, whereas the reverse was not the case.”26 Another candidate who might be supposed to possess the Bacchic blend of philosophy and ritual is judged by Damascius to fall short. Hierocles of Alexandria (fl. c. 430 CE), author of a Commentary on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras and a work On Providence, is described by Damascius as a man blessed with a “lofty spirit”27 and eloquence who was willing to suffer for his commitment to philosophy,28 but the biographer concludes that he had “a noble philosophy of life, but was lacking in detailed knowledge.”29 In this, Damascius may have been following the evaluation of his teacher, Isidore, who said of Hierocles and his contemporaries that they lacked nothing in their human preparation and skills, but were deficient in terms of their abilities with the blessed concepts associated with the divine.30 Based on Damascius’ description, it is understandable that Hierocles might not be viewed as a potential “Bacchus,” for there is not a hint of the hieratic to be found. In the Commentary on the Golden Verses, however, one finds a philosophy that embraces, on the one hand, ethical, political, and theoretical philosophy and, on the other, ritual practice. For Hierocles, the Pythagorean Golden Verses 25 26 27 28 29 30

VS 474. PH 76E Athanassiadi = Frgs. E106, E107, F174 Zintzen. PH 45 A Athanassiadi = Frgs. E54, F106 Zintzen. PH 45B Athanassiadi = Frg. F106 Zintzen. PH 45B Athanassiadi = Frg. F106 Zintzen. PH 34D Athanassiadi = Frgs. E36, F77, F79 Zintzen.

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encapsulated the whole of philosophy and provided guidelines that aided the philosopher’s ascent to the divine. There was a place for ritual in his philosophical program, but its efficacy fell short of that claimed for theurgy in On the Mysteries in which Iamblichus claims that the practice could unite the theurgist with the One. In his commentary, Hierocles outlines two branches of philosophy, theoretical and practical, of which the latter incorporated two further divisions, political and telestic.31 Theoretical philosophy was comprised of the mathematical sciences and dialectical philosophy, which worked to purify and to elevate, respectively, the rational soul. There were analogous processes in practical philosophy by which the irrational part of the soul and the luminous vehicle of the soul, too, were purified. Much as the rational soul accumulated an irrational element in its descent, so also the luminous, immortal body became attached to a mortal body from which it needed to be purified and divorced. The irrational part of the soul, Hierocles informs, was purified through the civic virtues,32 which he identified with Plato’s cardinal virtues of wisdom, self-control, courage, and justice. The vehicle, however, was purified through “sacred rites,” which were associated in this instance with the cultic ceremonies of the polis, an example called to Hierocles’ mind, perhaps, by the association of civic philosophy with established laws;33 it is unclear whether private ritual also could be involved.34 Although all three philosophical elements worked together towards the purification and elevation of the whole soul, there was a clear hierarchy in Hierocles’ taxonomy that saw ritual located at the bottom; this is indicative of the fluid relationship between philosophy and ritual at any given time and place. If in fourth-century Pergamon theiasmic ritual enjoyed primacy in certain philosophical circles, it appears that in Hierocles’ segment of Alexandria, theoretical philosophy was prioritised. Nonetheless, ritual still had a significant place in the latter’s philosophical system, and in Hierocles is found an example of one who effectively combined theoretical philosophy and ritual in a way that, to the outsider, adheres to Damascius’ description of the Bacchic philosopher. Obviously, there is inherent to Hierocles’ system an imbalance of the philosophical and hieratic (telestic), which might technically disqualify him from being designated a “Bacchus;” the larger lesson to take from his example, however, is that the clearly-defined Platonism indicated by 31 In Aur. Carm. Pyth. XXVI; for in-depth discussions of Hierocles, see H. Schibli, Hierocles of Alexandria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 42 – 118; Tanaseanu-Döbler, Theurgy in Late Antiquity, 175 – 85. For the purposes of this essay, the term “telestic” can be understood to represent cathartic ritual acts. 32 In Aur. Carm. Pyth. XXVI. 33 Ibid. 34 Tanaseanu-Döbler (Theurgy in Late Antiquity, 180) thinks that because Hierocles cautions that the rites be celebrated in a manner not akin to the methods of the agurte¯s, the rituals to which he alludes must have been private. It could be argued, however, that the “divinely proper” methods espoused by Hierocles were those sacred laws of cultic conduct meant for use in the civic context.

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the Dichotomy becomes muddied when individuals and their philosophies are examined more closely. The Damascian Dichotomy depicts a tradition divided; there is no suggestion that the disagreement was consistently heated, but certainly the initial exchange between Porphyry and Iamblichus in the third century and, too, the relationship between Maximus and Eusebius in the fourth, bespeaks the existence of tension surrounding the relationship between ritual and philosophy in some places at some times. Yet there is nothing to suggest that the tradition was characterised by this juncture as Damascius supposes. In fact, some of the players he named – Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus – adopted a philosophical lifestyle that embraced, in theory and/or in practice, both elements. This mixture was seen also in Hierocles of Alexandria who made theoretical philosophy primary, but allowed that hieratic rites also could purify the vehicle of the soul; indeed, this is essentially the position attributed to Porphyry by Augustine, though it is far from certain that the Platonist participated in theurgic rites himself. The Dichotomy is to be understood less as a historical description of a movement sprung from competition and contestation, though that certainly is a part of the school’s background, and more as a device by which Damascius could portray the Bacchic alluded to in the Phaedo as one in whom the perfect blend of the philosophical and the hieratic was found. The intimation, then, is that Damascius’ predecessors had not quite found the balance of which Plato had spoken and it is towards this Bacchic mixture, and not the extreme poles, that the Platonist must strive.

Ross S. Kraemer

Gendering (the) Competition Religious Competition in the Third Century : Jews, Christians, and the Greco-Roman World

Introduction One of the editors of this volume, my former student Prof. Nate DesRosiers, recently allowed at a scholarly gathering that he regularly hears my voice in his head, asking “where are the women?” It is an instructive question to ask when thinking about ancient religious competition. Even a cursory glance at the table of contents for this volume reveals that the competitors scrutinised here are virtually, if not entirely, men (and well-educated men of the elite classes at that). This is not, of course, merely the result of skewed choices by my coauthors. Women contenders are rare in ancient literary accounts (themselves overwhelmingly authored by men)1 and only a little more visible, perhaps, in non-literary evidence. Yet far more significant than the representation of men as competitors and contenders is the degree to which those ancient literary accounts envision and configure competition itself as a masculine endeavour. The metaphors of religious and other social competition are drawn from two realms of ancient contestation that were themselves deeply gendered: war and athletics. Beyond the wreathes and crowns of gold, the “prizes” of competition are things men especially value, and that are associated in antiquity with ideal masculinity : honour, power, authority, and prestige. Further, competition among men regularly deploys gender in multiple and diverse ways. Ancient Christian authors loved to claim that women figured disproportionately among their actual opponents. Writers Christian and otherwise routinely represent themselves as masculine and their competitors as feminine. They impugn the masculinity of their male opponents by accusing them of being improperly subject to women’s influence. They depict “other men’s” women as gender-transgressive, and “their own” women as gender-compliant. Occasional literary accounts of competition do envision women as agents/ 1 I am well aware that a significant proportion of these sources are anonymous or pseudonymous, but for many reasons, I think it unlikely that any significant percentage of those sources are likely to have been written by women: see R.S. Kraemer, “Women’s Authorship of Jewish and Christian Literature in the Greco-Roman Period”, in A.J. Levine (ed.), “Women Like This”: New Perspectives on Jewish Women in the Greco-Roman Period (EJL 1; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991) 221 – 42.

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actors. Women, however, never contend or compete with one another as equals, and contestations between women and men usually depict the actors as vastly unequal in important respects. Accounts of Christian women martyrs who actually compete in the arena rely on inversions of gender constructions. More typical are accounts in which women are constructed not as actual competitors, but as objects of contestation, for whose allegiance and support men contend. These observations suggest that, like most social acts, ancient competition (religious and otherwise) was not a gender-neutral site, and that analyses and theories of competition need to take both women and gender into account. My aim here is to facilitate such work by focusing on three topics: who competes, what gender constructions are implicit in competition and contestation itself, and how gender is deployed as a strategy in ancient competitions and contestations. After considering each of these, I offer a few more detailed examples from the letters and relationships of Jerome and John Chrysostom in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, with apologies that better third century examples are not extant.

Who Competes That men are the major contestants in ancient religious competitions seems in no need of documentation. Still, it’s worth here highlighting the obvious. The essays in our volume focus on particular male contenders: Porphyry, Origen, Iamblichus, Cyprian, and Julian. The larger groups of competitors are similarly male: priests, rabbis, candidates for Christian episcopal election, and of course the male authors of all these texts, who jockey for position in the very writing of these works. Only in a few of the instances considered here may we imagine with some justification the participation of women obscured in these sources: real women who held offices deemed heretical by orthodox opponents, real women commissioning inscriptions for themselves, or for others, real women who supported various candidates for ecclesiastical offices they could not themselves hold.2 As I noted at the outset, this imbalance is consistent with the preponderance of the literary evidence we have, which overwhelmingly depicts competitions 2 An interesting instance of this would be Lucilla, whom Optatus blames for the instigation of the Donatist split in the early fourth century (after the orthodox archdeacon warned her not to kiss, prior to the eucharist, the bone of a martyr she had in her private possession). For this, Lucilla supported Donatus’ election. One might imagine that attributing Donatus’ illicit election to the support of a woman is a form of challenge: Optatus Against the Donatists 15 – 18; see also Jerome Letter 133, 4: to Ctesiphon; see also S.L. Lander, “Ritual Power in Society : Ritualizing Late Antique North African Martyr Cult Activities and Social Changes in Gender and Status” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2002), esp. 149 – 50.

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and contestations between men. In that genre of disputations between Christians and Jews that begins in the second century with Justin Martyr’s “Dialogue” with Trypho, and extends to many later works such as Timothy and Aquila, Jason and Papiscus, and others, the interlocutors are invariably men. The otherwise anonymous contenders in the perhaps fourth century Debate Between a Montanist and an Orthodox are still explicitly male (ho montanistes; ho orthodoxos).3 Ancient literature is simply rife with accounts of men contending in public, whether in actual battle, or street fights, or court cases, or contestations of wit. Women, not so much. Still, women whose historicity seems fairly certain are sometimes eulogised for their opposition to “heretics” (Paula and Marcella, Jerome’s patrons), or depicted in correspondence as power brokers in religious competitions (Olympias, John Chrysostom’s patron).4 Women contenders figure occasionally in ancient texts, especially Christian martyrdom accounts, where they are represented as actually doing what male contestants ordinarily do (and what, in some accounts, their fellow male martyrs also do). Thecla and Blandina (in separate second century accounts),5 Perpetua and Felicitas (in a third century account)6 fight with ferocious beasts in the arena: all die glorious martyr deaths except Thecla, who is miraculously saved.7 Thecla and Perpetua engage in verbal contestations with the men who oppose them. Into their mouths are put speeches that best their Roman persecutors (and perhaps also Perpetua’s non-Christian father).8 In later hagiographic literature, women saints are depicted as doing battle with various enemies of Christian orthodoxy, including demons themselves, as in the perhaps fourth century Life of Saint Salsa, which tells how a 13 year old Christian girl named Salsa takes on a snake deity whose temple had previously been a Jewish synagogue in Tipasa, North Africa.9 Female prophets such as Priscilla, Maximilla, and Quintilla, all identified as major figures in the New Prophecy may be thought of as competitors in the late second century, both in intra-Christian disputes, and

3 Text and translation in R. Heine, Montanist Oracles and Testimonia (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1989), 124 – 6; translation alone in R.S. Kraemer (ed.), Women’s Religions in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (New York: Oxford, 2004), no. 40. 4 On the flip side Eusebius relates that Origen, in the third century, had an (unnamed) female patron, who also patronised one of Origen’s heretical opponents, an Antiochene living in Alexandria: Ecclesiastical History 6.2.12 – 14; in Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 65B. 5 The Acts of (Paul and) Thecla 28 – 38, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 105; Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne, in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.1.41; 49; in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 113. 6 Pass. Perp. 20 – 1, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 114. 7 Thecla 34 – 8. 8 Thecla 37; Pass. Perp. 15 (Felicitas) and 16 (Perpetua); for her exchange with her father, Pass. Perp. 5. 9 A.M. Piredda, Passio Sancta Salsae, testo critico con introduzione e traduzione italiana (Editione Gallizzi, 2002). I thank Shira Lander for the reference to this edition.

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perhaps also in larger religious contestations.10 A small number of the sayings attributed to monastic Christian women relate verbal contestations between the women and various male monks and ecclesiastical figures.11 But these accounts are generally not reliable witnesses for women as competitors in ancient religious contestations (even Pass. Perp., which is sometimes taken to be so),12 and all depend heavily on ancient constructions of gender, as I will consider further. Actual evidence for competition and contestation involving women as actors and agents may be found in somewhat different, mostly non-literary sources, such as surviving legal petitions, incantations that seek redress for grievances, or that compete for male affection and attention (usually). Papyri from the Roman province of Arabia in the early second century document the legal contestations between two women, Babatha and Miriam, over the estate of their former husband, Judah.13 The scant evidence for women in Christian monasteries from the fourth century on may provide instances both of competition between individual women and competition between monastic groups.14 Honourary, donative, and funerary public inscriptions may also be seen as a form of competition for prestige and honour (if not also contestation against opponents we cannot discern). In some instances, women commission such inscriptions for themselves, such as the large central donor inscription in the Naro, North Africa, synagogue by Julia(na).15 In other instances, men may use the lavish praise of their female relatives, especially their wives, as competition by proxy, such as the lengthy funeral inscription for Aconia Fabia Paulina, who was roughly a contemporary of Jerome’s patron Paula.16 10 See e. g. Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies 8.12, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 94; Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 5.16, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 96A. On Quintilla especially, see Epiphanius Medicine Box 49: there is some dispute about whether Quintilla was actually a contemporary of Priscilla and Maximilla, or a subsequent third-century prophet, see C. Trevett, Montanism: Gender, Authority and the New Prophecy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 98. 11 E.g. sayings attributed to Amma Sarah (4, 9); Amma Theodora (10), in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 124. But these are brief exchanges, not substantial contestations. 12 See R.S. Kraemer/S.L. Lander, “Perpetua and Felicitas”, in P. Esler (ed.), The Early Christian World (2 vol.; London: Routledge, 2003), 2.1048 – 68. 13 Especially P. Yadin 26 in N. Lewis/Y. Yadin/J. C. Greenfield (ed.), The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1989); also in Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 62H, with additional bibliography. Babatha and Miriam appear to have been married to their now deceased husband at the same time, but there has been some dispute about this. 14 R. Krawiec, Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). 15 CIL 8.12457a, on which see K. Stern, Inscribing Devotion and Death: Archaeological Evidence for Jewish Populations of North Africa (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 231 – 41, who argues that her name was most likely Julia, not Juliana. 16 ILS 1259 – 61, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 117 A. On inscriptions as competition, see Stern, this volume.

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Incantations position women as actors seeking redress for the murder of their children, or unrequited lovers seeking daimonic assistance. These, however, are particular forms of competition that may differ from those to which this volume attends: they are indirect, rather than direct: they are conducted privately, rather than publicly, in secret, rather than openly, and solicit the (illicit) support of non-human powers. It’s also worth remarking that while women are far less the actual competitors, they are often, both in rhetoric and in apparent social practice, the objects of contestation and competition by men. In the fictional work often known as Joseph and Aseneth, of uncertain date, the biblical Joseph and Pharaoh’s son compete for the affection of Aseneth in a contestation that escalates into actual physical conflict.17 Various men competed for the patronage and support of wealthy, elite, influential women: Josephus for Poppaea and Domitia;18 Origen for a woman Eusebius does not name;19 Jerome for Paula, Chrysostom for Olympias, and doubtless many more. And just as the Lives of exemplary men served as instruments in ancient competitions between, for instance, late antique Christians and non-Christian philosophers claiming to be the true heirs of the ancient philosophical heritage, so, too, the far fewer Lives of exemplary women may also be understood as instruments of competition.20

The Gendering of Competition Ancient competition, religious and otherwise, depended on numerous practices and concepts gendered as masculine in the ancient world. Competition was routinely couched in metaphors drawn from those quintessential realms of male contestation, war, and athletics (itself perhaps often just symbolic war). Violence in virtually all forms in antiquity was configured as masculine, drawing on ideas about masculinity as activity, hierarchy, and domination.21 To inflict violence, with or without rightful authority, was to exercise masculinity : to be subject to the violence of others 17 (Joseph and) Aseneth 22 – 9: the newest edition is C. Burchard, Joseph und Aseneth, Kritisch Herausgegeben (PVTG 5; Leiden: Brill, 2003). 18 Josephus Life 429, on Domitia; Josephus Ant. 20.8.11 (§186 – 96), on Poppaea. 19 Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 6.2.12 – 14, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 65B. 20 See especially A. Urbano, The Philosophical Life: Biography and the Crafting of Intellectual Identity in Late Antiquity (Washington, DC: Catholic University Press of America, 2013). 21 The literature on masculinity in antiquity is extensive: for overviews with bibliography, see R.S. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (New York: Oxford, 2011), 14 – 20; eadem, “Gender”, in B. Spaeth/et al. (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 281 – 308.

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entailed passivity, subordination, and femininity. Although there are unquestionably instances of violence by women, such violence is rarely valorised or authorised by the state, or by the divine, and there is virtually no evidence for women as authorised soldiers or fighters, apart perhaps from a few instances of ancient queens such as Zenobia or Boadiccia. Ancient religious competition sometimes entailed physical contestations between competing individuals or groups, but women are generally depicted as passive victims. When they are said to engage in violence against others, it is frequently an accusation. Philo of Alexandria rebukes wives who intervene in quarrels between men by grabbing their genitals.22 Severus of Minorca blames stonethrowing by Jewish women for an outbreak of violence between Christians and Jews, who had been peaceably processing to the synagogue (to verify Jewish claims that they had no weapons stockpiled in the synagogue!).23 Ancient religious contestations (violent and otherwise) are regularly conducted in public venues, in marketplaces, in theatres and arenas, in academies, in churches and synagogues, in baths and gymnasia, and in the public reception spaces of private dwellings. These spaces were themselves gendered as masculine even when women were regularly present in many, although not all, of these (exceptions seem to include gymnasia, and rabbinic academies and study-houses). The actual presence of women in such public spaces is often construed as in tension with the masculine nature of these places. Non-violent contestations regularly took the form of speech, itself gendered in antiquity as masculine, especially but not only public speech. Numerous sources express male anxiety about the dangers of women’s speech and the desire to limit, contain, or prohibit it, again especially, but not only in the public arena.24 There are, of course, some literary accounts of women who engage in verbal contestations with men, but such accounts do not contradict the fundamental gendered associations of public speech, and often rely on it for their meaning.25 Women may well have engaged in written forms of contestation, particularly letters that may have been read in public settings, but it is 22 Spec. Laws 3.175: see also 3.173; in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 14. 23 Severus of Minorca, Letter on the Conversion of the Jews, 13.3; edition, translation and commentary in S. Bradbury, Severus of Minorca, “Letter on the Conversion of the Jews” (OECT; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), also excerpted in Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 47. 24 E.g. whoever authored 1 Cor 14:33b–36, the author of the Pastoral Epistles; the rabbis, Tertullian, and many others. 25 Early examples include the woman who persuades the reluctant Jesus to heal her demonpossessed daughter (Mark 7:24 – 30/Matt 15:21 – 28) and the lengthy exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. The discussions between Rabbi Jose ben Halafta and the woman called (the) Matrona in several late antique rabbinic sources, including Genesis Rabbah, might belong in this category. As they are presently structured, however, they seem more in the nature of an exchange between a teacher and a curious if somewhat contentious pupil, and their setting is not explicit: see Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 37.

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difficult to gauge this, since very few of women’s writings, including letters, survive. An interesting but highly enigmatic example of this might be the pseudonymous Letter of Mary of Cassabola to the fictitious Ignatius of Antioch, in which an anonymous writer, probably in the fourth century, pretends to be an otherwise unknown woman writing to the historical Ignatius of Antioch in the late first or early second century.26 The author offers numerous biblical warrants for the appointment of young men to ecclesiastical offices, in support, one imagines, of some actual contested election. As I have argued elsewhere, the Letter seems quite aware of the transgressive nature of a woman seeming to ‘teach’ a man, let alone a bishop, and explicitly couches these instances as aides-memoires, rather than behaviour that could be seen to contradict the explicit prohibitions against women.27 Further, in antiquity, speech, and thus verbal contestation, regularly encodes social hierarchy, including gender. Free adult men have the prerogative of speech: their subordinates, of all sorts, do not. Practices of speech govern who initiates speech, the order in which persons speak, and who has no right to speak. A wonderful example of this may be found in the biblical book of Esther where subjects of the Persian king may not speak to the king without his permission, and even asking permission risks death if the king refuses.28 Certain forms of speech, especially the frank speech sometimes rendered by the Greek parrhesia, are the prerogative of free men who are each others’ equals, and/or between friends, a relationship that many ancient authors presume is only possible between free men of comparable standing.29

Gendering the Competitors Gendering one’s competitors as feminine was a widely deployed strategy, in diverse forms. One might claim that the members of some particular group were especially women. In his account of the spread of the Bacchanalia about two centuries earlier, the first-century Roman annalist Livy claims that the offensive rites were both initiated by women, and of particular appeal to women.30 In the second century CE, Celsus lambasts the popularity of 26 Text in F.X. Funk, Patres Apostolici (2 vol.; Tübingen: Henrik Laupp, 1913), 2.87: translation in Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 119. 27 Kraemer, “Women’s Authorship”. 28 Esth 4:11, 5:1 – 3, and elsewhere. The elaboration of this in the Greek additions to Esth 15 is quite instructive: in the king’s presence, Esther is terrified, and faints, and the king more explicitly tells Esther to speak. 29 Note, however, that at least in (Joseph and) Aseneth, parrhesia designates the inappropriate bold speech of women. 30 Livy Annals of Rome 39.13, where the courtesan Hispala gives one account of the origins of the rites, which were initially only for women; see also the speech of the consul, Postumius, who

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Christian teachings among “slaves, women and little children.”31 In his thirdcentury response, Origen does not dispute Celsus’ demographics. Rather, he counters that Christianity attracts women precisely to ”deliver [them] from licentiousness and from perversion caused by their associates, and from all mania for theatres and dancing, and from superstition.”32 John Chrysostom asserts that women figure prominently among the members of his Christian congregation who rush to participate in Jewish festivals.33 Epiphanius of Salamis, the fourth-century cataloguer of Christian heresies, highlights the presence of women among various heretical groups.34 Another common tactic was to feminise one’s male opponents, invariably a critique, while often at the same time characterising one’s self, or one’s group, as masculine. This took diverse forms. One could depict one’s own valorised group (such as the Therapeutae in Philo, or Christians in Justin Martyr and Severus of Minorca) as exemplars of masculine virtues, such as rationality, moderation, self-control, chastity, gentleness, and so forth, while depicting their opposites (Italians in Philo) or opponents (Romans in Justin, Jews in Severus) as lacking in such virtues, and exhibiting feminine traits of irrationality, immoderation, lack of self-control, and unchastity.35 Like Livy, one could characterise particular rites as inherently feminine and feminising, threats to proper masculinity.36 As Postumius, the Roman consul, puts it so bluntly, those who participated in the foreign Bacchanalia were not only women, but “men very much like women,” and young men initiated into these rites could not be trusted to defend the chastity of good Roman daughters and wives. The fraudulent character of male prophets of the New Prophecy is adduced, in part, from their dyeing their hair and penciling their eyelids.37 The Orthodox interlocutor in the Debate Between a Montanist and an Orthodox attacks Montanist women prophets who, by publishing books in their own names, fail to be properly subordinate to male authority as articulated in 1 Cor 11:5 and 1 Tim 2:12.38 Some authors accuse their male opponents of close association with women, or being susceptible to women’s influence. The former accusation often carried with it the latter connotation, explicit or otherwise. Jerome

31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

says, “a great part of [Bacchics] are women,” 39.15. Both in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 102. See also Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses, 29 – 34. Origen Against Celsus 3.44. Origen Against Celsus 3.56. Against Judaizing Christians 2.3.4 – 6. E.g. Medicine Box 49; 78.23; 79, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, nos. 38 and 96. Philo Contempl. Life; excerpted in Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 28; Justin Martyr, 2 Apology 2, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 32. Livy Annals of Rome 39.15, in, inter alia, Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 102, see also Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses, 31 – 33. Apollonius, in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 5.18.11. Debate Between a Montanist and an Orthodox, (above, n. 3).

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asserts that virtually every male heretic was associated with a woman who either instigated or enabled his heresy : Helena with Simon Magus, Philumena with Marcion, Prisca and Maximilla with Montanus, Lucilla with Donatus, Agape with Elpidius, and Galla with Priscillian.39 Accusing a man of being improperly influenced by women has a long history : it figures prominently, for instance, in the depictions of Herod Antipas in both Josephus and the gospels,40 and, of course, in the foundational biblical story of Adam and Eve in Gen 2:4 – 3. Implicit in such accusations were numerous other gendered associations. To indict a man for being improperly influenced by women presumed that since women inherently lacked the capacity and authority (a male prerogative) to act directly, they necessarily operated by “influence,” that is, by indirect, if not also nefarious, strategies. Such accusations then simultaneously construct the offending men as insufficiently masculine, and thus feminised, and the women as improperly masculine, attempting to usurp proper masculine authority and exercise control, and insufficiently feminine, at the very least for being insufficiently submissive, but also often by characterising them as unchaste. This reflects yet another strategy, accusing one’s opponents of failing to conform to gender norms. A particularly full instance of this occurs in Severus of Minorca’s account of the conversion of the Jews in the early fifth century, where he constructs Jewish women as violating various gender norms, especially submission to their husbands, until they accept Christ, at which point they become exemplars of Christian submission to masculine authority, including their husbands, Christ, and the bishop himself.41 Yet another form of such contestation was to gender offending practices themselves. In the enigmatic Pseudo-Clementine Homilies (which may date to the fourth century in their current form, if incorporating some earlier materials) true and false prophecy are explicitly characterised by their gender : false prophecy is female; true prophecy is male. As Annette Reed writes, in the Homilies, “[t]he history of religious error is defined as a continuous line of false “female” prophecy, belonging to this world, which runs alongside the continuous line of true “male” prophecy, which belongs to – and points toward – the World to Come.”42 Importantly, in the Homilies (as opposed to 39 Letter 133, 4: to Ctesiphon. On the gendering of heresy more broadly, see V. Burrus, The Making of a Heretic: Gender, Authority and the Priscillianist Controversy (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1995), 33 – 4, 139 – 40, 153 – 5, 158 – 9, etc. 40 R.S. Kraemer, “Implicating Herodias and Her Daughter in the Death of John the Baptizer : A (Christian) Theological Strategy?”, JBL 125.2 (2006) 321 – 49. Some ancient authors differentiate between the proper and improper influence of women; see, e. g. K. Cooper, “Insinuations of Womanly Influence: An Aspect of the Christianization of the Roman Aristocracy”, JRS 82 (1992) 150 – 64. 41 See Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses, 167 – 78. 42 A.Y. Reed, “Heresiology and the Jewish-Christian Novel: Narrativized Polemics in the PseudoClementine Homilies”, in E. Iricinschi/H. Zellentin (ed.), Heresy and Self-Definition in Late Antiquity (TSAJ 119; Tu¨ bingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008) 284: Homilies 2.15; 3.23 – 7.

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contestations about the New Prophecy), false female prophecy does not seem to be about actual women prophets. Rather, false prophecy is gendered as feminine (as also its actual male prophets), while true prophecy is both masculine and embodied in appropriately masculine male prophets. Both in actual practice, and in rhetoric, contending groups endeavoured to feminise their opponents. The Roman state before the early fourth century endeavoured to feminise Christians, by subjecting their bodies to painful torture and their nakedness to the humiliating public gaze. In numerous martyrdom accounts, Christians turn the tables on their persecuting prosecutors, establishing themselves as the “real” men, who even in martyrdom remain fully in control of themselves, and subordinate only to the one true God. In some instances, Christian accounts explicitly and positively masculinise a female saint (such as Thecla, who dons male attire, or Perpetua, who dreams that she becomes a man in order to triumph over a huge Egyptian man in the arena).43 In other instances, including Perpetua, Blandina and others, the texts attend at length to how the saint overcomes the deficits of feminine gender to challenge and defeat the persecuting powers. At the same time, it is instructive to compare the accounts of male martyrs, such as Polycarp, to those of female martyrs: in all, gender plays a role, but elements of feminisation are far fewer in, for instance, the Martyrdom of Polycarp than they are in that of Perpetua and Felicitas and similar, if shorter, accounts. At the same time, one might note here some intriguing instances of reversal – of male saints who willingly become feminine in their subordination to the divine, even though their inversion relies for its efficacy on underlying paradigms of gender relations.

Some Illustrations: Christian Competitions in the Fourth Century Although numerous instances illustrate the central role of gender in the configuring of ancient religious competition and contestation, the utility of such analysis is particularly apparent in several texts from the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Jerome’s letter to Paula, on the death of her daughter Blesilla,44 his letter to Eustochium, on the death of her mother, Paula,45 his letter to Principia on the Life of Marcella,46 and a letter of John Chrysostom to 43 Pass. Perp. 10, Thecla 40. See also the various stories of female monastics who “become” male, e. g. “The Life of Saint Pelagia”, in S.A.Harvey/S. Brock, Holy Women of the Syrian Orient (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1998) 40 – 62; Kraemer, Sourcebook, no. 120; see also E. Patlegean, “L’histoire de la femme d¦guis¦e en moine et l’¦volution de la saintet¦ f¦minine — Byzance”, SM 3.17 (1976) 597 – 623. 44 Letter 39. 45 Letter 108. 46 Letter 127.

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Olympias, while John was exiled from Constantinople. Much has been written on these persons and letters.47 My aim here is to highlight some of the ways in which both individually and collectively, they exemplify the diverse practices and strategies I have delineated above. As Jerome himself acknowledges,48 the late fourth century appears very much a hotbed of competitions, between Romans devoted to Christ and those still practising traditional cult, between various Christian groups, between the Emperor and increasingly powerful bishops (Theodosius and Ambrose, for instance) and other contestations, such as those between Jews and Christians, not so amply visible in the surviving sources. These competitions were about many things, including diverse theological positions, but a particularly key component of Christian contestations was sexuality and marriage. In the late fourth century, Rome itself was awash with Christian teachers and clerics arguing for and against the necessity of virginity and other forms of asceticism as defining Christian practices. It seems difficult to overstate the gendered nature of these contestations. These Christian teachers were (exclusively) men, often, like Jerome, monks, while the wealthy Romans whose support they sought were regularly women. The ascetic programs they articulated centred disproportionately on sexuality and on gendered comportment, of which Jerome’s letter to Paula’s daughter, Laeta, on how to raise her young daughter, also named Paula, is a superb example.49 Further, the Roman aristocrats who opposed these teachers were almost entirely men, although unquestionably some aristocratic women opposed these practices as well.50 A significant part of the debate was about 47 See now especially A. Cain, The Letters of Jerome, Asceticism, Biblical Exegesis and the Construction of Christian Authority in Late Antiquity (OECS; New York: Oxford, 2009); idem, “Rethinking Jerome’s Portraits of Holy Women”, in A. Cain/J. Lössl (ed.), Jerome of Stridon: His Life, Writings and Legacy, (Abingdon, UK: Ashgate, 2009) 47 – 58; idem, Jerome’s Epitaphium Paulae: Hagiography, Pilgrimage and the Cult of Saint Paula”, JECS 18.1 (2010) 105 – 39; see also, e. g., V. Burrus, “The Heretical Woman as Symbol in Alexander, Athanasius, Epiphanius, and Jerome”, HTR 84.3 (1991) 229 – 48; eadem, “Word and Flesh: The Bodies and Sexuality of Ascetic Women in Christian Antiquity”, JFSR 10 (1994) 27 – 51; E.A. Clark, “Ascetic Renunciation and Feminine Advancement: A Paradox of Late Antique Christianity”, ATR 63 (1981) 240 – 57; repr. in E.A. Clark, Ascetic Piety and Women’s Faith: Essays on Late Ancient Christianity (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1986) 175 – 208; eadem, Jerome, Chrysostom and Friends: Essays and Translations (2d ed.; New York: Edwin Mellen, 1979), 1982; eadem, “Theory and Practice in Late Ancient Asceticism: Jerome, Chrysostom, and Augustine”, JFSR 5 (1989) 25 – 46; G. Clark, Women in Late Antiquity : Pagan and Christian Life-styles (New York: Oxford, 1993); G. Cloke, This Female Man of God: Women and Spiritual Power in the Patristic Age, A.D. 350 – 450 (London and New York: Routledge, 1995); K. Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996); A. Yarbrough, “Christianization in the Fourth Century : the Example of Roman Women”, CH 45.2 (1976) 149 – 65. 48 Letter 127, 3. 49 Letter 107. 50 Cain, Letters of Jerome, 112, notes the role of Paula’s sister-in-law, Praetextata in attempting to

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marriage and the production of heirs, as well as the raising of daughters to continue these bloodlines and transmit family fortunes. Although some men were interested in ascetic practice, much of this conflict was a contestation between men over the bodies, and the wealth, of elite women.51 Some of this came to a head in between the fall of 384, and the summer of 385, when Jerome was expelled from Rome under circumstances that are not entirely clear. After coming to Rome from the backwater, Jerome had persuaded both of Paula’s daughters, Eustochium and Blesilla, to follow his particular form of extreme ascetic practice. By the fall of 384, Blesilla was dead, and Jerome found himself suspected of having caused her death by advocating severe practices (primarily fasting). Andrew Cain’s recent study suggests that Jerome’s letter of consolation to Paula was an effort at damage control, denying that the rigorous regime Jerome had taught her had caused her death, as well as deflecting the problematic view that Jerome was now positioning Blesilla’s early death as salvation, and himself as the means by which she achieved it early.52 This letter, by which Jerome contends for the affection, allegiance, and alliance of Paula and her family against rivals similarly eager to be their spiritual directors, neatly illustrates how (elite, wealthy) women could be the objects of male contestation, while not themselves the active competitors. Further, in this particular case, at stake was a particular form of Christian ascetic practice that seems to have had different consequences for women, even as it was, in theory, recommended for both men and women alike. Jerome’s situation soon became even more precarious. Devastated by Blesilla’s death and other family tragedies, Paula eventually resolved to leave her two surviving children at Rome, and with Jerome, to set up monastic communities in the Holy Land, using her massive family fortune to support this endeavour. In the summer of 385, Jerome was brought up on charges in front of an ecclesiastical court.53 Although the outcome of the trial is not clear, shortly thereafter, Jerome left Rome for the Holy Land, and Paula followed several weeks later. The precise contestations behind these events remain unclear, at least partly because Jerome himself obfuscates, both in his contemporaneous letter addressed to Asella, and in correspondence some years later with Rufinus, in which Jerome concedes that Rufinus knows what really happened.54 One intriguing possibility is that Paula’s family, seeking to restrain her from leaving and taking with her the massive family assets, enlisted the support of Jerome’s enemies within the Roman church to bring

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dissuade Paula. Praetextata was the wife of Paula’s husband’s brother, Hymettius, whom Cain thinks was probably Eustochium’s tutor, since Paula’s parents and husband were both dead. See e. g. Cain, Letters of Jerome, 111. Cain, Letters of Jerome, 103. Cain, Letters of Jerome, 106. Letter 45: to Asella; Apology Against Rufinus.

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him up on moral charges, accusing him of improper relations with the numerous women he advised.55 The letters of Jerome thus emerge as instruments of contestation, with his letters to and about various women being particular instances of male competition for women, and less evidence for women as active competitors. His letter to Paula on the death of Blesilla, in 384 CE and his letter to Eustochium on the death of Paula in 404 CE defend Jerome from numerous accusations about his relationships with various aristocratic Roman women. But beyond this, they demonstrate the use of numerous strategies utilising gender. For instance, among the many traits for which Jerome praises Paula is her opposition to heretics. He relates at length the questions posed to Paula by a male heretic Jerome does not deign to name, about infant baptism; the age people will be when they are resurrected; whether there will be sexual difference, and so forth (many seemingly occasioned by 1 Cor).56 But in Jerome’s representation, Paula does not contest the heretic directly. Rather, she reports everything he has said to Jerome, and subsequently points him out to Jerome, so that “upon me was laid the task of opposing this most noxious viper and pest.” Allegedly at Paula’s request, Jerome goes to him and bests him in a rhetorical contest it takes him the equivalent of several modern pages to reproduce.57 Cognisant, perhaps, that he has turned the reader’s attention from Paula to himself, he avers that his point here was more to laud Paula’s proper faith than to refute the heretic, but one has to wonder how disingenuous this is, or at least how much misrecognition is involved.58 Jerome’s shaping of these events represents Paula as a model of Christian female comportment. Paula herself refrains from engaging in active competition, and makes no effort to engage the heretic in oral combat, either in public or even in private. Rather, she takes refuge in Jerome, who then does what men do: he takes on the heretic in verbal contestation. But beneath 55 Cain, Letters of Jerome, 111 – 14. Scholars have traditionally seen Roman authorities as the instigators of charges against Jerome. Cain notes that although Jerome might well have been liable for the crime of legacy-hunting, his clerical status made him exempt from trial in a civil court, forcing Paula’s family to solicit ecclesiastical support for a trial. Attempting to decode what Rufinus says about the aftermath, Cain proposes that Jerome may have been ordered not only to leave Rome immediately, but to leave Paula in Rome. Cain suggests that by leaving separately, several weeks apart, both Jerome and Paula could claim that Jerome had abided by the court ruling, and that Paula had acted on her own volition, Letters of Jerome, 123. For my purposes, though, the specifics of the competition here for Paula’s affection and funds is immaterial, if fascinating. 56 Letter 108, 23. 57 Letter 108, 23 – 5. 58 He writes, “I have related this incident less with the design of confuting in a few words a heresy which would require volumes to confute it, than with the object of shewing the great faith of this saintly woman who preferred to subject herself to perpetual hostility from men rather than by friendships hurtful to herself to provoke or to offend God.”

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Jerome’s rhetoric are some subtle suggestions that Paula was not totally insulated from contestation with the heretic, if this is what he means when he writes that “[f]rom that day forward so profoundly did Paula commence to loathe the man – and all who agreed with him in his doctrines – that she publicly proclaimed them as enemies of the Lord,”59 and that “she preferred to subject herself to perpetual hostility from men” rather than engage in friendships (amicitia) that would offend God. In a subsequent passage where Jerome praises Paula’s study of scripture, he carefully avoids the impression that such study transgresses gender norms. He constructs her as subordinate to his authority in various ways.60 He relates that Paula asked him for permission for herself and Eustochium to read scripture with him, which he initially refused (feigning modesty – apparently intellectual, not sexual) but eventually gave. On the one hand, he then praises Paula for asking hard questions about textual problems, yet continues to present her as a model of respect and submission. She repeatedly pressed him, he says, for his opinions about which solutions he found most persuasive, but seems to have ventured no opinions of her own, nor actively challenged those he expressed. Paula’s behaviour, both here, and in the encounter with the heretic, seem consistent with Paul’s instructions to Corinthian women, especially in 1 Cor 14:35: she asks ‘her man’ questions in private, and allows him to deal with their public repercussions. Jerome’s strategies for defusing the threats such men posed to his relationship with Paula and other aristocratic women include impugning their masculinity. At one point, Jerome warned Eustochium about deceptive monks recognisable, among other characteristics, by long hair like that of women.61 Responding to Rufinus’ claim to refrain from saying what he knows really happened to Jerome when he left Rome, Jerome writes “Far be it from me to do what I criticise you for doing, and bring the nonsense of old women’s quarrels into an ecclesiastical dispute.”62 All of Jerome’s writings in praise of particular ascetic women may be read as extended demonstrations that Christian women best exemplified shared ancient gender norms, and that Christianity itself teaches the best gender norms of female submission and subordination. The Life of Marcella, however, contains a somewhat more explicit acknowledgment of the underlying contestation. “The unbelieving reader” (infidelis lector) may find it odd that he lavishes praise on “mere women” (muliercularum).63 But they have only to reflect on the examples of the women who followed Jesus and ministered to 59 Letter 108, 26. 60 Letter 22, 27. 61 Letter 22, 28: to Eustochium. Cain notes that previously Jerome had described himself as wearing garb similar to these ascetics (shaggy beards, black cloaks, and chains). 62 From a lost letter to Rufinus, which Jerome himself quotes in his Apology Against Rufinus 22: see Cain, 120 – 1. 63 Letter 127, 5.

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him; the three Marys at the crucifixion; and Mary Magdalene, the first to see the rising Christ, to see the appropriateness of his position.64 He concludes: “we … judge virtue not by sex but by spirit,” even while the “we” and implied “they” of these contrasting positions goes unspecified.65 His account of Marcella, composed in 412 as a letter to Principia, contains many elements comparable to those in his Life of Paula eight years earlier. Like Paula, Marcella is remembered as a model of Christian gender compliance, explicitly depicted in contrast to (and thus in competition with) “women of the world.” Such women paint their faces and perfume themselves, and wear expensive silk, jewelry and gold (violations of 1 Tim 2:9). When widowed, as Marcella was, they seek new husbands that they can rule, rather than, as God wishes, husbands who will rule them.66 Marcella, by contrast, wore no jewelry and her clothing was designed to protect her from the cold, not show off her body. Her companions were only “virgins and widows,” for a woman’s character was indexed by the chastity of her companions, as, although Jerome does not articulate this, a man’s character was indexed by the chastity and submissiveness of the women, but not by the men associated with him. Conforming to notions that respectable women were better confined to domestic quarters, Marcella rarely appeared in public, and avoided the houses of “great” women. Instead, she prayed regularly, privately, in basilicas of martyrs and apostles. Abiding by the advice of 1 Tim 5:23, she drank wine only for medicinal purposes, in great moderation. By her devotion to her Christian mother, she exemplified the widely shared virtue of filial piety, guaranteeing her own chastity in the process. Jerome must concede, however, that her filial 64 For the ministering of women, see Luke 8:1. Jerome’s characterisation of the rest of this is interesting for very different reasons. In claiming that three women named Mary were present at the crucifixion, he relies on the account in John 19:25, which he must privilege over the different accounts in the synoptics. John does not explicitly name all the women it says were present at the crucifixion: “standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” Beyond the problem of whether this is three women, or four (that is, whether Jesus’ mother’s sister was Mary [wife] of Clopas, or whether these are two separate women), the Gospel of John never names Jesus’ mother, which Jerome must supply from the Synoptics. In Mark and in Matthew, only two women named Mary are present at the crucifixion; Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses, with various other differences. Luke 23:49 says only that “the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance,” without naming any specifically. In asserting that Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus risen, Jerome must ignore not only the account in Matt 28:9 – 10, in which Jesus appears at the same time to Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary,” but also that of Luke, which lacks an explicit appearance to the women. Luke offers instead a somewhat ambiguous account in which the first person to see the risen Jesus was either Peter, whose experience is narrated first (Luke 24:1 – 12) or the travelers who encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 – 35), only to learn, back in Jerusalem, that sometime that day, Jesus had also appeared to Peter. One certainly wonders what Jerome might have said to either Paula or Marcella had they questioned him on these discrepancies. 65 My translation: qui uirtutes non sexu sed animo iudicamus. 66 Letter 127, 3.

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piety was a double-edged sword: out of obedience to her mother, Marcella apparently acquiesced in her mother’s transfer of great wealth to Marcella’s maternal uncle’s family, rather than to the poor, or even to her own, more immediate, family.67 Jerome not only contrasts Marcella to other aristocratic women (Christian and non-Christian). After relating how Marcella rejected efforts to marry her to a wealthy old man after she was widowed young, Jerome offers a comparison between Marcella and the widow Anna in Luke 2:36 – 38, in which Marcella “has every way the advantage.” But having done so, he simultaneously acknowledges, and disavows participating in, the competitions over the merits of individual holy persons that he attributes to some unspecified persons. “I do not wish,” he writes, “to draw distinctions between holy women on the score of their merits, as some persons have made it a custom to do as regards holy men and leaders of churches: the conclusion at which I aim is that, as both have one task, so both have one reward.”68 He expresses disdain for such competition, while clearly positioning Marcella (and Paula, and other women) as the best contestants. In the process, of course, Jerome asserts his own role as the teacher and spiritual adviser responsible for their great piety and gender comportment, itself an important part of his larger defense against accusations of impropriety. Strikingly similar to his earlier praise of Paula, Jerome lauds Marcella’s study of scripture, and her critical acumen. After his departure from Rome, Marcella was always asked to settle disputes about “the testimony of scripture on any subject.” But she was always careful to indicate that what she said was not her own saying, but came from Jerome, or some other (man), lest it seem that she was contradicting orthodox Christian prohibitions of women teachers.69 “For she knew that the apostle had said, ‘I suffer not a woman to teach,’ [1 Tim 2:12] and she would not seem to inflict a wrong upon the male sex many of whom (including sometimes priests) questioned her concerning obscure and doubtful points.” Jerome thus paints both Paula and Marcella as exemplars, simultaneously, of wisdom and orthodoxy. Like Paula, Marcella is also valorised for her opposition to heresy and heretics, most notably the Origenist controversy, in which Jerome casts himself as a major player.70 Marcella, he says, “publicly withstood its teachers 67 Letter 127, 4. 68 Letter 127, 2. 69 ut etiam sua non sua diceret, sed uel mea uel cuiuslibet alterius. This is interestingly reminiscent of the rhetorical strategy in the Letter of Maria of Cassabola to Ignatius of Antioch, (above, note 26), where the pseudonymous “Maria” insists that “she” is only calling the relevant biblical passages to Ignatius’ remembrance, and not, of course, presuming to “teach.” There seems to be no way to tell whether Jerome means to imply that Marcella is strategically positioning her own views as those of men, or whether he insists, rather, that Marcella really is only repeating, and thus not “teaching” in violation of the Pauline prohibition. 70 See E.A. Clark, The Origenist Controversy: The Cultural Construction of an Early Christian

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choosing to please God rather than men.”71 Yet at the same time, Jerome obscures or minimises the full extent of Marcella’s activity. She “originates” the condemnation of the heretics, but he does not say how she did this. She “furnishes witnesses first taught by them,” and apparently wrote a raft of letters urging the heretics “to appear in their own defense.” He explicitly refrains from providing more details, lest he be thought “under pretext of commending a woman’s virtues to be giving vent to my own rancour.”72 But by minimising Marcella’s public contestation, Jerome avoids undercutting the demonstration of her gendered piety and conformity that he has so lauded. A few further observations may be drawn from sources for the life of Olympias, the wealthy and well-connected patron of Jerome’s contemporary, John Chrysostom. These include both letters from John (unsurprisingly, those of Olympias herself do not survive), and an anonymous Life of Olympias. Although they are perhaps historically accurate, crucial elements of her life follow the pattern of various other exemplary aristocratic Christian women of the late fourth century. A young, fabulously wealthy aristocratic Christian woman, whose father is dead, is either widowed at an early age, or perhaps persuades her husband to accept a chaste marriage, and then endeavours, against considerable family pressures, to use her enormous wealth for Christian charitable causes. Guided by male monastic teachers, the woman eventually prevails, lives a simple ascetic life in accord with orthodox notions of Christian feminine modesty, and expends her fortune on the poor, the church, and especially, other ascetics. Interestingly, as the pattern for Olympias, her Life explicitly invokes the story of Thecla, “who despised wealth, hated the … pleasures of this world, refused a pecunius marriage … followed the teachings of Paul … and received the crown of incorruptibility from our Lord … .”73 According to accounts in the Life and elsewhere, Olympias was orphaned at an early age, and educated by a woman named Theodosia, herself associated with a group of pious Christian women in Constantinople. When her husband, Nebridius, prefect of Constantinople, died so soon after the wedding that, the Life claims, she remained a virgin until her death; Olympias resisted pressures to remarry, including those of her relative, the Emperor Theodosius, before whom she had been (falsely) accused of distributing her assets inappropriDebate (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), esp. 29 – 30, where she also notes briefly that Rufinus’ view of Marcella was quite different: he casts her as that “woman Jezebel.” This presumably alludes both to the Hebrew Bible queen (wife of Ahab) in 1 and 2 Kings and to the otherwise unnamed female prophet attacked in Revelation 2:20 – 3, in highly gendered language. 71 Letter 127, 9. 72 Letter 127, 10. 73 Life 1 in Sources Chretienne edition (SC 13 bis, ed. Anne-Marie Malingrey, Lettres — Olympias, Seconde ¦dition augment¦e de la Vie Anonyme d’Olympias, 1968), 1:14 – 22. The plot of the extant Acts of (Paul and) Thecla might be retold this way, but it requires considerable selective refashioning to do so. What version, however, the author knew of the life of Thecla is uncertain.

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ately. Not until she was thirty did Theodosius relent and allow Olympias control over her life and estates. The language of the Life sometimes describes Olympias in athletic and military metaphors. It opens with the assertion that the Kingdom of Christ rewards with immortality those who “served as a shield-bearer” and “completed the race.” On her death in exile at Nicomedia for her support of John, the author describes her as “Victorious in the good fight … crowned … with the crown of patience.” More prominent, though, is the author’s repeated praise of Olympias’ feminine Christian virtues: chastity, modesty, charity, hospitality, asceticism in dress, food, wine, and bathing, as well as obedience to the bishop. Her financial contributions to John and his church are carefully constructed as indications of her gendered piety : as imitation of the women who supported Christ with their resources, here unquestionably understood to be financial donations on a massive scale.74 Although the author does not say so directly, clearly the aristocratic families of Constantinople, and even apparently the Christian emperor himself, were more likely to see such massive re-distributions of family wealth as demonstration of what women do when they are not under the proper control of fathers, husbands, and imperial relatives. In other words, behind the pious language of the anonymous Life may be seen a bitter contestation between bishops like Chrysostom and aristocratic men, including the emperor, for control of substantial amounts of land and other financial assets that legally belonged to elite Christian women. As Jerome seems to have minimised the active roles of Paula and other women, representing them as properly submissive to masculine authority, so, too, the sources for Olympias occlude our vision of her engagement in the conflicts of the late fourth and early fifth centuries. The anonymous author of the Life represents her as a major patron of a number of (orthodox) Christian bishops, of whom Chrysostom is the one to whom she was most devoted and obedient. In the letter John sends Olympias after his flight to Cucusus, where he was exiled, he asks her to advocate on his behalf, especially with Maruthas the bishop, with whom John seems to have a fraught and unreliable relationship. The relatively vague nature of his request (to feel out the situation/to transmit letters) seems to presume that Olympias is well-informed about issues the letter does not articulate.75 At the same time, John’s letter contains a fairly detailed account of the support he received during his flight from Caesarea to Cucusus from another elite woman, Seleucia, the wife of Rufinus. In John’s account, he was repeatedly 74 The details are even enumerated in Life 5: including ten thousand pounds of gold, twenty thousand of silver, land in Thrace, Galatia, Cappadocia Prima, and Bithynia, as well as numerous buildings in Constantinople itself, and its suburbs. 75 On Chrysostom’s deposition and exile, see J.N.D. Kelly, Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom, Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995).

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in peril during the journey, from which Seleucia attempted to rescue him. She apparently sends men to escort him safely to her villa about five miles outside Caesarea: she instructs her steward to send, if necessary, for labourers from her farms to fight off the monks who sought to attack Chrysostom; she tries to persuade him to take refuge in her house itself, which has a fortress, rather than the (unfortified) villa, but he refuses. She is somehow pressured enough to expel him, but instead of simply doing so outright, she engages in a ruse in which he is told that he must leave because of a barbarian incursion.76 Like Olympias, Seleucia is presented as having great resources, and being a supporter of Chrysostom, but also subject to pressures, and having relatively little agency. In both the Life of Olympias, and John’s letter, these women are presented as enablers of the primary male actors, rather than as major actors themselves, and often as somewhat limited in their effectiveness. This may not have been the case, of course, but it is generally their rhetorical representation. Seleucia intends to protect Chrysostom, but ultimately succumbs to pressure. Despite Olympias’ wealth and imperial connections, she cannot prevent John’s exile. For her support of him, Olympias was herself ultimately exiled to Nicomedia, where she subsequently died.

Conclusion As these examples illustrate, ancient competition, religious and otherwise, was deeply enmeshed in ancient ideas about gender, and in the corresponding ancient social relationships and arrangements. Men appear disproportionately as the players in ancient contestations. Women appear often as the objects of male competition, or as financial supporters and influence-brokers, sometimes commendably, as in the case of wealthy elite women who support the positions of men from Josephus to Jerome, and sometimes construed negatively, as in accusations that behind every male heretic was a woman to whose improper influence the heretic had succumbed. Ancient contestations relied heavily on strategies that depend on gender associations, gender expectations and gender hierarchy : accusing the opposition of being actual women, accusing them of being ‘like’ women, accusing “their women” of transgressing gendered norms, while at the same time representing themselves as properly masculine, and “our” women as properly feminine, submissive and obedient to proper male authority. Unquestionably, many more instances may be adduced than time and space permit here, and indeed, it might be even more instructive to consider whether there are any instances of ancient competition, religious or otherwise, where gender plays no role. But at the very least, it is apparent that if we fail to attend to gender in accounts of 76 Letter 9, 3 in Kraemer, “Women’s Religions”, 223.

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ancient competition, we miss major dimensions of ancient practices, with important implications for larger projects of theorising human behaviours, religious and otherwise.

List of Abbreviations

AB ABR ACW Aevum AJA AJP AJSR Antiphon ATR AUSS BAC BASOR BER BICS Byzantion BZAW CA Cathedra CB CCSup CH CJ ClassicaMed CQ CS CSSH CUASCA EJL EME EP Emerita HTR HUCA

Anchor Bible Australian Biblical Review Ancient Christian Writers Aevum American Journal of Archaeology American Journal of Philology Association for Jewish Studies Review Antiphon Anglican Theological Review American University Studies Series Bibles in Ancient Christianity Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research Beiträge zur Europaschen Religionsgeschichte Bulletin of the Institute for Classical Studies Byzantion Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Christianisme Antique Cathedra The Church’s Bible Cambridge Classical Journal Supplement Church History Classical Journal Classica et Mediaevalia Church Quarterly Cognitive Science Comparative Studies in Sociology and History Catholic University of America Studies in Christian Antiquity Early Judaism and its Literature Early Medieval Europe European Perspectives Emerita Harvard Theological Review Hebrew Union College Annual

List of Abbreviations

Hypo IJPT Images JAJSup JBL JCC JECS JEH JFSR JHS JJGL JJS JMEMS JQR JRA JRASup JRS JSJ JSocSt JSQ JTS Klio LangSt LCL NAPSPMS NTS OCA OECS OECT OralTrad PCPS P&P PSLR PT PTS PTT PVTG R&T Ramus RBS RCSSCC RCSSCC

221

Hypomnemata International Journal of the Platonic Tradition Images Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements Journal of Biblical Literature Journal of Cognition and Culture Journal of Early Christian Studies Journal of Ecclesiastical History Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Journal of Hellenic Studies Jahbücher für Jüdische Geschichte und Literatur Journal of Jewish Studies Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Jewish Quarterly Review Journal of Roman Archeology Journal of Roman Archeology Supplementary Series Journal of Roman Studies Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods Jewish Social Studies Jewish Studies Quarterly Journal of Theological Studies Klio Language Studies Loeb Classical Library North American Patristics Society Patristic Monograph Series New Testament Studies Orientalia Christiana Analecta Oxford Early Christian Studies Oxford Early Christian Texts Oral Tradition Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society Past and Present Penn State Law Review Poetics Today Patristische Texte und Studien Platonic Texts and Traditions Pseudepigrapha Veteris Testamenti Graece Religion and Theology Ramus Resources for Biblical Studies Religion in Culture: Studies in Social Contest and Construction Religion in Culture Studies in Social Contest and Construction

222 RECM RevPhil RGRW RSAH SBLWGRWSup SC SCH SGLG SM StPatr TANZ Tarbiz TCS TH TPAPA TR TSAJ TSB TTH VC WUNT YCS ZAC ZPE

List of Abbreviations

Routledge Early Christian Monographs Revue de Philologie de litt¦rature et d’histoire anciennes Religions in the Greco-Roman World Routledge Studies in Ancient History Society of Biblical Literature Writings from the Greco-Roman World Supplement Sources Chr¦tiennes Studies in Church History Studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia Studi medievali Studia Patristica Texte und Arbeiten zum neutestamentlichen Zeitalter Tarbiz Trends in Cognitive Sciences Th¦ologie Historique Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association Theology and Religion Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism The Scholars Bible Translated Texts for Historians Vigiliae Christianae Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Yale Classical Studies Zeitschrift Für Antikes Christentum Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik

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List of Contributors

Todd S. Berzon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Bowdoin College. He specialises in the study of Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity. He is currently turning his dissertation, “Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Discovery, and Knowledge in Late Antiquity” (Columbia University, 2013) into a monograph. This project examines the concept of ethnography in early Christian literature (200 – 500 CE). Specifically, it investigates the relationship between the ancient conceptualizations of ethnography and religion, and the scholastic production and performance of knowledge in late antique heresiology. His other research interests include religious law in late antiquity, the Christian reception of classical literature, and ascetical literature. Nathaniel P. DesRosiers is Associate Professor in Religious Studies at Stonehill College. His area of research includes the history of ancient Mediterranean religions, identity formation, and the modes of interaction between GrecoRoman traditions, Judaism, and Christianity, and the influences of Hellenistic philosophy and contemporary socio-religious praxes on the formation of Pauline literature and the Synoptic Gospels. He is presently working on his book project Cities of the Gods, which explores socio-religious competition in the Greek cities of Asia Minor during the Roman Empire. Ari Finkelstein is Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. His dissertation entitled, “Emperor Julian among Jews, Christians and ‘Hellenes’ in Antioch: Jewish Practice as a Guide to ‘Hellenes’ and a Goad to Christians” (Harvard University, 2011), examined Julian’s use of biblical exegesis to represent Jews and Jewish practice as a model for ‘Hellenic’ practice as well as to undermine Christian creeds and practice in order to create a Neoplatonic ethnically-ordered Roman empire. His research interests involve the representation of Jews and the use of Jewish texts in Christian, Jewish and pagan literature as they are used to define, situate, strengthen and justify the superiority of certain ethnic-religious groups as dictated by the imperial programs of emperors and elites in the Roman Empire. Gregg E. Gardner is Assistant Professor and the Diamond Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at the University of British Columbia. His teaching and research

248

List of Contributors

focus on classical rabbinic literature and ancient Judaism. His published work includes Antiquity in Antiquity : Jewish and Christian Pasts in the GrecoRoman World (co-edited with K. Osterloh, 2008), “Jewish Leadership and Hellenistic Civic Benefaction in the Second Century BCE” (2007), “Astrology in the Talmud: An Analysis of Bavli Shabbat 156” (2008), and “Charity Wounds: Gifts to the Poor in Early Rabbinic Judaism” (2013). His current project focuses on organized charity in early rabbinic Judaism. Gil P. Klein is an Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, where he teaches courses in pre-modern Judaism, Jewish-Christian relations and Sacred Space. His research centers on material culture, architecture and urban institutions in rabbinic Judaism. He has published articles in journals such as Zeitschrift für Religions und Geistesgeschichte, Studia Rosenthaliana, and Jewish Quarterly Review. He is currently completing a book on urban architecture in rabbinic literature. Ross S. Kraemer is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies at Brown University. Her areas of interest include early Christianity and other religions of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, including ancient Judaism, especially in the Diaspora. Her research focuses on aspects of women’s religions in the Greco-Roman world, particularly Christian and Jewish women. She has published several books, including Her Share of the Blessings: Women’s Religions Among Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman World (Oxford University Press, 1992); When Aseneth Met Joseph: A Late Antique Tale of the Biblical Patriarch and His Egyptian Wife, Reconsidered, (Oxford University Press, 1998); and Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (Oxford University Press, 2010). Her most recent project is a study of the fate of Jewish communities in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean diaspora from the 4th to the 7th centuries CE. Todd C. Krulak is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Depauw University. His research focuses on Late Platonist religio-philosophy and ritual, the New Testament and Early Christianity, and the intersection of Jewish, Christian, and Greek philosophical and religious discourses in Late Antiquity. Steven J. Larson is an independent scholar living in Indianapolis, IN. Previously, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he taught courses in early and late antique Christianity in its Greco-Roman context. His research interests center around the Christianization of the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of the use and reuse of sacred space and conceptions of materiality. His dissertation, “What Temples Stood For: Constantine, Eusebius, and Roman Imperial Practice” (Brown

List of Contributors

249

University, 2008), is a reassessment of the Emperor Constantine’s religious policies through an analysis of his imperial building projects. Jacob A. Latham is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he teaches courses in Roman History, Early Christianity, and Late Antiquity. He has published a number of book chapters as well as articles in Journal of Religion and Church History. He is presently working on two monographs: The pompa circensis and the Urban Image of Rome: Ritual, Performance, and Urban Space from the Late Republic to Late Antiquity and The Ritual Re-Invention of Rome: Public Ceremonies and Christianization. Heidi Marx-Wolf is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Manitoba, where she teaches course in Early and Medieval Christianity and the Religions of the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean. Her research interests include the history of early Christianity with a focus on Late Antiquity (200 – 600 CE), Late Antique daemonologies in Christian, Platonist, Hermetic, Gnostic, and Apocryphal writings, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and the History of Science and Medicine (Ancient to Renaissance). She has published articles in Studia Patristica, Journal of Early Christian History, Journal of Early Christian Studies, and Medieval Perspectives. Kevin M. McGinnis is a Visiting Instructor at the University of the Pacific where he teaches courses on early Christianity, theory of religion, and classical mythology, and Stoicism. His dissertation entitled, “Scripturalizing Educational Elitism: Social Formation, Mythmaking, and Symbolic Labor in Origen” (Claremont Graduate University, 2014) explored the ideological connections between Origen’s role as a Christian philosopher and the pedagogical nature of his theology and ecclesiology. His research interests include the social history of early Christianity, with a focus on philosophical and hieratic practices and rhetoric and their relation to the formation of Christianity, particularly in the third century CE. Andrew B. McGowan is Warden and President of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Principal Research Fellow in its School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, as well as Joan Munro Lecturer in the Theological School at Trinity, within the Melbourne College of Divinity. A historian of early Christianity, his published work focuses on the intersection of ritual and theology in early Christian communities, particularly on meals and the development of Christian sacramental practice. He is the author of Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals (Oxford University Press, 1999) and co-editor with Timothy Gaden and Brian Daley of God in Early Christian Thought: Essays in Memory of Lloyd G. Patterson (Brill, 2009).

250

List of Contributors

Jordan D. Rosenblum is Belzer Associate Professor of Classical Judaism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches courses in Rabbinic History and Literature. His research focuses on the intersection of identity and food regulations in rabbinic Judaism. He is the author of Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism (Cambridge University Press, 2010; paperback edition, 2014), and has published several articles and book chapters on this subject, including in Jewish Quarterly Review, Journal of Jewish Studies, and Journal for the Study of Judaism. He is currently writing a book that explores critiques and apologies for the biblical food laws by Jews, Christians, Greeks, and Romans in the ancient world. Karen B. Stern is Assistant Professor of Jewish history in the Department of History at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a senior fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. She teaches courses on Mediterranean cultural history, religion and archaeology, and the history and material culture of Jewish populations in the GrecoRoman world. Stern’s current publications address epigraphic and archaeological evidence for Jewish populations in Roman North Africa (Brill 2008), Dura Europos in Roman Syria (American Journal of Archaeology 2010; Journal of Roman Archaeology 2012); Roman Palestine (Wiley Blackwell, 2013); and Egypt (SBL 2013). Her current book project considers the graffiti and cultural history of Jewish populations throughout the late Roman Mediterranean. Daniel C. Ullucci is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. His research focuses on interactions between ancient Mediterranean religions and early Christianity, particularly textual production and ritual practice. His book, The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice (Oxford University Press, 2012), examines the ancient debate over sacrifice and the long the process by which some Christians came to reject the practice. Ullucci is also the co-editor of “The One Who Sows Bountifully”: Essays in Honor of Stanley K. Stowers. Arthur P. Urbano is Associate Professor in the Theology Department at Providence College. He teaches courses in New Testament and Early Christianity. His research focuses on the dynamic role of biographical literature and art as arenas of philosophical debate and cultural competition among intellectuals in late antiquity. He is also interested in contemporary issues related to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. His monograph, The Philosophical Life: Biography and the Crafting of Intellectual Identity in Late Antiquity, was published by the Catholic University of America Press in 2013. Lily C. Vuong is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Valdosta State University, where she teaches courses in early Judaism and early Christianity.

List of Contributors

251

Her area of study is in New Testament Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal writings. Other research interests include the relationships between Judaism, Christianity, and Greco-Roman culture, the formation of Jewish and Christian identities in Late Antiquity, and the representation of women in the ancient world. Her book, Gender and Purity in the Protevangelium of James (Mohr Siebeck, 2013), explores ritual and sexual purity in the portrayal of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Index

Academy – Athenian, 40 – 8, 192 – Fourth, 40 – New, 40 – Sepphorean, 165 – Third, 44 – Tiberian, 165 Acts of the Apostles, 116 Aedesius, 195 – 7 Aenesidemus, 57 Alaric, 133 Altar (see also Temple), 71, 74, 124, 144 – 5, 148, 150, 193 Ammianus Marcellinus, 134 Anthroponoetic, 23, 24, 27 Antioch, 169, 174 – 6, 178 Antiochus (of Ascalon), 40, 42, 44 Apollonius (of Tyana), 41, 193 Aristobulus (of Alexandria), 41 Aristotle, 44 Aristocracy (city of Rome), 126 – 9, 131, 137 Athens, 40 – 2, 44 Atone(ment) (see also Sin), 118, 120 – 1, 124 Augustine (bishop of Hippo), 129, 199 Babylas, 175 Baptism, 67, 73, 100, 102 – 3, 121, 125, 180, 212 Barnabas (Epistle of), 117, 119 Bayle, Pierre, 51 Beit midrash, 164 Bell, Catherine, 14, 108 Biography – of Iamblichus, 37 – of Plato, 46

– of Plotinus, 46 – of Pythagoras, 32, 45 Blandina, 202, 209 Blesilla (daughter of Paula), 209 – 12 Boniface (bishop of Rome), 135, 137 Bourdieu, Pierre, 12, 61 – 2, 96 Cassius Dio, 86 Chrysanthius, 195 – 7 Clementia, 58 Cohen, Shaye, 106 – 7 Cohn, Naftali, 116, 120 Colossians (Paul’s letter to the), 183 Constantine I (Roman emperor), 53, 55, 58, 59, 69, 126 – 8, 174 Constantius II (Roman emperor), 134, 175 1 Corinthians (Paul’s letter to the), 70, 71, 126, 207, 212, 213 Cult of the martyrs, 169 – 70, 174 – 8 Cultural producers, 62, 95 – 7, 103, 105 – 7 Cyprian (bishop of Carthage), 69 – 77, 101 – 3, 126, 130, 201 – De Lapsis (On the Lapsed), 72 – 7, 102 – Letter 63, 72, 75 – 7 Damascius, 192 – 3, 195, 197 – 9 – Life of Isidore, 192, 197 Damasus (bishop of Rome), 131, 134 – 7 Decius (Roman emperor), 59, 72, 101 – 2, 126 – Persecution of, 73 – 4, 77, 101 – 3 Didache, 95

Index Diet (see also Vegetarianism), 35 – 6, 74 Dietary laws, 104, 107, 109 – 12, 168 – 71, 174 – 6, 178 Diocletian (Roman emperor), 55, 59 Dionysius (of Halicarnassus), 98 Dipinti, 142, 145 – 8 Donatists, 129 Duopolis, 156, 159, 161, 163 – 6 Dura Europos, 141 – 52 – Christian Building of, 142 – 3, 148 – 51 Edicts of Toleration, 58 Education, 39 – 41, 49, 66, 174, 195 Eliav, Yaron, 117 Epictetus, 95 Epiphanius (of Salamis), 183 – 90, 207 – Panarion (Medicine Box), 183, 187 “Esteemed nations”, 43 Ethnography, 181 – 2, 188 Eucharist, 31, 67, 71 – 2, 74 – 7, 100, 112, 121, 125, 134 Euergetism, 81 – 5, 87 – 92 Eulalius (counter-bishop of Rome), 135 Eunapius (of Sardis), 41, 195 – 7 – Lives of Sophists and Philosophers, 195 Eupolemus, 41 European Enlightenment, 50 – 2 Euripides, 43 – The Bacchae, 43 Eusebius (of Caesarea), 39, 43, 45 – 8, 102, 157, 177, 180, 195 – 6, 199, 204 – Ecclesiastical History, 46 – 7, 177 – The Martyrs of Palestine, 177 – Preparation for the Gospel, 47 Eusebius (of Myndus), 195 Eustochium (daughter of Paula), 209, 211, 212 – 13 Felix (counter-bishop of Rome), 133 – 4, 136

253

Field of cultural production – Philosophical, 62, 63 – Religious, 62, 68 Friendship (virtue of), 36 – 7 Galatians (Paul’s letter to the), 183 Galerius (Roman emperor), 58 Gelasius (bishop of Rome), 126 – 7, 129 – 30 Gender, 200 – 19 – associations, 205, 208, 218 Genealogy, 187, 189 Genesis (book of), 208 Genesis Rabbah, 158 Gibbon, Edward, 54 – 5 Graffiti, 141 – 52 Gregory Nazianzen, 41, 128, 174 Habitus, 61 – 2 Hebrews (letter to the), 116, 119, 120 Hellenes, 168 – 74, 176 – 7 Hellenism, 172, 183, 185 – 6 Heresy/Heresiology, 47, 101, 178 – 90 Hesiod, 39, 42 – 3, 45 – 6, 49, 172 – Works and Days, 39 – 49 Hieratic, 192 – 3, 195 – 9 Hierocles (of Alexandria), 197 – 8 – Commentary on the Golden Verses, 197 – 8 Hippolytus (of Rome), 97, 99 – 100 – Refutation of All Heresies, 97 – The Apostolic Tradition, 99 Homer, 32, 34, 42, 172, 182 Honorius (Roman emperor), 135 Hume, David, 53 – 4 Iamblichus, 32 – 8, 172, 192 – 9, 201 – On the Mysteries, 32, 33, 37, 38, 195, 198 – On the Pythagorean Way of Life, 35 – 8 Identity, 38, 55, 83, 94, 96, 113, 116 – 18, 125, 131, 161, 168, 171 – 3, 177

254

Index

Idolatry, 42, 54, 84, 97, 99, 100, 102, 103, 183, 185 – 7 Ignatius (of Antioch), 206 Imperatores, 55 Imperial – cosmology, 59 – Roman policy, 55, 58 Infertility, 119 Irenaeus (bishop of Lyons), 71, 179 – 80 – Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), 180 James (literature attributed to), – 1 Apocalypse of James, 117 – 2 Apocalypse of James, 117 – Apocryphon of James, 117 – Ascent of James, 117 – Protevangelium of James (see Protevangelium), Jerome, 131 – 2, 201 – 4, 207 – 18 Jerusalem Temple (see Temple), Jesus, 24 – 6, 29 – 31, 42, 48, 65, 68, 75 – 6, 95, 97, 101 – 2, 116, 120, 122, 125, 184, 213 – as founder of cult, 75 – 6 Jewish Christian, 117 John Chrysostom, 128 – 9, 201 – 2, 204, 207, 209, 216 – 18 Joseph (husband of Mary), 68, 122 – 3 Joseph and Aseneth, 204 Josephus, Flavius, 83 – 4, 86 – 7, 89 – 92, 170, 204, 208, 218 Julian (Roman emperor), 58, 168 – 78, 195 – 6 – Letter to Theodorus, 174 – 8 – Contra Galileos, 172 – 3 Jurisdiction, 154, 158, 161 – 3 Justin Martyr, 42, 47, 71, 97, 117, 121, 202, 207 – Dialogue with Trypho 42, 121, 202 Lactantius, 58 – Divine Institutes,

58

Lateran Basilica (Rome), 134 – 5 Laurence (counter-bishop of Rome), 135 – 7 Lawson, Thomas, 110, 113 Leo I (bishop of Rome), 130 Leviticus (book of), 29, 72 Liber Pontificalis – Laurentian, 137 – Symmachan, 137 Libellus, 126 Liberius (bishop of Rome), 133 – 4, 136 Licinius (Roman emperor), 58 Livy (Roman annalist), 206, 207 Locke, John, 51 Logos, 24, 66 – 7 Longinus, 46 Luke (gospel of), 75, 215 Lupercalia, 126 – 7 m. Hullin, 111 – 12 m. Shevi’it, 111 – 12 m. Yoma, 84 – 5, 91 – 2 Maccabees, 174 – 7 2 Maccabees, 170, 174, 175 4 Maccabees, 170, 174, 175 Marcella (patron of Jerome), 202, 209, 213 – 16 – Life of Marcella, 209, 213 Martyrdom, 102 – 3, 175 – 8 – of Polycarp, 209 – of Perpetua (and Felicitas) (see Perpetua), Mary (mother of Jesus), 118, 120 – 5 Mary (of Cassabola) – Letter, 206 Matthew (gospel of), 94, 95 Maximinus (Roman emperor), 58 Maximus (of Ephesus), 196, 199 McCauley, Robert, 110, 113 Memory, 22, 91, 131, 143, 145, 146, 148, 151, 176 – Collective, 114 – 15 Misrecognition, 61, 63 Mithraeum, 145 – 9, 151

Index Monotheism, 53 – 4 Moses, 41, 47, 48, 65, 149 Munbaz (king of), 84 – 92 Myth/mythology/mythic/mythological, 63, 64, 66, 68 Neoplatonism, 45, 171 – 2 Neopythagoreans, 41 – 2 Nichomachus, 41 Numbers (book of), 67 Numenius (of Apamea), 39, 41 – 8 – On the Disagreement of the Academics Against Plato, 42 – 8 Olympias (patron of John Chrysostom), 202, 204, 210, 216 – 18 – Life of Olympias, 216 – 18 Origen (of Alexandria), 27 – 31, 45, 47, 60 – 9, 201, 204, 207, 215 – Contra Celsum (Against Celsus), 206 – 7 – Homilies on Leviticus, 27, 31 – Homilies on Luke, 68 – Homilies on Numbers, 67 Orosius (of North Africa), 133 – Seven Books against the Pagans, 133 Paul (the Apostle), 42, 70 – 1, 126, 136, 183 Paula (patron of Jerome), 202 – 4, 209 – 15, 217 – daughters of (see Blesilla and Eustochium), – Life of Paula, 214 Pelagius (bishop of Rome), 137 Perpetua(andFelicitas), 202,203,209 Philo (of Alexandria), 41, 42, 83 – 4, 170, 205, 207 Philo (of Larissa), 40, 44 Philosopher/Philosophy, 32 – 8, 42, 44 – 9, 48 – 9, 61 – 68, 94 – 5 Philosophical

255

– history, 41, 43, 45 – 9 – life, 32 – 8 – school, 39, 40, 41, 44, 47 – 9 Plato, 32 – 4, 40 – 9, 170, 184, 192 – 9 – Euthyphro, 37 Pliny (the Younger), 96 Plotinus, 32 – 3, 45 – 7, 192, 195 – Enneads, 32, 46 Plutarch, 95 – Isis and Osiris, 182 Pollution, 36, 38 Polytheism, 50, 53 – 4 Porphyry (of Tyre), 27 – 9, 32 – 8, 39, 45 – 7, 143, 170 – 1, 176 – 7, 192, 194 – 5, 199, 201 – Life of Plotinus, 32, 45, 46 – Life of Pythagoras, 32, 34 – 7 – On Abstinence from Animal Food, 33 – Philosophical History, 45 – 6 Priest/priesthood, 29, 60 – 3, 67 – 8, 76, 114, 118 – 22, 124 – 5, 168 – 70, 173 – 4, 177, 215 Procession, 126 – 37 Proclus, 192 – 3, 195, 197, 199 Protevangelium of James, 116 – 25 Prudentius, 132 Pseudo-Clementine Literature, 117, 121, 208 – Homilies, 208 – 9 – Recognitions, 117, 121 Pyrrhonist Skepticism, 57 Pythagoras/Pythagoreanism, 32 – 8, 43, 45 – 7, 184, 193 Rabbi Hanina bar Hama, 163 – 7 Rabbi Hiyya bar Aba, 165 Rabbi Yohana bar Napaha, 163 – 6 Reciprocity, 27 – 9, 90, 106 Religious – affiliation, 51, 55, 136 – expert, 21, 22, 24 – 31, 60, 105 – 7, 111, 113 – tolerance, 50 – 9

256

Index

– violence, 56 Revelation (book of), 116, 119 Righteousness, 86, 88, 91 – 2 Ritual purity, 121 – 2, 125, 197 Rufinus, 211 – 13, 216, 217 Sacramentum, 98 – 104 Sacrifice, 26 – 31, 36 – 7, 53, 60, 62 – 3, 69 – 77, 90, 95 – 7, 101 – 2, 118, 119 – 22, 124 – 5, 126, 142, 146, 148, 171 – 3, – Blood, 32 – 3, 38, 169 Sacrificial – Cult, 115 – 16, 117 – 18, 120 – 3, 125 – Gifts, 120 – Rituals, 115 – 21, 123 – 4 Salvation – history, 120 – soteriology, 34, 37 – 8, 64 Sanctuary (see also Temple), 120, 122 – 3 Schatzki, Theodore, 96 Schwartz, Seth, 84, 90 – 1 Sect/Sectarianism, 94 – 5, 101, 181 – 90 Secular, 52 Seneca, 95 Sepphoris, 153 – 67 Severus (of Minorca), 205, 207, 208 Shepherd of Hermas, 65 Sin (see also Atonement), 118, 121, 124 Socrates, 37, 42 – 3, 46 Spinoza, Baruch, 51 – 2, Spiritualisation, 69 – 71 St Peter’s (Rome), 132 – 3, 135 – 7 St Salsa – Life of St Salsa, 202 Statio, 134 – 5 Stowers, Stanley, 69, 105 – 7 Supersessionism, 29, 70, 117, 123 – 5 Symbolic – capital, 61 – 3 – labour, 62, 68 Symmachus (bishop of Rome), 135 – 7 Symmachus (Roman aristocrat), 130

Synagogue, 89 – 90, 113, 142 – 3, 147 – 51, 202 – 3, 205 t. Peah, 85 – 9, 91 – 2 Tacitus, 86 Tehum, 156 – 7 Temple – altar, 124 – Jerusalem, 114, 117 – 18, 120, 122 – 5 – Jesus as new, 116, 120, 122, 125 – literature, 115 – 18, 122 – 3, 125 – Mount, 117 – of the Aphlad, 142 – 9, 151 – replacement, 116, 121, 123, 125 – sacrifice, 118 – 22, 124 – 5 Tertullian, 57 – 8, 97 – 103, 130 – Apologeticum (Apology), 98 – 9 – De Corona (On the Crown), 98 – 9 – Scorpiace (Antidote to the Gnostics), 100 – 1 Theiasmos, 196 – 8 Thecla – Acts of Thecla, 202, 209, 216 Theodoric (Ostrogoth King), 135 – 6 Theodosius (emperor), 210, 216 – 17 Theory of Mind, 109 Theurgist/theurge/theurgy, 32 – 7, 168, 193 – 5, 198 – 9 Thomas (literature attributed to) – Acts of Thomas, 117 – Infancy Gospel of Thomas, 116 Tiberias, 153 – 67 1 Timothy (Paul’s letter to), 214, 215 Trinity, 24 – 5, 66 Ullucci, Daniel, 69, 72, 74 Urban territory, 153 – 60, 163, 167 Ursinus (counter-bishop of Rome), 134, 136 Vegetarianism, 33 Via universalis, 38 Vigilius (bishop of Rome),

137

257

Index Virgin of the Lord, 122 Virginity, 122 – 4 Virtue, 36 – 8, 67, 198, 207, 214, 216 – 17 Vows, 93 – 104, 119

Wine, 67, 71, 75 – 7, 214, 217 Wisdom (book of), 42 World-to-come, 86 – 8, 92

Whitehouse, Harvey,

Zechariah (father of John),

21 – 7

Yom Kippur,

70, 84 – 5, 112, 120 124

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