The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

Was this just another false flag operation?

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#241  Postby MS2 » Aug 22, 2017 10:04 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:I'm currently on holiday in Split, Croatia. I didn't realize, but there's an ancient Roman town here called Salona. So we went to have a look. And there is physical evidence of the early veneration of the first Christian martyrs. There is an ampitheatre used in the time of Diocletian and they have found frescoes there where the Christians made a shrine commemorating where the first martyrs died. And nearby there are the remains of a church built over where they were buried.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salona

    Salona had a mint that was connected with the mint in Sirmium and silver mines in the Dinaric Alps through Via Argentaria. When the Roman Emperor Diocletian retired, he erected a monumental palace nearby. This massive structure, known as Diocletian's Palace, became the core of the modern city of Split.

    Salona's continuing prosperity resulted in extensive church building in the fourth and fifth centuries, including an episcopal basilica and a neighboring church and baptistery inside the walls, and several shrines honoring martyrs outside. These have made it a major site for studying the development of Christian sacred architecture.[7]

    (my formatting)

Sounds like a great journey. Any pics?

I'll post some when home if I can work out how! But that wiki article links to YouTube clips that give good idea

Can you check that you have a clear and unambiguous date for the relics prior to the 4th and 5th century?

4th cent. Can't be earlier than that as the martyrdoms were at start of 4th
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#242  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 23, 2017 6:33 am

MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:Can you check that you have a clear and unambiguous date for the relics prior to the 4th and 5th century?


4th cent. Can't be earlier than that as the martyrdoms were at start of 4th


Moss writes that ...

    Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

In a recent article posted above
https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/12/ ... esnt-help/

the author Shaw "concludes that we should excise the Neronian persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."

How much of a step is it to think about "excising the whole idea of persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."?

The step involves looking at the purported persecution under Diocletian, which appears to be the most well supported persecution of the possible nine. Diocletian grew cabbages. But did he persecute the Christians? What are the historical sources? What do they say?
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#243  Postby MS2 » Aug 24, 2017 3:00 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:Can you check that you have a clear and unambiguous date for the relics prior to the 4th and 5th century?


4th cent. Can't be earlier than that as the martyrdoms were at start of 4th


Moss writes that ...

    Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

As I understand it, you think Christians did not exist until after the beginning of the fourth century and the stories of persecutions prior to then are complete fabrications written in a later period. As I understand Moss, on the other hand (assuming this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Persecution is reasonably accurate), thinks the Christians did exist and some of them were martyred but the stories that developed about them, though having early origins, are false etc. Moss is therefore not an authority that in any way supports your views.

In a recent article posted above
https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/12/ ... esnt-help/

the author Shaw "concludes that we should excise the Neronian persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."

How much of a step is it to think about "excising the whole idea of persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."?

An utterly vast one.

The step involves looking at the purported persecution under Diocletian, which appears to be the most well supported persecution of the possible nine. Diocletian grew cabbages. But did he persecute the Christians? What are the historical sources? What do they say?

I told you in the earlier post what some of the archaeology says.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#244  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 24, 2017 6:44 am

MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:Can you check that you have a clear and unambiguous date for the relics prior to the 4th and 5th century?


4th cent. Can't be earlier than that as the martyrdoms were at start of 4th


Moss writes that ...

    Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

As I understand it, you think Christians did not exist until after the beginning of the fourth century and the stories of persecutions prior to then are complete fabrications written in a later period. As I understand Moss, on the other hand (assuming this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Persecution is reasonably accurate), thinks the Christians did exist and some of them were martyred but the stories that developed about them, though having early origins, are false etc. Moss is therefore not an authority that in any way supports your views.


Moss basically rejects (5 out of 9) most of the purported persecutions as can be perceived in the following list in which the asterisk * denotes the persecutions that she believes may have been "historical"....


The Nine Claimed Pagan Persecution of Christians

1. * Nero 64 to 68 Tacitus' Annals XV.44 (11th century) Tertullian, Lactantius, Sulpicius Severus, Eusebius, St. Augustine
2. Domitian 89 to 96 Dio Cassius (67.14.1-2); execution of Flavius Clemens for "atheism"
3. Trajan 98 to 117 Pliny, Letters 10.96; Trajan in Pliny, Letters 10.97
4. Marcus Aurelius 161 to 180 Lyon (177 CE), Eusebius HE, 5.1.5,7.
5. Septimius Severus 193 to 211 Clement of Alexandria; Perpetua and Felicity; Leonides
6. Maximinus the Thracian 235 Pope Pontian and Hippolytus banished to the island of Sardinia.
7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEstian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305

My following comment related to the Neronian persecution.


In a recent article posted above
https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/12/ ... esnt-help/

the author Shaw "concludes that we should excise the Neronian persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."

How much of a step is it to think about "excising the whole idea of persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."?

An utterly vast one.


With Nero gone only three remain ...

7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEstian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305

and both 7 and 8 do not have very much compelling evidence.

This basically leaves the last one (9) under Diocletian.

The step involves looking at the purported persecution under Diocletian, which appears to be the most well supported persecution of the possible nine. Diocletian grew cabbages. But did he persecute the Christians? What are the historical sources? What do they say?


I told you in the earlier post what some of the archaeology says.


Does this archaeology establish that Christians were persecuted under Diocletian?
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#245  Postby MS2 » Aug 25, 2017 4:46 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:

4th cent. Can't be earlier than that as the martyrdoms were at start of 4th


Moss writes that ...

    Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

As I understand it, you think Christians did not exist until after the beginning of the fourth century and the stories of persecutions prior to then are complete fabrications written in a later period. As I understand Moss, on the other hand (assuming this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Persecution is reasonably accurate), thinks the Christians did exist and some of them were martyred but the stories that developed about them, though having early origins, are false etc. Moss is therefore not an authority that in any way supports your views.


Moss basically rejects (5 out of 9) most of the purported persecutions as can be perceived in the following list in which the asterisk * denotes the persecutions that she believes may have been "historical"....

As I said, Moss is not an authority that in any way supports your views. It is disingenuous to suggest that she does. You think that Christianity did not exist until it was invented by Constantine and his cronies and consequently the persecutions must be pure inventions involving people who did not exist. She thinks Christianity started in the first century and grew from there and that in the course of that growth there developed historically incorrect stories about persecutions of Christians who did exist. That is a completely different position from yours.


In a recent article posted above
https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/12/ ... esnt-help/

the author Shaw "concludes that we should excise the Neronian persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."

How much of a step is it to think about "excising the whole idea of persecution from academic histories of early Christianity."?

An utterly vast one.


With Nero gone only three remain ...

Nero isn't 'gone'. You've got one article differing from the mainstream view of historians. Including differing from Moss, who until this point you've been treating as authoritative. But if the article is right it still does not support your view. According to the abstract,
A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened in the reign of Nero and that it involved the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the mass execution of Christians in the aftermath of the great fire of July 64 c.e. The argument here contests all of these facts, especially the general execution personally ordered by Nero. The only source for this event is a brief passage in the historian Tacitus. Although the passage is probably genuine Tacitus, it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian was writing and not the realities of the 60s.

I.e. the author believes Tacitus, writing in 115ce, knew of Christians and Christ

7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEstian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305

and both 7 and 8 do not have very much compelling evidence.

Unsupported assertion.

This basically leaves the last one (9) under Diocletian.

Only if we apply the same sort of cock-eyed reasoning you have.

The step involves looking at the purported persecution under Diocletian, which appears to be the most well supported persecution of the possible nine. Diocletian grew cabbages. But did he persecute the Christians? What are the historical sources? What do they say?


I told you in the earlier post what some of the archaeology says.


Does this archaeology establish that Christians were persecuted under Diocletian?[/quote]
According to the archaeologists, yes.

Cue more conspiracy theories?
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#246  Postby RealityRules » Aug 25, 2017 9:56 pm

MS2 wrote:
According to the abstract,
A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened in the reign of Nero and that it involved the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the mass execution of Christians in the aftermath of the great fire of July 64 c.e. The argument here contests all of these facts, especially the general execution personally ordered by Nero. The only source for this event is a brief passage in the historian Tacitus. Although the passage is probably genuine Tacitus, it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian was writing and not the realities of the 60s.

I.e. the author believes Tacitus, writing in 115ce, knew of Christians and Christ

That's the abstract of Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.

That abstract says "it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian". Shaw is probably saying that b/c texts attributed to Tacitus' contemporaries Suetonius and Pliny the Younger (+/- Hadrian) refer to Christians/Chrestians or Christ/Chrestus or both.

Yet recent analysis suggests the Pliny letter is not authentic -

Enrico Tuccinardi An application of a profile-based method for authorship verification: Investigating the authenticity of Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan concerning the Christians Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, (Vol 32, Issue 2, 1 June 2017), pp 435–447.
Abstract
Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan regarding the Christians is a crucial subject for the studies on early Christianity. A serious quarrel among scholars concerning its genuineness arose between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th; per contra, Plinian authorship has not been seriously questioned in the last few decades. After analysing various kinds of internal and external evidence in favour of and against the authenticity of the letter, a modern stylometric method is applied in order to examine whether internal linguistic evidence allows one to definitely settle the debate. The findings of this analysis tend to contradict received opinion among modern scholars, affirming the authenticity of Pliny’s letter, and suggest instead the presence of large amounts of interpolation inside the text of the letter, since its stylistic behaviour appears highly different from that of the rest of Book X. https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-ab ... method-for


Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#247  Postby MS2 » Aug 25, 2017 11:01 pm

RealityRules wrote:
MS2 wrote:
According to the abstract,
A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened in the reign of Nero and that it involved the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the mass execution of Christians in the aftermath of the great fire of July 64 c.e. The argument here contests all of these facts, especially the general execution personally ordered by Nero. The only source for this event is a brief passage in the historian Tacitus. Although the passage is probably genuine Tacitus, it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian was writing and not the realities of the 60s.

I.e. the author believes Tacitus, writing in 115ce, knew of Christians and Christ

That's the abstract of Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.

That abstract says "it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian". Shaw is probably saying that b/c texts attributed to Tacitus' contemporaries Suetonius and Pliny the Younger (+/- Hadrian) refer to Christians/Chrestians or Christ/Chrestus or both.

That last sentence is an unevidenced assertion. I think it more likely Shaw is saying that based on not just those two sources but the whole host of evidence historians normally refer to when discussing the origins of Christianity. But regardless of that, I'm glad you agree Shaw doesn't think Christians didn't exist at the time of Tacitus

Yet recent analysis suggests the Pliny letter is not authentic -

Enrico Tuccinardi An application of a profile-based method for authorship verification: Investigating the authenticity of Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan concerning the Christians Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, (Vol 32, Issue 2, 1 June 2017), pp 435–447.
Abstract
Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan regarding the Christians is a crucial subject for the studies on early Christianity. A serious quarrel among scholars concerning its genuineness arose between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th; per contra, Plinian authorship has not been seriously questioned in the last few decades. After analysing various kinds of internal and external evidence in favour of and against the authenticity of the letter, a modern stylometric method is applied in order to examine whether internal linguistic evidence allows one to definitely settle the debate. The findings of this analysis tend to contradict received opinion among modern scholars, affirming the authenticity of Pliny’s letter, and suggest instead the presence of large amounts of interpolation inside the text of the letter, since its stylistic behaviour appears highly different from that of the rest of Book X. https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-ab ... method-for

Here is a response to that article that seems to me altogether reasonable: https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... hristians/

Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/

And those arguments have been rejected by most historians
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#248  Postby RealityRules » Aug 26, 2017 12:57 am

MS2 wrote:According to the abstract,
A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened in the reign of Nero and that it involved the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the mass execution of Christians in the aftermath of the great fire of July 64 c.e. The argument here contests all of these facts, especially the general execution personally ordered by Nero. The only source for this event is a brief passage in the historian Tacitus. Although the passage is probably genuine Tacitus, it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian was writing and not the realities of the 60s.

[Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.]

I.e. the author believes Tacitus, writing in 115ce, knew of Christians and Christ
RealityRules wrote:That abstract says "it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian". Shaw is probably saying that b/c texts attributed to Tacitus' contemporaries Suetonius and Pliny the Younger (+/- Hadrian) refer to Christians/Chrestians or Christ/Chrestus or both.
MS2 wrote:.. I think it more likely Shaw is saying that based on not just those two sources but 'the whole host of evidence' historians normally refer to when discussing the origins of Christianity.

    What ''whole host of evidence''?
------------------------------------------------

RealityRules wrote:... recent analysis suggests the Pliny letter is not authentic -

Enrico Tuccinardi 'An application of a profile-based method for authorship verification: Investigating the authenticity of Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan concerning the Christians' Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, (Vol 32, Issue 2, 1 June 2017), pp 435–447.
Abstract
Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan regarding the Christians is a crucial subject for the studies on early Christianity. A serious quarrel among scholars concerning its genuineness arose between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th; per contra, Plinian authorship has not been seriously questioned in the last few decades. After analysing various kinds of internal and external evidence in favour of and against the authenticity of the letter, a modern stylometric method is applied in order to examine whether internal linguistic evidence allows one to definitely settle the debate. The findings of this analysis tend to contradict received opinion among modern scholars, affirming the authenticity of Pliny’s letter, and suggest instead the presence of large amounts of interpolation inside the text of the letter, since its stylistic behaviour appears highly different from that of the rest of Book X. https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-ab ... method-for
MS2 wrote:Here is a response to that article that seems to me altogether reasonable: https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... hristians/

Hurtado seems a little perturbed -
First, strictly speaking, contrary to Tuccinardi (pp. 6-7), his data don’t of themselves “suggest” interpolations. His data surely indicate that letter 10.96 has a distinctive n-gram pattern in comparison with his composite book 10 profile. But the suggestion of interpolations (and that suggestion only) is from Tuccinardi, not the data.

'not the data', lol. Sure, the data has to be interpreted, and the article commented on by others with knowledge of the methodology, but Hurtado is arguing from incredulity.

and, Hurtado confirms others have also suspected interpolation -
Further, from the detailed stylistic analysis of Pliny’s correspondence by Gamberini, it’s clear that book 10 is markedly different from books 1-9 of Pliny’s letters,

Federico Gamberini, Stylistic Theory and Practice in the Younger Pliny (Hildesheim/Zurich/New York: Olms – Weidmann, 1983).

A commenter, Alistair C. Stewart, said
Rather than the ministrae/ancillae (so the comment above) or some anonymous interpolator, I suspect the “contamination” derives from Livy AUC 39.18 (regarding the suppression of the Bacchanalia). Pliny’s appropriation of Livy’s language here was recognized by R.M. Grant, “Pliny and the Christians” HTR 41 (1948), 273-274; and (apparently independently) by F. Fourrier, “La lettre de Pline à Trajan sur les Chrétiens (X, 97)” RThAM 31 (1964), 161-174.

https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... ment-13132

Chris Porter's contribution is interesting too - https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... ment-13125

--------------------------------------

RealityRules wrote:Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/
MS2 wrote:And those arguments have been rejected by most historians

    Who? Where?
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#249  Postby MS2 » Aug 26, 2017 9:17 am

RealityRules wrote:
MS2 wrote:According to the abstract,
A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened in the reign of Nero and that it involved the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the mass execution of Christians in the aftermath of the great fire of July 64 c.e. The argument here contests all of these facts, especially the general execution personally ordered by Nero. The only source for this event is a brief passage in the historian Tacitus. Although the passage is probably genuine Tacitus, it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian was writing and not the realities of the 60s.

[Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.]

I.e. the author believes Tacitus, writing in 115ce, knew of Christians and Christ
RealityRules wrote:That abstract says "it reflects ideas and connections prevalent at the time the historian". Shaw is probably saying that b/c texts attributed to Tacitus' contemporaries Suetonius and Pliny the Younger (+/- Hadrian) refer to Christians/Chrestians or Christ/Chrestus or both.
MS2 wrote:.. I think it more likely Shaw is saying that based on not just those two sources but 'the whole host of evidence' historians normally refer to when discussing the origins of Christianity.

    What ''whole host of evidence''?

Seriously? You've been taking part in these debates all this time and you aren't aware of the evidence historians refer to when discussing the development of Christianity in the first few centuries? I suggest you go and do a little reading


RealityRules wrote:... recent analysis suggests the Pliny letter is not authentic -

Enrico Tuccinardi 'An application of a profile-based method for authorship verification: Investigating the authenticity of Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan concerning the Christians' Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, (Vol 32, Issue 2, 1 June 2017), pp 435–447.
Abstract
Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan regarding the Christians is a crucial subject for the studies on early Christianity. A serious quarrel among scholars concerning its genuineness arose between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th; per contra, Plinian authorship has not been seriously questioned in the last few decades. After analysing various kinds of internal and external evidence in favour of and against the authenticity of the letter, a modern stylometric method is applied in order to examine whether internal linguistic evidence allows one to definitely settle the debate. The findings of this analysis tend to contradict received opinion among modern scholars, affirming the authenticity of Pliny’s letter, and suggest instead the presence of large amounts of interpolation inside the text of the letter, since its stylistic behaviour appears highly different from that of the rest of Book X. https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-ab ... method-for
MS2 wrote:Here is a response to that article that seems to me altogether reasonable: https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... hristians/

Hurtado seems a little perturbed -
First, strictly speaking, contrary to Tuccinardi (pp. 6-7), his data don’t of themselves “suggest” interpolations. His data surely indicate that letter 10.96 has a distinctive n-gram pattern in comparison with his composite book 10 profile. But the suggestion of interpolations (and that suggestion only) is from Tuccinardi, not the data.

'not the data', lol. Sure, the data has to be interpreted, and the article commented on by others with knowledge of the methodology, but Hurtado is arguing from incredulity.

Do you know what an argument from incredulity is? Because there isn't one present in the passage you just quoted. Nor, for that matter, is there any sign of him being perturbed, despite your unattributed addition of emphasis.

And you left out the sentences immediately following the ones you quoted and which were the point he was making about "'the data', lol", namely:
    "For, assuming the validity of his data, they are compatible with at least four hypotheses: (1) the letter is a forgery, (2) there are interpolations that corrupt its stylistic character, (3) Pliny’s stylistic profile is varied, and letter 10.96 simply exhibits that, and so/or (4) the method may be inadequate for the task and need some further tuning."


and, Hurtado confirms others have also suspected interpolation -
Further, from the detailed stylistic analysis of Pliny’s correspondence by Gamberini, it’s clear that book 10 is markedly different from books 1-9 of Pliny’s letters,

Federico Gamberini, Stylistic Theory and Practice in the Younger Pliny (Hildesheim/Zurich/New York: Olms – Weidmann, 1983).

No. In this quote he is saying that, according to Gamberini, the whole of book 10 is stylistically different to 1-9.

A commenter, Alistair C. Stewart, said
Rather than the ministrae/ancillae (so the comment above) or some anonymous interpolator, I suspect the “contamination” derives from Livy AUC 39.18 (regarding the suppression of the Bacchanalia). Pliny’s appropriation of Livy’s language here was recognized by R.M. Grant, “Pliny and the Christians” HTR 41 (1948), 273-274; and (apparently independently) by F. Fourrier, “La lettre de Pline à Trajan sur les Chrétiens (X, 97)” RThAM 31 (1964), 161-174.

https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... ment-13132

Or in other words this commenter is providing evidence that Pliny did write the passage in question.

Chris Porter's contribution is interesting too - https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016 ... ment-13125

--------------------------------------

RealityRules wrote:Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/
MS2 wrote:And those arguments have been rejected by most historians

    Who? Where?

Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#250  Postby RealityRules » Aug 26, 2017 12:15 pm

RealityRules wrote:Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/
MS2 wrote:And those arguments have been rejected by most historians
RealityRules wrote:
    Who? Where?
MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution

When you said "..those arguments have been rejected by most historians" the implication was you were referring to the propositions of Arthur Drews and Jay Raskins. It would be useful if you could say if you know of any refutation of them.

nb: Raskins' proposition puts the whole passage in the time of Nero: more so
___________________________________

MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution

Do you realise Shaw, in that paper, argues the opposite of what you say there?

Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.

I have Shaw's paper. He says in it, italics and underlining mine -
... I am 'mostly convinced' that all of the passage on the fire is genuine Tacitus, and that no easy answer to the problem is available by way of that route. Even if only to provide the strongest possible case for a Neronian persecution of the Christians in the 60s, however, and as a tactic of criticism I shall provisionally accept that the words are indeed those of the historian. In this light, it is important to understand that Tacitus is the only source for the involvement of Christians with the fire and their persecution in its aftermath.


Shaw says in the introduction -
"The simple argument of this essay, deliberately framed as a provocative hypothesis, is that this event never happened and that there are compelling reasons to doubt that it should have any place either in the history of Christian martyrdom or in the history of the early Church."


He then says
"Before turning to the Neronian persecution of the summer of 64 C.E. as a critical episode in the history of early Christianity, let us begin by dismissing any connections of the executions of the apostles Peter and Paul with the supposed executions of other Christians in the aftermath of the great conflagration that levelled many districts of the city of Rome in July of 64. A specific link between the demise of Peter and specific anti-Christian acts ordered by Nero is perhaps the easiest to dismiss."

Soon after -

" They wanted Peter, like Paul, to be a victim of a Neronian persecution and they wanted his death, also like that of Paul, to be connected with the Great Fire. They wished the two deaths be seen as typological replays of the executions of John the Baptist (by beheading) and of Jesus of Nazareth (by crucifixion). The assertion that Peter was crucified is found as early as the African exegete Tertullian who was writing around 200 C.E., but he says nothing about when the execution took place or in what fashion. Much later, Eusebius is the first to state that Peter, at the end of his apostolic travels, came to Rome where he was ‘crucified head downwards as he himself had requested to suffer’. Oddly enough, Eusebius does not say when this happened. In this same passage, however, he mentions the martyrdom of Paul under Nero, claiming Origen’s (lost) commentary on Genesis as his source. But even he does not connect Peter with the fire.

The story that Peter died by being crucified head downwards at his own request is also found in the apocryphal Martyrdom of Peter that is part of the larger Acts of Peter. It is rather difficult to date this late antique confection. The collection of which it is a part is like a novelette featuring Peter’s various stand-offs with Simon the Magician. The driving themes of the virginity of women, the refusal of wives to have sexual relations with their husbands, and the raft of invented and fictitious characters and exaggerated scenes of confrontation are redolent of later fourth- and fifth-century fabrications like the Acts of Paul and Thekla... The later dramatic accounts of Peter’s death were manifestly shaped so that his execution would be an ex post facto fulfilment of the prophecy. There are truly remote possibilities that Peter could have died in the 60s and perhaps even at Rome, but there is no sound evidence to sustain the claim that he was crucified or crucified upside down. Nothing about Peter’s death in these later fictions has any connection with a general attack on Christians in the 60s much less with the great fire of 64, for which claims there are no supporting data at all...

"The case of Paul is equally irrelevant...

THE GREAT CONFLAGRATION

What the later Pauline narratives show is that at some point in time there had emerged a triangulation between the apostles Peter and Paul, the emperor Nero, and the construal of the individual events in which they were involved as part of a general persecution of Christians (under this name). This inventive narrative then produced a new Christian image of some power and authority: Nero as the first persecutor of the Christians. As we shall see, all these points were then connected with the catastrophe that struck the city of Rome in midsummer of 64 C.E. when a great fire raged for nine days between 19 and 27 July, devastating large parts of the imperial metropolis...

There is every good reason for historians to have grave doubts about the story of an attack on Christians by Nero that emerged decades after the fire itself. They should be sceptical to the point of dismissing the commonly accepted idea of Nero as a persecutor, indeed the first great persecutor of Christians, specifically in connection with the conflagration that raged through Rome in July of 64... Arguments have been ventilated, from time to time, that the passage [Annals 15.44] , in whole or in part, was a later interpolation into the text of the Annales. The possibility has been frequently suspected and continues to hail forth a fair number of detailed studies...

But Shaw does not discuss them all & hardly discusses any.

And then adds the qualification underlined in the next quoted passage -
... I am 'mostly convinced' that all of the passage on the fire is genuine Tacitus, and that no easy answer to the problem is available by way of that route. Even if only to provide the strongest possible case for a Neronian persecution of the Christians in the 60s, however, and as a tactic of criticism I shall provisionally accept that the words are indeed those of the historian. In this light, it is important to understand that Tacitus is the only source for the involvement of Christians with the fire and their persecution in its aftermath.


Shaw also noted -
Chrestianos is the correct reading of M2 reported by the Teubner text rather than the frequently ‘corrected’ reading of Christianos as found, e.g., in the Oxford Classical Text. 8. I believe that the Christus of M2 has similarly been corrected (as one hand had already tried to correct the Chrestiani to Christiani) from Chrestus. Such alterations were rife, as when, from Orosius in the fifth century to William of Malmesbury in the twelfth, the reading of Chrestus in Suet., Claud. 25.4 was ‘corrected’ to Christus. And it makes the most logical sense for Tacitus to say that Chrestianus would come from Chrestus. Nevertheless, I have maintained the reading of Christus found in M2.


and
The elder Pliny’s only explicit statement regarding the fire of 64 holds Nero to blame for it and, in consequence, for the destruction of an important rare species of tree.43 But nowhere in the more than 20,000 facts collected from 2,000 books and 100 different authors in his Natural History does Pliny so much as refer to any people called Christians or Chrestiani, much less does he make any connection of them with the fire that destroyed large parts of the imperial metropolis.44 In short, there is no known sign in any of the lost sources for histories that covered the reign of Nero to indicate where Tacitus would have found the facts about Christians that are retailed in our passage, or anything to controvert the observed fact that the first mentions of the Christians by this name in Latin sources are those made by the younger Pliny and Tacitus.


Shaw does refer to Sulpicius Severus, but does not seem to be aware of Arthur Drews' views on the relationship of these two passages -
Later sources are useless for deciding the matter. They might seem compelling but, like Sulpicius Severus, they are wholly dependent on Tacitus.48

    … quin et novae mortes excogitatae, ut ferarum tergis contecti, laniatu canum interirent, multi crucibus adfixi aut flammas usti, plerique in id reservati, ut, cum defecisset dies, in usum nocturni luminis urerentur.
The precise diction, if nothing else, shows that Sulpicius was ultimately borrowing from, indeed almost copying Tacitus.

A discussion about Suetonius ensues.

Then
when Tacitus says that there arose a distaste towards Nero for his executions because they were perceived to be a concession to the emperor’s bestiality and not a contribution to the utilitas publica of the state, he is surely echoing a dominant ideology not of the 60s but of his own age.


Shaw concludes
PATTERNS OF PERSECUTION

The conclusions are simple. There are no sound probative reasons to accept the mirage, however appealing it might be, that Christians were attacked by the Roman state as a special group and were martyred under Nero, and no good evidence, contemporary or even later, that links them with the Great Fire in 64 C.E. There is even less good evidence to sustain the Christian fiction of Nero as ‘the first persecutor’. There is no evidence — I mean none at all — to indicate that the emperor would have been capable of forming such a conception or that he would ever have executed such an imperial policy. It is completely anachronistic. The whole incident and its surrounding ‘historical’ addenda should be excised from histories of the early Church, and the sooner the better. The consequences are significant, not the least for the long-term history of Christianity and Christian martyrdom. There was no ‘first’ in 64 C.E. There never was any Institutum Neronianum or any general covering law or senatus consultum or any such official anti-Christian measure concocted in connection with (or in the aftermath of) the Great Fire. But such an idea, as we know, had become entrenched, at least among Christians in the West, as early as Tertullian who, in the late 190s, specified this ‘established practice’ of Nero’s as the only one that survived the general condemnation of all of his other acts.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#251  Postby MS2 » Aug 26, 2017 7:11 pm

RealityRules wrote:
RealityRules wrote:Shaw says "the [Annals 15.44] passage is probably genuine Tacitus". Yet it may not be. Arthur Drews thought it likely to have been interpolated in conjunction with the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (4th C), and Jay Raskins has suggested that Tiberius is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Nero (who is mentioned before and after that passage, as that book, Book 15, is about the time of Nero), and Pontius Pilate is simply an interpolated substitution for an original reference to Porcius Festus, as supported by Jospehus's Antiquities 20.8.10.
https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/
MS2 wrote:And those arguments have been rejected by most historians
RealityRules wrote:
    Who? Where?
MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution

When you said "..those arguments have been rejected by most historians" the implication was you were referring to the propositions of Arthur Drews and Jay Raskins. It would be useful if you could say if you know of any refutation of them.

nb: Raskins' proposition puts the whole passage in the time of Nero: more so

I meant that most historians treat the passage as not-interpolated and therefore they have rejected arguments it is interpolated. I have no specific information on why they have rejected the ones you raise.

MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution

Do you realise Shaw, in that paper, argues the opposite of what you say there?

I say there that Shaw confirms that the conventIonal view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution. You appear therefore to be claiming that Shaw confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides no reliable information as to the Neronian persecutions. I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant, so I suggest you clarify if you feel you have an important point to make

Shaw B (2015) The Myth of the Neronian Persecution The Journal of Roman Studies Vol 105, pp. 73-100.

I have Shaw's paper... [lengthy quotations follow]

I'm unable to pick out what points (if any) you are trying to make
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#252  Postby RealityRules » Aug 27, 2017 1:44 am

MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution
RealityRules wrote: Do you realise Shaw, in that paper, argues the opposite of what you say there?
MS2 wrote:..You appear therefore to be claiming that Shaw confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides no reliable information as to the Neronian persecutions...

Huh?? Shaw confirms the Tacitus passage provides the only information as to the Neronian persecutions.

Shaw says despite that, the Neronian persecutions are unlikely to have happened. I quote what he opens with

The simple argument of this essay, deliberately framed as a provocative hypothesis, is that this event never happened and that there are compelling reasons to doubt that it should have any place either in the history of Christian martyrdom or in the history of the early Church."


I point out pertinent aspects of his argument -
"Before turning to the Neronian persecution of the summer of 64 C.E. as a critical episode in the history of early Christianity, let us begin by dismissing any connections of the executions of the apostles Peter and Paul with the supposed executions of other Christians in the aftermath of the great conflagration that levelled many districts of the city of Rome in July of 64. A specific link between the demise of Peter and specific anti-Christian acts ordered by Nero is perhaps the easiest to dismiss...

"They wanted Peter, like Paul, to be a victim of a Neronian persecution and they wanted his death, also like that of Paul, to be connected with the Great Fire. They wished the two deaths be seen as typological replays of the executions of John the Baptist (by beheading) and of Jesus of Nazareth (by crucifixion)...

"...the raft of invented and fictitious characters and exaggerated scenes of confrontation are redolent of later fourth- and fifth-century fabrications like the Acts of Paul and Thekla...

"..This inventive narrative then produced a new Christian image of some power and authority: Nero as the first persecutor of the Christians.

Being " redolent of later fourth- and fifth-century fabrications" is also what Drews says of Annals 15.44.


Shaw' conclusion is
PATTERNS OF PERSECUTION

The conclusions are simple. There are no sound probative reasons to accept the mirage, however appealing it might be, that Christians were attacked by the Roman state as a special group and were martyred under Nero, and no good evidence, contemporary or even later, that links them with the Great Fire in 64 C.E. There is even less good evidence to sustain the Christian fiction of Nero as ‘the first persecutor’. There is no evidence — I mean none at all — to indicate that the emperor would have been capable of forming such a conception or that he would ever have executed such an imperial policy. It is completely anachronistic. The whole incident and its surrounding ‘historical’ addenda should be excised from histories of the early Church, and the sooner the better. The consequences are significant, not the least for the long-term history of Christianity and Christian martyrdom. There was no ‘first’ in 64 C.E. There never was any Institutum Neronianum or any general covering law or senatus consultum or any such official anti-Christian measure concocted in connection with (or in the aftermath of) the Great Fire. But such an idea, as we know, had become entrenched, at least among Christians in the West, as early as Tertullian who, in the late 190s, specified this ‘established practice’ of Nero’s as the only one that survived the general condemnation of all of his other acts.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#253  Postby MS2 » Aug 27, 2017 8:13 am

RealityRules wrote:
MS2 wrote:Oh good grief! Shaw himself confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution
RealityRules wrote: Do you realise Shaw, in that paper, argues the opposite of what you say there?

I can only think you are misreading my sentence. I said Shaw
    'confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution'
You appear to be misreading it as
    'confirms the conventional view of historians that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution'
The words I have underlined are small but you should try to look out for them any way!

I know perfectly well he doesn't confirm the conventional view. Which is why, in my first post mentioning Shaw's article, I wrote of it as: 'one article differing from the mainstream view of historians'. I've added some underlining again to help.

I'm not going to respond to the rest of your post because it seems to arise out of your misreading of what I said
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#254  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 27, 2017 9:48 am

MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

Moss writes that ...

    Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

As I understand it, you think Christians did not exist until after the beginning of the fourth century and the stories of persecutions prior to then are complete fabrications written in a later period. As I understand Moss, on the other hand (assuming this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Persecution is reasonably accurate), thinks the Christians did exist and some of them were martyred but the stories that developed about them, though having early origins, are false etc. Moss is therefore not an authority that in any way supports your views.


Moss basically rejects (5 out of 9) most of the purported persecutions as can be perceived in the following list in which the asterisk * denotes the persecutions that she believes may have been "historical"....

As I said, Moss is not an authority that in any way supports your views. It is disingenuous to suggest that she does.


I don't.

You think that Christianity did not exist until it was invented by Constantine and his cronies and consequently the persecutions must be pure inventions involving people who did not exist.


I think that the latest possible date [terminus ad quem] for the appearance of the Christian "Good News" was the 4th century, and that the stories of the persecutions were developed later.

She thinks Christianity started in the first century and grew from there and that in the course of that growth there developed historically incorrect stories about persecutions of Christians who did exist. That is a completely different position from yours.


The discussion in OP concerns the nine persecutions not the "earliest possible date" for Christian origins. Nine are listed under nine Roman Emperors. Moss believes that five of these are unhistorical. They probably never happened. In these five instances - with respect to the OP - Moss and I happen to agree. In the case of the four persecutions that Moss does think were historical - marked with an asterisk - Moss and I happen to disagree.


7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEstian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305

and both 7 and 8 do not have very much compelling evidence.


Unsupported assertion.


Somewhere in this discussion above this assertion has been supported.

In the case of Decius his supposed edict of 250 CE is lost; No Christian libelli have ever been found. There is no evidence that Christians were specifically being targeted.

In the case of Valerian, The edict of 257 CE is lost; P.Oxy 3035 is an "Order to arrest a Chresian".

If you have any other compelling evidence now is the time to bring it forth.

The step involves looking at the purported persecution under Diocletian, which appears to be the most well supported persecution of the possible nine. Diocletian grew cabbages. But did he persecute the Christians? What are the historical sources? What do they say?


I told you in the earlier post what some of the archaeology says.


Does this archaeology establish that Christians were persecuted under Diocletian?


According to the archaeologists, yes.


Citation please.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

Emperor Julian (362 CE)
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#255  Postby RealityRules » Aug 27, 2017 10:55 am

MS2 wrote:
I can only think you are misreading my sentence. I said Shaw
    'confirms that the conventional view of historians is that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution'
You appear to be misreading it as
    'confirms the conventional view of historians that the Tacitus passage provides reliable information as to the Neronian persecution'

You're playing games. Smoke n mirrors. You're gaslighting.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#256  Postby Tracer Tong » Aug 27, 2017 11:02 am

Or he's drawing a simple distinction between reporting and endorsing a consensus.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#257  Postby RealityRules » Aug 27, 2017 11:45 am

Which is beside the point/s.

A substantive point is that Shaw argues the Neronian persecution of Christians did not happen.

Another point is that Shaw deferred to Annals 15.44 being authentic, and acknowledges that makes his case a little harder.

Shaw referred to Annals 15.44 being similar to the 4th c. chronicle of Sulpicius Severus without referring to other discussions of their similarities, such as Drews'. Drews' argument strengthens Shaw's.

Moreover, Shaw proposes that the legend of the Neronian persecution is tied to the legends of Paul's and Peter's deaths in Rome: deaths that are often used to support the legend of the Neronian persecution.

There's a whole lot more I could say about a number of aspects of this, but I think I'd be wasting my time.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#258  Postby Tracer Tong » Aug 27, 2017 12:06 pm

You're summarising the article again, but it's unclear for what purpose. In any case, you can see that, far from doing anything disreputable, MS2 was just highlighting an important distinction.
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#259  Postby MS2 » Aug 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
MS2 wrote:
As I understand it, you think Christians did not exist until after the beginning of the fourth century and the stories of persecutions prior to then are complete fabrications written in a later period. As I understand Moss, on the other hand (assuming this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Persecution is reasonably accurate), thinks the Christians did exist and some of them were martyred but the stories that developed about them, though having early origins, are false etc. Moss is therefore not an authority that in any way supports your views.


Moss basically rejects (5 out of 9) most of the purported persecutions as can be perceived in the following list in which the asterisk * denotes the persecutions that she believes may have been "historical"....

As I said, Moss is not an authority that in any way supports your views. It is disingenuous to suggest that she does.


I don't.

Yes you do. In your OP (http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... l#p2243795) you state without any ambiguity that her thesis leads to your conclusion. You give a summary of her views and then say
    Hence the aptness of the term "false flag" [literary] operation undertaken by the political entity of the church organisation sometime after it emerged victorious in its conflict with the heretics after Nicaea.

You think that Christianity did not exist until it was invented by Constantine and his cronies and consequently the persecutions must be pure inventions involving people who did not exist.


I think that the latest possible date [terminus ad quem] for the appearance of the Christian "Good News" was the 4th century, and that the stories of the persecutions were developed later.

You'd better clarify. Is it now your view that 'the Christian "Good News"' might have appeared before the 4th century and might not have been the invention of Constantine?

She thinks Christianity started in the first century and grew from there and that in the course of that growth there developed historically incorrect stories about persecutions of Christians who did exist. That is a completely different position from yours.


The discussion in OP concerns the nine persecutions not the "earliest possible date" for Christian origins. Nine are listed under nine Roman Emperors. Moss believes that five of these are unhistorical. They probably never happened. In these five instances - with respect to the OP - Moss and I happen to agree. In the case of the four persecutions that Moss does think were historical - marked with an asterisk - Moss and I happen to disagree.

You think the persecution stories are pure invention done on a deliberate basis ('false flags') some time in the fourth century. She thinks they arose in piecemeal fashion for various reasons across the centuries and sometimes with roots in fact, albeit with mythical elements added.

7. * Decius 249 to 251 edict 250 CE re: sacrifice to the emperor with certificate (libellus)
8. * Valerian 253 to 260 edict (257 CE); P. Oxy 3035 (256 CE). "Order to arrest a ChrEstian".
9. * Diocletian and Galerius 284 to 305

and both 7 and 8 do not have very much compelling evidence.


Unsupported assertion.


Somewhere in this discussion above this assertion has been supported.

In the case of Decius his supposed edict of 250 CE is lost; No Christian libelli have ever been found. There is no evidence that Christians were specifically being targeted.

In the case of Valerian, The edict of 257 CE is lost; P.Oxy 3035 is an "Order to arrest a Chresian".

If you have any other compelling evidence now is the time to bring it forth.

No, these aren't matters I have ever looked into. I just posted here because what I saw in Croatia seemed interesting.


I told you in the earlier post what some of the archaeology says.


Does this archaeology establish that Christians were persecuted under Diocletian?


According to the archaeologists, yes.


Citation please.

I'll cover this in my next post
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Re: The Myth of the Pagan Persecution of Christians

#260  Postby MS2 » Aug 27, 2017 3:20 pm

Archaeology in Salona
The archaeology is explained in information boards erected on the site. Here are my photos of them which hopefully are clear enough for the archaeologists' explanations to be readable.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/158375595@N05/shares/5YdJ44

Hope that has worked!
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