Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

The Myth of the Neronian Persecution – Cambridge Journals Online

nero

Exceptionally well researched piece!

The Myth of the Neronian Persecution Brent D. Shaw  Department of Classics, Princeton University

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.

Source: The Journal of Roman Studies – The Myth of the Neronian Persecution – Cambridge Journals Online

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12 comments on “The Myth of the Neronian Persecution – Cambridge Journals Online

  1. Hariod Brawn
    December 12, 2015

    Far too highbrow for me – can we talk curtains or something?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clare Flourish
    December 12, 2015

    £20 for a single article. It is worth doing night-school courses at your local uni to get access to online journals- in any specialism. But well, so what? There were later persecutions.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      December 12, 2015

      Here’s an exceptional answer to that by Historian Candida Moss: http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecution-Christians-Martyrdom/dp/0062104551

      Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      December 12, 2015

      P.S. “But even this apparently solid testimony for early Christian persecution has now been forcefully challenged. Our view of Neronian Rome and early Christianity would be dramatically altered if the crucified and flaming Christians in 64 turned out to be mythical, as the Princeton historian Brent Shaw now claims they are. His recent and carefully reasoned article in support of this view rests essentially upon a conviction that it would be anachronistic to refer to Christians in 64, since he questions whether they were then identified as such. Therefore he believes that Tacitus’s version of the fire derives from a fiction, Christian or otherwise, that was devised and disseminated at some point between 64 and the time when he was writing, more than five decades later.2”
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/12/17/rome-inside-emperors-clothes/

      Like

      • Clare Flourish
        December 13, 2015

        Thank you. I am with Desmond Tutu, we are better not imagining ourselves persecuted. Actually, my lot, the Scottish Episcopal Church, was among the last to suffer restriction in the UK, but that was because we backed the losers in the 1745 uprising.

        Like

  3. inspiredbythedivine1
    December 12, 2015

    Gotta admit, I’ll rather bummed if Nero didn’t actually crucify Christians, pour tar on them, and then set them on fire because he blamed them for burning down Rome. That was the best bedtime story my mom ever read me.

    Like

  4. Arkenaten
    December 12, 2015

    Even historian, Edward Gibbon doubted the claims of Neronian persecution,if memory serves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen Devries
      December 13, 2015

      And if my memory serves he thought that conversion to Christianity had rotted the moral fibre of Rome…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Helen Devries
    December 13, 2015

    Thank you for the links….

    Like

  6. makagutu
    December 13, 2015

    I think even Celsius doubted the persecution claims.

    Like

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