Spiritual and Literary Precursors of Christian Writers in Roman North Africa: Urban Specifics

Alekaey Vital’evich Kargaltsev phd in history, senior lecturer, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (R. Moika nab., 48/20a, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
akargaltsev@herzen.spb.ru

Kargaltsev A. V. Spiritual and Literary Precursors of Christian Writers in Roman North Africa: Urban Specifics, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2023, vol. 12, pp. 202–215.

doi: 10.24412/2308-0698-2023-12-202-215

Language: Russian

The article is devoted to the analysis of the Greco-Roman philosophical and literary tradition, which is based on the largest Christian writers of Roman North Africa: Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage and Arnobius as well as the educational system of Carthage in the 3rd century. Based on the material studied, it is concluded that, firstly, it is appropriate to speak not only about the broad regional specifics along the Greek EastLatin West line, but also about the features of the urban environment. It can be noted that in the study of the education system in the Roman Empire, Carthage is traditionally in the shadows, but the city had a strong rhetorical school that trained personnel for the entire region. Secondly, in the works of African Christian writers there is a certain ideological unity, which can be described as a commitment to a materialistic picture of the world, close to the philosophy of stoicism, which was based, it seems, on the unity of the educational space to which Christian authors belonged. At the same time, they themselves differ in origin and social status, their characters and literary temperament are different, their attitude to Greco-Roman philosophy is different as well as their interest in it. At the same time, the author of the article believes that the circle of their spiritual and literary predecessors generally coincides. These are the classics of Roman rhetoric — Varro, Cicero, Quintilian, and others, which to a certain extent leveled these differences. The influence of classical rhetoric can also be found in Christian criticism of traditional Roman paganism, which was a distinctive feature not only of church preaching, but also of individual philosophical schools.

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Key words: early Christianity, Roman Empire, Carthage, education

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/en/en-kargaltsev-2023/

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