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.

Creative Commons License

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

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

download PDF
HTML

Binding spells on the example of four defixionum tabellae from North Africa

Vlada Yurevna Akhmanova Bachalor student, Faculty of Philology, Saint-Petersburg State University (Universitetskaya emb., 7-9-11, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)
st077001@student.spbu.ru

Akhmanova V. Yu. Binding spells on the example of four defixionum tabellae from North Africa, 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, 2022, vol. 11, pp. 304–313.

doi: 10.24412/2308-0698-2022-11-268-285

Language: Russian

The article examines the so-called binding spells (or curses, defixiones, κατάδεσμοι), a common type of magical practice in antiquity. Most often, these spells are written on lead tablets, so they are usually called defixionum tabellae; in total, more than 1,500 copies of them are known at the moment. The purpose of these tablets is to establish control over the enemy, as well as harm him, sometimes even cause death. The focus of our attention will be curses associated with the Roman world of spectacles, primarily with chariot competitions. Rivals became objects of curses, and not only participants and their relatives, but also spectators became customers of these plates. The article discusses four lead tablets with curses found in Carthage and its environs in the 2nd–3rd centuries AD (DT 237, 242, 295, 241). The study of these binding spells shows the evolution of the Greek language and the Mediterranean cultural syncretism.

Creative Commons License

Key words: curse tablets, binding spells, Carthage, Judaism, magic, defixionum tabellae

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/en/en-ahmanova-2022/

download PDF
HTML

Montanism in Roman North Africe: Concerning the problem of martyrdom reflection

Alexey Vital’evich Kargaltsev, senior lecturer, Theological Institute of the Evangelical  Lutheran Church of Ingria (der. Kolbino, 25a, Leningrad region, Vsevolozhsk district, Russia, 188680)
kargaltsev@gmail.com

Kargaltsev A. V. Montanism in Roman North Africe: Concerning the problem of martyrdom reflection, 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, 2012, vol. 1, pp. 116–132.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2012-00011

Language: Russian

The article is devoted to the study of heresy of Montanism on the material of the Roman North Africa. The author comes to the conclusion that it is impossible to talk about the New Prophecy as a single phenomenon. A specific feature of Montanism in Africa was the addition of the veneration of martyrdom, traditional for the Phrygians ascetic. It is in this context that the «Phrygian heresy» can be viewed as the basis of disciplinary heresies and schisms in Africa. The article attempts to clarify to what extent the specific regional features that distinguish it from the «Phrygian heresy» manifested themselves in African Montanism. The question of the connection of the New Prophecy with Christian rigorism, especially with its radical form – voluntary martyrdom, is explained. It is possible to speak about the broadcasting of the Montanist sermon, which is different for Africa from the Phrygian form, it was less ecstatic, and as a result was less condemned. Retaining their main features: the election of “people of the spirit”, strict monogamy, worship of the Spirit Comforter, a surge of eschatological expectations, the Montanists hardly stood out against the background of the orthodox Christians. The reason for this was the fact that the church in Carthage was still being formed. In Africa, the strict asceticism of the Phrygians underwent a kind of transformation, and was supplemented with a special veneration of martyrdom. It is the context in which appropriate to speak of Montanism as the basis of subsequent disciplinary heresies and schisms.

Creative Commons License

Key words: Phrygian heresy, martyrdom, North Africa, early church, schism, Carthage, Montanism

Permanent link: http://rcs-almanac.ru/kargaltsev-a-v-2012-en/

download PDF
HTML

«Сonfitentium dignitas, a desertoribus et profugis recessisse»: Novatian’s schism

Alekaey Vital’evich Kargaltsev, PhD in history, senior lecturer, Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria (der. Kolbino, 25a, Leningrad region, Vsevolozhsk district, Russia, 188680)

kargaltsev@gmail.com

Kargaltsev A. V. «Сonfitentium dignitas, a desertoribus et profugis recessisse»: Novatian’s schism, 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, 2017, vol. 6, pp. 150–166.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2017-00008

Language: Russian

The Novatian schism is a unique phenomenon of the early Church, because the followers of the Roman presbyter were not condemned as heretics, and the schism itself lasted for several centuries. The split arose after the persecution of Decius (249-251) as a result of the confrontation between the moderate party led by Pope Cornelius and the devotional party of the Roman community led by Novatian on the question of repentance for the apostates. The schism quickly moved beyond Italy, and Cyprian of Carthage, Dionysius of Alexandria and the bishops of other centers of the Mediterranean joined the controversy. The author it was the struggle for a martyr and a confessor, because both the rigorists and their opponents, whose authority was undermined during the persecution, sought support from the most impeccable part of the clergy and laity in the eyes of believers. Novatian’s schism comparing the nature of its origin and its driving forces could be compared to the split of the Donatists. However, the fate of these movements was different: Notatian’s follows retained the status of moderate fighters for the purity of church discipline, while donatists entered into an open confrontation with the official church. This seems to have been caused by different status of martyrs and confessors in Africa and Italy. His administrative talent of Cyprian of Carthage and his appeal to the highest authority of the local council made it possible to discredit the local rigorists and attract the confessors to his side, while Pope Cornelius’s attempts to act from the position of the authority of the Department of St. Petra failed with the Novatians split having never been overcome in Italy.
Creative Commons License

Key words: early Christianity, Roman Empire, Cyprian of Carthage, Novatian, Pope Cornelius, Rome, Carthage, Italy, Africa

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/kargaltsev-2017-en/

download PDF
HTML