The martydom of Potamiaena and Basilides (Eus. HE, VI, 5)

Aleksey Dmitrievich Panteleev, PhD in history, assistant professor, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Mendeleevskaya linia, dom 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)
a.panteleev@spbu.ru
alpant@hotmail.com

Panteleev A. D. The martydom of Potamiaena and Basilides (Eus. HE, VI, 5) , 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. 100–115.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2012-00002

Language: Russian

The story about young woman Potamiaena, who lived in Alexandria, and the warrior Basilides was told by Eusebius of Caesarea in Church History (6, 5) and Palladius in Lausiac History (3). There’re some differences between these versions in the dating and circumstances, and Palladius said nothing about Basilides. Despite Palladius’ indication of the IV century, we think that both authors reported on the same Alexandrian martyr of the beginning of the 3rd century. These events could occur between 206 and 210; this is indicated by the name of the prefect of Egypt. The cruel execution of Potamiaena — her body was burned with boiling tar — although not characteristic for early martyrdoms, but it is not impossible. Neither Potamiaena nor Basilides were directly connected with Origen, but Eusebius included this story in his narrative about the youth of Alexandrian theologian. Particular attention was paid to the history of Basilides’ conversion and its comparison with a similar story in the Martyrdom of Perpetua. The history of Basilides’ conversion under the influence of a dream, when Potamiaena appeared to him, looks quite organic not only for the Christian, but also for the pagan tradition of that time. The voluntary confession of Christianity by Basilides wasn’t indicate of Montanism. This story is the first significant testimony of the martyrs of Alexandria and one of the few authentic narratives of the persecution of Christians before the start of the persecution of Decius.

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Key words: early Christianity, hagiography, persecutions, Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea

Permanent link: http://rcs-almanac.ru/panteleev-a-d-2012-en/

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«Some of the heresies have a great many martyrs»: Martyrdom in the non-orthodox Christianity (II–III cent.)

Panteleev Alexey Dmitrievich, PhD, assistant professor, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)

a.panteleev@spbu.ru

alpant@hotmail.com

Panteleev A. D. «Some of the heresies have a great many martyrs»: Martyrdom in the non-orthodox Christianity (II–III cent.), 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, 2014, vol. 3, pp. 234–249.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2014-00011

Language: Russian

This article is a collection of evidences of Christian authors on martyrdom among the 2–3rd century heretics. The main examined groups are Montanists (Quintus (Mart. Pol. 3), Themiso (Eus. HE V, 18, 5), Alexander (Eus. HE V, 18, 6), Eutychian (Mart. Pionii, 11, 2)), Marcionites (Metrodorus (Mart. Pionii, 21, 5–6; Eus. IV, 15, 46), Asclepius (Eus. Mart. Pal. 10, 3)), Monarchians (Praxeas (Tert. Adv. Prax. 1)) and the Gnostics. The first three groups recognized the importance of martyrdom; Gnostics, on the contrary, believed that it wasn’t necessary. Martyrdom played a important role in intra-Church controversy: the presence of the martyrs was to reliably evidence of a true doctrine. Orthodox historical and polemical tradition (Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius and others) preserved only a few names of martyrs among heretics and almost all references to them are provided with notes and comments aimed to humble their claim to title of martyr or confessor. It can be assumed that in reality their number was greater, and in the polemical literature belonging to heretical groups Church martyrs were similarly criticized. However, according to the author, appearance of Marcionites’ presbyter Metrodorus in “Martyrdom of Pionius” wasn’t due to internal church controversy, but disputes with the Jews. Jews tried to entice away fallen Christians, and this fact became reason for big and angry Pionius’ speech. Marcionites were in the same position, in addition, their doctrine originally was of anti-Jewish character. The presence of a common enemy can explain reference to Metrodorus and hint at his possible salvation (Mart. Pionii 21, 6).
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Key words: early Christianity, persecutions, martyrdom, montanism, Marcion, gnosticism, polemic

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/panteleev-2014-en/

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Christian-Jewish Polemics in the 2nd–3rd centuries and Necromancy (Mart. Pionii 13–14)

Aleksey Dmitrievich Panteleev, PhD in history, assistant professor, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Mendeleevskaya linia, dom 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)

a.panteleev@spbu.ru

alpant@hotmail.com

Panteleev  A. D. Christian-Jewish Polemics in the II–III centuries and Necromancy (Mart. Pionii 13–14), 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, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 158–197.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2015-00009

Language: Russian

The article deals with the passage of the “Martyrdom of Pionios the Presbyter and his com-panions” (BHG 1546), where the martyr called Christians who came to him in prison to remain faithful to Christ and not to succumb to the Jews seeking to convert them to their religion. He paid special attention to claim of the Jews that they were able to raise Christ by means of necromancy, and He appeared before them like a common criminal or self-murderer (biothanes). This is compared with a story about raising of Samuel by the witch of Endor for king Saul (1 Sam. 28). The belief in necromancy in the Ancient East and in the Ancient World provided the basis for the credibility of the story both for the Jews and the Christians, but it could be interpreted in different ways. This story attracted attention of Justin, Tertullian, Origenes, Zeno of Verona, st. Ambrose, Augustin, Eustathius of Antioch, Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius Ponticus and others. Some authors thought, that it was true and it was Samuel himself, the second group decided that it was Samuel, but he raised by the will of the God, and the third group claimed that it was daemon of hell. Pionios linked these two stories for controversy with the Jewish propaganda and preventing apostasy from Christianity. It was necessary both for those who resisted in the time of persecution and for apostates. Pionios said that forced apostasy was the venial sin, but voluntary avoidance of true faith is deadly sin.
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Key words: Early Christianity, persecutions, martyrdom, necromancy, Martyrdom of Pionios

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/panteleev-2015-en/

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Roman rite of devotio and Early Christian martyrdom: a comparative study

Andrey Vladimirovich Vasil’ev PhD in history, The Classical Gymnasium of St. Petersburg, School N 610 (Maluy prospect Petrogradskoy storonu, dom 9, corpus 6, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 197198), Ander-Vaas@yandex.ru

Vasil’ev A. V. Roman rite of devotio and Early Christian martyrdom: a comparative study, 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, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 116–135.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2015-00007

Language: Russian

The rite of the self-devotion of a Roman together with the enemy’s army to the infernal gods for the sake of victory occurred twice in the Roman history and both times was connected with the Decii family. The religious meaning of this rite is still discussed. Some historians consider it as one of the typical vows (votum), a sort of a promise to bring the gods one’s life instead of the victory over the enemy. Others think it was a self-consecration (consecratio) of a Roman general. The author represents some contemporary interpretations of the rite. He also marks out some details that might help to comprehend this ritual as a particular and individual one and make it impossible to attribute it to one of the known types of Roman religious rites. Besides, the paper deals with some features in the ancient authors’ descriptions of this rite that draw it together with the phenomenon of the Early Christian martyrdom, well-known from the hagiographic literature and other Christian writings of the 1st–3rd  centuries. The ideas of sacrifice and glory which is attained through the sacrifice are present in the descriptions of the both forms of the death with dignity. Both phenomena can be characterized by accompanying afflatus and the transformation of the person influenced by the forthcoming voluntary death. Aristocratic character of the devotio ritual wasn’t an obstacle for the use of its image by the Christian writers. This may prove that the Early Christian community was quite familiar with the  ancient culture. Comparing two forms of self-sacrifice the author concludes that they were characterized by the common motive of the individual choice which was usual for different forms of “noble death” in antiquity.
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Key words: Rome, religion, devotio, Early Christianity, martyrdom

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/vasilev-2015-en/

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

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

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