The religious policy of Septimius Sever in the light of anti-Christian persecution

Alekaey Vital’evich Kargaltsev PhD in History, senior lecturer, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (naberezhnaya reki Moiki, 48/20a, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
akargaltsev@herzen.spb.ru

Kargaltsev A. V. The religious policy of Septimius Sever in the light of anti-Christian persecution, 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, 2018, vol. 7, pp. 168–181.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2018-00009

Language: Russian

The name of Emperor Septimius Severus is associated with the tradition of local anti-Christian persecution (202–203), when an edict prohibiting Christian and Jewish proselytism appeared. After that many believers suffered: Perpetua, Felicitas and their comrades in Carthage, Origen’s father, the rhetoric Leonidas, Potamina and Basilides in Alexandria and others — as evidenced by the authentic hagiographic tradition and the messages of Christian historians. However, a detailed consideration of the circumstances of the death of Christian heroes causes considerable difficulties for researchers. If the martyrdom of the Carthaginian Christians is respectively well dated, the time of the death of Alexandrian comrades has been longly discussed in the scientific literature. Although formally Christianity at the beginning of the 3rd century continued to be a «forbidden religion», notable outbreaks of persecution rarely occurred, and the dramatic, according to Christian historians, change in the policy of Septimius Severus regarding the Church deserves special attention. The influence of Eastern cults on the emperor (Dio. LXXVI, 13, 2) or of his fears of possible unrest in the east of the Empire are usually mentioned. The article analyzes the extant evidence of Septimius Severus in the Roman and Christian traditions and answers the questions about the causes and circumstances of the anti-Christian persecution. A detailed analysis of the historiography on the subject is given, with diametrical divergence in the positions of individual researchers being noted. The main attention is paid to the testimony of Tertullian, who, according to the author, in his treatise «On Baptism» gave instructions to catechumens who were in real danger.

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Key words: Christianity, persecution, martyrs, Roman Empire, Septimius Severus

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/kargaltsev-2018-en/

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New inscriptions, amulets and history of the early Christianity: the Antonine age

Aleksey Dmitrievich Panteleev PhD in History, assosiate professor, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 7, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)
a.panteleev@spbu.ru; alpant@hotmail.com

Panteleev A. D. New inscriptions, amulets and history of the early Christianity: the Antonine age, 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, 2018, vol. 7, pp. 150–166.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2018-00008

Language: Russian

The article discusses two finds related to the history of Early Christianity, which were published in recent years. The first is an inscription found in 2013 in Ephesus. This is the epistle of Antoninus Pius to magistrates, council and inhabitants of Ephesus, sent in 157/8 or 160/1, which refered to stop the unrest caused by a series of earthquakes. Cristiopher Jones compared this inscription with the so-called rescript of Antoninus Pius, saved as an appendix to «First Apology» of Justin Martyr (cod. Paris. gr. 450) and in Eusebius of Caesarea’s «Church History» (HE, IV, 13). Jones believes that the recently discovered inscription is the original version of the Antoninus’ rescript, which forbade persecuting Christians without all legal procedures. The second find is an amulet, discovered in 1989 in London. It’s a long narrow strip of tin with 30 lines of Greek text containing a spell against the plague. This amulet was made in the time of the Antonine plague, which began in 165. Jones noted that this spell contained an oracle that was given in the sanctuary of Glykon — New Asclepius (Luc. Alex., 36). Apollo played an important role against the plague. Perhaps the god ordered people to refrain from kissing during an epidemic. These natural disasters — earthquakes and the plague epidemic — could have caused Christian persecution. At the time when all Romans had to pray to the gods for salvation, the demonstrative unwillingness of a group of renegades to follow a common path could cause particular resentment and hatred and lead with spontaneous anti-Christian actions.

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Key words: Roman Empire, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Eusebius of Caesarea, Lucian, Glykon — New Asclepius

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/panteleev-2018-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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