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Roman View of Ancient Christians Pliny Julian the Apostate Paul Clement Ignatius

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122156946932 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see almost 800 archaeology/ancient history books and 500 authentic ancient artifacts on our eBay store! The Christians as The Romans Saw Them by Robert L. Wilken. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 214 pages. Publisher: Yale University Press; (1984).Wilken draws on a variety of sources to present "pagan criticism" of Christianity from the beginning of the early second century to the late fourth century. He relies on some Christian sources: the gospels, the letters of Paul, the works of Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome and devotes a chapter each to the views of various Roman and Greek philosophers and statesmen. Contents include: I) Pliny: A Roman Gentleman; The Making of a Roman Official; Travels of a Provincial Governor; A Christian Association; Offerings of Wine and Incense. II) Christianity as a Burial Society; Church or Political Club; A Sense of Belonging; Bacchic Society; An Obscure and Secret Association; III) The Piety of the Persecutors; Roman Religion and Christian Prejudice; The Practice of Religion; "We Too Are a Religious People". IV) Galen: The Curiosity of a Philosopher; Philosophy and Medicine; Christianity as a Philosophical School; The Practice of Philosophy; The Arbitrary God of Christians. V) Celsus: A Conservative Intellectual; Begging Priests of Cybele and Soothsayers; The Deficiencies of Christian Doctrine; Demythologizing the Story of Jesus; An Apostasy from Judaism; Religion and the Social Order. VI) Porphyry: The Most Learned Critic of All; In Defense of Plato; The Jewish Scriptures; The Christian New Testament; Philosophy from Oracles; The Religion of the Emperor; Jesus Not a Magician; An Unreasoning Faith. VII) Julian the Apostate: Jewish Law and Christian Truth; The Emperor's Piety; Greek Education and Christian Values; Against the Galilaeans; The Tribal God of Jews and Christians; An Apostasy from Judaism. Epilogue. Suggestions for Further Reading. Index. CONDITION: Book is as new, dustjacket is NOT. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unread, though it seems likely that it may have been flipped through a few times by "lookie-loo" bookstore browsers while on the book store shelf. Cloth covers are perfect and without blemish. Dustjacket shows considerable smudging, rubbing, and marking (dustjacket is high-gloss white, and so shows rubbing and marking from adjacent books on the bookshelf very easily, even merely from being shelved between other books). Dustjacket has no tears or chips, but as stated, does look a bit grubby as a result of being shelved between other books. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, for instance) wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock, and so otherwise "new" books often show a little handling/shelf/browsing wear. Satisfaction guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: This book offers an engrossing portrayal of the early years of the Christian movement from the perspective of the Romans. Robert Louis Wilken is William R. Kenan Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous books, including "The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God" published by Yale University Press. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Examines the attitudes of Romans during the second, third, and fourth centuries toward the religion of the early Christians. Indispensable for anyone who wants a richer sense of the world in which the Church first made its way. This is a fascinating book. REVIEW: A fascinating account of early Christian thought, readable and exciting. Should fascinate any reader with an interest in the history of human thought. REVIEW: A fascinating new account of early Christian thought. No matter what one may already know about the early church from Christian sources, the picture will be enriched by working through the cast of polemical characters the author has assembled. Wilken has opened an intriguing field for further inquiry in may areas. His book, the product of immense research in ancient languages, is readable and exciting, and he emerges as an example of a rare breed in academia, the expert who is willing to write for non-experts. REVIEW: This is the pioneering study in English of Roman impressions of Christians during the first four centuries A.D. It is an excellent and informative study which adds a new dimension to the history of early Christianity, valuable for the Roman as well as the ecclesiastical historian. This stimulating book will deservedly attract a wide readership, not only in academia, but amongst ancient history enthusiasts as well. REVIEW: An engrossing portrayal of the early years of the Christian movement from the pagan point of view. Not since Labriolle's classic, and never in English, has the pagan reaction to the rise of Christianity been so carefully and clearly explained. The general reader and armchair historian will be well served by the clear and engaging exposition. REVIEW: The pioneering study in English of Roman impressions of Christians during the first four centuries A.D. A unique contribution to the subject in English. It is written with understanding, humanity, and wit, and should be useful to students (at both graduate and undergraduate levels) as well as enthusiasts of history and religion. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Robert Wilken takes a somewhat slightly different tack with this book of Roman history. He examines Christianity in the Roman Empire by looking at it through the eyes of pagan critics. Wilken states in his introduction that his goal in this book is to bring Roman history into closer conjunction with early Christianity. He argues that by studying the context of pagan critics, one can understand how the early Church shaped its theology and doctrines. Wilken examines five pagan critics, starting with Pliny the Younger's letters to the emperor Trajan circa 112 C.E. Galen, Celsus, Porphyry and the Roman emperor Julian ("The Apostate") round out the cast of characters. As the accounts unfold, the development of Christianity can be seen clearly. From a small, almost unknown sect in Pliny's day to the powerful apparatus it became by the time Julian launched his reactionary attacks in the late 4th century. The attacks on Christians become more theological as time progresses, showing an increasing sophistication as knowledge about Christianity became better known. Pliny mentioned the Christians in passing, one event among many in his role as a provincial governor. By the time of Celsus, Porphyry and Julian, whole books are being written to refute Christian ideas. Wilken points out that Pliny's concerns with the Christians mirror his function as a politician. With Galen, a concern for philosophical schools is reflected in his attack on Christianity, namely the creation doctrine and how it compares with the Greek conception of creation as Plato defined it in his work, Timaeus. Celsus attacks Christianity on several fronts, most importantly that Christianity is an apostasy from Judaism and that Jesus was a magician. Porphyry, a philosopher and literary scholar, demolishes the Christian view of the Book of Daniel and criticizes the Christian worship of Jesus on an equal footing with God. The Roman Emperor Julian takes criticism of Christianity much further, first by banning Christians from traditional Greek and Latin schools and an attempt to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The idea of rebuilding the temple was an attempt to isolate Christians who believed that they were the legitimate successors to the Jewish traditions. By reconstructing the Temple, the Jews would be restored to their traditional role as defined in the Old Testament, relegating Christians to their rightful place: apostates of Judaism. The Temple project failed when Julian died on campaign in Persia and Christian emperors once again assumed power. This is an excellent book that inspires the reader to pursue further reading on this fascinating topic. What is most relevant is that the same questions we ask about Christianity today have been around for almost two thousand years. This is recommended reading for Roman buffs and Christian scholars alike. REVIEW: From Outlawed Political Club to State Religion. Imperial Rome didn't like clubs. They almost invariably got themselves involved in politics and stirred up trouble. You had to have the Emperor's permission to form a club. When the Roman governor Pliny the Younger got complaints about an outlaw political club calling themselves Christians, he wrote to the Emperor Trajan seeking guidance as to how to deal with them. When Pliny found that they were engaged in nothing more sinister than worship and instruction in right living, he wanted to be as kind as possible. He told Trajan he had decided not to condemn anyone on the basis of rumor and not to put anyone to death who renounced Christianity. Trajan approved. Pliny's perspective is the first of five "outside looking in" perspectives of ancient Christianity presented in this book. The physician Galen, the philosophers Celsus and Porphyry, and the Emperor "Julian the Apostate" also wrote about this upstart religion, and it is instructive to see how Roman attitudes changed over the years. Galen thought of Christianity as a second-rate philosophy which had many admirable characteristics, but was ultimately based on fallacious reasoning. Celsus, the first pagan thinker to study Christianity in depth, took Christians to task for what he saw as all sorts of lunatic ideas. Porphyry penned what is probably the most incisive critique of Christianity ever written. Julian attacked Christianity with the fervor characteristic of many former Christians. He not only sought to discredit it with literature, he sought to destroy it with legislation. Interestingly, one of the laws with which Julian sought to undermine Christianity dealt with public education. Apparently Julian didn't like prayer in schools any more than the modern Supreme Court. Wilken gives an engaging study of the hostile world into which Christianity was born, and in which it matured. This book does little to explain the miracle of how Christianity survived and thrived in the face of such opposition, but that is not its purpose. It admirably achieves its purpose of describing that hostile world. REVIEW: "The Christians as the Romans Saw Them" is a superb analysis of how Roman elites perceived Christians in the centuries before Christianity became Rome's state religion. The narrative is organized around five Romans; Pliny the Younger, Galen, Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian the Apostate, who either wrote defenses of pagan religion or served in offices that brought them into conflict with Christians. Their anti-Christian attitudes are set in the context of their lives and careers, resulting in a readable combination of biography and social history. The reader learns about Roman religion, the status of Jews, imperial administration, and the role of philosophical schools in Roman life. Overall it is a model of compact historical scholarship. Scholars and laymen alike will enjoy it. In fact, "The Christians as the Romans Saw Them" is so good it might even open minds. Like paganism in ancient Rome, Christianity has enormous prestige in modern America because of its status as the majority religion. Christianity is associated with patriotism and morality; politicians deploy Christian symbols and vocabulary to mobilize voters and justify wars; and the media lavish uncritical attention on religious leaders like the Pope. Jesus would be appalled. Fortunately, we have books like "The Christians as the Romans Saw Them" to remind us of a time when Christians didn't control the culture. Educated Roman conservatives regarded Christianity as a pernicious superstition that distorted the teachings of the Old Testament, claimed a special status in the cosmos, and distracted attention from God by building a cult of personality around Jesus. When you consider the "Left Behind" novels on sale in our supermarkets, maybe the Romans were on to something. REVIEW: I could not put it down! I see I'm hardly in the minority rating this book five stars; as much as I like to be different, there is no other rating this one can deserve. Wilken makes his subject, which is rather esoteric, accessible and interesting, I would call it absolutely fascinating, to the lay reader. I read this book with virtually no prior knowledge of the very early history of the Christian Church, and it quickly became the catalyst for a million new paths of thought and things to research. Wilken divides the book into sections, each headed with the name of a well-known and influential pagan critic of Christianity. There are four sections: Pliny, Celsus, Porphyry, Julian (the Apostate), plus two additional chapters not focused on any particular critic. They are chronological, and each builds upon the revelations of those before it. This format makes the book wonderfully easy to follow. "The Christians as the Romans Saw Them" presents a fresh view of Christianity (one that began as very different from the Church of today) in a relatively short, clearly and even humorously written, well-researched volume that is surprisingly difficult to put down. Based solely on this book, I intend to read Wilken's other work soon. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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