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A Threat to Public PietyChristians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution$
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Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801441813

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801441813.001.0001

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The Ammonian Community and the Great Persecution

(p.164) Conclusion
A Threat to Public Piety

Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

Cornell University Press

This book has argued that the ideas and networks of a small group of philosophers such as Porphyry of Tyre, Origen, Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, and Iamblichus of Chalcis strongly influenced the religious and political culture of the Roman Empire in the third and early fourth centuries and led indirectly to the Great Persecution. In this concluding chapter, Porphyry's fragmentary anti-Christian works and his purpose in writing them are examined. After discussing some of the problems complicating the analysis of Porphyry's writings against Christians, the chapter turns to some of his views, including those concerning divination and rituals. It argues that Porphyry's texts led Hellene readers, especially priests and officials close to Ammonian circles, to believe that Christians were a danger to the Roman community.

Keywords:   philosophers, Porphyry of Tyre, Origen, Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, Iamblichus of Chalcis, Persecution, Christians, divination, rituals

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