Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian by Michael Bland Simmons

Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian

byMichael Bland SimmonsAs told byMichael B. Simmons

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

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Arnobius of Sicca, in North Africa, was a Christian convert writing in the time of the Emperor Diocletian in the 3rd sentury AD. His most famous work, Against the Pagans, was written shortly after his conversion (c. AD 302), and is a brilliant defence of his new religion using arguments takenfrom the cream of pagan learning. It demonstrates exactly the nature and intensity of the conflict between pagans and Christians at this period.This book is the first ever major study of Arnobius. It deals fully with every important aspect of his life and writing - from the complex and controversial question of the date of Against the Pagans, to the biographical data provided by Jerome, to the significance of the conflict between theAfrican supreme deity, Saturn, and the Christian God. Dr Simmons provides clear evidence to show that Arnobius' work is directly related to the anti-Christian writings of the famous Porphyry of Tyre, demonstrating how Arnobius used one work of Porphyry against another to disclose inconsistenciesand contradictions in the great pagan polymath - the very method used by Porphyry in his own treatise, Against the Christians. Dr Simmons discusses the philosophical background of Arnobius, arguing convincingly that he belonged to the Platonic, not Epicurean, school of thought as has oftenbeen alleged. Arnobius has hitherto been one of the most misinterpreted ancient authors. This book will set Arnobius firmly on the map as a writer of condsiderable interest and importance, who made a significant contribution to the final triumph of Christianity over its Graeco-Romancompetitors.

About The Author

Michael Bland Simmons is at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama.

Details & Specs

Title:Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of DiocletianFormat:HardcoverDimensions:406 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.1 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198149131

ISBN - 13:9780198149132

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`This work will repay the reader by illustrating the fascination and complexity of the social. political. religious and intellectual background against which Christianity was developing at this time.'The Glastonbury Review