Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:58 am

I am not arguing against your suggestion as part of a personal defense of the later date. 157 CE for the date of Peregrinus's can't be correct for obvious reasons. You're trying to hard to harmonize Polycarp and Peregrinus. Let's deal with the facts.

Let's consider the exedra - in order to argue that the aqueduct was already functioning 13 - 16 years before the death of Regilla you'd have to assume that it took that long for Herodes to decide to dedicate this:

Image

All the while, according to this assumption - i.e. for 4 Olympic games - the aqueduct was functioning, Peregrinus was railing against the water, then not railing against the water etc. This doesn't make sense. Surely aesthetic considerations make it impossible to believe that Herodes brought water to the people - i.e. built a fuctioning aqueduct - but no exedra. There had to be a finished product in mind and completing the aqueduct in the 40s but the exedra in the 60s is simply untenable.
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:07 am

I am reading a paper from 1975 by Avotins On the Dating of the Exedra of Herodes Atticus at Olympia. He provides arguments that the only dates that can be accepted as possibilities are the Olympiads of 149, 153 and 157. This would make Peregrinus's death 161, 165 or 169 - if the four Olympiad reading of Lucian's text is not overturned.
In determining the date of the exedra it is certain that only the Olympic Games of 149, 153, and 157 can be considered. One of the inscriptions from the exedra states that statues of two childen of Marcus Aurelius were present, those of Faustina and Ti. Aelius Antoninus. Faustina was born on November 30th, 147. 7 Hence the Games of 145 are exluded. At the other end, the Games of 161 are too late because the exedra was in existence at least eight years before the self-immolation of Peregrinus Proteus at the Olympic Games of AD 165.

The year 153, championed by Graindor, held the field for many years.9 His chief argument was based on the apparent age of Athenais, the daughter of Herodes Atticus. This argument is invalid for several reasons. Firstly, all the statues were found toppled from their inscribed bases.10 It cannot be clearly established which statue belongs to which base. Secondly, we know from the inscribed bases that at least six statues of children were displayed at the exedra.11 Only two or three statues of children, all mutilated have been found.12 Consequently, it is not possible to show which child's statue belongs to which base. Worst of all for Graindor, the supposed body of Athenais, measured by him for his calculations, is now stated not to belong to the exedra at all.13 Thus nothing in Graindor and his followers establishes 153 as the necessary date.

The argument of Barnes in favour of 153 or 157 is based on evidence not considered by previous scholars. One of the statues at the exedra was that of the son of Herodes Atticus, Ti. Claudius Bradua Atticus.14 Since it has always been assumed that he is identical with the consul ordinarius of a.d. 185, Barnes, presumably because Bradua was made patrician by Antoninus Pius, thinks that he became consul at the age of 33. He would then have been born 152. If firmly established this date would obviously exclude the Games of 149 and decisively confirm either 153 or 157. However, it is not clear that it was the son of Herodes Atticus who held the consulship of a.d. 185. Pflaum prefers the other Bradua Atticus, the proconsul of Africa.15 In consequence, the possibility that Bradua could have been born in 149 or earlier cannot be excluded.

Although the year 153 has received most support, there have been scholars, both past and recent, who have favoured the year 157. This year was proposed by Adler,16 whose views were adopted by Miinscher.17 Adler supposed that Regilla had held the priesthood of Demeter at the Olympic Games of 153. Out of gratitude for the honour shown his wife Herodes Atticus then supposedly promised to have the exedra ready for the Games of 157. This explanation rests on no evidence and appears to know too much. The dedicatory inscription of the exedra states that the exedra was dedicated by Regilla, the priestess of Demeter.18 There is no reason to assume that the inscription does not say what it appears to say, that Regilla was priestess at the Games marking the completion of the exedra. If so, the year 157 should not be considered, since we know from an inscription that during the 234th Olympiad (which includes the Games of 157) the priestess was not Regilla but rather Antonia Baebia.19

Settis, in his argument in favour of 157, makes use of two main arguments. One of them, drawn from Lucian (De Morte Peregrini 19-21), has been widely used. We read in Lucian that over a series of Olympic Games the Cynic Peregrinus first attacked the exedra for fostering effeminacy among the Greeks, then apologized, then promised to burn himself at the next Olympic games, then did so. We know that his suicide occurred at the Games of a.d. 165. 20 Scholars have attempted, in working back from this date, to determine from these events the construction date of the exedra. Settis insists that the Greek of Lucian mentions only three games.21 Consequently, Peregrinus must have attacked the exedra in 157. Harmon, to strengthen Graindor's argument, just as firmly maintained that Lucian's Greek specified four games.22 A careful reader will have to agree with von Fritz that the Greek simply is not specific enough.23 Furthermore, it should be noted that Lucian merely records an attack on the exedra; he does not say that its completion and the attack coincided. Consequently, the adventures of Peregrinus cannot provide an exact date for the completion of the exedra.
Footnote 20 directs us to Eusebius's Chronicon. Inscription for the dating of Ti. Claudius Bradua Atticus https://epigraphy.packhum.org/text/3296
Last edited by Secret Alias on Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:44 am

His conclusion:
To sum up, no combination of available evidence seems to exclude beyond any doubt any of the available Olympic Games. If degrees of probability are considered I feel that because of the attested priesthood of Antonia Baebia the year 157 is the least likely. The year 153 seems to me the most probable because the narrative of Peregrinus's involvement with the exedra strongly suggests that it was a novelty at the time of his attack on it. If it was a novelty at the time, then the Greek of Lucian can be interpreted to support either 153 or 157 as the date of completion; if, however, Peregrinus's attack did not coincide with the date of completion, then the year 149 is not excluded.
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:54 am

The argument that Bradua Atticus the consul of 185 CE is not the son of Herodes Attius https://www.jstor.org/stable/1087912?se ... b_contents and more recently (in French) https://www.persee.fr/doc/mefr_0223-510 ... _93_1_1274
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:59 am

I've always referred to the fiery death of Polycarp/Peregrinus as the first historical event in "known Christianity" and I stand by that statement. I take it to be the first thing "we know to have historically happened" in the religion. It doesn't mean the nothing happened before Peregrinus. It just means that - in the manner that the history known to Lucian was reshaped into what is later recorded in the Martyrdom of Polycarp by Irenaeus- all that came before it was changed, deflected and reshaped away from the actual history of the religion by Imperial sympathizers in favor of monarchism/monarchianism.
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:31 pm

Polycarp to the Philippians "In like manner also the younger men must be blameless in all things, caring for purity before everything and curbing themselves from every evil. For it is a good thing to refrain from lusts in the world, for every lust warreth against the Spirit, and neither whoremongers nor effeminate persons nor defilers of themselves with men shall inherit the kingdom of God, neither they that do untoward things. Wherefore it is right to abstain from all these things

Lucian Death of Peregrinus [Pergrinus] prevented the visitors to the festival from dying of thirst, maintaining that he was making the Greeks effeminate, for the spectators of the Olympic games ought to endure their thirst—yes, by Heaven, and even to lose their live
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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:24 pm

You keep bringing up the exedra as a point of reference, when it was a later addition to the aqueduct, and one of the authors you sourced favoured an earlier date, 147-151 range, for its construction. Yet you suggested a date that was not even noted by the author as a possibility.

Peregrinus didn't rail against the aqueduct for sixteen (4 Olympias) years. Instead, he railed against it and Herodes at one Olympia, not long after it had opened; but by the following Olympia four years later, he had rescinded his criticisms and announced his intentions to burn himself alive.

Peregrinus cannot be the same Polycarp that Irenaeus referred to in his Letter to Florinus. Observe:

These opinions, Florinus, that I may speak in mild terms, are not of sound doctrine; these opinions are not consonant to the Church, and involve their votaries in the utmost impiety; these opinions, even the heretics beyond the Church's pale have never ventured to broach; these opinions, those presbyters who preceded us, and who were conversant with the apostles, did not hand down to you. For, while I was yet a boy, I saw you in Lower Asia with Polycarp, distinguishing yourself in the royal court, and endeavouring to gain his approbation. For I have a more vivid recollection of what occurred at that time than of recent events (inasmuch as the experiences of childhood, keeping pace with the growth of the soul, become incorporated with it); so that I can even describe the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit and discourse — his going out, too, and his coming in — his general mode of life and personal appearance, together with the discourses which he delivered to the people; also how he would speak of his familiar intercourse with John, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord; and how he would call their words to remembrance. Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracles and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all in harmony with the Scriptures. These things, through, God's mercy which was upon me, I then listened to attentively, and treasured them up not on paper, but in my heart; and I am continually, by God's grace, revolving these things accurately in my mind. And I can bear witness before God, that if that blessed and apostolic presbyter had heard any such thing, he would have cried out, and stopped his ears, exclaiming as he was wont to do: O good God, for what times have You reserved me, that I should endure these things? And he would have fled from the very spot where, sitting or standing, he had heard such words. This fact, too, can be made clear, from his Epistles which he dispatched, whether to the neighbouring Churches to confirm them, or to certain of the brethren, admonishing and exhorting them.

Did you catch that? For, while I was yet a boy, I saw you in Lower Asia with Polycarp. And when was Peregrinus in Lower Asia? Prior to his going to Egypt. Yet Aulus Gellius writes:

When I was at Athens, I met a philosopher named Peregrinus, who was later surnamed Proteus, a man of dignity and fortitude, living in a hut outside the city.

And when was Gellius in Athens? In his youth. And with an estimated life from ca. 125 ad-185 ad, that would place Peregrinus right smack in Greece no later than 145 ad. Meaning that, either Irenaeus lived earlier than what we have presumed--which I don't believe--or, Polycarp is not Peregrinus; only Polycarp's martyrdom is based on Peregrinus's death.

Add everything together:

Agathobulus flourishing in Egypt early in Hadrian's reign
Gellius's account that he met Peregrinus when he studied in Athens in his youth
Lucian's testimony that twelve years elapsed between Peregrinus's initial criticism of the aqueduct and his death

Makes a 165 ad date for his death unlikely. The only way to make it likely is to accept that Lucian was fudging his narrative.

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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:06 pm

But in these situations our 'victories' are limited to probabilities. It is never 'I am one hundred percent right' but 'this is the most likely scenario.' Your date is not the most likely scenario. First of all, it assumes that Eusebius is wrong. The second is that 153 or 157 are more likely than 149 CE. Again I think you fall victim to 'the evidence is reality' mentality. The evidence is our reality but it is not an exact replica of what happened. We have three principal bits of evidence about Peregrinus - the exedra, Lucian's Death of Peregrinus and Eusebius's Chronicon. The best date for the death of Peregrinus comes from the Chronicon. It is hard to see why Eusebius would purposefully misrepresent his death falling on that Olympiad. If his purpose was to distinguish him from Polycarp, this wouldn't be the date. So why is it 165 CE? If Eusebius is wrong it is by accident not on purpose. The fact that 153 is four Olympiads before 165 CE certainly seems to close the circle given that four Olympiads can be taken to be Lucian's meaning. It might be 157 CE. I don't see how you can get Lucian to say there were 5 Olympiads but that is possible in the sense that Lucian is condensing, Lucian is writing a story not history. But again your date would mean Eusebius is wrong which is again possible but ultimately less likely IMHO than the alternative.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:18 pm

neaniskos isn't limited to someone 20 years old and according to Tritos is someone "between 22 and 28." Given the estimated date of 125 CE for Aulus Gellius none of this challenges the traditional date of 153 CE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aulus_Gellius
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Early Christian Terminology in the Death of Peregrinus

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:20 pm

I don't understand the objection?
while I was yet a boy, I saw you in Lower Asia with Polycarp. And when was Peregrinus in Lower Asia
Peregrinus wandered about the earth for most of his life. Lucian says this over and over again and whenever possible.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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