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Porphyry in Fragments: Reception of an Anti-Christian Text in Late Antiquity
Magny, Ariane

Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014 pp. 202. $94.46

Series Information
Ashgate Studies in Philosophy and Theology in Late Antiquity


Description: The Greek philosopher Porphyry of Tyre had a reputation as the fiercest critic of Christianity. It was well-deserved: he composed (at the end the 3rd century A.D.) fifteen discourses against the Christians, so offensive that Christian emperors ordered them to be burnt. We thus rely on the testimonies of three prominent Christian writers to know what Porphyry wrote. Scholars have long thought that we could rely on those testimonies to know Porphyry's ideas. Exploring early religious debates which still resonate today, Porphyry in Fragments argues instead that Porphyry's actual thoughts became mixed with the thoughts of the Christians who preserved his ideas, as well as those of other Christian opponents.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Early Church Origins

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Review by Pieter W. van der Horst
Published 2/21/2019
Citation: Pieter W. van der Horst, review of Ariane Magny, Porphyry in Fragments: Reception of an Anti-Christian Text in Late Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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