Christianity won over paganism by epitomizing pagan ideals

This continues my previous post, which was slightly misleadingly titled Why Christianity Spread So Rapidly . . .. It is for most part a distillation of Gregory J. Riley’s chapter, “Mimesis of Classical Ideals in the Second Christian Century”, found in Mimesis and Intertextuality edited by Dennis MacDonald. A related post is my discussion of … Continue reading “Christianity won over paganism by epitomizing pagan ideals”


Why Christianity spread so rapidly to become the main religion of the Roman empire

Why did the number of Christians go from zero in the year zero to become the numerical majority of persons in the Roman world by about the year 350? How does one account for its dramatic success? Many Christians themselves like to answer that question by appealing to the way Christian martyrdoms inspired the admiration … Continue reading “Why Christianity spread so rapidly to become the main religion of the Roman empire”


Bk 1. Fourth Gospel. Foreword

Page III Vorwort Preface III Der reislauf der Hypothesen, die den Ursprung der Evangelien zn deuten suchten — der Hypothesen wenigstens, die der Geschichte angehören und dazu dienten, selbst durch ihren Sturz dazu dienten, die richtige Stellung der Frage herbeizuführen, war vollendet, als ich vor zehn Jahren mit dem auftrat, was ich für den Anfang … Continue reading “Bk 1. Fourth Gospel. Foreword”


The 1776 Report: History as Political Propaganda

Thank Clio that Biden withdrew the report on his first day but I still feel some dismay after having read it right through last night. It is the American counterpart of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, a treatise of holy writ as sacred and unquestionable Pat Robertson’s Holy Bible. My initial curiosity was stirred by … Continue reading “The 1776 Report: History as Political Propaganda”


Jesus, the ideal Greek-Roman hero? (No embarrassment criterion here)

I pulled out again my copy of “Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity” (ed. by Dennis R. MacDonald) thinking to write a layman’s review of its collection of contributions but got sidetracked (again) on re-reading Gregory J. Riley’s chapter, “Mimesis of Classical Ideals in the Second Century”. Some of Riley’s work totally rivets me … Continue reading “Jesus, the ideal Greek-Roman hero? (No embarrassment criterion here)”