Tag: Greco-Roman Backgrounds

  • The Key Problem(s) in Cicero’s Preamble to The Nature of the Gods

    In his classic on The Nature of the Gods, Cicero identifies the key problem facing him as being “the question whether the gods do nothing, care for nothing, and take their ease detached from all concern with the care and government of the world: or whether on the contrary all things have been created and…

  • Meerson, “One God Supreme”

    Michael Meerson has the latest article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, “One God Supreme: A Case Study of Religious Tolerance and Survival.” In this article, Meerson “attempt[s] to combine the consideration of both [θεὸς ὕψιστος and εἷς θεός]” as these titles are found in a sundial inscription from Mount Gerizim (32). For,…

  • Gems from Justin

    While reading around Justin Martyr’s First Apology this morning, I came across a few interesting points. Historical In discussing the injustice of Christians’ condemnation, Justin says, By the mere application of a name, nothing is decided, either good or evil, apart from the actions implied in the name; and indeed, so far at least as…

  • Alexander’s Effects

    Through his vast conquests, Alexander’s comparatively short life left several important marks on history: Alexander’s conquests effected a substantial influx of Greeks into various areas around the known world, and these Greeks brought their distinctive culture with them (Ferguson 13). To be sure, the Greeks had already established several colonies outside the Balkan Peninsula by…

  • The Rise and Division of Hellenic Empire

    With Phillip II of Macedon’s (359–336 BC) son, Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), the Greeks established an empire vast enough to influence Palestine (see Ferguson 10, 13). When Thebes revolted after his father’s death, Alexander successfully re-unified the Greek city-states, albeit by conquest (Plutarch, Alex. 11.3–6; Ferguson 12), and Alexander was made head of the…

  • All Grown Up

    A third instance of ‘gospel’ language in the wider Greco-Roman context is the Gaius inscription (ca. 5 BC): On the motion of the strategi Metrodorus son of Conon, Clinius, Musaeus, and Dionysius— Whereas Gaius Julius Caesar, the eldest of the sons of Augustus has—as has been fervently prayed for—assumed in all its splendor the pure-white…