Born in the Second Century

10. Pliny's Letter Part 1. Pliny's Letter Late and Spurious.

July 04, 2021
Born in the Second Century
10. Pliny's Letter Part 1. Pliny's Letter Late and Spurious.
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The Roman official Pliny the Younger supposedly wrote a letter that mentioned the Christian religion, all the way back in 112 AD. If this letter is genuine, it represents a major threat to BORN IN THE SECOND CENTURY. Therefore, host Chris Palmero launches a new multi-part series: the most comprehensive effort of the past three hundred years to prove that this letter of Pliny was in fact a forgery; a Christian forgery of the late second century in the spirit of Hadrian’s fake rescript to Fundanus. 

Anyone who listens to this episode can learn about the background of Pliny the Younger and his famous letter; about the many arguments against its authenticity that will be presented in this series; about how Tertullian's apparent early use of the letter doesn't prove its authenticity, about whether Pliny himself was a historical figure, about whether Pliny's writings as a whole are genuine, and about the strange history of Book Ten of Pliny's Epistulae, in which this troublesome text occurs.

Opening reading: Pliny writes to Tacitus, expressing pride in the genius of both men, and hopes that they'll be remembered by posterity. Nineteen centuries later they still stand, thrusting out forbidding hands like the Pillars of the Argonath guarding the secrets of the true origins of Christianity.

But I've seen much more formidable objectives. And I propose to move immediately upon their works.

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Music: Pompeii Gray on Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud

Reading: PLINY THE YOUNGER to Tacitus, Epistulae 9.14.
OPENING Remarks.
INTRODUCTION to the Pliny Letter Series.
On TERTULLIAN'S Supposed Use of the Pliny Letter.
The Quest of the Historical PLINY.
Whether Pliny's Epistulae are GENUINE.
The ARGUMENTS against the Pliny Letter (the Red Cards).
The Strange History of Book Ten of Pliny's Epistulae.
CLOSING Remarks.