Born in the Second Century

11. Pliny's Letter Part 2. Nero's Persecution a Myth.

July 22, 2021 Chris Palmero
Born in the Second Century
11. Pliny's Letter Part 2. Nero's Persecution a Myth.
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The sinister voice of host Chris Palmero heralds the second part of the renowned effort to make the case that Pliny's letter about the Christians is a forgery. Both Pliny and Trajan seem to accept that Christianity is illegal even before they put pen to paper. For this to make sense, there would have to have been some precedent for the persecution of Christians, such as from the reign of Nero or Domitian.

Anyone who listens to this episode can learn about a major argument against the authenticity of Pliny's letter: it lacks any basis in contemporary Roman law and custom. BORN IN THE SECOND CENTURY also explores the embellished legend of the early persecution of Christians, and shows that the supposed persecution of Christians by the emperor Nero is nothing more than an airy fiction.

Opening reading: A satire of Pliny's letter to Trajan shows us how complicated it actually is to detect the forgery of an ancient writing.

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Reading: PLINY THE YOUNGER to Trajan, On the Christians. (Parody).
OPENING Remarks.
A Look at Trajan's RESPONSE.
BEGINNING of the Close Reading.
The MYTH of Persecution.
Nero's Persecution: TERTULLIAN and MELITO.
Nero's Persecution: BOOK OF REVELATION.
Nero's Persecution: FIRST CLEMENT.
Nero's Persecution: TACITUS.
Nero's Persecution: SUETONIUS.
CLOSING Remarks.