The third part of the investigation into Pliny's letter as BORN IN THE SECOND CENTURY continues the march through Roman history to find some precedent for the persecution of Christians, a persecution that is somehow accepted by Pliny and Trajan before they even put pen to paper.
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. Host Chris Palmero reveals that the supposed persecution of Christians by the emperor Domitian, who ruled shortly before the time of this letter, is nothing more than an airy fiction.
Opening reading: A Talmudic text reveals that Christianity's own obsession with persecution and martyrdom may be a simple borrowing from its mother religion.
Music: Pompeii Gray on Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud