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About this product
- DescriptionArbius of Sicca (died c. 330) was an Early Christian apologist, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). According to Jerome's Chronicle, Arbius, before his conversion, was a distinguished Numidian rhetorician at Sicca Veneria (El Kef, Tunisia), a major Christian center in Proconsular Africa, and owed his conversion to a premonitory dream. Arbius writes dismissively of dreams in his surviving book, so perhaps Jerome was projecting his own respect for the content of dreams. According to Jerome, to overcome the doubts of the local bishop as to the earnestness of his Christian belief he wrote (ca 303, from evidence in IV:36) an apologetic work in seven books that St. Jerome calls Adversus Gentes but which is entitled Adversus Nationes in the only (9th-century) manuscript that has survived. Jerome's reference, his remark that Lactantius was a pupil of Arbius and the surviving treatise are all that we kw about Arbius. Against the Pagans was composed in response to Diocletian's persecution of Christians, and was a rebuttal to Pagan arguments why the persecution was justifiable. The book we have shows little sign of having been revised by a Christian bishop and is all the better for giving an unvarnished view of the opinions of an enthusiastic recent convert. Arbius, a practitioner of the coarse and turgid style that is called African, is a vigorous apologist for the Christian faith, more earnest in his defence of Christianity than perfectly orthodox in his tenets. His book has been occasioned by complaints that the Christians had brought the wrath of the gods on Ancient Rome. Thus, he holds the heathen gods to be real beings, but subordinate to the supreme Christian God; in a streak of gsticism, he affirms that the human soul (Book II, 14 - 62) is t the work of God, but of an intermediate being, and is t immortal by nature, but capable of putting on immortality as a grace. Never specifically identifying his pagan adversaries, some of whom may be straw men, set up to be demolished, Arbius defends and expounds the rightness of motheism and Christianity (deus princeps, deus summus) and the divinity of Christ, by adducing its rapid diffusion, its influence in civilizing barbarians and its consonance with the best philosophy. Christianizing Plato, he refutes pagan idolatry as filled with contradictions and openly immoral, and to demonstrate this point, his Books III through V abound with curious information gathered from reliable sources (e.g. Cornelius Labeo) concerning the forms of idolatrous worship, temples, idols, and the Graeco-Roman cult practice of his time, to the historian and mythographer's cautious delight, but all held up by Arbius for Christian ridicule.
- Author(s)Arnobius of Sicca
- Date of Publication18/06/2013
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectChristian Theology
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight390 g
- Width127 mm
- Height203 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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