Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Subject: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity

General Editors: David G. HUNTER, University of Kentucky, United States, Paul J.J. van GEEST, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the history of early Christian texts, authors, ideas. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. The BEEC aims to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and to update the historiography.

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(4 words)

Author(s): Utro, Umberto
Umberto UtroBibliography
Date: 2018-10-15

Aba (Mar)

(1,255 words)

Author(s): van Rompay, Lucas
That Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373 CE) had a disciple by the name of Aba (c. 400 CE) is attested in the Syriac text known as the “Testament of Ephrem” (Beck, 1973). “Aba, man of wonder ( gabrā d-tedmurtā)” is listed as the first among seven disciples (Beck, 1973, 56, l. 441), and one manuscript of the Testament (British Library Add. 14.582), dated 816 CE, calls him “the head ( rēshā) of all my disciples.” The author of the Testament (only part of which may go back to Ephrem himself) must have in mind the same Aba to whom Syriac literary works of theological and exeget…
Date: 2018-10-15

Abbreviations in Journals and Series

(3,677 words)

AAA                                                                         Archaiologika Analecta ex AthenonAAAHP                                                                  Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentiaAaAT                                                                      Astronomical and Astrophysical TransactionsAAM                                                                        Advances in Applied MathematicsAANL                                                           …
Date: 2018-10-15

Abbreviations in Lexicons.

(5,512 words)

AAA                                                              Annals of Archaeology and AnthropologyAAAbo                                                        Acta Academiae Aboensis, ÅboAAAbo.H                                                   – Series A: Humaniora 1,1920fAARAS                                                        American Academy of Religion Academy SeriesAARTTS                                                      American Academy of Religion Texts and Translations SeriesAASF                       …
Date: 2018-10-15

Abbreviations in Primary Sources

(10,259 words)

1 Apoc. Jas.:            (First) Apocalypse of James1 Clem.:  1 Clement1 En.:        1 Enoch (Ethiopic Apocalypse)1 Macc:  1 Maccabees1–2 Esd: 1–2 Esdras1-2 Kgdms:             1-2 Kingdoms (LXX)2 Apoc. Jas.:           (Second) Apocalypse of James2 Bar.:     2 Baruch (Syriac Apocalypse)2 Clem.: 2 Clement2 En.:       2 Enoch (Slavonic Apocalypse)2 Macc: 2 Maccabees3 Bar.:     3 Baruch (Greek Apocalypse)3 Cor.:     3 Corinthians3 En.:       3 Enoch (Hebrew Apocalypse)3 John:   3 John3 Macc: 3 Maccabees3–4 Kgdms:           3–4 Kingdoms (LXX)4 Ezra:   4 Ezra (also Apo…
Date: 2018-10-15

‘Abdisho‘ bar Brikha

(6 words)

Author(s): Perczel, Istvan
Istvan Perczel
Date: 2018-10-15

Abdon and Sennen

(1,439 words)

Author(s): di Berardino, Angelo
Abdon and Sennen are among the first martyrs who came to be venerated by the Roman church. The most ancient information we have regarding the devotion to them comes from the Depositio martyrum of around 336 CE, included in the Chronography of 354 CE by Philocalus. On Jul 29 it contains the following notices: III kal. Aug. Abdos et Semnes in Pontiani, quod est ad ursum piliatum ( MGH Chronica Minora, vol. I, 1892, 71). The notice of the Depositio was taken up by the Martyrologium Hieronymianum for Jul 30. They were known and venerated, since their names are also found in the Marble Calendar of Na…
Date: 2018-10-15


(1,018 words)

Author(s): Georges, Tobias
The group depicted as a “heresy” is only known from two short accounts, that is, from Aug. Haer. 87 (in epilogue 2 of De haeresibus, Augustine of Hippo also mentioned them briefly), and the so-called Praedestinatus (1.87) whose authorship is not entirely certain. The latter extensively reproduced the former, often even following its wording exactly, which means that our information about this sect is reduced almost completely to a single short source.According to Augustine’s account (and its different versions in the manuscripts), the adherents of that group were c…
Date: 2018-10-15


(1,507 words)

Author(s): Ramelli, Ilaria L.E.
The Abercius Inscription ( SEG, vol. XXX, no. 1479; Lüdtke & Nissen, 1910; Wischmeyer, 1980) is a 22-line funerary epigram of Abercius of Hieropolis, Phrygia, from about 170–180 CE. It can be reconstructed partially epigraphically (through two marble fragments found by W.M. Ramsay, now at the Museo Pio Cristiano, Vatican, and a stele from 216 CE that was inspired by the Abercius epigram and provides a terminus ante quem), and partially on a literary basis (from the later Vita Abercii, which reproduces the epitaph at the end).A Christian reading of this inscription is prevalent, a…
Date: 2018-10-15


(3,037 words)

Author(s): Ramelli, Ilaria L.E.
The Abgarids were a Nabatean dynasty who reigned between 134 and 242 CE over the city of Edessa and the northern Mesopotamian region of Osrhoene, first a buffer state between Rome and the Parthians and later a vassal state of Rome (Ramelli, 1999). Recent research (see Ramelli, 2004) has demonstrated that the Abgarid monarchy endured in Edessa still for some decades after Caracalla, contrary to what was assumed earlier on the basis of the Chronicle of Pseudo-Dionysius of Tell-Maḥre or Chronicle of Zuqnîn. This fixed the end of the Abgarids’ reign to 220/221 CE, because Pseudo-…
Date: 2018-10-15


(4 words)

Author(s): Salminen, Joona
Joona Salminen
Date: 2018-10-15


(5,998 words)

Author(s): Arner, Robert
In the midst of a broadly permissive Roman Empire (Rome), the early Christians consistently condemned abortion in no uncertain terms. Rooted in the theological values of Judaism, which saw the fetus as an object of God’s care, ancient church writers viewed abortion as homicide and proscribed it along with infanticide. Abortion was chiefly seen as an issue of violence and was condemned as part of an overall ethic that opposed Christian participation in human bloodshed of any form.Greek and Roman AttitudesEarly Christian attitudes toward abortion must be understood against th…
Date: 2018-10-15


(4 words)

Author(s): Charles-Murray, Mary
Mary Charles-Murray
Date: 2018-10-15

Abraham of Pbou

(1,523 words)

Author(s): Goehring, James
Abraham of Pbou (or Pbow) served as the last Coptic Orthodox abbot of the Pachomian monastic federation. His tenure during the 6th-century CE reign of Justinian I (527–565 CE) was marked by sharp divisions within the federation over the Council of Chalcedon, political intrigue undertaken by the pro-Chalcedonian elements within it to remove him, and the resulting loss of the Pachomian movement to Coptic Orthodoxy. Forced out of the federation, Abraham returned to his native Farshut, where he esta…
Date: 2018-10-15

Abraham, Testament of

(5 words)

Author(s): Roddy, Nicolae
Nicolae Roddy
Date: 2018-10-15


(2,812 words)

Author(s): Fallica, Maria
Abrasax (Gk Ἀβρασάξ; the Latin fathers spell it Abraxas, probably due to confusion between σ, sigma, and ξ, xi) is a term that appears in a large and unequal quantity of material: the heresiologists’ works, three texts from the Nag Hammadi library, the Greek magical papyri ( Papyri  Graecae magicae), magical gems, and tabellae. The links among these various sources are widely debated and not yet clarified. The problem of this term and the figure to whom it is connected intertwines with the problem of the status and the interconnections between Gno…
Date: 2018-10-15

Acacian Schism

(1,907 words)

Author(s): Viezure, Dana Iuliana
The Acacian schism is a late antique split between Rome and the Eastern patriarchates over issues of Christological orthodoxy. The schism, which lasted from 484 to 518 CE, takes its name from Acacius, the patriarch of Constantinople from 471 to 489 CE and one of the main ecclesiastical actors of this period. The primary point of contention was the status of the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), which had approved the definition of Christ as being “in two natures.” Additionally, the schism was deepe…
Date: 2018-10-15

Acacius of Constantinople

(2,794 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Dietmar W.
Acacius (d. 489 CE) was patriarch of Constantinople from 471 CE until 489 CE. Previously a presbyter and head of an orphanage ( orphanotrophos), his competence caught the attention of Emperor Leo I. After the death of Patriarch Gennadius in 471 CE, Acacius was selected bishop of Constantinople and soon got involved in the post-Chalcedonian struggles. The politically able bishop endured three changes of government, tried to restore unity among the Eastern patriarchates, and caused the first great schism between Eastern and Western Christianity, which lasted 35 years.On the one h…
Date: 2018-10-15
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