02
Mar
09

Spring Break, Part I: Clement of Alexandria on Martyrdom

One of my goals for the spring break (which, incidentally, seems to have come a little early this year, especially given the snow flurries currently swirling outside my window) is to make some significant progress on my research project for Prof. Judy Kovacs’ seminar on the life and writings of Clement of Alexandria. I’m presently examining his views on martyrdom, particularly those given in Book IV of the Stromateis, and exploring whether they were influenced by martyrological acta circulating throughout north Africa and the rest of the empire during this period. Initially I was concerned with exclusively Christian writings such as the Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas, but recently I’ve wondered whether Clement could have read Greco-Roman texts such as the collection variously titled as the Acts of the Alexandrian Martyrs or the Acts of the Pagan Martyrs. His status among the most widely read authors of the early Christian world makes such a hypothesis possible; now if only I can find something more concrete…

Any thoughts?

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