Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Constantine and the Captive Christians of PersiaMartyrdom and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kyle Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520289604

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520289604.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

On War and Persecution

On War and Persecution

Aphrahaṭ the Persian Sage and the Martyrdom and History of Blessed Simeon Bar Ṣabba‘e

(p.99) Four On War and Persecution
Constantine and the Captive Christians of Persia

Kyle Smith

University of California Press

This chapter examines two Syriac martyrdom narratives that chronicle the death of Simeon bar Sabba'e, the bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and are considered among the best Syriac sources for the history of Christianity in fourth-century Persia: the Martyrdom of Blessed Simeon bar Sabba'e and the History of Blessed Simeon bar Sabba'e. Simeon's martyr acts offer a glimpse into the hagiography and historiography of the early post-Constantinian period in Persia. These acts, two of the longest texts among the Acts of the Persian Martyrs, shed light on the circumstances that spurred Shapur II's persecution of Persian Christians. This chapter first considers a series of twenty-three argumentative homilies known as Demonstrations, written in the mid-fourth century by Aphrahat, the “Persian Sage.” It argues that Aphrahat's work is an exercise in biblical exegesis and offers little, if any, evidence for a persecution. It then compares the Martyrdom and the History and what they say about episcopal authority, Christian–Jewish relations, and the place of the Christians of Persia within a broader Christian history of suffering, persecution, and martyrdom.

Keywords:   persecution, Syriac martyrdom, Simeon bar Sabba'e, Persian Christians, Acts of the Persian Martyrs, Demonstrations, Aphrahat

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.