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Porphyrian Universalism: A Tripartite Soteriology and Eusebius's Response*

  • Michael Bland Simmons (a1)


In recent years scholars from a broad spectrum, including classicists, patristic and biblical scholars, ancient historians, and specialists in ancient Judaism,1 have demonstrated an increasing interest in universalism. There has been very little written, however, on Porphyry's search for universal salvation, and whether Eusebius of Caesarea's understanding of universalism2 —here defined as the universality of a particular cult's soteriology (or even more briefly stated, the belief in universal salvation)—was influenced polemically by Porphyry. Eusebius's great apologetic works, Praeparatio evangelica and Demonstratio evangelica (henceforth P.E. and D.E.), written ca. 313–318 and ca. 318–324 c.e., respectively,3 provide many passages in which he artistically weaves universalist themes into his overall theological argument: P.E. contains 187 such passages, while D.E. has 417, more than twice that number.4 While some of the sub-themes of each work are either identical to one another or very similar in scope and content, the different audiences addressed—P.E. is primarily written to pagans against the charge that Christianity is new and thus lacks the authenticity of an ancient tradition, while D.E. responds to Jewish criticisms and gives pastoral guidance for the bishop's flock—can account for differences in both rhetorical method and theological emphases.



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1 E.g., Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, “Lactantius, Eusebius, and Arnobius: Evidence for the Causes of the Great Persecution,” Studia Patristica 39 (2006) 33–47; and idem, The Making of a Christian Empire: Lactantius and Rome (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000) 96–104; Michael Bland Simmons, Universalism in the Demonstratio evangelica of Eusebius of Caesarea,” (forthcoming, Studia Patristica); idem, “Via universalis salutis animae liberandae: The Pagan-Christian Debate on Universalism in the Later Roman Empire (A.D. 260–325),” StPatr 40 (2006) 245–61; and idem, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) 264–303; Joel Kaminsky and Anne Stewart, “God of all the World: Universalism and Developing Monotheism in Isaiah 40–66,” Harvard Theological Review 99 (2006) 139–63; Jeremy M. Schott, “Porphyry on Christians and Others: ‘Barbarian Wisdom,’ Identity Politics, and Anti-Christian Polemics on the Eve of the Great Persecution,” JECS 13 (2005) 277–314; Denise K. Buell, “Race and Universalism in Early Christianity,” JECS 10 (2002) 429–68; Marc Hirschman, “Rabbinic Universalism in the Second and Third Centuries,” HTR 93 (2000) 101–15; Henry Chadwick, “Christian and Roman Universalism in the Fourth Century,” in Christian Faith and Greek Philosophy in Late Antiquity (ed. Lionel R. Wickham and Caroline P. Bammel, assisted by Erica C. D. Hunter; Leiden: Brill, 1993) 26–42; Garth Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheisim in Late Antiquity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993); Jon D. Levenson, “The Universal Horizon of Biblical Particularism,” in The Bible and Ethnicity (ed. Mark G. Brett; Leiden: Brill, 1996) 143–69.

2 See, e.g., the works by Simmons in the note above; Jeremy M. Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion; ed. Daniel Boyarin, Virginia Burrus, and Derek Krueger; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) esp. 52–78 (containing one of the best analyses of Porphyry in recent decades); Aaron P. Johnson, Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 198–200, 211–16, who prefers the approach of “narrative of ethnic identity”; Aryeh Kofsky, Eusebius of Caesaea: Against Paganism (Leiden: Brill, 2000) 216–19, 297, 310; Michael J. Hollerich, Eusebius of Caesarea's Commentary on Isaiah: Christian Exegesis in the Age of Constantine (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 171–73; Friedhelm Winkelmann, Euseb von Kaisareia. Der Vater der Kirchengeschichte (Berlin: Verlags-Anstalt Union, 1991) 126–35; and T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981) 184–88.

3 T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 178–87, 278. For P.E., I use herein Eusebii Pamphili. Praeparationis Libri XV (ed. E. H. Gifford; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1903), and Porphyrii philosophi fragmenta (ed. A. Smith and D. Wasserstein; Stuttgart: Teubner, 1993) for the fragments from Philosophia ex oraculis.

4 For P.E. including sub-themes, see now Simmons, “Via universalis salutis animae liberandae”; for D.E., see idem, forthcoming.

5 I am well aware of modern scholars' designation of “Christianities” to describe the many Christian groups which both preceded and succeeded Nicaea, but I use “Church” here in a collective/general sense because most of the early believers in Christ would certainly have espoused the view that he was in some sense the savior of the world whether they are categorized as orthodox or heretical.

6 “Now when Porphyry says towards the end of his first book On the Return of the Soul that no one system of thought has yet embraced a doctrine that embodies a universal path to the liberation of the soul, no, neither the truest of philosophies, nor the moral ideas and practices of the Chaldaeans, nor any other way of life, and adds that this same path has not yet been brought to his attention in the course of his research into history, he is undoubtedly acknowledging that some such path exists though it had not yet come to his attention” (trans. David S. Wiesen; LCL 413). For a different view see Gillian Clark, “Augustine's Porphyry and the Universal Way of Salvation,” in Studies on Porphyry (ed. George Karamanolis and Anne Sheppard; BICS Supplement 98; London: Institute of Classical Studies, 2007) 127–40, who mistakenly argues (139) that Porphyry's soteriology ex-cluded the masses.

7 Although the Philos. orac. contained some anti-Christian oracles (see Smith, Porphyrii, 343 F [Civ. 19.22.17–23.17]; 344 F [Civ. 19.23.30–37]; 344 a F [Civ. 20.24.8–26]; 344 b F [Civ. 22.3.22–25]; 345 F [Eusebius, D.E., 3.6.39–7.2]; 345 a F [Civ. 19.23.43–73]; 345 b F [Civ. 10.27.37–39]; 345 c F [Augustine, Cons., 1.15.23]; and 346 F [Civ. 19.23.107–133]), I do not believe it was primarily aimed at Christians, but rather that Porphyry provided a proactive, positive assessment of polytheistic religious and philosophical culture for his pagan readers, and according to the interpretation nuanced herein, provided a tripartite universalist soteriology. See, e.g., the following for those scholars who argue that Philos. orac. was primarily written for pagans with soteriology being the central theme: R. Goulet, “Hypothèses récentes sur le traité de Porphyre Contre les Chrétiens,” in Hellénisme et christianisme (ed. Michel Narcy and Eric Rebillard; Paris: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2004) 61–109, esp. 67, 102–3; Michael B. Simmons, “The Eschatological Aspects of Porphyry's Anti-Christian Polemics in a Chaldaean-Neoplatonic Context,” Classica et Mediaevalia 52 (2001) 193–215, at 210–12; idem, Arnobius of Sicca, 264–303; John Granger Cook, The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism (STAC 3; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000) 151; Digeser, Making of a Christian Empire, 102; Kofsky, Eusebius of Caesaea, 3, 119; Andrew Smith, “Porphyry and the Platonic Theology,” in Proclus et la Théologie Platonicienne (AMPWM 26; ed. A. Segonds and C. Steel; Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2000) 177–88, esp. 187; C. Van Liefferinge, La Théurgie. Des oracles chaldaiques à Proclus (Kernos Supplément 9; Liège: Université de Liège, 1999) 185–86; A. R. Sodano, Vangelo di un pagano (Milan: Rusconi, 1993) 4; Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987) 197; John J. O'Meara, “Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles in Eusebius's Praeparatio Evangelica and Augustine's Dialogues of Cassiciacum,” Recherches Augustiniennes 6 (1969) 103–39, esp. 108; idem, Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles in Augustine (Paris: EA, 1959) 29; For the opposite view cf., e.g.: A. Busine, Paroles d'Apollon. Pratiques et traditions oraculaires dans l'Antiquité tardive (II e-VI3 esiècles) (Leiden: Brill, 2005) 288–95; P. F. Beatrice, “Pagan Wisdom and Christian Theology According to the Tübingen Theosophy,” JECS 4 (1995) 403–18, esp. 416; W. H. C. Frend, “Prelude to the Great Persecution: The Propaganda War,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 38 (1987) 1–18, esp. 11; Robert L. Wilken, The Christians as the Pagans Saw Them (New Haven: Yale Universtiy Press, 1984) 136.

8 Eusebius, P.E., 4.7 (Gifford's translation): “Sure, then, and steadfast is he who draws his hopes of salvation from this as from the only sure source, and to such thou wilt impart information without any reserve.… And our present collection will contain a record of many doctrines of philosophy, according as the gods declared the truth to be; but to a small extent we shall also touch upon the practice of divination, such as will be useful both for contemplation and for the general purification of life.” For the significance of the prologue, see Andrew Smith, “Porphyry and Pagan Religious Practice,” in The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism (ed. John J. Cleary; Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1997) 29–35, at 29, where he states that what Porphyry says in the prologue “has been simply ignored.”

9 For an excellent analysis of the background for philosophical developments, with reference to the neoplatonic tripartite/hierarchical division of philosophy, see P. Hadot, “Les divisions des parties de la philosophie dans l'Antiquité,” Museum Helveticum 36 (1979) 201–23, esp. 220 for Porphyry's contribution. For the Plotinian background, see Robert M. Berchman, Porphyry Against the Christians (Vol. 1 of Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Texts and Contexts: Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition; ed. Robert M. Berchman and John F. Finamore; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 93–113 (and the review of Michael B. Simmons, JECS 16 [2008] 263–65).

10 “Tu autem didicisti non a Platone, sed a Chaldaeis magistris, ut in aetherias vel empyrias mundi sublimitates et firmamenta caelestia extolleres vitia humana, ut possent dii vestri theurgis pronuntiare divina; quibus divinis te tamen per intellectualem vitam facis altiorem, ut tibi videlicet tamquam philosopho theurgicae artis purgationes nequaquam necessariae videantur”

11 Civ. 10.27: “Evidently you want all who are turned away from the pursuit of philosophic excellence, which is too lofty for all but a few, to seek out theurgists on your recommendation, in order to obtain catharsis at least of their spiritual, though not, to be sure, of their intellectual soul.”

12 Ibid.: “Sufficit quod purgatione theurgica neque intellectualem animam, hoc est mentem nostram, dicis posse purgari, et ipsam spiritalem, id est nostrae animae partem mente inferiorem, quam tali arte purgari posse asseris, inmortalem tamen aeternamque non posse hac arte fieri confiteris.” See also ibid.: “mittis homines ad theurgos, ut per eos anima spiritalis purgetur illorum qui non secundum intellectualem animam vivunt?”

13 E.g., Andrew Smith, Porphyry's Place in the Neoplatonic Tradition (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974) xiii, where he claims the major theme of the Porphyrian corpus appears to be the ascent and salvation of the soul. See also pp. 59–61, 104, 130–35, 145. “Theurgy and virtue are both involved though they are mutually exclusive and form two distinct ways of salvation for the ordinary man” (60–61); “Porphyry's search for the salvation of the soul led him from a consideration of the nature of the soul to an attempt to find a universal teaching on salvation which would even embrace the magico-religious practice of theurgy” (xiii). See also idem, Philosophy in Late Antiquity (New York: Routledge, 2004) 80, for the anima spiritalis which is susceptible to magic and ritual (= Plotinus's lower soul connected with the semi-corporeal soul vehicle which is a link to universal sympathy used by magic), and the anima intellectualis which relates to the Forms (=Plotinus's higher soul). On De regressu animae dealing with the salvation of the ordinary man via theurgical rites, see pp. 59–60. See also, e.g., Digeser, “Lactantius, Eusebius, and Arnobius”; Garth Fowden, “Late Polytheism: The World View,” in The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193–337 (vol. 12 of The Cambridge Ancient History; ed. Alan K. Bowman, et al.; 14 vols.; 2d ed.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) 521–37, esp. 530–31; Marco Zambon, Porphyre et le moyen-platonisme. Histoire des doctrines de l'antiquite classique XXVII (Paris: J. Vrin, 2002) 274–76; Michele Cutino, “I Dialogi di Agostino dinanzi al De regressu animae di Porfirio,” Recherches augustiniennes 27 (1994) 41–74, at 43; Massimo Della Rosa, Sentenze. Introduzione, traduzione e commento (Garzanti: I Grandi Libri, 1992) xiv; Francine Culdaut, “Un oracle d'Hécate dans la ‘Cité de Dieu',” Revue des Études Augustiniennes 38 (1992) 271–89, at 279; Giuseppe Girgenti, Introduzione a Porfirio (Gius: Laterza & Figli, 1997) 105–11; Ruth Majercik, The Chaldean Oracles: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Studies in Greek and Roman Religion 5; Leiden: Brill, 1989) 32–33; Andrew Smith, “The Pagan Neoplatonists' Response to Christianity,” The Maynooth Review 14 (1989) 25–41; idem, “Porphyrian Studies since 1913,” in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 2.36.2 (ed. W. Haase; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1987) 718–73, esp. 731–37; H. Lewy, Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy: Mysticism, Magic, and Platonism in the Later Roman Empire (Le Caire: L'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 1956); J. Bidez, Vie de Porphyre. Le philosophe néo-platonicien (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1913) 95.

14 Augustine, Civ. 10.28: “Still, you do admit that even the spiritual soul can, without the aid of the theurgic arts and rites, which you have wasted so much effort to learn, be purified by the virtue of continence.” For the use of ϕαντασία in Porphyry's religious thought see the excellent essay by Anne Sheppard, “Porphyry's Views on Phantasia,” in Studies on Porphyry, 71–76.

15 Smith, Porphyry's Place, 129–33. See also n. 13 above. See also Eugene Teselle, “Porphyry and Augustine,” Augustinian Studies 5 (1974) 113–47, esp. 131–32, who describes the body and senses, the spirit, and the intellect as Porphyry's “three levels of religion.”

16 For the Greek text I follow Porphyrii sententiae ad intelligibilia ducentes (ed. Erich Lamberz; Leipzig: Teubner, 1975); see also L. Brisson, ed., Porphyre. Sentences. Études d'introduction, texte grec et traduction française, commentaire (2 vols.; Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 2005), which includes an English translation by John Dillon. Sent. 32: “Αλλαι αἱ ἀρεταὶ τοῦ πολιτικοῦ, καὶ ἄλλαι αἱ τοῦ πρὸϛ θεωρίαν ἀνιόντοϛ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο λεγομένου θεωρητικοῦ, καὶ ἄλλαι αἱ τοῦ ἤδη τελείου θεωρητικοῦ καὶ ἤδε θεατοῦ, καὶ ἄλλαι αἱ τοῦ νοῦ, καθ’ ὅ νοῦϛ καὶ ἀπὸ ψυχῆϛ καθαρόϛ. For a good analysis of these, showing their compatibility with Aristotelian ethics, see George E. Karamanolis, Plato and Aristotle in Agreement? Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 303–8; for development in the Platonic tradition see H. J. Blumenthal, “Marinus' Life of Proclus: Neoplatonist Biography,” Byzantion 59 (1984) 469–94; and M. Vorwerk, “Plato on Virtue: SOPHROSUNE in Plato's Charmides and in Plotinus Enneads I.2(19),” American Journal of Philology 122 (2001) 29–47.

17 Sent. 32: ϕρόνησιϛ, ἀνδρεία, σωϕροσύνη, δικαιοσύνη. For the development of the scala virtutum in later neoplatonism, e.g., in Marinus's Life of Proclus, see Henri D. Saffrey, Alain-Philippe Seconds, and Concetta Luna, Marinus. Proclus ou Sur le Bonheur (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2001) 3–5 and 65–70; and Blumenthal, “Marinus' Life of Proclus.” For Sent. 32 see e.g., Blumenthal, “Marinus' Life of Proclus,” 476–79; and A. R. Sodano, Introduzione agli intelligibili. Traduzione, commento e note con in appendice il testo greco. (Naples: Associazione de Studi Tardoantichi, 1979) 36–42.

18 On these see Dominic J. O'Meara, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). For Porphyry's doctrine of the political virtues, see pp. 44–46. For an excellent analysis of the four virtues in Porphyry's thought see now Luc Brisson, “La doctrine des degrés de vertus chez les néo-platoniciens. Une analyse de la Sentence 32 de Porphyre, de ses antécédents et de ses conséquences,” in Études Platoniciennes I. Publication annuelle de la Société d'Études Platoniciennes (ed. Jean-François Pradeau; Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2004) 271–86.

19 See also Sent. 32: αἱ δὲ ψυχῆϛ ἀνθρώπου κατακοσμούσηϛ τὸν ἄνθρωπον διὰ τὸ μέτρα τῇ ἀλογίᾳ ἀϕορίζειν καὶ μετριοπάθειαν ἐνεργάζεσθαι.

20 Ibid.: Αἱ μὲν τοῦ πολιτικοῦ ἐν μετριοπαθείᾳ κείμεναι τῷ ἕπεσθαι καὶ ἀκολουθεῖν τῷ λογισμῷ τοῦ καθήκοντοϛ κατὰ τὰϛ πράξειϛ· διὸ πρὸϛ κοινωνίαν βλέπουσαι τὴν ἀβλαβῆ τῶν πλησίον ἐκ τοῦ συναγελασμοῦ καὶ τῆϛ κοινωνίαϛ πολιτικαὶ λέγονται.

21 See Girgenti, Introduzione, 113–14: “Porfirio pensa naturalmente all'Anima universale, ma ogni anima individuale, in quanto partecipa di quella universale, può elevarsi a questo livello delle virtù contemplative.”

22 Sent. 32: ἄλλο οὖν γένοϛ τρίτον ἀρετῶν μετὰ τὰϛ καθαρτικὰϛ καὶ πολιτικάϛ, νοερῶϛ τῆϛ ψυχῆϛ ἐνεργούσηϛ. See Enneads–23: ῏Αρ’ οὖν οὺ κατὰ τὰϛ πολιτικὰϛ ὁμοιούμεθα, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰϛ μείζουϛ τῷ αὐτῷ ὀνόματι χρωμέναϛ; and O'Meara, Platonoplois, 36–38.

23 In this paper I give John Dillon's English translation in Brisson, Porphyre: 2.813. Sent. 32: καὶ ὁ μὲν ἔχων τὰϛ μείζουϛ ἐξ ἀνάκηϛ ἔχει καὶ τὰϛ ἐλάττουϛ, οὐ μὴν τὸ ἔμπαλιν.

24 E.g., Sent. 32: αἱ δὲ πολιτικαὶ τὸν θνητὸν ἄνθρωπον κατακοσμοῦσι—καὶ πρόδρομοί γε αἱ πολιτικαὶ τῶν καθάρσεων. See also Girgenti, Introduzione, 112–18.

25 On the Purificatory virtues, Sent. 32: αἱ δὲ ψυχῆϛ ἀνθρώπου καθαιρομένηϛ τε καὶ καθαρθείσηϛ ἀπὸ σώματοϛ καὶ τῶν ἀλόγων παθῶν.

26 Sent. 32: Αἱ δὲ τοῦ πρὸϛ θεωρίαν προκόπτοντοϛ θεωρητικοῦ ἐν ἀποστάσει κεῖνται τῶν ἐντεῦθεν· διὸ καὶ καθάρσειϛ αὗται λέγονται, ἐν ἀποχῇ θεωρούμεναι τῶν μετὰ τοῦ σώματοϛ πράξεων καὶ συμπαθειῶν τῶν πρὸϛ αὐτό.

27 Ibid.

28 Sent. 32: δεῖ γὰρ κοσμηθέντα κατ’ αὐτὰϛ ἀποστῆναι τοῦ σὺν σώματι πράττειν τι προηγουμένωϛ.

29 Ibid.: τὸ δέ γε μὴ ὁμοπαθεῖν συνίστησι τὸ σωϕρονεῖν.

30 Ibid.

31 Ibid.: αὗται μὲν γὰρ τῆϛ ψυχῆϛ ἀϕ ισταμένηϛ πρὸϛ τὸ ὄντωϛ ὄν.

32 O'Meara, Platonoplois, 38.

33 Civ. 10.28.

34 “We ought therefore to direct our attention most of all to the purificatory virtues, basing ourselves on the reflection that the attainment of these is possible in this life, and that it is through these that an ascent may be made to the more august levels. We must therefore consider up to what point and in what degree it is possible to receive purification; for it involves, after all, separation from the body and from the irrational motion provoked by the passions.”

35 For historical background, commentary, Greek text, and German translation see W. Pötscher, Porphyrios PROS MARKELLAN (Leiden: Brill, 1969). For the date, ibid., 2: “Als Zeitpunkt für die Abfassung wird man mit aller Vorsicht wohl etwa das Jahr 300, bzw. das erste Jahr (oder die ersten Jahre) des 4. Jahrhunderts annehmen.” See n. 69 below.

36 I follow the Greek text found in Kathleen O'Brien Wicker, Porphyry the Philosopher: To Marcella (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987) 20–21.

37 Wicker, Porphyry the Philosopher, 21.

38 Ibid., 20–21.

39 Marc. 3: πρὸϛ τὴν ὀρθὴν ϕ ιλοσοϕ ίαν ἐπιτηδειότητα τῆϛ ϕύσεωϛ.

40 Ibid. 4: καλούσηϛ δὲ τῆϛ τῶν ‘Ελλήνων χρείαϛ καὶ τῶν θεῶν συνεπειγόντων αὐτοῖϛ ὑπακούειν.

41 Ibid.: ἐν τοῖϛ δέκα μησὶν οἷϛ μοι συνῴκησαϛ.

42 Ibid.: σπεύδω μὲν γὰρ, ὅν ἄν δύνωμαι τρόπον, τὴν ταχίστην πάλιν ἀναλαβεῖν. I concur with Pötscher, Porphyrios, 11 n. 1, and Wicker, Porphyry the Philosopher, 85, who posit that philosophical instruction is the object of ἀναλαβεῖν .

43 Ibid. 5.

44 Ibid. 6.

45 The structure of Marc. is: chs. 1–6, Introduction; chs. 7–10, Foundation of Argument = Soteriology; chs. 11–16, Being like God; chs. 17–23, Piety; chs. 24–35, Natural and Divine Law (in context of separation of soul from body and controlling the passions.)

46 See Girgenti, Introduzione, 115–16.

47 Marc. 7: ὅθεν καὶ ἔδοξε τοῖϛ σώϕροσι “τὰ ἐπίπονα τῶν ἡδέων μᾶλλον συντελεῖν εἰϛ ἀρετήν.”

48 Ibid. 5.

49 ‘Ο θάνατοϛ διπλοῦϛ, ὁ μὲν οὖν συνεγνωσμένοϛ λυομένου τοῦ σώματοϛ ἀπὸ τῆϛ ψυχῆϛ, ὁ δὲ τῶν ϕ ιλοσόϕων λυομένηϛ τῆϛ ψυχῆϛ ἀπὸ τοῦ σώματοϛ//: καὶ οὐ πάντωϛ ὁ ἕτεροϛ τῷ ἑτέρῳ ἕπεται.

50 οὐκ ἔσται τοίνυν μάχη προκοπτούσηϛ τῆϛ καθάρσεωϛ.

51 Marc. 7.

52 Ibid. 8.

53 Ibid. 9.

54 Marcella's education is in discarding the passions from the soul, not in acquiring vast learning, because they are not conducive to the salvation of her soul: πρὸϛ δὲ τούτοιϛ οὐχ ὅτι “πᾶν πάθοϛ ψυχῆϛ εἰϛ σωτηρίαν αὐτῆϛ πολεμιώτατον, καὶ ἀπαιδευσία μὲν τῶν παθῶν πάντων μήτηρ, τὸ δὲ πεπαιδεῦσθαι οὐκ ἐν πολυμαθείαϛ ἀναλήψει, ἐν ἀπαλλάξει δὲ τῶν ψυχικῶν παθῶν ἐθεωρεῖτο.” (Marc. 9)

55 On this see Ruth Majercik, “Porphyry and Gnosticism,” Classical Quarterly 55 (2005) 277–292, 282.

56 Marcella is admonished to train to ascend to herself and thus gather together all of the parts scattered and cut from their former unity: εἰ μελετῴηϛ εἰϛ σεαυτὴν ἀναβαίνειν συλλέγουσα ἀπὸ τοῦ σώματοϛ πάντα τὰ διασκεδασθέντα σου μέλη καὶ εἰϛ πλῆθοϛ κατακερματισθέντα ἀπὸ τῆϛ τέωϛ ἐν μεγέθει δυνάμεωϛ ἰσχυούσηϛ ἐνωσεωϛ (Marc. 10); with this compare Sent. 32: δεύτερον δὲ τὸ ἀπὸ τούτου ὀρμώμενον τοῦ πείσματοϛ συνάγειν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ σώματοϛ καὶ τοῖϛ μὲν τόποιϛ, πάντωϛ γε μὴν ἀπαθῶϛ πρὸϛ αὐτὸ διατιθέμενον. See also Enn.–7: in Plotinus's response to the question, “How far is separation of the soul from the body possible?”, he answers: ’Απὸ μὲν δὴ σώματοϛ ἴσωϛ μὲν τοῖϛ οἷον τόποιϛ συνάγουσαν [πρὸϛ] ἑαυτήν. etc.

57 “Divine law, of course, is unknown to the impure soul because of its ignorance and intemperance, but it shines forth in the pure soul because of its freedom from passion and prudence.”

58 See John M. Rist, “Theos and the One in Some Texts of Plotinus,” Mediaeval Studies 24 (1962) 169–80 at 170, for the Plotinian doctrine (e.g., Enn. regarding the direction of human life toward what is intellective, or toward the νοῦϛ or θεόϛ. This is reprinted in idem, Platonism and Its Christian Heritage (London: Variorum Reprints, 1985) no. VII.

59 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἰατρικῆϛ οὐδὲν ὄϕελοϛ, εἰ μὴ τὰϛ νόσουϛ τῶν σωμάτων θεραπεύει, οὕτωϛ οὐδὲ ϕ ιλοσοϕ ίαϛ, εἰ μὴ τὸ τῆϛ ψυχῆϛ ἐκβάλλει πάθοϛ.

60 Marc. 34: μεγάλη οὖν παιδεία ἄρχειν τοῦ σώματοϛ. πολλάκιϛ κόπτουσί τινα μέρη ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ: τῆϛ δὲ ψυχῆϛ ἕνεκα ἕτοιμοϛ ἔσο τὸ ὅλον σῶμα ἀποκόπτειν.

61 Καὶ ὅσῳ τῆϛ τοῦ σώματοϛ προσπαθείαϛ ἀϕ/ίσταται, τοσούτῳ μέτρῳ τῷ θείῳ πελάζει.

62 The importance of self-control for the novice philosopher is emphasized up to the last section of the Ad Marcellam (35): ψιλῆϛ δὲ ἕνεκα ἡδονῆϛ μηδέποτε χρήσῃ τοῖϛ μέρεσι: πολλῷ γὰρ κρεῖττον τεθνάναι ἤ δι’ ἀκρασίαν τὴν ψυχὴν ἀμαυρῶσαι.

63 οὗτοϛ γὰρ μέγιστοϛ καρπὸϛ εὐσεβείαϛ τιμᾶν τὸ θεῖον κατὰ τὰ πάτρια.

64 Published in his Vie de Porphyre, 15 n. 3. This hypothesis was influenced by Gustavus Wolff's philological analysis in his Porphyrii de Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda librorum reliquiae (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1962) 38, a reprint of the 1856 publication (see also pp. 14–16 and 227–28).

65 Scholars have for decades been critically re-evaluating the Wolff-Bidez chronology. See (e.g.): Digeser, “Lactantius, Eusebius, and Arnobius”; idem, The Making of a Christian Empire, 91, 95–97, 161; idem, “Lactantius, Porphyry, and the Debate over Religious Toleration,” JRS 88 (1998) 129–46, esp. 130 n. 8, 134–35 and 146; Simmons, “Via universalis salutis animae liberandae”; idem, “Porphyry of Tyre's Biblical Criticism: A Historical and Theological Appraisal,” in Readings in Christian Communities: Essays on Interpretation in the Early Church (ed. Charles A. Bobertz and David Brakke; CJAS 14; Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002) 90–105; idem, Arnobius of Sicca, 26; Busine, Paroles d'Apollon, 235–38; Schott, “Porphyry on Christians and Others,” 277–314, esp. 284–85 and 289; Zambon, Porphyre et le moyen-platonisme, 33–35, 270; T. D. Barnes, “Monotheists All?” Phoenix 55 (2001) 142–62, 156–59; E. C. Clarke, Iamblichus' De mysteriis: A manifesto of the miraculous (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002) 6; Helene Whittaker, “The Purpose of Porphyry's Letter to Marcella,” SO 76 (2001) 150–68, esp. 155; Polymnia Athanassiadi, “The Chaldaean Oracles: Theology and Theurgy,” in Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity (ed. Polymnia Athanassiadi and Michael Frede; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 149–83, esp. 178; Andrew Smith, “Porphyry and Pagan Religious Practice,” 29–35, esp. 29 & 34; P. F. Beatrice, “Towards a New Edition of Porphyry's Fragments” (ed. Goulven Madec and Denis O'Brien; CEA 131; ΣΟΦIHΣ ΜΑIHΤΟRΕΣ; Chercheurs de Sagesse: Hommage à Jean Pépin; Paris: IEA, 1992) 347–55, esp. 350–55; Andrew Smith, “Porphyrian Studies since 1913,” 717–73, esp. 722–25, 733–34; Fox, Pagans and Chistians, 171, 196–97; Garth Fowden, “Late Antique Paganism Reasoned and Revealed,” JRS 71 (1981) 178–82, 180; Robert L. Wilken, “Pagan Criticism of Christianity: Greek Religion and Christian Faith,” in Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition in Honorem Robert M. Grant (ed. William R. Schoedel and Robert L. Wilken; TH 54; Paris: Editions Beauchesne, 1979) 117–34, 131–32; R. T. Wallis, Neoplatonism (2d ed.; London: Bristol Classical Press, 1972) 99; Smith, Porphyry's Place, 134, argues that the Philos. orac. reveals a much more critically minded Porphyry than has hitherto been assumed, and the work can thus “no longer be used to prove a ‘superstitious’ Porphyry”; O'Meara, “Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles,” 109–10, 119, 137; idem., Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles in Augustine, 33–34.

66 “He himself says (but perhaps as seems likely he wrote this while he was still young), that he was granted an oracle different from the vulgar sort; and in the same book he wrote it down, and then went on the expound at considerable length how men ought to pay attention to these oracles. He says too that he cast out and expelled some sort of daemon from a certain bath; the inhabitants called this daemon Kausatha” (trans. Wilmer C. Wright; LCL 134). For a good analysis of the testimony of Eunapius, see Sodano, Vangelo, 197–251.

67 Cf. Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 38, who after citing the text from Eunapius states: “Patet ab Eunapio libros περὶ τῆϛ ἐκ λογίων ϕ ιλ. significari; hos igitur a Porphyrio adolescente scriptos esse censet. Quod iudicium re ipsa confimari in superioribus ostendimus; nam Plotinianae doctrinae nullum in his libris apparet vestigium, vita Orphicorum non commendatur, deorum nomina et sacra secundum communem ritum traduntur, oracula non ex philosophia, sed philosophia ex oracula explicatur.”

68 R. Goulet, “Variations romanesques sur la mélancolie de Porphyre,” Hermes 110 (1982) 443–57 at 454, noting Eunapius's “tendance à déduire des textes des conclusions controuvées et son total irrespect à l'égard des données objectives de sa source.”

69 A vast majority of scholars date the work to the very late third or early fourth centuries, e.g., Whittaker, “Purpose of Porphyry's Letter,” 76; Digeser, Making of a Christian Empire, 93; Liefferinge, La Théurgie, 206; Karen Alt, Glaube, Wahrheit, Liebe, Hoffnung bei Porphyrios,” in Die Weltlichkeit des Glaubens in der Alten Kirche. Festschrift für Ulrich Wickert zum siebzigsten Geburtstag (ed. Dietmar Wyrwa; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997) 25–43, esp. 30; see also idem, Porphyrios als Helfer in griechischen Nöten. Brief an Markella Kap. 4,” in Worte, Bilder, Töne. Studien zur Antike und Antikerezeption (ed. Richard Faber and Bernd Seidensticker; Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann, 1996) 201–10; Scott Bradbury, “Julian's Pagan Revival and the Decline of Blood Sacrifice,” Phoenix 49 (1995) 331–56, esp. 338; Wicker, Porphyry the Philosopher, 1; E. des Places, ed., Porphyre. Vie de Pythagore. Lettre à Marcella (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1982) 90; Pötscher, Porphyrios, 3, and note 35 above; Giuseppe Faggin, Porfiri: Lettera a Marcella. Il Testamento Morale dell'antichità (Genoa: Il Basilisco, 1982) 17; L. Vaganay, “Porphyre,” DTC 12 (1935) (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1908–1950) 2555–90, col. 2562; Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 36: “Senior etiam, quum iam sholis Platonicis Romae praeesset, epistulam ad Marcellam dedit, de qua in vita Porphyrii dixit.”

70 E.g., one may note here Mithraism, Neoplatonism, various Gnostic sects, Manicheanism, and even the Early Church with its practice of instructing catechumens to become full communicants. For Porphyry's concept of “progression” within the scala virtutum see now Brisson, “La doctrine des degrés de vertus chez les néo-platoniciens,” 279.

71 For example, in the context of addressing the importance of becoming totally in control of oneself, Porphyry advises Marcella to turn her intellect toward God: τὸ ϕρόνημα τετράϕθω πρὸϛ τὸν θεόν (Marc. 20).

72 See Smith, Porphyry's Place, 135: “It is only when a man reaches the higher virtues that he begins to save his higher self or return to his real self by means of the theoretical virtues.” Thus the last two stages (Theoretical and Exemplary) have the same substance, divinity, in common, and differ only in degree (θεόϛ [Theoretical] or Πατὴρ Θεῶν [Exemplary]), not in kind, as is not the case of the Civic Virtues, which produce good humans; and the Purificatory Virtues, which produce good Daimones. One can reasonably infer that the Theoretical and Exemplary stages were perceived by Porphyry to be taken together and to represent the final path for the salvation of the soul, which was for the mature Neoplatonic Philosopher. This is how the four classes of virtues cohere with a tripartite soteriological scheme.

73 See Sent. 32.

74 See Heinrich Dörrie, Platonica Minora (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 1976) 474–90. On the fragments of Porphyry's Περὶ τοῦ Γνῶθι σαυτόν (Suda 4.178.21 = 272T Smith, Porphyrii; Stobaeus 3.21.26 [3.579.6–580.5 = 273F Smith, Porphyrii]), and their relationship with the Ad Marcellam, see Sodano, Vangelo, 181–93; see also Karamanolis, Plato and Aristotle in Agreement, 293; Des Places, Porphyre, 92, with Delphic connections; and Clemens Zintzen, “Mystik und Magie in der neuplatonischen Philosophie,” Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 108 (1965) 71–100, at 87–88.

75 Sent. 32, answering the question, “How can one purify the soul?”: “We must state how this would come about, and up to what point. For a start, it is as it were the foundation and underpinning of purification to recognize that one is a soul bound down in an alien entity of a quite distinct nature.” (trans. Dillon, 2:814)

76 See p. 178 and n. 69 above.

77 See Sodano, Vangelo, 37, who comes to a similar conclusion: “la Lettera a Marcella è probabilmente l'eco di rifelessioni fatte nell'ambito di un circolo in cui l'ascetismo pitagorico era confortato dalla parola del Maestro tradotta in sentenze.”

78 See Helene Whittaker, “Purpose of Porphyry's Letter,” 150–68, who argues that Marc. was written, with Christians in mind, for a public audience not familiar with the tenets of neoplatonism.

79 See Lucien Jerphagnon, “Les sous-entendus anti-chrétiens de la Vita Plotini ou l'évangile de Plotin selon Porphyre,” Museum Helveticum 47 (1990) 41–52, who compares Vita Plotini with the gospel of John; and Des Places, Porphyre, 89, who describes the letter as “une sorte de protreptique, traité de vie spirituelle et manuel de religion intérieure.”

80 See Liefferinge, La Théurgie, 183: “si l'on doit parler de theurgie dans l'oeuvre de Porphyre, ce n'est pas au sens restraint d'une secte de mystiques mais au sens large du rite païen.”

81 See J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Continuity and Change in Roman Religion. (Oxford: OUP, 1979) 243.

82 See Smith, Porphyry's Place, 104, who rightly observes that Marc. “involves what one might term traditional piety rather than ‘theurgy’ with its sacramental and magical elements.”

83 Forthcoming.

84 P.E. 4.7=303F, Smith. See p. 172 above. The Italian scholar Pier F. Beatrice's attempt to revive and develop O'Meara's (1959) thesis that the Contra Christianos and Philos. orac. are one and the same work is not convincing. Cf. notes 65 and 102 for examples of Beatrice's works in which this thesis is found. Arnobius's Adversus nationes is the earliest Christian response to Porphyry's search for a via universalis salutis liberandae animae. See Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca, 46–93 for the date of the Adv. nat. (302–305 c.e.); and for Arnobius's universalism argument, see 264–303. Unconvincing is Mark J. Edwards's “Porphyry and the Christians,” in Studies on Porphyry, 111–26, esp. 120–23; and idem, “Dating Arnobius: Why Discount the Evidence of Jerome?,” Antiquité tardive 12 (2004) 263–71. Among the deficiencies of his historical method on dating the Adv. nat. are 1) his attempt to explain away the present tenses of Adv. nat. 4.36, which are explicit references to Diocletian's first edict of February 303, as “rhetorical licence” (the context fits much better a composition of the Adv. nat. contemporaneous with the promulgation of the edict rather than twenty-four years later when the Church was in a more peaceful period); 2) the reference to viri novi fits better the period before the outbreak of persecution and the religious and philosophical works of Porphyry; 3) his argument concerning Lactantius's silence is weak, on which see Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca, 50–53; 4) his insistence that the different dates for Arnobius given in the Chron. and the Vir. ill. of Jerome must be harmonized (rather than interpreted, as most scholars argue, as contradictions); and 5) his attempt to explain the attack upon pagan sacrifices throughout book 7, which makes much better sense just after Diocletian's fourth edict on sacrifice (304 c.e.) rather than in the 320s.

85 These references are found in Smith, Porphyrii, and Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia. 314 F (Eusebius, P.E. 4.8.4–9.2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 111–18); 323 F (Eusebius, P.E. 9.10.1–2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 139–41); and 324 F (Eusebius, P.E. 9.10.3–5; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 139–141).

86 314 F (Eusebius, P.E. 4.8.4–9.2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 111–18).

87 306 F (Firmicus Maternus, De errore profanorum religiorum 13.4–5; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 111; 313 F (Eusebius, P.E. 3.14.7; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 126–27); 316 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.10.13–11.1; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 129–30); 320 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.14.2–3; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 134–37).

88 317 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.12.1–2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 130–31); 318 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.13.1–2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 131–32); 319 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.13.3–4; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 133–34).

89 329 F (Eusebius, P.E. 4.19.8–20.1; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 152–54).

90 339 F (Eusebius, P.E. 6.3.5–4.3; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 165).

91 308 F (Eusebius, P.E. 5.6.2–7.2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 122–23).

92 325 F (Hartmut Erbse, Fragmente Griechischer Theosophien (Hamburger Arbeiten zur Altertumswissenschaft 4; Hamburg: Hansischer Gilden Veralg, 1941) 173.17–174.22; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 143–47; Smith, Porphyrii, also refers to Karl Buresch, Klaros. Untersuchungen zum Orakelwesen des späteren Altertums [Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1889] nos. 27–29); 325aF (Fragmente griechischer Theosophien 30, p. 174, 23–25, Erbse).

93 346 F (Augustine, Civ. 19.23.107–33; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 185–86).

94 E.g., 314 F (P.E. 4.8.4–9.2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 111–18) and 315 F (P.E. 4.9.3–7; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 118–21). Eusebius shows that Porphyry upheld animal sacrifice in Philos. orac. (P.E. 4.8–9), and then (P.E. 4.10–13) quotes from De abstinentia, which condemned animal sacrifice, attempting to prove that Porphyry contradicted himself. This is neither fair nor objective since Abst. was written for philosophers and at least parts of Philos. orac. were written for the uneducated masses, as we have noted; but by developing a method of literary retort, Eusebius polemically does to Porphyry what Porphyry in his anti-Christian writings attempted to do to Christian scripture.

95 See now Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion, 56 n. 29.

96 Following the divisions found in Gifford: 6.praef. 236a–b; 6.3.240c; 6.6.242d; 6.6.245c–d; 6.6.251a–b; 6.6.253a–b; 6.6.253b; 6.6.253c.1–4; 6.6.253c.5–10; 6.6.253d; 6.6.253d–254a; 6.6.254a–c; 6.11.295d–296a.

97 P.E. 6.6.254a.3–20: “They found therefore one and the same destiny, to be brought into subjection under one system and doctrine, and to display one mind and will, and the same virtue of soul, to accept one and the same kind of life, to love the same doctrine, and to endure contentedly the same sufferings for their steadfast piety. But what sound reason would allow us to say this, that young and old together, of every age, and of either sex, men of barbarous nature, slaves and free, learned and uneducated, not born in a corner of the earth nor under these same stars with us, but throughout the whole world inhabited by man, have been forced by a necessity of fate to prefer a certain doctrine to all the customs of their forefathers, and to welcome death for the religion of the One God over all, and to be thoroughly instructed in the teaching concerning the immortality of the soul, and to prefer a philosophy that consists not in words but in deeds?”

98 P.E. 5.9.197b: “Or how can they deserve to be admired and honoured with divine worship who are enslaved by common imposters of the most abandoned character, and compelled to perform what is neither honourable nor expedient contrary to their judgement, and are led and dragged down, not because they approve men's morality, nor to promote virtue or any branch of philosophy, but by forbidden practices of imposters?”

99 316 F (P.E. 5.10.13–11.1; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 129–30); 317 F (P.E. 5.12.1–2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 130–31); 318 F (P.E. 5.13.1–2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 131–32); 319 F (P.E. 5.13.3–4; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 133–34); and 330 F (P.E. 5.14.1; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 138–39).

100 P.E. 5.15.203.a–b: “By these and the like quotations this noble philosopher of the Greeks, this admirable theologian, this initiate in the secret mysteries, exhibits The Philosophy to be derived from Oracles as containing secret oracles of the gods, while openly proclaiming the plots laid against men by their wicked and truly daemoniacal power. For what benefit to human life can there be from these evil arts of sorcery? Or what pleasure to the gods in this scrupulous care about lifeless statues? Of what divine power can there be a likeness in the formation of such shapes? Why should he not have counselled us to study philosophy rather than to practise magic and pursue forbidden arts, if the path of virtue and philosophy is sufficient for a happy and blessed life?”

101 Although storm clouds started gathering over the Christians beginning with the military martyrs of the 290s c.e. in the Roman army, on which see Lactantius, Mort. 10.1 and Alan K. Bowman, “Diocletian and the First Tetrarchy, A.D. 284–305,” Cambridge Ancient History 12, 67–89, at 85; but these were local problems restricted to soldiers. The first edict regarding Christian persecution was issued on February 24, 303 c.e., on which see Simon Corcoran, The Empire of the Tetrarch: Imperial Pronouncements and Government A.D. 284–324 (rev. ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 179–81.

102 Scholars are not in agreement here. For recent interpretations of the “Third Century Crisis” and data on Christian demographics, see the pertinent chapters in Cambridge Ancient History 12, although there is often a tendency to water down contemporary testimony from Christian authors like Eusebius, Lactantius, and Arnobius.

103 This is yet another hotly debated topic amongst scholars. By 302 c.e., the date of the Diocletianic concilium principis mentioned by Lactantius (Mort. 11), Porphyry was the most famous anti-Christian writer of the period; thus it is difficult to think of a better context for his remark to Marcella that “the needs of the Greeks summoned me and the gods joined their requests” (Marc. 4: καλούσηϛ δὲ τῆϛ τῶν ‘Ελλήνων χρείαϛ καὶ τῶν θεῶν συνεπειγόντων) than his attending an imperial conference whose purpose was to discuss the persecution of the Christians. On this viewpoint, see Henry Chadwick, The Sentences of Sextus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959) 142; Digeser, “Lactantius, Eusebius, and Arnobius”; idem, Making of a Christian Empire, 96, 114, 162; idem, “Lactantius, Porphyry, and the Debate,” 145; Michael Bland Simmons, “The Emperor Julian's Order to Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem: A Connection with Oracles?” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Studies 43 (2006) 67–116, at 96; idem, “Porphyry of Tyre's Biblical Criticism,” 101; idem, “Graeco-Roman Philosophical Opposition,” in The Early Christian World (ed. Philip F. Esler; 2 vols.; London: Routledge, 2000) 2:840–68, at 850; and idem, Arnobius of Sicca, 22–27, 302; Andrew Smith, Philosophy in Late Antiquity, 64; idem, (1989), 36; Whittaker, “Purpose of Porphyry's Letter,” 155; Henry Chadwick, “Philosophical Tradition and the Self,” in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World (ed. G. W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999) 60–81, at 69; Girgenti, Introduzione, 128; Sodano, Vangelo, 112; R. Joseph Hoffmann, Porphyry's Against the Christians: The Literary Remains (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1994) 164; Beatrice, “Antistes Philosophiae: Ein Christenfeindlicher Propagandist am Holfe Diokletians nach dem Zeugnis des Laktanz,” Augustinianum 33 (1993) 31-47, at 39; Arthur J. Droge, Homer or Moses? Early Christian Interpretations of the History of Culture (HUT 26; Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989) 180; P. Pirioni, “Il soffiorno siciliano di porfirio e la composizione del ΚΑΤΑ ΧRIΣΤIΑΝWΝ,” Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia 39 (1985) 502–8, at 504; Wilken, Christians as the Pagans Saw Them, 134; idem, “Pagan Criticism of Christianity,” 131; Des Places, Porphyre, 89, 106 n. 2; Pötscher, Porphyrios, 66; Pierre Benoit, Un adversaire du Christianisme au IIIe Siècle: Porphyre,” Revue Biblique 54 (1947) 543–72, at 552; Bidez, Vie de Porphyre, 116. Other scholars do not agree that Lactantius, Mort. 11 and Marc. 4 imply Porphyry's attendance at the conference in 302, e.g.: Goulet, “Hypothèses récentes,” 101–4; idem, Macarios de Magnèsie. Le Monogénès. Tome I. Introduction génèrale(Paris: J. Vrin, 2003) 1:118; Christoph Riedweg, Porphyrios über Christus und die Christen. De Philosophia ex oraculis Haurienda und Adversus Christianos im Vergleich,” in L'apologétique chrétienne gréco-latine à l'époque prénicénienne. 13-17 Septembre 2004 (Entretiens sur l'antiquité classique 51; Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2005) 153 n. 9; Alt, Glaube, Wahrheit, Liebe,” 30; idem, Porphyrios als Helfer,” 201–10; T. D. Barnes, “Scholarship or Propaganda? Porphyry Against the Christians and its Historical Setting,” BICSL 39 (1994) 53–65, at 58–59; and idem, “Porphyry Against the Christians: Date and Attribution of Fragments,” Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 24 (1973) 424–42, at 432; but note idem, “Monotheists All?” 157, suggesting a date for Philos. orac. ca. 300; Wicker, Porphyry the Philosopher, 417; Fox, Pagans and Chistians, 196 n. 90; A. J. Festugière, Trois Dévots Païens (Paris: La Colombe, 1944) 8; and Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 13, who gives an interesting explanation: “Decem mensibus post nuptias in Graeciam profectus, negotiis aliquamdiu—Athenis sine dubio, ubi schola Platonica florebat—retinebatur.”

104 As noted above, there are 187 occurrences of the theme of universalism in P.E., as compared with 417 in D.E.

105 345 F (Eusebius, D.E. 3.6.39–7.2; see Wolff, Porphyrii de Philosophia, 180). This is despite the fact that, as noted above, the theme of universalism is found more than twice the number of times in D.E. than in P.E.

106 I do not mean to imply that this was in any way an official title or position. Constantine and Eusebius only met a few times in their lives, so Eusebius's imperial theology was created as a geographically distant, albeit genuine, supporter of the first Christian emperor and his policies.

107 See Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth, 80–99, at 88, where the phrase “one god, one empire, one emperor” is used to describe Eusebius's concept of Constantinian Universalism.

108 For the “Constantinian Revolution,” see T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, with which I concur. For other possible interpretations of the transformation from a pagan to a Christian empire, see: Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion, 125 (Constantine created an ideology of empire from Christian apologetics); Averil Cameron, “Constantine and the ‘peace of the church,’” in The Cambridge History of Christianity. I. Origins to Constantine (ed. Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) 538–51, and idem, “The Reign of Constantine,” CAH 12, 90–109, at 108–9 (Constantine was determined to unify the church); Charles Matson Odahl, Constantine and the Christian Empire (New York: Routledge, 2004) 268–84 (Christianity was transformed from a persecuted minority cult to the established religion of the empire); Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine (New York: Routledge: 2001) 281 (political unification); Martin Wallraff, “Constantine's Devotion to the Sun after 324,” StPatr 34 (2001) 256–69 (integration of the religious culture of the empire); H. A. Drake, Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) 27 (use of coercion and political prowess by Constantine to bring about unity, explained as social process); Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1997) 212 (Christianity was a revitalization movement leading to Constantine); Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth, 85 (there was no sudden Constantinian Revolution; Nicene Orthodoxy triumphed only under Theodosius); Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East 31 BC–AD 337 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993) 599 (imposition of unity by using normal penalties of criminal law); Fox, Pagans and Chistians (Christianity was insignificant until Constantine); Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, and idem, “The Constantinian Revolution,” in The Crake Lectures 1984 (ed. Ivan Cohen and Margaret Fancy; Sackville, New Brunswick: The Crake Institute, 1986) 39–57 (Constantine benefited from an already strong and flourishing church); see also the pertinent essays in Noel Lenski, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

* I dedicate this paper to the loving memory of my maternal grandparents, Ruth Evelyn Teachey Bland (1893–1927) and Grover Dobson Bland, Sr., (1893–1930). I am grateful to Professors Andrew Smith and Garth Fowden who read earlier drafts of this paper and gave me invaluable advice at different phases of its development. All deficiencies remain solely mine. I am equally grateful to the helpful comments of the two anonymous reviewers of the Harvard Theological Review.


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