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Martyrdom and Noble Death: Selected Texts from Graeco-Roman, Jewish and Christian Antiquity (Context of Early Christianity) [Paperback]

Friedrich Avemarie , Jan Willem van Henten
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

7 Feb 2002 0415138914 978-0415138918
This volume explores the fascinating phenomenon of noble death through pagan, Jewish and Christian sources. Today's society is uncomfortable with death, and willingly submitting to a violent and ostentatious death in public is seen as particularly shocking and unusual. Yet classical sources give a different view, with public self-sacrifice often being applauded. The Romans admired a heroic end in the battlefield or the arena, suicide in the tradition of Socrates was something laudable, and Christians and Jews alike faithfully commemorated their heroes who died during religious persecutions. The cross-cultural approach and wide chronological range of this study make it valuable for students and scholars of ancient history, religion and literature.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (7 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415138914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415138918
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 833,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"This volume aims at offering undergraduate students in various disciplines (religion, classics, Jewish studies, etc.) a survey of ancient sources about those kinds of"noble death" that can be called martyrdom or are rather similar to a sourcebook, it has fuller introductions to the texts than most... "New Testament Abstracts March 2003 _."

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Ostentatious forms of violent death hardly fit in with modern views of life. Read the first page
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful sourcebook and starting point 8 Jun 2006
By reader
This book is a very accessible starting point for students and interested readers to gain first-hand experience of ancient documents related to martyrdom.

The basic principle of placing selected texts from different traditions alongside one another is illuminating. However, beware! One might like to ask whether such distinctions between those traditions can be made - especially between Judaism and Christianity and their interpretations of martyrdom, as Daniel Boyarin has recently demonstrated.

Considering that the book is very short and that it attempts to cover Pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Rabbinic traditions, the exercepts are indeed select and short, which can hinder a rounded grasp of the texts and their messages. The introductions to the texts are good, but could do with some more detail on locating similar texts for further reading.
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