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39. The Octavius of Marcus Minucius Felix (Ancient Christian Writers) [Hardcover]

By G. W. Clarke (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   422
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.68" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.35"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1978
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809101890  
EAN  9780809101894  


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Item Description...
Overview
This work is a defense of Christianity composed in clean and direct imitation of Cicero, by a practicing advocate at Rome of African background, writing within the first third of the third century.

Publishers Description
A monumental project which brings the English-speaking work key selections from the remarkable literature of early Christianity -- vertiable trasures of Christian faith and theology in superb translations.

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One of the Easier Pieces of Patristic Literature to Digest  Mar 9, 2006
Minucius Felix's Octavius is an artful early Christian work that reminds us of the golden dialogues of Cicero. In the Octavius, there are three participants: Caecilius, a pagan sophist; and Octavius and Minucius, who are both Christians. As the dialogue commences, Minucius is set to be the interlocutor, while Caecilius and Octavius engage in a religious debate. So in a long diatribe Caecilius takes the offensive, advocating philosophy and traditional Roman virtues over Christianity, which he believes is nothing more than a secretive religion of rustics and criminals. Octavius, in turn, responds at length to Caecilius in a favorable manner and wins him over to the Christian cause. All in all this is fine, except that Minucius never mediates between the two. Minucius is not an Academic [skeptic] but instead an assenting Christian dogmatist who is never actively manipulating dialogue. He raises no suggestions and no questions; but this is evidently because he is left awestruck and bemused by the depth and beauty Octavius' arguements (see, ch. 39). Although this negates his role as interlocutor and ultimately damages the dignity of the dialogue. Minucius is found only at the beginning and the end of the Octavius and takes a positive attitude toward one side. It certainly would have been nice to have seen him arbitrating between the two. Overall, as a dialogue, the Octavius is far to simple; but it is adorned with the graces of Ciceronian elegance and style and this is a big plus, especially considering the era in which it was composed. Because of its charm, the Octavius is one of the easier pieces of patristic literature to digest. Despite its faults, which are forgivable, the Octavius is a definite recommendation.

 

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