Bardaisan of Edessa: A Reassessment of the Evidence and a by Ilaria Ramelli

By Ilaria Ramelli

This finished examine deals a serious, comparative research of the assets on hand on Bardaisan and a reinterpretation of his notion. during this connection, exact awareness is paid to many parallels with Origen, to the prospective courting among Origen, Bardaisan, and their faculties, and to the results of the precious fragments preserved through Porphyry.

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1–2 For Clement’s critique of extreme encratism see my “Il matrimonio cristiano in Clemente: un confronto con la legislazione romana e gli Stoici romani,” in Il matrimonio dei Cristiani: esegesi biblica e diritto romano. XXXVII Incontro di studiosi dell’Antichità cristiana, Roma, Augustinianum, 6–8 Maggio 2008, Rome 2009, Studia Ephemeridis Augustinianum 114, 351–372. 1 29 30 Bardaiṣan of Edessa his teachers, including his Syrian teacher, are presented as blessed persons, worthy of veneration. It is also notable that Clement includes his Syrian teacher among those who received the tradition from the apostles through an oral transmission, all the more in that it is known—from sources that I shall examine below—that Bardaiṣan based his ideas not only on Scripture, read in the light of philosophy, but also on a Christian esoteric tradition.

2 (2009) 135–168. Critical and Comparative Analysis of the Sources 31 testimony concerning Bardaiṣan. 5 Africanus was a learned man, who wrote not in koinē Greek, but in an Atticizing Greek, rhetorically refined, in the way of the Second Sophistic. His education was that of the Hellenized upper classes of the Roman Near East,6 like that of Bardaiṣan. 7 On which see the edition of M. Wallraff – U. Roberto – K. Pinggéra, Berlin 2007, GCS 15, and the collection of essays edited by M. Wallraff, Julius Africanus und die christliche Weltchronistik, Berlin 2006, TU 157.

Is the seat of the Ideas of all that exists. Even though in the sources, as I mentioned, it is difficult to distinguish what must be ascribed to Bardaiṣan himself and what to the Bardaiṣanites—and this is one of the main difficulties in research into Bardaiṣan—nevertheless there exist some points of reference that are rather sure and on which it is possible to rely for a comparative critical analysis of further sources. One is certainly Bardaiṣan’s De India, or at least what is preserved of it in its fragments; another is, after all, the Liber itself.

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