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Montanists And Persecution

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Chapter Summary

Irrespective of the theological conclusions drawn from their existence, the fact that there were Montanist martyrs indicates that Montanists, like other Christians, were persecuted. Persecution of Christians during the early Roman Empire has been the subject of a great deal of recent scholarship. With one notable exception, the persecution of Christian groups later deemed 'heretical' or 'schismatic' has, however, received scant attention. "Were persecutors able to distinguish between 'catholics' and 'heretics'?" "If so, did they ever do so and for what reason?" "Were certain sects more likely to provoke persecution than other Christians?" "Were 'heretical' sects ever singled out for persecution while 'catholics' were left alone?" are all questions worth asking. This chapter provides answers for these and similar questions in respect of the Roman attitude to the Montanists. It summarizes the Roman attitude toward Christianity as a whole.

Keywords: catholics; Christians; early Roman empire; heretics; Montanists; persecution



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