Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Letter Of Mara Bar Sarapion Some Comments On Its Philosophical And Historical Context

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The Syriac Letter of Mara bar Sarapion bristles with varied and unresolved puzzles. Rejecting Cureton's view that Mara was a Christian, Schulthess adduced a number of parallels between the letter and Stoic literature (almost exclusively from the Imperial period) to show that Mara was a full-blown Stoic. Syria had been exposed to Greek culture - including philosophy - from Early Hellenistic times onwards. Pythagoras' native island of Samos was home to one of the most important Hera cults in classical antiquity. In 1856 Ewald argued in some detail that Mara's letter refers to the events during and after the Roman conquest of Commagene in 72/73CE about which we are informed by Josephus in a precise but rather anecdotic way in Bellum 7.219-243. Mara's exaggeration may have been inspired by the large-scale deportations that took place during the Jewish War.

Keywords: Commagene; Imperial period; Jewish War; Josephus; Mara bar Sarapion; Pythagoras; Samos; Schulthess; Syriac Letter



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation