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Evidence For The Presence Of Christians In The Roman Army

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Chapter Summary

To date, the process of Christianizing the Roman army has elicited commentary from some of the leading historians of the Roman military, but no specialized studies. The overall trend of Christian attitudes towards the military was moving towards embracing the army as an acceptable career for the faithful. In fact, not only was military service accepted by mainstream Christian authors, but some actually celebrated it. The XII Fulminata would continue to reappear in later Christian literature as the quintessential Christian combat formation. The growth of Christianity brought new forms of expression to the traditional Greco-Roman culture of the Mediterranean world. The story of Andrew the Tribune suggests that the legend of the 'Thundering Legion' was now working its way into subsequent martyrologies. Callistratus and his forty nine companions were executed in Rome during the Great Persecution and their story contains some elements of the fantastic.

Keywords: Callistratus; Christianity; Roman army; Thundering Legion; XII Fulminata

10.1163/ej.9789004187313.i-458.32
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