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

Celsus’ Competing Heroes: Jonah, Daniel, and their Rivals

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

In Origen's Contra Celsum, Celsus, the pagan critic of Christianity, displays his familiarity with a selection of biblical heroes who were to have durable popularity in Christian art. Celsus' suggestions of alternative heroes for Christians to worship have a surprising resonance in the visual arts of early Christianity. The biblical heroes named by Celsus Jonah and Daniel appeared early and often in Christian art and proved to have great staying power as well. Some of his non-biblical heroes also resonated in the art of both the early Christians and their pagan rivals. Orpheus, whom Celsus also proposed for veneration, was in fact a subject of considerable interest to Christians and Jews. Some of Celsus' suggestions of heroes more worthy of veneration than Jesus seem truly provocative or frivolous. Herakles, the first of the heroes cited by Celsus, remained more competitive than either Orpheus or Asklepios far into the Christian Roman Empire.

Keywords: Asklepios; biblical heroes; Celsus' suggestions; Christian art; Daniel; Herakles; Jonah; Origen's Contra Celsum; Orpheus; Roman Empire



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:
    Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation