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Christians and imperial economic policy in the early Fourth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the price inflation which created severe difficulties for imperial policy in the early fourth century. Three Christian apologists of the early fourth century comment on the "economic circumstances of their time. Arnobius writes a fairly traditional defence of Christians against the charges that made them scapegoats for every kind of misfortune in the Roman world. The chapter suggests that economic factors along with related social-historical matters, deserve more adequate treatment in the study of the life of the early church. It is not enough to examine the dicta of various early theologians as if they had been expressed in a vacuum or had been intended to convey timeless truths. In working toward a more adequate understanding of early Christianity, we shall find that economic and social history has an important contribution to make.

Keywords: Arnobius; Christian apologists; early church; theologians

10.1163/9789004266155_018
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