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

How Christian was Fourth Century Egypt? Onomastic Perspectives on Conversion

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

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 article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract In 1982 Roger Bagnall published a ground-breaking article about conversion to Christianity in fourth century Egypt. Using onomastic data for individuals in seleced texts, he tried to demonstrate that the growth of the Christian element in the population was early and rapid, rising to 90% by the end of the century. A new date for one of the documents led to a revision of the pace of growth in 1987, but his method was never tested on other datasets. In this article we apply an adapted vesion of his method to a large new dataset, containing all attestations of personal names in fourth century documentary papyri and ostraca. We also investigate the accuracy of Christian names as a binary test for Christianity, and estimate the mutiplication factor which can be applied to determine the number of Christians. Our results are similar to the curve which can be distilled from Bagnall’s adapted results in 1987, with 20-30% Christians around 313, a Christian majority around 350 and virtually complete Christianization around the middle of the fifth century.

Affiliations: 1: KU Leuven


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

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

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation