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Onomastic Statistics and the Christianization of Egypt: A Response to Depauw and Clarysse

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

In showing a more gradual spread of Christianity over the fourth century, Depauw and Clarysse’s revised statistical approach has some merits over Bagnall’s earlier conclusions from onomastic evidence. However, given the complex, even ambiguous Christianity evident in late antique Egyptian sources, all attempts to track “conversion” on the basis of naming beg the questions: (a) what constitutes “being Christian” and (b) what do new naming practices actually represent in the overall assimilation of Christian traditions.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of ReligionBoston University145 Bay State Rd.Boston MA


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