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The Christian lapsi in Smyrna, 250 A.D. (Martyrium Pionii 12-14)

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Pionios died as a martyr in Smyrna during the Decian persecution. The Martyrium Pionii is one of the most interesting examples of the acta martyrum, possibly partly based on texts written by the martyr himself. There are two speeches by Pionios, the second and longer one held in prison. It is usually thought that Pionios addresses two different audiences in this speech, but it can be shown that the whole speech is directed at Christians lapsi, who had sacrificed or were forced to sacrifice in the course of the persecution. Since we know almost nothing about Decian lapsi in Asia Minor, this alone is already of some importance, but we get also some glimpses of the discussions in the Christian community and can re-assess the mention of the Jewish community in Smyrna and it's role during the persecution.


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Affiliations: 1: Institut für Altertumswissenschaften, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Fürstengraben 1, 07743, Jena, Germany


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