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The Murder of George of Cappadocia and the Violent Pagan Image in Ammianus Marcellinus


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This paper focused on three main issues regarding the brutal murder of George of Cappadocia on 24 December 361 CE in Alexandria and the question of whether the “pagans” attempted to prevent the cult of the martyr. First, an examination of the sources regarding the murderers of George found that the Alexandrian crowd did not only consist of pagans. Instead, everyone who had suffered from the tyranny of George could be possible assailants. Second, Ammianus’ report that the intention of the people was to defile the victims’ remains is highly contested. Regarding fourth-century Alexandria, it is impossible to find any evidence that refers to such an attempt. Third, his text exposed a somewhat ruthless image of pagans as presented by Christian authors such as Prudentius. Despite Ammianus being not a Christian himself, his account reflects the images of the cruel pagans fabricated by Christians, thus allowing us to acknowledge the Christianised view of pagans in the work of the last great Latin historian.


Affiliations: 1: Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
skosaka@m.tohoku.ac.jp


10.1163/18177565-00111p09
/content/journals/10.1163/18177565-00111p09
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/content/journals/10.1163/18177565-00111p09
2015-11-16
2017-11-23

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