Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. HUNTER, University of Kentucky, United States, Paul J.J. van GEEST, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the history of early Christian texts, authors, ideas. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. The BEEC aims to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and to update the historiography.

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Sacramentarium Gelasianum

(1,459 words)

Author(s): Tymister, Markus
The Sacramentarium Gelasianum ( Gelasian Sacramentary) is one of the first known liturgical books of the western church. It is also called the Sacramentarium Gelasianum vetus ( Old Gelasian Sacramentary), since it is one of the sources of the Gelasian Sacramentaries of the 8th century CE. The only surviving manuscript was not the first draft but a copy produced approximately 750 CE probably in the monastery of Chelles, located just east of Paris. The manuscript is presently housed in the Vatican Library (Reg. lat. 316). The original m…
Date: 2019-08-09

Sacrifice

(6,299 words)

Author(s): Ullucci, Daniel
Christianity emerged in a world of sacrifice, not only in the wider context of the ancient Mediterranean, where offerings to the gods where a key part of almost all aspects of family and civic life, but also in earliest Christianity’s proximate context, Judaism of the Second Temple period. Surprisingly, dominant voices within Christianity eventually rejected animal sacrifice while simultaneously creating a theological discourse that presented Jesus’ death, the death of martyrs, the Eucharist, and a number of other things as “true” sacrifice (e.g. Heb 5–9; Ign. Rom. 2, 4; Iren. Haer.
Date: 2019-08-09

Samson

(1,147 words)

Author(s): Spronk, Klaas
An elaborately rewritten version of the story of Samson as told in Judg 13–16 is found in Jos. Ant. 5.276–317. Samson is portrayed positively as a prophet and is praised for his courage, his worthy death, and the fact that he persisted in looking for revenge against his enemies. The story of Samson, especially the scene where he fears dying of thirst, also instructs the reader to put trust not in one’s own strength but in God. The writer (usually indicated as Pseudo-Philo) of the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum is more critical. The fact that Samson is blinded is associated with Sams…
Date: 2019-08-09

Sanctus

(1,505 words)

Author(s): Adams Petrin, Anna
Some form of the hymn known as the Sanctus has been a near-universal feature of Christian Eucharistic prayers, or anaphoras, since late antiquity. The hymn often consists of two elements. The first, the Sanctus proper, is based on Isa 6:3 (see Rev 4:8). The second, which is known as the Benedictus, is usually based on Matt 21:9. In the Roman Canon, for example, these two elements are found in the following form: 1. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Holy, Holy, Holy Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Lord God of hosts. Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. 2. Hosanna in excels…
Date: 2019-08-09

Sardica

(2,890 words)

Author(s): Costache, Doru
The modern capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, is located in the Balkan Peninsula, on the foundations of Roman Sardica or Serdica, a name that derives from the Thracian population of Sardj or Serdj. The name Sardj was borrowed from one of the Celtic tribes with which the Thracians coexisted. After the 4th-century BCE Macedonian occupation, the Sardj were conquered by the Romans in the third decade of the 1st century BCE. Due to its strategic position at the crossroads of the Roman highways connecti…
Date: 2019-08-09

Scala Coeli

(1,288 words)

Author(s): Awes Freeman, Jennifer
The scala coeli, literally “ladder of heaven,” refers primarily to Jacob’s vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven (Gen 28:10–17). In iconography, the essential components include Jacob reclining on the ground, asleep, and one or more angels on a ladder above him. This visual motif is also used to depict the spiritual ascent of souls to heaven.Biblical SourcesNumerous accounts of ascents to heaven are found in biblical and extrabiblical texts (e.g. Gen 5:18–24; Kgs 2; Luke 24:50–52; Acts: 1–12; 2 Cor 12:1–12; 1 Enoch), but the primary source for the scala coeli is the…
Date: 2019-08-09

Scapula

(522 words)

Author(s): Frisius, Mark A.
Scapula, proconsul of Africa (212–213 CE), is typically identified as P. Julius Scapula Tertullus Priscus, consul ordinaris in 195 CE. A secondary identification is his cousin C. Julius (Scapula) Lepidus Tertullus, one of the consul suffects in 195 CE (Barnes, 1986, 202–203; Birley, 1992, 53). Little is known about the family of Scapula, although it must have had some significance as few former consuls became proconsuls of Africa (Potter, 2010, 297).Scapula was the recipient of a short, open letter from Tertullian, penned after the near total eclipse of the sun on Aug 14, 212 CE (Tert. Sca…
Date: 2019-08-09

Scribes

(2,781 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
Throughout antiquity, scribes were professional writers of manuscripts and documents (Roberts, 1970; Haines-Eitzen, 2000; Hezser, 2001). Since writing was a technical skill that required special training, it was usually done by professionals who practiced their trade to make a living. In First and Second Temple times, scribes who were experts in writing Torah scrolls were associated with the Temple. The Temple would also have needed administrative scribes trained in writing documents, sales rece…
Date: 2019-08-09

Sedulius

(1,770 words)

Author(s): Springer, Carl
Sedulius was a Christian Latin poet who probably lived in the 5th century CE. In a prefatory letter to his patron, Macedonius, he mentions Jerome and the fact that he dedicated literary works to female friends. This gives us a terminus post quem of the late 4th century CE for Sedulius’ Paschale carmen. A subscription preserved in a Bobbio manuscript (Torino: Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria, E.IV.42; 7th cent) informs us that Turcius Rufius Apronianus Asterius (Roman consul in 494 CE) produced some sort of an edition of Sedulius’ “holy work” ( sacrum opus). So, the poem must have be…
Date: 2019-08-09
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