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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(1,551 words)

Author(s): Shannon-Henderson, Kelly. E.
Many details of Cornelius Tacitus’ life and career (fl. 100–110 CE), including his dates of birth and death and even his first name (probably Publius), are unknown or uncertain. He was born to a senatorial family, probably in the 50s CE, perhaps in southern Gaul. He rose to political prominence under Domitian, serving as praetor in 88 CE, and remained active under Nerva and Trajan, serving as consul in 97 CE and proconsul of Asia in 112–113 CE (where he may first have encountered Christians: Fuchs, 1950, 72–73n11). His major works are the Histories (composed c. 104–110 CE), which chroni…
Date: 2020-04-14


(2,333 words)

Author(s): Martin, Céline
One of the demarcations of the Augustan provincial organization, the former Hispania Citerior, Tarraconensis was among the vastest provinces of the empire until the Diocletian reform of 293 CE. It was then divided into three parts: Tarraconensis, Gallaecia, and Cartaginensis. Still commanded from its capital Tarraco, Tarraconensis was thus reduced to a broad strip of land bordering the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Coast and centered on the Ebro Valley that joined both re…
Date: 2020-04-14


(1,774 words)

Author(s): Ottenheijm, Eric
Wearing tzitzit, elongated tassels at the fringes of one’s cloak, and donning phylacteries, tefillin, is a notable feature of male Jewish, religious public practice in late antiquity. From Hellenistic times onward, these practices are considered a regular interpretation of biblical commandments and are perceived as Jewish attire. Second Temple and early rabbinic sources mention tzitzit and tefillin as a pair ( Let. Aris. 158–159; Jos. Ant. 4.213; t. Ber. 6(7).24, Mekilta dRabbi Ishmael, Shirata 3, on Exod. 15:2 reads תפילה/ tefillah (prayer) but both the context, mentioning…
Date: 2020-04-14


(7,229 words)

Author(s): Crawford, Matthew R.
Tatian, a student of Justin Martyr, flourished in the second half of the 2nd century CE, and so was a contemporary of Irenaeus of Lyon. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but he must have come from the East, given that he calls himself an “Assyrian” (Tat. Orat. 42). Similarly, Clement of Alexandria and Epiphanius of Salamis refer to him as a “Syrian” (Clem. Strom.; Epiph. Pan. 46.1.6). Epiphanius, along with some modern scholars, understood this designation to mean that he came from Mesopotamia, that is, from east of the Euphrates River ( Pan. anacephalaeosis 3). However, inh…
Date: 2020-04-14

Testamentum Domini

(1,482 words)

Author(s): Stewart, Alistair C.
The Testamentum Domini is an example of the literature collectively known as the “church orders.” The definition of a church order is uncertain, and there is scholarly debate even regarding the legitimacy of the term, but it conveniently covers a number of documents that have in common an aim to direct the conduct of Christians and of the church on the basis of an appeal to tradition derived from or mediated through the apostles. This is what the Testamentum does; it describes the building of a church with associated outbuildings, the mode of appointment for ministers and…
Date: 2020-04-14