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Hadrian’s Rescript
(785 words)

Upon immediate inspection, the text of Hadrian’s Rescript (122–123 CE) to Gaius Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, seems plain enough. The most obvious interpretation is to regard it as a reaffirmation of his predecessor’s (Trajan) policy as found in the brief rescript to the governor Pliny (c. 111 CE). Justin Martyr is the first to cite Hadrian’s Rescript in his apology (Just. 1 Apol. 68.6–10) as one of several appendices in support of his overall argument that just emperors do not persecute Christians (Persecution of Christians) based on rumors. By including the Rescript, J…

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Williams, D.H., “Hadrian’s Rescript”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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