Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Traditor was a term used by African rigorists to identify those who “handed over” Scripture during persecution; later, Donatists used the term for all Caecilianists.

The nominal traditor – from tradere, “to hand over, betray” – was rare in classical Latin. Tacitus (Hist. 4.24) and Annaeus Florus (Epit. 1.17) use it to mean treason against the state.

Among early Christians, it was used almost exclusively as an antonomasia for Judas (Mark 14:44; Tert. An. 11.5; Praesc…

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Bass, Alden, “Traditor”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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