Syllabus [EuroHist-HHS123-F09]

For 10/19-21

Assignment 7

Remember to "REFRESH."

Early Christianities

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Was he human, divine, a hybrid, or all of the above?

For Tuesday: (which is Monday in the universe of Stevens):


Read this overview of Gnosticism and the discovery of the texts at Nag Hammadi: PagelsAndGnosticIntro.htm


Listen to this 1/2 hour lecture, An Overview of Gnosticism by Ehrman.  EarlyChristianGnosticism-Overview-Ch5-15MB.mp4  Take notes on this.  Make sure you read the thing above so that you have some context for this.  The Nag Hammadi story in the reading above is necessary for this to make much sense.  If you are unable to listen to this, contact me and I'll put up a different format.  Otherwise I'll assume that you were able to make it work. 


Read this PDF from Pagels' Beyond Belief, on the role of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the growth of Christianity, not just any Christianity, but Roman Catholic Christianity.  Pagels-Beyond_Belief-Constantine.pdf [3.2MB]


Read this – Nero's Dining Room Found: Nero's Diningroom Found: ANSA  [This news broke just a few days ago.]

...and listen to this – audio slide show


Optional: Obituary for the man who bought (using the MET's money) the Eurphronous Krater for $1,000,000.  Dietrich von Bothmer


For Wednesday: Exam I: You can bring a single sheet of paper with anything on it what so ever. So far I have posted review sheets up to Week 5.  I'll get 6 and 7 up asap.  These are mostly just class slide shows and don't always go over specific readings.  Remember to study all of the readings... Livy, Plutarch, Watkins, Oxford Classical Dictionary Readings, Silver, Plato, Homer, Josephus, Pagels, and many more.  Of course study the Davies readings.

Make your sheet of paper, your "cheet sheet,"  an outline of what we have done so far.  Definitely put some big names and dates and places.  Remind yourself of big points, or storylines, or battle tactics or statistics...



Essay:  At this point you should have done 3 essays, one was the comic book on Polyphemus, and two others.  If you have only done 2 essays, you need to do this one.  Feel free to use both this week's readings and last week's as the basis for your essay.  Questions you might consider: How is gnosticism similar to Platonic philosophy? Do any of the ideas in gnosticism live on today?  What if gnosticism or Arianism had won and Roman Catholicism had lost... what would the world be like today?  Perhaps write up a short essay exploring that question.  Go nuts.



Optional: [These readings can be used any way you want. They could add to a regular essay or could be used as a source for your larger project or could looked over just to see what sort of stuff is out there.


Bowersock, G. W. "From Emperor to Bishop: The Self-Conscious Transformation of Political Power in the Fourth Century A.D." Classical Philology 81, no. 4 (1986): 298-307.  Bowersock_revs_BlackAthena.pdf [250KB]


Koestler, Helmut. "Apocryphal and Canonical Gospels." The Harvard Theological Review 73, no. 1/2 (1980): 105-130. Koestler,Helumt_ApocryphasAndCanonicalGospels.pdf [2.2MB]


Yamauchi, Edwin M. "Pre-Christian Gnosticism in the Nag Hamadi Texts?" Chruch History 48, no. 2 (1979): 129-141.  Yamauchi_PreChristGnosticWriters.pdf [1.3MB]


Good sources for overviews


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Ichthus (ΙΧΘΥΣ, Greek for fish)

Early Christian Identifier found in Ephesus (Turkey).



ησος Χριστός, Θεο ͑Υιός, Σωτήρ - Ancient Greek


Jesus Christ, God's Son, [and] Savior - English Translation

ησος          Jesus  [Iesous]

Χριστός       Christ  [Khristos]

Θεο            God's  [Theon]

Υιός             Son     [Huios]

Σωτήρ          Savior  [Soter]


The first letters spell "ΙΧΘΥΣ"

...or FISH in Ancient Greek.







neros-dining-room-found.html - has slide show

Guardian news

short story