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Grant number like: FB-56529-12

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Harlow G. Snyder
Davidson College (Davidson, NC 28036-9405)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2012 – 7/31/2013

Christian Groups in Second-Century Rome

My project explores the diverse character of Christian study-circles in the city of Rome during the second century, before the emergence of an orthodox consensus. The study takes special interest in three crucial figures, all of whom lived and worked in Rome at the same time: Marcion, Valentinus, and Justin Martyr, but examines other, lesser-known Christian teachers as well. Rather than viewing their role in the development of doctrine, I seek to understand the nature of their teaching by means of a comparative look at other small groups that flourished at the time: philosophical schools, synagogues, medical sects, and literary salons. The goal is to produce a richer set of descriptions for early Christian groups in Rome than the simplistic and often misleading term “church.” It should be of interest to historians of early Christianity, to classicists, and to any historically-minded reader who wonders what Christianity looked like at a very early stage of its development.