Andrew Criddle wrote:Lucian has a go at Christians in Peregrinus
Thank you Andrew.
Unsure of myself, I sought instruction on this matter, by returning to PK's Biblical Criticism Search Engine. There are many wonderful ideas on this subject, embedded within that marvelous resource, and I have only just scratched the surface, studying the posts from a decade earlier.
However, as I began reading, I noticed something:
At least one author, obviously learned, intelligent, and well educated, at the old forum, described Peregrinus Proteus as if he had been a living, breathing human, not a fictional character devised by the imagination of Lucian. That sentiment would seem to correspond to your own appraisal, I guess, from your reply today, Andrew. I understand that two or three other authors from third century CE, also described Peregrinus, as though he had actually lived, and had actually engaged in self immolation at the Greek Olympic Games--a rather bizarre conduct for one reputed to have been a Christian. I would welcome your thoughts on the matter. Apologies if you had already replied on the former forum, and I simply haven't yet worked my way through to your former post, from a decade ago.
So, then I wondered, whether other folks may have puzzled on this distinction, between Peregrinus the living human, and Peregrinus the fictional character in a work of fiction by Lucian, an author renowned in his own lifetime, not only for skill in writing fiction, but more importantly, for describing the proper conduct to adopt, if one seeks to commence historical investigation. It seems to me, (honestly, only at the very outset of inquiry, I have a long, long way to go), that most other participants at the original bc&h forum, embraced Lucian's text as biographical account, rather than elaboration of a fictional character. That's when I expanded my search and found this interesting article, written a decade ago:
Hermann Detering wrote:The old issues that inspired the acumen and imagination of scholars from BAUR to HARNACK, the question whether Peregrinus was historical at all or just a figure of fiction by Lucian, nowadays seem to be forgotten, obsolete, of no interest.
I haven't finished Detering's article, but I thought I should cite it, right away, if only to acknowledge Andrew's very welcome comment. Is there a link available, to an article explaining, how we know whether Tertullian, for example, as one of those who had commented on Peregrinus, had relied upon Lucian's text for confirmation of Peregrinus' supposed life story?