The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
andrewcriddle
Posts: 1767
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:58 am

slevin wrote:
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.
Stephan and others have already replied.

IMHO Peregrinus Proteus was a real person who did most of the things reported by Lucian. However I am doubtful if Peregrinus was ever a professing Christian. I tend to think that Lucian may have invented this on the basis that Christians were the sort of weirdos that a weirdo like Peregrinus would have hung out with.

Andrew Criddle

slevin
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:07 pm

Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by slevin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:23 am

Andrew Criddle wrote:IMHO Peregrinus Proteus was a real person who did most of the things reported by Lucian.
Thank you Andrew.

I am not writing this to challenge your view of Peregrinus. I simply wish to delve a little more into the rationale for regarding Peregrinus as human, not fictitious. Why do you believe that Lucian's text represents "reporting", (of events and real people), rather than "pure fiction", (with imaginary figures)?

Do you agree with my opinion, that Lucian did write at least one book, describing the proper conduct for those engaged in historical research? Do you share my opinion that lucian had written, that it is improper conduct for an author to cite interactions with clearly mythological characters as if genuine humans, in texts intended by the author, to be read as historical treatises?

Do you share or dispute my opinion, that Lucian's inclusion of clearly fictitious figures in the text of Peregrinus, as characters in the narrative, could be viewed as an indication that Lucian himself regarded this work as one of fiction?

In other words, if you think "Peregrinus Proteus was a real person", and if you share my opinion that Lucian consciously introduced mythological figures, Zeus, for example, into his text, (contrary to Lucian's own advice vis a vis writing history), then it follows that you must have a different, unique source for the life of Peregrinus, and then, that would lead one to understand that your comment about Lucian "reporting", indicated your confidence in this other, independent source of information about the life of Peregrinus, notwithstanding Lucian's mention of Zeus et al.

What would that "other" source be, then Andrew? Tertullian, the Montanist? Aulus Gellius, notorious for having "reported" others' texts? Tatian ? It is unclear to me, that those three authors did not simply "report", what Lucian had already written. Are there other examples in history, where one author's fantasy tale, is converted, by some other author, into text describing events, involving those same fictitious characters, is if they had been living humans, rather than imaginary characters, created in a work of fiction?

andrewcriddle
Posts: 1767
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:56 am

slevin wrote:
Andrew Criddle wrote:IMHO Peregrinus Proteus was a real person who did most of the things reported by Lucian.
Thank you Andrew.

I am not writing this to challenge your view of Peregrinus. I simply wish to delve a little more into the rationale for regarding Peregrinus as human, not fictitious. Why do you believe that Lucian's text represents "reporting", (of events and real people), rather than "pure fiction", (with imaginary figures)?

Do you agree with my opinion, that Lucian did write at least one book, describing the proper conduct for those engaged in historical research? Do you share my opinion that lucian had written, that it is improper conduct for an author to cite interactions with clearly mythological characters as if genuine humans, in texts intended by the author, to be read as historical treatises?

Do you share or dispute my opinion, that Lucian's inclusion of clearly fictitious figures in the text of Peregrinus, as characters in the narrative, could be viewed as an indication that Lucian himself regarded this work as one of fiction?

In other words, if you think "Peregrinus Proteus was a real person", and if you share my opinion that Lucian consciously introduced mythological figures, Zeus, for example, into his text, (contrary to Lucian's own advice vis a vis writing history), then it follows that you must have a different, unique source for the life of Peregrinus, and then, that would lead one to understand that your comment about Lucian "reporting", indicated your confidence in this other, independent source of information about the life of Peregrinus, notwithstanding Lucian's mention of Zeus et al.

What would that "other" source be, then Andrew? Tertullian, the Montanist? Aulus Gellius, notorious for having "reported" others' texts? Tatian ? It is unclear to me, that those three authors did not simply "report", what Lucian had already written. Are there other examples in history, where one author's fantasy tale, is converted, by some other author, into text describing events, involving those same fictitious characters, is if they had been living humans, rather than imaginary characters, created in a work of fiction?
There is a reasonable amount of other mentions of Peregrinus by writers other than Lucian. This confirms at least some of what Lucian claims. (Aulus Gellius is unlikely on chronological grounds to be using Lucian and his account is rather different.)

Lucian is the only source suggesting that Peregrinus was ever a Christian. If this is true it happened c 130 when Christians were even more of a minority group than when Lucian wrote his account of Proteus. We can't be certain but Peregrinus' Christian phase is probably among the more doubtful parts of Lucian's account.

Andrew Criddle

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