Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Early Church History

Fall has finally arrived and school is in session. Arete Classical Studies Program begins it's fall reading schedule on October 1, 2007. Please join us as we read and study the following GREAT BOOKS:

Antiquities of the Jews by Titus Flavius Josephus

Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE), who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

Parallel Lives by Plutarch

Mestrius Plutarchus (c. 46 AD - 127 AD), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in Chaeronea, Boeotia [Greece], a town about twenty miles east of Delphi. His oeuvre (work of art) consists of the Parallel Lives and the Moralia.

Writings of Tertullian

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. 155–230) was a church leader and prolific author of Early Christianity. He also was a notable early Christian apologist. Tertullian, a Romanized African, was born, lived and died in Carthage, in what is today Tunisia.

Schedule of Readings
  • October 1-31, 2007: Josephus
  • November 1-30, 2007: Selected lives of Plutarch
  • December 1-20, 2007: Writings of Tertullian along with some philosophical discussion on early Church history. Possibly will require time in January to complete.
Biographical Information
Online Texts
Suggested Pacing

All of these writings with the exception of the Lives are short and easy to read. Josephus's work is 20 chapters long with each chapter approximately 3 pages in MS Word. Plutarch's Lives are each around 20-30 pages long. We will be reading select Lives and will read them in Parallel the way Plutarch originally wrote them. Tertullian's writing is approximately 50 chapters with each chapter approximately 2 pages in MS Word.
  • Josephus should take us five weeks to complete. Each week plan on reading 4-5 chapters or about 12 to 15 pages.
  • Plutarch will take us five weeks to complete. We will look at 4-5 of the most well-known Lives.
  • Tertullian will take us five weeks to complete. Plan on reading 10 chapters or about 20 pages each week. We will spend some time looking at the other philosophers of the period, most namely Origen.
Class Discussion

Class discussion is encouraged by not required for participation. Study notes will be provided whenever possible, however, we encourage you to read and think deeply on each work and then give a thoughtful opinion or your impression of each piece. There are no right or wrong anwers so enjoy this study and learn something new from it.