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Here the author virtually assumes the role of a prophet, a role to which a mere philosopher could not aspire. Lactant_01_Intro 20 10/19/03, 15:16 INTRODUCTION 21 subject is the millennium, which he has just described with the aid of the Sibyls and Vergil. He goes on: This is what the prophets said would happen. I have not thought it necessary to set out what they say in evidence because it would go on for ever; my book could not manage so much material when so many people are saying the same things in the same spirit, and I would not want to bore my readers by piling up stuff gathered from all of them; besides, what I would be saying would simply be confirmation drawn from the writings of others, not my own words, and I would be pointing out that the truth is kept recorded not just with us, but also with those very people who keep persecuting us – though it is a truth which they refuse to acknowledge.

33ff. 1 (Ennius); cf. 9ff. 2 (orators). g. 6: docti homines ac diserti; Celsus in Origen, c. Cels. 41. 3. 43 Cic. Part. Orat. 6. 18–21. The fact that pagan polemic had singled out the lack of education and alleged untrustworthiness of Christ’s disciples, particularly Paul and Peter, would have only stiffened Lactantius’ resolve not to argue from the New Testament (cf. n. 37, above). 3. 13–16. 49 This means, in the first instance, poets and philosophers, but secondly, divine or quasi-divine testimony which also came from (or purported to come from) the pagan camp: the prophetic pronouncements of Hermes Trismegistus, the Sibylline Oracles, Apollo and others.

3 (= Stevenson 1968, 245). 2–4. 14. 109 See Shaw (1996). 12. Chastisement of the good is of course a repeated Old Testament idea, picked up in the New Testament. g, Hebr. 12:1–11, citing Prov. 3:11–12. Lactant_01_Intro 28 10/19/03, 15:16 INTRODUCTION 29 was a virtue that can only appear in adversity, and to include it within a comprehensive account of the moral life of a Christian bonus vir. 112 Later, in Book 5, martyrs are marked out as the true models of virtue, displacing the heroes of old Rome.

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