Roman church proposed by Lampe, Brent5i has painstakingly argued for a comprehensive solution. The statue is not of Hippolytus, but of a female figure with a metaphorical meaning such as 'wisdom' (recently identified -because of her bare breast and the relationship of names - as Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons who had a son named Hippolytus);52 the list is of works coming from a 'school', the name of Hippolytus having become attached to writings produced by his community over some decades. Hippolytus himself, who suffered martyrdom with bishop Pontianus in 235 ce, was responsible for reconciliation with the bishop, his community having been in dispute with his predecessors, Zephyrinus and Callistus. On such a theory the disputes over 'monarchianism'53 reflect the same 'fractionalisation' as earlier evidence, and do not imply a schism.
Indeed the disputed succession after the death of bishop Fabian in the Decian persecution, when Novatian54 opposed Cornelius, is the first case of one 'monarchical' bishop contestingthe position of another. Priorto that, what we find are groups resisting attempts by the 'president' to impose his authority. This was tried by Anicetus (c.i55-66 ce), Soter (c.i66-75 ce), Eleutherus (c.i75-89 ce), and Victor (c.i89-99 ce),55 and was one factor in the resistance of Hippolytus' group to Callistus, whom they accused of forming his own 'school'. That many of the various Christian groups in Rome were set up as 'schools' is another important feature of the period up to the time of the Decian persecution.
Philosophical schools were a major factor in Roman Christianity, despite the lack of any traditional basis. Philosophy is only mentioned once in the New Testament (Col 2:8) as 'hollow speculations',56 and pagans initially dismissed Christian claims to be lovers of wisdom by calling their religion a superstition (Plin. Ep. i0.96.8; Suet. Claud. 25.3; Nero i6.2; Tac. Ann. i5.44). Nevertheless, Christians took on the mantle of philosophers. Justin in Rome in the mid-second century equates 'getting to know the Christian God' with 'understanding philosophical truth' (Dial. 8.if; cf. 4.i) and represents the Old Testament
51 Brent, Hippolytus; see also Cerrato, Hippolytus between east and west.
52 Vinzent, 'Hippolyt von Rom'.
53 See pt v, ch. 25, below, and Hübner and Vinzent, Der Paradox Eine.
55 Lampe, Paul to Valentinus, 397.
56 Bardy, '"Philosophie"'.
Was this article helpful?