Paul¡¯s Dishonoured Benefactor: Responses from Augustan Rome

 

 

1. The Julio-Claudian Rulers as ¡®Benefactors of the World¡¯

 

Romans commentators have not paid sufficient attention to the fact that the Roman house churches were located in the capital from which the imperial princeps ruled a far-flung empire.[1] Even where the ruler does feature in discussion, commentators usually focus on Claudius┬í┬» expulsion of the Jews (AD 49) and how it (allegedly) led to the emergence of ethnic divisions in the Roman house churches.[2] More recently, the presence of believing slaves in the familia Caesaris has stimulated interest in Paul┬í┬»s ┬í┬«body┬í┬» and ┬í┬«slavery┬í┬» metaphors.[3] The rule of the imperial ruler, not unexpectedly, has featured in discussions of Romans 13:1-7.[4]┬á However, few commentators pause to consider how first-century residents of Rome might have perceived the apostle┬í┬»s gospel of grace in its imperial context. How would Paul┬í┬»s proclamation of divine beneficence (cavri": Rom 5:2, 15, 17, 20, 21; cf. 1:5, 7; 3:24; 4:16; 6:1, 14, 15; 11:5, 6; 12:3, 6; 15:15; 16:20) ÔÇö paradoxically dispensed through a dishonoured benefactor (Rom 5:6-8) ÔÇö have been processed by auditors familiar with and well disposed to the cavrite" of the Caesars?[5] S.K. Stowers stands out as a prominent exception to modern commentators┬í┬» neglect of the imperial context. He argues that self-mastery was a central virtue of the Augustan moral revolution and that Paul presents the crucified Christ as God┬í┬»s answer to gentile self-mastery.[6] But, overall, to focus on the perceptions of Paul┬í┬»s first-century auditors demands the intimate familiarity with the Graeco-Roman documentary and literary sources that German commentators of the past possessed as part of their training, but which is increasingly rare in an age of specialist New Testament methodologies.[7] In sum, this loss of historical perspective robs the Romans exegete of the ability to ask incisive questions of the text regarding the first-century context of beneficence, with the result that Paul┬í┬»s dynamic gospel is reduced to a timeless dogmatics.

The propaganda of the Julio-Claudian rulers and the provincial decrees erected in their honour were careful to register for posterity the gratitude of their beneficiaries, given the unparalleled beneficence emanating from Rome. In this regard, the honorific inscriptions demonstrate how decisively the Julio-Claudian rulers had outstripped their competitors in a unilateral display of grace.  It would be unwise to assume that the provincial perception of the ¡®god-like¡¯ status of the ruler in the Greek East was replicated in Rome or throughout the Latin West. However, there is clear documentary evidence for Augustus assuming an eschatological status within the sweep of republican tradition. The portrait statue programme at the forum of Augustus represents Augustus¡¯ official rendering of his place in history and his new formulation of the heroic ideal. Moreover, it accords supreme status to Augustus within the Roman eulogistic tradition and intriguingly, in particular cases, rendered honour to dishonoured benefactors. Roman auditors may have been more willing to entertain the early Christian idea of a dishonoured benefactor than we first imagine, especially if it was situated within an identifiable set of rhetorical conventions for its auditors. But, first, what do the honorific inscriptions reveal about the culture of imperial beneficence from Augustus to Nero? The brief selection below will suffice.

First, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti (¡®The Achievements of the Divine Augustus¡¯), composed by Augustus to be read in the senate after his death (AD 14), was subsequently inscribed on the bronze tablets attached to the pillars of his mausoleum in the Campus Martias next to the Tiber. The Res Gestae text was also erected in the provinces.[8]  The central section of the Res Gestae is devoted to the vast array of benefactions (RG 15-24; cf. Appendix 1-4) that secured Augustus¡¯ auctoritas as the pre-eminent Roman magistrate among other Roman magistrates (34.1, 3).[9] After setting out his direct gifts of money to the people (RG 15-18), Augustus details his endowment of public works (19-21), and concludes with his personal spending on the games, as well as his scrupulous use of funds for religious purposes (22-23).[10] The Appendix, which summarises Augustus¡¯ expenses on public projects not touched on in the Res Gestae, was not written by Augustus but by an anonymous admirer of Augustus.  With the zeal and efficiency of a treasury official, the admirer simplifies the Augustus¡¯ lists and rounds out as a total sum what could be costed, though he blithely misses out on the subtlety of Augustus¡¯ self-portrayal in the Res Gestae in the process.

What impression is Augustus intending to convey in the central section of the Res Gestae? The exceptional scale of Augustus┬í┬» public honours (RG 1-14) finds its counterpart in the extraordinary scale of his benefactions (15-24). Augustus┬í┬» power base as the triumphant imperator (25-33) goes hand-in-hand with the extraordinary financial power base of his rule (15-24). Last, the ascendancy of his auctoritas before the senate and the people ÔÇö summed up the inscribed golden shield honouring his ┬í┬«courage, clemency, justice and piety┬í┬» (RG 34:2) in the Curia Julia ÔÇö flows as much from the moral honorifics traditionally attributed to benefactors in the Graeco-Roman honour system as from his military ascendancy.[11]

Second, while Tiberius deprecated divine honours, an inscription on a statue base (AD 41-54) indicates that the ruler was pleased to accept from Sardis the honorifics of qeov" (¡®god¡¯) and eujergevth" tou' kovsmou (¡®benefactor of the world¡¯) when he restored the city after an earthquake (AD 17).[12]

Third, client-kings exploded into rapturous praise of the grace of Gaius Caligula (¡®the New Sun¡¯) and celebrated games in honour of his sister (¡®the goddess new Aphrodite, Drusilla¡¯). Because the sons of Kotys owed their kingdoms to Gaius, they were unable to requite his beneficence. The decree elaborates regarding the grounds for their gratitude to the ruler:

Since the New Sun (oJ nevo"┬á {Hlio") Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus wished to illuminate with his own rays of light even the bodyguard kings of his rule, in order that the greatness of his immortality (to; megalei'on th'" ajqanasiva") even in that regard be worthy of respect ÔÇö and the kings put a great amount of thought into discovering appropriate recompense (i[sa" ajmoibav") to show their good feeling (eij" eujcaristivan) for the gracious act of such a great god, but failed to discover one ÔÇö (and since) the sons of Kotys, namely, Rhoimetalkes and Polemon and Kotys, had been his foster-brothers and had become his companions and had been established by him (i.e. Gaius Caesar) in the kingdoms rightfully owed to them from their fathers and ancestors; and the sons, reaping the abundance of his immortal favour (th'" ajqanavtou cavrito"), in this regard became greater than those before them, because although they held (the royal power) from their fathers, they became kings in the joint rule of such great gods as a consequence of the favour (cavrito") of Gaius Caesar , and the favours (cavrite") of gods differ from human successions (of power) as sunlight from night and as the immortal from immortal nature ┬í┬Ž[13]

Fourth, the priest Eratophanes, responsible for imperial worship at Rhodes, refers to Claudius as ¡®the Saviour and Benefactor of all humanity¡¯ (to;n pavntwn ajnqrwvpwn swtevra kai; eujergevthn).[14]

Finally, the decree of the general assembly of Hellas reciprocates Nero¡¯s magnanimous liberation of Hellas in 67 AD with an effusive eulogy and divine honours:

Whereas Nero ÔÇö Lord of all the Cosmos (oJ tou' panto;" kovsmou kuvrio"), Supreme Imperator, designated Tribune for the thirteenth time, Father of his country, New Sun (nevo"┬á {Hlio") that brightens Hellas, who has chosen to be benefactor of Hellas, and with piety requites (ajmeibovmeno") our Gods, who are always at his side and look out for his safety ÔÇö is unique in the annals of time and as Supreme Imperator has proved himself the friend of Hellas, [Nero] Zeus Liberator, and has granted (e[dwken) to us our liberty that from of old was so characteristic of us and germane to our land, but then was snatched from us; and (whereas this liberation) is his gift to us (ejcarivsato), and he has restored (to Hellas) its ancient autonomy and freedom, and has added to his great and unexpected gift (th'/ megavlh/ kai; ajprosdokhvtw/ dwrea'/) release from taxation, something that none of the Caesars ever granted before; in view of all this, it is decreed by the Magistrates, the Council, and the People, forthwith to consecrate the altar hard by Zeus Saviour and to inscribe it: TO ZEUS LIBERATOR [NERO] FOREVER, and to consecrate the sacred images of [Nero] Zeus Liberator and Goddess Augusta [Messalina], in the temple of Apollo of Ptos in joint dedication with our Ancestral Gods, so that, with all things perfected (telesqevntwn) in such fashion, all the world may know that our city renders all honour and piety toward the [house] of our Lord Augustus [Nero].[15]

What is remarkable about the inscriptions of Gaius and Nero above is the eschatological and cosmic aura surrounding the rulers, underscored by the language of ¡®newness¡¯, ¡®cosmology¡¯, ¡®teleology¡¯, and ¡®immortality¡¯.  The inscriptions of Tiberius and Claudius, by contrast, highlight the universal scope of imperial patronage, whereas the Res Gestae establishes Augustus as ¡®kind of super-patron¡¯ who expanded the traditional boundaries of patronage from local communities to the Roman community as a whole.[16] Yet while the beneficiaries are dependent on the rulers¡¯ unilateral acts of grace, the system is nonetheless riddled with reciprocity. Nero¡¯s beneficence recompenses the care of the gods of Hellas. Conversely, the client-kings attempt to reciprocate commensurately Gaius¡¯ favour, but are reduced to registering gratitude. It reminds us that while the magnitude of the imperial largesse had eclipsed all other competitors, it was traditionally articulated within the conventions of the Graeco-Roman reciprocity system. 

It is against this ideological backdrop that Paul¡¯s heralding of an alternate reign of grace at Rome (Rom 5:21: hJ cavri" basileuvsh; cf. 5:17b: basileuvsousin) would have been heard.  How would the residents of Rome, aware of the inflated claims made about Augustus¡¯ divine status in the East, have responded to early Christian claims regarding an eschatological and cosmic Benefactor, but one who had been crucified by the imperial prefect of Judaea? What would have been their response to Paul¡¯s dishonoured Benefactor who had squandered his beneficence on ungrateful clients? Could such a Benefactor conceivably supplant Augustus, lauded as the iconic figure of imperial virtue by the public, and celebrated in the forum Augustum as the culmination of republican history?  What yardstick did they use to test the reality of this new Benefactor¡¯s cavri"? What social and theological features differentiated Paul¡¯s gospel from the imperial propaganda, especially given the overlap of salvific terminology in both traditions?[17] What aspects of Paul¡¯s gospel might have seemed attractive, even if alien, to imperial auditors? It is only when we answer questions like these that we appreciate better the offence and the glory of Paul¡¯s gospel of cruciform grace. E. Blaiklock has summed up the issues thus:

It is curious to see that the Caesar cult should arise simultaneously with Christianity. Different though the two religions were, there were common features which made them inevitable competitors. Both sought universal acceptance. Both held a doctrine of incarnation, grotesque though the parody might seem to Christian minds. ¡®Caesar the Lord¡¯ paralleled ¡®the Lord¡¯ of Christian worship. Choice was clear. It was one faith or the other.[18]

This article explores the imperial associations that may have been evoked by Paul¡¯s language of grace in its Augustan context. How would Roman residents have responded to Paul¡¯s alternate reign of grace?  How would they have assessed the merits of Paul¡¯s dishonoured benefactor against the (seemingly) superior eschatological claims of Augustus? What issues may have prompted them to consider a change of patron? After examining the documentary and literary evidence regarding Augustus as an eschatological benefactor, we will discuss how the portrait statue programme of the forum Augustum shaped the perceptions of Roman auditors regarding the interplay of honour and dishonour in the benefaction system. It will be argued that while Paul¡¯s unilateral and cruciform understanding of cavri" created serious problems for his auditors, echoes of the Augustan tradition, rhetorically adapted by Paul, softened the offence and lulled the Romans into considering a change of patronage.

 

 

2. Augustus as Eschatological Benefactor in the Eastern and Western Provinces

 

New Testament exegetes have been reluctant to situate the reign of grace described in Romans 5:12-21 as much in the Roman eschatology of the Augustan era as in the traditions of Jewish apocalyptic literature.[19] However, D. Georgi has noted that ¡®the gospel according to Augustus had the world spellbound¡¯,[20] including (presumably) some of the Roman Christians to whom Paul later wrote. From the late first century BC, as the Julian house eclipsed its rivals, beneficence was monopolised by the Caesars. The one-sidedness of this contest struck contemporary observers as a turning-point in Roman history and this was reflected in the Augustan propaganda throughout the provinces. The enormity of Augustus¡¯ beneficence was apparent to his contemporaries and successors. A letter of the Roman Proconsul to the Asian League (9 BC) admits that ¡®it is difficult to return for (Augustus¡¯) many great benefactions thanks in equal measure (kat j i[son e[ujcaris]tei'n)¡¯.[21] In his letter to the city of Gytheion (AD 15), Tiberius referred to ¡®the great size of the benefits of my father to all the world¡¯.[22] In similar vein, Germanicus would later describe Augustus as ¡®the true Saviour and the Benefactor of the entire race of men¡¯.[23] Thus the iconic status of Augustus as a benefactor was deeply entrenched in the propaganda of his successors.

But, at the outset, a methodological problem confronts us. Can we assume that the Augustan propaganda of the Greek East, which grew out of the Hellenistic ruler cult, would have been known to the residents of the capital?[24] While the majority of the documents we will discuss in this section emanate from the Eastern provinces, a basic knowledge of the Augustan eschatological traditions from the East must have trickled back to the capital. This would have occurred either through traders and craftsmen of the provinces visiting, settling in, or returning to the capital (e.g. Aquila and Priscilla: Acts 18:2, 18-19, 24-26; 1 Cor 16:19; Rom 16:3; 2 Tim 4:19), or through the return of Roman officials, their retinue, and soldiers to the capital after overseas service in the provinces, or by the arrival of provincial embassies in Rome (Res Gestae 31-33). Two observations are apposite here. First, because Paul had extensively travelled throughout the Greek East, he would have been keenly attuned to the rival gospel of Augustus and his successors in writing to the Romans. Second, as will later be argued, Augustus sponsored an official eschatology through the construction of a new forum. Although the eschatology of Augustus¡¯ forum was republican rather than Hellenistic in tenor, it would have spoken as powerfully to residents of Rome as did the ¡®ruler-cult¡¯ eschatology to residents of the provincial poleis in the Greek East. We now turn to an examination of the documentary and literary evidence.

An overpowering sense of eschatological destiny had gripped the minds of the contemporaries of Augustus when they honoured the princeps. For example, the first decree of the Asian League concerning the new provincial calendar (Priene: 9 BC) explodes with praise as it recounts Augustus¡¯ merits:

[S]ince Providence, which has divinely disposed our lives, having employed zeal and ardour, has arranged the most perfect (culmination) for life (to; telhovtaton tw'i bivwi) by producing Augustus, whom for the benefit of mankind (eij" eujergesivan ajnqrwv[pwn]) she has filled with excellence (ejplhvrwsen ajreth'"), as [if she had granted him as a saviour] ([swth'ra carisamevnh]) for us and our descendants, (a saviour) who brought war to an end and set [all things] in peaceful order (kosmhvsonta de; [eijrhvnhn]); [and (since) with his appearance] Caesar exceeded the hopes (ta;" ejlpivda" [uJper]evqhken) of all those who had received [glad tidings] ([eujangevlia]) before us, not only surpassing ([uJperba]lovmeno") those who had been [benefactors] before him, but not even [leaving any] hope [of surpassing him] (ejlpivd[a] uJperbolh'") for those who are to come in the future; and (since) the beginning of glad tidings (eujaggeliv[wn]) on his account for the world was [the birthday] of the god ...[25]

The beneficent reign of Augustus is given quasi-cosmological significance by the Roman proconsul in his letter to the Asian League (Priene: 9 BC):

It is subject to question whether the birthday of our most divine Caesar spells more of joy or blessing, this being a date that we could probably without fear of contradiction equate with the beginning of all things (th'i tw'n pavntwn ajrch'i), if not in terms of nature, certainly in terms of utility, seeing that he restored stability, when everything was collapsing and falling into disarray, and gave a new look to the entire world that would have been most happy to accept its own ruin had not the good and common fortune of all been born: Caesar. Therefore people might justly assume that his birthday spells the beginning of life and real living  (ajrch;n tou' bivou kai; th'" zwh'") and marks the end and boundary of any regret that they had themselves been born.[26]

As seen above, the imperial propaganda laid heavy emphasis on the pre-eminent merit of Augustus as benefactor.[27] He had established peace, inaugurated an era of unparalleled beneficence, and secured hope for the future.[28] In a further act of grace, we hear of Augustus¡¯ clemency towards his enemies.[29]  But the imperial propaganda of Priene also portrays Augustus as an eschatological figure.[30] His principate represents the culmination (to; telhovtaton) of Providence in the universal history of mankind. The superiority of Augustus as world-benefactor for all time is reinforced by the language of excess (uJperbavllein, uJperbolhv).[31] The language of abundance, too, features in the Priene inscription in order to emphasise the superiority of his birth to other individuals of outstanding merit: the cities of Asia are encouraged to celebrate the birthday of Augustus ¡®in an even more extraordinary manner (perissovteron)¡¯.[32]  

┬áMoreover, the imperial propaganda ascribed a cosmic status to Augustus. The reason was obvious to all. He had brought about a decisive reversal of the social disintegration unleashed by the triumvirs (and, indeed, Marius and Sulla before them), as they and their factions struggled for political ascendancy (59ÔÇö31 BC). When Roman civilisation had tottered on the precipice, Augustus offered a new beginning (ajrchv) that would bring real life (bivo"; zwhv) and an end to all regret. The court poet Horace (65ÔÇö8 BC) affords us insight into the profound sense of relief that Augustus brought to a generation wearied by war-guilt and the snubbing of traditional Roman values.[33] Horace┬í┬»s idyllic description of the fertility of the Augustan age is replete with the motifs of redemption and the restoration of the mos maiorum:

(the) country yearns for Caesar. For when he is here, the ox in safety roams the pastures; Ceres and benign Prosperity make rich the crops; safe are the seas over which our sailors course; Faith shrinks from blame; polluted by no stain, the home is pure; custom and law have stamped out the taint of sin; mothers win praise because of children like unto their sires; while Vengeance follows close on guilt.[34]

This widespread thankfulness for the idyllic Augustan peace is confirmed by the festival calendar of an Italian temple of Augustus.  The prayer entry for the 30th January states:

On this day the Altar of Peace was dedicated.  Prayer to the Dominion of Caesar Augustus, the Protector of the Roman citizens and of the whole world¡¯.[35]

Further, in the Carmen Saeculare, Horace depicts Augustus as a new Aeneas, who according to later legend was Rome¡¯s founder (Carm. Saec. 37-48). An eschatological figure, Augustus establishes a worldwide reign of fruitfulness (Carm. Saec. 29-32) and peace (49-56) that embodies the quintessential Roman values (57-60).[36] Also the court poets linked the continuance of imperial peace to Augustus¡¯ greatest single diplomatic victory (12th May 20 BC): namely, the return of the legionary standards lost by Marcus Crassus to the Parthians (23 BC).[37]

Finally, an Egyptian inscription replicates this blend of eschatological and cosmological expectation regarding Augustus. The island of Philae, located at the first waterfall of the Nile, honoured Augustus¡¯ conquest of Egypt some twenty-three years after the event and accorded him a quasi mythological status:

The emperor, ruler of oceans and continents, the divine father among men, who bears the same name as his heavenly fatherÔÇöLiberator, the marvellous star of the Greek world, shining with the brilliance of the great heavenly Saviour.[38]

Even Philo, the Jewish philosopher of Alexandria, ascribes to Augustus the role of social and cosmic healer:

The whole human race exhausted by mutual slaughter was on the verge of utter destruction had it not been for one man and leader, Augustus, whom men fitly call the averter of evil. This is the Caesar who calmed the torrential storms on every side, who healed pestilences common to Greeks and barbarians, pestilences which descending from the south and the east coursed to the west and north sowing seeds of calamity over the places and waters which lay between them.[39]

But what was the shape of Augustan eschatology at Rome?  We turn to a discussion of the Augustus¡¯ conception of his place in history as revealed in the portrait statue programme at the forum.

 

 

 

3. The Forum of Augustus and Imperial Eschatology at Rome

 

The forum of Augustus and its contribution to our understanding of Roman eschatology has not fired the interest of New Testament scholars at all, let alone its invaluable contribution in unfolding the beliefs of the Roman residents and of their eschatological ruler.[40] What, then, was the purpose of the forum Augustum? The forum developed out of the Augustus¡¯ desire to avenge his adoptive father¡¯s assassination at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC.  On the eve of the battle, the (then) Octavian vowed that he would construct a temple to Mars Ultor, should he win the battle (Suetonius, Aug. 29.2; Ovid, Fasti 5.569-578; cf. Res Gestae 21.1). Some forty years later, Augustus fulfilled his long-delayed vow when the temple was opened (2 BC), though in vastly different form than he first envisaged because the temple was now included as part of his forum project. In addition to commemorating the deeds of Julius Caesar by means of the temple, the forum was intended to relieve congestion in the existing forum Romanum by expanding its facilities for public business, including provision for the law courts and a site for senatorial decisions regarding war. Additionally, the victory tokens (e.g. crowns, sceptres) of returned triumphators were to be placed in the sanctuary of Mars Ultor, and governors on their way to military provinces took their leave there (Suetonius, Aug. 29.2).

More important for our purposes is the design of the forum and the ideological purposes served by the portrait statue programme. The temple of Mars Ultor faced SW, with the result that Mars Ultor faced the statue of Julius Caesar, Augustus¡¯ adoptive father, which was located prominently in the forum Iulium. The forum Augustum was set at right angles to the forum Iulium, with two semicircular bays (exedrae) jutting out on the South East and North West sides of the forum.  Arrayed around the two exedrae and porticoes of the forum were statues of famous republican leaders (principes) and of the ancestors of the Julian nobility.  Each line of republican and Julian luminaries radiated from a different founding-hero of Rome: the republican statues expanded outwards from South East exedra, the Julian statues from the North West exedra.[41]  As Ovid (Fasti 5.563-566; cf. Cassius Dio 56.34.2; Pliny, NH. 22.7.13; Aul. Gell. Noc. Att., 10.11.10) explains for the observer,

 

On the one side (one) sees Aeneas laden with his precious burden, and so many members of Julian nobility. On the other (one) sees Ilia¡¯s son Romulus bearing on his shoulder the arms of the (conquered) general, and the splendid records of action (inscribed) beneath (the statues of the) men arranged in order.[42]

 

Each statue was adorned with a distinctive emblem relevant to his career, and below each statue were boldly lettered laudatory inscriptions (elogia fori Augusti) that catalogued the career achievements of each man. While there is a heavy concentration upon magistracies and military triumphs in the catalogues ÔÇö many of which prefigured Augustus┬í┬» own illustrious career as later outlined in the Res Gestae ÔÇö there are other distinctive features in the careers of the republican luminaries that proleptically and symbolically pointed forward to the civic and moral grounds for Augustus┬í┬» unprecedented auctoritas (Res Gestae 34.1, 3).┬á Each inscription, as E.A. Judge correctly observes,[43] focused upon an episode that involved the republican leader in ┬í┬«political crisis management┬í┬», that is, handling a desperate situation that imperilled the very existence of Rome itself. Each inscriptional vignette of ┬í┬«crisis management┬í┬» on the part of the republican principes pointed to the decisive way that Augustus had extinguished the civil wars tearing apart the Roman republic (Res Gestae 34.1) and had returned his official powers (potestas) without any trace of recalcitrance to their traditional owners, namely, the senate, the magistrates, and the people (34.1, 3). By exalting his auctoritas ÔÇö personal dignity and influence in the widest sense[44] ÔÇö over his official rank, Augustus defined exemplary virtue for future generations. Roman history, therefore, had found its eschatological culmination in Augustus and he provided the yardstick of virtus (┬í┬«virtue┬í┬») for all future rulers of Rome.

In this regard, Suetonius (Aug. 31.5) provides us sympathetic insight into Augustus¡¯ motives in dedicating statues in triumphal form in the two porticoes of the forum. Apparently Augustus had declared

 

in an edict he had designed this so that both he himself, so long as he lived, and the leaders of subsequent ages, might be tested by the citizens against the exemplar, as it were, that they formed.[45]

 

Not surprisingly, then, the forum became one of the hallowed viewing places for Augustus¡¯ civic and military honours:

 

During my thirteenth consulship the senate and equestrian order and people of Rome unanimously saluted me father of my country and voted that this should be inscribed in the vestibule of my house, in the Julian senate house and in the Augustan forum beneath the chariot which had been set up in my honour by ruling of the senate.[46]

 

Finally, what do we learn from the major fragments of the elogia fori Augusti about the fulfilment of the ideals of Roman leadership in Augustus?[47] In this regard, one might speculatively imagine the scenario where Roman believers strolled around the forum Augustum studying the statues and their elogia, pondering their fulfilment in the Res Gestae at Augustus¡¯ mausoleum, and discussing why the dishonoured and vindicated benefactor of Paul¡¯s recently arrived papyrus epistle was infinitely superior to Augustus and his successors.

First, with the eschatological perspective of Augustus¡¯ beneficence firmly in view (e.g. Res Gestae 15-24), we observe how comprehensively Augustus replicated and surpassed the benefactions of the republican principes. Of Manius Valerius, for example, the statue inscription says that ¡®on his own initiative the Senate freed the people from heavy debt¡¯ (ILS  50; cf. Res Gestae 15).  In the statue inscriptions of Appius Claudius Caecus (ILS 54) and Gaius Marius (ILS 59), we gain insight into the way that both men combined their military role with that of civic benefactor.[48] In the case of Caecus¡¯ beneficence, the inscription states that ¡®In his censorship he laid the Appian way and built an aqueduct into the city; he built the temple of Belonna¡¯. As regards the beneficence of Marius, we learn from the inscription that ¡®From the Cimbric and Teutonic spoils he built as victor a temple to Honour and Virtue¡¯.[49] In reading these elogia Roman residents would be well aware that Augustus, like the principes, adeptly juggled the roles of general and benefactor during his principate, but on a vastly greater scale in terms of their scope and longevity.

 

Second, in the statue inscriptions the piety of the republican principes ÔÇö a feature of his rule to which Augustus regularly draws attention (Res Gestae 7.3; 9-12; 19; 24; 29.2) ÔÇö is demonstrated by their commitment to the traditional cults in times of crisis. Thus it is said of L. Albinus that ┬í┬«when the Gauls were besieging the Capitol, he led the vestal virgins down to Caere, and there made it his concern that the solemn rites and ceremonies were not interrupted┬í┬» (ILS 51). Similarly, L. Papirius Cursor ┬í┬«returned to Rome to renew his auspices┬í┬» (ILS 53). In the Res Gestae, however, Augustus underlines his superiority to the principes of the fori Augusti through his telling references to the vestal virgins and the auspices. In Augustus┬í┬» case, the vestal virgins make an annual sacrifice in honour of his return to Rome from Syria (Res Gestae 11), and the army of the Dacians is defeated and routed under his auspices (Res Gestae 30.2). Seemingly, the republican principes of the statue inscriptions only anticipate in rudimentary form Augustus┬í┬» piety and the central position he had now assumed in the state┬í┬»s cult.

Third, the statue inscription of Q. Fabius Maximus reveals how the eulogistic tradition ensured that honour was rendered to dishonoured benefactors. Fortunately, we are able to determine the extent to which the elogia of the forum Augustum either interpreted or re-interpreted the careers of the various republican principes. This is because the annalistic tradition, with its annual record of state magistracies and events of cult importance, is enshrined in Livy. Therefore Livy┬í┬»s writings provide us with a critical point of comparison between the annalistic tradition and its Augustan reworking in the elogia. Also, usefully for us, the collectors of moral exempla ÔÇö including the anonymous author of De Viris Illustribus (┬í┬«Deeds of Famous Men┬í┬») and Valerius Maximus in his Facta et Dicta Memorabilia (┬í┬«Memorable Doings and Sayings┬í┬») ÔÇö discuss the public dishonouring of Quintus Fabius Maximus (217 BC) and demonstrate how the Dictator redressed an unprecedented snub with an act of exceptional honour.[50]

The relevant statue inscription of the forum Augustum, cited below, sets the scene for our discussion of the ¡®dishonoured benefactor¡¯ motif:

 

Quintus Fabius Maximus, son of Quintus, twice a dictator, five times consul, censor, twice interrex, curule aedile, twice quaestor, twice tribune of the soldiers, pontifex, augur. In his first consulship he subdued the Ligures and triumphed over them. In his third and fourth he tamed Hannibal by dogging his heels though rampant after numerous victories. As dictator he came to the aid of the magister equitum, Minucius, whose imperium the people had ranked equal with the dictator¡¯s, and of his routed army, and on that occasion was named ¡®father¡¯ by the army of Minucius. When consul for the fifth time he captured Tarentum, and triumphed. He was considered the most cautious general of his age and the most skilled in military matters. He was chosen princeps senatus at two Lustra.[51]

 

Faced with the ravages of Hannibal¡¯s invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War, Fabius wore down the Carthaginian general¡¯s strength by dogging his heels and by avoiding any costly pitched battles. Fabius¡¯ strategy of exhaustion rather than military engagement of the enemy earned him the abusive title Cunctator (¡®Delayer¡¯) and many Romans strenuously opposed his policy. Not surprisingly, when he was Dictator for a second time (217 BC), the Senate and the people voted that the imperium of Fabius¡¯ magister equitum, Minucius, should be the same as that of Fabius. Our writers from the annalistic and exempla traditions comment angrily on the public dishonouring of Rome¡¯s benefactor.  Livy fulminates thus:

 

that wonderful leader, to whom his countrymen had turned in their distress as a match for Hannibal, had by vote of the people had been reduced to a level ÔÇö the superior with his subordinate, the dictator with his master of the horse; and this action, to which history could offer no parallel, had been taken in that very state in which masters of the horse had been used to tremble and shudder at the rods and axes of the dictator; so conspicuous had been his own success and courage.[52]

 

 

Valerius Maximus also brings out powerfully the enormity of the insult delivered to Fabius¡¯ dignitas (¡®merit¡¯, ¡®dignity¡¯, ¡®rank¡¯) and the grace of his response:

 

The Senate made Master of Horse Minucius equal in magisterial power to him, the Dictator: he held his peace. Provoked by a number of other slights, he remained in the same frame of mind and never permitted himself to be angry with the commonwealth.┬á Such was his resolution in loving his countrymen ┬í┬Ž [53]

 

Notwithstanding the extent of his public humiliation, Fabius still deigned to deliver Minucius¡¯ legion from military disaster at Hannibal¡¯s hands. This extraordinary act of grace from a dishonoured benefactor demanded reciprocation of the highest order. Livy graphically demonstrates how the reciprocity system reversed Fabius¡¯ dishonour. As Minucius¡¯ explains to his rescued legion,

 

Let us join our camp to that of Fabius; and when we have brought our standards to his tent, and I have given him the name of ┬í┬«Father┬í┬» ÔÇö as befits his goodness to us and his great position ÔÇö you, soldiers, shall salute as ┬í┬«patrons┬í┬» those whose hands and swords have just protected you; and, if nothing else, this day shall have at least conferred on us the glory of possessing thankful hearts.[54]

 

In sum, we are witnessing here how the eulogistic tradition dealt with the dishonouring of significant benefactors. It was believed that their virtus would ultimately triumph over their detractors and that the balanced outworking of the reciprocity system would recompense commensurately their grace and dishonour.

Clearly Augustus endorsed the reciprocity system in including the dishonoured Fabius Maximus as one of the exempla in his forum. But what conclusion did Augustus intend posterity to draw about himself from Fabius¡¯ exemplum? To be sure, Augustus did not experience Fabius¡¯ humiliating reversal of honour in his public career.[55] But, in contrast to Fabius, Augustus¡¯ virtus shone through all the more he dispensed with his formal imperium. Although pressed by the people and the senate, Augustus refused the dictatorship twice in 22 BC (Res Gestae 5.1; Dio 54.1; Suetonius, Aug. 52), having already laid aside his consular powers (23 BC), and having been compensated for the loss of imperium with tribunician power (Res Gestae10.1). Indeed, it was the senate, equestrian order, and the people of Rome who pressed upon Augustus the title of ¡®Father of my Country¡¯ (Res Gestae 35), inscribing it (among other places) below the chariot honouring him in the forum Augustum. Undoubtedly, Augustus¡¯ intention is to demonstrate how he acquires imperium on the basis of auctoritas and not on the basis of official rank.  Conversely, Quintus Fabius Maximus is only acclaimed ¡®Father¡¯ of a single legion and, significantly, he is accorded that honour while still possessing the imperium of Dictator. Astute readers of the elogia fori Augusti and the Res Gestae would have drawn the implied contrasts between the republican principes and Augustus, neither diminishing the virtus of the republican principes, nor failing to see how gloriously Augustus had excelled them. This was precisely conclusion that the Augustan propaganda intended contemporaries to reach.

It is now time to see how Roman auditors, imbued with the eschatological claims regarding Augustus, would have responded to Paul¡¯s dishonoured and vindicated eschatological benefactor.

 

 

4. Comparing Benefactors: The Choice between Honour and Dishonour

 

It must be stressed that in this section we are not so much looking at how Paul responds to the Augustan propaganda in presenting Christ as God¡¯s dishonoured and vindicated eschatological benefactor, but more at how Roman auditors would have responded to Paul¡¯s presentation.[56] This, admittedly, is speculative because our earliest responses from the Roman side to early Christianity (Pliny, Suetonius, Tacitus) postdate the New Testament documents. Notwithstanding the absence of contemporary comparative evidence, the enterprise is worthwhile because it helps us to see how socially radical and confronting Paul¡¯s gospel was and, simultaneously, what elements of its message may have attracted or repulsed first-century audiences. We will mostly concentrate on Romans 5, but range more widely where appropriate.

First, Roman auditors would have noticed a terminological overlap between Paul┬í┬»s proclamation of the gospel and the inscriptional propaganda of Augustus and his successors. As seen from our selection of the imperial inscriptions (Sections ┬í├Ś1-2 supra), Paul and the Caesars preached an eujaggevlion (Rom 1.1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 17; 2:16; 11:28; 15:16, 19, 20; 16:25) about ruler-figures honoured as swthvr (swv/zein: Rom 5:9, 10; 8:24; 9:27; 10:1, 9, 10, 13; 11:26), kuvrio" (e.g. 1:4, 7; 5:1, 21; 6:23; 7:25; 8:39; 10:9; 13:14; 14:14; 15:6, 30; 16:18, 20) and qevo" (probably, 9:5).[57] Paul┬í┬»s benefactor, like the Caesars, dispenses cavri" (Rom 1:5, 7; 3:24; 4:16; 5:2, 15, 17, 20, 21; 6:1, 14, 15; 11:5, 6; 12:3, 6; 15:15; 16:20) ÔÇö though in distinction to the imperial propaganda Paul never uses the plural cavrite"[58] ÔÇö with the result that eijrhvnh (5:2; cf. 1:7; 8:6; 14:17; 15:15, 33; 16:20), ejlpiv" (5:2, 4, 5; cf. 4:18; 8:20, 24, 25; 12:12; 15:4, 12, 13) and zwhv (e.g. 5:17b, 18b, 21b; 6:4) characterise the life of the early Christians. Both traditions employ the language of newness (kainovth": Rom 6:4; 7:6), teleology (tevlo": 10:4), overflow (Rom 5:15: ejperivsseusen; 5:17: th;n perisseivan) and excess (uJperbavllein, uJperbolhv: supra n.31). Roman auditors must have realised that the early Christians were heralding the advent of a new Benefactor, whom they credited with the same honorifics as the Caesars and whose benefits (they claimed) surpassed the imperial house. The response of Roman auditors, initially at least, was probably determined by the extent of their commitment as clients to their imperial patron.

Second, at a conceptual level, there were similarities between both eschatological traditions that may have provoked the interest of Roman auditors. Just as Providence had determined that humanity be blessed through Caesar┬í┬»s birth, so Christ had died ┬í┬«at the right time┬í┬» (Rom 5:6: kata; kairovn), establishing the reign of grace (5:21: hJ cavri" basileuvsh; cf. 5:17b: basileuvsousin) and the new way of the Spirit (7:6). This stood opposed to the ruling powers of Law, Sin, and Death (Rom 5:12ff). Further, Roman auditors may have observed that Paul┬í┬»s unilateral understanding of grace (Rom 4:4-5; 5:15b, 17b; 11:35) captured an important emphasis of the imperial propaganda: that no one could compete against the ┬í┬«immortal┬í┬» grace of an Augustus or his heirs. But the fact that the cavri" of a dishonoured Benefactor (Rom 5:6-8) ÔÇö crucified by an imperial prefect in a provincial backwater of the empire ÔÇö outshone the overflowing cavrite" of Augustus must have stretched credibility to its breaking point for many Roman auditors (Rom 5:7; cf. 1 Cor 1:23).

Moreover, as noted, reciprocity ideology still animated imperial benefaction. Paul┬í┬»s contemporaries would have been surprised that he avoided the inscriptional language of recompense (ajmoibhv, ajmeivbein). Instead, for Paul, the debt of love replaces traditional reciprocity rituals ÔÇö with their heavy emphasis on commensurate return ÔÇö as the new dynamic for social relationships, including beneficence, within the body of Christ (Rom 12:8; 13:8-10; 16:2). In abandoning Roman dependence upon the imperial ruler for benefits and in construing the reciprocity system in a radically different way, though without jettisoning the honour system (Rom 13:7), the early Christians created communities that were potentially viewed by some as ┬í┬«un-Roman┬í┬» and socially threatening to the social fabric due to their ethos. It is not surprising that the Roman house churches were soon to be regarded as a degenerate superstitio by the rulers because of their distinctive group behaviour, among other reasons.

Further, the ┬í┬«realised eschatology┬í┬» of the Priene inscription, the ┬í┬«fulfilment┬í┬» motifs of the forum Augustum, and Philo┬í┬»s flattery of Rome┬í┬»s ┬í┬«cosmic┬í┬» ruler do not reflect Paul┬í┬»s deep eschatological reserve regarding the present ┬í┬«groaning┬í┬» of creation (Rom 8:18ff). This sober perspective was a far cry from the ┬í┬«prosperity theology┬í┬» that had held its Augustan auditors spell-bound for decades. Conversely, the promise of cavri" beyond the grave (Rom 5:21b; 8:36-39) opened up to believers the hope of heaven that, until now, had been Augustus┬í┬» sole prerogative owing to the apotheosis of his father.[59] Furthermore, God┬í┬»s extension of the dishonoured Benefactor┬í┬»s dikaiosuvnh to his dependents (Rom 5:17b, 18b, 19b, 21b) ÔÇö formerly the preserve of Augustus alone (Res Gestae 34.2 [iustitiae; dikaiosuvnhn]) ÔÇö testified to a democritisation of the honour system that Roman residents, without access to the cursus honorum or to its luminaries, would have found appealing. Even the engraved utterances of a prophetic figure such as Gauros (supra n.38) stood challenged by the charismatic prophetic giftedness of the body of Christ (Rom 12:6; cf. 1:2; 15:8; 16:26). We are witnessing here the dethroning of the role of the great man in history and his replacement by charismatic communities that act as benefactors and prophets. The phenomenon was simultaneously attractive and threatening to its Roman auditors.

Third, it is Paul¡¯s message of a dishonoured Benefactor that potentially created the greatest misunderstanding for his Roman auditors. Paul highlights the fact that Christ died for the ungodly and ungrateful enemies of God who had spurned divine beneficence (Rom 5:6, 10). The social dishonour involved in Christ¡¯s death drove Paul to underscore the divine love which prompted it (Rom 5:8: th;n eJautou' ajgavphn eij" hJma'"). He airs the possibility that one might, as a remarkable act of honour and gratitude, reciprocate the generosity of one's benefactor by dying for him (oJ ajgaqov": Rom 5:7b). Pseudo-Demetrius envisages the precise situation of Rom 5:7b in describing the indebtedness of a beneficiary to his benefactor:

I hasten to show in my actions how grateful I am to you for the kindness you showed me in your words. For I know that what I am doing for you is less than I should, for even if I gave my life for you, I should still not be giving adequate thanks (ajxivan ajpodwvsein cavrin) for the benefits I have received.[60]

Here we see encapsulated the kind of expectations that would have resonated with Roman auditors as they pondered the circumstances in which one might legitimately die for another. Valerius Maximus, too, refers to L. Petronius who reciprocated the munificence of his benefactor, Caelius, in costly manner.[61] Petronius took his own life and that of Caelius, thereby sparing his benefactor an ignominious death at the hands of his enemies. The action of L. Petronius, in particular, might assign a nobility to the death of Jesus in the estimation of Roman auditors familiar with the mores of the reciprocity system.

In the view of Paul, however, the death of Christ surpasses in scope all contemporary Graeco-Roman beneficence precisely because it was conditioned by ajgavph rather than by reciprocity. Nonetheless, the unworthiness of those who receive the benefits of Christ¡¯s death still poses a problem for traditional benefaction ideology. Undoubtedly, the issue would have troubled Paul¡¯s Roman auditors. The philosophers stressed that the benefactor should carefully study the disposition of his projected beneficiaries in order to circumvent the humiliation of an unworthy response.[62] Christ, however, took no such precaution. He squandered his beneficence on thankless enemies. We see the social results of this in contemporary perception from Lucian¡¯s Timon 8.  There the god Hermes is critical of Timon because the Athenian benefactor did not show sufficient discrimination regarding the character of his recipients:

... (Timon) was ruined by kind-heartedness and philanthropy and compassion on all those who were in want; but in reality it was senselessness and folly and lack of discrimination in regard to his friends. He did not perceive that he was showing kindness to ravens and wolves.

Finally, how might the elogium of Q. Fabius Maximus have contributed to a better understanding of ¡®dishonoured¡¯ benefactors for Paul¡¯s Roman auditors? At the very least, it demonstrated that public dishonour did not necessarily disqualify the merit or munificence of a benefactor, notwithstanding public perceptions to the contrary. Had not Augustus himself implicitly nominated Fabius as a forerunner of his own unprecedented public honour: namely, ¡®Father of my Country¡¯? The reciprocity system had eventually ensured that Fabius was awarded the honorific of ¡®father¡¯. Roman auditors, familiar with Fabius¡¯ elogium, may have come to see that a similar process of reversal had occurred in Christ¡¯s ministry: God had intervened to reverse the dishonour of the cross by crowning his Son with eschatological honour. The obedience of the incarnate Son of David (Rom 1:3-4; 5:18b, 19b; 8:3b; 15:8-9a) was vindicated by his resurrection from the dead and by his heavenly installment as ¡®Son of God in power¡¯ (Rom 1:4; 4:24-25; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11, 34) .[63] In so doing, God had declared that Abraham was the true ¡®father¡¯ of believers and that his fatherhood resided not in the Roman commonwealth (as was the case with Augustus) but in the entirety of humanity (Rom 4:16-19).[64] Moreover, the Spirit of the indwelling Christ gave believers the right to address the God of Abraham and Jesus as ¡®Abba, Father¡¯ (Rom 8:14-16). Thus ¡®dishonoured¡¯ benefactors like Fabius would have afforded a handy rhetorical model for Roman auditors to make sense of the reversal of the cross, notwithstanding the fact Augustus intended the exemplum to underscore the triumph of his auctoritas.

 

5. Conclusion

 

We have sought to demonstrate that an appreciation of the first-century imperial context of beneficence allows us to entertain sympathetically how Paul¡¯s Roman auditors might have responded to his preaching of grace. This is true whether we widely focus on the imperial rulers as world benefactors, or explore the rich eschatological, cosmological and teleological themes of the Augustan provincial inscriptions, or examine Augustus¡¯ conception of his place in history from the portrait statue programme at the forum. The terminological and conceptual overlaps between the imperial and the Pauline gospel ensured that elements of the early Christian message would have attracted or repulsed Roman auditors.

The insurmountable obstacle for Roman auditors was fitting Paul¡¯s proclamation of a ¡®dishonoured¡¯ benefactor into the traditional paradigms of the reciprocity system. In this regard, the ¡®worthiness¡¯ of the recipient had to be determined in advance. Seemingly Christ had squandered his life on those who could not provide commensurate return and who were his enemies anyway. Paul¡¯s Roman auditors would probably have found this unfathomable. Notwithstanding, the widely discussed exemplum of Q. Fabius Maximus may have helped to temper hardened Roman attitudes towards ¡®dishonoured¡¯ benefactors in this regard.

The democritisation of dikaiosuvnh throughout the body of Christ must have would have appealed to the socially marginalised among its members. Furthermore, in contrast to the ¡®prosperity theology¡¯ of Augustus and his successors, Paul¡¯s approach is marked by sober eschatological reserve. The unilateral emphasis in Paul¡¯s understanding of grace was strongly reinforced by the apostle¡¯s avoidance of reciprocity terminology and by his radical redefinition of reciprocity conventions within his house churches. Such changes would have undoubtedly shocked many contemporary observers who were dependent on the Caesars and their representatives for continuing patronage. In conclusion, through these subtle but penetrating changes to the social operation of grace we are witnessing the origin of the modern transformation of the world.

 

Dr James R. Harrison

Wesley Institute

Sydney, Australia

01/07/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] See the general coverage, touching on elements of imperial policy, of L.V. Rutgers (¡®Roman Policy toward the Jews: Expulsions from the City of Rome during the First Century CE¡¯) and (¡®Social Perspectives on Roman Christianity during the Formative Years from Nero to Nerva: Romans, Hebrews, 1 Clement¡¯) in K.P. Donfried and P. Richardson (eds), Judaism and Christianity in First-Century Rome (Grand Rapids-Cambridge 1998), 93-116, 196-244 respectively.

[2] For recent scholarship on the occasion and recipients of Romans, see K.P. Donfried (ed.), The Romans Debate (rev. ed. Edinburgh 1991 [orig. 1977]); A.J.M. Wedderburn, The Reasons for Romans (Edinburgh 1988); L.A. Jervis, The Purpose of Romans: A Comparative Letter Structure Investigation (Sheffield 1991); S.K. Stowers, op. cit; J.C. Miller, The Obedience of Faith: The Eschatological People of God, and the Purpose of Romans (Atlanta 2000). However, two observations are apposite. First, in reconstructing the audience of Romans, far too much weight is placed by scholars on the (so-called) expulsion of Jews and Jewish Christians under Claudius in AD 49 (Suet., Claudius 25:4; cf. Acts 18:2). Contra, see E.A. Judge and G.S.R. Thomas, ¡®The Origin of the Church at Rome: A New Solution¡¯, Reformed Theological Review 25/3 (1966), 81-94; S. Benko, ¡®The Edict of Claudius of AD 49 and the Instigator Chrestus¡¯, TZ 25/6 (1969), 406-418; E.A. Judge, ¡®Judaism and the Rise of Christianity: A Roman Perspective¡¯, TynBul 45/2 (1994), 354-368; M.D. Nanos, The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul¡¯s Letter (Minneapolis 1994), 41-84, 372-387. Second, the evidence of Rom 14:1-23 does not require that the controversy over dietary laws was specifically Jewish (or Jewish Christian), emerging (it is proposed) because of the social and theological differences of a mixed Jewish-Gentile congregation. For further discussion, see J.R. Harrison, Paul¡¯s Language of Grace (cavri") in Its Graeco-Roman Context (Tübingen 2003), n.8 213-214.

[3] See D.B. Martin, Slavery as Salvation: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity (New Haven 1990); J.R. Hollingshead, The Household of Caesar and the Body of Christ: A Political Interpretation of the Letters of Paul (Lanham 1998); M.J. Brown, ¡®Paul¡¯s Use of DOULOS CRISTOU IHSOU in Romans 1:1¡¯, JBL 120/4 (2001), 723-737.

[4] For a survey of recent scholarship on Romans 13:1-7, see N. Elliott, ¡®Romans 13:1-7 in the Context of Imperial Propaganda¡¯, in R.A. Horsley (ed.), Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society (Harrisburg 1997), 184-204; T.R. Schreiner, Romans (Baker 1998), 677-680; P.H. Towner, ¡®Romans 13:1-7 and Paul¡¯s Missiological Perspective: A Call to Political Quietism or Transformation?¡¯, in S.K. Soderland and N.T. Wright (eds), Romans and the People of God (Grand Rapids-Cambridge 1999), 149-169. For an older theological treatment of Paul¡¯s understanding of the state, see O. Cullmann, The State in the New Testament (London 1957), 50-70.  On rendering honour to the imperial rulers within ancient reciprocity conventions, see T.M.Coleman, ¡®Binding Obligations in Romans 13:7: A Significant Field and Social Context¡¯, TynBul 48 (1997),

[5] See J.R. Harrison, ┬í┬«Paul, Eschatology and the Augustan Age of Grace┬í┬», TynBul 50/1 (1999), 79-91. For additional discussion, see D. Georgi, Theocracy in Paul┬í┬»s Praxis and Theology (Minneapolis 1991: Gmn. orig. 1987); J.L. The Apostle of God: Paul and the Promise of Abraham (Peabody 1999). For an intriguing discussion of Romans within the ideological framework of the Hellenistic ruler cult, see B. Blumfeld, The Political Paul: Democracy and Kingship in Paul┬í┬»s Thought (Sheffield 2002). It has been gratifying to see how the recent ┬í┬«city-by-city┬í┬» approach to New Studies has brought a sharper focus on the imperial and benefaction contexts of the eastern Mediterranean poleis. In this regard, note H.L. Hendrix, Thessalonicans Honor Romans (unpub. Th.D. diss. Harvard University 1984); Secular and Christian Leadership in Corinth: A Socio-Historical and Exegetical Study of 1 Corinthians 1-6 (Leiden-New York-K├Âln 1993); L. Bormann, Philippi: Stadt und Christengemeinde zur Zeit des Paulus (Leiden-New York-K├Âln 1995); C. vom Brocke, Thessaloniki ÔÇö Stadt des Kassander und Gemeinde des Paulus. Eine fr├╝he christliche Gemeinde des Paulus (T├╝bingen 2001); P. Oakes, Philippians: From People to Letter (Cambridge 2001); B.W. Winter, After Paul Left Corinth: The Influence of Secular Ethics and Social Change (Grand Rapids-Cambridge 2001).

[6] S.K. Stowers, A Rereading of Romans:Justice, Jews and Gentiles (New Haven and London 1994), 52-82.

[7] A fine example of the approach I am advocating for Romans commentators is F.W. Danker, II Corinthians (Minneapolis 1989).

[8] The four extant remains of the Res Gestae are found in Galatia: Greek and Latin texts at Ancyra, and fragments of the Greek and Latin text at Apollonia in Pisidia and Antioch in Pisidia.  Did Paul see the inscribed Res Gestae texts during his travels through South Galatia and (possibly) North Galatia (Acts 13:13ff; 16:6; 18:23)?

[9] The structure of Res Gestae is as follows: Augustus¡¯ honours (RG 1-7) and other special tributes (9-14); personal expenditure incurred for the res publica and the people of Rome (15-24); Augustus¡¯ military achievements by which the world was subjugated to Rome (25-33); Augustus as the supreme example of traditional republican virtue and rule (34-35). For discussion, see E.A. Judge, ¡®Augustus in the Res Gestae¡¯, in id. (ed.), Augustus and Roman History: Documents and Papers for Student Use (Macquarie University 1987), 131-171. Throughout I refer to the numbering and translation of P.A. Brunt and J.M. Moore, Res Gestae Divi Augusti: The Achievements of the Divine Augustus (Oxford 1967).

[10] E.A. Judge (ibid., 159) observes that Res Gestae 24.2, which refers to Augustus¡¯ removal of silver statues of himself from Rome, ¡®must rely on the Roman public¡¯s knowing that the use of silver for statues implied divinity; it constitutes a symbolic statement of restraint (cf. 4[1], 6[1], 21[3])¡¯.

[11] On the moral stature of the benefactor in antiquity, see F.W. Danker, Benefactor: Epigraphic Study of a Graeco-Roman and New Testament Semantic Field (St. Louis 1982).

[12] E.A. Judge, ┬í┬«Thanksgiving to the Benefactor of the World, Tiberius Caesar┬í┬», in S.R. Llewelyn (ed.), ibid., ┬í├Ś10.

[13] SIG3 798. An Athenian inscription (SIG3 759: 49 BC) honours Julius Caesar thus: ¡®The people [acknowledge] Caius Julius Caesar as High Priest and Dictator, their own Saviour and Benefactor ([to;n eJa]utou' swth'ra ka[i; eujergevthn])¡¯.  Note the revealing phrase in another inscription in honour of Julius Caesar (SIG3 760: Ephesus): ¡®the God Manifest (qeo;n ejpifanh') born of Ares and Aphrodite, and the common Saviour of human life (koino;n tou' ajnqrwpivnou bivou swth'ra)¡¯. Similarly, an inscription under a statue of Augustus at Myra in Lycia (cited by F.C. Grant, Ancient Roman Religion [New York 1957], 175), says: ¡®The god Augustus, Son of God, Caesar, Autocrat of land and sea, the Benefactor and Saviour of the whole cosmos, the people of Myra [have erected  this statue].

[14] E.M. Smallwood, Documents Illustrating the Principates of Gauis, Claudius and Nero (Cambridge 1987), ┬í├Ś418.

[15] Ibid., ┬í├Ś 64

[16] E.A. Judge, art. cit. (1987), 153.

[17] See J.R. Harrison, ┬í┬«Paul and the Imperial Gospel at Thessaloniki┬í┬», JSNT 25/1 (2002), 71-79, esp. 92; id., ┬í┬«Saviour of the People┬í┬», in S.R. Llewelyn (ed.), New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity Volume 9 (Grand Rapids-Cambridge 2002), ┬í├Ś2.

[18] E.M. Blaiklock, Rome in the New Testament (London 1959), 20.

[19] See, however, F.W. Danker, op. cit., 347. Note the eschatological motifs used by Statius (Silv., 4.1-3) of Domitian and (more controversially) by the Einsiedeln Eclogues of Nero.

[20] D. Georgi, ¡®Who is the True Prophet?¡¯, HTR 79/1-3 (1986), 104. D. Georgi (ibid., 100-26) and B. Witherington III (Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians [Grand Rapids 1995], 295-298) have discussed Roman eschatology in regard to select New Testament texts.

[21] V. Ehrenberg and A.H.M. Jones, Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (London 1954: 2nd ed.), ┬í├Ś98a (ll.15-17). The first decree of the Asian League concerning the new provincial calendar (Priene: 9 BC) asserts that the officials of Augustus had ┬í┬«bestowed benefits on the province, the size of which benefits no speech would be adequate to relate┬í┬» (ibid., 98b ll.46-47). B.W. Winter (Seek the Welfare of the City: Christians as Benefactors and Citizens [Grand Rapids 1994], 125) cites a fragment from Nicolaus of Damascus (F.Gr.H. 90 F 125.1), the court historian of Herod the Great and a contemporary observer of Augustus. He spoke of the eagerness of cities to revere Augustus with temples and cultic worship due to ┬í┬«the greatness of his virtue and the scale of his benefactions to them┬í┬». See also Philo, Leg. 147.

[22] R.K. Sherk, The Roman Empire: Augustus to Hadrian (Cambridge 1988), ┬í├Ś31.

[23] Ibid., ┬í├Ś42B (AD 18ÔÇö19).

[24] The problem of cultural transfer from the Greek East to the Latin West is well illustrated by the fulsome Egyptian titles attributed to Augustus in an honorific inscription, conferred on him by the Egyptian priests, and casting him in pharaonic garb: ┬í┬« The beautiful Youth, dear by his loveableness, the Prince of Princes, chosen by Ptah and Nun the Father of the gods, King of Upper Egypt and King of Lower Egypt, Lord of the two Lands, Autocrat, Son of the Sun [the Sun God], Lord of the diadems, Caesar, Ever-living, beloved of Ptah and Isis┬í┬». For the inscription, see P. Wendland, Die hellenistisch-r├Âmische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zu Judentum und Christentum (T├╝bingen 1907), ┬í├Ś7 102.

[25] V. Ehrenberg and A.H.M. Jones, op. cit., ┬í├Ś98b (ll.32-41). For its relevance to Rom 5:12-13 and 8:18-19, note the comment of J. Rouffiac (Caract├Ęres du Grec, 72ff cited by C. Spicq, Theological Lexicon of the New Testament Vol. 3 [Peabody 1994: Fr. orig. 1978], n.44 353-354) regarding the Priene inscription of Augustus: ┬í┬«It probably would not have required much touching up of this text for a Christian to be able to apply it to Christ fifty years later. A saviour who realised ancestral hopes; who has a unique importance for humanity; who is so great that he will be never surpassed; whose birth marks the beginning of a new era: so many descriptions that one might think were created by Christian piety, but which nevertheless are found in a pagan inscription from not long before the birth of Jesus┬í┬».┬á BMI 894 (Halicarnassus: 2 BC [ll.8-12]) combines realised and future eschatological elements in addressing Augustus as swthvr: ┬í┬«there is peace (eijrhneuvo[us]i) on land and at sea; cities are in bloom with good order, harmony, and prosperity; every good thing is at its zenith and point of maturity; there is a culmination of auspicious hopes (ejlpivdwn crhstw'n) for the future, and there is the present cheerfulness of men who have been filled┬í┬». The same inscription states that Nature freely gave (ejcarivsato) to humankind the greatest good in the form of Augustus┬í┬» immeasurable beneficence (to; [mevg]iston pro;" uJperballouvsa" eujergesiva"). In short, ┬í┬«Providence not only made full (ejplhvrwse) the prayers of all but also transcended (them)┬í┬». We see the same emphasis on Providence in the prayer for 15th December in the festival calendar of an Italian temple of Augustus (CIL[X] 8375: AD 4ÔÇö14): ┬í┬«On this day the Altar of Fortune who Leads Back was dedicated, who brought home Caesar Augustus from the Provinces overseas. Prayer to the Fortune who Leads Back┬í┬». Suetonius (Aug. 98) reports the Alexandrian sailors┬í┬» praise of Augustus: ┬í┬«it was through him they lived, through him that they sailed the seas, and through him that they enjoyed their liberty and fortunes┬í┬». For the invocation of Fortune to protect Augustus, see Horace, Carm. Saec., 29-32. On eujaggevlion and the Caesar cult, P. Stuhlmacher, Das paulinische Evangelium I: Vorgeschichte (G├Âttingen 1968), 197-203.

[26] V. Ehrenberg and A.H.M. Jones, op. cit., ┬í├Ś98a (ll.4-11).

[27] The inscription on the golden shield placed in the Curia Julia recognised Augustus¡¯ valour (ajrethv), clemency (ejpeivkeia), justice ([d]ikaiosuvnh), and piety (eujsevbeia). Res Gestae 34.

[28] For the imperial ideology of peace, see Augustus, Res Gestae 12 (E[ijr]hvnh" Sebasth'"), 13 (eijrhneuomevnh"), 26 (eijrhneuvesqai). Cf. ibid., 34: ¡®I had extinguished the flames of civil war¡¯. Similarly, Horace (Carm., 3.14.14-16; cf. 1:2; 1.12.49-60; 4.2.41-52; 4.15.17-20): ¡®Neither civil strife nor death by violence will I fear, while Caesar holds the earth¡¯. Additionally, Virgil (G., 1.498-514; 2.170-172), Seneca (Apocol. 10), and Velleius Paterculus (2.89.1-6; 2.126.3-4). Note the more critical stance of Epictetus (Arr., Epict. Diss., 3.13.9-11) who contrasts the peace offered by the Caesars with that of the philosophers. On the role of benefactors in restoring peace, see F.W. Danker, op. cit., 398-399. On hope in imperial propaganda, see M.E. Clark, ¡®Images and Concepts of Hope in the Imperial Cult¡¯, in H.R. Kent (ed.), Society of Biblical Literature 1982 Seminar Papers (Chico 1982), 39-43. For the benefactions of Augustus, see Res Gestae 15-24. Augustus, in imitation of the honorific inscriptions of Republican nobiles (e.g. CIL I. 2), promotes an eschatological aura around his acts of beneficence and deliverance: ¡®I was the first and only one (primus et [s]olus omnium) to do this¡¯ (Res Gestae, 16). On this feature of Augustus¡¯ Res Gestae, see P. Veyne, Bread and Circuses: Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism (London 1990; Fr. orig. 1976), 258. Again, as commissioner of the grain supply, Augustus speaks of his generosity in pressing times: ¡®I freed the entire people, at my own expense, from the fear and danger in which they were¡¯ (Res Gestae 5).

[29] Augustus, Res Gestae 3 (cf. ibid., 34: ejpeivkeia): ¡®when victorious I spared all citizens who sued for pardon¡¯.

[30] In Augustan propaganda the battle of Actium (31 BC) acquired a special eschatological significance (Virgil, Aen., 2.675ff; Horace, Epod., 9; cf. Res Gestae 25). According to Virgil (Ecl., 4), a golden age had been ushered in by Augustus. On the latter, see I.S. Ryberg, ¡®Virgil¡¯s Golden Age¡¯, TAPhA 89 (1958), 112-131. The portent of Caesar¡¯s comet (Horace, Carm., 1.12.46-48; Virgil, Ecl., 9.46-50; cf. Suetonius, Iul., 88) heralded the eschatological fruitfulness of the Augustan era and its enduring brightness. On the battle of Actium and its centrality to Augustan numismatic propaganda, see R.A. Gurval, Actium and Augustus: The Politics and Emotions of Civil War (Ann Arbor 1995), 47-65.

[31] The language of excess (uJperbavllein) typified benefactors in honorific inscriptions. Benefactors ¡®excelled¡¯ in a range of virtues: e.g. good will (eu[noia: SEG XXII 128), benevolence (filanqrwpiva: IG XIII[7] 395), courage (ajndreiva: I. Prusa Olymp. 2), love of glory (filodoxiva: Caria. Aphro. 270) and honour (filotimiva: I. AnkyraBosch. 131, 108), greatness of mind (megalofrosuvnh: TAM II[1-3] 579), moderation (swfrosuvnh: TAM V 62), merit (ajrethv: FD III[1] 546a) and ancestral honour (filoteimiva progonikhv: SEG XXXVII 1210). In contrast to the honorific inscriptions, Paul usually reserves the language of excess (uJperbavllein, uJperbolhv) for the overflow of divine grace (2 Cor 9:14; Eph 2:7), glory (2 Cor 3:10, 17), power (2 Cor 4:7; Eph 1:19), revelation (2 Cor 12:7) and love (Eph 3:19). Where Paul employs uJperbolhv in ethical contexts, it refers to the excess of sin (Rom 7:13; Gal 1:13) or, more positively, the excellence of love (1 Cor 12:31).

[32] V. Ehrenberg and A.H.M. Jones, op. cit., ┬í├Ś98a (l.23). Examples of the inscriptional language of abundance are easily multiplied. In honour of Tiberius Caesar, the Ephesians dedicate through their agonothet├¬s two stoa ┬í┬«from the superfluous money (ejk tw'n perissw'n crhmavtwn) of the games of Augustus Caesar┬í┬» (I. Ephesos VII 3420). See also I. Ephesos Ia 17 (l.43: perissh'/ dapavnh'/), 18 (l.15: perissh'/ dapavnh'/). Flavius Diadumenos is honoured ┬í┬«on account of the extraordinary good-will and love of honour (th;n per[issh;n] eu[no┬í├âi┬í├âa[n kai;] filotimivan) in (his) offices and liturgies┬í┬» (I. Tralleis 81: AD 217).

[33] According to Horace, atonement for Roman guilt ÔÇö rendered necessary because ┬í┬«citizen whetted against citizen the sword┬í┬» (Carm., 1.2) ÔÇö was more than satisfied by the deliverance that Augustus had brought.

[34] Horace, Carm., 4.5.16-24; cf. 4.15. See also Virgil, G., 1.24-42. Generally, see W. Deonna, ┬í┬«La l├ęgende d┬í┬»Octave-Auguste: dieu, sauveur et ma├«tre du monde┬í┬», RHR 83 (1921), 32-58, 163-195; 84 (1921), 77-107; A. Wallace-Hadrill, ┬í┬«The Golden Age and Sin in Augustan Ideology┬í┬», P&P 95 (1982), 19-36. For Augustus┬í┬» stated faithfulness to the mos maiorum, see Res Gestae 5, 8.

[35] CIL(X) 8375: AD 4ÔÇö14.

[36] See the excellent discussion of D. Georgi, art. cit., 115-117; H. Koester, ¡®Memory of Jesus¡¯ Death and the Worship of the Risen Lord¡¯, HTR 91/4 (1998), 335-50. The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace), erected in the Campus Martius between 13 and 9 BC to celebrate Augustus¡¯ return from Gaul, includes a representation of Aeneas arriving in Italy.

[37] L.J. Kreitzer, Striking New Images: Roman Imperial Coinage and the New Testament World (Sheffield 1996), 38-50.

[38] Cited in E. Stauffer, Christ and the Caesars: Historical Sketches (London 1955), 99. The astronomical appellation ÔÇö ┬í┬«the marvellous star of the Greek world, shining with the brilliance of the great heavenly Saviour┬í┬» ÔÇö alludes to the sidus Iulium. This was the comet observed shortly after Caesar┬í┬»s death in 44 BC when Augustus was celebrating the Victoria Caesaris. A coin issue of 18 BC displays the oak-wreathed head of Augustus on the obverse and an eight-rayed comet with a fiery tail on the reverse. Across the field of the coin and between the rays is the legend DIVVS IVLIVS. See H. Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire Vol.1 (London 1965), 59 ┬í├Ś323-328. In a cameo of Augustus┬í┬» victory at Actium, Virgil (Aen. 2.680-684) links two supra-cephalic flames issuing from Augustus┬í┬» helmet with his father┬í┬»s star, the sidus Iulium, which dawns over its crest. For discussion of the coins, see R. Oster, ┬í┬«Numismatic Windows into the Social World of Early Christianity┬í┬», JBL 101/2 (1982), 195-223, esp. 208-212; idem, ┬í┬«┬í┬░Show me a denarius┬í┬▒: Symbolism of Roman Coinage and Christian Beliefs┬í┬», ResQ 28/2 (1985-1986), 107-115, esp. 108-111. For an excellent general discussion of Augustus┬í┬» coins, see E. Stauffer, op. cit., 86-88. More generally, L.J. Kreitzer, op. cit. Note, too, the cosmological dimension of I. Perge 381: ┬í┬«(This monument is dedicated to) Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Guardian of all the earth and sea┬í┬». Cf. Rev 10:6; 14:7. For a late first-century BC prophecy in honour of Augustus┬í┬» victory at Actium ÔÇö or is it possibly a reference to Caesar┬í┬»s triumph at Pharsalus? ÔÇö see I. Hadrianoi 24: ┬í┬«I, Gauros, have received the prophets┬í┬» faithful words and inscribed the victory of Caesar and the contests of (the) gods, through whom by prayers I grasped all things from start to finish and, repaying ungrudgingly the gifts, I exult. Gauros, son of Asklepiades, from Torea, (set up) the statue at his own expense┬í┬». For discussion, see New Docs 9 (2002), ┬í├Ś5. According to Paul, the gospel of the risen Son of God in power was ┬í┬«promised beforehand through (God┬í┬»s) prophets in the Holy Scriptures┬í┬» (Rom 1:2; 16:25-26). D. Georgi (op. cit., 87) argues that Rom 1:3-4 is ┬í┬«an alternative to the social utopia of Caesarism┬í┬».

[39] Philo, Leg. 144-145. For a sensitive discussion of Philo¡¯s eulogy of Augustus, see D.L. Tiede, Jesus and the Future (Cambridge 1990), 25-26.

[40] On the Roman forum generally, see P. Romanelli, The Roman Forum (Second ed.: Rome 1955); M. Grant, The Roman Forum (London 1970); F. Coarelli, Il Foro Romano (Rome 1992); D. Favro, The Urban Image of Augustan Rome (Cambridge 1996).  For select ancient texts dealing with the Forum of Augustus, see D.R. Dudley, Urbs Romana: A Source Book of Classical Texts on the City and Its Monuments (Aberdeen 1967), 123-129.  For discussions of the Forum of Augustus, see H.T. Rowell, ¡®The Forum and the Funeral Images of Augustus¡¯, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 17 (1940), 131-143; E.A. Judge, ¡®Augustus¡¯ Conception of His Place in History¡¯, History Teachers¡¯ Association of N.S.W.: Ancient History Study Sessions, July-August, 1968, 30-47; id., ¡®On Judging the Merits of Augustus¡¯, Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Hellenistic and Modern Culture, Colloquy 49 (Berkeley 1985), 1-80, esp. 9-12; id., ¡®The Eulogistic Inscriptions of the Augustan Forum¡¯, in id., op. cit. (1987), 80-105; J.C. Anderson, The Historical Topography of the Impeira Fora (Bruxelles 1984), 65-100; P. Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Ann Arbor 1990), 201-205. For a corrected version of ¡®On Judging the Merits of Augustus¡¯, see E.A. Judge, op. cit., (1987), 217-298.  

[41] For a full list of the republican principes, see E.A. Judge, ¡®The Eulogistic Inscriptions of the Augustan Forum¡¯, in id., op. cit., (1987), 96-97.

[42] Note the comment of P. Zanker (op. cit., 201): ┬í┬«In the Forum of Augustus, in the central niches of the two large exedrae, Aeneas and Romulus stood as counterparts of Mars and Venus ┬í┬Ž Venus┬í┬» grandson was depicted fleeing from Troy in flames, the son of Mars as triumphator. The juxtaposition was not intended to measure the two heroes against one another, but to celebrate their deeds as the embodiments of two complimentary virtues┬í┬».

[43] E.A. Judge, ibid., 87-88.

[44] See Res Gestae 30.1: ¡®I was the leading citizen¡¯ (princeps); 34.3: ¡®I excelled all in influence¡¯ (auctoritate).

[45] See Res Gestae 8.5: ¡®I myself left standards in many matters for the imitation of posterity¡¯.

[46] Res Gestae 35.1

[47] Note the comment of J.C. Anderson (op. cit., 82) regarding the number of triumphatores originally represented: ¡®The extant inscriptions from the Forum also fail us, as we have no way of determining from the fragments how many triumphatores were represented , or which ones were in the hemicycles and which in the porticos¡¯.

[48] Note, however, the military parallel between Augustus and Gaius Marius. Augustus (Res Gestae 1.1): ¡®I successfully championed the liberty of the republic when it was oppressed by the tyranny of a faction¡¯. Gaius Marius (ILS 59): ¡®while consul for the sixth time, he freed the republic when it was troubled by the revolt of tribunes of the plebs and praetors, who had seized the Capitol under arms¡¯.

[49] J.C. Anderson (ibid., 83) observes of the elogia fori Augusti that ¡®Temples built by four of these men were restored by Augustus in confirmation of Suetonius¡¯ statement that Augustus restored the works of great generals preserving the original inscriptions (Aug., 31.1)¡¯.

[50] G. Maslakov, ¡®Valerius Maximus and Roman Historiography: A Study of the Exempla Tradition¡¯, ANRW II.32.1 (1984), 437-496; W.M. Bloomer, Valerius Maximus and the Rhetoric of the New Mobility (London 1992); C.J. Skidmore, Practical Ethics for Roman Gentlemen: The Work of Valerius Maximus (Exeter 1996). For Valerius Maximus¡¯ relevance to New Testament studies, see R. Hodgson, ¡®Valerius Maximus and the Social World of the New Testament¡¯, CBQ 51/4 (1989), 683-693.

[51] ILS 56

[52] Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 22.27.3-4.

[53] Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia 3.8.2. Similarly, De Viris Illustribus 43: ¡®He permitted Minucius, his master of the cavalry, to be given command equal to his own. Nonetheless, he aided Minucius when he was in trouble¡¯.

[54] Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 22.29.10-11.

[55] The only substantial evidence we have to the contrary is Elder Pliny┬í┬»s catalogue of reversals of fortune from Augustus┬í┬» career (Naturalis Historia 7.44.147-150). This ┬í┬«non-official┬í┬» version of Augustus is our best hope for reconstructing what the ┬í┬«opposition┬í┬» ÔÇö that is, the tradition of dissent emanating from Gaius Asinius Pollio and other leading principes in Tacitus┬í┬» Annals ÔÇö was saying in response to Augustus┬í┬» propaganda.

[56] On Paul¡¯s presentation, see J.R. Harrison, art. cit.

[57] On Romans 9:5, see M.J. Harris, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus (Grand Rapids 1992). On Jesus¡¯ Lordship in its imperial context, see J.L. White, The Apostle of God: Paul and the Promise of Abraham (Peabody 1999), 173-206.

[58] On reasons for Paul¡¯s consistent use of the singular cavri", see J.R. Harrison, op. cit., 285-286.

[59] On apotheosis, see J.R. Harrison, ¡®Paul and the Imperial Gospel at Thessaloniki¡¯, JSNT 25/1 (2002), 71-96, esp. 92-95.

[60] Pseudo-Demetrius, Tuvpoi┬á jEpistolikoiv, 21 (II cent. BCÔÇöIII cent. AD). G.W. Peterman (Paul┬í┬»s Gift from Philippi: Conventions of Gift Exchange and Christian Giving [Cambridge 1997], 82, 194) has noted the same text in discussing Rom 5:7, though he has incorrectly referred to the author as ┬í┬«Ps-Dionysius┬í┬» in ibid., 194.

[61] Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia 4.7.5.

[62] Seneca (Ben., 4.27.5; 4.34.2) argues that benefactors should avoid benefiting those with an ungrateful disposition. On the Jewish side, see Sir 12.1-2.

[63] For an excellent discussion of ¡®Son of God¡¯ in the imperial cult, see T.H. Kim, ¡®The Anarthrous uiJo;" qeou' in Mark 15:39 and the Roman Imperial Cult¡¯, Biblica 79/2 (1998), 221-241.

[64] For discussions of ¡®Father¡¯ in its imperial context, see E.M. Lassen, ¡®The Use of the Father Image in Imperial Propaganda and 1 Corinthians 4:14-21¡¯, Tyn Bul 42/1 (1991), 127-136; T.R. Stevenson, ¡®The Ideal Benefactor and the Father Analogy in Greek and Roman Thought¡¯, CQ 42/2 (1992), 421-436; J.L. White, op. cit., 139-172.