Conspiracy and the fire of 64 CE Event as iCalendar

(Classics and Ancient History, School of Humanities)

11 September 2018


Venue: Room 220, Humanities Building (206-220)

Professor Victoria Pagán University of Florida

Assuming that persons who identified as or were recognized as Christians in the high empire were marginalized because of their affiliation with and profession of a non-Roman religion, then the earliest stage of this process is evident in Tacitus, Annals 15.44, in the well-known paragraph in which Nero blamed and punished the Christians for the great fire of 64 CE. Although the authenticity of the first part of sentence 3 can be disputed, the episode as a whole can rightly be considered a conspiracy theory. At work in this passage are powerful mechanisms by which the marginal identity of Christians was created, perhaps as early as the Neronian period, and certainly expressed certainly as early as the Trajanic period.

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