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Ausgabe 02/2007
Cornelia B. Horn The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the Challenges of the Conversion of Families


Die pseudo-klementinischen Homilien erzählen die Geschichte der Wiedervereinigung der Eltern und Kinder in Clemens’ Herkunftsfamilie. Der Beitrag untersucht die Verwandlungen, die diesen Wiedererkennungsprozess begleiten, sowie deren Auswirkungen auf die religiösen, sozialen, kulturellen und moralischen Bereiche des im Roman gezeichneten Familienlebens: Eines der Probleme mit Familienstrukturen, das sich in den Pseudo-Klementinen stellt, ist das Ungleichgewicht, das entsteht, wenn nur ein Teil der Mitglieder einer bestimmten Familie sich zum christlichen Glauben und den damit einhergehenden moralischen Idealvorstellungen bekehrt. In Fällen, wo dies zum Zusammenbruch von Familien führt, ist es das Anliegen der Pseudo-Klementinen, die Schuld dafür nicht bei etwaigen familienfeindlichen Tendenzen innerhalb des Christentums zu suchen, sondern die immer noch neue Religion des Christentums als Quelle anzusehen, aus der Heilung, Wiederherstellung, und Neustrukturierung von Familienbeziehungen durch die Bekehrung aller Familienmitglieder gewonnen werden kann.

Setting the Stage and Defining the Goal

Focusing on the study of family life and children as reflected in Christian apocryphal texts constitutes an approach to ancient Christian literature which thus far has been largely neglected. [2] The roles women played in the production and consumption of apocryphal texts as well as women’s responses to the call to conversion to the Christian faith and lifestyle as reflected in a subset of Christian apocrypha, namely the apocryphal Acts of Apostles, have been well studied. [3] In the ancient Mediterranean world of classical and early Christian times, women played a central part in family life and the organization and functioning of the household. Yet in the contexts of studies of apocryphal acts texts relatively little scholarly attention has concentrated on the examination of structures of family life and on the effect, which individuals’ conversion to Christianity had on families. [4] The present work begins to address this topic.

This article contributes to research on comparative dimensions of family life and children in ancient Christian and non-Christian popular literature. For reasons of the convergence in genre and topic, one of the limitations placed on the data set subjected to examination in this research is that the selected texts focus immediately on apostolic figures or on people closely related to them. Apocryphal Acts of Apostles therefore form a significant, yet not exclusive subset of texts subjected to study. Examinations of the roles of children and family constellations in contemporary Greco-Roman and Jewish novels and biography provide a suitable comparative context. More specifically, the present article focuses on the first known Christian novel, or romance, as a work that fulfills the criterion of being an apocryphal (Jewish-)Christian text and also shows at least some affinities to the genres of novel or biography.

Scholarship in the field of apocryphal literature has demonstrated a stable dedication to examining the Christian novel. [5] Of relevance for the investigation of the present subject matter is the study of early representatives of this genre, among them the story represented by the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions. [6] The scope of the present article, however, requires a restriction to the examination of the Homilies. [7]

Featuring Clement of Rome as the chosen disciple and successor of the apostle Peter, the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies offers a plethora of theological discussions incorporated into an account of Clement’s experiences and adventures as travel companion of the apostle Peter. [8] The ultimate goal of the narrative is to present the reunification of Clement’s scattered pagan family of birth as a Christian family, reconstituted and made subject to the Christian faith and its laws. The trajectory that moves the narrative along this process consists of repeated variations on the theme of the recognition (Greek anagnorismos, Latin recognitio) of Clement’s family members of one another. [9] It is part of the goal of the present study to examine some of the transformations accompanying these events of recognition and their impact on the religious, social, cultural, and moral dimensions of family life in the third and fourth centuries. In the course of accomplishing this task, it can be shown that challenges to family structures in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies include the conversion of only some members of a given family to Christian moral ideals and faith. Where the conversion to Christianity or to a morally pure life leads to the breakup of families, the text proposes not to blame Christianity for anti-familial tendencies, [10] but instead to acknowledge the new religion as the source of healing, restoration, and restructuring of the family by way of pursuing the conversion of all family members.

In contrast to the apocryphal Acts of Apostles, the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies employs the appeal to sexual chastity as a means of promoting traditional family structures and the well-being of children within them. In a further step, well-functioning family life emerges as the image of the ideal of the Christian community and the interactions of members of the Church with one another. In the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, two contexts, that of the shared family meal and that of affectionate relationships of family members with one another, manifest themselves not only as key concepts that function as the indispensible basis for the solid construction of family life. They also are to be regarded as the necessary foundation for the constitution of the Christian church as the new family. In the presentation of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, experiential acquaintance with these two practical dimensions of healthy family living furthers and promotes the conversion to Christianity.

Challenges to Family Life: The Place and Role of Chastity

Early Christian apocryphal literature that features the impact of the preaching of apostles characteristically involves as a theme the challenges posed to traditional family structures and accustomed expectations of how married life ought to be lived out. Chastity is a key theme in this regard. In many of the apocryphal Acts of Apostles, the apostle’s call to chastity causes properly married wives or concubines to forsake active sexual relationships with their spouses or partners and commit themselves to a life of permanent sexual abstinence, at the expense of and always to the disappointment and anger of the males involved. [11] This presentation of female sexual renunciation as a form of chastity has been examined as an expression of the demand of women for independence and autonomy, [12] apparently being gained as a result of the women’s conversion to Christianity. In this process, tradional forms of male dominance and control of married life and of the behavior of members of the family are overturned. Families are broken up because of the conversion of individual family members to the moral ideas of the new religion of Christianity. Likely the most prominent one among these is chastity, which is emphasized also throughout the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies in various settings.

The driving force behind the behavior of the main female character of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, Clement’s mother Mattidia, is her chastity. [13] Yet that chastity neither necessitated the renunciation of married sexual life, nor was it the result of Mattidia’s conversion to Christianity. When her husband’s brother had made advances towards her, Mattidia withdrew from geographical proximity to her spouse, not in order to avoid sexual intercourse with him, but in order to preserve the purity of her marriage from adulterous violation and to avoid the decline and break-up of relationships between members of the larger family as well as the destruction of the family clan as a whole. [14] Responsibility for the purity of the marriage bed as the task of the wife was a motif of ancient Roman morality with which those readers of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies who also had been immersed in traditional Roman historiography and writings on morality and the good life would have been familiar. Lucretia’s suicide which she committed in response to suffering the violation of rape was a well-known case. [15] In that instance, shame brought upon a husband’s name required cleansing. In the case of Mattidia, the protection and preservation of the family was the main motif for the wife’s concern for her chastity. When observing that and how Mattidia reacted to the threat posed to her chastity, one notices that through removing herself in effect permanently from her home, Mattidia’s pursuit of the ideal of chastity threatened the immediate, day-to-day life of the family. Yet at the same time her chastity also aided in preserving the constellations and structures of the larger family.

In the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, chastity is not a quality of character reserved for the central female figure nor is it a feature that is promoted solely for the preservation of marriages. Chastity functions as a tool to encourage the transformation and renewal of sexual morality in family settings. In several instances, children are shown to be among the distinct beneficiaries of the chaste conduct of their parents. One of the consequences of the demand to live a chaste life, especially as it is placed upon a father, was that in light of a transformed morality, a father was no longer allowed to use his children as sexual objects. In order to call forth such a change of attitude, the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies offers a pronounced critique of Greco-Roman mythology and the misleading moral behavior of the gods featured therein.

Countering the Morality and Influence of Ancient Myths

The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies appropriates Greco-Roman themes of moral behavior in order to create identity through emphasizing distance. The text judges the morality which the example of the pagan gods promoted as lewd, destructive of family life, and detrimental to the well-being of children. At several instances, its author cited Greco-Roman gods as providing seemingly divinely sanctioned examples of a behavior that promotes pederasty and incestuous paedophilia. In a highly sarcastic manner, Homily 4 revisits examples of family relationships-gone-wrong between the Greek gods. It was not enough that Zeus’ father Chronos had swallowed his own children and had cut off his father Uranos’ genitals with a sharp scythe. [16] With biting irony Clement as the narrator of the myth that is contained within the context of this homily reminded his audience what a great model of piety on the part of parents and of love on the part of children this Chronos must have been for all those zealous followers of divine mysteries. [17] According to the same homily, pederasts could appeal to Zeus for support and defense, since the head of the gods modeled precisely such a behavior when he kidnapped the beautiful young Ganymede and led him away to Mount Olympus. [18] Among the Greeks Ganymede was considered not only as the measure of male beauty and thus in this story as the pinnacle of homosexual desires. [19] Given Ganymede’s young age, the story also functions as the paradigm par excellence of pederastic relationships, which seemed permitted on the authority of the god Zeus. In this instance, the use of myth created a tool for moral assessment, even if it did not provide an etiology for pederasty.

For the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, Zeus is a negative example of incestuous behavior as well. Homily 5 contains a long list of engagements of a sexual nature Zeus had undertaken with a variety of females, including his sisters. [20] Yet according to the criticism of Homily 5, also fathers who desire to have sex with their daughters only have to turn to the same Greek myths and to Zeus to find the justification for their lustful longings. Also for them Zeus offered the model to be emulated. That such an imitation did not have to occur in a literal manner could be derived from the observation that Zeus once turned himself into a serpent in order to deflower his daughter Persephone. [21] On the one hand, such a metamorphosis of a father could only be thought of as available for imitation if one could take recourse to magic, as also Zeus is criticized to have done. [22] On the other hand, the reference not only to any kind of animal imagery in part for purposes of the entertainment of one’s audience, but specifically to a serpent whose bodily shape is fit to represent the phallus also points to the materiality, forcefulness, and ultimately the reality of a father’s sexual use of his daughter. Whether or not a merely human father was able to take on a bestial outer form, he could still feel justified in approaching his own daughter for the purposes of sexual penetration on the precepts of following the model Zeus had offered. [23]

The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies expresses a strong disdain for and dislike of the moral message which Greek mythology offered. At the same time it provides an explanation for how myths such as those that seemed to work against the good of family life and the well-being of children gained influence on people’s hearts and minds and eventually also upon their actions. Homily 4 argues that from their childhood on, the young folks learn how to read such myths and assimilate instances of perverse behavior displayed by the gods in their own minds. [24] Since the young still had tender souls, the impious acts of those that pretended to be gods impressed them deeply, such that they would not let go of them even as they matured to adulthood. Rather, while growing up children who lived under these influences carried along with them the fruits of such evil seeds that had been sown into their souls. [25] Consequently, once they had become adults they could only continue to strive to bring forth the mature fruits of such behavior. [26]

Although the author(s) and redactor(s) of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies had learned from the stories of Greek mythology how to construct a narrative, they were explicit in their rejection of Greek myths which could function as corrupting exempla for children and adults. They also opposed myths which sanctioned behavior that could lead to the destruction of family life. In taking such a stance, the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies gained a profile of their own in the midst of a choir of critical voices that had arisen within the non-Christian Greek intelligentia that was aiming at explaining away the incestuous and paedophile behavior of the gods. The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies themselves refer to and detail the opinions of several philosophers who had placed their own spin on the interpretation of Greek mythology. [27] For the Stoic philosopher Zeno, for example, Zeus uniting himself to female deities that had come forth from him, from whom he had come forth, or that had come forth from the same mother of whom he had been born, merely represented Zeus uniting himself to himself. With this explanation Zeno suggested that the question of whether or not one should label Zeus’ relations with his mother, daughter, sisters, or their children as adulterous relationships had lost any grounds. [28] A theologico-philosophical argument that was based on the nature of divinity here was adduced to handle undesirable moral consequences of mythological narrative examples. Other thinkers as well felt the need to apologize for Zeus’ behavior in creative ways. The philosopher Apion, a family acquaintance of Clement’s from his youth in Rome, [29] advanced his argument by explaining away any indecent behavior of the gods, even more so the gods themselves, by taking recourse to allegory. [30] Apion told Clement that when previously he had spoken much against the gods, calling them pederasts and among other accusations also had charged them with incestuous relationships with mothers and daughters, in fact he had not believed that the gods had committed any of these deeds. [31] As far as Apion was concerned, all these stories merely contained an appropriate philosophical teaching which had to be expressed by way of allegory. [32] Thus Apion suggested that those entities which were spoken of as the god’s children were rather the fruits of the season and what was thought to be his sexual intercourse with males was only an image of the lack of fruitfulness and of the sterility of certain seasons during the course of the year or of epochs throughout the ages. [33] Yet for some, Apion’s attempts at demythologizing the realm of the divine were misguided. [34]

Neither of these attempts at explaining away the force of the descriptions of the behavior of the gods satisfied the sensibilities of the Clement presented in the Homilies. He was outraged that those who invented such stories felt free to do so and through such myths about the gods had incited human beings to commit errors and faults, in addition to scandalizing folks who in fact believed in the existence of the gods. [35] The author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies portrayed Clement as being concerned that through such fables they had misled people who driven by the intention of imitating the behavior of higher beings had ended up committing shameful deeds like murdering their parents or children, engaging in indecent and incestuous unions with mothers, daughters, or sisters, committing adultery, or entertaining sexual relations between males. [36] For the Clement of the Homilies, such stories about the gods had been used to destroy marriages and ruin lives, quite independent of whether people actually believed in the reality of the gods’ existence as divine beings or whether they subscribed to a critique of the gods as simply being divinized mortals whose tombs could be visited, for example in the high-up mountains of the Caucasus. [37]

The realm of Greek mythology was not the only area that could be adduced to discuss and potentially promote the unrestrained exercise of sexuality, even if it included incestuous and pederastic relationships. Greek philosophy had established an argument that specific human behaviors were not by nature good or bad. [38] Rather the qualifications of such behaviors were the result of customs and laws of a given geographical region and people and therefore could differ from place to place. Homily 4 of the Pseudo-Clementines attemptes to counter this view and argues that from such an indifference to an inherent distinction between what was morally good or bad sins arose which were the cause of uproar, murder, and any kind of disorder in society. More specifically adultery as a consequence of such a view and as an outgrowth of sinful behavior, caused the disruption of lives, the ruin of families, the practice of magic and the use of ruses, as well as the fall of people into utter poverty and need. [39] Homily 19 introduces the example of customs that were said to have been current among the Persians, who practiced indiscriminate coupling, including in particular the habit of espousing one’s mother, sister, or daughter. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions likewise takes recourse to the example of the Persians’ incestuous practices. In five instances in Recognitions 9 the author tells how the Persians marry their mothers, sisters, and daughters and do so not only in their home country but wherever they happen to live. [40] The Persians also are said to have made sure to pass on knowledge and practice of that incestuous custom to their children. [41] Possible consequences affecting the horoscope of newborn babies generally did not suffice to move them from refraining from this custom. [42] For the author of the Pseudo-Clementines, only the impact which preaching the Gospel could have on their minds and hearts was powerful enough to change people caught in such practices. To prove this point, Recognitions 9 reports that as a consequence of the apostle Thomas’s preaching among the Parthians, also the Persians lost at least some of their pleasure in espousing their own mothers or in engaging in incestuous unions with their own daughters. [43] That the author of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions employed this detail more often than did the author of the Homilies is noteworthy. [44] On the one hand, references to the Persians’ incestuous customs appear to have been a frequent, traditional motif in descriptions of barbaric habits. In fact, for the Greeks in general, the Persians were the stereotypical “other.” Bardaisan’s Book of the Laws of the Countries [45] and Eusebius of Caesarea’s Praeparatio Evangelica [46] are among the witnesses for a wider usage of this motif. Thus the description as found in the Pseudo-Clementines may well have been known to the authors of the Recognitions and of the Homilies independently of one another. Or it may have been the case that the reference was part of the base narrative, the so-called Grundschrift, from which both the Homilies and the Recognitions are understood to have been derived. [47] In support of the second thesis one notes that the Recognitions identify the Persians practicing this incestuous custom as “Magusaei,” that is, Magians. [48] It fits well with this detail that the Homilies had introduced the example of the incest-prone Persians via the figure of Simon Magus.

The Law in Support of the Well-Being of Families

The author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies saw further dimensions of why a demand for restraint in one’s sexual behavior was necessary and in fact worked on behalf of the well-being of children. Witnessing to the Jewish-Christian character of the text, the appeal to the Law was central here. Homily 19 features Peter speaking on behalf of the need to observe proper laws regulating sexual conduct in order to prevent one’s offspring from being affected by evil consequences that otherwise might arise. One of the members of Peter’s audience had asked why so many cases of premature deaths, among other kinds of misfortunes, affected human beings. [49] From a perspective that highlights Jewish observance of the Law, in his response Peter explained that all of these misfortunes were the consequences of the unrestrained exercise of pleasure and sexual intercourse without any observation of the proper rule. [50] According to his understanding, without following the necessary rules the natural act of a male implanting semen into a female would bring forth all kinds of evil. In order to avoid negative consequences, it was necessary to realize that the same laws that applied to planting and sowing seed in the realm of nature also had to be observed in the area of human sexuality. As much as only certain times of the year were appropriate for bringing out the seed into the fields, so also were there specific days assigned for the proper exercise of sexual intercourse. [51] With this teaching concerning the need to observe certain periods for conjugal intercourse, Homily 19 offers a distinct interpretation of the purity laws of the Levitical code (Leviticus 12, 15, and 18), which identifies the days of bodily discharge as those of male or female impurity and thus as those on which no intercourse with the respectively impure person was permitted. [52] Concern with observing and cooperating with the right moment in time is a motif that can be traced throughout the classical period in Greece as well. [53] It is not exclusive to Jewish preoccupations with the Law. Also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.8-9 responds to a fictitious inquirer, who wished to know what the source was of so many cases of diseases and other misfortunes, by offering an explanation that employs the same agricultural motifs and highlights the lack of any observance of a fixed rule when engaging in acts of sexual unification. [54] In both the Homilies and the Recognitions, the respective author(s) or redactor(s) specified that the failure to observe abstinence from intercourse in accordance with set rules resulted in negative consequences for the offspring conceived from such forbidden intercourse. When the parents were disobedient to God’s law, the children suffered the consequences. Homily 19 illustrates this rule with a discussion that integrates the case of the man born blind, known from John 9. [55]

Guidelines for Parents and the Benefits to Be Derived from Proper Conduct

In the face of the threat to children’s lives and well-being either through their parents, i.e., mostly their fathers’ direct sexual use of them or through consequences including physical deformations that could be understood as having been caused by their parents’ ignorance and subsequent neglect of divinely ordained rules for sexual intercourse, Homily 13 pitched a call to parents, especially to fathers, for how they should betake themselves in order to work in the best interest of their children. In the wider context of delivering a speech in praise of chastity, Peter offered a detailed description of the role of the proper husband and father. The main premise, perhaps going beyond what one might expect, was that not only the wife, but also the husband ought to strive for chastity. [56] The real goal of a worthy marriage, Peter continued to explain, was for the husband to become a father (πατὴρ γενέσθαι). [57] What precisely that meant is stated in no uncertain terms that primarily bespeak relationship. To be a father was to love one’s own children and to be loved by them (ἲδια τέκνα φιλεῖν καὶ ὑπὸ ἰδίω φιλεῖσθαι τέλνων). [58] Spoken into the context of a Greco-Roman and more widely Mediterranean worldview of family life that strongly emphasized and valued the categories of honor and shame when it came to the organization and structuring of relationships and expectations of behavior in family settings, this description of the true identity of a father may have challenged the self-perception of at least some ancient hearers. As a modern-day researcher one might feel a certain hesitance to connect all too readily the concept of the paterfamilias as the ideal of the Roman father with the language of love. [59] This is not to say that in general ancient parents did not love their children. [60] Recent work on funerary inscriptions as well as a reconsideration of the sentimental values of family relationships in antiquity challenge researchers to rethink how children and parents may have related to one another on the level of emotions and feelings of intimacy with one another as well. Expressions of love then could certainly go hand in hand with ideas of instilling respect, perhaps even fear. [61] In summary fashion one can observe that the Pseudo-Clementines speak up on behalf of a reorientation of emotional and affective relationships between spouses and between parents and children from erotic love towards agape love and the love of friendship. The Pseudo-Clementines see the latter specifically as a demand placed upon parents with regard to their children. Parents are encouraged to offer not a love that demands sexual attention, but one that provides care for those who need it. The father is supposed to work in the best interest of his children.

With their promotion of the reorientation of family relationships, the Pseudo-Clementines did not only place demands upon the parents, particularly the father, but also attempted to further an understanding that parents had much to gain from changed attitudes and behavior. The texts highlight especially the benefits which a father could expect from a renewed sense of morality of the married couple and the family that has been converted to the new order. One of these benefits consisted in the preservation of the life of his spouse and any children born to her. In Homily 4, for example, Clement is made to consider how the tumults, deceits, and disorders caused by adultery disturb lives, ruin families, [62] incite people to go to war against one another, or take whole cities captive. [63] For fear of being discovered, a wife who had become pregnant by someone other than her husband might rather destroy the fruit of her womb, become a murderer of her child, and thus risk dying herself in the course of the action than admit her adultery to her husband. Thus adultery could lead to abortion and infanticide, and consequently to the loss of the life of the child, and at times even to the death of the mother in child-birth caused by the actualization of certain health risks of abortifacent procedures. [64]

The critique of abortion and infanticide was a sufficiently characteristic stance of Judaism in antiquity and as such was adopted by the emerging Christian religion. [65] Quite to the point, for example, Flavius Josephus opposed practices of abortion and infanticide in his treatise Against Apion, [66] likely written against the same Apion who is featured in the Pseudo-Clementines as grammarian from Alexandria. [67] Whereas in general the Greco-Roman world did not share this concern of avoiding the destruction of the embryo or newborn, the specific points of the criticism of abortion and infanticide may be seen as being part of a broader criticism of adultery on the basis of the cases of death to which it may lead, the decease not only of children but also of adults. Especially among schools of Stoic philosophy one finds a development of the theme of the horrors of adultery. [68]

Greco-Roman traditions of criticizing adultery may have influenced the Pseudo-Clementines. Under the influence of Hellenism, different strands of Jewish thought also had reflected on seeing adultery as the key to many evils. In his treatise On Joseph, for example, Philo of Alexandria expressed his evaluation of adultery as the worst of all the deeds one might commit. [69] The similarities between Philo’s writings and the Pseudo-Clementines can also be discerned in another argument concerning the desirability of a chaste wife and the avoidance of adultery for the explicit benefit of a father’s certainty regarding his offspring and the children’s knowledge of the identity of their parents. Homily 4 suggests that the chastity of the wife guaranteed the childrens’ right to know their own father and assured the father that his own children inherited his property.

One of the challenging constellations that could come about from cases of adultery was that a wife might continue to live with her husband after she had committed adultery, without ever informing him of her escapades, but instead continuing normal marital relations with him. Thus it could happen that the child born of her amorous external affair would grow up without knowing who was its real father. The boy or girl would consider as father someone who in fact was not his or her father. In the view of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies this was an injustice done to the child. Yet the text also reflected some awareness that in fact the husband was caught in the unwanted situation of not really being a father but still at this death leaving the inheritance of his goods to a child who merely was a stranger to him and not his real offspring. [70] While being lulled in the good hopes of having established his family line for posterity, in reality such a father was cheated out of having fulfilled the goal of passing on his bloodline. His own lineage came to an end with his death. By employing the image of a dog that is infected with rabies and kills those whom it can bite without them even knowing that they are being affected by such a cruel disease, the author of the Homilies gives striking expression to a sense of injustice done to the father in such a case. [71]

In their promotion of chastity, the Pseudo-Clementines are not primarily concerned with furthering the practices of virginity and abstinence. Rather, they perceive the need to work towards and support practices of marital chastity and the establishment of family life based on solidly grounded marriages that rest within the set orders of society. On the one hand, this feature distinguishes these texts from other roughly contemporary apocryphal writings ascribed to disciples of apostles, for example the Epistle of Pseudo-Titus with its strong features of encratism. [72] On the other hand, this characteristic also situates the Pseudo-Clementines quite comfortably in the literature of moral exhortation offered by Greco-Roman philosophers and moralists. Whether one may understand this emphasis on promoting healthily functioning marital sexual union as a latent feature of Jewish-Christianity in the Pseudo-Clementines remains to be discussed. Yet it is clear that the texts speak on behalf of the furtherance of traditional family structures in which asceticism as a potentially anti-familial movement does not have much of a place. [73]

One part of the support lent to established family structures is situated in the attempt of the texts to promote adherence to Christianity as a means of reestablishing proper family governance. In particular, the Pseudo-Clementines cast their weight on the side of acknowleding the legitimate governance of the father over his children. This is balanced out and at the same time strengthened by the respect of children for their parents. Homilies 3 and 13 offer illustrations of this balanced but pronounced family governance. As already seen, Homily 13, for example, specifies that it is the goal of the husband to become a father, a role of loving and being loved by one’s own children. [74] Thus mutual love creates the balance of a satisfying harmony of relationships. The Pseudo-Clementines choose to identify this harmony and the collaborative effort that works towards strengthening the father’s governance over the family, as the sole guarantee of eternal peace.


It is instructive that the author of the Homilies saw this eternal peace symbolized in the advent of the “child of peace.” The motif of the “child of peace” was not a novel invention of Christian or Jewish-Christian literature. One can fairly easily discern at the least ancient Jewish and classical Greco-Roman roots for it. The image of the child of nursing age peacefully playing at the hole of the asp, or of the weaned child stretching its hand into the den of the adder without any harm, or of the little child leading a reconciled and peaceful assembly of wolf, lamb, leopard, kid, calf, lion, and fatling is already offered in Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 11:6, 8). Also in the first-century B.C.E. the Roman author Publius Virgilius Maro announced the coming of the golden age of peace with the description of the birth of a little child in his famous Eclogue four. [75] Thus a rather well-known context existed into which Luke 2:10-14 could speak of the angel’s proclamation of “the child wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in the manger” (v. 12) whose presence was accompanied by “peace on earth among those whom God favored” (v. 14). Members of the audience of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies arguably were familiar with at least some of these traditions and could have been expected to situate their text’s reference to the “child” or “offspring” of peace in the light of such allusions. Even though the connection between the “child” and the presence of peace served to identify a special child in the Greco-Roman and the Christian examples, in all three cases the presence of the child functioned as a literary expression of the presence of peace as a given.

The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies employed the reference to the “child of peace” when featuring the setting of a conflict between Peter and Simon. In one of his speeches at their encounter, Peter established connections between the themes of peace, the truth of God proclaimed by God’s true Prophet and the ones sent by him, as well as faith onto salvation. Wishing peace to come upon his audience, Peter explicated in particular that those who wanted to receive this peace needed to be willing to accept God’s truth. In fact, being the offspring or child of peace (εἰρήνης τέκνον) was to be seen as more or less equivalent to being willing to receive the truth. [76] Within this framework, the child of peace became a child of truth. A reader of the Homilies who was familiar with the New Testament writings would not have been limited to drawing on Luke 2:10-14 for references. The context of Homily 3.30, speaking of the activities of the one sent by the true Prophet, may even more readily have called to mind Matthew 10:12-14 and Luke 10:5-6 as passages that describe what the messenger was supposed to do when entering a new city or village to proclaim his (or her) word. While the passage in Matthew speaks of peace, it does not specify any age group or gender of the one who may already be a carrier of peace in a given location. Luke’s comments are closer to what one finds in Homily 3.30, even though Luke 10:6 speaks of the “son of peace” (ὑιὸς εἰρήνης), a gender-determined but not age-specific designation that is related to the context of the terminology of family relationships. When the author of Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 3.30.3 chose to phrase his (or her) statement as one concerning the “child of peace” (εἰρήνης τέκνον), that author had in view a person who was characterized as a young child, perhaps also as a servant or slave, but not one who could readily claim the rights and authority of a son of the household. The one who was the carrier and recipient of peace therefore was of a more lowly status in the family system. The one who received the true Prophet in the right spirit was the one who was humble and lowly like a child. Given the equation that is established between peace and truth in this same context, from the perspective of the author of the Homilies it also held true that pride was unable to be receptive to truth. The true Prophet who would bring peace and truth could only establish the appropriate “family” relationship that was necessary for his proclamation with those who already were members of the household of humility of the mind and love of truth. The discussion that the reader had encountered only a few paragraphs earlier concerning the harmoniously structured family life with clearly defined roles of father and children here found its application to the relationship between the apostolic messenger of the true Prophet and the people to be recruited to the true faith.

Employing language that is descriptive of family relationships and traditional family structures to life within the Christian community is an approach that recurs in the Pseudo-Clementines. The application of family language to the life of the church was a powerful means to help overcome the perception, and often also the reality, of one’s separation from one’s family of birth. Within the context of the Church the individual could obtain a sense of belonging to a large family. One part of the set of terminology and expressions that were developed to address and formulate ideas pertaining to such relationships consisted of designating God with terms that evoked the notion of fatherhood. Yet also on the level of interactions of human beings with one another within the Church, parental imagery was in place. Where families suffered separation through the death of a parent, the church functioned as a surrogate parent. The διαμαρτυρία περὶ τῶν τοὺ βιβλίου λαμβάνοντων or contestatio, which constitutes the middle section of the tripartite set of texts preceding the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, elaborates among other regulations some precautionary measures a father might undertake in preparation for the case of his potential passing away at a point in time when his children were not yet of age. [77] The text envisioned not just any father, but one who was in possession of books containing important teachings concerning the faith and the life of the Church. When such a man passed away and left behind a child who either was simply too young or had not yet demonstrated his (or her) worthiness to receive such books, the bishop of the Church was to function as the person with whom the materials were to be deposited. Only after the child had grown up to sufficient maturity and dignity was he (or perhaps also she) allowed to accept these books back from the bishop’s hands. The text explicitly identifies the books that were kept under the bishop’s guardianship as a paternal depository (πατρῴαν παρακαταθήκην). [78] Here the bishop assumed a role comparable to that of a guardian, representing the rights of the father over and against the child that was still under age. [79] The special care that the Church took of such orphaned children is also expressed elsewhere. In Homily 3, the author explicitly formulated as one of the tasks of the Christian brothers and sisters who constituted the Church community that they needed not merely to take care of orphans, but rather that they were required also to honor (τιμᾶτε) orphans as children of the Church (ὡς ἐκκλησίας τέκνα). [80] Also implicit here is the image of the Church as mother.

As a text that addresses the instruction of presbyters of the Church about their duties, the Letter of Clement to James, a document that constitutes the final portion of the tripartite introductory material to the Pseudo-Clementines, exhorts the clergymen to train Christ’s fiancée in temperance. [81] In this letter, the author made it explicit that when speaking of the fiancée Clement was thought of as having had in mind the body of the Church. Given the average age of marriage at the time, particularly in the cases of females, the image that is evoked is that of a young girl of about twelve to fourteen. [82] Thus Clement uses the image of a young girl to describe the body of the Church. The presbyters emerge as fulfilling the role of a parent, more specifically of a father, whose tasks included that of making arrangements for the marriage of his children. As in the case of real family situations, Clement made it clear to the presbyters in their role as fathers that if the fiancée was found worthy by her future spouse, that is God or the king, the honor she would receive also would fall back on them. In the case of negligence on their part and of trespassing on her part also the punishment, or perhaps rather the shame as punishment, would all be counted as theirs as well. Such language taken from the field of relationships between parents and children was here applied to how presbyters were expected to take responsibility for the well-being and proper development of the Christian community. Both in the introductory material and in the immediate text of the Pseudo-Clementines, the structures of family life were seen as fittingly extended to the Church. In the work as a whole, representatives of the Christian Church are designated by terms derived from family life. They can be compared to functionaries within family structures as can be seen in the case of the comparison between the role of the father and that of the true Prophet. Also internal family relationships can be extended to relationships of believers to one another. Certainly these are not features of the texts that set them apart from other early Christian writings. Language derived from the ares of family relationships and the lives of children has been applied to the Christian Church from its earliest beginnings, that is from Paul’s letters on. [83] Yet given the prominent critique of Greek mythology, and especially in view of the repeated criticism of Greco-Roman deities as corruptors and destroyers of children that has been discussed earlier on, [84] the language of family relationships applied to the community of the Church in the Pseudo-Clementines places the structures of the Church in a significantly more positive light and heightens the contrast to pagan customs. The Christian church, or Jewish-Christian church for that matter, is more convincingly presented as working on behalf of the well-being of the family, especially the children. Not only does it care for the lowliest of children who have lost their parents, it explicitly honors them. [85]

Breaking and Healing Family Bonds

The care to be taken of children who had lost their parents was only one of the many instances where situations of the painful separation of families could be grasped. In fact, the framing narrative of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies consists precisely of such a story of the sufferings and adventures of a family broken apart, of family members separated from one another, but ultimately reunited. Here is not the place to recount in detail this story of separation and reunification. Suffice it to say that it serves as a model for the process of the Christianization of the ancient world. Individuals had to break with their adherence to members of their birth family and endure in this stage of separation until they might be united again with them as a result of the conversion of each individual member of the family. In the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies the shared family meal emerges as the powerful symbol that spoke both of separation and of reunification of the family.

The reader of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies notices quickly that references to meals help to structure the narrative as a whole. At the end of important events or at the conclusion of an adventure or teaching session framed by a “homily,” people gather for a meal, or at least eat at the same time even if in separate locations, and then take their rest from the adventures of the day. [86] Sharing a common meal emerges as an essential requirement of virtuous or idealized behavior. The chaste husband, for example, can be recognized if he partakes of his meal together with his wife. [87] Yet the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies leave no doubt that at times the requirements of Christian life make it necessary that some people may not be allowed to participate in the common meals. While Homily 3 requires of the unbaptized Clement not to attend the prayers of Peter and his followers, [88] other instances in the text restrict unbaptized people from the participation in a common meal. Especially when Clement’s mother Mattidia and her sons have come to the recognition of one another, such a prohibition of a shared meal until after Mattidia’s baptism is perceived as a very strict, harsh rule, discriminating against the natural inclinations of family ties. [89] In such instances the regulation of access to the inner circle of the community of the Church via the rules of purity offer a tool for drawing the boundaries between insiders and outsiders. The insider group is defined and delineated by their access to a shared meal. The author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies chose the act of participating in a meal, an intimate expression of family life, to serve as the ultimate sign of conversion, of fulfillment of mutual affection, or reunification of parents with their children, and of family adherence. Family coherence and community manifest themselves in the sharing of a common meal. The cultural acceptance of this ideal, coupled with the affection of family members for one another, facilitates the call to conversion to Christianity for all family members, and thus in the end aids in overcoming family separation.


The portrait of the ideal Christian family that emerges from the Pseudo-Clementine literature is consistent with the Greco-Roman model. Critique of paedophilia and incest reflects a Christian polemic against Greco-Roman religion, but this critique also mirrors a current within classical and post-classical antiquity itself, that is, outside of Christian and Jewish thought. The role of chastity in the Pseudo-Clementines is in reality an appeal to sexual purity rather than abstinence between members of a morally licit relationship, as a comparison with encratite Christian literature such as the Letter of Pseudo-Titus demonstrates. The Pseudo-Clementines argues for a return to or incorporation of a particular family and sexual ethic into the foundation of the Christian family, rather than a radical departure from certain currents in Greco-Roman society.

The author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies was concerned with more than just demonstrating that Christianity was superior to Greco-Roman religion because Christianity possessed a correct moral code of sexuality and family life. Indeed, the author wished to show the superiority of Christianity over and against the Greco-Roman religion and culture, much in the same way that Second Temple Jewish texts did. If this had been the author’s only concern, that is, if the author had intended no connection between a critique of Greco-Roman religion and a condemnation of incest or other “illicit” sexual relationships between family members because he (or she) understood them to be intrinsically wrong, it is difficult to see why the author of these texts would have chosen to highlight sexual relationships among immediate family in order to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity. Pseudo-Clementine Homily 19 grounds its critique of sexual relations on passages from the Holiness Code in Leviticus. Moreover, Jewish interpreters of the Torah were also concerned with correct sexual conduct, even among married couples. The speech on the duties of the ideal father that is placed in the mouth of Peter in Homily 13 seems to be more than just a condemnation of “Gentile” practice, but rather an attempt to impose a correct order on the Christian family. That at least some parents in the ancient world were solicitous and loving is echoed in funerary inscriptions. Abortion and infanticide in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies are presented as the negative outcomes of adultery, and so serve as a warning, but both the criticism of adultery among the Stoics and the condemnation of abortion and infanticide in near-contemporary Jewish sources seem to argue that these were issues of concern.

One therefore cannot exclude the possibility that the author of the Pseudo-Clementines wrote against these practices in order to appeal to those of similar mind, in order to convince them that Christianity authentically shared the same morality as pious Jews and certain segments of Greco-Roman society. It is also possible that, in addition to providing a platform to attack Greco-Roman religion, perhaps the author connected the stability of the traditional family with the successful spread of Christianity because he (or she) understood the traditional family as a model of good church order. While by no means doubting that some interpretation of ancient sources might be colored by modern perceptions, it is clear that the assessments of sexual practices and family organization in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies cannot be dismissed as merely a triumphal assertion of the superiority of Christianity over Greco-Roman “myths.”

The metaphors of parent-child relationships between leaders and the faithful in the Church and for the Christian convert which may be found in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies quite clearly reflect a preoccupation with the good order of the church and the welfare of its members. This concern is placed in opposition to the gods of Greco-Roman culture, particularly Zeus, who is presented as an anti-type of the model father and parent. The critique of the Olympian deities and the argument for the adoption of mores that reflect the Greco-Roman family and its emphasis on the loving and solicitous care of parents for their children is an example of the Christian assimilation of basic structures of society but also of a verbal attack on elements of this same society that were not only at odds with Jewish morality, but were destructive to the Greco-Roman family, or at least could be construed as such.

The question of the participation in a shared meal as a defining mark of belonging to the Christian “family” has echoes both with Greco-Roman and Jewish customs. The importance of the family sharing a meal is based on an observation that faithful husbands eat with their wives and thus with their children. The Jewish prohibition against sharing a table with non-Jews or those who were unclean lurks just below the surface. From this and other metaphors in the Pseudo-Clementine literature, it is possible to reconstruct elements of a Greco-Roman critique of its own institutions, with the understanding that Jewish models as well as Christian polemics are tied into this transformation of Mediterranean family life. For the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, the conversion of family life, and of all its members, offers the medium to transform society into a Christian society based on moral values that are grounded in the Law of the Jewish-Christian tradition.


[1] A paper based on some research for this article was presented to the Early Christian Families Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Washington, D.C. in November 2006. I am grateful to Janet Timbie and Robert R. Phenix Jr. for comments on this project. Research on which this article is based was funded in part through an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship I held during the academic year 2006-2007.

[2] In two other publications I have begun to redress some of this neglect. See Cornelia B. Horn, “The Depiction of Children and Young People as Literary Device in Canonical and Apocryphal Acts,” in Bringing the Underground to the Foreground: New Perspectives on Jewish and Christian Apocryphal Texts and Traditions (Proceedings of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Section of the Society for Biblical Literature International Meeting Held in Groningen, The Netherlands, July 25-28, 2004), ed. Pierluigi Piovanelli (Leuven: Peeters, forthcoming); and Cornelia B. Horn, “Suffering Children, Parental Authority and the Quest for Liberation?: A Tale of Three Girls in the Acts of Paul (and Thecla), the Act(s) of Peter, the Acts of Nerseus and Achilleus, and the Epistle of Pseudo-Titus,” in A Feminist Companion to the New Testament Apocrypha, ed. Amy-Jill Levine with Maria Mayo Robbins, Feminist Companion to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings, vol. 11 (New York and London: Continuum and T&T Clark International, 2006), 118-145.

[3] The discussion on that topic has been quite lively. Representative voices include Stevan L. Davies, The Revolt of the Widows: the Social World of the Apocryphal Acts (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press; and London: Feffer & Simons, 1980); Virginia Burrus, Chastity as Autonomy: Women in the Stories of the Apocryphal Acts, Studies in Women and Religion 23 (Lewiston: E. Mellen Press, 1987); Kate Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996); and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, “Fiction littéraire et réalité sociale: que peut-on savoir de la place des femmes dans le milieu de production des Actes apocryphes des Apôtres?” Apocrypha 1 (1990), 279-302.

[4] For a study which concentrates on the effects on married life in cases where the wife became a Christian but not the husband see Margaret MacDonald, “Early Christian Women Married to Unbelievers,” Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 19 (1990), 221-234. This work does not focus on apocryphal literature as such, but examines a broader range of early Christian texts.

[5] See for example Ronald F. Hock, J. Bradley Chance, and Judith Perkins, eds., Ancient Fiction and Early Christian Narrative, Society of Biblical Literature. Symposium Series 6 (Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1998). For a helpful collection of articles that aids in placing the early Christian novels in their larger context of contemporary ancient Greco-Roman and Jewish literature as well as later Byzantine novels, see the contributions by numerous authors that have been collected in J. R. Morgan and Richard Stoneman, eds., Greek Fiction. The Greek Novel in Context (London and New York: Routledge, 1994). Scholarly literature on the ancient novel is expanding continuously. Still useful introductions and discussions include Niklas Holzberg, The Ancient Novel: an Introduction, tr. Christine Jackson-Holzberg (London and New York: Routledge, 1995); and Tomas Hägg, The Novel in Antiquity (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983).

[6] See M. J. Edwards, “The Clementina: A Christian Response to the Pagan Novel,” Classical Quarterly 42 (1992), 459-474. The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions form but two recensions of a common source text. H. Waitz and Georg Strecker differentiated between various sources and considered the late-second-century Kerygmata Petrou as at least one of them. See Letter of Peter to Bishop James 1.2 (ed. Bernhard Rehm and Georg Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 3rd corrected ed. 1992], 1-4, here 2; tr. Marie-Ange Calvet, Dominique Côté, Pierre Geoltrain, Alain Le Boulluec, Bernard Pouderon, and André Schneider, “Épître de Pierre à Jacques,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1215-1217, here 1215); and Diarmartyria / Contestatio 1.1 (ed. Bernhard Rehm and Georg Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 3rd corrected ed. 1992], 2-4, here 3; tr. Marie-Ange Calvet, Dominique Côté, Pierre Geoltrain, Alain Le Boulluec, Bernard Pouderon, and André Schneider, “Engagement solennel destine à ceux qui reçoivent le livre,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1218-1221, here 1218). For discussion of the Kerygmata Petrou, a hypothetical source, see H. Waitz, Die Pseudoklementinen, Homilien und Rekognitionen. Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung, Texte und Untersuchungen 25.4 (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1904); Georg Strecker, Das Judenchristentum in den Pseudoklementinen, Texte und Untersuchungen 70 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2nd ed. 1981), but also the newer critical voice of J. Rius-Camps, “Las pseudo-Clementinas. Bases filológicas para una nueva interpretación,” Revista catalana de teología 1 (1976), 79-158. See also J. Neville Birdsall, “Problems of the Clementine Literature,” in Jews and Christians. The Parting of the Ways A.D. 70 to 135, The Second Durham-Tübingen Research Symposium on Earliest Christianity and Judaism (Durham, September, 1989), ed. James D. G. Dunn, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 66 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1992), 347-361, here 348; J. Wehnert, “Abriss der Entstehungsgeschichte des pseudoklementinischen Romans,” Apocrypha 3 (1992), 211-235; and Johannes Hofmann, “Clementine (Pseudo-) Literature,” in Dictionary of Early Christian Literature, ed. Siegmar Döpp and Wilhelm Geerlings, tr. from German by Matthew O’Connell (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2000), 134-135, here 134.

[7] It has to remain the work of another study to situate the topic of the challenges families faced when confronted with cases of religious conversion of individual family members in the larger body of patristic literature ascribed to Clement of Rome. The number of texts ascribed to that author is considerable. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, Origen of Alexandria thought of Clement as the author of Hebrews. See Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 6.25.14 (ed. and tr. Gustave Bardy, Eusèbe de Césarée. Histoire Ecclésiastique. Livres V-VII, Sources Chrétiennes 41 [Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1955], 128; tr. G. A. Williamson, Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, revised and edited with a new introduction by Andrew Louth, Penguin Classics [London: Penguin Books, c1969 and c1985], 202). The Christian tradition ascribed several other works more explicitly to Clement, in particular three to four letters, namely First Clement (ed. and tr. Bart D. Ehrman, “First Letter of Clement to the Corinthians,” in The Apostolic Fathers I, ed. Bart D. Ehrman, The Loeb Classical Library 24 [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003], 17-151) and two letters Ad virgines (ed. and tr. Joannes Theodorus Beelen, ed. and tr., Sancti patris nostri Clementis Romanae Epistolae binae de virginitate, syriace: quas ad fidem codicis manuscripti Amstelodamensis [Lovanii: C. I. Fonteyn; Valinthout et Soc., 1856]) likely from the third century C.E. One further work, Second Clement (ed. and tr. Bart D. Ehrman, “Second Letter of Clement to the Corinthians,” in The Apostolic Fathers I, ed. Bart D. Ehrman, The Loeb Classical Library 24 [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003], 154-199), that is identified as a letter, is in fact an early Christian homily from around 130 to 150 CE. In addition to the voluminous novelistic works of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, later Christian tradition also saw in Bishop Clement of Rome the author or at least redactor of various collections of ecclesiastical decrees, apostolic prescriptions, other texts of canon law, as well as of a Eucharistic anaphora. See Hofmann, “Clemetine (Pseudo-) Literature,” 35. When considering all of this material, it seems that one can make any reasonable claim for Clement’s involvment as author or co-author only for First Clement.

[8] Travels of the main characters are a characteristic theme employed in many of the ancient novels as well as in the canonical and apocryphal Acts of Apostles. See for example Chariton’s novel Callirhoe (tr. Bryan P. Reardon, “Chariton: Chaereas and Callirhoe,” in Collected Ancient Greek Novels , ed. B. P. Reardon [Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1989], 17-124; ed. and tr. G. P. Goold, ed. and tr., Chariton. Callirhoe, The Loeb Classical Library 481 [Cambridge, Mass., and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1995]) and the apocryphal Acts of John (for ed., tr., and extensive commentary see Eric Junod and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Acta Iohannis. Praefatio—Textus, Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum 1 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1983], and Eric Junod and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Acta Iohannis. Textus Alii—Commentarius. Indices, Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum 2 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1983]).

[9] For a discussion of the motif of “recognition” in pre-modern literature, see Pascal Boulhol, ἈΝΑΓΝΩΡΙΣΜΟΣ. La scène de reconnaissance dans l’hagiographie antique et médiévale (Aix-en-Provence: Publications de L’Université de Provence, 1996). See pp. 63-70 for a study of the motif in the Pseudo-Clementines.

[10] For a consideration of anti-familial sentiments in early Christian literature, see Elizabeth A. Clark, “Antifamilial Tendencies in Ancient Christianity,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 5 (1995), 356-380. For a subsequent reevaluation of the relationship between asceticism and family life, see also Andrew Jacobs and Rebecca Krawiec, “Fathers Know Best? Christian Families in the Age of Asceticism,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11.3 (2003), 257-263; Andrew Jacobs, “‘Let Him Guard Pietas’: Early Christian Exegesis and the Ascetic Family,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11.3 (2003), 265-281; and Rebecca Krawiec, “‘From the Womb of the Church’: Monastic Families,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11.3 (2003), 283-307. Neither of these articles focus on apocryphal literature.

[11] See for example the relationship between Maximilla and the apostle Andrew in Acts of Andrew (ed. and tr. Jean-Marc Prieur, Acta Andreae, Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum 6 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1989]). For enlightening discussion of one of the key passages illustrating a high-point of the husband’s wrath, see Beate Wehn, “‘Geschunden die einen, und die anderen leben . . .’ Über Herrschaft, Gewalt und Tod in einem christlichen Schreckenstext (Andreas-Akten 17-22),” in Dem Tod nicht glauben. Sozialgeschichte der Bible. Festschrift für Luise Schottroff zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. Frank Crüsemann, Marlene Crüsemann, Claudia Janssen, Rainer Kessler, and Beate Wehn (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2004), 465-487.

[12] See for example Burrus, Chastity as Autonomy.

[13] For a lengthy exposition on the value of chastity, both of wife and husband, Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.13-21 (ed. Bernhard Rehm and Georg Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 3rd corrected ed. 1992], 23-281, here 199-203; tr. Marie-Ange Calvet, Dominique Côté, Pierre Geoltrain, Alain Le Boulluec, Bernard Pouderon, and André Schneider, “Homélies,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1235-1589, here 1475-1480). For a recent contribution to the study of Mattidia, see, for example, Bernard Pouderon, “Matt(h)idie la prosélyte? Enquête sur l’appropriation d’une femme de la maison de Trajan dans le prototype juif du Roman pseudo-clémentin,” paper presented at the Colloque international sur la littérature apocryphe chrétienne. Le roman pseudo-clémentin, Lausanne-Genève, Switzerland, August 30 to September 2, 2006. For a study of female figures in the Pseudo-Clementines, see Marie-Ange Calvet-Sébasti, “Femmes du roman pseudo-clémentin,” in Les Personnages du roman grec. Actes du colloque de Tours, 18-20 novembre 1999, ed. B. Pouderon, Ch. Hunzinger, and D. Kasprzyk, Collection de la Maison de l’Orient méditerranéen 29, Série littéraire et philosophique 7 (Lyon: Maison de l’Orient Méditerranéen—Jean Pouilloux, 2001), 285-297.

[14] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 12.8-11 and 12.15-18 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 177-179 and 181-183; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1449-1451 and 1454-1456).

[15] See Livy, Historiarum ab urbe condita 1.57-58 (ed. Robert Seymour Conway and Carolus Flamstead Walters, Titi Livi ab urbe condita, t. 1, libri I-V [Oxonii: E typographeo Clarendoniano, 1914]); and Ovid, Fasti 2,725-852 (ed. E. H. Alton, D. E. W. Wormell, and E. Courtney, P. Ovidi Nasonis Fastorum Libri Sex [Leipzig: BSB B.G. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, 1978], 48-52).

[16] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.16.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1325).

[17] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.16.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89, ll. 4-5; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1325, ll. 5-6). The gender of the author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies may remain indetermined here.

[18] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.16.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89, ll. 8-9; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1325, l. 12). See also Homer, Iliad 5.265 (ed. and tr. A. T. Murray, Homer. Iliad. Books 1-12, rev. William F. Wyatt, Loeb Classical Library 170 [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1999], 226-227), commenting on horses Zeus offered in exchange for Ganymede.

[19] See K. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1978, reprinted 1989), 6, with comments on “Zeus’s irresistible passion for Ganymede” and discussion of related depictions.

[20] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 5.12-13 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 97-98; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1337-1339).

[21] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 5.14.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 98; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1339). For Zeus having sexual relations with his daughter Persephone, see also the comments in Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.16.4 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89, ll. 12-13; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1325).

[22] See for instance Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.21.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 114; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1362). For a study of the role of magic in select apocryphal writings, see Gérard Poupon, “L’accusation de magie dans les actes apocryphes,” in Les Actes Apocryphes des Apôtres. Christianisme et Monde Païen, ed. François Bovon, Michel van Esbroeck, Richard Goulet, Eric Junod, Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Françoise Morar, Gérard Poupon, Jean-Marc Prieur, and Yves Tissot, Publications de la Faculté de Théologie de l’Université de Genève 4 (Genève: Labor et Fides, 1981), 71-85. On p. 73 one may find a brief discussion of examples in which a given apostle’s preaching of chastity is reinterpreted and misinterpreted as an act of magic.

[23] Further research may determine the extent to which the Pseudo-Clementine texts ought to be considered as placed in the context of school education, which offered students some level of training in ancient mythology.

[24] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.18.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89, ll. 23-25; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1326).

[25] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.18.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 89, l. 25-90, l. 1; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1326).

[26] Although the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies analyzed how the imitation of what they saw as the negative morality of pagan gods could be the product of the exposure of children to mythology as part of their education, they also warned adults, especially men in their prime years, to protect their ears from the corrupting influences of the Greek myth. See Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.19.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 90, ll. 6-8; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1327).

[27] For some consideration regarding the perspective expressed in Greek historiography, see Jean Rudhardt, “Dans quelle mesure et par quelles images les mythes grecs ont-ils symbolisé le néant?” Revue de Théologie et de Philosophie 122 (1990), 303-312, see especially 307.

[28] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 5.18.5 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 100, ll. 9-10; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1342).

[29] See also Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 20.11 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 274-275; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1581).

[30] For a more detailed consideration of the figure of Apion see Dominique Côté, “Rhetoric and Jewish-Christianity: The Case of the Grammarian Apion in the Clementine Homilies,” in Bringing the Underground to the Foreground: New Perspectives on Jewish and Christian Apocryphal Texts and Traditions, ed. Pierluigi Piovanelli (Leuven: Peeters, forthcoming).

[31] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.1.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 105; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1349).

[32] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.2.12 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 106, ll. 23; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1351).

[33] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.10.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 110, ll. 17-18; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1356).

[34] The extent to which Apion’s arguments ought to be classified at expressions of atheism cannot be discussed in detail here. For a bibliographic orientation to atheistic models of explanation in the ancient world, see Marek Winiarczyk, Bibliographie zum antiken Atheismus. 17. Jahrhundert-1990 (Bonn: R. Habelt, 1994).

[35] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.17.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 112-113; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1360).

[36] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.18.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 113; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1360).

[37] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 6.20.2-6.21.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 114; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1362); see also Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 5.23.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 101; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1344-1345). The perspective of seeing in the gods of Greek mythology nothing but divinized human beings was advanced for example by Evhemerus, a Greek philosopher, who came from Messenia in Sicily and is to be dated to the late fourth to early third century B.C.E. For the edition of the remaining fragments of and attestations to his work, see Marek Winiarczyk, ed., Euhemeri Messenii reliquiae (Stuttgart and Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1991). See also the monographic treatment of this author in Marek Winiarczyk, Euhemeros von Messene: Leben, Werk und Nachwirkung, Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 157 (München and Leipzig: Sauer, 2002).

[38] For ancient philosophical views of nature, see Pierre Hadot, Études de philosophie ancienne, L’Âne d’or 8 (Paris: Les belles letters, 1998), 77-92.

[39] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.20.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 90; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1327).

[40] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.20.4 (ed. Bernhard Rehm and Georg Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen in Rufins Übersetzung, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1994], 276, ll. 1-3 and 277, ll. 1-4; tr. Luigi Cirillo and André Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1593-2003, here 1940); see also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.27.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 286, ll. 4-7 and 287, ll. 13-16; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1943).

[41] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.21.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 276, ll. 6-10 and 277, ll. 10-15; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1940); see also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.27.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 304, ll. 3-5 and 305, ll. 1-5; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1943).

[42] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.25.7 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 296, ll. 6-8 and 297, ll. 10-14; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1942).

[43] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.20.4 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 276, ll. 1-3 and 277, ll. 6-9; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1940); see also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.27.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 286, ll. 4-7 and 287, ll. 13-16; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1943).

[44] A brief presentation of the relationship between the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies is offered in Pierre Geoltrain, “Roman pseudo-clémentin. Introduction,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade (Paris: Gallimard, 2005), 1175-1187, here 1180-1182.

[45] Bardaisan, Book of the Laws of the Countries 29 (ed. F. Nau, Bardesanes. Liber Legum Regionum, Patrologia Syriaca, pars prima, tomus secundus [Paris: Firmin-Didot et Socii, 1907], 492-611, here 584-587). See also Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 277.

[46] Eusebius of Caesarea’s Praeparatio Evangelica, 6.10.16 (ed. Karl Mras, Eusebius Werke. Achter Band. Die Praeparatio evangelica, erster Teil, GCS 8.1 [Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1954], 337-338); see also Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 276.

[47] In addition to the literature cited above, see also André Schneider and Luigi Cirillo, Les Reconnaissances du pseudo Clément. Roman chrétien des premiers siècles, Apocryphes. Collection de Poche de l’AELAC 10 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1999), 22; Geoltrain, “Roman pseudo-clémentin. Introduction,” 1182-1183; Hofmann, “Clementine (Pseudo-) Literature,” 134; and F. Stanley Jones, “The Pseudo-Clementines: A History of Research, Part I,” The Second Century. A Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1982), 1-33, here 8-10. See also F. Stanley Jones, “The Pseudo-Clementines: A History of Research, Part II,” The Second Century. A Journal of Early Christian Studies 3 (1983), 63-96; and F. Stanley Jones, An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity. Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27-71, Society of Biblical Literature 37, Christian Apocrypha Series 2 (Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1995), 1-38.

[48] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.21.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 276, l. 6; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1940); see also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.27.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 304, l. 3; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1943)

[49] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 19.22.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 265; tr. Calvet et alii, 1566); see also Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.8.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 261, ll. 21-25; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1931). That member of Peter’s audience also was concerned about occurrences of sickness and disease, cases of possession by demons, and depressions.

[50] For work on Jewish perceptions of sex and constructions of gender, see for instance Daniel Boyarin, Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture, The New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics 25 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993); and Charlotte Fonrobert, Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Reconstructions of Biblical Gender (Stanford, CA: Standord University Press, 2000).

[51] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 19.22.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 265; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1566).

[52] For some discussion of early Christian interpretations of Leviticus 12 and its rulings on female impurity in connection with childbirth, especially in the writings of Origen of Alexandria and Theodoret of Cyrrhus, see Gerard Rouwhorst, “Leviticus 12-15 in early Christianity,” in Purity and Holiness. The Heritage of Leviticus, ed. M. J. H. M. Poorthuis and J. Schwartz, Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series 2 (Leiden, Boston, and Köln: Brill, 2000), 181-193. For an account of the Nachleben and impact of taboos of female impurity in ecclesiastical law of Christian Orthodoxy, see Eva M. Synek, “Wer aber nicht völlig rein ist an Seele und Leib . . .” Reinheitstabus im Orthodoxen Kirchenrecht, Kanon. Sonderheft 1. Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für das Recht der Ostkirchen (München and Egling a. d. Paar: Roman Kovar, 2006).

[53] See for example Monique Trédé, Kairos: l’à-propos et l’occasion. Le mot et la notion, d’Homère à la fin du IVe siècle avant J.-C., Études et commentaires 103 (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1992).

[54] Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 9.8-9 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen II. Rekognitionen, 261, l. 18 – 262, l. 20; tr. Cirillo and Schneider, “Reconnaissances,” 1931-1932).

[55] See Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 19.22.6 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 265; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1567). As reflected in the Babylonian Talmud bNedarim 20a-b (tr. Harry Freedman, Nedarim, ed. I. Epstein, The Babylonian Talmud. Seder Nashim vol. 5 [London: The Soncino Press, 1936], 57-59). Jewish sages were interested in the correlation between physical defects and disabilities in a newborn child and the manner of its parents behavior during intercoourse. I am grateful to the anonymous reviewer(s) of this article for challenging me also to consider rabbinical material here.

[l56] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.18.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 201, ll. 22-23; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1478).

[57] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.18.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 201, l. 24; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1478).

[58] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.18.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 201, ll. 24-25; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1478).

[59] For some discussion of the role of the paterfamilias, see Antti Arjava, “Paternal Power in Late Antiquity,” The Journal of Roman Studies 88 (1988), 147-165; William V. Harris, “The Roman Father’s Power of Life and Death,” in Studies in Roman Law in Memory of A. Arthur Schiller, ed. Roger S. Bagnall and William V. Harris (Leiden: de Grueyers, 1986), 81-95; Beryl Rawson, “The Roman Family,” in The Family in Ancient Rome: New Perspectives, ed. Beryl Rawson (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986), 1-57, here 15-31; and John A. Crook, “Patria Potestas,” Classical Quarterly 17 (1967), 113-122.

[60] For some consideration of the question of emotional and affective relationships between parents and children in the classical and post-classical ancient world of the Mediterranean, see for example Mark Golden, “Did the Ancients Care When Their Children Died?” Greece & Rome 35.2 (1988), 152-163; Beryl Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, repr. 2005), 220-239; and Beryl Rawson, “Death, Burial, and Commemoration of Children in Roman Italy,” in Early Christian Families in Context. An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, ed. David L. Balch and Carolyn Osiek, Religion, Marriage, and Family series (Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 277-297.

[61] To gain greater clarity, a separate study would have to examine more precisely the range of perceptions of “love” in the Pseudo-Clementine literature. For a study of some aspects of “eros” in part of the literature see now Dominique Côté, “La figure d’Éros dans les Homélies Pseudo-Clémentines,” in Coptica-Gnostica-Manichaica. Mélanges offerts à Wolf-Peter Funk, ed. Louis Painchaud and Paul-Hubert Poirier, Bibliothèque Copte de Nag Hammadi, Section “Études” 7 (Québec, Canada: Les Presses de l’Université Laval; and Louvain and Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2006), 135-165

[62] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.20.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 90; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1327).

[63] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.22.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 91; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1328-1329).

[64] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.21.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 91; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1328).

[65] See for example Daniel Schwartz, “Did the Jews Practice Infant Exposure and Infanticide in Antiquity?” Studia Philonica Annual 16 (2004), 61-95. See also M. J. Gorman, Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1982), 33-45; and Cornelia B. Horn and John W. Martens, “Let the Little Ones Come to Me”: Children in the Early Christian Community (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming), ch. 6, where further literature is cited. For examples of the rejection of abortion among Christians see for example Didache 2.2 and 5.2 (ed. and tr. Bart D. Ehrman, “Didache. The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles,” in The Apostolic Fathers I, ed. Bart D. Ehrman, The Loeb Classical Library 24 [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003], 405-443, here 418-419 and 426-427); and Clement of Alexandria, Paidagogos (ed. M. Marcovich, with the assistance of J. C. M. van Winden, Clementis Alexandrini Paedagogus, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 61 [Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2002], 126-127).

[66] See Flavius Josephus, Contra Apionem, 2.202 (ed. and. tr. H. St. J. Thackery, M.A., Josephus, Loeb Classical Library 9 vols., vol. 1: The Life. Against Apion [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1926], 161-411, here 372-375). For a discussion of his colleague Philo’s position on the matter see Adele Reinhartz, “Philo on Infanticide,” The Studia Philonica Annual 4 (1992), 42-58.

[67] See Geoltrain, “Roman pseudo-clémentin. Introduction,” 1179.

[68] W. Adler, “Apion’s ‘Encomium of Adultery’: A Jewish Satire of Greek Paideia in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies,” Hebrew Union College Annual 64 (1993), 15-49, here 42-43.

[69] Philo of Alexandria, De Iosepho 44 (ed. and tr. F. H. Colson, Philo, vol. 6, Loeb Classical Library 289 [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and London: William Heinemann, 1954], 164, 165).

[70] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.21.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 91; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1328).

[71] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 4.21.4 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 91, ll. 13-16; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1328).

[72] See Epistle of Pseudo-Titus (ed. P. Domitien de Bruyne, “Epistula Titi, discipuli Pauli, de dispositione sanctimonii,” Revue bénédictine 37 (1925), 47-72; tr. A. De Santos Otero, “Der Pseudo-Titus Brief,” in Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, vol. 2: Apostolisches. Apokryphen und Verwandtes, ed. W. Schneemelcher (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 5th ed. 1989), 50-70; also tr. Jean-François Cottier, “Épître du Pseudo-Tite,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1133-1171); Giulia Sfameni Gasparro, “L’Epistula Titi discipuli Pauli de dispositione sanctimonii e la tradizione dell’enkrateia,” in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (ANRW), Part II: Principat, vol. 25.6, ed. Wolfgang Haase (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988), 4551-4664; and Horn, “Suffering Children, Parental Authority and the Quest for Liberation?”

[73] For a discussion of anti-familial tendencies in early Christianity see Elizabeth A. Clark, “Antifamilial Tendencies in Ancient Christianity,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 5 (1995), 356-380.

[74] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.18.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 201; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1487).

[75] See Virgil, Eclogae 4.1-30 (ed. and tr. H. Rushton Fairlough, Virgil. Eclogues, Georgics, Aeneid I-VI, revised by G. P. Goold, Loeb Classical Library 63 [Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1999], 23-95, here 48-51).

[76] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 3.30.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 67-68; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1293).

[77] Diamartyria / Contestatio 3.4 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 4; tr. Calvet et alii, “Engagement solennel,” 1219-1220).

[78] Diamartyria / Contestatio 3.4 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 4, ll. 4-5; tr. Calvet et alii, “Engagement solennel,” 1220). On the role of the bishop in the Pseudo-Clementine novel, see also Bernard Pouderon, “L’évêque ‘chef du peuple’ dans le roman Clémentin. Étude lexicologique et typologique,” in Anthropos Laïkos. Mélanges Alexandre Faivre à l’occasion de ses 30 ans d’enseignement, ed. Marie-Anne Vannier, Otto Wermelinger, and Gregor Wurst, Paradosis. Études de littérature et de théologie anciennes 44 (Fribourg, Switzerland: Éditions universitaires Fribourg Suisse, 2000), 237-250.

[79] On regulations concerning guardianship for orphaned children, especially with regard to the roles of the bishop, see the discussion in Timothy S. Miller, The Orphans of Byzantium. Child Welfare in the Christian Empire (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2003), 110-113.

[80] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 3.71.5 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 83, ll. 3-4; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1314).

[81] Letter of Clement to James 7.4 (ed. Bernhard Rehm and Georg Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 3rd corrected ed. 1992], 5-22, here 11; tr. Marie-Ange Calvet, Dominique Côté, Pierre Geoltrain, Alain Le Boulluec, Bernard Pouderon, and André Schneider, “Épître de Clément à Jacques,” in Écrits apocryphes chrétiens II, ed. Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade [Paris: Gallimard, 2005], 1222-1234, here 1227).

[82] For a detailed discussion of the differing stages of the ages of girls and boys and their perceived maturity for marriage, see Horn and Martens, “Let the Little Ones Come to Me”: Children in the Early Christian Community, ch. 1, forthcoming.

[83] See for example the study by Christine Gerber, Paulus und seine ‘Kinder’: Studien zur Beziehungsmetaphorik der paulinischen Briefe, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche 136 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005). See also the review of this work in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 68 (2006), 763-764.

[84] See the supplementary discussion by Dominique Côté, “Une critique de la mythologie grecque d’après l’Homélie pseudo-clémentine IV,” Apocrypha 11 (2000), 37-57.

[85] See above for the citation from Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 3.71.5 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 83, ll. 3-4; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1314).

[86] See for a selection of only a few examples Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 1.22.3-6 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 35; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1251); Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 2.53.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 56; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1276); or Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 8.2.5 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 35; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1374-1375).

[87] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.18.2 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 201, ll. 26-27; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1478, l. 13).

[88] Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 3.29.3 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 67, ll. 13-14; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1292).

[89] See Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 13.6–14.1 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 196-204; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1471-1481). See also Pseudo-Clementine Homilies 1.22.3-5 (ed. Rehm and Strecker, Die Pseudoklementinen I. Homilien, 35; tr. Calvet et alii, “Homélies,” 1251), where Peter and Clement take their meals apart from one another, given that Clement has not yet received baptism

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Cornelia B. Horn,

is assistant professor of Greek and Oriental Patristics at Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, ( and currently (2007/08) Fellow for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University) in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Asceticism and Christological Controversy in Fifth-Century Palestine: the Career of Peter the Iberian (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); has co-authored with Robert R. Phenix Jr. Controversial Historiography in Late Antique Palestine: The Works of John Rufus, vol. 1: The Lives of Peter the Iberian, Theodosius of Jerusalem, and the Monk Romanus, Writings from the Greco-Roman World (Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature and E. J. Brill Publishers, forthcoming in 2007/8); and with John W. Martens, “Let the Little Ones Come to Me”: Children in the Early Christian Community (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming). One of her current book projects focuses on perceptions of children and family life in ancient popular literature. Another monograph examines early Christian and Jewish apocryphal traditions in their transmission and reception history into the Qur’ān and other early Islamic literature.

© Cornelia B. Horn, 2007,, ISSN 1661-3317