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Archive for July 8th, 2008

Who Is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? (aka Can the Rich Man Be Saved?) is another Early Christian bestseller. People with the money to buy scrolls were also people with enough money to worry about this topic. All that camel/eye of the needle stuff Jesus said, you know?

So here’s something to read if you’re not interested in virgins having a drinking party. (Yes, I’m going to get some interesting comment spam for a while. First demons, now this…. I am Counterculture Queen!) We’re all of us in this society pretty rich, as far as the average denizen of the Roman Empire was concerned. (Except those of us without as good of public restrooms as they had.) So probably we should be a tad bit worried, too.

Btw, Googling revealed that it’s a factoid in some circles that St. Clement wrote this thing to roast the rich. Uh uh. Just listen.

Part 1

8:52.

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Banquet of the Ten Virgins continues, as we meet Marcella, the oldest of the contemporary ten wise virgins. Her name means “little Mark” or “little follower of Mars”, and her attitude is appropriately militant. (Likeable, but militant.) She’s so pro-virginity that the next virgin will have to add a few clarifying remarks on other states of life. 🙂

Bonus points to St. Methodius for enriching the traditional image that milk=church teaching with “the udder of immortality”. Udderly awesome!

Discourse 1: Marcella’s Discourse.

20:13.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

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Banquet of the Ten Virgins (aka The Symposium, aka Concerning Chastity) is a really interesting work. First of all, you get to meet St. Methodius of “St. Cyril and”. A missionary of parts, it would seem. of Olympus in Lycia — a bishop, theologian, and martyr, who died around AD 311.

The character Euboulios (“Good Counselor”) is his POV character in some other treatises, too. Some think that in this treatise he’s actually dropped in as the lady Euboulion; the manuscripts are apparently messy. Gregorion definitely is a lady; and apparently, being Christian means you get to pop in to see your male friends without any messy questions being asked. Heh, heh. So much for puritanical Christian society, I guess. 🙂

Eventually we get to meet not just one early Christian woman character, but eleven. We don’t know if they’re St. Methodius’ friends in real life, living Christians he admires, martyred virgin martyrs, personifications of Christian virtues, or all of the above and a few more. But it’s definitely interesting.

Also, we get to hear praise of virginity, which you don’t normally get much of — in this society or in theirs. Virginity is always countercultural, so living openly as a virgin will always require courage, stamina, and pure quill stubbornness. It’s nice to see virgins get praised, for once, and it’s also nice to see them hanging out and having fun without being portrayed as geeky Martians!

Introduction: The frame story with Euboulios and Gregorion.

9:13.

UPDATE: Link fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: Corrected to get my Methodioi straight.

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The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath continues, as our hero finds himself engaged in dangerous matters of state and visits Thran.

Part 5

16:06.

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