chapter  II
12 Pages

Some Early Christian Immoralities*

ByMark Edwards

This chapter suggests that Thyestean banquets and Oedipodal conjugations were maliciously inferred from that disdain for social usages which, though it was not peculiar to the Christians, was in them most ostentatious, and was expressed in two most public shows of abstinence —from the altar and from the bed. Public shows include that sacrifice was a ritual which Christians thought it blasphemous to tolerate and pagans superstitious to avoid, and the order of society was preserved by sacrifice, and its continuance by marriage. Two sects of the ancient world were notorious for eschewing matrimony. Epicurus, whose garden was condemned as the resort of the voluptuary and the idler, had asserted that the wise man will not marry; Epicurean and Christian were in any case assimilable, because both scorned the cult of civic gods. But if an eccentric life, obstreperous poverty and lack of education made a philosopher, then the Christian was a Cynic.