Stoic Echoes in non-Stoic Sources: Exploring Stoic Influence in the First and Second Centuries CE
Balabanski, Victoria Stephanie
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This article examines David Hahm’s claim that “more people in the Mediterranean world would have held a more or less Stoic conception of the world than any other from the third century BCE to the second century CE”. If this is so, most New Testament studies do not take this adequately into account. Focussing on the first and second centuries CE, this paper addresses the barriers to an accurate assessment of this claim, then considers the approach of two scholars in this area. Then three geographically diverse texts of the period specifically not written by Stoic adherents are examined for evidence of Stoic influence (Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 2; Philo’s De aeternitate mundi, paragraph 24, & Acts 17.15–34). What these analyses show is that Stoic ideas were known and discussed in this period among those who were not Stoic proponents, strengthening the case for widespread Stoic influence.