Brown vs. Hurtado [Felix]

Both Peter Brown’s World of Late Antiquity and Larry Hurtado’s Earliest Christian Artifacts discuss the spread of the Christian church and its cultural influence on its people; However, there are many differences between the two writings, stylistically and subject matter-wise.

In Peter Brown’s work, he seems to aim for a specific audience that already has knowledge on the subject about which he is writing. In addition, he states his facts and states his strong opinion, as if he is trying to prove his audience wrong. On the contrary, Hurtado assumes that the reader is not informed about early codices. He uses many outside sources to give a better sense to his claims.

In World of Late Antiquity, Brown already assumes that his audience is informed about the history of Christianity. He uses a lot of fancy vocabulary (aggiornamento, modus vivendi) that not a lot of people understand, except for ones that have thoroughly studied this topic. The Earliest Christian Artifacts does the opposite; Larry Hurtado assumes his audience’s knowledge of Christianity and its uses of codices and particular writings are minimal. There are a lot of complex words as well, such as nomina sacra, except Hurtado defines them and explains them to the audience.

Brown attempts to persuade his audience about the rise of Christianity during the Roman Empire (with Greek-speaking inhabitants) during the Late Antiquity. He tries to give his audience a different perspective of the events that occurred during the time period. On the other hand, Hurtado informs his audience about the “rise” of the codex over the roll, and that the codex resembles the form of our books today.

In Brown’s writing, he did not use concrete evidence; in fact, he illustrated his claims based on his own knowledge. Although there was a lack of sources to support his opinions, Brown brought a different aspect of the issue. Hurtado used multiple references from other writers in his Earliest Chrisitan Artifacts, followed by his own “correct” opinion backed by bar graphs and pie charts. Since his intended audience is not familiar with this topic, Hurtado utilizes the evidence so that the reader becomes more knowledgeable. In addition to Hurtado’s graphs and charts, he has footnotes at the bottom of his pages for miscellaneous information, while Brown uses pictures of certain figures or artifacts to give a visual representation of his opinion.



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