Letters Written By Sidonius 's Letters Essay

Letters Written By Sidonius 's Letters Essay

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Sidonius’s Letters are a series of letters written by Sidonius various times during the 5th century. He wrote to plenty of bishops and wrote about Christianity and political figures. Through his letters we can learn about how early Christianity was organized, the feeling of superiority in Christians, the qualities of Christians due to his discussion of Christian codes to follow, and we learn about Christian’s belief in miracles showing us how faithful Christians in 5th century Rome could be. Although there is a bias due to Sidonius being a bishop, we gain a different perspective of 5th century Rome.
Sidonius speaks about the structure of Christianity by discussing how he chose a candidate for a bishop in his letter to Lord Bishop Perpetuus. He lowers his credibility in order to compliment the Lord Bishop thus states, "I, a person lacking wisdom, should search on your behalf, with Christ 's help, for a wise bishop..." This method of choosing a bishop can be advantageous in that a person with experience and authority can appoint the next bishop resulting in continuity of ideas. For example, Sidonius would not designate a bishop with radically different ideas than his own. This method of choosing a bishop can also be disadvantageous due to the person who is choosing the bishop may elect friends or family who may be ill suited to be a bishop. This would lead to a lack of competent bishops and a degradation of Christianity in that area. Next, Sidonius listed qualities that he searched for and found in Simplicius. He introduced Simplicius by complimenting him and then conveyed, "If birth is still to command respect...his family, distinguished in both walks of life, has been renowned for its bishops and prefects; his ancestors have alw...


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... true. He displays these stories as facts, perhaps leading to the conversions of a great many people in that it showed them that Christianity was a powerful religion.
Christianity, during the 5th century, is on the rise and is displaying the power to educate and affect large numbers of people. Sidonius’s letters show us the status of Christianity and how it was perceived during the 5th century. He demonstrated how Christians are organized by discussing how a bishop is chosen, displayed Christianity as an arrogant religion due to its popularity, expressed that Christians have honorable qualities by describing a bishop and writing about Christian rules, and showed their belief in miracles which showed the power that Christianity had. Sidonius gave us a perspective on 5th century Rome, but could be a source that is not credible by cause of his bias toward Christianity.

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