Asterius


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Asterius

Minotaur born to Pasiphaë and Cretan Bull. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 34]
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Asterius wanted his audience to learn from and imitate the martyr's deeds, not just from pretty words about virtue: "for a formation in eloquence is an inferior and more feeble teacher than real activity.
Asterius took the opportunity in other homilies to focus on the ideal conduct that martyrs and other true Christians freely pursued out of love of God and virtue.
This disposition is the foundation of the martyrs' virtue and holy death that Asterius invokes at least as often as the expectation of eternal life or participation in the death and suffering of Christ.
31) The relationship with martyrs that Asterius and others described moves away from civic relationships and casts Christian belonging in terms of familial relationships.
Asterius was aware of the earlier means of perpetuating the memory of the martyrs.
Bishops such as Asterius could employ the cult of martyrs to build and "preserve the cohesion, unity and familial character of the Christians communities" over which they presided.
To those resistant to such intercession, Asterius reminded his audience of God's willingness to change his mind for the sake of Moses and David when they appealed to the names of the patriarchs with whom God made his covenant.
42) Asterius concurs that a relic makes a place as full of a martyr's presence as its original resting place; consequently the benefits are the same.
This is exactly what Asterius expressed in his ecphrasis on the painting depicting Euphemia's passion at her shrine.
53) Phocas was so well known for his generosity that his shrine became a center for the distribution of alms; Asterius describes this as a common practice (Holy Martyrs, 4.
Although not all socioeconomic classes may have been attracted to becoming philosophers and students of virtue, nevertheless Asterius highlighted the concrete efforts to imitate Phocas's virtues of hospitality and generosity among sailors particularly devoted to the martyr.