Candida moss on the dating of polycarp
Eusebius heavily summarizes the martyrdom and ends his account at 19.1, omitting the concluding sections that relate the transmission of the text, as well as the passion narrative parallels.
Little corroborating evidence exists to assist in the dating of the Martyrdom of Polycarp.
Alternatively, historians have attempted to assign a date to the actual death of Polycarp.
Three dates have been proposed for Polycarp's death: The 'Martyrdom' of Polycarp, along with other documents of the Apostolic Fathers plays a central role in bridging the New Testament and emerging Christian writers in the latter half of the second century, such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus.
The nature of this interpretation, however, is highly debated and has formed the basis for arguments about the authenticity of the account.
This paper will explore the way that scholarly assumptions about intertextuality, literary fabrication, and canonicity have influenced and shaped scholarly treatments of the Martyrdom of Polycarp.
Within the text itself, the repeated allusions to the passion narratives and presentation of Polycarp’s martyrdom as being “in accordance with gospel” have prompted scholars to read the account as an interpretation of the death of Jesus.
For a historian of Roman provincial law the answer to this problem is in fact fairly obvious: Philomelion was (and had been since the first century BC) one of the slightly more than a dozen centres of the province of Asia, where the proconsul conducted an annual assize session, just as he did at Smyrna.