The Role of Patron in the Cena Dominica of Hippolytus' Apostolic Tradition

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Hippolytus' "Apostolic Tradition" is examined from a social historical perspective, focusing on the maze of social relations surrounding the description of privately sponsored Lord's Suppers, and especially the role and status of the sponsors of those suppers, local patrons of the Roman Christian community. Hippolytus points out a growing tension between the emerging authority of the Christian priesthood and the social authority of patrons in a genuinely hierarchical society.