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The Hungry are DyingBeggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia$
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Susan R. Holman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195139127.001.0001

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Leitourgia and the Poor in the Early Christian World

Leitourgia and the Poor in the Early Christian World

(p.31) 1 Leitourgia and the Poor in the Early Christian World
The Hungry are Dying

Susan R. Holman

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a broad overview of the poor in the early Christian world, and especially considers their relationship to the liturgies (Greek “leitourgia”) of religious and civic practice. It explores examples from Graeco‐Roman euergetism, the Roman food schemes of annona (the grain dole) and alimenta, Jewish philanthropy, including soup kitchens, and early Christian texts about charity ranging from the New Testament to the sixth century. It concludes that early Christian responses to help the poor drew heavily from the general cultural concept of liturgy in late antiquity.

Keywords:   alimenta, charity, christian, euergetism, Graeco‐Roman, Jewish philanthropy, liturgies, poor, Roman grain dole, soup kitchens

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