Volume 63, Issue 2, December 2023

Enrico Norelli
Pages 313-350

Dai presbiteri d’Asia agli episcopi di Roma secondo Ireneo di Lione – Parte II

In the first part of this paper, published in issue 1 of Augustinianum 63 (2023), 9-45, we examined the question of whether Irenaeus of Lyons depended on the Exposition of Logia about the Lord of Papias of Hierapolis. In this second and final part we focus on the way Irenaeus used information which, since the first decades of the second century, had been attributed to presbyters of Asia and then in particular on the way he identifies the succession of presbyters with that of bishops (primarily in Rome). He links the latter with Christian origins but also profoundly alters the function traditionally attributed to the presbyters themselves, within a system he devised in order to respond to urgent problems, in a context quite different from the era in which the traditions to which he appeals were born.