corona muralis

On 2 Corinthians 10-13, particularly 2 Cor 11.21-33:

“The final section of the letter returns to the apostolic apologia, and pursues the theme with all the rhetorical stops pulled out. They [the Corinthians] want Paul to boast of his achievements, do they? They want up-to-date recommendations of all that he has done, of his spiritual experience, his heroic achievements for the gospel? Very well, he will boast; he will play the fool, if that is really what they want; but he will boast of all the wrong things. Paul lists, as though they were civic appointments, honours and triumphs, the multiple ‘achievements’ of his apostleship, knowing them to be the very things that were making the Corinthians ashamed of him: beatings, imprisonments, stoning, shipwrecks, constant danger, deprivation, anxiety (11.21-9).

His crowning achievement is a wonderful parody of the corona muralis, the highest Roman military honour, gained through being the first besieger to climb over the wall of a city. When he, Paul, was himself under threat in Damascus, he was the first one over the wall — let down in a basket and running away (11.30-33).”

N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 308.

The corona muralis part is astonishing.


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