Apologetical Works; Octavius

Apologetical Works; Octavius

Copyright Date: 1950
Pages: 450
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  • Book Info
    Apologetical Works; Octavius
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1110-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xx)
    Rudolph Arbesmann

    Tertullian, or Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, to give him his full name, was born about the middle of the second century at Carthage, where his father was a centurion of the proconsular cohort. Carthage, after her restoration by Julius Caesar, had not only recovered her former position as a center of commerce but had also become a seat of learning. Thus, Tertullian’s father was in a position to provide his son with an excellent education in rhetoric, literature, and law. Tertullian’s education, however, was not limited to these fields. His works furnish ample proof that he possessed a good knowledge...

      (pp. 3-126)

      Among the writings of Tertullian, the Apology holds a pre-eminent position both by reason of its brilliant rhetorical style and of the compelling force of its argument. The esteem in which this work was held in ancient times is evident from the fact that it was translated into Greek, an honor which fell to the lot of only few other writings of the first centuries of the Christian era.¹

      From internal evidence it can be determined that the Apology was written toward the close of A.D. 197.² Hence, its composition fell early in the period of Tertullian’s conversion from heathenism,...

      (pp. 129-144)

      One of the methods employed by the Christian Apologists for gaining a hearing for their faith was to show that, in a number of fundamental questions, many pagan philosophers and poets were in agreement with Christian teaching. In his Testimony of the Soul, Tertullian acknowledges the failure of this approach, because the foes of Christianity reject even their most admired teachers whenever they seem to uphold the truth contained in Christianity. The use of the Holy Books as a basis for argument is of no avail, because no one believes in them unless he is already a Christian. Tertullian, using...

      (pp. 147-162)

      During the last years of the reign of Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211), and under his immediate successors, the Church enjoyed relative tranquility. She made considerable progress in expansion and was able to consolidate her organization. However, the attitude of high imperial officials toward Christianity continued to be hostile. About A. D. 215, for instance, the outstanding and influential Roman jurist Domitius Ulpianus made a collection of the imperial rescripts which had been issued against the Christians. The collection itself has not come down to us, but is referred to by Lactantius in his Divine Institutions (5.11.19): ‘In the seventh book...

      (pp. 165-310)

      Tertullian’s treatise On the Soul is the first work in the long series of Christian contributions to psychology. In entering this field, however, the most learned personality of the early Church was not deserting his dual function as apologist for Christianity against the pagans and as staunch defender of the apostolic faith against the machinations of heretics. He had written a work, On the Origin of the Soul (which has not survived), against the materialist Hermogenes, and in the present treatise he turns to a complete treatment of the other matters in which philosophical speculation about the soul impinged upon...

      (pp. 313-402)

      The Octavius of Marcus¹ Minucius Felix is called after the Christian interlocutor in the first Christian dialogue in Latin. We know very little about the life of its author, but we are able to draw a general picture by linking up the few facts which he himself mentions in his work.² According to these statements, he probably came from North Africa and was a pagan by birth. In his youth, he had received an excellent education, especially in rhetoric, and had accumulated a vast store of knowledge through extensive readings in literature, particularly Latin. During his years of study, he...

  6. INDEX
    (pp. 403-430)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 431-431)