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     The Apologists

The Apologists

1. The charges brought against the Christians caused the emergence of a new genre of Christian literature, the "apology", taken from the greek apologia, meaning "a speech for the defense". The authors of these works are known collectively as the Apologists, whose works were developed between 130 and 180 AD (an era frequently referred to as, you got it, the Age of the Apologists).

2. The first of these writers was Quadratus, probably an Athenian who in ca 125 wrote an apology addressed to emperor Hadrain. The work is now preserved only in fragments. Better known is the similar appeal of Aristides, another Athenian and a philosopher of sorts, who addressed his argument to Antoninus Pius in ca 140. Most famous of all is the Apology of Justin Martyr, a christian philosopher who apparently ran a school in Rome and wrote in the middle if the second century. Also included in this group are Melito of Sardis (writing 169 - 180), Athenagoras of whom nothing is know except his authorship of Supplication for the Christians (ca 177), and the bishop Theophilus of Antioch, who wrote the lengthy apology, To Autolycus.

Sources utilized in these pages may include:
  • Everett Ferguson's: Backgrounds of Early Christianity
  • Walker's: History of Christianity (out of print)

    (These links will take you to book detail pages at

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