The Apology of St. Aristides of Athens (translation by M. R. James). On Early Christian Writings. Aristides also, a believer earnestly devoted to our religion, left, like Quadratus, an apology for the faith, addressed to Adrian. His work, too, has been preserved. Here follows the defense which Aristides the philosopher made before Hadrian the King on behalf of reverence for God. All-powerful Cæsar Titus Hadrianus.

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Of course in such matters we proceed from the things that are practically certain to those which are less demonstrable; we should not start by saying that the words “Maker of heaven and earth” were proof of the existence of an approximately fixed symbol.

And I perceived that the world and all that is therein are moved by the power of another; and I understood that he who moves them is Godwho is hidden in them, and veiled by them.

Before everything else the Greeks introduce as a god Kronos, which is interpreted Chiun; and the worshippers of this deity sacrifice to him their children: Let us next come to the race of man, and see who are capable 32 of receiving the truth of these sayings, and who are gone astray. And after him they bring forward as another god Asklepios.

Apology of Aristides – Wikisource, the free online library

Wherefore they do not commit adultery nor fornication, nor bear false witnessnor embezzle what is held in pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. And he is destroyed in many ways by the elements and also by the animals.

And the Barbarians did not observe that that which acts as guard is greater than that which is guarded, and that every one who creates is greater than that which is created. Then the gods themselves were myths, and nothing more. Again they say of Rhea that she is the mother of their gods.

And he purifies his heart, and his sins are forgiven him, because he committed them in ignorance in the former time, when he used to blaspheme aristiides speak evil of the true knowledge of the Christians. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished.


There is nothing, at first sight, to lead us to believe that this is the original heading; such a apologh merely reflects the Eusebian tradition and might be immediately derived from it. And to it there belongs by comparison a part in common with the rest of the stars in its course; and though it is one in its nature it is associated with many parts for the supply of the needs of men; and that not according to its own will but rather according to the will of him who rules it.

The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher

Plures sunt Dionysii scriptores, sed omnes praeter unum Areopagitem desyderamus, qui utinam sua quoque in lingua extaret. If then Asclepius was a god, and when struck by aaristides was unable to help himself, how is it that he was able to help others? And it seems to me that this is reasonable, that one should fear God and should not oppress man.

And yet they see their gods in the hands of their artificers being sawn out, and planed and docked, and hacked short, and charred, and ornamented, and being altered by them in every kind of way. We can only know that He who governs by His providence all created things, He is Lord and God and creator of all, who ordered all things visible in His beneficence, and graciously bestowed them on the race of man.

And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. But the Christians are just and good, and the truth is set before their eyes, and their spirit is long-suffering; and, therefore, though they know the error of these the Greeksand are persecuted by them, they bear and endure it; and for the most oof they have compassion on them, as men who are destitute of knowledge.

Some persons have tried to explain the Greek name Panthera by regarding it as a symbol of violent and unrestrained lust. In other projects Wikisource. This is clear to you, O King, that there are four classes of men in this world: And being checked by skilled workmen through the restraint of aqueducts, they flow and are diverted against their inclination, and come into gardens and other places in order that they may be collected apklogy issue forth as a means of fertility for manand that they may cleanse away every impurity and fulfil the service man requires from them.


And they strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great glory the promises made concerning them. And he purifies his heart, and his sins are forgiven him, because he committed them in ignorance in the former time, when he used to blaspheme and speak evil of the true knowledge aristidds the Christians.

The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher

Wikipedia articleWikidata item. But the rest of the nations err and cause error in wallowing before the elements of the world, since beyond these their mental vision will not pass. Let us then say, in recapitulation, that we have found it difficult to assign the Apology to any other period than the early years of the reign of Antoninus Pius; and it is at least conceivable that it may have been presented to the Emperor, along with other Christian writings, during an unrecorded visit of his to his ancient seat of government in Smyrna.

Renan was rightly opposed in this sweeping negation of authenticity by Doulcet, who pointed out relations between Aristides and the Timaeus as a justification of the philosophical character of the work.

I say, however, concerning this mover of the world, that he is God of all, who made all things for the sake of mankind. Is then this god so very needy?

The Apology of Aristides

Great then is the error into which the Egyptians wandered — greater, indeed, than that of any people which is upon the apologj of the earth. And hence it is impossible that the winds should be called gods, but rather a thing made by God.

On the other hand, the reference to the “Hebrew virgin” is precisely the language of the Apology. Seeing then the extreme difficulty of maintaining the Hadrianic or Eusebian hypothesis, we are driven to refer the Apology to the reign of Antoninus Pius, and to affirm that Eusebius made a mistake in reading or quoting the title of the book, in which mistake he has been followed by a host of other and later writers.