Aristides of Athens

Marcianus Aristides of Athens was an ancient Christian author. He lived in the first half of the 2nd century and referred to himself as a philosopher. He is known primarily for his apology. His feast day is for the Catholic Church of the 31 August and for the Orthodox Church of September 13.


Details of Aristides ' life are largely unknown. As a contemporary of Quadratus of Athens, he taught like this an apologetic writing to the Roman emperor, and though rather than Hadrian to Antoninus Pius. It is a simple, elegant writing, in which he explains the humanity of the Christian religion and to prove to the Emperor searches that Christians worship the true God. He is regarded as one of the first Christian apologists, his writing as the oldest surviving apology of Christianity. The apology was considered lost until the Mechitarists of San Lazzaro, 1878 in Venice an extensive Armenian fragment of this apologia published, James Rendel Harris in 1889 their complete Syriac translation in a manuscript of the St. Catherine's monastery discovered in the Sinai and Armitage Robinson proved that the Greek text of the Byzantine conversion novel Barlaam and Joseph, who hardly comes from John of Damascus, contained most of the Apology speech as a monk.

Text example

" But I maintain that God is unbegotten and unmade, is surrounded by no one but itself includes everything that he is an existent by itself form, beginningless and endless, imperishable, immortal, perfect and incomprehensible. If I said: perfect, it means that he has no shortage and no need, for all its needs; and when I said that he is without beginning, it means that everything has a beginning also has an end, and everything has an end, is resolvable. He has no name; because everything that has a name that belongs to the creation. He has no form nor composition of members; for he who has such, is one of the structures. He is not male and not female. The sky does not cover it, but the sky and all things visible and invisible he is encompassed. " (From the Apology of Aristides of Athens (I, 4) )

Text output

  • Bernard et al Pouderon (Ed.): Aristides, Apology ( = Sources chrétiennes 470). Les Éditions du Cerf, Paris 2003
  • Kaspar Julius (translator ): Of Aristides of Athens, Apology ( = Library of the Fathers of the Church 12, Volume 1 ). Kösel, Kempten and Munich, 1913, pp. 3-54