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Apology of Aristides

ARISTIDES, APOLOGY OF (ăr’ ĭs tī’ dez). A work by a Christian Athenian philosopher named Marcianus Aristides, who, according to Eurebius (Hist. IV, 3), was a contemporary of another Athenian apologist, both of whom addressed their “apologies” for the Christian religion to the Emperor Hadrian. A cent. later Jerome wrote that he was familiar with the work, but after this date Aristides faded from view until the 19th cent.

A Lat. tr. of a fragment of an Armenian VS of the Apology was published in 1878. In 1889 J. Rendle Harris of Cambridge University discovered a Syr. VS of the entire Apology, and two years later he published the Syr. text with tr. into Eng. J. Rendle Harris and J. A. Robinson also showed that the greater part of the Apology is contained in The History of Barlaam and Josaphat, extant in many Gr. MSS and numerous trs. The whole work consists of seventeen chs. It is an important witness to the nature of Christianity in the first half of the 2nd cent., and has points of contact with the Shepherd of Hermas and the Didaché, which come from about the same period.


There is a tr. by D. M. Kay in ANF, ix, 259-279; J. A. Robinson, Apology of Aristides (1896).