Tertullian (/tərˈtʌliən/; full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; c. 155 – c. 240 AD) was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Of Berber origin, he was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology."
Though conservative in his worldview, Tertullian originated new theological concepts and advanced the development of early Church doctrine. He is perhaps most famous for being the first writer in Latin known to use the term trinity (Latin: trinitas). According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Tertullian's trinity [is] not a triune God, but rather a triad or group of three, with God as the founding member". A similar word had been used earlier in Greek,[a] though Tertullian gives the oldest extant use of the terminology as later incorporated into the Nicene Creed at the Second Ecumenical Council, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, or as the Athanasian Creed, or both. Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are "three persons, one substance" as the Latin "tres personae, una substantia", ('consubstantial', in English), itself from the Koine Greek "treis hypostases, homoousioi"). Influenced by Stoic philosophy, the "substance" of Tertullian, however, was a material substance that did not refer to a single God, but to the sharing of a portion of the substance of the Father (the only being who was fully God) with the Son and, through the Son, with the Holy Spirit. He wrote his understanding of the three members of the trinity after becoming a Montanist.
Unlike many Church fathers, Tertullian was never recognized as a saint by the Eastern or Western catholic tradition churches. Several of his teachings on issues such as the clear subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father, and his condemnation of remarriage for widows and of fleeing from persecution, contradicted the doctrines of these traditions.
Scant reliable evidence exists to inform us about Tertullian's life; most history about him comes from passing references in his own writings. Roman Africa was famous as the home of orators and this influence can be seen in his writing style with its archaisms or provincialisms, its glowing imagery and its passionate temper. He was a scholar with an excellent education. He wrote at least three books in Greek. In them he refers to himself, but none of these is extant.
According to church tradition, Tertullian was raised in Carthage and was thought to be the son of a Roman centurion; Tertullian has been claimed to have been a trained lawyer and an ordained priest. These assertions rely on the accounts of Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, II, ii. 4, and Jerome's De viris illustribus (On famous men) chapter 53.[b] Jerome claimed that Tertullian's father held the position of centurio proconsularis ("aide-de-camp") in the Roman army in Africa. However, it is unclear whether any such position in the Roman military ever existed.
Further, Tertullian has been thought to be a lawyer based on his use of legal analogies and an identification of him with the jurist Tertullianus, who is quoted in the Pandects. Although Tertullian used a knowledge of Roman law in his writings, his legal knowledge does not demonstrably exceed that of what could be expected from a sufficient Roman education. The writings of Tertullianus, a lawyer of the same cognomen, exist only in fragments and do not denote a Christian authorship. (Tertullianus was misidentified only much later with the Christian Tertullian by church historians.) Finally, any notion of Tertullian being a priest is also questionable. In his extant writings, he never describes himself as ordained in the church and seems to place himself among the laity.
His conversion to Christianity perhaps took place about 197–198 (cf. Adolf Harnack, Bonwetsch, and others), but its immediate antecedents are unknown except as they are conjectured from his writings. The event must have been sudden and decisive, transforming at once his own personality. He said of himself that he could not imagine a truly Christian life without such a conscious breach, a radical act of conversion: "Christians are made, not born" (Apol., xviii). Two books addressed to his wife confirm that he was married to a Christian wife.
In middle life (about 207), he was attracted to the "New Prophecy" of Montanism, though today most scholars reject Saint Jerome's assertion that Tertullian ever left the mainstream Church or was ever excommunicated. "[W]e are left to ask whether [Saint] Cyprian could have regarded Tertullian as his master if Tertullian had been a notorious schismatic. Since no ancient writer was more definite (if not indeed fanatical) on this subject of schism than Cyprian, the question must surely be answered in the negative."
In the time of Augustine, a group of "Tertullianists" still had a basilica in Carthage which, within that same period, passed to the orthodox Church. It is unclear whether the name was merely another for the Montanists[c] or that this means Tertullian later split with the Montanists and founded his own group.
Jerome says that Tertullian lived to a great age, but there is no reliable source attesting to his survival beyond the estimated year 225 AD. By the doctrinal works he published, Tertullian became the teacher of Cyprian and the predecessor of Augustine, who, in turn, became the chief founder of Latin theology.
Thirty-one works are extant, together with fragments of more. Some fifteen works in Latin or Greek are lost, some as recently as the 9th century (De Paradiso, De superstitione saeculi, De carne et anima were all extant in the now damaged Codex Agobardinus in 814 AD). Tertullian's writings cover the whole theological field of the time—apologetics against paganism and Judaism, polemics, polity, discipline, and morals, or the whole reorganization of human life on a Christian basis; they gave a picture of the religious life and thought of the time which is of the greatest interest to the church historian.
Tertullian did not hesitate to call his opponents blind, utterly perverse, or utterly stupid.
Like other early Christian writers Tertullian used the term paganus to mean "civilian" as a contrast to the "soldiers of Christ". The motif of Miles Christi did not assume the literal meaning of participation in war until Church doctrines justifying Christian participation in battle were developed around the 5th century. In the 2nd century writings of Tertullian paganus meant a "civilian" who was lacking self-discipline. In De Corona Militis XI.V he wrote":
|Apud hunc [Christum] tam miles est paganus fidelis quam paganus est miles fidelis.||With Him [Christ] the faithful citizen is a soldier, just as the faithful soldier is a citizen.|
The chronology of these writings is difficult to fix with certainty. It is in part determined by the Montanistic views that are set forth in some of them, by the author's own allusions to this writing, or that, as antedating others (cf. Harnack, Litteratur ii.260–262), and by definite historic data (e.g., the reference to the death of Septimius Severus, Ad Scapulam, iv). In his work against Marcion, which he calls his third composition on the Marcionite heresy, he gives its date as the fifteenth year of the reign of Severus (Adv. Marcionem, i.1, 15)—which would be approximately the year 208.
The writings may be divided with reference to the two periods of Tertullian's Christian activity, the mainstream and the Montanist (cf. Harnack, ii.262 sqq.), or according to their subject-matter. The object of the former mode of division is to show, if possible, the change of views Tertullian's mind underwent. Following the latter mode, which is of a more practical interest, the writings fall into two groups. Apologetic and polemic writings, like Apologeticus, De testimonio animae, the anti-Jewish De Adversus Iudaeos, Adv. Marcionem, Adv. Praxeam, Adv. Hermogenem, De praescriptione hereticorum, and Scorpiace were written to counteract Gnosticism and other religious or philosophical doctrines. The other group consists of practical and disciplinary writings, e.g., De monogamia, Ad uxorem, De virginibus velandis, De cultu feminarum, De patientia, De pudicitia, De oratione, and Ad martyras.
Among his apologetic writings, the Apologeticus, addressed to the Roman magistrates, is a most pungent defense of Christianity and the Christians against the reproaches of the pagans, and an important legacy of the ancient Church, proclaiming the principle of freedom of religion as an inalienable human right and demands a fair trial for Christians before they are condemned to death.
Tertullian was the first to disprove such charges as that the Christians sacrificed infants at the celebration of the Lord's Supper and committed incest. He pointed to the commission of such crimes in the pagan world and then proved by the testimony of Pliny the Younger that Christians pledged themselves not to commit murder, adultery, or other crimes. He adduced also the inhumanity of pagan customs such as feeding the flesh of gladiators to beasts. He argued that the gods have no existence and thus there is no pagan religion against which Christians may offend. Christians do not engage in the foolish worship of the emperors, that they do better: they pray for them, and that Christians can afford to be put to torture and to death, and the more they are cast down the more they grow; "the blood of the martyrs is seed" (Apologeticum, 50). In the De Praescriptione he develops as its fundamental idea that, in a dispute between the Church and a separating party, the whole burden of proof lies with the latter, as the Church, in possession of the unbroken tradition, is by its very existence a guarantee of its truth.
The five books against Marcion, written in 207 or 208, are the most comprehensive and elaborate of his polemical works, invaluable for gauging the early Christian view of Gnosticism. Of the moral and ascetic treatises, the De patientia and De spectaculis are among the most interesting, and the De pudicitia and De virginibus velandis among the most characteristic.
Tertullian has been identified by Jo Ann McNamara as the person who originally invested the consecrated virgin as the “bride of Christ” which helped to bring the independent virgin under patriarchal rule.
Though thoroughly conversant with the Greek theology, Tertullian remained independent of its metaphysical speculations. He had learned from the Greek apologies, and offered a direct contrast to Origen of Alexandria, who drew many of his theories regarding creation from Middle Platonism. Tertullian carried his realism to the verge of materialism. This is evident from his ascription to God of corporeity and his acceptance of the traducian theory of the origin of the soul. He despised Greek philosophy, and, far from looking at Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek thinkers whom he quotes as forerunners of Christ and the Gospel, he pronounces them the patriarchal forefathers of the heretics (De anima, iii.). He held up to scorn their inconsistency when he referred to the fact that Socrates in dying ordered a cock to be sacrificed to Aesculapius (De anima, i). Tertullian always wrote under stress of a felt necessity. He was never so happy as when he had opponents like Marcion and Praxeas, and, however abstract the ideas may be which he treated, he was always moved by practical considerations to make his case clear and irresistible. It was partly this element which gave to his writings a formative influence upon the theology of the post-Nicene period in the West and has rendered them fresh reading to this day. Although he was by nature a polemicist no mention is made of his name by other authors during the 3rd century. Lactantius at the opening of the 4th century is the first to do so: Augustine, however, treats him with respect. Cyprian, Tertullian's North African compatriot, though nowhere mentioning his name, was well read in his writings, according to Cyprian's secretary in a letter to Jerome.
Tertullian's main doctrinal teachings are as follows:
Concerning the image prophecy of Daniel 2, Tertullian identified Jesus, at his second advent, as the stone cut out of a mountain that strikes and destroys the image of "secular kingdoms". He compares this with Daniel 7, 'Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days; and they brought Him before Him, and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away; and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Like Irenaeus, Tertullian equated the Antichrist with the '"Man of Sin" and the "Beast". He expected a specific Antichrist to appear as a persecutor of the church just before the resurrection, under whom a second company of martyrs will be slain. Unlike Irenaeus, however, Tertullian does not consider the Antichrist to be a Jew sitting in a Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Rather, the Antichrist comes out of the church.
The order of Last Days events, according to Tertullian, are the plagues, Babylon's doom, Antichrist's warfare on the saints, the devil cast into the bottomless pit, the Advent, the resurrection of the saints, the Judgment, and the Second Resurrection, with the harvest at the end of the World; and the sixth seal extending to the final dissolution of the earth and sky, including the stars.
Tertullian maintained that the thousand years of Revelation will follow the resurrection of the righteous dead on the earth with the New Jerusalem, proceeding the eternity of heaven. The earth is destroyed after the one thousand years and the saints moved to the kingdom of heaven.
Tertullian contended that Daniel's seventy weeks foretold the time of Christ's incarnation and death. He started the seventy weeks from the first year of Darius, and continued to Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans under the command of Titus, fully completing the vision and prophecy. It is sealed by the advent of Christ, which he places at the end of the sixty-two and one-half weeks.
Tertullian was a determined advocate of strict discipline and an austere code of practise, and like many of the African fathers, one of the leading representatives of the rigorist element in the early Church. These views may have led him to adopt Montanism with its ascetic rigor and its belief in chiliasm and the continuance of the prophetic gifts. In his writings on public amusements, the veiling of virgins, the conduct of women, and the like, he gives expression to these views.
On the principle that we should not look at or listen to what we have no right to practise, and that polluted things, seen and touched, pollute (De spectaculis, viii, xvii), he declared a Christian should abstain from the theater and the amphitheater. There pagan religious rites were applied and the names of pagan divinities invoked; there the precepts of modesty, purity, and humanity were ignored or set aside, and there no place was offered to the onlookers for the cultivation of the Christian graces. Women should put aside their gold and precious stones as ornaments, and virgins should conform to the law of St. Paul for women and keep themselves strictly veiled (De virginibus velandis). He praised the unmarried state as the highest (De monogamia, xvii; Ad uxorem, i.3) and called upon Christians not to allow themselves to be excelled in the virtue of celibacy by Vestal Virgins and Egyptian priests. He even labeled second marriage a species of adultery (De exhortationis castitatis, ix), but this directly contradicted the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. Tertullian’s resolve to never marry again and that no one else should remarry eventually led to his break with Rome because the orthodox church refused to follow him in this resolve. He, instead, favored the Montanist sect where they also condemned second marriage. One reason for Tertullian’s disdain for marriage was his belief about the transformation that awaited a married couple. He believed that marital relations coarsened the body and the soul and would dull their spiritual senses and avert the Holy Spirit since husband and wife became one flesh once married.
Tertullian is sometimes criticized for being misogynistic, on the basis of the contents of his De Cultu Feminarum, section I.I, part 2 (trans. C.W. Marx): "Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die."
Tertullian had a radical view on the cosmos. He believed that heaven and earth intersected at many points and that it was possible for there to be sexual relations with supernatural beings.
Tertullian's writings are edited in volumes 1–2 of the Patrologia Latina, and modern texts exist in the Corpus Christianorum Latinorum. English translations by Sidney Thelwall and Philip Holmes can be found in volumes III and IV of the Ante-Nicene Fathers which are freely available online; more modern translations of some of the works have been made.
The following chronological ordering was proposed by John Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln in the 19th century:
Probably mainstream (Pre-Montanist):
There have been many works attributed to Tertullian in the past which have since been determined to be almost definitely written by others. Nonetheless, since their actual authors remain uncertain, they continue to be published together in collections of Tertullian's works.
The popular Passio SS. Perpetuae et Felicitatis (Martyrdom of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas), much of it the personal diary of St. Perpetua, was once assumed to have been edited by Tertullian. That view is no longer held, and it is usually published separately from Tertullian's works.
Abellio (also Abelio and Abelionni) was a god worshipped in the Garonne Valley in Gallia Aquitania (now southwest France), known primarily by a number of inscriptions which were discovered in Comminges. He may have been a god of apple trees.Some scholars have postulated that Abellio is the same name as Apollo, who in Crete and elsewhere was called Abelios (Greek Αβέλιος), and by the Italians and some Dorians Apello, and that the deity is the same as the Gallic Apollo mentioned by Caesar, and also the same as the Belis or Belenus mentioned by Tertullian and Herodian.Other scholars have taken the reverse position that Abellio might have been a similar solar deity of Celtic origin in Crete and the Pyrenees, but the Cretan Abellio may however not be the same god as the Celtic one, but rather a different manifestation, or dialectal form, of the Greek god Apollo or his name.
In his attempt to connect the Grail legends to the Cathars, Otto Rahn identified the worship of Abellio in the Pyrenees with the Latinized form of Belenus-Apollo, which he equated with Lucifer.Acts of Paul
The Acts of Paul is one of the major works and earliest pseudepigraphal series from the New Testament apocrypha also known as Apocryphal Acts. An approximate date given to the Acts of Paul is 160 CE. The Acts were first mentioned by Tertullian. Tertullian found it heretical because it encouraged women to preach and baptize. The Acts were considered orthodox by Hippolytus but were eventually regarded as heretical when the Manichaeans started using the texts. The author of the Acts of Paul is unknown and wrote out of respect for Paul in Asia Minor. The author does not show any dependency on the canonical Acts but uses oral traditions of Paul's missionary work.
The text is primarily known from Greek manuscripts. The discovery of a Coptic version of the text demonstrated that the text was composed of
the Acts of Paul and Thecla
the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul
the Third Epistle to the Corinthians
the Martyrdom of Paul – his death at the hand of NeroAll of these constituent parts were often considered worth treating as separate texts and frequently appeared independently, although scholars agree that they were originally part of the Acts of Paul. Besides the four main sections mentioned above, the remainder of the Acts exist only in fragments from the 3rd and 5th centuries:
The healing of Hermocrates from dropsy
The strife of the Ephesian beastsThe texts are a coherent whole and are generally thought to have been written by one author using oral traditions, rather than basing it on any of the other apocrypha or the orthodox canon. The main emphasis of the text is on Chastity and anti-Gnosticism. According to Tertullian, the author was a priest in Asia Minor. While the priest encouraged female ministry, he expressed doctrinal orthodoxy in regard to continence and Resurrection. Also, they mentioned the close relationship of sexual purity and salvation.
The Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul and the Third Epistle of the Corinthians both appear in some editions of the Armenian Bible.African Rite
In the history of Christianity, the African Rite refers to a now defunct Christian, Western liturgical rite, and is considered a development or possibly a local use of the primitive Roman Rite. It used the Latin language.
The African Rite may be considered in two different periods: The ante-Nicene period when Christians were persecuted and could not freely develop forms of public worship, and when the liturgical prayers and acts had not become fixed; and the post-Nicene period when the simple, improvised forms of prayer gave way to more elaborate, set formularies, and the primitive liturgical actions evolved into grand and formal ceremonies.Apologeticus
Apologeticus (Latin: Apologeticum or Apologeticus) is Tertullian's most famous work, consisting of apologetic and polemic. In this work Tertullian defends Christianity, demanding legal toleration and that Christians be treated as all other sects of the Roman Empire. It is in this treatise that one finds the phrase: "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Apologeticus, Chapter 50).
There is a similarity of content, if not of purpose, between this work and Tertullian's Ad nationes—published earlier in the same year—and it has been claimed that the latter is a finished draft of Apologeticus. There arises also the question of similarity to Minucius Felix's dialogue Octavius. Some paragraphs are shared by both texts; it is not known which predated the other.
Tertullian's brief De testimonio animae ("Concerning the Evidences of the Soul") is an appendix to the Apologeticus, intended to illustrate the meaning of the phrase testimonium animae naturaliter christianae in chapter 17).Apostolic see
An apostolic see is an episcopal see whose foundation is attributed to one or more of the apostles of Jesus or to one of their close associates. In Catholicism the phrase, with "the" and usually capitalized, refers to the See of Rome.Tertullian (c. 155 − c. 240) gives examples of apostolic sees: he describes as churches "in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally" the following churches: Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, and Rome. And many more local churches are known to have been founded or at least governed by Saint Paul the Apostle and other apostles.
Tertullian says that from these "all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine, and are every day deriving them, that they may become churches. Indeed, it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches".Christian cross
The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus, is the best-known symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a corpus, usually a three-dimensional representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of cross symbols, the term cross itself being detached from the original specifically Christian meaning in modern English (as in many other western languages).The basic forms of the cross are the Latin cross with unequal arms (✝) and the Greek cross (✚) with equal arms, besides numerous variants, partly with confessional significance, such as the tau cross, the double-barred cross, triple-barred cross, cross-and-crosslets, and many heraldic variants, such as the cross potent, cross pattée, cross moline, cross fleury, etc.Christianity in the 2nd century
Christianity in the 2nd century was largely the time of the development of variant Christian teachings, and the Apostolic Fathers who are regarded as defenders of the developing proto-orthodoxy. Major figures who were later declared by the developing proto-orthodoxy to be heretics were Marcion, Valentinius, and Montanus.
While the Jewish Christian church was centered in Jerusalem in the 1st century, Gentile Christianity became decentralized in the 2nd century.Although the use of the term Christian is attested in the Acts of the Apostles (80–90 AD), the earliest recorded use of the term Christianity (Greek: Χριστιανισμός) is by Ignatius of Antioch about 107 AD, who is also associated with modification of the sabbath, promotion of the bishop, and critique of the Judaizers.Christianity in the 3rd century
Christianity in the 3rd century was largely the time of the Ante-Nicene Fathers who wrote after the Apostolic Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries but before the First Council of Nicaea in 325 (ante-nicene meaning before Nicaea).
In the Edict of Milan (313 AD) the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion.Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list. The era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity largely ended by AD 700 (John of Damascus died in 749 AD, Byzantine Iconoclasm began in 726 AD).In the past, the Church Fathers were regarded as authoritative and more restrictive definitions were used which sought to limit the list to authors treated as such. However, the definition has widened as scholars of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, have expanded their scope.Credo quia absurdum
Credo quia absurdum is a Latin phrase that means "I believe because it is absurd", originally misattributed to Tertullian in his De Carne Christi. The original phrase was "It is certain because it is unfitting" in an anti-Marcionite context, however, through early modern, Protestant and Enlightenment rhetoric against Catholicism and religion more broadly, was changed to "I believe because it is absurd" for a personally religious context.Fideism
Fideism () is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means "faith-ism".Theologians and philosophers have responded in various ways to the place of faith and reason in determining the truth of metaphysical ideas, morality, and religious beliefs. A fideist is one who argues for fideism. Historically, fideism is most commonly ascribed to four philosophers: Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard, William James, and Ludwig Wittgenstein; with fideism being a label applied in a negative sense by their opponents, but which is not always supported by their own ideas and works or followers. There are a number of different forms of fideism.Marcionism
Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144.Marcion believed Jesus was the savior sent by God, and Paul the Apostle was his chief apostle, but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel. Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament.
Marcionism, similar to Gnosticism, depicted the God of the Old Testament as a tyrant or demiurge (see also God as the Devil). Marcion was the son of a bishop of Sinope in Pontus. About the middle of the second century (140–155) he traveled to Rome, where he joined the Syrian Gnostic Cerdo.Marcion's canon, possibly the first Christian canon ever compiled, consisted of eleven books: a gospel consisting of ten sections drawn from the Gospel of Luke; and ten Pauline epistles. Marcion's canon rejected the entire Old Testament, along with all other epistles and gospels of what would become the 27-book New Testament canon, which during his life had yet to be compiled. Paul's epistles enjoy a prominent position in the Marcionite canon, since Paul was considered by Marcion to be Christ's only true apostle.Marcionism was denounced by its opponents as heresy and written against – notably by Tertullian in a five-book treatise, Adversus Marcionem (Against Marcion), in about 208. Marcion's writings are lost, though they were widely read and numerous manuscripts must have existed. Even so, many scholars claim it is possible to reconstruct and deduce a large part of ancient Marcionism through what later critics, especially Tertullian, said concerning Marcion.Montanism
Montanism , known by its adherents as the New Prophecy, was an early Christian movement of the late 2nd century, later referred to by the name of its founder, Montanus .
Montanism held similar views about the basic tenets of Christian doctrine to those of the wider Christian Church, but it was labelled a heresy for its belief in new prophetic revelations. The prophetic movement called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit and a more conservative personal ethic. Parallels have been drawn between Montanism and modern-day movements such as Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement.It originated in Phrygia, a province of Asia Minor, and flourished throughout the region, leading to the movement being referred to elsewhere as "Cataphrygian" (meaning it was "from Phrygia") or simply as "Phrygian". It spread rapidly to other regions in the Roman Empire before Christianity was generally tolerated or legal. It persisted in some isolated places into the 6th century.Ophites
The Ophites or Ophians (Greek Ὀφιανοί Ophianoi, from ὄφις ophis "snake") were members of a Christian Gnostic sect depicted by Hippolytus of Rome (170–235) in a lost work, the Syntagma ("arrangement").
It is now thought that later accounts of these "Ophites" by Pseudo-Tertullian, Philastrius and Epiphanius of Salamis are all dependent on the lost Syntagma of Hippolytus. It is possible that rather than an actual sectarian name Hippolytus may have invented "Ophite" as a generic term for what he considered heretical speculations concerning the serpent of Genesis or Moses.Apart from the sources directly dependent on Hippolytus (Pseudo-Tertullian, Philastrius and Epiphanius), Origen and Clement of Alexandria also mention the group. The group is mentioned by Irenaeus in Adversus Haereses (1:30).Pallium (Roman cloak)
The pallium was a Roman cloak, which replaced the toga as the prescribed court garment for high-ranking citizens, and especially civil officials, up to the rank of senator. It was similar in form to the palla, which had been worn by respectable Roman women since the mid-Republican era. It was a rectangular length of cloth, as was the himation in ancient Greece. It was usually made from wool or flax, but for the higher classes it could be made of silk with the use of gold threads and embroideries.
The garment varied in fineness, colour and ornament. It could be white, purple red (purpurea from murex), black, yellow, blue, pale green, etc.
The pallium was originally considered to be exclusively Greek and despised by Romans, but was favoured by ordinary people, philosophers, and pedagogues. Tertullian thought it the most appropriate garment for philosophers and Christians.
It officially replaced the toga under the Theodosian Lex Vestiaria of 382; the same law prescribed the paenula for senators.It is not to be confused with the pallium used by Catholic clergy, which is related to the omophorion.Patrologia Latina
The Patrologia Latina (Latin for The Latin Patrology) is an enormous collection of the writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers published by Jacques-Paul Migne between 1841 and 1855, with indices published between 1862 and 1865. It is also known as the Latin series as it formed one half of Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, the other part being the Patrologia Graeco-Latina of patristic and medieval Greek works with their (sometimes non-matching) medieval Latin translations.
Although consisting of reprints of old editions, which often contain mistakes and do not comply with modern standards of scholarship, the series, due to its availability (it is present in many academic libraries) and the fact that it incorporates many texts of which no modern critical edition is available, is still widely used by scholars of the Middle Ages and is in this respect comparable to the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.
The Patrologia Latina includes Latin works spanning a millennium, from Tertullian (d. 230) to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), edited in roughly chronological order in 217 volumes;
volumes 1 to 73, from Tertullian to Gregory of Tours, were published from 1841 to 1849, and volumes 74 to 217, from Pope Gregory I to Innocent III, from 1849 to 1855.
Although the collection ends with Innocent III,
Migne originally wanted to include documents all the way up to the Reformation; this task proved too great, but some later commentaries or documents associated with earlier works were included.
Most of the works are ecclesiastic in nature, but there are also documents of literary, historical or linguistic (such as the Gothic bible in vol. 18) interest.
The printing plates for the Patrologia were destroyed by fire in 1868, but with help from the Garnier printing house they were restored and new editions were printed, beginning in the 1880s. These reprints did not always correspond exactly with the original series either in quality or internal arrangement, and caution should be exercised when referencing to the PL in general.Religio licita
Religio licita ("permitted religion," also translated as "approved religion") is a phrase used in the Apologeticum of Tertullian to describe the special status of the Jews in the Roman Empire. It was not an official term in Roman law.Although it occurs in only one patristic text and in no classical Roman sources or inscriptions, the phrase has spawned abundant scholarly conjecture on its possible significance. Some scholars have gone so far as to imagine that all religions under the Empire had a legal status as either licita or illicita, despite the absence of any ancient texts referring to these categories. The most extreme view has held that Tertullian's phrase means all foreign religions required a license from the Roman government. But it was Roman custom to permit or even encourage the subject peoples of the provinces and foreign communities in Rome to maintain their ancestral religion, unless specific practices were regarded as disruptive or subversive: "A religio was licita for a particular group on the basis of tribe or nationality and traditional practices, coupled with the proviso that its rites were not offensive to the Roman people or its gods."Tertullian uses the phrase in a passage arguing that Christians should be granted the same freedom to practice their religion as any other inhabitant of the Empire; the passage itself, and not the phrase religio licita, is evidence of the general tolerance afforded under the Roman system of religion.Trinitarianism in the Church Fathers
Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity or not is a subject for debate. Some of the evidence used to support an early belief in the Trinity are triadic statements (referring to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) from the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The view that the Son was 'of the essence of the Father, God of God...very God of very God' was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.Valentinus (Gnostic)
Valentinus (also spelled Valentinius; c. AD 100 – c. 160) was the best known and, for a time, most successful early Christian gnostic theologian. He founded his school in Rome. According to Tertullian, Valentinus was a candidate for bishop of Rome but started his own group when another was chosen.Valentinus produced a variety of writings, but only fragments survive, largely those embedded in refuted quotations in the works of his opponents, not enough to reconstruct his system except in broad outline. His doctrine is known to us only in the developed and modified form given to it by his disciples. He taught that there were three kinds of people, the spiritual, psychical, and material; and that only those of a spiritual nature received the gnosis (knowledge) that allowed them to return to the divine Pleroma, while those of a psychic nature (ordinary Christians) would attain a lesser or uncertain form of salvation, and that those of a material nature were doomed to perish.Valentinus had a large following, the Valentinians. It later divided into an Eastern and a Western, or Italian, branch. The Marcosians belonged to the Western branch.
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