(Latter half of 2nd Century)


ATHENAGORAS. Under the titles … (a defence of the Christians by the Christian philosopher Athenagoras of Athens) and … (of the resurrection of the dead), two works have come down to us, whose author is entirely unknown to the tradition of the church. Eusebius, Jerome, and their immediate successors, do not mention him; and, as the survey which Eusebius gives of the apologetical literature of the second century is very elaborate, his silence with respect to Athenagoras could not fail to attract attention. Very early the existence of an apologist of that name was doubted, and the work was ascribed to Justin. This supposition, however, is from internal reasons untenable. The first testimony, [p.164] and the only one from the third century, of the existence of the apology and the name of its author, is a quotation by Methodius (Epiph. Haeres. 64, c. 21). Some notices by an unknown scribe (Cod. Barocc. 142, fol. 216), quoting from Philippus Sidetes, from the beginning of the fifth century, state that Athenagoras was director of the catechetical school of Alexandria, lived at the time of Hadrian and Antoninus, and was, like Celsus, occupied with searching the Scriptures for arguments against Christianity, when he was suddenly converted; but most of these notices are palpably erroneous. In spite, however, of the entire absence of a tradition, and the close resemblance to the apology of Justin, the date of the work must be placed somewhere in the second century. It is addressed to the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, and various passages indicate the period between 176 and 178. The treatise on the resurrection, which contains nothing specifically Christian, first appeared in Latin, Venice, 1498, then in Greek, Louvain, 1541. The apology, together with the treatise, first appeared from the press of H. Stephanus, 1557.

A. Harnack, "Athenagoras," Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn., Vol. 1. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. pp.163-164. [Greek text removed]

Primary Sources

Book or monograph Embassy for ChristiansAthenagoras, Embassy for Christians, new edn. New York: Paulist Press, 1955. Hbk. ISBN: 0809100363. pp.193. {CBD}

Secondary Sources

On-line Resource Athenagoras (Christian Classic Ethereal Library)
Article in Journal or Book L.W. Barnard, "The Embassy of Athenagoras - Two Notes," Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 21 (1967): 88-92.
Article in Journal or Book L.W. Barnard, "The Old Testament and the Authorship of Athenagoras' De Resurrectione," Journal of Theological Studies 18 (1967): 432f.
Book or monograph L.W. Barnard, Athenagoras: A Study in Second Century Christian Apologetics. Théologie Historique 18. Paris: Beauchesne, 1972.
Article in Journal or Book T.D. Barnes, "The Embassy of Athenagoras," Journal of Theological Studies 26 (1975): 111-14.
Article in Journal or Book P. Lorraine Buck, "Athenagoras's Embassy: A Literary Fiction," Harvard Theological Review 89.3 (1996): 209-226.
Book or monograph F.L. Cross, The Early Christian Fathers. Studies in Theology 1. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1960. Hbk. pp.55-57.
Article in Journal or Book Monir A. Dawoud, "Fathers of the School of Alexandria: Athenagoras," Coptic Church Review 12.4 (1991): 121-124.
Article in Journal or Book Robert M.Grant, "Athenagoras or Pseudo-Athenagoras," Harvard Theoglogical Review 47 (1954): 121-129.
Book or monograph H.A. Lucks, The Philosophy of Athenagoras. Catholic University Press of MAerica Philosophical Studies, 32 (1936).
Article in Journal or Book A.J. Malherbe, "The Holy Spirit in Athanagoras," Journal of Theological Studies, n.s. 20 (1969): 538-542.
Article in Journal or Book A.J. Malherbe, "The Structure of Athenagoras, Supplicatio pro Christianis," Vigiliae Christianae 23 (1969): 1-20.
Article in Journal or Book A.J. Malherbe, "Athenagoras on Christian Ethics," Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 20 (1969): 1-5.
Article in Journal or Book A.J. Malherbe, "Athenagoras and the Location of God," Theologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 26 (1970): 46-52.
Article in Journal or Book A.J. Malherbe, "Athenagoras on the Pagan Poets and Philosophers," P. Granfield & J.A. Jungman, editors, Kyriakon Festschrift Johannes Quasten.Munster: Aschendorff, 1970, pp.214-225.
Article in Journal or Book Miroslav Marcovich, "On the Text of Athenagoras, De Resurrectione," Vigiliae Christianae 33.4 (1979): 375-382.
On-line Resource Athenagoras (John B. Peterson)
Book or monograph Questen: Patrology, Vol. 1Johannes Quasten, Patrology, Vol. 1. Resources for Chritian Living, 1950. Pbk. ISBN: 0870610848. pp.229-236. {CBD}
Article in Journal or Book Louis A. Ruprecht, "Athenagoras the Christian, Pausanias the Travel Guide, and a Mysterious Corinthian Girl," Harvard Theological Review 85.1 (1992): 35-49.
Article in Journal or Book H.R. Smythe, "The Interpretation of Amos 4:13 in Athanasius and Didymus," Journal of Theological Studies ns 1 (1950): 158-68.

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Alexander of Alexandria | Ambrose | Aristides | Arnobius | Athanasius | Athenagoras | Augustine | Basil | Boethius | John Cassian | Celsus | Clement of Alexandria | Clement of Rome | Constantine | Cyprian | Cyril of Alexandria | Cyril of Jerusalem | Ephraem the Syrian | Epiphanius | Eusebius of Caesarea | Gregory of Nazianzus | Gregory of Nyssa | Gregory Thaumaturgus | Hermas | Hilary of Poitiers | Hippolytus | Ignatius of Antioch | Irenaeus of Lyons | Julius Africanus | Jerome | John Chrysostom | Josephus | Justin Martyr | Justinian I | Lactantius | Leo the Great | Marcellus | Martin of Tours | Melito | Methodius | Minucius Felix | Novatian | Origen | Pachomius | Papias | Philo | Polycarp | Tatian | Tertullian | Theodore of Mopsuestia | Theodoret | Theophilus | Tyconius | Ulfilas | Victorinus | Marius Victorinus