Apologetical Works and Minucius Felix Octavius

Apologetical Works and Minucius Felix Octavius

Apologetical Works and Minucius Felix Octavius

Apologetical Works and Minucius Felix Octavius

Excerpt

Tertullian, or Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, to give him his full name, was born about the middle of the second century at Carthage, where his father was a centurion of the proconsular cohort. Carthage, after her restoration by Julius Caesar, had not only recovered her former position as a center of commerce but had also become a seat of learning. Thus, Tertullian's father was in a position to provide his son with an excellent education in rhetoric, literature, and law. Tertullian's education, however, was not limited to these fields. His works furnish ample proof that he possessed a good knowledge of history, archaeology, medicine, and the greater part of the important systems of Graeco-Roman philosophy. He also wrote with equal facility in Latin and Greek. After having finished his studies, he must have spent some time at Rome. In one of his works, he expressly mentions a personal experience he had in the Roman capital. Moreover, according to Eusebius of Caesarea, the fourth-century Church historian, Tertullian distinguished himself at Rome by his outstanding qualities as a jurist. It is even possible that he wrote some books in the field of jurisprudence. In the Digests, a collection of extracts from the opinions of earlier jurists compiled by order of the Emperor Justinian, there appear some quotations from the writings of a jurist Tertullian (the titles are: Quaestionum libri VIII; De castrensi peculio liber singularis). The question of whether this otherwise unknown jurist is identical with the ecclesiastical writer of the same name has given rise to scholarly controversies. However this may be, Tertullian's . . .

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