The Trinity, the Spectacles, Jewish Foods, in Praise of Purity, Letters

The Trinity, the Spectacles, Jewish Foods, in Praise of Purity, Letters

The Trinity, the Spectacles, Jewish Foods, in Praise of Purity, Letters

The Trinity, the Spectacles, Jewish Foods, in Praise of Purity, Letters

Excerpt

Through his composition of The Trinity in the middle of the third century, Novatian has the distinction of being the first Roman theologian to write a theological treatise in Latin and so becomes a pioneer and founder of Roman Latin theology. This is an eminence that to some extent stands apart from the administrative importance his ability won him in the Roman church of that time. His outstanding position there may by judged from his standing at Rome after Pope Fabian's martyrdom in A. D. 250. As presbyter Novatian had charge during the vacancy of the see and wrote in the name of the church at Rome to churches throughout the world. Of such letters, however, only three—albeit important ones—survive. Thus we do not have an adequate body of primary documents from which to illustrate fully Novatian's central importance for the Church at a brief crisis in her history and his valuable contribution to it. History tends to emphasize rather the immediately succeeding years, which brought Novatian, as antipope, into contumacious opposition to the duly elected bishop of Rome.

The greatest of the historians of the early Church, Eusebius of Caesarea, calls Novatian Novatus, and later Greek writers have the forms Navatus and Novatus; his real name, however, was Novatianus. This is quite evident, not only from the works of Cyprian and Dionysius of Alexandria (contemporaries of Novatian), but also on . . .

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