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TERTULLIANUS
Form: Quintus Septimius Florens.
One of the most important of the Latin Fathers. He was born at Carthage of pagan parents about 160 A.D., and died about 230. After receiving a careful education in rhetoric and jurisprudence (and probably practising as a lawyer), he embraced Christianity, and became a presbyter in his native town. After defending Christianity against paganism, he joined the ascetic and fanatic sect of the Montanists, and became their champion against the Church. His writings reflect with faithfulness his general ability; his rhetorical training and legal subtlety; his rugged, combative, and passionate character; and his lively and often impetuous imagination. They are written in the colloquial language of his time, which had many points of close contact with that spoken by the lower classes. His literary activity, which extended over a considerable length of time, was at its height in the reigns of Severus and Caracalla. His Apologia, written about 198, holds the foremost place amongst his works. It is one of his earliest writings, and was addressed to the provincial governors of the Roman empire, in defence of Christianity, during a time of bitter persecution.
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