#1 Quadratus of Athens: The Apology


About Quadratus

Quadratus of Athens wrote an apology to defend the Christian faith around 124 CE. Quadratus appears to have intended to give this work to emperor Hadrian (pictured above), possibly while Hadrian was visiting Athens. Quadratus’s aim was to convince Hadrian to stop all persecutions against Christians. Quadratus was not successful at changing the emperor’s mind, but Quadratus’s Apology is interesting regardless. The apology provides us with one of the only accounts of whatever happened to the people who had been healed by Jesus.

Topics Discussed

  • What we know about Quadratus and the apology

  • The persecution of Christians

  • What it was like to live as a Christian in the Roman empire under the rule of emperor Hadrian (pictured above)

  • What the apology tells us about the later lives of people who had been healed by Jesus

  • Faith and the place of miracles

  • And much more

Quadratus’s Apology

Quadratus’s Apology is preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Church History. The translation below is from the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers series, which is in the public domain.

1. After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years, Ælius Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man’s understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy.

2. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: “But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:—those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day.” Such then was Quadratus.

Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book 4, Chapter 3

Secondary Sources

Ehrman, Bart D. The Apostolic Fathers, Volume II. Loeb Classical Library 25. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Ferguson, Everett, ed. Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. New York: Garland, 1997.

Foster, Paul. The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers. London: T & T Clark, 2007.

Rizzi, Marco. Hadrian and the Christians. New York: De Gruyter, 2010.


Kevin Hill