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The Apology of Aristides


Translated from the Greek.

I, O King in the providence
of God came into the world; and
when I had considered the heaven
and the earth, the sun and the moon
and the rest, I marvelled at their
orderly arrangement.

And when I saw that the universe
and all that is therein is moved by
necessity, I perceived that the mover
and controller is God.

For everything which causes motion
is stronger than that which is
moved, and that which controls is
stronger than that which is controlled.

The self-same being, then, who
first established and now controls
the universe----him do I affirm to be
God who is without beginning and without end,
immortal and self-sufficing, above all
passions and infirmities, above

anger and forgetfulness
and ignorance and the rest.








Through Him too all things consist.
He requires not sacrifice and
libation nor any one of the things
that appear to sense; but all men
stand in need of Him.


Translated from the Syriac.


Here follows the defence which Aristides the
philosopher made before Hadrian the King on behalf
of reverence for God.

. . . All-powerful Caesar Titus Hadrianus Antoninus,
venerable and merciful, from Marcianus Aristides,
an Athenian philosopher.

I. I, O King, by the grace of God came into this
world; and when I had considered the heaven and the
earth and the seas, and had surveyed the sun and
the rest of creation, I marvelled at the beauty of the
world. And I perceived that the world and all that
is therein are moved by the power of another; and
I understood that he who moves them is God, who

is hidden in them, and veiled by them. And it is
manifest that that which causes motion is more
powerful than that which is moved. But that I
should make search concerning this same mover of
all, as to what is his nature (for it seems to me,
he is indeed unsearchable in his nature), and that
I should argue as to the constancy of his government,
so as to grasp it fully,----this is a vain effort
for me; for it is not possible that a man should fully
comprehend it. I say, however, concerning this
mover of the world, that he is God of all, who made
all things for the sake of mankind. And it seems to
me that this is reasonable, that one should fear God
and should not oppress man.

I say, then, that God is not born, not made, an
ever-abiding nature without beginning and without
end, immortal, perfect, and incomprehensible.
Now when I say that he is "perfect," this means
that there is not in him any defect, and he is not in
need of anything but all things are in need of him.
And when I say that he is "without beginning," this
means that everything which has beginning has also
an end, and that which has an end may be brought
to an end. He has no name, for everything which
has a name is kindred to things created. Form he
has none, nor yet any union of members; for whatsoever
possesses these is kindred to things fashioned.
He is neither male nor female.5 The heavens do
not limit him, but the heavens and all things, visible
and invisible, receive their bounds from him.
Adversary he has none, for there exists not any stronger
than he. Wrath and indignation he possesses not,
for there is nothing which is able to stand against
him. Ignorance and forgetfulness are not in his
nature, for he is altogether wisdom and understanding;
and in Him stands fast all that exists.
He requires not sacrifice and libation, nor even one of
things visible; He requires not aught from any, but
all living creatures stand in need of him.

II.  Having thus spoken concerning
God, so far as it was possible for
me to speak of Him,2 let us next
proceed to the human race, that we
may see which of them participate in
the truth and which of them in

For it is clear to us, O King,3 that
there are three4 classes of men in
this world; these being the worshippers
of the gods acknowledged
among you, and Jews, and Christians.
Further they who pay homage
to many gods are themselves divided
into three classes, Chaldaeans
namely, and Greeks, and Egyptians;
for these have been guides and preceptors
to the rest of the nations in
the service and worship of these
many-titled deities.

II.  Since, then, we have addressed you concerning
God, so far as our discourse can bear upon him, let
us now come to the race of men, that we may know
which of them participate in the truth of which we
have spoken, and which of them go astray from it.

This is clear to you, O King, that there are four
classes of men in this world:----Barbarians and Greeks,
Jews and Christians. The Barbarians, indeed, trace
the origin of their kind of religion from Kronos and
from Rhea and their other gods; the Greeks, however,
from Helenos, who is said to be sprung from
Zeus. And by Helenos there were born Aiolos and
Xuthos; and there were others descended from
Inachos and Phoroneus, and lastly from the Egyptian
Danaos and from Kadmos and from Dionysos.

The Jews, again, trace the origin of their race from
Abraham, who begat Isaac, of whom was born Jacob.
And he begat twelve sons who migrated from Syria
to Egypt; and there they were called the nation of
the Hebrews, by him who made their laws; and at
length they were named Jews.


The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their
religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named
the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God
came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin
assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son
of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught
in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time ago
was preached among them; and you also if you will
read therein, may perceive the power which belongs
to it. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the
Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that
the purpose of his incarnation 6 might in time be
accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews,
and he died and was buried; and they say that after
three days he rose and ascended to heaven. Thereupon
these twelve disciples went forth throughout
the known parts of the world, and kept showing his
greatness with all modesty and uprightness. And
hence also those of the present day who believe that
preaching are called Christians, and they are become

So then there are, as I said above, four classes of
men:----Barbarians and Greeks, Jews and Christians.

Moreover the wind is obedient to God, and fire to
the angels; the waters also to the demons and the
earth to the sons of men.

III. Let us see then which of them
participate in truth and which of
them in error.

The Chaldaeans, then, not knowing
God went astray after the elements
and began to worship the
creation more than their Creator.
And of these they formed certain
shapes and styled them a representation
of the heaven and the earth and
the sea, of the sun too and the moon
and the other primal bodies or
luminaries. And they shut them up
together in shrines, and worship
them, calling them gods, even though
they have to guard them securely
for fear they should be stolen by
robbers. And they did not perceive
that anything which acts as guard
is greater than that which is guarded,
and that he who makes is greater
than that which is made. For if
their gods are unfit to look after
their own safety, how shall they
bestow protection upon others?
Great then is the error into which the
Chaldaeans wandered in adoring
lifeless and good-for-nothing images.

And it occurs to me as surprising,
O King, how it is that their so-called
philosophers have quite failed to
observe that the elements themselves
are perishable. And if the elements
are perishable and subject to necessity,
how are they gods? And if the
elements are not gods, how do the
images made in their honour come
to be gods?

III.  Let us begin, then, with the Barbarians, and
go on to the rest of the nations one after another,
that we may see which of them hold the truth as to
God and which of them hold error.

The Barbarians, then, as they did not apprehend
God, went astray among the elements, and began to
worship things created instead of their Creator;8
and for this end they made images and shut them
up in shrines, and lo! they worship them, guarding
them the while with much care, lest their gods be
stolen by robbers. And the Barbarians did not observe
that that which acts as guard is greater than
that which is guarded, and that every one who
creates is greater than that which is created. If
it be, then, that their gods are too feeble to see to
their own safety, how will they take thought for the
safety of men? Great then is the error into which
the Barbarians wandered in worshipping lifeless
images which can do nothing to help them. And
I am led to wonder, O King, at their philosophers,
how that even they went astray, and gave the name
of gods to images which were made in honour of
the elements; and that their sages did not perceive
that the elements also are dissoluble and perishable.
For if a small part of an element is dissolved or destroyed,
the whole of it may be dissolved and destroyed.
If then the elements themselves are dissolved
and destroyed and forced to be subject to another
that is more stubborn than they, and if they are
not in their nature gods, why, forsooth, do they call
the images which are made in their honour, God?
Great, then, is the error which the philosophers
among them have brought upon their followers.

IV.  Let us proceed then, O King,
to the elements themselves that we
may show in regard to them that
they are not gods, but perishable and
mutable, produced out of that
which did not exist at the command
of the true God, who is indestructible
and immutable and invisible; yet
He sees all things and as He
wills, modifies and changes things.
What then shall I say concerning the

They err who believe that the
sky is a god. For we see that it
revolves and moves by necessity and
is compacted of many parts, being
thence called the ordered universe
(Kosmos). Now the universe is the
construction of some designer; and
that which has been constructed
has a beginning and an end. And
the sky with its luminaries moves
by necessity. For the stars are
carried along in array at fixed intervals
from sign to sign, and, some setting,
others rising, they traverse their
courses in due season so as to mark
off summers and winters, as it has
been appointed for them by God;
and obeying the inevitable necessity
of their nature they transgress not
their proper limits, keeping company
with the heavenly order. Whence
it is plain that the sky is not a
god but rather a work of God.

IV.  Let us turn now, O King, to the elements in
themselves, that we may make clear in regard to
them, that they are not gods, but a created thing,
liable to ruin and change, which is of the same nature
as man; whereas God is imperishable and unvarying,
and invisible, while yet He sees, and overrules,
and transforms all things.

They erred also who believed the
earth to be a goddess. For we see
that it is despitefully used and
tyrannized over by men, and is furrowed
and kneaded and becomes of
no account. For if it be burned
with fire, it becomes devoid of life;
for nothing will grow from the
ashes. Besides if there fall upon it
an excess of rain it dissolves away,
both it and its fruits. Moreover it
is trodden under foot of men and
the other creatures; it is dyed with
the blood of the murdered; it is dug
open and filled with dead bodies and
becomes a tomb for corpses. In face
of all this, it is inadmissible that
the earth is a goddess but rather it is
a work of God for the use of men.

Those then who believe concerning the earth that
it is a god have hitherto deceived themselves, since
it is furrowed and set with plants and trenched; and
it takes in the filthy refuse of men and beasts and
cattle. And at times it becomes unfruitful, for if
it be burnt to ashes it becomes devoid of life, for
nothing germinates from an earthen jar. And besides
if water be collected upon it, it is dissolved
together with its products. And lo! it is trodden
under foot of men and beast, and receives the bloodstains
of the slain; and it is dug open, and filled with
the dead, and becomes a tomb for corpses. But it is
impossible that a nature, which is holy and worthy
and blessed and immortal, should allow of any one
of these things. And hence it appears to us that the
earth is not a god but a creation of God.

V.  They also erred who believed
the water to be a god. For it, too,
has been made for the use of men,
and is controlled by them; it is
defiled and destroyed and suffers
change on being boiled and dyed
with colours; and it is congealed by
the frost, and polluted with blood,

and is introduced for the washing of
all unclean things. Wherefore it is
impossible that water should be a
god, but it is a work of God.

They also err who believe that fire
is a god. For fire was made for the
use of men, and it is controlled by
them, being carried about from place
to place for boiling and roasting
all kinds of meat, and even for (the
burning of) dead bodies. Moreover
it is extinguished in many ways,
being quenched through man's agency.
So it cannot be allowed that fire
is a god, but it is a work of God.

They also err who think the blowing
of the winds is a goddess. For it
is clear that it is under the dominion
of another; and for the sake of man
it has been designed by God for
the transport of ships and the
conveyance of grain and for man's
other wants. It rises too and falls at the
bidding of God, whence it is concluded
that the blowing of the winds is not
a goddess but only a work of God.

V.  In the same way, again, those erred who believed
the waters to be gods. For the waters were
created for the use of man, and are put under his
rule in many ways. For they suffer change and
admit impurity, and are destroyed and lose their
nature while they are boiled into many substances.
And they take colours which do not belong to them;
they are also congealed by frost and are mingled and
permeated with the filth of men and beasts, and with
the blood of the slain. And being checked by skilled
workmen through the restraint of aqueducts, they
flow and are diverted against their inclination, and
come into gardens and other places in order that they
may be collected and issue forth as a means of fertility
for man, and that they may cleanse away every
impurity and fulfil the service man requires from
them. Wherefore it is impossible that the waters
should be a god, but they are a work of God and a
part of the world.

In like manner also they who believed that fire
is a god erred to no slight extent. For it, too, was
created for the service of men, and is subject to them
in many ways:----in the preparation of meats, and as a
means of casting metals, and for other ends whereof
your Majesty is aware. At the same time it is
quenched and extinguished in many ways.

Again they also erred who believed the motion of
the winds to be a god. For it is well known to us
that those winds are under the dominion of another,
at times their motion increases, and at times it
fails and ceases at the command of him who controls
them. For they were created by God for the sake of
men, in order to supply the necessity of trees and
fruits and seeds; and to bring over the sea ships
which convey for men necessaries and goods from
places where they are found to places where they are
not found; and to govern the quarters of the world.
And as for itself, at times it increases and again
abates; and in one place brings help and in another
causes disaster at the bidding of him who rules it.
And mankind too are able by known means to confine
and keep it in check in order that it may fulfil for
them the service they require from it. And of itself
it has not any authority at all. And hence it is impossible
that the winds should be called gods, but rather
a thing made by God.

VI.  They also err who believe the
sun to be a god. For we see that it
moves by necessity and revolves and
passes from sign to sign, setting
and rising so as to give warmth to
plants and tender shoots for the use
of man.

Besides it has its part in common
with the rest of the stars, and is
much smaller than the sky; it suffers
eclipse of its light and is not the
subject of its own laws. Wherefore
it is concluded that the sun is not a
god, but only a work of God. They
also err who believe that the moon is
a goddess. For we see that it moves
by necessity and revolves and passes
from sign to sign, setting and rising
for the benefit of men; and it is less
than the sun and waxes and wanes
and has eclipses. Wherefore it is
concluded that the moon is not a
goddess but a work of God.

VI.  So also they erred who believed that the sun
is a god. For we see that it is moved by the compulsion
of another, and revolves and makes its journey,
and proceeds from sign to sign, rising and setting
every day, so as to give warmth for the growth of
plants and trees, and to bring forth into the air
wherewith it (sunlight) is mingled every growing
thing which is upon the earth. And to it there belongs
by comparison a part in common with the rest of
the stars in its course; and though it is one in its
nature it is associated with many parts for the supply
of the needs of men; and that not according to its
own will but rather according to the will of him who
rules it. And hence it is impossible that the sun
should be a god, but the work of God; and in like
manner also the moon and the stars.

VII.  They also err who believe that
man 9 is a god. For we see that he
is moved by necessity, and is made
to grow up, and becomes old even
though he would not. And at one
time he is joyous, at another he is
grieved when he lacks food and
drink and clothing. And we see
that he is subject to anger and jealousy
and desire and change of purpose
and has many infirmities. He is
destroyed too in many ways by
means of the elements and animals,
and by ever-assailing death. It cannot
be admitted, then, that man is a god,
but only a work of God.

Great therefore is the error into
which the Chaldaeans wandered,
following after their own desires.

For they reverence the perishable
elements and lifeless images, and do
not perceive that they themselves
make these things to be gods.

VII.  And those who believed of the men of the
past, that some of them were gods, they too were
much mistaken. For as you yourself allow, O King,
man is constituted of the four elements and of a soul
and a spirit (and hence he is called a microcosm),10
and without any one of these parts he could not consist.
He has a beginning and an end, and he is born and
dies. But God, as I said, has none of these
things in his nature, but is uncreated and imperishable.
And hence it is not possible that we should set
up man to be of the nature of God:----man, to
whom at times when he looks for joy, there comes
trouble, and when he looks for laughter there comes
to him weeping,----who is wrathful and covetous and
envious, with other defects as well. And he is destroyed
in many ways by the elements and also by the

And hence, O King, we are bound to recognize the
error of the Barbarians, that thereby, since they did
not find traces of the true God, they fell aside from
the truth, and went after the desire of their imagination,
serving the perishable elements and lifeless
images, and through their error not apprehending
what the true God is.

VIII.  Let us proceed then to the
Greeks, that we may see whether
they have any discernment concerning
God. The Greeks, indeed,
though they call themselves wise
proved more deluded than the Chaldaeans
in alleging that many gods
have come into being, some of them
male, some female, practised masters
in every passion and every variety of
folly. [And the Greeks themselves
represented them to be adulterers and
murderers, wrathful and envious
and passionate, slayers of fathers
and brothers, thieves and robbers,
crippled and limping, workers in
magic, and victims of frenzy. Some
of them died (as their account goes),
and some were struck by thunderbolts,
and became slaves to men, and were
fugitives, and they mourned and
lamented, and changed themselves
into animals for wicked and
shameful ends.]

Wherefore, O King, they are ridiculous
and absurd and impious tales that
the Greeks have introduced, giving
the name of gods to those who
are not gods, to suit their unholy
desires, in order that, having
them as patrons of vice, they might
commit adultery and robbery and
do murder and other shocking deeds.
For if their gods did such deeds why
should not they also do them?

So that from these misguided
practices it has been the lot of
mankind to have frequent wars and
slaughters and bitter captivities.

VIII.  Let us turn further to the Greeks also, that
we may know what opinion they hold as to the true
God. The Greeks, then, because they are more subtle
than the Barbarians, have gone further astray than
the Barbarians; inasmuch as they have introduced
many fictitious gods, and have set up some of them
as males and some as females; and in that some of
their gods were found who were adulterers, and did
murder, and were deluded, and envious, and wrathful
and passionate, and parricides, and thieves, and
robbers. And some of them, they say, were crippled
and limped, and some were sorcerers, and some actually
went mad, and some played on lyres, and some
were given to roaming on the hills, and some even
died, and some were struck dead by lightning, and
some were made servants even to men, and some
escaped by flight, and some were kidnapped by men,
and some, indeed, were lamented and deplored by
men. And some, they say, went down to Sheol,
and some were grievously wounded, and some transformed
themselves into the likeness of animals to
seduce the race of mortal women, and some polluted
themselves 12 by lying with males. And some, they
say, were wedded to their mothers and their sisters
and their daughters. And they say of their gods
that they committed adultery with the daughters of
men; and of these there was born a certain race
which also was mortal. And they say that some of
the females disputed about beauty, and appeared
before men for judgment. Thus, O King, have the
Greeks put forward foulness, and absurdity, and
folly about their gods and about themselves, in that
they have called those that are of such a nature
gods, who are no gods. And hence mankind have
received incitements to commit adultery and fornication,
and to steal and to practise all that is offensive
and hated and abhorred. For if they who are called
their gods practised all these things which are written
above, how much more should men practise
them----men, who believe that their gods themselves
practised them. And owing to the foulness of this
error there have happened to mankind harassing
wars, and great famines, and bitter captivity, and
complete desolation. And lo! it was by reason of
this alone that they suffered and that all these things
came upon them; and while they endured those
things they did not perceive in their mind that for
their error those things came upon them.

IX.  But, further, if we be minded
to discuss their gods individually,
you will see how great is the absurdity;
for instance, how Kronos is
brought forward by them as a god
above all, and they sacrifice their
own children to him. And he had
many sons by Rhea, and in his madness
devoured his own offspring. And
they say that Zeus cut off his
members and cast them into the sea,
whence Aphrodite is said in fable

to be engendered. Zeus, then, having
bound his own father, cast him
into Tartaros. You see the error
and brutality which they advance
against their god? Is it possible,
then, that a god should be manacled
and mutilated? What absurdity!
Who with any wit would ever say so?
Next Zeus is introduced, and they
say that he was king of their gods,

and that he changed himself into
animals that he might debauch mortal

For they allege that he transformed
himself into a bull for Europe,
and into gold for Danae, and
into a swan for Leda, and into a
satyr for Antiope, and into a thunderbolt
for Semele. Then by these there
were many children, Dionysos
and Zethus and Amphion and
Herakles and Apollo and Artemis and
Perseus, Kastor and Helenes and
Polydeukes and Minos and Rhadamanthys
and Sarpedon, and the nine
daughters whom they called the
Muses. Then too they bring forward
statements about the matter of

Hence it happened, O King, to
mankind to imitate all these things
and to become adulterous men and
lascivious women, and to be workers
of other terrible iniquities, through
the imitation of their god. Now
how is it possible that a god should
be an adulterer or an obscene person
or a parricide?

IX.  Let us proceed further to their account of
their gods that we may carefully demonstrate all that
is said above. First of all, the Greeks bring forward
as a god Kronos, that is to say Chiun 13 (Saturn).
And his worshippers sacrifice their children to him,
and they burn some of them alive in his honour.
And they say that he took to him among his wives
Rhea, and begat many children by her. By her too
he begat Dios, who is called Zeus. And at length he
(Kronos) went mad, and through fear of an oracle
that had been made known to him, he began to devour
his sons. And from him Zeus was stolen away
without his knowledge; and at length Zeus bound
him, and mutilated the signs of his manhood, and
flung them into the sea. And hence, as they say in
fable, there was engendered Aphrodite, who is called
Astarte. And he (Zeus) cast out Kronos fettered
into darkness. Great then is the error and ignominy
which the Greeks have brought forward about the
first of their gods, in that they have said all this
about him, O King. It is impossible that a god
should be bound or mutilated; and if it be otherwise,
he is indeed miserable.

And after Kronos they bring forward another god
Zeus. And they say of him that he assumed the
sovereignty, and was king over all the gods. And
they say that he changed himself into a beast and
other shapes in order to seduce mortal women, and to
raise up by them children for himself. Once, they
say, he changed himself into a bull through love of
Europe and Pasiphae.14 And again he changed himself
into the likeness of gold through love of Danae,
and to a swan through love of Leda, and to a man
through love of Antiope, and to lightning through
love of Luna,15 and so by these he begat many children.
For by Antiope, they say, that he begat Zethus
and Amphion, and by Luna Dionysos, by Alcmena
Hercules, and by Leto, Apollo and Artemis, and
by Danae, Perseus, and by Leda, Castor and Polydeuces,
and Helene and Paludus,16 and by Mnemosyne
he begat nine daughters whom they styled the Muses,
and by Europe, Minos and Rhadamanthos and Sarpedon.
And lastly he changed himself into the likeness
of an eagle through his passion for Ganydemos
(Ganymede) the shepherd.

By reason of these tales, O King, much evil has
arisen among men, who to this day are imitators of
their gods, and practise adultery and defile them-
selves with their mothers and their sisters, and by
lying with males, and some make bold to slay even
their parents. For if he who, is said to be the chief
and king of their gods do these things how much
more should his worshippers imitate him? And
great is the folly which the Greeks have brought
forward in their narrative concerning him. For it is
impossible that a god should practise adultery or
fornication or come near to lie with males, or kill his
parents; and if it be otherwise, he is much worse
than a destructive demon.

X.  Along with him, too, they
bring forward one Hephaistos as a
god, and they say that he is lame
and wields a hammer and tongs,
working as a smith for his living.

Is he then badly off? But it cannot
be admitted that a god should be
a cripple, and besides be dependent
on mankind.

Then they bring forward Hermes
as a god, representing him to be lustful,
and a thief, and covetous, and a
magician (and maimed) and an interpreter
of language. But it cannot
be admitted that such an one is a

They also bring forward Asklepios
as a god who is a doctor and prepares
drugs and compounds plasters
for the sake of a living. For he was
badly off. And afterwards he was
struck, they say, with a thunderbolt
by Zeus on account of Tyndareos,
son of Lacedaimon; and so was
killed. Now if Asklepios in spite
of his divinity could not help himself
when struck by lightning, how
will he come to the rescue of others?

Again Ares is represented as a
god, fond of strife and given to
jealousy, and a lover of animals and
other such things. And at last while
corrupting Aphrodite, he was bound
by the youthful Eros and by Hephaistos.
How then was he a god who
was subject to desire, and a warrior,
and a prisoner and an adulterer?

They allege that Dionysos also is
a god who holds nightly revels and
teaches drunkenness, and carries off
the neighbours' wives, and goes
mad and takes to flight. And at
last he was put to death by the
Titans. If then Dionysos could not
save himself when he was being
killed, and besides used to be mad,
and drunk with wine, and a fugitive,
how should he be a god?

They allege also that Herakles got
drunk and went mad and cut the
throats of his own children, then he
was consumed by fire and so died.
Now how should he be a god, who
was drunk and a slayer of children
and burned to death? or how will
he come to the help of others, when
he was unable to help himself?

X.  Again they bring forward as another god
Hephaistos. And they say of him, that he is lame,
and a cap is set on his head, and he holds in his
hands firetongs and a hammer; and he follows the
craft of iron working, that thereby he may procure
the necessaries of his livelihood. Is then this god so
very needy? But it cannot be that a god should be
needy or lame, else he is very worthless.

And further they bring in another god and call
him Hermes. And they say that he is a thief,17 a
lover of avarice, and greedy for gain, and a magician
and mutilated and an athlete, and an interpreter of
language. But it is impossible that a god should be
a magician or avaricious, or maimed, or craving for
what is not his, or an athlete. And if it be otherwise,
he is found to be useless.

And after him they bring forward as another god
Asklepios. And they say that he is a physician and
prepares drugs and plaster that he may supply the
necessaries of his livelihood. Is then this god in
want? And at length he was struck with lightning
by Dios on account of Tyndareos of Lacedaemon, and
so he died. If then Asklepios were a god, and, when
he was struck with lightning, was unable to help himself,
how should he be able to give help to others?
But that a divine nature should be in want or be
destroyed by lightning is impossible.

And again they bring forward another as a god,
and they call him Ares. And they say that he is a
warrior, and jealous, and covets sheep and things
which are not his. And he makes gain by his arms.
And they say that at length he committed adultery
with Aphrodite, and was caught by the little boy
Eros and by Hephaistos the husband of Aphrodite.
But it is impossible that a god should be a warrior or
bound or an adulterer.

And again they say of Dionysos that he forsooth!
is a god, who arranges carousals by night, and teaches
drunkenness, and carries off women who do not
belong to him. And at length, they say, he went mad
and dismissed his handmaidens and fled into the
desert; and during his madness he ate serpents.
And at last he was killed by Titanos. If then
Dionysos were a god, and when he was being killed
was unable to help himself, how is it possible that he
should help others?

Herakles next they bring forward and say that he
is a god, who hates detestable things, a tyrant,18
and warrior and a destroyer of plagues. And of him
also they say that at length he became mad and killed
his own children, and cast himself into a fire and
died. If then Herakles is a god, and in all these
calamities was unable to rescue himself, how should
others ask help from him? But it is impossible
that a god should be mad, or drunken or a slayer of
his children, or consumed by fire.

XI.  They represent Apollo also as
a jealous god, and besides as the
master of the bow and quiver, and
sometimes of the lyre and flute, and as
divining to men for pay? Can he
then be very badly off? But it
cannot be admitted that a god should
be in want, and jealous, and a
harping minstrel.

They represent Artemis also as his
sister, who is a huntress and has a
bow with a quiver; and she roams
alone upon the hills with the dogs
to hunt the stag or the wild boar.
How then should such a woman,
who hunts and roams with her dogs,
be a divine being?

Even Aphrodite herself they affirm
to be a goddess who is adulterous.
For at one time she had Ares
as a paramour, and at another time
Anchises and again Adonis, whose
death she also laments, feeling the
want of her lover. And they say
that she even went down to Hades
to purchase back Adonis from
Persephone. Did you ever see, O King,
greater folly than this, to bring forward
as a goddess one who is adulterous
and given to weeping and

And they represent that Adonis
is a hunter god, who came to a
violent end, being wounded by a wild
boar and having no power to help
himself in his distress. How then
will one who is adulterous and a
hunter and mortal give himself any
concern for mankind?

All this and much more of a like
nature, and even far more disgraceful
and offensive details, have the
Greeks narrated, O King, concerning
their gods;----details which it is
not proper either to state or for a
moment to remember. And hence
mankind, taking an impulse from
their gods, practised all lawlessness
and brutality and impiety, polluting
both earth and air by their awful

XI.  And after him they bring forward another
god and call him Apollon. And they say that he is
jealous and inconstant, and at times he holds the
bow and quiver, and again the lyre and plectron.
And he utters oracles for men that he may receive
rewards from them. Is then this god in need of
rewards? But it is an insult that all these things
should be found with a god.

And after him they bring forward as a goddess
Artemis, the sister of Apollo; and they say that she
was a huntress and that she herself used to carry a
bow and bolts, and to roam about upon the mountains,
leading the hounds to hunt stags or wild boars
of the field. But it is disgraceful that a virgin maid
should roam alone upon the hills or hunt in the
chase for animals. Wherefore it is impossible that
Artemis should be a goddess.

Again they say of Aphrodite that she indeed is a
goddess. And at times she dwells with their gods,
but at other times she is a neighbour to men. And
once she had Ares as a lover, and again Adonis who
is Tammuz. Once also, Aphrodite was wailing and
weeping for the death of Tammuz, and they say that
she went down to Sheol that she might redeem
Adonis from Persephone, who is the daughter of
Sheol (Hades). If then Aphrodite is a goddess and
was unable to help her lover at his death, how will
she find it possible to help others? And this cannot
be listened to, that a divine nature should come to
weeping and wailing and adultery.

And again they say of Tammuz that he is a god.
And he is, forsooth! a hunter and an adulterer. And
they say that he was killed by a wound from a wild
boar, without being able to help himself. And if he
could not help himself, how can he take thought for
the human race? But that a god should be an adulterer
or a hunter or should die by violence is

Again they say of Rhea that she is the mother of
their gods. And they say that she had once a lover
Atys, and that she used to delight in depraved men.
And at last she raised a lamentation and mourned
for Atys her lover. If then the mother of their gods
was unable to help her lover and deliver him from
death, how can she help others? So it is disgraceful
that a goddess should lament and weep and take
delight in depraved men.

Again they introduce Kore and say that she is a
goddess, and she was stolen away by Pluto, and could
not help herself. If then she is a goddess and was
unable to help herself how will she find means to
help others? For a god who is stolen away is very

All this, then, O King, have the Greeks brought
forward concerning their gods, and they have invented
and declared it concerning them. And hence
all men received an impulse to work all profanity and
all defilements; and hereby the whole earth was corrupted.

XII. The Egyptians, again, being
more stupid and witless than these
have gone further astray than all the
nations. For they were not content
with the objects of worship of the
Chaldaeans and the Greeks, but in
addition to these brought forward
also brute creatures as gods, both
land and water animals, and plants
and herbs; and they were defiled
with all madness and brutality more
deeply than all the nations on the

For originally they worshipped
Isis, who had Osiris as brother and
husband. He was slain by his own
brother Typhon; and therefore Isis
with Horos her son fled for refuge to
Byblus in Syria, mourning for Osiris
with bitter lamentation, until Horos
grew up and slew Typhon. So that
neither had Isis power to help her
own brother and husband; nor could
Osiris defend himself when he was
being slain by Typhon; nor did Typhon,
the slayer of his brother, when
he was perishing at the hands of
Horos and Isis, find means to rescue
himself from death. And though
they were revealed in their true
character by such mishaps, they

were believed to be very gods by the
simple Egyptians, who were not satisfied
even with these or the other
deities of the nations, but brought
forward also brute creatures as gods.
For some of them worshipped the
sheep, and some the goat; another
tribe (worshipped) the bull and the
pig; others again, the raven and the
hawk, and the vulture and the eagle;
and others the crocodile; and some
the cat and the dog, and the wolf and
the ape, and the dragon and the asp;
and others the onion and the garlic
and thorns and other created things.
And the poor creatures do not perceive
about all these that they are
utterly helpless. For though they
see their gods eaten by men of other
tribes, and burnt as offerings and
slain as victims and mouldering in
decay, they have not perceived that
they are not gods.

XII. The Egyptians, moreover, because they are
more base and stupid than every people that is on the
earth, have themselves erred more than all. For the
deities (or religion) of the Barbarians and the Greeks
did not suffice for them, but they introduced some
also of the nature of the animals, and said thereof
that they were gods, and likewise of creeping things
which are found on the dry land and in the waters.
And of plants and herbs they said that some of them
were gods. And they were corrupted by every kind
of delusion and defilement more than every people

that is on the earth. For from ancient times they
worshipped Isis, and they say that she is a goddess
whose husband was Osiris her brother. And when
Osiris was killed by Typhon his brother, Isis fled with
Horos her son to Byblus in Syria, and was there for a
certain time till her son was grown. And he contended
with Typhon his uncle, and killed him. And
then Isis returned and went about with Horos her son
and sought for the dead body of Osiris her lord,
bitterly lamenting his death. If then Isis be a goddess,
and could not help Osiris her brother and lord, how
can she help another? But it is impossible that a
divine nature should be afraid, and flee for safety, or
should weep and wail; or else it is very miserable.

And of Osiris also they say that he is a serviceable
god. And he was killed by Typhon and was unable
to help himself. But it is well known that this
cannot be asserted of divinity. And further, they say
of his brother Typhon that he is a god, who killed his
brother and was killed by his brother's son and by his
bride, being unable to help himself. And how, pray,
is he a god who does not save himself?

As the Egyptians, then, were more stupid than the
rest of the nations, these and such like gods did not
suffice for them. Nay, but they even apply the name
of gods to animals in which there is no soul at all.
For some of them worship the sheep and others the
calf; and some the pig and others the shad fish; and
some the crocodile and the hawk and the fish and the
ibis and the vulture and the eagle and the raven.
Some of them worship the cat, and others the turbot-
fish, some the dog, some the adder, and some the asp,
and others the lion; and others the garlic and onions
and thorns, and others the tiger and other such

things. And the poor creatures do not see that all
these things are nothing, although they daily witness

their gods being eaten and consumed by men and also
by their fellows; while some of them are cremated,
and some die and decay and become dust, without
their observing that they perish in many ways. So
the Egyptians have not observed that such things
which are not equal to their own deliverance, are not
gods. And if, forsooth, they are weak in the case of
their own deliverance, whence have they power to
help in the case of deliverance of their worshippers?
Great then is the error into which the Egyptians
wandered;----greater, indeed, than that of any people
which is upon the face of the earth.

XIII.  So the Egyptians and the
Chaldaeans and the Greeks made a
great error in bringing forward such
beings as gods, and in making images
of them, and in deifying dumb and
senseless idols.

And I wonder how they saw their
gods sawn out and hacked and
docked by the workmen, and besides
aging with time and falling to
pieces, and being cast from metal,
and yet did not discern concerning
them that they were not gods.

For when they have no power to
see to their own safety, how will they
take forethought for men?

But further, the poets and philosophers,
alike of the Chaldaeans and
the Greeks and the Egyptians, while
they desired by their poems and
writings to magnify the gods of their
countries, rather revealed their
shame, and laid it bare before all

men. For if the body of man while
consisting of many parts does not cast
off any of its own members, but
preserving an unbroken unity in all its
members, is harmonious with itself,
how shall variance and discord be
so great in the nature of God?

For if there had been a unity of
nature among the gods, then one
god ought not to have pursued or
slain or injured another. And if
the gods were pursued by gods, and
slain, and kidnapped and struck
with lightning by them, then there is
no longer any unity of nature, but
divided counsels, all mischievous.
So that not one of them is a god.
It is clear then, O King, that all
their discourse on the nature of the
gods is an error.

But how did the wise and erudite
men of the Greeks not observe that
inasmuch as they make laws for
themselves they are judged by their
own laws? For if the laws are
righteous, their gods are altogether
unrighteous, as they have committed
transgressions of laws, in slaying
one another, and practising sorceries,
and adultery and thefts and
intercourse with males. If they
were right in doing these things,
then the laws are unrighteous, being
framed contrary to the gods. Whereas
in fact, the laws are good and
just, commending what is good and
forbidding what is bad. But the
deeds of their gods are contrary to
law. Their gods, therefore, are
lawbreakers, and all liable to the
punishment of death; and they are
impious men who introduce such
gods. For if the stories about them
be mythical, the gods are nothing
more than mere names; and if the
stories be founded on nature, still
they who did and suffered these
things are no longer gods; and if
the stories be allegorical, they are
myths and nothing more.

It has been shown then, O King,
that all these polytheistic objects of
worship are the works of error and
perdition. For it is not right to give
the name of gods to beings which
may be seen but cannot see; but one
ought to reverence the invisible and
all-seeing and all-creating God.

XIII.  But it is a marvel, O King, with regard to
the Greeks, who surpass all other peoples in their
manner of life and reasoning, how they have gone astray
after dead idols and lifeless images. And yet they see
their gods in the hands of their artificers being sawn
out, and planed and docked, and hacked short, and
charred, and ornamented, and being altered by them
in every kind of way. And when they grow old, and
are worn away through lapse of time, and when they
are molten and crushed to powder, how, I wonder,
did they not perceive concerning them, that they are
not gods? And as for those who did not find deliverance
for themselves, how can they serve the distress of men?

But even the writers and philosophers among them
have wrongly alleged that the gods are such as are
made in honour of God Almighty. And they err in
seeking to liken (them) to God whom man has not at
any time seen nor can see unto what He is like.
Herein, too (they err) in asserting of deity that any
such thing as deficiency can be present to it; as when
they say that He receives sacrifice and requires burnt-
offering and libation and immolations of men, and
temples. But God is not in need, and none of these
things is necessary to Him; and it is clear that men
err in these things they imagine.

Further their writers and their philosophers represent
and declare that the nature of all their gods
is one. And they have not apprehended God our
Lord who while He is one, is in all. They err
therefore. For if the body of a man while it is many
in its parts is not in dread, one member of another,
but, since it is a united body, wholly agrees with
itself; even so also God is one in His nature. A
single essence is proper to Him, since He is uniform
in His nature and His essence; and He is not afraid

of Himself. If then the nature of the gods is one,
it is not proper that a god should either pursue or slay
or harm a god. If, then, gods be pursued and wounded
by gods, and some be kidnapped and some struck
dead by lightning, it is obvious that the nature of
their gods is not one. And hence it is known, O
King, that it is a mistake when they reckon and
bring the natures of their gods under a single
nature. If then it becomes us to admire a god
which is seen and does not see, how much more
praiseworthy is it that one should believe in a nature
which is invisible and all-seeing? And if further it
is fitting that one should approve the handiworks of
a craftsman, how much more is it fitting that one
should glorify the Creator of the craftsman?

For behold! when the Greeks made laws they did
not perceive that by their laws they condemn their
gods. For if their laws are righteous, their gods
are unrighteous, since they transgressed the law in
killing one another, and practising sorcery, and
committing adultery, and in robbing and stealing,
and in lying with males, and by their other practises
as well. For if their gods were right in doing
all these things as they are described, then the laws
of the Greeks are unrighteous in not being made
according to the will of their gods. And in that case
the whole world is gone astray.

For the narratives about their gods are some of
them myths, and some of them nature-poems (lit:
natural----fusikai/), and some of them hymns and
elegies. The hymns indeed and elegies are empty
words and noise. But these nature-poems, even if
they be made as they say, still those are not gods who
do such things and suffer and endure such things.
And those myths are shallow tales with no depth
whatever in them.

XIV.  Let us proceed then, O King,
to the Jews also, that we may see
what truth there is in their view of
God. For they were descendants of
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and
migrated to Egypt. And thence God
brought them forth with a mighty
hand and an uplifted arm through
Moses, their lawgiver; and by many
wonders and signs He made known
His power to them. But even they
proved stubborn and ungrateful, and
often served the idols of the nations,
and put to death the prophets and
just men who were sent to them.
Then when the Son of God was
pleased to come upon the earth, they
received him with wanton violence
and betrayed him into the hands of
Pilate the Roman governor; and
paying no respect to his good deeds
and the countless miracles he
wrought among them, they demanded
a sentence of death by the cross.
And they perished by their own
transgression; for to this day they
worship the one God Almighty, but
not according to knowledge. For
they deny that Christ is the Son of
God; and they are much like to the
heathen, even although they may
seem to make some approach to the
truth from which they have removed
themselves. So much for the Jews.

XIV.  Let us come now, O King, to the history of
the Jews also, and see what opinion they have as to
God. The Jews then say that God is one, the
Creator of all, and omnipotent; and that it is not
right that any other should be worshipped except this
God alone. And herein they appear to approach the
truth more than all the nations, especially in that
they worship God and not His works. And they
imitate God by the philanthropy which prevails
among them; for they have compassion on the poor,
and they release the captives, and bury the dead, and
do such things as these, which are acceptable before
God and well-pleasing also to men,----which (customs)
they have received from their forefathers.

Nevertheless they too erred from true knowledge.
And in their imagination they conceive that it is God
they serve; whereas by their mode of observance it is
to the angels and not to God that their service is
rendered:----as when they celebrate sabbaths and the
beginning of the months, and feasts of unleavened
bread, and a great fast; and fasting and circumcision
and the purification of meats, which things, however,
they do not observe perfectly.

XV.  Now the Christians19 trace
their origin from the Lord Jesus
Christ. And He is acknowledged by
the Holy Spirit to be the son of the
most high God, who came down
from heaven for the salvation of
men. And being born of a pure
virgin, unbegotten and immaculate,
He assumed flesh and revealed himself
among men that He might recall
them to Himself from their wandering
after many gods. And having accomplished
His wonderful dispensation,
by a voluntary choice He tasted
death on the cross, fulfilling an
august dispensation. And after
three days He came to life again and
ascended into heaven. And if you
would read, O King, you may judge
the glory of His presence from the
holy gospel writing, as it is called
among themselves. He had twelve
disciples, who after His ascension to
heaven went forth into the provinces
of the whole world, and declared His
greatness. As for instance, one of
them traversed the countries about
us, proclaiming the doctrine of the
truth. From this it is, that they
who still observe the righteousness
enjoined by their preaching are
called Christians.

And these are they who more than
all the nations on the earth have
found the truth. For they know
God, the Creator and Fashioner of
all things through the only-begotten
Son and the Holy Spirit21; and beside
Him they worship no other God.
They have the commands of the
Lord Jesus Christ Himself graven
upon their hearts; and they observe
them, looking forward to the resurrection
of the dead and life in the world
to come. They do not commit
adultery nor fornication, nor
bear false witness, nor covet the
things of others; they honour father
and mother, and love their neighbours;
they judge justly, and they
never do to others what they would
not wish to happen to themselves;
they appeal to those who injure
them, and try to win them as friends;
they are eager to do good to their
enemies; they are gentle and easy
to be entreated; they abstain from
all unlawful conversation and from
all impurity; they despise not the
widow, nor oppress the orphan; and
he that has, gives ungrudgingly for
the maintenance of him who has

If they see a stranger, they take
him under their roof, and rejoice
over him as over a very brother; for
they call themselves brethren not
after the flesh but after the spirit.

And they are ready to sacrifice
their lives for the sake of Christ; for
they observe His commands without
swerving, and live holy and just
lives, as the Lord God enjoined upon

And they give thanks unto Him
every hour, for all meat and drink
and other blessings.

XV.  But the Christians, O King, while they went
about and made search,20 have found the truth; and
as we learned from their writings, they have come
nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest
of the nations. For they know and trust in God, the
Creator of heaven and of earth, in whom and from
whom are all things, to whom there is no other god
as companion, from whom they received commandments
which they engraved upon their minds and
observe in hope and expectation of the world which is
to come. Wherefore they do not commit adultery nor
fornication, nor bear false witness, nor embezzle what
is held in pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. They
honour father and mother, and show kindness to
those near to them; and whenever they are judges,
they judge uprightly. They do not worship idols
(made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they
would not that others should do unto them, they do
not to others; and of the food which is consecrated
to idols they do not eat, for they are pure. And their
oppressors they appease (lit: comfort) and make
them their friends; they do good to their enemies;
and their women, O King, are pure as virgins, and
their daughters are modest; and their men keep
themselves from every unlawful union and from all
nncleanness, in the hope of a recompense to come in
the other world. Further, if one or other of them
have bondmen and bondwomen or children, through
love towards them they persuade them to become
Christians, and when they have done so, they call
them brethren without distinction. They do not
worship strange gods, and they go their way in all
modesty and cheerfulness. Falsehood is not found
among them; and they love one another, and from
widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they
deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly.
And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without

boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take
him in to their homes and. rejoice over him as a very
brother; for they do not call them brethren after the
flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And
whenever one of their poor passes from the world,
each one of them according to his ability gives heed
to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they
hear that one of their number is imprisoned or
afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of
them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it
is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if
there is among them any that is poor and needy, and
if they have no spare food, they fast two or three
days in order to supply to the needy their lack of
food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah
with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord
their God commanded them. Every morning22 and
every hour they give thanks and praise to God for
His loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food
and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him.
And if any righteous man among them passes from
the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and
they escort his body as if he were setting out from
one place to another near. And when a child has
been born to one of them, they give thanks to God;
and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they
give thanks to God the more, as for one who has
passed through the world without sins. And further
if they see that any one of them dies in his ungodliness
or in his sins, for him they grieve bitterly, and
sorrow as for one who goes to meet his doom.

XVI.  Such, O King, is the commandment of the
law of the Christians, and such is their manner of
life. As men who know God, they ask from Him
petitions which are fitting for Him to grant and for
them to receive. And thus they employ their whole
lifetime. And since they know the loving-kindnesses
of God toward them, behold! for their sake the glorious
things which are in the world flow forth to view.
And verily, they are those who found the truth when
they went about and made search for it; and from
what we considered, we learned that they alone come
near to a knowledge of the truth. And they do
not proclaim in the ears of the multitude the kind
deeds they do, but are careful that no one should
notice them; and they conceal their giving just as
he who finds a treasure and conceals it. And they
strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold
their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great
glory the promises made concerning them. And as
for their words and their precepts, O King, and their
glorying in their worship, and the hope of earning
according to the work of each one of them their
recompense which they look for in another world,----
you may learn about these from their writings. It
is enough for us to have shortly informed your
Majesty concerning the conduct and the truth of
the Christians. For great indeed, and wonderful is
their doctrine to him who will search into it and
reflect upon it. And verily, this is a new people, and
there is something divine (lit: a divine admixture)
in the midst of them.

XVI.  Verily then, this is the way
of the truth which leads those who
travel therein to the everlasting
kingdom promised through Christ
in the life to come. And that you
may know, O King, that in saying
these things I do not speak at my
own instance, if you deign to look
into the writings of the Christians,
you will find that I state nothing
beyond the truth. Rightly then,
did thy son23 apprehend, and
justly was he taught to serve the
living God and to be saved for the
age that is destined to come upon
us. For great and wonderful are
the sayings and deeds of the Christians;
for they speak not the words
of men but those of God. But the
rest of the nations go astray and
deceive themselves; for they walk
in darkness and bruise themselves
like drunken men.

Take, then, their writings, and read therein,
and lo! you will find that I have not put forth these
things on my own authority, nor spoken thus as
their advocate; but since I read in their writings I
was fully assured of these things as also of things
which are to come. And for this reason I was constrained
to declare the truth to such as care for it

and seek the world to come. And to me there is
no doubt but that the earth abides through the
supplication of the Christians. But the rest of the
nations err and cause error in wallowing before the
elements of the world, since beyond these their mental
vision will not pass. And they search about as if in
darkness because they will not recognize the truth;
and like drunken men they reel and jostle one
another and fall.


XVII.  Thus far, O King, extends
my discourse to you, which has been
dictated in my mind by the Truth.25
Wherefore let thy foolish sages
cease their idle talk against the
Lord; for it is profitable for you to
worship God the Creator, and to give
ear to His incorruptible words, that
ye may escape from condemnation
and punishment, and be found to be
heirs of life everlasting.

XVII.  Thus far, O King, I have spoken; for concerning
that which remains, as is said above,24 there are
found in their other writings things which are hard
to utter and difficult for one to narrate,----which
are not only spoken in words but also wrought out in

Now the Greeks, O King, as they follow base
practises in intercourse with males, and a mother and a
sister and a daughter, impute their monstrous
impurity in turn to the Christians. But the Christians
are just and good, and the truth is set before their
eyes, and their spirit is long-suffering; and, therefore,
though they know the error of these (the Greeks),
and are persecuted by them, they bear and endure
it; and for the most part they have compassion
on them, as men who are destitute of knowledge.
And on their side, they offer prayer that these
may repent of their error; and when it happens
that one of them has repented, he is ashamed
before the Christians of the works which were done
by him; and he makes confession to God, saying,
I did these things in ignorance. And he purifies his
heart, and his sins are forgiven him, because he
committed them in ignorance in the former time, when
he used to blaspheme and speak evil of the true
knowledge of the Christians. And assuredly the
race of the Christians is more blessed than all the
men who are upon the face of the earth.

Henceforth let the tongues of those who utter
vanity and harass the Christians be silent; and
hereafter let them speak the truth. For it is of serious
consequence to them that they should worship the
true God rather than worship a senseless sound.
And verily whatever is spoken in the mouth of the
Christians is of God; and their doctrine is the
gateway of light. Wherefore let all who are without the
knowledge of God draw near thereto; and they will
receive incorruptible words, which are from all time
and from eternity. So shall they appear before the
awful judgment which through Jesus the Messiah is
destined to come upon the whole human race.

The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher is finished.

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1. 1 The superscription seems to be duplicate in the Syriac. It is absent from the Greek as we have it; the Armenian has " To the Emperor Caesar Hadrian trom Aristides." Various explanations are offered,

(a) Both emperors, as colleagues, may be meant. In support of this the Syriac adjectives for "venerable and merciful" are marked plural; the phrase "Your majesty" occurring later has a plural suffix; and two Imperatives, "Take and read," are plural. On the other hand "O King" occurs constantly in the singular; and the emperors were colleagues only for a few months in the year A.D. 138.

(b) The longer heading is the true one----the shorter being due perhaps to a scribe who had a collection of works to copy. In that case the word "Hadrian" has been selected from the full title of Antonine, and the two adjectives "venerable and merciful" are proper names, Augustus Pius. (Harris.)

(c) The shorter heading has the support of Eusebius and the Armenian version; and the translator into Syriac may have amplified.

[Syriac] Almighty is separated from the word for "God" by a pause, and is not an attribute which a Christian would care to apply to a Roman emperor. pantokra&twr may have been confounded with au)tokra&wr. Raabe supplies [Syriac] giving the sense "qui Imperium (poetatem) habet," as an epithet of Caesar. If ... [Syriac] ="Renewed, or dedicated again to. . . Antoninus Pius," could be read, both headings might be retained.

2. 1 The Greek might be rendered, "so far as there was room for me to speak of Him," i.e., the attributes of the Deity are not further relevant to the discussion----as the translator into Syriac takes it. The Armenian adopts the other meaning, viz., the theme is beyond man's power to discuss. As translated by F. C. Conybeare, the Armenian is in these words: "Now by the grace of God it was given me to speak wisely concerning Him. So far as I have received the faculty I will speak, yet not according to the measure of the inscrutability of His greatness shall I be able to do so, but by faith alone do I glorify and adore Him."

3. 2 The "King" in the Greek is Abenner, the father of Josaphat; in the Syriac, as in the Greek originally, he is the Roman Emperor. Hadrian.

4. 3 The Armenian and Syriac agree to giving four races, which was probably the original division. To a Greek, men were either Greeks or Barbarians: to a Greek Christian it would seem necessary to add two new peoples, Jews and Christians. The Greek calls the Barbarians "Chaldaeans." This change of classification is probably the cause of the omission in the Greek of the preliminary accounts of the four classes. The Greek blends the summaries with the fuller accounts.

5. 4 The Armenian adds, "For that which is subject to this distinction is moved by passions."

6. 1 Literally: "a certain dispensation of his." The Greek term oi0konomi/a, "dispensation," suggests to the translator into Syriac the idea of the Incarnation, familiar, as it seems, by his time. Professor Sachau reads the equivalent of qaumasth& instead of [Syriac] (tij). In the translation given [Syriac] is taken adverbially=aliquamdiu.

7. 2 This irrelevant sentence is found in the Armenian version also, and therefore was probably in the original Greek. It seems to be an obiter dictum. Men fall into four groups, and, by the way, so do the elements, air, fire, earth, and water; and the powers that govern them. One quaternion suggests others.

8. 3 Cf. Rom. i. 25 and Col. ii. 8.

9. 1 "I do not think it out of place here to mention Antinous of our day [a slave of the Emperor Hadrian], whom all, not-
withstanding they knew who and whence he was, yet affected to worship as a god."----Justin Martyr quoted in Eusebius Hist.
Bk. IV., c. 8.

10. 2 Or "and hence the world also gets its name ko&smoj." The Syriac is the equivalent of the Greek "dio_ kai\ ko&smoj kalei=tai,',
which occurs (Chap. IV.) in discussing the supposed divinity of the sky or heaven.

11. 1 The passage in brackets occurs earlier in "Barlaam and Josaphat," and is restored to its place by J. A. Robinson.

12. 2 Professor Nöldeke's emendation, [Syriac], in place of [Syriac] ="they were reviled," is adopted in the translation given.

13. 3 Cf. Amos v. 26, "Chiun, your star god," and Acts vii. 43.

14. 1 Pasiphae's unnatural passion for Taurus is not in the Greek mythology charged to Zeus.

15. 2 The visit of Zeus to Semele (not Selene) is evidently referred to. Selh&nh Luna would give the Syriac [Syriac]

16. 3 Professor Rendel Harris pronounces "Paludus" a vox nihili, and explains its presence as due to a corrupt repetition of the pre-
ceding Polydeuces. The Syriac word in the text suggests Pollux----the Latin equivalent of Polydeuces. Clytemnestra is the name re-

17. 4 Adopting Professor Harris's emendation [Syriac] = kle/pthj instead of [Syriac] =vir.

18. 1 Tyrant," [Syriac] seems out of place when connected with Herakles. Perhaps [Syriac] =ebrius, which occurs at the close of
the paragraph, should be read here. Cf. also the Greek.

19. 1 This, the "Christological" passage, occurs earlier in the Syriac. Chap. ii.

20. 2 The same two words are used of Isis. The Christians are unlike her in finding what they sought.

21. 1 The Armenian agrees with the Greek against the Syriac. "Una cum Spiritu Sancto " Arm.

22. 2 Cf. Pliny's letter to the Emperor Trajan, A.D. 112, " The Christians are wont to meet at dawn on an appointed day, and to sing a
hymn to Christ as God."

23. 1 The reference is to Josaphat, son of Abenner, who was taught to be a Christian by the monk Barlaam.

24. 1 The Christian Scriptures are previously referred to as a source of information, not as containing difficulties. cf 2 Peter iii. 16.

25. 2 Nachor, the fictitious monk who represented Barlaam, intended to make a weak defence of Christianity, but, according
to the story, he was constrained to speak what he had not intended. It is evidently the author's intention to make it an instance of
"suggestio verborum" or plenary inspiration, in the case of the fictitious monk.