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Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter XVI.--Justin the Philosopher preaches the Word of Christ in Rome and suffers Martyrdom.

1. About this time Justin, who was mentioned by us just above, after he had addressed a second work in behalf of our doctrines to the rulers already named, was crowned with divine martyrdom, in consequence of a plot laid against him by Crescens, a philosopher who emulated the life and manners of the Cynics, whose name he bore. After Justin had frequently refuted him in public discussions he won by his martyrdom the prize of victory, dying in behalf of the truth which he preached.

2. And he himself, a man most learned in the truth, in his Apology already referred to clearly predicts how this was about to happen to him, although it had not yet occurred.

3. His words are as follows: |I, too, therefore, expect to be plotted against and put in the stocks by some one of those whom I have named, or perhaps by Crescens, that unphilosophical and vainglorious man. For the man is not worthy to be called a philosopher who publicly bears witness against those concerning whom he knows nothing, declaring, for the sake of captivating and pleasing the multitude, that the Christians are atheistical and impious.

4. Doing this he errs greatly. For if he assails us without having read the teachings of Christ, he is thoroughly depraved, and is much worse than the illiterate, who often guard against discussing and bearing false witness about matters which they do not understand. And if he has read them and does not understand the majesty that is in them, or, understanding it, does these things in order that he may not be suspected of being an adherent, he is far more base and totally depraved, being enslaved to vulgar applause and irrational fear.

5. For I would have you know that when I proposed certain questions of the sort and asked him in regard to them, I learned and proved that he indeed knows nothing. And to show that I speak the truth I am ready, if these disputations have not been reported to you, to discuss the questions again in your presence. And this indeed would be an act worthy of an emperor.

6. But if my questions and his answers have been made known to you, it is obvious to you that he knows nothing about our affairs; or if he knows, but does not dare to speak because of those who hear him, he shows himself to be, as I have already said, not a philosopher, but a vainglorious man, who indeed does not even regard that most admirable saying of Socrates.| These are the words of Justin.

7. And that he met his death as he had predicted that he would, in consequence of the machinations of Crescens, is stated by Tatian, a man who early in life lectured upon the sciences of the Greeks and won no little fame in them, and who has left a great many monuments of himself in his writings. He records this fact in his work against the Greeks, where he writes as follows: |And that most admirable Justin declared with truth that the aforesaid persons were like robbers.|

8. Then, after making some remarks about the philosophers, he continues as follows: |Crescens, indeed, who made his nest in the great city, surpassed all in his unnatural lust, and was wholly devoted to the love of money.

9. And he who taught that death should be despised, was himself so greatly in fear of it that he endeavored to inflict death, as if it were a great evil, upon Justin, because the latter, when preaching the truth, had proved that the philosophers were gluttons and impostors.| And such was the cause of Justin's martyrdom.

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