Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity
Edited By Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke and Anders-Christian Jacobsen
Truth Begs No Favours - Martyr-Literature and Apologetics 177
Truth Begs No Favours1 - Martyr-Literature and Apologetics Jakob Engberg 1. Introduction - The Problem Governors of The Roman Empire, seated as you are before the eyes of all, in almost the highest position in the state to pro- nounce judgment: if you are not allowed to conduct an open and public examination and inquiry as to what the real truth is with regard to the Christians; if in this case your authority either fears or blushes to conduct a public investigation with the care demanded by justice; if finally, as happened lately in domestic trials, a reckless hatred of our school has blocked the way for a defence, then let the Truth reach your ears by the stealthy avenue of silent literature. 2 In the first Chapter of Tertullian's Apologeticum, the apologist thus claims that he has written his apology and addressed it to the gover- nors of the Roman Empire as a substitute for a speech for the defence in court. To my knowledge, no one would argue that Tertullian wrote his apology with this single purpose in mind and solely for such a limited audience of high ranking magistrates. The question of whom the apologists wrote their works for and why they wrote them is much more complicated.3 But assuming for a moment the addressing Allusion to Tert., apol. 1.2. 2 Tert., apol. 1.1. 3For well-argued views that most apologies proper were in fact written to and sent to the addressees (i.e. Roman emperors and magistrates), see...
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