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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:
TATIAN: Chapter XXXV. Tatian Speaks as an Eye-Witness.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXV.—Tatian Speaks as an Eye-Witness.

The things which I have thus set before you I have not learned at second hand. I have visited many lands; I have followed rhetoric, like yourselves; I have fallen in with many arts and inventions; and finally, when sojourning in the city of the Romans, I inspected the multiplicity of statues brought thither by you: for I do not attempt, as is the custom with many, to strengthen p. 80 my own views by the opinions of others, but I wish to give you a distinct account of what I myself have seen and felt. So, bidding farewell to the arrogance of Romans and the idle talk of Athenians, and all their ill-connected opinions, I embraced our barbaric philosophy. I began to show how this was more ancient than your institutions, 509 but left my task unfinished, in order to discuss a matter which demanded more immediate attention; but now it is time I should attempt to speak concerning its doctrines. Be not offended with our teaching, nor undertake an elaborate reply filled with trifling and ribaldry, saying, “Tatian, aspiring to be above the Greeks, above the infinite number of philosophic inquirers, has struck out a new path, and embraced the doctrines of Barbarians.” For what grievance is it, that men manifestly ignorant should be reasoned with by a man of like nature with themselves? Or how can it be irrational, according to your own sophist, 510 to grow old always learning something?



Chap. xxxi. [With what calm superiority he professes himself a barbarian! I honour the eye-witness who tells not only what he had seen, but what he felt amid such evidences of man’s degradation and impiety.]


Solon. Bergh., Poetæ Græc. Lyr., fr. 18. [The interest and biographical importance of this chapter must be apparent.]

Next: Chapter XXXVI. Testimony of the Chaldeans to the Antiquity of Moses.

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