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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter XII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XII.—The Apology of Justin addressed to Antoninus.

To the Emperor Titus Ælius Adrian Antoninus Pius Cæsar Augustus, 1098 and to Verissimus his son, 1099 the philosopher, and to Lucius the philosopher, 1100 own son of Cæsar and adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to the sacred senate and to the whole Roman people, I , Justin, son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, 1101 of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, Syria, present this address and petition in behalf of those men of every nation who are unjustly hated and persecuted, I myself being one of them.” And the same emperor having learned also from other brethren in Asia of the injuries of all kinds which they were suffering from the inhabitants of the province, thought it proper to address the following ordinance to the Common Assembly 1102 of Asia.



On the titles of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, see Otto’s notes in his edition of Justin’s works (Corpus Apol. Christianorum, Vol. I. p. 2. sq.).


That is, Marcus Aurelius, whose original name was Marcus Annius Verus, but who, after his adoption by the Emperor Antoninus Pius, was styled Marcus Ælius Aurelius Verus Cæsar. As a tribute to his sincerity and truthfulness, he was quite commonly called, instead of Verus, Verissimus.


The mss. are divided here between the forms φιλοσόφω and φιλοσόφου. If the former reading be followed, we must translate, “to Lucius, own son of Cæsar the philosopher.” The mss. are about equally divided, and the latter reading is adopted by Stephanus, Valesius, Stroth, and Burton. But our mss. of Justin support the former reading, which is adopted by Schwegler and Heinichen, and which, as the latter remarks, is far more natural than the other reading, for Justin had greater reason for giving the appellation of “philosopher” to a Cæsar who was still living, even though he may not have been noted for his philosophical tastes, than to a Cæsar who was already dead, and whose character certainly entitled him to the appellation no more than, if as much as, his son. See Heinichen’s note in loco, and Otto’s note in his edition of Justin’s works, Vol. I. p. 3. ff. The Lucius addressed here was Lucius Ceionius Commodus, whose father, bearing the same name, had been adopted as Cæsar by Hadrian. The younger Lucius was adopted as Cæsar along with Marcus by Antoninus Pius, and later became Marcus’ colleague in the empire, when he added to his own name the name Verus, which Marcus had formerly borne. He is therefore commonly known in history as Lucius Verus (see the respective articles in Smith’s Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog.).


Of Justin’s father and grandfather we know nothing except their names. On the place of his birth, see above, chap. 11, note 20.


This “Assembly of Asia” (τὸ κοινὸν τῆς ᾽Ασίας) was one of the regular provincial diets which Augustus had called into being as fixed institutions. It was an annual assembly of the civic deputies of the province, and served as a general organ of the province, especially in bringing the wishes of the people to the knowledge of the governor, and through him to the emperor, and decrees of the emperor were often addressed to it, and legates chosen by it were sent to the emperor whenever occasion required. See Marquardt, Röm. Staatsverwaltung, I. p. 366. sq.

Next: Chapter XIII