« Aristeas Aristides, Marcianus Aristo of Pella »

Aristides, Marcianus

ARISTIDES, ar´´is-tɑi´dîz, MARCIANUS: An Athenian philosopher, who, according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., iv. 3), wrote a popular Christian apology. Little was known of the work till 1891, when Harris and Robinson published a complete Syriac version and proved at the same time that the greater part of the apology is contained in the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, extant in many Greek manuscripts and numerous translations. Since that time much attention has been paid to the work. It is addressed to Antoninus Pius and has points of contact with the Kerygma of Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and Justin, but more especially with the letter to Diognetus. After speaking of the true idea of God (chap. i.), it takes up the origin of the nations which followed error and those which followed the truth. The barbarians are treated in chapters iii.-vii., the errors of the Hellenes in viii.-xiii. with an excursus on the Egyptians (xii.), chapter xiv. is devoted to the Jews, and xv.-xvii. speak of the Christians, especially of their life and customs, in an attractive and instructive manner. Through the apology the name Aristides obtained a certain literary popularity among the Armenians. A homily “On the Call of the Thief and the Answer of the Crucified” (Luke xxiii. 42-43) and a fragment of a letter “To All Philosophers” are ascribed to him. Other names from old Christian literature besides that of Aristides were applied to literary frauds in Armenia from the fifth to the seventh century (cf. F. C. Conybeare, in The Guardian, July 18, 1894).

(A. Harnack.)

Bibliography: The Greek and Syriac texts (the latter from a manuscript of Mount Sinai), with introduction and translation, were published by J. R. Harris and J. A. Robinson in TS, i., Cambridge, 1891; there is a translation by D. M. Kay in ANF, ix. 259-279; the Armenian text was published by the Mechitarists at Venice in 1878. Consult Harnack, Litteratur, i. 96, 1893; J. R. Harris, The newly recovered Apology of Aristides, its Doctrine and Ethics, London, 1891; M. Picard, L’Apologie d’Aristide, Paris, 1892; R. Raabe, in TU., ix.,1892; P. Pape, in TU, xii., 1894; R. Seeberg, Der Apologet Aristides, Erlangen, 1894; J. A. Robinson, Apology of Aristides, Edinburgh, 1898; Krüger, History, where a bibliography of the principal contributions to periodical literature up to 1897 is given.

« Aristeas Aristides, Marcianus Aristo of Pella »
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