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While working through the historical fiction novel Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, I noted with interest that Hadrian says a Christian bishop named Quadratus presented him a defense of the Christian faith, prompting him to learn about the founder of this “sect.” I wasn’t sure if that was fiction or fact, so I searched that most reliable of sources, Wikipedia, and found an entry for Saint Quadratus of Athens. The earlier Christian historian Eusebius wrote that he was a disciple of the original twelve apostles, and the Eastern Orthodox Church counts him among the original seventy apostles of Luke 10, which can’t be true since he gave his defence in 124 or 125. This defense is not extant, except for the following small passage:

1 After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Aelius Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man’s understanding and of his apostolic orthodox. 2 He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: “But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:-those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day.” Such then was Quadratus.

Fascinating. I love church history, especially that period right after the apostles. Imagine knowing someone whom Jesus raised from the dead!

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