Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235 AD) was the most important 3rd-century theologian in the Christian Church in Rome, where he was probably born. Photios I of Constantinople describes him in his Bibliotheca as a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp, and from the context of this passage it is supposed that he suggested that Hippolytus so styled himself. However, this assertion is doubtful. He came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival Bishop of Rome. For that reason he is sometimes considered the first antipope. He opposed the Roman bishops who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts. However, he was very probably reconciled to the Church when he died as a martyr. The Refutation of All Heresies, also called the Elenchus or Philosophumena, is a compendious Christian polemical work of the early third century, now generally attributed to Hippolytus of Rome. It catalogues both pagan beliefs and 33 gnostic Christian systems deemed heretical, making it a major source of information on contemporary opponents of Catholic orthodoxy. Enjoy this classic work!
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Patristics & Patrology
The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is an example of Christian apologetics, writings defending Christianity from its accusers. The Greek writer and recipient are not otherwise known; estimates of dating based on the language and other textual evidence have ranged from AD130 (which would make it one of the earliest examples of apologetic literature), to [...]