A Plea For the Christians

 Chapter I.—Injustice Shown Towards the Christians.

 Chapter II.—Claim to Be Treated as Others are When Accused.

 Chapter III.—Charges Brought Against the Christians.

 Chapter IV.—The Christians are Not Atheists, But Acknowledge One Only God.

 Chapter V.—Testimony of the Poets to the Unity of God.

 Chapter VI.—Opinions of the Philosophers as to the One God.

 Chapter VII.—Superiority of the Christian Doctrine Respecting God.

 Chapter VIII.—Absurdities of Polytheism.

 Chapter IX.—The Testimony of the Prophets.

 Chapter X.—The Christians Worship the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 Chapter XI.—The Moral Teaching of the Christians Repels the Charge Brought Against Them.

 Chapter XII.—Consequent Absurdity of the Charge of Atheism.

 Chapter XIII.—Why the Christians Do Not Offer Sacrifices.

 Chapter XIV.—Inconsistency of Those Who Accuse the Christians.

 Chapter XV.—The Christians Distinguish God from Matter.

 Chapter XVI.—The Christians Do Not Worship the Universe.

 Chapter XVII.—The Names of the Gods and Their Images are But of Recent Date.

 Chapter XVIII.—The Gods Themselves Have Been Created, as the Poets Confess.

 Chapter XIX.—The Philosophers Agree with the Poets Respecting the Gods.

 Chapter XX.—Absurd Representations of the Gods.

 Chapter XXI.—Impure Loves Ascribed to the Gods.

 Chapter XXII.—Pretended Symbolical Explanations.

 Chapter XXIII.—Opinions of Thales and Plato.

 Chapter XXIV.—Concerning the Angels and Giants.

 Chapter XXV.—The Poets and Philosophers Have Denied a Divine Providence.

 Chapter XXVI.—The Demons Allure Men to the Worship of Images.

 Chapter XXVII.—Artifices of the Demons.

 Chapter XXVIII.—The Heathen Gods Were Simply Men.

 Chapter XXIX.—Proof of the Same from the Poets.

 Chapter XXX.—Reasons Why Divinity Has Been Ascribed to Men.

 Chapter XXXI.—Confutation of the Other Charges Brought Against the Christians.

 Chapter XXXII.—Elevated Morality of the Christians.

 Chapter XXXIII.—Chastity of the Christians with Respect to Marriage.

 Chapter XXXIV.—The Vast Difference in Morals Between the Christians and Their Accusers.

 Chapter XXXV.—The Christians Condemn and Detest All Cruelty.

 Chapter XXXVI.—Bearing of the Doctrine of the Resurrection on the Practices of the Christians.

 Chapter XXXVII.—Entreaty to Be Fairly Judged.

Chapter XXVI.—The Demons Allure Men to the Worship of Images.

They who draw men to idols, then, are the aforesaid demons, who are eager for the blood of the sacrifices, and lick them; but the gods that please the multitude, and whose names are given to the images, were men, as may be learned from their history. And that it is the demons who act under their names, is proved by the nature of their operations. For some castrate, as Rhea; others wound and slaughter, as Artemis; the Tauric goddess puts all strangers to death. I pass over those who lacerate with knives and scourges of bones, and shall not attempt to describe all the kinds of demons; for it is not the part of a god to incite to things against nature.

“But when the demon plots against a man,

He first inflicts some hurt upon his mind.”98    From an unknown tragedian. [A passage which I cannot but apply to the lapse of Tatian.]

But God, being perfectly good, is eternally doing good. That, moreover, those who exert the power are not the same as those to whom the statues are erected, very strong evidence is afforded by Troas and Parium. The one has statues of Neryllinus, a man of our own times; and Parium of Alexander and Proteus: both the sepulchre and the statue of Alexander are still in the forum. The other statues of Neryllinus, then, are a public ornament, if indeed a city can be adorned by such objects as these; but one of them is supposed to utter oracles and to heal the sick, and on this account the people of the Troad offer sacrifices to this statue, and overlay it with gold, and hang chaplets upon it. But of the statues of Alexander and Proteus (the latter, you are aware, threw himself into the fire near Olympia), that of Proteus is likewise said to utter oracles; and to that of Alexander—

“Wretched Paris, though in form so fair,

Thou slave of woman”99    Hom., Il., iii. 39.

sacrifices are offered and festivals are held at the public cost, as to a god who can hear. Is it, then, Neryllinus, and Proteus, and Alexander who exert these energies in connection with the statues, or is it the nature of the matter itself? But the matter is brass. And what can brass do of itself, which may be made again into a different form, as Amasis treated the footpan,100    [see note to Theophilus, cap. x., supra, p. 92.] as told by Herodotus? And Neryllinus, and Proteus, and Alexander, what good are they to the sick? For what the image is said now to effect, it effected when Neryllinus was alive and sick.

Καὶ οἱ μὲν περὶ τὰ εἴδωλα αὐτοὺς ἕλκοντες οἱ δαίμονές εἰσιν οἱ προειρημένοι, οἱ προστετηκότες τῷ ἀπὸ τῶν ἱερείων αἵματι καὶ ταῦτα περιλιχμώμενοι· οἱ δὲ τοῖς πολλοῖς ἀρέσκοντες θεοὶ καὶ ταῖς εἰκόσιν ἐπονομαζόμενοι, ὡς ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς κατ' αὐτοὺς ἱστορίας εἰδέναι, ἄνθρωποι γεγόνασιν. καὶ τοὺς μὲν δαίμονας εἶναι τοὺς ἐπιβατεύοντας τοῖς ὀνόμασιν πίστις ἡ ἑκάστου αὐτῶν ἐνέργεια. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀποτέμνουσι τὰ αἰδοῖα, οἱ περὶ τὴν Ῥέαν, οἱ δὲ ἐγ κόπτουσιν ἢ ἐντέμνουσιν, οἱ περὶ τὴν Ἄρτεμιν. (καὶ ἡ μὲν ἐν Ταύροις φονεύει τοὺς ξένους.) ἐῶ γὰρ τοὺς ταῖς μαχαίραις καὶ τοῖς ἀστρα γάλοις αἰκιζομένους αὑτοὺς λέγειν ... καὶ ὅσα εἴδη δαιμόνων. οὐ γὰρ θεοῦ κινεῖν ἐπὶ τὰ παρὰ φύσιν· “ὅταν ὁ δαίμων ἀνδρὶ πορσύνῃ κακά, τὸν νοῦν ἔβλαψε πρῶτον”, ὁ δὲ θεὸς τελείως ἀγαθὸς ὢν ἀϊδίως ἀγαθοποιός ἐστιν. τοῦ τοίνυν ἄλλους μὲν εἶναι τοὺς ἐνεργοῦντας, ἐφ' ἑτέρων δὲ ἀνίστασθαι τὰς εἰκόνας, ἐκεῖνο μέγιστον τεκμήριον, Τρωὰς καὶ Πάριον· ἡ μὲν Νερυλλίνου εἰκόνας ἔχει–ὁ ἀνὴρ τῶν καθ' ἡμᾶς–τὸ δὲ Πάριον Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Πρωτέως· τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου ἔτι ἐπὶ τῆς ἀγορᾶς καὶ ὁ τάφος καὶ ἡ εἰκών. οἱ μὲν οὖν ἄλλοι ἀνδριάντες τοῦ Νερυλλίνου κόσμημά εἰσι δημόσιον, εἴπερ καὶ τούτοις κοσμεῖται πόλις, εἷς δὲ αὐτῶν καὶ χρηματίζειν καὶ ἰᾶσθαι νοσοῦντας νομίζεται, καὶ θύουσί τε δι' αὐτὰ καὶ χρυσῷ περιαλείφουσιν καὶ στεφανοῦσιν τὸν ἀνδριάντα οἱ Τρωαδεῖς. ὁ δὲ τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ ὁ τοῦ Πρωτέως (τοῦτον δ' οὐκ ἀγνοεῖτε ·ίψαντα ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὸ πῦρ περὶ τὴν Ὀλυμπίαν), ὁ μὲν καὶ αὐτὸς λέγεται χρηματίζειν, τῷ δὲ τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου–“∆ύσπαρι, εἶδος ἄριστε, γυναιμανές“–δημοτελεῖς ἄγονται θυσίαι καὶ ἑορταὶ ὡς ἐπηκόῳ θεῷ. πότερον οὖν ὁ Νερυλλῖνος καὶ ὁ Πρωτεὺς καὶ ὁ Ἀλέξανδρός εἰσιν οἱ ταῦτα ἐνεργοῦντες περὶ τὰ ἀγάλματα ἢ τῆς ὕλης ἡ σύστασις; ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν ὕλη χαλκός ἐστιν, τί δὲ χαλκὸς δύναται καθ' αὑτόν, ὃν μεταποιῆσαι πάλιν εἰς ἕτερον σχῆμα ἔξεστιν, ὡς τὸν ποδονιπτῆρα ὁ παρὰ τῷ Ἡροδότῳ Ἄμασις; ὁ δὲ Νερυλλῖνος καὶ ὁ Πρωτεὺς καὶ ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος τί πλέον τοῖς νοσοῦσιν; ἃ γὰρ ἡ εἰκὼν λέγεται νῦν ἐνεργεῖν, ἐνήργει καὶ ζῶντος καὶ νοσοῦντος Νερυλλίνου.