Lactantius

(c. 240–c. 320)
   Theologian and Historian.
   Lactantius was a native of North Africa. He was appointed by the Emperor Diocletian to teach Latin oratory in Nicomedia, but he resigned on becoming a Christian. Later he became the tutor of the Emperor constantine’s son Crispus. He is remembered for his masterful apology for Christianity, Divinae Institutiones, in which he argued that paganism was an inadequate philosophy and that the moral improvement Christianity brought about in its adherents argued for its truth. He also produced De Mortibus Persecutorum, a gory account of the recent persecutions. Its primary thesis was that good emperors live happily, while persecuting emperors suffer horrible fates. It was based on sound historical traditions and has become an important source for the period.
   ‘The life and literary activity of Lactantius’, in K. Aland and F.L. Cross, Studia Patristica I, lxiii (1957).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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