Lactantius

Lucius Caecilius Firmianus (250-325), also known as Lactantius, was an early Christian author whose most important work is the Institutiones Divinae (“The Divine Institutes”), an apologetic treatise intended to establish the reasonableness and truth of Christianity to pagan critics. At the request of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, he became an official professor of rhetoric in Nicomedia.  After converting to Christianity, he resigned his post before Diocletian’s purging of Christians from his immediate staff and before the publication of Diocletian’s first “Edict against the Christians” (February 24, 303).  According to Saint Jerome, he subsequently lived in poverty and eked out a living by writing until Emperor Constantine became his patron.  He then became an advisor to Roman Emperor Constantine I and a tutor for Constantine’s son.

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