quotes from 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.


  • The Divine Institutes
  • The Epitome of the Divine Institutes
  • The Deaths of the Persecuters

Quotes & Excerpts:

“It is necessary, therefore, especially in that matter on which hinges the whole plan of life, for each one to have confidence in himself, and to rely on his own judgment and individual capacity for investigating and weighing the truth, rather than to be deceived by believing the errors of others, as if he were utterly lacking in reason.” -The Divine Institutes 2, 7 (al. 8), 1 (Written 305 A.D.)

“All of those ensnared in demoniacal deceits… whether they re called Phrygians, Novatians, Valentians, Marcionites, or whatever else.  Having lost the name of Christ, they cease to be Christians. It is, therefore, the Catholic Church alone that retains true worship.  Because, however confident all the various groups of heretics are that they are Christians and theirs is the Catholic Church, this is the true Church, in which there is confession and penance.” -The Divine Institutions 4.30.1 (Written 305 A.D.)

“But also, when God will judge the just, it is likewise in fire that he will try them. At that time, they whose sins are uppermost, either because of their gravity or their number, will be drawn together by the fire and will be burned. Those, however, who have been imbued with full justice and maturity of virtue, will not feel that fire; for they have something of God in them which will repel and turn back the strength of the flame.” -The Divine Institutes 7.21.1 (Written 305 A.D.)

“Let everyone train himself to righteousness, mold himself to self-restraint, prepare himself for the contest, equip himself for virtue… may hold fast innocence, may be of service to as many as possible, may gain for himself incorruptible treasures by good works, that he may be able, with God for his judge, to gain for the merits of his virtue either the crown of faith or the reward of immortality.” -The Epitome of the Divine Institutes 73 (Written 317 A.D.)

“Diocletian, as being of a timorous disposition, was a searcher into futurity, and during his abode in the East he began to slay victims, that from their livers he might obtain a prognostic of events; and while he sacrificed, some attendants of his, who were Christians, stood by, and they put the immortal sign on their foreheads. At this the demons were chased away, and the holy rites interrupted.”-The Deaths of the Persecutors 10 (Written in 318 A.D.)

“When Nero was already reigning, Peter came to Rome, where… he converted many to righteousness… When this fact was reported to Nero, he noticed that not only at Rome, but everywhere great multitudes were daily abandoning the worship of idols and, condemning the old ways, were converting to the new religion. Because he was a detestable tyrant, he sprang to the task of tearing down the temple of God and destroying the righteous. It was he that first persecuted the servants of God. Peter, he fixed to a cross; and Paul, he slew.” -The Deaths of the Persecutors 25 (Written in 318 A.D.)