Monday, April 18, 2011
April 18 -- Feast of Apollonius the Apologist
First, please recall that an apology was not originally an expression of remorse or repentance. Rather, it was an explanation or defense. Thus, never in The Apology of Socrates does the old man ever tell the Athenians that he's sorry.
Apollonius was a Roman senator, denounced as a Christian by his slave. This was pretty bold on the slave's part, because testimony from slaves had to be delivered under torture, no matter how willing one was to speak.
Apollonius stood in the Senate and delivered what was considered to be the best apology of Christianity to that date. High praise, since there had been so many defenses of Christianity delivered by accused adherents. Apollonius drew on Plato as well as the Bible. He noted the inanimate and artificial nature of Roman idols, contrasting them with the power of the universal Creator. He spoke of love and mercy and forgiveness. He was executed in April, AD 185.
His legs may have been crushed before he was beheaded -- accounts differ.
Posted by Tom Major at 6:34 AM