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Early Christian author

Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (c. 250 – c. 325) was an early Christian author who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I.


  • Solus (homo) sapientia instructus est ut religionem solus intellegat, et haec est hominis atque mutorum vel praecipua, vel sola distantia; nam caetera quae videntur hominis esse propria, etsi non sint talia in mutis, tamen similia videri possunt … Quid tam proprium homini quam ratio, et providentia futuri? Atqui sunt animalia, quae latibulis suis diversos, et plures exitus pandant; ut si quod periculum inciderit, fuga pateat obsessis; quod non facerent, nisi inesset illis intelligentia, et cogitatio. Alia provident in futurum.
    • Man only is endowed with wisdom so as to understand religion, and this is the principal if not the only difference betwixt him and dumb animals; for other things that seem peculiar to him, though they are not the same in them, yet they appear to be alike … What is there more peculiar to man than reason, and foresight? Yet there are animals which make several different ways of retiring from their dens; that when in danger they may escape; which without understanding and forethought they could not do. Others make provision for the future.
    • De Ira Dei (c. 313), Chap. VII; as quoted in Pierre Bayle, Historical and Critical Dictionary (1697), London, 1737, Vol. 4, Chap. Rorarius, p. 903.

The Divine Institutes (c. 303–13)Edit

  • Verum Scriptura omnis in duo Testamenta diuisa est. Illud quod aduentum passionemque Christi antecessit, id est lex et prophetae, Vetus dicitur; ea uero quae post resurrectionem eius scripta sunt, Nouum Testamentum nominantur. Iudaei Veteri utuntur, nos nouo.
    • But all Scripture is divided into two Testaments. That which preceded the advent and passion of Christ—that is, the law and the prophets—is called the Old; but those things which were written after His resurrection are named the New Testament. The Jews make use of the Old, we of the New.
    • Book IV, Chap. XX
  • Nam qui hominem, quamuis ob merita damnatum, in conspectu suo iugulari pro uoluptate computat, conscientiam suam polluit, tam scilicet, quam si homicidii, quod fit occulte, spectator et particeps fiat.
    • For he who reckons it a pleasure that a man, though justly condemned, should be slain in his sight, pollutes his conscience as much as if he should become a spectator and a sharer of a homicide which is secretly committed.
    • Book VI, Chap. XX

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