Quadratus of Athens
|Bishop of Athens, Apologist|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church|
|Feast||26 May (Roman Catholic Church), 21 September (Eastern Orthodox Church)|
Saint Quadratus of Athens (Greek: Κοδρᾶτος) was a Greek Apostolic Father, bishop of Athens. He is counted among the Seventy Apostles in the tradition of the Eastern Churches.
According to the early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea he is said to have been a disciple of the Apostles (auditor apostolorum).
In his Ecclesiastical History, Book IV, chapter 3, Eusebius records that:
In other words, Eusebius is stating that Quadratus addressed a discourse to the Roman Emperor Hadrian containing a defense, or apology, of the Christian religion, when the latter was visiting Athens in AD 124 or 125, which Eusebius states moved the emperor to issue a favourable edict. The mention that many of those healed or raised from the dead by Christ were still living seems to be part of an argument that Christ was no mere wonder-worker whose effects were transitory.
Eusebius later summarises a letter by Dionysius of Corinth which simply states that Quadratus was appointed Bishop of Athens 'after the martyrdom of Publius', and which states that 'through his zeal they [the Athenian Christians] were brought together again and their faith revived.
P. Andriessen has suggested that Quadratus' Apology is the work known as Epistle to Diognetus, a suggestion Michael W. Holmes finds "intriguing". While admitting that Epistle to Diognetus does not contain the only quotation known from Quadratus' address, Holmes defends this identification by noting "there is a gap between 7.6 and 7.7 into which it would fit very well." Edgar J. Goodspeed states it is an ingenious theory, but says it is improbable and that the fragment does not fit the gap.
Because of the similarity of name, some scholars have concluded that Quadratus the Apologist is the same person as Quadratus, a prophet mentioned elsewhere by Eusebius (H. E., 3.37). The evidence, however, is too slight to be convincing. The later references to Quadratus in Jerome and the martyrologies are all based on Eusebius, or are arbitrary enlargements of his account.
Another apologist, Aristides, presented a similar work. Eusebius had copies of both essays. Because he was bishop of Athens after Publius, Quadratus is sometimes figured among the Apostolic Fathers. Eusebius called him a "man of understanding and of Apostolic faith", and Jerome in Viri illustrissimi intensified the apostolic connection, calling him "disciple of the apostles".