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Crescens (2nd century), a Cynic of Megalopolis,[1] and a contemporary of Justin Martyr. The Christian writers speak of his character as infamous. By Tatian[2] he is accused of the most flagrant crimes, and is described as a person who was not prevented by his cynical profession from being "wholly enslaved to the love of money." He attacked the Christians with great acrimony, calling them Atheists; but his charges were refuted by Justin, who tells us, that, in consequence of the refutation, he was apprehensive lest Crescens should plot his death. But whether he was really the cause of Justin's martyrdom or not is uncertain; for, although he is accused of this crime by Eusebius, the charge is only made to rest on a statement of Tatian, which however merely is, that "he who advised others to despise death, was himself so much in dread of death, that he plotted death for Justin as a very great evil," without a word as to the success of his intrigues.[3] The Chronicon of Eusebius gives 152-153 as the date of the attacks by Crescens.


  1. ^ Probably the city in Arcadia, though some believe that Rome is meant by that name.
  2. ^ Tatian, Or. adv. Graec.
  3. ^ Justin, Apolog. ii,; Eusebius, H. E. iv. 16

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).



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