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The Writings of the Early Christians of the Second Century, namely Athenagoras, ... Hermias ... (1857) pp. vii, xiv




Nothing whatever is known of Hermias, the author of this treatise. Cave refers him to the second century; but the Benedictine editor of his works thinks he may with as great probability be ascribed to the third. All agree that he was later than Justin Martyr, whose words and thoughts he occasionally imitates. The Benedictine editor considers his whole treatise to be no more than an expansion of that paragraph in Tatian's work, § 25, "You follow the doctrines of Plato," &c. (see page 102 of this volume). The name of philosopher is given to Hermias in all the manuscript copies of his work, from which it would seem that, like Justin and others, he was a Gentile philosopher who embraced Christianity.

The original Greek text of Hermias has been often printed. It first appeared at Basle, 8vo., 1553, at the end of DEMETRII CYDONII Oratio de contemnenda morte; and, after several intermediate editions, at the end of Worth's Tatian, 8vo., Oxon., 1700. But the best edition is at the end of the Benedictine Justin Martyr, fol., Paris, 1742, until the expected edition of it by Otto, to correspond with his Justin Martyr, shall be published. The present translation is the first (as far as I know) that has ever been made into the English language.



The translation has been made from the text of Otto for Tatian; from the old Benedictine edition for Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Hermias; and from the Reliquiae Sacrae of my late venerable friend Dr. Routh, for the other twenty-one writers contained in this volume. It was originally intended to give the Apostolical Fathers in an accompanying volume, so that the present would have been vol. ii. of the work ; but, as Archbishop Wake's excellent translation is easily accessible, the idea was abandoned.


             March 1, 1857.

[From: The Writings of the Early Christians of the Second Century, namely Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, Hermias, Papias, Aristides, Quadratus, &c, collected together and first translated complete by the Rev. Dr. Giles. London: John Russell Smith (1857)]

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