Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume III/Lives of Illustrious Men/Jerome/Tertullian the presbyter
Tertullian the presbyter, now regarded as chief of the Latin writers after Victor and Apollonius, was from the city of Carthage in the province of Africa, and was the son of a proconsul or Centurion, a man of keen and vigorous character, he flourished chiefly in the reign of the emperor Severus and Antoninus Caracalla and wrote many volumes which we pass by because they are well known to most. I myself have seen a certain Paul an old man of Concordia, a town of Italy, who, while he himself was a very young man had been secretary to the blessed Cyprian who was already advanced in age. He said that he himself had seen how Cyprian was accustomed never to pass a day without reading Tertullian, and that he frequently said to him, “Give me the master,” meaning by this, Tertullian. He was presbyter of the church until middle life, afterwards driven by the envy and abuse of the clergy of the Roman church, he lapsed to the doctrine of Montanus, and mentions the new prophecy in many of his books.
He composed, moreover, directly against the church, volumes: On modesty, On persecution, On fasts, On monogamy, six books On ecstasy, and a seventh which he wrote Against Apollonius. He is said to have lived to a decrepit old age, and to have composed many small works, which are not extant.
- Born about 160, christian 195, apology 198, died about 245.