Marcus Minucius Felix
Of his personal history nothing is known, and even the date at which he wrote can be only approximately ascertained as between AD 150 and 270. Jerome's De Viris Illustribus #58 speaks of him as "Romae insignis causidicus" [one of Rome's notable solicitors], but in that he is probably only improving on the expression of Lactantius who speaks of him as "non ignobilis inter causidicos loci" [not unknown among solicitors].
He is now exclusively known by his Octavius, a dialogue on Christianity between the pagan Caecilius Natalis and the Christian Octavius Januarius. Written for educated non-Christians, the arguments are borrowed chiefly from Cicero, especially his De natura deorum (“Concerning the Nature of the Gods”), and Christian material, mainly from the Greek Apologists.
The Octavius is admittedly earlier than Cyprian's Quod idola dei non sint, which borrows from it; how much earlier can be determined only by settling the relation in which it stands to Tertullian's Apologeticum.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Minucius Felix entry by C. Francis Higgins in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes
- "Minucius Felix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.