Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Clemens Alexandrinus

Clemens Alexandrinus, one of the most interesting of the Greek Fathers of the Church, has left but slight traces of his personal history. Eusebius and Photius call him Titus Flavius Clemens "the Alexandrian," but whether he was a native of Egypt or a settler cannot be ascertained. From the internal evidence of his writings we may infer that he flourished in the reign of Severus, about the beginning of the third century, and he appears to have been a disciple of Pantaenus, and a teacher of Origen and of Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem. His minute acquaintance with pagan rites suggests that he was converted in manhood. He appears to have visited Antioch, and it is conjectured that he spent some or all of his later years, at Jerusalem. Four of his works have come down to us complete, viz. A Hortatory Address to Greeks, The Paedagogue, Stromatis or Stromata, and Who is the Rich Man that is Saved? The first of these is a most elaborate protest against the absurdity and immorality of Greek theology, as contrasted with that of the Christian Church; the second is a practical exposition of Christian duty in the various circumstances of life; the third consists of miscellaneous disquisitions on all sorts of literary and philosophical topics, with a view to explaining the Christian point of view; whilst the last is a sermon on St. Mark's Gospel x. 17-31. Half a dozen other books are known to us only by name, and through fragmentary paraphrases, Chief among them are the Hypotyposes or Adumbrations, and the Ecclesiastical Canon. Clemens is a valuable author, because he shows us the process by which Christianity and Gnosticism gradually became fused, so as to produce the body of doctrine upon which the churches rest. He was a widely-read scholar, to whom nearly all classical literature was no less familiar than the Hebrew Scriptures and the majority of the books that make up our New Testament. His writings thus preserve many fragments of books otherwise unknown. But though learned, he is not polished, and his style is vigorous rather than graceful.