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Tatian (tāˈshən) [key], 2d cent., Christian apologist. Probably born in Syria, he was a pupil of Justin Martyr. After his master's death, he left Christianity, becoming an Encratitic Gnostic—i.e., he regarded all matter as evil and denied the salvation of Adam. While a Christian, he wrote Oratio ad Graecos [address to the Greeks] (152–55), a defense of Christianity bolstered by a bitter attack on Greek arts, philosophers, and institutions, and the Diatessaron, a harmony of the four Gospels that was long the only life of Jesus available in Syria.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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