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Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, more commonly known as Tertullian of Carthage, was a prolific Christian writer, activist, and apologist of the late second century who took part in the issues of doctrine debated during the early years of Christianity. His works provides us with some of the best witness in the West of Orthodox Christian thinking and practices of the times. He helped to establish Latin as an ecclesiastical language, paralleling that of Greek. During his early years he denounced doctrines considered heretical at the time, but in the latter apart of his life he began to adopt views that were considered schismatic if not heretical themselves. Thus, while having contributed much to defining Orthodoxy, he ended his life leading his own sect after have joining the Montanist movement.


What little is known of Tertullian’s life is from references in his writings and from the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome, who wrote in the 4th century. Tertullian was born about the year 155 in Carthage in North Africa into a pagan family. His father is believed to have been a centurion or “aide de camp