|18th century Dutch engraving of St. Quadratus of Athens by Jan Luyken.|
Practically all of what is known of his life may be found in this brief biographical notice in Saint Jerome’s work, On Illustrious Men:
Quadratus, disciple of the apostles, after Publius bishop of Athens had been crowned with martyrdom on account of his faith in Christ, was substituted in his place, and by his faith and industry gathered the church scattered by reason of its great fear. And when Hadrian passed the winter at Athens to witness the Eleusinian mysteries and was initiated into almost all the sacred mysteries of Greece, those who hated the Christians took opportunity without instructions from the Emperor to harass the believers. At this time he presented to Hadrian a work composed in behalf of our religion, indispensable, full of sound argument and faith and worthy of the apostolic teaching. In which, illustrating the antiquity of his period, he says that he has seen many who, oppressed by various ills, were healed by the Lord in Judea as well as some who had been raised from the dead.Jerome later says that Quadratus presented his Apology to Hadrian at the same time as Aristides of Athens, a Christian philosopher, presented his Apology. Sadly, the apology of Quadratus was subsequently lost. Only a single brief passage was preserved in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius as follows:
But the works of our Savior were always present, for they are genuine: those that were healed and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present. And not merely while the Savior was on earth, but also after His death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day. [Taken from The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius]Eusebius says that the work “is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man’s understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy.” The Apology of Quadratus was still known at late as the early 7th century AD when it is mentioned in a work by the bishop Eusebius of Thessalonika against the monk, Andrew, who embraced the heresy known as aphthartodocetism. Sadly, this work is also lost, though a summary of it exists in the Bibliotheca of Photius.
Tradition considers Quadratus a confessor, rather than a martyr. Several images of his martyrdom may be found online, though these most likely depict other early martyrs of the same name (eg. Quadratus of Corinth) and were mislabeled.
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Read the full text of the Letter to Diognetus in: I Am A Christian: Authentic Accounts of Christian Martyrdom and Persecution from the Ancient Sources.