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CRESCENS

a Cynic of Megalopolis, (probably the city in Arcadia, though some believe that Rome is meant by that appellation,) who lived in the middle of the second century after Christ, contemporary with Justin Martyr. The Christian writers speak of his character as perfectly infamous. By Tatian (Or. adv. Graec. p. 157, &c.) he is accused of the most flagrant enormities, and is described as a person who was not prevented by his cynical profession from being "wholly enslaved to the love of money." He attacked the Christians with great acrimony, calling them Atheists ; but his charges were refuted by Justin, who tells us, that, in consequence of the refutation, he was apprehensive lest Crescens should plot his death. But whether he was really the cause of Justin's martyrdom or not is uncertain; for, although he is accused of this crime by Eusebius, yet the charge is only made to rest on a statement of Tatian, which however merely is, that " he who advised others to despise death, was himself so much in dread of death, that he plotted death for Justin as a very great evil," without a word as to the success of his intrigues. (Justin, Apolog. ii. ; Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 4.16; Neander, Kirchengesch. i. p. 1131.)

[G.E.L.C]

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