9. A painter, perhaps a native of Carthage, who. lived at the time of Tertullian, about the end of the second and the beginning of the third century of our era, and is known to us only through Tertullian, who attacked him most severely, and wrote a work against him. (Adversus Hermogenem.
) He seems to have been originally a pagan, but afterwards to have become a convert to Christianity.
The cause of the hostility is not very clear; we learn only that Hermogenes married several times, for which Tertullian calls him a man given to voluptuousness and a heretic.
It would also seem that Hermogenes, who was a man of high education and great knowledge, continued to study the pagan philosophers after his conversion to Christianity; and attempted to reconcile scriptural statements with the results of philosophical investigations, though, according to Tertullian's own statement, Hermogenes did not advance any new or heretical opinion on the person of Christ. His enemy also calls him a bad painter, and says, illicite pingit,
but to what he alludes by this expression is uncertain: some think that Hermogenes painted subjects taken from the pagan mythology, which Tertullian would surely have expressed more explicitly.
The philosophical views which Tertullian endeavours to refute seem to have been propounded by Hermogenes in a work (ad v. Hermog.
2), for his enemy repeatedly refers to his argumentationes. (Comp. August. de Haeres.
xli.; Tertull. de Monogam.
16; Theodoret. Fab. Haeret.
1.19.) Theodoretus and Eusebius (Hist. Eccles.
4.24) state, that Theophilus of Alexandria and Origen also wrote against Hermogenes, but it is uncertain whether this is the same as the painter.