QUADRATUS, cwed-ra'tus: The earliest Christian apologist. The only source is Eusebius, in his Chronicon, and in Hist. eccl., IV., iii., I., ii. According to this authority Quadratus claimed to be a disciple of the apostles, and that, to furnish to his brethren in the faith a defense against the false charges brought by the heathen, he wrote a learned defense of Christianity which he forwarded to the Emperor Hadrian (q.v.; 117-138). The passage in the Chronicon runs as follows: "Quadratus, a disciple of the apostles and Aristides, a presbyter of Athens, composed and sent to Hadrian books in favor of the Christian religion." The same fact is stated in the "History" in practically the same words. Though Eusebius declares "the apology is still current among very many of the brethren," only one meager fragment has survived (cited in his Hist. eccl., IV., iii.; Eng. transl. in NPNF, 2 ser. i. 175).
The question has been raised whether Quadratus the apologist is the same person as Quadratus the prophet mentioned by Eusebius in Hist. eccl., III., xxxvii., as Otto, Zahn, and Hilgenfeld have contended. The chronology favors the identification. The mention of the prophet by Eusebius follows immediately after his report of the speech of Ignatius of Antioch, whose martyrdom took place under Trajan, or perhaps under Hadrian. And Harnack, who was formerly against the identification, in his Litteratur (i. 96) grants the probability. Eusebius also mentions (Hist. eccl., IV., xxiii.) a Quadratus who was elected bishop of Athens as successor to the martyr Publius. In two passages of his works (De vir. ill., xix., Eng. transl. in NPNF; 2 ser., iii. 367-368; and Epist., lxx., Eng. transl. in NPNF, 2 ser., vi. 150) Jerome speaks of the bishop of Athens as identical with the apologist. But chronology is against this identification. The apologist, according to the passage from Eusebius cited above, flourished in the time of Hadrian, and the Athenian bishop appears, according to the same author, to have been a contemporary of Bishop Dionysius of Corinth and the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. A. Harnack (Litteratur, i. 95-96) declares "The statement of Jerome on this point is unworthy of credit," and Bardenhewer and others agree with him.