CLEMENT

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CLEMENT, Titus Flavius (probably a native of Athens, but, on account of the place of his residence, commonly called the Alexandrian), was one of the most famous teachers of the Christian church, in the 2d and at the beginning of the 3d century. He had been a heathen philosopher, was converted to Christianity, and, after travelling a long time in Greece, Italy and the East, became presbyter of the church of Alexandria, and teacher (catechetes) of the school in that city, in which place he succeeded Pantsenus, his teacher, and was succeeded by Origen, his pupil These three instructers increased the fame of the Alexandrian school in the 2d and 3d century. Clement was a fertile writer. The most important among those of his productions which have been handed down to us, are inscribed UporpenriKog, TLaiSayuybs, and ETpw/io? rcis, or SrpwjuaTa. The first is an exhortation to the heathens to embrace Christianity, the second an exposition of Christian morals, and the third, which exhibits the most varied erudition, has the title Carpets, on account of the variety of subjects, moral, metaphysical, theological, historical, which are here interwoven. It has been justly remarked that these works are an imitation of the degrees of the Greek mysteries. The first was the 'AnoKadapmg, the purification from the former life ; the second, the Mtjjw, the consecration; the liird, the 'Erronreia, inspection. The works jf Clement are of great importance, as enabling us to judge of the state of science in his time, and because they contain fragments and accounts of lost works of antiquity. Clement introduced the eclectic philosophy into Christianity, and promoted the allegorical and mystical explanation of the sacred writings. The philosophy and erudition which gained him the adiniration of his time, but also seduced him, at times, into singular speculations, caused him, at a later period, to be considered a heretic, and to lose, with the orthodox, the name of saint, which had been conferred on him. The first editions of his works are that at Florence, in 1550, and that at Heidelberg (Commelin.), 1592, by Frederic Sylburg, both in folio. The most complete is that of John Potter, Oxon., A Theatro Sheldon, 1715, reprinted at Venice, 1757.