chapter  6
FOOD AND FASTING IN THE WORKS OF TERTULLIAN
Pages 25

The question of food as a religious issue in Christian life was raised forcefully in the late second or early third century. A writer who provided ammunition for debates that continued centuries after his death, and whose brilliant expressions and highly arbitrary biblical exegeses were borrowed and even blatantly plagiarized by later Latin Christians, was Tertullian. This ‘gifted and magnificently articulate’ Christian writer, the ‘inimitable master of Latin rhetoric’,1 is again somewhat of an elusive figure. He wrote both in Greek and Latin, but is remembered as the first great Latin Christian writer, indeed, as the most brilliant Latin stylist in early Christian literature.