The term "second century Fathers" requires to be defined. On the one
hand it is taken in this work to be more restrictive than the broader category, "early Christian Fathers who could be said to extend at least from
Clement of Rom to Athanasius, i.e. from the first to the fourth century
A.D. On the other hand the term which we have used is more comprehensive
than the category, "Apostolic Fathers," for it allows us to discuss the beginnings of Christian Apology in the Epistle to Diognetus and Justin Martyr,
an example of an Early Christian Homily in Melito of Sardis, sad the dominant figure in the polemical literature of this period, Irenaeus.