(Christian Scholar, Ascetic and Theologian)
Born In: Alexandria, Egypt
Origen was a great Christian theologian who hailed from Alexandria. He is remembered for his treatise ‘On the First Principles,’ a significant work of Christian Neo-Platonism. He lived through one of the most turbulent periods in Christianity when hostility was widespread amongst the people. During this period, Gnosticism became quite popular. While he was not opposed to Gnosticism, he never adhered to its tenets. He was very loyal to his Christian faith. He also openly refuted paganism but confessed to having learned a lot from it. He was a student of Ammonius Saccas, who was also the teacher of Plotinus. He was dedicated to his education even though his studies were often interrupted by his visits to Rome, Arabia, and Palestine. He earned money by teaching grammar to students and lived a life of staunch asceticism. He was always in demand as a teacher owing to his reputation. His most famous student was Gregory Thaumaturgus, who was later known as the bishop of Neocaesarea. Many times, he escaped from the clutches of various emperors who were against the propagation of Christianity. However, he was tortured badly during the Decian persecution and never recovered from his injuries, dying a few years later.