"One of the first great events in Christian history was the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, convened to organize Christian sects and beliefs into a unified doctrine. The great Christian clergymen who wrote before this famous event are referred to as the Ante-Nicenes and the Apostolic Fathers, and their writings are collected here in a ten-volume set. The Ante-Nicenes lived so close to the time of Christ that their interpretations of the New Testament are considered more authentic than modern voices. But they are also real and flawed men, who are more like their fellow Christians than they are like the Apostles, making their words echo in the ears of spiritual seekers. In Volume I of the 10-volume collected works of the Ante-Nicenes first published between 1885 and 1896, readers will find the writings of: ¿ Clement of Rome, the fourth pope, who was supposedly martyred by being tied to an anchor and tossed overboard ¿ Mathetes, an anonymous writer considered the first Christian apologist ¿ Polycarp, a Christian bishop who was stabbed to death after he failed to burn at the stake ¿ Ignatius, a student of John the Apostle, who was Bishop of Antioch before he was killed ¿ Barnabas, an anonymous writer given the name of Saint Barnabas ¿ Papias, author of Interpretations of the Sayings of the Lord, a textbook on quotes from Jesus ¿ Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist and accomplished philosopher, and ¿ Irenaeus, disciple of Polycarp, apologist, and bishop of Lugdunum."