Justin was born into a Greek-speaking, pagan family in about AD 110 near Shechem in Samaria. He studied Greek and became a philosopher. He was dramatically converted to Christ and became the first Christian philosopher to attempt to reconcile the claims of faith and reason. Justin is primarily known for his writings in defense of his new faith. While teaching in Rome, he engaged in philosophical debates. As a result, he was brought before the prefect Rusticus and told to recant his faith. When Justin refused, he and his companions were beheaded, and he became known as Justin, the martyr—or Justin Martyr.