AbstractBy referring to the topic of the emperors’ cult in his Apologeticum (apol.), Tertullian was quite innovative. Like him, his Greek predecessors among the so-called apologists generally took persecution against the Christians as the starting point for their argumentation in favour of the Christians. However, the emperors’ cult did not play a major role in their apologetic treatises. Tertullian, starting from his understanding of maiestas and his categorical distinction between God and man, in apol. 28-35 severely criticized the emperors’ cult and, at the same time, underlined a specific kind of reverence for the emperors. An analysis of those chapters shows how he acknowledged the emperors’ maiestas, but only as far as it was understood as a human being’s majesty subordinated to the maiestas of the one God. Thereby, Tertullian had to admit that the Christians rejected the gods, but he denied that the Christians were transgressors of imperial policies.