SUMMARY OF THE MARTYRS IN THE THIRD CENTURY
There never was a time in the church of Jesus Christ, in which so many and ,great tyrants arose to destroy and extirpate the people of God, as in this century; for scarcely had one ceased, when another began; excepting a short cessation under the Emperors Caracalla and Geta.
The principal ones of those who tyrannized over, and put to death, the believers, were Severus, Maximinus, Decius, Valerianus, Gallienus, and Aurelianus, who, though the world hailed them as"Gracious Emperors," were in deed nothing less than unmerciful, cruel, and bloodthirsty tyrants.
Under Severus suffered Rutulius, Manilius, Perpetua, Felicitas, Leonides, five God-fearing disciples of Origen, and two of his female disciples, also Origen himself, and Basilides.
Under Maximinus suffered, in different meetingplaces, several thousand Christians, besides about seventy others.
Under Decius suffered Cointha, Apollonia, an old man called Julianus, with his companion Eunus, Amonaria, Mercuria, Dionysia, Heron, Ater, Isidoris, a youth of fifteen years, Nemesius, Babylas, the three youths, Urbanus, Philidianus, and Epilonius, also Maximus, Origenes.
Under Valerianus and Gallienus suffered Dionysius, Fructuosus, Augurius, Eulogius, Marinus, the three peasants who sought heavenly crowns, namely, Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander, and also, Philippus, Privatus, Florentinus and Pontius.
Under Aurelian suffered, and were put to death Privatus of Gevauldan, Mamas, a shepherd and Symphorianus.
Under Diocletian (in the preparatory period of his persecutions) were miserably put to death the
three brothers, Claudius, Asterius, and Neon; also Donuina, and Theonilla, Zenobius with his sister Zenobia, the three dear friends Tharacus, Probus and Andronicus. That all these suffered, and shed their blood for the name of Jesus Christ, is abundantly testified in the following account.]
The third century began with the fifth persecution of the Christians, hence we shall also begin with the same and show in what a distressing condition the church of God was during those times.
OF THE FIFTH PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHRISTIANS, UNDER THE EMPEROR L. SEPTIMUS SEVERUS, COMMENCED ABOUT THE YEAR 201
Touching the cause which induced Severus to persecute and put to death the Christians, ancient authors differ. Some write that Severus was instigated to kill and persecute the Christians, in the tenth year of his reign, by Philip, the Governor of Egypt. Others think that in the time of Severus there were many cruel and bloodthirsty governors in the provinces of the Romans; as Lethus and Aquila, at Alexandria, in Egypt; Saturninus and Scapula, at Carthage, in Africa.; Claudius Herminianus, in Cappadocia; Cecilius Capella, at Byzanthium; who, at Rome, as well as elsewhere, were most pernicious firebrands in these persecutions, inasmuch as they instigated the Emperor and the Roman Senate against the Christians, in order that through this means they might seize on the possessions of the Christians.
It is stated, that to this persecution and slaving of the Christians, contributed at that time, not a little, some jurists, who, through false interpretations of the Roman laws, or at least through their selfdevised decrees, ruled nearly the whole Empire; as Emelius, Papinianus, Ulpianus, Paulus, Messius, Martianus, Rufinus, Mauritianus, Tryphonius, Menander, Macer, Callistratus, Florentinus, Hermogenes, Saturminus, Modestinus, Furius, and Anthianus.
It was one of these jurist, namely Ulpianus, one of the chief senators, next to Papianus, who hunted up and collected the bloody edicts of the former ,tyrants, in order that the Emperors, incited thereby, might institute new persecutions against the Christians. See concerning this, A. Mell. Hist., fol. 52, col. 4, from Euseb., 6, cap. 1, 2, and Chron. Hieron. Catal. in Origen. Also, Oros., lib. 7, cap. 11, 18. Also, Baron., A. D. 204. Also, Dio. Hist. Rom., lib. 51. Also, Tert. ad. Scup., cap. 1-3. Tertul. de Fuga, cap. 5, ex Libris Jurist. Also, Spart. Caracal. and Sever. Also, Lactant., lib. 5. Just., cap. 11, 12, 19.
Very credibly, however, is the cause of this persecution accounted for in the Introduction to the Martyrs' Mirror, Ed. 1631, fol. 38, col. 2, from Baronius. The words are as follows, "In the year 201 was commenced the fifth persecution of the Christians, under the Emeeror Severus, in the seventh year of his reign. It originated thus: The em- peror having come forth victorious from a civil war, and the Christians having remained passive with regard to this, not manifesting any signs of joy by way of celebrating, hanging out of garlands, and other tokens of triumph, according to the manner of the heathen; the latter, out of envy, accused the Christians of despising and hating the Emperor; and the more so, because they would not swear by the Emperor's fortune. Besides this, they reported of the Christians, that in their evening assemblies they extinguished the lights; and then allowed themselves improper intercourse with each other, and in this manner it came that every one hated the Christians. See in the above citations. Others spread the report that the Christians were child-murderers and eaters of human flesh, that is, people who slew their children and ate them; also, that they honored the head of an ass as their god; worshiped the sun, and other like palpable and wicked falsehoods. Compare J. Gys. Hist., fol. 18, col. 2, for the year 201, ex Tertullian ad Scapulwn and in Apal. Cypr. de Bono Pascient. Also, P. J. Twisck, Chron. 2d book, for the year 124, page 51, col. 2.
However, though these false accusations were brought against the Christians, their death was nevertheless owing entirely to the testimony and confession of Jesus Christ-that He was the Son of God, and the Saviour of the human family.
The most violent persecution of this time, according to Eusebius and Tertullian, was in Egypt and Africa. From Egypt the Christians were brought in great multitudes to Alexandria, where they were put-to death in manifold ways, for the name of Christ. Among the principal martyrs of this time were the following:
RUTILIUS, AFTER MANY ESCAPES, TORN ASUNDER, AND THEN BURNT, FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, ABOUT THE YEAR 210
"Rutilius, the holy martyr," says Tertullian,"after having so often escaped persecution by fleeing from one place to another, and having purchased his freedom, as he supposed, from the danger of death, and after having provided himself with all safe conduct, and, feeling easy, and free from anxiety, was nevertheless unexpectedly apprehended, and brought before the President, yea, torn asunder with manifold torments, and then committed to the fire; and thus, thanking the mercy of God for it, he endured the suffering which he had sought to escape.""This Rutilius was martyred somewhere in Africa," writes A. Mellinus, 1st book of the Hist., fol 55, col. 1, from Tertullian. de Fuga, in Persecutione, cap. 5, at the end.
MAVILUS, A PIOUS CHRISTIAN OF ADRUMELEN, TORN BY THE WILD BEASTS, AT CARTHAGE, ABOUT THE YEAR 201
Tertullian writes a very candid admonition and warning concerning the impending wrath of God
over all the persecutors of the Christians, to Scapula, the Governor of Carthage, who, having succeeded in the place of Vigellius Saturninus (who, on account of the persecution he had exercised against the Christians, had been struck with blindness, through the righteous judgment of God), also followed in his footsteps as regards cruelty. For at his accession to the Governorship, he immediately very cruelly sentenced Mavilus, a very pious Christian of Adrumelen, a city in Africa, to be torn by the beasts; who, though through a severe death, attained to a blessed end: Immediately after his death great plagues were sent by the Lord over the city of Carthage, where the Governor resided; as, great rains, high floods, terrible thunders, fiery signs in the air, etc. IdemIbidem, eol. e, ex Tertullian. ad Scapulam, cap. 3.
PERPETUA AND FELICITAS, OF TUBURBI IN MAURITANIA, AND OTHERS, VIOLENTLY PUT TO DEATH, FOR THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, ABOUT THE YEAR 201 ,
Perpetua and Felicitas were two very pious and honorable Christian women, at Tuburbi, a city in Mauritania, a province of Africa. Both were very untimely apprehended, to suffer for the name of Christ, as Felicitas was very far advanced in pregnancy, and Perpetua had recently given birth to a child, which she was nursing. But this did not make them fainthearted, nor so surprise them that they forsook Christ, nor did it prevent them from going on in the way of godliness; but they remained equally faithful disciples of Christ, and became steadfast martyrs.
According to the Roman laws, they waited with the pregnant woman, until she was delivered, before they sentenced her and put her to death. When the pains of labor seized her in prison, and she cried aloud for fear and anguish, the jailer said to her, "Thou art so much afraid and distressed now, and criest aloud for pain; how then wilt thou behave, when, tomorrow, or the day after, thou wilt be led to death?" Felicitas replied thus, "Now I suffer as a poor woman the punishment which God on account of sin has laid upon the female sex; but tomorrow I shall suffer as a Christian woman for the faith and the confession of Jesus Christ." ,By these words she sufficiently indicated that she had firmly and immovably founded her faith upon Christ, who never forsakes His own, even though they be in the midst of the fire, and are consumed, God also specially strengthened her, that she might be able to endure her sufferings. With reference to this, Tertullian says, "Perpetua, the very strong and steadfast martyr, had a revelation or vision of the heavenly , on the day of her sufferings, in the which she saw none but her fellow martyrs. And why no others? Because the fiery sword which guards the door of gives way to none but those who die for Christ." In the meantime these two pious heroines of Jesus Christ were martyred, that is, they died a violent death, for the name of their Saviour; for which they will afterwards be crowned with the unfading wreath of immortality, as a triumpth over the foes they overcame, namely, the cruelties and pains of death.
The names of their fellow martyrs are Revocatus, Satyrus, Saturninus, and Serundulus. It is supposed that the last-mentioned one of these died in prison from extreme hardship, but that the others were all thrown before the wild beasts, such as, bulls, lions, bears, leopards, etc., to be torn by them. Thus these exchanged their dear lives for death, for Christ's sake.Idem., fol. 26, col. 3, 4, ex August. in Psal. 74, and de Tempore Barbdrieo, cap. 5, Beda Usuard. Ado Martirol. Rom. 7. Martii. Also, 1. Pregnatis de Pen. Also, in Antiquo Lectionario. Also, Tertull. de anima, cap. 5. That the dead bodies of the two afore-mentioned women were brought to Carthage, and were buried there is testified to by Victor Uticensis, Pers. Vandal., lib. 1.
LEONIDES, THE FATHER OF ORIGEN, BEHEADED AT ALEXANDRIA, IN EGYPT, FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, ABOUT THE YEAR 202
Leonides, the father of Origen, was according to the testimony of Suidas, a bishop of the church of Christ, and also became a martyr, at Alexandria in Egypt. His imprisonment, suffering, and death occurred on this wise: When from nearly all the cities and villages of Egypt and Thebes, Christian champions, that is, martyrs, were brought, to fight and suffer for the name of Jesus Christ, Leonides was also one of those who were brought prisoners to Alexandria, the capital of Egypt.
When he had been imprisoned for some time, his son Origen, then but seventeen years old, sent him a very comforting letter, in which he exhorted him to constancy, writing, among other things, "Be strong in the Lord, my father, and endure valiantly the suffering which awaits thee. Let not regard for us induce thee to do otherwise." He means to say, " (3 father! do not grieve too much for thy wife, or dear mother, or for us, thy seven beloved children, of whom I am the oldest; or become so wavering, that through desire to usward thou shouldest forsake thy faithful God and Saviour." This was in brief the import of the letter which Origen wrote to his father. It acted as a healing medicine in the wounds of the sorrowful mind of his father, so that he resolved to patiently suffer death for .the honor of his Saviour. He was finally sentenced to be beheaded, and all his property was confiscated for the treasury of the Roman Empire. This happened in the time of Emperor, Severus, about the year 201. Compare Euseb., lib. 6, cap. 2, with Abr. Mell., 1st book of the Hist., fol. 57, col. 1, ex Hieron. Catal. in Orag. Also, P. J. Twisek, Chron., Zd book, for the year 195, page 51, col. 2. Also, Introduction to the Martyrs' Mirror, edition
1631, fol. 38, Col. 2. Also, Joh. Gys. Hist. Mart., edition 1657, fol. 3.
FIVE OF THE DISCIPLES OF ORIGEN, NAMELY, PLUTARCH, HERACLIDES, HERO, AND TWO OTHER MEN, BOTH CALLED SERENUS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FAITH, AT ALEXANDRIA IN EGYPT, ABOUT THE YEAR 203
At this time, Origen, though but eighteen years old, was a teacher of the faith, at Alexandria, in Egypt, where he taught with such excellence, not only to begin with Christ, but also to die with Him, that many of his disciples laid down their lives for the truth of Christ. Among these are mentioned, by name, Plutarch, Heraclides, Hero, and two other men, both called Serenus. Their suffering and death happened in this manner: Origen, the teacher of these pious people, was in the habit of going into the prison to the martyrs who suffered for the name of Jesus Christ, to strengthen them in the faith. Yea, even when they had already received their sentence of death, and were making their last defense, he stood by them, and, at parting, gave them the kiss of peace, as a token of his sincere love.
When Plutarch, his beloved disciple, was led forth to death, he, according to his custom, comforted him, for which the raging multitude would have killed him, had not divine Providence protected him. This having happened, Plutarch was put to death for the name of Jesus Christ, and died as a martyr.
After the death of Plutarch, the first of the two men named Serenus, was brought forth and burned. His faith, as is stated, was tried with fire, notwithstanding he was still a catechumen, that is, one who, though he had been instructed, had not yet received baptism.
The third of these martyrs is called Heraclides, and of him the same is stated that is recorded of Serenus, concerning his faith, namely, that he too was still under instruction, and had not yet been baptized, but was preparing for it. And thus he sealed his faith not with water, but with his blood. He was beheaded with the ax.
The fourth that was put to death for the same faith, was Hero, who is called a novice in the faith, that is one who had only lately accepted the faith with baptism. Having commended his soul into the hands of God, he was likewise beheaded with the ax.
Besides these four martyrs, there is mentioned a fifth, who was the second of the aforementioned men named Serenus. Refusing to apostatize, he, after many severe torments, was beheaded, like the last-mentioned two; and thus attained to a blessed end, together with his slain fellow brethren. Compare Euseb., lib. 6, cap. 4, with Abr. Mell., lst book, fol. 57, Col. 2, 3. Also, Joh. Gys. Hist., fol. 18, Col. 3, after Leonides, the father of Origen. Also, Introduction, fol. 39, Col. 1, from Eusebius.
TWO FEMALE DISCIPLES OF ORIGEN, NAMELY, RHAIS AND MARCELLA, BURNED ALIVE AT ALEXANDRIA, FOR THE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, ABOUT THE YEAR 204
Among the disciples of Origen, who became martyrs, there are also mentioned several women as faithful martyrs. However, we shall only refer to two of these, one called Rhais, the other Marcella, who suffered their faith and lives to be tried with fire, like gold that is refined.
Rhais was a catechumen, that is, one that was receiving instruction preparatory to baptism, and hence, had not yet sealed her faith with water; however, as Origen himself declares, she was baptized with fire, that is, burned alive.
Marcella was the mother of Potamiena (of whom the ancients speak in such commendatory terms, as having also laid down her life for the faith; but whom we pass over, on account of certain remarks which she addressed to Basilides, her executioner.) After insufferable and dreadful torments, she was burned by degrees, in great constancy, until she was reduced to ashes; and thus she exchanged this temporal for an eternal life. See the above-mentioned authors, as compared with Mellinus, fol. 57, Col. 4.
BASILIDES, WHO, FROM AN EXECUTIONER BECAME A CHRISTIAN, BEHEADED FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, AT ALEXANDRIA, ABOUT THE YEAR 204
Not long after the death of Potamiena, who had died with the above-mentioned Rhais and Marcella, one of the executioners, named Basilides, who had brought her to death, was converted to the faith in Christ. Eusebius writes, "Being among his companions, and an oath being demanded of him on some special matter, he said, that he dared not swear at all, because he was a Christian, and did openly confess it before them. When they heard this, they thought at first, that he was joking; but when he persistently asserted it, and showed that he was in earnest, he was seized and cast into prison. When some of the brethren came to visit him, and inquired how it happened that he had become changed so suddenly, he fully satisfied them in regard to the. matter. Having heard this, they gave him the sign of the Lord, that is (as A. Mellinus explains it), he was baptized in the name of Christ. The following day he was beheaded for the confession of the Lord. Compare the preceding accounts concerning the disciples of Origen, with Eusebius, lib. 6, cap. 5, fol. 107, cot. 1, 2. Also, A, Mellinus, lst book, fol. 58, Col. 1, 2. Also, P. J, Twisck, Chron., 3d book, for the year 204, fol. 55; Col. 2, above. .Also, Introduction M. Sp., fol. 39; Col. 1.
IRENEUS, AN ANCIENT TEACHER, AFTER MANY TORMENTS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AT LYONS, IN FRANCE, ABOUT THE YEAR 210
Ireneus, by descent an Asiatic, was born at Smyrna. In his youth he attended school, and was a disciple of Polycarp, who was appointed by the apostle John bishop of the church at Smyrna, and afterwards became a martyr, as we have already shown in the proper place. On account of his (Ireneus') special fitness, he subsequently became bishop of the church at Lyons in France, in the place of Photinus. His erudition was so great, that Eusebius extols him more than any of the learned who lived before and in his time. Tertullian called him"the most remarkable investigator of all manner of learning." Jerome said that he was"an apostolic man, who lived next to the time of the apostles." Epiphanius gave him the title of a"holy and ancient divine," yea, a"successor of the apostles." In his ministry he was so faithful a servant in the house of the Lord, that he had the oversight not only of the church at Lyons, where he was bishop, and other churches in France, but even of some churches in Asia and Phrygia.
Concerning his death, the ancient historians have left us but little information of the time as well as of the manner of his martyrdom. We find, however, in regard to it the following words, "That, when the persecution of the Christians, under Severus, had been instituted in all the countries of the Romans, the city of Lyons, too, pursuant to the command of the Emperor, was surrounded with soldiers, and all the Christians in it put to death with the sword, or beheaded; but that Ireneus, the shepherd of them all, was sought with special diligence, and, when found, was put to death with manifold tortures, and was buried by Zacharia, his elder." Ex actis Procons. Perditis hoc Tantum extat. Adr. Martyrol. 28 Jun. Abr. Mell., fol. 59, cot. 3, and fol. 60, cot. 1, ex Hieron. Catal, Iren. idem Hieron. epist. 84 ad Magnum, and 29 ad Theodorum Euseb., lib. 4, cap. 20. Tertull. lib. Contra Valentin., cap.,5. Hieron. epist. 29. ad Theodorum and in Catal. Epiph. Haer. 24 and 31. Also, Joh. Gys.,1657, fol. 18, cot. 3, 4. Also, P. J. Twisck, 3d book, for the year 210, 28th June, p. 56, cot. 1. He adds these words, "On the 28th of June, A. D. 210, in the fifth persecution, Bishop Irenus (he means to say: Ireneus) was put to death, together with many citizens, for the confession of Christ."
He says of the Lord's Supper, "There is something heavenly and something earthly; the earthly is bread, which is for the nourishment of the body, and points us to the heavenly, that is, Christ with His merits, which is the food of the soul."
In the Revelation of John he writes that"antichrist will arise in the Latin, that is, the Roman church, and will be a Roman." Also, "Antichrist, who is a thief and apostate, would be worshiped as God, and, though being but a servant, would be proclaimed king." From Histor. Georg., lib. 2. hinc. Cal., fol. 352. P. P. Cock, fol. 59.
HOW SEPTIMIUS FLORENS TERTULLIAN, THROUGH A CERTAIN APOLOGY, DEFENDED THE CHRISTIANS, AND SOUGHT TO HAVE THEM SPARED, ABOUT THE YEAR 204
When the persecution of the true Christians would not cease, but increased the longer the more, the pious man Septimius Florens Tertullian wrote an apology in defense of the Christians against the heathen, in which he refuted all the slanders with which they were assailed at that time; showing that they were innocent, and were persecuted-not on account of any evil deeds, as the heathen pretended, but simply on account of their name; and that nevertheless their religion was not weakened or injured by the bitterness of the persecution, but much rather helped and strengthened by it.
Among other things he writes, "We are increased, and grow, when we are mowed down by you. The blood of the Christians is the seed (of the church). For who is there among you who, seeing these things, is not constrained to examine what there may be inside of this matter? Who, having examined it, does not join them, and, having joined himself to them, does not wish to suffer with them?"
After this he said these words, or at least words to this import, "This sect (so he calls the Christians, according to the view of the heathen) will never perish or be extirpated; which, rest assured, when it seems to be cut down is built up. For everyone, seeing their great patience, when they are beaten and goaded, is incited to inquire into the cause of this; and when he has come to the knowledge of the truth, he instantly follows." Compare Joh. Gys., fol. 18, cot. 4, ex Tertulliano, ad Scapulam. Also, P. J. Twisck, 2d book, for the year 200, page 53, cot. 1, from Chronol. Leonh., lib. 1.
CESSATION OF THIS PERSECUTION, UNDER ANTONINUS CARACALLA AND SEPTIMUS GETA, THE SONS OF SEVERUS, ABOUT THE YEAR 213
Septimus Severus having reigned eighteen years as Roman Emperor, his sons, Antoninus Caracalla and Septimus Geta, succeeded him as Emperors. about A. D. 213. These, although they were very unmerciful, cruel, and bloodthirsty, especially Caracalla, did not, to any extent, molest the Christians, so that during their reign very little, indeed, almost no blood of the Christians was shed in the countries over which their dominion extended; which continued until about the year 219. Some write that the cessation of the persecution continued for about thirty-eight years, during which time, however, Maximin the Giant greatly vexed many bishops, elders, and deacons, (that is, the overseers over some churches); but whether they were punished with death, will be shown in the
proper place. However, it is stated, that this fifth persecution, which had just commenced, did not cease entirely, though it was a desirable time, as Tertullian writes, when compared with the preceding severe and very bloody persecutions. See A. Mell., lst book fol. 60, cot. 1, as compared with Herod. Sever. Ejusd. Antonin., and Geta Spartian de Eisdem.
REINSTITUTION OF THIS PERSECUTION, UNDER ALEXANDER SEVERUS, THE SON OF ANTIONINUS AND MAMMEA, ABOUT THE YEAR 223
The followers of Jesus Christ having enjoyed some respite during this time and a few years previous, the envy and hatred of some against the Christians increased to such an extent that even Alexander Severus, who otherwise favored the Christians, yea, had built them a church, and, according to the manner of the heathen, had placed Christ among the number of the so-called gods, commenced a persecution against them, or at least continued the one begun under Septimus Severus. This was occasioned principally, as Lactantius Firmianus states, by some of the Roman jurists, who, through wrong interpretation of the laws, but especially through a deadly hatred against the Christians, incited and urged on the Emperor to persecute them.
Among those who instigated the Emperor, there is chiefly mentioned Ulpianus, who was not only a senator, but also a master of requests, and the Emperor's tutor, so that the latter considered him as his Father; hence the accusations of Ulpianus against the Christians found the more easily a willing ear with the Emperor. Lactantius Firma nius calls this Ulpianus and his adherents murderers, because they made wicked laws against the godly. He says, "For we read of blasphemous laws and unjust disputes of the jurists against the Christians."
Domitius, surnamed Ulpianus (mentioned above), in his seventh book of the office of the Governors of the Roman provinces, hunted out and collected the edicts and decrees of the princes, as of Nero, Domitian, Trajan, etc., in order to send therefrom instructions, how they should punish the Christians who served and confessed the true God. Thus far, Lactantius, according to the annotation of Mellinus, in the lst book, fol. 61, cot. 1, 2, ex Lamprid. Herodian, in Alex. Severo. Lactana. Firmian. Institut., lib. 5, cap. 11, 12, 19. Also, in Corras., lib. 1, Missel., cap. 10, although D. P. Pers calls this Emperor a pious and excellent prince: Roomschen Adelaer, printed 1642, page 154, on the name Severus Alexander, A. D.224. On the other hand P. J. Twisck states, that in the beginning of his reign he was not favorable to the Christians, so that, through misinformation, he caused some of them to be put to death for the name of Jesus Christ. Third book, for the year 223, page 60, col. 1, from Chron. Mich., fol. 141, Merula.
AGAPITUS, CALAPODIUS, TIBURTIUS, VALERIANUS, QUIRITIUS, JULIA, CECILIA, MARTINA, AND OTHERS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, ABOUT THE YEAR 223
It is stated that in the last persecution resumed under Alexandrinus Severus there were put to death among different other persons, for the name of Jesus Christ and the testimony of the evangelical truth, Agapitus, a youth of fifteen years; Calapodius, an elder (of whom P. J. Twisck writes, though two years earlier than J. Gysius, that he was apprehended for the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and, refusing to sacrifice to the heathen gods, was dragged with great ignominy through the city of Rome, and drowned in the Tiber. 3d book, page 59, cot. 2, from Bergomens, lib. 8.); Tiburtius and Valerianus, two brothers were likewise put to death, as well as Quiritius and his mother Julia, and Cecilia and Martina, both of them virgins; all of whom were put to death for the name of Jesus Christ, either in the water, or in the fire, or by the sword, or in some other manner. See, Joh. Gys., fol. 19, cot. 1.
HENRICUS, NARCISSUS, JULIUS, EUSEBIUS, AND OTHERS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FAITH, DURING THIS PERSECUTION
Besides those whom we have mentioned as having been slain in the fifth persecution, Seb. Franck names several very virtuous believers who suffered and were deprived of life for the same cause, namely, Henricus, bishop of the church at Lyons; Narcissus, a patriarch at Jerusalem; Julius and Eusebius. Sebast. Fra. Keysers Chron. en Wereltlijke Hist. van Christi geboorte tot op Car. h., printed 1563, fol. 20, cot. 2.
OF THE SIXTH 'PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS, COMMENCED UNDER MAXIMIN, A. D. 237
The sixth persecution of the Christians, writes J. Gysius, arose under the Emperor Maximin, a naturally cruel man, and was directed against persons of respectability (since he was of low origin), as well as against the Christians, but especially against the ministers of the Word. Fortunately for the Christians, this persecution was brief, since he reigned but two years; and as he was a violent enemy of the ministers of the church, the persecution commenced on them, as the teachers and authors, it is said, of the Christian religion; for it was thought that if they were removed, the common people could easily be drawn away from it. Then, Origen, a teacher of the church, in order to exhort the Christians to steadfastness, wrote a book on martyrdom, dedicating it to Ambrose, overseer of the church at Milan, and
Proctotus, learned men of that time. J. Gys., fol. 19, cot. 1, 2, from Euseb., lib. 6, cap. 20, Oros. lib. 7, cap. 19.
Touching the cause of these persecutions, the author of the Introduction, etc., writes thus: The heathen had such hatred for the Christians at that time, that, whenever an earthquake, a storm, or the like, occurred, they laid it to the charge of the Christians, saying that their gods were offended, because their honor was waning on account of the Christians; from which it is to be inferred that they treated the Christians in an awful manner. Fol. 39, cot. 2, from! Baronius, in Chron., A. D. 237, num. 3, and A. D. 256, num. 5.