Eusebius 260 - 340 80
Martyrs in Palestine
1 About Me 8
2 Education
3 Philosophy
4 Politics
5 News
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1 17 83 1:09
Introduction 8.8 0.
Preface 3.3 0.
1 CONFESSION OF PROCOPIUS. 1st year of Persecution 2.1 0.
5 CONFESSION OF EPIPHANIUS (Gr. Apphianus). 3rd year 8.7 0.
6 CONFESSION OF ALOSIS (Gr. Aedesius).  3rd year 2.2 0.
7 CONFESSION OF AGAPIUS. 4th year of persecution 4.1 0.
9 CONFESSION OF DOMNINUS, 5th year 3.6 0.
10 CONFESSION OF PAULUS, VALENTINA, AND HATHA. 5th year in Caesarea 7.2 0.
5th year in Caesarea 4.8 0.
6th year in Ashkelon .8 0.
7th year in Caesarea 1.8 0.
7th year 2.1 0.
8th year 2.4 0.
0 0 0.

THE manuscript from which this work of Eusebius has been at length recovered, after the lapse of several centuries, is that wonderful volume of the Nitrian Collection 1 now in the British Museum, whose most curious and remarkable history I have already made known in the Preface to my edition of the Festal Letters of St. Athanasius.2 It is not necessary, therefore, for me in this place to give any further account of it than to state that it was transcribed fourteen hundred and fifty years ago,--as early as the year of our Lord four hundred and eleven.

The several works contained in it are now all printed, and thereby rescued from the chance of being lost for all future time. The first--a Syriac translation of the Recognitions of St. Clement, which I once intended to publish, and had transcribed the greater part of it for that purpose--has been edited by Dr. P. de Lagarde, 3 to whom I |ii gave my copy. The transcript was completed by him, and compared with another manuscript of the same work, and afterward printed with that great care and accuracy which gives so much value to all the Syriac texts which he has edited. The second treatise in this manuscript is the book of Titus, Bishop of Bostra, or Bozra, in Arabia, against the Manicheans. We are also indebted for the publication of this important work to Dr. de Lagarde.4 The third is the book of Eusebius on the Theophania, or Divine Manifestation of our Lord. The text of this was edited by the late Dr. Lee,5 who also published an English translation of it,6 with valuable notes and a preliminary dissertation. The last is this history of the Martyrs of Palestine, also written by the same Author.

In the eighth book of the Ecclesiastical History, upon the occasion of his giving a short account of certain Bishops and others, who sealed their testimony for their faith with their blood, Eusebius stated his intention of writing, in a distinct treatise, a narrative of the confession |iii of those Martyrs with whom he had himself been acquainted. 7 Up to the time of the discovery of this Syriac copy, no such work was known to exist in a separate form, either in Latin or Greek. There is indeed a brief history of those contemporaries of Eusebius who suffered in the persecution of the Christians in Palestine, found in several antient Greek manuscripts, inserted as a part of it, and combined with the Ecclesiastical History : but it does not occupy the same place in all the copies of that work. In one it is placed after the middle of the thirteenth chapter of the eighth book;8 in two9 at the end of the tenth book; and in several,10 at the end of the eighth; while from two |iv others,11 as well as from the Latin version made by Ruffinus, it is omitted altogether. There is no distinct title prefixed to it in any copy but one, the Codex Castellani,12 where it bears the inscription:--Eusebiou suggramma peri twn kat'auton marturhsantwn en twi oktaetei Dioklhtianou kai efexhV Galeriou tou Maximinou diwgmoubut two copies, the Mazarine and Medicean, have at the end--Eusebiou touPamfilou peri twn en Palaistinhi marturhsantwn teloV.13

That this was the history of the martyrs who were known to Eusebius which he had promised, has never been doubted by any one; while, on the other hand, almost every one who has undertaken to write on the subject has judged it to be but an abridgment of the original work which formerly existed in a more extended form.14 The |v antient Latin copy of the Acts of Procopius,15 the Acts of Pamphilus and his companions, as exhibited by Simeon Metaphrastes,16 in much fuller detail than they are now found in the Greek text of Eusebius, and the additional facts respecting other martyrs who suffered in Palestine, supplied by the Greek Menaea and Menologia, were adduced as evidence of the existence at one time of a more copious work, and as a proof that the narrative inserted in the Ecclesiastical History was only an abridgment.

The correctness of this critical induction has been completely established by the discovery of this copy of the work of Eusebius of Caesarea on the Martyrs of Palestine, in the vernacular language of the country where the events took place, and actually transcribed within about seventy years after the death of the author.17

S. E. Assemani goes so far as to express his conviction that this history of the sufferings of the martyrs in Palestine was originally composed in Syriac, a language with which Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, was necessarily well acquainted, |vi as being the vernacular speech of his own country and diocese.18 It is not at all improbable that Eusebius might made have use of the Syriac for ordinary purposes, or, indeed, as a safer deposit for any memoranda which he might wish to commit to writing than the Greek, during the time that the persecution continued. Could this inference of S. E. Assemani be established, it would give still additional interest and value to the work which I now publish. I must, however, own that I cannot admit the supposition that this work was originally written in the Syriac language. Indeed, it seems to me to be sufficiently disproved by the fact, that the Syriac copy of such of the Acts of Martyrs in Palestine as have been published by S. E. Assemani, while it agrees completely in substance with this, is evidently a translation by another hand; and that the variation and errors which occur in some of the proper names are of such a kind as could only have arisen from confounding two similar Greek letters of the writing at that period;19 and further, there are some obscure passages in this Syriac, which obviously seem to be the result of a translator not fully apprehending the meaning of the Greek passage before him.20

How long the entire Greek text of the original work continued to be read, we have now no means of learning with any degree of certainty. It must have been in existence in the time of Simeon Metaphrastes, in the tenth century, for he has supplied many facts20 from it |vii which the abridged form of the Greek does not contain, and has also given entire the long passage relating to Pamphilus and his companions.21 Neither can there be any doubt of its having been in use at the period when the Greek Menaea and Menologia were compiled.22 The fact that many of the circumstances and events which it described had been inserted in the abovementioned books, and that an abridgment, which, I cannot doubt, was made by Eusebius himself, had also been incorporated into the Ecclesiastical. History, seems to have led to the discontinuance of the transcription of the larger work, and to have been mainly the cause of its being no longer found in the Greek in a separate form. The preservation of this work in its complete state up to the present time, in the Syriac, is chiefly due to the circumstance of its having been transported, at a very early period, to the Syrian Monastery in the solitude of the Nitrian Desert, where the dryness of the climate kept the vellum from decay, and the idleness and ignorance of the monks saved the volume from being worn out and destroyed by frequent use.

Independently of the great interest of the subject of which it treats, this work of Eusebius has especial claims to consideration, on the ground of the author having been himself an eyewitness of most of the events which he |viii describes. There are some, indeed, at which he could not have have been present; for instance, the Confession of Romanus, who suffered at Antioch on the same day as Alphaeus and Zacchaeus did at Caesarea, where he was then residing. He has, given a narrative of the sufferings of Romanus, in his history of the Martyrs of Palestine, because he was a native of Palestine, and had also been a deacon and exorcist in one of the villages of Caesarea; and Eusebius was anxious to claim for his own country and diocese the honour of this man's confession. This may perhaps be the reason why there are found two distinct accounts of the Acts of Romanus in Syriac, as well as in Greek and Latin.

It is not my intention to enter into any discussion respecting the time of the composition of this treatise, or that of the great Church History by Eusebius: nor will I consider at any length the question of the abridgment of the account of the Martyrs of Palestine inserted in most of the copies of the Ecclesiastical History, or that of the different recensions of this latter work by the author himself. 23 These are certainly very interesting subjects of literary and historical inquiry; and doubtless this book will supply the critic with new data, to enable him to elucidate and determine them in a more complete and satisfactory manner than it has been hitherto possible for any one to do. These matters I would rather leave to other scholars. All now have the same materials as I have, and some may be possessed of other greater facilities and appliances, as well as better capacities for the task. I |ix believe it to be my duty to employ my own time and exertions in another way.

I will therefore content myself with briefly observing that this work of Eusebius on the Martyrs of Palestine bears evidently upon it the stamp of being a record of facts which were noted down at the time as they severally occurred, and were afterwards revised and arranged in due order at a subsequent period, when some events, which, in the earlier years of the Persecution, the author thought it probable might happen, had actually taken place; and when other occurrences of earlier date were no longer so fresh and vivid in the minds of men as they had been when all were still living who had witnessed them.

I would observe, also, that it seems to be evident that this work, in which Eusebius recounts the martyrdom of Pamphilus and his companions, was composed before he wrote the fuller history of that noble Martyr, to which he refers in the Abridgment; for no reference whatever is made to the existence of any such history in this original and more copious narrative of the Martyrs of Palestine. It must, therefore, have been composed before he wrote the Ecclesiastical History, in which he several times adverts to the life of Pamphilus as having been already completed.

The first edition of the Ecclesiastical History does not appear to have contained the history of the Martyrs of Palestine. This seems to be the copy used by Ruffinus, who neither gives any such history, nor has the passage in the thirteenth chapter of the eighth book which refers to it.

Indeed, it is evident from his own words that the abridgment must have been made by Eusebius himself.24 When, |x therefore, he condensed the narrative for the purpose of incorporating it into the subsequent editions of the Ecclesiastical History, he also took that opportunity of supplying several facts which, either from considerations of prudence, or from not having had knowledge of them at the time when the work was originally composed, he had previously omitted; and also ventured to speak more plainly of persons, because the altered condition of circumstances after the accession of Constantine enabled him to do this without any apprehension of danger. This, I think, will be obvious to those who will be at the pains to compare the general narrative of the events as they are recorded year by year, with the notes which I have added, even without having recourse to fuller and more minute researches.

The translation I have endeavoured to make as faithful as I could without following the Syriac idiom so closely as to render the English obscure. There are a very few passages in which I cannot feel quite sure that I have obtained the precise meaning of the Syriac; but the obscurity of these passages is certainly due to the Translator, who does not seem to have fully understood the Greek text which he had before him. My English translation of the long account of Pamphilus and his companions was printed before I read either the Greek text printed by Papebrochius, or the Latin translation made by Lipomannus from the same Greek, as it was preserved by Simeon Metaphrastes. The comparison of all of these together will be a good means of testing both the integrity of the transmission of the original Greek to the present day, and the fidelity of the Syriac translation.

In the notes, my chief object has been to collect such observations as may tend especially to throw light upon |xi the time of the composition of this work and of the Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius, and serve to elucidate the text; but in order to keep them from extending to too great a length, I have omitted all those matters which it appeared to me an ordinarily well-informed scholar might be presumed to be acquainted with.


THOSE Holy Martyrs of God, who loved our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, and God supreme and sovereign of all, more than themselves and their own lives, who were dragged forward to the conflict for the sake of religion, and rendered glorious by the martyrdom of confession, who preferred a horrible death to a temporary life, and were crowned with all the victories of virtue, and offered to the Most High and supreme God the glory of their wonderful victory, because they had their conversation in heaven, and walked with him who gave victory to their testimony, also offered up glory, and honour, and majesty to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Moreover, the souls of the martyrs being worthy of the kingdom of heaven are in honour together with the company of the prophets and apostles. Let us therefore, likewise, who stand in need of the aid of their prayers, and have been also charged in the book of the Apostles, that we should be partakers in the remembrance of the Saints,-- let us also be partakers with them, and begin to describe those conflicts of theirs against sin, which are at all times published abroad by the mouth of those believers who were acquainted with them Nor, indeed, have their praises been noted by monu- ! ments of stone, nor by statues variegated with painting and colours and resemblances of earthly things without life, but by the word of truth spoken before God: the deed also which is seen by our eyes bearing witness. 

P. Let us therefore, relate the manifest signs and glorious proofs of the divine doctrine, and commit to writing a commemoration not to be forgotten, setting also their marvellous virtues as a constant vision before our eyes. For I am struck with wonder at their all-enduring courage, at their confession under .many forms, and at the wholesome alacrity of their souls, the elevation of their minds, the open profession of their faith, the clearness of their reason, the patience of their condition, and the truth of their religion: how they were not cast down in their minds, but their eyes looked upwards, and they neither trembled nor feared. The love of God also, and of His Christ, supplied them with an all-effective power, by which they overcame their enemies. For they loved God, the supreme sovereign of all, and they loved Him with all their might. He, too, requited their love to Him by the aid which He afforded them: and they also were loved by Him, and strengthened against their enemies, applying the words of that confessor who had already borne his testimony before them and exclaiming "Who shall separate us from Christ? shall tribulation, or affliction, or persecution, or hunger, or death, or the sword? as it is written, For thy sake we die daily: we are reckoned as lambs for the slaughter." And again, when this same martyr magnifies that patience which cannot be overcome by evil, he says--"that in all these things we conquer for Him who loved us." And he foretold that all evils are overcome by the love of God, and that all terrors and afflictions are trodden down, while he exclaimed and said : "Because I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in our Lord Jesus Christ."

At that time then, Paul, who exulted in the power of his Lord, was himself crowned with the victory of martyrdom in the midst of Rome, the Imperial City p. 3., because he had entered the contest there, as in a superior conflict. In that victory also which Christ granted to his triumphant martyrs, Simon, the chief and first of the disciples, likewise received the crown; and he  suffered in a manner similar to our Lord's sufferings. Others of the Apostles too, in other places, closed their lives in martyrdom. Nor was this grace given only to those of former times, but it has also been bestowed abundantly upon this our own generation.

As for those conflicts, which were gloriously achieved in various other countries, it is meet that they who were then living should describe what took place in their own country; but for myself I pray that I may be enabled to write an account of those with whom I had the honour of being cotemporary, and that they may rank me also among them--I mean those of whom the whole people of Palestine is proud, for in the midst of this our land also the Saviour of all mankind himself arose like a thirst-refreshing fountain. The conflicts, therefore, of these victorious combatants I will proceed to relate, for the common instruction and benefit of all.

1 CONFESSION OF PROCOPIUS. 1st year of Persecution.

THE first of all the martyrs who appeared in Palestine was named Procopius. In truth he was a godly man, for even before his confession he had given up his life to great endurance: and from the time that he was a little boy had been of pure habits, and of strict morals: and by the vigour of his mind he had so brought his body into subjection, that, even before his death, his soul seemed to dwell in a body completely mortified, and he had so strengthened his soul by the word of God that his body also was sustained by the power of God. His food was bread only, and his drink water; and he took nothing else besides these two. P. Occasionally he took food every second day only, and sometimes every third day; oftentimes too he passed a whole week without food. But he never ceased day nor night from the study of the word of God: and at the same time he was careful as to his manners and modesty of conduct, so that he edified by his; meekness and piety all those of his own standing. And while  his chief application was devoted to divine subjects, he was acquainted also in no slight degree with natural science. His family was from Baishan; and he ministered in the orders of the Church in three things :--First, he had been a Reader; and in the second order he translated from Greek into Aramaic; and in the last, which is even more excellent than the preceding, he opposed the powers of the evil one, and the devils trembled before him. Now it happened that he was sent from Baishan to our city Caesarea, together with his brother confessors. And at the very moment that he passed the gates of the city they brought him before the Governor: and immediately upon his first entrance the judge, whose name was Flavianus, said to him: It is necessary that thou shouldest sacrifice to the gods: but he replied with a loud voice, There is no God but one only, the Maker and Creator of all things. And when the judge felt himself smitten by the blow of the martyr's words, he furnished himself with arms of another kind against the doctrine of truth, and, abandoning his former order, commanded him to sacrifice to the emperors, who were four in number; but the holy martyr of God laughed still more at this saying, and repeated the words of the greatest of poets of the Greeks, which he said that "the rule of many is not good: let there be one ruler and one sovereign." And on account of his answer, which was insulting to the emperors, he, though alive in his conduct, was delivered over to death, and forthwith the head of this blessed man was struck off, and an easy transit afforded him along the way to heaven. P. And this took place on the seventh day of the month Heziran, in the first year of the persecution in our days. This confessor was the first who was consummated in our city Caesarea.


IT happened, at the same time, that the festival, which is celebrated on the twentieth year of the emperor's reign, was at hand, and a  pardon was announced at that festival for the offences of those who were in prison. The governor, therefore, of the country came before the festival, and instituted an inquiry respecting the prisoners which were in confinement, and some of them were set at liberty through the clemency of the emperors; but the martyrs of God he insulted with tortures, as though they were worse malefactors than thieves and murderers.

Zacchaeus, therefore, who had been a deacon of the Church in the city of Gadara, was led like an innocent lamb from the flock--for such indeed he was by nature, and those of his acquaintance had given him the appellation of Zacchaeus as a mark of honour, calling him by the name of that first Zacchaeus--for one reason, because of the smallness of his stature, and for another, on account of the strict life which he led; and he was even more desirous of seeing our Lord than the first Zacchaeus. And when he was brought in before the judge, he rejoiced in his confession for the sake of Christ: and when he had spoken the words of God before the judge, he was delivered over to all the tortures of punishment, and after having been first scourged, he was made to endure dreadful lacerations, and then after this he was thrown into prison again, and there for a whole day and a whole night his feet were strained to four holes of the rack.

Alphaeus, also, a most amiable man, endured afflictions and sufferings similar to these. His family was of the most illustrious of the city Eleutheropolis, and in the church of Caesarea he had been honoured with the dignity of Reader and Exorcist. But before he became a confessor he had been a preacher and teacher of p. the word of God; and had great confidence towards all men, and this of itself was a good reason for his being brought to his confession of the truth. And because he saw that there was fallen upon all men at that time laxity and great fear, and many were swept along as it were before the force of many waters, and carried away to the foul worship of idols, he deliberated how he might withstand the violence of the evil by his own valour, and by his own courageous words repress the terrible storm. Of his own accord, therefore, he threw himself into the midst of  the crowd of the oppressors, and with words of denunciation reproached those, who through their timidity had been dragged into error; and held them back from the worship of idols, by reminding them of the words which had been spoken by our Saviour, respecting confession. And when Alphaeus, full of courage and bravery, had done these things openly with boldness, the officers seized him, and took him at once before the judge. But this is not the time for us to relate what words he uttered with all freedom of speech, nor what answers he gave in words of godly religion, like a man filled with the Spirit of God. In consequence of these things he was sent to prison. And after some days he was brought again before the judge, and his body was torn all over by severe scourgings without mercy, but the fortitude of his mind still continued erect before the judge, and by his words he withstood all error. Then he was tortured on his sides with the cruel combs, and, at last, having wearied out the judge himself, and those who were ministering to the judge's will, he was again committed to prison, together with another fellow-combatant, and stretched out a whole day and night upon the wooden rack. After three days they were both of them brought together before the judge, and he commanded them to offer sacrifice to the emperors: but they confessed, and said, We acknowledge one God only, the supreme sovereign of all; and when they had uttered these words in the presence of all the people (p. 7.) they were numbered among the company of Holy Martyrs, and were crowned as glorious and illustrious combatants in the conflict of God, for whose sake also their heads were cut off. And better than all the course of their lives did they love their departure, to be with Him in whom they made their confession. But the day that they suffered martyrdom was the seventh of Teshri the latter, on which day the confession of those of whom we have been speaking was consummated.

And on this selfsame day also Romanus suffered martyrdom in the city of Antioch. But this Romanus belonged to Palestine, and he was a Deacon, and an Exorcist likewise, in one of the villages of Caesarea. And he, too, was stretched out upon the rack,  and like as the martyr Alphaeus had done in Caesarea, so did the blessed Romanus by his words of denunciation restrain from sacrificing those who, from their timidity, were relapsed into the sin of the error of devils, recalling to the minds of them all the terrors of God. He had also the courage to go in together with the; multitude who were dragged by force into error and to present himself there in Antioch before the judge: and when he heard the judge commanding them to sacrifice, and they, in trepidation from their fears, were driven with trembling to offer sacrifice, this zealous man was no longer able to endure this sad spectacle, but was : moved with pity towards them as towards those who were feeling about in thick darkness, and on the point of falling over a precipice, and so he made the doctrine of the religion of God to rise up before them like the sun, crying aloud and saying: Whither are ye being carried, oh men? Are ye all stooping down to cast yourselves into the abyss? Lift up the eyes of your understanding on high, and above all the worlds ye shall recognise God and the Saviour of all the ends of the world; and do not abandon for error the commandment which has been committed to you: then shall the godless error of the worship of devils be apparent to you. Remember also the righteous judgment of God supreme, p. And when he had spoken these things to them with a loud voice, and stood there without fear and without dread, at the command of him who was constituted judge there, the officers seized him, and he condemned him to be destroyed by fire, for the crafty judge perceived that many were confirmed by the words which the martyr spake, and that he turned many back from error. And because the servant of Jesus had done these things in the place where the emperors were, they at once brought out this blessed man into the midst of the city of Antioch. And he was arrived at the spot where he was to undergo his punishment, and the things which were required for the fire were got ready, and they were busying themselves to fulfil the command with haste, when the emperor Diocletian, having heard of what was done, gave orders that they should withdraw the martyr from the death by fire, because, said he, his insolence and folly were not suitable  for punishment by fire; and so, like a merciful emperor, he gave order for a new kind of punishment for the martyr, that his tongue should be cut out. Nevertheless, when that member by which he spoke was taken away, still was his true love not severed from his God; neither was his intellectual tongue restrained from preaching, and immediately he received from God, the sovereign of all, a recompense for his struggle in the conflict, and was filled with power much greater than he had before. Then did great wonder seize upon all men; for he, whose tongue had been cut out, forthwith, by the gift of God spake out valiantly, and heartily exulted in the faith, as though he were standing by the side of Him in whom he made his confession; and with a countenance bright and cheerful he saluted his acquaintance, and scattered the seed of the word of God into the ears of all men, exhorting them all to worship God alone, and lifting up his prayers and thanksgiving to God, who worketh marvels p. : and when he had done these things he mightily gave testimony to the word of Christ before all men, and in deed shewed forth the power of Him in whom he made his confession. And when he had done so for a long time he was again stretched upon the rack; and by the command of the governor and the judge they threw upon him the strangling instrument, and he was strangled. And on the same day as those blessed martyrs who appertained to Zacchaeus he was consummated in his confession. And although this man actually passed through the conflict, and suffered martyrdom in Antioch, nevertheless, because his family was of Palestine, he is properly described among the company of martyrs in this our country.


IT was the second year of the persecution, and the hostility against us was more violent than the first; and Urbanus, who at that same time had superseded the governor Flavianus in his  office, was governor over the people of Palestine. There came then again the second time edicts from the emperor, in addition to the former, threatening persecution to all persons. For, in the former, he had given orders respecting the rulers of the Church of God only, to compel them to sacrifice; but, in the second edicts there was a strict ordinance, which compelled all persons equally, that the entire population in every city, both men and women, should sacrifice to dead idols, and a law was imposed upon them to offer libations to devils; for such were the commands of the tyrants who, in their folly, desired to wage war against God, the king supreme. And when these commands of the emperor were put into effect, the blessed Timotheus, in the city of Gaza, was delivered up to Urbanus while he was there, and was unjustly bound in fetters, like a murderer p. 10., for indeed he was not bound in fetters on account of any thing deserving of blame, because he had been blameless in all his conduct, and during the whole of his life. When, therefore, he did not comply with the law as to the worship of idols, nor bow down to dead images without life, for he was a man perfect in every thing, and was in his soul acquainted with his God, and because of his piety and his conduct and his virtues, even before he was delivered up to the governor, he had already endured severe sufferings from the inhabitants of his own city, having lived there under insults and frequent blows and contumely, for the people of the city of Gaza were accursed in the heathenism; and when they were present in the judgment hall of the governor, this champion of righteousness came off victorious in all the excellence of his patience. And the judge cruelly employed against him severe tortures, and showered upon his body terrible scourgings without number, inflicting on his sides horrible lacerations, such as it is impossible to describe; but, under all these things this brave martyr of God sustained the conflict like a hero, and at last obtained the victory in the struggle, by enduring death by means of a slow fire : for it was a weak and slow fire by which he was burned, so that his soul could not easily make her escape from the body, and be at rest. 0  And there was he tried like pure gold in the furnace of a slow fire, manifesting the perfection and the sincerity of his religion towards his God, and obtaining the crown of victory which belongs to the glorious conquerors of righteousness. And because he loved God, he received, as the meet recompense of his will, that perfect life which he longed for in the presence of God the sovereign of all. And together with this brave confessor, at the same time of the trial of his confession, and in the same city, the martyr Agapius, and the admirable Theckla (she of our days) were condemned by the governor to suffer punishment and to be devoured by wild beasts, p. 11.


IT was the festival at which all the people assembled themselves together in their cities. The same festival also was held in Caesarea. And in the circus there was an exhibition of horse races, and a representation was performed in the theatre, and it was customary for impious and barbarous spectacles to take place in the Stadium: and there was a rumour and a report generally current, that Agapius, whose name we have mentioned above, and Theckla with him, together with the rest of the Phrygians, were to be sent into the theatre in the form of martyrs, in order that they might be devoured by the wild beasts; for the governor Urbanus would present this gift to the spectators. When the fame of these things was heard abroad, it happened further that other young men, perfect in stature, and brave in person (they were in number six) arrived. And as the governor was proceeding to the theatre, and passing through the city, these six men stood up courageously before him: and having bound their hands behind them, they drew near before the judge Urbanus, and, in fact, 1 by binding themselves, shewed what was about to be done to them by others, and exhibited their excellent patience, and the readiness of their mind for martyrdom, for they confessed, crying aloud and saying, We are Christians; and beseeching the governor Urbanus that they also might be thrown to the wild beasts in the theatre in company with their brethren who appertained to Agapius. For all this confidence of Jesus our Saviour, in his own champions did He manifest to all men; extinguishing the menaces of the tyrants by his champion's valour, and manifestly and clearly shewing, that neither fire, nor steel, nor even fierce wild beasts, were able to subdue his victorious servants p. 12., for He had girded them with the armour of righteousness, and strengthening them with victorious and invincible armour, he made them despise death. And they struck at once the governor and the whole band with him with astonishment at this their courage: and the governor gave command that they should be delivered up to prison; and there they were detained many days. And while they were in prison, Agapius, a meek and good man, the brother of one of the prisoners, arrived from the city of Gaza, and went frequently to the prison to visit his brother, and having already striven in many contests of confession before, he went with confidence to the place of imprisonment: and so he was denounced to the governor as a man prepared for martyrdom, and consequently was delivered over to bonds, in order that he might endure the trial of a second conflict. And things similar to these did Dionysius also suffer. And this good recompense was given to him from the martyrs of God as the reward of his service to them. And when the governor was made aware of this recompense of the compassion of Dionysius towards the martyrs, he gave the sentence of death against him. And thus he became associated with those who preceded him. And all together they were eight in number; namely, Timotheus, whose origin was from Pontus; and Dionysius, who came from the city of Tripolis; and Romulus, a sub-deacon of the church of the city of Diospolis; and two were Aegyptians, Paesis and Alexander; and again another Alexander, 2 and those two respecting whom we have said that they were at last cast into prison.

All these were delivered up together at one time, to be beheaded. And this matter took place on the twenty-fourth of Adar. But there was, at the same time, a sudden change of the emperors, both of him who was the chief and emperor, and of him who was honoured in the next place after him: and those p. 1who had divested themselves of the power of empire and put on the ordinary dress, having given up the empire to their associates, were rent asunder from their love towards each other, and they raised against one another an implacable war; nor was any remedy given to this malady of their hostility, until the peace in our time, which was spread throughout the whole empire of the Romans; for it arose like light out of clouds of darkness, and forthwith the Church of the supreme God and the divine doctrine was extended throughout the whole world.

5 CONFESSION OF EPIPHANIUS (Gr. Apphianus). 3rd year of Persecution.

THAT bitter viper, and wicked and cruel tyrant, which in our time held the dominion of the Romans, went forth, even from his very commencement, to fight as it were against God, and was filled with persecution and rage against us in a far greater degree than any of those who had preceded him--I mean Maximinus : and no little consternation fell upon all the inhabitants of the cities, and many were scattered abroad into every country, and dispersed themselves, in order that they might escape the danger which surrounded them.

What words then are adequate to describe, as it deserves, the divine love of the martyr Epiphanius, who had not yet attained the age of twenty years? He was sprung from one of the most illustrious families in Lycia, famous also for their extensive worldly wealth, and, by the care of his parents, he had been sent to be educated in the city of Beyrout, where he had also acquired a 3  great stock of learning. But this incident is not in any way connected with the narrative which we are writing: if, however, it be befitting that we make any mention of the virtuous conduct of this all-holy soul, it is very right to admire, how in a city such as this he used to withdraw himself from the society and company p. 1of young men, and practised the virtues and the habits of old men, adorning himself with pure conduct and becoming manners, nor suffered himself to be overcome by the vigour of his body, nor to be led away by the society of youth. But he laid the foundation of all virtues for himself in patience, cherishing perfect holiness and temperance, and applying himself with purity, as it is right, to the worship of God. And when he had finished his education and quitted Beyrout, and was returned to the house of his parents, he was no longer able to live with those who were of his own family, because their manners were dissimilar to his own. He therefore left them, without taking care to carry with him the means of providing sustenance even for a single day. He conducted himself, however, in his travels, with purity, and by the power of God which accompanied him, he came to this our city, in which the crown of martyrdom was prepared for him, and resided in the same house with us, confirming himself in godly doctrine, and being instructed in the Holy Scriptures by that perfect martyr, Pamphilus, and acquiring from him the excellence of virtuous habits and conduct.

And for this reason I have applied myself to the narrative of the martyrdom of Epiphanius, in order that I may declare, if I be able, what a consummation he also had. All the multitudes that beheld him were struck with admiration of him. And who is there, even now-a-days, that can hear of his fame without being filled with astonishment at his courage, and at his boldness of speech, and at his daring, and at his patience, at his words addressed to the governor, and his answers to the judge? And more than all to be wondered at is the resolution with which he dedicated as it were with incense the offering of his zeal for God. For when the persecution had been raised against us the second time, in the third year of this same persecution, the former 4 edicts of Maximinus arrived--those by which he gave command that the governors of the cities should use great pains and diligence in order to compel all men to offer sacrifices p. 1and libations to devils. The heralds, therefore, through all the cities made a diligent proclamation, that the men, together with their wives and children, should assemble in the temples of the idols, and before the Chiliarchs and Centurions, as they went round about to the houses and the streets making a list of the inhabitants of the city. Then they summoned them by name, and compelled them to offer sacrifice as they had been commanded. And while this boundless tempest was threatening all men from all sides, Epiphanius, a perfectly holy man, and a witness of the truth, performed an act which surpasses all words. While no one was aware of his purpose; he even concealed it from us who were in the same house with him, he went and drew near to the governor of the place, and stood boldly before him; having also escaped the observation of the whole band that was standing near the governor, for they had not given heed when he approached the governor: and while Urbanus was offering libations, he came up to him and laid hold of his right hand, and held him back from offering the foul libation to idols, endeavouring with an excellent and gentle address and godlike suavity to persuade him to turn from his error, saying to him: That it was not right for us to turn away from the one only God of truth, and offer sacrifice to lifeless idols and wicked devils. Thus did He, who is more mighty than all, reprove the wicked through the youth Epiphanius, whom, for the sake of his reproof, the power of Jesus had taken from the house of his fathers, in order that he might be a reprover of the works of pollution. He therefore despised threatenings and all deaths, and turned not aside from good to evil, but spake gladly with pure knowledge and a glorifying tongue, because he was desirous to carry speedily, if it were possible, persuasion even to his persecutors, and to teach them to turn away from their error, and become acquainted with our common deliverer, the Saviour and God of all. When then this holy martyr of God had done these things, the servants p. 1of devils, together with the officers of the governor, 5 were smitten in their hearts as if by a hot iron; and they struck him on the face, and when he had been thrown down on the ground they kicked him with their feet, and tore his mouth and lips with a bridle. And when he had endured all these things bravely, he was afterwards delivered up to be taken to a dark prison, where his legs were then stretched for a day and a night in the stocks. And after the next day they brought Epiphanius, who, although a youth in age, was a mighty man in valour, into the judgment hall, and there the governor Urbanus displayed a proof of his own wickedness and hatred against this lovely youth by punishment and every kind of torture inflicted upon this martyr of God. And he ordered them to lacerate his sides until his bones and entrails became visible: he was also smitten upon his face and his neck to such a degree, that his countenance was so disfigured by the severe blows which he had received, that not even his friends could recognise him. This martyr of Christ, however, was strengthened both in body and soul like adamant, and stood up even more firmly in his confidence upon his God. And when the governor asked him many questions, he gave him no further answer than this--that he was a Christian: and he questioned him again as to whose son he was, and whence he came and where he dwelt; but he made no other reply than that he was the servant of Christ. For this cause therefore the fury of the governor became more fierce, and he thundered forth the more in his rage, on account of the indomitable speech of the martyr, giving command that his feet should be wrapped up in cotton that had been dipped in oil, and then be set on fire. So the officers of the judge did what he commanded them. And the martyr was hung up at a great height, in order that, by this dreadful spectacle, he might strike terror into all those who were looking on, while at the same time they tore his sides and ribs with combs, till he became one mass of swelling all over, and the appearance of his countenance was completely changed, p. 1And for a long time his feet were burning in a sharp fire, so that the flesh of his feet, as it was consumed, dropped like melted wax, and the fire burnt into his very bones like dry reeds. But at the same time, although he 6 was in great suffering from what befel him, he became, by his patience, like one who had no pain, for he had within, for a helper, that God who dwelt within him; and he appeared evidently to all like the sun : and in consequence of the great courage of this martyr of Christ many Christians also were assembled together to behold him, and stood up with much open confidence; and he, with a loud voice and distinct words, made his confession for the testimony of God, publishing by this his valour the hidden power of Jesus, that He is ever near to those who themselves draw near to Him.

And all this wonderful spectacle did the glorious Epiphanius exhibit, as it were in a theatre: for they who were the martyr's oppressors became like corrupt demons, and suffered within themselves great pain; being also themselves tortured in their own persons, as he was, on account of his endurance in the doctrine of his Lord. And while they stood in bitter pains, they gnashed upon him with their teeth, burning in their minds against him, and trying to force him to tell them whence he came, and who he was, and questioning him as to whose son he was, and where he lived, and commanding him to offer sacrifice and comply with the edict. But he looked upon them all as evil demons, and regarded them as corrupt devils : not returning an answer to any of them, but using only this word in confessing Christ, that He is God and the Son of God: p. 1testifying also that he knew God his Father only. When therefore those who were contending against him were grown weary and overcome, and failed, they took him back to the prison, and on the next day they brought him forth again before that bitter and merciless judge, but he still continued in the same confession as before. And when the governor and his officers, and the whole band that ministered to his will, were foiled, he gave orders at last that he should be cast into the depths of the sea.

But that wonderful thing which happened after this act I know will not be believed by those who did not witness the wonder with their own eyes, as I myself did: for men are not wont to give the same credence to the hearing of the ear as to the seeing of 7 eye. It is not, however, right for us also, like those who are in error and deficient in faith, to conceal that prodigy which took place at the death of this martyr of God; and we also call as witnesses to you of these things, which we have written, the whole of the inhabitants of the city of Caasarea, for there was not even one of the inhabitants of this city absent from this terrific sight. For after this man of God had been cast into the depths of the terrible sea, with stones tied to his feet, forthwith a great storm and frequent commotions and mighty waves troubled the vast sea, and a severe earthquake made even the city itself tremble, and every one's hands were raised towards heaven in fear and trembling, for they supposed that the whole place, together with its inhabitants, was about to be destroyed on that day. And at the same time, the sea, even as if it were unable to endure it, vomited back the holy body of the martyr of God, and carried it with the waves and laid it before the gate of the city. And there was at that time vast affliction and commotion, for it seemed like a messenger sent from God to threaten all men with great anger p. 1And this which took place was proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the city, and they all ran at once and pushed against each other in order that they might obtain a sight, both boys and men and old men together, and all grades of women, so that even the modest virgins, who kept to their own apartments, went out to see this sight. And the whole city together, even the very children as well, gave glory to the God of the Christians alone, confessing with a loud voice the name of Christ, who had given strength to the martyr in his lifetime to endure such afflictions, and at his death had shewed prodigies to all who beheld.

Such was the termination of the history of Epiphanius, on the second of the month Nisan, and his memory is observed on this day.


LIKE what had befallen the martyr Epiphanius, so after a short time the brother of Epiphanius, both on the father's and the 8 mother's side, became a confessor, whose name was Alosis. He too, as he contended against them with the words of God, made use of his faith in the truth as armour; they also fought against him with smiting and scourging, and they stood up against each other as it were in battle array, and strove which side should get the victory. But even before his brother had given himself up to God, this admirable Alosis had applied his mind to philosophy, and meditated upon all the learned investigations of the greatest minds. Nor was he a proficient in the learning of the Greeks only, but he was also well acquainted with the philosophy of the Romans, and he had passed a long time in the society of the martyr Pamphilus, and by him had been embued with the godly doctrine as with purple suited for royalty. This same Alosis, after his admirable confession, which was accomplished before our eyes, and his sufferings of the evils (p. 20) of imprisonment for a long period, was first of all delivered over to the copper mines which are in our country, Palestine; and after that he had passed through many afflictions there, and then been released, he went thence to the city Alexandria, and fell in with Hierocles, who held the government of the province in all the land of Egypt. Him also he beheld judging the Christians severely, and contrary to just laws, making mock of the confessors of God, and delivering up the holy virgins of God to fornication, and to lust, and to bodily shame. When therefore these things were perpetrated before the eyes of this brave combatant, he devoted himself to an act akin to that of his brother; and the zeal of God was kindled within him like fire, and its heat burned within his members as in dry stubble, and he drew near to Hierocles, the wicked governor, with indignation, and put him to shame by his words of wisdom and his deeds of righteousness, and, having struck him on the face with both his hands, he threw him on his back upon the ground; and as his attendants laid hold upon him to help him, he gave him some severe blows, saying to him, Beware how thou darest to commit acts of pollution contrary to nature against the servants of God. And, being well instructed, he convicted 9 him from the laws themselves of acting contrary to the laws.

And after Alosis had so courageously done all these things, he endured with great patience the torments which were inflicted upon his body; and as he resembled his brother in his appearance, and conduct, and in his zeal and confession, so also did they resemble each other in their punishment, and at the last, after their death the terrible sea received them from the hand of the judge.

Now this servant of Jesus exhibited his contest for the truth in p. the city of Alexandria, and was there adorned with the crown of victory; but the next confessor after Epiphanius who was called to the conflict of martyrdom in Palestine was Agapius.

7 CONFESSION OF AGAPIUS. 4th year of persecution.

IT was in the fourth year of the persecution in our days, and on Friday the twentieth of the latter Teshri: it was on this same day that the chief of tyrants, Maximinus, came to the city of Caesarea. And he made a boast that he would exhibit some novel sight to all the spectators that were assembled together on his account; for that was the same day on which he celebrated the anniversary of his birthday. And it was requisite upon the arrival of the tyrant that he should exhibit something more than what had ordinarily been done. What then was this new spectacle, but that a martyr of God should be cast to wild beasts to be devoured by them? while of old it had been the practice upon the arrival of the emperor that he should set before the spectators competitive exhibitions of various forms and different kinds, such as recitation of speeches, and listening to new and strange songs and music, and also spectacles of all sorts of wild beasts, and likewise that the spectators might have much delight and amusement in a show of gladiators.

It was therefore requisite that the emperor at this festival of his birthday should also do something great and extraordinary, 0 for at all the previous exhibitions which he had furnished for them he had not done any thing new. So that--what was at once a thing desired by himself, and acceptable to the wicked tyrant--a martyr of God was brought forth into the midst, adorned with all righteousness, and remarkable for the meekness of his life; and he was cast into the theatre in order that he might be devoured by the wild beasts. His name was Agapius, respecting whom, together with Theckla, an order had been given that they should be devoured by wild beasts. The fair name of Theckla has been already mentioned in another chapter p. 2They therefore dragged the blessed Agapius forward, and took him round about in mockery in the midst of the Stadium. And a tablet, with an inscription upon it, was carried about before him, on which no other accusation was exhibited against him, but this only--That he was a Christian. And the same time also a slave, a murderer, that had killed his master, was brought forward, together with the martyr of God, and they both received equally one and the same sentence. And very closely did this passion resemble that of our Saviour; for while the one was to suffer martyrdom for the sake of the God of all, the other also was to be put to death for the murder of his master; and one and the same sentence of evil went forth against both of them without any distinction. And the judge in this case was the governor Urbanus, for he was still governor in Palestine: but when Maximinus came to be present at this spectacle which has been described above, as if on account of the promptitude of Urbanus, he increased his power of evil, and liberated from death that murderer which had slain his master, and put him beyond all torture; but as for the martyr of God, he took delight in looking on with his own eyes while he was being devoured by the savage beasts. When therefore they had led the martyr Agapius round about in the Stadium, they asked him in the first place if he would deny his God, but he cried out with a loud voice and said to all those who were assembled together--Oh ye that are looking on at this trial in which I am now placed, know that it is not for any evil crime which I have committed that I am 1 brought to this trial, for I am a witness of the true doctrine of God, and I bear testimony to you all, in order that ye may have knowledge of the one only God, and of that Light which he has caused to arise, that ye may know and adore Him who is the creator of the heavens and of the earth. And all this which is come upon me for his name's sake, I receive with joy in my mind; for they have not brought me to this place against my will, but I desire this of my own free choice, by which I stand even unto death. Moreover, I am contending for the sake of my faith, that I may afford encouragment to those who are younger than myself, that they too may despise death while p. they follow after their true life, and may disregard the grave in order to obtain a kingdom; that they should make light of that which is mortal, and keep in their recollection the life of the Giver of life, nor have any dread of punishment which is momentary, but be in fear of those flames of fire which are never quenched.

When therefore this martyr of God had cried with a loud voice and said these things, and stood erect in the midst of the Stadium, like one who felt confident that there was no danger, the wicked tyrant was filled with rage and fury, and gave orders for the wild beasts to be let loose upon him: but he, being full of courage and despising death, turned not aside to the right hand or to the left, but with lightness of feet and courage of heart advanced to meet the savage beasts. And a fierce bear rushed upon him and tore him with her teeth: he was then remanded to prison, while life was still left in him, and there he lived one day. After this, stones were tied about him, and his body was thrown into the sea; but the soul of the blessed Agapius winged her flight through the air to the kingdom of heaven, whither she was previously hastening, and was received together with the angels and the holy company of martyrs. So far then was the contest and the valour of Agapius victorious.

8 CONFESSION OF THEODOSIA, A VIRGIN OF GOD. 5th year of persecution.

THE persecution in our days had been prolonged to the fifth year. And it was the month Nisan, and the second day of the same month, when a godly virgin, and holy in all things, one of the virgins of the Son of God in the city of Tyre, who was not yet eighteen years old, out of pure love for those, who on account of their confession of God were set before the tribunal of the governor, p. drew near and saluted them, and entreated them to remember her in their prayers: and because of these words which she had spoken to them, the wicked men were filled with anger, as if she had been doing something unjust and improper; and the officers seized her forthwith, and took her before the governor Urbanus, for he still held the power in Palestine. And I know not what happened to him, but immediately, like one much excited by this young woman, he was filled with rage and fury against her, and commanded the girl to offer sacrifice: and because he found, that although she was but a girl, she withstood the imperial orders like a heroine, then did this savage governor the more inflict tortures on her sides and on her breast with the cruel combs; and she was torn on the ribs until her bowels were seen. And because this girl had endured this severe punishment and the combs without a word, and still survived, he again commanded her to offer sacrifice. She then raised her lips and opened her eyes, and looking around with a joyful countenance in that time of her suffering, (for she was charming in beauty and in the appearance of her figure), with a loud voice she addressed the governor: Why, oh man, dost thou deceive thyself, and not perceive that I have found the thing which I prayed to obtain at thy hands? for I rejoice greatly in having been deemed worthy to be admitted to the participation of the sufferings of God's martyrs: for indeed, for this very cause, I stood up and 3 spake with them, in order that by some means or other they might make me a sharer in their sufferings, so that I also might obtain a portion in the kingdom of heaven together with them, because so long as I had no share in their sufferings, I could not be a partaker with them in their salvation. Behold therefore now, how, on account of the future recompense, I stand at present before thee with great exultation, because I have obtained the means of drawing near to my God, even before those just men, whom but a little while ago I entreated to intercede for me. Then that wicked judge p. 2seeing that he became a laughingstock, and that his haughty threats were manifestly humbled before all those who were standing in his presence, did not venture to assail the girl again with great tortures like the former, but condemned her by the sentence which he passed to be thrown into the depths of the sea.

And when he passed on from the condemnation of this pure girl, he proceeded to the rest of those confessors, on whose account this blessed maiden had been called to this grace, and they were all delivered over to the copper mines in Palestine, without his saying a word to them, or inflicting upon them any sufferings or torture; for this holy girl prevented all those confessors by her courageous conduct against error, and received in her own body, as it were on a shield, all the inflictions and tortures which were intended for them, having rebuked in her own person the enemy that opposed them; and subdued by her valour and patience the furious and cruel judge, and rendered that fierce governor like a coward with respect to the other confessors. It was on the first day of the week that these confessors were condemned in Caesarea; and in the month above written and in the year noted by us was this act accomplished. 

9 CONFESSION OF DOMNINUS, 5th year of persecution in Caesarea.

URBANUS was governor in Palestine; and it was the first day. of the latter Teshri; and so, from day to day, he renewed himself in his wickedness, and every year prepared some devices against us. I will therefore relate how many evils he inflicted on this one day which I have mentioned. On the day then which we have spoken of, a certain man, admirable in all his conduct, and excellently skilled in the science of medicine, p. and he was a young man of tall stature and handsome, and celebrated for the holiness of his life, and the purity of his soul, and his modesty, and his name was Domninus; he was also well known to all those in our time who had been confessors. Moreover, this same man, previously to his receiving consummation by martyrdom, had endured torture in the copper mines; and on account of his patience under his confession he was condemned to the punishment by fire.

When that same judge, cunning in his wickedness (for it is not meet that those should be called wise who boast themselves in the bitterness of their wickedness), had passed on from this martyr, he lighted upon three young men of fine stature, and handsome in their person, and praiseworthy as to their souls, on account of their courage in worshipping God; and in order that he might afford amusement thereby, he sent them to the Ludus. Then he passed on from these, and delivered up an excellent and godly old man to be devoured by the wild beasts. Then the mad man passed on from this old man, and came to others, and commanded them to be castrated and turned into eunuchs. Then he left them also, and proceeded to those who appertained to Sylvanus, whose own lot also it was some time afterwards to become a martyr of God, and these he condemned to the mines of Phaeno. Afterwards he passed on from these and came to others whom he insulted with tortures. Nor was the 5 fury of his malice content with males, but he also threatened to torment the females, and delivered over these virgins to fornicators for the violation of their persons. Others again he sent to prison. Now all these things which we have described did this arrogant judge perpetrate in one hour.

And after all these things which I have described had been accomplished, that heavenly martyr of God, Pamphilus, a name very dear to me (p. 27), who was holy in all things, and adorned with every virtue, was tried in the conflict of martyrdom. He was indeed the most famous of all the martyrs in our time, on account of his accomplishments in philosophy, and his acquirements both in sacred and profane literature. Of this same man, admirable in all things, Urbanus first made a trial of his wisdom by questions and answers; and at last endeavoured to compel him by threats to offer sacrifice to dead idols; and when he had ascertained by trial that he was not to be persuaded by words, and also perceived that his threats were not heeded by him, he applied cruel torture, and lacerated him grievously on his sides. But he was not able to subdue him by this means, as he had expected. The wicked judge then considered that if he bound him in prison together with those confessors of whom mention has been already made, he might by this means subdue this holy martyr.

Now as to this cruel judge, who employed all these wicked devices against the confessors of God, what recompense and punishment must await him? For this is easy for us to know from what we are writing. For forthwith, and immediately, and without any long delay, the righteous judgment of God overtook him on account of those things which he had dared to do, and took severe and bitter vengeance upon him; and he that sat on the judgment-seat on high in his pride, and boasted himself in his soldiers that stood before him, and considered himself above all the people in Palestine, was in one night stripped of all his splendour and all his honours, and reduced to the condition of a private individual. And here, in our city of Caesarea, where he had perpetrated all those crimes which have been written above, he was by the sentence of Maximinus, a wicked tyrant like himself, delivered up to a 6 miserable death; and insult and humiliation, which is worse than all deaths, was heaped upon him, so that reproachful words from women, with dreadful imprecations from the mouths of all, were poured into his ears before he died p. 2Wherefore, by these things we may perceive that this was a foretaste of that vengeance of God which is reserved for him at the last, on account of all his maliciousness and unmercifulness towards the servants of God.

These things we have related in a cursory manner for those believers, of whom some still remain unto this present time, omitting to relate many afflictions which passed over him, in order that we may arrange these things briefly, and in a few words, as a record for those who are to come after us; but there may come a time when we may recount in our narrative the end and fall of those wicked men who exerted themselves against our people.

10 CONFESSION OF PAULUS, VALENTINA, AND HATHA. 5th year of persecution in Caesarea.

UP to the sixth year of the persecution which was in our days, the storm which had been raised against us was still raging; and great multitudes of confessors were in the mines which are called Porphyrites, in the country of Thebais, which is on one side of Egypt; and on account of the purple marble which is in that land, the name of Porphyrites has also been given to those who were employed in cutting it. This name, therefore, was also extended to those great multitudes of confessors who were under sentence of condemnation in the whole of the land of Egypt: for there were a hundred martyrs there all but three. And these confessors were sent, the men together with the women and children, to the governor in Palestine, whose name was Firmillianus. For he had superseded the governor Urbanus in his office, and he was a man by no means of a peaceful turn; indeed he even surpassed 7 his predecessor in ferocity, having been a soldier that had been engaged in war, and had had much experience in blood and fighting, p 29.

There is a large city in the land of Palestine, teeming with population, of which all the inhabitants were Jews. It is called in the Aramaic tongue Lud, and in the Greek it is called Diocaesarea. To this city the governor Firmillianus went, and took thither the whole assembly of those hundred confessors. And this was a great sight which well deserves to be recorded in writing. And the Jews were spectators of this marvellous contest, having surrounded the place of judgment on all sides; and as if it were for a rebuke to themselves, they looked on with their own eyes at what took place, while the whole company of the confessors, with much confidence and immense courage, made their confession of belief in God's Christ. And they being Jews, to whom the coming of that Christ had been foretold by their prophets, whose coming their fathers looked for, had not received him when he was come; but these Egyptians, who had been of old the enemies of God, confessed, even in the midst of persecutions, their faith in God, the Lord of all, and in the Manifestation from him. And these Egyptians, who had been taught by their fathers to worship idols only, were at that time, from the conviction of their reason, undergoing this conflict, in order that they might avoid the worship of idols; while those Jews, who had always been accused by their prophets on account of their worship of idols, were surrounding them, standing and looking on, and listening as the Egyptians repudiated the gods of their own fathers, and confessed their faith in the same God as they also did; and bare witness for Him whom they had many times denied. And they were still more cut to the heart and rent, when they heard the criers of the governor shouting and calling Egyptians by Hebrew names, and addressing them with the names of the prophets. For the crier, shouting aloud, called to them and said: Elias, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and other appellations similar to these, which their fathers had chosen from among the Hebrews, p. 30. in order that they might call their sons after 8 the names of the prophets. Moreover, it also came to pass that their deeds corresponded with their names; and the Jews greatly wondered both at them and at their names, as well as at their words and their deeds, being rendered despicable themselves both by their own vice and infidelity. And I myself am convinced that these things were not done without the will of God. However, after this trial they were deprived of the use of their left leg, by having the muscles of the knee cauterized with fire, and then again they had their right eyes blinded with the sword, and then destroyed by fire. And not only were they men who endured these things, but really children and many women. And after this they were delivered over to the copper mines to see afflictions there.

And after a short time, the three men from Palestine, whom I mentioned a little while ago as having been for the moment handed over to the Ludus, were called to undergo similar sufferings, because they would not take the food from the royal provision, nor would give themselves up to that exercise and instruction which were requisite for pugilism; and they suffered many evils which we are not competent to describe: and at the end of all their afflictions they underwent this severe sentence. And others in the city of Gaza, being in the habit of assembling themselves for prayer, and being constant in reading the Holy Scriptures, were seized, and had to endure the same sufferings as their companions, being tortured on their legs and eyes. Others also had to contend in conflicts even greater than these, and after having been tortured both in their legs and eyes, were severely torn on their sides with combs. And others again more than these attained to this great excellence, and at the end of all contended with death itself.

And when he had turned himself away from these, he came to judge one who, although a woman in body, was a hero in the bravery of mind, which she possessed p. : she was also a virgin in her mode of life, and could not bear the threat of pollution which she heard, but at once gave utterance to harsh words against the tyrannical emperor, for having given authority to a 9 vile and wicked judge. On this account, therefore, he in the first place bruised her body all over with stripes; then she was hung up and her sides were lacerated; and this not once only, but two and three times in one hour, and for a great while and also repeatedly, until those who inflicted the punishment became wearied and tired; then others succeeded them against her, and, at the commands of the furious governor, tortured her most severely. For these judges were barbarous in their manners, and enemies in their hearts. Moreover, it happened that while this furious judge was insulting this girl with his tortures, another young woman, small indeed in person, but courageous in soul--for she was possessed of a large mind, which supplied strength to the smallness of her person--being no longer able to tolerate the wickedness and cruelty of those things which were inflicted upon her sister, called out from the midst of the crowd of persons who were standing before the governor, and cried out complaining, and said: How long dost thou intend to tear my sister to pieces in so cruel and merciless a manner? And when the wicked Firmillianus heard this saying, he was bitterly incensed, and gave orders for the young woman who had complained to be brought before him. Her name was Valentina. Having therefore caught her up they brought her into the midst of the place of judgment. But she placed her trust in the holy name of Jesus. Then the murderous governor in his fury commanded her to offer sacrifice. But the maiden Valentina despised the word even of the threatener. Then he gave orders for those who were ministering to his will to lay hold upon the girl by force, and to take her up to the side of the altar, so that she might be polluted by the sacrifices. Then at that time of terror p. 3the noble maiden shewed the courage of her mind, and gave the altar a kick with her foot, and it was overturned, and; the fire that had been kindled upon it was scattered about; and because she did all these things without shewing any fear, the rage of the governor was roused like a wild beast, and he gave command for her to be tortured with the combs, without any mercy, so that no one man was ever torn to such a degree; and I think that, had it been possible, he would even have devoured the girl's 0 flesh. And when at length his fury was satisfied with the sight of her blood, and he had learned, both by deeds and words, how divine is that invincible power which arms and strengthens even little girls with courage and valour, he caused both the young women, Hatha and Valentina, to be bound together, and gave sentence against them of death by fire. The name of the first was Hatha, and her father's house was in the land of Gaza; and the other was from Caesarea, our own city, and she was well known to many, and her name was Valentina.

And after these things, Paul the confessor was called to the conflict. And he also endured it bravely, and in the same hour was condemned to be put to death, and his sentence was to be beheaded by the sword. When, then, this blessed man came to the place of execution where he was to be put to death, he besought the officer who was to behead him to have patience with him for a little while; and when the officer had granted him this desire, in the first place, with a mild and cheerful voice, he offered up thanksgiving, and worship, and glory, and supplication to God for having accounted him worthy of this victory. Then he prayed for tranquillity and peace for our people, and entreated God speedily to grant them deliverance. After this he offered up prayer for our enemies, the Jews, many of whom at that time were standing around him: then he went on in his supplication, and prayed for the Samaritans, and for those among the Gentiles p. who were without knowledge; he prayed that they might be converted to the knowledge of the truth. Nor was he unmindful of those who were standing around him, but prayed also for them. And oh, the perfection--which cannot be described--that he prayed even for that judge who had condemned him to death, and for all rulers in every place; and not only for them, but also for that officer who was then going to cut off his head. And as he was offering his supplications to God, the officers heard him with their own ears praying for them, and beseeching God not to lay to their charge that which they did to him. And as he prayed for all with a suppliant voice, he turned the whole multitude that was standing by and looking 1 on to sorrow and tears; and then, of his own accord, he bent down his body, and put out his neck to be cut off by the sword. The conflict of this victorious martyr was consummated on the twenty-fifth of the month Thamuz.

5th year of persecution in Caesarea.

AND when some time had elapsed after these things which I have related, another company of God's martyrs, amounting in number to one hundred and thirty, was sent from the land of Egypt into our country. And all of these had also undergone the same tortures in their eyes and legs as the former martyrs; and some of them were sent to the mines of Palestine, and some of them were delivered over to the judges in Cilicia to be chastised with injurious and insulting tortures. But from us the flame of the persecution ceased a little, the sword having been satiated with the blood of the holy martyrs; and a little rest and cessation threw some check upon the persecution which took place in our days. And continuously the scourge of God was sent upon Maximinus, the wicked tyrant, of all these evils, of which the governors of the countries were the instructors and cunning ministers, p. 3and that duke who was the general of the army of the Romans. And because of those things which took place, they urged the Logistae of the cities, and the military commander, and the Tabularii to rebuild with diligence what was fallen of the temples of idols, and to compel all the men, together with their wives and children and slaves, and even the infants at the breast, to sacrifice and offer libations to devils, and also to force them to eat of the sacrifices. And a command was given that every thing that was sold in the market should be polluted with the libations and the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices. When these things, therefore, were done 2 in this manner, these actions which were performed were abominated, even by the heathen who were without faith.

Great tumult, therefore, and consternation, such as there had never been the like before, overwhelmed all those who belonged to us in every place; and the souls of every one were set in affliction and trouble. But the Divine Power, on account of those things which had taken place, gave encouragement to such as belonged to Him, so that they were able to tread under foot the threats of the judges, and to depise their tortures.

But some servants of Christ's people, who in the stature of their bodies were only youths, but their soul was armed with the worship of God, both came of themselves, and when the governor was offering libations to idols in the midst of the city, suddenly rushed upon him, and called upon him to abandon his error, For there is no other God but one, the Maker and Creator of all things; and when they were asked who they were, they confessed they were Christians. No sooner, then, were these words uttered than they received sentence of death, and so passed on easily and without delay to Him in whom they made their confession. The name of the first of them was Antoninus, and the second was called Zebinas, and the third's name was Germanus; and these things were done on the thirteenth of Teshri the latter.

And they had at the same time a companion, a sister, one of the Lord's virgins, p. a chaste and courageous maiden, who came from the city of Baishan. She, however, had not acted in the same manner as those had done with whom she became confessor; for she had been brought by force from Baishan, and suffered insults and cruel tortures from the judge before she was condemned. But one of those who was set over the streets of the city was the originator of these evils. His name was Maxys, and he proved to all men that he was worse even than his name. This same blessed woman he stripped naked, and she was only left covered from the groin downwards, in order that he might indulge his lustful eyes in looking at the rest of her limbs; and he carried her about through the whole city, being tortured with straps; and afterwards took her before the tribunal of the 3 governor, where with great boldness of speech she made the confession of her faith--that she was a Christian; and there also displayed her courage and patience under every kind of torture; and was afterwards delivered over by the governor to be burnt with fire. Moreover, the same judge became day by day more ferocious, displaying both his merciless disposition and cruelty, and he was carried away even beyond the laws of nature, so that he wreaked his vengeance and hatred even upon the lifeless corpses of the Christians, and forbade their burial. And of this same maiden of whom it has been just spoken, and of those who on the same day were consummated by confession, orders were issued that their bodies should be devoured by animals, and be carefully guarded night and day till they should be consumed by birds. Persons were therefore appointed to watch over this barbarous order from a distance, and to keep guard to prevent the bodies of the confessors from being carried away by us by stealth. So the beasts of the field, and the dogs, and the fowls of the heaven, were here and there tearing to pieces the flesh of men, so that men's bones and entrails were found even in the middle of the city; and all men were clad in sorrow on account of these things, because never before had such atrocities been done. p. 3And great sorrow and grief came even upon those who were aliens from us in the faith, because of these things which their own eyes beheld; for even before the gates of the city was exhibited the dreadful spectacle of men's bodies devoured by wild beasts.When, therefore, things had continued in this manner for many days, there happened in the midst of the city a prodigy which will scarcely be believed. The atmosphere was perfectly calm and clear, when, all on a sudden, many of the columns of the porticos in the city emitted spots as it were of blood, while themarket-places and the streets became sprinked and wet as with water, although not a single drop had fallen from the heavens. And it was declared by the mouth of every one, that the stones shed tears and the ground wept; for even the senseless stones and the ground without feeling could not endure this foul and barbarous deed; and that the blood which flowed from the stones, and 4 the earth which without any rain emitted as it were tears from its body, rebuked all these godless folk. And perhaps it may seem to such as did not see with their own eyes the things which I have described, that what I have related must be attributed to a fable devoid of truth. Far from it, for these things which we have described were actually seen by those who were living at that time, some of whom are alive unto this very day.

Such then was the consummation of those holy martyrs of God; whose struggles and conflicts against error were exhibited before our eyes.

6th year of persecution in Ashkelon.

IN the month Canun the former, on the fourteenth of the same--on this day some Egyptian martyrs of God were seized before the gates of Ashkelon; and because, when they were questioned as to who they were, they acknowledged that they were Christians, p. and confessed that they had undertaken the journey, and were come from their own country for the purpose of taking sustenance to the confessors who were in Cilicia, they also were brought as malefactors before the judge. For the keepers of the gates of the city were cruel men, and laid hold upon these martyrs, and took them before Firmillianus the governor, because he was also, up to that time, still over the people of Palestine; and he decreed a cruel sentence against them: and some of them he ordered to have their eyes and their feet injured by fire and steel, and some of them to be delivered over to death by the sword; but one of them, whose name was Ares, was consummated in his confession by a fierce fire, and Primus and Elias were beheaded by the sword.

7th year of persecution in Caesarea.

ON the tenth day of the month Canun the latter, Peter, who was called Absalom, appeared, a famous confessor of the kingdom of God; and so manfully did he behave in his struggle for the worship of God, and so victorious was he in the conflict of his martyrdom, that he even excited admiration in the judge himself, and made those who were standing by him wonder greatly. Much, therefore, did they strive to induce him to have pity upon himself, to spare his own person, and save himself from the evils which were hanging over him; but he disregarded in his mind all that they said. And those who surrounded him--not those only who knew him, but those also who were not acquainted with him--urged him, and intreated him one after another, and besought the blessed man as if it were for their own lives. But some of them confirmed his good resolution; others, again, by what they said, suggested irresolution p. 3bidding him to regard with pity his own youth and person. Those of the same mind as himself called to his remembrance that hell fire which is to come, while others tried to make him afraid of the fire which was visible before him. Some endeavoured to terrify him by the mortal judge, while others reminded him of the Judge of all judges. Some called upon him to regard this transitory life, while others persuaded him to look to the kingdom of heaven. Those who belonged to the right hand invited him to turn towards them, while they who belonged to the left hand tried to persuade him to mind earthly things. But he was a young man, handsome in person, brave in mind, and active and able in body; and being such he proved his purity like gold in the furnace and the fire, and loved his confession in our Saviour better than the life of this time, which so soon passes away. And there was burned together 6 with him in the same fire one who belonged to the heresy of Marcion, and called himself a bishop; and he gave himself up to this as in the zeal for righteousness, although he was not in true knowledge, and endured martyrdom by fire in company with this God's martyr. And this holy martyr of whom we have spoken came from Aia (Gr. Anea), a village which is on the confines of Beth Gobrin; and he contended in the consummation which we have described, and obtained in the conflict the crown of the glorious victory of the martyrs of Christ.


THE time now calls upon us to describe that grand spectacle which was displayed of the all-holy martyr Pamphilus, and of those p. who together with him were consummated by martyrdom; men admirable and brave, who exhibited, under many forms, contests for the sake of the worship of God. For indeed there are many whom we know to have been victorious in this persecution; but in none altogether like these whom we have just mentioned did we behold so completely all kinds of bodily stature, and of moral qualities of soul and education, and of deaths by different tortures, receiving the glory of the consummation of martyrdom by various triumphs. For all of the Egyptians who were with them appeared to be youths and boys; others Were young men in the prime of life, among whom was Porphyrius; others again were in the full vigour both of mind and body, namely, those who were of the house of Pamphilus, that name dearly beloved by me; and Paulus, who came from Iamna; and Seleucus and Julianus, both of whom came from the country of Cappadocia. There were also among them some venerable seniors who were bent down with deep old age, as Vales, a deacon of the church of Jerusalem, and that other, whose conduct was conformable to his name, 7 Theodulus. There was, likewise, a variety of bodily stature : and they differed too in their mental acquirements, for some of them were very simple-minded and ordinary like children, while others were possessed of profound understandings and courageous habits. There were also some among them who were also instructed in theology, and in all of them was their praiseworthy courage remarkable. But like the sun which giveth light to the day among the stars, so in the midst of them all shone forth the excellency of My Lord Pamphilus--for it is not meet that I should mention the name of that holy and blessed Pamphilus without styling him My Lord, for he indeed had no slight acquaintance with that learning which those among the Greeks admire; while there was no one in our time who was p. so well instructed in those scriptures which proceed from the Spirit of God, and also in the whole range of theology. And what is even greater than these acquirements, he was possessed of natural wisdom and discernment, that is, he received them by the gift of God. Moreover, Pamphilus was by birth of an illustrious family, and his mode of living in his own country was as that of the noble. Seleucus also had held a place of authority in the army. Some of them again were of the middle rank of life, and one also, who was called to this honour together with the rest, was a slave of the governor. Porphyrius too was reckoned the slave of Pamphilus, but in his love towards God and in his admirable confession he was his brother; and by Pamphilus himself he was considered rather as a beloved son; and, indeed, in every thing he closely resembled him who had brought him up. And were any one to say of this company of them all that they were a perfect representation of a congregation of the church, I should say that he did not go beyond the truth. For among them Pamphilus had been honoured with the presbytery, and Vales was in the orders of the diaconate, and others among them had the rank of readers; and Seleucus, even before the consummation of his confession, had been honoured as a confessor by the suffering of cruel scourgings, and had endured with patience his dismissal from his command in the army. And 8 the remainder of the others who came after these were hearers and receivers (catechumens). And thus, under a small form, they completed the representation of a perfect church of many persons. And so this admirable selection of all these martyrs and such as these, while we looked upon them, although they were not many in number, lo ! they still bore the semblance of a many-stringed harp, which consists of chords that do not resemble each other--the tenor and base, and flat, and sharp, and medial, all of which are well arranged together by the art of music. Like this resemblance, also, there were among them young men and old men together, and slaves and free, p. and clever and simple, and noble and common, and believers together with hearers (catechumens), and deacons with presbyters: all of which were variously harmonized together by one all-skilful--the Word--the only (begotten) of God. And they displayed each individually the excellency of the power within them by the endurance of tortures, and at the place of judgment produced the melody of a glorious confession.

It is also worthy of our admiration, when we look to their number, how they were twelve like the prophets and the apostles. Nor is it fit that we should omit the all-patient readiness of every one of them, each in his own part; the combs on their sides, and their incurable scourgings, and their tortures of every kind, and how they forced by violence these martyrs to do that which was abominated by them. And what necessity is there for our telling of the divine sayings which they uttered, as though stripes were reckoned by them as nothing, while with a cheerful and joyous countenance they answered the interrogatories of the judge, and jested with readiness under the very tortures themselves. And when he asked them over again whence they came, they avoided speaking of the city to which they belonged on earth, and spake of the city which in truth is theirs, and said that they were from Jerusalem which is above in heaven, confessing that they were hastening to go thither. And because of these things the judge became the more enraged at them, and prepared himself against them with cruel scourgings, in order that he might 9 accomplish his will upon them; but when he failed in his expectations, he gave command that one of them should receive the crown of victory.

Moreover, the modes of their deaths also were of all kinds; for two of them were hearers (catechumens), and they were baptized at their deaths with the baptism of fire only, while others of them were delivered up to be crucified like our Saviour.

But Pamphilus, that name so especially dear to me--one who was a lover of God in truth, and a peacemaker among all men-- p. received a triumph different from these. He was the ornament of the church of Caesarea, because he also sat in the chair of the presbytery, both adorning it and being himself adorned thereby during his ministry in that place. In all his conduct too he was truly godly, being at all times in communion with the Spirit of God; for he was eminently virtuous in his mode of life, shunning wealth and honours, despising and rejecting them, and devoting himself entirely to the word of God. For every thing that he possessed from his parents he sold and distributed to the naked, and the sick, and the poor, and continued in private life without any possessions, and passed his time in the patient study of divine philosophy. He therefore quitted Beyrout, the city in which he had grown up in stature and learning together; and for the sake of his knowledge and understanding he attached himself to men seeking perfection. Human wisdom he abandoned, and loved the word of God. He also adopted the heavenly habit of the prophets, and was crowned with martyrdom.

The next after him that was brought to the conflict was Vales, a man venerable for his comely grey hairs, being in appearance a pure and respectable old man. Nor was he worthy of honour on this account only, but also for his great knowledge of the holy scriptures; for his memory was completely stored with the scriptures, so that he could repeat God's scriptures by rote like one in whose memory the whole scriptures were deposited. Moreover, he was a deacon of God's church.

And he that was reckoned third among them was named Paul,; a man who was fervent in the Spirit of God; and he came from 0 the city Iamna. And he also had previously to this his confession contended with the suffering p. of the cautery of confession.

And when they had endured affliction in prison for about two years, the immediate cause of their martyrdom was the arrival of those Egyptians who were also consummated in martyrdom at the same time together with them. For having accompanied those men who had been sent to suffer affliction in the mines of Cilicia, and being then on their way back to return to their own country, as they entered in at the gate of Caesarea, they were questioned as to who they were and whence they came; and when they made no concealment of the truth, but said, We are Christians, they were at once seized, just as if they had been malefactors. And they were in number five. So when they were carried before the judge, and spake in his presence with openness of speech, they were forthwith committed to prison; and on the next day--the sixteenth of the month Shebat--they, together with those who appertained to Pamphilus, were brought before Firmillianus. First of all, then, the governor tried the Egyptians, and proved them by every kind of torture; and he brought forward the first of them into the midst, and asked him what was his name; but instead of his real name he heard from them the name of a prophet. Also the rest of the Egyptians who were with him, instead of those names which their fathers had given them after the name of some idol, had taken for themselves the names of the prophets, such as these-- Elias, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel, Daniel. And when the judge heard from the same martyrs some such name as these, he did not perceive the force of what they said, and asked them again what was the city to which they belonged. He then gave a reply similar to the former, and said, Jerusalem is my city; for he was acquainted with that city of which St. Paul spake, Jerusalem which is above is free, and our mother in whom we confess is the holy church. And the governor inquired diligently about this. Then he brought against them the combs and cauteries of fire. But he, when his hands had been bound 1 behind him, and his feet were twisted in the stocks, sealed what he had said before, p. 4and spake the truth. And again, when he questioned him many times as to what city and in what country was that Jerusalem which was said to belong to the Christians only, he replied, It is in the east, and on the side of the light of the sun, again making use of this artifice as it were in his own mind, while those who surrounded him continued to torture him with combs. Nor was he at all changed, but seemed as one who had no body. Then the judge grew furious in his mind, and imagined that perchance the Christians had built in some place a city for themselves; and so he became much more instant with tortures against them, making inquiries respecting this city, and the country in the east. When, therefore, he had punished this young man with scourging, and perceived that he varied not at all from what he had said to him at the first, he gave sentence of death against him that he should be beheaded. The rest then of the Egyptians he tried with tortures similar to his, and they likewise agreed in their confession with him who had preceded them.

And then, after these things he turned to those of the house of Pamphilus; and when he learned that they had been previously tried by many tortures, he thought that it would be folly in him to apply to them the same tortures again, and so labour in vain. He therefore only put to them the question whether they would now comply; and when he heard from them one after another the words of confession, he condemned them in the same manner as those who had preceded them, and gave sentence against them that they should be beheaded. And before the whole of the sentence was uttered, a youth from among the men, who was a slave of Pamphilus, cried out from the midst of the crowd which was standing round about the place of judgment; and then came forward into the midst, and cried out again with a loud voice to persuade the governor to grant permission for the bodies of the confessors to be buried. And he was no other than the blessed Porphyrius, the beloved disciple of Pamphilus, the mighty man of valour, p. 4But Porphyrius himself was not yet eighteen years old; and he had been 2 instructed in literature and writing, and for his modesty and manners was deserving of all praise. This youth then, who had been brought up by such a man, when he was informed of the sentence which had been issued against his master, cried out from the middle of the crowd, and begged the bodies of the confessors. Then that wretch, who is not worthy to be called a man, but rather a savage brute, not only refused to grant this becoming request, but also neither spared nor had pity upon one who in years was but a youth; and having learnt this one thing only, that he was a Christian, gave orders to those who applied the tortures to tear him with all their might: and after this, having commanded the blessed youth to sacrifice, and experiencing a refusal, he now applied the torture upon him, not as if it were upon a human body, but rather as if it were upon lifeless wood or stone, and commanded him to be torn even till they came to his bones and entrails. And when he had done this for a long while, he perceived that he was labouring to no purpose; and thus having exhibited his own cruelty and brutality upon this youth, he condemned him to be given up to a slow and lingering fire. Now, he was brought to the conflict before Pamphilus was consummated, and so departed from the body before his master who had brought him up. And thus Porphyrius exhibited himself as a warrior who was crowned with victory in all his conflicts; and although he was weak in body, he was of a cheerful countenance and courageous mind, and trod along the path of death without fear, and in truth he was full of the Holy Ghost. And when he arrived at the place where he was put to death, having put on his cloak like a philosopher, with his shoulder uncovered, he looked with his eyes up towards heaven, and in his mind looked down upon all the life of man, and approached the fire with a soul unmoved, like one who had no harm near him, and with a watchful mind, and undisturbed, he gave charge to his friends respecting his human affairs, and then was anxious to go speedily p. to the presence of God. When, therefore, the fire had been kindled at a distance around him, he caught at the flames here and there with his mouth, and his soul hastened to 3 the journey which lay before him. Such was the conflict of Porphyrius.

Then Seleucus carried to Pamphilus a report of all these things which had been done to Porphyrius, and as the reward for this intelligence it was granted of God to Seleucus that he should become a martyr with Pamphilus. For immediately after he had given information to Pamphilus respecting the struggle and conflict of Porphyrius, as he saluted one of the martyrs with a kiss, the soldiers laid hold upon him and took him before the governor; and as Seleucus himself was anxious to go in company with the confessors, commandment was given for him to be beheaded. And this Seleucus came from the country of Cappadocia, and had acquired a glorious reputation by his military service, having held an important command in the ranks of the army. And not only this, but he also surpassed most men in stature by the size of his person and his prowess. His appearance, too, was very handsome. Moreover, at the commencement of the persecution he had been famous for his endurance of scourgings in confession; and after he had been dismissed from his military service on account of his religion, his zeal suffered not him to abstain from doing good, and so he was anxious to serve in the beloved ranks of Christ. As a visitor, therefore, of lonely orphans, and of destitute widows, and of those who were afflicted with poverty and sickness, he became a visitor and supporter of these, and, like a tender father, endeavoured to heal their afflictions. And after all these things, in which God delighteth more than sacrifices, and burnt-offerings, and incense, he was counted worthy of being consummated by confession. And this was the tenth combatant of those who have been mentioned above as having received all together on the same day their consummation and crown. And it seemed as if a great door of the kingdom of heaven had been opened by the confession of Pamphilus p. 4and an abundant entrance been effected for others as well as himself into the paradise of God.

The next that was brought forward after Seleucus was the pure and pious Theodulus; and he was one of the slaves of the governor, and the oldest of them all, and was much respected by 4 them all, both on account of his manners and his years; and although he was the father of three generations, and had served his master with fidelity, still he had no mercy on him when he heard that he had saluted the martyrs in the same way as Seleucus. For after this had been told to his master, he was excited with fury against him much more than against the rest; and gave command that he should be put to death by the same mode of suffering as our Saviour, and suffer martyrdom on the cross.

But there was still one wanted after these to complete the number twelve; and so Julianus arrived from a journey, and, as if it were on purpose to make up the number of martyrs twelve, the moment he arrived, before he was yet entered into the city, immediately on the way he was told by some one respecting the matter of the confessors, and ran to have a sight of the confessors; and when he beheld the bodies of the saints lying upon the ground, he was filled with joy, and embraced them one after another with heavenly love, and saluted them all with a kiss. And while he was still visiting them, and lamenting that he himself had not suffered martyrdom with them, the officers seized him, and took him before the judge; and that judge commanded what his evil heart conceived, and delivered him also to a slow fire. So this Julianus, also, with joy and gladness praised God with a loud voice for having counted him worthy of this; and his soul ascended to his Lord with the company of the confessors. And this man was by family of Cappadocia, and in his soul he was filled with the fear of God, being a quiet and religious man, and diligent in the practice of every virtue. There was also in him a glorious savour of the Holy Spirit; and he was counted worthy to be associated with the company of these who received the consummation of confession together with the blessed Pamphilus. p. 48.

Four days and nights then were the bodies of the all-holy martyrs of God exposed to be devoured by wild beasts, by the command of the governor Firmillianus. When, therefore, nothing had touched them, not even the wild beasts, they were taken up whole without the permission of the governor, and with due 5 reverence committed to an honourable burial; and were laid in the interior of the churches, and so consigned to a never-to-be-forgotten memorial in the temples of the house of prayer, that they might be honoured of their brethren who are with God.

15 CONFESSION OF HADRIANUS AND EUBULUS. 7th year of persecution.

WHEN the consummation of Pamphilus and of those martyrs who were with him was published abroad by the mouths of all men, both Hadrianus and Eubulus, from a place which is called part of Batanea, had hastened to the rest of the martyrs at Caesarea: and when they drew near to the gate of the city, they were interrogated as to the cause for which they were come, and having stated the truth, they were taken before Firmillianus; and he at once, without any delay, ordered them, in the first place, to have their sides torn with combs, and punished them in a peculiar manner, as if they had been enemies and were hated by him; and not being satisfied with this, he condemned them to be devoured by wild beasts. And after an interval of two days, the confessor Hadrianus was cast before a lion on the fifth of Adar, and bravely accomplished his conflict, and after having been torn by the beast, he was at last put to death by the sword. Eubulus, also, on the second day following, the seventh of Adar, when the judge had made many attempts with him, and said to him, If thou wilt sacrifice to devils thou shalt be set at liberty in peace, both despised the whole existence of this passing time, and chose for himself everlasting life rather than this fleeting and transitory life. He was then cast to a lion, and after p. he had been torn by the teeth of the lion, he suffered in the same manner as those who were gone before him. He was the last of all that suffered martyrdom and finished his conflict in Caesarea.

7th year of persecution.

IT was the nineteenth day of Ilul, and during the same wonderful conflict of the martyrs of God, that a great spectacle was assembled in Phaeno, in this same Palestine; and all the combatants were perfect, and in number they were about a hundred and fifty. Many of them, also, were Egyptians, amounting to more than a hundred. And the same in the first place had their right eyes and their left legs in their sinews destroyed by cautery of fire and by the sword. And then after these things they were delivered over to dig copper in the mines. Those, also, who belonged to Palestine had to endure afflictions in the same manner as the Egyptians; and they were all assembled together in a place called Zauara, as a congregation consisting of many persons. There was also much people with them, who came from other places to see them, and many others who ministered to them in their necessities, and visited them in love, and filled up their lack. And all the day they were occupied in the ministry of prayer, and in the service of God, and in teaching and reading; and all the afflictions which passed over them were esteemed by them as pleasures, and they spent all that time as if it had been in a festive assembly. But the enemy of God and wicked envier was not able to bear these things, so there was immediately sent out against them one of those generals of the Romans that is styled Dux; and first of all he separated them one by one from each other, and some of them were sent to that wretched place Zauara, and some not; and some of them to Phaeno, the place where the copper is dug; p. 50. and the others went to different places. Afterwards he selected from among those in Phaeno four of them who were of great excellence, in order that by them he might terrify the rest. Having, therefore, brought them to the trial, and not one of them having shewn any signs of dismay, this 7 merciless judge, thinking that no punishment was so severe as that by fire, delivered up God's holy martyrs to this kind of death. When, therefore, they were brought to the fire, they cast themselves into the flames without fear, and dedicated themselves as an offering more acceptable than all incense and oblations; and presented their own bodies to God as a holocaust more excellent than all sacrifices. And two of these were Bishops Paulus and Nilus; and the other two were selected of the laity, Patermytheus and Elias; and by race they were all of them Egyptians. They were pure lovers of that exalted philosophy which is of God, and offered themselves like gold to the fire to be purified. But He who giveth strength to the weak, and multiplieth comfort to the afflicted, deemed them worthy of that life which is in heaven, and associated them with the company of angels.

8th year of persecution.

THIS blessed Silvanus came from Gaza, and he was one of the veteran soldiers; and when his freedom from service proved to be contrary to his habits, he enlisted himself as a good soldier of Christ. For he was a perfectly meek man, and of bright turn of mind, and used his faith with simplicity and purity. And he was a presbyter of the church in the city of Gaza, and conducted himself there with great propriety. And because the conflict for life was proclaimed against the soldiers of Christ p. 5he, an old man, of a noble person, went down to the Stadium, and there, in his first confession before the people of Caesarea, he acquitted himself valiantly, being tried with scourgings. And when he had endured these bravely, he fought in a second conflict, in which the old man endured the combs on his sides like a young man. And at the third conflict he was sent to the copper mines; and during a life of much length he exhibited great probation. He was also deemed worthy of the office of the episcopate, 8 and also rendered himself illustrious in this office of his ministry. But on the fourth day of Iyar the great gate of heaven was fully opened to him, and this blessed man went up with a company of martyrs, not being left alone, for a great assembly of brave men followed him. And suddenly a mandate of wickedness was issued, and command was given that all those in the mines who were become enfeebled through old age or sickness, and those who were not able to work, should be put to death by the sword; and God's martyrs, being all together forty in number, were beheaded all in one day. And many of them were Egyptians, but their leader and guide was this same martyr and bishop of martyrs, Silvanus, a man truly blessed and beloved of God.

Being now arrived at this place in our narrative, we will inform you how God in a short time took vengeance upon those wicked rulers, and they speedily experienced the punishment of their crimes. For he that was excited against these martyrs of God in a barbarous manner, like some fierce wild beast, suffered a wretched punishment; and by the command of him who possessed the power of the time, perished after the manner of a cruel wild beast. And all the rest perished by various kinds of deaths, and received that punishment which they deserved for their crimes. So, then, we have described and made known the things which were done during the whole time of the persecution among the people in Palestine. And all these were blessed martyrs p. of God, who triumphed in our time; who made light of this temporary life, and prized the worship of God far above every other thing, and have received the hidden hope of those good things which are invisible to the bodily eyes.

Oh ! the blessed confessors of the kingdom of Christ, who were tried like gold in the excellence of their righteousness, and obtained through the conflict in which they were set the heavenly life of angels, and laid hold upon the promises of the hidden good things of the victory of the high calling--For eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for them that love him.

Here end the chapters of the narrative of the victories of the holy confessors in Palestine.