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 Eusebius of Caesarea

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Ecclesiastical History

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selections from Books 6 & 7

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A brief introduction to Eusebius



Go to Book VI, Chapter

I VIII XXI XXII XXVIII XXIX XXXIV XXXIX XL XLI XLII

Go to Book VII, Chapter

I X XI XII XIII XV XVI XXIII XXXI


BOOK VI.

CHAPTER I.

The Persecution under Severus.

WHEN Severus began to persecute the churches, glorious testimonies were given everywhere by the athletes of religion.[1] This was especially the case in Alexandria, to which city, as to a most prominent theater, athletes of God were brought from Egypt and all Thebais according to their merit, and won crowns from God through their great patience under many tortures and every mode of death. Among these was Leonides, who was called the father of Origen, and who was beheaded while his son was still young. How remarkable the predilection of this son was for the Divine Word, in consequence of his father's instruction, it will not be amiss to state briefly, as his fame has been very greatly celebrated by many.

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CHAPTER VIII.

Severus, having held the government for eighteen years, was succeeded by his son, Antoninus. [19] Among those who had endured courageously the persecution of that time, and had been preserved by the Providence of God through the conflicts of confession, was Alexander, of whom we have spoken already as bishop of the church in Jerusalem. On account of his pre-eminence in the confession of Christ he was thought worthy of that bishopric, while Narcissus, his predecessor, was still living.

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CHAPTER XXI.

The Bishops that were well known at that Time.

AFTER Antoninus had reigned seven years and six months, Macrinus succeeded him. He held the government but a year, and was succeeded by another Antoninus.[6] During his first year the Roman bishop, Zephyrinus, having held his office for eighteen years, died, and Callistus received the episcopate. He continued for five years, and was succeeded by Urbanus. After this, Alexander became Roman emperor, Antoninus having reigned but four years. At this time Philetus also succeeded Asclepiades in the church of Antioch. The mother of the emperor, Mammaea by name, was a most pious woman, if there ever was one, and of religious life. When the fame of Origen had extended everywhere and had come even to her ears, she desired greatly to see the man, and above all things to make trial of his celebrated understanding of divine things.[7] Staying for a time in Antioch, she sent for him with a military escort.

Having remained with her a while and shown her many things which were for the glory of the Lord and of the excellence of the divine teaching, he hastened back to his accustomed work.

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CHAPTER XXVIII.

The Persecution under Maximinus.

THE Roman emperor, Alexander, having finished his reign in thirteen years, was succeeded by Maximinus Caesar.[10] On account of his hatred toward the household of Alexander, which contained many believers, he began a persecution, commanding that only the rulers of the churches should be put to death, as responsible for the Gospel teaching.

Thereupon Origen composed his work On Martyrdom, and dedicated it to Ambrose and Protoctetus, a presbyter of the parish of Caesarea, because in the persecution there had come upon them both unusual hardships, in which it is reported that they were eminent in confession during the reign of Maximinus, which lasted but three years. Origen has noted this as the time of the persecution in the twenty-second book of his Commentaries on John, and in several epistles.

CHAPTER XXIX.

Fabianus, who was wonderfully designated Bishop of Rome by God.

GORDIANUS succeeded Maximinus as Roman emperor;[11] and Pontianus, who had been bishop of the church at Rome for six years, was succeeded by Anteros. After he had held the office for a month, Fabianus succeeded him. They say that Fabianus having come, after the death of Anteros, with others from the country, was staying at Rome, and that while there he was chosen to the office through a most wonderful manifestation of divine and heavenly grace. For when all the brethren had assembled to select by vote him who should succeed to the episcopate of the church, several renowned and honorable men were in the minds of many, but Fabianus, although present, was in the mind of none. But they relate that suddenly a dove flying down lighted on his head, resembling the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Saviour in the form of a dove. Thereupon all the people, as if moved by one Divine Spirit, with all eagerness and unanimity cried out that he was worthy, and without delay they took him and placed him upon the episcopal seat

About that time Zebinus, bishop of Antioch died, and Babylas succeeded him.[12]

And in Alexandria Heraclas, having received the episcopal office after Demetrius, was succeeded in the charge of the catechetical,school by Dionysius, who had also been one of Origen's pupils.

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CHAPTER XXXIV.

Philip Caesar.

GORDIANUS had been Roman emperor for six years when Philip, with his son Philip, succeeded him. It is reported that he, being a Christian desired, on the day of the last paschal vigil, to share with the multitude in the prayers of the Church, but that he was not permitted to enter, by him who then presided, until he had made confession and had numbered himself among those who were reckoned as transgressors and who occupied the place of penance. For if he had not done this, he would never have been received by him, on account of the many crimes which he had committed. It is said that he obeyed readily, manifesting in his conduct a genuine and pious fear of God.[15]

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CHAPTER XXXIX.

The Persecution under Decius, and the Sufferings of Origen.

AFTER a reign of seven years Philip was succeeded by Decius.[18] On account of his hatred of Philip, he commenced a persecution of the churches, in which Fabianus suffered martyrdom at Rome, and Cornelius succeeded him in the episcopate. In Palestine, Alexander, bishop of the church of Jerusalem, was brought again on Christ's account before the governor's judgment seat in Caesarea, and having acquitted himself nobly in a second confession was cast into prison, crowned with the hoary locks of venerable age. And after his honorable and illustrious confession at the tribunal of the governor, he fell asleep in prison, and Mazabanes became his successor in the bishopric of Jerusalem. Babylas in Antioch, having like Alexander passed away in prison after his confession,[12] was succeeded by Fabius in the episcopate of that church. But how many and how great things came upon Origen in the persecution, and what was their final result, — as the demon of evil marshaled all his forces, and fought against the man with his utmost craft and power, assaulting him beyond all others against whom he contended at that time, — and what and how many things he endured for the word of Christ, bonds and bodily tortures and torments under the iron collar and in the dungeon; and how for many days with his feet stretched four spaces in the stooks he bore patiently the threats of fire and whatever other things were inflicted by his enemies; and how his sufferings terminated, his judge strove eagerly with all his might not to end his life; and what words he left after these things, full of comfort to those needing aid, a great many of his epistles show with truth and accuracy.

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CHAPTER XL.

The Events which happened to Dionysius.

I SHALL quote from the epistle of Dionysius to Germanus an account of what befell the former. Speaking of himself, he writes as follows:

"I speak before God, and he knows that I do not lie. I did not flee on my own impulse nor without divine direction. But even before this, at the very hour when the Decian persecution was commanded, Sabinus sent a frumentarius to search for me, and I remained at home four days awaiting his arrival. But he went about examining all places, — roads, rivers, and fields, — where he thought I might be concealed or on the way. But he was smitten with blindness, and did not find the house, for he did not suppose, that being pursued, I would remain at home. And after the fourth day God commanded me to depart, and made a way for me in a wonderful manner; and I and my attendants and many of the brethren went away together. And that this occurred through the providence of God was made manifest by what followed, in which perhaps we were useful to some."

Farther on he relates in this manner what happened to him after his flight:

"For about sunset, having been seized with those that were with me, I was taken by the soldiers to Taposiris, but in the providence of God, Timothy was not present and was not captured. But coming later, he found the house deserted and guarded by soldiers, and ourselves reduced to slavery."

After a little he says:

"And what was the manner of his admirable management? for the truth shall be told. One of the country people met Timothy fleeing and disturbed, and inquired the cause of his haste. And he told him the truth. And when the man heard it (he was on his way to a marriage feast, for it was customary to spend the entire night in such gatherings), he entered and announced it to those at the table. And they, as if on a preconcerted signal, arose with one impulse, and rushed out quickly and came and burst in upon us with a shout. Immediately the soldiers who were guarding us fled, and they came to us lying as we were upon the bare couches. But I, God knows, thought at first that they were robbers who had come for spoil and plunder. So I remained upon the bed on which I was, clothed only in a linen garment, and offered them the rest of my clothing which was lying beside me. But they directed me to rise and come away quickly. Then I understood why they were come, and I cried out, beseeching and entreating them to depart and leave us alone. And I requested them, if they desired to benefit me in any way, to anticipate those who were carrying me off, and cut off my head themselves. And when I had cried out in this manner, as my companions and partners in everything know, they raised me by force. But I threw myself on my back on the ground; and they seized me by the hands and feet and dragged me away. And the witnesses of all these occurrences followed: Gaius, Faustus, Peter, and Paul. But they who had seized me carried me out of the village hastily, and placing me on an ass without a saddle, bore me away."

Dionysius relates these things respecting himself.

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CHAPTER XLI.

The Martyrs in Alexandria.

THE same writer, in an epistle to Fabius, bishop of Antioch, relates as follows the sufferings of the martyrs in Alexandria under Decius:

"The persecution among us did not begin with the royal decree, but preceded it an entire year. The prophet and author of evils to this city, whoever he was, previously moved and aroused against us the masses of the heathen, rekindling among them the superstition of their country. And being thus excited by him and finding full opportunity for any wickedness, they considered this the only pious service of their demons, that they should slay.

"They seized first an old man named Metras and commanded him to utter impious words. But as he would not obey, they beat him with clubs, and tore his face and eyes with sharp sticks, and dragged him out of the city and stoned him. Then they carried to their idol temple a faithful woman, named Quinta, that they might force her to worship. And as she turned away in detestation, they bound her feet and dragged her through the entire city over the stone-paved streets, and dashed her against the millstones, and at the same time scourged her; then, taking her to the same place, they stoned her to death. Then all with one impulse rushed to the homes of the pious, and they dragged forth whomsoever any one knew as a neighbor, and despoiled and plundered them. They took for themselves the more valuable property; but the poorer articles and those made of wood they scattered about and burned in the streets, so that the city appeared as if taken by an enemy. But the brethren withdrew and went away, and 'took joyfully the spoiling of their goods,' like those to whom Paul bore witness. I know of no one unless possibly some one who fell into their hands, who, up to this time, denied the Lord. Then they seized also that most admirable virgin, Apollonia, an old woman, and, smiting her on the jaws, broke out all her teeth. And they made a fire outside the city and threatened to burn her alive if she would not join with them in their impious cries. And she, supplicating a little, was released, when she leaped eagerly into the fire and was consumed. Then they seized Serapion in his own house, and tortured him with harsh cruelties, and having broken all his limbs, they threw him headlong from an upper story. And there was no street, nor public road, nor lane open to us, by night or day; for always and everywhere, all of them cried out that if any one would not repeat their impious words, he should immediately be dragged away and burned. And matters continued thus for a considerable time.

But a sedition and civil war came upon the wretched people and turned their cruelty toward us against one another. So we breathed for a little while as they ceased from their rage against us. But presently the change from that milder reign was announced to us, and great fear of what was threatened seized us. For the decree arrived, almost like unto that most

terrible time foretold by our Lord, which if it were possible would offend even the elect. All truly were affrighted. And many of the more eminent in their fear came forward immediately; others who were in the public service were drawn on by their official duties; others were urged on by their acquaintances. And as their names were called they approached the impure and impious sacrifices. Some of them were pale and trembled as if they were not about to sacrifice, but to be themselves sacrifices and offerings to the idols; so that they were jeered at by the multitude who stood around, as it was plain to every one that they were afraid either to die or to sacrifice. But some advanced to the altars more readily, declaring boldly that they had never been Christians. Of these the prediction of our Lord is most true that they shall 'hardly' be saved. Of the rest some followed the one, others the other of these classes, some fled and some were seized. And of the latter some continued faithful until bonds and imprisonment, and some who had even been imprisoned for many days yet abjured the faith before they were brought to trial. Others having for a time endured great tortures finally retracted. But the firm and blessed pillars of the Lord being strengthened by him, and having received vigor and might suitable and appropriate to the strong faith which they possessed, became admirable witnesses of his kingdom. The first of these was Julian, a man who suffered so much with the gout that he was unable to stand or walk. They brought him forward with two others who carried him.

One of these immediately denied. But the other, whose name was Cronion, and whose surname was Eunus, and the old man Julian himself, both of them having confessed the Lord, were carried on camels through the entire city, which, as you know, is a very large one, and in this elevated position were beaten and finally burned in a fierce fire, surrounded by all the populace.

But a soldier, named Besas, who stood them as they were led away rebuked those who insulted them. And they cried out against him, and this most manly warrior of God was arraigned, and having done nobly in the great contest for piety, was beheaded. A certain other one, a Libyan by birth, but in name and blessedness a true Macar, was strongly urged by the judge to recant; but as he would not yield he was burned alive. After them Epimachus and Alexander, having remained in bonds for a long time, and endured countless agonies from scrapers and scourges, were alsoconsumed in a fierce fire. And with them there were four women. Ammonarium, a holy virgin, the judge tortured relentlessly and excessively, because she declared from the first that she would utter none of those things which he commanded; and having kept her promise truly, she was dragged away. The others were Mercuria, a very remarkable old woman, and Dionysia, the mother of many children, who did not love her own children above the Lord. As the governor was ashamed of torturing thus ineffectually, and being always defeated by women, they were put to death by the sword, without the trial of tortures. For the champion, Ammonarium, endured these in behalf of all.

The Egyptians, Heron and Ater and Isidorus, and with them Dioscorus, a boy about fifteen years old, were delivered up. At first the judge attempted to deceive the lad by fair words, as if he could be brought over easily, and then to force him by tortures, as one who would readily yield. But Dioscorus was neither persuaded nor constrained. As the others remained firm, he scourged them cruelly and then delivered them to the fire. But admiring the manner in which Dioscorus had distinguished himself publicly, and his wise answers to his persuasions, he dismissed him, saying that on account of his youth he would give him time for repentance. And this most godly Dioscorus is among us now, awaiting a longer conflict and more severe contest.

But a certain Nemesion, who also was an Egyptian, was accused as an associate of robbers; but when he had cleared himself before the centurion of this charge most foreign to the truth, he was informed against as a Christian, and taken in bonds before the governor. And the most unrighteous magistrate inflicted on him tortures and scourgings double those which he executed on the robbers, and then burned him between the robbers, thus honoring the blessed man by the likeness to Christ.

A band of soldiers, Ammon and Zeno and Ptolemy and Ingenes, and with them an old man, Theophilus, were standing close together before the tribunal. And as a certain person who was being tried as a Christian, seemed inclined to deny, they standing by gnashed their teeth, and made signs with their faces and stretched out their hands, and gestured with their bodies. And when the attention of all was turned to them, before any one else could seize them, they rushed up to the tribunal saying that they were Christians, so that the governor and his council were affrighted. And those who were on trial appeared most courageous in prospect of their sufferings, while their judges trembled. And they went exultingly from the tribunal rejoicing in their testimony; God himself having caused them to triumph gloriously."

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CHAPTER XLII.

Others of whom Dionysius gives an Account.

"MANY others, in cities and villages, were torn asunder by the heathen, of whom I will mention one as an illustration. Ischyrion was employed as a steward by one of the rulers. His employer commanded him to sacrifice, and on his refusal insulted him, and as he remained firm, abused him. And as he still held out he seized a long staff and thrust it through his bowels and slew him.

"Why need I speak of the multitude that wandered in the deserts and mountains, and perished by hunger, and thirst, and cold, and sickness, and robbers, and wild beasts? Those of them who survived are witnesses of their election and victory. But I will relate one occurrence as an example. Chaeremon, who was very old, was bishop of the city called Nilus. He fled with his wife to the Arabian mountain and did not return. And though the brethren searched diligently they could not find either them or their bodies. And many who fled to the same Arabian mountain were carried into slavery by the barbarian Saracens. Some of them were ransomed with difficulty and at a large price others have not been to the present time. I have related these things, my brother, not without an object, but that you may understand how many and great distresses came upon us. Those indeed will understand them the best who have had the largest experience of them."

A little further on he adds:

"These divine martyrs among us, who now are seated with Christ, and are sharers in his kingdom, partakers of his judgment and judges with him, received some of the brethren who had fallen away and become chargeable with the guilt of sacrificing. When they perceived that their conversion and repentance were sufficient to be acceptable with him who by no means desires the death of the sinner, but his repentance, having proved them they received them back and brought them together, and met with them and had fellowship with them in prayers and feasts. What counsel then, brethren, do you give us concerning such persons? What should we do? Shall we have the same judgment and rule as theirs, and observe their decision and charity, and show mercy to those whom they pitied? Or, shall we declare their decision unrighteous, and set ourselves as judges of their opinion, and grieve mercy and overturn order?"

These words Dionysius very properly added when making mention of those who had been weak in the time of persecution.

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BOOK VII.

INTRODUCTION.

IN this seventh book of the Church History, the great bishop of Alexandria, Dionysius, shall again assist us by his own words; relating the several affairs of his time in the epistles which he has left. I will begin with them.

CHAPTER I.

The Wickedness of Decius and Gallus.

WHEN Decius had reigned not quite two years, he was slain with his children, and Gallus succeeded him. At this time Origen died, being sixty-nine years of age. Dionysius, writing to Hermammon, speaks as follows of Gallus:

"Gallus neither recognized the wickedness of Decius, nor considered what had destroyed him; but stumbled on the same stone, though it lay before his eyes. For when his reign was prosperous and affairs were proceeding according to his mind, he attacked the holy men who were interceding with God for his peace and welfare. Therefore with them he persecuted also their prayers in his behalf." So much concerning him.

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CHAPTER X.

Valerian and the Persecution under him.

GALLUS and the other rulers, having held the government less than two years, were overthrown, and Valerian, with his son Gallienus, received the empire. The circumstances which Dionysius relates of him we may learn from his epistle to Hermammon, in which he gives the following account:

"And in like manner it is revealed to John; 'For there was given to him,' he says, 'a mouth speaking great things and blasphemy; and there was given unto him authority and forty and two months.' It is wonderful that both of these things occurred under Valerian; and it is the more remarkable in this case when we consider his previous conduct, for he had been mild and friendly toward the men of God, for none of the emperors before him had treated them so kindly and favorably; and not even those who were said openly to be Christians received them with such manifest hospitality and friendliness as he did at the beginning of his reign. For his entire house was filled with pious persons and was a church of God.

But the teacher and ruler of the synagogue of the Magi from Egypt persuaded him to change his course, urging him to slay and persecute pure and holy men because they opposed and hindered the corrupt and abominable incantations. For there are and there were men who, being present and being seen, though they only breathed and spoke, were able to scatter the counsels of the sinful demons. And he induced him to practice initiations and abominable sorceries and to offer unacceptable sacrifices; to slay innumerable children and to sacrifice the offspring of unhappy fathers; to divide the bowels of new-born babes and to mutilate and cut to pieces the creatures of God, as if by such practices they could attain happiness."

He adds to this the following: "Splendid indeed were the thank-offerings which Macrianus brought them for the empire which was themobject of his hopes. He is said to have been formerly the emperor's general finance minister; yet he did nothing praiseworthy or of general benefit, but fell under the prophetic saying, 'Woe unto those who prophesy from their own heart and do not consider the general good.' For he did not perceive

the general Providence, nor did he look for the judgment of Him who is before all, and through all, and over all. Wherefore he became an enemy of his Catholic Church, and alienated and estranged himself from the compassion of God, and fled as far as possible from his salvation. In this he showed the truth of his own name."

And again, farther on he says: "For Valerian, being instigated to such acts by this man, was given over to insults and reproaches, according to what was said by Isaiah: 'They have chosen their own ways and their abominations in which their soul delighted; I also will choose their delusions and will render unto them their sins.' But this man madly desired the kingdom though unworthy of it, and being unable to put the royal garment on his crippled body, set forward his two sons to bear their father's sins. For concerning them the declaration which God spoke was plain, 'Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.' For heaping on the heads of his sons his own evil desires, in which he had met with success, he wiped off upon them his own wickedness and hatred toward God."

Dionysius relates these things concerning Valerian.

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CHAPTER XI.

The Events which happened at this Time to Dionysius and those in Egypt.

BUT as regards the persecution which prevailed so fiercely in his reign, and the sufferings which Dionysius with others endured on account of piety toward the God of the universe, his own words shall show, which he wrote in answer to Germanus, a contemporary bishop who was endeavoring to slander him. His statement is as follows:

"Truly I am in danger of falling into great folly and stupidity through being forced to relate the wonderful providence of God toward us. But since it is said that 'it is good to keep close the secret of a king, but it is honorable to reveal the works of God,' I will join issue with the violence of Germanus.

I went not alone to Aemilianus; but my fellow-presbyter, Maximus, and the deacons Faustus, Eusebius, and Chaeremon, and a brother who was present from Rome, went with me. But Aemilianus did not at first say to me: 'Hold no assemblies;' for this was superfluous to him, and the last thing to one who was seeking to accomplish the first. For he was not concerned about our assembling, but that we ourselves should not be Christians. And he commanded me to give this up; supposing if I turned from it, the others also would follow me. But I answered him, neither unsuitably nor in many words: 'We must obey God rather than men.' And I testified openly that I worshiped the one only God, and no other; and that I would not turn from this nor would I ever cease to be a Christian. Thereupon he commanded us to go to a village near the desert, called Cephro But listen to the very words which were spoken on both sides, as they were recorded:

"Dionysius, Faustus, Maximus, Marcellus, and Chaeremon being arraigned, Aemilianus the prefect said: 'I have reasoned verbally with you concerning the clemency which our rulers have shown to you; for they have given you the opportunity to save yourselves, if you will turn to that which is according to nature, and worship the gods that preserve their empire, and forget those that are contrary to nature. What then do you say to this? For I do not think that you will be ungrateful for their kindness, since they would turn you toa better course.' Dionysius replied: 'Not all people worship all gods; but each one those whom he approves. We therefore reverence and worship the one God, the Maker of all; who hath given the empire to the divinely favored and august Valerian and Gallienus; and we pray to him continually for their empire, that it may remain unshaken.' Aemilianus, the prefect, said to them: 'But who forbids you to worship him, if he is a god, together with those who are gods by nature. For ye have been commanded to reverence the gods, and the gods whom all know.' Dionysius answered: 'We worship no other.' Aemilianus, the prefect, said to them: 'I see that you are at once ungrateful, and insensible to the kindness of our sovereigns. Wherefore ye shall not remain in this city. But ye shall be sent into the regions of Libya, to a place called Cephro. For I have chosen this place at the command of our sovereigns, and it shall by nomeans be permitted you or any others, either to hold assemblies, or to enter into the so-called cemeteries. But if any one shall be seen without the place which I have commanded, or be found in any assembly, he will bring peril on himself. For suitable punishment shall not fail. Go, therefore where ye have been ordered.'

"And he hastened me away, though I was sick, not granting even a day's respite. What opportunity then did I have, either to hold assemblies, or not to hold them?"

Farther on he says:

"But through help of the Lord we did not give up the open assembly. But I called together the more diligently those who were in the city, as if I were with them; being, so to speak, 'absent in body but present in spirit.' But in Cephro a large church gathered with us of the brethren that followed us from the city, and those that joined us from Egypt; and there 'God opened unto us a door for the Word.' At first we were persecuted and stoned; but afterwards not a few of the heathen forsook the idols and turned to God. For until this time they had not heard the Word, since it was then first sown by us. And as if God had brought us to them for this purpose, when we had performed this ministry he transferred us to another place. For Aemilianus, as it appeared, desired to transport us to rougher and more Libyan-like places; so he commanded them to assemble from all quarters in Mareotis, and assigned to them different villages throughout the country. But he ordered us to be placed nearer the highway that we might be seized first. For evidently he arranged and prepared matters so that whenever he wished to seize us he could take all of us without difficulty. When I was first ordered to go to Cephro I did not know where the place was, and had scarcely ever heard the name; yet I went readily and cheerfully. But when I was told that I was to remove to the district of Colluthion, those who were present know how I was affected. For here I will accuse myself. At first I was grieved and greatly disturbed; for though these places were better known and more familiar to us, yet the country was said to be destitute of brethren and of men of character, and to exposed to the annoyances of travelers and incursions of robbers. But I was comforted when the brethren reminded me that it was nearer the city, and that while Cephro afforded us much intercourse with the brethren from Egypt, so that we were able to extend the Church more widely, as this place was nearer the city we should enjoy more frequently the sight of those who were truly beloved and most closely related and dearest to us. For they would come and remain, and special meetings could be held, as in the more remote suburbs. And thus it turned out."

After other matters he writes again as follows of the things which happened to him

"Germanus indeed boasts of many confessions. He can speak forsooth of many adversities which he himself has endured. But is he able to reckon up as many as we can, of sentences, confiscations, proscriptions, plundering of goods, loss of dignities, contempt of worldly glory, disregard for the flatteries of governors and of councilors, and patient endurance of the threats of opponents, of outcries, of perils and persecutions, and wandering and distress, and all kinds of tribulation, such as came upon me under Decius and Sabinus, and such as continue even now under Aemilianus? But where has Germanus been seen? And what account is there of him? But I turn from this great folly into which I am falling on account of Germanus. And for the same reason I desist from giving to the brethren who know it an account of everything which took place."'

The same writer also in the epistle to Domitius and Didymus mentions some particulars of the persecution as follows:

"As our people are many andunknown to you, it would be superfluous to give their names; but understand that men and women, young and old, maidens and matrons, soldiers and civilians, of every race and age, some by scourging and fire, others by the sword, have conquered in the strife and received their crowns. But in the case of some a very long time was not sufficient to make them appear acceptable to the Lord; as, indeed, it seems also in my own case, that sufficient time has not yet elapsed. Wherefore he has retained me for the time which he knows to be fitting, saying, 'In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee.' For as you have inquired of our affairs and desire us to tell you how we are situated, you have heard fully that when we — that is, myself and Gaius and Faustus and Peter and Paul — were led away as prisoners by a centurion and magistrates, with their soldiers and servants, certain persons from Mareotis came and dragged us away by force, as we were unwilling to follow them. But now I and Gaius and Peter are alone, deprived of the other brethren, and shut up in a desert and dry place in Libya, three days' journey from Paraetonium."

He says farther on: "The presbyters, Maximus, Dioscorus, Demetrius, and Lucius concealed themselves in the city, and visited the brethren secretly; for Faustinus and Aquila, who are more prominent in the world, are wandering in Egypt. But the deacons, Faustus, Eusebius, and Chaeremon, have survived those who died in the pestilence. Eusebius is one whom God has strengthened. and endowed from the first to fulfill energetically the ministrations for the imprisoned confessors, and to attend to the dangerous task of preparing for burial the bodies of the perfected and blessed martyrs. For as I have said before, unto the present time the governor continues to put to death in a cruel manner those who are brought to trial. And he destroys some with tortures, and wastes others away with imprisonment and bonds; and he suffers no one to go near them, and investigates whether any one does so. Nevertheless God gives relief to the afflicted through the zeal and persistence of the brethren."

Thus far Dionysius. But it should be known that Eusebius, whom he calls a deacon, shortly afterward became bishop of the church of Laodicea in Syria; and Maximus, of whom he speaks as being then a presbyter, succeeded Dionysius himself as bishop of Alexandria. But the Faustus who was with him, and who at that time was distinguished for his confession, was preserved until the persecution in our day, when being very old and full of days, he closed his life by martyrdom, being beheaded. But such are the things which happened at that time to Dionysius.

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CHAPTER XII.

The Martyrs in Caesarea in Palestine.

DURING the above-mentioned persecution under Valerian, three men in Caesarea in Palestine, being conspicuous in their confession of Christ, were adorned with divine martyrdom, becoming food for wild beasts. One of them was called Priscus, another Malchus, and the name of the third was Alexander. They say that these men, who lived in the country, acted at first in a cowardly manner, as if they were careless and thoughtless. For when the opportunity was given to those who longed for the prize with heavenly desire, they treated it lightly, lest they should seize the Crown of martyrdom prematurely. But having deliberated on the matter, they hastened to Caesarea, and went before the judge and met the end we have mentioned. They relate that besides these, in the same persecution and the same city, a certain woman endured a similar conflict. But it is reported that she belonged to the sect of Marcion.

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CHAPTER XIII.

The Peace under Gallienus.

SHORTLY after this Valerian was reduced to slavery by the barbarians, and his son having become sole ruler, conducted the government more prudently. He immediately restrained the persecution against us by public proclamations, and directed the bishops to perform in freedom their customary duties, in a rescript which ran as follows:

"The Emperor Caesar Publius Licinius Gallienus, Pius, Felix, Augustus, to Dionysius, Pinnas, Demetrius, and the other bishops. I have ordered the bounty of my gift to be declared through all the world, that they may depart from the places of religious worship. And for this purpose you may use this copy of my rescript, that no one may molest you. And this which you are now enabled lawfully to do, has already for a long time been conceded by me. Therefore Aurelius Cyrenius, who is the chief administrator of affairs, will observe this ordinance which I have given."

I have given this in a translation from the Latin, that it may be more readily understood. Another decree of his is extant addressed to other bishops, permitting them to take possession again of the so-called cemeteries.

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CHAPTER XV.

The Martyrdom of Marinus at Caesarea.

AT this time, when the peace of the churches had been everywhere restored, Marinus in Caesarea in Palestine, who was honored for his military deeds, and illustrious by virtue of family and wealth, was beheaded for his testimony to Christ, on the following account. The vine-branch is a certain mark of honor among the Romans, and those who obtain it become, they say, centurions. A place being vacated, the order of succession called Marinus to this position. But when he was about to receive the honor, another person came before the tribunal and claimed that it was not legal, according to the ancient laws, for him to receive the Roman dignity, as he was a Christian and did not sacrifice to the emperors; but that the office belonged rather to him.

Thereupon the judge, whose name was Achaeus, being disturbed, first asked what opinion Marinus held. And when he perceived that he continually confessed himself a Christian, he gave him three hours for reflection. When he came out from the tribunal, Theotecnus, the bishop there, took him aside and conversed with him, and taking his hand led him into the church. And standing with him within, in the sanctuary, he raised his cloak a little, and pointed to the sword that hung by his side; and at the same time he placed before him the Scripture of the divine Gospels, and told him to choose which of the two he wished. And without hesitation he reached forth his right hand, and took the divine Scripture. "Hold fast then," says Theotecnus to him, "hold fast to God, and strengthened by him mayest thou obtain what thou hast chosen, and go in peace." Immediately on his return the herald cried out calling him to the tribunal, for the appointed time was already completed. And standing before the tribunal, and manifesting greater zeal for the faith, immediately, as he was, he was led away and finished his course by death

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CHAPTER XVI.

Story in Regard to Astyrius.

ASTYRIUS also is commemorated on account of his pious boldness in connection with this affair. He was a Roman of senatorial rank, and in favor with the emperors, and well known to all on account of his noble birth and wealth. Being present at the martyr's death, he took his body away on his shoulder, and arraying him in a splendid and costly garment, prepared him for the grave in a magnificent manner, and gave him fitting burial. The friends of this man, that remain to our day, relate many other facts, concerning him.

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CHAPTER XXIII.

The Reign of Gallienus.

BUT there is nothing like hearing his own words, which are as follows:

"Then he, having betrayed one of the emperors that preceded him, and made war on the other, perished with his whole family speedily and utterly. But Gallienus was proclaimed and universally acknowledged at once an old emperor and a new, being before them and continuing after them. For according to the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 'Behold the things from the beginning have come to pass, and new things shall now arise.' For as a cloud passing over the sun's rays and obscuring them for a little time hides it and appears in its place; but when the cloud has passed by or is dissipated, the sun which had risen before appears again; so Macrianus who put himself forward and approached the existing empire of Gallienus, is not, since he never was. But the other is just as he was. And his kingdom, as if it had cast aside old age, and had been purified from the former wickedness, now blossoms out more vigorously, and is seen and heard farther, and extends in all directions."

He then indicates the time at which he wrote this in the following words: "It occurs to me again to review the days of the imperial years. For I perceive that those most impious men, though they have been famous, yet in a short time have become nameless. But the holier and more godly prince, having passed the seventh year, is now completing the ninth, in which we shall keep the feast."

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CHAPTER XXXI.

The Perversive Heresy of the Manicheans which began at this Time.

AT this time, the madman, named from his demoniacal heresy, armed himself in the perversion of his reason, as the devil, Satan, who himself fights against God, put him forward to the destruction of many. He was a barbarian in life, both in word and deed; and in his nature demoniacal and insane. In consequence of this he sought to pose as Christ, and being puffed up in his madness, he proclaimed himself the Paraclete and the very Holy Spirit; and afterwards, like Christ, he chose twelve disciples as partners of his new doctrine. And he patched together false and godless doctrines collected from a multitude of long-extinct impieties, and swept them, like a deadly poison, from Persia to our part of the world. From him the impious name of the Manicheans is still prevalent among many. Such was the foundation of this "knowledge falsely so-called," which sprang up in those times.

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