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account of the creation, their prediction of the future, the reasonableness of their precepts, and their reference of the universe to a single ruler. And as my soul became taught of God I understood that the Greek doctrines lead to condemnation, while these destroy the slavery to which 5 we are subject in the world and rescue us from many rulers and tyrants without number, though they give us not that which we never received before, but that which we did receive and were hindered by the error from keeping.
The Persecution at Lyons and Vienne.
THE servants of Christ residing at Vienne and Lyons, in Gaul, to the brethren throughout Asia and Phrygia, who hold the same faith and hope of redemption, peace and grace and glory from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The greatness of the tribulation in this region, and the fury of the heathen against the saints, and the sufferings of the blessed witnesses, we cannot recount accurately, nor indeed could they possibly be recorded. For with all his might the adversary fell upon us, giving us a fore- 20 taste of his unbridled activity at his future coming. He endeavoured in every manner to practise and exercise his servants against the servants of God, not only shutting us out from houses and baths and markets, but forbidding any of us to be seen in any place whatever. But the 25 grace of God led the conflict against him, and delivered the weak, and set them as firm pillars, able through patience to endure all the wrath of the Evil One, And
τοῦ πονηροῦ εἰς ἑαυτοὺς ἑλκύσαι· οἳ καὶ ὁμόσε ἐχώρουν αὐτῷ, πᾶν εἶδος ὀνειδισμοῦ καὶ κολάσεως ἀνεχόμενοι, οἳ καὶ τὰ πολλὰ ὀλίγα ἡγούμενοι ἔσπευδον πρὸς Χριστόν, ὄντως ἐπιδεικνύμενοι, ὅτι “ οὐκ ἄξια τὰ παθήματα τοῦ νῦν 5 καιροῦ, πρὸς τὴν μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς.” καὶ πρῶτον μὲν τὰ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου πανδημεὶ σωρηδὸν ἐπιφερόμενα γενναίως ὑπέμενον, ἐπιβοήσεις, καὶ πληγάς, καὶ συρμούς, καὶ διαρπαγάς, καὶ λίθων βολάς, καὶ συγκλείσεις, καὶ πάνθ ̓ ὅσα ἠγριωμένῳ πλήθει ὡς το πρὸς ἐχθροὺς καὶ πολεμίους φιλεῖ γίνεσθαι. καὶ δὴ
ἀναχθέντες εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν ὑπό τε τοῦ χιλιάρχου καὶ τῶν προεστηκότων τῆς πόλεως ἐξουσιῶν, ἐπὶ παντὸς τοῦ πλήθους ἀνακριθέντες καὶ ὁμολογήσαντες, συνεκλείσθησαν εἰς τὴν εἱρκτὴν ἕως τῆς τοῦ ἡγεμόνος παρουσίας.
Τότε δὴ οἱ πάντες μεγάλως ἐπτοήθημεν, διὰ τὸ ἄδηλον τῆς ὁμολογίας, οὐ τὰς ἐπιφερομένας κολάσεις φοβού μενοι, ἀλλὰ τὸ τέλος ἀφορῶντες, καὶ τὸ ἀποπεσεῖν τινα δεδιότες. συνελαμβάνοντο μέντοι καθ ̓ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν οἱ ἄξιοι, τὸν ἐκείνων ἀναπληροῦντες ἀριθμόν, ὥστε συλ2ο λεγῆναι ἐκ τῶν δύο ἐκκλησιῶν πάντας τοὺς σπουδαίους, καὶ δι ̓ ὧν μάλιστα συνειστήκει τὰ ἐνθάδε. συνελαμβάνοντο δὲ καὶ ἐθνικοί τινες οἰκέται τῶν ἡμετέρων, ἐπεὶ δημοσίᾳ ἐκέλευσεν ὁ ἡγεμὼν ἀναζητεῖσθαι πάντας ἡμᾶς· οἳ καὶ κατ ̓ ἐνέδραν τοῦ Σατανᾶ, φοβηθέντες τὰς βασά25 νους ἃς τοὺς ἁγίους ἔβλεπον πάσχοντας, τῶν στρατιω τῶν ἐπὶ τοῦτο παρορμώντων αὐτούς, κατεψεύσαντο ἡμῶν Θυέστεια δείπνα, καὶ Οἰδιποδείους μίξεις, καὶ ὅσα μήτε λαλεῖν μήτε νοεῖν θέμις ἡμῖν, ἀλλὰ μηδὲ πιστεύειν εἴ τι τοιοῦτο πώποτε παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἐγένετο. τούτων δὲ 30 φημισθέντων πάντες ἀπεθηριώθησαν εἰς ἡμᾶς, ὥστε καὶ εἴ τινες τὸ πρότερον δι' οἰκειότητα ἐμετρίαζον, τότε μεγά λως ἐχαλέπαινον καὶ διεπρίοντο καθ ̓ ἡμῶν. ἐπληροῦτο δὲ τὸ ὑπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν εἰρημένον, ὅτι “ ἐλεύσεται
they joined battle with him, undergoing all kinds of shame and injury; and regarding their great sufferings as little, they hastened to Christ, manifesting truly that 'the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to 5 us-ward.' First of all, they endured nobly the injuries heaped upon them by the populace; clamours and blows and draggings and robberies and stonings and imprison-ments, and all things which an infuriated mob delight in inflicting on enemies and adversaries. Then being Ic taken to the forum by the chiliarch and the authorities of the city, they were examined in the presence of the whole multitude, and having confessed, they were imprisoned until the arrival of the governor.
Then all of us feared greatly on account of uncertainty 15 as to their confession; not because we dreaded the sufferings to be endured, but because we looked to the end, and were afraid that some of them might fall away. But those who were worthy were seized day by day, filling up their number, so that all the zealous persons, and 20 those through whom especially our affairs had been established, were collected together out of the two churches. And some of our heathen servants also were seized, as the governor had publicly commanded that all of us should be sought out. These, being ensnared by Satan, and 25 fearing for themselves the tortures which they beheld the saints endure, and being also urged on by the soldiers, accused us falsely of Thyestean banquets and Oedipodean intercourse, and of deeds which are not only unlawful for us to speak of or to think, but which we cannot believe 30 were ever done by men. When these accusations were reported, all the people raged like wild beasts against us, so that even if any had before been moderate on account of friendship, they were now exceedingly furious and gnashed
καιρός, ἐν ᾧ πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτείνας ὑμᾶς δόξει λατρείαν προσφέρειν τῷ Θεῷ.” ἐνταῦθα λοιπὸν ὑπεράνω πάσης ἐξηγήσεως ὑπέμενον κολάσεις οἱ ἅγιοι μάρτυρες, φιλοτιμουμένου τοῦ Σατανᾶ καὶ δι ̓ ἐκείνων ῥηθῆναί τι τῶν 5 βλασφήμων.
Υπερβεβλημένως δὲ ἐνέσκηψεν ἡ ὀργὴ πᾶσα καὶ ὄχλου καὶ ἡγεμόνος καὶ στρατιωτῶν εἰς Σάγκτον διάκονον ἀπὸ Βιέννης, καὶ εἰς Μάτουρον νεοφώτιστον μέν, ἀλλὰ γενναῖον ἀγωνιστήν, καὶ εἰς Ατταλον Περγαμηνὸν 1ο τῷ γένει, “ στύλον καὶ ἑδραίωμα” τῶν ἐνταῦθα ἀεὶ γεγονότα, καὶ εἰς Βλανδίναν, δι' ἧς ἐπέδειξεν ὁ Χριστὸς ὅτι τὰ παρὰ ἀνθρώποις εὐτελῆ καὶ ἀειδῆ καὶ εὐκαταφρόνητα φαινόμενα μεγάλης καταξιοῦται παρὰ Θεῷ δόξης, διὰ τὴν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀγάπην, τὴν ἐν δυνάμει δεικνυμένην, καὶ 15 μὴ ἐν εἴδει καυχωμένην. ἡμῶν γὰρ πάντων δεδιότων, καὶ τῆς σαρκίνης δεσποίνης αὐτῆς, ἥτις ἦν καὶ αὐτὴ τῶν μαρτύρων μία ἀγωνίστρια, ἀγωνιώσης μὴ οὐδὲ τὴν ὁμο λογίαν δυνήσεται παρρησιάσασθαι διὰ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ σώματος, ἡ Βλανδίνα τοσαύτης ἐπληρώθη δυνάμεως, 2ο ὥστε ἐκλυθῆναι καὶ παρεθῆναι τοὺς κατὰ διαδοχὰς παντὶ τρόπῳ βασανίζοντας αὐτὴν ἀπὸ ἑωθινῆς ἕως ἑσπέρας, καὶ αὐτοὺς ὁμολογοῦντας ὅτι νενίκηνται, μηδὲν ἔχοντες μηκέτι ὃ ποιήσουσιν αὐτῇ, καὶ θαυμάζειν ἐπὶ τῷ παραμένειν ἔμπνουν αὐτήν, παντὸς τοῦ σώματος περιερρωγότος καὶ 25 ἠνεωγμένου, καὶ μαρτυρεῖν, ὅτι ἓν εἶδος στρεβλώσεως ἱκανὸν ἦν πρὸς τὸ ἐξαγαγεῖν τὴν ψυχήν, οὐχ ὅτι γε τοιαῦτα καὶ τοσαῦτα. ἀλλ ̓ ἡ μακαρία ὡς γενναίος ἀθλητὴς ἀνενέαζεν ἐν τῇ ὁμολογίᾳ· καὶ ἦν αὐτῆς ἀνάληψις καὶ ἀνάπαυσις καὶ ἀναλγησία τῶν συμβαινόντων, 30 τὸ λέγειν ὅτι “ Χριστιανή είμι,” καί, “ παρ' ἡμῖν οὐδὲν φαῦλον γίνεται.”
Ὁ δὲ Σάγκτος καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπερβεβλημένως καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντα ἄνθρωπον πάσας τὰς ἐξ ἀνθρώπων αἰκίας γενναίως
their teeth against us. And that which was spoken by our Lord was fulfilled: "The time will come when whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.' Then finally the holy witnesses endured sufferings beyond description, Satan striving earnestly that some of the 5 slanders might be uttered by them also.
But the whole wrath of the populace, and governor, and soldiers was aroused exceedingly against Sanctus, the deacon from Vienne, and Maturus, a late convert, yet a noble combatant, and against Attalus, a native of Per- 10 gamos, where he had always been a pillar and foundation, and Blandina, through whom Christ showed that things which appear mean and obscure and despicable to men are with God of great glory, through love toward Him manifested in power, and not boasting in appearance. 15 For while we all trembled, and her earthly mistress, who was herself also one of the witnesses, feared that on account of the weakness of her body, she would be unable to make bold confession, Blandina was filled with such power that the men were weary and faint who were 20 torturing her by turns from morning till evening in every manner, so that they acknowledged that they were conquered, and could do nothing more to her. And they were astonished at her endurance, as her entire body was mangled and broken; and they testified that one of these 25 forms of torture was sufficient to destroy life, not to speak of so many and so great sufferings. But the blessed woman, like a noble athlete, renewed her strength in her confession; and her comfort and recreation and relief from the pain of her sufferings was in exclaiming, 'I am 30. a Christian, and there is nothing vile done by us.'
But Sanctus also endured marvellously and superhumanly all the outrages which he suffered. While the