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125 [112]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

persecution al the coast of Spayne, as sayth Vincentius lib. 13. cap. 123. 124. 128. 130. 134. MarginaliaRictionarus a notable tyrant.
The bloud of the christians made ryuers.
The foresayd Rictionarus made such persecution at Treuers neare the ryuer of Mosella, that the blood of Christen men that wer slayne ranne lyke small brookes, and coulored great & meane riuers. Neither yet did this suffice him, but frō thence sent certayne horsmen with his letters, commaunding them to ryde into euerye place, and charge all suche as had taken and apprehended anye Christians, that they should immediately put them to death. Vincentius. lib. 13. cap. 136.

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MarginaliaAgrippina.
Augusta.
Martyrs.
Also Henricus de Erfordia and Reginus make mencion of great persecution to be at Colonia wher Agrippina and Augusta were martyred, as also in the Prouince of Rhetia.

MarginaliaThe persecutiō in Britanny or England.Beda also sayth that this persecution reached euen vnto the Britanes in his booke De ratione temporum. And the Chronicle of Martinus, and the Nosegaye of tyme, do declare that all the Christians in Britany wer vtterly destroyed. Furthermore, that þe kindes of death and punishment were so great and horrible, that no mans toung is able to expresse. MarginaliaDiocletianus dyd but dallye in the beginnyng of the persecution.In the beginning, whē the Emperour by his subtilty and wylynes, rather dalied, then shewed his rigour, hee threatned them wyth bandes and imprisonment: but within a whyle, when he began to work the matter in good earnest, MarginaliaSundry sortes of tormentes deuised against the christians.he deuised innumerable sortes of tormentes and punishments, as whippinges and scourginges, rackings, horrible scrapinges, sword, fire, and ship botes, wherein a great nūber being put, were soonke and drowned in the bottom of the sea. Euseb. lib. 8. cap. 6. & 7. Also hanging them vpon crosses, binding them to þe bodies of dead trees with their heades downward, hanging them by the myddles vpon gallowses, til they dyed for hunger, throwing thē alyue to such kinde of wylde beastes as woulde deuour them as Lyons, beares, Lybards, and wylde Buls. Euseb. lib. 8. cap. 8. Pricking and thrusting them in wyth bodkins and talantes of beastes, tyll they were almost dead, lyfting them vp a high with their heades downeward, MarginaliaThe women of Thebaide
Martyrs.
euen as in Thebaide they did vnto the women being naked and vnclothed, one of their feete tyed and lyfted a high, and so hanging downe with their bodies, which thing to see was very pityfull, with other diuised sortes of punishmentes most tragicall, or rather tyrannicall, and pitiful to describe: as first, the binding of thē to trees, and to the boughes thereof. The pulling & tearing a sunder of their members and ioyntes, being tied to the boughes and armes of trees. Euseb. lib. 8. cap. 9. The mangling of them with axes, the choking them wt smoke by smal and soft fires, the dismembring of their handes, eares and feete, with other ioyntes, as the holy Martyrs of Alexandria suffred, the scortching and broiling of them with coales, not vnto death, but euery day reneued, MarginaliaThe persecution in Antiochewith which kinde of tormentes the Martirs at Antioch were afflicted. MarginaliaThe persecutiō in Pontus.But in Pontus, other horryble punishmentes and fearfull to be heard, did the Martirs of Christ suffer, of which some had their fingers endes vnder the nayles thrust in with sharpe bodkins: some al to be sprinkled with boiling leade, hauing their most necessary members cut from them: some other suffring most filthy, intollerable, and indurable tormentes and payne, in their bowels and priuy members. Eusebius eodem. cap. 12.

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MarginaliaPersecution in Alexandria.To conclude, how great was the outrage of the persecution which was in Alexandria, and with how many and sundry kindes of new deuised punishments the Martyrs were afflicted? Phileas, the bishop of the Thumitans, a mā singularly wel learned, hath described in his Epistle to the Thumitans, the copy wherof Eusebius hath in his. 8. booke, and. x. chap. out of the which we meane here briefly to recite somwhat. MarginaliaThe contentes of the epistle of Phileas sent to his congregation.Because (sayth he) euery man might torment the holy Martyrs as they lifted themselues: some bet them with cougils, some wt rods, some with whyps, some with thonges, and some with cords, and this example of beating was in sondry wyse executed, and with much cruelty. For some of thē hauing their handes bound behinde their backes, were lifted vp vpon tymber logs, and with certayne instrumentes their members & ioyntes were stretched foorth, wheron their whole bodies hanging were subiect to the wyl of the tormentors, who were commaunded to afflict them with al maner of tormentes, and not on their sydes onely (lyke as homicides were) but vpon their bellies, thighes, and legs, they scorched them with the talentes and clawes of wylde beastes. Some other were sene to hang by one hand vpon the engine, wherby they might feele the more greuous pullyng out of the rest of their ioyntes & members. Some other wer in such sort bound vnto pyllers wt their faces turned to the wal, hauing no stay vnder their feete, and were violētly waide downe with the payse of their bodyes, that by reason of their straight binding, they being drawne out, myghte be more greuously tormented. And this suffred they not onely during the tyme of their examination, & whyle the Sheriffe had to do with them, but also the whole dai long. And whylest the Iudge went thus from one to another, he by his autoritie appoynted certaine officers to attend vpon those he left, and not to be let downe vntil either through the intollerablenes of the payne, or by the extremitie of cold, they being neare þe point of death, should be let downe: and so were they haled vpon the ground. And further they were commaunded that they should shew not so much as one sparke of mercy or compassion vpon vs, but so extreamelye and furiouslye dyd deale with vs, as though our soules and bodies shoulde haue dyed together. And therefore yet an other torment our aduersaries deuised to augmēt our former plages. MarginaliaStraunge kyndes of tormentAfter that they had most lamentably beaten them, they deuised moreouer a new kinde of racke, wherin they lying vpright, were stretched by both the feete aboue the fourth stop or hole, with sharpe shels or shares strowed vnder them, after a strange kinde of ingine to vs here vnknowen. Other some wer cast downe vpon the pauement, wher they were oppressed so thicke & so greuously with torments, that it is not almost to be thought what afflictions they suffered.

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Thus they lieng in paynes and tormentes, some died therwith, not a litle shaming and confounding their enemies by their singular pacience. Some halfe dead & halfe a lyue, were thrust into prison, where shortly after by paynes & woundes of their bodies they ended their bitter lyfe. Some agayne beyng cured of their woūds by their induraunce in prison, were more confirmed: who being put to the choyse whether they woulde come to their cursed sacrifice, and inioy their wicked liberty, or els sustayne the sentence of death, did wyllingly and without delay abide the extremitie, remembring wyth them selues what is written in the scriptures: He that sacrificeth (sayth he) to straunge Gods, shal be exterminate. &c. Itē, thou shalt not haue any strāge gods beside me &c. Thus muche wrote Phileas to the Congregatiō where he was byshop, before hee receaued the sentence of death, being yet in bandes, and in the same exhorteth hys brethren constantly to persist after hys death, in the truth of Christ professed. Euseb. lib. 8. cap. 10.

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MarginaliaEx Sabelico. lib. 7. cap. 8.
An holye martyr of Nicomedia tormented
Sabellicus in his seuenth Ennead and. 8. booke, saith that that Christened man which tore and pulled downe the wycked edict of the Emperour in Nicomedia, being stript and beaten that the bones appeared, & after washed in salt and viniger, was then slayne with this cruel kinde of torment. But Platina writeth that Dorotheus and Gorgonius exhorted him to die so constantly

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But as all their tormentes were for their horriblenes, marueilous and notable, and therwithal so studi-

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