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Attalus

Reputed martyr at Lyons during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Attalus was from Pergama and a leading member of the Christian congregation there. 1563, p. 4; 1570, p. 69-72; 1576, p. 46-48; 1583, p. 46-48.

 
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Blandina

Reputed martyr at Lyons during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Blandina was tortured at length before she died. She was then thrown to a wild bull, gored and killed. 1570, pp. 69-72; 1576, pp. 46-48; 1583, pp. 46-48.

 
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Maturus

Reputed martyr at Lyons during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Maturus had only recently been baptised when he was martyred. 1570, pp. 69-70; 1576, pp. 46-47; 1583, pp. 46-47.

 
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Sanctus

Deacon of Vienne; reputed martyr at Lyons during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Sanctus refused to divulge any information during his torments. 1570, pp. 69-70; 1576, pp. 46-47; 1583, pp. 46-47.

 
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Vetius Epagathus

Reputed martyr at Lyons during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

The behaviour of Vetius Epagathus before the judge was an example to his fellow Christians. 1570, p. 69; 1576, p. 46; 1583, p. 46.

 
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Bergama (Pergamum)

[Pergamopolis; Pergamus]

Mysia, Turkey

Coordinates: 49° 38' 60" N, 4° 32' 60" E

 
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Lyon

[Lions; Lyons]

Rhône-Alpes, France

Coordinates: 45° 46' 1" N, 4° 50' 3" E

Cathedral city

 
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Vienne

[Vienna]

Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France

Coordinates: 45° 31' 27" N, 4° 52' 41" E

Cathedral city

69 [46]

The first Booke conteyning the X. first persecutions, of the Primitiue Churche.

drian, being fastened to vij. stakes, and so racked vp wyth a pulley, aud at last were thrust through, Crescens in the necke, Iulianus in the brest, Nemesius in the hart, Primitiuus about the nauell, Iustinus cut in euery ioynte of his bodye, Stateus run through with speares, Eugenius cut a sonder frō the brest to the lower partes, and then cast into a deepe pyt, hauyng the name by the Idolatrous Priestes, intituled Ad septem Biothanatos. After the martirdome of whō also Symphorosa the mother did likewise suffer, as is before declared.

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Vnder the sayd Antoninus Verus, and in the same persecution, which raged not in Rome and Asia onely, but in other countryes also, suffered the glorious & most cōstant Martirs of Lyons and Vienna, two Cities in Fraunce, MarginaliaThe persecution in Lyons and Vienna, two cities in Fraunce. Ex Euseb. lib. 5. Cap. 2.gyuing to Christ a glorious testimony, & to all Christian men a spectacle, or example of singular constancie, and fortitude in Christ our sauiour. The history of whom, because it is written and set forth by their owne Churches, where they did suffer, mentioned in Euseb. Lib. 5. cap. 2. I thought here to expresse the same in the forme and effecte of their owne wordes, as there is to be seene. The title of which their Epistle written to the brethren of Asia and Phrigia thus beginneth.

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The seruauntes of Christ inhabiting the Cities of Vienna and Lyons, to the brethren in Asia and Phrigia, hauing the same faith and hope of redemption with vs: peace, and grace, and glory, from God the father, and from Iesus Christ our Lorde. 
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The first ten persecutions

The section on the first 300 years of the church was, however, just the preface to the 'First Ten Persecutions', a structured 'decade' of martyrdoms in the early church that mirrored the 'centuries' into which the Magdeburg Centuries had chosen to organize its history of the Christian church. For our examination of Foxe's (extensive) borrowings from the Magdeburg Centuries, we have made use of the online edition of this text at: http://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/digilib/centuriae.htm and, for the bibliographical complexities surrounding its publication, Ronald E. Diener, 'The Magdeburg Centuries. A Bibliothecal and Historiographical Study'. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Divinity School 1978/79). For these sections, we have undertaken a very preliminary analysis, concentrating on the following textual divisions: Introduction to first 10 persecutions (1583, p. 34; 1576, p. 34; 1570, pp. 53-4); First persecution (1583, pp. 34-5; 1576, p. 34; 1570, pp. 54-6); Second persecution (1583, pp. 35-9; 1576, pp. 35-9; 1570, pp. 56-7); Third persecution (1583, pp. 39-42; 1576, pp. 39-42; 1570, pp. 57-9); Fourth persecution (1583, pp. 42-46; 1576, pp. 42-46; 1570, pp. 59-69); Martyrs of Lyons (1583, pp. 46-50; 1576, pp. 46-50; 1570, pp. 69-74); Remainder of fourth persecution (1583, pp. 50-4; 1576, pp. 50-4; 1570, pp. 74-9); Fifth persecution (1583, pp. 54-9; 1576, pp. 54-9; 1570, pp. 79-85); Sixth persecution (1583, p. 59; 1576, pp. 59-60; 1570, pp. 85-6).

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In the block on the first persecutions, prepared for the 1570 edition and repeated in the later ones, Foxe cites as his source Eusebius, book 3, ch. 30. Although it is probably the case that he consulted the source, it is much more likely that, for this (as for the succeeding sections of this part of the narrative) that he drew on the published volumes of the Magdeburg Centuries, in this case, vol. 1, book 2, cols 561-4.

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For the second persecution, Foxe continued to use Eusebius, supplementing it (apparently) with Irenaeus' Against Heresies and the Historiae adversum paganos of Orosius. Again, although it is difficult to be certain of this at present, his direct source was likely to have been the Magdeburg Centuries. For the fourth persecution, concerned especially with the martyrdom of Polycarp, we can be clearer. Although some of the sections of Foxe's narrative (such as the Epistle to Pontus and the sayings of Polycarp to Martin the heretic, are direct translations from Eusebius, the section on the life and works of Polycarpus, which indirectly comes from Eusebius, book 5, ch. 20, is clearly lifted from the Magdeburg Centuries, II, cols 173 and 176. For the contradictory views of various authors on who were the popes at the time, Foxe clearly used the Magdeburg Centuries, I, book 2, cols 626-8 but he also consulted at least some of the other sources he mentions in order to construct an independent view. The section on the order of the popes to Eleutherius certainly is taken from the Magdeburg Centuries, II, cols 117 and 209-210.

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For the fourth persecution, it is evident that the Magdeburg Centuries formed the direct source for the following sections of it:- the Epistle of Pliny to Trajan and its response (p. 53 of the 1570 edition) - (II, cols 13-4); the martyrdoms under Emperor Hadrian (p. 54 of the 1570 edition) - (II, cols 15-6 and cols 231-33); the final rising of the Jews under Hadrian and subsequent slaughter, the succession of Antoninus Pius, and resumption of the fourth persecution (p. 55 of the 1570 edition) - (II, col 17); the disputed claims concerning Hyginus (p. 66 of the 1570 edition) - (II, cols 111; 141; 212-3); Eleutherius' mission to convert the British (II, cols 8-9); and the contention over the date of Easter at the time of Commodus (p. 67 of the 1570 edition) - (II, col. 118).

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For the fifth persecution, Foxe drew directly on the Magdeburg Centuries for the following passages:- the fifth persecution by Septimus Severus (p. 67 of the 1570 edition) - (III, cols 9-10); the martyrdom of Origen and his father - (III, cols 9-10; 150-1; 253-259); for the list of martyrs under Septimus Severus (p. 68 of the 1570 edition) - (III, cols 10; 251; 305); for Basilides and the miracles of Potomiena - (III, col. 305); for Alexander as bishop of Jerusalem - (III, col. 209); for the persecutions in the time of Septimus Severus - (III, cols 295-6; 211); for Tertullian as an ecclesiastical writer (p. 69 of the 1570 edition - (III, cols 236; 241; 242); for the controversy over Easter in the time of Victor (p. 70 of the 157- edition) - (II, cols 152-58); for the epistles of Zephirus - (III, cols 275-6); for the invasion of Britain - (III, col. 315); for the epistles of Calixtus (p. 72 of the 1570 edition) - (III, cols 276-77). Foxe clearly used other sources for this account as well, but only further research will confirm more precisely the extent to which he worked outwards from the Magdeburg Centuries to write a more independently based narrative of this section.

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For the sixth persecution, we have undertaken a similar analysis of the extent of Foxe's dependence on the Magdeburg Centuries. The results are less complete. It is certainly the case that he drew somewhat on that source for the beginning of the sixth persecution under Emperor Maximus (pp. 73-4 of the 1570 edition) - (III, col. 13). He also borrowed to some degree for the description of the rule of Pontianus, bishop of Rome (p. 74 of the 1570 edition) - (III, cols 177; 278); for the story of Natalius he also fairly clearly derived his material from the Centuries - (IIII, cols 287-288); for Emperor Philip the same is true (III, cols 8; 254; 279).

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We have not continued our analysis beyond this stage at present. It will require a more extensive and detailed examination of the full range of the sources cited by Foxe in his marginalia, and a comparison of them with what was contained in the extant volumes of the Magdeburg Centuries, which had become available to him in between the publication of the 1563 and 1570 editions, to arrive at a proper assessment of Book One.

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Mark Greengrass and Matthew Phillpott
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaA letter of the brethren of Fraunce to the brethrē of Asia.THe greatnes of this our tribulation, the furious rage of the Gentiles against vs, & the tormentes which the blessed martyrs suffered, neither can we in wordes, nor yet in writing exactly, as they deserue, set forth. For the aduersary with all his force gaue his endeuor to the working of such preparatiues, as he himselfe listed, against his tyrannous comming, & in euery place practised he and instructed his ministers, how in most spitefull maner to set them against the seruauntes of God: so that not onely in our houses shoppes and markets we were restrained, but also were vniuersally cōmaunded, that none (so hardy) should be sene in any place. But God hath alwaies mercy in store and tooke out of their hands such as were weake amongst them, and other some did he set vp as firme and immoueable pillers, which by sufferance were able to abide all violent force, and valiantly to withstand the enimie, induring all their opprobrious punishment they could deuise: to cōclude, they fought this battell for that intent to come vnto Christ, esteming their great troubles but as light: therby shewing that al that may be suffered in this present life, is not able to counteruayle the great glorye which shall be shewed vpō vs after this life. And first they patiently suffered whatsouer the multitude of frantike people running vpon head did vnto them, as railings, scourgings, drawynges and hailings, flynging of stones, imprisoninges, & what other thing soeuer the rage of the multitude are wōt to vse and practise against their professed enimies. Then afterwarde they being led into the marked place, and there iudged of the Captayne and rest of the Potentates of the Citie, after their confession made openly before the multitude were commaunded againe to prisō, vntil the returne of their chiefe gouernor. After this they being brought before him, and he vsing all extremity that possibly he might against them: One Vetius Epagathus, MarginaliaVetius Epagathus Martir.one of the brethren, replenished with feruent zeale, both towards god and his brethren (whose conuersation, although he were a young man was counted as perfect, as was the life of Zachary the Priest, for he walked diligently in al the commaundements and iustifications of the Lord, and in all obedience towards his brethren blamles) he hauing within him the feruent zeale of loue, and spirit of god, could not suffer that wicked iudgement which was giuen vpon the Christians but being vehemently displeased, desired that the Iudge woulde heare the excuse which he was minded to make in the behalfe of the christians, in whom saith he is no impietie founde, But the people cryed againe to those that were assistentes wt the chiefe Iustice, that it might not be so (for indede he was a noble man borne) neither did the Iustice graunt him his lawfull request, but onely asked him whether he himselfe were a Christian or not. And he immediatly with a loude and boulde voice, aunswered and sayde, I am a Christian. MarginaliaThe stoutnes of a godly young man.And thus was he receiued into the felowship of the martirs, and called the aduocate of the Christians. And he hauing the spirite of God more plentifully in time, then had Zachary, the abundaunce thereof he declared, in that he gaue his life in the defence of his brethren,being a true disciple of Christ, following the Lamb whersoeuer he goeth.

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By this mans example the rest of the Martirs were the more animated to martirdome, and made more ioious with al courage of mind to accomplish the same. Some other there were vnready and not so well prepared, and as yet weak, not well able to beare the vehemency of so great conflict: MarginaliaThe faynting of certaine weake Christians.of whom x. there were in number, that faynted, ministring to vs much heauines & lamentation. Who by their example caused the rest which were not yet apprehēded, to be lesse willing thereunto. Then were we all for the variablenes of confession not a litle astonied: not þt we feared the punishment intended against vs, but rather as hauing respect to the ende, and fearing least any shoulde fal. Euery day there were apprehended such as were worthy to fulful the number of them which were fallen. In so much that of two churches, such as were chiefest, & which were the principall gouernors of our Churches were apprehended. With these also certeine of the Ethnicks, being our men seruaunts, were apprehended (for so the gouernour commaunded, that all of vs ingenerall without any respect, should be taken) which seruants being ouercome by Sathan, and fearing the torments which they saw the Saintes doe suffer, being also compelled thereunto by the meanes of the souldiers, fained against vs that we kept the feastinges of Thiestes, and incest of Oedipus, and many such other crimes, which are neither to be remembred, nor named of vs, nor yet to bee thought that euer any man would commit the like. MarginaliaFalse slaunders of the Christians.

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These things being now bruted abroad, euery man began to shewe crueltie against vs, insomuch that those which before for familarities sake were more gentle toward vs, now vehemently disdained vs, and waxed mad against vs. MarginaliaThe rage of the Heathen against the Christians.And thus was now fulfilled that, which was spoken by Christ, saying, the time will come that whosoeuer killeth you, shall thinke that he doth God great good seruice. Thē suffered the Martirs of God such bitter persecution as is passing to be tolde: Sathan still shooting at this marke, to make them to vtter some blasphemy by all meanes possible. Marueilous therefore was the rage both of the people & Prince, specially against one Sanctus, which was Deacon of the congregation of Vienna, and agaynst Maturus, being but a litle before baptised, but yet a worthy souldiour of Christ, and also against Attalus, being borne in Pergama, which was the foundation and pyller of that congregation, and also against Blandina, by whome Christ sheweth, that those things which the world esteemed vyle and abiect, to be glorious in Gods sight, for the very loue which in hart and deede they beare vnto him, not in outward face onely. For when all we were afrayd, & specially her mistres in flesh, who also was her selfe one of the nūber of the foresayd martirs, least happely for the weakenes of body she woulde not stande strongly to her confession, the foresaid Blandina was so replenished with strength & boldnes, that they which had the tormenting of her by course from morning to night, for very werines gaue ouer & fell downe, & were themselues ouercome, MarginaliaThe cruell handling and great patience of Blandina.confessing that they could do no more against her, & marueiled that yet she liued hauing her body so torne and rent. And testified that any of those torments alone without any moe had ben inough to haue plucke the life from her body. But that blessed woman, fighting this worthy battell, became strōger & stronger, & as often as she spake the words) I am a Christian, neither haue we committed any euill) it was to her a marueilous comfort and bolding to abide the torments.

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Sanctus also another of the Martyrs, MarginaliaSanctus a Martyr.who in the middest of his tormentes, induring more paines, then the nature of a man might away with, also at what time þe wicked supposed, to haue heard him vtter some blasphemous words, for the greatnes & intollerablenes of his torments & paines, that he was in, abode notwithstanding in such constancy of mind, MarginaliaThe notable constancy of Sanctus. that neither he told them his name, nor what countryman he was, nor in what Citie brought vp, neither whether he was a free man or a seruaunt, but vnto euery question þt was asked him, he aunswered in the Latine toung, I am a Christian, and this was al that he confessed both of his name, citie, kinred, and all other thinges in the place of execution, neither yet could the Gentils, get any more of him: whereupon both the Gouernour & tormentours, were the more vehemently bent against him. And when they had nothing to vexe him with all, they clapped plates of Brasse red hote, to þe most tenderest parts of his body, wherewith his body indede being schorched, yet he neuer shronke for the matter, but was bold and constant, in his confession, being strengthened and moystened with the fountaine of liuely water, flowing out of Christs side. MarginaliaThe cruell tormentors of Sanctus. Truely his body was a sufficient witnes, what tor-

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