blessed sayntes, which suffered in the time of persecutiō from the. xix. yeare of Dioclesian, to the. vij. & last yeare of Maxentius, with the deathes also and plages described vpon those tormentors and cruel tyrauntes, which were þe captaynes & woorkers of the same persecution. MarginaliaThe end of this persecution in al the West churches.And here cōmeth in (blessed be Christ) þe end of these persecutiōs here in these west churches of Europa, so far as þe dominiō of blessed Constātinus dyd chiefly extend.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe persecutiō vnder Lucinius.Yet notwithstanding in Asia all persecution as yet ceased not for the space of. 4. yeares, as aboue is mencioned, by the meanes of wycked Licinius.
The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008).
MarginaliaPersecution in Persia.
Martyrs.In the same country of Persia, about this time suffered vnder Sapores the king (as recordeth Simeon Metasthenes) diuers valiant and constant Martyrs, as Acindymus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Epidephorus, also Symeō archbishop of Seleucia, with Ctesiphon an other bishosh in Persia, with other ministers and religious men of that region, Marginalia128. Martirs in Persia.to the number of. 128. Of thys Symeon and Ctesiphon thus writeth Zozomenus lib. 2 that the idolatrous Magicians in Persia taking counsail together against the Christians, accused Symeon & Ctesiphon, to Sapores the king, for that they wer grateful and accepted vnto the Romane Emperour, and bewrayed to him, suche thinges as were done in the lande of Persia. Wherupō Sapores being moued, tooke great displeasure against the Christiās, oppressing them wyth taxes and tributes vnto their vtter impouerishing: kyllyng also their priests with the sword. MarginaliaThe storye of Simeon Archbishop of Seleucia.
Ex Sozomeno. lib. 2. cap. 8. 9. 10.After that calleth for Simeon the Archbishop, who there before the kyng declared himselfe a worthye and a valiant captayne of Christs church. For whē Sapores had cōmaunded him to be led to suffer tormentes, he neyther shronke for any feare, nor shewed any great humble sute or submission for any pardō: wherat the king partly marueiling, partly offended, asked why he did not kneele downe, as he was wont before to do? Symeon to this answered, for that sayeth he, MarginaliaThe worthy answer of Simeon to the king.before thys tyme I was not brought vnto you in bondes to betraye the true God, as I am now, and so long I refused not to accōplishe that which the order and custome of the realme of me required: but now it is not lawful for me so to do, for now I come to stand in defence of our religiō & true doctrine. Whē Symeon thus had answered, þe kyng persisting in hys purpose, offreth vnto him þe choyse, either to worship wt him after his maner (promising to him many great giftes, if he would so do) or if he would not, threatneth to hym, & to all the other Christians within his land, destruction. MarginaliaThe constancie of Simeon.But Simeō neyther allured with his promises, nor terrified with his threatninges, continued constant in hys doctrine professed, so that neyther he could be induced to idolatrous worship, nor yet to betray the truth of his religiō. For the which cause he was cōmitted into bands, and there commaunded to be kept to the kynges pleasure farther knowen.
It befell in the way as he was going to the pryson, there was sitting at the kinges gate a certayn Eunuch,an old Tutor or Scholemaister of the kings, named MarginaliaThe fall of Vsthazares.Vsthazares, who had bene once a Christian, and afterward falling from his profession, fell with the Heathen multitude to their idolatrie. This Vsthazares sytting at the doore of the kynges palace, and seing Symeon passyng by led to the pryson, rose vp and reuerenced the Bishop. Symeon againe wyth sharpe wordes (as the time wold suffer) rebuked him, & in great anger cryed out agaynst him: which being once a Christian, would so cowardlye reuolt from his profession, and returne agayne to the heathnish idolatrie. MarginaliaThe fruite of ecclesiasticall discipline and chastisment.At the hearing of these woordes the Eunuche foorthwith brasting out in teares, laying away his courtly apparell, which was sumptuous and costly, and putting vpon hym a blacke and mournyng wede, sitteth before the court gates weeping and bewailing, thus saying with himselfe: MarginaliaThe repentance of Vsthazares.wo is me, with what hope, wyth what face, shal I loke hereafter for my god, which haue denied my God: when as thys Symeon my familiar acquayntaunce, thus passing by me, so muche disdayneth me, that he refuseth wyth one gentle woord to salute me.[Back to Top]
These things being brought to the eares of the king (as suche talecaryers neuer lacke in Princes courtes) procured agaynst him no litle indignation. Wherupon Sapores the kyng sendyng for hym, first wyth gentle words and courtly promises began to speake him fair, asking him what cause he had so to mourne, and whyther ther was any thyng in his house, which was denied him, or which he had not at his owne wyll and askyng. Wherunto Vsthazares answering agayne, sayd: MarginaliaThe answer of Vsthazares to the kyng.That there was nothing in that earthly house, which was to him lacking, or wherunto hys desire stoode. Yea would God (sayd he) O king, any other griefe or calamitie in al the world, what soeuer it were, had hapned vnto me, rather thē this, for the which I do most iustly mourne and sorrow. For this soroweth me, that I am this dai aliue, who should rather haue dyed long since, and that I see thys sune, whych agaynst my hart and minde, for your pleasure, dissemblingly I appeared to woorshippe. For which cause doublewyse I am worthy of death. Fyrst, for that I haue denyed Christ. Secondly, because I dyd dissemble with you. And incontinent vpon these words, swearing by hym that made both heauen and earth, affirmed most certaynly, that although he had played the foole before, he would neuer be so madde agayne, as in steede of the creator and maker of all thinges, to woorship the creatures, which he had made and created. Sapores the kyng being astoyned at the so sodayne alteration of this man, and doubting with hymselfe, whether to be angry wyth those Inchaunters, or with him: whether to intreate hym with gentlenes, or with rigour, MarginaliaVsthazares the kings tutor condemned to be beheaded.at length in this moode commaunded the sayd Vsthazares hys old auncient seruaunt, and fyrst Tutor and brynger vp of his youth, to be had awaye, & to be beheaded. As he was going to the place of execution, he desired of the executioners, a litle to staye, whyle he myght sende a message vnto the kyng, whych was this (sent in by certayne of the kyngs most trusty Eunuches) MarginaliaThe message of Vsthazares to the kyng.desiring him that for al the old and faythfull seruice he had done to his father, and to hym, he would now requite him with this one office agayne, to cause to be cryed openlye by a publicke Cryer in these wordes following: MarginaliaThe cause openly cryed, why Vsthazares was beheaded.that Vsthazares was beheaded, not for any traytchery or crime cōmitted agaynst the kyng or the Realme, but onelye for that he was a Christian, and woulde not at the kynges pleasure deny hys God. And so according to hys request it was performed and graunted. For this cause did Vsthazares so much desyre the cause of his death to be published: because that as his shrinking backe from Christ, was a great occasion to many Christians to do the like: so now the same hearing that Vsthazares dyed for no other cause, but onely for the religion of Christ, shoulde[Back to Top]