yarde had a sharpe reede thruste in with horrible paine. MarginaliaBeniamin tormentedAfter that a certayn long stalke ragged and thorny being thrust into his body by the neather part, was forced into him, with the horriblenes of the payne wherof, MarginaliaThe martyrdō of Beniamin.the valiant and inuincible soldiour of the Lorde, gaue ouer his lyfe. Theodor. ibid. And thus much concerning the Martyrs and persecutions among the Persians, although these persecutions belong not to his tyme, which came (as is sayd) long after the dayes of Constantinus, about the yeare of our Lord. 425.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe Martyrs vnder Iulianus Apostata.
Martyrs.Likewise vnder Iulianus the wicked Apostata, certayne there were which constantly suffered martirdom by the Heathen idolatours, as Emylianus, who was burned in Thracia, and Domitius, which was slayne in his caue. MarginaliaThe storye of Theodorus martyrTheodorus also for singing of a Psalme at the remouing of the body of Babylas (wherof mencion is made before pag. 88.) being apprehended, was so examined with exquisite tormentes, and so cruelly excruciate from morning almost to noone, that hardely he scaped wt lyfe. Who being asked afterward of his friends, how he could abyde so sharpe tormentes, said that at the first beginning he felt some payne, but afterward there stood by hym a yong man, who as he was sweating, wiped of his sweate, and refreshed him with colde water oft tymes: MarginaliaA miracle to be noted.wherewith he was so delited, that when he was let downe from the engine, it greued him, more then before. Ruff. lib. 1. cap. 36. Theodor. lib. 3. cap. 11. Sozom. lib. 5. cap. 10.
martyr.Artemius also the captayn of þe Egiptian soldiours the same tyme, lost his head for his religion in deede, although other causes were pretēded against him. Theod. Niceph. lib. 10. cap. 11.
Martyrs.Adde to these moreouer Eusebius and Nestabus. 2. brethren, with Nestor also, which for their Christianitie were dragged through the streetes, and murdred of the idolatrous people of Gaza. Sozom. lib. 5. cap. 9.
wyth other mē of Cesarea
MartyrAmong them of Cesarea, wherof some were slayne, some were banished of Iulianus, for pulling downe the temple of Fortune, Eupsychius a noble mā of that coūtry, dyed also with them a martyr. Sozom. lib. eod. cap. 11.
MarginaliaMiserable crueltie agaynst the Christian virgins of Arethusa.But especially the cruelty of the Arethusians, a people of Syria, exceeded agaynst those Christian virgins, whom they set oute naked before the multitude to bee scorned, after that being shauē, they couered them with swyl and draffe, wont to be geuen to their hogs, and so caused their bowels and flesh to be deuoured of the hungrey swyne. MarginaliaThe people mad to be pluct from their olde customes, thoughe it be neuer so wycked.This rage and fury of the wycked Arethusians, Sozomen9 supposeth to come of this, because that Constantinus before had broken them from their countrye maner, of setting forth and exposing their virgins, filthely to whomsoeuer lusted, and destroyed the temple of Venus in Heliopolis: restrayning the people there frō their filthynes and vile whordom. Sozom. lib. 5. cap. 10.[Back to Top]
Of the lamentable story or rather Tragedy of Marcus Arethusius their bishop, thus writeth the sayde Sozomenus, and also Theodoretus in hys thyrd booke, in these wordes as follow.
MarginaliaThe storye of Marcus Arethusius.This Tragedy (sayth he) of Marcus Arethusius, doth require the eloquence and worthynes of Aeschilus and Sophocles, which may, as þe matter deserueth, set forth and beutify hys great afflictions. This man, at the commaundement of Constantinus, pulled downe a certaine temple dedicated to Idoles, and in the stede therof built vp a church wher the Christiās might congregate. The Arthusians remembring the litle good wyll that Iulianus bare vnto him, accused him as a traytour and enemye to hym. At the first, according as the scripture teacheth, he prepared himselfe to flee. MarginaliaThe true conscience of Marcus Arethusius.But when he perceaued that there were certayne of his kynsmen or friends apprehended in his steede, returning agayne of his own accord he offered him selfe to those that thirsted for hys bloude: whom when they had gotten, as men neytherpitieng hys old age and worne yeares, nor abashed at his vertuous conuersation beyng a man so adourned both with doctrine and maners: first stript him naked, & pitifully beat hym: then wythin a whyle after, they cast him into a foule filthy syncke, and from thence beyng brought, they caused boyes to thrust him in with sharpned styckes, made for the nonce, to prouoke his payn the more. MarginaliaGreat cruelty shewedLastly, they put him into a basket, and being annoynted with hony and brothe, they hoong hym abroad in the heate of the sonne, as meate for waspes and flies to feede vpon. And all this extremitie they shewed vnto him, for that they would enforce him to do one of these thinges (that is) eyther to builde vp agayne the temple, which he had destroyed, or els to geue so much mony as should pay for the building of the same. MarginaliaCouetousnes the cause of cruelity.But he, euen as he purposed with himselfe to suffer and abyde their greuous tormentes: so refused he to do that they demaunded of hym. At the length they taking him to be but a poore man, and not able to paye suche a summe of money, promysed to forgeue him the one halfe, so that he wold be cōtented to pay the other halfe. But he hāging in the basket, woūded pitifully with the sharpned sticks of boyes and children, & all to be bitten with waspes and flyes, did not onely conceale his payne and griefe, but also derided those wicked ones, and called them, base, low and terrene people, and he himselfe to be exalted and set on high. At length they demaunding of him but a small sūme of money, he answered thus: MarginaliaA notable sayeng.it is as great wickednes to confer one halfepenye in case of impietye, as if a mā should bestow þe whole. Thus they being not able to preuayle agaynst him, let him downe. And so leauinge him, went their way, so that euerye man might learne at his mouth the example of true piety and faythfulnes[Back to Top]
Although the tractation of these foresayd stories and persecutions of Persia, aboue premised, do straye some what out of the order and course of time and place, as which came neither in the tyme of Constantine, nor be pertinent to the monarchie of Rome: yet because in this present history we are in hand with the holye martyrs & sayntes of Christe, for as much as these also gaue such a faithfull testimony of the Lord Iesus with their blood: I thought therfore not to passe them ouer without some testimonie in this our cataloge of holye martyrs. And here an end of these persecutiōs of the primitiue church.[Back to Top]
¶ It may peraduenture here be marueyled of some, reading the historye of these so terrible persecutions aboue specified, why wold God the almighty director of all thinges, suffer his own people & faythful seruaunts, beleuing in his own and onely begotten sonne Iesus, so cruelly to be handled, so wrongfullye to be vexed, so extremely to be tormented and put to death, and that the space of so many yeares together, as in these foresayde persecutions may appeare.
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).