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104 [104]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

strength and fortitude cannot by wordes be expressed. MarginaliaMartyrdom more desired in the olde tyme, then bishoppricks be now. And Sulpitius sayth in the second booke of his sacred history, that then the Christians with more gredy desire preased and sought for martyrdome, thē now they desire Byshoprickes.

MarginaliaChristians that denyed in this persecution. Although some there were also, as I haue sayd, that with feare and threatenynges, and by their owne infirmitie, were ouercome and went backe. Eusebius. Lib. 8. cap. 3 Amongest whom Socrates nameth MarginaliaMiletius reuolteth from the faith and is excommunicated. Miletius. Lib. 1. cap. 6. And Athanasius in his second Apologie nameth the Byshop of Licus a Citie in litle Egypt, whom Peter the Byshop of Alexandria excommunicated, for that in this persecution he sacrificed to the Gentiles Gods. MarginaliaMarcellinus the bishop reuolteth & commeth agayne to the faith, and is martyred. Of the fall of Marcellinus the Byshop of Rome, I will speak afterwardes. For he beyng perswaded by others, and specially of the Emperour Dioclesian him selfe, did sacrifice, wherupon he was excōmunicated, but afterwardes he repenting the same, was agayne receaued into the Congregation, and made Martyr, as Platina & the compilor of the booke of the generall Councels, affirme. The number of the Martyrs increased dayly, sometymes ten, sometymes twenty were slayne at once, some whiles. 30. and often tymes. 60. MarginaliaA hundred martirs in one day. and other whyles. 100. in one day, men, womē, and children, by diuers kindes of death. Eusebius, Lib. 8. cap. 9. also Damasus, Beda, Orosius, Honorius and others do witnesse that there were slayne in this persecution by the names of Martyrs, MarginaliaSeuenteene thousand Martires in one moneth. within the space of. 30. dayes. xvij. thousand persons, beside an other great number and multitude that were condemned to the mettall mynes and quaryes with like crueltye.

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MarginaliaThree hundred slayne at one time in Alexādria. At Alexandria, with Peter the Byshop, of whom I haue made mention before, were slayne with axes. 300 and aboue, as Sabellicus declareth. MarginaliaGereon Martyr. Gereon was beheaded at Colonia Agrippina, with 300. of his felowes, as sayth Hēricus de Erfordia. MarginaliaMauritius with 6666. Martyres. Mauritius the Captine of Christiā Religō with his felowes. 6666. MarginaliaVictor wyth 360. martirs slayne. Victor in þe citie of Troy now called Xanthus with his fellowes. 360. were slayne, as sayth Otto Phrinsigēsis. Lib. 2. cap. 45. Reginus reciteth the names of many other Martyrs to the number of. 120.

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And forasmuch as mētion here hath bene made of Mauritius and Victor, the particular description of the same history I thought here to inserte, taken out of Ado and other story writers, as insueth. 

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St. Maurice and St. Victor

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).

MarginaliaThe historye of Mauritius captaine of the Theban souldiours. Mauritius came out of Syria into Fraunce and Italy, beyng Captaine of the band of the Theban souldiours, to the number of. 6660. beyng sent for of Maximinians, to go agaynst the rebellious Bangandes, but rather as it should seeme by the treason of the tyraūt, which thought he might better in these quarters vse his tyranny vpon the Christians, then in the East part. These Thebans with Mauritius the Captaine, after that they had entred into Rome, who were there of Marcellus the blessed Byshop, confirmed in the fayth, promising by othe that they would rather by slayne of their enemyes, then forsake that fayth which they had receaued, who folowed the Emperours host through the Alpes euen into Fraunce. At that tyme the Cæsarians were incamped not farre from the towne called Ottodor, where Maximianus offered sacrifice to his deuils, and called all the souldiours both of the East and West to the same, straitly chargyng them by the aulters of his Gods, that they would fight agaynst those rebels the Bangandes, and persecute the Christian enemies of the Emperours Gods: whiche his commaundement was shewed to the Thebans host, which were also incamped about the Riuer of Rode, & in a place that was named Agawne, but to Ottodor they would in no wise come, for that euery man did certainly appoint and perswade with them selues rather in that place to dye, then either to sacrifice to the Gods, or beare armour agaynst the Christians. Which thyng in deede very stoutly and valiantly they affirmed, vpon their othe before taken to Maximianus when he sent for them. MarginaliaEuery tenth man in the legion slaine. Wherwith the tyraunt beyng wrathfull and all moued, commaunded euery tenth man of that whole band, to be put to the sword, whereto striuyngly and with great reioysing they committed their neckes. To whiche notable thyng and great force of fayth Mauritius him selfe was a great incourager, who by and by with a most graue Oratiō exhorted and animated his souldiours both to fortitude and cōstancie. Which beyng agayne called of the Emperour, aunswered in this wise saying: MarginaliaThe oratyon of the soldyours to the Emperor. We are O Emperor your souldiours, but yet also to speake freely, the seruauntes of God. We owe to thee seruice of warre, to him innocencie: of thee we receaue for our trauell, wages: of him the begynnyng of life. But in this we may in no wise obey thee O Emperour, to deny God, our author and Lord, and not onely ours, but your Lord likewise, will ye, nyl ye. If we be not so extremely enforced that we offēd him, doubtles as we haue hetherto before, we will yet obey you, but otherwise we will rather obey him then you. We offer here our handes agaynst any other enemyes: but to defile our handes with the bloud of innocentes, that we may not do. These right hādes of ours haue skil to fight against the wicked and true enemyes, but to spoyle and murder the godly and Citizens, they haue no skill at all. We haue in remembraunce how we tooke armour in hand for the defence of the Citzens, and not agaynst them. We fought alwayes for iustice sake, pietie, and for the health of innocētes. These haue bene alwayes the rewardes of our perils and trauell. We haue fought in the quarell of fayth, which in no wise we can keepe to you, if we do not shewe the same to our God. We first sware vpon the Sacraments of our God, then afterward to the kyng: and do you thinke the second will aduaile vs: if we breake the first? By vs you would plague the Christians, to do which feate we are onely commaunded by you. We are here ready to confesse God the author of all thyngs, and beleue in his sonne Iesus Christ our Lord. We see before our eyes our fellowes and partakers of our labours and trauels, to be put to the sworde, and we sprinckled with their bloud, of which our most blessed companions and brethren their end and death we haue not bewayled nor mourned, but rather haue bene glad, and haue reioyced thereat, for that they haue bene counted worthy to suffer for the Lord their God. The extreme necessitie of death cānot moue vs agaynst your maiestie, neither yet any desperatiō O Emperour, which is wōt in vētrous affaires to do much, shall arme vs against you. Behold here we cast downe our weapons, and resist not, for that we had rather to be killed, then kil, and giltles to dye, then gilty to lyue. What soeuer more ye will commaund, appoint and inioyne vs, we are here ready to suffer, yea both fire, sword, & what soeuer other tormentes. We confesse our selues to be Christians, we cannot persecute Christians, nor will do sacrifice to your deuilish idoles.

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Marginalia[illegible text] With which their aunswere the kyng beyng altogether incensed and moued, commaunded the second tyme the tenth mā of them that were left to be in like case murdered. That crueltie also beyng accomplished, at length when the Christian Souldiours would in no wise condescend vnto his mynde, he set vpon them with his whole host, both footemen and also horsemen, and charged them to kill them all. Who with all force set vpon them, they makyng no resistaunce, but throwing downe their armour, yelded their lyues to the persecutours, and offered to them their naked bodyes.

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MarginaliaThe constant boldnes of Victor in refusing to eat with the cruell persecutors, for the which he was also slayne. Victor at the same tyme was not of that bande, nor yet than any souldiour, but one beyng an old souldiour, and dismissed for his age. The which tyme he commyng sodainly vpō them as they were banketyng and makyng merye with the spoyles of the holy Martyrs, was bydden to sit down with them: & first asking the cause of that their so great reioycing, and vnderstandyng the truth thereof, detested the gesse, and refused to eate with them. And then being demaunded of them whether happely he were a Christian or no, opēly confessed and denyed not, but that he was a Christian, and euer would be. MarginaliaVictor Martyr. And therupon they rushyng vpon him, killed him, and made him partner of the like Martyrdome and honour.

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MarginaliaThe number of the christians increased for all this persecution. Beda in his history writeth that this persecution beyng vnder Dioclesian, endured vnto the seuenth yeare of Constantinus, and Euseb. Lib. 8. cap. 6. sayth that it lasted vntill the x. yeare of Constantinus. 

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Abdication of Diocletian to death of Maximinius

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).

It was not yet one yeare from the day in which Dioclesian & Maximianus ioyning thēselues together, began their persecution, when that they saw the number of the Christians rather to increase then to diminish, notwithstādyng all the cruelty that euer they could shew, and now were out of all hope for þe vtter rooting out of them, which thyng was the cause of their first enterprise, and had now euen their fill of bloud, and lothed, as it were, the sheddyng therof, MarginaliaDioclesian and Maximinian were tired with persecution, and gaue vp their kingdom. they ceased at the last of their owne accorde to put any mo Christians to death: But yet of a great multitude they did thrust out their right eyes, and maymed their left legs at the hamme with a searyng yron, condemnyng them to the mynes of mettals, not somuch for the vse of their labour, as for the desire of afflicting them. And this was the clemencie and release of the cruelty of those Princes, which sayd that it was not meete that the cities should be defiled with the bloud of Citizens, and to make the Emperours highnesse to be destained with the name of cruelty, but to shew his Princely beneficence and liberalitie to all men. Eusebius. Lib. 8. cap. 10.

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When Dioclesianus and Maximinianus had raigned together Emperours twēty yeares and one (Nicephorus sayth. xxij. yeares) at length Dioclesian put himselfe from his Imperiall dignitie at Nicomedia, and liued at Salona, Maximinianus at Mediolanum, and led both of them a priuate

life
G.v.