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64 [64]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

uous tormentes. MarginaliaCalocerius Martyrs.At the sight wherof, one Calocerius seyng their so great pacience, in so great tormentes, cried out with these wordes: Verè Magnus Deus Christianorum: That is, Verely great is the God of the Christians. Which wordes beyng herd, forthwith he was apprehēded, & being brought to the place of their execution, was made partaker of their Martyrdome. Ex Ant. Equilin.

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MarginaliaEleutherius with his mother Anthia Martyrs.
Ex Nicepho & ex Onam.
The history of Nicephorus maketh mention of Anthia a godly woman, who committed her sonne Eleutherius, to Anicetus Byshop of Rome, to be brought vp in the doctrine of Christian fayth, who afterward beyng Byshop in Apulia, was there beheaded with his foresayd mother Anthia. Onamast.

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MarginaliaIustus & Pastor brethren and Martyrs. Iustus also and Pastor two brethren, with like Martyrdome ended their lyues in a Citie of Spayne called Cōplutum, vnder the said Hadrian the Emperour.

MarginaliaSymphorissa with her vii. childrē martyred. Likewise Symphorissa the wife of Getulus the Martyr, with her vij. childrē, is sayd about the same time to suffer: who first was much, and oft beatē and scourged, afterward was hanged vp by the heare of her heade. At last hauyng an hudge stone fastened vnto her, was throwne headlong into the riuer, and after that her seuen childrē in like maner, with sundry and diuers kyndes of punishmēt diuersly were martyred by the tyrauntes.

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MarginaliaSophia with her iii. children Martyred. The story of M. Hermnnus and Antoninus and other report of Sophia with her three children also, also of Serapia and Sabina to suffer vnder the sayd Emperour, about the yeare of our Lord, 130.

MarginaliaEx Lib. cui titulus Scala mundi
Hermes.
Euentius.
Theodolus.
Sabina.
Serophia martyrs.
120.
Vnder the raigne of this Hadrian, suffered also Alexander byshop of Rome. Also a certaine old story intituled Scala Mundi, sayth that with him likewise suffered Hermes, one of the chief rulers of the Citie, whom he had conuerted to the faith. Also Euentius a Priest, and Theodolus a Deacon, with diuers other, which at the same tyme with Alexander were put to death. Moreouer in the forenamed author, mention is made of Sabina, and Serophia a virgine, whiche in the same time of this third persecutiō were crowned with the like Martyrdom.

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While Hadrian the Emperour was at Athens, he purposed to visite the countrey of Eleusina, and so did: where he sacrificyng to the Gentiles Gods, after the maner of the Grecians, had geuen freeleaue & libertie, whosoeuer would, to persecute the Christians. MarginaliaQuadratus Byshop of Athens offereth an Apologie of Christian doctrine. Wherupon Quadratus a man of no lesse zeale excellent, as of famous learnyng, beyng then Byshop of Athens, and Disciple of the Apostles, or at least succedyng incontinent the age of the Apostles, and folowyng after Publius (who a litle before was martyred for the testimony of Christ) did offer vp and exhibite vnto Hadrian the Emperour, a learned and excellent Apologie in the defence of the Christian Religion. Wherin he declared the Christians without all iust cause or deserte, to be so cruelly entreated and persecuted. &c. MarginaliaAristides a philosopher of Athens, defēdeth before the Emperour the religion of Christ. The like also did Aristides an other no lesse excellent Philosopher in Athens, who for his singular learning and eloquence beyng notified to the Emperour, and commyng to his presence, there made before him an eloquent Oration: Moreouer did exhibite vnto the sayd Emperour a memorable Apologie for the Christians, so full of learnyng and eloquēce, that as Hierome sayth, it was a spectacle and admiration to men in his tyme, that loued to see wit and learnyng. MarginaliaSerenus Granius a defender of Christian religiō.
Euseb. Lib. 4. cap. 8.
Ouer and besides these, there was also an other named Serenus Granius a man of great nobility, who likewise dyd write very pithy & graue letters to Hadrian the Emperour, shewyng and declaryng therin, to be consonaunt with no right nor reason, for the bloud of innocentes so to be geuen to the rage and fury of the people, and so to be condemned for no fault, onely for the name and sect that they followed.

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MarginaliaThe Emperour writeth for the Christians. Thus the goodnes of God beyng moued with the prayers and constaunt labour of these so excellent men, so turned the hart of the Emperour, that he beyng better informed concernyng the order & profession of the Christians, became more fauourable vnto them. And immediatly vpō the same directed his letters to Minutius Fundanus (as is partly before mencioned) Proconsul of Asia, willyng hym, frō henceforth, to exercise no more such extremitie agaynst the Christians, as to condemne any of them hauyng no other crime obiected agaynst them but onely their name. The copye of which his letter, because that Iustine in his Apologie doth alledge it, I thought therfore to expresse the same, in his owne wordes as followeth.

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¶ The letter of Hadrian Emperour to Minutius Fundanus.

MarginaliaThe letter of Hadrian the Emperour I Haue receaued an Epistle written vnto me from Serennius Granianus, our right worthy & welbeloued, whose Marginaliato Fundanus the Proconsul. office you do now execute. Therefore I thinke it not good to leaue this matter without farther aduisemēt and circumspection to passe, least our subiectes be molested, and malicious sycophantes boldened and supported in their euill. Wherfore if the subiectes of our prouinces, do bryng forth any accusation before the iudge agaynst the Christians, and can proue the thyng they obiect agaynst them, let them do the same, and no more, and otherwise for the name onely, not to impeach them, nor to cry out agaynst them. For so, more conuenient it is, that if any man will be an accuser, you to take the accusation quietly, and iudge vpon the same. Therfore if any shall accuse the Christians, and cōplaine of them as malefactors, doyng contrary to the law, then geue you iudgement accordyng to the qualitie of the crime. But notwithstandyng who soeuer vpon spyte and maliciousnes shall cōmense or cauille agaynst them, see you correct and punishe that man, for his vnordinate and malicious dealing.

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MarginaliaRespite frō persecution. Thus by the mercyfull prouidence of God, some more quyet and rest was geuen to the Church, although Hermannus thinketh these Alcyone dayes did not very lōg continue, but that the Emperour chaungyng his Edict, began to renue agayne persecution agaynst Gods people, albeit this soūdeth not to be so, by the wordes of Melito in his Apologie to Antoninus hereafter insuing. MarginaliaThe second destruction of the Iewes. In the meane time this is certaine, that in the dayes of this Hadriā, the Iewes rebelled agayn & spoyled the countrey of Palestina. Agaynst whom the Emperour sent Iulius Seuerus, who otherthrew in Iewry. 50. castels, and burnt and destroyed. 980. villages and townes, and slew of the Iewes. 50. thousand, so that with famine, sicknes sword and fire, Iuda was almost desolate. MarginaliaHierusalē [illegible text] enlarged.
Som write that the place where Christ was crucified, was taken into the walles. Hierusalem called by a newe name Aeliopolis.
But at lēgth Hadrian the Emperor, which otherwise was named Ælius, repayred and enlarged the Citie agayne of Hierusalem, which was called after his name Æliopolis, or Ælia Capitolina, the inhabitaunce wherof he graunted onely to the Gentiles, and to the Christians, forbiddyng the Iewes vtterly not to enter into the Cite.

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MarginaliaAntoninus Pius Emperour. After the death of Hadrian, who dyed by bleeding at the nose, succeded Antoninus Pius, about the yeare of our Lord. 140. and raigned. 23. yeares. Who for his clemency and modest behauiour, had the name of Pius, and is for the same in histories commended. His saying was, that he had liefer saue one Citizen, then destroy a thousād of his aduersaries. At the beginnyng of his raigne, such was the state of the Church, as Hadrian his predecessour had left it, as in which although there was no Edict set forth to persecute þe Christains: yet the tumultuous rage of the Heathen multitude for the cause aboue specified, did not cease to disquiet and afflict the quiet people of God, imputyng and ascribyng to the Christiās, whatsoeuer misfortune happened, cōtrary to their desires. Moreouer inuentyng agaynst them all false crimes and contumelies wherin to accuse them. By reason whereof diuers there were in sundrye places much molested, and some put to death: albeit, as it is to be supposed, not by the consent of the Emperour, who of nature was so mylde and gentle, that either he raysed vp no persecution agaynst the Christians, or els he soone stayde the same beyng moued. As well may appeare by his letter sent downe to the countreyes of Asia, the tenor wherof here insueth.

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¶ The Epistle of Antoninus Pius to the commons of Asia.

MarginaliaThe letter of Antoninus Pius to the commons of Asia. EMperour and Cæsar, Aurelius, Antoninus, Augustus, Armenicus, Pontifex Maximus. Tribune eleuen tymes. Consul thrise, vnto the commons of Asia greeting. I am very certaine, that the Gods haue a care of this, that they whiche be such, shal be knowen, and not lye hyd. For they do punishe them, that will not worshyp them, more then you: which so vexe and trouble them, confirmyng thereby the opinion which they haue conceaued, and do conceaue of you, that is, to be wicked men. For this is ther ioy and desire, that whan they are accused, rather they couet to dye for their God, then to lyue. Whereby they are the victorers, and do ouercome you, geuyng rather their liues, then to be obedient to you, in doyng that which you require of them. And here it shall not be inconuenient to aduertise you of the earthquakes, which haue, and do happē among vs, that when at the sight of them you tremble and are afrayde, then conferre your case with them. MarginaliaA notable argument of the Emperor to proue the good coōsciēce of the Christians, and the false cōsciēce of the Heathen. For they vpon a sure confidence of their God, are bold and feareles, much more then you: who in all time of this your ignoraunce, both do worshyp other Gods, and neglect the Religion of immortalitie, and such Christians as worshyp hym, them you do driue out, and persecute them vnto death. Of these and such like matters, many Presidētes of our Prouinces, dyd write to our father of famous memorie hereto-

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fore
D.iij.