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Constantine I

(271x273 - 337) [H. A. Pohlsander]

Roman emperor in the West (306 - 37); defeated Maxentius, rival emperor, in 312

Sole Roman emperor (324 - 37)

Constantine took three legions with him out of Britain, thereby weakening its defence. 1570, p. 148; 1576, p. 109; 1583, p. 108.

Maximian plotted to have Constantine killed; the plot was detected by Fausta, Constantine's wife and daughter of Maximian. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

The citizens and senators of Rome appealed to Constantine to rid them of Maxentius. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

Constantine, preparing for battle against Maxentius and fearing his magical powers, saw the sign of a cross in the sky. He then had a dream with a vision of the cross and of Christ. He took a cross into battle with him as a standard and defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. 1570, p. 119; 1576, p. 86; 1583, p. 85.

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After the defeat of Maxentius, Constantine no longer sacrificed to the Roman gods, but he deferred baptism to his old age. He issued edicts restoring church goods and bringing Christians back from exile. 1570, pp. 139-41; 1576, pp. 103-04; 1583, pp. 101-03.

Constantine wrote to Anulinus, his proconsul in Africa, instructing him to restore goods to the Christian churches and to ensure that Christian ministers were freed from public duties. 1570, p. 141, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Constantine wrote to Pope Miltiades, instructing him to set up a synod to examine the cause of Cæcilian of Carthage, and sent letters to other bishops, issuing instructions and encouraging the ending of schisms. 1570, p. 141, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Initially Constantine and Licinius were on good terms, and Constantine gave Lucinius his sister in marriage. 1570, p. 122; 1576, p. 88; 1583, p. 87.

Licinius and Constantine issued a joint edict authorising freedom of worship for Christians. But Licinius began to turn against Constantine and the Christians, instigating a new, more surreptitious persecution. 1570, pp. 120-21, 122; 1576, pp. 86-87, 88; 1583, p. 86, 87.

Constantine defeated Licinius. 1570, p. 39; 1576, p. 31; 1583, p. 31.

He wrote to Alexander of Alexandria and Arius, urging them to end their disagreement. 1570, p. 142, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Constantine built churches and schools and provided books of scripture. 1570, pp. 142-43, 1576, p. 105, 1583, pp. 103-04.

Constantine wrote a letter to Shapur II, asking him to treat the Christians in Persia well. 1570, p. 137; 1576, p. 100; 1583, p. 99.

Constantine renounced the Roman gods and was baptised. 1563, p. 8.

Constantine fulfilled St Cyprian's vision of a time of peace for the church. 1570, p. 144; 1576, p. 106; 1583, p. 105.

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Jerome (Eusebius Hieronomous) (St Jerome)

(c. 340/2 - 420) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Scholar; translator of the bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin; studied at Rome and Trier. Lived as an ascetic (374 -79); lived in Constantinople (380 - 81), Rome (382 - 85) and Bethlehem (386)

Jerome was called 'papas' or 'father' by Boniface I and others. 1570, p. 11; 1576, p. 8; 1583, p. 8.

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Licinius (Valerius Licinianus Licinius)

(c. 265 - 324) [M. Di Maio]

of Dacia; Roman emperor (311 - 24), with Maximinus Daia

Married Constantine's sister; defeated Maximinus; fought Constantine; abdicated. He was arrested and executed by Constantine.

Licinius was made caesar after Severus II was killed fighting Maxentius. 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

Initially Constantine and Licinius were on good terms, and Constantine gave Lucinius his sister in marriage. 1570, p. 122; 1576, p. 88; 1583, p. 87.

Licinius and Constantine issued a joint edict authorising freedom of worship for Christians. But Licinius began to turn against Constantine and the Christians, instigating a new, more surreptitious persecution. 1570, pp. 120-21, 122; 1576, pp. 86-87, 88; 1583, p. 86, 87.

Licinius continued persecution in the east after Constantine had caused it to cease in the west. 1570, p. 135; 1576, p. 98; 1583, p. 97.

Foxe says Licinius, having been defeated by Constantine and arrested, was killed by his own soldiers. 1570, pp. 39, 123; 1576, pp. 31, 88; 1583, pp. 31, 81, 88.

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Maxentius (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius)

(c. 278 - 312) [M. Di Maio]

Son of Maximian; married the daughter of Galerius

Roman emperor (306 - 12); entered into civil war with his father Maximian and with Galerius; died at the battle of Milvian Bridge

Maxentius was set up as emperor by the praetorian guard, but was opposed by his father. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

He initially feigned favouring the Christians in order to ingratiate himself with the people of Rome. He then instituted persecutions. 1570, p. 119; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 85.

The citizens and senators of Rome appealed to Constantine to rid them of Maxentius. Constantine responded and, having received a vision and taking the cross as his standard, defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge.1570, pp. 118-19; 1576, pp. 85-86; 1583, pp. 84-85.

While in retreat, Maxentius fell into the Tiber and, weighted down by his armour, drowned. 1570, pp. 39, 119; 1576, pp. 31, 86; 1583, pp. 31, 85.

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Titus Livius (Livy)

(c. 56 BCE - AD 17)

b. Padua; Roman historian; wrote history of Rome from its foundation

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 139, 1576, p. 101, 1583, p. 100.

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Coordinates: 36° 53' 12" N, 10° 18' 53" E

123 [100]

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

accused him as a traitour and enimie to him. At the first, according as the scripture teacheth he prepared him selfe to flee. MarginaliaThe true conscience of Marcus Arthusius.But when he perceiued that there were certaine of his kinsmen or frynds apprehēded in his steed, returning agayne of his owne accord he offred himselfe to those that thirsted for his bloude. whome when they had gotten as men neither pytiyng his old age & worne yeares, nor abashed at his vertuous conuersation, being a man so adourned both with doctrine & maners, first strypt him naked, & pittifully beate him, then within a while after, they cast him into a foule filthy sinke, & from thence being brought, they caused boyes to thrust him in with sharpned stickes, made for the nonce to prouoke his paine the more. MarginaliaGreat cruelty shewed. Lastly, they put him into a basket, and being annointed with hony, & broth, they hung him abroad in the heate of the sunne as meate for waspes and flies to feede vpon. And all this extremity they shewed vnto him, for that they woulde enforce him to do one of these things (þt is either to build vp againe þe temple, which he had destroied, or else to giue so much money as should pay for the building of þe same: MarginaliaCouetousnes the cause of cruelty. but euen as hee purposed with him selfe to suffer & abide theyr greuous torments, so refused he to doe that they demaunded of him. At the length they taking him to be but a poore man, and not able to pay such a summe of mony, promised to forgiue him the one halfe, so that he would be contented to pay the other halfe. But he hanging in the basket woūded pitifully with the sharpned sticks of boies & children, and all to be bitten with waspes and flyes, did not only conceale his paine & 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 some of money, he answered thus, it is a great wickednes to confer one halfe penye in case of impietie, as if a man should bestow the whole. MarginaliaA notable saying. Thus they beyng not able to preuayle against him, let hym downe. And leauyng him went their waye, so that euery man might learne at his mouth the example of true pietie and faithfulnes.

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Although the tractation of these foresayd stories & persecutions of Persia, aboue premised, do stray somwhat out of the order & course of time and place, as which came neither in the time of Constantine, nor be pertinent to the monarchy of Rome: yet because in this present history we are in hand with the holy martirs and Saintes of Christ, for as much as these also gaue such a faithfull testimony of the Lord Iesus with their bloud, I thought therefore not to passe them ouer with some testimony in this our Catalogue of holy Martirs. And here an end of these persecutions of the primitiue church.

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¶ It may peraduenture be marueiled of some, reading the history of these so terrible persecutions aboue specified, why God the almighty director of al things, would suffer his owne people and faithfull seruaunts, beleeuing in his owne and onely begotten sonne Iesus, so cruellye to bee handled, so wrongfully to be vexed, so extreemly to be tormented and put to death, & that the space of so many yeres together, as in these foresaid persecutiōs may appeare. 

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Exegesis of Revelation

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).

To the which admiration I haue nothing to aunswere, but to say with the words of Hierome: Non debemus super hac rerum iniquitate, perturbare videntes, &c. MarginaliaHierony. in Aba cap. 1. We ought not to be mooued with this iniquitie of things, to see the wicked to preuaile against the godly: for so much as in the beginning of the worlde we see Abell the iuste to bee killed of wicked Caine. And afterward Iacob being thrust out, Esau to reigne in his fathers house. MarginaliaThe wicked in this world doe most florish and preuayle. In like case the Egyptians with bricke and tyle, afflicted the sonnes of Israel. Yea and the Lorde himselfe, was hee not crucified of the Iewes, Barrabas the thief being let go? Time would not suffise me, to recite, & recken vp how the godly in this world go to wracke, the wicked flourishing and preuailing. Hiero. Briefly, howsoeuer the cause hereof proceedeth, whether for our sins here in this life, or how else, soeuer, yet this is to vs, & may be to all men a sufficient stay, MarginaliaPersecution commeth by no chaunce. that we are sure these afflictions and persecutions of God his people in this worlde, not to come by any chaunce, or blinde fortune, but by the prouydent appointment, and forewarning of God. MarginaliaPersecution of Gods people prefigured and forewarned of God. For so in the old law by the affliction of the children of Israell, he hath prefigured these persecutions of his Christians. So by the words of Christes owne mouth in the Gospell, he did forwarne his church of these troubles to come. Again neither did he suffer these so great afflictions to fall vpon hys seruaunts, before that he had premonished them sufficientlye by speciall Reuelation in the Apocalips of Iohn his seruaūt, MarginaliaThe Churche forewarned of Christ by speciall reuelation in the Apoc. in the which Apocalips he declared vnto his church before, not onely what troubles were comming at hande toward them, where, and by whome, they shoulde come, but also in playne number, if the wordes of the prophecyebe well vnderstoode assygneth the true tyme, howe longe the sayde persecutions shoulde continue, and when they shoulde cease. MarginaliaThe beast in the Apoc. expounded.For as there is no doubte, but by the beast with seauen heades, bearing the whoore of Babylon, dronken wyth the bloude of Saintes, is signified the Citie of Rome: So in my iudgement, the power of making fortie two moneths (in the thirteene of the Apocalips) is to bee expounded, Marginalia42. monthes in the Apoc. cap. 13 expounded. taking euery Moneth for a Sabboth of yeares, that is, reckonyng for seauen yeares a moneth: so that forty and two such Sabbots of yeares, being gathered togither make vppe the yeres iust, betweene the time of Christes death, to the last yeare of the persecution of Maxentius, MarginaliaThe beast had power to make 42. monthes. when Constantinus fyghting vnder the banner of Christ, ouercame him, and made an ende of all persecution, wythin the Monarchye of Rome. MarginaliaThe persecuting tyme of the primitiue Church vnder the beast lasted 300. yeares. The Israelites 300. yeares. The number of which yeares, by playne computation come to 294. to the which 294. yeares, if yee adde the other sixe yeares, vnder the persecution of Licinius in Asia, then it fylleth vp full the three hundreth yeares. And so long continued the persecution of Christes people, vnder the heathen tirants and Emperours of the Monarchie of Rome, accordyng to the number of the fortye two monethes which the beast had power to make, specified in the thirteenth of the Apocalips. For the better explication whereof, because the matter, being of no small importance greatly apperteineth to the publike vtilitie of the Church, & least any shoulde misdoubt me herein to follow any priuate interpretation of mine own, I thought good to cōmunicate to the Reader, that, as hath bene imparted to me, in opening these mistycall numbers in the foresayd booke of Reuelation conteyned, by occasion as followeth.

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As I was in hand with these histories, and therin cōsidered the exceeding rage of these persecutions, the intolerable tormentes of the blessed Sainctes, so cruelly rackt, rent, torne, and pluckt in peeces, with all kinde of tortures paynes and punishmentes that could be deuised, more bitter then any death it selfe, I coulde not without great sorrow & passiō of minde, behold their sorrowfull afflictions, or write of their bloudy passiōs. Wherin much like it happened to me, as did to T. Liuius, who writing of the warres of Carthage, was so moued in the writing thereof: Ac si in parte aliqua laboris ac periculi ipse pariter fuisset. 

Latin/Greek Translations  *  Close
Exegesis of Revelation: citation from Livy.
Foxe text Latin

Ac si in parte aliqua laboris ac periculi ipse pariter fuisset.

Foxe text translation

Not translated.

Further I proceeded in the story, & the hoater the persecutions grew, the more my griefe with them, & for thē encreased, not onely pitiyng their wofull case, but also almost reasoning with God, thus thinking like a foole with my selfe, why God of hys goodnesse would suffer hys children and seruaunts, so vehemently to be cruciated and afflicted. If mortal things were gouerned by heauenly prouidence (as must needs be graūted) why did þe wicked so rage & florish, & the godly so to go to wrack? If sinnes deserued punishmēt, yet neyther were they sinners alone, & why was their death aboue all other so sharpe and bitter? At least why woulde the Lord suffer the vehemency of these so horrible persecutiōs to endure so long tyme agaynst hys poore Church, shewing to thē no certayne determined end of their tribulatiōs, wherby they knowing the appoynted determinatiō of almighty God, with more consolatiō might endure out the same. As the Israelites in the captiuitie of Babilon had 70. yeares limitted vnto them. And vnder Pharao they were promised a deliueraunce out. Also vnder the Syrian tyrauntes. 62. Weekes were abriged vnto them. Onely in these persecutions, I could finde no end determined, nor limitation set for their deliuerance. Wherevpō much marueiling wt my selfe, I searched the booke of Reuelatiō, to see whether any thing there might be found. Where although I well perceaued, the beast there described to signifie the Empire of Rome, which had power to ouercome the Saintes: yet cōcerning the tyme and continuance of these persecutions vnder the beast, I found nothing to satisfie my doubt. For albeit I read there of. 42. monethes, of a tyme, tymes and halfe a tyme, of 1260. dayes, yet all this by computation cōming but to 3. yeares & a halfe, came nothing neare the lōg continuance of these persecutiōs, which lasted. 300. yeares. Thus being vexed and turmoyled in spirite, about the reckening, of these numbers and yeares, it so happened vpon a Sonday in the morning lying in my bed, & musing about these nūbers, sodēly it was answered to my minde, as with a maiestie, thus inwardly saying within me: thou foole count these monethes by Sabbots, as the Weekes of Daniell are counted by Sabbots. The Lorde I take to witnes thus it was. Wherupon thus being admonished, I began to recken the 42. monethes by Sabbats, first of monethes, that would not serue, thē by Sabbots of yeres wherin I began to feele some probable vnderstāding. Yet not satisfied herewith, to haue the matter more sure, eftsoones repaired to certaine Merchaūts, of myne acquain-

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