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Ambrose (St Ambrose)

(c. 340 - 397) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Bishop of Milan (374 - 397); doctor of the church

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, pp. 15, 20, 56, 91, 128, 131, 146; 1576, pp. 12, 16, 35, 63, 92, 95, 102, 108; 1583, pp. 12, 16, 35, 63, 91, 94, 101, 107.

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Cyprian of Antioch (St Cyprian of Antioch)

Legendary C4 bishop of Antioch [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Said to have been a pagan conjurer and sorcerer; martyr under Diocletian

Cyprian was a citizen of Antioch and a sorcerer. He converted to Christianity and became a deacon, a priest and finally bishop of Antioch and martyr. 1570, pp. 128-29; 1576, p. 93; 1583, p. 92.

He was martyred with Justina. 1570, p. 121; 1576, p. 96; 1583, p. 95.

Foxe distinguishes him from Cyprian of Carthage. 1570, p. 101; 1576, p. 71; 1583, p. 71.

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Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian

(236/7 - 316) [R. W. Mathisen]

Roman emperor (284 - 305), succeeding Carus's son, Numerian, in the east; controlled the whole empire after the death of Carinus, Carus's younger son, in 285. Introduced tetrarchy; enforced imperial cult; abdicated.

Declined an offer to take the throne in 308; died at Split.

Diocletian came to the throne with the support of the troops. 1570, p. 108; 1576, p. 77; 1583, p. 76.

Having accused Aper of killing Numerian, Diocletian killed him with his sword in front of the troops. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Diocletian commanded that he be worshipped as a god. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Diocletian introduced the most severe persecution of the Christians. The persecution began with the destruction of churches and books of scripture. 1570, pp. 39, 109-111; 1576, pp. 31, 78-79; 1583, pp. 31, 77-79.

He went on use threats and imprisonment, and eventually he devised a great variety of tortures and methods of execution. 1570, pp. 112-14; 1576, pp. 80-81; 1583, pp. 79-81.

Diocletian abdicated and, having heard of the edict of Constantine and Licinius granting freedom of worship to Christians, died. 1570, p. 121; 1576, p. 87; 1583, p. 86.

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Julian the Apostate

(331 - 363) [W. E. Roberts and M. Di Maio]

Soldier; Roman emperor (360 - 63)

Neo-Platonist opponent of Christianity; died in battle against the Persians

Julian was responsible for the persecution of Christians. 1570, pp. 39, 137-38; 1576, pp. 32, 100-101; 1583, pp. 31, 99-101.

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Justin Martyr (St Justin Martyr)

(c. 100 - 165) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

of Caesarea; Christian convert; writer. Studied philosophy, taught in Rome; martyr

Foxe gives an account of Justin's education and early life. 1570, pp. 72-73; 1576, pp. 48-49; 1583, pp. 48-49.

Justin related in his Apology how the behaviour of the Christian martyrs helped to stimulate his conversion to Christianity. 1570, p. 73; 1576, p. 49; 1583, p. 49.

After his baptism, he went to Rome and disputed with Crescens. 1570, p. 73; 1576, p. 49; 1583, p. 49.

Justin presented an apology to the emperor in defence of the martyrs and in opposition to Crescens. He predicted his own martyrdom through the procurement of Crescens. 1570, pp. 46-47, 64, 73-74; 1576, pp. 37, 44-45, 49-50; 1583, pp. 37, 44-45, 49-50.

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Lawrence (St Lawrence)

(d. 258) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Spanish. One of the seven deacons of Rome under Sixtus II; martyr

Lawrence had charge of the church goods and care of the poor. Foxe recounts the legend of Lawrence's meeting with Sixtus as Sixtus was going to his execution. Lawrence was burned on an iron grid. 1570, pp. 101-02; 1576, pp. 71-72; 1583, pp. 71-72.

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d. 258; one of seven deacons of Rome under Sixtus II; martyred with him

Nemesius was beheaded with Sixtus II. 1570, p. 101; 1576, p. 71; 1583, p. 71.

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Prudentius (Aurelius Prudentius Clemens)

(348 - after 405) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Spanish Roman Christian poet; lawyer; provincial governor; retired to become an ascetic

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, pp. 56, 86, 101, 104, 124, 126, 129; 1576, pp. 35, 60, 71, 74, 90, 92, 93; 1583, pp. 35, 59, 71, 74, 89, 92.

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Sixtus II (St Sixtus)

(d.258) [Kelly]

Pope (257 - 58); martyred: beheaded at Rome

Sixtus was martyred with his deacons. 1570, p. 101; 1576, p. 71; 1583, p. 71.

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Valerian (Publius Licinius Valerianus)

(d. 260) [R. D. Weigel]

Commander under Decius; senator

Roman emperor (253 - 60); captured and killed by the Persians

In the early years of his reign, Valerian behaved favourably towards the Christians and the senate. 1570, p. 97; 1576, p. 68; 1583, p. 67.

Later, Valerian instigated a harsh persecution of the Christians. 1570, pp. 97-104; 1576, pp. 68-74; 1583, pp. 67-74.

Valerian was captured in battle by Shapur I and endured humiliations during his captivity before he was killed. 1570, p. 104; 1576, p. 74; 1583, p. 74.

In a letter to the Persian king Shapur II, Constantine I used the examples of Valerian and his son to illustrate that rulers prospered when they treated Christians well, but suffered ill fortune when they persecuted them. 1570, p. 137; 1576, p. 100; 1583, p. 99.

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Antioch (Antioch on the Orontes, Great Antioch, Syrian Antioch) (Antakya)

[Antiochia apud Orontem]


Coordinates: 36° 12' 0" N, 36° 9' 0" E

94 [71]

we know one God condemning the second maryage. Lib, de Monogam. Diuers other things of like absurditie in him be noted. Iustinus MarginaliaIustinus. also seemeth to haue inclined vnto the errour of the Chiliastes, of the fall of certaine Aungels by wemen, of free will of man, of possibilitie of keeping the lawe and such other. Neither was this our Cyprian, MarginaliaCyprian. the great schooler of Tertulian, vtterly exempt from the blot of them, who contrary to the doctrine of the Church, did hold with rebaptising of such, as were before Baptised of heretikes, Whereof speaketh S. Austen, myslyking the same errour of Cyprian, in these words contained in his 2. booke, Contra Cresconium. Cypriani, inquit, laudem ego consequi non valeo eius multis literis mea scripta non comparo, eius ingenium diligo eius ore delector, eius charitatem miror, eius Martyrium veneror. Non accipio quod de baptisandis hæreticis & schismaticis sensit. &c. 

Latin/Greek Translations  *  Close
Eighth persecution down through writings of Cyprian: citation from Augustine (?)
Foxe Latin text

Cypriani, inquit, laudem ego consequi non valeo eius multis literis mea scripta non comparo, eius ingenium diligo eius ore delector, eius charitatem miror, eius Martyrium veneror. Non accipio quod de baptisandis hæreticis & schismaticis sensit. &c.

Foxe text translation

Not translated.

Vppon the whiche matter there was a great contention betwene the sayd Cyprian, and Stephen Bishop of Rome, as partly afore is noted. MarginaliaContention betweene Cyprian and Stephanus Byshop of Rome. Of Austen himselfe likewise, of Ambrose, Hierome, Chrisostome, the same maye be said, that none of them al so clearely passed away, but their peculiar faultes and errours went with them, whereof it were to long, and out of our purpose at this present to entreate. And thus much concerning the story of Cyprian the holy learned Martyr of Christ.

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MarginaliaCyprians diuers of that name. Albeit here is to be noted by the way, touching the life and story of Cyprian that this Cyprian was not he, whome the narration of Nazianzen speaketh of (as is aboue mentioned) who from Arte Magicke was conuerted to bee a Christian, which Cyprian was a Citizen of Antioche, and afterward Bishop of the same Citie, and was Martyred vnder Diocletian. Whereas this Cyprian was Bysop of Carthage, and died vnder Valerianus, as is sayd, &c. By the decrees of Gratiā. Dist. x. Quoniam. MarginaliaDist. 10. Quoniam. it appeareth moreouer that there was also a third Cyprian in the time of Iulianus the Emperour Apostata, long after both these aforenamed. For so giueth the title prefixed before the saide Distinct. Cyprianus Iuliano Imperatori: the distinction beginning. Quoniam idem mediator Dei & hominum homo Christus Iesus, sic actibus proprijs, & dignitatibus distinctis officia potestatis vtriusque discernit, &c. 

Latin/Greek Translations  *  Close
Eighth persecution down through writings of Cyprian
Foxe text Latin

Quoniam idem mediator Dei & hominum homo Christus Iesus, sic actibus proprijs, & dignitatibus distinctis officia potestatis vtriusque discernit, &c.

Foxe text translation

Not translated.

Vpon the which distinctiō the glose commeth in with these words saying: MarginaliaGlosa Ibid. A blinde glose chalenging both the swordes to the Popes hand. þt the popedome, and the seate Imperial, haue both one beginning of one that is, Christ: who was both bishoppe, and king of Kings. And that the said dignities be distincted, albeit the Pope notwithstanding hath both the swords in his hand and may exercise them both some time. And therefore although they be distincted, yet in exercise the one standeth lineally vnder the other, so that the imperiall dignitie is subiect vnder the Papall dignitie, as the inferiour is subiect vnder the superiour: that as there is one ruler ouer the whole which is God: so in the Church is one Monarche, that is, the Pope, to whom the Lord hath committed the power and lawfull right both of the heauenly and terrene dominion. Hæc Glosa.

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MarginaliaA distinction of Gracian disproued. Thus much I thought here to note by the waye because this distinction is fathered vpon Cyprian, which is false, for this Cyprian was not in the time of Iulian, not by 200. yeares, and so likewise by the other Cyprian, which died Martyr vnder Diocletian. Of anye Cyprian besides these two, we read not. Neither is it credible, that if there were any such Cyprian, he would euer haue written of any such matter, of the difference and mutuall nede of Christiā Emperours and Christen Popes. When as that Emperour being an Apostata, neither regarded Christ, nor cared for any Pope.

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MarginaliaXistus the second Byshop of Rome Martyr. About this tyme, and vnder the same Emperour Valerianus suffered also Xistus, or Sixtus, the seconde of that name, Byshop of Rome, 

Commentary  *  Close
Sixtus II and St. Laurence through Dionysius of Alexandria

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).

who being accused of his aduersaries, to be a Christiā, was brought with his vj. deacons to the place of execution, where he with Nemesius & other hys Deacons were beheaded and suffered Martyrdome. MarginaliaSixe Deacons with Xistus Martyrs. Laurence in the same time being also Deacon folowed after complayning to Xistus, as one being greued, that he might not also suffer with him, but to be secluded as the sonne frō the father. To whom the Bishop aunswering againe, declared that within thre daies he should folow after. In the meane time, hee willed him to go home, and to distribute his treasures, if he had any vnto þe poore. The iudge belike hearing mentiō to be made of treasures to be giuen to the poore, and thinking that Laurence had great store of treasure in his custody, cōmaunded him to bring the same vnto him, according as the discourse of his storye here vnder written, more fully may appeare. Which history, because it is set foorth more at large in Prudentius, Ambrose, and other writers, and containeth in it mo things in it worthy to be noted of the Reader, we haue therfore with the more dilygence here inserted the more ample descriptiou of þe same, to the further admiration of his patience, and God hisglory shewed in him.

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MarginaliaThe story and Martyrdome of Laurence Ex Ambros. lib. 1. offic. cap. 41. Ex Prudentio. Lib. Peristeph. Now then as order requireth, let vs enter the story of that most constaunt and couragious Martir of Christ S. Laurence, whose words and works deserue to be as freshe and greene in Christian harts, as is the florishing Laurel tree, This thirsty hart longing after the water of lyfe, desirous to passe vnto it, through the straight doore of bitter death, when on a time he saw his vigilaunt Shephearde, Xistus led as an harmles lambe, of harmefull tyrauntes to his death, cried out with open mouth and hart inuincible; saying, MarginaliaThe wordes of Laurence to Xistus. O deare father, whether goest thou, without the company of thy deare sonne? Whether hastenest thou, O reuerend Priest, without thy Deacon? Neuer wast thou wont to offer sacrifice without thy minister. What cryme is there in me that offendeth thy fatherhod? Hast thou proued me vnnaturall? Now try swete father, whether thou hast chosen a faithfull minister or not. Deniest thou vnto him the fellowship of thy bloud, to whom thou hast committed the destribution of the Lordes bloud? See that thy iudgement be not misliked, whilest thy fortitude is liked & lauded. The abasing of the scholer, is the disgracing of the Maister. What? haue we not learned that worthy Maisters, haue obtained most worthy fame, by þe worthy actes of their Disciples and Scholers? Finally Abraham sacryficed his onely begotten Isaac. Stoned Stephen prepared the way to preaching Peter, euen so father declare thy manifold vertues by me thy sonne. Offer thou him that proferreth him selfe. Graunt that the body of thy scholer may be sacrificed, whose mind with good letters thou hast beautefied. These wordes with teares S. Laurence vttered, not because his master should suffer, but for that he might not be suffered to tast of deaths cup, which he thirsted after.

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Then Xistus to his sonne shaped this aunswere: MarginaliaThe answere of Xistus to Laurence. I forsake thee not, O my sonne, I giue thee to wit, that a sharper conflict remaineth for thee. A feeble and weak old man am I, and therefore run the rase of a lighter & easier death. But lusty and young thou art, and more lustely, yea more gloriously shalt thou triumph ouer this tiraunt. Thy time approcheth, cease to wepe & lament, three daies after thou shalt follow me. Decent is it, that this space of time come betwene the Priest & the Leuite. It may not beseeme thee O sweete Pupill, to triumphe vnder thy master, least it be said he wanted an helper. Why crauest thou to be pertaker with me in my passion? I bequeath vnto thee the whole inheritaunce. Why requirest thou to enioy my presence: let weake scholers go before, and the strōger come after, that those without maister may get the victory, which haue no neede by maister to be gouerned. So Helias left behynde him his beloued Heliseus. I yeelde vp into thy handes the succession of my vertues. Such was their contention, not vnmeete for so godly a priest, so zelous a minister, striuing with themselues, who shoulde first suffer for the name of Christ Iesu.

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In tragical histories we haue it mentioned, þt through ioy & admiration people claped their handes, whē Pylades named himselfe Orestes, Orestes, as truth it was, affirmed himselfe to bee Orestes. Pylades wishing to die for Orestes, Orestes, not suffering Pylades to loose his life for his sake: But neither of them might escape death, for both these louers were gilty of bloud the one committing the facte the other consenting. But this our Laurence the Martyr most constant, was by no meanes enforced to make this profer, sauing onely by his ardent zeale, and feruent spirite, who thirsting after the cup of Maytirdome, had it shortly after filled to the hard brymme.

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Now let vs draw neare to the fire of Martyred Laurence, that our colde hartes may be warmed thereby. The mercylesse tyraunt, MarginaliaSome say that this tyraunt was Decius the Emperour, but that cannot be, except Galienus or some other iudge now was called by the name of Decius. vnderstanding this vertuous Leuite, not onely to be a minister of the Sacramentes, but a distributer also of the Church riches (whereof mention is made before in the wordes of Xistus) promised to himselfe a double pray, by the appression of one silly soule. First with the rake of Auarice to scrape to himselfe the treasuce of poore Christians, then with the firy forke of tyranny so to tosse and turmoyle them, that they should waxe weary of their Christian profession: With furious face, and cruell countenaunce, the greedy Wolfe demaunded where this Deacon Laurence had bestowed the substaunce of the Church. Who crauing three dayes respite, promised to declare where the treasure might be had. In the meane time he caused a good number of poore Christians to be congregated. So when þe day of his aunswere was come, the persecutor straightly charged him to stād to his promise. Then valiant Laurēce stretching out his armes ouer the poore, sayde: These are the precious treasure of the church: MarginaliaThe true treasure of Christ hys Church. These are the treasure in deede, in whom the faith of Christ raigneth, in whome Iesus Christ hath his mansion place. What more precious

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