Martyrs and Confessors of Lugdunum: A Validation of Eusebius’s Documentation


in Scrinium

In 177 AD, the persecution of Christians in Lugdunum increased. The sole extant account of this persecution is a letter preserved in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History. However, because of his daring excerpting and muddled terminology, the understanding of the situation of martyrs and confessors of Lugdunum is confusing. In addition, another source about the persecution, Collection of the Ancient Martyrs, was scattered. The purpose of this article is to organize the situation of the martyrs’ deaths and to validate how Eusebius recorded the martyrs and the confessors. For this purpose, I compared the fragments of the martyrs’ lists preserved in the Martyrology of Pseudo-Jerome, the Mar­tyrology bearing the name of Bede, several Passions, Glory of the Martyrs by Gregory of Tours, and Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius. Besides, I analyse the categories of martyrs in the reconstructed list of the martyrs of Lugdunum. As a result, it clarifies the way Eusebius constructed the list of martyrs. This article also contributes to the understanding of the terminology and documentation concerning martyrs and confessors in early Christian documents.


Abstract

In 177 AD, the persecution of Christians in Lugdunum increased. The sole extant account of this persecution is a letter preserved in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History. However, because of his daring excerpting and muddled terminology, the understanding of the situation of martyrs and confessors of Lugdunum is confusing. In addition, another source about the persecution, Collection of the Ancient Martyrs, was scattered. The purpose of this article is to organize the situation of the martyrs’ deaths and to validate how Eusebius recorded the martyrs and the confessors. For this purpose, I compared the fragments of the martyrs’ lists preserved in the Martyrology of Pseudo-Jerome, the Mar­tyrology bearing the name of Bede, several Passions, Glory of the Martyrs by Gregory of Tours, and Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius. Besides, I analyse the categories of martyrs in the reconstructed list of the martyrs of Lugdunum. As a result, it clarifies the way Eusebius constructed the list of martyrs. This article also contributes to the understanding of the terminology and documentation concerning martyrs and confessors in early Christian documents.


1 Introduction


In this short paper, I address the Christian persecution that emerged in Lugdunum in 177 AD. The sole surviving account of this persecution is a letter 
preserved in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. However, because the terminology of his daring excerpt is ambiguous, the understanding of the situation of martyrs and confessors in Lugdunum remains confusing. In addition, another record of the persecution, the Collection of the Ancient Martyrs, existed, but has since been lost. The purpose of my paper is to clarify the contexts surrounding the martyrs’ deaths and to validate the manner in which Eusebius documented events. This paper will contribute to the understanding of the terminology related to martyrs in early Christian documents.


2 The Persecution in Lugdunum and the Title of ‘Martyr’


In 177 AD, the persecution of Christians in Lugdunum1 emerged.2 Christians belonging to the Churches of Lugdunum (Lyon) and Vienna reported the persecution in a letter addressed to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia. We know the text only through a fragmentary citation in the Ecclesiastical History written in the fourth century. Eusebius quoted the letter in narrating the persecution during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. In many cases, Eusebius quoted sources, but cut off the parts he considered unimportant for his purposes.3

In addition to his fragmentary method of citation, other factors have confused scholars about the reconstruction of the events in his record. According to a statement by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius compiled an independent literary work titled the Collection of Ancient Martyrs (τῶν μαρτύρων συναγωγή), and transcribed the list of martyrs and the number of the confessors at the persecution of Lugdunum in 177.4 He then said that he omitted the list and additional information about the martyrs and confessors from his Ecclesiastical History. Unfortunately, the contents of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs have been lost.


In addition to these difficult circumstances, another problem is the ambiguous terminology relating to the martyrs and confessors at Lugdunum. In a quotation from the letter from Lugdunum, the martyrs were reported to have denied the title of martyr with humility, referring to themselves as the confessors:


They [the martyrs] were also so zealous in their imitation of Christ – ‘who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God,’ – that, though they had attained such honor, and had borne witness, not once or twice, but many times – having been brought back to prison from the wild beasts, covered with burns and scars and wounds – yet they did not proclaim themselves martyrs , nor did they suffer us to address them by this name. If any one of us, in letter or conversation, spoke of them as martyrs, they rebuked him sharply. For they conceded cheerfully the appellation of Martyrs to Christ ‘the faithful and true Whiteness (or Martyrs),’ and ‘firstborn of the dead,’ and prince of the life of God; and they reminded us of the martyrs who had already departed, and said, ‘They are already martyrs whom Christ has deemed worthy to be taken up in their confession, having sealed their testimony by their departure; but we are lowly and humble confessors.’ And they besought the brethren with tears that earnest prayers should be offered that they might be made perfect.5

The existence of Christians who seemed to be recognised as the martyrs before their deaths complicates the situation. Those Christians, of course, would have been called the confessors under the general understanding of the Christian terminology. In this case, however, it is difficult to define the definition of ‘martyrs’ in the letter from Lugdunum and the body text by Eusebius.6

About this matter, José Ruysschaert provided a definitive understanding of the definition of ‘martyrs’ assumed by Eusebius and other ancient Christian historical sources. He reasoned that the meaning of ‘martyr’ before the third century was applied to the one 1) who confessed the faith, 2) who suffered for the faith and 3) who died for the faith.7 As he elaborated, the primary importance was not the death but the confession of faith. The examination of the contents of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs below supports this thesis.


3 Reconstruction of the Contents of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs 8

For the reconstruction of the contents of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs,9 several sources were used. The Ecclesiastical History includes the names of 10 martyrs from Lugdunum (in addition to the original Greek text, it contains Rufinus’ Latin text and a Syriac translation).10 Furthermore, we have several historical sources apart from the texts of the Ecclesiastical History. One of them is a martyrology entitled The Martyrology of Pseudo-Jerome (Martyrologium Hieronymianum). Though named after Jerome, we do not know the identity of its actual editor; it could have been edited at the end of the sixth century in Rome or Gaul. It included the names of 48 martyrs from Lugdunum.11

Next is a martyrology bearing the name of Bede. It was written in the eighth or ninth century, by an anonymous author, and is included in the Latin manuscript MS 3879 of Bibliothèque nationale de France. Some martyrs’ names listed in this work differ from those in the Martyrology of Pseudo-Jerome. However, their number is the same: 48.12

Quite frequently, we can find the excerpts of the 5th volume of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History from the translation by Rufinus in passionaries under the title of ‘The Passion of St. Blandina’ or of St. Potinus. Sometimes, these experts are followed by the list of martyrs. The famous Codex Velseri, the Latin manuscript 3514 in Munich dating from the seventh century; the Latin Manuscripts 5032 (s. XI–XII), 5036 (s. XIV) of Bibliothèque nationale de France; the Harley Collection Manuscript 2800 of the British Library and the Latin Manuscript 207–208 (s. XIII) of the Royal Library of Brussels all contain lists of the martyrs. These manuscripts are divided into two groups according to the layout of the excerpt from the passion from Eusebius (or Rufinus) and the form of the martyr list. Thus, one group comprises the Codex Verseri and two Paris manuscripts, and the other the Brussels and British Museum manuscripts. The differences between these groups are described below; both forms of the list are presented separately.


The group containing the Codex Verseri, according to the critical text by Questin, was missing the names of Bishop Poteinus and the presbyter Zacharias.13 In contrast, the Brussels manuscript group contains both these names. In the texts of the Brussels manuscript group, the name Pontica is given, which we see only here. However, in contrast to the other group, the name Attalus is not included among the names of those thrown to beasts.14 Moreover, some names, like Iusta or Mammilia, are mistakenly mentioned as dead in prison.


The last source is the list provided by the Gregory of Tours in his In gloria Martyrum, chapter 48. Gregory took a considerable interest in the events in Lugdunum,15 for his grandmother Leucadia was descended from Vetteius Epagatus, one of the martyrs.16 In his list, we must note that he recorded only 43 names, though he said definitely that there were 48 martyrs in the event.17

At the end of this paper, I have attached a table of the reconstruction material for the list of the martyrs in Eusebius’ Collection of Ancient Martyrs. It contains the names given by the historical sources I mentioned above. Though it is difficult to reconstruct a perfect list of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs because of the variability in the martyrs’ names, the table gives us a glimpse of the contents and the format of the list. Let us examine these in the next section.


4 Contents and the Format of the List of the Martyrs of Lugdunum


Though not perfect, the table of the reconstruction material for the list of the martyrs of Lugdunum in Eusebius’ Collection of Ancient Martyrs tells us the format of the list. In his discussion in Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius previously implied this.


Why should we transcribe the catalogue of the martyrs given in the letter already mentioned, of whom some were beheaded, others cast to the wild beasts, and others fell asleep in prison, or give the number of confessors still surviving at that time? For whoever desires can readily find the full account by consulting the letter itself, which, as I have said, is recorded in our Collection of Martyrdoms.18

As stated above, the list consisted of three sections: 1) those who were beheaded, 2) those who were thrown to the beasts and 3) those who died in the prison. At first glance, it seems that these three sections indicated classification by the way martyrs died. However, the three sections indicate another division. Fortunately, we have the actual information on the manner of some martyrs’ deaths in the Ecclesiastical History.


Let us take notice of category 2), “those who were thrown to the beasts (τῶν θηρσὶν εἰς βορὰν παραβεβλημένων).” In the report of the persecution quoted by Eusebius, we can trace the fate of the martyrs belonging to this category. It is true that Maturus, Sanctus, Blandina and Attalus were mentioned as having been thrown to the beasts (5.1.37). They did not, however, die immediately. Maturus and Sanctus “were at last sacrificed, having been made throughout that day a spectacle to the world, in place of the usual variety of combats.” But it was after


they endured again the customary running of the gauntlet and the violence of the wild beasts, and everything which the furious people called for or desired, and at last, the iron chair in which their bodies being roasted, tormented them with the fumes. And not with this did the persecutors cease, but were yet more mad against them, determined to overcome their patience.19

Attalus was not killed by the beasts, either. It was reported that he was burned on an iron seat under which the fumes arose (5.1.52). Alexandros seems that died following torture “with all the instruments contrived for that purpose” (5.1.51). It was only Blandina, who we know to have been killed by the beast. “After the scourging, after the wild beasts, after the roasting seat, she was finally enclosed in a net, and thrown before a bull. And having been tossed about by the animal,” “she also was sacrificed” (5.1.56).


It is apparent that the words “others cast to the wild beasts (τῶν θηρσὶν εἰς βορὰν παραβεβλημένων)” indicated the meaning in the literature. Those belonging in this category were placed there not because they were killed by the beasts, but were condemned to be thrown to the beasts. From this, we can presume the concept of martyrdom used by the author of the letter from Lugdunum. For him, the fact that those Christians were thrown to the beasts was a sufficient reason to label them martyrs, even though they were not killed by beasts. We should recall the author’s astonishment about these Christians’ refusal of the title of martyr.


Though they had attained such honour, and had borne witness, not once or twice, but many times – having been brought back to prison from the wild beasts, covered with burns and scars and wounds – yet they did not proclaim themselves martyrs, nor did they suffer us to address them by this name.20

Furthermore, we must take note that Eusebius shared the concept with the author. Accepting the three-part form of the list of martyrs, Eusebius used the concept without any change in the Collection of Ancient Martyrs as well as in his Ecclesiastical History.


Affirming the form of the list in the Collection of Ancient Martyrs and that the form was reflected in the mention in the Ecclesiastical History, we can move on to the consideration of the next category. Eusebius handed down the other issue that defies any attempt at a quick and simple solution. After quoting the letter from Lugdunum, Eusebius notes that some confessors survived the persecution:


Why should we transcribe the catalogue of the martyrs given in the letter already mentioned, of whom some were beheaded, others cast to the wild beasts, and others fell asleep in prison, or give the number of confessors still surviving at that time (τόν τε ἀπιθμὸν τῶν εἰς ἔτι τότε πριόντων ὁμολογητῶν)? For whoever desires can readily find the full account by consulting the letter itself, which, as I have said, is recorded in our Collection of Martyrdoms.21

Without any doubt, the phrase τόν τε ἀπιθμὸν τῶν εἰς ἔτι τότε πριόντων ὁμολογητῶν means “the number of confessors still surviving at that time.” The time Eusebius indicated here was clearly the aftermath of the persecution had ended and the letters was written.22 Then, who were those “confessors”? When we read the event in the Ecclesiastial History, we get the impression that Christians had only two choices during the persecution in Lugdunum: apostasy or death. Was there anyone among the confessors who survived the persecution and was recognised as a martyr during the persecution?


Because the form of the list in the letter from Lugdunum was reflected in the mention in the Ecclesiastical History, category 1) indicated those who were beheaded, though there were no exact words to this effect in our material sources for reconstruction. In the report of the persecution, it was said that the governor who administered the event at Lugdunum as a judge ordered the two types of penalties on the Christians:


For Caesar commanded that they should be put to death, but that any who might deny should be set free. Therefore, at the beginning of the public festival which took place there, and which was attended by crowds of men from all nations, the governor brought the blessed ones to the judgment seat, to make of them a show and spectacle for the multitude. Wherefore also he examined them again, and beheaded those who appeared to possess Roman citizenship, but he sent the others to the wild beasts (δι᾿ ὅ καὶ πάλιν ἀνήταζεν, καὶ ὅσοι μὲν ἐδόκουν πολιτείαν ῾Ρωμαίων ἐσχηκέναι, τούτων ἀπέτεμνε τὰς κεφαλάς, τοὺς δὲ λοιποὺς ἔπεμπεν εἰς θηρία).23

In these passages, it seems that the division of the penalties imposed on the Christians were exclusive of each other. Therefore, there is no longer any doubt about that there were any among the confessors who survived after the persecution, and that Christians were recognised as the martyrs during the persecution. And they were not the same people as the three categories of the list. Christians in all three categories of the list had to die, either by beheading, death in prison or torture. As we know from the list, the martyrs in category 2), those thrown to the beasts, fell into the only category that had the potential to survive;24 we affirmed their actual manners of death above. About the category 3) those who died in the prison, we need not to examine at length whether they died or survive. Though the expression by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (“others fell asleep in prison: αὖθις τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς εἱρχτῆς κεκοιμημένων),25 it is certain that this category means those who died in the prison. In the sources of the reconstruction material for the list written in Latin, they were expressed as “the people who handed over their spirit.”26 It has to mean that they died in the prison, because the bishop Pothinos clearly died in the prison according to the Ecclesiastical History.27 So, the survived confessors were other people who mentioned their names in the list of the Collection of Ancient Martyrs. However, we don’t have the material for tracing their process of the trial in the persecution.


5 Conclusion


From the examination of the form and contents of the list in the Collection of Ancient Martyrs, we confirmed that the concept of ancient martyrdom did not consider death a defining criterion. As we have seen in this paper, martyrdom required only the suffering of penalties for one’s faith. The relationship between the definitions of ‘martyr’ and ‘confessor’ still remains less clear. We can affirm that the ‘confessors still surviving at that time’ were distinct from the martyrs. As for the definition of ‘confessor,’ de Churruca proposed that there were the third category of Christians who were condemned to be sent to the mines without satisfactory argument.28 It is possible, and it is likely, but we can merely conclude that the author of the letter from Lugdunum, as well as Eusebius, felt that they need not record the prosecution of confessors. Thus, the only record remaining of them is their number at the end of the persecution.


Table 1Reconstruction material for the list of the martyrs in Eusebius’ Collection of Ancient Martyrs
Table 1

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1J. Colin, L’Empire des Antonins et les martyrs gaulois de 177, Bonn, 1964, pp. 21–131 claimed the persecution occurred in Asia. Cf. S. Rossi, “Ireneo fu vescovo di Lione?,” Giornale italiano di filologia, 17 (1964), pp. 239–254; idem, “Il cristianesimo della Gallia e I martiri di Lione,” Giornale italiano di filologia,17 (1964), pp. 289–320; E. Demougeot, “À propos des martyrs Lyonnais de 177,” Revue des études anciennes, 68 (1966), pp. 323–331.


2J.W. Thompson, “The alleged Persecution of the Christians at Lyons,” American Journal of Theology,16 (1912), pp. 359–384 dated the event at the late third century. See T.D. Barnes, “Eusebius and the Date of Martyrdoms,” in: Les Martyrs de Lyon (177), [Colloque international du] Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Lyon, 20–23 Septembre 1977 (= Martyrs de Lyon (177)), éd. M.J. Rougé, M.R. Turcan, Paris, 1978, pp. 137–143; R.M. Grant, “Eusebius and the Martyrs of Gaul,” in Les Martyrs de Lyon (177), pp. 129–136.


3Sometimes Eusebius wrote that he omitted passages from the letter from Lugdunum (Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.1.4, 5.1.36, 5.1.62, 5.2.1, 5.5–6: ed. by G. Bardy (SC, 41), Paris, 1955, pp. 7, 15, 22, 23, 25). 


4Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.4.3 (SC, 41, p. 28).


5Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.2.2–3 (SC, 41, p. 23–24). For the English translation of the Ecclesiastical History, I referred to the translation by Euebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine, ed. Ph. Schaff (NPNF, 2–01),Edinburgh, 1890. But in these passages, I changed the word ‘witnesses’ to ‘martyrs’.


6There are many valuable studies on the issue of the terminology of ‘martyr’ and ‘confessor’. Among there, see H. Delehaye, “Martyr et confesseur,” AB, 39 (1921), pp. 27–34; idem, Sanstus. Essai sur le culte des saints dans l’antiquité, Bruxelles, 1927, pp. 76–95; B. Kötting, “Die Stellung des Konfessors in der alten Kirche,” Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum, 19 (1976), SS. 7–23.


7J. Ruysschaert, “Les «martyrs» et «confesseurs» de la Lettre des Eglises de Lyon er de Vienne,” in Martyrs de Lyon (177), pp. 155–164.


8Related to the historical sources and these critical editions for the reconstruction, I refer to H. Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs de Lyon de l’an 177,” AB, 39 (1921), pp. 113–138.


9The attempts of reconstruction trace back to the nineteenth century: M. Hirschfeld, “Zur Geschichte des Christentums in Lugdunum vor Constantin,” Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaftten Berlin (1896), S. 385; J.B. Martin, “Liste des Martyrs de Lyon,” Bulletin historique du diocès de Lyon, 1 (1990), pp. 22–26. About the relationship between Collection of Ancient Martyrs and Martyrs of Palestine by the same author, see G.D. Andres, “‘De martyribus Palestinae et collection antiquorum martyriorum’ de Eusebio de Caesarea,” La Giudad de Dios, 181 (1968), pp. 592–600. About the relationships among The ­Collection of Ancient Martyrs, The Syriac Martyrology and the Martyrology of Pseudo-Jerome, see V. Saxer, “Les Actes des ‘martyrs anciens’ chez Eusèbe de Césarée et dans les Martyrologes Syriaque et Hiéronymien,” AB, 102 (1984), pp. 85–96.


10About the text of the Syriac translation, M. Nestle, Die Kirchengeschichte des Eusebius ausdem Syrichen übersetzt, Leipzig, 1901, S. 167ff.


11‘Lugduno Galliae, XLVIII martyrum, hoc est: / Pontini episcopi, Zachariae presbyteri, Vettii, Macharii, Alcipiadis, Silvii, Primi, Ulpii, Vitalis, Commini, Octobris, Filomini, Gemini, Iuliae, Albinae, Gratae, Emiliae, Potamiae, Pompeiae, Rodanane, Biblis, Quartiae, Maternae, Hilpis. / Hii autem qui ad bestias traditi sunt: / Sancti diaconi, Maturi, Attali, Alexandri, Ponteci, Blandinae. / Hii sunt qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt: / Aristei, Cornilii, Zosimi, Titi, Iulii, Zotici, Appollonii, Geminiani, Iuliae, Ausonae, item Emiliae, Iamnicae, Pompeiae, Domnae, Amiliae, Iustae, Trofimae, Antoniae. / [Hii omnes famuli Christi, sub Antonino imperatore sunt coronati.]’ For the critical text, see Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” pp. 115–116.


12‘Nomina vero XLVIII martyrum haec sunt:/ Fotinus episcopus, Zacharias presbyter, Epagatus, Macharius, Alcibiades, Silvius, Primus, Ulpius, Vitalis, Comminus, Octuber, Filuminus, Geminus, Iulia, Albina, Grata, Rogata, Emilia, Potamia, Pompeia, Rodona, Biblis, Quartia, Materna, Helpes quae et Amnas./ Hii autem qui ad bestias traditi sunt:/ Sanctus, Marturus, Attalus, Alexander, Ponticus, Blandina./ Hi vero qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt:/ Aristeus, Cornelius, Zosimus, Titus, Iulius, Zoticus, Appollonius, Germinianus, Iulia, Ausnoa, Emilia, Iamnica, Pompeia, Domna, Iusta, Trofima, Antonia./ Hi omnes famuli Christi sub praefato imperatore partier conorati sunt’. For the critical text, see Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” p. 118.


13‘Nomina autem martyrum haec sunt:/ Vettius, Macharius, Alcipiades, Silvius, Primus, Ulpius, Vitalis, Comminus, Octobrius, Filominus, Germinas, Iulia, Albina, Grata, Aemilia, Potomene, Pompeia, Rhodana, Bibilis, Quartia, Pontica, Materna, Helpeque Et amnas’./ Hii autem qui ad bestiis traditi sunt:/ Sanctus diaconus, Maturus, Attalus, Alexander, Ponticus, Et blandina./ Hii autem qui in carcerem spiritum reddiderunt:/ Arestius, Cornilius, Zosimus, Titus, Zoticus, Iulius, Apollonius, Geminianus, Iulia, Auxentia, Item aemelia, Gam­nica, Item pompeia, Domna, Mamilia, Iusta, Trofimae, Et antonia’. See Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” p. 120.


14‘Nomina autem martyrum haec sunt: / Vethius, Zacharias, Macharius, Alpiciades, Silvinus, Primus, Ulpius, Vitalis, Lomninus, October, Filominus, Geminas, Iulia, Albina, Grata, Ponticus, Blandina, Emilia, Potomine, Pompeia, Rodane, Biblis, Quarta, Materna, Alpisque et Amnas, Maturus, Alexander, Iulius, Appollonius. / Hi sunt qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt: / Arethius, Fotinus, Cornelius, Cosemus. / Hi autem qui ad bestias traditi sunt: / Sanctus Tytus, Mammilia, Loticus, Iusta, Trofome et Antani, Geminianus, Iulia, Ausone, Emilia, Imanica, Pompeia, Domna’. See Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” p. 121.


15He also mentioned the event in his Libri Historiarum X, ed. by B. Krusch, W. Levison (MGH SRM, 1.1), Hannover2, 1951, pp. 21–22.


16‘Leucadia ab stirpe Vetti Epagati descendens, quem Lugduno passum Eusebi testatur historia’: Liber Vitae Patrum, 6.1, ed. by B. Krusch (MGH SRM, 1.2), Hannover2, 1969, p. 230.


17‘Quadraginta octo vero martyrum nomina, qui Lugduno passi dicuntur, haec sunt: / Vettius Epagatus, Zaccharias, Macharius, Alcipiadis, Silvius, Primus, Alpius, Vitalis, Comminius, October, Philominus, Geminus, Iulia, Albina, Grata, Aemilia, Postumiana, Pompeia, Rodonae, Biblis, Quarta, Materna, Elpen ipsa Stamas. / Hii autem bestiis traditi sunt: / Sanctus et Maturus, Alexander, Ponticus, Blandina. / Hii sunt qui in carcerem spiritum reddiderunt: / Arescius, Photinus, Cornelius, Zotimus, Titus, Zoticus, Iulius, Aemelia, Gamnitae, Pompeia, Alumna, Mamilia, Iusta, Trifimae, Antonia et beatus Photinus episcopus’. See Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” p. 124.


18Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.4.3 (SC, 41, p. 28).


19Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.1.38–39 (SC, 41, p. 16).


20Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.2.2 (SC, 41, pp. 23–24).


21Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.4.3 (SC, 41, p. 28).


22About the date of the letter, see P. Nautin, Lettres et écrivains chrétiens des IIe et IIIe siècles, Paris, 1961, pp. 62–63.


23Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.1.47 (SC, 41, p. 18–19).


24Sometimes the beasts did not carry through their murder, and victims were released. Cf. Ignatius Antiochensis, Epistola ad Romanos, 5.2 ed. by B.D. Ehrman, (LCL, 24), Cambridge, Mass, 2003, pp. 276–277: “May I have the full pleasure of the wild beasts prepared for me; I pray they will be found ready for me. Indeed, I will coax them to devour me quickly- not as happens with some, whom they are afraid to touch. And even if they do not wish to do so willingly, I will force them to it (ὀναίμην τῶν θηρίων τῶν ἐμοὶ ἡτοιμασμένων καὶ εὔχομαι σύντομά μοι εὑρεθῆναι· ἃ καὶ κολακεύσω, συντόμως με καταφαγεῖν, οὐχ ὥσπερ τινῶν δειλαινόμενα οὐχ ἥψαντο. κἂν αὐτὰ δὲ ἑκόντα μὴ θέλῃ, ἐγὼ προσβιάσομαι)”; Passio Sanctarum Perpetua et Felicitatis, 20.7, ed. by H. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, Oxford, 1972, pp. 128–129: “but the cruelty of the mob was by now appeased, and so they were called back throuth the Gate of Life (et populi duritia deuicta, reuocatae sunt in portam Sanauiuariam).”


25Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.4.3 (SC, 41, p. 27).


26“Hii sunt qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt” in The Pseudo-Jerome (Quentin, “La Liste des martyrs,” p. 115); “Hii vero qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt” in the Bede (ibid., p. 118); “Hii autem qui in carcerem spiritum reddiderunt” in Codex Velseri (ibid., p. 123); “Hi sunt qui in carcere spiritum reddiderunt” in Brussels Manuscript (ibid., p. 123); “Hii sunt qui in carcerem spiritum reddiderunt” in In Gloria Martyrum by Gregory of Tours (ibid., p. 124).


27Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.1.31 (SC, 41, p. 14).


28J. de Churruca, “Confesseurs non condamnés à mort dans le procès contre les chrétiens de Lyon l’année 177,” Vigiliae Christianae,38 (1984), pp. 257–270.

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    J. ColinL’Empire des Antonins et les martyrs gaulois de 177Bonn1964 pp. 21–131 claimed the persecution occurred in Asia. Cf. S. Rossi “Ireneo fu vescovo di Lione?” Giornale italiano di filologia 17 (1964) pp. 239–254; idem “Il cristianesimo della Gallia e I martiri di Lione” Giornale italiano di filologia17 (1964) pp. 289–320; E. Demougeot “À propos des martyrs Lyonnais de 177” Revue des études anciennes 68 (1966) pp. 323–331.

  • 2

    J.W. Thompson“The alleged Persecution of the Christians at Lyons,” American Journal of Theology16 (1912) pp. 359–384 dated the event at the late third century. See T.D. Barnes “Eusebius and the Date of Martyrdoms” in: Les Martyrs de Lyon (177) [Colloque international du] Centre national de la recherche scientifique Lyon 20–23 Septembre 1977 (= Martyrs de Lyon (177)) éd. M.J. Rougé M.R. Turcan Paris 1978 pp. 137–143; R.M. Grant “Eusebius and the Martyrs of Gaul” in LesMartyrs de Lyon (177) pp. 129–136.

  • 4

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

  • 5

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.2.2–3 (SC 41 p. 23–24). For the English translation of the Ecclesiastical History I referred to the translation by Euebius Pamphilius: Church History Life of Constantine Oration in Praise of Constantine ed. Ph. Schaff (NPNF 2–01)Edinburgh 1890. But in these passages I changed the word ‘witnesses’ to ‘martyrs’.

  • 7

    J. Ruysschaert“Les «martyrs» et «confesseurs» de la Lettre des Eglises de Lyon er de Vienne,” in Martyrs de Lyon (177)pp. 155–164.

  • 18

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

  • 19

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.38–39 (SC 41 p. 16).

  • 20

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.2.2 (SC 41 pp. 23–24).

  • 21

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

  • 23

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.47 (SC 41 p. 18–19).

  • 25

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 27).

  • 27

    EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.31 (SC 41 p. 14).

  • 28

    J. de Churruca“Confesseurs non condamnés à mort dans le procès contre les chrétiens de Lyon l’année 177,” Vigiliae Christianae38 (1984) pp. 257–270.

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Martyrs and Confessors of Lugdunum: A Validation of Eusebius’s Documentation


in Scrinium

Sections

References

1

J. ColinL’Empire des Antonins et les martyrs gaulois de 177Bonn1964 pp. 21–131 claimed the persecution occurred in Asia. Cf. S. Rossi “Ireneo fu vescovo di Lione?” Giornale italiano di filologia 17 (1964) pp. 239–254; idem “Il cristianesimo della Gallia e I martiri di Lione” Giornale italiano di filologia17 (1964) pp. 289–320; E. Demougeot “À propos des martyrs Lyonnais de 177” Revue des études anciennes 68 (1966) pp. 323–331.

2

J.W. Thompson“The alleged Persecution of the Christians at Lyons,” American Journal of Theology16 (1912) pp. 359–384 dated the event at the late third century. See T.D. Barnes “Eusebius and the Date of Martyrdoms” in: Les Martyrs de Lyon (177) [Colloque international du] Centre national de la recherche scientifique Lyon 20–23 Septembre 1977 (= Martyrs de Lyon (177)) éd. M.J. Rougé M.R. Turcan Paris 1978 pp. 137–143; R.M. Grant “Eusebius and the Martyrs of Gaul” in LesMartyrs de Lyon (177) pp. 129–136.

4

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

5

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.2.2–3 (SC 41 p. 23–24). For the English translation of the Ecclesiastical History I referred to the translation by Euebius Pamphilius: Church History Life of Constantine Oration in Praise of Constantine ed. Ph. Schaff (NPNF 2–01)Edinburgh 1890. But in these passages I changed the word ‘witnesses’ to ‘martyrs’.

7

J. Ruysschaert“Les «martyrs» et «confesseurs» de la Lettre des Eglises de Lyon er de Vienne,” in Martyrs de Lyon (177)pp. 155–164.

18

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

19

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.38–39 (SC 41 p. 16).

20

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.2.2 (SC 41 pp. 23–24).

21

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 28).

23

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.47 (SC 41 p. 18–19).

25

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.4.3 (SC 41 p. 27).

27

EusebiusHistoria Ecclesiastica5.1.31 (SC 41 p. 14).

28

J. de Churruca“Confesseurs non condamnés à mort dans le procès contre les chrétiens de Lyon l’année 177,” Vigiliae Christianae38 (1984) pp. 257–270.

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