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5662
Eusebius Of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.1.14


nanAnd some of our heathen servants also were seized, as the governor had commanded that all of us should be examined publicly. These, being ensnared by Satan, and fearing for themselves the tortures which they beheld the saints endure, and being also urged on by the soldiers, accused us falsely of Thyestean banquets and Oedipodean intercourse, and of deeds which are not only unlawful for us to speak of or to think, but which we cannot believe were ever done by men.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Anon., Psalms of Solomon, 8.9 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 77, 72 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

72. And those who did these things, mimicked the sufferers, like people employed in the representation of theatrical farces; but the relations and friends of those who were the real victims, merely because they sympathized with the misery of their relations, were led away to prison, were scourged, were tortured, and after all the ill treatment which their living bodies could endure, found the cross the end of all, and the punishment from which they could not escape. X.
3. Ignatius, To The Romans, 5.2-5.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.2. May I have joy of the beasts that have been prepared for me; and I pray that I may find them prompt; nay I will entice them that they may devour me promptly, not as they have done to some, refusing to touch them through fear. Yea though of themselves they should not be willing while I am ready, I myself will force them to it. 5.3. Bear with me. I know what is expedient for me. Now am I beginning to be a disciple. May nought of things visible and things invisible envy me; that I may attain unto Jesus Christ. Come fire and cross and grapplings with wild beasts, [cuttings and manglings,] wrenching of bones, hacking of limbs, crushings of my whole body, come cruel tortures of the devil to assail me. Only be it mine to attain unto Jesus Christ.
4. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.91-2.96 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.91. Apion becomes other men’s prophet upon this occasion, and says, that “Antiochus found in our temple a bed and a man lying upon it, with a small table before him, full of dainties, from the [fishes of the] sea, and the fowls of the dry land; that this man was amazed at these dainties thus set before him; 2.92. that he immediately adored the king, upon his coming in, as hoping that he would afford him all possible assistance; that he fell down upon his knees, and stretched out to him his right hand, and begged to be released: and that when the king bade him sit down, and tell him who he was, and why he dwelt there, and what was the meaning of those various sorts of food that were set before him, the man made a lamentable complaint, and with sighs, and tears in his eyes, gave him this account of the distress he was in: 2.93. and said that he was a Greek, and that as he went over this province, in order to get his living, he was seized upon by foreigners, on a sudden, and brought to this temple, and shut up therein, and was seen by nobody, but was fattened by these curious provisions thus set before him: 2.94. and that truly at the first such unexpected advantages seemed to him matter of great joy; that, after a while they brought a suspicion upon him, and at length astonishment, what their meaning should be; that at last he inquired of the servants that came to him, and was by them informed that it was in order to the fulfilling a law of the Jews, which they must not tell him, that he was thus fed; and that they did the same at a set time every year: 2.95. that they used to catch a Greek foreigner, and fat him thus up every year, and then lead him to a certain wood, and kill him, and sacrifice with their accustomed solemnities, and taste of his entrails, and take an oath upon this sacrificing a Greek, that they would ever be at enmity with the Greeks; and that then they threw the remaining parts of the miserable wretch into a certain pit.” 2.96. Apion adds farther, that “the man said there were but a few days to come ere he was to be slain, and implored Antiochus that, out of the reverence he bore to the Grecian gods, he would disappoint the snares the Jews laid for his blood, and would deliver him from the miseries with which he was encompassed.”
5. Anon., Marytrdom of Polycarp, 10.1, 12.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10.1. 1 But when he persisted again, and said: "Swear by the genius of Caesar," he answered him: "If you vainly suppose that I will swear by the genius of Caesar, as you say, and pretend that you are ignorant who I am, listen plainly: I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn the doctrine of Christianity fix a day and listen. 12.2. 2 When this had been said by the herald, all the multitude of heathen and Jews living in Smyrna cried out with uncontrollable wrath and a loud shout: "This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, the destroyer of our Gods, who teaches many neither to offer sacrifice nor to worship." And when they said this, they cried out and asked Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion on Polycarp. But he said he could not legally do this, since he had closed the Sports.
6. Athenagoras, The Resurrection of The Dead, 3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 17 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

17. Justin: For other nations have not inflicted on us and on Christ this wrong to such an extent as you have, who in very deed are the authors of the wicked prejudice against the Just One, and us who hold by Him. For after that you had crucified Him, the only blameless and righteous Man - through whose stripes those who approach the Father by Him are healed- when you knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, as the prophets foretold He would, you not only did not repent of the wickedness which you had committed, but at that time you selected and sent out from Jerusalem chosen men through all the land to tell that the godless heresy of the Christians had sprung up, and to publish those things which all they who knew us not speak against us. So that you are the cause not only of your own unrighteousness, but in fact of that of all other men. And Isaiah cries justly: 'By reason of you, My name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.' Isaiah 52:5 And: 'Woe unto their soul! Because they have devised an evil device against themselves, saying, Let us bind the righteous, for he is distasteful to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! evil shall be rendered to him according to the works of his hands.' And again, in other words: 'Woe unto them that draw their iniquity as with a long cord, and their transgressions as with the harness of a heifer's yoke: who say, Let his speed come near; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel come, that we may know it. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put light for darkness, and darkness for light; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!' Accordingly, you displayed great zeal in publishing throughout all the land bitter and dark and unjust things against the only blameless and righteous Light sent by God. For He appeared distasteful to you when He cried among you, 'It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves!' Matthew 21:13 He overthrew also the tables of the money-changers in the temple, and exclaimed, 'Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you pay tithe of mint and rue, but do not observe the love of God and justice. You whited sepulchres! Appearing beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones.' And to the Scribes, 'Woe unto you, Scribes! For you have the keys, and you do not enter in yourselves, and them that are entering in you hinder; you blind guides!'
8. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Tertullian, Apology, 2.3, 50.12 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 4.9.1-4.9.3, 5.1.8-5.1.10, 5.1.17, 5.1.19, 5.1.23-5.1.24, 5.1.29, 5.1.35-5.1.37, 5.1.41-5.1.42, 5.1.45-5.1.49, 5.1.53, 5.1.55-5.1.56, 5.1.59-5.1.63 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.9.1. To Minucius Fundanus. I have received an epistle, written to me by Serennius Granianus, a most illustrious man, whom you have succeeded. It does not seem right to me that the matter should be passed by without examination, lest the men be harassed and opportunity be given to the informers for practicing villainy. 4.9.2. If, therefore, the inhabitants of the province can clearly sustain this petition against the Christians so as to give answer in a court of law, let them pursue this course alone, but let them not have resort to men's petitions and outcries. For it is far more proper, if any one wishes to make an accusation, that you should examine into it. 4.9.3. If any one therefore accuses them and shows that they are doing anything contrary to the laws, do you pass judgment according to the heinousness of the crime. But, by Hercules! If any one bring an accusation through mere calumny, decide in regard to his criminality, and see to it that you inflict punishment.Such are the contents of Hadrian's rescript. 5.1.8. Then, being taken to the forum by the chiliarch and the authorities of the city, they were examined in the presence of the whole multitude, and having confessed, they were imprisoned until the arrival of the governor. 5.1.9. When, afterwards, they were brought before him, and he treated us with the utmost cruelty, Vettius Epagathus, one of the brethren, and a man filled with love for God and his neighbor, interfered. His life was so consistent that, although young, he had attained a reputation equal to that of the elder Zacharias: for he 'walked in all the commandments and ordices of the Lord blameless,' and was untiring in every good work for his neighbor, zealous for God and fervent in spirit. Such being his character, he could not endure the unreasonable judgment against us, but was filled with indignation, and asked to be permitted to testify in behalf of his brethren, that there is among us nothing ungodly or impious. 5.1.10. But those about the judgment seat cried out against him, for he was a man of distinction; and the governor refused to grant his just request, and merely asked if he also were a Christian. And he, confessing this with a loud voice, was himself taken into the order of the witnesses, being called the Advocate of the Christians, but having the Advocate in himself, the Spirit more abundantly than Zacharias. He showed this by the fullness of his love, being well pleased even to lay down his life in defense of the brethren. For he was and is a true disciple of Christ, 'following the Lamb wherever he goes.' 5.1.17. But the whole wrath of the populace, and governor, and soldiers was aroused exceedingly against Sanctus, the deacon from Vienne, and Maturus, a late convert, yet a noble combatant, and against Attalus, a native of Pergamos where he had always been a pillar and foundation, and Blandina, through whom Christ showed that things which appear mean and obscure and despicable to men are with God of great glory, through love toward him manifested in power, and not boasting in appearance. 5.1.19. But the blessed woman, like a noble athlete, renewed her strength in her confession; and her comfort and recreation and relief from the pain of her sufferings was in exclaiming, 'I am a Christian, and there is nothing vile done by us.' 5.1.23. And his body was a witness of his sufferings, being one complete wound and bruise, drawn out of shape, and altogether unlike a human form. Christ, suffering in him, manifested his glory, delivering him from his adversary, and making him an ensample for the others, showing that nothing is fearful where the love of the Father is, and nothing painful where there is the glory of Christ. 5.1.24. For when the wicked men tortured him a second time after some days, supposing that with his body swollen and inflamed to such a degree that he could not bear the touch of a hand, if they should again apply the same instruments, they would overcome him, or at least by his death under his sufferings others would be made afraid, not only did not this occur, but, contrary to all human expectation, his body arose and stood erect in the midst of the subsequent torments, and resumed its original appearance and the use of its limbs, so that, through the grace of Christ, these second sufferings became to him, not torture, but healing. 5.1.29. The blessed Pothinus, who had been entrusted with the bishopric of Lyons, was dragged to the judgment seat. He was more than ninety years of age, and very infirm, scarcely indeed able to breathe because of physical weakness; but he was strengthened by spiritual zeal through his earnest desire for martyrdom. Though his body was worn out by old age and disease, his life was preserved that Christ might triumph in it. 5.1.35. For the first went out rejoicing, glory and grace being blended in their faces, so that even their bonds seemed like beautiful ornaments, as those of a bride adorned with variegated golden fringes; and they were perfumed with the sweet savor of Christ, so that some supposed they had been anointed with earthly ointment. But the others were downcast and humble and dejected and filled with every kind of disgrace, and they were reproached by the heathen as ignoble and weak, bearing the accusation of murderers, and having lost the one honorable and glorious and life-giving Name. The rest, beholding this, were strengthened, and when apprehended, they confessed without hesitation, paying no attention to the persuasions of the devil. 5.1.36. After certain other words they continue:After these things, finally, their martyrdoms were divided into every form. For plaiting a crown of various colors and of all kinds of flowers, they presented it to the Father. It was proper therefore that the noble athletes, having endured a manifold strife, and conquered grandly, should receive the crown, great and incorruptible. 5.1.37. Maturus, therefore, and Sanctus and Blandina and Attalus were led to the amphitheater to be exposed to the wild beasts, and to give to the heathen public a spectacle of cruelty, a day for fighting with wild beasts being specially appointed on account of our people. 5.1.41. But Blandina was suspended on a stake, and exposed to be devoured by the wild beasts who should attack her. And because she appeared as if hanging on a cross, and because of her earnest prayers, she inspired the combatants with great zeal. For they looked on her in her conflict, and beheld with their outward eyes, in the form of their sister, him who was crucified for them, that he might persuade those who believe in him, that every one who suffers for the glory of Christ has fellowship always with the living God. 5.1.42. As none of the wild beasts at that time touched her, she was taken down from the stake, and cast again into prison. She was preserved thus for another contest, that, being victorious in more conflicts, she might make the punishment of the crooked serpent irrevocable; and, though small and weak and despised, yet clothed with Christ the mighty and conquering Athlete, she might arouse the zeal of the brethren, and, having overcome the adversary many times might receive, through her conflict, the crown incorruptible. 5.1.45. But the intervening time was not wasted nor fruitless to them; for by their patience the measureless compassion of Christ was manifested. For through their continued life the dead were made alive, and the witnesses showed favor to those who had failed to witness. And the virgin mother had much joy in receiving alive those whom she had brought forth as dead. 5.1.46. For through their influence many who had denied were restored, and re-begotten, and rekindled with life, and learned to confess. And being made alive and strengthened, they went to the judgment seat to be again interrogated by the governor; God, who desires not the death of the sinner, but mercifully invites to repentance, treating them with kindness. 5.1.47. 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. 5.1.48. And Christ was glorified greatly in those who had formerly denied him, for, contrary to the expectation of the heathen, they confessed. For they were examined by themselves, as about to be set free; but confessing, they were added to the order of the witnesses. But some continued without, who had never possessed a trace of faith, nor any apprehension of the wedding garment, nor an understanding of the fear of God; but, as sons of perdition, they blasphemed the Way through their apostasy. 5.1.49. But all the others were added to the Church. While these were being examined, a certain Alexander, a Phrygian by birth, and physician by profession, who had resided in Gaul for many years, and was well known to all on account of his love to God and boldness of speech (for he was not without a share of apostolic grace), standing before the judgment seat, and by signs encouraging them to confess, appeared to those standing by as if in travail. 5.1.53. After all these, on the last day of the contests, Blandina was again brought in, with Ponticus, a boy about fifteen years old. They had been brought every day to witness the sufferings of the others, and had been pressed to swear by the idols. But because they remained steadfast and despised them, the multitude became furious, so that they had no compassion for the youth of the boy nor respect for the sex of the woman. 5.1.55. But the blessed Blandina, last of all, having, as a noble mother, encouraged her children and sent them before her victorious to the King, endured herself all their conflicts and hastened after them, glad and rejoicing in her departure as if called to a marriage supper, rather than cast to wild beasts. 5.1.56. And, 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, but feeling none of the things which were happening to her, on account of her hope and firm hold upon what had been entrusted to her, and her communion with Christ, she also was sacrificed. And the heathen themselves confessed that never among them had a woman endured so many and such terrible tortures. 5.1.59. For they cast to the dogs those who had died of suffocation in the prison, carefully guarding them by night and day, lest any one should be buried by us. And they exposed the remains left by the wild beasts and by fire, mangled and charred, and placed the heads of the others by their bodies, and guarded them in like manner from burial by a watch of soldiers for many days. 5.1.60. And some raged and gnashed their teeth against them, desiring to execute more severe vengeance upon them; but others laughed and mocked at them, magnifying their own idols, and imputed to them the punishment of the Christians. Even the more reasonable, and those who had seemed to sympathize somewhat, reproached them often, saying, 'Where is their God, and what has their religion, which they have chosen rather than life, profited them?' 5.1.61. So various was their conduct toward us; but we were in deep affliction because we could not bury the bodies. For neither did night avail us for this purpose, nor did money persuade, nor entreaty move to compassion; but they kept watch in every way, as if the prevention of the burial would be of some great advantage to them.In addition, they say after other things: 5.1.62. The bodies of the martyrs, having thus in every manner been exhibited and exposed for six days, were afterward burned and reduced to ashes, and swept into the Rhone by the wicked men, so that no trace of them might appear on the earth. 5.1.63. And this they did, as if able to conquer God, and prevent their new birth; 'that,' as they said, 'they may have no hope of a resurrection, through trust in which they bring to us this foreign and new religion, and despise terrible things, and are ready even to go to death with joy. Now let us see if they will rise again, and if their God is able to help them, and to deliver them out of our hands.'
12. Origen, Against Celsus, 6.27, 8.69 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6.27. After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer, regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the seal, statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son; and who answers, I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,- things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics. In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others 'archontics;' and he asserts that the ruler of those named 'archontics' is termed the 'accursed' god. Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason, those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews- who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records - an accursed divinity. Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher. For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an accursed divinity. He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh; and again, that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the 'works of darkness,' used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet. These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians. 8.69. Celsus, then, as if not observing that he was saying anything inconsistent with the words he had just used, if all were to do the same as you, adds: You surely do not say that if the Romans were, in compliance with your wish, to neglect their customary duties to gods and men, and were to worship the Most High, or whatever you please to call him, that he will come down and fight for them, so that they shall need no other help than his. For this same God, as yourselves say, promised of old this and much more to those who served him, and see in what way he has helped them and you! They, in place of being masters of the whole world, are left with not so much as a patch of ground or a home; and as for you, if any of you transgresses even in secret, he is sought out and punished with death. As the question started is, What would happen if the Romans were persuaded to adopt the principles of the Christians, to despise the duties paid to the recognised gods and to men, and to worship the Most High? this is my answer to the question. We say that if two of us shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of the Father of the just, which is in heaven; for God rejoices in the agreement of rational beings, and turns away from discord. And what are we to expect, if not only a very few agree, as at present, but the whole of the empire of Rome? For they will pray to the Word, who of old said to the Hebrews, when they were pursued by the Egyptians, The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace; and if they all unite in prayer with one accord, they will be able to put to flight far more enemies than those who were discomfited by the prayer of Moses when he cried to the Lord, and of those who prayed with him. Now, if what God promised to those who keep His law has not come to pass, the reason of its nonfulfilment is not to be ascribed to the unfaithfulness of God. But He had made the fulfilment of His promises to depend on certain conditions - namely, that they should observe and live according to His law; and if the Jews have not a plot of ground nor a habitation left to them, although they had received these conditional promises, the entire blame is to be laid upon their crimes, and especially upon their guilt in the treatment of Jesus.
13. Papyri, P.Oxy., 12.1408



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandria, jews of Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
antiochus, n. Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
apion Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
apologetics, christian Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
apologetics, jewish Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
bremmer, j. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
castelli, e. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
christianity, relationship to rome Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
cobb, s. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
ignatius of antioch, martyr Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
kraemer, r. s. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
lander, s. l. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
levinskaya, i. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
lyons, site of persecution of Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
marcus aurelius Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
perkins, j. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
persecution, history of Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
persecution, lyons in Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
pliny, letter to trajan on christians Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 830
polemics Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
polycarp, martyrdom Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
popular responses (to christianity) Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 876
right of accused to trial' Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 830
roman empire, inquisitorial procedure Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 830
roman empire, petitions Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 830
roman empire, power of governor Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 830
rome, persecution of christianity Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
scilli, site of persecution Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244
shaw, b. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
shechemites Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
temple, greek prisoner Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
thecla Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 244
thyestes Bickerman and Tropper, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2007) 504
vienne, site of persecution Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 244