Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Church History of Eusebius.: Introduction.
p. 342 Martyrs of Palestine. 2613
The Following also we found in a Certain Copy in the Eighth Book. 2614
It was in the nineteenth year of the reign of Diocletian, in the month Xanthicus, 2615 which is called April by the Romans, about the time of the feast of our Saviours passion, while Flavianus 2616 was governor of the province of Palestine, that letters were published everywhere, commanding that the churches be leveled to the ground and the Scriptures be destroyed by fire, and ordering that those who held places of honor be degraded, and that the household servants, if they persisted in the profession of Christianity, be deprived of freedom.
Such was the force of the first edict against us. But not long after other letters were issued, commanding that all the bishops of the churches everywhere be first thrown into prison, and afterward, by every artifice, be compelled to sacrifice.
On this work, see above, p. 29 sq. As remarked there, the shorter form of the work, the translation of which follows, is found in most, but not all, of the mss. of Eusebius Church History, in some of them at the close of the tenth book, in one of them in the middle of Bk. VIII. chap. 13, in the majority of them between Bks. VIII. and IX. It is found neither in the Syraic version of the History, nor in Rufinus. Musculus omits it in his Latin version, but a translation of it is given both by Christophorsonus and Valesius. The Germans Stroth and Closs omit it; but Stigloher gives it at the close of his translation of the History. The English translators insert it at the close of the eighth book. The work is undoubtedly genuine, in this, its shorter, as well as in its longer form, but was in all probability attached to the History, not by Eusebius himself, but by some copyist, and therefore is not strictly entitled to a place in a translation of the History. At the same time it has seemed best in the present case to include it and to follow the majority of the editors in inserting it at this point. In all the mss. except one the work begins abruptly without a title, introduced only by the words καὶ ταῦτα žν τινι ἀντιγρ€φῳ ἐν τῷ ὀγδό& 251· τόμῳ εὕρομεν: “The following also we found in a certain copy in the eighth book.” In the Codex Castellanus, however, according to Reading (in his edition of Valesius, Vol. I. p. 796, col. 2), the following title is inserted immediately after the words just quoted: Εὐσεβίου σύγγραμμα περὶ τῶν κατ᾽ αὐτὸν μαρτυρησ€ντων ἐν τῷ ὀκταέτει Διοκλητιανοῦ καὶ ἐφεξῆς Γαλερίου τοῦ Μαξιμίνου διωγμῷ. Heinichen consequently prints the first part of this title (Εὐσεβίου…μαρτυρησ€ντων) at the head of the work in his edition, and is followed by Burton and Migne. This title, however, can hardly be looked upon as original, and I have preferred to employ rather the name by which the work is described at its close, where we read Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφιλου περί τῶν ἐν Παλαιστίνῃ μαρτυρησ€ντων τέλος. This agrees with the title of the Syriac version, and must represent very closely the original title; and so the work is commonly known in English as the Martyrs of Palestine, in Latin as de Martyribus Palestinæ. The work is much more systematic than the eighth book of the Church History; in fact, it is excellently arranged, and takes up the persecution year by year in chronological order. The ground covered, however, is very limited, and we can consequently gather from the work little idea of the state of the Church at large during these years. All the martyrs mentioned in the following pages are commemorated in the various martyrologies under particular days, but in regard to most of them we know only what Eusebius tells us. I shall not attempt to give references to the martyrologies. Further details gleaned from them and from various Acts of martyrdom may be found in Ruinart, Tillemont, &c. I shall endeavor to give full particulars in regard to the few martyrs about whom we have any reliable information beyond that given in the present work, but shall pass over the others without mention.342:2614
The Martyrs of Palestine, in all the mss. that contain it, is introduced with these words. The passage which follows, down to the beginning of Chap. 1, is a transcript, with a few slight variations, of Bk. VIII. chap. 2, §§4 and 5. For notes upon it, see that chapter.342:2615
The month Xanthicus was the eighth month of the Macedonian year, and corresponded to our April (see the table on p. 403, below). In Bk. VIII. chap. 2, Eusebius puts the beginning of the prosecution in the seventh month, Dystrus. But the persecution really began, or at least the first edict was issued, and the destruction of the churches in Nicomedia took place, in February. See Bk. VIII. chap. 2, note 3.342:2616
Flavianus is not mentioned in Bk. VIII. chap. 2. In the Syriac version he is named as the judge by whom Procopius was condemned (Cureton, p. 4). Nothing further is known of him, so far as I am aware.
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