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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Martyrdom of St. Acepsimas and of his Companions.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—Martyrdom of St. Acepsimas and of his Companions.

About this period they arrested Acepsimas the bishop, and many of his clergy. After having taken counsel together, they satisfied themselves with the hunt after the leader only; they dismissed the rest after they had taken away their property. James, however, who was one of the presbyters, voluntarily followed Acepsimas, obtained permission from the Magi to share his prison, and spiritedly ministered to the old man, lightened his misfortunes as far as he was able, and dressed his wounds; for not long after his apprehension, the Magi had injuriously tortured him with raw thongs in forcing him to worship the sun; and on his refusal to do so had retained him again in bonds. Two presbyters named Aithalas and James, and two deacons, by name Azadanes and Abdiesus, after being scourged most injuriously by the Magi, were compelled to live in prison, on account of their opinions. After a long time had elapsed, the great Arch-Magi communicated to the king the facts about them to be punished; and having received permission to deal with them as he pleased, unless they would consent to worship the sun, he made known this decision of Sapor’s to the prisoners. They replied openly, that they would never betray the cause of Christ nor worship the sun; he tortured them unsparingly. Acepsimas persevered in the manly confession of his faith, till death put an end to his torments. Certain Armenians, whom the Persians retained as hostages, secretly carried away his body and buried it. The other prisoners, although not less scourged, lived as by a miracle, and as they would not change their judgment, were again put in bonds. Among these was Aithalas, who was stretched out while thus beaten, and his arms were torn out of his shoulders by the very great wrench; and he carried his hands about as dead and swinging loosely, so that others had to convey food to his mouth. Under this rule, an innumerable multitude of presbyters, deacons, monks, holy virgins, and others who served the churches and were set apart for its dogma, terminated their lives by martyrdom. The following are the names of the bishops, so far as I have been able to ascertain: Barbasymes, Paulus, Gaddiabes, Sabinus, Mareas, Mocius, John, Hormisdas, Papas, James, Romas, Maares, Agas, Bochres, Abdas, Abdiesus, John, Abramins, Agdelas, Sapores, Isaac, and Dausas. The latter had been made prisoner by the Persians, and brought from a place named Zabdæus. 1162 He died about this time in defense of the dogma; and Mareabdes, a chorepiscopus, and about two hundred and fifty of his clergy, who had also been captured by the Persians, suffered with him.



Am. Marcell. 20. 7, 1, Zabdiceni; 25. 7, 9, Zabdicena.

Next: The Martyrdom of Bishop Milles and his Conduct. Sixteen Thousand Distinguished Men in Persia suffer Martyrdom under Sapor, besides Obscure Individuals.

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