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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Jerome and Gennadius. Lives of Illustrious Men.: Polycarp the bishop.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVII.

Polycarp 2409 disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna was chief of all Asia, where he saw and had as teachers some of the apostles and of those who had seen the Lord. He, on account of certain questions concerning the day of the Passover, went to Rome in the time of the emperor Antoninus Pius while Anicetus ruled the church in that city. There he led back to the faith many of the believers who had been deceived through the persuasion of Marcion and Valentinus, and when Marcion met him by chance and said “Do you know us” he replied, “I know the firstborn of the devil.” Afterwards during the reign of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus in the fourth persecution after Nero, in the presence of the proconsul holding court at Smyrna and all the people crying out against him in the Amphitheater, he was burned. He wrote a very valuable Epistle to the Philippians which is read to the present day in the meetings in Asia.



Bishop 106 or 7—157–168 (?); 154 sq (Lipsius) Authorities differ as to dates of his death from 147–175. Bishop certainly (Salmon) 110.

Next: Papias the bishop.

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