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As there is little notice taken of this matter by ancient ecclesiastical writers, Pagi “argues, that this was only a local persecution, and that it was felt in few places, except Rome, where Cornelius, and afterwards Lucius, bishops of that city, were banished by this emperor. As the conduct of Gallus is so particularly mentioned by Dionysius of Alexandria, I have been apt to think, that some Christians suffered in that city, or in the countries near it. Mosheim's observations upon this persecution may be consulted. .
THE EMPERORS VALERIAN AND GALLIENUS.
1. Valerian's time, and character. II. General accounts of his Persecution from several Christian
writers. III. How long it lasted. IV. Accounts of this persecution from Dionysius bishop of Alexandria. V. The emperor Gallienus's edict, restoring peace to the churches. VI. Farther accounts of that persecution from Cyprian bishop of Carthage. VII. The remarkable History of Marinus, who suffered Martyrdom at Cæsarea in Palestine, after the publication of the forementioned edict of Gallienus,
1. Valerian having enjoyed many offices and dignities in the state with great 'applause, and been highly celebrated for his prudence, modesty, gravity, and other virtues, was proclaimed emperor in the year 253 : and his son Gallienus was taken into partnership with him in the same year. It is not needful for me to enlarge in his history. But about the seventh year of his reign, in 259 or 260 at the latest, he was taken prisoner by Sapor king of Persia : where * he lived the remainder of his days in a miserable captivity.
II. He is reckoned the eighth persecutor of the Christians by . Sulpicius Severus, ' Orosius, Augustine. The Author of the Deaths of Persecutors does not mention the number of persecutions: nevertheless he speaks distinctly of this, and says, that · Valerian shed the blood of many righteous men in a short time.' As does Orosius likewise, and
As does Orosius likewise, and says that this persecution was universal all over the Roman empire.
III. The persecution began in the year 257, and ended in other parts of the empire in 259, when Valerian was taken captive by the Persians ; but at Alexandria it continued till the
year 261, when Gallienus overcame Macrian, in whose power Egypt had been till that time. Then Gallienus sent the same favourable edicts to Alexandria, which had been sent before to several other parts of the empire. Dionysius 'speaks of this persecution having lasted · forty-two • months,' or three years and a half: which ought to be understood of Egypt only, not of the rest of the empire. In that manner some difficulties relating to this point are adjusted and cleared up by * Pagi, to whom I refer, and to Basnage, who does not much differ from him.
a A. 252. num. x. xii. xvi. xxi.
Valerianus siquidem, mox ut arripuit imperium, octavus + Flagrantibus his Christianorum certaminibus, Decius cum a Nerone, adigi per tormenta Christianos ad_idololatriam, filiis anno ccli. necabatur ; in cujus locum Gallus cum filio abnegantesqne interfici jussit, fuso per omnem Romani regni Volusiano succedebat. Is sequenti anno bellum in Christianos, latitudinem sanctorum sanguine. "Valerianus illico, nefarii quod ultimis Decii temporibus remissius gestum erat, aut auctor edicti, a Sapore Persarum rege captus, Imperator novis edictis propositis, aut antiquis renovatis, instaurari jube- populi Romani ignominiosâ apud Persas servitute consenuit, bat : unde multa iterum mala Christianis in variis orbis Ro- &c. Oros. I. vii. cap. 22. mani provinciis subeunda erant, &c. De Reb. ante C. M. & De Civ. Dei. 1. xviii. cap. 52. p. 527.
b Non multo post Valerianus quoque, non dissimili furore c Trebell. Poll. in Valerian. cap. i. ii. p. 171, &c.
correptus, impias manus in Deum intentavit, et multum, d IJ. in Valerian. cap. 3. p. 178, &c. et Cæcilius de M.. quanvis brevi tempore, justi sanguinis fudit. De M. P. Persecut. cap. 5. Oros. 1 vii. cap. 22. Euseb. Chron. p. 176. Inde Valerianus octavus sanctorum hostis. S. Sever. 1. ii. i Ap. Euseb. I. vii. cap. 10. in.
* Ann. 261, n. viii. et seqq.
| Ann. 257. num. iii.
IV. Of this persecution we have some authentic accounts in Dionysius of Alexandria, Cyprian, and his deacon Pontius, all contemporaries, which therefore cannot but deserve our regard.
Says · Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History: . In the mean time Gallus being slain, when • he had scarcely reigned two years, he was succeeded by Valerian and his son Gallienus. Here • it will be worth the while to attend to what Dionysius says in his letter to Hermammon. Con• cerning this too John had a revelation. For he says : Rev. xiii. 5. " And there was given
unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies. And power was given unto him • to continue forty and two months.” It is wonderful to observe, how both these things were « fulfilled in Valerian: and it deserves to be considered what he was before ; how mild and how • kind he was to the men of God. For none of the emperors before him were so favourable and · benevolent to them; not even those who are said to have been openly Christians; as he was • in the beginning of his reign : and his house was full of pious men, and was a church of God. • But his master, and the chief of the magicians of Egypt, [he means Macrian, presently after• wards mentioned by naine,) persuaded him to alter his measures, telling him that he ought
to kill and persecute those men who opposed and obstructed his incantations, and then he • might be happy.'
Soon after the arrival of Valerian's edict at Alexandria, before the end of the year 257, as seems most probable, Dionysius was summoned before Emilian, then præfect of Egypt, of which he writes to this purpose in his letter to Germanus. • I came to Emilian, says he, not • alone. I was attended by my fellow-presbyter Maximus; and also by l'austus, Eusebius, and • Chæremon, deacons, and a brother from Rome, who was then at Alexandria. Emilian did not
then say to me, You ought not to hold assemblies; for that was needless : nor was that his · chief concern, but that we should not be at all Christians : he therefore commanded me to for• sake that way of worship. For he thought, that if I would change my mind, others would do o so likewise. 'I answered, and as I apprehend not improperly, though in short, “ We ought to “ obey God, rather than men.” Acts v. 29. And I plainly and openly declared, that I worship • him, who alone is God, and no other : and that I could not alter my mind, nor cease to be a « Christian. After which he ordered us to go to Cephro, a small village near the desert. But • it may be worth the while to transcribe here the very words of both of us from the public re• gister.
When Dionysius, Faustus, Maximus, Marcellus, and Chæremon, were brought in, • Emilian the præfect said : I have not only written to you, but I have also by word of mouth * represented to you the humanity of our lords, the emperors, which they shew to you. For they grant to you the privilege of living in safety, if you will turn to that which is agreeable
to nature, and will worship the gods, which are the preservers of their empire, and will forsake • that which is contrary to nature. What therefore do you say to this? I hope you will not be
ungrateful to their humanity ; forasmuch as they endeavour to bring you to that which is right. Dionysius answered: All men do not worship all the gods; but they worship such as they • think’to be gods. We worship and adore the one God, maker of all things, who also has put • the empire into the hands of the sacred and 'august emperors Valerian and Gallienus. Him • we worship, and to him we continually pray that he will prolong their empire in safety and prosperity. Emilian the governor then said to them again : Who forbids you to worship him
also, if he be God, together with them who are by nature gods ? For you are commanded to • worship the gods, particularly those whom all know to be gods. Dionysius answered: We • worship no other. Emilian the governor then said to them : I see that you are both ungrate• ful and insensible of our august emperors' lenity toward you. You therefore may not stay any • longer in this city, but shall be sent into Libya, to a place called Cephro : for I have chosen • that place for you, agreeably to the order of the august emperors. Nor shall it be lawful for ' you, or any others, to hold assemblies, or to meet together in the places called cæmeteries. • If any one does not go to the place which I have appointed, or is found in any assembly, he brings danger upon himself; for a needful observation will not be neglected. Depart there. fore to the place whither you are ordered.” Nor could I, says Dionysius, obtain the delay of
a H. E. I. vij. cap. 10.
• Vid. Pagi ann. 257. n. iv. Basnag. 247. num. vi.
Ap. Euseb. 11. E. I. vii. cap. 11. p. 257.
one day, though I was sick. At Cephro he had a large number of the faithful with him, partly such as came thither from Alexandria, partly such as came from other places of Egypt.
And here, says he, “ God opened a door to us for preaching the word.” 2 Cor. ii. 12. • Col. iv. 3. At first the people of the place were rude, and ready to pelt us with stones ; but
afterwards, not a few of the Gentiles, * forsaking idols turned unto God.” 1 Thess. i. 9.• And, as if for that purpose God had brought us to them, “ when we had fulfilled that minis. • try,” he removed us. Acts xii. 25. For Emilian, as if desirous to send us into some more * uncomfortable place than Libya itself, gave orders for dispersing some others in several vil.
lages of Mareotis, and us he commanded to reside in the district of Colluthio, near the great • road, that we might be the nearer at hand to be brought to Alexandria, if he should . think fit.'
Afterwards. • Moreover,' says · Eusebius, “the same Dionysius in his letter to Domitius and • Dydimus writes again of the persecution in this manner. “ It is needless to mention the names
of all our people that have suffered, since they are many, and most of them unknown to you. • It may suffice therefore to assure you, that persons of both sexes, and of every age and con,
dition, and soldiers, and country people, have been victorious in this combat, and have been 'crowned, some by scourging, some by fire, others by the sword. Nevertheless in all this space ' of time, some there are who do not yet appear to be acceptable to the Lord : me in particular • he seems pleased to reserve for some other season, according to the words of the prophet, « Is. xlix. 8. “ In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I ac
cepted thee.” Then after a few words intervening he says: “ At present I have only with • me Caius and Peter, deprived of the rest of the brethren.' And soon afterwards : « Some • have hid themselves in the city, that they may privately visit the brethren: as Maximus, • Dioscorus, Demetrius, and Lucins, presbyters : for Faustinus and Aquila, being much known, • travel up and down in Egypt. The deacons that survive after those who have died of the plague, • are Faustus, Eusebius, Chæremon: Eusebius, I say, whom God has qualified from the begin ning, and furnished with great resolution and ability for fulfilling the office of ministration to
the confessors in prison, and for burying the bodies of the perfect and blessed martyrs, not • without the utmost peril. For to this very day the præfect does not cease to treat onr people • in the most cruel manner, killing some, and torturing others, and making others pine away in • fetters and dungeons, forbidding any to be admitted to them, and strictly inquiring likewise whether his orders are obeyed. Notwithstanding which, such is the courage and alacrity with which God inspires the brethren, the afflicted are not without the consolation suited to their 'exigence.' So writes Dionysius.
In these fragments of Dionysius's letters which Eusebius has preserved, and, as I think, judiciously inserted in his Ecclesiastical History, we have valuable memoirs of Valerian's persecution. And we see not only the fortitude of those who were perfected by martyrdom, but also the resolution and courage, the discretion, and the amiable and friendly tenderness of the Christian brethren, in relieving and comforting each other, which are truly admirable and exemplary.
In the chapter next following Eusebius mentions three men, and a Marcionite woman, at Cæsarea in Palestine, who in Valerian's persecution were condemned to wild beasts, and were crowned with martyrdom.
V. Then in the next chapter he writes to this purpose. · But not long after Valerian being ' taken captive, and reduced to slavery by barbarians, his son, who then reigned alone, acted
more prudently in his empire. He immediately by edicts put a stop to the persecution against • us, and gave command, that the presidents of our religion should be at liberty to perform the * usual offices of their function. The edict is to this purpose : “ The emperor Cæsar, Publius • Licinius Gallienus, Pious, Happy, Augustus, to Dionysius, and Pinna, and Demetrius, and to * the other bishops. I have directed, that the favour of my indulgence should be published
throughout the whole world; that all may depart from the places of worship. You are there, · fore impowered to make use of this copy of my edict, that none may trouble you. And that
you may perform what is lawful for you to do, has been already granted by me. And let Au. • relius Cyrenius our high-steward observe this edict now given by me.” This, says Eusebias, has
been translated from the Roman tongue. There is also another edict of the same emperor, * sent to other bishops, and appointing, that the places called cæmeteries should be restored.'
In his Chronicle likewise Eusebius observes, that Valerian being taken captive by the Perá sians, Gallienus gave peace to the churches.
VI. I began with Dionysius, and have carried on the history of Valerian's persecution from him : but as Cyprian suffered martyrdom in this persecution, dying on the 14th Sept. 258, and there are some authentic memoirs of his sufferings, I shall now allege some things from them also.
Cyprian seems to have been one of the first persons in Africa, who was called upon to make public confession in this persecution : and I therefore immediately take the beginning of the proconsular acts of his passion, which I shall transcribe below in the original, and also translate siterally. The emperor Valerian being consul the fourth time, and Gallienus the third time, [that " is the year of Christ 257,] on the thirtieth day of August, at Carthage, in the secretary's office, • Paternus the proconsul said to Cyprian the bishop: The most sacred emperors, Valerian and Gallienus, have vouchsafed to send to me a letter, wherein they command, that they who do not observe the Roman religion, should now perform the Roman rites. I therefore have made in• quiry after you. What answer do you make to me? Cyprian the bishop said: I am a Christian, • and a bishop. I know no other gods, but the one true God, who made the heaven, and the * earth, and the sea, and the things that are in them. This God we Christians serve, to whom
we pray night and day, for you, and for all men, and for the safety of the emperors themselves. • Paternus the proconsul said : And do you persist in this purpose ? Cyprian the bishop answer.ed: A good purpose, agreeable to God, cannot be altered. `C:
Can you then, according to the * command of Valerian and Gallienus, go an exile to the city Cucurbis ? Cyprian said: I go. • Paternus the proconsul said : The emperors have written to me not concerning bishops only, • but also concerning presbyters. I desire therefore to know of you who are the presbyters that • live in this city ? Cyprian the bihop answered: By your own laws it has been wisely enacted, • that informers should not be encouraged: therefore they cannot be discovered and accused by me: but they will be found in their cities. Paternus the proconsul said : I now inquire after those who are in this place ? Cyprian said : Since our religion forbids men to offer themselves to sufferings, and since it is contrary to your own laws, they cannot offer themselves: but they 'may be found if inquired after. Paturnus the proconsul said : They shall be found by me. * And he added : The emperors have also ordered, that no assemblies should be held in the 'coemeteries, and that none enter into those places. If therefore any one does not observe this
wholesome command, he shall be put to death. Cyprian the bishop answered : Do as you are * commanded. Then Paternus the proconsul ordered, that Cyprian the bishop should be carried • into exile.'
His deacon Pontius accompanied him to the place of his exile, where he arrived on the thirteenth or fourteenth of September, in the same year, 257.
About the same time many others suffered in Africa, upon account of their profession of Christianity. For we have a letter of Cyprian, written during the time of his being at Curubis,
a Valeriano in Persas ducto, Gallienus nostris pacem reddi- Episcopus dixit: Proficiscor. Paternus Proconsul dixit : Non dit. Chr, p. 176.
solum de Episcopis, verum etiam de Presbyteris mihi scribere b Imperatore Valeriano quartum, et Gallieno tertium Con- dignati sunt. Volo ergo scire ex te, qui sint Presbyteri, qui sulibus, tertio Calendarum Septembrium, Carthagine in secre- in hac civitate consistunt. Cyprianus Episcopus respondit: tario, Paternus Proconsul Cypriano Episcopo dixit : Sacratis- Legibus vestris bene atque utiliter censuistis, delatores non simi Imperatores Valerianus et Gallienus literas ad me dare esse. Itaque detegi atque deferri a me non possunt: in cividignati sunt, quibus præceperunt, eos qui Romanam Religio- tatibus autem suis invenientur. Paternus Proconsul dixit: Ego nem non colunt, debere Romanas cæremonias recognoscere. hodie in hoc loco exquiro. Cyprianus dixit: Cum disciplina Exquisivi ergo de nomine tuo. Quid mihi respondes? Cypri- prohibeat, ut quis se ultro offerat, et tuæ quoque censuræ hoc anus Episcopus dixit : Christianus sum, et Episcopus. Nullos displiceat, nec offerre se ipsi possunt. Sed a te exquisiti invealios deos novi, nisi un'um et verum Deum, qui fecit cælum et njentur. Paternus Proconsul dixit: A nie invenientur. Et terram, mare, et quæ in eis sunt omnia. Huic Deo nos Chris- adjecit : Præceperunt etiam, ne in aliquibus locis conciliabula tiani deservimus; hunc deprecamur diebus ac noctibus, pro fiant, nec cæmeteria ingrediantur. Si quis itaque hoc tam vobis, et pro omnibus hominibus, et pro incolumitate ipsorum salubre præceptum non observaverit, capite plectetur. CypriImperatorum. , Paternus Proconsul dixit: In hac ergo volun- anus Episcopus respondit: Fac quod tibi præceptum est. Tunc tate perseveras ? Cyprianus Episcopus respondit: Bona volun- Paternus Proconsul jussit beatum Cyprianum Episcopum in tas, quæ Deum novit, immutari non potest. “Paternüs Pro- exiliom deportari. Acta Pirconsul. Pass. S. Cyprian. p.11,12. consul dixit : Poteris ergo secundum præceptum Valeriani et ° Ep. 76. al.:7. Gallieni, exul ad urbem Curubitanam proficisci ? Cyprianus
which is inscribed to "nine bishops by name, and beside them to others, presbyters, deacons, and · the rest of the brethren in the mines, martyrs of God the Father Almighty, and Jesus Christ our Lord.'
Whilst Cyprian continued at Curubis, Galerius Maximus a succeeded Paternus as proconsul of Africa. He recalled Cyprian from his banishment: who then went to his gardens or country-house near Carthage, by orders, as it seems, of the proconsul.
Moreover, as there were many uncertain reports in Africa, Cyprian had sent to Rome, and received thence some intelligence which might be relied upon, and was to this effect : thạt
the emperor Valerian had ordered, by a rescript sent to the senate, that bishops, presbyters, • and deacons, should be put to death without delay; that senators, and persons of quality and : Roman knights, should be deprived of their dignity and their goods : if after that they per
sist in being Christians, they should be beheaded : that ladies of quality should be deprived of their goods, and sent into exile: that the emperor's freedmen, who have confessed, or shall hereafter confess, shall lose their goods, which are to be seized by the treasury: and that they i
be sent chained to the emperor's estate, and that they be put in the list of slaves to work * there. To his own rescript the emperor Valerian has subjoined copies of letters to be sent to • the presidents of the provinces; which letters we daily expect, standing prepared for the trial, • and hoping to obtain, through the divine aid and goodness, the crown of eternal life.' We
are also assured, that Xistus [the bishop of Rome] was put to death in the cæmetery on the • sixth day of August, and with him Quartus. We also learn, that the præfects in the city are intent to execute the emperor's orders: and if any are brought before them, they are punished, and their goods confiscated. These things, says Cyprian in his letter to Successus, I • ain desirous should be made known by you to my brethren, that all may be prepared for the combat that now lies before us.'
When those orders for the governors of the provinces arrived at Carthage is not certain : but very probably before the end of August.
Galerius - Maximus the proconsul, who had succeeded Paternus, was at Sexti, a place about six miles from Carthage, for the sake of his health. “On the 13th day of September, [A.C. 258,] an officer with soldiers was sent by the proconsul to Cyprian's gardens, where he
had been some · while, to bring him before him. Cyprian's cause was deferred for that day. The next morn
ing, the 14th of September, he was led to the proconsul's palace, surrounded by a mixed mul? titude of people, and a strong guard of soldiers. After some time the proconsul came out into
the hall, and Cyprian being set before him, he said : Are you Thascius Cyprian? Cyprian the • bishop answered: I am. Galerius Maximus 'the proconsul said : The most sacred emperors
a Cumque diu ibidem moraretur, successit Aspasio Paterno Cumque diu ibidem moraretur, successit Aspasio Paterno Proconsuli Galerius Maximus Proconsul. Act. Pass. p. 12. Proconsuli Galerius Maximus Proconsul, qui sanctum Cypri
b Sciatis autem eos venisse, quos ad Urbem propter hoc anum episcopum ab exilio revocatum sibi jussit præsentari.. miseram, ut, quomodocumque de nobis rescriptum fuisset, Cumque Cyprianus sanctus -de civitate Cucurbitanå, in exploratain sibi veritatem ad nos referant. Multa enim varia quâ exilio præcepto Aspasii Paterni tunc Proconsulis datus et incerta opinionibus ventilantur. Quæ autem sunt in vero, fuerat, regressus esset, ex sacro præscripto in hortis suis maita se habent. Rescripsisse Valerianuin ad senatum, ut Epis- nebat.- Et cum illic demoraretur, repente Idibus Septemcopi, et Presbyteri, et Diaconi in continenti animadvertantur; bris, Tusco et Basso consulibus, venerunt ad eum principes Senatores vero, et viri egregii, et Equites Romani, dignitaté duo, qui et in curriculum eun levaverunt, in medioque amissa, etiam bonis spolientur, et, si ademtis facultatibus posuerunt, et in Sexti perduxerunt, ubi idem Galerius MaxiChristiani esse perseveraverint, capite quoque multentur ; mus Proconsul, bonæ valetudinis recuperandæ gratiâ, secesse, Matronæ ademtis bonis in exilium relegentur; Cæsariani, qui- rat.--Cumque oblatus fuisset, Galerius Maximus Proconsul cumque vel prius confessi fuerant, vel nunc confessi fuerint, dixit: Tu Papam te sacrilegæ mentis bominibus præbuisti? confiscentur, et vincti in Cæsarianas possessiones descripti Cyprianus Episcopus respondit: Ego. Galerius Maximus mittantur. Subjecit etiam Valerianus Imperator orationi suæ dixit: Jusserunt te sacratissimi Imperatores cæremoniari. exemplum literarum, quas ad præsides provinciarum de nobis Cyprianus Episcopus dixit: Non facio. Galerius Maximus fecit; quas literas quotidie speramus venire, stantes secundum ait: Consule tibi. Cyprianus Episcopus respondit : Fac quod fidei firmitatem ad passionis tolerantiam, et expectantes de tibi præceptum est. In re tam justà nulla est consultatio. ope et indulgentiâ Domini vitæ æternæ coronam. Xistum Galerius Maximus, collocutus cum consilio, sententiam vix autem in cenieterio animadversum sciatis, octavo iduum Au- ægre dixit verbis hujusmodi : Diu sacrilega mente vixisti, et gustarum die, et cuin eodem Quartum. Set et huic persecu. plurimos nefariæ tibi conspirationis homines aggregåsti. tioni quotidie insistunt Præfecti in Urbe; ut, si qui sibi oblati Et his dictis, decretum ex tabellâ recitavit. Thassium Cyprifuerint, animadvertantur, et bona eorum fisco viudicentur. anum gladio animadverti placet. Cyprianus Episcopus dixit. Hæc peto per vos ut collegis nostris innotescant, ut ubique Deo gratias. Apost. p. 12, 13. hortatu eorum possit fraternitas corroborari, et ad agonem spiritalem præparari, &c. Cyp. ep. 79. al. 60.