ANF: The Martyrdom of the Holy Martyrs

The ongoing saga of my life-long effort to read through all the Ante-Nicene Fathers’ writings….

This brief writing details the prosecutorial examination particularly of Justin Martyr, Chariton, Charito (a woman), Euelpistus, Hierax, Paeon, and Liberianus.  Each one freely acknowledges their faith in Jesus Christ under examination, knowing full well the punishment for this is death.  Even when this is pointed out to them they refuse to recant their faith.  They are sentenced to scourging and then decapitation.  The translator notes this seems to ignore  the possible or likely Roman citizenship of these people, but also points out that, as per Acts 22, sometimes Roman citizens were not protected from certain laws.

The translator also notes another variant on this document where Justin Martyr is said to die by drinking hemlock, the traditional fate of Greek philosophers who went astray in their teachings.  However there is no way to prove or disprove this account and it is considered by many to be a false ending designed to give greater honor to Justin.

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