Early Church Fathers
148 Diocletian and Maximian abdicated on May 1, 305. See above, Bk. VIII. chap. 13, note 16.
149 When Maxentius usurped the purple in Rome, in the year 306. See above, Bk. VIII. chap. 13, note 21.
150 On Maximinus and his attitude toward the Christians, see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 14, note 2. He was made a Caesar at the time of the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, May 1, 305, and Egypt and Syria were placed under his supervision.
151 Apphianus is called, in the Syriac version, Epiphanius. We know him only from this account of Eusebius. For some remarks upon his martyrdom, see above, p. 8 sq.
152 The modern Beirût. A celebrated school of literature and law flourished there for a number of centuries.
153 The mss., according to Valesius, are somewhat at variance in the spelling of this name, and the place is perhaps to be identified with Araxa, a city of some importance in northwestern Lycia.
154 This was simply a republication in its fullness of Maximian's fourth edict, which was referred to in chap. 3 (see note 2 on that chapter). Eusebius does not mean to say that this was the first time that such an edict was published, but that this was the first edict of Mxirninus, the newly appointed Caesar.
155 It is perhaps not necessary to doubt that an earthquake took place at this particular time. Nor is it surprising that under the circumstances the Christians saw a miracle in a natural phenomenon.
156 Xanthicus was the eighth month of the Macedonian year, and corresponded to our April (see table on p. 403, below). The martyrdom of Apphianus must have taken place in 306, not 305; for according to the direct testimony of Lactantius (de Mort. pers. chap. 19; the statement is unaccountably omitted in the English translation given in the Ante-Nicene Fathers), Maximinus did not become Caesr until May 1, 305; while, according to the present chapter, Apphianus suffered martyrdom after Maximinus had been raised to that position. Eusebius himself puts the abdication of the old emperors and the appointment of the new Caesars early in April or late in March (see above, chap. 3, §5, and the Syriac version of the Martyrs, p. 12), and with him agree other early authorities. But it is more difficult to doubt the accuracy of Lactantius' dates than to suppose the others mistaken, and hence May 1st is commonly accepted by historians as the day of abdication. About the year there can be no question; for Lactantius' account of Diocletian's movements during the previous year exhibits a very exact knowledge of the course of events, and its accuracy cannot be doubted. (For a fuller discussion of the date of the abdication, see Tillemont's Hist. des Emp., 2d ed., IV. p. 609.) But even if it were admitted that the abdication took place four of five weeks earlier (according to Eusebius' own statement, it did not at any rate occur before the twenty-fourth of March: see chap. 3, above, and the Syriac version, p. 12), it would be impossible to put Apphianus' death on the second of April, for this would not give time for all that must intervene between the day of his appointment and the republication and execution of the persecuting edicts. In fact, it is plain enough from the present chapter that Apphianus did not suffer until some time after the accession of Maximinus, and therefore not until the following year. Eusebius, as can be seen from the first paragraph of this work on the martyrs, reckoned the beginning of the persecution in Palestine not with the issue of the first edict in Nicomedia on Feb. 24, 303, but with the month of April of that same year. Apphianus' death therefore took place at the very close of the third year of the persecution, according to this reckoning.
157 i.e. Friday, the old Jewish term being still retained and widely used, although with the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week it had entirely lost its meaning. Upon the prevalence of the word among the Fathers as a designation of Friday, see Suicer's Thesaurus, s.v. paraskeuh and nhsteia. The day of Christ's crucifixion was called megalh paraskeuh, the "great preparation."
158 The martyrdom of Ulpian is omitted in the Syriac version. It was apparently a later addition, made when the abridgment of the longer version was produced; and this perhaps accounts for the brevity of the notice and the words of explanation with which the mention of him is concluded.
159 Called Alosis in the Syriac version.
160 The month Dius was the third month of the Macedonian year, and corresponded to our November (see table on p. 403, below).
161 prosabbatou hmera, i.e. on Friday, prosabbatoj being sometimes used among the Jews as a designation of that day, which was more commonly called paraskeuh (cf. Mark xv. 42). Whether it was widely used in the Christian Church of Eusebius' day I am unable to say (Suicer does not give the word); but the use of it here shows that it was familiar at least in Palestine. It is said in Kraus' Real-Encyclop. d. christ. Alterih, s.v. Wochentage, to occur in a decree of Constantine, quoted in Eusebius' Vita Const. IV. 18; but the text is doubtful, and at best, the use of it there proves no more as to the prevalence of the word than its use in the present case, for Eusebius simply gives, in his own language, the substance of Constantine's edict.
162 See above, chap. 3, §1.
163 Cf. Matt. x. 18.
164 i.e April 2, 307. Eusebius is inconsistent with himself in this case. In chap. 3, above, he states that Apphianus suffered on April 2, in the third year of the persecution. But as shown in the note on that passage, Apphianus suffered in April, 306, and therefore, in that case, Eusebius reckons the first year of the persecution as beginning after the second of April. But in the present case he reckons it as beginning before the second of April, and the latter date as falling early in a new year of the persecution. That the martyrdom recorded in the present case actually took place in 307, and not in 308, as it must have done if Eusebius were consistent with himself, is proved, first, by the fact that, in entering upon this new chapter, he says, "the persecution having continued to the fifth year," implying thereby that the event which he is about to relate took place at the beginning, not at the end, of the fifth year; and secondly, by the fact that later on, in this same chapter, while still relating the events of the fifth year, he recounts martyrdoms as taking place in the month of November (Dius). This is conclusive, for November of the fifth year can be only November, 307, and hence the April mentioned in the present paragraph can be only April of the same year. Evidently Eusebius did not reckon the beginning of the persecution in Palestine from a fixed day, but rather from the month Xanthicus (April). As a consequence, the inconsistency into which he has fallen is not very strange; the second day of April might easily be reckoned either as one of the closing days of a year, or as the beginning of the ensuing year. In the present case, he evidently forgot that he had previously used the former reckoning.
165 i.e. on Easter Sunday. In the Syriac version, the events recorded in the present chapter are put on a Sunday; but that it was Easter is not stated.
166 i.e. November fifth.
167 On Silvanus, who afterward became bishop of Gaza, see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 13.
168 Or "frankness"; literally, "freedom" (eleuqeria).
169 On Parnphilus, see above, Bk. VII. chap. 32, note 40.
170 The death of Maximinus is related in Bk. IX. chap. 10. Nothing further is said in regard to Urbanus; but the fate of his successor Firmilianus is recorded in chap. 11, below. It is quite possible that Eusebius, in the present case, is referring to a more detailed statement of the fates of the various persecutors, which was to form the second part of the present work; and it is possible, still further, that the appendix printed at the close of the eighth book is a fragment of this second part, as suggested by Lightfoot (see above, p. 29).
171 Of Firmilianus, the successor of Urbanus, we know only what is told us here and in chaps. 9 and 11, below. In the latter chapter, §31, his execution is recorded.
173 i.e. July 25 (a.d. 308). See the table on p. 403, below.
174 This is the so-called Fifth Edict, and was issued (according to the Passio S. Theodori) by Galerius and Maximinus, but was evidently inspired by Maximinus himself. Mason speaks of it as follows: "It would be inaccurate to say that this Fifth Edict (if so we may call it) was worse than any of the foregoing. But there is in it a thin bitterness, a venomous spitefulness, which may be noticed as characteristic of all the later part of the persecution. This spitefulness is due to two main facts. The first was that Paganism was becoming conscious of defeat; the Church had not yielded a single point. The second fact was that the Church had no longer to deal with the sensible, statesmanlike hostility of Diocletian,-not even with the bluff bloodiness of Maximian. Galerius himself was now, except in name, no longer persecutor-in-chief. He was content to follow the lead of a man who was in all ways even worse than himself. Galerius was indeed an Evil Beast; his nephew was more like the Crooked Serpent. The artful sour spirit of Maximin employed itself to invent, not larger measures of solid policy against his feared and hated foes, but petty tricks to annoy and sting them." For a fuller discussion of the edict, see Mason, p. 284 sq. It must have been published in the autumn of the year 308, for the martyrdom of Paul, recorded in the previous chapter. took place in July of that year, and some little time seems to have elapsed between that event and the present. On the other hand, the martyrdoms mentioned below, in §5, took place in November of this same year, so that we can fix the date of the edict within narrow limits.
175 o tou twn stratopedwn arxein epitetagmenoj. Many regard this officer as the praetorian prefect. But we should naturally expect so high an official to be mentioned before the governors (hgemonej). It seems probable, in fact, that the commander in charge of the military forces of Palestine, or possibly of Syria, is referred to in the present case. See Valesius' note, ad locum.
176 Or "town clerks," taboularioi.
177 Literally, "its athletes" (authj). the antecedent of the pronoun being "the divine power."
178 i.e. Nov. 13, 308.
179 Macuj is not a Greek word. Ruinart, Acta Martt., p. 327, remarks, An a Syris repetenda, apud quos mochos est pulicanus a casas increpare? But the derivation is, to say the least, very doubtful. Cureton throws no light on the matter. The word in the Syriac version seems to be simply a reproduction of the form found in the Greek original.