Early Church Fathers
36 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.
37 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."
38 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.
39 Called Alosis in the Syriac version.
40 The month Dius was the third month of the Macedonian year, and corresponded to our November (see table on p. 403, below).
41 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.
42 See above, chap. 3, §1.
43 Cf. Matt. x. 18.
44 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.
45 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.
46 i.e. November fifth.
47 On Silvanus, who afterward became bishop of Gaza, see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 13.
48 Or "frankness"; literally, "freedom" (eleuqeria).
49 On Parnphilus, see above, Bk. VII. chap. 32, note 40.
50 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).
51 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.
53 i.e. July 25 (a.d. 308). See the table on p. 403, below.
54 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.
55 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.
56 Or "town clerks," taboularioi.
57 Literally, "its athletes" (authj). the antecedent of the pronoun being "the divine power."
58 i.e. Nov. 13, 308.
59 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.
60 This is a glaring instance of uncritical credulity on Eusebius' part, and yet even Crusè can say: "Perhaps some might smile at the supposed credulity of our author, but the miracle in this account was not greater than the malignity, and if man can perform miracles of vice, we can scarcely wonder if Providence should present, at least, miracles of admonition." Cureton more sensibly remarks: "This, which doubtless was produced by natural causes, seemed miraculous to Eusebius, more especially if he looked upon it as fulfilling a prophecy of our Lord-Luke xix. 40: `I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.0' See also Hab. ii. 11."
61 i.e. Dec. 14, 308 (see the tables on p. 403, below).
62 The majority of the codices read Promoj, but as Valesius remarks, such a proper name is quite unknown in Greek, and the form probably arose from a confusion of b and m, which in ancient mss. were written alike. Two of our existing codices read Proboj, and this has been adopted by Zimmermann and Heinichen, whom I have followed in the text.
63 i.e. Jan. 11, 309.
64 In the Syriac version "Absalom."
65 Of this village we know nothing, but Eleutheropolis (originally Bethozabris) was an important place lying some forty miles southwest of Jerusalem.
66 einai dokwn. Eusebius did not wish to admit that he was a bishop in a true sense.
67 Rom. x. 2.
68 On Pamphilus, see above, Bk. VII. chap. 32, note 40.
69 On Eusebius' Life of Pamphilus, see above, p. 28 sq.
70 i.e. Jerusalem.
71 thj 'Iamnitwn polewj. Jamna, or Jamnia, was a town of Judea, lying west of Jerusalem, near the sea.
72 i.e Feb. 19 (see the table on p. 403, below). We learn from chap. 7, §§3-5, that Pamphilus was thrown into prison in the fifth year of the persecution and as late as November of that year, i.e. between November, 307, and April, 308. Since he had lain two whole years in prison (according to §5, above), the date referred to in the present passage must be February of the year 310. The martyrdom of Pamphilus is commonly, for aught I know to the contrary, uniformly put in the year 309, as the seventh year of the persecution is nearly synchronous with that year. But that the common date is a mistake is plain enough from the present chapter.
73 prohgoroj, literally "advocate," or "defender."
74 Gal. iv. 26.
75 Heb. xii. 22. Upon Eusebius' view of the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, see above, Bk. III. chap. 25, note 1.
76 The reference is still to the same slave of Pamphilus whose tortures Eusebius has just been describing, as we learn from the Syriac version, where the slave's name is given at the beginning of the account.
77 I read peri auton with Zimmermann, Heinichen, Burton, and Migne. The mss. all have peri autouj, which can hardly have stood in the original.
78 The common mode of punishment inflicted on slaves.
79 Of the so-called country of Magganaia I know nothing. The Syriac version reads Batanea, which was a district of country lying to the northeast of Palestine, and it may be that Manganea was another name for the same region.