AN ACCOUNT OF THE PIOUS MARTYRS AND WITNESSES OF JESUS CHRIST WHO SUFFERED IN THE THIRD CENTURY: SUMMARY OF THE MARTYRS OF THE THIRD CENTURY
[There never was a time in the church of Jesus Christ, in which so many and ,great tyrants arose to destroy and extirpate the people of God, as in this century; for scarcely had one ceased, when another began; excepting a short cessation under the Emperors Caracalla and Geta.
The principal ones of those who tyrannized over, and put to death, the believers, were Severus, Maximinus, Decius, Valerianus, Gallienus, and Aurelianus, who, though the world hailed them as”Gracious Emperors,” were in deed nothing less than unmerciful, cruel, and bloodthirsty tyrants.
Under Severus suffered Rutulius, Manilius, Perpetua, Felicitas, Leonides, five God-fearing disciples of Origen, and two of his female disciples, also Origen himself, and Basilides.
Under Maximinus suffered, in different meetingplaces, several thousand Christians, besides about seventy others.
Under Decius suffered Cointha, Apollonia, an old man called Julianus, with his companion Eunus, Amonaria, Mercuria, Dionysia, Heron, Ater, Isidoris, a youth of fifteen years, Nemesius, Babylas, the three youths, Urbanus, Philidianus, and Epilonius, also Maximus, Origenes.
Under Valerianus and Gallienus suffered Dionysius, Fructuosus, Augurius, Eulogius, Marinus, the three peasants who sought heavenly crowns, namely, Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander, and also, Philippus, Privatus, Florentinus and Pontius.
Under Aurelian suffered, and were put to death Privatus of Gevauldan, Mamas, a shepherd and Symphorianus.
Under Diocletian (in the preparatory period of his persecutions) were miserably put to death the three brothers, Claudius, Asterius, and Neon; also Donuina, and Theonilla, Zenobius with his sister Zenobia, the three dear friends Tharacus, Probus and Andronicus. That all these suffered, and shed their blood for the name of Jesus Christ, is abundantly testified in the following account.]
The third century began with the fifth persecution of the Christians, hence we shall also begin with the same and show in what a distressing condition the church of God was during those times.