First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

The fourth persecution of the Church occurred in the time of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius, and many were crowned with martyrdom. But after this persecution suddenly came lamentations and death, which devastated many lands far and wide, chiefly Italy, which was so depopulated that some villages and fields were left without inhabitants or homes. Nor was there a respite in arms, and wars swept over the East, Illyricum (i.e., Greece), Italy and Gaul. There were also earthquakes, sinking of cities, floods, and damage done by locusts in the fields.

Sophia, the noble woman, came to Rome with her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity, and by the example of their sanctity and sobriety converted many noble women to Christ. When this became known to Hadrian (Adriano) the emperor, he caused them to be brought before him. They were very beautiful and learned in the Holy Scriptures. After lengthy controversy, she ended her life in martyrdom through various tortures. And when the mother afterwards buried her daughters seventeen miles outside the city, she said in anguish, My daughters, take me to you; and immediately she rested in peace as if fallen asleep.

Seraphia, a virgin of Antioch, suffered at Rome at this time for the sake of Christ. She was taken to a dark place to be dishonored by two lascivious men; but was not molested by them. After that she was tortured with fire, and upon the order of the judge she was beaten with cudgels, and finally slain with a sword. Sabina, whom she converted, caused her to be buried on the 29th day of the month of July.[Seraphia was the Greek slave of Sabina, whom she converted. They were beheaded together, and died encouraging each other (June 2nd).]

Sabina, a very famous woman, former wife of the celebrated Valentinus, and the twelfth daughter of Herodis Metalla, was educated in the faith of Jesus Christ by the aforementioned Seraphia, and practiced works of mercy. She was executed by the sword, at Rome, because she would not sacrifice to the gods. Sabina, who had converted her, had her placed in her (i.e., Sabina’s) own tomb on the fourth of the Kalends of August.[Sabina was a noble Roman matron who suffered martyrdom in the time of the Emperor Hadrian (August 29, second century). The last sentence in this paragraph is not in the German edition of the .]

Quadratus, a bishop at Athens, and a disciple of the apostles and a highly learned man, again assembled the churches, which in those violent times had been dismembered through great fear. And for the protection of the Christian status, he wrote a book of faith and understanding, filled with apostolic teachings. Finally he also suffered martyrdom on the 26th day of the month of May.

Quadratus, one of the Apostolic Fathers, and an early apologist for the Christian religion, passed the early part of his life in Asia Minor. He presented his Apology to Hadrian in the 10th year of his reign (126 CE). This Apology has been long lost. Of him Eusebius writes (Ecclesiastical History 4.3; Bohn, p. 118): "But Trajan having held the sovereignty for twenty years, less six months, is succeeded in the imperial office by Aelius Hadrian. To him, Quadratus addressed a discourse as an apology for the religion that we profess, because certain malicious persons attempted to harass our brethren. The work is still in the hands of some of the brethren, as also in our own, from which anyone may see evident proof, both of the under standing of the man and of his apostolic faith.

"This writer shows the antiquity of the age in which he lived, in these passages: ‘The deeds of our Savior were always before you, for they were true miracles, those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only while our Lord was on earth, but likewise when he had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived to our times.’ Such was Quadratus."

Quirinus, first a tribune, and then a bishop, was at this time martyred in Illyricum, that is, Slavonia, in the city of Siscia on the 4th day of the month of June. A millstone was tied to his hand, and so he was drowned. Zeno, a Roman senator, together with ten thousand and two hundred brethren, was slain in this tumult on Christ’s account.[Quirinus, the Tribune, after having been converted and baptized, was condemned to have his tongue, hands and feet cut off. He was then drawn by oxen to the place of final execution and beheaded. The tale is legendary.]

Achatius Primicerius was, together with ten thousand people, martyred on Mount Ararat, in Armenia, by Hadrian (Adriano) the emperor. Then, converted by the angels, they obtained victory against the enemy. When Hadrian and Antoninus learned that they had become Christians, they cried, and ordered them to be scourged; and after that they caused three-pointed spikes to be strewn on the ground for a distance of twenty stadia,[The stadium was a Greek measure of distance, approximately 600 feet, which was the distance between the terminal pillars of the stadium at Olympia; afterwards adopted by the Romans for nautical and astronomical purposes mainly. It was equal to 125 Roman paces, or 625 Roman feet; 8 stadia making a Roman mile.] for the pious ones to walk upon with their bare feet; but the angel of God went before them and gathered up the spikes, so that they would not be injured. Afterwards, in emulation of Christ, they suffered martyrdom, and their souls were taken up to heaven.

The story of the Ten Thousand Martyrs is purely legendary, and as Baring-Gould observes, it will be difficult to discover a minute particle of fact in it after we have washed out the fable. The story is to the effect that in the reign of the emperors Hadrian and his adopted son Antoninus, the Gadarenes and people of the Euphrates revolted; at which event the two emperors marched at the head of 9,000 men against the insurgents. This war is all pure fiction. The tale continues that when the emperors discovered that the rebels outnumbered them by a thousand men, they ran away with seven. But the nine thousand, of whom Achatius and others were officers, where suddenly converted to Christianity by an angel, and as Christians they rushed upon the enemy with a shout and put them to flight. The rebels fell into the lake and down precipices, and not one survived. But it was necessary that Achatius and his companions receive further instruction; so the angel carried off the nine thousand to the top of Mount Ararat, and seating himself on the perennial snow, began to instruct them; and seven more blessed spirits descended from heaven to aid in the necessary Christian instruction.

The emperors sent out scouts to ascertain what had become of those soldiers who had not run away with them. The scouts saw nine thousand black specks on the snow of Mount Ararat; and the nine thousand newly converted Christians came down to meet them and defied the emperors, who, after calling allies to their assistance, set off with 5,000,000 men to destroy completely the Christians. Messengers were dispatched to the Christians. They descended, and were conducted before Hadrian and Antoninus, who urged them to return to their allegiance; but they refused. For this reason the emperor ordered them stoned, but the stones, instead of hurting the Christians, bounded back and struck the servants of the emperors on the head. This sight so astonished the soldiers that a thousand were converted and joined the Christian band, making up the number of 10,000. Then the emperors ordered them crucified on the top of the mountain. The bodies of the martyrs were taken down and buried by angels, each in a separate grave. The church did not recognize these martyrs till Baronius drew up the modern Roman Martyrology in the 16th century.

Papias, a bishop of Jerusalem (Hierosolimitanus[The chronicler or his source mistakenly describes Papias as bishop of Jerusalem. He was, in fact, a bishop of Hierapolis (whose spelling is, at least in the first four letters, the same of Jerusalem in Latin).]), and a disciple of John the Apostle, was so highly learned that because of his art and learning, many learned men imitated him in their poetry; such as Irenaeus (Hereneus), Apollinaris, Tertullian (Tertullianus), Victorinus of Pettau (Pictaviensis), Lactantius Firmianus, and the aforesaid Quadratus.[Papias was an early Christian writer, said to have been a disciple of the Apostle John, and a companion of Polycarp. He was bishop of Hierapolis, on the border of Phrygia. He taught the doctrine of the Millennium, maintaining that there will be for a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead,a bodily reign of Christ on this earth. Only fragments of his works are extant.]

Aristides, an Athenian philosopher, and formerly a disciple of Christ, sent a book, containing our teachings, to the Emperor Hadrian, as Quadratus had done. By reason of this book Hadrian was influenced to regard the slaying of the Christians as unjust; and for that reason he wrote Minutius Fundanus, the proconsul of Asia, to put to death only in case there is an accused and the offense is apparent and known.[Aristides, the apologist, is spoken of by Eusebius as follows: "Aristides, a man also faithfully devoted to the religion which we profess, like Quadratus, has left to posterity a defense of the faith, addressed to Hadrian. This work is also preserved by a great number, even to this day." ( 4.3; Bohn, p. 118)]