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

The fifth persecution of the Christians began in this year as a result of the anger of Severus the emperor. He was the fifth, after Nero, who persecuted the Christians; but he was constantly harassed and worried by various dangers and wars. Nor did the Roman people escape God’s vengeance, for they were miraculously troubled with civil wars. In this persecution suffered those named below.

Irenaeus (Hyreneus), bishop of Lyons (Lugdunensis), was a highly learned man, and was martyred for the name of Christ. He was of great renown under Commodus. Jerome writes that he was a disciple of Polycarp, the martyr. By him he was so well instructed that he wrote five books against heresy, one against the pagans, and many other works. Finally he was placed on two hills by the emperor Severus, on one of which stood a cross, on the other an idol; and he was asked to choose between death on the cross and life through the idol. But, with the people, he came to the cross, and they were all crowned with martyrdom on the 28th day of June.[Irenaeus, one of the early Christian fathers, was probably born at Smyrna between 120 and 140 CE. In his early youth he heard Polycarp. He afterwards went to Gaul, and in 177 succeeded Pothinus as bishop of Lyon. He made many converts from the pagans and was most active in opposing the Gnostics, especially the Valentinians. He seems to have lived about the end of the second century. His only work now extant, (‘Against Heresies’) is intended to refute the Gnostics. The original Greek is lost, with the exception of a few fragments, but the work exists in a peculiar Latin version.]

Leonides of Alexandria, father of the great Origen, was a very pious man. In the time of this persecution he suffered martyrdom. In the tenth year of the emperor Pertinax, his young son Origen determined to follow his father as a martyr, had he not been hindered by God’s will (for he was useful to many people) and the concern of his mother; for when he decided openly to confess Christ on the next day she secretly hid his clothes during the night, and so kept him from the tyrants. But he urged his father to martyrdom, and, with his mother and six brothers was left in poverty; for because of their acknowledgment of Christ, the paternal inheritance was forfeited to the state.[]

Eugenia, daughter of Philippus, the illustrious Roman, was a beautiful virgin, educated in the liberal arts. She, together with Prothus and Jacinthus, the brothers who left their parents, was baptized by Helenus the bishop; and thereafter, while she lived in male clothes in a monastery, she was accused of rape by a woman named Melantia (Melancia). For this reason she was brought before the judge, and was threatened with the martyrdom which had been prepared for her. But as they tore her clothes, she appeared to be a woman; and it was discovered that she was the judge’s daughter; and the people were glad, but fearful; for Melantia, together with her house, was destroyed by a miraculous fire. And her parents, together with the entire household permitted themselves to be baptized. Afterwards, with her mother and the brothers Prothus and Jacinthus, she went to Rome; and by the example of their virtue they encouraged many people to accept the faith; and particularly Basilla, whom they urged to perpetual chastity. Because she would not sacrifice to the goddess Diana, she was tied to a stone and thrown into the Tiber; but the stone broke and she remained unharmed. Finally, after enduring many tortures, she was slain in prison on the day of Christ’s birth. Her body was interred in her own soil, not far from Rome.[Eugenia, anciently one of the most popular saints in the Roman calendar, was the daughter of Philip, proconsul of Egypt in the reign of Commodus. She was brought up at Alexandria in all the wisdom of the Gentiles, was converted to Christianity, and in learning, eloquence and courage, seems to have been the prototype of Catherine, by whom, however, she has been completely eclipsed. According to legend she put on man’s attire, and became a monk in Egypt, under the name Eugenius. Later, returning to Rome, she suffered martyrdom by the sword under the emperor Severus. She rarely appears in works of art, having lost her popularity in the period of revival.]

Perpetua and Felicitas, the holy women, together with Saturninus and Secundolus, were martyred in Mauretania, in the Tiburtine city, on the 7th day of March. After the death of Secundolus in prison, they were thrown to the wild beasts and torn asunder.[Unlike nearly every other (largely legendary) account of martyrdom that comes down to us, the record of what is known as "The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions" is one of the great treasures of martyr literature, a document which is said to preserve the actual words of the martyrs and their friends. Saints Perpetua and Felicitas were involved in a violent persecution under the emperor Severus in 202. It reached Africa the following year, when five catechumens were apprehended at Carthage for the faith, namely, Revocatus, and his fellow slave Felicitas, Saturninus, and Secundulus, and Vivia Perpetua. Felicitas was expecting her confinement. Perpetua had an infant at her breast, was of good family, twenty-two years of age, and married to a man of quality in the city. These five martyrs were joined by Saturus, probably the brother of Saturninus. Saturus seems to have been their instructor. He underwent a voluntary imprisonment because he would not abandon them. The father of Perpetua made every effort to influence his daughter to resume pagan belief, he being a pagan himself; but she refused. All the prisoners had visions of their own martyrdom, and they were finally condemned to death by exposure to wild beasts in the arena. Perpetua and Felicitas were exposed to a wild cow, which attacked them and tossed them about. But they regained their footing, and while they stood together expecting another assault from the beasts, the people cried out that it was enough; and they were led to the gate where those that were not killed by the beasts were dispatched at the end of the shows by the confectores (‘finishers’). All the martyrs were now brought to the place of their final butchery; but the people, not yet satisfied with beholding blood, cried out to have them led into the middle of the amphitheater so that they might have the pleasure of seeing them receive the last blow. Perpetua fell into the hands of a very frightened and unskillful apprentice of the gladiators, who, with trembling hand, gave her many slight wounds, which made her languish a long time. The two women were martyred on March 7th, 203 CE.]

Narcissus, patriarch of Jerusalem, lived in the time of Victor the pope and Severus the emperor. Once upon a time when the lamps lacked oil, he caused water to be poured in them, and the water became viscous, and the lamps were lighted. He was accused by false witnesses, but they were punished by divine judgment. And he went into the wilderness; and as he became aged and did not want to hold office merely for appearance sake, Alexander, the bishop of Cappodocia, was put in his place with his consent. Afterwards he was also martyred.

Narcissus was the 30th bishop of Jerusalem. The controversy about the Paschal festival had continued to divide some parts of the Eastern and Western Churches ever since the time of Polycarp and Anicetus in 158. The dispute was running high when Narcissus became bishop of Jerusalem. The Churches of Asia Minor adhered to the Jewish method of observing the festival on the 14th day of the first month; whereas all the other churches kept it on the day before the Sunday on which they celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. A synod held at Edessa by unanimous decision brushed aside the Jewish method of keeping the festival.

Narcissus is said to have performed a notable miracle. On Easter Eve oil was lacking for the lamps. Narcissus ordered water to be drawn from a well and poured into the lamps, and it worked as well as oil.

Strict discipline caused Narcissus to be subjected to slanders, which caused him to retreat to the desert where he lived a life of solitude. After many years he reappeared as one risen from the dead, and resumed his office at the people’s urging.

Eusebius, Potentianus, Vincentius, and Peregrinus, very noble Roman men, were slain for their Christian faith before this time in the reign of Commodus Augustus, having first been subjected to many tortures. First these men were placed on the rack and were stretched very sharply by their tendons. Then there were very cruelly beaten with clubs. But when they still remained most faithfully steadfast in their praise of God, they were glorified[The word translated as ‘glorified’ is from the verb macto, -are, which can also mean ‘magnify’, ‘extol’, ‘honor’, ‘elevate’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘kill’, ‘slaughter’, and ‘destroy’. ] to the release of their spirit on the 8th of the Kalends of October.[The last three sentences of this paragraph are not in the German edition of the . ]

Julius the senator, was, together with his entire household, converted to Christ by these same martyrs, and baptized by Rufinus (Ruffinum). At the instance of the emperor they were killed with clubs. The body of Julius was buried by Eusebius. The judges sentenced him to have his tongue out off, and when this took place, he sang the praises of God. As a result of that Antoninus was converted; and he was beheaded. Then Eusebius was beaten with leaden thongs until he rested in the Lord.