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

The eighth persecution of the church occurred at the behest of Emperor Valerian, who was the eighth persecuter after Nero. He managed to torture Christians and put to death those who refused to worship the idolatrous gods. Although in the beginning he so respected the holy ones that his house was regarded as a church of God, later, however, through a sorcerer in the black arts, he was influenced to disrespect the Christian religion and to carry on this persecution, the cruelties and disorders of which, through God’s judgment, were in no small measure, disastrous to the world; for not long thereafter the Germans rose and with hostile purpose marched as far as Ravenna, and devastated everything with fire and sword.

Cyprian (Cyprianus), the highly informed teacher of the church, and bishop of Carthage, after long suffering, was on the 24th day of the month of September, by order of Valerian, the emperor, martyred by beheading, by Galerius Maximus the consul, a very cruel man. And it is said that in the same city, Crescentius, Victor, Rosula and Generalis suffered with him. At first Cyprian was a pagan and of extraordinary intelligence, well endowed with many arts. In the beginning he taught oratory, and afterwards, on the advice of Cecilia, he adopted the Christian faith and gave all his possessions to the poor. He became a priest and was later made a bishop at Carthage. He rendered valuable service there through teachinig, admonitions and writings for the church of Christ. His celebrated life was written in a book by Pontius, one of his priests and sharer of his exile. The head of Cyprian the martyr is held in great veneration in the Church of St. Lawrence (Laurentii) in the imperial city of Nuremberg. He wrote many books, particularly upon the unity of the churches; and he was in accord with the Roman churches that penitent heretics should not be rebaptized, but were to be restored to grace by the laying on of hands alone.[Cyprian (Cyprianus) perished in the Valerian persecution. His martyrdom is one of the most authentic and interesting in the history of the Christian church. He was bishop at Carthage, and was of the opinion that those who turned from the church through heretical error should be admitted on no condition, before they were purified from their error by baptism. This opinion was not original with him, for Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage a long time before him, assembled the bishops of Africa and Numidia, and made a decree that heretics should be rebaptized. This custom of rebaptizing has been used in Cappadocia time out of mind, as Firmilianus, bishop of Caesaria in Cappadocia, testifies in his epistle to Cyprian (Eusebius, 7.3; Bohn, pp. 256-7).]

Lawrence (Laurentius), a Spaniard, adopted son and archdeacon of Pope Sixtus, after a virtuous career suffered imprisonment at Rome under Decius or Gallienus; as well as various other forms of punishment; and there he made a blind man see and baptized Hippolytus (Hypolitum). He was scourged with a leaden instrument and the scorpion[Scorpions: Not only with smooth rods were the ancients accustomed to punish offenders, and the Christians among the rest, but likewise with knotty and prickly ones, which they appropriately named "scorpions."], and these the church exhibits. One night Valerian and Decius demanded that he worship the idolatrous gods. And he said, My might is neither sinister nor dark, but all things shine in the light. After a hard blow on the mouth, he was cruelly roasted on an iron grill over a fire of burning coals on the 10th day of the month of August; and, giving praise to God, he suffered martyrdom with fortitude. Justinus and Hippolytus buried the burnt corpse. Some say this Lawrence was the son of a duke of Spain, whom the devil carried from his cradle into the woods. When the pious Sixtus preached in Spain, he found him, with God’s intervention, under a laurel tree, and, after the same tree, named him Lawrence. And he reared him and taught him with great industry. And he took him, together with Vincentius, to Rome, and made him an archdeacon.[]

Sabellius was a heretic after whom the Sabellian heresy was named. They hold that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were but one person. This heresy was filled with blasphemy of God the Father, and of Christ. They denied that he (Christ) was a son of the Father on high. Out of this arose many differences and controversies in the churches in the West and East. Nor did Sabellius escape the divine judgment, and he died shamefully.[Sabellius, an early Christian presbyter and theologian, was of Libyan origin and came from the Pentapolis to Rome early in the third century. He became the leader of the strict Modalists (who regarded the Father and Son as two aspects of the same subject) whom Calixtus had excommunicated along with their most zealous opponent Hippolytus. His party continued to exist in Rome for a considerable time and withstood Calixtus as an unscrupulous apostate. In the West, however, the influence of Sabellius seems never to have been important. But in the East his doctrine found much acceptance. It was violently controverted, notably by Dionysius of Alexandria, and the development in the East of the philosophical doctrine of the Trinity after Origen was greatly influenced by the opposition to Sabellianism. The central proposition of Sabellius was that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person, three names attached to one and the same being. Of his late history nothing is known. His followers died out in the fourth century.]

Hippolytus (Hipolytus), a Roman patrician, was seized in the month and year in which he buried Lawrence and was severely tortured for a long time because he was a Christian. He would not worship the idolatrous gods and was beaten with clubs until the executioners became tired. At the command of Decius the emperor, Valerian, the governor caused the entire household of Hippolytus to be beheaded in his presence. Hippolytus himself was tied by his feet to the necks of wild animals, and thus cruelly drawn through thistles and thorns until he died on the 13th day of August.[Concordia and Hippolytus (258 CE) are associated as saints for August 13th. Hippolytus is said to have been a soldier converted by Lawrence who was under his charge in prison. He buried Lawrence, and being brought before Decius for so doing, boldly professed his faith. The emperor ordered him arrayed in his military dress, and then asked if he was not ashamed to dishonor his soldier’s name and uniform by disobedience. Hippolytus replied that he had passed through to a higher service. Among the servants of Hippolytus was an old nurse, Concordia, a Christian. She was beaten to death with whips. Hippolytus was tied to the tails of horses and dashed over stones and through brambles until he died.]

Concordia was the nurse of the aforesaid Hippolytus. To her the governor said, Beware of your life, lest you die with your lord. Immediately she answered, We prefer to die with our lord, rather than to live unchastely. And he caused her to be beaten with a leaden instrument until she died.

Romanus, the soldier, suffered on the following day at the same place. This man permitted himself to be baptized during the confession of Lawrence, in consequence of an angelic vision. Therefore the judge ordered him to be beaten with clubs; and after his confession, caused him to be beheaded on the 9th day of August. His body was taken to the city of Lucca in Etruria and there honorably buried.[Romanus was a soldier who was converted by observing the constancy of Lawrence. He sought him in prison, was instructed and baptized by him and then, confessing what he had done, was arraigned and beheaded the day before the martyrdom of Lawrence. His relics are shown at Lucca.]