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

The tenth persecution of the Christians after Nero was originated in these times by Veturius, the captain of the army, and at the command of Diocletian and Maximian (Maximianus) it was carried on in all parts of the world. Diocletian in the East, and Maximian in the West, ordered the churches ravaged and the Christians tortured and slain. This persecution was the cruelest of all and lasted longer than the others. The Holy Scriptures were burned, and those in civil offices who acknowledged themselves Christians were deposed and looked upon as without honor. Slaves who became Christians could not be set free by their owners. Christian soldiers were compelled to either sacrifice to the gods or lose their offices, and to give up their careers, under a cruel law posted by the emperor in the market place. One man dared to break this law, and he was flayed, and vinegar and salt poured upon him until he lost his life. This is attested by Dorotheus and Gorgonius, two renowned men. On the same day fire broke out in the imperial palace at Nicomedia. In a spirit of feigned anger, the emperor attributed this to the Christians, and he caused many Christians to be slain, and many to be thrown alive into the fire. Such violent cruelties were not only practiced in Mytilene (Militena), Syria, Africa, Thebes, and in Egypt, but also in Palestine and Tyre. The Christians were spared no form of torture, and as Damasus states, in 30 days 17,000 persons of both sexes were crowned with martyrdom not including those who were exiled to the islands, or to the mines, or to dig ore, or to hew stone; and of these there were an endless number. Finally God opened his eyes and forced Diocletian to abdicate. And Maximian was so frightened by disease and confusion that he committed suicide.

Adauctus, a Roman patrician, a man most Christian and holy, received martyrdom in Phrygia (Phrigiam) because he had converted the city. For this reason Diocletian caused the whole city to be burned because the citizens would not sacrifice to the gods. After having his eyes dug out, this Adauctus was made a martyr by decapitation.

Alexander, the powerful soldier of the legions of Thebes, at this time preached in the name of Christ. After practising numberless virtues he honorably attained martyrdom by decapitation. His body was buried by Grata, a pious widow, on her own soil. There a worthy temple was built, which is still to be seen there.[Alexander, according to one version of the , is said to have been a standard-bearer, according to another version, a head centurion, in the Theban legion. Known to be a Christian, he was brought before Maximian at Rome. A long and tedious discussion between them is given by the author of the , out of his own head. A soldier was ordered to cut off the head of Alexander, but became motionless. Alexander was then led back to prison. He escaped during the night and took refuge at the Bergamo, but was discovered and dragged before an idol and executed with the sword. A Christian matron named Grata took up his body and buried it on her farm.]

Barbara, a very noble virgin, and a native of the city of Nicomedia, was, because of her great beauty, placed in a high tower by her father, who feared she might become a Christian. But through the instruction of the Holy Spirit, she prayed like a Christian to the God of Heaven. Her father decided to slay her, but she concealed herself. However, she was discovered, brought before him with feet upward and beaten with rods, burned with torches and had her breasts cut off. After suffering numberless tortures, she was beheaded by her father on the fourth day of the month of December. Fire, proceeding from heaven, burnt the father to dust.[]

Anastasia, daughter of a very noble Roman and the wife of Publius, a very powerful man, became a Christian; and she practiced works of mercy toward the Christians. In this tumult she was imprisoned for a long time by Publius, her husband, and tortured for the sake of Christ. And she was comforted by Chrysogonus (Grisogono), who afterwards through the decapitation of his head earned the palm of martyrdom. Finally, together with men and many women she was lead to the Palmarian islands. After various prayers made by the Christians, Anastasia was tied to a stake by the prefect. And he cremated her with fire on the 8th day of the Kalends of January around the Year of the Lord 280. She was, moreover, very well versed in good literature, and concerning her persecution are extant letters she sent to Chrysogonus full of eloquence.

Concerning Anastasia, cf. The Catholic Encyclopedia (Kirsch, "St. Anastasia." Vol. 1. New York, 1907):

This martyr enjoys the distinction, unique in the Roman liturgy, of having a special commemoration in the second Mass on Christmas day. This Mass was originally celebrated not in honour of the birth of Christ, but in commemoration of this martyr, and towards the end of the fifth century her name was also inserted in the Roman canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, she is not a Roman saint, for she suffered martyrdom at Sirmium, and was not venerated at Rome until almost the end of the fifth century. It is true that a later legend, not earlier than the sixth century, makes Anastasia a Roman, though even in this legend she did not suffer martyrdom at Rome. The same legend connects her name with that of St. Chrysogonus, likewise not a Roman martyr, but put to death in Aquileia, though he had a church in Rome dedicated to his honour. According to this "Passio", Anastasia was the daughter of Praetextatus, a Roman vir illustris, and had Chrysogonus for a teacher. Early in the persecution of Diocletian the Emperor summoned Chrysogonus to Aquileia where he suffered martyrdom. Anastasia, having gone from Aquileia to Sirmium to visit the faithful of that place, was beheaded on the island of Palmaria, 25 December, and her body interred in the house of Apollonia, which had been converted into a basilica. The whole account is purely legendary, and rests on no historical foundations. All that is certain is that a martyr named Anastasia gave her life for the faith in Sirmium, and that her memory was kept sacred in that church. The so-called "Martyrologium Sieronymianum" (ed. De Rossi and Duchesne, Acta SS., 2 November) records her name on 25 December, not for Sirmium alone, but also for Constantinople, a circumstance based on a separate story. According to Theodorus Lector (Hist. Eccles., II, 65), during the patriarchate of Gennadius (458-471) the body of the martyr was transferred to Constantinople and interred in a church which had hitherto been known as "Anastasis" (Gr. Anastasis, ‘Resurrection’); thenceforth the church took the name of Anastasia. Similarly the cultus of St. Anastasia was introduced into Roman from Sirmium by means of an already existing church. As this church was already quite famous, it brought the feast of the saint into especial prominence. There existed in Rome from the fourth century, at the foot of the Palatine and above the Circus Maximus, a church which had been adorned by Pope Damasus (366-384) with a large mosaic. It was known as "titulus Anastasix", and is mentioned as such in the Acts of the Roman Council of 499. There is some uncertainty as to the origin of this name; either the church owes its foundation to and was named after a Roman matron Anastasia, as in the case of several other titular churches of Rome (Duchesne), or it was originally an "Anastasis" church (dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ), such as existed already at Ravenna and Constantinople; from the word "Anastasis" came eventually the name "titulus Anastasix" (Grisar). Whatever way this happened, the church was an especially prominent one from the fourth to the sixth century, being the only titular church in the centre of ancient Rome, and surrounded by the monuments of the city’s pagan past. Within its jurisdiction was the Palatine where the imperial court was located. Since the veneration of the Sirmian martyr, Anastasia, received a new impetus in Constantinople during the second half of the fifth century, we may easily infer that the intimate contemporary relations between Old and New Rome brought about an increase in devotion to St. Anastasia at the foot of the Palatine. At all events the insertion of her name into the Roman Canon of the Mass towards the end of the fifth century, show that she then occupied a unique position among the saints publicly venerated at Rome. Thenceforth the church on the Palatine is known as "titulus sanctus Anastasix", and the martyr of Sirmium became the titular saint of the old fourth-century basilica. Evidently because of its position as titular church of the district including the imperial dwellings on the Palatine this church long maintained an eminent rank among the churches of Rome; only two churches preceded it in honour: St. John Lateran, the mother-church of Rome, and St. Mary Major. This ancient sanctuary stands today quite isolated amid the ruins of Rome. The commemoration of St. Anastasia in the second Mass on Christmas day is the last remnant of the former prominence enjoyed by this saint and her church in the life of Christian Rome.

In the German edition of the Chronicle this mini-biography of Anastasia is very abbreviated:

Anastasia, daughter of a very noble Roman and the wife of a very powerful man, became a Christian; and she practiced works of mercy toward the Christians. In this tumult she was imprisoned for a long time by Publius, her husband, and was decapitated.

Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphorianus, and Simplicius, highly renowned men, suffered at this time in Rome. They were first imprisoned, then beaten with scorpions[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 finally, upon the order of Diocletian, were thrown into the sea on the 28th day of October.

Crispinus and Crispinianus, celebrated men, were first taken prisoners in the city of Soissons (Suesionem) and cruelly tortured, Finally, beheaded on the 25th day of the month of October, they received the crown of martyrdom.[Crispinus and Crispinianus (aka, Crispin and Crispian; 285 CE) are said to have been brothers, natives of Rome, who exercised the trade of shoemakers at Soissons. In 284 Maximinus Hercules proceeded against the Bagaudae, and having punished them for their revolt, came to Soissons. Among the Bagaudae there had been, no doubt, Christians, and Maximinus was inflamed with anger against them. Crispin and Crispinian were denounced to him, and he ordered the prefect of the Gauls to punish them. The prefect ordered them executed by the sword, and their bodies thrown into the common sewers. But the add much apocryphal matter, such as that the judge ordered the brothers to have slivers of wood thrust under their finger-nails, but which promptly flew out and stabbed their tormentors, who were wounded and died shortly as the saints prayed. Then millstones were hung about their necks, and they were thrown into the river; but they swam across without the slightest inconvenience. Boiling lead was poured over them, but it only refreshed them. They were plunged into a bubbling cauldron of oil, and this failed to injure them. The prefect, disgusted at his lack of success, pitched himself headmost into the fire under the cauldron, and stifled his dissatisfaction in the flames. Seeing their persecutor thus disposed of, the martyrs calmly placed their necks under the sword, and their heads were struck off without difficulty by the executioner. Crispin and Crispinian are regarded as the patron saints of shoemakers. In art they are represented with the symbols of their trade, but sometimes with millstones hung round their necks.]