At Tarsus in Cilicia, the birthplace of the apostle Paul, there were imprisoned, A. D. 290, three pious Christians, namely, Tharacus, Probus; and Andronicus; who, having been brought to prison, before the tribunal, and to the rack, and having suffered beyond measure for the name of the Lord and the faith in Jesus Christ, were finally put to death, concerning which we shall notice and present to the reader the judicial proceedings, as we have found them in ancient authors. From Act. Procons.
When Diocletian was Emperor for the fourth, and Maximian for the third time, Tharacus, Probus, and Andronicus were brought by the captain Demetrius before Maximus, the President, at Pompeiopolis.
First examination of Tharacus.-Makimus first asked Tharacus his name, because the latter was the oldest. Tharacus answered, "I am a Christian."
Maximus said, "Be silent about this ungodly name, and tell me your name."
Tharacus again replied, "I am a Christian."
Maximus said to his beadles, "Break his jaws, and tell him not to answer me thus any more."
Tharacus responded, "I have told thee my best name; but if thou desirest to know how my parents called me, my name is Tharacus, and when I followed war, I was called Victor."
The President asked him, "Of what nation art thou, Tharacus?"
He answered, "Of the noble nation of the Romans, and was born at Claudianopolis, a city in Syria; but being a Christian I have abandoned war."
The Proconsul said, "Thou art not worthy of the pay, but how didst thou leave the service?"
Tharacus replied, "I asked Publius, our General, for permission, and he discharged .me, "
The President said, "Have regard for thy age, then;ffor I desire thee , too, to be one of those who obey the commands of our lords, the emperors; so that thou mayest be promoted by me to great honors. Come hither, therefore, and sacrifice to our gods, for the princes themselves, who are the monarchs of the whole world, honor the gods."
Tharacus answered, "They err grossly; however, they are seduced by Satan."
The President said, "Smite him on the cheek, because he has said that the emperors err."
Tharacus replied, ".'Yes, I have said it, and say it still, that they as men are liable to err."
The President said, "Sacrifice to our .gods, and forsake thy folly." haracus answered, "I serve my God, and sacrifice to Him: not with blood, but with a pure heart; for these sacrifices (namely such as are stained with blood) are unnecessary."
The President said, "I, have pity for thy age; therefore I admonish thee, to forsake this folly, and sacrifice to the gods."
Tharacus replied, "I will not depart from the law of the Lord; and because I honor the law of Cod, I shall beware of such wickedness."
The President said, "Is there, then, another law besides this, thou wicked wretch?"
Tharacus answered, "Your law commands to worship wood, stone, and the work of man."
Tharacus put to the rack.-The Proconsul or President then said to his hangmen, "Smite him on the neck, and tell him not to speak such folly."
While they were beating Tharacus, he said, "I shall by no means abandon this confession, which saves me."
The Proconsul said, "I shall make thee forsake this folly, and be more prudent."
Tharacus answered, "Do what thou wilt; thou hast full power over my body."
Maximus, the Proconsul, said to his servants"Strip him, and scourge him with rods."
Tharacus answered, as he was scourged, "Truly, thou hast made me more prudent, since by these stripes thou strengthenest me more and more in my confidence in God and His Anointed, Jesus Christ, who is His Son."
The President said, "Thou accursed and unrighteous fellow! how canst thou serve two gods at once? See, now thou dost certainly confess more than one god. Why then, deniest thou those whom we worship? Dost thou not confess Christ and the Lord?"
Tharacus answered, "Yea, I do; for He is the Son of God, the hope of all Christians, for whose sake we are wounded, and healed."
The President said, "Leave off this useless babbling; come hither, and sacrifice.", "I do not say much," replied Tharacus,"but I speak the truth; for I am now sixty-five years old, and have believed thus, and do not desire to depart from the truth."
Demetrius, the Centurion, said, "0 wretched man! spare thyself, sacrifice, and follow my advice."
Tharacus answered, "Depart from me, thou servant of Satan, with thy advice."
Maximus commanded them, to put heavy iron chains on him, and take him back to prison, and to bring forth another.
Probus, examined.-Demetrius, the Captain said, "Lord, here is one already."
Thereupon the President said to Probus, "Tell me first thy name."
Probus . answered, "In the first place, my noblest name is, that I am a Christian; secondly, men call me Probus."
The Proconsul asked again, "Of what nation and descent art thou?"
Probus replied, "My father was from Thracia, a citizen, born at Pergamus, in Pamphilia; but I am a Christian."
The Proconsul said, "Thou shalt not gain much by this name; but listen to me, and sacrifice to the gods; that thou mayest be honored by the princes, and be our friend."
Probus answered, "I desire neither honor from the emperors nor thy friendship; for not small was the wealth which I forsook, in order faithfully to serve the living God."
The Proconsul commanded them, to take his cloak off him, strip him, rack .him, and scourge him with raw thongs. While they scourged him, Demetrius, the captain, said, "O wretched man! behold, how thy blood is spilled upon the earth."
Probus replied, "My body is in your hands; but all these torments are a precious balm to me."
After he was scourged, the Proconsul said to him, "Thou wretch I wilt thou not yet cease from thy folly? and dost thou still persist in thy obstinacy?"
Probus answered, "I am not vain, but more courageous in the Lord, than you people are."
The President said to his servants, "Turn him over, and scourge him on his stomach."
Probus prayed, saying, "O Lord, come and succor thy servant."
Maximus, the Proconsul, said to the executioners, "While you scourge him, ask him, saying: 'Where is thy .helper?"'
Probus replied as they scourged him, "He has helped -me, and shall still help me."
The President said, "Thou wretched man! do spare thine own body; for the earth is soaked with thy blood."
Probus answered, "Be assured, the more my body suffers for the name of Christ, the more my soul is healed and quickened."
After he had been thus scourged and tortured, the Proconsul commanded them to fetter his hands and feet with irons, and thus keep him in prison; however to bring before him another.
Andyonicus examined.-Demetrius, the Centurion, placed Andronicus before Maximus' judgment seat, saying, "Sir, here is the third one."
The Proconsul said, "What is thy name?"
Andronicus answered, "Wouldst thou openly know who I am? I am a Christian."
Maximus said, "Those who have preceded thee have gained nothing by this name; therefore thou must answer me aright."
Andronicus replied, "Men generally call me Andronicus."
Maximus asked him of what nationality he was.
Andronicus answered, "Of noble blood."
Maximus said, "Spare thyself, and hearken to me, as to thy father; for those who have prated such nonsense before thee have gained nothing by it. But honor thou the princes and the fathers, and be obedient to our gods."
Andronicus replied, "Thou didst well call them fathers; for thou art of the father, the devil, and, having become one of his children, thou doest his works."
Maximus said, "Wilt thou, a stripling, despise and mock me? Knowest thou not, what torments are ready for thee?"
Andronicus said, "Dost thou think I am a fool, that I should be willing to be found inferior to my predecessors, in suffering? I stand prepared to endure all thy torments."
The Proconsul commanded that he should be stripped, ungirded, and suspended to the torturestake. Demetrius, the Captain, moved by pity, said, "Listen to me, wretched man, before thy body be racked."
Andronicus answered, "It is better that my body perish, than that thou shouldst do with my soul according to thy pleasure."
Maximus said, "Take advice, and sacrifice, before thou be tortured to death."
Andronicus replied, "Never from my youth up did I sacrifice, and do still not wish to do so, though thou constrain me."
Maximus said, "Lay on and rack him well."
Anaximus, the horn-blower, who was to execute the sentence, spoke to Andronicus, saying, "I am old enough to be thy father; I advise thee to the best: do what the Proconsul commands thee."
Andronicus replied, "Because thou art older, and hast no understanding, therefore thou advisest me to sacrifice to stones and evil spirits.
While he was being tormented, the Proconsul said, "Thou wretched man I Dost thou not feel any torments, seeing thou hast no compassion upon thyself, and dost not forsake thy folly, which cannot save thee?"
Andronicus answered, "My sincere confession, which thou callest a vain folly, is perfectly good, as putting all hope and confidence upon the Lord our God; but thy temporal wisdom shall die forever."
The President asked, "Who is it that has taught thee this folly?"
Andronicus replied, "The quickening word, by which we are quickened, teaches us that our Lord is in heaven, who works in our hearts the living hope of our blessed resurrection from the dead."
Maximus said, "Desist from this folly -before we torture thee still more severely."
Andronicus answered, "My body is before thee; thou hast full power over it; do as it pleaseth thee."
The Proconsul said, "Torture him exceedingly on the mouth."
Andronicus replied, "The Lord sees that you punish me even as a murderer."
The President said, "Dost thou still despise the commands of the princes? and thinkest thou my tribunal is without power?"
Andronicus answered, "I trust in the mercy and truth of God's promise, and therefore i suffer all this patiently."
Maximus asked, "Have, then, the princes transgressed, thou wretched man?"
Andronicus replied, "Yes, according as I understand it, they have; for it is a transgression to sacrifice to idols."
While he was being tormented, the Proconsul said, "Turn him over, and torment him on his sides."
Andronicus said, "I am before you. Torment me as you please."
The President said to the executioners, "Take potsherds, and scrape open the old wounds."
When they had done this, Andranicus said, "You have strengthened my body by these torments."
Maximus said, "Ere long I shall exterminate thee; ere long I shall kill thee."
Andronicus answered, "I do not fear thy threats; my sentiments are better than all thy wicked thoughts."
Then the Proconsul commanded that irons should be put on his neck and feet, and he be kept with the others until the second examination.
When Maximus held court the second time over these faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, and sat upon his judgment seat, he said, "Call in the ungodly Christians." Demetrius the captain, answered, "Here I am, my lord!" Then said the Proconsul to Tharacus, "Knowest thou not, that age is honored in many respects? Hast thou, then, not considered it, whether thou wilt still persist in thy first intention? Yea, advise with thyself, and sacrifice to the gods, for the prosperity of the princes; that thou mayest attain to honor."
Tharacus answered, "If the princes and others who are of the same opinion with you, knew what there is in this honor, they themselves would turn away from the blindness of their'vain conversation."
Tharacus put on the rack the second time.-The Proconsul said to his beadles, "Strike him on the
mouth with stones, and say to him: Desist from thy folly." Tharacus answered, "If I did not exercise more care for my salvation than you people do, I would be as foolish as you are."
The President said to him, "See, they have knocked thy teeth out; do have compassion upon thyself."
Tharacus replied, "Do not imagine this; for though thou shouldest cause everyone of my members to be crushed, I could still remain strong and steadfast in Him who strengthens me."
The President said, "Believe me, it is better for thee, that thou sacrifice."
Tharacus answered, "If I knew that it were better for me, I would not wait for this advice from thee."
When Tharacus ceased to speak, the Proconsul said to his hangmen, "Smite him on the mouth and make him speak."
Tharacus replied, "My cheeks are knocked to pieces; how can I answer any longer?"
Maximus said, "And wilt thou, madman, not yet consent to worship, and sacrifice to the gods?"
Tharacus answered, "Although thou hast deprived me of my voice, so that I cannot cry aloud, thou shalt nevertheless not injure my soul; but thou hast in this hour greatly strengthened me in my opinion."
Maximus said to his servants, "Bring fire! stretch out his hands, and put fire on them."
Tharacus replied, "I do not fear thy temporal fire; but I would have to fear eternal fire, if I should obey thee."
When the glowing fire was laid upon his hands, the President said, "See, the fire is consuming thy hands; desist, therefore, from thy folly and sacrifice to the gods."
Tharacus answered, "Thou speakest to me, as though because of thy cruelty I had already yielded to thy wish; however, but through the grace of God I am, in all my sufferings, as strong as ever."
The Proconsul said, "Tie his feet together, and hang him up by his heels, and make a thick smoke under his face."
Tharacus replied, "I neither regard thy fire, nor do I fear thy smoke."
When he was hung up, Maximus said to him, "There shalt thou hang, until thou consentest to sacrifice to the gods."
Tharacus answered, "Thou mayest sacrifice; for thou art accustomed to sacrifice human beings; but for me it is not lawful."
Maximus said to his servants, "Bring vinegar mixed with salt, and pour it into his nostrils."
NOTE.-Here a whole leaf is wanting in the original, namely, of the tortures which Tharacus, Probus, and Andronicus suffered in the second examination on the rack; however, concerning Andronicus the following additional was found.
The Proconsul said (namely, to Andronicus), "All this nonsense can avail thee nothing. But come, and sacrifice to the gods, that thou mayest not perish under the punishment."
Andronicus replied, "It is the same that thou hast heard the first and the second time; for I am not a child, to be moved or turned by words."
The President said, "You shall nevertheless neither conquer me, nor despise my tribunal."
Andronicus answered, "We do not conquer thee, but our Lord Jesus Christ strengthens us."
The President said, "The next time we hold court over these men, let other modes of torture be put in practice. In the meantime put him (Andronicus) in irons, and keep him in prison until tomorrow, and let no one see him."
The President said, "Call the ungodly Christians in." Demetrius, the centurion, answered, "Here I am."
Tharacus brought forth first.-When he had brought forth Tharacus, the Proconsul said, "Dost thou still despise imprisonment, bonds, punishments, and tortures? Follow my advice, O Tharacus, and abandon this confession, which profits thee nothing. Rather sacrifice to the gods, by whom all things exist."
Tharacus answered, "Woe shall come upon them. Thou thinkest that the world is governed by them; whereas they are destined for eternal fire; and not they only, but all those also who serve them."
The President said, "And dost thou not yet desist, thou impious blasphemerl or thinkest thou not that for thy rash words I should cause thee to be instantly beheaded?"
Tharacus replied, "Then I would not die a lingering death, but a short one. But let me have a long conflict, that in the meantime my faith in the Lord may grow and increase."
The President said, "Thou and thy fellow prisoners must die according to the laws."
Tharacus answered, "What thou sayest is an evidence of thy ignorance; for those who do evil die justly; but we who know of no evil, that is, who have committed nothing worthy of death before men, but suffer for the Lord, expect with confident hope the heavenly reward from the Lord."
The Proconsul said, "Thou accursed miscreant! what reward have ye to expect, seeing you die for your wickedness?"
Tharacus replied, "It is not lawful for thee to inquire into, or to ask, what reward the Lord has laid up for us in heaven; and therefore we patiently suffer the wrath of thy madness."
The President said, "Direst thou thus address me, thou accursed [one], as though thou wert mine equal?"
Tharacus answered, "I am not thine equal; but it is lawful for me to speak, and no one can silence
me, for the sake of Him who strengthens me, namely, .the Lord."
The Proconsul said, "Thou miscreant, I shall deprive thee of the power."
Tharacus answered, "No one can take away the power from me, neither thou, nor your princes, nor Satan, the father of you all."
Tharacus put to the rack.-The President said, "Now, seeing thou .art bound and suspended, in order that you may be .tortured, sacrifice in time, before I cause thee to be punished according to thy deserts."
Tharacus replied, "That thou mayest do; but since I was formerly a soldier, thou mayest not torment me with all manner of punishment. Yet, lest thou think, I might yield to thy perverseness, go on and devise and inflict upon me all sorts of punishment."
The President said, "Do not think that I shall sentence thee at once. I shall cause thee to be put to death by degrees."
Tharacus answered, "Whatever thou intendest to do, do at once, and do not threaten."
The President said, "If thou think, that some women will come and embalm thy body, thou art greatly mistaken, for it is my intention that nothing shall remain of thee."
Tharacus replied, "Do with my body as pleaseth thee, now as well as after my death.", "Maximian," said the Proconsul,"break his jaws, and tear his lips."
Tharacus answered, "True, thou hast crushed and marred my face; but thou hast quickened my soul."
The President said, "Thou wretched man! Desist f rom thy vain thoughts, and sacrifice; that thou mayest be delivered from these pangs."
Tharacus replied, "Dost thou .think I am a fool or a madman, and that I, who trust in the Lord, shall not live in heaven? Thou mayest deprive me of this temporal life for a little while; but thou wilt thereby cast thine own soul into eternal damnation."
The President said to the executioners, "Put the branding irons into the fire, and brand him on his cheeks or shoulders."
Tharacus answered, "Though thou inflict many more torments than these upon me, thou shalt nevertheless not turn the servant of God to the shameful idolatry of devils, to worship them."
The President said, "Bring a razor; cut off his skin; shave his head bald, and put burning coals upon it."
Tharacus replied, "And though thou cause my whole body to be flayed, I shall still not depart from my God., who strengthens me, to endure all the weapons of your torturing."
The President said, "Get the branding irons; let them get still hotter, and apply them to all his members and joints."
Tharacus, as he suffered this, cried out."May the Lord look down from heaven, and judge!" he President said, "What lord dost thou call upon, thou accursed fellow?"
Tharacus answered, "The Lord whom thou dost not know, and who recompenses every one according to his works."
The President said, "And shall I not exterminate thee, as I have told thee? Yea, even thy remains I shall burn, and scatter thy ashes to the wind; that the women may not come, and wind thy dead body in cloth to embalm it with precious ointments and spices."
Tharacus replied, "I have said it, and say so still, do what thou wilt: thou hast full power over my body in this world."
The President said, "Put him back into prison, and keep him until the next time for the wild beasts. Let another be brought before the tribunal."
Probus brought foward.-Demetrius, the captain, said to the Proconsul, "Sir, here he is already, namely, Probus."
The President said to Probus, "Advise with thyself, Probus, that thou mayest not fall again into the same punishment; for others, who on thy account have persisted in their obstinacy have rued it. Sacrifice now, therefore, that thou mayest be honored by us and the gods."
Probus answered, "We are all of one mind, serving God with one heart and soul. Think not, therefore, that thou wilt hear anything different from us; for thou hast ere this heard and seen enough to convince thee, that thou canst not turn us. Here I stand before thee the third time, and do not yet regard thy threats. What dost thou wait for, then?"
The President said, "Ye have conspired together to deny the gods. Bind him, and hang him up by his heels."
Probus replied, "Dost thou not yet cease to fight for Satan?"
Maximus said, "Believe me, before thou be tortured; have compassion upon thine own body. See, what dreadful torments are being prepared for thee."
Probus answered, "All that thou mayest do unto me, shall conduce to the comfort of my soul; therefore, do what thou wilt."
The President said, "Heat the branding irons red-hot, and apply them, to his sides, so that he may desist from his folly."
Probus replied, "The more foolish I appear to thee, the wiser I shall be in the law of the Lord."
The President said, "Press the branding irons on his back."
Probus answered as he was suffering, "My body is subject to thy power; but God will behold from heaven my humility and patience."
In the meantime the President commanded that meat and wine should be brought, which had been sacrificed .to the idols, saying to the executioners, "Pour wine down his throat, and take meat, and force it into his mouth."
While they were busy doing this, Probus said, "The Lord behold from His high throne the violence ye do to me, and judge my cause."
The President said, "Thou wretched manl thou hast suffered so much, and, behold I thou hast thyself received the sacrifice."
Probus replied, "Ye have not accomplished much, by doing me violence. The Lord knoweth my intentions."
The President said, "Thou hast eaten and drank what was sacrificed to the gods."
Probus answered, "The Lord knoweth it, and hath seen the violence I have suffered."
The President said to the executioners, "Apply the branding irons to the calves of his legs: '
Probus replied, "Neither the fire, nor the torments, nor thy father, Satan, can turn the servant of God from his confession."
The President said to his servants, "Let sharp nails be heated, and put them into his hands."
Probus answered as he suffered this, "I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast made my hands worthy, to suffer for Thy name."
The President said, "The many torments have deprived thee of thy mind."
Probus replied, "The great power which thou hast, has not only made thee a fool, but also blind; for thou knowest not what thou art doing."
The President said, "Thou who hast been tormented on thy whole body excepting the eyes, darest thou speak thus to me?""Pinch his eyes," said he to the executioners,"that he may gradually become blind."
When this had been done, Probus said, "Behold, thou hast also deprived me of my bodily eyes, but thou shalt never be permitted to destroy the eyes of my faith."
The President said, "Dost thou think thou wilt survive all these torments, or that thus thou shalt die happy?"
Probus answered, "Fighting thus, I gradually approach the end, so that I may finish my good and perfect confession, and be put to death by you without mercy."
The President said, "Take him away, bind him, put him in pr~on, and let none of his companions come near hind, to praise him for having continued so steadfast in his wickedness. He, too, shall be cast before the wild beasts at the next show."
Andronicus put to the rack.-Then said the President, "Let Andronicus come forth."
Demetrius, the captain, said, "He is already here."
The President said to Andronicus, "Have at least compassion on thy youth, if thou hast prudently advised with thyself to reverence the gods
consent and sacrifice to the gods, that thou mayest be released.
Andronicus answered, "May God never suffer thee, O tyrant, that I do aught against the law of God. Thou shalt never shake my good confession, which I have founded upon my Lord. Here I stand ready, for thee to make manifest on me thy hardness."
The President said, "Methinks, thou art raving, and possessed of the devil."
Andronicus replied, "If I had the devil in me, I should obey thee; but because I confess the Lord, I do not submit to ,the commands of the devil. But hast not thou the devil in thee? For, being deceived by the devil, thou doest the works of the devil."
The President said to the Executioners, "Make bundles of: paper, and put fire upon his body."
When this was done, Andronicus said, "Though I burn from head to foot, the spirit nevertheless is alive in me. Thou shalt not conquer me; for the Lord, whom I serve is with me."
The President said, "Thou madman! how long wilt thou remain thus obstinate? Seek at least to die upon thy bed."
Andronicus answered, "As long as I live, I shall overcome thy wickedness."
The President said, "Heat the branding irons red-hot again, and put them between his fingers."
Andronicus replied, "O foolish despiser of God I Thou art full of the wicked thoughts of Satan. Scest thou not that my body is almost consumed through the manifold torments thou hast inflicted upon me. Thinkest thou that now at .the last I shall begin to fear thy devices? I have Christ dwelling in my heart, and despise thy torments."
The President said, "Thou miscreant! knowest thou not that this Christ, whom thou worshipest became man, and was punished under the judge Pontius Pilate?"
Andronicus answered, "Be silent, for it is not lawful for thee to speak evil of Him."
The President said, "What gainest thou by thy faith and hope in this man whom thou callest Christ?"
Andronicus replied, "I have thereby in expectation a great reward and gain; hence I endure all this so patiently."
The President said, "Break open his mouth, and take meat that has been sacrificed, from the altar, and force it into his mouth, and pour in wine also."
Andronicus called God to witness, saying, "O Lord I Lord I behold, what violence I suffer!"
The President said, "How long wilt thou thus obstinately endure the punishment? See, thou hast certainly eaten of that which has been sacrificed to the gods."
Andronicus answered, "Cursed be all who honor the idols, thou and thy princes."
The President said, "Thou miscreant, cursest thou the princes, who have obtained for us so lasting and tranquil peace?"
Andronicus replied, "They are cursed, who, as the pestilence, and as bloodhounds, turn the whole world upside down; whom the Lord by His mighty arm shall confound and destroy."
The President commanded the executioners, "Put an iron into his mouth, and with it break out all his teeth, and cut out his blasphemous tongue, that he may learn no more to blaspheme the princes. Take away his teeth, and burn his tongue to ashes, and scatter the latter all about, lest his fellow Christians, or some women, gather his remains, and keep them as precious relics. Take him away from here, and put him into prison, that at the next show he, together with his companions, Tharacus and Probus may be thrown before the wild beasts." Acta Procons. per Metaph. and alios.
It is declared that the above account concerning the examination of the three afore-mentioned Christians was written entirely by the heathen themselves, who put them to death; only a few words having been altered, to make the sense clearer. A certain celebrated author mentioning this, writes as follows, "Herewith ends the third examination or inquisition on the rack, and thus far these proceedings with the martyrs have been recorded by the heathen clerk of the criminal court himself, and were doubtless afterwards bought for money by the Christians."
Beloved reader I I could not forbear to translate these records, just as they were, for the most part word for word; not only because I have found them to be true and genuine in every respect; but also, because we can very clearly see therefrom, what form of inquisition or examination the heathen employed against the Christians; as well as with what manifold torments the obdurate heathen sought to compel the Christians to apostatize from the faith, and how remarkably God preserved His own against the devices and wiles of the devil.
It need not seem strange to the reader, that the proconsul or criminal judges so frequently put to the rack the same Christians, to cause them to apostatize from the faith; for Lactantius tells us of a president in Bithynia, who for two years endeavored by all manner of torments to compel a Christian to apostatize, and who, when this Christian finally seemed to yield, boasted of it just as though he had conquered a whole province of a barbaric country.
As touching the rest of the matter, that is, how and when the sentence of the Proconsul was executed, the heathen have not recorded it; but some Christian brethren, namely, Macarius, Felix, and Verus, probably bought those records from the clerk of the criminal court, and added from their own observation what was wanting, since they had been eyewitnesses of it at the theatrical drama the following day.
Numerius Maximus, Proconsul of Cilicia, summoning Terentian, the provider of public sacrifices and theatrical performances which were held in Cilicia, commanded him to provide for the dramas for the next day. The following day a great number of men and women assembled in the amphitheatre, which was situated about a mile or one thousand paces from the city. When the amphitheatre was filled with people, Maximus also came to witness the play, and in the first act of it, when many wild beasts were let out at the same time, many human bodies were devoured. We Christians kept ourselves concealed and waited with great fear for the bringing forth of the martyrs. Suddenly the Proconsul commanded the soldiers to bring in the Christian martyrs, namely, Tharacus, Probus, and Andronicus. The soldiers compelled some to carry the Christian martyrs on their shoulders, for they were torn and lacerated to such a degree, that they could not walk. We then saw them carried thus disfigured into the amphitheatre, and seeing how they had been maltreated, we turned our faces, and cried bitterly. Thus the martyrs were thrown down into the middle of the arena, as the ofiscouring or refuse of this world; and when the multitude beheld them, they were all frightened, and the people murmured greatly against Maximus for having thus tormented them, and then yet sentencing them to be thrown to the beasts; yea, many went away from the amphitheatre, censuring Maximus for his inhuman cruelty. When Maximus saw this, he commanded the soldiers who stood near him, to note those who murmured against him, and were leaving; so that he might afterwards examine them in regard to it. In the meantime he commanded that the wild beasts should be let out, to rend the martyrs. In Scriptura Christianorum Fratrum.
In order to avoid prolixity, we shall sum up what follows here in the afore-mentioned account of the Christian brethren, in these words, "The wild beasts were let out, especially a frightful bear, and then a lioness; both of which indeed, by roaring terribly, made a dreadful noise, so that also the spectators were frightened by it; but they did not harm the martyrs, much less tear or devour them. The Proconsul in his rage commanded the spearmen, to thrust the bear through; the lioness, however, on account of the fear o£ the people, was let out by a back door, which was broken in pieces. Then Maximus ordered Terentian, to let in the gladiators, who should first kill the Christians, and then fight with each other for life. These, when they came in, first thrust through the martyrs; which happened on the 11th day of October, A. D. 290, at Tarsus in Cilicia." When the drama was over, and the Proconsul was about to go home,
he left ten soldiers in the amphitheatre, charging them, to mingle the dead bodies of the martyrs with those of the heathen gladiators, that the Christians might not be able to distinguish them. However, it is stated in the above account, that the Christians removed their dead bodies, and buried them in a cave in a rock.
In regard to this, A. Mellinus, who has referred to it, has the following remark, "They who did this, also wrote the conclusion of this history; hence we have not the least reason to doubt the veracity of this account of the proceedings against the martyrs." First book of the Mart. 1619, fol. 96, col. 1; but with reference to the previous proceedings against the martyrs, see fol.- 93, col. 3, and fol. 94, col. 1-4, fol. 95, col. 1-3.