P.O. Box 1333
Merchantville NJ 08109, USA
Authentic Accounts of Christian Martyrdom
and Persecution from the Ancient Sources
compiled and edited by
Anthony P. Schiavo, Jr.
About the book:
"Jesus never existed."
"The Bible is a book of fairy tales."
"Accounts of Christian persecution are fables."
Christians of today face accusations of this type on a regular basis. These charges gain traction in the modern world because the average person has practically no knowledge of the Church's ancient past. I Am A Christian: Authentic Accounts of Christian Martyrdom and Persecution from the Ancient Sources aims to remedy this deficiency by providing a collection of the earliest and most trustworthy eye-witness accounts from Roman antiquity.
When Christianity began to spread throughout the Roman world, an insatiable demand erupted for literature relating to Christ, the Apostles and the earliest saints. Fascinated by their new faith, the catechumens wanted details about their predecessors who had suffered and died decades or centuries before. To obtain this information, legal records—which the Romans meticulously kept —were investigated. In several cases, the transcripts of the actual trials of the martyrs were discovered and included within the written acts and deeds of the saints. It is these types of records which form the core of this book.
The works collected in this little book are especially valuable because they are survivors. During the last great Roman persecution in the early 4th century AD, the emperor Diocletian decreed that all Christian literature be burned—Sacred Scripture, theological works, lives of the saints, everything. What remains to us are the relatively few ancient works that slipped through the persecutor's grasp. These include numerous obscure but fascinating works that even the most informed Christians know little about, such as the Apology and Acts of Apollonius, the passion of Saint Saturninus, the poems of Prudentius, the epitaphs of Damasus, and many, many others.
Taken together, these works form a glorious record of early Christian zeal and fortitude in the face of aggressive state persecution. When reading them, one notices a common refrain: when questioned, the accused would cry out: “I am a Christian,” which was the equivalent of saying, “I am guilty as charged.” In an era when such an admission carried a death sentence, these authentic testimonies provide a convincing answer to the modern skeptics who will find them as baffling as did the ancient Roman emperors, proconsuls and magistrates of nearly two millennia ago.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: The First Martyrs
Chapter 2: The Passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Chapter 3: The Passion of Saint Polycarp
Chapter 4: The Passion of Saint Justin Martyr
Chapter 5: The Apology and Acts of Apollonius
Chapter 6: The Scillitan Martyrs
Chapter 7: The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas
Chapter 8: Saints Potamiena, Basilides and the Pupils of Origen who Became Martyrs
Chapter 9: The Martyrs of Alexandria
Chapter 10: The Passion of Saint Saturninus, Bishop of Toulouse
Chapter 11: The Martyrdom of Saint Cyprian of Carthage
Chapter 12: The Passion of Saint Lawrence
Chapter 13: The Passion of Saint Fructuosus of Tarragon and Companions
Chapter 14: Passion of Saints Chionia, Agape, and Irene who Hid the Scriptures
Chapter 15: “Traditores” and the Burning of Christian Books
Chapter 16: The Martyrs of Abitina
Chapter 17: The Martyrdom of Saint Crispina
Chapter 18: The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes of Rome
Chapter 19: The Martyrdom Poems of Prudentius
Chapter 20: The Martyrs of Persia during the Reign of King Sapor II
Chapter 21: Martyrs during the Reign of Julian the Apostate
Appendix A: The Epitaphs of Pope Saint Damasus
due August 2018
ca. 212 pages ~ paperback
978-1-935228-18-9 ~ $14.95
with 10% discount: $13.46
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