Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror

52. Summary of Martyrs in the Second Century

An Account Of Those Who Suffered In The Second Century

A Summary of the Martyrs of the Second Century

[The two Roman, or, properly speaking, Greek Emperors, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius raised the principal persecutions against the Christians, in this century. This is amply shown in the following account, as well as what persons suffered for the name of Christ in these persecutions.

In the persecutions through Trajan there were slain, after enduring much suffering, Simon Cleophas, who was a hundred and twenty years old, Rufus and Zosimus, the Ethiopian baptized by Philip, Ignatius, Onesimus, Dionysius Areopagita, Publius, Barsimeus, Barbelius and his sister Barba, Justus and Pastor, Phocas, Faustina, Jacobita, Felicitas with her seven sons, and Lucius.

Under Marcus Aurelius there suffered, Justinus, Polycarpus, and twelve of his beloved disciples, who had come from Philadelphia to Smyrna, and were slain there; Carpus, Papylus, Agathonica and many women, Germanicus, Vetius, Attalus, Alexander of Phrygia, Maturus, Sanctus Blandina and a youth, Photinus, ninety years old, Alcibiades, Epipodius, Alexander the Greek, Leoxides, Plutarchus, Sagaris, Thraseas. All these fought unto blood under the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ; their deaths may be read at large in the following account.]

We shall begin the second century with the third general persecution which was raised against the followers of Jesus Christ, and shall forthwith proceed to give an account of the time, place, persons, and circumstances.

The Third Persecution of Christians, Commenced Under Trajan, A.D. 102

With the beginning of the second century, A.D. 102, arose the third heathen persecution against the Christians under Emperor Trajan, who attained to the reign of the Roman monarchy in the year 100.

Being instigated by Mamertinus, the governor of Rome, and Targuimis, the superintendent of the worship of the heathen deities, he persecuted the Christians in an awful manner, and put them to a wretched death.

He was called a good emperor, but very superstitious as regards the heathen worship: by reason of which he was the more easily induced to undertake this sorry work. It also was no small help to this end, that the heathen priests and idolaters paid great taxes, to extirpate by sufferings and death, as the enemies of God and of man, those who were opposed to their gods, especially the Christians.

Meanwhile we shall show what persons suffered under the bloody reign of Emperor Trajan, for the name of Jesus Christ.

Thieleman J. Van Braght (1625-1664) was an Anabaptist who is best known for writing a history of the Christian witness throughout the centuries entitled “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660” (1660).

Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror