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E00366: Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine includes the story of the martyrdom of the Marcionite bishop *Asklepios, (martyr of Palestine, S00178), martyred with *Petros Abshelama from Eleutheropolis (martyr of Palestine, S00165). Written in 311 in Caesarea (Palestine); written in Greek, but parts of the text survive only in Syriac.

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posted on 06.04.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Eusebius of Caesarea, Martyrs of Palestine, 10.3

ܒܗ̇ ܕܝܢ ܒܚܕܐ ܢܘܪܐ ܐܬܟܪܢ ܗܘܐ ܥܡܗ ܚܕ ܐܝܢܐ ܕܡܢ ܛܥܝܘܬܐ ܕܡܪܩܝܘܢ ܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܗܘܐ. ܘܐܦܣܩܘܦܐ ܢܦܫܗ ܩܪܐ ܗܘܐ. ܘܐܝܟ ܕܒܛܢܢܐ ܕܟܐܢܘܬܐ ܢܦܫܗ ܠܗܕܐ ܝܗܒ ܗܘܐ. ܐܠܐ ܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܒܝܕܥܬܐ ܫܪܝܪܬܐ. ܥܡ ܗܢܐ ܣܗܕܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܒܢܘܪܐ ܐܣܗܕ ܗܘܐ

'Now on one and the same pyre was yoked with him a certain person of the Marcionite error, who called himself a bishop. And he gave himself up to this as though forsooth in his zeal for righteousness - but he was not in the knowledge of the truth - and suffered martyrdom by fire along with this martyr of God.'

Text: Cureton 1861. Translation: Lawlor and Oulton 1927.

History

Evidence ID

E00366

Saint Name

Asklepios, martyr in Palestine, ob. 310 : S00178

Saint Name in Source

Ἀσκληπιός

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

311

Evidence not after

340

Activity not before

310

Activity not after

340

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Caesarea Maritima

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Caesarea Maritima Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Eusebius of Caesarea

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Heretics

Source

In this work Eusebius presents an account of the suffering and death of Christian martyrs executed during the eight years of the Diocletianic (or Great) persecution, i.e. 303-311. Most of the martyrdoms described by Eusebius took place in Palestine, with the provincial capital city of Caesarea as the most prominent setting. Martyrdom of Asklepios: ed. Cureton 1861, p. 38* (long recension); ed. Schwartz et al. 1999, vol. 2, p. 931 (short recension); English trans. Lawlor and Oulton 1927-1928, vol. 1, p. 378. For a full discussion of Martyrs of Palestine, see $E00294.

Discussion

At the conclusion of the account of the martyrdom of Petros Abshelama from Eleutheropolis, which took place in the city of Caesarea on 10 January 310, Eusebius adds that on the same pyre with this orthodox martyr was burnt a certain Asklepios, who was a bishop of 'the Marcionite error'. His name is mentioned only in the short recension. This brief reference to an 'unorthodox' martyr stands apart in the description of the Palestinian martyrs by Eusebius. It illustrates the historian's somewhat mixed attitude towards the 'heretical' martyrs, which includes acknowledgement of their zeal and suffering, as well as denial of its legitimacy. This passage provides valuable evidence on the persecution by the Roman authorities of different Christian groups. It also testifies that the ideology of martyrdom was not limited to the 'orthodox' Christians only.

Bibliography

Editions and translations: Cureton, W. (ed.), History of the Martyrs in Palestine, by Eusebius, Bishop in Caesarea, Discovered in a Very Ancient Syriac Manuscript (London / Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate / Paris: C. Borrani, 1861). Lawlor, H.J., and Oulton, J.E.L. (trans.), The Ecclesiastical History and the Martyrs of Palestine. 2 vols (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1927-1928). Schwartz, E., Mommsen, T., and Winkelmann, F. (eds.), Eusebius Werke, Band 2, Teil 2 (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte NF 6/2; 2nd ed.; Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1999).

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