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E07907: Jerome in several of the brief biographical notes in his On illustrious men, mentions the deaths as martyrs of Christian authors. Written in Latin in Bethlehem (Palestine), 392/393.

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posted on 2020-05-27, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Jerome, On Illustrious Men (De viris inlustribus)

19. Quadratus, apostolorum discipulus, Publio, Athenarum episcopo, ob Christi martyrium coronato, in locum eius substituitur et ecclesiam grandi terrore dispersam fide et industria sua congregat.

'Quadratus, disciple of the apostles, after Publius bishop of Athens had been crowned with martyrdom on account of his faith in Christ, was substituted in his place, and by his faith and industry gathered the church scattered by reason of its great fear.'

23. Iustinus philosophus... hic cum in urbe Roma haberet διατριβάς, et Crescentem cynicum, qui multa aduersum christianos blasphemabat, redargueret gulosum et mortis timidum luxuriae que et libidinum sectatorem, ad extremum, studio eius et insidiis accusatus quod christianus esset, pro christo sanguinem fudit.

'Justin the Philosopher... He, when he had held διατριβάς in the city of Rome, and had convicted Crescens the cynic, who said many blasphemous things against the Christians, of gluttony and fear of death, and had proved him devoted to luxury and lusts, at last, accused of being a Christian, through the efforts and wiles of Crescens, he shed his blood for Christ.'

62. Alexander episcopus Cappadociae... septima autem persecutione sub Decio, quo tempore Babylas Antiochiae passus est, ductus Caesaream et clausus carcere ob confessionem Christi martyrio coronatur.

'Alexander bishop of Cappadocia... [and later acting bishop of Jerusalem] In the seventh persecution under Decius, at the time when Babylas of Antioch was put to death, brought to Cæsarea and shut up in prison, he received the crown of martyrdom for confessing Christ.'

74. Victorinus, petabionensis episcopus... ad extremum martyrio coronatus est.

'Victorinus, bishop of Poetovio... At the last he received the crown of martyrdom.'

75. Pamphilus... scripsit, antequam Eusebius scriberet, apologeticum pro Origene, et passus est Caesareae Palaestinae sub persecutione Maximini.

'Pamphilus... He wrote an Apology for Origen before Eusebius had written his and was put to death at Cæsarea in Palestine in the persecution of Maximinus.'

83. Methodius... ad extremum nouissimae persecutionis, siue ut alii adfirmant, sub Decio et Valeriano, in Chalcide Graeciae martyrio coronatus est.

'Methodius [of Olympus]... At the end of the recent persecution or, as others affirm, in the reign of Decius and Valerianus, he was crowned with martyrdom at Chalcis in Greece.'

Text: Richardson, 1896. Translation: Richardson, 1892.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Justinus, philosopher and martyr of Rome (ob. 163/167) : S01140 Pamphilos, martyr of Caesarea : S00140 Methodios of Olympus, theologian, bishop and martyr, ob. 311 : S01694 Alexandros, bishop and martyr of Jerusalem : S00149 Quadratus, martyr in

Saint Name in Source

Iustinus Pamphilus Methodius Alexander Quadratus Victorinus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Bethlehem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Jerome of Stridon


Jerome wrote this collection of very short biographies of 135 Christian authors at the beginning of his stay in Bethlehem in 392/393. Amongst the authors commemorated were several who suffered martyrdom (which Jerome records at the end of their biographies) and others (such as Eusebius of Vercelli and Hilary of Poitiers) who would later attract cult, but Jerome's purpose in writing De viris inlustribus was to show how many learned men there had been, and still were within the Christian church (he closes with a rather longer biography of himself!), rather than to encourage saintly cult.


The brief notes collected in this record, although they mention their heroes' deaths as martyrs, cannot be taken as attesting their cult. They do, however, show that these people were remembered as martyrs, and probably that their martyrdom strengthened the authority of their writings. Quadratus of Athens was a Christian apologist, but there is no other evidence of his martyrdom. Jerome may have confused him with a martyr of this name.


Text: Richardson, E.C., De viris inlustribus (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, vol. 14/1a, Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1896), 1-56. Translation: Richardson, E.C., On Illustrious Men (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892). Revised and edited by K. Knight. .

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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