SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XXI a. Passio Sanctorum Scilitanorum (ROBINSON, T & S. i. 112-116.)


Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs


Praesente bis et Claudiano consulibus, XVI Kalendas Augustas, Kartagine in secretario inpositis Sperato, Nartzalo et Cittino, Donata, Secunda, Vestia; Saturninus proconsul dixit: Potestis indulgentiam domini nostri imperatoris promereri, si ad bonam mentem redeatis.

Speratus dixit: Numquam malefecimus, iniquitati nullam operam praebuimus; numquam malediximus, so sed male accepti gratias egimus; propter quod imperatorem nostrum obseruamus.

Saturninus proconsul dixit: Et nos religiosi sumus, et simplex est religio nostra, et iuramus per genium domini nostri imperatoris, et pro salute eius supplicamus, quod et uos quoque facere debetis.

Speratus dixit: Si tranquillas praebueris aures tuas, dico mysterium simplicitatis.

Saturninus dixit: Initianti tibi mala de sacris nostris aures non praebebo; sed potius iura per genium domini nostri imperatoris.

Speratus dixit: Ego imperium huius seculi non cognosco; sed magis illi Deo seruio, quem nemo hominum uidit nec uidere his oculis potest, furtum non feci; sed siquid emero teloneum reddo: quia cognosco dominum meum, regem regum et imperatorem omnium gentium.

Saturninus proconsul dixit ceteris: Desinite huius esse persuasionis.

Speratus dixit: Mala est persuasio homicidium facere, falsum testimonium dicere.

Saturninus proconsul dixit: Nolite huius dementiae esse participes.

Cittinus dixit: Nos non habemus alium quem timeamus, nisi dominum Deum nostrum qui est in caelis.

Donata dixit: Honorem Caesari quasi Caesari; timorem autem Deo.

Vestia dixit: Christiana sum.

Secunda dixit: Quod sum, ipsud uolo esse.

Saturninus proconsul Sperato dixit: Perseueras Christianus?

Speratus dixit: Christianus sum: et cum eo omnes consenserunt.

Saturninus proconsul dixit: Numquid ad deliberandum spatium uultis?

Speratus dixit: In re tam iusta nulla est deliberatio.

Saturninus proconsul dixit: Quae sunt res in capsa uestra?

Speratus dixit: Libri et epistulae Pauli uiri iusti.

Saturninus proconsul dixit: Moram XXX dierum habete et recordemini.

Speratus iterum dixit: Christianus sum: et cum eo omnes consenserunt.

Saturninus proconsul decretum ex tabella recitauit: Speratum, Nartzalum, Cittinum, Donatam, Vestiam, Secundam et ceteros ritu Christiano se uiuere confessos, quoniam oblata sibi facultate ad Romanorum morem redeundi obstinanter perseuerauerunt, gladio animaduerti placet.

Speratus dixit: Deo gratias agimus.

Nartzalus dixit: Hodie martyres in caelis sumus: Deo gratias.

Saturninus proconsul per praeconem dici iussit: Speratum, Nartzalum, Cittinum, Veturium, Felicem, Aquilinum, Laetantium, Ianuariam, Generosam, Vestiam, Donatam, Secundam duci iussi.

Vniuersi dixerunt: Deo gratias.

Et ita omnes simul martyrio coronati sunt, et regnant cum Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto per omnia secula seculorum. amen.

When Praesens, for the second time, and Claudianus were the consuls, on the seventeenth day of July, at Carthage, there were set in the judgment-hall Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata, Secunda and Vestia.

Saturninus the proconsul said: You can win the indulgence of our lord the Emperor, if you return to a sound mind.

Speratus said: We have never done ill, we have not lent ourselves to wrong, we have never spoken ill, but when ill-treated we have given thanks; because we pay heed to our Emperor.

Saturninus the proconsul said: We too are religious, and our religion is simple, and we swear by the genius of our lord the Emperor, and pray for his welfare, as you also ought to do.

Speratus said: If you will peaceably lend me you ears, I can tell you the mystery of simplicity.

Saturninus said: I will not lend mine ears to you, when you begin to speak evil things of our sacred rites; but rather, swear by the genius of our lord the Emperor.

Speratus said: The empire of this world I know not; but rather I serve that God, whom no man has seen, nor with these eyes can see [1 Tim. vi. 16.]. I have committed no theft; but if I have bought anything I pay the tax; because I know my Lord, the King of kings and Emperor of all nations.

Saturninus the proconsul said to the rest: Cease to be of this persuasion.

Speratus said: It is an ill persuasion to do murder, to speak false witness.

Saturninus the proconsul said: do not partake of this folly.

Cittinus said: We have no one other to fear, save only our Lord God, who is in heaven.

Donata said: Honour to Caesar as Caesar: but fear to God [Cf Rom. xiii. 7.]

Vestia said: I am a Christian.

Secunda said: What I am, that I wish to be.

Saturninus the proconsul said to Speratus: Do you persist in being a Christian?

Speratus said: I am a Christian. And with him they all agreed.

Saturninus the proconsul said: Will you have a space to consider?

Speratus said: In a matter so straightforward there is no considering.

Saturninus the proconsul said: What are the things in your chest?

Speratus said: Books and epistles of Paul, a just man.

Saturninus the proconsul said: Have a delay of thirty days and think it over.

Speratus said a second time: I am a Christian. And with him they all agreed.

Saturninus the proconsul read out the decree from the tablet: Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata, Vestia, Secunda and the rest having confessed that they live according to the Christian rite, since after opportunity offered them of returning to the custom of the Romans they have obstinately persisted, it is determined that they are to be put to the sword.

Speratus said: We give thanks to God.

Nartzalus said: To-day we are martyrs in heaven; thanks be to God.

Saturninus the proconsul ordered it to be declared by the herald: Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata and Secunda, I have ordered to be executed.

They all said: Thanks be to God.

And so they all together were crowned with martyrdom; and they reign with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

R.


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