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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

AMONG these, Basilides must be numbered the seventh; he who led away the celebrated Potamiæna to execution, concerning whom many traditions are still circulated abroad among the inhabitants of the place, of the innumerable conflicts she endured for the preservation of her purity and chastity, in which indeed she was eminent; for, besides the perfections of her mind, she was blooming also in the maturity of personal attractions. Many things are also related of her fortitude in suffering for faith in Christ; and, at length, after horrible tortures and pains, the very relation of which makes one shudder, she was, with her mother Macella, committed to the flames. It is said, indeed, that the judge, Aquila by name, after having applied the severest tortures to her on every part of her body, at last threatened that he would give her body to be abused by the gladiators; but that she, having considered the matter a little, after being asked what she would determine, made such a reply as made it appear that she uttered something deemed impious with them. Immediately, therefore, receiving the sentence of condemnation, she was led away to die by Basilides, one of the officers in the army. But when the multitude attempted to assault and insult her with abusive language; he, by keeping off, restrained their insolence; exhibiting the greatest compassion and kindness to her. Perceiving the man’s sympathy, she exhorts him to be of good cheer, for that after she was gone she would intercede for him with her Lord, and it would not be long before she would reward him for his kind deeds towards her. Saying this, she nobly sustained the issue; having boiling pitch poured over different parts of her body, gradually by little and little, from her feet up to the crown of her head. And such, then, was the conflict which this noble virgin endured. Not long after, Basilides being urged to swear, on a certain occasion, by his fellow-soldiers, declared that it was not lawful for him to swear at all; for he was a Christian, and this he plainly professed. At first, indeed, they thought that he was thus far only jesting; but as he constantly persevered in the assertion, he was conducted to the judge, before whom, confessing his determination, he was committed to prison. When some of the brethren came to see him, and inquired the cause of this sudden and singular resolve, he is said to have declared, that Potamiæna, indeed, for the three days after her martyrdom, standing before him at night, placed a crown upon his head, and said that she had entreated the Lord on his account, and she had obtained her prayer, and that ere long she would take him with her. On this, the brethren gave him the seal in the Lord; and he, bearing a distinguished testimony to the Lord, was beheaded. Many others, also, of those at Alexandria, are recorded as having promptly attached themselves to the doctrine of Christ in these times; and this by reason of Potamiæna, who appeared in dreams, and exhorted many to embrace the divine word. Of these let this suffice.








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