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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE prosperity of the Arians greatly added to their arrogance, and they persecuted unmercifully all Christians whose religious sentiments were opposed to their own. These Christians being exposed to personal injuries, accusations and imprisonment, and finding themselves moreover gradually impoverished by the fines and extortions of the Arians, were at length compelled to appeal for redress to the emperor. They deputed to him for this purpose an embassy consisting of eighty ecclesiastics, under the direction of Urbanus, Theodore, and Menedemes. When they arrived at Nicomedia, they presented a memorial of their grievances to the emperor. Although transported with rage, the emperor did not openly manifest any displeasure, but secretly commanded the prefect to slay the whole deputation. But the prefect, being apprehensive that a popular insurrection would be excited if he were to put so many good and religious men to death without any of the forms of justice, pretended that they were to be sent into exile, and under this pretext compelled them to embark on board a ship, to which they assented with the most perfect resignation. When they had sailed to about the centre of the bay, which was called Astacenes, the sailors, according to the orders they had received, set fire to the vessel, and leaped into the boat. A wind arising, the ship was blown along to Dacibiza, a port of Bithynia; but no sooner had it neared the shore, than it was utterly consumed with all the men on board.








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