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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT this period they arrested Acepsimus the bishop, and many of his clergy. After having taken counsel together, they despoiled the clergy and then dismissed them. James, however, who was one of the presbyters, voluntarily followed Acepsimus, obtained permission from the Magi to share his prison, and joyfully ministered to him and dressed his wounds; for the Magi had cruelly scourged him in order to compel him to worship the sun, and on his refusal to do so, had remanded him to prison. Two priests, named Aithalas and James, and two deacons, by name Azadanus and Abdiesus, were castigated and imprisoned in the same manner by the Magi, on account of their adherence to the doctrines of Christ. After a long time had elapsed, the great Arch-magi inquired of the king what was his pleasure concerning them: and having received permission to deal with them as he pleased, unless they would consent to worship the sun, he made known this decision of Sapor’s to the prisoners. They replied that they would never betray the cause of Christ nor worship the sun, and were immediately subjected to the most excruciating tortures. Acepsimus persevered in the manly confession of his faith till death put an end to his torments. Certain Armenians, whom the Persians retained as hostages, secretly carried away his body and buried it. The other prisoners were severely scourged, but did not expire beneath the blows, and as they would not renounce their sentiments, were again consigned to prison. Aithalas was one of those who experienced this treatment; both his arms were broken when preparations were being made for the scourging; and he afterwards lost the use of his hands so completely that he was obliged to depend upon others to convey the food to his mouth. Subsequently, a multitude of presbyters, deacons, monks, holy virgins, ministers of the church, and labourers in word and doctrine, terminated their lives by martyrdom. The following are the names of the bishops, so far as I have been able to ascertain: Barbasymes, Paul, Gadiabes, Sabinus, Mareas, Mocius, John, Hormisdas, Papas, James, Romas, Maares, Agas, Bochres, Abdas, Abdiesus, John, Abraham, Agdelas, Sapor, Isaac, and Dausas. The latter had been made prisoner by the Persians, and brought from a place named Zabdæus: he died about this time in defence of the Christian doctrine; and Mareabdes Chorepiscopus, and about two hundred and fifty of his clergy, who had also been captured by the Persians, suffered with him.








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