Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/338

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The Sixth Age.

from the building of Rome: thus this natal year, the most august of all that preceded it, was celebrated by a Christian emperor with most costly games and spectacles. Origen writes against Celsus.Origen made a reply in eight books to a certain Celsus, an Epicurean philosopher, who had written against us: this man, I may say in a few words, was so diligent a writer, that Jerome in one place has recorded, that he had himself read 6000 of his books.

A.M. 4205 [254].

[A.D. 248.]
Decius reigned 1 year and 3 months. Having slain the Philips, father and son, through his hatred of them he excites a persecution of the Christians, in which Fabian was crowned with martyrdom at Rome, and left his bishopric to Cornelius, who also attained the martyr's crown. Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, and Babylas are slain, the one at Cesarea in Palestine, the other at Antioch. But this persecution, according to Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, had not its origin from the emperor's command; but for a whole year, says he, a ministering dæmon, whom our state alleged to be from the gods, anticipated the principal edicts, and stirred up the superstitious vulgar against us.

A.M. 4207 [256].

[A.D. 251.]
Gallus, with his son Volusianus, reigned 2 years and 4 months. Dionysius, prelate of Alexandria, thus speaks of his reign:—"Now Gallus could neither discern nor a,void the misfortune of Decius, but stumbled over the same stone of offence; for when his reign was prosperous in the beginning, and a clear course was open before him, he persecuted the holy men who prayed to God, the Most High, for the peace of his kingdom, and with them departed both his prosperity and quiet. Origen dies.Origen died, and was buried in the city of Tyre, not having fully completed his seventieth year. Cornelius, bishop of Rome, at the request of a certain matron named Lucina, disinterred in the night-time the bodies of the apostles Paul and