Sunday, 5 November 2017

Lactantius: why the earth is not round.



It is nonsense to think that the idea of a flat earth was refuted by Columbus, when he tried to find a route to India through a western passage.  Still, the idea of a round earth was far from universally accepted and one of those who could not believe it was the Christian writer Lactantius (c. 250 – c. 325). His major work is the Institutiones Divinae, an apology for Christianity. In book three he is trying to show that the idea of a round world is nonsense. There were indeed weaknesses in the arguments defending a round world. The idea was – at least that described and refuted by Lactantius – that the world was a steady ball in the centre of a round universe and that sun, moon and stars are revolving around the earth. It is as if the earth is at the centre inside a football and that this ball turning around us and we are looking at the inside on which stars, sun and moon are painted. The mathematical problems of explaining all the motions with the assumption that the earth itself is steady at the centre are unsurmountable. We may laugh now at the way Lactantius is defending a flat earth, but suppose we were contemporaries, I wonder how many of us would not have been convinced by his arguments.

Lactantius. Institutiones Divinae, 3.24 : De antipodibus, de coelo ac sideribus.

1)            Quid illi, qui esse contrarios vestigiis nostris Antipodas putant, num aliquid loquuntur? aut est quisquam tam ineptus, qui credat esse homines, quorum vestigia sint superiora, quam capita? aut ibi, quae apud nos iacent, inversa pendere? fruges et arbores deorsum versus crescere? pluvias, et nives, et grandinem sursum versus cadere in terram? Et miratur aliquis, hortos pensiles inter septem mira narrari, cum philosophi et agros, et maria, et urbes, et montes pensiles faciant? Huius quoque erroris aperienda nobis origo est. Nam semper eodem modo falluntur. Cum enim falsum aliquid in principio sumpserint, veri similitudine inducti, necesse est eos in ea, quae consequuntur, incurrere. Sic incidunt in multa ridicula; quia necesse est falsa esse, quae rebus falsis congruunt. Cum autem primis habuerint fidem, qualia sint ea, quae sequuntur, non circumspiciunt, sed defendunt omni modo; cum debeant prima illa, utrumne vera sint, an falsa, ex consequentibus iudicare.

vestigium: footprint
ineptus: silly
quae apud nos iacent, inversa pendere?: which are lying by us, are hanging upside down?  (e.g. a cloth on a table)
deorsum versus: downwards
nix nivis (f.): snow
grando grandinis (f.): hail
sursum versus: upwards
hortos pensiles: hanging gardens (of Babylon)
cum philosopi…faciant: when philosophers invent
aperienda nobis origo: the origin is to be uncovered by us
falluntur: go wrong
sumpserint: have assumed
veri similitudine inducti: having it put forward as truth
circumspiciunt: look carefully

2             Quae igitur illos ad Antipodas ratio perduxit? Videbant siderum cursus in occasum meantium; solem atque lunam in eamdem partem semper occidere, atque oriri semper ab eadem. Cum autem non perspicerent, quae machinatio cursus eorum temperaret, nec quomodo ab occasu ad orientem remearent, coelum autem ipsum in omnes partes putarent esse devexum, quod sic videri, propter immensam latitudinem necesse est: existimaverunt, rotundum esse mundum sicut pilam, et ex motu siderum opinati sunt coelum volvi, sic astra solemque, cum occiderint, volubilitate ipsa mundi ad ortum referri. Itaque et aereos orbes fabricati sunt, quasi ad figuram mundi, eosque caelarunt portentosis quibusdam simulacris, quae astra esse dicerent. Hanc igitur coeli rotunditatem illud sequebatur, ut terra in medio sinu eius esset inclusa. Quod si ita esset, etiam ipsam terram globo similem; neque enim fieri posset, ut non esset rotundum, quod rotundo conclusum teneretur. Si autem rotunda etiam terra esset, necesse esse, ut in omnes coeli partes eamdem faciem gerat, id est montes erigat, campos tendat, maria consternat. Quod si esset, etiam sequebatur illud extremum, ut nulla sit pars terrae, quae non ab hominibus caeterisque animalibus incolatur. Sic pendulos istos Antipodas coeli rotunditas adinvenit.

siderum cursus in occasum meantium: the course of the wandering start to the west
machinatio –onis (f.): mechanism
remeo: go again, return
devexus: shelving
pila: ball
opinati sunt coelum volvi:  they think that the sky is turning
volubilitate ipsa mundi: by just the vast motion of the universe (not `the world’!)
aereos orbes: indeed such mechanical devises depicting the universe in order to explain its motion have been discovered.
caelo: to engrave
portentosis quibusdam simulacris: some horrible images (Why horrible? Because they didn’t really look like stars? Or is it just derogatory?)
Hanc igitur coeli rotunditatem illud sequebatur: this followed from that roundness of the sky
in medio sinu: at the centre of the curved surface
ut non esset rotundum, quod rotundo conclusum teneretur: i.e. because the sky is round, the earth must be round too
ut in omnes coeli partes eamdem faciem gerat: that it has the same appearance  towards all part of the sky (But like the idea that the earth must be round because the sky is round, this idea too carries some aesthetic reasoning.)
erigo erexi erectum: to lift up
tendo tetendi tentum (tensum): to stretch out
consterno constravi constratum: to spread
pendulus: hanging down

3             Quod si quaeras ab iis, qui haec portenta defendunt, quomodo non cadunt omnia in inferiorem illam coeli partem; respondent, hanc rerum esse naturam, ut pondera in medium ferantur, et ad medium connexa sint omnia, sicut radios videmus in rota; quae autem levia sunt, ut nebula, fumus, ignis, a medio deferantur, ut coelum petant. Quid dicam de iis nescio, qui, cum semel aberraverint, constanter in stultitia perseverant, et vanis vana defendunt; nisi quod eos interdum puto, aut ioci causa philosophari, aut prudentes et scios mendacia defendenda suscipere, quasi ut ingenia sua in malis rebus exerceant, vel ostendant. At ego multis argumentis probare possem, nullo modo fieri posse, ut coelum terra sit inferius, nisi et liber iam concludendus esset, et adhuc aliqua restarent, quae magis sunt praesenti operi necessaria. Et quoniam singulorum errores percurrere non est unius libri opus, satis sit pauca enumerasse, ex quibus possit qualia sint caetera intelligi.

haec portenta: these horrible things
ut pondera in medium ferantur: that heavy things go to the centre (This idea comes from Aristotle and it explains gravity.)
radios in rota: spokes in a wheel
defero detuli delatum: go away from
peto: to seek, strive
semel: once
interdum: now and then
ioci causa: for fun
aut prudentes et scios mendacia defendenda suscipere: or clever and on purpose take up to defend lies
ingenia sua: their intelligence
ostendo ostendi ostentum: to show
nisi et liber (= chapter) iam concludendus esset: a very weak reason for not bringing forward arguments for a flat earth!
quoniam: whereas



Translated by William Fletcher. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7 (1886)

How is it with those who imagine that there are antipodes opposite to our footsteps? Do they say anything to the purpose? Or is there any one so senseless as to believe that there are men whose footsteps are higher than their heads? Or that the things which with us are in a recumbent position, with them hang in an inverted direction? That the crops and trees grow downwards? That the rains, and snow, and hail fall upwards to the earth? And does any one wonder that hanging gardens are mentioned among the seven wonders of the world, when philosophers make hanging fields, and seas, and cities, and mountains? The origin of this error must also be set forth by us. For they are always deceived in the same manner. For when they have assumed anything false in the commencement of their investigations, led by the resemblance of the truth, they necessarily fall into those things which are its consequences. Thus they fall into many ridiculous things; because those things which are in agreement with false things, must themselves be false. But since they placed confidence in the first, they do not consider the character of those things which follow, but defend them in every way; whereas they ought to judge from those which follow, whether the first are true or false.

What course of argument, therefore, led them to the idea of the antipodes? They saw the courses of the stars travelling towards the west; they saw that the sun and the moon always set towards the same quarter, and rise from the same. But since they did not perceive what contrivance regulated their courses, nor how they returned from the west to the east, but supposed that the heaven itself sloped downwards in every direction, which appearance it must present on account of its immense breadth, they thought that the world is round like a ball, and they fancied that the heaven revolves in accordance with the motion of the heavenly bodies; and thus that the stars and sun, when they have set, by the very rapidity of the motion of the world are borne back to the east. Therefore they both constructed brazen orbs, as though after the figure of the world, and engraved upon them certain monstrous images, which they said were constellations. It followed, therefore, from this rotundity of the heaven, that the earth was enclosed in the midst of its curved surface. But if this were so, the earth also itself must be like a globe; for that could not possibly be anything but round, which was held enclosed by that which was round. But if the earth also were round, it must necessarily happen that it should present the same appearance to all parts of the heaven; that is, that it should raise aloft mountains, extend plains, and have level seas. And if this were so, that last consequence also followed, that there would be no part of the earth uninhabited by men and the other animals. Thus the rotundity of the earth leads, in addition, to the invention of those suspended antipodes.

But if you inquire from those who defend these marvellous fictions, why all things do not fall into that lower part of the heaven, they reply that such is the nature of things, that heavy bodies are borne to the middle, and that they are all joined together towards the middle, as we see spokes in a wheel; but that the bodies which are light, as mist, smoke, and fire, are borne away from the middle, so as to seek the heaven. I am at a loss what to say respecting those who, when they have once erred, consistently persevere in their folly, and defend one vain thing by another; but that I sometimes imagine that they either discuss philosophy for the sake of a jest, or purposely and knowingly undertake to defend falsehoods, as if to exercise or display their talents on false subjects. But I should be able to prove by many arguments that it is impossible for the heaven to be lower than the earth, were it not that this book must now be concluded, and that some things still remain, which are more necessary for the present work. And since it is not the work of a single book to run over the errors of each individually, let it be sufficient to have enumerated a few, from which the nature of the others may be understood.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Augustine and history.



Augustine had a different concept of history than the Roman historians had: for him time and thus history has a beginning and an end. History happens sub specie aeternitatis. This gives a different perspective on historical events. When Augustine wrote his De Civitate Dei between 413 and 426, the Roman Empire was in turmoil, at least in the West. Not all Romans were Christians and some believed that the disasters were a result of abandoning the Roman gods. Augustine points out that Rome had undergone times of peril before and had risen again. One of such perils was the slave uprising in 73 -71 under Spartacus.  Were those slaves helped by the gods because they were successful, however short? Is anyone helped by the gods? For Augustine the answer is a definite no: not only because he is a Christian, but also because in his opinion this life is only transitory and worldly power is as well. The only lasting empire is the kingdom of God. Whether we agree with his attitude or not, he is a remarkable intellectual.

Augustinus, De Civitate Dei, 4.5

[V] …. Hoc dico, quod ipsum Romanum imperium iam magnum multis gentibus subiugatis ceterisque terribile, acerbe sensit, grauiter timuit, non paruo negotio deuitandae ingentis cladis oppressit, quando paucissimi gladiatores in Campania de ludo fugientes magnum exercitum compararunt, tres duces habuerunt, Italiam latissime et crudelissime uastauerunt. Dicant, quis istos deus adiuuerit, ut ex paruo et contemptibili latrocinio peruenirent ad regnum tantis iam Romanis uiribus arcibusque metuendum. An quia non diu fuerunt, ideo diuinitus negabuntur adiuti? Quasi uero ipsa cuiuslibet hominis uita diuturna est. Isto ergo pacto neminem dii adiuuant ad regnandum, quoniam singuli quique cito moriuntur, nec beneficium deputandum est. quod exiguo tempore in unoquoque homine ac per hoc singillatim utique in omnibus uice uaporis euanescit. Quid enim interest eorum, qui sub Romulo deos coluerunt et olim sunt mortui, quod post eorum mortem Romanum tantum creuit imperium, cum illi apud inferos causas suas agant? utrum bonas an malas, ad rem praesentem non pertinet. Hoc autem de omnibus intellegendum est, qui per ipsum imperium (quamuis decedentibus succedentibusque mortalibus in longa spatia protendatur) paucis diebus uitae suae cursim raptimque transierunt, actuum suorum sarcinas baiulantes. Sin uero etiam ipsa breuissimi temporis beneficia deorum adiutorio tribuenda sunt, non parum adiuti sunt illi gladiatores: seruilis condicionis uincla ruperunt, fugerunt, euaserunt, exercitum magnum et fortissimum collegerunt, oboedientes regum suorum consiliis et iussis multum Romanae celsitudini metuendi et aliquot Romanis imperatoribus insuperabiles multa ceperunt, potiti sunt uictoriis plurimis, usi uoluptatibus quibus uoluerunt, quod suggessit libido fecerunt, postremo donec uinceretur, quod difficillime factum est, sublimes regnantesque uixerunt. Sed ad maiora ueniamus.

Hoc dico: I mention that
multis gentibus subiugatis multis gentibus subiugatis ceterisque terribile: having subdued many nations and dreadful for others. (ceterisque terribile is not part of the abl. abs.)
sensit: experienced
acerbe… oppressit: note the asyndetic  construction
negotium: difficulty
deuitandae ingentis cladis: for/regarding (gen.obj.) the enormous disaster to be avoided
ludum: school (for gladiators)
comparo: to gather
tres duces: Spartacus, Crixus and Oenomaus
latissime: widely
vasto: to ravage, devastate
dicant: let people tell (i.e. those who believed that the disasters were the result of abandoning the Roman gods))
adiuvo adjuvi adiutum (-are): to help
latrocinium: band of robbers
arx arcis (f.): stronghold
divinitus (adv.) in a divine way
diuturnus: long-lasting
isto ergo pacto: this being thus agreed (that people don’t live long)
singuli quique: every single person
nec beneficium deputandum est: gaining power (ad regnandum) is not to be regarded as a benefit (because those who have can only shortly enjoy this)
quod (beneficium)
exiguus: little
ac per hoc singillatim utique in omnibus: and through this one by one (living a short time) finally in all men
vice (+ gen.): like
cum illi apud inferos causas suas agant: when they are pleading their causes amongst the dead (note the sarcasm concerning the Roman predilection of juridical procedures)
utrum bonas an malas (causas)
decedentibus succedentibusque mortalibus: while mortals are deceasing and following
protendo protendi protensum/tum: to prolong, extend
cursim raptimque: hastily and speedily
actuum suorum sarcinas baiulantes: carrying the burden of their affairs
adiutorio tribuenda sunt: are to be acknowledged as help
rumpo rupi ruptum: to break
regum suorum: the three leaders mentioned above
Romanae celsitudini: by the Roman highness (celsitudo is mockingly used)
potior potitus (+ gen., acc. or abl.): to acquire, gain
uoluptatibus quibus = uoluptatibus, quas (attraction of case)
sublimes regnantesque: `luxurious and as kings’


Translation by Marcus Dods (1913)

But this I say, that the Roman empire, which by subduing many nations had already grown great and an object of universal dread, was itself greatly alarmed, and only with much difficulty avoided a disastrous overthrow, because a mere handful of gladiators in Campania, escaping from the games, had recruited a great army, appointed three generals, and most widely and cruelly devastated Italy. Let them say what god aided these men, so that from a small and contemptible band of robbers they attained to a kingdom, feared even by the Romans, who had such great forces and fortresses. Or will they deny that they were divinely aided because they did not last long? As if, indeed, the life of any man whatever lasted long. In that case, too, the gods aid no one to reign, since all individuals quickly die; nor is sovereign power to be reckoned a benefit, because in a little time in every man, and thus in all of them one by one, it vanishes like a vapor. For what does it matter to those who worshipped the gods under Romulus, and are long since dead, that after their death the Roman empire has grown so great, while they plead their causes before the powers beneath? Whether those causes are good or bad, it matters not to the question before us. And this is to be understood of all those who carry with them the heavy burden of their actions, having in the few days of their life swiftly and hurriedly passed over the stage of the imperial office, although the office itself has lasted through long spaces of time, being filled by a constant succession of dying men. If, however, even those benefits which last only for the shortest time are to be ascribed to the aid of the gods, these gladiators were not a little aided, who broke the bonds of their servile condition, fled, escaped, raised a great and most powerful army, obedient to the will and orders of their chiefs and much feared by the Roman majesty, and remaining unsubdued by several Roman generals, seized many places, and, having won very many victories, enjoyed whatever pleasures they wished, and did what their lust suggested, and, until at last they were conquered, which was done with the utmost difficulty, lived sublime and dominant. But let us come to greater matters.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs




The earliest Latin document of the Western Church is the Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs. It describes the trail of a number of Christians, which took place at Cartage on July 17, AD 180. For an overview see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scillitan_Martyrs

Martyrdom was something which some Christians desired, as it was considered a special grace of God. For us this is something strange, but the world of Late Antiquity was a world of harsh conditions and death was everywhere. Religions promising salvation – so-called mystery religions - were popular and Christianity can also be considered as such a religion. What sets Christianity apart was their refusal to pay homage to the emperor and to partake in state-organized religious festivities. Its outlook was at that time very much directed towards the afterlife and the suffering in this life stood in no comparison with reward gained in heaven.
Martyrs had a special status and their date of execution - or from the perspective of Christians, the day they were received in heaven – was celebrated with a mass in their remembrance in which their acts were read.
Apart from genuine religious convictions, it is not impossible that such a special status, be it after their death, was also a reason for seeking martyrdom.
There are a number of problems which are not mentioned in the link above, such as the question to what extend this text is a verbatim report and how it came into the hands of Christians. Of course these questions can’t be answered, but the first question must be kept in mind when reading martyr acts.

Acta Martyrum Scillitanorum.

Praesente bis et Claudiano consulibus, XVI Kalendas Augustas, Karthagine in secretario inpositis Sperato, Nartzalo et Cittino, Donata, Secunda, Vestia, Saturninus proconsul dixit: Potestis indulgentiam domini nostri imperatoris promereri, si ad bonam mentem redeatis. 2. Speratus dixit: Numquam malefecimus, iniquitati nullam operam praebuimus; numquam malediximus, sed male accepti gratias egimus, propter quod imperatorem nostrum observamus. 3. 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 vos quoque facere debetis. 4. Speratus dixit: Si tranquillas praebueris aures tuas, dico mysterium simplicitatis. 5. Saturninus dixit: Initianti tibi mala de sacris nostris aures non praebebo; sed potius iura per genium domini nostri imperatoris. 6. Speratus dixit: Ego imperium huius saeculi non cognosco: sed magis illi Deo servio, quem nemo hominum vidit nec videre his oculis potest. Furtum non feci; sed si quid emero, teloneum reddo: quia cognosco dominum meum, regem regum et imperatorem omnium gentium. 7. Saturninus proconsul dixit ceteris: Desinite huius esse persuasionis. 8. Speratus dixit: Mala est persuasio homicidium facere, falsum testimonium dicere. 9. Saturninus proconsul dixit: Nolite huius dementiae esse participes. 10. Cittinus dixit: Nos non habemus alium quem timeamus, nisi dominum Deum nostrum qui est in caelis. 11. Donata dixit: Honorem Caesari quasi Caesari; timorem autem Deo. 12. Vestia dixit: Christiana sum. 13. Secunda dixit: Quod sum, ipsud volo esse. 14. Saturninus proconsul Sperato dixit: Perseveras Christianus? 15. Speratus dixit: Christianus sum; et cum eo omnes consenserunt. 16. Saturninus proconsul dixit: Numquid ad deliberandum spatium vultis? 17. Speratus dixit: In re tam iusta nulla est deliberatio. 18. Saturninus proconsul dixit: Quae sunt res in capsa vestra? 19. Speratus dixit: Libri et epistulae Pauli viri iusti. 20. Saturninus proconsul dixit: Moram XXX dierum habere et recordemini. 21. Speratus iterum dixit: Christianus sum; et cum eo omnes consenserunt. 22. Saturninus proconsul decretum ex tabella recitavit: Speratum, Nartzalum, Cittinum, Donatam, Vestiam, Secundam et ceteros ritu Christiano se vivere confessos, quoniam oblata sibi facultate ad Romanorum morem redeundi obstinanter perseveraverunt, gladio animadverti placet. 23. Speratus dixit: Deo gratias agimus. 24. Nartzalus dixit: Hodie martyres in caelis sumus: Deo gratias. 25. Saturninus proconsul per praeconem dici iussit: Speratum, Nartzalum, Cittinum, Veturium, Felicem, Aquilinum, Laetantium, Ianuarium, Generosam, Vestiam, Donatam, Secundam duci iussi. 26. Universi dixerunt: Deo gratias. 27. Et ita omnes simul martyrio coronati sunt, et regnant cum Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

bis: for the second time
in secretario inpositis: put before court (a secretarium was a closed courtroom)
proconsul –is (m.): governor of a province
indulgentia: indulgence, mildness
promereo –ui: to deserve or in a juridical sense `to be entitled to’
iniquitas –atis (f.): injustkice
operam praebeo = operam dare `to give attention to’
male accepti: ill treated
gratias egimus: suffering was seen as a special favour of God and something to be thankful for
imperatorem nostrum: God
observo: to honour
simplex: simple iuro: to swear
genius: titular deity, the divine part of a person, especially the emperor
supplico: to pray
praebuo aures: to listen (Si tranquillas praebueris aures tuas: if you listen quietly)
mysterium simplicitatis: Speratus refers back to the earlier simplex.
initianti tibi mala:  to you revealing negative things
saeculum: world
furtum: theft
emo emi emptum: to buy
teloneum: (an unpopular) tax on the purchase of goods
persuasio –onis (f.): conviction
mala est persuasio homicidium facere: again Speratus uses a word earlier used by Saturninus. Of course Christians considered their persecution and trail not as legal, but as murder.
dementia: madness
honorem (da)
quod sum, ipsud (= ipsum) volo esse: what I am, that very thing I want to be (namely a Christian)
numquid ad deliberandum spatium: some time for consideration
capsa: bookcase
libri: the gospels. Probably some version of the Vetus Latina, the latin translation in use before the Vulgate translation. There was not a fixed canon at that moment, but the gospels and the letters of Paul belonged to the core of the biblical writings used by Christian communities.
moram XXX dierum habere: i.e. period of thirty days to reconsider their stubborn attitude
recordor recordatus: to think over
decretum: decision (of the court)
tabula: writing tablet covered with wax
oblata sibi facultate ad Romanorum morem redeundi: though the possibility has been given for them to return to the way of life of the Romans
gladio animadverti placet: it behoves (the proconsul) (them) to be punished with the sword
praeco –onis (m.): herald
duci: to be led away (to the place of their execution)
martyrium: martyrdom


Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. IX, The Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs
Various, translated by Philip Schaff et al.

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: Ye can win the indulgence of our lord the Emperor, if ye return to a sound mind. 2. 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. 3. 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 ye also ought to do. 4. Speratus said: If thou wilt peaceably lend me thine ears, I can tell thee the mystery of simplicity. 5. Saturninus said: I will not lend mine ears to thee, when thou beginnest to speak evil things of our sacred rites; but rather swear thou by the genius of our lord the Emperor. 6. Speratus said: The empire of this world I know not; but rather I serve that God, whom no man hath seen, nor with these eyes can see. 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. 7. Saturninus the proconsul said to the rest: Cease to be of this persuasion. 8. Speratus said: It is an ill persuasion to do murder, to speak false witness. 9. Saturninus the proconsul said: Be not partakers of this folly. 10. Cittinus said: We have none other to fear, save only our Lord God, who is in heaven. 11. Donata said: Honour to Caesar as Caesar: but fear to God. 12. Vestia said: I am a Christian. 13. Secunda said: What I am, that I wish to be. 14. Saturninus the proconsul said to Speratus: Dost thou persist in being a Christian? 15. Speratus said: I am a Christian. And with him they all agreed. 16. Saturninus the proconsul said: Will ye have a space to consider? 17. Speratus said: In a matter so straightforward there is no considering. 18. Saturninus the proconsul said: What are the things in your chest? 19. Speratus said: Books and epistles of Paul, a just man. 20. Saturninus the proconsul said: Have a delay of thirty days and bethink yourselves. 21. Speratus said a second time: I am a Christian. And with him they all agreed. 22. 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 be put to the sword. 23. Speratus said: We give thanks to God. 24. Nartzalus said: To-day we are martyrs in heaven; thanks be to God. 25. 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. 26. They all said: Thanks be to God. 27. 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.