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NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine
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Chapter X.—The Bishops of Rome and of Alexandria during the Reign of Antoninus.

Adrian having died after a reign of twenty-one years,10591059    Hadrian reigned from Aug. 8, 117, to July 10, 138 a.d. was succeeded in the government of the Romans by Antoninus, called the Pious. In the first year of his reign Telesphorus10601060    On Telesphorus, see above, chap. 5, note 13. The date given here by Eusebius (138–139 a.d.) is probably (as remarked there) at least a year too late. died in the eleventh year of his episcopate, and Hyginus became bishop of Rome.10611061    We know very little about Hyginus. His dates can be fixed with tolerable certainty as 137–141, the duration of his episcopate being four years, as Eusebius states in the next chapter. See Lipsius’ Chron. d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 169 and 263. The Roman martyrologies make him a martyr, but this means nothing, as the early bishops of Rome almost without exception are called martyrs by these documents. The forged decretals ascribe to him the introduction of a number of ecclesiastical rites. Irenæus records that Telesphorus’ death was made glorious by martyrdom,10621062    In his Adv. Hær. III. 3. 3. The testimony of Irenæus rests upon Roman tradition at this point, and is undoubtedly reliable. Telesphorus is the first Roman bishop whom we know to have suffered martyrdom, although the Roman Catholic Church celebrates as martyrs all the so-called popes down to the fourth century. and in the same connection he states that in the time of the above-mentioned Roman bishop Hyginus, Valentinus, the founder of a sect of his own, and Cerdon, the author of Marcion’s error, were both well known at Rome.10631063    On Valentinus, Cerdon, and Marcion, see the next chapter. He writes as follows:10641064    Irenæus, Adv. Hær. III. 4. 3.


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