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Martyrs of Scillium

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In the year 180 six Christians were condemned to death by the sword, in the town of Scillium, by Vigellius Saturninus, Proconsul of Africa. The Acts of their martyrdom are of special interest, as being the most ancient Acts we possess for the Roman Province of Africa. Their trial is also notable among the trials of early martyrs inasmuch as the accused were not subjected to torture. The dialogue between the Proconsul and the martyrs shows that the former entertained no prejudices against the Christians. He exhorts them to comply with the law, and when they decline he suggests that they take time to think on the subject. The Christians quietly assure him that their minds are made up, whereupon he pronounces sentence: "Whereas Speratus, Nartallus, Cittimus, Donata, Vestia, Secunda have affirmed that they live after the fashion of the Christians, and when offered a remand to return to the manner of life of the Romans, persisted in their contumacy, we sentence them to perish by the sword".

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