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“A libellus (certificate) from the time of persecution under the emperor Decius”

Certifying that a Christian had made sacrifice to the Roman gods. The original Greek language text, with an English translation.


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Click here to read at in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from Gwatkin, Selections From Early Christian Writers, page 144-5.

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To the officers in charge of the sacrifices

of the village of Alexander’s Isle,

from Aurelius Diogenes,

the son of Satabus, of the village

of Alexander’s Isle, aged about 72,

with a scar on his right eyebrow.

I have always sacrificed to the gods;

and now in your presence, according

to the commands,

I have sacrificed and made a libation

and tasted of the victims;

and I desire you to subscribe.
Fare ye well.

I, Aurelius Diogenes, have delivered this…
I, Mys[… the son of …]non, [saw him] sacrificing, and have subscribed

In the first year of Imperator Caesar

Caius Messius Quintus

Trajanus Decius

Pius Felix Augustus,

on Epiphi 2 (= June 26, 250).


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emperor Decius
persecution of early Christians
persecution of early Church
Cyprian and Novatian
the lapsed
Patrologiae Latinae Cursus Completus
Patrologia Latina


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