When Praesens, for the second time, and Claudian, were the consuls, on the seventeenth day of July, at Carthage, there were arraigned in the judgment hall the following: Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Donata, Secunda, and Vestia [seven men and five women].
The proconsul Saturninus said: "You can obtain the forgiveness of our Lord the Emperor if you return to your senses."
Speratus: "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, for we pay heed to our Emperor."
Saturninus: "We too are religious, and our religion is simple. We swear by the Genius of our Lord the Emperor, and pray for his welfare, as you also ought to do."
Speratus: "If you will give me a peaceful hearing, I can tell you the real truth of simplicity."
Saturninus: "I will not listen to you when you begin to speak evil of our sacred rites; rather, swear by the Genius of our Lord the Emperor."
Speratus: "I do not recognize the Empire of this world, but rather I serve that God 'Whom no man has seen, nor with these eyes can be seen. 'I have committed no theft; but if I have bought anything I pay the tax, for I acknowledge my Lord, the King of Kings, and Emperor of all nations."
Saturninus (to all the accused): "Cease to be of this persuasion."
Speratus: "An ill persuasion is to do murder, to speak false witness."
Saturninus (ignoring Speratus, addresses the others): "Be no partakers in his folly!"
Cittinus: "We have none other to fear, save only our Lord God, who is in heaven."
Donata: "Honor Caesar as Caesar; but it is God we fear."
Vestia: "I am a Christian."
Secunda: "What I am, that I wish to be."
Saturninus (to Speratus): "Do you persist in being a Christian?"
Speratus: "I am a Christian." (And all agreed with him.)
Saturninus: "Do you want time to reconsider?"
Speratus: "In a matter so straightforward, there is no need for consideration."
Saturninus: "What are the things in your case?"
Speratus: "Books and letters of Paul, a just man."
Saturninus: "You are granted a reprieve of thirty days to think it over."
Speratus: "I am a Christian." (And all the others agreed with him.) Then Saturninus the proconsul read out his decision from a tablet:
"Whereas Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata, Vestia, Secunda, and the others have confessed that they live according to the Christian rite; and since after opportunity was offered them of returning to the custom of the Romans, they have obstinately persisted; it is determined that they be put to the sword."
Speratus: "We give thanks to God."
Nartzalus: "Today we are martyrs in heaven; thanks be to God."
Saturninus the proconsul ordered the following 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."
They said: "Thanks be to God." Immediately they were all beheaded for the name of Christ.
From The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History (Englewood CLiffs, NJ; Prentice Hall, 1995) p. 314-315.
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