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Chapter VI.—Ignatius is devoured by the beasts at Rome.

They pushed forth therefore from the place which is called Portus;14251425    [Of which we shall learn more when we come to Hippolytus. Trajan had just improved the work of Claudius at this haven, near Ostia.] and (the14261426    Literally, “for the.” fame of all relating to the holy martyr being already spread 131 abroad) we met the brethren full of fear and joy; rejoicing indeed because they were thought worthy to meet with Theophorus, but struck with fear because so eminent a man was being led to death. Now he enjoined some to keep silence who, in their fervent zeal, were saying14271427    Literally, “boiling and saying.” that they would appease the people, so that they should not demand the destruction of this just one. He being immediately aware of this through the Spirit,14281428    Or, “in spirit.” and having saluted them all, and begged of them to show a true affection towards him, and having dwelt [on this point] at greater length than in his Epistle,14291429    i.e., in his Epistle to the Romans. and having persuaded them not to envy him hastening to the Lord, he then, after he had, with all the brethren kneeling [beside him], entreated the Son of God in behalf of the Churches, that a stop might be put to the persecution, and that mutual love might continue among the brethren, was led with all haste into the amphitheatre. Then, being immediately thrown in, according to the command of Cæsar given some time ago, the public spectacles being just about to close (for it was then a solemn day, as they deemed it, being that which is called the thirteenth14301430    The Saturnalia were then celebrated. in the Roman tongue, on which the people were wont to assemble in more than ordinary numbers14311431    Literally, “they came together zealously.” ), he was thus cast to the wild beasts close beside the temple,14321432    The amphitheatre itself was sacred to several of the gods. [But (παρὰ τῷ ναῷ) the original indicates the cella or shrine, in the centre of the amphitheatre where the image of Pluto was exhibited. A plain cross, until the late excavations, marked the very spot.] that so by them the desire of the holy martyr Ignatius should be fulfilled, according to that which is written, “The desire of the righteous is acceptable14331433    Prov. x. 24. [to God],” to the effect that he might not be troublesome to any of the brethren by the gathering of his remains, even as he had in his Epistle expressed a wish beforehand that so his end might be. For only the harder portions of his holy remains were left, which were conveyed to Antioch and wrapped14341434    Or, “deposited.” in linen, as an inestimable treasure left to the holy Church by the grace which was in the martyr.

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