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Chapter XXVII.—How the Persecution became the Occasion of Calamities to the Aggressors.

From the causes I have described, grievous wars arose, and destructive devastations. Hence followed a scarcity of the common necessaries of life, and a crowd of consequent miseries: hence, too, the authors of these impieties have either met a disastrous death of extreme suffering, or have dragged out an ignominious existence, and confessed it to be worse than death itself, thus receiving as it were a measure of punishment proportioned to the heinousness of their crimes.31833183    Compare Lactantius, On the deaths of the persecutors (De M. P.), and the Church History of Eusebius. For each experienced a degree of calamity according to the blind fury with which he had been led to combat, and as he thought, defeat the Divine will: so that they not only felt the pressure of the ills of this present life, but were tormented also by a most lively apprehension of punishment in the future world.31843184    Literally “beneath the earth,” referring of course to the Græco-Roman conception of Hades.


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