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Chapter XIV.—The Martyrdom of Bishop Milles and his Conduct. Sixteen Thousand Distinguished Men in Persia suffer Martyrdom under Sapor, besides Obscure Individuals.

About this period Milles suffered martyrdom. He originally served the Persians in a military capacity, but afterwards abandoned that vocation, in order to embrace the apostolical mode of life. It is related that he was ordained bishop over a Persian city, and he underwent a variety of sufferings, and endured wounds and drawings; and that, failing in his efforts to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, he uttered imprecations against the city, and departed. Not long after, some of the principal citizens offended the king, and an army with three hundred elephants was sent against them; the city was utterly demolished and its land was ploughed and sown. Milles, taking with him only his wallet, in which was the holy Book of the Gospels, repaired to Jerusalem in prayer; thence he proceeded to Egypt in order to see the monks. The extraordinary and admirable works which we have heard that he accomplished, are attested by the Syrians, who have written an account of his actions and life. For my own part, I think that I have said enough of him and of the other martyrs who suffered in Persia during the reign of Sapor; for it would be difficult to relate in detail every circumstance respecting them, such as their names, their country, the mode of completing their martyrdom, and the species of torture to which they were subjected; for they are innumerable, since such methods are jealously affected by the Persians, even to the extreme of cruelty. I shall briefly state that the number of men and women whose names have been ascertained, and who were martyred at this period, have been computed to be sixteen thousand; while the multitude outside of these is beyond enumeration, and 268on this account to reckon off their names appeared difficult to the Persians and Syrians and to the inhabitants of Edessa, who have devoted much care to this matter.

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