« Hippolytus Romanus Hippolytus (5), an apocryphal martyr Honorius, Flavius Augustus, emperor »

Hippolytus (5), an apocryphal martyr

Hippolytus (5): Aug. 10 (Bas: Men.), Aug. 13 (Mart. Vet. Rom. Usuard.). An apocryphal martyr, first mentioned in the 5th or 6th cent. His story, as given in the martyrology of Ado, is taken from the spurious acts of St. Laurentius the Roman archdeacon, where we are told that that saint, when arrested, was delivered by the prefect Valerian into the custody of Hippolytus, a high military officer, who was converted and at once baptized by him, and thereupon sentenced to be torn asunder by wild horses. Döllinger, in Hippolytus and Callistus (Plummer's trans.), pp. 28–39 and 51–60, discusses the rise and development of this legend, which has largely helped to confuse the story of the genuine Hippolytus, the Roman presbyter and writer of the 3rd cent. (q.v.) (cf. Bunsen's Christianity and Mankind, i. 426). Döllinger fixes the composition of this story between the time of pope Liberius and that of Leo the Great, a period of about 70 years. The whole subject is in a state of great confusion in the martyrologies, which Döllinger has striven, with his usual critical power and vast knowledge, to arrange in some consistent order. Yet the impartial reader must feel sorely perplexed between the opposing theories of Döllinger and Bunsen. (Cf. for the more modern traditions regarding this martyr, Aug. Hare's Walks in Rome, ii. 139.)


« Hippolytus Romanus Hippolytus (5), an apocryphal martyr Honorius, Flavius Augustus, emperor »
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