Introductory Note to the Martyrdom of Justin Martyr
Crescens, a cynic, has the ill-renown of stirring up the persecution in which Justin and his friends suffered for Christ. The story that he died by the hemlock seems to have originated among the Greeks, who naturally gave this turn to the sufferings of a philosopher. The following Introductory Notice of the translator supplies all that need be added.
Though nothing is known as to the date or authorship of the following narrative, it is generally reckoned among the most trustworthy of the Martyria. An absurd addition was in some copies made to it, to the effect that Justin died by means of hemlock. Some have thought it necessary, on account of this story, to conceive of two Justins, one of whom, the celebrated defender of the Christian faith whose writings are given in this volume, died through poison, while the other suffered in the way here described, along with several of his friends. But the description of Justin given in the following account, is evidently such as compels us to refer it to the famous apologist and martyr of the second century. 1
[See Cave, Lives of the Fathers, i. 243. Epiphanius, by fixing the martyrdom under the prefecture of Rusticus, seems to identify this history; but, then, he also connects it with the reign of Hadrian. Ed. Oehler, tom ii. 709. Berlin, 1859.] ↩