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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Ignatius Theophorus : MARTYRDOM

from Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans, * 4.1-2, translated by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson
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The Original Greek New Testament

WRITE to all the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep, I may not be found troublesome to any one. Then shall I be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat the Lord for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God.


Ἐγὼ γράφω πάσαις ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις καὶ ἐντέλλομαι πᾶσιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἑκὼν ὑπὲρ θεοῦ ἀποθνήσκω͵ ἐάνπερ ὑμεῖς μὴ κωλύσητε. Παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς͵ μὴ εὔνοια ἄκαιρος γένησθέ μοι. Ἄφετέ με θηρίων εἶναι βοράν͵ δι΄ ὧν ἔστιν θεοῦ ἐπιτυχεῖν. Σῖτός εἰμι θεοῦ καὶ δι΄ ὀδόντων θηρίων ἀλήθομαι͵ ἵνα καθαρὸς ἄρτος εὑρεθῶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Μᾶλλον κολακεύσατε τὰ θηρία͵ ἵνα μοι τάφος γένωνται καὶ μηθὲν καταλίπωσι τῶν τοῦ σώματός μου͵ ἵνα μὴ κοιμηθεὶς βαρύς τινι γένωμαι. Τότε ἔσομαι μαθητὴς ἀληθῶς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ͵ ὅτε οὐδὲ τὸ σῶμά μου ὁ κόσμος ὄψεται. Λιτανεύσατε τὸν Χριστὸν ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ͵ ἵνα διὰ τῶν ὀργάνων τούτων θεῷ θυσία εὑρεθῶ. 

Cf. PETER DAMASCENE : What is true faith?  ||| EPISTLE TO DIOGNETUS : Τhe Christian way  ||| GREGORY OF NYSSA : The Mystery of the Cross ||| SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN : Don't put yourself in despair 

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

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