From my diary

Some may recall that I commissioned a translation of the Passion of St Saturninus, written in the 5th century but the core of it 3rd century.  Saturninus was bishop of what is now Toulouse.  The oracles in the pagan temples started to fail, and go silent, and the priests enquired why.  Someone mentioned Saturninus, who passed through the forum (where the temples were) every day.  Saturninus was promptly arrested — today he would be accused of ‘hate crime’ no doubt — and “questioned”.

The priests demanded that he sacrifice to the pagan gods.  This demand was made, in the knowledge that it amounted to abandoning his Christian faith.  Endorsing homosexuality seems to be the modern equivalent.  Saturninus refused, and was lynched by being tied to a wild bull which rampaged around until his head was banged on something hard and he died.  He was buried secretly in a wooden chapel outside the town.

The translation of this has now arrived, and I will make it available online very soon.

I’ve also picked up a copy of H. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, Oxford, 1972.  Curiously I have never seen a PDF of this.  It is supposed to contain text and translation for all the material of this kind which is historical rather than hagiographical, i.e. before the outbreak of fiction in the 4th century A.D.  It will be interesting to see.


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