THE EXTANT WORKS AND FRAGMENTS
OF HIPPOLYTUS
PART II. H.
FRAGMENTS FROM OTHER WRITINGS OF
HIPPOLYTUS & THE STORY OF
CORINTHIA AND MAGISTRIANUS

FRAGMENTS FROM OTHER WRITINGS OF HIPPOLYTUS.(1)

I.

Now Hippolytus, a martyr for piety, who was bishop of the place called Portus, near Rome, in his book Against all Heresies, wrote in these terms:--

I perceive, then, that the matter is one of contention. For he(2) speaks thus: Christ kept the supper, then, on that day, and then suffered; whence it is needful that I, too, should keep it in the same manner as the Lord did. But he has fallen into error by not perceiving that at the time when Christ suffered He did not eat the passover of the law.(3) For He was the passover that had been of old proclaimed, and that was fulfilled on that determinate day.

II. From the same.

And again the same (authority), in the first book of his treatise on the Holy Supper, speaks thus:--

Now that neither in the first nor in the last there was anything false is evident; for he who said of old, "I will not any more eat the passover,"(4) probably partook of supper before the passover. But the passover He did not eat, but He suffered; for it was not the time for Him to eat.

III(5). Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, in a letter to a certain queen.(6)

1. He calls Him, then, "the first-fruits of them that sleep,"(7) as the "first-begotten of the dead."(8) For He, having risen, and being desirous to show that that same (body) had been raised which had also died, when His disciples were in doubt, called Thomas to Him, and said, "Reach hither; handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not bone and flesh, as ye see me have."(9)

2. In calling Him the first-fruits, he testified to that which we have said, viz., that the Saviour, taking to Himself the flesh out of the same lump, raised this same flesh, and made it the first-fruits of the flesh of the righteous, in order that all we who have believed in the hope of the Risen One may have the resurrection in expectation.

THE STORY OF A MAIDEN OF CORINTH, AND A CERTAIN MAGISTRIANUS

The account given by Hippolytus, the friend of the apostles(10)

In another little book bearing the name of Hippolytus, the friend of the apostles, I found a story of the following nature:--

There lived a certain most noble and beautiful maiden(11) in the city of Corinth, in the careful exercise of a virtuous life. At that time some persons falsely charged her before the judge there, who was a Greek, with cursing the times, and the princes, and the images. Now those who trafficked in such things, brought her beauty under the notice of the impious judge, who lusted after women. And he gladly received the accusation with his equine ears and lascivious thoughts. And when she was brought before the bloodstained (judge), he was driven still more frantic with profligate passion. But when, after bringing every device to bear upon her, the profane than could not gain over this woman of God, he subjected the noble maiden to various outrages. And when he failed in these too, and was unable to seduce her from her confession of Christ, the cruel judge became furious against her, and gave her over to a punishment of the following nature: Placing the chaste maiden in a brothel, he charged the manager, saying, Take this woman, and bring me three nummi by her every day. And the man, exacting the money from her by her dishonour, gave her up to any who sought her in the brothel. And when the women-hunters knew that, they came to the brothel, and, paying the price lint upon their iniquity, sought to seduce her. But this most honourable maiden, taking counsel with herself to deceive them, called them to her, and earnestly besought them, saying: I have a certain ulceration of the pudenda, which has an extremely hateful stench; and I am afraid that ye might come to hate me on account of the abominable sore. Grant me therefore a few days, and then ye may have me even for nothing. With these words the blessed maiden gained over the profligates, and dismissed them for a time.(12) And with most fitting prayers she importuned God, and with contrite supplications she sought to turn Him to compassion. God, therefore, who knew her thoughts, and understood how the chaste maiden was distressed in heart for her purity, gave ear to her; and the Guardian of the safety of all men in those days interposed with His arrangements in the following manner:--

Of a certain person Magistrianus.(1)

There was a certain young man, Magistrianus,(2) comely in his personal appearance, and of a pious mind, whom God had inspired with such a burning spiritual zeal, that he despised even death itself. He, coming under the guise of profligacy, goes in, when the evening was far gone, to the fellow who kept the women, and pays him five nummi, and says to him, Permit me to spend this night with this damsel. Entering then with her into the private apartment, he says to her, Rise, save thyself. And taking off her garments, and dressing her in his own attire, his night-gown, his cloak, and all the habiliments of a man, he says to her, Wrap yourself up with the top of your cloak, and go out; and doing so, and signing herself entirely with the mystery of the cross, she went forth uncorrupt place, and was preserved perfectly stainless by the grace of Christ, and by the instrumentality of the young man, who by his own blood delivered her from dishonour. And on the following day the matter became known, and Magistrianus was brought before the infuriated judge. And when the cruel tyrant had examined the noble champion of Christ, and had learned all, he ordered him to be thrown to the wild beasts,--that in this, too, the honour-hating demon might be put to shame. For, whereas he thought to involve the noble youth in an unhallowed punishment, he exhibited him as a double martyr for Christ, inasmuch as he had both striven nobly for his own immortal soul, and persevered manfully in labours also in behalf of that noble and blessed maiden. Wherefore also he was deemed worthy of double honour with Christ, and of the illustrious and blessed crowns by His goodness.

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