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Public Executions In The Arena

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FELICULA OF ROME CLUBBED TO DEATH

Felicula was a probably fourth-century Roman martyr whose relics Pope Gregory I gave to Bishop John of Ravenna in about 592. She is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 13 June: "On the seventh milestone from the city of Rome on the Via Ardeatina, Saint Felicula, martyr".[1][2]
The heavily romanticized Acts of Saints Nereus and Achilleus make Felicula one of the first virgin martyrs and assign her death to about 90 AD. In this legend she was the foster sister of Saint Petronilla and was arrested after Petronilla refused to marry a Roman official. After Petronilla's death, Felicula was left in prison for many days without food or water. Then the spurned official ordered his men to tie her to a stake, to whip her and finally to break her bones with clubs. When she expired under the torture, her body was dumped into the Cloaca Maxima. St. Nicomedes recovered her body and buried it, but had to pay for this gentle deed with his life.
 

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PARASCEVA OF IKONIUM CRUCIFIED AND TORTURED

Parasceva was born to a rich family of Iconium. Her parents were Christian, and she was named as such (the name means "Friday" in Greek) because she was baptized on a Friday and because Friday was the day of Christ's Passion.
Parasceva became a preacher, and according to tradition, converted a man named Antoninus to Christianity. She was subsequently arrested and tortured. She was later martyred at Iconium during the persecutions of Diocletian. According to the tradition, she was crucified, tortured with iron hooks and finally beheaded.
 

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EUDOXIA OF TUSCIA SCOURGED TO DEATH

This Eudoxia was a noble and pious woman from Tuscia, a region North of Rome comprising the Southern part of the former Etruscan empire. She was whipped to death for her faith in 306.
Her name is also given as Eudossia or Eudocia.
 

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IRENE OF MAGEDON SCOURGED (another homage to Amy Hesketh)

Irene of Magedon was the only daughter of the pagan prefect of her hometown. Her original name was Penelope. Because of her beauty, her father kept her locked in a tower. Her teachers, however, informed her about Christianity, and St. Timotheus, the pupil of St. Paulus, baptized her and her maidens, whereupon she changed her name.
Her father was furious and tied her to his horse in order to drag her behind him as a punishment, but the horse struck him down. He came back to life by the prayers of Irene, and became a Christian himself.
Irene traveled to other towns to spread the Christian faith, and was frequently prosecuted. In one town, the prefect let her be thrown into a pit of snakes (an angel neutralized the poison), tied to a water mill in order to make her drown slowly (the river stopped its flow), and sawn into pieces (the saw broke). Finally he stripped her, shod her feet with with irons, put a bridle on her and made her pull his carriage though the town. She obeyed, but then an earthquake overturned the carriage and killed him.
Then irene was tied to a pole and savagely scourged until she fainted. After surviving many other tortures and humiliations she was killed with a sword.
 

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DIONISIA OF TUNIS SCOURGED (one more homage to Amy Hesketh)

Dionysia was a Christian widow who lived with her son Maioricus in or near Tunis, North Africa. In 484 she and her sister Dativa fell victims to the persecution of the Vandal king Huneric, who was a Christian, too, but of the Arian denomination.
According to the legend Dionysia, Dativa, and other women were tied naked to stakes and cruelly scourged. During her ordeal Dionysia was heard to admonish her son to remain steadfast. Later the women were burned.
 

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FIRMINA OF AMELIA CRUCIFIED AND TORTURED WITH BURNING TORCHES (one more tribute to Amy Hesketh)

Firmina is said to have lived in the 3rd century and to have suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian, but all information about her comes from a vita written not earlier than the 6th century. Later oral tradition has supplemented this with sometimes conflicting detail.
The simplest version of her legend is that she belonged to a family of high status: her father Calpurnius was prefect of the city of Rome (praefectus Urbis). Olympiadis, a high official, attempted to seduce her but was converted by her to the Christian faith, for which he was martyred. She then left her family to devote herself to prayer in seclusion, near the city of Amelia in Umbria, where she was arrested as a Christian herself. As the Christians refused to make sacrifices to the god-emperor, they were thought to be illoyal subjects or even traitors. However, the judge presiding over Firmina's trial was a just man and allowed the young woman to defend herself. She did this so well that the judge acquitted her; later he became a Christian himself.
But the persecution was still going on. In 303 Firmina was arrested again. This time her judge was a cruel and arrogant man who let her be tortured in order to make her renounce her faith. But she remained steadfast, and in the end the judge gave up and had her beheaded.
 

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PETRONILLA OF ROME CRUCIFIED AND TORTURED TO DEATH

Aurelia Petronilla lived in Rome at the end of the Ist century. Archaeological excavations seem to indicate that she was a member of a patrician family, the Flavii, and possibly a relative of the martyr Flavia Domitilla. Beyond that, little is known about her. It is likely that she fell victim to the persecution of Emperor Domitianus. She has been venerated as a virgin martyr at least since the Vth century. The "Legenda Aurea" considers her the daughter of St. Peter, which is due to a misinterpretation of her name.
According to an old legend a Roman official desired to marry her, but had her arrested and tortured to death when she refused him. It is said that the woman was finally crucified and tortured excruciatingly with iron hooks until her death.
 

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