On This Day
180 – Twelve inhabitants of Scillium (near Kasserine, modern-day Tunisia) in North Africa are executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
The Scillitan Martyrs were a company of twelve North African Christians who were executed for their beliefs on 17 July 180 AD. The martyrs take their name from Scilla (or Scillium), a town in Numidia. The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs are considered to be the earliest documents of the church of Africa and also the earliest specimen of Christian Latin.
It was the last of the persecutions during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, which is best known from the sufferings of the churches of Vienne and Lyon in South Gaul. Marcus Aurelius died on 17 March of the year in question, and persecution ceased sometime after the accession of his son Commodus. A group of sufferers called the Madaurian martyrs seems to belong to the same period: for in the correspondence of St Augustine, Namphamo, one of their number, is spoken of as “archimartyr,” which appears to mean protomartyr of Africa.
Born On This Day
1898 – Berenice Abbott, American photographer (d. 1991)
Berenice Alice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s.
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