Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Martyrium Polycarpi (Martyrdom of Polycarp)
(2,870 words)

The Martyrium Polycarpi records the arrest, trial, and execution of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. As a correspondent of Ignatius of Antioch (Ignatius, Epistles of) and former student of John the evangelist (Evangelists), Polycarp is viewed by ecclesiastical and scholarly tradition as one of the linchpin figures of the 2nd century CE. The account of his death, likewise, is treated as a foundational document in the history of martyrdom.

The martyrdom account off…

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Moss, Candida R., “Martyrium Polycarpi (Martyrdom of Polycarp)”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 16 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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