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Persecutions (The ten great)

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(1) Under Nero, A.D. 64; (2) Domitian, 95; (3) Trajan, 98; (4) Hadrian, 118; (5) Pertinax, 202, chiefly in Egypt; (6) Maximin, 236; (7) Decius, 249; (8) Valerian, 257; (9) Aurelian, 272; (10) Diocletian, 302.

“It would be well if these were the only religious persecutions; but, alas! those on the other side prove the truth of the Founder: “I came not to send peace [on earth]. but a sword” (Matt. x. 34). Witness the long and relentless persecutions of the Waldenses and Albigenses, the six or seven crusades, the wars of Charlemagne against the Saxons, and the thirty yearsʹ war of Germany. Witness, again, the persecution of the Guises, the Bartholomew slaughter, the wars of Louis XIV. on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Dragonnades, and the wars against Holland. Witness the bitter rersecutions stirred up by Luther, which spread to England and Scotland. No wars so lasting, so relentless, so bloody as religious wars. It has been no thin red line.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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