AFRICA (MARTYRS IN). (October 30) (Date unknown.) A group of between one hundred and two hundred Christians, massacred in one of the earlier persecutions. The Martyrologies, however, give no particulars as to date, place, or nature of their passion.
It should always be remembered that one of the objects of the great persecution, for which the Emperor Diocletian is responsible at the close of the third century of the Christian Aera, was the destruction of the Sacred Books and records of the Christians. In this the Pagans were only too successful, and the loss to Ecclesiastical History has been irreparable. The Annals of the early Martyrs, in particular, have become very incomplete. In regard to the Churches of Africa and of the East, the laying waste by the Arabs of the countries involved the destruction of libraries and Archives, and has had a similar disastrous result. In Western Europe, thanks to the scholarly copyists maintained in the monasteries, much has survived, not only of classical literature, but also of records of early Christianity dating at least from the fourth century.