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d.250. Martyr. An elder of the Church in Smyrna, he was killed in the Decian persecution. The Acta Pionii, recording his trial and burning, are extant in the Greek and in two divergent Latin versions. They represent an almost contemporary document, probably incorporating materials from the martyr's own writing in prison, and known to Eusebius, who erroneously makes Pionius a contemporary of his townsman Polycarp.* The narrative bears impressive testimony to the martyr's character and culture, and gives valuable insight into the treatment of Christians. The surviving Life of Polycarp ascribed to Pionius is considered spurious, though accepted by C.J. Cadoux. Itself a legendary compilation, it was apparently intended to be part of a Corpus Polycarpianum fathered on the pious and literary Pionius, to which we may owe the preservation of the Martyrdom of Polycarp.

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