Martyrs of the Diocletian persecution (about 304)
Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus, SAINTS, martyrs of the Diocletian persecution (about 304). The "Martyrologium Hieronymian." contains the names of these three martyrs on four different days (the four days 8—October 11 evidently signify no more than the date of a single day), with the topographical identification: "In Tarso Cilicie", on September 27 (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 126), to which corresponds the expression, "In Cilicia", given on the two days of April 5, and 8-October 11. The expression, "In Palestina", given under May 13 (ibid., 60), is either an error or refers to a special shrine of the martyrs in Palestine. There are two accounts of the glorious martyrdom of these three witnesses by blood, the first account being held by Ruinart (Acta Martyrum, ed. Ratisbon, 448 sq.) to be entirely authentic. According to these Acts, Tarachus, a native of Claudiopolis in Isauria, Probus of Side in Pamphylia, and Andronicus, who belonged to a prominent family of Ephesus, were tried and horribly tortured three times in various cities, at Tarsus, and at Anazarbus of Cilicia. They were then condemned to death by wild beasts, and when the animals would not touch them in the amphitheatre they were put to death with the sword. Harnack, however, expressed doubts as to the genuineness of the account (Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, pt. II: Die Chronologie, I, 479 sq., note 5), and Delehaye (Les legendes hagiographiques, 135 sq.) puts the martyrdom in the class of legends of martyrs that he calls "historical romances". At the same time, however, there can be no doubt as to the actual existence of the three martyrs. Their feast is celebrated in the Latin Church on October 11, and in the Greek Church on October 12.
J. P. KIRSCH