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Some of the libellatici, who forwarded to the authorities documents drawn up concerning their real or alleged sacrifices and bearing their signatures, were also called acta facientes .The names of the Christians, who had shown their apostasy by one of the above-mentioned methods, were entered on the court records., ε 01 (von Soden), is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek.It is a papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew dating palaeographically to the early 3rd century.In his letter to Trajan, Pliny writes that those who are truly Christians will not offer any heathen sacrifices or utter any revilings against Christ.Nevertheless we learn both from "The Shepherd" of Hermas, and from the accounts of the persecutions and martyrdoms, that individual Christians after the second century showed weakness, and fell away from the Faith. Funk, "Patres Apostolici", 2nd ed., I, 319), we read of a Prhygian, Quintus, who at first voluntarily avowed the Christian Faith, but showed weakness at the sight of wild beasts in the amphitheatre, and allowed the proconsul to persuade him to offer sacrifice.Whoever refused was threatened with the severest punishments.

The words are written continuously without separation.

After these weak brethren had received their attestations and knew that their names were thus recorded, they felt themselves safe from futher inquisition and persecution.

The majority of the lapsi had indeed only obeyed the edict of Decius out of weakness: at heart they wished to remain Christians.

A great number of the laity, and even some members of the clergy, weakened, and, on the promulgation of the edict, flocked at once to the altars of the heathen idols to offer sacrifice.

We are particularly well-informed about the events in Africa and in Rome by the correspondence of St.

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