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History 6, Review Essay 33 – Ignatius, Clement, and Polycarp

Rome didn’t like Christians and would kill and torture them. In this essay I’m going to talk about three famous apostolic fathers that died when they refused to give up their faith.


Ignatius was one of the apostolic fathers that refused to give up his faith and gave up his life instead. Ignatius converted to Christianity at a young age and probably studied under Apostle John. Ignatius served as a bishop of Antioch and assisted in the development of the Church doctrine. He was one of the first, to promote worship on Lord’s Day (Sunday), rather than the Jewish Sabbath.

The Romans captured Ignatius and condemned him to death by wild beasts in the Coliseum.


Clement was an apostolic father like Ignatius; unlike Ignatius we know little about him. He most likely studied under Apostle Peter. Clement is remembered for writing to the Corinthian Church in support of hierarchical church government. He served as Bishop of Rome and was killed by Emperor Trajan.


Polycarp was an apostolic father that was a student of Apostle John like Ignatius. Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna at some point. His writings are one of the oldest surviving Christian works today!

The Romans arrested him at age 86. He was given a chance to walk free if he gave up his faith and burned incense to the emperor (whom the Romans worshipped). But Polycarp wouldn’t his famous quote before being sentenced to death was: “In 86 years Jesus has done me no wrong. How can I blasphemy my king and savior? Bring forth what thou whilst.” Polycarp was burned at the stake.

The work of an apostolic father was dangerous at that time, but these men stuck with their religions and faced death bravely. Because of that I give them mad respect, and you should too. Thanks for reading!



Author: sophiaelahirpc

Part-time 10th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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