Art. 3b, Epistle a Claudie l’emperour

Art. 3b, Epistle a Claudie l'emperour: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); BnF: Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris); CUL: Cambridge University Library; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NLW: National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth); PL: Patrologiae cursus completus . . . series latina (Migne).

21 selunc la vielz lei. “Faithfully.” The phrase literally means “by the old law.”

95–96 An acute sense of loss precipitated by Jesus’ recent death underscores Volusian’s eagerness to know what Jesus looked like in life. This longing prepares for the discovery of the precious likeness preserved in Veronica’s portrait of Jesus. It is interesting that the text does not describe the portrait as being imprinted on a cloth. On the Veronica legend, see Kuryluk. On the desire to recapture how Jesus appeared in flesh, compare another text appearing much later in Harley 2253: Distinguishing Features of the Bodily Form of Jesus Christ Our Lord (art. 91).

135 Amerine. The Tuscan city Amelia was called Ameria in the Middle Ages. A more standard tradition is that Pilate was exiled to the city of Vienne in Gaul. See Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 1:212–14.

170–71 Claudius was Roman Emperor from 41–54 A.D., succeeding Caligula (37–41 A.D.) and preceding Nero (54–68 A.D.). In the chronology given here, the author overlooks Caligula’s four-year reign.

173 Symoi. On Simon Magus, his cult-like control over Nero, and his rivalry with Saint Peter, see The Passion of Saint Peter (art. 7), which gives a fuller account of the story. See also the account of Simon Magus in Jacobus of Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 2:325–27.

Art. 3b, Epistle a Claudie l'emperour: TEXTUAL NOTES


Abbreviations: MS: MS Harley 2253; M: Meyer 1895; O: O’Connor; P: Perman; R: D. Russell 1989.

title MS: epistle a clau|die lemperour. Scribe B inserts this title in red ink in the left margin.

10 constreint. MS: costreint.

62 Olivete. MS: de maled.

82 s’esforcent. MS: sesfor.

87 poeté. MS: peete.

112 tant li. MS: tain li.

142 m’ame. MS: m.

148 de. MS: del.

158 si se. MS: se se.

172 André. MS: A.

188 dit. MS: omitted.

192 de. MS: del.


 
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Epistle a Claudie l'emperour [art. 3b]

Ceste chartre enveia Pylate a Claudie, ki puis fud emperur aprés Tyberie. Vivant

l’emperur Tyberie, mes Tyberie ert suspris de une grante enforrmeté, pur çoe si
eslist Claudie pur estre emperur aprof lui. Dunc se purpensa Tyberie l’emperur
qu’il enverreit un sage home en Jerusalem pur enquere de Jhesu Crist, kar il le
covitout mult a veeir pur çoe qu’il aveit oi dire multes mairvailles de li: qu’il out
resuscité les morz e les malades sanout par parole sulement, e ne | mie sulement
il mes ses disciples par li.

Uncore, dist Tyberie a sun privé consail: “Sil est Deus, dunc nus purrad il aider.
E s’il est tant sulement home, dunc nus purra il valer a governer nostre
Icestui desir jo aveir, kar m’enfermeté me constreint mult. Ore eslisum un sage
home ki od grant honur le nus puisse amener.”

Dunc eslistrent un bon barun par nun Volusien, provere de temple. Sil roverent
que, s’il peut Jhesu trover, qu’il la meint od lui. La dolur des plaies qu’il aveit el
plus secré lu de sun cors l’anguissent a mort, e le venim senz retenement en issist.
Ne de quanque il feseit de richez mescines nel li pout rien valier,
ne nule sancté ne pout par mescines recoverer.


Mult sembla a Tyberie lunge la demurance de Volusien, sis manda qu’il venist a
lui. E quant il fud venuz, si li dit: “Je te conjur, par l’autorité a tuz les deus, qui tu
hastivement facies mun message. E quanque tu meisme me voldras requere, tuit
te frai.”

Quant Volusien oi la haste l’emperur, si fist sa devise sulunc la vielz lei. A tuz seus
de sa maisun prist congié, si entra en la nef pur faire le message ki li ert esgargié.
E si mist el aler vers Jerusalem un an e treis meis, pur les perilz ki aveient esté en
mer. Quant il vint a la cité de Jerusalem, tuz les plus halz dé Judeus furent esponté
en sa venue. Si alerent a Pilate, ki aveit esté prince de Judee, pur lui nuncier
l’avenement Volusien, kar il quidouent qu’il fust venu pur guarder Judee.


Dunc ala Pilate estu dulcement encontre Volusien, si li dist: “Purquei ne peumes
nus saveir devant, bel sire, de vostre venue, ke nus puissum aveir enveie encontre
vus?”

Dunc dist Volusien: “Nus ne sumes pas enveié pur prendre garde de ches cuntreez,
ne pur les cités guarder, ne pur les communes rentes, mes pur quere le sancté de
nostre tres piu seignur Tyberie Cesar, ki mult est suspris de grant enfermeté, si que
nule mescine ne nul enchantement ne li poet valer. Kar la tres perçant gute festre
l’ad desfait, e çoe est l’achaisun de nostre avene|ment en cest pais. Mes nus
demandum un home Jhesu par nun, lequil noz desirum a veir, ke, seet, senz
mescine e senz conjurement d’erbes puet sancté doner as enferms, sicum un home
dist que ci est venu od nus que dit: qu’il garist tutes les enfermetez, e santé ad en
poesté, e les morz resuscité.”

E quant çoe oi Pilate, si fud tristes, e geinst. Dunc parla un Judeu par nun Thomas,
ki ces choses aveit cunté a Tyberie Cesar l’emperur, si dist qu’il esteit
Deu e Fiz Deu, e neis les deables le regehirent: “E ci poez trover de ces ki vus
dirrunt tute la verité du lui.”

Dunc dist un des chevalers Pilate a Pilate: “Icil tres sage home desir aveir Tyberie
Cesar ke vostre haltesce pas ne dota a crucifier.”

Dunc fud Pilate confundu a la parole de sun chevaler.

A ceste parole, demanda Volusien a Pilate: “Oi tu, Pilate, purquei volsis tu, senz le
congé del tres piu Tyberie Cesar nostre seignur, Jesum, que tuit le pople teneit a
dreiturer, dampner a mort?”

Respundi Pilate, e dit: “Jo ne pas suffrir le cri des Judeus, kar il diseit qu’il ert
Reis.”

Dunc dist un des chevalers Pilate a Volusien: “Bel sire, saciez que nus le veismes
resusciter de mort al tierz jur qu’il fu mis el sepulchre. E mulz out od nus qui puis
le virent haitement aler, e neis Josep ki l’ensevili le vit puis.”


Dunc comanda Volusien aneire que um amenast Joseph od grant honur. E quant
il fud venu, si li demanda Volusien: “Tu qui sulz es e sages e courtes el pople des
Judeus, sicum nus avum oi dire, di nus la verité de Jhesu, qui fud prové a dreiturer
en nostre gent, lequel neis le Deable regeisent qu’il esteit Deuz, si çoe est veirs,
qu’il relevast de mort. Kar, tuen testimoine sulement receverum pur vaire.”


Dunc respundi Josep, e dist: “Jo su cerz qu’ele mien Seignur Jesu Crist est
resuscitez de mort, kar jo puis le vi e parlai od lui. E puis que joe l’enseveli en mun
monument nuef que entaillai en la piere, le vi joe en Galilee vif, seant sur un Munt
[Olivete], enseignant.”

Dunc enveiat Volusien par tut le regne de Jerusalem pur saveir si l’um purrait
Jhesum trover, kar mult le desirout a veir. E quant hom ne poet trover, si s’endolut
anguissusement Volusien.

Dunc vindrent duze homes, | e Joseph ensemble od els, qui distrent: “Nus veimes
Jhesu munter el ciel.”

E çoe sunt les nuns d’els: Didimus, Lucius, Ysaac, Didarus, Addadas, e les altres
qu’il nome devant. Dunc comanda Volusien prendre Pylate e mettre en chartre. E
il le pristrent si l’encloistrent en une forte jaole. Puis vindrent a Volusien e homes
e femmes, ki cunterent a lui e a ces chevalers les granz merveilles ke Jhesu fist en
tere.

Quant Volusien out oi ces marvailles, si dit devant tuit le pople: “Jhesu esteit Deu,
dunc nus poet il aider e aveir merci de nus. E s’il esteit tant sulement home, dunc
poet il governer tuit nostre empire.”

Dunc comanda Volusien a tut sun ost qu’il preisent tut le lignage Pilate si meisent
en chartre. E si comanda amener Pilate devant lui e devant ses chevalers. Si li dist,
en plurant: “Tu, enemi de verité e del regne de Rome, purquai ne demandastes
tu a Tyberie Cesar la grant bunté e la grant puisance ke ert en Jhesu, e ke tut le
pople l’out e teneit pur Seignur?”

Respondi Pylate, e dist: “Joe ne sui pas culpable de sun sanc, mes li Judeu
s’esforcent sovent de li oscire.”

E Volusien li dist: “Coment te porras defendre que tu ne seiez culpable de sa mort,
quant nel deliveras des feluns einz lur liveras?”

Dunc se leva sus un de ces disciples Jhesu par nun Symun. Si estust devant
Volusien e devant tut le pople, si dist: “Pilate, quant feisiez batre Jhesum de nerfs
e de curgies, e si li diseis: ‘Jo ai poeté de tei laiser, e si ai poesté de tei oscire.’ E
coment tu puez ore escundire que tu ne seiez de sa mort culpable?”


“Joe cremeie les engins as Judeus, e pur çoe lur liverai. E pur mustrer ke joe ne fui
culpable de sa mort, jo lavei mes mains devant tuz les Judeus, si dis: ‘Joe ne sui pas
culpable del sanc de cest dreitural home. Vus le verrez.’ A içoe, si me respundirent
li plus ancien des Judeus, si me distrent: ‘Sun sanc seit sur vus e sur voz fiz.’”

E quant Volusien oi çoe, en plurant, dist a Pilate: “Ahi, Pilate, mun piu, quant tu
le pues deliverer? Tu ne lur deus pas aveir laisse.”


Puis si comença Volusien a enquere | od grant desirer qu’il peut saveir par alcun
home semblance de lui. Dunc vint un home par nun Marcus qui sout le segrei
de une bone femme, si dist a Volusien: “Treis anz ad passez que Jhesu salva une
femme de la cursum de sanc. E quant ele fud garie de la grant amur qu’ele out vers
lui, si fist prendre un ymage del semblant Jhesu dementers qu’il ert vivant. E il
bien le saveit que la bone femme le fit par bone entente e pur la grant amur qu’ele
aveit vers lui.”

Dunc dist Volusien a celui: “Di mai cum la femme ad nun.”

E il li respondi: “Veronica ad nun.”

“U maint cele?”

E li dist: “En Tyr.”

Dunc comanda Volusien que hum li amenast. E quant ele fu amenee, si li dist
Volusien: “Multe gent me unt dit de la vostre bunté e unt loé la vostre cointise, e
pur çoe vus pri joe que vus me mustrez l’imagene Jhesu, del veir Deu e del grant
Deu, ke te rendi la sancté de tun cors.”

Dunc respundi la femme, si dist qu’ele pas ne l’aveit.

E Volusien, sicum cestui ki quidout estre escharni, amiablement la cumence a
enquere e a pramettre granz louers. E tant la requist e tant li pramist que la femme
que ert suieté a Deu sun Seignur ja seit içoe que entuz li regeiseit: qu’ele aveit
l’ymagene de l’Auctur de Salu. E Volusien enveia dunc od icil grant plenté des
chevalers, si troverent la ymagene de l’Autur de Salu desuz les chevez de sun lit,
kar tant l’aveit chere qu’ele ne volt pas esloigner la de li. Ainz, ert tuteveie a sun
chief quant ele dormeit. Ele prist le imaigne, si l’aportat a Volusien.


E quant Volusien la vit, si dist: “Est cest le ymagne Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist?”

Anere s’esfremi si l’aura, e dist: “Veirement, je vus di que mal guerdun avera qui
livra Jhesu Crist a crucifier — ki les malades sanout e les morz resuscitout.”


E quant tut çoe ert apparaillé, si comanda a tuz ses armez cumpaignuns des nes
qu’il s’aparaillassent. E il od ses chevalers, e ensemble od Pilate e Veronica la bone
femme od tute l’ymagne Nostre Seignur Jesu Crist, a grant honur est entré en la
nef. | Dunc ses hasterent d’aler al plus tost qu’il porent vers la cité de Rome, e
aprés nuef mais sunt venu a la cité de Rume. E quant l’advenement Volusien fud
nuncié a Tyberie Cesar, si fud lilie cum estre pout par sa grant enfermeté. Dunc
se vint Volusien aprés si entra a Tyberie Cesar, si se baisa devant lui, si li salue. Si
li cunta tut cum ert avenu enz l’eiere, e qu’il tant aveit demuré pur les tempestes
qu’il aveit eues en la mer.


Dunc li dist Tyberie Cesar: “Purquei n’est, dunc, Pilate oscis?”

Respundi Volusien: “Joe crei ens la vostre pité si ne l’osi pas faire oscir. Enz, l’ai
sa amené, e vus en frez faire vostre commandement.”

Dunc se curiça forment Tyberie Cesar. E ne volt suffrir que Pilate veit sa face. Einz,
jura iriément e dit que il ne mangereit de chose quite ne enz fu ne en ewe jamés.
Einz, le dampna sil comanda enveir en une cité de Tuscie par num Amerine eloec
le comanda a mettre en chartre.

Dunc dist Volucien a Tyberie Cesar: “Une femme guari Jhesu de la cursun de sanc
qu’ele aveit euue diz e nuef anz, ki pur l’amur Deu de li fit depeindre un ymagne
a suen oez en la semblance Jhesu en sa vie. E cele ai jo aporté e la femme od mai
ai menee kar cele mesme femme ad guerpie tute sa sustance qu’ele aveit si ad siwi
lungement de sun Deu, disant: ‘Jo ne larrai pas ma vie ne l’esperance de ma salu.
E la force de m’[ame] amane me.’”

Quant ço oit Tyberie Cesar, si comanda que hom li amenast la femme ensemble
od l’imagne Jhesu Crist. E quant Tiberie vit l’ymagne e la femme qu’il aveit aporté,
si dist a la femme: “Tu deservis a veeir e a tucher la frenche del vestement Jhesu.”
[Compare Mark 5:27–29.]

E quant il out çoe dit, si esguardat le ymagne Noste Seignur Jhesu Crist e chai a
tere od cremur e od lermes. Si l’aura. E quant il out auree, aneire fud sané de
l’enfermeté e de la poreture de ses plaies qu’il aveit dedenz le cors. E puis qu’il
senti la santé de sun cors par çoe qu’il aveit l’ymagene vue, aneire si comanda a la
bone dame doner grant aveir de la commune rente a l’emperur. Puis si comanda
| aurner l’ymage d’or, e d’argent, e de precioses.


Dunc si dist Tyberie Cesar a Voluisien: “Quel est la requeste de mun seignur?”

E Volusien respundi: “Sire, jo ne desir nient el fors ke icest pople seit tut baptizé
en l’onur de Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist, e ke tuz le creient qu’il est le verrai Fiz
Deu.”

Dunc dist Tyberie Cesar: “Allas, que jol nel puis veeir vivant!”

Aproef le nuefime meis si se fist Treberie Cesar baptizer, si fud gari de tutes ces
enfermetez. Dunc si ad receu sun concilie od glorie emperial. Si comanda a sun
concilie que tuz communalement aurassent Jhesu Crist, e sil tenissent pur veir Deu,
e qu’il meisent l’ymagne e sur les ymagnes a tuz les emperus e sur les ymagnes a
tuz les deus, e si la dediasent noblement en l’onur Deu e de la cité. E quant le
cuncilie pas nel consenti al comandement l’emperur de recevire le nun Jhesu Crist,
dunc se corucea forment e si en out si grant desdein ke plusers des plus nobles del
concilie fist turmenter de deverz turmenz e tresqu’a la mort pener pur çoe qu’il
ne voldreint Jhesu Crist aurrer. E qui devant çoe aveit esté suef de boen aire a eus
desi dunc devint cruel e contralius al noble concilie dé senaturs de Rume. Mes
aproef çoe, ne vesqui pas lungement. Einz, fud neié el Teivre, la qui alme seit od
les fedeilz Nostre Seignur.

Aprof li regna Claudius Cesar l’emperur, e aprof Claudie, si reçut Nerum l’empire
de Rume. Un poi de tens aprof çoe, vindrent li disciple Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist:
seint Pere, e saint André, e seint Pole en la cité de Roum. E devant ert venu un
Samaritan Symoi par nun, qui mult ert enseigné de l’art d’enchantement en qui
mulz diebles habitouent. E il diseit qu’il ert Deus e Crist le Fiz Deu, e que lé Judeu
le crucifierent, e qu’il fud mort e ensevili. E qu’il ert le tierz jurz resuscité
aformout. Mes, a Nerun Cesar furent cunté mult des faiz Jhesu Crist le Fiz Deu le
vif qu’il aveit fait en Judee. E neis de Pilate, li fud cunté cum il aveid dampné Jhesu
a mort. E il enveia ses chevalers hastivement en Amerine la cité si fist Pilate amener
devant li. E quant Nerun | Cesar le vit en sa presence, si li ruva qu’il li cuntast tut
sicum esteit avenu de Jhesu de Nazareth. Dunc fist Nerun Cesar amener saint Pere
e saint Pol devant sei e devant sun enchanteur Symun. E li apostre desdistrent
que Symun niert pas Crist.


Si distrent al emperur: “Bon emperere, si tu velz saver les faiz Jhesu qu’il fist en
Judee, pernez les lettres que Ponce Pylate enveia a Claudie Cesar l’emperur. Dunc
purras tu saveir tuz les faiz Jhesu qu’il fist en Judee.”


Dunc enveia Nerun Cesar al tresor del Capitolie u la chartre esteit. Quant il la vit,
si la list. E quant il out lite les lettres, aneire si dist Nero Cesar: “Di mai, Pieres,
sunt tutez ces choses veraiez que l’um [dit] que Jhesu ad faites?”


Dunc respundi Pieres, si dist: “Bon emperur, tuz les bons faiz que avez oi sunt faiz
par Jhesu Crist le Fiz Deu. Kar cest enchanteur Symun est plain de mençongez e
des arz as debles avironez, e sil qu’il dit — qu’il est Deus — qui est home suillié. E
si se ose apeler Fiz Deu, par qui nus sumes tuz reinz de la poesté del deble. Si dit
qu’il est cele divine majesté ki prist char en la virgine Marie, laquele deigna pur
home aver merci de homes, en laquele ad dous sustances, c’est a saver, de Deu e
de home. En cest enchanteur Symun ad dous sustances, c’est a saver, ne mie de
Deu e de home, ainz sunt del Deble e de home. E il est sudeuire. E par home, si
volt les homes sedeuire.”


Quant Nerun out oi icés paroles, si demanda a Pilate si veir fud çoe que Pieres li
aveit cunté e qu’il aveit oi.

Respundi Pilate, e dist: “De quanque Pieres vus cunte de Jhesu, n’i ad un mot de
mençunge.”

Aprof çoe, pur la circumcisiun que Pilate aveit receue des Judeus, est il altre feid
enveié en eissil en Amerine la cité par le comandement Nerun Cesar. E iloc, pur
la grant angusse qu’il suffri, se tresperça de une espee, de tel manere murut. E tute
escrite l’achaisun purquai Tyberie Sesar, l’enveia en eissil, ki crei en Nostre
Seignur Jhesu Crist e de cest siecle en pais s’en ala. Nerun adecertes l’osciur des
martyrs, le felun, le nun piu, le paien, le feru del Deable. Sicum il errout sul par
une fo|reste, d’un agu fust se trespersa e en cele guise si murut. E puis fu de lonz
devoré, sicum Symun l’enchanteur li aveit dit devant par le ait del Deable.


Nostre Seignur ad doné salu a ceus ki en li creient, e nus creium qu’il est le Fiz
Deu, ke od le Pere e od le Saint Espirit vit e regne el secle des secles. Amen.


Letter of Pilate to Emperor Claudius [art. 3b]

Pilate sent this letter to Claudius, who was emperor then along with Tiberius.

Emperor Tiberius was alive, but Tiberius had been taken with a grave illness, so he
chose Claudius to be emperor along with him. Then Emperor Tiberius decided
that he’d send a wise man to Jerusalem to inquire about Jesus Christ, for he very
much wanted to meet him because he’d heard many of his miracles spoken of: that
he’d raised the dead and cured the sick solely by his word, and not | only he
himself but also his disciples through him.

Moreover, Tiberius said to his privy council: “If he is God, then he’ll be able to
help us. And if he is such a singular man, then we intend to send for him to govern
our empire. I wish to have this, for my infirmity much hinders me. Now may we
choose a wise man who can lead us to him with great honor.”

Then they elected a fine noble named Volusian, priest of the temple. And they
commanded him, if he were able to find Jesus, that he bring him back with him.
Pain from the wounds that he [Tiberius] had in the most private part of
tormented him mortally, and poison flowed unceasingly from it. Whatever
expensive medicines he tried were of no use to him, nor could he recover health
by any treatment at all.

The absence of Volusian seemed overly long to Tiberius, and he commanded that
he come to him. And when he had come, he said to him: “I solemnly conjure you,
by authority of all the gods, to convey my message quickly. And whatever you
yourself want to request of me, I wholly grant it.”

When Volusian heard the emperor’s urgency, he carried out the plan faithfully. He
took leave of his entire household, and he boarded a ship in order to deliver the
message charged to him. He traveled toward Jerusalem for a year and three
months, through perils met at sea. When he came to the city of Jerusalem, all the
highest-ranking Jews were frightened by his arrival. And they went to Pilate, who
had been prince of Judea, to announce to him Volusian’s coming, for they thought
he had come to oversee Judea.

Then Pilate went nobly to meet Volusian, and said to him: “Why weren’t we
informed in advance, good lord, of your coming, so that we might have arranged
for envoys to meet you?”

Then said Volusian: “We aren’t sent to oversee these regions, protect the cities, or
collect the general payments, but rather to seek the health of our very devout Lord
Tiberius Caesar, taken with a grave illness, whom no medicine or magic may cure.
An excruciating ulcer has enfeebled him, and this is the reason for our com|ing
to this country. But we ask for a man by the name of Jesus, whom we wish to see,
and who, it seems, without medicine or conjuring of herbs can give health to the
infirm, as someone who came from here reported among us: that he cured all
sicknesses, has health in his power, and raises the dead.”


And when Pilate heard this, he was quite upset, and he groaned. Then spoke a Jew
named Thomas, who had related these things to Emperor Tiberius Caesar, and
said that he was God and the Son of God, and that even devils confessed to him:
“And you can find here some of his disciples, who will tell us the truth about him.”

Then one of Pilate’s soldiers said to Pilate: “I wish to inform Tiberius Caesar that
your Highness didn’t refrain from crucifying this very wise man.”

Thus was Pilate put to shame by his soldier’s statement.

Upon this word, Volusian questioned Pilate: “Listen, Pilate, why did you choose,
without permission of the very devout Tiberius Caesar our lord, to condemn Jesus
to death, whom all the people held to be righteous?”

Pilate answered, and said: “I couldn’t bear the Jews’ outcry that he said he was
King.”

Then one of Pilate’s soldiers said to Volusian: “Good lord, know well that we saw
him arise from death on the third day after he was placed in a sepulcher. And
there are many among us who then saw him ascend on high, and then even Joseph
who buried him saw him.”

Then commanded Volusian immediately that someone fetch Joseph with great
honor. And when he had come, Volusian questioned him: “You who alone are wise
and courteous among the Jewish people, as we’ve heard, tell us the truth about
Jesus, who was shown to be righteous among our people, of whom even the Devil
professed he was God, and who, if it’s true, arose from death. Indeed, we shall
receive as true only your own testimony.”

Then Joseph responded, and said: “I’m certain that my Lord Jesus Christ has
arisen from death, for I was able to see him and speak with him. And after I buried
him in my new tomb that I hewed of stone, I saw him alive in Galilee, sitting on the
Mount of Olives, teaching."

Then Volusian sent throughout the kingdom of Jerusalem to know whether anyone
was able to find Jesus, for he greatly desired to see him. And when no one was able
to find him, Volusian mourned with anguish.

Then there came twelve men, | and Joseph together with them, who said: “We saw
Jesus rise up to the sky.”

And these are their names: Didimus, Lucius, Isaac, Didarus, Addadas, and the
others whom he named before. Then Volusian commanded Pilate be seized and
put in prison. And they seized him and enclosed him in a strong jail. Then came
to Volusian both men and women, who told him and his soldiers about the great
wonders Jesus had performed on earth.

When Volusian had heard of these wonders, then he said before all the people: “If
Jesus is God, then he might have helped us and had mercy on us. And if he was
merely a man, then he might have governed our whole empire.”

Then Volusian commanded his whole army to seize Pilate’s entire lineage and put
them in prison. And then he commanded that they lead Pilate before him and his
soldiers. And, weeping, he said to him: “You, enemy of truth and the kingdom of
Rome, why didn’t you acquire for Tiberius Caesar the vast goodness and vast
power in Jesus, whom all the people held and honored as Lord?”

Pilate answered, and said: “I am not guilty of his blood, but the Jews strove to kill
him.”

And Volusian said to him: “How are you able to deny that you’re guilty of his death,
when you were able to set criminals free rather than hand them over to them?”

Then rose up one of the disciples of Jesus named Simon. And he stood before
Volusian and all the people, and said: “Pilate, for a time you had Jesus beaten with
whips and scourges, and then you said to him: ‘I have the power to let you go, and
I also have the power to kill you.’ How are you now able to deny that you were
guilty of his death?”

“I feared the plots of the Jews, and for that reason, I handed him to them. And to
show that I was not guilty of his death, I washed my hands before all the Jews, and
said: ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just man. Look you to it.’ To this, the eldest
of the Jews responded me, and said: ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children.’”

And when Volusian heard this, he said, weeping, to Pilate: “Ah, Pilate, my
wretched one, why didn’t you free him when you were able? You shouldn’t have
given him to them.”

Then Volusian began to inquire | eagerly whether he might learn from someone
about his appearance. Then there came a man named Marcus who knew the secret
of a good woman, and he said to Volusian: “Three years ago Jesus saved a woman
from an issue of blood. And when she was cured by means of the deep love she felt
for him, she obtained a portrait of Jesus’ countenance while he was alive. And he
knew well that the good woman did it with good intent and out of the deep love
she felt for him.”

Then Volusian said to him: “Tell me the woman’s name.”

And he answered him: “Her name is Veronica.”

“Where does she live?”

And he said: “In Tyre.”

Then Volusian commanded that she be brought before him. And when she was
brought, Volusian said to her: “Many people have told me of your goodness and
have praised your wisdom, and for this I ask that you show me the portrait of Jesus,
the true and great God, who restored your body’s health to you.”

Then the woman answered, and said she didn’t have it.

And Volusian, because this woman thought she was being mocked, started to
question her in a friendly way and promise her many honors. And he asked her so
earnestly and promised so much that the woman who’d devoted herself to God her
Lord confessed everything to him: that she had the portrait of the Author of
Salvation. And Volusian then sent many soldiers with her, and they found the
portrait of the Author of Salvation under the head of her bed, for she loved it so
dearly that she didn’t wish to be far away from it. Instead, it was always at her head
while she slept. She took the portrait and carried it to Volusian.

And when Volusian saw it, he said: “Is this the portrait of Our Lord Jesus Christ?”

Immediately she trembled and prayed, and said: “Truly, I say to you that an evil
reward shall he have who delivered Jesus Christ to be crucified — he who cured the
sick and raised the dead.”

And when all this had been readied, he commanded all his armed comrades to
ready themselves. And he along with his soldiers, together with Pilate and the good
woman Veronica with the full portrait of Our Lord Jesus Christ, boarded the ship
with great ceremony. | Then they hastened to travel as quickly as they could to the
city of Rome, and after nine months they arrived at the city of Rome. And when
the arrival of Volusian was announced to Tiberius Caesar, he was as pleased as
possible given his grave illness. Then Volusian approached and entered into the
presence of Tiberius Caesar, bowed before him, and greeted him. And he related
everything as it had happened in the journey, and said that he’d been so slow to
return because of storms encountered at sea.

Then Tiberius Caesar said to him: “Why, then, is Pilate not killed?”

Answered Volusian: “I feared your compassion and dared not have him killed.
Instead, I’ve brought him here, and you may do with him as you command.”

Then Tiberius Caesar grew very angry. And he wouldn’t allow Pilate to come
before his face. Instead, he angrily swore and said that he couldn’t eat cooked food
or bathe ever again. And he condemned and sentenced him to be sent to a city in
Tuscany called Ameria and imprisoned there.

Then said Volusian to Tiberius Caesar: “Jesus cured a woman of an issue of blood
that she’d suffered for nineteen years, and she for love of God had painted an
eyewitness portrait of Jesus’ image during his lifetime. And this I’ve brought, and
I’ve led with me the woman who’s forsaken all her sustenance and long followed
her God, saying: ‘I won’t abandon my life or the hope of my salvation. And the
strength of my soul leads me.’”

When Tiberius Caesar heard this, he commanded that a man bring the woman to
him along with the portrait of Jesus Christ. And when Tiberius saw the portrait and
the woman who carried it, he said to the woman: “You were worthy to see and
touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment.” [Compare Mark 5:27–29.]

And when he had said this, then he looked at the portrait of Our Lord Jesus Christ
and fell down to earth with awe and tears. Then he worshiped it. And when he had
worshiped, immediately was he cured of sickness and decay from the wounds
inside his body. And when he felt his body’s health because he’d seen the portrait,
he immediately commanded that a large sum from the emperor’s general revenue
be given to the good woman. And then he commanded that | the portrait be
ornamented with gold, silver, and precious gems.

And then said Tiberius Caesar to Volusian: “What is my lord’s request?”

And Volusian answered: “Lord, I wish nothing other than that all these people be
baptized in honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that all believe regarding him that
he is the true Son of God.”

Then said Tiberius Caesar: “Alas, that I couldn’t see him alive!”

After nine months Tiberius Caesar had himself baptized, and he was cured of all
his sicknesses. Then he received his consuls with imperial glory. And he
commanded all his consuls to worship Jesus Christ communally, accept him as true
God, set his portrait above the portraits of all the emperors and all the gods, and
consecrate it nobly in honor of God and the city. And when the consuls didn’t
consent to the emperor’s command to receive the name of Jesus Christ, then he
grew very angry and had so much scorn for them that he had many of the noblest
consuls tormented with various afflictions and tortured to death because they
didn’t want to worship Jesus Christ. And he who’d before been gentle and meek
toward them became from this time cruel and hostile to the noble consulate of
Roman senators. But after that, he didn’t live very long. Instead, he was drowned
in the Tiber, he whose soul may rest with the faithful of Our Lord.

After him there reigned Emperor Claudius Caesar, and after Claudius, Nero
received the Roman Empire. A short time later, there came to the city of Rome the
disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, and Saint Paul. And
earlier there had come a Samaritan named Simon, who had learned much of the
art of magic wherein many devils dwelled. And he said that he was God and Christ
the Son of God, that the Jews had crucified him, and that he’d been dead and
buried. And he asserted that he’d arisen on the third day. Moreover, to Nero
Caesar were related many of the deeds that Jesus Christ Son of the living God had
performed in Judea. And regarding Pilate, it was related that he had condemned
Jesus to death. And he sent his soldiers hastily to the city of Ameria and had Pilate
brought before him. And when Nero | Caesar saw him in his presence, he
commanded that he recount everything to him as it had happened concerning
Jesus of Nazareth. Then Nero Caesar had Saint Peter and Saint Paul brought
before him and his magician Simon. And the apostles said that Simon was not Christ.

And they said to the emperor: “Good emperor, if you wish to know about the deeds
that Jesus performed in Judea, look at the words that Pontius Pilate sent to
Emperor Claudius Caesar. Then you’ll be able to know about all the deeds Jesus
performed in Judea.”

Then Nero Caesar sent to the treasury of the Capital where the letter was. When
he saw it, then he read it. And when he had read the words, Nero Caesar
immediately said: “Tell me, Peter, are all these things true that people say Jesus
performed?

Then answered Peter, and said: “Good emperor, all the good deeds that you’ve
heard about were performed by Jesus Christ the Son of God. This magician Simon
is full of lies and given to the devils’ arts, and what he asserts — that he is God —
he asserts as a sullied man. And he by whom we’re all beguiled by the Devil’s power
also dares call himself the Son of God. And he also says that he is the divine
majesty who took flesh in the Virgin Mary, who deigned for mankind to have
mercy on men, and in whom there are two substances, namely, of God and of man.
In this magician Simon there are two substances, namely, not of God and of man,
but rather of Devil and of man. And he is a seducer. And as a man, he wished to
lead men astray.”

When Nero had heard these words, he asked Pilate if what Peter had told him and
what he’d heard were true.

Answered Pilate, and said: “In what Peter has recounted to you about Jesus, there’s
not one word of a lie.”

After that, on account of the circumcision that Pilate had received from the Jews,
he was once again sent into exile in the city of Ameria at Nero Caesar’s command.
And there, for the great anguish he suffered, he stabbed himself with a sword, and
in this way he died. And all recognized the reason for which he’d been sent into
exile by Tiberius Caesar, who believed in Our Lord Jesus Christ and left this world
in peace. Nero was certainly a killer of martyrs, a criminal, an impious man, a
pagan, and an instrument of the Devil. As he wandered alone in a fo|rest, he was
pierced by an arrow and died in that manner. And then he was devoured by lions,
just as Simon the magician had prophesied to him earlier by help of the Devil.

Our Lord has given salvation to those who believe in him, and we believe that he
is the Son of God, who with the Father and with the Holy Ghost lives and reigns
forever and ever. Amen.


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Go To Art. 4, De Seint Johan le Ewangeliste, Introduction
Go To Art. 4, De Seint Johan le Ewangeliste, Text