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249

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ROMAN TRADITIONS OF PETER AND PAUL. 249
and Paul, when on the Roman market they called upon
God to witness against Simon the Sorcerer, was an aged
man whom people greeted with respect : for he was one
of the highest in rank of Rome’s citizens, and the broad
purple border to his toga marked his dignity as senator.
His name was Pudens.
With him two fair maids, his daughters Pudentiana
and Praxedes, and his two sons, Novatius and Timotheus,
had come to the market. Since Prisca and Aquila had
left Rome, Pudens had given Peter a free abode in his
house ; for the senator’s eyes had been opened to the
truth of Christianity, and he and his children had joyfully
received baptism. The Christians often assembled for
the service of God and the Feast of Love, at Pudens’
house ; and the man of high birth might then be seen,
happy and humble in the circle of poor artisans and
slaves, giving them the name of brother, and receiving
the name of brother from their lips.
Pudens was in feeling an old Roman and republican.
He did not hide it, and had on that account, long ex-
pected death, by the emperor’s order. But Nero, whim-
sically indulgent in his cruelty, spared him still. Before
he became a Christian, Pudens had seen with despair the
ever deeper moral decline of the Roman people; and al-
though republican, he did not believe in the possibility
of a republic. Omnia ruunt, all things are hastening to
destruction—that was his view of life. Now he again
looked with certitude of victory towards the future ; for
he had found the only immovable groundwork of human
liberty and equality—brotherhood in Christ.
Not far from the golden glitter of the great basilica,
Santa Maria Maggiore—one of modern Rome’s foremost

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