Catholic Dictionary

Term

MARTYRS, ACTS OF THE

Definition

Narrative accounts of the martyrs' trials and deaths. They include: 1. official reports of the interrogatives; 2. nonofficial records of eyewitnesses or contemporaries' reportings; 3. later documents based on 1 and 2; 4. other documents whose truth is often questionable or that are even forgeries. The studies made of these documents have contributed substantially not only to Christian hagiography but to a better understanding of world history, including modern times, as of Communism.