Chapter XI.—Pusices, Superintendent of the Artisans of Sapor.
Pusices, the superintendent of the kings artisans, was present at the execution; perceiving that Anannias trembled as the necessary preparations for his death were being made, he said to him, “O old man, close your eyes for a little while and be of good courage, for you will soon behold the light of Christ.” No sooner had he uttered these words than he was arrested and conducted before the king; and as he frankly avowed himself a Christian, and spoke with great freedom to the king concerning his opinion and the martyrs, he was condemned to an extraordinary and most cruel death, because it was not lawful to address the king with such boldness. The executioners pierced the muscles of his neck in such a manner as to extract his tongue. On the charge of some persons, his daughter, who had devoted herself to a life of holy virginity, was arraigned and executed at the same time. The following year, on the day on which the passion of Christ was commemorated, and when preparations were being made for the celebration of the festival commemorative of his resurrection from the dead, Sapor issued a most cruel edict throughout Persia, condemning to death all those who should confess themselves to be Christians. It is said that a greater number of Christians suffered by the sword; for the Magi sought diligently in the cities and villages for those who had concealed themselves; and many voluntarily surrendered themselves, lest they should appear, by their silence, to deny Christ. Of the Christians who were thus unsparingly sacrificed, many who were attached to the palace were slain, and amongst these was Azades, 1161 a eunuch, who was especially beloved by the king. On hearing of his death, Sapor was overwhelmed with grief, and put a stop to the general slaughter of the Christians; and he directed that the teachers of religion should alone be slain.
Assemanus, Bibl. Orient. t. i. 189, speaks of Azades as the eunuch of Artascirus, ruler of Adiabene, who was a cousin of Sapor.