1 AD - As the time to Christ there existed in Palestine three religious sects: The Essenes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. The Essenes were the strictest group with a high moral code, a secret ceremony. It is sometimes urged that Jesus Christ was a member because he was not on the scene from childhood until manhood. He spoke against the other two sects but never against the Essenes, he was celibate (as they were), and he lived a pure and spotless life (as they urged).
290 AD - On November 8, the Emperor Diocletian executed Claudius Castorius, Sempronianus, and Nicostratus, Sempronianus, for refusing to carve a statue to the god Aesculapius. Their names were forgotten for a time. Several years later, Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus, and Victorinus, (Christians), were executed for refusing to pay homage to the same pagan god. They were later honored as the Four Crowned Martyrs. When the names of the other five were discovered they were added to the list. So that now the nine Martyrs are honored under the term "Four Crowned Martyrs."
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