“A Most Mischievous Superstition”
—Tactius, Annals, book 15, chapter 44.
Tactius readied his table, grabbed and dipped
His pen, then began a new chapter in candlelight.
Nero had them naked and whipped,
called Christians by the populace. Such a sight.
A class hated for their abominations.
He studied the candle’s swaying flame—
So much to write before evening was done.
It all began with someone with the name
Christus … suffered the extreme penalty…
at the hands of Pontius Pilatus’ decree.
He pondered Rome’s sacred Pantheon,
Then inked a most mischievous superstition…
They pleaded guilty, even to their last breaths—
Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths.
Some were burnt to serve as nightly illumination.
He paused… what madness caused their veneration?