Eusebius dates it to the reign of in the proconsulship of Statius Quadratus—which works out to be 155 or 156.These earlier dates better fit the tradition of his association with Ignatius and John the Evangelist.He repeatedly emphasizes the very great age of Polycarp.

However, the addition to the "Martyrdom" cannot be considered reliable on only its own merits.

Further, numerous lines of evidence have been given to place the dating of Polycarp's death to the end of the 160s, perhaps even later. 629, 632); this martyrdom took place during a major persecution, which could correspond to the late 160s or the one in 177 with that of Lyons and Vienne ("Ibid.", pp. Lightfoot would argue for the earlier date of Polycarp's death, to which others such as Killen would greatly disagree.

D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies"] , "s.v." "Polycarpus, bishop of Smyrna".] "his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers. 3) that on Polycarp's visit to Rome his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus.

Surviving accounts of the bravery of this very old man in the face of death by burning at the stake added credence to his words.

The first was mainly concerned with the lawfulness of celebrating Easter on a weekday. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance.

We read in Eusebius ( V.23): "A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only." These words of the Father of Church History, followed by some extracts which he makes from the controversial letters of the time, tell us almost all that we know concerning the paschal controversy in its first stage. Irenæus is among the extracts just referred to, and this shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. Nevertheless he was not debarred from communion with the Roman Church, and St.

Ecclesiastical history preserves the memory of three distinct phases of the dispute regarding the proper time of observing Easter.

It will add to clearness if we in the first place state what is certain regarding the date and the nature of these three categories. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch [], contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be.

It is, however, disputable whether such biblical references mean a common practice or just onetime events. He appears, from surviving accounts, to have been a practical leader and gifted teacher, "a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and , and the rest of the heretics," said Irenaeus, who remembered him from his youth.