succession of Roman bishops
1And this is the record of the bishops of Rome according to Ireneus. 2The apostle Peter ordained Linus as bishop of Rome before he was martyred there, as was the apostle Paul, while Nero was Caesar. 2And Linus was succeeded by Anacletus. 3And Anacletus was succeeded by Clement. 4And Clement, Ireneus said, was the same Clement who wrote an epistle to the church at Corinth which also has survived to this day. 5And Paul mentioned Linus, Ireneus said, in an epistle to Timothy.
6And Clement, said Ireneus, was succeeded by Evaristus. 7And Evaristus was succeeded by Alexander. 8And Alexander was followed by Sixtus, whom he called sixth from the apostles. 9And after Sixtus, Telephorus, whom Ireneus called a glorious martyr. 10After Telephorus was Hyginus. 11And after Hyginus was Pius. 12And after Pius was Anicetus. 13And after Anicetus was Soter. 14And after Soter was Eleutherus, whom Ireneus counted as the twelfth and final Roman bishop up to his own day. 15And Ireneus included this list in his third book against heresies which he wrote during the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. 16And Commodus was Emperor by the time Ireneus visited Victor afterwards. 17And Victor had succeeded Eleutherus as bishop of Rome by then.
18Ireneus thus accounted for the succession of thirteen Roman bishops from the time of the apostles Peter and Paul to his day. 19And he himself was in the second generation, having been ordained by Polycarp, who had been ordained by John. 20And Polycarp had visited Rome when Anicetus was bishop there. 21And Hegesippus, inquiring of Eleuthrus, was unable to gather a list from him extending to the days prior to Anicetus. 22And with the exception of Telephorus, Clement and Linus, Ireneus showed no knowledge concerning the others he mentioned. 23Therefore some speculated that Ireneus may have received his list of Roman bishops not from Polycarp but from Eleutherus, who had been informed by Hegesippus. 24And some historians of later date believed that Hegesippus was in error.
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