PIONIUS: Christian martyr of the middle of the third century. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV., xv. 47; Eng. transl., NPNF, 2 series, i. 192) refers to his own lost "Collection of the Ancient Martyrdoms" as containing accounts of martyrdoms in the time of Polycarp. Among the martyrs referred to was a certain Pionius, of whom an account was given in Eusebius' source and used by him, which included a report of his confessions, his courageous defense of the Christian faith before people and authorities, his friendly reception of the fugitives from persecution, and his encouraging address to the brethren who visited him in prison, as well as his endurance of sufferings, nailings, and burning. In spite of some uncertainties in particulars, the genuineness of the account seems evident and presents a good picture of events during the Decian persecution (see DECIUS, CAIUS MESSIUS QUINTUS TRAJANUS). The "Acts" from which Eusebius draws points distinctly (ii. 1, ix. 4, 23) to the persecution of the year 250 under the consuls Decius and Gratus; the reference to the time of Marcus Aurelius by Eusebius is explained by the connection with the "Acts of Polycarp," Pionius was seized at the anniversary of the martyrdom of Polycarp, Feb. 23, which day also was a Sabbath in 250, and he was burned with a certain Metrodorus on Mar. 12. The Pionius of this article must be distinguished from Pionius, author of Vita Polycarpi (350-400).