Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saintly Saturday: St. Aristobulus of the Seventy

Depending upon the source, the feast of St. Aristobulus, Apostle of the Seventy is either celebrated today or was celebrated yesterday. The majority of sources claim March 15th, but for the sake of this post, I will cleave to the minority which cite today.

St. Aristobulus is mentioned in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (16:10), is the brother of St. Barnabas (mentioned multiple times in Acts) and was ordained by St. Andrew (the Orthodox celebrate several members of the Seventy ordained by St. Andrew on October 31, including Aristobulus). St. Andrew sent him to Britain and he is also called the Enlightener of Britain.

Yes. Britain. I am fond of reminding people that Britain was conquered by Rome before St. Paul ever wrote any of his Epistles and that by the time of the First Ecumenical Council, there were enough Christians in Britain that several bishops from Britain are counted among those who deliberated in Nicea.

This, of course, invites a re-skinning of the classical D&D campaign where Civilization is Rome, the Wilderness is they fey-infested wild lands of northern Britain and PCs are adventurers who are daring enough to brave what lies beyond Hadrian’s Wall. There would be Romans and all the various cults associated with them, the native Britons and their cultural proclivities, the Christians mixed into the pot as well as the very rich mythology of the British Isles to mine for the various monsters that roam the wilderness. There is even the hint that there are Roman ruins that had to be abandoned after the Antonine Wall was breached and the legions had to retreat behind Hadrian’s Wall. For those interested, here is a map for inspiration (which was found here):


  1. Not sure how I did NOT know anything about Hadrian's Wall other than the name, or even that much about the Antonine Wall. Thanks!

    As an aside, we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast today, as well as the commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt. I suspect her story will find it's way into my campaign world in the very near future. Your Saintly Saturday posts continually inspire me to look beyond the fantasy and science fiction I usually draw on.

    1. We will be celebrating her when our Fifth Sunday of Great Lent comes (which is over a month away — Orthodox Lent is very late this year, only beginning tomorrow!). She is one of my absolute favorite saints and a constant source of hope and strength.

      Thanks, BTW for the kind words. It is always nice to know that the effort (which I enjoy so much) is appreciated by others as well...