We looked at an excerpt from a somewhat suspect document -- the Martyrium of Ignatius. In what purports to be an transcript of Ignatius' interview with the Emperor Trajan in Antioch, Ignatius offends Trajan by referring to his gods as "demons" is condemned to death, and sent off to face the lions in the Coliseum in Rome. At least one commentator assumes that Ignatius made most of the journey by sea, and this might explain why time was found on the journey for his many meetings with church officials, in spite of the unfriendly nature of his guards. However, the existence of the imperial edict would be difficult to contravene, even when news arrived from Antioch that persecution had ceased. The only place where effective action could be taken on Ignatius' behalf would be in Rome itself, and it appears from his letter that this is exactly what happened, as his friends rallied to his defence. Ignatius, however, is determined on a course of martyrdom, and begs his friends not to defend him.

Catholics quote Ignatius' Letter to Rome as the earliest document from a non-Roman claiming overall authority for the Roman church; however we found it difficult to draw this from the text, either from the Greek, or from a Catholic-approved translation.