Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Telesphorus, bishop of Rome

Telesphorus (2), bp. of Rome, accounted the 7th from the apostles. According to Eusebius H. E. iv. 5) he succeeded Xystus in the 12th year of Hadrian (a.d. 128), and suffered martyrdom in the 11th year of his episcopate and the 1st of the reign of Antoninus Pius (iv. 10). Lipsius (Chron. der röm. Bischöf.) considers his earliest probable dates to have been 124 to 135 or 126 to 137 as the latest. If so, Eusebius erred in placing his martyrdom in the reign of Antoninus Pius instead of Hadrian. For the fact of his martyrdom he alleges the authority of Irenaeus; the assertion of the date is his own. Telesphorus is remarkable as being the only one of the early Roman bishops, afterwards accounted martyrs, who appears on the early authority of Irenaeus as such (Iren. Haer. iii.; cf. Eus. l.c.).