Seven noble youths of Ephesos, who fled in the Decian
persecution to a cave in Mount Celion. After 230 years they awoke, but
soon died, and their bodies were taken to Marseilles in a large stone
coffin, still shown in Victor's church. Their names are Constantine,
Dionysius, John, Maximian, Malchus,
Martinian, and Serapion. This fable took its rise from a
misapprehension of the words, “They fell asleep in the Lord” —i.e. died. (Gregory of Tours De Gloria Martyrum, i. 9.) (See Koran, xviii.; Golden Legend, etc.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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