Fun Facts About Martyrs
The word "martyr" comes from the Greek word for "witness."
The first Christian martyr was St. Stephen. He was stoned to death. He was also the only martyr the Grateful Dead wrote a song about.
The first Islamic martyr was Sumayyah bint Khabbab. She was the seventh person to convert to Islam and died when she was speared in the groin by Amr ibn Hishām, a Meccan leader who sought to repress the new religion.
The term "matryr" does not appear in the Koran, but some passages have been interpreted by later muslims as being about martyrdom.
In Judaism, the concept of martyrdom is referred to as Kiddush Hashem: "sanctification of God's name." This means not doing anything that might bring disgrace to God, including renouncing his word for convenience sake or to save your life.
My favorite title for book about martyrs: The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660
Book about martyrs that sounds like it was written by Beatrix Potter: Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Relics of martyrs I got close to in Italy, but didn't actually see: pieces of St. Peter and St. Mark.