Different accounts and depictions of martyrdom in literature and art have emerged from different contexts and times, reflecting the distinct needs and interests of the era. Some descriptions embellish the event, turning the martyrs into early Christian saints. This process has a long history and continues today. ‘Remembering martyrdom’ examines the origins of martyrdom in early Christianity and of the word ‘martyr’. Martyrdom creates a spectacle and history is full of such spectacles. Martyrs naturally became noble heroes to be elevated and historic accounts present agonizing deaths to be remembered, repeated, and celebrated. The result is that many of these stories continue to reverberate today.