This volume explores the phenomenon of Christian martyrdom and ideas of “following Christ”, in particular focusing on theological and pragmatic difficulties in the early Christian period. How can martyrs successfully follow Christ without themselves entering into a competition with him? What happens when the idea of following Christ so faithfully as to experience martyrdom becomes impossible because of the fundamentally different living situation of the faithful? How do Christian concepts of the model and of imitation compare to pagan traditions of “exempla”? Contributions from classical philology, ancient history, theology, and art history suggest some answers to these questions, drawing equally on ancient literature and material culture.