Evaristus was Bishop from about 98 to 105 (99 to 108 in the Vatican's Annuario Pontificio of 2003). He was also known as Aristus. Little is known about Evaristus. According to the Liber Pontificalis, he came from a family of Hellenic origin. He was elected during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, the time of the second general persecution.

Eusebius, in Ecclesiastical History IV, I, states that Evaristus died in the 12th year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, after holding the office of bishop of the Romans for 8 years.

Although there is no historic proof refuting or confirming the claim, he has always traditionally been considered a martyr.

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