Have other great Rabbis followed Rebbi Akiva's example for dying as a martyr?


The Talmud (Berachos 61b.9) relates the holy incident regarding Rebbi Akiva's martyrdom. He proclaimed "all my days I have been pained, waiting for this moment of fulfillment".

Seeing as his comment is regarding one of the intentions behind the twice-daily recitation of this prayer, coupled with the turbulent history of the Jewish people persecution, have there been other such incident with Rabbis of towering stature in their generation to have notably proclaimed the same ideas [to their disciples or otherwise] as a successor for the example Rebbi Akiva set?

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