“And from his side came blood and milk”: The Martyrdom of St Philotheus of Antioch in Coptic Egypt and Beyond
My book examines the function and development of the cult of saints in Coptic Egypt. For this purpose I focus primarily on the material provided by the texts forming the Coptic hagiographical tradition of the early Christian martyr Philotheus of Antioch, and more specifically – the Martyrdom of St Philotheus of Antioch (Pierpont Morgan M583). This Martyrdom is a reflection of a once flourishing cult which is attested in Egypt by rich textual and material evidence. This text enjoyed great popularity not only in Egypt, but also in other countries of the Christian East, since his dossier includes texts in Coptic, Georgian, Ethiopic, and Arabic. This work examines the literary and historical background of the Martyrdom of Philotheus and similar hagiographical texts. It also explores the goals and concerns of the authors and editors of Coptic martyr passions and their intended audience. I am arguing that these texts were produced in order to perform multiple functions: to justify and promote the cult of a particular saint, as an educational tool, and as an important structural element of liturgical celebrations in honour of the saint.
This article is dedicated to the II Council of Seville (A.D. 619) and its decisions. This Council was presided over famous Isidore of Seville, a great expert of Classical culture and in particolary in Roman law. Thanks to Isidore the canons of its Council were influenced by the norm of Theodosian Code. In that way the Roman Law became a base of the Canonical Law.
An introduction to the current Byzantine hagiographical studies and projects
In recent years Byzantine hagiography has attracted renewed interest of the international community of Byzantine scholars and not only thanks to studies dedicated to this subject and critical editions of individual texts, but also because hagiography has been the main focus of numerous major research projects: databases, new repertories, a new version of the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca and some very useful handbooks dedicated to this literary genre during the Byzantine Empire. These researches have analysed Byzantine hagiography in relation to the hagiographic writings composed in neighbouring areas, the West, the Syriac and Arabic Middle East, the Southern Slavs, etc. but also the relations between the hagiographical texts and other literary genres.
This volume introduces the current developments of hagiographical studies and on-going projects on the subject, and investigates a variety of texts and authors from the Patristic period to the end of Byzantium.
Antonio Rigo is Professor of Byzantine Philology and Christianity at Ca' Foscari - University of Venice. His research focuses on religious life in Byzantium, with special emphasis on ascetical and mystical literature, heresiology, and theology during the Paleologan period.
Memorial to Sevir Chernetsov, outstandinf africcan and Ethiopic scholar
This article discusses depictions of magic and magical rituals in Coptic hagiography and their literary and historical context. In these texts narrating the stories of the martyrs of the so-called Great Persecution, pagan rulers usually accuse them of sorcery. In order to defeat Christian magic the Emperor or Roman officials summon their own court magicians who try to harm or kill the martyrs using poisonous potions and demonic powers. But Christian martyrs always passionately deny accusations of sorcery and any possibility of a connection between their miracles and magic. They destroy and defeat all plots of the magicians and in certain cases even convert them to Christianity, using as a weapon only the name of Jesus and the sign of the cross. Although there exists historical evidence that Christians were indeed accused of sorcery, the texts under discussion here demonstrate that they do not reflect a real historical situation at the time of the persecutions, but a literary topos which emerged at a later point, when the cyclic texts were being produced. Certain features of these standard narratives show that Coptic hagiographers used them not only with the purpose of entertaining their audience, but with some didactic goals as well. Such narratives are employed in order to inform on the distinction between ‘good and ‘bad’ miracles, to incite a negative attitude towards magic, and to provide the believers with positive examples of protection against the demonic attacks.
The study concerns the veneration of saints in the traditional peasant culture of the XIX-early XXI century. and specifically - the legends of the saints, their interaction with literary and folklore tradition. Many literary lives of the saints are based on folklore legends, but sometimes the influence may have the opposite direction: the lives of saints being retold and changed in the oral tradition acquire the characteristics of folklore of legends. In the monograph the mechanisms of legends transformation and functioning are studied, The socio-cultural role and functions of folk legends about saints, their interaction with the literary lives of the saints, as well as a detailed analysis in the ethnographic and historical context of the corps of folklore texts, about the saints Alexander Oshevensky, Cyrill Chelmogorsky, Nil StoLobensky, Nikita Stylites and Irinarkh the Recluse.
The Second Evangelisation of the Axumite kingdom was operated by Syrian monks coming from Roman Empire. They brought to Axum some important practices from their original places. These ensured their missionary success but they also introduced some novelties into social practices of local Christians. One of these practices was the name change as a consequence of ascetic behavior. Syriac ascetics either rejected their names of took upon themselves new Christian names like Man of God, Man of Christб Minister of Christ. Some of these rejection cases are well known from the Syriac monastic tradition (e. g. Alexius), other did not reject the name but showed themselves reluctant to accept old names (like Archelides). In Axum Za-Mikael Arägawi and НуMata Libanos were good examples of the implementation of these practices. In doing that Ethiopic ascetic of Syriac background tried to re-establish the society they were living in on new evangelical cornerstone — the new world should reject the old one.
The present article continues the investigation of the Soqotri verbal system undertaken by the Russian-Soqotri fieldwork team. The article focuses on the so-called “weak” and “geminated” roots in the basic stem. The investigation is based on the analysis of full paradigms (perfect, imperfect and jussive) of more than 170 “weak” and “geminated” Soqotri verbs.