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E00664: Coptic Martyrdom of *Kollouthos (physician and martyr of Antinoopolis, S00641) illustrating the verbal exchange taking place at Antinoopolis (Middle Egypt) between the governor Arianos and the saint who is eventually executed by burning alive; possibly written in the late 4th c.

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posted on 2015-08-19, 00:00 authored by gschenke
This particularly uneventful and quiet martyr story focuses only on the verbal interaction between saint and governor. While the latter threatens the saint with violence and torture, these threats are never carried out and the combat remains at all times a juridical one concerning the underlying question which law is applicable, state law or the law of God.

M591, fol. 92v, col. I,18–col. II,24:

ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱ(ⲛ) ⲇⲉ ⲁϥϭⲱⲛⲧ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲉϣϫⲉ ⲛⲅⲛⲁⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲍⲉ ⲁⲛ ⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲉⲧⲉⲕⲁⲡⲟⲫⲁⲥⲓⲥ ⲧⲁ ⲉⲧⲉⲕⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ · ϯⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ
ⲛⲥⲉⲣⲟⲕϩⲕ ⲉⲕⲟⲛϩ
ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲗⲟⲑⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ϯⲉⲩⲭⲁⲣⲓⲥⲧⲉⲓ ⲛⲁⲕ ⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ϫⲉ ⲁⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲡⲉⲕϩⲙⲟⲧ ⲉⲧⲣⲁⲙⲟⲩ ϩⲓϫⲙ ⲡⲉⲕⲣⲁⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲩϫⲓⲧϥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲣⲟⲕϩϥ · ⲛⲉⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲧⲁϥⲧⲉ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲙⲡⲉⲃⲟⲧ ⲡⲁϣⲟⲛⲥ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲙⲙⲁⲩ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ
ⲛⲧⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲁ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲗⲟⲑⲟⲥ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲩϫⲓ ⲛⲧⲉϥⲯⲩⲭⲏ ⲉϩⲣⲁ ⲉⲙⲡⲏⲩⲉ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲟⲟⲩ · ⲁϥⲣ ϣⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ · ⲁⲩⲱ
ⲁⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁϥ · ϩⲓⲧⲛ ⲧⲉⲭⲁⲣⲓⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲙⲛⲧⲙⲁⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲙⲡⲉ(ⲛ)ϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ

‘The governor then was angry. He said to him: “If you will not sacrifice, hear your sentence which you deserve: I command to have you burnt alive.”
Saint Kollouthos said: “I thank you, my Lord Jesus Christ, that I have been worthy of your grace to make me die for your holy name.”
He was taken away to be made to burn, since that day was day 24 of the month Pashons. Saint Kollouthos completed his martyrdom and his soul was taken up into the heavens in glory. He celebrated with the angels and all the saints rejoiced with him over the grace and the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

The ending preserved in the Berlin manuscript appears even shorter and more factual than in M591, fol. 88v–92v, leaving out the celebration with the angels and saints in heaven.

P.9755, col. I,18–col. II,18:

ⲁⲣⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲅⲟⲗⲗⲟⲩⲑⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ϣϫⲉ ⲅⲛⲁⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲍⲉ ⲁⲛ ⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲧⲉⲛⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲕⲟⲗⲁⲥⲓⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲇⲩⲙⲱⲣⲓⲁ ⲕⲙⲡϣⲁ
ⲙⲙ[ⲟⲟⲩ ⲁ]ϥⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲧⲉⲓⲕⲱϩⲧ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲉϥⲟⲛϩ ⲛⲥⲉⲣⲱⲕϩ ⲙⲙⲟϥ
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲧⲁⲓ ⲧⲉ ⲑⲉ ⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲧⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲓⲁ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲧⲁϥⲧⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲃⲟⲧ ⲡⲁϣⲟⲛⲥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲡⲁ
ⲅⲟⲗⲗⲟ[ⲩ]ⲑⲟⲥ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛ̣ϫ[ⲱ]ⲱⲣⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛϣⲟⲉⲓϫ ⲛⲁⲙⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲭⲥ

‘Arianos, the governor, then said to Kollouthos: “If you are not going to sacrifice, hear now the punishment and the penalty you deserve.” He commanded to have him put on fire, while alive, and to have him burnt.
This is how the holy martyr Apa Kollouthos, strong and a true athlete of Christ, fulfilled his martyrdom on day 24 of the month Pashons.

(Text and trans. G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kollouthos, physician and martyr of Antinoopolis (Middle Egypt), ob. early 4th cent. : S00641

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hamouli Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Physicians Officials


Parchment codex Pierpont Morgan M591, fol. 88v–92v, dated by the colophon to 15 February 861. Fragments of another parchment manuscript in the papyrus collection in Berlin, P.9755 preserve the end of the Martyrdom, datable to the 9th century.


The sober line of argument as well as the death penalty by fire seems to point to an early date of composition.


Text, Translation and Commentary: G. Schenke, Das koptisch hagiographische Dossier des Heiligen Kolluthos – Arzt, Märtyrer und Wunderheiler, eingeleitet, neu ediert, übersetzt und kommentiert, CSCO 650 Subsidia 132, Louvain: Peeters 2013, 35–77.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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