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E01845: Fragment from the Coptic Life of *Archellides (S00934), monk at the monastery of Romanos in Palestine and known for performing healing miracles there during his life time; composed most likely during the 5th–7th century.

online resource
posted on 2016-09-12, 00:00 authored by gschenke
K 09438

After witnessing the suffering of someone very ill, the mother of Archellides overhears two tradesmen talking about her son with admiration, stating that he has the ability to perform healing miracles and is filled with divine beauty and wisdom.

ⲛⲉⲡⲣⲁⲅⲙⲁⲧⲉⲩⲧⲏⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟⲩⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϣⲱⲡⲉ · ⲁⲩⲣϣⲡⲏⲣⲉ ⲉⲙⲁⲧⲉ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲛⲉⲩϣⲁϫⲉ ⲙⲛⲛⲉⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ · ⲉⲩϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ · ϫⲉ
ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲡⲉ ⲡϩⲥⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲣⲱⲙⲉ :·· ⲁⲩⲱ ϩⲁⲙⲟ ⲉⲛⲉⲛⲧⲁ ⲡⲁ ⲉϣϭⲙϭⲟⲙ ⲉⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲡⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ϩⲣⲱⲙⲁⲛⲟⲥ · ⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲡⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲣⲭⲏ̣ⲗⲗⲧⲏⲥ ϣⲗⲏⲗ ⲉϫⲱϥ · ⲁⲩⲱ ϥⲛⲁⲉⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲡⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϥϩⲥⲉ:··
ϩⲛ ⲛⲟϭ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲛⲉ ⲛⲉϣⲡⲏⲣⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲛⲉⲣⲅⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲧⲟⲟⲧϥ ·

‘After the tradesmen saw what had happened, they were very much amazed and spoke with each other, saying: “Great is the suffering of this man! If only he would have been able to go to the monastery of Apa Romanos and the saint Archellides would have prayed for him, he would recover from his suffering. For great are the miracles which God has performed through him.”’

Transcription from online image and translation: Gesa Schenke.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Archellides, monk at the monastery of Romanos in Palestine : S00934 Romanos from Rhosos, monk in Syria, ob. ca. 400 : S00360

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives of saint


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

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

Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Healing diseases and disabilities


A leaf from a former parchment codex, K 09438 housed at the Papyrus Collection in Vienna. The manuscript itself is datable to the 9th to 11th centuries. For an image of the parchment leaf and further information concerning measurements etc. visit:


The story of Archellides, whom his widowed mother had sent out to Athens and Beirut for the best possible education, is well known from his entrance in the Arabic Synaxarium of the Coptic Church, 13 Tybi (8 January): see Till, 25. Instead of returning to her as a successful member of society, Archellides joined the monastery of Romanos and lived completely withdrawn. His mother spent much of her life trying to find him. Once successful, her son died, before she could see him. This conflict of interests between a monk who has vowed to live a chaste life and to never even look at a woman, on the one hand, and the pain and despair of his mother, on the other, who wants nothing, but to see her only son once again, had become a popular example for religious passion in Egypt, performed in songs and prayers, with responding voices, see e.g. H. Junker, Koptische Poesie des zehnten Jahrhunderts, II, 30ff.


Text: Till, W.C., Koptische Heiligen- und Martyrlegenden. Vol. 1 (Rome: Pont. institutum orientalium studiorum, 1935), 24–26. Further reading: O'Leary, De L., Saints of Egypt (London: SPCK, 1937), 84–85.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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