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E01861: Coptic Encomion on *Merkourios (the General, of Cappadocia, martyr under Decius, S01293), attributed to Basil of Caesarea, presented on his feast day, relating six miracles connected to his martyr shrine in Cappadocia, possibly datable to the 6th century, while the manuscript is dated to 8 March AD 842.

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posted on 2016-09-20, 00:00 authored by Bryan
M 588, ff. 27vb22–31r:

The encomion is offered in three parts, presented by the bishop on three successive days during the festivities taking place around the saint’s commemoration day. The part discussed here forms the middle part. The bishop begins by reminding the congregation where he left off the day before, due to overcrowding, and ends with a reference to more miracles to relate on the following day. The bishop ends his discourse due to the lateness of the hour and the discomfort of the crowd.

As the part preserved here begins with the account of the saint’s miracles, it appears that his life story from childhood to martyrdom had been presented on the previous day, while more miracles were planned to be presented on following day.

Ed. Weidmann, Introduction:
ϩⲟⲙⲁⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲙⲉϩⲥⲛⲁⲩ ⲛⲉⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲁϥⲧⲁⲩⲟϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲕⲁⲓⲥⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲛⲧⲕⲁⲡⲡⲁⲇⲱⲕⲓⲁ ⲉⲡⲁⲑⲗⲟⲫⲟⲣⲟⲥ
ⲉⲧⲥⲙⲁⲙⲁⲁⲧ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲧⲁⲓⲏⲩ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲣⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲉⲧⲉ ⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲧⲏ ⲡⲉ
ⲙⲡⲉⲃⲟⲧ ϩⲁⲑⲱⲣ

‘Likewise, the second encomium, as the great Basil bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia delivered it about the blessed prize-winner and honoured martyr St. Merkurios on the day of his holy commemoration, which is day 25 of the month Hathor (24 November).’

Ed. Weidmann, 2
ⲡⲁⲛⲧⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲧⲛⲟ ⲁⲛ ⲛⲁⲧⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲛⲕⲁ ⲡϣⲁϫⲉ ⲧⲱⲛ ⲛⲥⲁϥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲩⲟ ⲙⲡⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥϣⲟⲩⲟ ⲉϫⲱⲛ ⲉⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲉⲡϣⲁϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ

‘Certainly you are not ignorant where we left off yesterday on account of the excessive crowd which poured onto us to hear the word of God.’

Before relating six specific miracles, all of which are connected to the saint’s shrine in Caesarea, the bishop lays out the saint’s range of miraculous powers to his congregation as follows:

Ed. Weidmann, 5
ⲁϩⲉⲛⲛⲟϭ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲛϭⲟⲙ ⲙⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲧⲉⲛⲛⲁϣϫⲓ ⲏⲡⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲁⲛ ⲁⲩⲱ ϩⲟⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉ
ⲛⲉⲡⲛⲁ ⲛⲁⲕⲁⲑⲁⲣⲧⲟⲛ ϩⲓⲱⲟⲩ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲉⲩⲱϣ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲛϩⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲩⲛⲏⲩ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ ⲁⲩⲱ ϩⲁϩ ⲟⲛ ⲉⲩⲥⲟⲣⲙ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉϩⲃⲏⲩⲉ
ⲙⲡⲇⲓⲁⲃⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲉⲩⲟ ⲛ<ⲛ>ⲁϣ<ⲧ>ϩⲏⲧ ⲉϣⲁϥⲓⲛⲉ ⲉϫⲱⲟⲩ ⲛϩⲉⲛⲙⲁⲥⲧⲓⲅⲝ ⲛϥⲡⲉⲇⲉⲩⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ϩⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲃⲁⲥⲁⲛⲟⲥ ϣⲁⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲉⲩϩⲏⲧ ⲕⲧⲟϥ
ⲉⲩⲙⲉⲧⲁⲛⲟⲓⲁ ⲛⲥⲉϫⲓ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲛⲟⲩⲇⲓⲟⲣⲑⲱⲥⲓⲥ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲑⲏ

‘For great miracles and healing took place in his holy martyr shrine (martyrion). We will not be able to count them. Some who were possessed with unclean spirits and were crying out loudly when coming out of them, many again going astray through deeds of the devil, being hard of heart, he does bring suffering on them and teaches them through tortures, until their mind turns to repentance and they might set themselves right henceforth.’

Ed. Weidmann, 6–7
The first miracle concerns a tradesman from Caesarea named Agathonicus who promised to undertake building works to expand the saint’s martyr shrine. Financial concerns and neglect get in his way, until the saint becomes impatient with him and appears to him in a night vision, explaining that it would have been better not to make a promise than to neglect it. As soon as the man awakes, he realises that it was the saint himself warning him and he begins to undertake the work on the shrine with the help of external funds, at the time of the emperor Flavius Jovianus (363–64).

Ed. Weidmann, 7
ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲉ ⲡⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓⲛ ⲉⲓ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲁⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲥⲑⲁⲛⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ϫⲉ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥⲟⲩⲱⲛϩ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲙⲛⲛⲥⲁ
ⲛⲁⲓ ⲁϥⲁⲣⲭⲉⲓ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲕⲱⲧ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲣⲉ ⲛⲣⲣⲱⲟⲩ ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲉⲃⲏⲥ ϯ ⲛⲧⲟⲟⲧϥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϫⲉ ⲛⲉⲡⲕⲁⲓⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲉ ⲛⲓⲟⲩⲃⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲉⲃⲏⲥ

‘It happened, when it became light, the man immediately understood that it was saint Merkurios who had appeared to him. Afterwards, the man began to build while pious rulers were helping him, because it was the time of Jovian the pious emperor.’

Ed. Weidmann, 8–11
The second miracle involved the master mason working on the new martyr shrine under Agathonicus who had a fatal accident caused through the jealousy of the devil. While the crowd was distraught, the mason’s father had faith, and saint Merkurios came to the dead mason reviving him with the sign of the cross.

Ed. Weidmann, 12–17
The third miracle likewise took place in the martyr shrine. Once it was finished, the bishops came to consecrate it and large crowds had gathered for the occasion. The crowd was so large that many people stood outside the shrine. During the service, barbarians called Sarmates (ⲥⲁⲣⲙⲁⲧⲏⲥ) attacked the people standing outside the shrine and took them prisoner. But they were unable to enter the sanctuary (topos) itself, for fear of the saint.
The barbarians took their prisoners with them and after having travelled for three days, Merkurios came down from heaven seated on a white horse with crowds of soldiers on horses around him. The saint thrust his spear at the barbarians and many of them died. He freed the captured people and led them back to his sanctuary (topos); not without reproaching them for standing outside during the service engaging in frivolous activities.

Ed. Weidmann, 19–20
The fourth miracle involves a woman refusing to make donations to the church or any sort of offering. The saint desired to teach her a lesson and brought a disease over her that no one was able to heal.

ⲉⲡϩⲁⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲥⲡⲱⲧ ⲉⲣⲁⲧⲟⲩ ⲛⲛⲉϭⲟⲙ ⲙⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ ⲁⲥⲓ ⲉⲡⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲥⲱϣ
ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲉⲥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲃⲟⲏⲑⲉⲓ ⲉⲣⲟⲓ
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟⲩⲧⲁϩⲥⲥ ⲙⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲥⲱⲃϣ ⲛⲟⲩⲕⲟⲩⲓ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲁⲥϭⲱϣⲧ ⲁⲥⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ
ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲉⲁϥⲉⲓ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲁϥⲁϩⲉⲣⲁⲧϥ ϩⲓϫⲱⲥ ⲁϥⲁⲙⲁϩⲧⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲥϭⲓϫ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲧⲉⲥϩⲓⲙⲉ ⲥⲟⲟⲩⲧⲛ
ⲛⲧⲟⲩϭⲓϫ ⲉⲛϩⲏⲕⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲃⲉⲱⲕ ⲛⲧⲉⲕⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲧⲉⲣⲛⲁⲉⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲉⲥϩⲟⲙⲟⲗⲟⲅⲉⲓ ⲙⲡⲁⲓ ⲙⲙⲛⲥⲁ ϣⲟⲙⲛⲧ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲁⲥⲗⲟ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ
ϩⲙ ⲡϣⲱⲛⲉ

‘At last, she had recourse to the powers of the holy martyr saint Merkurios and thus arrived at his martyr shrine (martyrion) crying out, saying: “God of saint Merkurios the holy martyr, help me!”
After having been anointed with the holy oil, she slept a little. And immediately she looked up and saw the holy martyr saint Merkourios having come out of the altar. He stood over her and seized her hand. He said to her: “Woman, extend your hand to the poor and go to church. You will find relief!”
When she had promised this, she recovered from the illness after three days.’

Ed. Weidmann, 21–22
The fifth miracle involves robbers at the martyr shrine stealing objects and trying to sell them to a different shrine. The saint however confuses the robbers’ minds so much so that they end up at the same shrine trying to sell the objects from where they had stolen them. The horrified robbers once exposed then implore the saint not to punish them.

ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲛⲟⲩϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲁϩⲉⲛⲗⲓⲥⲧⲏⲥ ⲃⲱⲕ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲩϥⲓ ⲛϩⲉⲛⲕⲟⲓⲙⲏⲗⲓⲟⲛ ⲛϫⲓⲟⲩⲉ
ⲉⲧⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲩⲙⲟⲟϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲁⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲓ ⲉⲗⲓⲥⲥⲁⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲧⲱⲙⲛⲧ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲁⲛⲉⲩⲃⲁⲗ ⲉⲣⲃⲗⲗⲉ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲉⲓⲙⲉ ϫⲉ ⲉⲩⲃⲏⲕ
ⲉⲧⲱⲛ ϣⲁⲛⲧⲟⲩⲕⲧⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲕⲉⲥⲟⲡ ⲉⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲉⲣⲉ ⲛⲕⲟⲓⲙⲏⲗⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲧⲁⲩϥⲓⲧⲟⲩ ⲛϫⲓⲟⲩⲉ ⲧⲁⲗⲏⲩ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ
ⲉⲁⲩⲁⲡⲁⲛⲧⲁ ⲉⲡⲟⲓⲕⲟⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲡⲉϫⲁⲩ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁϣ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲉⲓⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲩⲉϣ ⲛⲉⲓⲕⲟⲓⲙⲏⲗⲓⲟ(ⲛ) ⲛⲅϣⲟⲡⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲟϥ
ⲇⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲉϥⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲥⲟⲩⲱⲛⲟⲩ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲓ ⲛⲉ ⲛⲉⲓⲕⲟⲓⲙⲓⲗⲓⲟⲛ ⲕⲁⲓⲅⲁⲣ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲉ

‘It happened one day that robbers entered the martyr shrine of saint Merkurios and secretly took precious objects (κειμήλιον). As they were still travelling with them, what happened in the time of Elisha the prophet happened to them. They were blinded. They did not know where they were going until they had returned to the sanctuary of saint Merkurios, loaded with the precious objects which they had stolen.
When they encountered the steward of the sanctuary (topos), they said to him: “Man, what sanctuary is this? Do you like these precious objects and buy them?” When he had seen them, he recognised them and said to them: “These precious objects are mine. For this is the martyr shrine of saint Merkurios.”’

Ed. Weidmann, 23
The sixth and last miracle of the day is presented as a reliable eyewitness report in which Basil is addressing his audience with his own experience.

ⲡⲁⲛⲧⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲧⲛⲟ ⲁⲛ ⲛⲁⲧⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ ⲙⲡⲉⲩⲟⲉⲓϣ ⲛⲧⲁⲓⲃⲱⲕ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉϫⲡⲓⲉ ⲓⲟⲩⲗⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲡⲡⲁⲣⲁⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲛϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲉⲧϩⲓϫⲱⲛ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲕⲁⲁⲛ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϣⲧⲉⲕⲟ ⲁϥⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲧⲡⲉⲣⲥⲓⲥ ⲁⲛⲟⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲉⲛϣⲟⲟⲡ ⲡⲉ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲛϩⲟϫϩⲉϫ ⲉⲙⲛ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛϩⲉⲗⲡⲓⲥ ϣⲟⲟⲡ ⲛⲁⲛ
ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲛⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲙⲁⲩⲁⲁϥ
ⲁⲟⲩⲁ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲛ ⲉⲩϣⲟⲩⲡⲓⲥⲧⲉⲩⲉ ⲛⲁϥ ⲡⲉ ⲁϥϭⲱϣⲧ ⲁϥⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲩϣⲏ ⲉⲁϥⲧⲉⲕⲙ
ⲡⲉϥⲙⲉⲣⲉϩ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϥⲙⲁ ⲉϥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲓⲛⲁⲕⲁ ⲡⲉⲓⲁⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ ⲉϥϫⲓ ⲟⲩⲁ ⲉⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲙⲡϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲛϣⲟⲙⲛⲧ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ
ⲁⲩⲛ ⲡⲟⲩⲱ ⲛⲁⲛ ϫⲉ ⲁϥⲙⲟⲩ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲁⲥⲉⲃⲏⲥ ⲓⲟⲩⲗⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲛⲡⲗⲏⲥⲥⲉ ⲉϫⲛ ⲧⲉϣⲡⲏⲣⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲁⲛϭⲱϣⲧ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲉⲧⲡⲉ ⲁⲛⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲉⲣⲉ ⲡⲉϥⲙⲉⲣⲉϩ ⲧⲟⲗⲙ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϥⲥⲛⲟϥ ϩⲱⲥ ⲉϣϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲗⲟ ⲉϥⲡⲁⲧⲁⲥⲥⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲛⲥⲟⲟⲩⲧⲛ

‘Certainly you are not ignorant of the time I went with the bishops to put the lawless Julian to shame because of the sufferings which were on us, how he put us into prison and went off to Persia. We were in great distress, with no hope for us to be saved except for God alone.
One of us, one who can be believed, looked up and saw the holy martyr, saint Merkurios, at night having drawn his spear from its place saying: “Will I let this lawless one blaspheme God in this way?” And within three days the news was brought to us that the impious Julian had died. While we were still struck by the wonder that had happened, we looked up to heaven and saw saint Merkurios his spear stained with his (Julian’s) blood, as if he had just now hit him.

Ed. Weidmann, 26
ⲛⲉⲓⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲱ ⲛⲁⲙⲉⲣⲁⲧⲉ ⲉϫⲱ ⲉⲣⲱⲧⲛ ⲛϩⲉⲛⲁϣⲏ ⲛϭⲟⲙ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϫⲉ ⲁⲡⲛⲁⲩ ⲡⲣⲟⲕⲟⲡⲧⲉⲓ ⲛⲧⲟⲟⲧⲛ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡϩⲟϫϩⲉϫ
ⲛⲙⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ϯⲛⲁⲣⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲡⲕⲉⲥⲉⲉⲡⲉ ⲙⲡⲇⲓⲏⲅⲏ ϣⲁ ⲡⲉϥⲣⲁⲥⲧⲉ ϫⲉⲕⲁⲥ ⲉϥⲉⲡⲣⲉⲥⲃⲉⲩⲉ ϩⲁⲣⲟⲛ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲙⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ
ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲉⲧⲉⲛⲉⲣϣⲁ ⲛⲁϥ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ ϫⲉⲕⲁⲥ ⲉⲛⲛⲁⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲕⲱ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲛⲉⲛⲛⲟⲃⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ
ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲧⲟⲓⲕⲟⲩⲙⲉⲛⲏ ⲧⲏⲣⲥ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲉϥⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲛⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲧⲏⲣⲉⲛ

‘My beloved ones, I wanted to tell you multitudes of miracles. But because the hour has advanced for


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Merkourios, soldier and martyr of Caesarea of Cappadocia : S01323

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles 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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Basil of Caesarea

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Punishing miracle Healing diseases and disabilities Freeing prisoners, exiles, captives, slaves Miraculous interventions in war Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Finding of lost objects, animals, etc.

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops Merchants and artisans Other lay individuals/ people Crowds

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles


Pierpont Morgan codex M 588, ff. 27vb22–31r forms part of a parchment codex found together with many other codices at the site of the monastery of St Michael near Hamuli in the Fayum. Today, these codices are housed at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. The date given on the colophon is 8 March AD 842.


For the Greek Martyrdom see E02774, and for the legend of Merkurios killing the emperor Julian see E02775.


Text and translation: Weidmann, F., "Encomium on St. Mercurius the General (M 588, ff. 27vb22–31r)," in: L. Depuydt (ed.), Homiletica from the Pierpont Morgan Library: Seven Coptic Homilies attributed to Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Euodius of Rome, CSCO 524, Copt. 43, pp. 3–9 (text) and CSCO 525, Copt. 44, pp. 3–9 (trans.) (Louvain, 1991).

Continued Description

us and also because of the discomfort of the crowds, I will save the rest of the discourse for tomorrow, so that the holy martyr saint Merkurios, this one whom we are celebrating today, shall intercede for us, so that we will obtain forgiveness for our sins on the day when the son of God will judge the entire world. This shall happen in order for us all to obtain it.’Text and translation F. Weidmann, slightly modified by G. Schenke.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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