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E02055: The Greek Martyrdom of *Eutropios, Kleonikos, and *Basiliskos (martyrs of Pontus, S01152 and S00388), of the 5th c. or later, recounts the trial of three men at Amaseia after the martyrdom of *Theodoros the Recruit (soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480). The text mentions the death and burial sites of Eutropios and Kleonikos in villages around Amaseia, and miracles occurring there. Presumably written in Pontus (northern Asia Minor).

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posted on 2016-11-28, 00:00 authored by erizos
Martyrdom of Eutropios, Kleonikos, and Basiliskos (BHG 656)


§ 1. After the martyrdom of Theodoros [the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480], the judge Pouplios dies violently. His successor, Asklepiodotos, a Phrygian, comes to Amaseia and asks about arrested Christians. They bring Eutropios and Kleonikos, who were brothers, and Basiliskos, who was a nephew of the martyr Theodoros, all dear friends.

§ 2. The guard of the martyrs announces that the time they had been praying for has come, and asks them to remember him in their martyrdom. The other inmates weep, but Eutropios encourages them. A voice from heaven tells Eutropios that he will join Theodoros in heaven. Eutropios is handsome and wise. Kleonikos is a Cappadocian, also wise, but less so than Eutropios. Basiliskos and Theodoros come from Choumiala, a village of Amasea.

§ 3. They appear joyful before the judge who asks Eutropios to sacrifice and persuade the others to do so. If he sacrifices, he will become governor. If not, he will be cut into pieces, and fed to the beasts, and his dust will be thrown into the river. No relics (leipsana) will be left for the Christians. He does not even need to sacrifice, but only tell the people that he has done so.

§ 4. Eutropios refuses to sacrifice and reproaches the judge fiercely.

§ 5. Eutropios insists on his refusal. The judge turns to Kleonikos and Basiliskos who agree with Eutropios.

§ 6. The saints are flogged, without actually feeling any pain or suffering. They say a prayer asking for help from God. An earthquake occurs, and the praetorium collapses. The saints are freed from their fetters, and have a vision of Christ, surrounded by angels and Theodoros.

§ 7. The martyrs are taken to gaol. While having a meal at the council house, the governor consults with a logistes (curator) about what to do.

§ 8. They summon Eutropios again, and the governor invites him to eat with him, which Eutropios refuses to. He insists on his refusal to sacrifice.

§ 9. The governor offers Eutropios money and clothing, but the martyr rejects them. He is taken back to gaol, where he finds Kleonikos and Basiliskos praying.

§ 10. On the next day, the whole city gathers at the temple of Artemis, and sacrifices are offered. The martyrs are brought out, and asked to sacrifice. They say a prayer, and a great earthquake and thunder destroy the temple and statue of Artemis. The governor orders that three cauldrons of tar and pitch are prepared. The martyrs are to be tied on four poles on the ground, and the pitch will be poured on them.

§ 11. The saints pray to be strengthened in their martyrdom, and have a vision of Christ. In the morning, they appear before the governor who orders that Eutropios and Kleonikos be crucified, and Basiliskos kept in gaol. Basiliskos complains, but the governors declares that he does it precisely in order to disappoint them in their wish to stay together to the end.

§ 12. Eutropios and Kleonikos are crucified and die. Two senators, Kointos and Belōnikos, request their bodies. Belōnikos buries Eutropios on his estate called Therma, eighteen miles from Amaseia. Kointos buries Kleonikos at a village called Kēma, thirty miles from Amaseia. Great miracles happen at both sites.

Text: Delehaye 1909, 202-213. Summary: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Eutropios, martyr in Pontus, ob. early 4th c. : S01152 Basiliskos, soldier martyr in Komana, ob. 303-305 : S00388 Theodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480

Saint Name in Source

Εὐτρόπιος Βασιλίσκος Θεόδωρος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Amasea Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle at martyrdom and death Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials Aristocrats

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body


This text is known from one manuscript of the 14th century (Messina, Biblioteca Regionale Universitaria, S. Salv. 030), on which see:


This martyrdom account records the legends of cults practiced at two villages in the territory of Amaseia, Therma and Kēma, which are otherwise unknown. Since the protagonist’s role is given to Eutropios, it is plausible to assume that the account comes from his shrine at Therma, which seems to have been in some competition with the shrine of Kleonikos at Kēma. Here, Kleonikos is given a secondary role and the author strives to downgrade his importance: amusingly, Eutropios is described as very handsome and intelligent, and clearly more so than Kleonikos. The story is also linked to the legends of Theodoros of Euchaita and Basiliskos of Komana, who are described as relatives of each other and friends with Kleonikos and Eutropios. In the Martyrdom of Theodoros, the saint, shortly before his death, addresses Kleonikos, promising that he will be waiting for him (E02052). It is probable that the three martyrdom accounts were once gathered into one continuous corpus of Pontic hagiography. Our account belongs to the category of the so-called ‘epic’ passiones, and it may have been composed between the 5th and the 7th centuries – it is very probably later than, and perhaps dependent on, the legend of Theodoros, who is anyway portrayed as a senior martyr and ‘patron’ of our saints’ martyrdom. One of the most distinctive motifs of the account is its interest in family relations and connections with villages, which can also be recognised in the Martyrdom of Basiliskos (E02110) and, most conspicuously, in the Testament of the Forty Martyrs (E00255).


Text: Delehaye, H. Les légendes grecques des saints militaires (Paris: Picard, 1909), 202-213.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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