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E02075: The Greek Martyrdom of *Kodratos (martyr of Hellespontus, S01159), of the 4th to 7th c., recounts the martyrdom of an aristocratic Christian man who is arrested at Nicomedia, and after being tortured at Nicaea, Apollonia, and Apamea, is executed at the village of Seroukome in Hellespontus; all in north-west Asia Minor. It also mentions the Bithynian martyrs *Satorninos and Rouphinos (S01160).

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posted on 05.12.2016, 00:00 by erizos
Martyrdom of *Kodratos (BHG 359)

Summary:

1. Under Decius and Valerian (sic) many Christians are arrested at Nicomedia and are forced to eat sacrificial meat. Kodratos is a handsome young man, wealthy and well-born, who supports and encourages the prisoners.

2. During a session of the court, Kodratos presents himself to the proconsul declaring that they are all Christians. The proconsul promises to recommend Kodratos to the emperor for appointment as a governor, if he sacrifices.

3. Kodratos renounces the pagan gods.

4. Kodratos is stripped of his clothing, bound on a piece of wood, and flogged. He refuses to convert, even when implored by the proconsul.

5. The hegemon Maximos reproaches Kodratos for his lack of respect for the proconsul.

6. Further torments and interrogation.

7. The proconsul goes to Nicaea in order to sacrifice, and summons the Christian prisoners. Kodratos refuses to sacrifice, and the proconsul shows to him Christians who have already sacrificed.

8. Kodratos requests to be freed from his fetters, goes to the temple, and destroys the idols. The proconsul has him tortured again. While the martyr is being tortured, Christian apostates are brought to him, and he reproaches them.

9. The lapsed Christians confess that they have apostatised out of fear, and ask what they should do in order to be saved. Kodratos encourages them to continue their penance and seek martyrdom. Many pagans and Jews, moved by the spectacle of the weeping Christians convert.

10. The proconsul orders that Kodratos be tortured with torches of fire. He prays to Christ.

11. The torches are miraculously put out, a shining cloud appears over the martyrs, and darkness covers the proconsul for two hours. The proconsul orders that each of the arrested Christian be taken to their village and city in order to be executed. Kodratos is to be taken to the region of Hellespontus.

12. They go to Apameia of Bithynia where the proconsul sacrifices. They put Kodratos into a sack, bury him in a pit, and club him for several hours. After that, the saint jumps out of the sack unharmed. He is flogged again.

13. The proconsul orders that two people from the crowd, Satorninos and Rouphinos, be arrested, tortured, and decapitated. Christians pay money and take their bodies which they bury at their cities.

14. The proconsul takes Kodratos to Apollonia on the Rhyndacus, and attempts to make him sacrifice, but he is not converted.

15. The proconsul orders that Kodratos be taken to the ‘Isle of Hellespontos’. He crosses the Rhyndacus, and is joined by the provincial governor of Hellespontus, and a crowd coming from the local shrines, keen on seeing the martyr whose fame had spread through all of Asia and the world. The proconsul orders that they proceed to the village of Seroukome, where there are several idols. Kodratos is placed on an iron grill and burned, but remains unharmed. At the end he is decapitated.

Text: van Hoof 1882. Summary: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E02075

Saint Name

Kodratos, martyr of Hellespontus : S01159 Satorninos, martyr in Bithynia, ob. 3rd c. : S01160

Saint Name in Source

Κοδράτος Σατορνῖνος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

300

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

250

Activity not after

260

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

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

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 Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

Source

The text of this martyrdom account is known from two manuscripts, on which see: http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/14952/

Discussion

The Martyrdom of *Kodratos is a fine example of a martyrdom account of the category characterised by Delehaye as ‘epic’ (i.e. highly elaborated) martyrdom accounts, and, in particular, it belongs to a distinct group of epic passiones, which organise their narrative in the form of a journey – here, from Nicomedia through the countryside and cities of west Bithynia and Hellespontus. The precise date of the text is unknown, but it is likely to have been produced before the end of the seventh century, since the text appears aware of the late antique provincial frontier between Bithynia and Hellespontus, which was the river Rhyndacus, mentioned in paragraph 15. It is probable that the cult of the martyr was spread at all the sites mentioned in the text, and that the itinerary followed by the martyr was also a local route of pilgrimage. The text does not mention the resting place of the martyr. It may have been the village of Seroukome, where he died, the location of which is unknown. The text is also known in an Old Church Slavonic version.

Bibliography

Text: G. van Hoof, "Sancti Codrati seu Quadrati martyris acta integra," Analecta Bollandiana 1 (1882), 447-469.

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