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E03174: Coptic Miracle of *Kollouthos (physician and martyr of Antinoopolis, S00641) concerning the healing of a young widow suffering under a magic spell caused by her late husband, possibly associated with the burial shrine at Antinoopolis (Middle Egypt); presumably written in the 6th century.

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posted on 2017-07-05, 00:00 authored by gschenke
Enchanted by the beauty of his own young wife, a soldier decides to put a spell on her to ensure that no one would marry her, should he die. When he later fell ill and eventually died, the young widow started to change. Her beauty disappeared and her health deteriorated rapidly. Her parents decided to bring her to the saint’s shrine in the hope for healing.

P.9036 (BKU I 189)r, col. I, 21–25:

Ϯⲛⲁⲥⲙⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲫⲁⲣⲙⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲛⲉⲣⲱⲙⲉ ϫⲓⲧⲥ ⲉ[ϣ]ⲁⲛⲙⲟⲩ

‘I will make a magic potion for her, so that no one shall get her, if I die.’

P.9036 (BKU I 189)v, col. I, 27–col. II,24:

ⲛⲉⲥⲉⲓⲟⲧⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲥⲣⲱⲙⲉ [ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲡⲉϫⲁ]ⲩ ϫⲉ ⲙⲁⲣⲛϫⲓⲧⲥ ⲉⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲗⲗⲟⲩⲑⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ⲛⲁϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲁⲥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ
ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧϥ [·] ⲁⲩⲧⲱⲟⲩⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲩϫⲓ[ⲧⲥ] ⲉⲡⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩ[ⲣⲓ]ⲟⲛ · ⲧⲉⲥϩⲓⲙ[ⲉ ⲇⲉ] ⲛⲉⲥⲡⲁⲣⲁⲕⲁ[ⲗⲉ]ⲓ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲗⲗⲟⲩⲑⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲣⲉϥ[ⲧⲁⲗ]ϭⲟⲥ · ⲙⲛⲛⲥⲁ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲁϥϣⲛϩⲧⲏϥ ϩⲁⲣⲟⲥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲗⲗⲟⲩⲑⲟⲥ · ⲁϥⲉⲓ ϣⲁⲣⲟⲥ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩϩⲟⲣⲟⲙⲁ ⲛⲧⲉⲩϣⲏ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁⲥ [ϫ]ⲉ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡⲓ
ⲕⲟⲗⲗⲟⲩⲑⲟⲥ ⲡⲥⲁⲉⲓⲛ ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁⲉⲓ ϣⲁⲣⲟⲓ ϣⲁⲓⲣⲡⲁϩⲣⲉ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲛϫⲓⲛϫⲏ

‘Her parents and [all] her people [said]: “Let us take her to the shrine (topos) of saint Kollouthos and healing will occur to her through him.” They rose and took [her] to his martyr shrine (martyrion). The woman then was beseeching saint Kollouthos to make him heal her. After these things, saint Kollouthos took pity on her. He came to her in a dream at night and said to her: “I am Kollouthos, the physician. Whoever will come to me, I heal him for free.”’

Text and translation: 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

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus codex Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles


  • 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 - Places

Martyr shrine (martyrion, bet sāhedwātā, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



Papyrus leaf in the Berlin collection, P.9036 (BKU I 189), from a codex of unknown Egyptian origin, datable palaeographically to the 7th/8th century.


In this miracle story, the saint is going to prove himself stronger than magic. The vicious jealousy of the deceased husband will most likely be unveiled and the mistreated young widow restored to health through the power of Christ and his martyr.


Text, Translation and Commentary: Schenke, G., Das koptisch hagiographische Dossier des Heiligen Kolluthos – Arzt, Märtyrer und Wunderheiler, eingeleitet, neu ediert, übersetzt und kommentiert, CSCO 650 Subsidia 132 (Louvain: Peeters 2013), 193–204 and 268–276.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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