University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E03250: The Martyrdom of *Concordius (priest and martyr of Spoleto, S01529) is written in Latin, presumably in Spoleto, at an uncertain date, by the 9th c. at the latest. It narrates Concordius' education and ordination, his trial, death, and burial near Spoleto where miracles happen.

online resource
posted on 2017-07-11, 00:00 authored by mpignot
Martyrdom of Concordius (BHL 1906)


§ 1: Concordius was martyred under the emperor Antoninus. He is from a noble Roman family, his father Gordianus, priest of the titulus pastoris instructs him in the sacred scriptures and he is ordained subdeacon by the bishop of Rome Pius. Father and son fast pray and give alms.

§ 2: Concordius, after obtaining permission from his father, goes to stay with Eutyches in his small estate (praediolum) on the via Salaria next to the civitas Tribulum. They fast, pray and heal many sick people that come to them.

§§ 3-4: The count (comes) of Tuscia Torquatus who lives in Spoleto (civitas Spoletana) hears about them. He interrogates Concordius and tries to compel him to offer sacrifice to the gods. As he refuses, Concordius is beaten and put into public custody (custodia publica).

§§ 5-6: At night Eutyches comes with the bishop Anthimus who is a friend of the count and obtain from him permission to stay with Concordius for a few days. Anthimus ordains Concordius a priest and they spend time praying. Some time later, Concordius is again interrogated by Torquatus, refuses to sacrifice, is tortured on a rack and praises God.

§§ 7-8: Torquatus then orders him to be sent to jail chained, and to be left to die of hunger. Concordius thanks God. At night an angel appears to Concordius and comforts him. After three days, the emperor sends two attendants in the middle of the night to compel Concordius to offer sacrifice; as he still refuses, he is beheaded.

§ 9: Two clerics and some religious men come and take the body, they bury it not far from Spoleto in a place where there are springs. His feast day is on the Calends of January [= 1 January]. Where the body is buried, the blind are given sight, the infirm are healed and demons are expelled.

Text: Acta Sanctorum, Ian. I, 9-10. Summary: M. Pignot.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Concordius, priest and martyr of Spoleto : S01529

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Spoleto Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

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

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Relatives of the saint Officials Angels Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body


Epic martyrdoms The Martyrdom of Concordius is an anonymous literary account of martyrdom written long after the great persecutions of Christians that provide the background of the narrative. It is part of a widely spread literary genre, that scholars often designate as "epic" Martyrdoms (or Passiones), to be distinguished from earlier, short and more plausible accounts, apparently based on the genuine transcripts of the judicial proceedings against the martyrs. These texts narrate the martyrdom of local saints, either to promote a new cult or to give further impulse to existing devotion. They follow widespread stereotypes mirroring the early authentic trials of martyrs, but with a much greater degree of detail and in a novelistic style. Thus they narrate how the protagonists are repeatedly questioned and tortured under the order of officials or monarchs, because they refuse to sacrifice to pagan gods but profess the Christian faith. They frequently refer to miracles performed by the martyrs and recreate dialogues between the protagonists. The narrative generally ends with the death of the martyrs (often by beheading) and their burial. These texts are literary creations bearing a degree of freedom in the narration of supposedly historical events, often displaying clear signs of anachronism. For these reasons, they have been generally dismissed as historical evidence and often remain little known. However, since most certainly date from within the period circa 400-800, often providing unique references to cult, they are an essential source to shed light on the rise of the cult of saints. The Martyrdom of Concordius There is one main early version of the Martyrdom, BHL 1906, our focus here (BHL 1906a is a later attested variant). It is preserved in 49 manuscripts according to the database Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina Manuscripta (, starting from the 9th-10th century: Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Palat. lat. 846, f. 69r-69v; Saint-Omer, Bibliothèque Publique, 791, f. 7v-9r (10th-11th c.).


The Martyrdom is of uncertain date, but should have been written by the 9th century at the latest when it is found in manuscripts. It was generally dated with uncertainty to the 5th or 6th centuries (Clavis Patrum Latinorum 2178; Gryson, R., Répertoire général des auteurs ecclésiastiques Latins de l’Antiquité et du Haut moyen âge, 2 vols. (Freiburg, 2007), I, 58), however recent studies, emphasising borrowings from, and contacts with, early medieval martyrdom accounts, particularly from Farfa, rather suggest a dating in the 8th or 9th century (see Susi, Paoli and Lanéry). It would notably have borrowed from the martyrdoms of Pudentiana and Praxedis (E02507), and Pigmenius, Bibana and Companions (E02503), and in turn have inspired the Martyrdom of Constantius (E03252).


Edition (BHL 1906): Acta Sanctorum, Ian., I, 9-10. Further reading: Lanéry, C., "Hagiographie d'Italie (300-550). I. Les Passions latines composées en Italie,” in: Philippart, G. (ed.), Hagiographies. Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, vol. V (Turnhout, 2010), 15-369, at 311-312. Paoli, E., “L’agiografia umbra altomedievale,” in: Umbria cristiana. Dalla diffusione del culto al culto dei santi (secc. IV-X), Atti del XV Congresso internationale di studi CISAM, Spoleto, 23-28 ott. 2000 (Spoleto, 2001), 479-529. Susi, E., “Il culto dei santi nel corridoio Bizantino e lungo la via Amerina,” in: Menestó, E. (ed.), Il corridoio Bizantino e la via Amerina in Umbria nell’Alto medioevo (Spoleto, 1999), 259-294.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager