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E03560: Coptic fragments of the Martyrdom of *Kosmas and Damianos (brothers, physicians martyrs of Syria, S00385), and of their brothers *Anthimos, Leontios and Euprepios (S01544), with their mother *Theodote (S01544) in Antioch, relating numerous miracles which occur during their trial and martyrdom; written presumably in the 5th century.

online resource
posted on 2017-08-13, 00:00 authored by gschenke
The widow Theodota and her five sons are called to Antioch for trial during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. Her two eldest sons, Kosmas and Damianos, are physicians healing in the name of Christ; the three younger sons are monks. All of them refuse to sacrifice to the imperial gods and are therefore prosecuted, tortured, and eventually killed. During their trial, however, numerous miracles occur impressing the bystanders and officials and displaying the power of God.

Codex A:
Standing in front of the governor (hegemon) at Antioch, Kosmas and Damianos are asked who they are and where they are from.

Till, KHML I, p. 156, line 7–p. 157, line 8:

ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲁϥⲟⲩⲱϣⲃ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲕⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉⲉⲓⲙⲉ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ϯⲛⲁⲧⲁⲙⲟⲕ ⲉⲣⲟ[ϥ ·] ⲧⲉⲛ[ⲭ]ⲱⲣⲁ ⲧ[ⲉ] ⲧⲁⲣⲁⲃⲓⲁ ⲛⲉⲛ[ⲣⲁ]ⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲉ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲉϣⲁⲩⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲓ ϫⲉ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲡⲁⲥⲟⲛ ⲇⲉ ϫⲉ ⲇⲁⲙⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲧⲉⲛⲧⲉⲭⲛⲏ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲛⲟⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲥⲁⲉⲓⲛ ϩⲛ ⲧⲉⲛⲧⲉⲭⲛⲏ : · ⲁⲛⲟⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲭⲣⲓⲥⲧⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲅⲉⲛⲟⲥ : · ⲟⲩⲛⲧⲁⲛ ⲇ[ⲉ] ⲟⲛ ⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲛϩⲉⲛⲕⲉⲥⲛⲏⲩ : ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲕⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲧⲛⲛⲁⲧⲁⲩⲉ ⲛⲉⲩⲣⲁⲛ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ : ·
ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲁϫⲓⲥⲟⲩ ⲉⲣⲟ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲧⲉⲧⲛϣⲁⲛⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲛⲥⲱⲓ ⲧⲉⲧⲛⲁⲣ ϣⲃⲏⲣ ⲉⲣⲟⲓ : ⲁϥⲟⲩⲱϣⲃ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ [ⲕⲟⲥ]ⲙⲁ
ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁ[ϥ] ϫⲉ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲛⲉ ⲛⲉⲩⲣⲁⲛ ⲁⲛⲑⲓⲙⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲗⲉⲱⲛ[ⲧ]ⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲉⲩⲡⲣⲉⲡⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲟⲛ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲃⲱⲕ ⲁⲛⲓⲥⲟⲩ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲙⲁ :

‘Saint Kosma answered and said: “This thing which you want to know, I will tell you. Our country is Arabia. Our names are these: I am called Kosma. My brother is Damianos. Concerning our profession, we are physicians through our skill, because we are Christians from a great family. We also have other brothers. If you wish, we will tell you their names.
The governor (hegemon) said to them: “Bring them to me. If you obey me, you will become friends of mine.”
Saint Kosma answered and said: “Their names are these: Anthimos, Leontios, and Euprepios.”
The hegemon said to him: “Go and bring them here to me.”’

Once the other brothers are brought before the hegemon, they all refuse to sacrifice. As a result, their tortures begin. One of the tortures involved putting a stone around their necks and throwing them into the sea.
Christ himself comes down to them to loosen the stones for them, which then float like boats, steered by the angel of the Lord, and carry the saints back to shore. The saints then return to the palace followed by an impressed crowd and sneer at the imperial gods. The next attempt to torture them with fire equally fails.

Till, KHML I, p. 158, line 10–p. 159, line 5:

ⲡⲉϫⲁⲩ ⲙⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ϫⲉ ⲡⲉⲛϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲡⲕⲱϩⲧ ⲉϣϭⲙϭⲟⲙ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ · ⲟⲩⲇⲉ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲃⲁⲥⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲉⲓⲣⲁⲛ ϫⲉ ⲓⲥ ⲃⲟⲏⲑⲉⲓ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲉϣ ϭⲙϭⲟⲙ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲩⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲥⲙⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲁϥ ⲙⲡⲃⲏⲙⲁ ⲛϩⲟⲩ[ⲛ] ⲙⲡⲉⲑⲉⲁⲧⲣⲟ[ⲛ ⲛ]ⲧⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ⲁⲛϯ[ⲟⲭⲓⲁ] ⲁⲩⲱ
ⲁϥⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩ[ⲉ ⲉⲧ]ⲣⲉⲩⲁⲙⲁϩⲧⲉ ⲛ[ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩ]ⲁⲁⲃ [̣ ]
ⲁϥⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ [ⲉ]ⲧⲣⲉⲩϫⲉⲣⲟ ⲛⲟⲩⲕⲱ[ϩ]ⲧ ⲉϩⲣⲁ ϩⲁ ⲡⲉⲩϩⲟ ⲧⲟⲧⲉ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲁϥϣⲁϫⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉⲥⲧⲩⲗⲗⲟⲥ ⲉϥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲓϫⲉⲉⲣⲟⲕ ⲛⲧⲟⲕ ⲡⲉⲥⲧⲩⲗⲗⲟⲥ : ⲓⲥ ⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲧⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ ⲛⲁⲕ ϫⲉ ⲕⲟⲗϫⲕ ⲉⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲕⲁϩ ⲛⲧⲛⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲕⲟⲩⲓ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ
ⲁⲡⲉⲥⲧⲩⲗⲗⲟⲥ ⲕⲁ ϫⲱϥ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲥⲏⲧ ⲁⲡⲉⲑⲉⲁⲧⲣⲟⲛ ⲕⲓⲙ ϣⲁ [ⲛⲉ]ϥⲥⲛⲧⲉ [ⲡⲣⲣ]ⲟ ⲇⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲙⲏ[ⲏ]ϣⲉ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲛⲧⲉ[ⲣⲟ]ⲩⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥ[ϣⲱ]ⲡⲉ ⲁⲩⲣ ϩⲟⲧⲉ ⲁⲩⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉⲡⲱ[ⲧ] ⲧⲟⲧⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲇⲁⲙⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲕⲉⲥⲛⲏⲩ ϫⲉ ⲱ ⲛⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲛⲧⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ
ⲁⲛⲧⲓⲟⲭⲓⲁ ⲙⲡⲣⲣϩⲟⲧⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲙⲡⲉⲑⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲁⲧⲁϩⲱⲧⲛ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲁⲡⲉⲑⲩⲁⲧⲣⲟⲛ ⲁϩⲉⲣⲁⲧϥ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲧⲁϫⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲉⲛⲁⲓ ⲇⲉ ϣⲱⲡⲉ
ⲁⲧⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲑⲉⲱⲧⲱⲇⲏ ⲧⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲇⲁⲙⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲩⲕⲉⲥⲛⲏⲩ ϫⲓ ϣⲕⲁⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲥⲙⲏ ⲉⲥϫⲱ
ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ϫⲓ ϣⲓⲡⲉ ⲛⲁⲕ ⲱ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲁⲇⲓⲕⲓⲁ ϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲉⲕⲃⲁⲥⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲉϣ ϭⲙϭⲟⲙ ⲉⲛⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ

‘They said to the hegemon: “Our lord, the fire was unable to gain any power over them, nor did any tortures, since this name Jesus is helping them.”
The emperor ordered them to set up the tribunal for him in the theatre of the city of Antioch and commanded them to seize the saints. [some text missing]
He ordered them to light a fire under their face. Saint Kosma then spoke with the column, saying: “I am addressing you, column: It is my Lord Jesus who orders you: Bend down to the ground and we rest ourselves for a little while.” The column put its top down and the theatre shook to its foundations. When the emperor and the whole crowd saw what had happened, they were afraid and wanted to run away. The saints, Kosma, Damianos, and their other brothers then said to them: “People of the city of Antioch, do not be afraid. No evil will come upon you.” And immediately, the theatre stood firm. After these things happened, the blessed Theodote, the mother of the saints Kosma, Damianos and their other brothers cried out in a great voice saying: “Be ashamed, emperor of injustice, since your tortures were unable to gain any power over my children.”’

Codex B:
Till, KHML I, p. 160, lines 19–26:

ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲣⲁⲥⲧⲉ ⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲩ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲁϥⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲕⲗⲁⲩⲇⲓⲟⲥ ⲁϥⲁⲁϥ ⲛϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ⲉⲡⲙⲁ ⲛⲗⲩⲥⲓⲁⲥ : ⲕⲗⲁⲩⲇⲓⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲩ
ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲕⲱⲥⲙⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ :·· ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲧⲱⲧⲛ ⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲥⲁⲉⲓⲛ ⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲣⲟ ϫⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲟⲩ :
ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲇⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁⲩ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲁⲛⲟⲛ ϣⲁⲛⲑⲉⲣⲁⲡⲉⲩⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲡⲓⲥⲧⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲡⲉⲛⲣⲣⲟ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲓⲥ :

‘And it happened on the next day, the emperor sent and brought Claudius and made him governor (hegemon) instead of Lysias. And Claudius sent at once and brought the saints, Kosma and his brothers. He said to them: “Are you the physicians about which the emperor has sent to me?”
The saints said to him: “We treat anyone who believes in our King Jesus Christ.”’

Codex C:

Till, KHML I, p. 162, lines 4–13:

The governor then thinks of burying the saints alive and throws their bodies in the earth, from which however, the saints reappear unharmed:

ⲁⲡⲕⲁϩ · ⲟⲩⲱⲛ ⲛⲣⲱϥ ⲁⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲃⲟϭⲟⲩ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲁⲩⲁϩⲉⲣⲁⲧⲟⲩ ⲉⲙⲛ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲧⲁⲕⲟ · ϣⲟⲟⲡ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ · ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ϫⲉ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ
ⲣⲱ · ϯⲟ ⲛϣⲡⲏⲣⲉ ⲉϫⲛ ⲛⲉϭⲟⲙ · ⲛⲛⲉⲓⲣⲱⲙⲉ · ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲙⲁⲧⲥⲁⲃⲟⲓ ϩⲱ · ⲉⲣ ⲙⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ · ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲛⲁⲡⲓⲥⲧⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲡⲉⲧⲛⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ · ⲛⲉϫⲉ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲉⲓϩⲱⲃ ϫⲉ ⲙⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲛⲧⲛⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ · ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲁⲛ · ⲛⲑⲉ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲉⲧⲕⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ · ⲛⲛⲉⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲛⲣ ⲡⲁⲓ · ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲕⲡⲓⲥⲧⲉⲩⲉ ⲧⲛⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲕ ·

‘The earth opened its mouth and the saints jumped out. They stood up with not a single wound on them. The hegemon said: “I am indeed in awe over the powers of these people.” He said to them: “Teach me to do this kind of magic too. I will believe in your God.”
The saints said to him: “This thing (you call) magic we do not know. For how you are thinking about it, it shall certainly never happen that we do this. But if you believe, we are happy with you.”’

Till, KHML I, p. 162, line 23–p. 163, line 9:

ⲙⲡⲉϥⲣⲁⲥⲧⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥⲧⲣⲉⲩⲛⲧⲟⲩ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲃⲏⲙⲁ · ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲏⲅⲉⲙⲱⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲱ ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ · ⲙⲛ ⲇⲁⲙⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲛⲑⲓⲙⲟⲥ · ⲙⲛ
ⲗⲉⲟⲛⲧⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲉⲩⲡⲣⲉⲡⲓⲟⲥ · ϣⲁ ⲧⲛⲁⲩ ϯⲛⲁⲁⲛⲓⲭⲉ ⲙⲙⲱⲧⲛ ⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲍⲉ ϭⲉ ⲛⲛⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲧⲧⲁⲓⲏⲩ ⲙⲡⲁϯⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲙⲡⲣⲣⲟ ϩⲁⲣⲱⲧⲛ ⲕⲁⲕⲱⲥ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛϥϭⲱⲛⲧ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲉϫⲛ ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ · ⲛϥϩⲱⲧⲃ ⲙⲙⲟⲓ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ · ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲛⲣ ϩⲟⲧⲉ ⲁⲛ ϩⲏⲧϥ · ⲙⲡⲉⲕⲣⲣⲟ
ⲛⲁⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲟⲩⲇⲉ ⲛⲉϥⲕⲉⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲃⲟⲧⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲛⲛⲁϣⲙϣⲉ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲁⲛ ⲓⲥ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲉⲛⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ · ⲁⲕⲟⲩⲱ ⲉⲅⲉⲓⲙⲉ ⲉⲧϭⲟⲙ ⲛⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ·
ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲕ · ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉⲕⲣⲣⲟ ⲛⲁⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ·

‘On the next day, he had them brought to the tribunal. The hegemon said to them: “Kosma, Damianos, Anthimos, Leontios, and Euprepios, how long shall I put up with you? Sacrifice now to the honourable gods, before I write something bad to the emperor about you and before he gets angry with you and kills me because of you.”
The saints said to him: “We do not fear your lawless emperor, and we also do not fear your abominable gods. We shall not worship them, for Jesus is our God. You have already experienced the power of Jesus Christ, who will judge you and your lawless emperor.”’

(Text: W. C. Till, KHML I, 154–168; summary and trans. G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs of Syria, ob. 285/287 : S00385 Anthimos, Leontios and Euprepios (martyrs, brothers/companions of Kosmas and Damianos) : S01544

Saint Name in Source

ⲕⲟⲥⲙⲁ ⲁⲛⲑⲓⲙⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom 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 name in other Language(s)

Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Punishing miracle Healing diseases and disabilities Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Invisibility, bilocation, miraculous travels

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Physicians Officials Crowds


Fragments of three Coptic parchment codices are located in Berlin, Naples, Paris and Vienna. Codex A: K 9546 and P 12915 f. 18 Codex B: P 102 f. 8 and P 12915 f. 17 Codex C: Z 153 and P.Berlin 1611/11.12 Layout and script of the codices suggest a 9th–11th century date for the production of these manuscripts.


For the Greek versions of the Martyrdom see E07076 and E07077.


Text and German translation: Till, W.C., Koptische Heiligen- und Martyrlegenden. Vol. 1 (Rome: Pont. institutum orientalium studiorum, 1935), 154–168.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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