University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04639: Encomion in Coptic on the *Apostles (S02422 and S00084) with an emphasis on *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), and including an account of the life and martyrdom of *Mark (the Evangelist, S00293), from the monastery of the Archangel Michael near Hamouli in the Fayum (Lower Egypt), attributed to Severianos of Gabala and delivered on their feast day (29 June) at a sanctuary of the Apostles in a cemetery of an unnamed city; if by Severianos, originally delivered in Greek in the late 4th/early 5th century, probably in Constantinople.

online resource
posted on 2018-01-17, 00:00 authored by marijana, gschenke
Encomion on the Apostles, attributed to Severianos of Gabala

The text relates the vocation and career of each of the Twelve Apostles as well as of Paul, whose commemoration day becomes the one for all the Apostles. The text also offers an extended account of the acts and martyrdom of Mark (sec. 102–117 and 140–155). The encomion is ascribed to Apa Severianos, bishop of Gabala, and claims to have been delivered at a 'cemetery of the Apostles, in the south of the city', on their feast day, the 5th day of Epeiph (29 June). The bishop claims that Christ and the Apostles themselves join the festive celebration of the crowd at that sanctuary on their day of commemoration.

M606, fol. 1r a:

ⲟⲩⲉⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲁϥⲧⲁⲟⲩⲟϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲉⲩⲏⲣⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲛⲉⲕⲁⲃⲁⲗⲗⲉⲩⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲕⲟⲓⲙⲏⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲣⲏⲥ
ⲛⲧⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉⲩⲉⲣⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲁⲣⲭⲏⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲥ⳨ⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ
ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲥⲁϩ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲛⲧⲁⲩϥⲉⲓ ⲛⲧⲉϥⲁⲡⲉ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ϯⲟⲩ ⲛⲉⲡⲏⲡ ⲉⲧⲉ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲡⲉ ⲡϣⲁ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲓⲣⲏⲛⲏ
ⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ϩⲁⲙⲏⲛ

‘An encomion which Apa Severianos, the bishop of the Gaballians, delivered at the cemetery of the Apostles, in the south of the city, on the day of their commemoration concerning Peter, the great archbishop, who was crucified, and concerning saint Paul, the master of the Apostles, who was beheaded on day five of (the month) Epiph, which is the feast (day) of all the Apostles. In God’s peace. Amen.’

1: ⲉⲣϣⲁⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲣⲣⲟ ⲡⲣⲟⲏⲗⲑⲉ̣ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ⲏ ⲟⲩⲥⲧⲣⲁⲧⲏⲗⲁⲧⲏⲥ ϣⲁⲣⲉ ⲡⲇⲏⲙⲟⲥ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲉⲓ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲏⲧϥ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲧⲉⲛⲟⲩ ⲇⲉ
ⲛⲁⲙⲉⲣⲁⲧⲉ ⲁⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲕⲁⲗⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ ϩⲙ ⲡⲣⲁⲛ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲣⲱ ϯⲛⲁⲩ
ⲉⲡⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲉϥϣⲟⲟⲡ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲩⲫⲣⲟⲥⲩⲛⲏ ϩⲓⲧⲛ ⲛⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲕⲱⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲩϯ ⲉⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲧϭⲓⲛⲉⲓ ϣⲁⲣⲟⲛ
ⲙⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉϥⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ
2: ⲁⲗⲏⲑⲱⲥ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲃⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲧⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛϣⲟⲩⲉⲣⲡⲉⲩⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲙⲁⲣⲉⲛⲕⲱ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛⲑⲓⲥⲧⲟⲣⲓⲁ
ⲛⲛⲉⲩⲡⲣⲁⲝⲓⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲧⲁϩⲙⲟⲩ ⲛⲁϥ ⲙⲙⲁⲑⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲑⲱ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲧⲱϩⲙ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲁ ⲡⲟⲩⲁ ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲛ ϯⲟⲡⲉ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲁ ⲡⲟⲩⲁ
ϯⲑⲁⲩⲙⲁⲍⲉ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲁⲗⲏⲑⲱⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲓ ⲛⲧⲁ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲥⲃⲧⲉ ⲡⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ⲙⲡⲕⲟⲥⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧⲟⲩ
ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲧⲉ ⲧⲡⲓⲥⲧⲓⲥ ⲛⲧⲁⲥⲟⲩⲱϩ ϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ

1: ‘If a king or a general marches forth in a city, all the people come out to meet him with joy. Now, my beloved, Christ, the king, has called us to this sanctuary today in the name of his twelve Apostles. This is why, I see the entire multitude being joyous and cheerful due to all the angels that surround them, glorifying the arrival of Christ and his twelve Apostles among us.
2: Truly, the life of those twelve men is great and they are worthy of commemoration. Let us lay down the history of their deeds, how Christ called them as disciples for him, and how he invited each one of them with each one’s occupation. For I truly marvel at these twelve Apostles, through whom God prepared the salvation of the world. For great is the faith which dwelled in them.’

The manuscript ends with the following words:

Cairo 3812, fol. 6v b:

155: ⲡⲁⲓ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲉⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲃ̣ⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲥⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲁ̣ⲣⲭⲏⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ
ⲡⲙ̣ⲁ̣ⲣ̣ⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ̣ ⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲛⲁⲗⲕⲏ̣ ⲙⲡⲁⲣⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲁⲣⲭⲏⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ
ⲉⲁⲩϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲙⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ϯⲟⲩ ⲛⲉⲡⲏⲡ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲥ⳨ⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ϩⲓⲧⲛ ⲛⲏⲣⲟⲛ ⲡⲉⲣⲣⲟ ⲛⲁⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ
ⲇⲉ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲁ̣ⲩ̣ϥⲓ ⲛⲧⲉϥⲁⲡⲉ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲁⲩⲕⲁⲁⲥ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ̣ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉⲛⲉⲓⲟ̣ⲧⲉ ⲉⲧϩⲁ ⲧⲉⲧⲛϩⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲛⲉⲓⲣⲉ ⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ
ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ϯⲟⲩ ⲛⲉⲡⲏⲡ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲓⲣⲏⲛⲏ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ϩ̣ⲁⲙⲏ(ⲛ)

155: ‘This is the encomion of all the Apostles and the life of saint Mark, the Evangelist, archbishop and holy martyr. He completed his struggle on the last day of (the month) Pharmouthi (25 April). Paul and Peter, the great archbishop, completed their struggle on day five of (the month) Epiph (29 June). Peter who was crucified by Nero, the lawless emperor, on the one hand, and the holy Apostle Paul, who was beheaded, on the other, is why our fathers who preceded us instituted for us to celebrate the feast of all the Apostles on day five of (the month) Epiph (29 June). In God’s peace. Amen.’

(Text and trans.: M. E. Foat, slightly modified)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apostles, unnamed or name lost : S00084 Mark the Evangelist : S00293 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Peter the Apostle : S00036 All Apostles : S02422

Saint Name in Source

ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲥⲧⲏⲥ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲙⲛⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts Literary - Sermons/Homilies 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 Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hamouli Constantinople

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

Hamouli Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



The parchment manuscript is fragmentary and its leaves are kept in different manuscript collections. The largest part, 22 leaves, is kept at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (M606, M606, ff. 1r–22v), six leaves are housed at the Coptic Musuem in Cairo (Coptic Museum MS 3812, ff. 1r–6v), and one leaf belongs to the Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan (Michigan MS 158.29). The parchment codex only contained this one manuscript and was found at the site of the monastery of saint Michael located near Hamouli in the Fayum. In accordance with other dated codices found there the codex was produced in the 9th or early 10th century.


If the ascription to Severianos is correct, the original Greek text from which this Coptic version must derive will have been written at the end of the 4th century, or the very beginning of the 5th. For other works of Severianos see E01738. The city where this sermon was delivered is not named, but could well have been Constantinople, where Severianos was active towards the end of his life.


Text and translation: Foat, M. E., "Encomium on SS. Peter and Paul (M606, ff. 1r–22v, Michigan MS 158.29, and Coptic Museum MS 3812, ff. 1r–6v), attributed to Severian of Gabala," in: L. Depuydt (ed.), Encomiastica from the Pierpont Morgan Library, CSCO 544 (Louvain, 1993), 85–130 (text); CSCO 545 (Louvain, 1993), 65–101 (translation).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager