University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05345: Greek Hymn to a *martyr (S00060), from the monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes (Upper Egypt), praising the saint in his shrine and invoking intercession; datable to the 6th/7th century.

online resource
posted on 2018-04-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Mon.Epiph. 594

The hymn consists of three strophes, each divided into three verses, though parts of the text are difficult to read with certainty.

+ ως ο ηλιος
φιρηλημων και προ του
δικαστηριου μαρτυρε
εν δικαστηριω υπερβαλλον με ·
μαρτυροις ην̣ μητοιχομεν υμειν
εϋς τας ευλογηας σου μαρτυρε +

καταξιωσον ϋμω̣ν εν τω τοπω σου
ϋμεις̣ · τυ̣ . . η̣θε̣ρ̣ναι ω αθλοφορε μαρτυρε
παρηθ̣η̣σ̣ο̣μεθα μ . μη ελαττοναν
προς τα κατορθωματα σου
αλλα συλλογιζω υξυτομια
μαρτυρε +

της ασκουμενης ασ-
κετα και στρατιωτα αθλητα
ω τα παντα ζημανωθεις εως αν
τον χρηστον εκερδανης πρεσβ
ε̣π̣αγω – ϋπερ τον ψηχον ημων
αγιε μαρτυρε +

‘Enlightening (?) as the sun, and before the judgement-seat a martyr,
at the judgement-seat excelling amongst (?) martyrs!
We take our share in hymns (?) to your praise, O martyr.

Deem us (?) worthy to … a hymn (?) in thy sanctuary, O victorious martyr. We will entreat (?) that we fall not short (?) of the measure of your triumphs; but reckon up … , O martyr.

Ascete of the ascetic life and warrior athlete,
O you who did count all things lost until you did gain Christ,
intercede for our souls, O holy martyr!’

(Text and trans. W. E. Crum, slightly modified)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Hymns Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Thebes Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



This limestone ostracon, MMA.14.1.216, comes from tombs 65, 66 at the former monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes. It is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The dating is on palaeographical grounds.


The martyr's name seems not to have been specified on purpose, presumably to make these sung verses employable for various saints when invoking their intercession in a festive setting.


Edition and Translation: Crum, W.E., and Evelyn White, H.G., The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, Part II, New York 1926. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Egyptian Expedition), p. 130 (text), p. 314 (trans.).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity