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E05968: Syriac translation of the Greek Martyrdom of *Kyprianos and Ioustina (martyrs of Antioch, S01704), recounting the martyrdom of the bishop of Antioch Kyprianos with the virgin Ioustina, and of a certain *Theoktistos (S00866); produced during the 5th or 6th century.

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posted on 2018-07-17, 00:00 authored by sminov
The Syriac text of the Martyrdom is preserved in no less than eleven manuscripts. Its earliest textual witness, so far, is represented by ms. British Library Add. 12142, dated to the 6th century (see Wright 1870-1872, vol. 3, 1092-1093).

The Syriac version of the Martyrdom is comprised of two parts, the Conversion of Kyprianos and Ioustina (for summary and discussion, see E01164) and the Martyrdom of Kyprianos and Ioustina (for summary and discussion, see E01165). The date of the martyrdom, given in ms. British Library Add. 12142, as well as in the printed texts, is 15 June.

There is no critical edition yet of the Syriac version of the Martyrdom. It was published first in Bedjan 1890-1897, vol. 3, 322-344, on the basis of ms. Berlin, Königliche Bibliothek, Syr. 75 [Sachau 222]; subsequently in Lewis 1900, vol. 1, 185-203 (trans.), vol. 2, pp. 245-278 (Syr.), on the basis of ms. Sinai, Monastère Sainte-Catherine, Syr. 30 [Kamil 74]. For a discussion of the Syriac version, see also Ryssel 1903.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kyprianos and Ioustina/Justina, martyrs of Antioch : S01704 Theoktistos, martyr near Nikomedia : S00866

Saint Name in Source

ܩܘܦܪܝܢܐ ܘܝܘܣܛܐ ܬܐܘܩܛܣܛܐ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Syriac

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts


The Syriac translation of the Martyrdom bears witness to the spread of the cult of Kyprianos and Ioustina among Syriac-speaking Christians during the 5th or, at latest, 6th century, and is the earliest witness of the saints' cult in this milieu.


Main editions and translations: Bedjan, P., Acta martyrum et sanctorum. 7 vols (Paris / Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1890-1897). Lewis, A.S., Select Narratives of Holy Women from the Syro-Antiochene or Sinai Palimpsest as Written above the Old Syriac Gospels by John the Stylite, of Beth-Mari-Qanûn in A.D. 778. 2 vols (Studia Sinaitica 9-10; London: C.J. Clay and Sons, 1900). Further reading: Ryssel, V., “Der Urtext der Cyprianuslegende,” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 110 (1903), 273-311. Wright, W., Catalogue of Syriac Manuscripts in the British Museum, Acquired since the Year 1838. 3 vols (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1870-1872).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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