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E06642: Greek version of the Martyrdom of *Jacob/James the Dismembered (martyr of Persia under Bahram V, ob. 421, S01660). Skeleton entry

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posted on 2018-09-27, 00:00 authored by cpapavarnavas
Greek version of the Martyrdom of Jacob/James the Dismembered (BHG 772-772c)

For the summary of this Martyrdom see the Syriac original ($E07154) and the Discussion here.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Jacob/James the Mutilated, martyr of Persia under Bahram V, ob. 421 : S01660

Saint Name in Source

Ἰάκωβος ὁ Πέρσης

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Greek


For the manuscript tradition, see: For the edition, see Bibliography.


There are four Greek pre-Metaphrastic versions of the martyrdom account of Iakobos the Dismembered, the martyr of Persia: BHG 772, 772a, 772b, and 772c. Version BHG 772c is still unedited. According to Paul Devos (1953; 1954), the editor of the three versions, the Greek texts are based on a Syriac original (for which see E07154, with a summary of the Syriac text dating from the 5th/6th century). There is also a Coptic story related to the same martyr which goes back to the 6th century (see E07053). In broad outline, the three edited Greek versions of the Martyrdom follow the Syriac one with only one main difference: according to the Syriac text, after the beheading of the martyr, fire from heaven comes upon his remains and the bloodstained ground. This miracle is completely omitted from the Greek texts. Unsurprisingly, the translation of the martyr's remains from Persia to Jerusalem and then from Jerusalem to Oxyrhynchos in Middle Egypt, as presented in the Coptic text, is absent from all the Greek versions (as also from the Syriac).


Texts: Devos, P., "Le dossier hagiographique de S. Jacques l'Intercis - I - La Passion grecque inédite (BHG 772),", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 157-210, and "I. La passion grecque inédite (Deuxième article)," Analecta Bollandiana 72 (1954), 213-256. (BHG 772-772b) Further reading: Detoraki, M., "Greek Passions of the Martyrs in Byzantium," in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography II: Genres and Contexts (Farnham, 2014), 74.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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