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E07454: A probably Middle Byzantine collection of five miracles of *Menas (soldier martyr of Egypt, S00073) offers a summary version of the first five stories of the Miracles of Menas ascribed to Timothy of Alexandria (see E07440).

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posted on 2019-03-10, 00:00 authored by erizos
Five Miracles of Menas (BHG 1269a and 1269b)

I. A man went to pray to the saint’s church and was robbed and murdered by another man. His body was cut into pieces and put in a basket. On the next day, the martyr Menas arrived and found the dismembered body, which he reassembled and revived. The saint punished the murderer for his crime, but pardoned him before living. (Summary of Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas, Miracle 1, BHG 1257, E07441)

II. A man promised Menas to offer a silver plate with his name written on it, but he disregarded his promise and kept the plate for himself. While he was travelling by sea, his servant fell into the water with the plate. The man prayed to God promising to give back what he had stolen, if he would save his servant. When he went back to the land, he saw the servant coming from the sea with the plate in his hand. Everyone who saw the scene praised God. The servant said that he had been saved by three handsome men who took hold of him for three days and brought him back to the land. (Summary of Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas, Miracle 2, BHG 1258, E07442)

III. A woman who was being raped asked the help of the saint. Then the rapist was dragged away from her by his horse (for he had his foot tied to the horse). When the horse stopped in front of Menas’ church, the rapist denounced himself and asked for forgiveness. (Summary of Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas, Miracle 3, BHG 1259, E07443)

IV. The saint miraculously cured a crippled man and a mute woman who were spending the night in his shrine by appearing to the man in a dream, and instructing him to touch the mute woman’s coat. The act scared the mute woman who started shouting, and caused the crippled man to run away. Both realised that they had received a miraculous cure. (Summary of Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas, Miracle 5, BHG 1261, E07445)

V. A Jew entrusted some money to his Christian friend. When he asked the money back, the Christian claimed to have never received it. Then, the Jew asked the Christian to swear an oath in front of the saint, which he did. When they got back to their horses, the Christian’s horse became unruly and threw him on the ground where he lost his kerchief, his keys and his gold sealing device. While they were travelling, they saw a servant holding the moneybag of the Jew on one hand and the lost key and the kerchief in the other. When they asked him, he replied that these objects were given to him by a handsome man on horseback who told him these belonged to the Jew. The Jew overjoyed and they both went back to the saint, where the Christian repented and the Jew was baptised. (Summary of Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas, Miracle 4, BHG 1260, E07444)

Text: Bourbouhakis, Duffy 2007.
Summary: Giovanni Hermanin De Reichenfeld.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles


  • Greek

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

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Punishing miracle Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Power over life and death Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Jews and Samaritans Pagans Slaves/ servants Merchants and artisans

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Precious material objects


The collection is preserved in 4 manuscripts, on which see:


This collection offers an abridged and partial version of the longer Miracles of Menas, on which see E07440.


Text and translation: Bourbouhakis, E., and Duffy, J., "Five Miracles of St. Menas," in: J. Nesbitt (ed.), Byzantine Authors: Literary Activities and Preoccupations: Texts and Translations Dedicated to the Memory of Nicolas Oikonomides (The Medieval Mediterranean 49; Leiden: Brilll, 2003), 65-81.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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