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SAINT THEODORE THE EASTERN (ANATOLIAN, ORIENTAL) AND ASSOCIATES IN THE COPTO-ARABIC SYNAXARIUM: A STUDY TOOL

March 28, 2016

The Copto-Arabic Synaxarium[1] that was published with a French translation was taken from two manuscripts; the earlier was from the late 14th century,[2] which is close to the time the Synaxarium was first compiled.

It contains the story of the martyrdom of Saint Theodore the Eastern (Oriental, Anatolian) under 12 Tuba. With him, but not on the same day, were martyred his two associates, Leontius the Arab (22 Apip) and Panigerus the Persian (5 Tuba).

Associated with the story of St. Theodore the Eastern also is the family of Yustus (or Justus) the son of Emperor Numerianus (r. 273 – 274). Yustus was sent with his wife, Theokleia, and his son, Apolli, to Egypt to be tortured there, and if they insist on not renouncing Christ, to be killed. Justus was beheaded in Antinopolis (Antinoë, in Upper Egypt (Synaxarium: 10 Amshir); Theokleia was beheaded in Sais, in the Western Nile Delta on the Canopic branch of the Nile. (Synaxarium: 11 Pashons); Apolli was beheaded in Bubastis, in the eastern part of the Nile Delta (Synaxarium: 1 Mesouri). Yustus, the son of the King, is mentioned again in the Coptic Synaxarium under 17 Misouri in the feast of the Egyptian martyrs, Yacobos and the Elderly Man, who were beheaded in the same year, as one would conclude, Yustus was martyred.

Saint Theodore the General (of Shwtp) is often associated with Saint Theodore the Eastern. One find his mention in Synaxarium: 12 Apip and 5 Hathor.

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[1] René Basset, Synaxaire arabe-jacobite (rédaction copte) in the Patrologia Orientalis (Paris, 1904 – 1929).

[2] The second dates to the 17th century.

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