Saint NameKyros and Iōannēs, physician martyrs in Egypt, ob. early 4th c. : S00406
Saint Name in SourceΚύρος, Ἰωάννης
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Poems
Evidence not before600
Evidence not after1000
Activity not before600
Activity not after1000
Place of Evidence - RegionConstantinople and region
Egypt and Cyrenaica
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcConstantinople
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Constantinople
Major author/Major anonymous workGreek Anthology
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsBequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Cult Activities - MiraclesHealing diseases and disabilities
Miracle after death
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesPhysicians
Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy
Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits
Cult Activities - Cult Related ObjectsEx-votos
SourceThe Greek Anthology is a collection of Greek epigrams from dating from the Archaic period to the 9th century AD. It was initially compiled by Meleager of Megara (100-90 BC), whose collection was edited and expanded by Philip of Thessalonica (under Nero), Agathias of Myrina (AD 567/8) and finally by Konstantinos Kephalas (c. AD 900).
The word epigram literally means an inscription. Although most Greek inscriptions were in prose, the word came to be specifically connected to those written in verse, and eventually to include poetic texts which were not necessarily inscribed. From the earliest period of Greek literature, epigrams were mostly sepulchral or dedicatory: they either memorialised the dead or marked the dedication of an object to a god.
Book 1 of the Greek Anthology contains Christian epigrams from Late Antiquity to the 9th century. It was compiled c. 880-900, containing a considerable number of poems copied directly from monuments. The scholar responsible for the transcriptions may have been Gregorios Magistros, a colleague of Kephalas. Epigrams 1-17 and possibly others were taken down from inscriptions at Constantinople and two of them, namely No. 1 (inscription from the bema arch of St. Sophia) and No. 10 (inscription from the church of St. Polyeuktos) have been found in situ, thus confirming the accuracy of the entries in the Anthology.
DiscussionThis epigram was probably written as a dedicatory colophon on a book containing the Miracles of Kyros and Iōannēs (Cyrus and John) by Sophronius of Jerusalem (see E###). During his stay in Alexandria, in the company of John Moschos in c. AD 580, Sophronius was afflicted by blindness and was cured after a visit to the shrine of Kyros and Iōannēs in Menuthis. In c. 610, he composed and dedicated the book of miracles as a votive offering for his own cure. The identity of the composer of the epigram, Senekas the iatrosophistēs (‘medical scholar’), and its precise date are unknown.
BibliographyEdition and Translation:
Paton, W.R., rev. Tueller, M.A., The Greek Anthology, Books 1-5, 2nd ed. (Loeb Classical Library; London, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2014).
Beckby, H., Anthologia Graeca (Munich: Ernst Heimeran Verlag, 1957).
Conca, F., Marzi, M., and Zanetto, G., Antologia Palatina. 3 vols. Vol. 1 (Classici Greci; Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 2005).
Waltz, P., Anthologie Grecque (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1928).
Further reading on the Greek Anthology:
Cameron, A., The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).