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E00856: The Syriac History of *Shimun/Symeon bar Ṣabbae (bishop and martyr in Persia, ob. 341 or 344, S00592) relates that after the execution of the bishop and his companions their bodies were taken away and buried by the Christians of Karka d-Ledan in Khuzistan. It reports also that some Christian soldiers in Persian army asked for and were provided with relics of these martyrs.

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posted on 16.11.2015, 00:00 by Bryan
History of Shimun bar Ṣabbae 98

For a full summary of this Martyrdom, see E00855

ܫܠܕܗ ܕܝܢ ܕܢܨܝܚܐ ܫܡܥܘܢ ܒܪ ܨܒ̈ܥܐ ܩܐܬܘܠܝܩܐ ܘܕܐܦܝܣܩܘ̈ܦܐ ܘܕܟܠܗܘܢ ܩܕܝܫ̈ܐ ܕܥܡܗܘܢ: ܒܗ ܒܠܠܝܐ ܗܘ ܐܬܚܛܦܘ ܡܢ ܐܢܫܐ ܒܢ̈ܝ ܫܒܝܐ ܕܖ̈ܗܘܡܝܐ ܕܥܡܪܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܒܟܪܟܐ ܕܠܝܕܢ ܘܐܬܩܒܪܘ ܗܘܘ ܒܐܝܩܪܐ. ܐܦ ܐܢܫ̈ܝܢ ܡܢ ܡܗ̈ܝܡܢܐ ܕܒܐܬܪ ܐܬܪ ܕܐܣܬܩܒܠܘ ܒܦܠܓܐ ܕܡܠܟܐ: ܫܐܠܘ ܒܘܪܟܬܐ ܡܢ ܦܓܖ̈ܝܗܘܢ ܕܩܕܝܫ̈ܐ ܘܐܬܝܗܒܬ ܠܗܘܢ ܡܢ ܐܦܝܣܩܘ̈ܦܐ ܕܗܘܘ ܒܙܒܢܐ ܗܘ ܒܟܪܟܐ.

'The corpses of victorious Shimun bar Ṣabbae the catholicos, of the bishops, and of all the holy ones who were with them were taken away on that very night by some people – Roman captives who lived in Karka d-Ledan – and they were buried in honor. Also, some from among the faithful who inhabited other regions, and who happened to be there in the army of the king, asked for relics from the bodies of the holy ones, and they were given to them by the bishops who were in Karka at that time.'

Ed. Kmosko 1907, col. 958; trans. Smith 2014, p. 210.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E00856

Saint Name

Symeon/Shimun bar Ṣabbae, bishop and martyr in Persia, ob. 341 or 344 : S00592

Saint Name in Source

ܫܡܥܘܢ ܒܪ ܨܒ̈ܥܐ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

500

Activity not before

339

Activity not after

400

Place of Evidence - Region

Iran

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Susa Susa Շաւշ Šawš شوش Shush

Major author/Major anonymous work

Persian martyrdom accounts

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Soldiers

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified

Source

The History of Shimun/Symeon bar Ṣabbae is an account of the martyrdom of the bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, Shimun, and his companions *Gushtazad, *Ḥananya, *Abdhaykla, *Pusai and his daughter, that took place in Sasanian Persia, in the city of Karka d-Ledan, during the reign of Shapur II (r. 309-379), in the year 341 or 344. It is an original Syriac composition, produced in the second half of the 5th century by a Christian author in Persia. Syriac text: Kmosko 1907, cols. 779-959; English translation: Smith 2014, pp. 68-210; Latin translation: Kmosko 1907, cols. 780-960; modern Arabic translation: Scher 1900-1906, vol. 1, pp. 192-234; partial German translation: Braun 1915, pp. 5-57. For general information, see Smith 2014, pp. xliii-xlix.

Discussion

At the end of his account of the martyrdom of Shimun and his companions, the author of the History of Shimun bar Ṣabbae relates briefly that after the execution of the martyrs in the city of Karka d-Ledan in Khuzistan, their bodies were taken away and buried on the same night by the members of the local Christian community. According to the author, the latter consisted primarily of Roman captives resettled there by king Shapur II, the founder of the city. Furthermore, it is related that some unnamed Christians, who served in the Persian army, approached the local bishops, asking for relics (Syr. burktā, lit. 'blessing') from the martyrs' bodies and that their request was granted. The text does not make explicit how exactly they were going to handle these relics, but it might be suggested that they were used as personal apotropaic amulets. It should be noted that no mention of the relics of Shimun and his fellow martyrs is found in the Martyrdom of Shimun bar Ṣabbae. Accordingly, their appearance in the History may reflect later, 5th century, religious practices and sensibilities.

Bibliography

Main editions and translations: Kmosko, M., “S. Simeon bar Sabba‘e,” in: Patrologia Syriaca (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1907), vol. 1.2, 659-1055. Braun, O., Ausgewählte Akten persischer Märtyrer (Bibliothek der Kirchenväter 22; München: Jos. Kösel, 1915). Scher, A., Kitāb sīrat ’ašhar šuhadā’ al-Mašriq al-qiddisīn. 2 vols (Mossoul: Imprimerie des pères dominicains, 1900-1906). Smith, K.R., The Martyrdom and History of Blessed Simeon bar Ṣabba‘e (Persian Martyr Acts in Syriac: Text and Translation 3; Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2014).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports