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E01344: The long version of the Greek Martyrdom of *Demetrios (martyr of Thessalonike S00761), of the 6th or 7th c., recounts the martyrdom of the nobleman Demetrios, and his companions *Nestor and Loupos (S00796). It also recounts miracles performed by the relics of Demetrios, and the foundation of his basilicas in Thessalonike (south Balkans/Greece) and Sirmium (middle Danube). Written in Thessalonike.

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posted on 04.05.2016, 00:00 by erizos
Martyrdom of Demetrios of Thessalonike (Passio Altera; BHG 497)

Summary

(1) After his victories over the Goths and Sauromatae, Maximian Herculius stays in Thessalonike, and Christians are persecuted. (2) Demetrios is a man of noble descent, senator, once exceptor (officer in the court of chancery), former proconsul of Greece, and consul. Yet he disdains earthly glory and teaches Christianity. (3) He preaches to the pagans in the basement of the Coppersmiths’ Portico (χαλκευτικὴ στοά /chalkeutike stoa), near a bath, west of the great forum of the city. As his fame grows, he is arrested, while performing the Christian rites together with the brethren. (4-5) Demetrios is taken to the emperor Maximian, who happened to be going to the stadium for a festival of gladiatorial games. Maximian has a favourite gladiator, Lyaios, who has defeated many in Rome, Sirmium, and Thessalonike. (5) When Maximian is near the stadium, Demetrios is brought to him and confesses being a Christian. (6) Demetrios speaks with freedom and his face shines. Maximian orders him to be kept in the basement of a nearby bath by the furnaces. While Demetrios is in his cell, a scorpion appears from the earth and threatens to bite the saint who kills it by the sign of the cross. An angel puts a crown on the saint’s head and encourages him. (7.) Maximian takes his place in the stadium, and invites people to fight with Lyaios, offering prizes. A young man called Nestor leaves the stadium and visits Demetrios in his prison cell, asking for his blessing before the games. Demetrios seals him by the sign of the cross, and predicts that Nestor will both win in the games and become a martyr. (8) Nestor appears at the stadium and demands to fight with Lyaios. Surprised, the emperor tries to discourage him, offering him to take the money and leave, sparing his own youth. (9) Nestor insists that he is not interested in money, but only in defeating Lyaios. (10) Nestor crosses his heart and invokes the help of the God of Demetrios by these words:

Ὁ θεὸς Δημητρίου τοῦ δούλου σου, καὶ ὁ ἠγαπημένος σου παῖς Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ὁ ὑποτάξας Γολιὰθ τὸν ἀλλόφυλον τῷ πιστῷ Δαυΐδ, αὐτὸς κατάβαλε τὸ θράσος τοῦ Λυαίου καὶ Μαξιμιανοῦ τοῦ τυράννου.

‘Oh God of Demetrios, your servant, and your beloved son Jesus Christ, you that subdued Goliath the alien to David the faithful, break the insolence of Lyaios and Maximianos the tyrant.’

He kills Lyaios in the first engagement of their fight, to the great consternation of Maximian. Nestor gives thanks to God for defeating the barbarian by the prayer of Demetrios. (11) Maximian enraged returns to the palace. Convinced that Nestor’s victory was the result of magic, he summons and interrogates him. Nestor confesses that his victory was the work of an angel sent by the God of Demetrios, the God of the Christians. Maximian condemns him, and he is decapitated near the main gate of Thessalonike by the protector Menoutianos. (12) Maximian is convinced by his officials that Demetrios is responsible for Lyaios’ defeat, and he orders his execution by spears at the place of his imprisonment by the furnaces of the bath. Demetrios‘ slave, Loupos, collects the martyr’s orarion [handkerchief or stole?] and ring, covered with his blood. (13) With them, he performs various cures, the fame of which reaches the emperor who has him executed. Loupos and a number of other Christians are executed at the tribunal of the city, with the emperor presiding in person. (14) The relic (λείψανον / leipsanon) of Demetrios is left on the spot by his executioners and is summarily buried there by the Christians during the night. Miracles and cures occur on the site, which gradually becomes famous throughout Macedonia and Thessaly. (15) In the times after the triumph of Christianity, the Praetorian Prefect Leontios, on his way to Dacia, falls ill and is transported by his people to the shrine of Demetrios, where he is immediately healed. Giving thanks, he has a church built for the martyr, between the bathhouse and the stadium. (16) Preparing to go to Illyricum, the Prefect wishes to take some of the saint’s relics, in order to build a church for him there, but Demetrios appears to him in a dream and deters him from proceeding with his plan. Instead, the prefect takes Demetrios’ blood-stained chlamys and part of the orarion, which he places in a silver coffin. During his trip, he is unable to cross the Danube. (17) In a dream, Demetrios advises him to take the reliquary and cross the river safely, which he does. He arrives at Sirmium where he builds a church, containing the reliquary, near the church of St Anastasia. Several miracles occur.

The last paragraphs read as following:

12 (……) Λοῦπος δέ, ὁ τοῦ ἁγίου Δημητρίου οἰκέτης, παρεστὼς αὐτῷ, λαβὼν τὸ ὀράριον τοῦ ἁγίου, ἐν αὐτῷ ἀνελέξατο τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ.

13. Ἀφελόμενος δὲ καὶ τὸ βασιλικὸν δακτύλιον, ὃ δὲ ἐφόρει ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦτο ἐγκλείσας ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ αἵματι, ἐπετέλει δι’ αὐτοῦ ἱάσεις· πάντας γὰρ τοὺς κατεχομένους ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ τοῖς ὑπὸ ἀκαθάρτων πνευμάτων βεβλαμμένους ἰᾶτο διὰ τῆς εὐχῆς καὶ ἐπισκιάσεως τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ τῆς ἐν τῷ δακτυλίῳ χάριτος ὡς διαδραμεῖν τὴν περὶ τούτου φήμην ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Θεσσαλονικέων πόλει. Μαθὼν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ πῶς ἰᾶται τοὺς κάμνοντας, ἐκέλευσε καὶ αὐτὸν ἀναιρεθῆναι ἐν τῷ τριβουναλίῳ τῆς πόλεως ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῶν βουλευμάτων, προκαθημένου αὐτοῦ, μετὰ καὶ ἄλλων τινῶν πεπιστευκότων τῷ Χριστῷ.

14. Τὸ δὲ πανάγιον Δημητρίου τοῦ ὁσίου λείψανον καταφρονηθὲν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνῃρηκότων, οἱ τῶν τότε δὴ ἀδελφῶν εύλαβέστεροι λαβόντες νύκτωρ διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ βασιλέως, καὶ ἐν αὐτοῖς οἷς ἔρριπτο χώμασιν διανειμάμενοι τῆς γῆς, ὅσον οἷόν τε ἦν, ἔκρυψαν, ἵνα μὴ παρά τινος τῶν αἱμοβόρων ζώων ὑπομείνῃ βλάβην. Οὐδενὶ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα φροντὶς ἐγένετο μετενεγκεῖν τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἁγίου, ἀλλ’ ἔμεινεν ἐπὶ σχήματος, σημείων τε πολλῶν καὶ ἰάσεων γενομένων ἐν τῷ τόπῳ, καὶ θείων χαρισμάτων φοιτώντων τοῖς πίστει προσερχομένοις ἐν αύτῷ, καὶ ὁσημέραι πάντων εὐφραινομένων ἐκεῖσε, περιβοήτου διὰ πάσης Μακεδονίας και Θετταλίας γινομένης τῆς τοῦ μάρτυρος θαυματουργοῦ ἐνεργείας.

15. Λοιπὸν δὲ καὶ τῆς τῶν εἰδώλων πλάνης καθαρθείσης, τῆς δὲ ζωοποιοῦ καὶ ἀμωμήτου τῶν Χριστιανῶν ὀρθοδόξου πίστεως λαμπρυνομένης, Λεόντιος δέ τις ἀνὴρ τοὺς ἐπαρχικοὺς τῶν Ἰλλυριῶν κατακοσμῶν θρόνους, ἀπερχόμενος ἐν τῇ Δακῶν χώρᾳ νόσῳ ἀνιάτῳ ληφθεὶς λεκτικίῳ ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκείων ἐν τῇ Θεσσαλονικέων ἀπηνέχθη πόλει, καὶ ἀνεκλήθη ἐν τῷ σεβασμίῳ σηκῷ, ἔνθα ἦν ὑπὸ γῆν κείμενον τοῦ ἁγίου τὸ λείψανον. Παραχρῆμα δὲ τοῦ κατακλιθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐπάνω τοῦ ἰαματοφόρου μνήματος εὐθέως τῆς ὑγείας ἐπέτυχεν, ὥστε θαυμάζειν αὐτόν τε καὶ τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν τὴν ταχίστην τοῦ μάρτυρος ἐπισκοπήν, καὶ χάριτας ὁμολογεῖν τῷ Θεῷ καὶ τῷ πανενδόξῳ μάρτυρι Δημητρίῳ· ὃς αὔτίκα κατὰ τὰς τῶν καμίνων καμάρας, ἅμα καὶ τοῦ τῶν θερμῶν ὑδάτων οἴκου καθελὼν καὶ περικαθάρας μετὰ τῶν ἐκεῖσε ὄντων δημοσίων ἐμβόλων καὶ προπίνων, ἀνήγειρεν πάνσεπτον οἶκον τῷ μάρτυρι, δαψιλείᾳ κατακοσμήσας χρειῶν μέσον τοῦ δημοσίου λουτροῦ καὶ τοῦ σταδίου.

16. Μέλλων δὲ ἀπέρχεσθαι ἐν τῷ Ἰλλυρικῷ ἤβουλήθη τινὰ τῶν λειψάνων λαβεῖν τοῦ μάρτυρος πρὸς τὸ κἀκεῖσε ναὸν αὐτῷ οἰκοδομῆσαι εἰς ὄνομα τοῦ ἁγίου· ᾧτινι ὁ πανένδοξος ἀθλοφόρος τοῦ Χριστοῦ Δημήτριος νυκτὸς ἐπιστὰς τοῦτον προελθεῖν διεκώλυσεν. Λαβὼν οὖν τὴν χλαμύδα αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐκ τῶν ἁγίων αἱμάτων πεφυρμένην καὶ μέρος τοῦ ὀραρίου, καὶ ποιήσας γλωσσόκομον ἀργύρεον, ἐν αὐτῷ άπέθετο. Ὁδοιποροῦντος δὲ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σφοδροῦ χειμῶνος γεγονότος, καὶ τοῦ Δανουβίου ποταμοῦ καχλάζοντος τῷ ῥεύματι, ὡς μηδὲ ναυσὶ πόρον τούτου ὑπάρχειν ἐπὶ ἱκανὰς ἡμέρας, μὴ ὑπολείποντος αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ’ εἴργοντος τὴν ἐπὶ τὸ πρόσω πορείαν, ἐν ἀθυμίᾳ ἐτύγχανεν ὁ ἔπαρχος.

17. Καὶ δὴ ἐώρα τὸν πανένδοξον Δημήτριον λέγοντα αὐτῷ, Πᾶσαν ἀπιστίαν καὶ ἀθυμίαν ἀπωσάμενος, λαβὼν ὅπρε ἐπιφέρεις, πάρελθε τὸν ποταμὸν ἀδιστάκτως. Ἔωθεν οὖν ἐπιβὰς τῷ ὀχήματι ἔχων ἐν χερσὶ τὴν τιμίαν σορόν, διῆλθεν ἀβλαβὴς τὸν ποταμόν, καὶ οὕτως ἀπελθών, ἐν τῷ Σερμίῳ ἀπέθετο τὴν ἁγίαν σορὸν μετὰ τοῦ ἐν αὐτῇ θησαυροῦ ἐν τῷ παρ’αὐτοῦ κτισθέντι ἐκεῖσε πανσέπτῳ ναῷ τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος Δημητρίου πλησίον τοῦ σεβασμίου οἴκου τῆς καλλινίκου μάρτυρος Ἀναστασίας. Πολλά τε θαύματα καὶ ἰάσεις ὁ Κύριος ἐποίησεν, ἔνθα διὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ τὸ ὄχημα καὶ τὰ ζῶα ἀνεπαύσαντο, xάριτι καὶ οἰκτιρμοῖς καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ᾧ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος νῦν καὶ ἀεί, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.

'12. (…) Now Loupos, the servant of Saint Demetrios, who was with him, took the handkerchief (orarion) of the saint and collected his blood in it.

13. And he removed also the royal ring which he was wearing on his hand, and having covered it with the holy blood, he performed healings with it. For, by the prayer and intervention of the saint, and by the grace lying in the ring, he healed all those befallen by various maladies and those afflicted by impure spirits, so that his fame went throughout the whole city of Thessalonike. When the emperor heard about him and about how he healed the afflicted, he ordered that he be killed at the tribunal of the city on the day of verdicts, together with some others believing in Christ, while he himself was presiding.

14. As for the most holy relic of the hallowed Demetrios, which had been disdained by his murderers, the most pious of our brethren of the time took it during the night, for fear of the emperor, and buried it, as well as they could, in that same ground onto which it had been thrown, throwing earth all over it, so that it might not be damaged by any of the sanguivorous beasts. After that, no one bothered to remove the body of the saint, but it remained on the spot. Since many prodigies and healings were taking place on the site and divine graces were coming onto those entering it with faith, gradually everyone had the pleasure of going there, and the miraculous power of the martyr became famous through all of Macedonia and Thessaly.

15. Later, when the error of the idols was cleansed away and the life-givin

History

Evidence ID

E01344

Saint Name

Demetrios, martyr in Thessalonike, ob. 304-311 : S00761 Demetrius, martyred deacon of Sirmium : S00697 Anastasia, martyr in Sirmium (Illyricum, modern Serbia), c. 302-305 : S00602 Loupos, martyr in Thessalonike, ob. 304-311 : S00796

Saint Name in Source

Δημήτριος Άναστασία Λοῦπος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

304

Activity not after

800

Place of Evidence - Region

Balkans including Greece

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Thessalonike

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

Thessalonike Drizypera Δριζύπερα Drizypera Büyük Karıştıran

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle at martyrdom and death Miracles experienced by the saint Miraculous power through intermediary Healing diseases and disabilities Miraculous protection - of people and their property Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Miraculous behaviour of relics/images Saint aiding or preventing the translation of relics Exorcism

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Pagans Officials

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Bodily relic - blood Contact relic - saint’s possession and clothes Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Reliquary – institutionally owned Privately owned relics Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries Other activities with relics

Source

The long version (passio altera) of the Martyrdom of Demetrios of Thessalonike is thought to be later than the shorter passio prima (E01343). It prevailed as the most popular version of the hagiography of the saint in the Byzantine period. It is preserved in 56 manuscripts, dating from the 9th to the 16th centuries, on which, see: http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/15314/ An edition of the text can be found in: Migne, Patrologia Graeca 116, 1167-1171. There is also a metaphrastic paraphrase of the same text, published in: PG 116, 1185-1202.

Discussion

The Martyrdom of Demetrios of Thessalonike is the most important textual source for the establishment of his cult. It is most likely that the saint’s hagiography was produced by the clergy of his shrine in Thessalonike. Both recensions predate the 9th century, when they appear in manuscripts. The shorter passio prima is generally thought to be earlier: in the 9th century, it was summarised by Photius (Bibliotheca 255), and was translated into Latin by Anastasius Bibliothecarius (AASS Oct. 8-9, vol. 4, p. 87-89; PL 129, 715-717; Bauer 2013, 318-320). The more extensive and elaborate passio altera is thought to be later (Bauer 2013, 27-39). The passio prima provides very few indications for its date. The passio altera contains several elements pointing to Late Antiquity, such as Latin administrative and other terms and knowledge of the geography of late antique Illyricum. Both texts are likely to have been produced before the late seventh century. The origins of the cult With regard to the establishment of the cult of Demetrios, both of his passiones report that it acquired a public and official form after the building of his basilica. Thus the starting point for the introduction of the saint’s feast into the calendar of the local and universal Church must be the construction of his shrine which does not pre-date the 5th century (see E00). There is currently no evidence to suggest that the fourth-century Church of Thessalonike had a feast for him. According to our texts, the cult of Demetrios of Thessalonike owed its establishment to an initiative of a Pretorian Prefect of Illyricum. The saint’s close association with the Praetorian Prefecture and its elite is indicated by his aristocratic profile in the passio altera which ascribes to him a senatorial cursus honorum: he was a peridoxos/vir clarissimus, senator, exceptor, proconsul of Greece, and finally consul (§ 2). In other words, his profile was shaped in the image and likeness of the imperial elite. This aristocratic outlook is absent in the passio prima, but stressed in the passio altera and the two first collections of the saint's collection of Miracles (E00). Since the Praetorian Prefecture of Illyricum was based at Sirmium before being moved to Thessalonike in 395, and the cult of a deacon named Demetrius is attested in Sirmium in the 4th century, it has been suggested that the cult was transferred from Pannonia to Macedonia, following the move of the Prefecture (Lucius 1904, 227-228; Delehaye 1909, 108; Vickers 1974; Zeiller 1918, 81-83; Toth 2010; Bauer 2013, 27-37). On Demetrius of Sirmium, see E01095. The profile of the saint of Thessalonike appears to have been very different from that of the martyr of Sirmium, and their festivals were celebrated on different dates (Demetrius of Sirmium on 9 April, of Thessalonike on 26 October). Nevertheless, it seems that the two saints were thought to be the same figure, as suggested by a note at the end of the passio altera, which claims that the Praetorian Prefect Leontius founded basilicas for the saint at both Thessalonike and Sirmium. There has been a controversy among scholars as to whether this episode echoes the transfer of the Prefecture from Sirmium to Thessalonike, or if it can be relied upon for what it claims. Even if the cult was transferred from Sirmium, this is not reflected in any clear way in the narrative of the martyrdom account. The text appears to be a compilation of different martyrdom stories, combined into one piece of hagiography. Demetrios’ martyrdom story unfolds in the backstage: the martyr is arrested and imprisoned in the vaults of the neighbouring bathhouse, while the Christian courage of Nestor triumphs over the pagan arrogance of Lyaios and the tyranny of Maximian in the arena; Demetrios is summarily executed after being calumniated by Maximian’s advisors. The main body of the narrative centres on the account of a festival of athletic and gladiatorial games (ludi), where the emperor’s favourite gladiator, Lyaios, is unexpectedly defeated by a young man called Nestor. It is possible that the story may preserve the memory of the main festival of late Roman Thessalonike, the sacred Pythian Games, which was a feast of the imperial cult and the tutelary deity of the city, Cabirus. Epigraphic evidence suggests that it was celebrated in late September at least since the AD 240s (Nigdelis, P. M. "Ο Νέστωρ, Ο Λυαίος Και Τα Πύθια. Ο Βίος Του Αγίου Δημητρίου Υπό Το Φως Των Νέων Επιγραφικών Ευρημάτων." In Κερμάτια Φιλίας. Τιμητικός Τόμος Για Τον Ιωάννη Τουράτσογλου, 151-59. Athens, 2009). According to Ernst Lucius, the cult of Demetrios adopted aspects of that of Cabirus (Lucius 1904, 227-228). This view has not been widely accepted (see Spieser 2015). This narrative is substantially augmented in the passio altera, expanding on the role of Demetrios in helping Nestor by his prayers, making Nestor a martyr, and adding a narrative about Demetrios’ servant, Loupos. The references to the martyrdoms of Nestor and Loupos probably attest to the gradual development of the cult, with the addition of other figures and the incorporation of other hagiographical accounts into the story of the main martyr. The text contains references to the sites of the martyrdom of Nestor (by the city gate) and Loupos (at the ‘tribunal’), perhaps suggesting that there were shrines dedicated to them. The shrine and the relics of Demetrios Both passiones suggest that the cult of Demetrios of Thessalonike owed its establishment to an initiative of the Pretorian Prefect of Illyricum Leontios who built the basilica of Demetrios. The passio altera presents the event as a votive act, following the miraculous healing of the prefect. The two texts report that prior to that point the cult was practiced in informal conditions, in a building half buried in debris and surrounded by the structures of a public bath, a stadium, and a colonnaded street with shops/taverns. The main purpose of the account seems to be to legitimise the cult of Demetrios on that particular site, by claiming that the body was buried in the ground. From both literary and archaeological sources, it is deduced that the cult of Demetrios probably involved no veneration of a tomb or corporeal relics until the Middle Byzantine period. His basilica was believed to be standing over the burial of the saint, but the precise whereabouts of that burial was unknown. The cult consisted of the veneration of a holy site rather than a body or tomb. The account of the passio altera about the saint preventing the removal of his relics affirms that the relics were there, even though they were completely inaccessible. Particularly notable is the emphasis of the passio altera on secondary relics, with its references to the blood-covered ring, chlamys and orarion of Demetrios, which are not present in the shorter recension (passio prima). The nature of these relics (chlamys and ‘royal’ ring) seems to point to the aristocratic character the saint and his cult gradually acquired. The story about the miraculous cures performed by the Demetrios’ ring is a notable motif (topos) appearing in a number of early hagiographical accounts, notably the African Martyrdom of *Perpetua and *Felicitas (E01668), the Thessalonian Martyrdom of Theodoulos and Agathopous (BHG 1784, E00), and Prodentius’ account of Emeterius and Chelidonius of Calagurris (E00762). The so-called orarion is also interesting: in Byzantine times, the word referred to a deacon’s stole, and therefore some scholars believe that this relic may echo the connection between the Thessalonian Demetrios and the homonymous deacon martyr of Sirmium (S00697). It is, however, not clear if the word orarion had acquired the narrow meaning of a vestment in Late Antiquity, or if it is used in its original early Roman meaning as a handkerchief or scarf. A crucial aspect of the narrative is the note of the passio altera about the journey of the Prefect Leontios to Dacia and the foundation of the basilica at Sirmium, which are absent in the passio prima. The historical interpretation of this passage has been a matter of dispute. Sirmium had a martyr called Demetrius, whose cult and shrine were probably much earlier than those of Demetrios of Thessalonike. Many scholars read this episode as actually echoing the transfer of the cult from Sirmium to Thessalonike. Others prefer a more literal reading, believing that the account reflects the introduction of the cult of Demetrios of Thessalonike to Sirmium (for a survey of the various theories, see Toth 2010). The archaeologist Voislav Popović associated this narrative with the building of an early 5th-century basilica he excavated in the centre of ancient Sirmium (Popović 1987, 95–139). In any case, this note probably reflects a moment when the shrine of Thessalonike became aware of the cult of another martyr Demetrius at Sirmium. It is remarkable that the two saints were regarded as the same figure, perhaps confirming the existence of a connection between them (as argued by Toth 2010, 166-169). At which point the encounter of the two cults took place, however, is unknown. The likeliest context would be the Byzantine occupation of Sirmium in 567-582. The reference to the vicinity of the basilica of Demetrius to the shrine of *Anastasia at Sirmium reveals knowledge of the topography of Sirmium, and provides an attestation of the functioning of these two shrines in the Pannonian city.

Bibliography

Text: Migne, J.-P., Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graeca 116 (Paris: Imprimerie Catholique, 1864), 1167-1171. Further reading: Bauer, F.A. Eine Stadt und ihr Patron. Thessaloniki und der heilige Demetrios (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2013). Lucius, E., Die Anfänge des Heiligenkults in der christlichen Kirche (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1904). Popović, V., „Die süddanubischen Provinzen in der Spätantike vom Ende des 4. bis zur Mitte des 5. Jahrhunderts.“ in: B. Hänsel (ed.), Die Völker Südosteuropa-s im 6. bis 8. Jahrhundert (Südosteuropa Jahrbuch 17; Berlin, 1987), 95–139. Rizos, E., "Martyrs from the Northwestern Balkans in the Byzantine Greek Ecclesiastical Tradition: Patterns and Mechanisms of Cult Transfer," in: I. Bugarski, O. Heinrich-Tamaska, D. Syrbe, and V. Ivanisević (eds.), GrenzÜbergänge – „Spätrömisch“, „frühchristlich“, „frühbyzantinisch“ als Kategorien der historisch-archäologischen Forschung an der mittleren Donau (4.-8. Jh. n. Chr.) (Forschungen zu Spätantike und Frühmittelalter 4; Remshalden, 2017), 195-213. Skedros, J., Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki: Civic Patron and Divine Protector, 4th-7th centuries CE (Harrisburg: Trinity Press, 1999). Spieser, J. M., "Le culte de Saint Démétrius à Théssalonique," in: J.-P. Caillet et al. (eds.), Des dieux civiques aux saints patrons (IV-VII siècle) (Paris, 2015), 275-291. Toth, P., "Sirmian martyrs in exile: Pannonian case studies and a re-evaluation of the St. Demetrius Problem," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 103:1 (2010), 145-170. Vickers, M., "Sirmium or Thessaloniki? A Critical Examination of the St. Demetrius Legend," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 67 (1974), 337-350. Walter, C., The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003). Zeiller, J., Les origines chrétiennes dans les provinces danubiennes de l’Empire Romain (Paris, 1918).

Continued Description

g and blameless orthodox faith of the Christians was exalted, a certain man called Leontios who graced the prefectural throne of Illyricum was possessed by an incurable illness, while travelling to the land of Dacia. Carried on a stretcher, he was taken by his people to the city of Thessalonike, and was put to rest at the venerable shrine where the relic of the saint lay in the ground. No sooner had he been placed onto the healing tomb than he was granted health, so that both he and all the people around him were amazed at the swift visitation of the saint, and proclaimed their gratitude to God and the most glorious martyr Demetrios. He immediately demolished and cleared the vaults of the furnaces and the house of hot water, together with the public colonnades and taverns of the site, and erected a most venerable house for the martyr between the public bath and the stadium, which he endowed with a generous amount of revenue.16. Now, planning to leave for Illyricum, he wished to take some of the relics of the martyr, in order to build also there a temple in the name of the saint. But the most glorious champion of Christ Demetrios appeared to him at night and deterred him from proceeding. He thus took his chlamys, which was covered with the holy blood, and a part of the orarion [handkerchief or stole?], and he made a silver casket (glossokomon) and placed them into it. On his way, severe winter broke out, and, the river Danube rumbled with strong current, so that its crossing was impossible even by boat for several days. And, as it was not calming down, but blocked the continuation of the journey, the Prefect was in distress.17. But then he saw the most glorious Demetrios telling him: “Give up all incredulity and distress, take up what you are carrying, and cross the river without hesitating!” So, at dusk, he got onto his vehicle holding in his hands the precious coffin (soros), and crossed the river in safety. Thus he arrived at Sirmium and placed the holy coffin with the treasure it contained at the most holy temple of the holy martyr Demetrios, which he built there, by the venerable house of the rightly victorious martyr Anastasia. And the Lord also performed many miracles and healings at every part of the journey where the vehicle and the animals stopped. By the grace and mercy and love for mankind of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and power now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.’Text: Migne 1864. Summary and translation: Efthymios Rizos.

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