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E01840: Coptic fragment with the beginning of the Martyrdom of *Ignatios Theophoros (bishop of Antioch and martyr of Rome, S00649), giving his feast day as 1 July; composed most likely during the 5th–7th century.

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posted on 09.09.2016, 00:00 by gschenke
K 07588

The short fragment starts with Ignatios of Antioch being taken to Rome where he is being watched by ten imperial guards whose individual names are listed. It gives the date of his martyrdom in Rome as the 7th of Epeiph (1 July).

ⲧⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲁ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲅⲛⲁⲧⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲑⲉⲟⲫⲟⲣⲟⲥ · ⲉⲧⲉ ⲡⲉⲧⲫⲟⲛ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲡⲉ ·
ⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥⲣ ⲁⲣⲭⲏⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲁⲛⲧⲓⲟⲭⲓⲁ ⲙⲛⲛⲥⲁ ⲡⲧⲁϣⲉⲟⲓϣ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ·
ⲛⲧⲁϥϫⲉⲕ ⲧⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲁ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ϩⲣⲱⲙⲏ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ⲥⲁϣϥ ⲛⲉⲡⲏⲡ · ϩⲓ ⲧⲣⲁⲓⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ·

‘The martyrdom of saint Ignatios, the God-bearer’ – which means the one who pours forth God – he who was archbishop at Antioch after the appointment of the Apostles. He fulfilled his martyrdom in Rome on the 7th day of Epeiph under the emperor Trajan.’

Transcript made from online image and translated Gesa Schenke.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, martyred in Rome ob. 98/117 : S00649

Saint Name in Source

ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲅⲛⲁⲧⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲑⲉⲟⲫⲟⲣⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom



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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



The parchment fragment K 07588 is kept in the Papyrus Collection of the Austrian Library in Vienna, datable by script to the 9th century. For publication details, dating, size and images of the parchment fragment visit:


This Coptic version of the Martyrdom of Ignatius contains an explanation of the Greek term θεοφόρος ('God-bearer') for the Egyptian audience. When the translation of this text (which was presumably originally Greek) was produced cannot be specified. Various different dates for his feast day are mentioned in the sources. While the Syriac tradition, recorded in the 411 Syriac Martyrology, celebrates him on 17 October (see E01569), the modern Eastern and Coptic Orthodox Church observe it on 20 December (24th of Choiak). But there are also other days recorded, see E00990: 25 December, and E01856: 25 June, in addition to the record here for 1 July. The 11th/12th century Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria records two different feast days, having created two bishops named Ignatius. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, martyred in Rome under Trajan, 24th of Choiak (20 December), appears there next to another Ignatius, bishop of Rome, martyred under Hadrian, 7th of Epeiph (1 July).


German translation: Till, W.C., Koptische Heiligen- und Martyrlegenden. Vol. 1 (Rome: Pont. institutum orientalium studiorum, 1935), 19–20. Further reading O'Leary, De L., Saints of Egypt (London: SPCK, 1937), 157.

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