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E02490: The Martyrdom of *Eugenia (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00401) and Companions is written in Latin. Original version 5th or 6th c.; later version from before late 7th c. It narrates the conversion and disguised life as an abbot of the noble Roman Eugenia; the conversion and martyrdom of her father Philippus; of the conversion and eventual martyrdom of Basilla (martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00684), the niece of the emperor Gallienus; and of the eventual martyrdom of Eugenia and her eunuch companions, *Protus and Hyacinthus (martyrs of Rome, S00464). Eugenia is said to be buried on the Via Latina.

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posted on 08.03.2017, 00:00 by Bryan
Martyrdom of Eugenia (BHL 2667 and BHL 2666)

Summary:

BHL 2667
Eugenia is the daughter of a patrician Roman, Philippus, and his wife Claudia, who also have two sons, Avitus and Sergius. Late in the reign of the emperor Commodus, in the emperor's seventh consulship, the family moves from Rome to Alexandria in Egypt, where Philippus has been appointed prefect.

There Eugenia matures not only as a beauty but also as a brilliant student of classical literature and philosophy. At age sixteen, however, preferring chastity to a society wedding, and inspired to become a secret Christian by reading the Acts of Paul and Thecla, Eugenia gets parental permission to take a country trip with her eunuch slaves (and fellow students), Protus and Hyacinthus, ostensibly for recreation but in fact to seek out further Christian teaching. While rereading and discussing Thecla’s story during their journey, the three encounter a procession of psalm-singing Christians, and Eugenia determines to join their community.

To ensure she is not separated from her companions, she has them cut her hair short, and she dons men’s clothing. Giving their retinue the slip, the three enter the nearby monastery, which is governed by a saintly bishop, Helenus. He is famed for a miracle of carrying burning coals in his cloak as a child, and more recently as the vanquisher, in a more dramatic ordeal by fire, of a smooth-tongued magus, Zereas, who sought to undermine the people’s faith in the scriptures. Eugenia introduces herself to Helenus as Eugenius, the brother of her two companions. Helenus, clairvoyantly, sees through Eugenia’s disguise; he commends her manly courage, agrees to admit the three companions to his community, supervises their instruction and baptises them personally, while keeping Eugenia’s true identity and gender secret.

Meanwhile her family is grief-stricken at her disappearance (her litter having arrived home empty) and her father eventually sets up a golden statue of his lost daughter, believing that she has been taken up by the gods. As for Eugenius/Eugenia, he/she so impresses the other monks with her piety and learning that three years later she is elected to succeed the deceased abbot; her saintliness then further manifests itself in her humility as abbot, her monastic discipline and her healing powers.

All goes well until a wealthy widow, Melantia, whom Eugenia has cured of a fever, falls in love with what she thinks is her handsome young physician and beseeches ‘him’ to give up his ascetic life in favour of the God-given worldly comforts and pleasures of life with Melantia. Eugenia tries to convince Melantia that worldly pleasures are illusory and fatal to the soul, but when the amorous widow becomes physically demonstrative in her desire for Eugenia, the latter is forced to repulse and rebuke her wooer in harsh terms as a ‘daughter of darkness’ (the Greek word melania means ‘blackness’) and ‘friend of the devil’.

The embarrassed, angry woman, fearing Eugenia may denounce her publicly, decides on a pre-emptive strike, rushes to the prefect Philippus in Alexandria and formally accuses her former physician of attempted rape, whereupon the saintly abbot and all her monks are arrested and jailed. At a public trial before the prefect Philippus in the amphitheatre, where Eugenia and her monks are to be executed by ‘the bites of the wild beasts’, Eugenia exonerates herself by first explaining that just as the 'activity of the Christian mind in loving God is manly' (viriliter in amore dei agit animus christianus) so she has ‘performed' the perfect man (virum gessi perfectum) by dressing as a male and preserving her virginity for Christ. She then dramatically rips her tunic from the top down, uncovering her face and breast (scidit tunicam a capite) to reveal her womanly identity as the daughter of the prefect.

A joyful family reunion ensues (while Melantia and her estate are consumed by fire from heaven); Eugenia’s father, mother and brothers are converted to Christ; the churches of Egypt are reopened after being closed for eight years, and Philippus is soon elected bishop of Alexandria, even while still prefect. Some die-hard Alexandrian pagans, however, complain to the emperors, who eventually dispatch a replacement prefect, Perennius, with orders to eliminate Philippus.

A year and three months after becoming bishop, he is assassinated by the new prefect’s agents in church. After burying him near their charitable foundations in Nitria, Eugenia and her mother and brothers return to Rome, where the Senate appoints Eugenia's brothers Avitus proconsul of Carthage and Sergius vicar of Africa! Their sister and mother busy themselves with quietly preaching Christianity and virginity to the virgins and matrons of Rome; Eugenia befriends a certain Basilla, niece of the emperor Gallienus, and sends Protus and Hyacinthus to her as a gift, ostensibly as slaves so as not to arouse suspicion, but actually as Basilla’s tutors in Christianity prior to her baptism by the bishop of Rome, identified here as Soter.

Basilla’s conversion is said to have occurred shortly before the great persecution under the emperors Valerian and Gallienus [of 258-260]. Bishop Cyprian of Carthage is martyred, and, although influential supporters protect Bishop Soter, both Basilla and Eugenia foresee each other’s coming martyrdom. Eugenia announces to her community of Roman maidens that 'the time for the grape harvest has come' (Ecce! Vindemiae tempus est) and makes a farewell address to them in praise of virginity, contempt of worldly things (contemptus mundi), and heavenly rewards.

Basilla’s conversion to Christianity and virginity naturally upsets her patrician fiancé, Pompeius, who is apprised of it by a treacherous housemaid. He sends a posse of Roman matrons to Basilla to bring her to her senses but they are themselves converted by her preaching on virginity and on the life of Christ, whereupon Pompeius angrily complains to the emperor that the future of the Roman family and state is being imperilled by such pernicious ideas, with the result that Basilla, again refusing to marry Pompeius or recant her faith, is executed in her own home by imperial command. Martyred also are her catechism tutors, Protus and Hyacinthus, when they reject a sacrifice to Jupiter.

Eventually Eugenia too is arrested. After refusing to sacrifice to the goddess Diana (whose statue she destroys by prayer), she survives attempts to drown her in the Tiber and to burn her to death in the furnace of the imperial baths (Eugenia’s mere presence permanently disables the heating system!). After ten days in prison (where she is fed and comforted by Christ himself), she is executed in her cell on Christmas Day, appearing later to her mother, Claudia, in a joyful vision at her tomb. After the peaceful death of Claudia the following Sunday (she is buried next to Eugenia on the via Latina), the two brothers, Avitus and Sergius, convert many pagans to Christianity before they too 'left this light for the kingdoms of the stars' (de hac luce ad syderea regna migrarunt).

Text: Mombritius 1910, II, 391-397. Summary: Whatley 2012, 109-111, adapted by M. Pignot.


BHL 2666
§ 1: In the seventh consulship of Commodus, the emperor sends Philippus to Alexandria as prefect of Egypt. His wife Claudia, his sons Avitus and Sergius, and his daughter Eugenia accompany him from Rome. Among his tasks is religious policy, as he fights against magic and restricts freedom of worship for Jews and Christians.

§ 2: Eugenia is well educated in Greek and Latin eloquence, as well as in philosophy. She is clever, with a capacious memory, so that she remembers everything she hears and reads. She is also beautiful of face and elegant in body; but yet more beautiful in mind and better formed in chastity. Hence, in her fifteenth year, she is asked to marry Aquilius, son of the consul Aquilius. Asked about this by her father, she responds that marriage is death. Meanwhile she begins to read the teachings of Paul, and so begins her conversion to Christianity.

§ 3: As the Christians are ordered to quit Alexandria, Eugenia asks for permission to go to the family’s estates outside the city. On her way she hears the Christians chant: ‘All the gods of the peoples are demons, but our God made the heavens’ [Psalm 96:5]. Hearing this, Eugenia appeals to her eunuchs Protus and Hyacinthus, who are well educated like her. She recalls their knowledge of the vain philosophers Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Socrates and the Stoics. She asks them to compare that wisdom with what the Christians are singing; they should therefore read the prophets and philosophers. She would rather be their sister in wisdom than their mistress. Therefore she orders that they all go off to the Christians, since Eugenia has heard of the bishop (episcopus) Helenus, who is very busy, and of the priest (presbyter) Theodorus, who has performed healing and exorcism miracles. Since women are not accepted in the community she will shave her head. They are to carry her in a litter.

§ 4: Christ’s grace is with them: they go to the monastery (monasterium) and see Helenus, bishop of Heliopolis, himself arriving with a crowd of ten thousand men chanting (as is the custom in Egypt): ‘The way of the just is made right, and the journey of the saints is prepared.’ Eugenia asks Protus and Hyacinthus to consider the force of this argument, and recalls the previous chanting of the psalm. Eugenia says they should join this happy throng.

§ 5: They join the Christians and ask who is the elder, sitting alone on a cart drawn by an ass. They hear that this is Helenus himself, who grew up in a monastery. He has performed many wonders: as a child he carried burning coals in his cloak without being hurt. Recently, the magician Zareas came and sought to seduce the p

History

Evidence ID

E02490

Saint Name

Eugenia, martyr at Rome, c. 257-260 : S00401 Protus and Hyacinthus, martyrs in Rome, ob. c. 257 : S00464 Basilissa/Basilla, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus : S00684

Saint Name in Source

Eugenia Protus et Hyacinthus Basilla

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

415

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

192

Activity not after

268

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region Egypt and Cyrenaica

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

Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Procession

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Magic

Cult Activities - Miracles

Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Punishing miracle Miracle during lifetime Miracles experienced by the saint Healing diseases and disabilities Exorcism Material support (supply of food, water, drink, money) Miraculous sound, smell, light

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Aristocrats Officials Eunuchs Slaves/ servants Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - bishops Family Monarchs and their family Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

Source

Epic martyrdoms The Martyrdom of Eugenia is an anonymous literary account of martyrdom written long after the great persecutions of Christians that provide the background of the narrative. It is part of a widely spread literary genre, that scholars often designate as "epic" Martyrdoms (or Passiones), to be distinguished from earlier, short and more plausible accounts, apparently based on the genuine transcripts of the judicial proceedings against the martyrs. These texts narrate the martyrdom of local saints, either to promote a new cult or to give further impulse to existing devotion. They follow widespread stereotypes mirroring the early authentic trials of martyrs, but with a much greater degree of detail and in a novel-like style. Thus they narrate how the protagonists are repeatedly questioned and tortured under the order of officials or monarchs, because they refuse to sacrifice to pagan gods but profess the Christian faith. They frequently refer to miracles performed by the martyrs and recreate dialogues between the protagonists. The narrative generally ends with the death of the martyrs (often by beheading) and their burial. These texts are literary creations bearing a degree of freedom in the narration of supposedly historical events, often displaying clear signs of anachronism. For these reasons, they have been generally dismissed as historical evidence and often remain little known. However, since most certainly date from within the period circa 400-800, often providing unique references to cult, they are an essential source to shed new light on the rise of the cult of saints. The Martyrdom of Eugenia There are two main versions of our Martyrdom, BHL 2666 and BHL 2667. Delehaye 1936, 175-178, first showed that BHL 2667 is the original version, while BHL 2666 is a later, though still late antique, reworking of it, meant mainly to correct its style and mistakes in chronology, and adding new concerns over monasticism, orthodoxy, and the relation between secular and Christian learning. Moreover, Whatley recently identified two recensions of BHL 2667, that he called Alpha and Beta, the former being the rarest and earliest, and the latter a somewhat abbreviated form of it. Moreover, there are a number of other variant versions, in particular hybrid versions interpolating passages from either of the main versions into the other, as well as later summaries (see for more details: Whatley 2008; Lanéry 2010, 130-134; Whatley 2011). More than 70 manuscripts of BHL 2666 and more than 30 manuscripts of BHL 2667 have been preserved, the earliest from the 8th and 9th centuries. The following list, prepared by E. Gordon Whatley (3 April 2017) and kindly shared with us, offers an overview of manuscripts written before the 11th century, with particular attention to the various versions: BHL 2667 (version M): Montpellier, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire, Section de Médecine, H 55, f. 143v-145r only (then switches to version R: see below) Brussels, Boll. 14 (9th c.), f. 141v-144v Vienna, ÖNB, Palatinus 550 (9th c.), f. 59r-79r St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 577 (9th–10th c.), f. 515a-534a Paris, BNF, lat. 5310 (10th c.), f. 170r-179v BHL 2666 (version R): Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek, M.p.Th.Q. 28A (second half of 8th c.), f. 37r-63r (acephalous) Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale, D.V.3 (end of 8th c.), f. 193r-208r [see edition: Whatley 2014, 681-703] Vienna, ÖNB, Ser. nov. 3748 (fragment, end of 8th c.), f. 1r-2v Montpellier, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire, Section de Médecine, H 55, (beginning of 9th c.), f. 145r-151r (also see above, under version M) Vienna, ÖNB, Palatinus 357 (10th c.), f. 207r-218r Paris, BNF, lat. 10862 (10th c.), f. 62v-83r London, BL, Egerton 2797 (10th c.), f. 60r-73r “Mixta” texts based on R (R texts with some passages adapted from M) BHL 2666c: Munich, BSB, clm 4585 (9th c.), f. 32v-51r --- Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 5771 (9th–10th c.), f. 307v-316v --- Kremsmünster, Stiftsbibliothek, 34 (10th c.), f. 14v-27v Hybrids of R and M (R texts with substantial passages restored from M) London, BL, Add. 25600 (10th c.), f. 52r-66r: Fábrega Grau, A., (ed.), Pasionario hispánico 2 (Barcelona, 1955), 83-98 [misleadingly identified as 2666m, BHL Novum Supplementum, 1986, 304; a later copy of the same version, in Hereford, Cathedral Library, P.VII.6 (13th c.), is misidentifed as BHL 2667d (ibid.)]. Paris, BNF, Nouv. Acq. lat. 2180 (10th c.), f. 44r-56v Brussels, KBR, 7984 (3191) (10th c.), f. 1v-14r Luzern, Staatsarchiv, Stiftsarchiv St. Leodegar, Schachtel no. 96 (fragment, 8th c.), p.4 Copenhagen, KB, GKS 170 (10th c.), f. 99v-115r For lists of later manuscripts, see Lanéry 2010, 132 n. 275; Whatley 2008; Whatley 2011, esp. 37-40. Lanéry identifies and corrects numerous mistakes in the lists of manuscripts given in the database at bhlms.fltr.ucl.ac.be. The Martyrdom was originally written in Latin, but various versions of it have been translated into Greek (BHG 607w-608b), Syriac (BHO 282), Armenian (BHO 281) and Ethiopian (BHO 283-284), see Delehaye 1936, 178-182; Lanéry 2010, 130; Whatley 2011, 37 n. 19.

Discussion

The Martyrdom provides evidence for Eugenia’s burial in Rome on the via Latina, thus corroborating other early sources (see S00401). It also connects her to Protus and Hyacintus, Basilla and Claudia, for whom no details about burial are here provided, except for Claudia (in BHL 2667 only) who is said to be buried next to Eugenia. More information on other evidence for cult of all these characters is provided in Delehaye 1931 on 11 September, 22 September and 25 December, and in Lapidge. According to Whatley 2011, 37-38, BHL 2667 was composed between the early 5th and early 6th century, more precisely after Rufinus' Historia monachorum (AD 404) and Pelagius’ Ad Demetriadem (c. AD 414), which our Martyrdom employed, and before Avitus’ Carmina 6.3 (EXXXX) written c. 503, and the Regula Magistri (written in its extant form by the mid 6th century), both sources borrowing from it. It remains uncertain however, which of the two versions was read by Avitus, though Whatley makes a case for BHL 2667. Lanéry 2010, 134-135, adds that BHL 2667 perhaps used Jerome’s word-play about Melania in Ep. 133.3 (from 415) for its negative description of Melancia. Moreover, for Lanéry, BHL 2667 would have borrowed from the Martyrdom of Nereus and Achilleus (E02033), which she dates to the second half of the 5th century: the narrative of two eunuchs converting the niece of the emperor, the martyrdom of the latter, and her ownership of a cemetery where the martyrs were known to be buried at the time of writing. She therefore suggests that BHL 2667 was not written before the second half of the 5th century. BHL 2666 was composed at some point after BHL 2667, but certainly before the late 7th century when it was used by Aldhelm ($06582 and E06659). It also could have borrowed passages from the Martyrdom of Agnes (E02475). Basilla, the niece of Gallienus, converted by Protus and Hyacinthus, was, when our Martyrdom was written, certainly believed to be the martyr Basilla buried on the via Salaria vetus (S00684), since her grave there, in the same cemetery as Protus and Hyacinthus, is attested in all the seventh-century itineraries. Given the inventiveness of hagiographers, this is not a problem, but we can note that Basilla of the Salaria vetus is recorded in an exceptionally early source (the Depositio Martirum of 354, E01052) as having been martyred in 304, while our text attributes her death to the mid-third century.

Bibliography

Editions: E.G. Whatley is preparing the first critical edition of both BHL 2666 and BHL 2667. BHL 2666: Rosweyde, H., Vitae Patrum (Antwerp, 1615), 340-349; reprinted in Patrologia Latina 21, 1105-1122, and Patrologia Latina 73, 605-624. BHL 2667: Mombritius, B., Sanctuarium seu vitae sanctorum, 2 vols. with additions and corrections by A. Brunet and H. Quentin (Paris, 1910), II, 391-397 (the original edition was published c. 1480). Translation (BHL 2667): Lapidge, M., The Roman Martyrs: Introduction, Translations, and Commentary (Oxford, 2018), 233-249. Further reading: Acta Sanctorum, Nov. II: Pars posterior qua continetur Hippolyti Delehaye Commentarius perpetuus in Martyrologium Hieronymianum ad recensionem Henrici Quentin O. S. B. (Brussels, 1931): 11 September, 22 September, 25 December. Delehaye, H., Étude sur le Légendier Romain. Les saints de Novembre et de Décembre (Brussels, 1936), 171-186. Lanéry, C., "Hagiographie d'Italie (300-550). I. Les Passions latines composées en Italie”, in: Philippart, G. (ed.), Hagiographies. Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, vol. V (Turnhout, 2010), 15-369, at 126-138 (bibliography at 137-138). Lapidge, M., The Roman Martyrs: Introduction, Translations, and Commentary (Oxford, 2018), 228-232. Whatley, E.G., “Eugenia Before Aelfric: A Preliminary Report on the Transmission of an Early Medieval Legend,” in: Blanton, V., and Scheck, H. (eds.), Intertexts: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Culture Presented to Paul E. Szarmach (Tempe AZ, 2008), 349-368. Whatley, E.G., “Textual Hybrids in the Transmission of the “Passio S. Eugeniae” (BHL 2666, 2667),” Hagiographica 18 (2011), 31-66. Whatley, E.G., “More than a Female Joseph: The Sources of the Late-Fifth-Century Passio Sanctae Eugeniae,” in: McWilliams S. (ed.), Saints and Scholars: New Perspectives on Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture in Honour of Hugh Magennis (Cambridge, 2012), 87-111. Whatley, E.G., “30. Passio Eugeniae. BHL 2666”, in: Goullet, M. (ed.), Le légendier de Turin. MS. D.V.3 de la Bibliothèque Nationale Universitaire (Florence, 2014), 671-703.

Continued Description

eople from the scriptures. The people asked Helenus to challenge him in a dispute, during which Helenus realised that he would not defeat him with a long speech. He quoted the apostle Paul against disputes, and asked instead for a fire to be lit in the middle of Heliopolis, into which he and Zareas would plunge themselves, to make it clear which one was righteous. Everyone agreed. When the fire was burning, Zareas asked Helenus to enter the fire first; Helenus entered the fire, stayed unhurt and asked Zareas to join him. Zareas tried to flee, but the people of Heliopolis seized him and threw him into the flames. He began to burn; but Helenus rescued him from the fire. He was sent away.§§ 6-7: Hearing this, Eugenia asks the one who told the story if she and her companions can join the community; they want to become Christians and avoid being separated, because they are brothers. The man tells them to wait until they enter the monastery and the bishop takes rest. They all come to the monastery chanting Psalm 47. In the morning, the bishop falls asleep and dreams about Eugenia’s conversion. Then Eutropius, who was the one who had talked with her, introduces them to Helenus as three brothers. Helenus interrogates them together in secret; he tells Eugenia that he is aware through his vision that she is a woman, but knows that she keeps herself a virgin and that she will suffer greatly for it; he also speaks to Protus and Hyacinthus predicting their future glory. He orders her to stay dressed as a man. They stay with him and are instructed until baptism.§§ 8-10: Meanwhile Eugenia’s family mourn her loss after finding her litter empty; they try everything to find her, without success. Sacrifices are offered to demons, who say that the gods have taken her to heaven. Her father believes it, orders a golden statue of Eugenia to be made and worships her. Eugenia stays in the monastery dressed as a man; she learns the scriptures by heart, she is greatly admired for her conduct and speech. She cures many from suffering. Three years after her conversion, the abbot of her monastery dies, and she is chosen to be abbot in his place. Fearful of being elected over men, against the rule, she gives a speech on humility quoting the Gospels and she chooses to live in the humblest way among the monks.§§ 11-12: Eugenia heals a matrona called Melantia, who sends her gifts, but Eugenia wants them to be given to the poor. Melantia falls in love with Eugenia and attempts to seduce her, offering in particular to share her great wealth. Eugenia refuses, she is wealthy in Christ.§ 13: Melantia goes to Alexandria and tells the prefect that the abbot of the monastery (Eugenia) attempted to rape her. All the monks are arrested on the prefect’s order and sent to a number of prisons, as they were so numerous. A day of mourning is organised in the whole province of Egypt, when many will be condemned to be killed by wild beasts, burnt, or undergo all sorts of punishments. On the day, Eugenia is brought in chains to be interrogated by the prefect and tortured.§§ 14-15: Philippus interrogates Eugenia who states that she is innocent and chaste. She calls as witness Melantia, who confirms the attempted rape. Summoned to provide an explanation, Eugenia explains that she has no choice and reveals that she is a woman and a virgin. Then she throws off her tunic to reveal her body. Her father recognises her. She presents him the eunuchs Protus and Hyacinthus who accompanied her.§§ 16-17: Her family receive her with joy. Priests, bishops and the crowd of Christians join her and praise the Lord. A fire is seen descending from heaven and burning Melantia and her household to death. The churches that had been closed for eight years are opened; the prefect and his family are baptised. Christians’ privileges are returned and the prefect writes to the emperor Severus asking him to avoid any sort of persecution against Christians. The emperor agrees and the whole city of Alexandria becomes almost a church. Some pagans tell the emperor that the prefect has deserted the gods and blasphemed against them. They tell all this to the emperors Severus and Antoninus who write to Philippus ordering him to honour the gods or abandon his post and wealth.§§ 18-19: Philippus pretends to be ill and gives his wealth to the poor. He becomes bishop of Alexandria after the previous bishop’s death. After a year and three months, the prefect Perennius seeks to kill him: some of his men pretend to be Christian and beat him while at worship. He is arrested but released soon after by the prefect. Philippus survives three days, in time to convince all to honour him as a martyr. He asks to be buried near Eugenia’s monastery of virgins, where Claudia had built a xenodochium for travellers. Then, Claudia, Eugenia and her brothers Avitus and Sergius go back to Rome.§§ 20-21: Avitus and Sergius are welcomed in the Senate, while Eugenia aims to convert many virgins to Chrst. She sends Protus and Hyacinthus to convert Basilla, of royal blood. They instruct her day and night. Cornelius the bishop of Rome (antistes) baptises her. Christian widows gather around Claudia, and virgins around Eugenia. Cornelius the pope of Rome (papa) celebrates the liturgy with hymns on Saturday nights. §§ 22-23: The emperors Valerianus and Gallienus hear about a rebellion of Christians in Rome under Cornelius and in Carthage under Cyprian. They give orders to the proconsul Paternus to kill Cyprian. Meanwhile Cornelius hides in Rome. Basilla and Eugenia have visions of each other’s future martyrdom. Eugenia gives a speech to the virgins of Christ about the grape harvest soon to come, praising virginity and bidding them farewell.§§ 24-25: Pompeius, Basilla’s fiancé, learns from a housemaid that Basilla is a Christian, will not marry him, and is at the mercy of the eunuchs Protus and Hyacinthus practicing the magic of Christians. Pompeius asks permission of his patruelis who raised him to meet his fiancée Basilla; he agrees. Pompeius seeks to meet Basilla at her house but she refuses. He asks the emperor to help him against Eugenia who brought new gods to Rome that are harmful to the Roman family and the state.§§ 26-27: The emperor Gallienus orders that Basilla should choose either to marry or be executed, and Eugenia either to sacrifice or be killed. He also allows Christians to be punished. Basilla is summoned, refuses to marry and is killed by the sword. Protus and Hyacinthus are brought to the temple but pray in front of a statue of Jupiter, which is destroyed. Thinking that they practice magic, the prefect of the city Nicetius orders them to be beheaded. The prefect summons Eugenia and speaks to her about magic. However, she explains that Christians are much more powerful. She tells him about the virginal birth of Christ. §§ 28-29: The prefect Nicetius orders her to be brought to the temple of Diana and summons her to sacrifice. As Eugenia prays to God, an earthquake completely destroys the temple. This happened in the insula Lycaonia. The emperor orders her to be thrown into the Tiber bound to a stone, but the stone is destroyed and Eugenia is raised over the water as Peter was on the sea. She is sent to be burnt in the fire of the Severan baths, which is suddenly extinguished. She is put in a dark jail for ten days without food. However it is full of light: the Saviour appears to her and gives her food from his hands, promising to receive her the same day in heaven. This same day, the day of the Lord [25 December] she is killed by a gladiator in jail. Et sublatum est corpus ab affinibus Christianis, et positum est non longe ab urbe via Latina in praedio ejus proprio, ubi multorum sanctorum ipsa sepelierat membra.‘The body was taken by fellow Christians and buried not far from the city on the via Latina on her own estate, where she herself had buried the bodies of many saints.’§ 30: Eugenia appears, surrounded by a crowd of virgins and dressed in a golden garment, to her mother Claudia as she keeps a vigil on her tomb (sepulcrum) in the middle of the night. She tells Claudia to rejoice because she is among saints (sancti) and patriarchs (patriarchi) and because Claudia will join her soon. As she speaks, a great light shines and angels sing a hymn of praise.Text: Patrologia Latina 73, 605-624. Partial summary by M. Humphries, Manchester University, Roman Martyrs Project; adapted and completed by M. Pignot.

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