File(s) not publicly available

E04231: The Miracles of *Artemios (martyr of Antioch under Julian, S01128) recounts the miraculous healing by the saint at his shrine in Constantinople of a sailor inflicted with a demon, and suffering from a disease of the testicles; the sailor subsequently experienced a vision of Artemios, accompanied by *John the Baptist (S00020) and *Phebronia (S01588). Written in Greek in Constantinople, 582/668; assembled as a collection, 658/668.

online resource
posted on 30.10.2017, 00:00 by julia
Miracles of Artemios (BHG 173), 6

Ἐκ χρόνων ἱκανῶν τις ναύτης κινδυνεύων τοὺς διδύμους αὐτοῦ προσεπέλασεν τῷ ἁγίῳ μάρτυρι. ὄνομα δὲ ἦν αὐτῷ Ἰσίδωρος, ὢν ὡς ἐτῶν πεντήκοντα τριῶν. ἠγνόει δὲ οὗτος ὅτι καὶ ὑπὸ πνεύματος ὠχλεῖτο πονηροῦ. ἐν τῷ οὖν εὐωνύμῳ ἐμβόλῳ πάροδον ὡς ἐπὶ ξενῶνος εἰώθει ποιεῖν ὁ ἅγιος, καθὼς τῇ πείρᾳ πολλοὶ πολλάκις πεπληροφόρηνται, καὶ δὴ ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἅγιος ὀφθαλμοφανῶς ἐν μιᾷ νυκτί, θεωρούντων καὶ τῶν πρὸς τὸ ἰαθῆναι παραμενόντων πολλῶν, ἔνθα δὴ αὐτὸς ὁ πνευματούμενος κατέκειτο. ἐπέστη τοίνυν, ὡς ἔφημεν, ὁ ἅγιος αὐτῷ ἀοράτῳ δυνάμει· ὁ δὲ ἐκ τῆς κοίτης ἐξαναστὰς καὶ τῆς εἰκόνος ἐναντίον δραμών, ἄνω τὰς χεῖρας τεταμένας ἔχων ἐκρέματο ὡς ἐπὶ ἁλύσεων δεδεμένος τὰς χεῖρας, τῆς γῆς ἀπέχων πῆχυν ἕνα, βοῶν μεγάλα, ὡς πάντας θαμβεῖσθαι τῇ θέᾳ καὶ τῷ φόβῳ συστέλλεσθαι. ἐπὶ ἱκανὰς οὖν ὥρας κρεμασθεὶς καὶ ἀφρίσας, τέλος κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἔπεσεν αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν στρωμνὴν ἐν τῷ ἐδάφει. καταστάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ τῆς φρενὸς ἰδιώματι πάλιν γενομένου, λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ συμπαρόντες· “Ἀδελφέ, τί σοι συνέβη”; λέγει αὐτοῖς· “Οὐαί μοι, τί ἔπαθον. χλαμύδα τις φορῶν καὶ στιχοβαλτίδιον, δύο με ἁλύσεσιν ἐκρέμασεν”. λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· “Εἴδομέν σε πάντες, ὅτε ἦς κρεμάμενος· ἀλλ’ εἰπὲ ἡμῖν τί σοι ἐποίησεν”. λέγει αὐτοῖς· “Πολλὰ ἐκολάσθην· ἥψατο γὰρ τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρὶ αὑτοῦ τῆς κοιλίας μου, τῇ δὲ ἀριστερᾷ τῶν ὠμοπλάτων, καὶ τὸ τρίτον ἔσφιγξέν με λέγων· “Ὁ πατὴρ καὶ ὁ υἱὸς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, ἡ ἁγία τριάς, κελεύει σοι ἐξελθεῖν. καὶ εἶδον ὁλομέλανον κορώνην ἐξελθοῦσαν ἐκ τοῦ στόματός μου, καὶ ἐποίησεν εἰς τὸ μέτωπόν μου τὸν τίμιον σταυρόν, καὶ ἔλυσέν με ἀπὸ τῶν δεσμῶν καὶ ἔπεσον. πλὴν ἄφες ἴδω καὶ τὰ αἰδοῖά μου, μὴ τῷ σπαραγμῷ τοῦ πτώματός τι ἐβλάβησαν”.” καὶ ψηλαφήσας ἐπὶ πάντων ηὗρεν ἑαυτὸν ὑγιῆ, καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις ἔδωκαν πάντες δόξαν τῷ θεῷ, τῷ διὰ τοῦ μάρτυρος ποιοῦντι παράδοξα. καὶ ἐν τῷ πλείους ἡμέρας αὐτὸν παραμένειν τῷ τόπῳ, φαίνεται αὐτῷ πάλιν ὁ ἅγιος, καὶ ἦν ἔχων μεθ’ ἑαυτοῦ ὥσπερ ἐργάτην τινὰ μηλωτὴν φοροῦντα καὶ σανδάλια, καί τις γυνὴ ἦν σὺν αὐτοῖς ἐν σχήματι μοναστρίας, καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· “Εὐχαρίστησον τῷ θεῷ, ἰδοὺ ὑγιὴς ἐγένου. ἄπελθε εἰς τὴν χώραν σου πρὸς τοὺς σούς· πολλὰ γὰρ διὰ σὲ θρηνοῦσιν, ὑπολαμβάνοντες ὅτι ἀπέθανες. ἀλλὰ ἄπελθε, χαροποίησον αὐτοὺς τῇ παρουσίᾳ καὶ τῇ ὑγείᾳ σου.”

'A certain sailor for many years had problems with his testicles and he approached the holy martyr. His name was Isidore and he was about 53 years old. But he was unaware that he was being agitated by an evil spirit. Now in the aisle at the left, the saint is accustomed to make his round as if he were a Chief Physician in charge of a hospital, just as many have often been convinced by experience, and to be sure one night the saint in full view approached the man, while many of those awaiting the cure looked on, at the very place where the possessed man was lying down. Then the saint stood over him, as we were saying, with an invisible force. Isidore arose from his bed and ran toward the image, and holding up his outstretched hands, he hung suspended as though his hands were tied to chains, hovering one cubit above the floor, and yelling loudly, so that all were astonished by the sight and were cowed by fear. So after hanging for a considerable time and foaming at the mouth, finally he cried out in a loud voice and fell onto his mattress on the floor. After he calmed down and returned again to his normal state of mind, those crowding around said: "Brother, what happened to you?" He replied: "Oh my, what I suffered! Some person wearing a cloak and a belt suspended me by two chains!" They said to him: "We all saw that you were hanging. But tell us what he did to you." He replied: "I was greatly chastised. For with his right hand he touched my belly and with his left hand my shoulder-blades. But the third time he squeezed me, saying: "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the Holy Trinity, orders you to depart." And I saw an all-black crow leaving my mouth and he made the sign of the precious cross on my forehead and freed me from my fetters and I fell. But let me examine my genitals in case they suffered some harm from the force of the fall." And touching them in the presence of everybody, he found himself healed and for this all gave glory to God Who does the Incredible through His martyr. While he was waiting there several days, the saint once again appeared to him and he had with him, it would seem, a workman wearing some sort of a sheepskin and sandals and there was some woman with them in the habit of a nun, and they said to Isidore: "Give thanks to God. Behold you were made healthy. Go back to your own land to your own people. For greatly they lament over you, believing that you have died. But depart, cheer them by your presence and your good health."'

Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus 1909. Translation: Crisafulli and Nesbitt 1997.

History

Evidence ID

E04231

Saint Name

Artemios, martyr of Antioch under the emperor Julian : S01128 John the Baptist : S00020 Phebronia, martyr of Nisibis : S01588

Saint Name in Source

Ἀρτέμιος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

558

Evidence not after

568

Activity not before

582

Activity not after

668

Place of Evidence - Region

Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Constantinople

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

Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of a community

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities Exorcism Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Specialised miracle-working

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Source

The Miracles of Artemios is a collection of 45 miracle-stories, effected by the saint at and around his burial and cult site in the church of St. John the Baptist in the Oxeia quarter of Constantinople. Artemios was an Alexandrian dux and martyr of the reign of Julian, who has an independent Martyrdom (E06781). The Miracles does not include this passio, although the stories on occasion show some acquaintance with it. Nothing is known of the cult before the period described in the Miracles. The Miracles’ vignettes stretch from (at least) the reign of Maurice (582-602) to that of Constans II (641-668). The current text was compiled in the period 658-668: the terminus post quem is provided by the last datable event mentioned within the text (Mir. 41: 4 October 658) and the terminus ante quem by the fact that Constans is there described as still alive (as he is too in Mir. 23). The text is not, however, the product of a single pen, but seems instead to be a compilation of several parts. Those narratives at the beginning and end of the collection (Mir. 1-14, 42-45) are short, somewhat unembellished, healing narratives of a more-or-less standardised kind; while those of the central section are far more elaborate and varied, and seem to fall into rough thematic doublets or groups. One such group is conspicuous because all of its miracles (24-31) conclude with some sermonettes on secular medicine. The most obvious explanation for this basic dissonance is that the collection as we have it has been composed from at least three different parts: first, an earlier, more simple collection which opens the text; second, an original composition in the central section (where the addition of the sermonettes to some miracles perhaps indicates the exploitation of another, pre-existent collection of miracles); and third, a final addition of the four concluding miracles. Besides pre-existent collections of written material preserved within the shrine itself, the text also draws, no doubt, on the oral traditions then circulating amongst the shrine’s clientele. The text itself describes in vivid terms the community of clerics and lay devotees who gathered around the shrine, in particular for its weekend vigil, and several such persons are the protagonists of individual miracles. One such person is an anonymous devotee of the saint’s vigil who features in two long and detailed miracles (Mir. 18, 22); another is George, a cleric and devotee of Artemios, who features as protagonist in three different miracles (Mir. 38-40). It seems clear, then, that the compiler draws from the oral accounts, or perhaps even written records, which the saint’s clerics and devotees produced, and which provide these central miracles with their vivid detail and insight. Indeed, although the compiler of the collection is anonymous, it is reasonable to suppose that he is also a lay devotee of the saint, and perhaps even one of those persons who feature prominently in the text. Through descriptions of this vigil, and other scattered details, we are offered an unparalleled perspective both on the layout of the church of St. John—which can be reconstructed in some detail—and on the practices of Artemios’s devotees. The saint’s cult was an incubatory healing cult, in which the sick came to the shrine and slept overnight, in the hope of a miraculous cure. The collection underlines the importance of performing ‘the customary rites’ in advance of a cure, which seems to mean the dedication of a votive lamp and other offerings. The weekly vigil is also presented as especially efficacious, for on this night it was possible to sleep in and around the crypt where the tomb which contained the saint’s relics was sited (see e.g. Mir. 17). Almost all of the cures occur within the church of St John itself, or else upon those who have spent some time there and then withdrawn. The principal mode of healing is a miraculous dream, sometimes in combination with the application of holy oil taken from the tomb’s lamps, or a wax-salve imprinted with the image of the saint. Almost all of the miracles concern healing, but also of a particular kind. For Artemios was a specialist in diseases of the male genitals and groin, which dominate the entire collection. Sick women at the shrine could expect a vision of the martyr *Phebronia, who appears in several places as Artemios’ female equivalent (Mir. 6, 23, 24, 38, 45). In contrast to equivalent collections, Artemios does not collaborate with secular doctors, or depend on quasi-Hippocratic cures. Indeed, one of the most striking features of the text is the series of sermonettes which punctuate the central miracles and denounce in virulent terms the inadequacies of contemporaneous Hippocratic medicine (Mir. 24-31). The text was compiled at a moment of high drama for the eastern Roman Empire, in which its territorial holdings, and revenues, had been dramatically reduced through the Arab conquests. This context is however strikingly absent from the collection, which instead paints a picture of vivid and thriving urban life, in particular amongst the capital’s middle classes, who make up the vast majority of the saint’s devotees. Nevertheless, it has been suggested the text offers a powerful political metaphor related to the perceived disease of the body politic: that the cure for all ailments, whether derived from sin or from natural causes, is not to turn to other men, but rather to propitiate and to trust in God.

Discussion

This healing miracle, a short and to some extent standarised account, belongs to the first of the several sections that make up the collection of Artemios' miracles (Mir. 1-14; see Discussion). The two unnamed persons accompanying the saint in the third vision depicted in the text are certainly John the Baptist, in whose church Artemios’s body and cult were sited, and Phebronia, who performed similar healings for women.

Bibliography

Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus, A., Miracula xlv sancti Artemii, in idem, Varia graeca sacra [Subsidia Byzantina 6] (St. Petersburg: Kirschbaum, 1909): 1-75. Translation: Crisafulli, V.S., and J.W. Nesbitt, The Miracles of St. Artemios. A Collection of Miracle Stories by an Anonymous Author of Seventh Century Byzantium (Leiden, New York, Köln: Brill, 1997). Further reading: Alwis, A., “Men in Pain: Masculinity, Medicine and the Miracles of St. Artemios,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 36. (2012), 1–19. Busine, A.,“The Dux and the Nun. Hagiography and the Cult of Artemios and Febronia in Constantinople,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 72 (2018), 93–111. Déroche, V., "Pourquoi écrivait-on des recueils de miracles? L’exemple des miracles de saint Artémios," in C. Jolivet-Lévy, M. Kaplan, J.-P. Sodini, (eds), Les saints et leur sanctuaire à Byzance: textes, images, monuments (Paris, 1993), 95-116. Deubner, L., De incubatione capita quattuor scripsit Ludovicus Deubner. Accedit Laudatio in miracula Sancti Hieromartyris Therapontis e codice Messanensi denuo edita. (Lipsiae: Teubner, 1900). Efthymiadis, S., "A Day and Ten Months in the Life of a Lonely Bachelor: The Other Byzantium in Miracula S. Artemii 18 and 22," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 58 (2004), 1-26. Grosdidier de Matons, J., “Les Miracula Sancti Artemii: Note sur quelques questions de vocabulaire,” in E. Lucchesi and H.D. Saffrey (eds), Mémorial André-Jean Festugière: Antiquité, Paienne et Chrétienne (Geneva: Cramer, 1984), 263-266. Haldon, J., "Supplementary Essay: The Miracles of Artemios and Contemporary Attitudes: Context and Significance," in Crisafulli and Nesbitt, Miracles of Artemios 33-75. Kaplan, M., “Une hôtesse importante de l’église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de l’Oxeia à Constantinople : Fébronie," in D. Sullivan, E.A. Fisher, S. Papaioannou (eds), Byzantine Religious Culture: Studies in Honor of Alice-Mary Talbot (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 31–52. Krueger, D., Writing and Holiness: The Practice of Authorship in the Early Christian East (Phildelphia, PA, 2004), 63-70. Mango, C., “History of the Templon and the Martyrion of St. Artemios at Constantinople,” Zograf 10 (1979), 40–43. Rydén, L., "Kyrkan som sjukhus: om den helige Artemios' mirakler," Religion och Bibel 44 (1987), 3-16. Simon, J., “Note sur l’original de la passion de Sainte Fébronie,” Analecta Bollandiana 42 (1924), 69–76.

Usage metrics

Categories

Licence

Exports