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E04232: The Miracles of *Artemios (martyr of Antioch under Julian, S01128) recounts the miraculous healing by the saint of the testicular hernia of the infant of a woman who worked at a bath in Constantinople. Unable to visit Artemios' shrine, the woman lighted a lamp to him; Artemios visited her in a dream vision and cured the boy; she offered a candle and oil at his shrine. Written in Greek in Constantinople, 582/668; assembled as a collection, 658/668.

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posted on 30.10.2017, 00:00 by julia
Miracles of Artemios (BHG 173), 11

Γυναικός τινος κρατούσης τὸ δίδυμον λουτρὸν τοῦ Ξενῶνος, ἤτοι γε Πασχεντίου, τοῦ ὄντος πλησίον τοῦ παλατίου τοῦ Δευτέρου, ἔτυχεν ὅπερ ἔσχεν βρέφος προσμάσθιον καταβαρὲς γενέσθαι, καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἦν ἀνεθῆναι κλαῖον καὶ βοῶν ἐκ τῶν ὀδυνῶν· ἡ δὲ μήτηρ ἀδημονοῦσα τί ποιήσῃ, ἐπεὶ καταλεῖψαι τὰ βαλανεῖα καὶ ἐλθοῦσα παραμεῖναι τῷ ἁγίῳ οὐκ ἠδύνατο, διότι μονωτάτη συνῴκει τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς, ἐκ θείας οὖν τινος εἰσηγήσεως ἐννοεῖ τοιοῦτόν τι πρᾶξαι. εἰς ἓν τῶν βαλανείων, ἔνθα διῃτῶντο, σκευάζει ἐπ’ ὀνόματι τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀρτεμίου κανδήλαν, καὶ τῆς ἐπαύριον διαφαυούσης ἔδοξεν ὁρᾶν ἐν τῷ ὕπνῳ τινὰ τῶν ἐνδόξων τοῦ παλατίου, χλαμύδα καὶ στιχοβαλτίδιον φοροῦντα, εἰσελθόντα εἰς τὸ βαλανεῖον, ἐν ᾧ ἡ κανδήλα ἦν ἅπτουσα, ἐπὶ τῷ λούσασθαι, εἰπεῖν τε πρὸς αὐτήν· “Οὐκ ἦλθον τὰ σάβανά μου”; καὶ προσεποιεῖτο ὀργίζεσθαι τοῖς παισὶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπειλεῖν, διότι οὐκ ἔφθασαν αὐτὸν φέροντες τὰ σάβανα, καὶ ἐκάθισεν εἰς ἕνα τῶν σκάμνων. οὔσης δὲ αὐτῆς ἐν κατηφείᾳ καὶ θλιβομένης, ἠρώτησεν αὐτήν· “Τί ἔχεις, γύναι, καὶ θλίβῃ;” τὴν δὲ ἀποκρίνασθαι, ὅτι “Τὸ παιδίον μου, δέσποτα, αἰφνιδίως τοὺς διδύμους αὐτοῦ ἐπόνεσεν, καὶ θέλω ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Ἀρτέμιον, καὶ ἀπολειφθῆναι τῶν ὧδε οὐ δύναμαι· πλὴν ἐποίησα τὴν κανδήλαν ἐπ’ ὀνόματι τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀρτεμίου, καὶ ἰδοὺ ὁ θεὸς καὶ αὐτὸς οὕτως ἐλπίζω ἐπισκέψασθαι αὐτὸ ἔχει”. τὸν δὲ πάλιν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἰπεῖν· “Καλὸν πρᾶγμα ἔχεις· ἐπειδὴ γὰρ τῷ θεῷ ἐπίστευσας, αὐτὸς αὐτὸ ἰᾶται διὰ τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀρτεμίου. ἀλλ’ ἐὰν καταλάβωσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποί μου, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑγείας τοῦ παιδός σου καλὴν ἔμβασιν ἂς ποιήσῃ μοι ὁ περιχύτης”. ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λέγοντος, ἔξυπνος ἐγένετο ἡ γυνή· τοῦ δὲ παιδίου κλαύσαντος, θηλάσαι ζητοῦντος, ὡς δίδωσιν αὐτῷ τὸν μασθόν, ἱλαρὸν γενόμενον προσεχάρη αὐτῇ. ἡ δὲ τῇ χαρᾷ τοῦ βρέφους τὴν ὀπτασίαν πιστώσασα, μᾶλλον δὲ πιστωθεῖσα
ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ, ἁψαμένη αὐτοῦ εὗρεν αὐτὸ ὑγιὲς ὄν, καὶ ἀναστᾶσα ὄρθρῳ σπουδὴν ἔθετο εὐχαριστῆσαι τῷ θεῷ καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ μάρτυρι. λαβοῦσα δὲ κηρὸν καὶ ἔλαιον καὶ ὅσα εἰς προσφορὰν εὐπόρως εἶχεν, ἀπελθοῦσα ἔδωκεν δόξαν τῷ θεῷ, τῷ μεγαλύναντι τὸν μάρτυρα, πᾶσιν ἐξηγουμένη τὰ παράδοξα θαύματα.

'There was a certain woman who was in charge of the double bath of the hospital in the quarter of Paschentios, which is near the palace of the Deuteron. Now it happened that the babe which she had at her breast had developed a hernia and it was not possible for him to stop crying and bawling because of the pain. The mother was at a loss as to what she should do, since she could not leave the baths and, as she wished, wait upon the saint because she lived all alone with her husband. Then, in consequence of some divine admonition, she conceived the following course of action. In one of the baths where they lived, she prepared a votive lamp in the name of St. Artemios and as the next day was dawning, she seemed to see in her sleep one of the noblemen of the palace wearing a cloak and a belt entering the bath, in which the lamp was burning, in order to bathe. And he spoke to her thus: "Have my towels not come?" And he pretended to be angry with his servants and to make threats because they did not arrive before him bringing the towels, and he sat down on one of the benches. Since she was in sorrow and distressed, he asked her: "What is wrong, woman, and what are you distressed over?" To this she replied thus: "My child, lord, has suddenly suffered pain in his testicles and I wish to be off to St. Artemios but I cannot forsake this place. Still, I have made the lamp in the name of St. Artemios and behold even God Himself (so I hope) will visit him." He replied to her in turn: "You have done well for, since you trusted in God, He Himself will cure your child through St. Artemios. But if my men get here, may the bathing attendant make a nice bath for me with best wishes for your son's health." After he spoke these words, the woman woke up. Her child started crying and was seeking to nurse. As she gave him her breast, he became cheerful and took pleasure in her. Confirming the truth of the vision by the infant's delight or rather having it confirmed by him, she touched the child and found that he was healthy and rising at dawn she hastened to give thanks to God and the holy martyr. Taking a candle and oil and whatever she had at hand for an offering, she went and gave glory to God Who exalted the martyr, and related the incredible miracle to all.'


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

History

Evidence ID

E04232

Saint Name

Artemios, martyr in Antioch on the Orontes, ob. 362 : S01128

Saint Name in Source

Ἀρτέμιος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

658

Evidence not after

668

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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Miracles

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

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles

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 passage attests the existence of a hospital known by the name of Paschentios, a personage otherwise unknown from elsewhere. It is also a principal attestation of the existence of the palace in the quarter of Deuteron (Crisafulli and Nesbitt 1997: 242-3).

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.

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