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E04690: A Greek text, entitled the Life and Upbringing of *Theodoros the Recruit (soldier and martyr of Amasea and Euchaita, S00480), recounts the life of its hero before his martyrdom, and mentions a dispute between Amasea and Euchaita concerning the saint’s true place of burial. Written in Pontus (northern Asia Minor), probably in the 8th century or later.

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posted on 25.01.2018, 00:00 by erizos
Life and Upbringing of Theodoros the Recruit (BHG 1765)

Theodoros' parents are Erythraios and Polyxene. His mother dies in childbirth, and he is raised by his father, who devises a way of nourishing the infant by feeding him boiled wheat with honey. At the age of six, Theodoros is assigned to a certain Proklos, who teaches him the basic letters. Three years later, he joins the army, being conscripted into the legion of Amasea. A certain Helladios introduces him to Christianity. Some envious soldiers denounce him as a Christian to their commander. The latter interrogates Theodoros and has him executed at Amasea. The martyr is buried there, but the people of Euchaita claim that his remains be buried at their town, because this was his express wish.

Καὶ οὗτος μὲν ὁ γενναῖος τοῦ Χριστοῦ στρατιώτης ἀνδρείως ἐνίκησε τὴν ἀσέβειαν, τελειωθεὶς ἐν Ἀμασείᾳ τῇ πόλει τοῦ Ἑλε(νο)πόντου, τὰ δὲ λείψανα αὐτοῦ περιστείλαντες ἥσυχοι ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς ἀπέθεντο ὁσίως ἐν μνήματι. Οἱ δὲ τὰ Εὐχάϊτα οἰκοῦντες ἀδελφοὶ τοῖς ἐπὶ τῆς Ἀμασέων ὁμόφροσιν ὀχλοῦσι σφοδρότερον, τὰ λείψανα λαβεῖν τοῦ ὁσίου βουλόμενοι, λέγοντες, τοῦτο ζῶντα αὐτὸν διατεταχέναι. Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν οἷον πέρας ἕξει ἡ τοιαύτη φιλονικία οὐκ έπίσταμαι. Τῇ δὲ σῇ τελειότητι τὰ προκείμενα γέγραφα, ἐφ’ᾧ δι’ αὐτῆς καὶ τοὺς λοιποὺς χριστιανοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ στηριχθῆναι.

‘Thus the noble soldier of Christ bravely defeated impiety and died at the city of Amasea in Helenopontus. Peaceful and pious men collected his remains and fittingly buried them in a tomb. Now the brethren living in Euchaita keep pestering with ever greater persistence their fellow believers in Amasea, wishing to take the remains of the holy one, claiming that he had so ordered while still alive. As for myself, I do not know how this dispute will end. Yet I have written these things to your excellence, in order that the rest of the Christians may be edified by it, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Text: Delehaye 1909.
Summary and translation: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E04690

Saint Name

Theodore, soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita : S00480

Saint Name in Source

Θεόδωρος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

1000

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

1000

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Amasea

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

Amasea Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

Source

The text is known from four manuscripts (10th-16th c.): http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/17991/

Discussion

The date of this document is unknown. Hippolyte Delehaye suggested that it is Middle Byzantine, and perhaps even post-Metaphrastic. It is an important element of Theodoros’ hagiographical dossier, preserving a strand of the saint’s legend, which was associated with the city of Amasea. It is the only document which mentions explicitly the dispute between Amasea and the village of Euchaita over the burial site of the popular martyr.

Bibliography

Text: Acta Sanctorum, Nov. IV, 45-46. Sigalas, A., «Ἀνωνύμου Βίος καὶ ἀνατροφὴ τοῦ ἁγίου Θεοδώρου τοῦ Τήρωνος.» Epeteris tes Hetaireias Byzantinon Spoudon 2 (1925), 220-226. Translation and commentary: Haldon, J., A Tale of Two Saints: The Martyrdoms and Miracles of Saints Theodore 'the Recruit' and 'the General', (Translated Texts for Byzantinists 2; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016). Further reading: Delehaye, H., Les légendes grecques des saints militaires (Paris, 1909), 32-35.

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