File(s) not publicly available

E05499: The Miracles of Saint Thekla recounts how *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092) protected and supported the general Satornilos/Saturninus, helping him to win a battle in the diocese of Oriens and warning him about an ambush against him. Written in Greek at Seleucia ad Calycadnum (southern Asia Minor) in the 470s.

online resource
posted on 22.05.2018, 00:00 by julia
Miracles of Saint Thekla, 13

Summary:

There was a general, Satornilos, a pious, well born, and celebrated man. Among other deeds, he killed Severus who defiled sacred places, thereby freeing the churches from an enormous lawlessness. Also, he was sent by the emperor [Theodosius II, r. 408-450] with a large and well-trained army to the diocese of Oriens which was being plundered by brigands from a neighbouring land. When he was preparing for a battle, the martyr Thekla was by his side and shielded him and helped him to achieve victory. Once, she even warned him about a treacherous ambush by some of the plunderers, so he was able to guard himself against it and killed his enemies, so that none of them survived. Satornilos then consecrated offerings to the virgin Thekla with which he decorated her temple. They are still there and remind those who gaze at them of the miracle and of the martyr's benevolence and sympathy for those who love her.

Text: Dagron 1978. Summary: J. Doroszewska.

History

Evidence ID

E05499

Saint Name

Thekla, follower of the Apostle Paul : S00092

Saint Name in Source

Θέκλα

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

470

Evidence not after

476

Activity not before

408

Activity not after

450

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Seleucia ad Calycadnum

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

Seleucia ad Calycadnum Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Miraculous interventions in war Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Soldiers Foreigners (including Barbarians)

Source

The anonymous text known under the title of The Life and Miracles of Thekla was written in the city of Seleucia-on-the-Calycadnum in the province of Isauria in southern Asia Minor around 470. It was certainly written before c. 476, which is approximately when Thekla's shrine outside Seleucia (modern Meriamlik/Ayatekla in Turkey) was monumentalised by the emperor Zeno (r. 474-491), since this activity is not mentioned in the text. The text consists of two parts: the first half is a paraphrased version of the second-century Acts of Paul and Thekla, a text which was widely known in Late Antiquity and translated into every early Christian language; this early text was rendered by our author into Attic Greek, and contains many minor changes to the original story, with one major change at the end: instead of dying at the age of 19 years, Thekla descends into the earth and performs miracles in and around the city of Seleucia in a spiritual state. The second half, from which this passage is drawn, comprises a collection of forty-six miracles, preceded by a preface and followed by an epilogue. It is written in a high literary style which distinguishes it among other hagiographical texts, which were typically composed in a low style of Greek. The text was for a long time attributed to a 5th century bishop, Basil of Seleucia (fl. c. 448-468); but in 1974 Dagron demonstrated conclusively that the Miracles could not have been authored by Basil, since there is an invective directed against him in chapter 12. The anonymous author is himself the subject of a few miracles, including miraculous interventions on his behalf in ecclesiastical disputes.

Discussion

Satornilos is better known as Saturninus (PLRE II, 'Saturninus 3'), the comes domesticorum under Theodosius II, who carried out executions of the empress Eudocia's advisors, Severus and John, in Jerusalem in 444.

Bibliography

Edition: Dagron, G., Vie et miracles de sainte Thècle (Subsidia hagiographica 62; Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1978), with French translation. Translations: Johnson, S.F., Miracles of Saint Thekla, in : S.F. Johnson and A.-M. Talbot, Miracle Tales from Byzantium (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 12; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), 1-201. Festugière, A.-J., Collections grecques de Miracles: sainte Thècle, saints Côme et Damien, saints Cyr et Jean (extraits), saint Georges (Paris: Éditions A. et J. Picard, 1971). Further reading: Barrier, J., et al., Thecla: Paul's Disciple and Saint in the East and West (Leuven: Peeters, 2017). Dagron, G., “L'auteur des Actes et des Miracles de Sainte Thècle,” Analecta Bollandiana, 92 (1974), 5–11. Davis, S., The Cult of Saint Thecla: A Tradition of Women's Piety in Late Antiquity, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). Honey, L., “Topography in the Miracles of Thecla: Reconfiguring Rough Cilicia,” in: M.C. Hoff and R.F. Townsend (eds), Rough Cilicia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches, Proceedings on an International Conference held at Lincoln, Nebraska, October 2007 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2013), 252–59. Johnson, S.F., “The Life and Miracles of Thecla, a literary study” (University of Oxford, doctoral thesis, 2005). Kristensen, T.M., "Landscape, Space and Presence in the Cult of Thekla in Meriamlik," Journal of Early Christian Studies 24:2 (2016), 229-263.

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports