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E07813: The Miracles of *Artemios (martyr of Antioch under Julian, S01128) recounts the miraculous healing by the saint in Constantinople of a Chian merchant from a disease of the testicles, appearing in a dream to the man sleeping on his ship and touching his testicles. The man returned to thank the saint at his shrine. Written in Greek in Constantinople, 582/668; assembled as a collection, 658/668.

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posted on 28.10.2019, 00:00 by julia
Miracles of Artemios (BHG 173), 5

Ἀνήρ τις τοὔνομα Εὔπορος, τῷ γένει Χῖος, πραγματευτής, ἐκ πλείστων χρόνων καταβαρὴς ὢν καὶ οὐ μετρίως
ὀδυνώμενος, ἐνδημήσας ἐν τῇ πανευδαίμονι πόλει ποτὲ καὶ τῇ πραγματείᾳ σχολάζων ἤκουσεν περὶ τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος, καὶ ἐλθὼν προσεκαρτέρησεν αὐτῷ ὡσεὶ μῆνας τρεῖς. καταλαβόντος δὲ τοῦ καιροῦ τοῦ ἀποπλεῦσαι αὐτὸν ἐντεῦθεν, καὶ τῶν ναυτῶν ἐπειγόντων, ἐν ᾧ ἐνέβαλεν πλοίῳ ἀνεχώρησεν ἄπρακτος, πάνυ συγκεχυμένος τὴν
ψυχήν. κατὰ δὲ θείαν πρόνοιαν ἀνέμου ἐναντίου πνεύσαντος, ὥρμησεν τὸ εἰρημένον πλοῖον εἰς τὸ Ἕβδομον, εἰς τὴν καλουμένην Μαγναύραν. ὀδυρόμενος δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ τῆς θεραπείας τὴν ἀστοχίαν, ὁρᾷ κατ’ ὄναρ τὸν ἅγιον τῇ νυκτὶ ἐκείνῃ λέγοντα αὐτῷ· “Τί ἔχεις; τί λυπῇ καὶ ἄχθῃ καὶ ἀδημονεῖς”; ὁ δὲ δακρύσας καὶ στενάξας ἐγκάρδιον ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ, ὅτι “Ἀσθενῶ τοὺς διδύμους μου, καὶ προσεκαρτέρησα ἐν τῷ ναῷ τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰωάννου Βαπτιστοῦ ἐν τῇ Ὀξείᾳ τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀρτεμίου, καὶ αἱ ἁμαρτίαι μου ἐμποδών μοι γεγόνασιν εἰς τὸ ὑγιᾶναι”. καὶ λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἅγιος μάρτυς· “Ἀνάστειλον τὰ ἱμάτιά σου· ἄφες ἴδω σε”. καὶ ἀνασύραντος αὐτοῦ τὸν χιτῶνα, ἥψατο τῶν διδύμων αὐτοῦ. διυ-πνισθεὶς δὲ καὶ τὸν ὄνειρον συμβάλλων ἐν ἑαυτῷ καὶ φαντασίαν εἶναι δοκῶν, ἐσχετλίαζεν ἑαυτόν, λέγων ὅραμα εἶναι τὸ πρᾶγμα καὶ οὐκ ἀληθές. εἶτα ψηλαφήσας ηὗρεν ὅτι ὑγιὴς ἦν. εὐθέως οὖν τὰ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν τροφῆς τε καὶ προσφορᾶς λαβὼν ἐξῆλθεν τοῦ πλοίου, τὴν πορείαν πρὸς τὸν ἅγιον ποιησάμενος. οἱ δὲ ναῦται ἀγνοοῦντες τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θαύματος καὶ τὸν τρόπον δι’ ὃν ἐξῆλθεν, διεκώλυον αὐτὸν τῆς ὁρμῆς λέγοντες· “Ποῦ ἀπέρχῃ; ἐὰν πνεύσῃ ἄνεμος, ἐκπλωΐζομεν καὶ ἔξω μένεις”. ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς· “Μεθ’ ὑγείας πλεύσατε, μὴ ἐμποδίζεσθε”. καὶ καταλείψας αὐτοὺς ἀπῆλθεν ἐν τῷ ναῷ τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰωάννου, ἔνθα κατάκειται ὁ ἅγιος, καὶ ηὐχαρίστησεν τῷ θεῷ. καὶ πάλιν ὑποστρέψας ηὗρεν ἔτι τὸ πλοῖον ὁρμοῦν· ἐν ᾧ ἀποπλεύσας εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἅπασιν τοῖς ἐκεῖσε τὰ μεγαλεῖα τοῦ θεοῦ ἀνεκήρυττεν.

'A certain man by the name of Europos, a Chian by birth, a merchant, had a hernia for very many years and suffered exceedingly. Once when he was staying in the divinely favoured city and devoting himself to business, he heard about the holy martyr and coming there he waited upon him about three months. As the time came for him to sail away from there, because the sailors were in a hurry, he departed without success in the ship in which he came, although he was very unsettled in spirit. But since, by Divine Providence, a head wind was blowing, the aforementioned ship lay at anchor at the Hebdomon by the place called Magnaura. This man, dismayed over his failure to be healed, saw the saint that night in a dream speaking to him thus: "What is the trouble? Why are you pained and grieved and in distress?" Breaking into tears and groaning from the depths of his heart, he replied: "I am diseased in my testicles and I waited in the church of St. John the Baptist in the Oxeia near St. Artemios but my sins prevented me from being healed." And the holy martyr said to him: "Lift up your garments. Let me see you." And after he pulled his tunic, Artemios touched his testicles. Awakened from sleep and interpreting the dream to himself and deeming it all to be a fantasy, he berated himself, saying that the thing was a vision and not real. Then, touching himself, he found that he was healed. So immediately he took some necessities for making a meal and an offering and disembarked in order to make a trip to the saint. But the sailors, unaware of the mystery of the miracle and the reason why he was seeking to disembark, tried to prevent him from starting saying: "Where are you off to? If the wind starts blowing, we sail off and you are going to be left ashore!" But he said to them: "Set sail with my blessing but do not get in my way." And so he forsook them and went to the church of St. John where the saint lies in repose and gave thanks to God. And making his way back again [to the Hebdomon], he found the ship still lying at anchor. After sailing home on it, he proclaimed God's greatness to all those there.'

Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus 1909; translation: Crisafulli and Nesbitt 1997.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E07813

Saint Name

Artemios, martyr of Antioch under the emperor Julian : 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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Miracles

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

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Merchants and artisans Foreigners (including Barbarians)

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). Hebdomon was a suburb of Constantinople located at the southwest of the city along the Marmara Sea. There was a harbour and a palace called the Magnaura, both built by the emperor Valens (r. 364-378) (Crisafulli and Nesbitt 1997: 236).

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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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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