DIOS, SAINT, or Abadyus
A soldier who was martyred commemorated by the Copts (feast day: 25 Tubah). He is but unknown in other traditions. The text of his Passion has survived in only a single Sahidic manuscript (Rossi, 1893, pp. 86-90). In this, the martyrdom is dated to the time of Emperor Maximinus (235-238) in Egypt, and a praepositus, Dioparipe, and princeps, Paer (officers of the Tenth Legion), are named.
The story of the Passion is as follows. When the edict ordering sacrifice to the pagan gods arrives, the soldiers are paraded. One of them, Dios of Pelcoi, steps forward, removing his military belt and refusing to offer sacrifice. When the princeps threatens him, Dios prophesies the death of the princeps’s son and is thereupon tortured. He then foretells the death of the wife of the praepositus as well. Both prophecies are fulfilled.
The legion is disturbed by all this, and Dios is imprisoned. The emperor arrives, and there is a long discussion between him and Dios. Dios is then killed. His body is protected by God and is buried by a holy monk from the vicinity.
The text belongs to the type produced in epic style (see HAGIOGRAPHY), but its style and content indicate that it is not of the later fictitious type but dates back (probably in Greek) to the classical period of epic passions, in other words to about the fifth century.
- Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus: Der Märtyr als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
- Rossi, F., ed. Un nuovo codice copto del museo Egizio di Torino, pp. 3-136. Rome, 1893.