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Gobidlaha, Dado, And Caxo, Saints - Coptic Wiki


Three martyrs in fourth-century Persia. They belong to a minor tradition, so it is remarkable to find a Coptic testimony to their death. The only is very fragmentary, but it allows a useful comparison with the other that exist in Greek (Acta Sanctorum, September, pp. 129-34) and in Syriac (Bedjan, 1890-1897, Vol. 4, p. 163, with the parallel Passion of Dado, pp. 210-21), which allows reconstruction of the events, along with an abstract in the SYNAXARION.

Dado, governor of a province, is acknowledged to be Christian. He is denounced by the Persian king Shapur II, who sends a legate to kill him. Shapur’s son, Gobidlaha, who is Dado’s friend, goes to warn him and converts to Christianity himself. When Shapur discovers this, he summons and Gobidlaha to his court. The king tries to persuade Gobidlaha by means of his sister Caxo, but she also converts to Christianity. All three are then martyred.

As can be seen in the remaining fragments, the Syriac and the Coptic perfectly agree, while the Greek redaction shows some differences. In the Greek version is a senator, whereas the other versions specify that he is the governor of Media. In the Greek version the martyrdom of Dado is dated before the martyrdom of Gobidlaha and Caxo; in the other versions the three are killed together. The Syriac version gives a separate text for Dado, which agrees almost completely with the part concerning the passion of Gobidlaha. Possibly the original was Syriac with the differing Greek version appearing prior to the Coptic. the Greek served as an intermediary, even though the two texts differ.

  • Bedjan, P. Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum siriace, 7 vols. and Leipzig, 1890-1897. Repr. Hildesheim, 1968.
  • Orlandi, T. “Papiri copti di contenuto teologico.” Mitteilungen aus der Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, new ser. 9. Vienna, 1974.