A martyr in fourth-century Egypt Heraclides is known only from the fragmentary text of a Sahidic Passion and fragments of a codex from DAYR ANBA SHINUDAH (the White Monastery). (For a complete list, see Till, 1935, pp. 33ff.; and Von Lemm, 1913, no. 4.) He is not mentioned in the Copto- Arabic SYNAXARION, and the Heraclides mentioned in the Passion of DIDYMUS THE BLIND along with four other martyrs appears to be quite a different person.
The Passion belongs to those of the Cycle of Julius of Aqfahs, and the scene takes place in Alexandria under the Roman prefect Armenius. We now possess only an initial apparition of Jesus, who predicts that Heraclides will be martyred; the mention of the witness of Julius of Aqfahs; some scenes of terrible tortures followed by miraculous cures; and finally the death sentence pronounced by Armenius. Before dying, Heraclides prays that the land where he is buried may proliferate with fruit and animals. This prayer is an indication of the close relationship between piety and cultic devotion to the martyr in hope of benefits.
- Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus, Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
- Lemm, O. E. von. Bruchstücke koptischer Märtyrerakten, Vols. 1-4. St. Petersburg, 1913.
- Till, W. C. Koptische Heiligen- und Märtyrerle- genden, Vol. 1. Orientalia Christiana Analecta 102. Rome, 1935.