The souls recognized in Egypt who suffered persecution and died for their faith. The majority of martyrs belong to the period of Roman persecutions from the time of Nero in the mid-first century to the time of Diocletian in the early fourth century. It is, of course, impossible to assemble the names of all the martyrs who were tortured and executed for refusing to offer incense and libations to the ancient gods and emperors, but a fair estimate of their number would be about 1 million.
A new category of martyrs appeared in the Islamic period after the Arab conquest in the seventh century. The “new martyrs” of this period, as they were called, are relatively few. In the main they were Christians who apostatized to Islam but later recanted and returned to their former faith. According to Islamic law, they automatically became subject to the death penalty and were decapitated, thereby earning the crown of martyrdom.
The survival of Christianity in Egypt must be ascribed mainly to the Coptic martyrs in the Roman period. During the Islamic period, the church was generally able to resist the temptation to apostasy. Although the significance of the Coptic church and its martyrs was largely forgotten after the advent of Islam, they remain a vital chapter in the rise of Christianity in both the Eastern and Western worlds.
Perhaps the most serious attempt to gather all the names of known martyrs whose historicity has been attested from established documentary sources is that of De Lacy O’Leary, who compiled The Saints of Egypt in the Coptic Calendar in 1937. He made a register of all the saints enumerated in the Copto-Arabic SYNAXARION as well as saints derived from other papyrological fragments but not in the Synaxarion. The book registers two categories of saints: martyrs, who died a violent death, and holy men and women, usually monks or anchorites, who ended their lives peacefully. This second category is treated under SAINTS, COPTIC.
The following listing of martyrs is based chiefly on O’Leary’s register. The legendary statements in O’Leary’s book derived from original sources have been curtailed; only historic material has been given along with the official commemoration date (feast day) of each saint, when available. Many, but not all, appear in the Copto- Arabic Synaxarion. Not all spellings are those used by O’Leary, but alternates, including his, are given. When a saint has a separate biography in the encyclopedia, it is printed in small caps.
Abadion (feast day: 1 Amshir), bishop of Antinoopolis during the reign of Diocletian. After he was martyred by Arianus, governor of Upper Egypt, a general massacre of Christians in Antinoopolis followed; 5,800 were said to have perished.
Abadir and Erai, see Ter and Erai, below.
Abadys, see Dios, below.
ABAMUN OF TARNUT (feast day: 27 Abib), a native of Tarnut in Upper Egypt.
ABAMUN OF TUKH, or Ammonius (feast day: 13 Abib), a native of Tukh in the diocese of Bana.
Abib (or Apip) and Apollo, (feast day: 25 Babah), close colleagues who entered a monastery. Abib became a deacon and was martyred. Apollo, distressed, moved deeper into the desert, near Mount Abluj, followed by a group of ascetics. He too was martyred.
Aesi (feast day: 29 Ba’unah), one of the seven ascetics from the village of Tunah in Upper Egypt executed under Diocletian.
AGATHON (OR AGATHUN) AND HIS BROTHERS, (feast day: 7 Tut), fourth-century martyrs with their mother, from Sunbat.
Alexander (feast day: 12 Baramudah), a student at the Catechetical School in Alexandria under Pantaenus and Saint Clement of Alexandria. Imprisoned under Severus, he died in 251. He is called bishop of Jerusalem in the Synaxarion.
Alexander and Alexander the Egyptian (feast day: 1 Baramhat), martyred under Decius. They are cited by the historian Eusebius of Caesarea. Alexander is bishop of Cappadocia in the Synaxarion.
Alladyus (feast day: 3 Ba’unah), a soldier in the army of Emperor Constantine the Great, who, presumably, explained the significance of the cross that appeared in the sky before a battle and led to the emperor’s conversion. JULIAN THE APOSTATE tried in vain to win him to the pagan gods and then ordered him thrown into a fiery furnace. His emergence unscathed led to the conversion of many spectators. Finally Julian ordered him decapitated (p. 68). He is called a bishop in the Synaxarion.
Ammonius, or Ammon (feast day: 14 Kiyahk), bishop of Latopolis (Isna), consecrated by Saint Peter I, Patriarch of Alexandria in the early fourth century. Ammonius built a monastery on a hill outside the city, where he spent Tuesday to Friday every week. Arianus, who was touring the country in search of Christians, seized Ammonius, moved him to Antinoopolis, and had him tortured and executed.
Ammonius of Tukh, see Abamun of Tukh, above.
Amsah of Qift (feast day: 15 Kiyahk), a native of Qift who was told by an angel in a vision to take a waiting ship on the Nile to Tkow to announce his faith and suffer the consequences. After telling his sister, Theodora, he followed the angel’s advice and was tortured by the governor, Arianus, and put to death. His body was thrown into the Nile, but a crocodile pushed it to shore and Theodora buried it with honor.
Ananius and Khuzi (feast day: 16 Kiyahk), natives of Akhmim who were martyred.
ANASTASIA, Hilaria, and Aripsima (feast day: 26 Kiyahk), three women martyrs.
ANATOLIUS (feast day: 9 Tubah), fourth-century martyr in the Basilides Cycle.
Antoninus, or Antonius, or Andura (feast day: 25 Abib), a native of good parentage from Bana, who declared his faith in Antinoopolis. The governor ordered his execution by archers, but Antoninus miraculously remained unscathed. Afterwards he and a companion, Epimachus, went to Alexandria, where they were tortured. Antoninus went on to Pelusium, where he was tortured again and beheaded.
ANUB, or Apa Nob (feast day: 24 Abib), a martyr under Diocletian. APAIULE AND TOLEMAEUS (feast day: 21 Tubah), a monk and a soldier martyred under Diocletian.
APOLI (feast day: 1 Misra), a fourth-century martyr of the Basilides Cycle who was born in Antioch and killed in Egypt.
Apollo (feast day: 10 Amshir), a martyr under Diocletian. APOLLONIUS AND PHILEMON (feast day: 7 Baramhat), musicians who became martyrs under Diocletian.
Aptia and John (feast day: 16 Abib), martyrs of Sabarou. John is mentioned in the Synaxarion as John of the Golden Gospel.
Archaelaus (feast day: 11 Hatur), martyr (p. 84).
Archippus, Philemon, and Abfiyyah (feast day: 25 Amshir).
ARI, or Uri (feast day: 9 Misrah), a priest of Shatanuf who was martyred under Diocletian.
ARIANUS (feast day: 8 Baramhat), a Roman governor of Antinoopolis under Diocletian who persecuted Christians and later became a Christian and was himself martyred.
Arius of Shetnusi, martyr.
Armenius (or Armanus) and His Mother, (feast day: 8 Ba’unah), martyrs.
Arsenius (feast day: 18 Baramudah), slave of Saint Susinius, an officer in Diocletian’s household (p. 87).
Asbah (feast day: 15 Kiyahk), native of Qift (p. 88).
ASCLA (feast day: 20 Tubah), martyr of the Arianus Cycle under Diocletian.
Asra, see Pihour, Pisouri, and Asra, below.
Asqalun (feast day: 20 Baramhat).
Astrolate, a magician whom, according to legend, God released from hell when Astrolate promised to become a martyr.
Athanasia, see Cyrus, John, below.
Athanasius and Irene (feast day: 3 Hatur), brother and sister martyred under Emperor Maximian.
Athanasius, Jerasimus, and Theodotus (feast day: 29 Misra), a bishop and his two assistants seized, tortured, and killed by Emperor Valerian because Athanasius had baptized the daughter of Antonius, one of Valerian’s officers.
Athom, see Piroou and Athom, below.
Atrasis and Junia, or Adrusis and Yu’anna (feast day: 18 Hatur), Roman martyrs. Atrasis, daughter of Emperor Hadrian, was converted to Christianity by Junia, daughter of the Christian Filoysofron. When Hadrian returned from a campaign and commanded his daughter to sacrifice to Apollo, she refused. Both women declared their faith and were condemned to death in a trench filled with flames. They marched in voluntarily and were consumed.
Babylas (feast day: 28 Tubah), a bishop who was tried by Emperor Numerianus and beheaded.
Bacchus, see Sergius and Bacchus, below.
Badasius (feast day: 23 Tubah), a native of Pbow, who with his brother Yusab entered the Monastery of Saint Pachomius and later moved to Qift, where he was warned of his imminent martyrdom by the archangel Raphael.
Bajuj or Kaluj (feast day: 20 Tubah).
Bahna (feast day: 20 Tubah).
Bahnam and Sarah (feast day: 14 Kiyahk), brother and sister who were martyred.
Bajush, or Pejosh (feast day: 26 Tubah), a rich farmer from Bilad who was charitable and professed his Christianity before the governor Arius. Bajush was sent to Tana and beheaded in a suburb called Salamun, where a church was built in his honor.
Balana (feast day: 8 Abib), a priest from Bara in Sakha district who sold his goods and distributed the proceeds to the poor. He professed his faith before the governor Arianus in Antinoopolis and was tortured and beheaded.
Banina and Naou (feast day: 7 Kiyahk), martyrs who were tried before Emperor Maximian near Idfu and beheaded. A church was later built for their remains.
Barbara and Juliana (feast day: 8 Kiyahk). Barbara, daughter of the pagan noble Dioscurus, was converted to Christianity and consequently delivered to the authorities by her father. When they started to torture her, she was joined by Juliana, a woman spectator. Both were beheaded. Later Barbara’s remains were transferred to a church in Old Cairo that bears her name.
Barsanuphius, or Ouarshufah, or Warshanufyus (feast day: 29 Abib), martyr under Diocletian with Eudemon, his brother Epistemun, and their mother, Sophia.
BARSANUPHIUS (feast day: 13 Kiyahk), a “new martyr” who was a monk in the Church of Abu Mina, Cairo.
Basidi, Kutulus, Armada, Musa, Aesi, Barkalas, and another Kutulus (feast day: 29 Ba’unah), seven ascetics who declared their faith to the governor and were tortured, burned, and imprisoned but remained unscathed. A group of 130 was converted as a result. Eventually Kutulus the priest was burned and the rest were beheaded (pp. 100-101).
Basil, or Basilios (feast day: 11 Baramhat), a bishop who was consecrated by Saint Amun, patriarch of Jerusalem. Basil did missionary work in Sharsunah and revived the governor’s dead son but was killed by the Jewish population.
Basil, Theodosius (or Theodore), and Timothy (feast day: 20 Amshir), martyrs.
Basilidas, or Wasilidas, or Basilides the General (feast day: 11 Tut), head of a prominent family in Antioch who was sent by order of Diocletian with his family to Egypt. They were separated before being tried, tortured, and put to death. Basilidas is the central figure of the Basilidas Cycle.
Batra, or Matra (feast day: 10 Misrah), martyr under Decius, who miraculously survived being thrown into the fire but later had his hands and feet amputated and his head cut off.
Behnam (or Bahnam) and Sarah, (feast day: 14 Kiyahk), children of a pagan king, who were converted by Matthew, a Christian who healed Sarah of leprosy. On their way to join Christian refugees for prayers, they were discovered by the army of Emperor Julian and killed. Matthew cured their father who went insane at the news, and converted him and the queen. The king built a church over the remains of his children and a monastery for Matthew.
Benjamin and Eudoxia (feast day: 28 Misrah), brother and sister who declared their faith to the governor of Shetnufe under Diocletian. They were thrown into a river with stones around their necks, but an angel untied the stones, and they swam ashore at Botra, where they were seized again and beheaded.
BESAMON, son of Basilides the General, martyred under Diocletian.
Bimin, or PAMIN (feast day: 9 Kiyahk), a “martyr without bloodshed,” who survived Diocletian and lived out his life in a monastery near al-Ashmunayn.
Bishoi, Hor, and Diodora, or Anba Bishay, Apa Hor, and Theodora (feast day: 29 Ba’unah), two brothers and their mother who were martyred.
Bishoi Anub of Naesi or Bishay Anub (feast day: 19 Ba’unah), a native of Panayus in the diocese of Damietta who was an officer under Cyprian, governor of Atripe. Wishing for martyrdom he declared his faith, was tortured, and was taken to Heliopolis, where he was executed. His story was told by Julian of Aqfahs.
Biuka and Tayaban, or Biyukhah and Binayin (feast day: 1 Abib), two priests of Tunah who sought the sacrament reserved for the sick. When they found a serpent had devoured it, they killed and ate the serpent to save the holy bread and died as martyrs.
BULUS AL-HABIS, or Paul the Solitary, “new martyr” of the thirteenth century.
Callinicus (feast day: 2 Tubah), bishop of Syene (Awsim) under Diocletian. He professed his faith before the governor Arianus in Antinoopolis, was tortured, and was sent by ship to Tukh. He died en route and his body was cast ashore, where it was buried by the faithful.
CAMOUL, or Chamoul (feast day: 16 Bashans), a native of Kellia who was martyred under Diocletian.
Chanazhum, Sophronius, and Dalasina (feast day: 20 Hatur), martyrs executed by the governor Arianus at Luxor.
Children, Three (feast day: 14 Hatur), martyrs who in the book of Daniel were cast into the furnace in Babylon. (See BIBLICAL SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART: Three Hebrew Children.)
Christopher, or Christophorus (feast day: 2 Baramudah), martyr under Emperor Decius.
Claudius Stratelates (feast day: 11 Ba’unah), son of Ptolemy, brother of Emperor Numerianus who was a general in the Roman army. After fighting in Armenia, he was exiled to Alexandria by Diocletian with the usual letter asking the governor Arianus to win Claudius to the Roman religion. Claudius resisted so Arianus killed him with a javelin.
Colluthus (feast day: 25 Bashans), son of a prominent family of Antinoopolis, he practiced medicine without a fee, then gave up his wealth for a life of asceticism. He was questioned, tortured, and beheaded by a successor of the governor Arianus.
COPRES, late-fourth-century monk who was martyred under the emperor Julian the Apostate.
COSMAS AND DAMIAN (feast day: 22 Hatur), martyrs with their brothers Anthimus, Leontius, and Eupropious, and their mother, Theodota.
Cyriacus, Anna, and Admon.
CYRIACUS AND JULITTA (feast day: 15 Abib), a son and his mother who were martyred under Diocletian.
Cyrus, John, and Filya, or Apa Kir, John, and Philip (feast day: 14 Ba’unah), brothers, natives of Damanhur, who were tortured and beheaded and buried in the Church of Saint Mark, Alexandria.
Cyrus, (or Apa Kir), John, Theodora, Theodosia, Theopista, and Athanasia, (feast day: 6 Amshir), natives of Alexandria who were killed and thrown to wild beasts. Athanasia was the mother of the three virgins.
Dabamun (feast day: 10 Ba’unah), father of a beautiful virgin named Youna, who was sought by the governor Eulogius, who became Christian. All three were taken to Sais and executed by Eulogius’ pagan successor.
Daidasa (feast day: 29 Ba’unah).
Damnas (feast day: 5 Hatur).
DANDARAH, Martyrs of (feast day: 15 Bashans), four hundred natives of Dandarah martyred under Diocletian.
Dasyah (feast day: 2 Tut), an officer of Tanda beheaded by the governor Arianus.
David (feast day: 4 Misra), martyred with his brother under Diocletian at Sinjar. His body was preserved at the Monastery of Saint Victor in Asyut.
Decius (feast day: 4 Baramudah), martyr with Victor, Irene, and others.
DIMYANAH AND HER FORTY VIRGINS (feast day: 13 Tubah), daughter of the governor of Lower Egypt and her companions.
Diomede, or Dayumidis (feast day: 8 Tut), a native of Tarshebi in Dantua diocese who confessed his faith at Atripe and was tortured and killed by Lucianus in Alexandria.
DIOS, or Abadyus (feast day: 25 Tubah), a third-century soldier who was martyred.
Dioscorus and Aesculapius (feast day: 1 Tubah), ascetics on the Mount of Akhmim who were told by the archangel Michael in a vision to confess their faith to the governor Arianus. According to legend, forty soldiers witnessed the vision and were converted. All were martyred.
Eirene, or Irene (feast day: 21 Misrah), daughter of Governor Lucinius, or King Licinius, who was baptized by a disciple of Saint Paul, tortured by her father, but remained unscathed. She was arrested by Emperor Numerianus and killed by Diocletian but miraculously resuscitated, with the result that her father and 113,000 subjects converted. She died in Ephesus.
Elias the Eunuch (feast day: 28 Tubah), a gardener at Pemdje for the governor Culcianus, whose daughter fell in love with him and tempted him. He therefore castrated himself and sent the organ to her, saying it was what she wanted. The angry woman reported him as a Christian, and he was martyred.
EPIMA, or Bima, or Epiuse, or Anba Bimanun (feast day: 8 Abib), a native of Panokleus in the nome of Pemdje, or al-Bahnasa, who was tortured in Alexandria and crucified up side down in Upper Egypt. Saved by a miracle, he was finally beheaded.
EPIMACHUS OF PELUSIUM (feast day: 14 Bashans), a weaver whose miracles at his death resulted in the conversion of 1,750.
Epimachus and Gordian (or Azaryanus) (feast day: 4 Hatur), martyrs under Diocletian.
Eudamon (feast day: 18 Misra), the first martyr from Armant, according to legend informed by an angel of the coming of the Holy Family to al-Ashmunayn on its flight to Egypt. He hastened there to worship Christ instead of pagan gods and was therefore killed by the people.
Eugenius, see Eusignius, below.
Eugenius, Agathodorus, and Elpidius (feast day: 14 Baramhat), bishops who were murdered by the pagans to whom they preached.
Eulogius and Arsenius (feast day: 16 Kiyahk), Syrian-born ascetics in Dayr al-Hadid at Akhmim who survived torture but were eventually killed.
Eunapius and Andrew (feast day: 12 Tut), monks from Kydda who served in Syria. Disciples of Saint Macarius the Egyptian, they were martyred by Emperor Julian the Apostate.
Euphemia (feast day: 17 Abib), martyr under Diocletian.
EUSEBIUS (feast day: 23 Amshir), an eminent member of the Basilides family of Antioch under Diocletian.
EUSIGNIUS, or Eusegnius, or Eugenius, or Usaghniyus (feast day: 5 Tubah), a soldier or general in the army of Constantine I who was martyred under Julian the Apostate.
EUSTATHIUS AND THEOPISTA (feast day: 27 Tut), a Roman general and his wife and two sons who were martyred under Trajan or Hadrian.
FEBRONIA, or Afrunyah (feast day: 1 Abib), a fourth-century nun who was martyred.
Filatis, or Pilate (feast day: 10 Abib), martyr of African origin.
Fugas, or Phocas (feast day: 10 Tubah), bishop of Bontos who was martyred under Hadrian.
GEORGE (feast day: 23 Baramudah).
George, see Jirgis al-Muzahim, below.
George of Alexandria, or Georgius (feast day: 7 Hatur), son of a rich merchant of Alexandria, begotten through the intercession of Saint George the Great. On his parents’ death he was entrusted to the governor Armenius, whose daughter he converted. The angered Armenius seized both and sent George to the governor Arianus at Antinoopolis, where both were ultimately beheaded. Their remains were buried at Manuf (possibly Memphis).
George the Ascetic (feast day: 17 Barahmat), martyr.
GOBIDLAHA, DADO, AND CAXO, a fourth-century Roman governor (Dado) and a Persian prince and princess who were martyred at Persia.
GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR (or the Armenian) (feast days: 15 Kiyahk and 19 Tut), a fourth-century patriarch of Armenia who was a “martyr without bloodshed.”
HAMAI OF KAHYOR (feast day: 11 Amshir), a fifth-century monk who was martyred in Alexandria.
Harwaj (feast day: 16 Kiyahk), a martyr who was killed with a companion, Mui.
Helias (feast day: 20 Kiyahk), a bishop martyred under Arianus at Antinoopolis.
Heracleas and Philemon (feast day: 18 Kiyahk), martyrs. HERACLIDES, martyr.
Herai, see Ter and Erai, below.
Hilaria (feast day: 25 Abib), a native of Demeliana near Darirab, she confessed her faith at Tunah and was sent to Susnah, where she was killed.
Hor of Saryaqus, or Apa Hor of Siryaqus (feast day: 12 Abib), martyr tortured at Pelusium and beheaded at Antinoopolis.
Hor, Bishoi, and Daidara, or Apa Hor, Anba Bishay, and Theodora (feast day: 29 Ba’unah), a soldier, his brother, and their mother, natives of Antioch who were martyred in Alexandria.
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (feast day: 20 December in the East, 17 October in the West), first-century bishop of Antioch who was martyred in Rome.
Ioule and Pteleme (or Ptolemy) (feast day: 21 Tubah), martyrs.
Isaac of Shamma (feast day: 25 Abib), a pious gardener who was tortured and beheaded after declaring his faith.
ISAAC OF TIPHRE (or of Difrah) (feast day: 6 Bashans), martyr who miraculously restored sight to the blind and was executed at Pemdje.
ISIDORUS, or Isidore of Antioch (feast day: 19 Bashans), son of the governor Pantaleon of Antioch, who was killed and revived five times before his final martyrdom under Diocletian.
Isidorus (or Isidore) of Takinash, (feast day: 18 Baramhat), a weaver of Pelusium who was seized by Diocletian’s soldiers, tortured, and killed.
Isidorus and Bandilaus (feast day: 19 Bashans), men in the service of Diocletian who resigned when he turned against Christians.
They became monks at Dayr Anba Samu’il. They were arrested, tortured, and executed.
James of Amadjudj, or Jacob the Soldier (feast day: 17 Misra), martyr under Diocletian who professed his faith to the governor of Antinoopolis and was tortured and killed with Abraham and John of Jamnuti.
JAMES INTERCISUS, or Jacob the Sawn, or al-Muqatta’ (feast day: 27 Hatur), a Persian martyr of the third century.
James (or Jacob) and John, (feast day: 4 Hatur), two bishops who suffered martyrdom under the Persian king Shapur II in the early fourth century.
Jamoul (feast day: 16 Bashans), a native of the Delta, who was martyred.
JIRJS AL-MUZAHIM, or George (feast day: 19 Ba’unah), a “new martyr” of the ninth century.
John of Ashmun Tanah, or Bkhbis, or Bikabes (feast day: 10 Misra), a soldier seized with two bishops, Anba Kaluj and Anba Filubbus, and beheaded with ninety-five others at Baramun.
John of Heraclia, a Christian general who was martyred. John of Phanidjoit, a “new martyr,” who died in 1209. John of Psenhowt, a martyr.
John of Sanhut (or al-Sanhuti) (feast day: 8 Bashans), a shepherd who was beheaded at Atripe.
John the Soldier (feast day: 5 Misrah), a general under Julian the Apostate who was ordered to pursue Christians but secretly helped them. He was found and killed.
JOORE (feast day: 10 Kiyahk), a shepherd who was martyred in the fourth century.
Joshua (or Yashu‘) and Joseph, (feast day: 13 Baramudah), ascetics associated with Mount Khorasan.
Julian and His Mother (feast day: 23 Bashans), martyrs in Alexandria.
Juliana (feast day: 26 Kiyahk), martyrs.
Julietta, or Julita (feast day: 6 Misra), martyr.
Julius of Aqfahs (feast day: 22 Tut), an army officer who helped martyrs, collected their remains, and recorded their biographies. He was arrested after declaring his faith, tortured, twice killed and miraculously restored, and killed a third time. During the inquest the governor of Samannud and Atripe and 1,500 people were converted and martyred.
JUSTUS (feast day: 10 Amshir), the Christian son of Emperor Numerianus, who fought in the Roman army in Persia and was shocked when Diocletian began to persecute Christians. Justus was sent to Alexandria, tried at Antinoopolis, and executed.
Kaou, or Ka’u (feast day: 28 Tubah), a native of Bimay (Bamwayh) in the Fayyum who refused to worship pagan gods under Diocletian, was tried by the governor of Antinoopolis, and was killed.
KRAJON AND AMUN (feast day: 25 Abib), a Roman official at al- Banawan who was dismissed for bad conduct and became a brigand leader, and his friend. They and the rest of the brigand band overheard the prayers of an ascetic and were converted.
LACARON (feast day: 14 Babah), native of Tajeli, whose story is considered suspect by some authorities.
LEONTIUS OF TRIPOLI (feast day: 22 Abib), fourth-century martyr in Syria.
Lucilianus and Four Companions (feast day: 9 Ba’unah), a pagan priest who was converted and with his associates arrested under Emperor Aurelianus, tortured, and killed.
MACARIUS (feast day: 22 Abib), son of Basilides, a minister of Diocletian, who was tortured in Alexandria, executed at Shatanuf, and buried at al-Ashmunayn.
MACARIUS OF TKOW (feast day: 27 Babah), a bishop of Tkow and companion of Patriarch Dioscuros I after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. He refused an imperial command to subscribe to the council and was killed.
MACROBIUS, or Makrawi (feast day: 2 Baramhat), a native of Ashmun Jurays, bishop of Nikiou, persecuted and killed under Diocletian.
Maharati (feast day: 14 Tubah), a twelve-year-old girl martyred at Antinoopolis.
Mama (feast day: 6 Tut), a child from Paphlagonia martyred under Emperor Aurelianus.
MARK I (feast day: 30 Baramudah and 30 Babah), one of the four evangelists and the first patriarch of Alexandria.
Matra (feast day: 8 Babah), martyr under Decius.
Matrunah (feast day: 10 Tut), martyr.
Maximus, Numitius, Victor, and Philip (feast day: 1 Hatur), four brothers from Africa who were martyred.
MENAS (feast day: 14 Kiyahk), a foreigner who was martyred in Alexandria. The Greeks commemorate Saint Menas, bishop of Athens, the same day.
Menas the Deacon (feast day: 15 Bashans), martyr.
MENAS OF AL-ASHMUNAYN, or Menas the Ascetic (feast day: 17 Amshir), a “new martyr” from Akhmim, who was killed after the Arab conquest (p. 199).
MENAS THE MIRACLE MAKER, or Abu Mina (feast day: 15 Hatur).
Menas and Hasina (feast day: 7 Babah), martyrs.
Mercurius (feast day: 18 Tut), a martyr under Julian the Apostate.
MERCURIUS OF CAESAREA, or Abu Sayfayn, or Marqurah (feast day: 25 Hatur), a popular soldier-saint who was martyred under Decius.
Mercurius and Ephraem (feast day: 30 Abib), natives of Akmim and monks of the Thebiad, who opposed the Arians and were killed by them.
Michael of Damietta, a “new martyr” in the period 1167-1200. He was a monk of Scetis who apostatized to Islam and then returned to Christianity, for which he was killed.
Milius (feast day: 28 Baramudah), an ascetic who converted two princes before he was killed under Diocletian.
Moses and Sarah (feast day: 26 Misra), a brother and sister under Septimius Severus who adopted the monastic life and voluntarily offered themselves for martyrdom.
MOSES THE BLACK (feast day: 24 Ba’unah), fourth-to-fifth- century Ethiopian slave who turned brigand, then ascetic. He and six companions were killed in a Berber raid in 407.
MUI, fourth-century martyr in Alexandria.
NABRAHA (feast day: 8 Abib), a confessor who was tortured under
Diocletian but was then exiled and became an ascetic.
Naharua, or Naharuh (feast day: 7 Hatur), a native of the Fayyum who went to Alexandria to be martyred under Diocletian.
Nicetas, or Nakita (feast day: 18 Tut), a martyr.
Nicholas (feast day: 10 Kiyahk), bishop of Myra who was one of the “martyrs without bloodshed” because he was saved from execution by Diocletian’s death. He attended the First Council of Nicea in 325.
Nob, Apa, see Anub, above.
OLYMPIUS (feast day: 21 Amshir), a physician of Nicomedia who was martyred under Diocletian.
PAESE AND TECLA (or Thecla) (feast day: 8 Kiyahk), brother and sister who were martyred under Diocletian.
Pamin, see Bimin, above.
PAMPHILUS (feast day: 16 February in the East, 1 June in the West), third-century philosopher, teacher, and supporter of Origen who was martyred in Palestine.
Pamun and Sarmata (feast day: 27 Abib).
PANESNEU, a deacon from Pakierkie, martyred under Culcianus. PANTALEON (feast day: 15 Babah), a fourth-century physician of Nicomedia who was martyred under Emperor Maximinus.
Paphnutius (feast day: 20 Baramudah), hermit of Dandarah who was tried before the governor Arianus with Cyril and Cyril’s wife, twelve sons, and a daughter, and killed.
Paphnutius (feast day: 11 September in the East), a “martyr without bloodshed,” a bishop of the Upper Thebaid who was tortured under Diocletian but liberated after the accession of Constantine. He attended the First Council of Nicea in 325.
Paphnutius of Pbow, a deacon of Pbow.
Papylas (feast day: 16 Babah).
Patape, or Bidaba (feast day: 19 Abib), an anchorite who became bishop of Coptos and was martyred under Diocletian.
PAUL OF TAMMAH (feast day: 7 Babah).
Paul the Syrian (feast day: 9 Amshir), martyr who lived in al- Ashmunayn, professed his faith in Alexandria, and was tortured and killed in Antinoopolis.
Paul and Salfana (feast day: 24 Kiyahk), martyrs under Diocletian.
Paul, Longinus, and Zeno (feast day: 24 Babah), martyrs.
PETER I (feast day: 29 Hatur), early fourth-century patriarch of Alexandria who was beheaded under Diocletian.
PHILEMON, see Apollonius and Philemon, above.
PHILOTHEUS OF ANTIOCH (feast day: 16 Tubah), a boy who is martyred under Diocletian.
Phoibammon, or Phoebammon (feast day: 27 Tubah), a native of Awsim under Emperor Maximian who was called at Tama, north of Antaepolis (Qaw).
PHOIBAMMON OF PREHT, or Pheobammon, or Bifam, or Epiphanius (feast day: 1 Ba’unah), a soldier martyred under Diocletian.
Pihebs, or Bikhibis, or Bikabes (feast day: 10 Misra), an ascetic of Ashmun Tanah.
Pihur, Pisura, and Asra (feast day: 18 Tubah), natives of Shabas executed at Latopolis.
Piroou and Athom, or Abiruh or Piru and Atom (feast day: 8 Abib), two brothers, peasants from Tasempoti, under Diocletian, who declared their faith and were beheaded by Armenius, governor of Alexandria.
PISURA (feast day: 9 Tut), bishop of Masil who was martyred under Diocletian.
Poemen and Eudoxia, see Benjamin and Eudoxia, above. POLYCARP (feast day: 29 Amshir), second-century bishop of Smyrna who was martyred.
Porphyry, or Porphyrius (feast day: 3 Baramhat), martyr possibly under Diocletian.
Procopius (feast day: 14 Abib), pagan governor of Alexandria under Diocletian who was later converted, arrested, and beheaded.
Psote, or Anba Bisadah the Presbyter, or Ibsadah (feast day: 24 Tubah), martyr who declared his faith in al-Qays and was tortured and beheaded.
PSOTE OF PSOI, or Psate, or Bisadah (feast day: 27 Kiyahk), bishop of Psoi martyred under Diocletian.
Ptolemy, or Pteleme (feast day: 11 Kiyahk), native of Dandarah who confessed his faith and was tortured and killed at Tukh al-Khayl, near Taha.
Quna, or Conon (feast day: 25 Amshir), a native of Rome who was martyred.
Quzman (or Cosmos) of Taha and His Companions, (feast day: 1 Ba’unah).
REGULA (feast day: 1 Tut), third-century missionary who was a member of the Theban Legion and was martyred in Switzerland.
Repsima (feast day: 29 Tut), virgin who fled from Rome to Armenia with seventy-eight companions, including her sisters. They were all slain under Diocletian.
Sakhirun of Qallin, or Abiskhirun (feast day: 8 Ba’unah), a soldier from Asyut, who with five others confessed his faith and was beheaded.
Salib (feast day: 3 Kiyahk), a “new martyr.”
Sarah and Her Children (or Her Two Sons) (feast day: 25 Baramudah), martyrs in Alexandria under Diocletian.
SARAPAMON OF SCETIS (feast day: 28 Hatur), a Jew from Jerusalem who was baptized in Alexandria by Patriarch Theonas, became a monk and bishop of Nikiou, and was beheaded by the governor Arainus under Diocletian.
SARAPION (feast day: 27 Tubah), a native of Binusah in Lower Egypt, who was martyred.
Sebaste, Forty Martyrs of (feast day: 13 Baramhat), Christians slain by Licinius, a Roman officer, in 320.
Sergius of Atrib (feast day: 13 Amshir), martyr, who with his parents was slain by the governor Cyprian. His remains were collected by Julius of Aqfahs.
Sergius and Bacchus, or . . . Wakhus (feast day: 4 Babah), martyrs slain under Emperor Maximian.
Shamul (feast day: 16 Baramudah).
SHENUFE (feast day: 7 Babah), a martyr under Diocletian.
Shenute, or Sinuti (feast day: 14 Baramhat), a native of Bahnasa who was slain under Emperor Maximian.
Shenute, or Anba Shinudah (feast day: 13 Abib), a “new martyr” of the seventh century.
Sidhom Bishay (feast day: 17 Baramhat), a “new martyr” of the early nineteenth century. A Christian native of Damietta, he was working in a rice factory when a Muslim accused him of blasphemy against Islam and had him taken to court. The judge ordered him flogged and the angry populace tortured him and led him in a procession through the city riding a buffalo. He died five days later.
Simeon (feast day: 14 Kiyahk), a “new martyr” under the Arabs.
Simeon the Armenian (feast day: 19 Baramudah), an old man of 127 who was slain with 150 other Christians by Shapur, king of Persia.
Sina (feast day: 24 Baramudah), a high-ranking army officer who was executed with Saint Isidorus. Their remains were preserved at Jamnuti (Samannud).
Sophia (feast day: 10 Ba’unah), mother of Eudamon and Epistamon, with whom she was martyred.
SOPHIA (feast day: 5 Tut), a holy woman of Egypt or Constantinople, a martyr or an ascetic, whose remains were buried in Santa Sophia, Constantinople.
STEPHEN (feast day: 1 Tubah), archdeacon who was the first martyr under Diocletian.
TER AND ERAI, or Abadir or Apater and Ira’i or Herai (feast day: 28 Tut), brother and sister from Antioch martyred in Egypt under Diocletian.
Thecla (feast day: 23 Tut). See CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART: Thecla.
Thecla and Mudji (or Muji) (feast day: 25 Abib), women fromb Quraqas in the Delta who were martyred.
Theoclia (feast day: 11 Bashans), a woman connected with the Basilides family of Antioch who came with them to Alexandria and was tortured and killed in Sais. She converted fellow prisoners, who also were martyred.
Theodorus, or Theodore (feast day: 28 Amshir), native of Peshotep who was tortured and beheaded (p. 261).
Theodorus (feast day: 10 Abib), bishop of Pentapolis who was slain under Diocletian.
Theodorus Anatlius, a martyr in the Basilides Cycle.
THEODORUS STRATELATES, or Theodorus the General, or Theodorus of Shotep (feast day: 20 Abib), a second-century general who battled a dragon and was martyred.
Theodorus and Timothy (feast day: 21 Baramhat).
Theodosia (feast day: 6 Abib), martyr slain with twelve other women.
Theodotus (feast day: 29 Misrah), disciple of Saint Athanasius, who was martyred with him and Saint Jerasimus.
Thomas (feast day: 4 Hatur), a “new martyr,” a bishop of Damascus who was beheaded on the charge of reviling Islam.
Thomas (feast day: 24 Misra) of Mar‘ash, Syria, and a “martyr without bloodshed” who was tortured under Diocletian but freed under Constantine.
TIL (died: 7 Amshir), a soldier who was martyred under Diocletian.
Timothy, or Timotheus (feast day: 24 Amshir), a priest in Gaza who was martyred with the priest Matthias (p. 275).
Timothy (feast day: 13 Hatur), a “martyr without bloodshed,” bishop of Antinoopolis who was seized under Diocletian but freed under Constantine.
Timothy of Memphis, or Timotheus the Egyptian (feast day: 21 Ba’unah), Christian soldier under the governor Arianus, who tore up Diocletian’s edict ordering worship of pagan gods and was seized, persecuted, and beheaded.
Timothy and Theodorus, see THEODORUS AND TIMOTHY, above.
TOLEMAUS (feast day: 11 Kiyahk), a soldier from Dandarah martyred under Diocletian.
URSUS OF SOLOTHURN (feast day: 30 September), a fourth- century Egyptian who was martyred with the Theban Legion in Switzerland.
Valerianus and Tibarcius (feast day: 26 Hatur), brothers martyred under Diocletian.
Valesius (feast day: 19 Baramhat), one of seven martyrs cited by Eusebius.
Victor, a member of Diocletian’s court who was martyred.
Victor of Asyut (feast day: 5 Kiyahk), a Roman soldier under Diocletian who refused to worship pagan gods, was seized, tortured, and thrown into a furnace.
VICTOR OF SOLOTHURN, fourth-century soldier of the Theban Legion martyred in Switzerland.
VICTOR STRATELATES, or the General (feast day: 27 Baramudah), son of Romanus, who, according to legend, was killed and miraculously revived three times before his final death in the persecutions under Diocletian.
Victor, Decius, and Eirene (or Irene) (feast day: 4 Baramudah), martyrs with their companions under Julian the Apostate.
Zadok and His Companions (feast day: 26 Amshir), Persians who were martyred.
- Amélineau, E. C. Les Actes des martyrs de l’Eglise copte. Paris, 1890.
- Evelyn-White, H. G. Monasteries of the Wadi’n-Natrun, 3 vols. New York, 1926-1933.
- Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints, with a General Introduction on Hagiography. St. Louis and London, 1924. Repr. Detroit, 1969.
- Hyvernat, H. Les Actes des martyrs de l’Egypte, 4 pts. in 1 vol. Hildesheim and New York, 1977.
- O’Leary, DeL. The Saints of Egypt in the Coptic Calendar. London and New York, 1937. Repr. Amsterdam, 1974.
AZIZ S. ATIYA