Saint Ascla


A martyr in the persecutions under DIOCLETIAN (feast day: 21 Tubah). His Passion has survived in Coptic in only one codex, in Sahidic dialect (Turin, Museum Egizio, 63000.XV, ed. F. Rossi, 1892, pp. 65-69), but it is also known in Greek and Latin (Bibliotheca hagiographica Graeca 1514, Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina 722).

It begins with Ascla’s capture and his appearance before ARIANUS, prefect of the Thebaid. Arianus orders him to make sacrifice, and Ascla refuses. This is followed by the usual exchange of words, and then Arianus decides to leave Antinoopolis with Ascla and travel to Shmun. Ascla miraculously stops the ship in mid-river and forces Arianus to abjure in order for the ship to be able to lay anchor. However, once he has landed, Arianus goes back on his words, tortures Ascla, and orders that he be drowned in the river near Antinoopolis.

This text is one of the basic ones of the Cycle of Arianus.


  • Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
  • Rossi, F. “Un nuovo codice copto del Museo Egizio di Torino.” Atti Accademia dei Lincei series 5, 1 (1892):3-136.


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