A martyr in fourth-century Egypt. Justin is related to the Antiochene cycle concerning the family of the Roman general BASILIDES (see CYCLES). His Passion was presumably written later, when the descriptive elements of the cycle were already much developed and the kinships among people were very elaborate. The Passion was handed down through two quite different redactions, in two incomplete codices both dated to the ninth century: one in Sahidic (Winstedt, 1910, pp. 188-99) and the other in Bohairic (White, 1926, pp. 78-82). The more complete text is in Sahidic. A subsequently discovered version similar to the Bohairic is in Ethiopic (Pereira, 1955, pp. 73-98).
The title of this text mentions, in addition to Justus, his wife, Stephanou, his daughter, Sophia, and the son of Basilides, the martyr Eusebius. The text begins with the apostasy of the Roman emperor DIOCLETIAN, briefly explained in the Bohairic version by the treason of the Antiochene bishop, who returns Nicomedes, the captured son of the king of Persia, to the Persians in exchange for money. Diocletian asks the heathen priests what he must do. They order him to make sacrifices and persecute the Christians. Many people refuse to obey his edict. Justus, who in a well-known late legend is an Egyptian called Agrippida, is introduced to the youthful Diocletian, the son of the previous emperor, who was a friend of Basilides.
In the Sahidic version Justus and Eusebius confess their faith in front of Diocletian in Rome. In the Bohairic version Justus comes with Apoli and Theoclia. Diocletian sends them all to the prefect Armenius in Egypt, who in turn sends them to the south to the prefect Arianus. The Sahidic manuscript is interrupted here, while the Bohairic text reports the martyrdom of Justus and Eusebius under Arianus.
- Pereira, M. E. Acta Martyrum. CSCO 37-38, Scriptores Aethiopici 20-21. Louvain, 1955.
- White, H. G. New Coptic Texts from the Monastery of Saint Macarius. New York, 1926.
- Winstedt, E. O. Coptic Texts on Saint Theodore the General, Saint Theodore the Eastern, Chamoul and Justus. London and Oxford, 1910.