SAINT SHENUFE

A martyr under , (feast day: 7 ). His Passion has survived complete in a (Pierpont , New York, M 583, fols. 103-138; ed. Reymond and Barns, 1973, pp. 83-127) and in fragments of another codex (, Cairo, Sottas, 1919).

At the beginning of the text there is an interesting and unusual list of prefects of Egypt at the time of Diocletian. This is followed by the usual promulgation of the edict of and the sending of letters to the prefect in Egypt. Shenufe and his family (his brothers were martyred with him) from Empaiat, near Alexandria, are then presented.

After seeing a vision of Jesus, Shenufe presents himself to Arianus in Alexandria and confesses his faith. He is brought first to Memphis, where he is tried and where he performs miracles, and then to the , where various miraculous episodes take place— the being raised, healings, etcetera. After this there is the list of magistrates of the Fayyum. After various moves within the Fayyum, the final sentence, and a last vision of the , he is martyred in the presence of .

In this version, the text represents a contamination of the Cycles of and the Cycle of Julius of Aqfahs; however, the break in the narrative clearly shows that the elements taken from the Cycle of Basilides are extraneous to a preceding narrative, whether written or oral is uncertain.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Baumeister, T. Martyre Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche, p. 129. Münster, 1972.
  • Horn, J. “Der erste Martyrer. Zu einem Topos der koptischen Märtyrerliteratur (mit zwei Anhängen).” In Studien zur Spätantik und frühchristlichen Kunst und Kultur des Orients, ed. G. Koch. Weisbaden, 1982.
  • Munier, H. “Fragments des actes du martyre de l’ Chnoubi.” Annales du Service des Antiquités 17 (1917):145-59.
  • Reymond, E. A. E., and J. W. B. Barnes. Four Martyrdoms from the Pierpont Morgan Coptic Codices. , 1973.
  • Sethe, K. In und Altertumskunde 57 (1922):139-40.
  • Sottas, E. Revue Egyptologique n.s. (1919):264-67.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *