SAINTS HERPAESE AND JULIANUS

Two martyrs of fourth-century Egypt. Two fragments (Berliner Papyrussammlung, P22122; ed. Satzinger, 1967-1968, n. 324) are all that remain of a Passio of the martyrs Herpaese and Julianus, who are named nowhere else in Coptic tradition and who are not even included in the Copto-Arabic SYNAXARION.

The text is clearly part of the Cycle of ARIANUS, perhaps from the fifth or sixth century, but must belong to a minor, local tradition that was not included in later works. The style is that typical of koptischer Konsens, the recurring theme of “indestructible life” (see HAGIOGRAPHY).

The text begins with GABRIEL intervening between the martyrs and an unknown opponent. He later reassembles the scattered limbs of Julianus; then the two martyrs are brought to the prefect Arianus and placed in a boiling cauldron. himself appears and saves them, and then delivers a long speech. The two martyrs are brought back to Arianus.

  • Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
  • Satzinger, H. Koptische Urkunden, Vol. 3. Ägyptische aus den Staatlichen Museen. Berlin, 1967-1968.

TITO ORLANDI