A Tale of Two Saints

The Martyrdoms and Miracles of Saints Theodore 'the Recruit' and 'the General'

Translated with commentary by John Haldon

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ISBN: 9781781381663

Publication: April 27, 2016

Series: Translated Texts for Byzantinists 2

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Hagiographical writing, including the Lives of saints and martyrs and collections of their miracles, were one of the most popular, perhaps the most popular form of literature accessible to ordinary people in the medieval world. St. Theodore ‘the Recruit’ was one of the best-known of the so-called ‘military saints’ or ‘soldier saints’, particularly in the medieval eastern Roman, or Byzantine, and the eastern Christian world, where churches dedicated to him were to be found in towns, cities and in the countryside. While the cult of St. Theodore has been studied in the context of hagiographical writing and from the perspective of his representation in medieval art, this is the first translation into a modern language of any of the Greek texts connected with St Theodore. Ranging in date from the fifth to the eleventh century CE, five accounts of the martyrdom of the saint together with two sets of miracles have been selected, texts that testify to the growth and to the evolution of the martyrdoms and miracle collections associated with him. St Theodore ‘the Recruit’ had a senior partner, St Theodore ‘the General’ who first appears in the ninth century and reflects the tastes and demands of middle Byzantine élite society.

With a detailed introduction that examines the structure of the texts and their historical development, this volume also situates them in the context of recent archaeological work at Roman Euchaïta, the centre of the cult in Anatolia.

John Haldon is Shelby Cullom Davis ’30 Professor of European History, Professor of Byzantine History & Hellenic Studies and Director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University.




Chapter 1: Introduction

St Theodore ‘the Recruit’

St Theodore ‘the General’

St Theodore ‘the Recruit’ and Euchaïta

Chapter 2: The texts

Context: martyrdoms and miracles

The martyrdom accounts: date and development

The miracle collections

Chapter 3: Translations

Text 1: Encomium of Chrysippos, priest of Jerusalem, on the holy martyr Theodore, together with a partial account of his miracles (BHG 1765c)

Text 2: The passion of St Theodore the Recruit (BHG 1761)

Text 3: The life and upbringing of the holy martyr Theodore (BHG 1765)

Text 4: The life before the martyrdom and the upbringing and growing-up and the wondrous miracles of the holy and most glorious megalomartyr Theodore (BHG 1764)

Text 5: The martyrdom of the holy and glorious megalomartyr of Christ Theodore the general (BHG 1752)

Sources, collections of sources and reference works



Format: Paperback

Size: 210 × 147 mm

192 Pages

3 B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781781381663

Publication: April 27, 2016

Series: Translated Texts for Byzantinists 2

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