On Saints Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus in Armenian   1 comment

In the Armenian synaxarion for 6 K’ałoc’ (= December 14), there is a short commemoration of the three martyr-saints Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus, whose deaths are set in the time of Diocletian. (See BHG 1845-1846; no entry in BHO.) Due to its brevity, its simplicity, and its stock hagiographic and martyrological language, I thought readers of Armenian, especially beginning students, might appreciate a focus on the text. The tortures and means of killing, even though succinctly described, are as gruesome as is typical. Among the never-ceasing wonders of Wikipedia, there is a page for Death by sawing! Many instances of this terrible, gory act are listed for various times and places and with various doers of the deed, but Thyrsus is not among those named as having suffered this fate.

https://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8018/7489667218_798e44f7c9.jpg

Sawing Isaiah in half. Image from here.

Here is the synaxarion text from PO 18: 44-45 (here at archive.org), with some vocabulary (in order of appearance), and an English translation.

Յայսմ աւուր կատարեցան սրով սուրբ վկայքն Քրիստոսի Թերսոս, Լեւկիոս եւ Կալինիկոս վասն վկայութեանն Քրիստոսի Աստուծոյ մերոյ, յաւուրս Դիոկղետիանոսի ամբարիշտ արքային։ Սուրբն Թերսոս յետ բազում չարչարանաց ի մամուլս հիւսանց սղոցեալ կատարեցաւ։ Եւ զսուրբն Լեւկիոս կախեցին զփայտէ եւ քերեցին զամենայն մարմինն եւ ապա հատին զգլուխն։ Իսկ սուրբն Կալինիկոս քուրմ էր կռոց եւ հաւատացեալ ի Քրիստոս՝ կատարեցաւ սրով յԱպամիա քաղաքին, ի փառս Աստուծոյ։

Vocabulary

  • կատարեմ, -եցի to finish, end, crown
  • սուր, սրոյ sword
  • վկայութիւն testimony, witness
  • ամբարիշտ ungodly, impious
  • արքայ, -ից king, emperor
  • յետ (+ gen.) after
  • չարչարանք, -նաց torture(s)
  • մամուլ, -մլոց press
  • հիւսն, -սանց carpenter
  • սղոցեմ, -եցի to saw
  • կախիմ, -եցայ to hang
  • փայտ, -ից wood, tree
  • քերեմ, -եցի to flay, lacerate
  • հատանեմ, հատի to cut
  • քուրմ, քրմաց pagan priest (cf. Syriac kumrā)
  • կուռք, կռոց idols
  • հավատամ, -տացի to believe
  • փառք, -ռաց glory, praise

English translation

On this day the holy martyrs of Christ, Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus, were martyred [lit. crowned] by the sword for a witness to Christ, our God, in the days of Diocletian, the ungodly emperor. Saint Thyrsus, after many tortures, was sawn on a carpenter’s press and martyred. Saint Leucius they hung on a tree, flayed his whole body, and then cut off his head. As for Saint Callinicus, he had been a priest of idols, but [then] believed in Christ; he was martyred by the sword in the city of Apamea to the glory of God.

One response to “On Saints Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus in Armenian

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  1. Pingback: Excerpts from the martydom tale of Goharine &c. in the Armenian synaxarion (with a talking decapitated head!) | hmmlorientalia

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