medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Hermylus and Stratonicus (d. ca. 308-311 or ca. 320, supposedly).
Hermylus (also Hermyllus, Hermellus; in Serbian, Ermil) and Stratonicus (in Serbian, Stratonik) are very poorly attested martyrs of Moesia prima. Their legendary late antique Passio in two versions (BHG 744 and 744z; the latter's tenth-century expansion by St. Symeon Metaphrastes is BHG 745) makes Hermylus a deacon at Singidunum -- today's Belgrade / Beograd -- who was arrested during the persecution of Licinius, who professed his Christianity before the emperor, and who was then so savagely beaten with iron rods that his heart and entrails were exposed to view. Hermylus' friend Stratonicus fell to weeping at this, proclaimed himself a Christian, and was beaten as well. Thereafter both were drowned in the Danube. How much of this is factual is an open question.
Byzantine synaxaries and menologia record Hermylus and Stratonicus under 13. January and sometimes add a notice of the translation of their relics to Constantinople. The medieval Latin church appears not to have taken cognizance of Stratonicus. In the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology Hermylus alone is entered, under 3. August and without any indication of place: _et alibi Hermyli martyris_. The ninth-century martyrologists Florus of Lyon, St. Ado of Vienne, and Usuard of Saint-Germain follow the dating of the (ps.-)HM but call Hermylus Hermellus and, presumably thanks to his veneration there, identify him as a martyr of Constantinople. Hermylus entered the Roman Martyrology from Usuard with an entry under 3. August; he was moved to 13. January in the revision of 2001, which latter also brought Stratonicus into the Latin-rite version of this commemoration.
Some medieval images of Hermylus and Stratonicus:
a) The martyrdom of Hermylus and Stratonicus as depicted in the late tenth- or very early eleventh-century so-called Menologion of Basil II (Città del Vaticano, BAV, cod. Vat. gr. 1613, p. 314):
b) The martyrdom of Hermylus and Stratonicus as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century Imperial Menologion for January in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (ms. W. 521, fol. 88r):
c) Hermylus as depicted (with the attributes of a deacon) in an eleventh-century fresco in the Holy Wisdom cathedral in Kyiv:
Colors refreshed digitally:
d) Stratonicus (at left) and Hermylus (at right) as depicted in a thirteenth-century January menaion seemingly from Cyprus (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 1561, fol. 61r):
e) The martyrdom of Stratonicus and Hermylus as depicted (at lower right) in an earlier fourteenth-century set of miniatures from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340) for the Great Feasts (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 24v; image greatly expandable):
f) Hermylus and Stratonicus as depicted in separate earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
g) Stratonicus (far left) and Hermylus (second from left) as depicted by Paolo Veneziano in panels of a mid-fourteenth-century altarpiece (betw. 1350 and 1355) in the Museum of Sacred Art in Rab (Primorsko-Goranska županija), Croatia:
Can anyone point to a better view?
h) Hermylus and Stratonicus (lower register, center and right) as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century frescoes (1545 and 1546) by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas (a.k.a. Theophanes the Cretan) in the katholikon of the Stavronikita monastery on Mt. Athos:
Detail view (Hermylus):
Detail view (Stratonicus):
i) Hermylus and Stratonicus as depicted by George / Tzortzis the Cretan in separate earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1546/1547) in the katholikon of the Dionysiou monastery on Mt. Athos:
Hermylus (reduced image, alas):
(an older post revised)
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