medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

According to her hagiography the consecrated virgin Ia (d. 362?) was one of numerous Christians taken prisoner by the forces of the Persian king Shapur II during a raid on Roman territory.  Brought to Persia with other captives, she proselytized among the local women, some of whose husbands then brought charges of sorcery against her.  Ia was tortured, imprisoned, found guilty, tortured some more, and finally decapitated.  She has two surviving Greek Passiones (BHG 761, 762), both edited by Delehaye in his "Les versions grecques des Actes des martyrs persans sous Sapor II", _Patrologia Orientalis_ 2, pt. 4 (1907), 403-560, at pp. 453-73; the first of these has a Latin translation edited by Delehaye and printed below the corresponding Greek text.  Several no longer extant churches in Constantinople were dedicated to Ia, most notably one near the Golden Gate restored by Justinian and destroyed during the capture of the city in 1204.  In the Palaeologan period (1261-1453) relics venerated as Ia's were kept in Constantinople's monastery of St. George at the Mangana.

In the originally tenth-century Synaxary of Constantinople Ia's feast falls on 11. September.  Modern Byzantine-rite churches tend to celebrate her on that day, sometimes adding "and 9000 martyrs with her".  Today (4. August) is her day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology.

Some period-pertinent depictions of St. Ia of Persia:

a) as depicted (martyrdom) in the late tenth- or very early eleventh-century so-called Menologion of Basil II (Cittą del Vaticano, BAV, cod. Vat. gr. 1613, p. 28):

b) as very probably depicted (at lower left in the panel at upper right) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 49v):

John Dillon
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