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Theodore


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(4th century),

martyr. One of the most famous soldier-martyrs of the East, whose cult was based on his shrine at Euchaita in Pontus, Theodore was also culted at Rome and in the West. Almost nothing is known of his life beyond the fact of his martyrdom. The panegyric, attributed to Gregory of Nyssa, stresses his extreme efficacy as a wonder-worker. He was said to have refused idolatrous worship in the company of his fellow recruits, to have set fire to a pagan temple and to have died after a fearsome series of tortures. A church in Rome is dedicated to him and he figures in the Roman calendar on 9 November, also in the Sarum calendar and many medieval monastic ones. Relics were translated to both Venice and Chartres, which accounts for the presence of his Legend in the mosaics of St Mark's and in 13th-century stained glass at Chartres. Already by the 10th century his Legend had become so complex that two Saints Theodore were posited, both soldiers, but one a recruit and the other a general.

H. Delehaye, Les légendes grecques des saints militaires (1909); AA.SS. Feb. II (1658), 23–37 and Nov. IV (1925), 11–89.

Subjects: Christianity.


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