Synaxarion or Synexarion (plurals Synaxaria, Synexaria; Greek: Συναξάριον, from συνάγειν, synagein, "to bring together"; cf. etymology of synaxis and synagogue; Latin: Synaxarium, Synexarium; Coptic: ⲥϫⲛⲁⲝⲁⲣⲓⲟⲛ) is the name given in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches to a compilation of hagiographies corresponding roughly to the martyrology of the Roman Church.
There are two kinds of synaxaria:
The exact meaning of the name has changed at various times. Its first use was for the index to the Biblical and other lessons to be read in church. In this sense it corresponds to the Latin Capitulare and Comes. Then the Synaxarion was filled up with the whole text of the pericopes to be read. As far as the Holy Liturgy was concerned this meant that it was essentially transformed into the "Gospel" and "Apostle" books. Synaxarion remained the title for the index to the other lessons. Without changing its name it was filled up with complete texts of these lessons. The mere index of such lessons is generally called menologion heortastikon, a book now hardly needed or used, since the Typikon supplies the same, as well as other, information.
The oldest historical synaxaria apparently go back to the tenth century. There are a great number of medieval Synaxaria extant in manuscript. They are important for Byzantine heortology and church history. The short lives that form the lessons were composed or collected by various writers. Of these Symeon Metaphrastes is the most important. The accounts are of very varying historical value. Emperor Basil II (976-1025) ordered a revision of the Synaxarion, which forms an important element of the present official edition. The Synaxarion is not now used as a separate book; it is incorporated in the Menaia. The account of the saint or feast is read in the Orthros after the sixth ode of the Canon. It is printed in its place here, and bears each time the name synaxarion as title. Synaxarion then in modern use means, not the whole collection, but each separate lesson in the Menaia and other books. An example of such a Synaxarion (for St. Martin I, 13 April) will be found in Nilles, op. cit., infra, I, xlix.
The publication of the Arabic text of the synaxarion (Arabic: السِّنْكِسارُ) of the Coptic Orthodox Church was started simultaneously by J. Forget in the Corp. script. orient. and by R. Basset in the Patrologia Orientalis, it was written using Coptic language (Coptic: ⲥϫⲛⲁⲝⲁⲣⲓⲟⲛ) before the adoption of Arabic as an official language of Egypt, and that of the Ethiopian synaxarion was begun by I. Guidi in the Patrologia orientalis. The Armenian synaxarion, called the Synaxarion of Ter Israel, was published at Constantinople in 1834, and again in Patrologia Orientalis. There are also various Georgian synaxaria.
During the Eastern Orthodox Divine Services the reading of the synaxarion (in the sense of brief lives of the saints of the day) will take place after the Sixth Ode of the Canon at Matins or at the Divine Liturgy. The synaxaria may be printed in a separate volume or may be included with other liturgical texts such as the Menaion or Horologion.
The Codex Zographensis (or Tetraevangelium Zographense; scholarly abbreviation Zo) is an illuminated Old Church Slavonic canon manuscript. It is composed of 304 parchment folios; the first 288 are written in Glagolitic containing Gospels and organised as Tetraevangelium (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and the rest written in Cyrillic containing a 13th-century synaxarium. It is dated back to the end of the 10th or beginning of the 11th century.Domnina of Syria
Saint Domnina of Syria, also known as Domnina the Younger, was a 5th-century ascetic. Her name is mentioned in the Byzantine Synaxarium. and according to Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, Domnina was born to a rich Syrian family.Epip
Epip (Coptic: Ⲉⲡⲓⲡ), also known as Epiphi (Greek: Ἐπιφί, Ephiphí) and Abib (Arabic: أبيب), is the eleventh month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between July 8 and August 6 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Epip is also the third month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in Ancient Egypt, where the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.Hathor (month)
Hathor (Coptic: Ϩⲁⲑⲱⲣ, Hathōr), also known as Athyr (Greek: Ἀθύρ, Athýr) and Hatur (Arabic: هاتور), is the third month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lies between November 10 and December 9 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Hathor is also the third month of the season of Akhet (Inundation) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods historically covered the land of Egypt; they have not done so since the construction of the High Dam at Aswan.Hell icon
Hell icons (Russian: Адописная икона, adopisnaya ikona, lit. "Hell-written icon" or "Hell-painted icon") are legendary icons with images of Devil hidden under the primer, the riza or the painted layer. Also, the image of saints could include horns hidden under the paint.
The term "Hell-written" first occurs in Prologue (Eastern Orthodox Synaxarium) regarding Sabellianist church banners. Full Church Slavonic dictionary gives the following commentary: "painted in hell". The term "Hell icons" is mostly used amongst Old Believers. The painting of hell icons, known as adopis or "hellography" (as opposed to iconography), was also a type of black magic in medieval Russia.
Hell icons were first mentioned in the Life of St. Basil (the 16th century): Basil threw a rock at the icon of Virgin Mary before the eyes of the astonished crowd of pilgrims. Then he allegedly showed that the image of the devil was hidden under the paint.Messages about hell icons appeared in newspaper articles and the literature of the 19th century, but such articles reported only the later icons of "cheap and clumsily painting." Nikolai Leskov, who was interested in Christian iconography, included a reference to hell icons in his story The Sealed Angel (1872) and in short article "On hell icons" (Russian: Об адописных иконах), published in 1873.Despite these studies, in the 20th century Russian linguist Nikita Tolstoy doubted the fact of their real existence. This point of view is shared by modern art critics due to lack of material evidence (all such icons, if ever existed, have been lost).Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, Ignátios Antiokheías; c. 35 – c. 107), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (Ιγνάτιος ὁ Θεοφόρος, Ignátios ho Theophóros, lit. "the God-bearing") or Ignatius Nurono (lit. "The fire-bearer"), was an early Christian writer and bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of the later collection known as the Apostolic Fathers. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.Koiak
Koiak (; Coptic: Ⲕⲟⲓⲁⲕ, [ˈkɔjak]), also known as Choiak (Greek: Χοιάκ, Khoiák) and Kiyahk (Coptic: Ⲕⲓⲁϩⲕ, Kiahk, [ˈkijahk]; Arabic: كياك or كيهك), is the fourth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between 10 December and 8 January of the Gregorian calendar, or between 11 December and 9 January of the Gregorian calendar in Coptic calendar years immediately following a Coptic calendar leap year (which occur every four years, in Coptic calendar years immediately preceding those that are divisible by 4 to produce an integer; i.e., 1719, 1723, 1727, 1731, etc. are all examples of leap years in the Coptic calendar). The month of Koiak is also the fourth month of the Season of Akhet (Inundation) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods historically covered the land. They have not done so since the construction of the High Dam at Aswan.Meshir
Meshir (Coptic: Ⲙⲉϣⲓⲣ), also known as Mechir (Greek: Μεχίρ, Mekhír) and Amshir (Arabic: أمشير), is the sixth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lies between February 8 and March 9 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Meshir is also the second month of the Season of Proyet (Growth and Emergence) in ancient Egypt, where the Nile floods recede and the crops start to grow throughout the land of Egypt.Nayrouz
Nayrouz or Neyrouz (Arabic ناروز Nārūz < Persian نوروز Nawruz) is a feast when martyrs and confessors are commemorated within the Coptic Orthodox Church. Celebrated on September 11, the day is both the start of the Coptic new year and its first month, Thout.
The Feast of Nayrouz marks the first day of the Coptic year. Multiple theories have been proposed for the origin of the word. One popular theory, repeated on many Websites, is that the word is Egyptian in origin: Ignorant of the Egyptian language for the most part, the Arabs confused the Egyptian new year's celebrations, which the Egyptians called the feast of Ni-Iarōou (Bohairic ⲛⲓ-ⲓⲁⲣⲱⲟⲩ lit. the feast of the rivers), with the Persian feast of Nowruz, from which the word Nayrouz etymologically comes. The misnomer remains today, and the celebrations of the Egyptian new year on the first day of the month of Thout are known as the Nayrouz. Others dispute this view, and hold that the word is fully Persian. They note that the word Nayrouz does not occur anywhere in the Synaxarium, that there is no evidence of the use of the supposed Coptic etymon in historical sources, and that a Persian etymology sufficiently explains the current name. The recorded Bohairic name for the new year was ⲡⲓⲭⲗⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉϯⲣⲟⲙⲡⲓ pi-klhom inte-tirompi, "the crown of the year."Its celebration falls on the 1st day of the month of Thout, the first month of the Egyptian year, which for AD 1901 to 2098 usually coincides with 11 September, except before a Gregorian leap year when it begins September 12.Paoni
Paoni (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲱⲛⲓ, Paōni), also known as Payni (Greek: Παϋνί, Paüní) and Ba'unah (Arabic: بئونه, Ba'una), is the tenth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between June 8 and July 7 of the Gregorian calendar. Paoni is also the second month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in Ancient Egypt, where the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.Paopi
Paopi (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲱⲡⲉ, Paōpe), also known as Phaophi (Greek: Φαωφί, Phaōphí) and Babah (Arabic: بابه, Baba), is the second month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between 11 October and 9 November of the Gregorian calendar, unless the previous Coptic year was a leap year. The month of Paopi is the second month of the Season of Akhet (Inundation) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods inundated the land. (They have not done so since the construction of the High Dam at Aswan.)Paremhat
Paremhat (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲣⲉⲙϩⲁⲧ), also known as Phamenoth (Greek: Φαμενώθ, Phamenṓth) and Baramhat (Arabic: برمهات), is the seventh month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lies between March 10 and April 8 of the Gregorian calendar. Paremhat is also the third month of the Season of Proyet (Growth and Emergence) in Ancient Egypt, where the Nile floods recede and the crops start to grow throughout the land of Egypt.Parmouti
Parmouti (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲣⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ, Parmoute), also known as Pharmouthi (Greek: Φαρμουθί, Pharmouthí) and Barmudah (برموده), is the eighth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between April 9 and May 8 of the Gregorian calendar. Paremoude was also the fourth month of the season of Proyet (Growth and Emergence) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods recede and the crops start to grow throughout the land.Pashons
Pashons (Coptic: Ⲡⲁϣⲟⲛⲥ, [paˈʃons]), also known as Pachon (Greek: Παχών, Pakhṓn) and Bachans (بشنس, Bashans), is the ninth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between May 9 and June 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Pashons is also the first month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in Ancient Egypt, when the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.Pope Agrippinus of Alexandria
Pope Agrippinus, tenth Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He was ordained a priest on the church of Alexandria.
When Pope Cladianus, 9th Pope, died, Bishop Agrippinus was chosen Patriarch by the people and clergy of Alexandria.
According to Coptic tradition, Anba Agrippinus did not own any silver or gold, except for what met his basic personal needs. After 12 years on the throne of St. Mark, he died in peace.
He is commemorated on the 5th day of Meshir in the Coptic Synaxarium.Pope Julian of Alexandria
Pope Julian (Yulianus) of Alexandria, 11th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He is commemorated in the Coptic Synaxarium on the 8th day of Paremhat.There was a man who was a wise priest, and had studied the books of God, and his name was Julian; and he walked in the path of chastity and religion and tranquillity. So a body of bishops of the synod assembled, together with the orthodox laity, in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, and searched among the whole people, but could find none like this priest. So they laid their hands upon him, and appointed him patriarch. He composed homilies and sermons on the saints; and he continued in the see ten years. After this patriarch, the bishop of Alexandria did not remain always in that city, but issued thence secretly, and ordained priests in every place, as Saint Mark, the evangelist, had done. Julian went to his rest on the 8th of Paremhat, or on the 12th of Babah, as some say, in the eighth year of the reign of Commodus, the Roman emperor.Pope Simeon I of Alexandria
Pope Simeon I of Alexandria (fl. 695), 42nd Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
The first pope elected from among the Syrians to the See of St. Mark was Pope Simeon I. He was a monk in the Pateron Monastery (Deir Al-Zugag). The Synaxarium links Simeon to his Syrian heritage by mentioning to his readers that Severus of Antioch was buried in the monastery. The Synaxarium attests to his saintly life. There were two attempts to poison Pope Simeon and he survived both of them. Pope Simeon was a great reformer. He fought very fiercely against a new trend among Coptic men who began emulating the Arabs by taking more than one wife.Thout
Thout (Coptic: Ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ, [tʰoːuːt]), also known as Thoth (Greek: Θωθ, Thōth) and Tut (Arabic: توت), is the first month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lies between 11 September and 10 October of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Thout is also the first month of the Season of Akhet (Inundation) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods historically covered the land of Egypt; it has not done so since the construction of the High Dam at Aswan.Tobi (month)
Tobi (Coptic: Ⲧⲱⲃⲓ, Tōbi), also known as Tybi (Greek: Τυβί, Tybí) and Tubah (Arabic: طوبه), is the fifth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lies between January 9 and February 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Tobi is also the first month of the season of Proyet (Growth and Emergence) in Ancient Egypt, where the Nile floods recede and the crops start to grow throughout the land of Egypt.